There has been some debate in Canada recently over the issue of sales taxes when making purchases on the Internet from abroad. Right now, when Canadians buy products and services, such as clothes or movie streaming subscriptions, from online vendors located abroad, it is the consumers who are responsible for declaring sales taxes.
Big Data and artificial general intelligence companies, the new darlings of Silicon Valley and organizations concerned with international security, should pay heed to what has happened this year. The Brexit vote proved that assumptions of fact, the springboard for all deductive or inductive reasoning-- are heavily prone to human error.
Under the leadership of the Liberals, our federal government is investing in digital staff and infrastructure (Conservatives have done so as well, but not to this scale and depth). We are catching up to corporations in how they listen to and engage customers to manage issues, drive innovation and build loyalty.
We live in a world where those with various forms of privilege -- gender, racial or monetary -- are dunking on the rest of us all the time. There's no corner of society where those who were lucky enough to be born into a good situation (and let's be real: it's a luck thing) don't reap the benefits. But we try our best to push on and get what we can in our own way. It's life as we know it. Until some guy gets a feature article in reputable magazine in the biggest city in the country just to tell boring-ass stories about how great it is to be rich, and how we should all try it sometime.
The smartphone is not only becoming our primary source for Internet use -- it's dramatically changing money, and how we transact. What we're seeing today is a fundamental change in the evolution of money, driven by mobile that has -- and will continue to have -- major implications for retail and digital commerce.
Access to the Internet and its economic ecosystem increases productivity in virtually all sectors of the economy. Not only does it provide small and medium enterprises with access to the global marketplace, it also gives them access to the back office, shipping, tracking logistics, and other support capabilities that were once restricted to large corporations.
Whether it's Internet access or affordable housing -- the same problem presents itself. Government interference drives up prices while constraining the problem solving power of a free market. Consumer advocacy groups should be fighting for less interference, fewer regulations, and a less powerful bureaucracy. The solution is never more government. It's less.
The issue of affordable high-speed Internet access in Canada is no better exemplified than through the actions and beliefs of three mayors across the country: Toronto's John Tory, Ottawa's Jim Watson, and Calgary's Naheed Nenshi. The way each city's mayor submitted letters to the federal government either defending the interests of Bell or the CRTC can show us a lot about how each leader intends to approach broadband infrastructure in their municipalities.
We humans are a social species, and as much as we may insist otherwise, audiences give our lives value. For some its emotional value. For others, intellectual or professional. But we all seek it out. And unlike those dark pre-internet days (pre-Web 2.0, to be more accurate), the audience is out there, ready to be engaged.
The prospect of considering expanded blocking for copyright purposes validates the fears of civil liberties groups that the introduction of blocking requirements invariably expands to cover a wider net of content. Canadian copyright was already on track for a boisterous debate in the coming years with changes such as copyright term extension mandated by the Trans Pacific Partnership and a review of the law scheduled for 2017. If government officials envision adding VPN usage, access to U.S. Netflix and website blocking to the list of issues, copyright could emerge as one of the government's most difficult and controversial issues.
It's a scary world out there. By out there I mean the cyber world we enter every time we tweet, post, like, google or pin. I would venture to say that as a parent, it is even scarier. With the number of hours our children spend on devices these days, every click potentially opens them up to dangers that as parents we need to ensure we are protecting them from.
The reason ad blocking has been met with so much fervor, is that it challenges the very basis upon which much of the internet is run and financed. The public accesses content for free, in exchange for seeing ads that produce income for the creators of such content. The ethical dilemma has been framed as the following: does the public have a right to both consume the content, and block ads?
Life in the public square is playing itself out online, only the Internet has made the square bigger, more diverse, and capable of operating in real time. With every decision our government makes (or must make), social media in particular allow us to quickly gather, share, discuss, debate, suggest and demand, effectively crowdsourcing solutions to the questions facing the nation. And by the looks of things, Canadians will have suggestions for Justin Trudeau every step of the way.
Large media conglomerates are piling on the pressure to ban these privacy protection services for any domains used for "commercial purposes". They're trying to make it even easier to access people's private contact information, so that they can sue domain owners who they accuse of copyright infringements.
The idea of Canada taking a global leadership role in this emerging technology is appealing, and achievable, in light of our impressive made-in-Canada capabilities. First, we've built world-leading infrastructure including ubiquitous telecom networks with ample bandwidth that enables us to communicate quickly and efficiently from coast to coast.
As parents, we have an obligation to counter the messages and images that our children are bombarded with, particularly now. If we don't put a stop to it, we're destined to have a whole generation that is not only insecure, but psychologically scarred as well. Here are some tips to help your tween/teen.
Where once we took pride in turning out engineers, architects, doctors, accountants and lawyers who built bridges, buildings and companies and helped better and even save lives, now we venerate those whose single pursuit is great wealth. It's hard to see what purpose Wall Street quants and click-driven Web virologists serve except to further the notion that all that matters is money.