BBC to shutdown it’s Global iPlayer service

For those of you who like to get their fill of BBC dramas and documentaries from the international version of the iPlayer, you may soon be out of luck.  BBC has just announced that it will be shutting down its international version which was available in 16 countries, including Canada.  According to the Engadget story, auto renewing series subscriptions will end between May 26th and June 26th.  British subjects need not worry as this closure only applies to the Global iPlayer and not the version available in the UK. 

Source: Engadget and BBC


Apple to increase App prices in Canada (update)

As expected the price of apps in the Canadian Apple App Store have increased. Previous apps for 99 cents now cost $1.19 and apps that were $1.99 now cost $2.29.

According to reports on CBC and iPhone in Canada websites, Apple is set to increase prices of its Apps in Canada within the next day. According to Boy Genius Report this price increase will involve the Mac App Store as well. The increase is a result of the recent changes in the Canadian-American exchange rate. Changes are also expected in all EU countries as well as Russia. So get those 99 cent Apps while you can.

Christmas Music 24/7

If just can’t get enough Christmas music, there are plenty of ways to satisfy your needs in the digital era.

From your computer, the easiest way to access your holiday favourites would be to find an online radio station. If you have a favourite terrestrial radio station, you should be able to find an online version that lets you listen live. Other stations that are dedicated to playing seasonal music can be found by searching for “Christmas music online”, you will find hundreds of streaming stations. Most of the stations are free of charge, although some may require registration. There are all sorts of genres to meet your needs, most play music continuously with only minimal interruptions for advertising. A music service that I find particularly well done is that on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) website ( On any computer you can access over 50 streaming stations, including two limited play Christmas channels, Seasonal Favourites and Classical Holiday.

You can access most of these same online stations described above using your smart phone or tablet through the browser although the user interface is much better if you are able to find an App for it. For example, the CBC Music application for iOS makes all of their Radio 1 and Radio 2 stations from across Canada available along with all of their streaming stations. Another application that I find quite good is “TuneIn Radio” which lets you listen to more than 100,000 stations from around the world. You can find dedicated Christmas stations, one of my favourites is Radio Santa Claus from Finland.

Seasonal music is also available through your television if you have a Smart TV or a set top box such as Roku or Apple TV connected to it. Most of these devices have a channel or application that allows access to online radio stations. For example, the Apple TV has a Radio application that provides access to hundreds of streaming stations under a number of genres. You can find Christmas music stations under the Religious category. If you don’t have a connected television and get your service through cable or by satellite, most providers have dedicated music channels. I am not talking about Much Music or MTV, but instead channels that play only music with no video, these are usually located in the higher numbers. For example Rogers Cable has approximately 20 music channels provided by Stingray Music, including Holiday Favourites, located on channel 222 and 710 in Ontario, Canada.

So if you’re like me and can’t get enough Christmas music there are many ways to satisfy your obsession.

Do you have any other suggestions? What are some of your favourite radio stations? Send a comment in below and share your experiences?

Happy Holidays.

Apple releases update to iOS

Apple just released iOS 7.0.6 to deal with SSL connection verification issues.  Conspiracy theorists believe this will fix a back door that the NSA was exploiting but most people think that it is just a plain old security vulnerability.  Whatever the reason you should download the over the air update as soon as you can.

Source: iPhone in Canada


Office 365 now available on Android devices

Up until now Microsoft’s Office Suite has only been available on iOS but that has just changed with its release to the Google Play store today. The mobile version has document creation and edit modes for Word, Excel and PowerPoint and allows you to store documents on the device itself or online using SkyDrive. As with the iOS version, you require a subscription of Office 365 to be able to access this mobile app. Although Office 365 is currently only available in the US it is expected that it will be opened up to Canadian users soon.

Source: Mobile Syrup, Boy Genius Report, Engadget

Interested in a smartphone with Ubuntu, head on over to Indiegogo and help finance it (Update)

Update: As of 12:30 pm (EST) on July 26, Canonical has raised $6,579,671. The company has since added new categories of rewards based on your contribution level. It has 27 days left to reach its goal of $32 million.

Today Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, announced a $32 million fund raising campaign on Indiegogo to get its device, the Edge, to market by May 2014. As a special introductory perk, those who contribute $600 before July 23 at 16:00 BST will get their very own Edge, the company is expected to be selling it for $830 at the time of release next year. See the Indieogo Campaign home for the various perks that you will get as a contributor. The device will have a 4.5 inch 720 p screen, with a quad core CPU, 4 GB of RAM, an incredible 128 GB of storage, 8MP rear / 2 MP front facing camera and stereo speakers. In terms of connectivity, the Edge will likely have a LTE radio, dual band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC. True to its word of trying to merge the desktop and mobile operating systems, the phone will be capable of running Ubuntu or Android and will turn into a PC when docked with an external monitor. The Edge will only be developed if Canonical reaches its goal of $32 million by August 21, as of July 22 at 12:30 pm (EST), it was at $240,000 so it is well on its way. If the goal is not reached the company says that it will continue to pursue its strategy of developing and bringing to market a more basic Ubuntu smartphone.

Sources: Engadget, The Verge and Indiegogo