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Posts tagged ‘Canada’

Latest On Huawei Tech Ceo Meng Wanzhou’s Bail Hearing

 Chinese tech giant Huawei Lawyer says his team worked through the night to make changes to its bail plan for Meng Wanzhou to help satisfy concerns that have been raised about her release.

David Martin says they contacted four potential sources to offer sureties for Huawei’s chief financial officer and prepared affidavits after the judge and a federal prosecutor questioned whether Meng’s husband would be a suitable person to ensure she complies with any bail conditions.

Martin says one person who is proposed to offer a financial guarantee is a realtor who met Meng in 2009 and sold two properties to the couple.

The Case

China Strikes Back

They’re Using Bus Service Like Uber Service In Canada

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The city of Belleville in Canada is piloting an on-demand, Uber-inspired system for its public buses. As a ‘transit desert’, Belleville has low population density – making it difficult to offer reliable, convenient public transport. Uber’s ubiquity has also contributed to this issue. Previously, the city’s dial-a-bus system required users to book at least 12 hours in advance. Under the new system this is reduced to 30 minutes. The city reported that the trial on a late night bus route has seen the number of riders doubled.

 

 

Canada’s Natural Chlorine less Swimming Pool

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The city of Edmonton opened Canada’s first all-natural pool, without any chlorine, this month. Costing CAD 14.4 million to construct, the Borden Natural Swimming Pool uses plankton, a filtration system and aquatic plants to remove contaminants from the water. Natural pools are said to offer a ‘cleaner’ experience, which means that swimmers won’t feel the effects of chlorine (like itchy eyes), and be more energy efficient than a regular pool. In order to prevent pathogens from forming, the Borden pool will be colder than most (23 degrees Celsius versus the common 28–29). Swimmers cannot wear cotton, which can harm the aquatic plants, and must use phosphate-free sunscreen.

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The Black market For Stolen Books

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Japanese author Haruki Murakami is known worldwide for his novels. However, in Toronto he’s better known as the most popular author among literary thieves, at least according to the city’s bookstore owners. An entire shelf dedicated to Murakami books disappeared in December at the Roncesvalles store A Good Read.

Owner Gary Kir told CBC Toronto said he lost 800.00 “They’re very easily converted into cash, because they’re very high in demand and they don’t turn up that often used.”

Gary Kirk Owner of A Good Read

Gary Kirk, the owner of A Good Read in Roncesvalles, had his complete collection of Haruki Murakami books stolen twice in December. (Tyna Poulin/CBC News)

The Japanese novelist’s best-known works include Norwegian Wood, Sputnik Sweetheart, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and more recently, 1Q84.  All of them Stolen

“They took my Norwegian Woods, my Sputniks, all of them,” Kirk said, adding that he doubts his book thief has ever cracked open a Murakami.

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Haruki Murakami’s books have sold millions of copies around the world. (Bernat Armangue/Associated Press)

These days he says Murakami’s popularity among millennial readers is driving the most recent theft ring.

“There’s like a ton of university students who don’t have tons of money and are happy to pay five bucks for a book regardless of where it came from.”

Canadian Bitcoin Banks Get Hacked

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A Canadian bank specializing in bitcoins had to close after computer hackers stole its digital currency.

The closure of the Flexcoin bank comes just a week after the collapse of Mt. Gox, a major bitcoin exchange. The Japan-based Mt. Gox also linked its demise to an electronic heist.The twin failures of Mt. Gox and Flexcoin will likely raise more doubts about bitcoin’s ability to establish itself as an alternative currency.In a notice Tuesday, Flexcoin says 896 bitcoins were stolen from its online vault. That translates into a loss of about $600,000, based on bitcoin’s current trading value.Unlike banks dealing in government-backed currencies, Flexcoin’s losses aren’t covered by deposit insurance. The Alberta bank says it is unable to recover from the setback. Bitcoins that Flexcoin kept offline, or in “cold storage,” remain secure, according to the bank. Although Flexcoin didn’t provide details, bitcoins stored this way are often documented on paper certificates or on a hard drive that’s not connected to the Internet.The Mt. Gox collapse represents a far bigger blow to bitcoin’s credibility. That downfall wiped out about 750,000 bitcoins, or about six per cent of the currency’s total circulation. Mt. Gox has filed for bankruptcy protections while it sifts through its financial mess.

Supporters are touting the five-year-old currency as a way to lower transaction fees by cutting out banks and payment processors that collect billions of dollars annually by serving as financial middlemen. Skeptics, including government leaders around the world, deride bitcoins as a currency suitable only for speculators.

Likened To A Bitcoin Is Canada’s Mint Chip

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 MintChip was first launched in April 2012, just days after federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced the penny’s days were numbered, and introduced as a potential way for consumers to digitally exchange money in small denominations, in transactions of about $10 or less.

It could be used instead of cash to buy a coffee or fast food, and online it was envisioned to enable easy transactions for things like buying music, news articles, or add-ons for video games.

Consumers could use MintChip with a mobile device at a cash register or send money with a text message, email or potentially a social media message.

Marc Brule, the Royal Canadian Mint’s chief emerging payments officer said “We call it a digital cash-like product and we like to dub it as a product that’s been architected for the 21st century” .

“I think one of the target markets or demographics for a product like MintChip is the digital native, the millennials who grew up with the Internet and grew up with digital-type products.

“This will be just another arrow in their quiver in terms of ways of paying (for their purchases) that will be easy and fast.”

It seems that he rise of BitCoin, a digital currency system still in its infancy is gaining in popularity, and has helped, not hurt, MintChip’s chances of getting fully developed. The next step for MintChip is further testing of implementation within the Royal Canadian Mint. External testing is expected to be launched later in the year.

 

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