Calgary Herald from Calgary, Alberta, Alberta, Canada on July 30, 2014 · 19
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Calgary Herald from Calgary, Alberta, Alberta, Canada · 19

Calgary, Alberta, Alberta, Canada
Issue Date:
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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Wednesday, July 30, 2014 B7 TECHNOLOGY Y THE HERALD'S GUIDE TO THE HI-TECH WORLD, POWERED BY WHATSYOURTECH.CA WhatsYour Tech ca Contact: Steve Jenkinson 403-235-7580 sjenklnson( Canada Plugged In .m.yiftitic. fawi$mm fit m-iw win ii ii i1 mm I V. .-'f 'Vt 1. """jr "Srs IS Jit f I Saffron Cassaday Young student mentors and older adults make connections through technology training programs run as part of a global Cyber Seniors movement, which is the subject of a Canadian-made documentary. Student mentors help seniors share technology LEE RICKW00D WHATSYOURTECH.CA Once she got online, Annette turned into something of a party animal. She was on top of all the party invites and quickly joined the online dating scene. The best part: She's 76 years old. Even so, Annette is the youngest of a group of seniors who challenged themselves to learn about technology and become comfortable with the Internet. Teaching the adventurous gang is a group of young tech-sawy teens whose experiences have been captured in the new Canadian-made documentary Cyber Seniors. Reaction to the film at recent screenings has led to the formation of local chapters across the country, where communities of people eager to help seniors get the most from technology. It's triggered an entire cyber-senior movement, and intergenerational connections are being formed in real world communities across Canada and in virtual communities online. The goal is to have even more young people help older adults Streaming media TED KRITSONIS WHATSYOURTECH.CA Streaming media has taken different forms, ranging from the likes of Netflix to network attached storage drives in the home that act as central repositories. Then there's the pocket-sized method courtesy of SanDisk. SanDisk has just released two products in Canada that are small enough to fit in your pocket, but carry enough storage to stream video, photos and music to your , mobile devices. The Connect Wireless Media Drive and Connect Wireless Flash Drive are both small, Wi-Fi-enabled and battery-powered, making them just as mobile as the devices they're designed to support. With 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, plus a built-in SD card slot, the Media Drive can technically be expanded up to another 128GB. The Flash Drive comes in 16GB, 32GB or 64GB models, and its storage lies in the mi- V v- tint 4. A.. bridge the technology gap and see technology as a way to expand their social and physical worlds. That's what viewers of the Cyber Seniors documentary have seen. Directed by Toronto's Saffron Cassaday, the film presents a candid, humorous and supportive look at what seniors face these days as they learn to use the Internet with the help of their teenage mentors. It captures activities in two Toronto seniors' residences that were piloting the Cyber Seniors program, started by Saffron's younger sisters, Kascha and Macaulee, as a high school community service project. "(My) sisters and I witnessed how the Internet changed my grandparents' lives and deepened our relationships with them," Saffron said. "My sisters were inspired to help get other seniors online and I began tagging along and filming their computer lessons. I saw a great story unfold as the seniors discovered the vast amount of information and connections they could access through the web." The elder Cassadays learned some basic online skills and were ro n Composite: Ted KritsorasWhatsYourTechxa SanDisk has launched two new battery-powered, pocket-sized drives that can stream media to mobile devices and laptops just about anywhere. croSD card already loaded into the unit. Again, there are options for expansion here, loo, so if you buy the rrGB model, vou could If soon in touch with the grandchildren and others several times a week, using email, Facebook and Skype. The Internet was instrumental in keeping the family connected despite busy schedules and living in different cities. Other seniors took their exploration of cyberspace to a whole new level when one participant, 89-year-old Shura, decided to create a YouTube cooking video. A friendly competition erupted for the most views and likes online. Now, the younger Cassadays and the company that produced the film, The Best Part Inc., are pushing the Cyber Seniors campaign much further, with the launch of a Cyber Seniors website, with added information on how others can build similar programs in their community. There's also Cyber Seniors Corner, a new YouTube Channel hosting other videos that document student-senior tech teams, activities and discoveries, and a dedicated Facebook page. The film producers will also work with local community groups so they can host their own screening of the full documentary and encourage even more seniors to get online. on the go, r mm; Crmmm I-- - 3 0' expand that to 64GB or beyond later by just slotting in a new card. The appeal to these products is Wireless stick race heating up Competitors take on Google's Chromecast GADJO C. SEVILLA : WHATSYOURTECH.CA Internet-connected TVs are by far some of the most popular appliances today. Aside from being able to access cable and over-the-air video signals, they can also tap into the endless buffet of Internet streaming content and access social media channels. Streaming media sticks like Google's Chromecast, Roku's Stick and the recently leaked Mozilla Firefox stick are the most affordable ways to turn older TVs from dumb terminals into Smart-TVs. Many of these solutions plug right into a free HDMI-in port and use existing Wi-Fi networks to stream HD content from the web to the TV. Given their small size, one would think these devices have limited functionality, but they're surprisingly versatile. Google's Chromecast is the oldest, and by far, the most hyped device. At $39 a pop, Chromecast will allow you to access Netflix, YouTube and any video you can play on a nearby Chrome browser. Chromecast relies on users' existing devices, such as smart-phones and tablets, because it doesn't have a remote control It's also pretty limited to a handful of official apps, although there are various third-party solutions that open access to more content. Roku is the company that responded to Google's move into the streaming device space. Roku Wireless streaming sticks like the Roku Streaming Stick and Google's Chromecast have become an exciting category in consumer electronics. from your that they can handle up to eight devices simultaneously. The Media Drive's battery lasts up to eight hours on one charge, while the Flash Drive can go up to four hours. They connect directly to smartphones, tablets and laptops using Wi-Fi Direct, so choosing the device from the list of Wi-Fi networks creates a direct line that means no Internet access is required. Each device also has its own dedicated free app on iOS, Android and Kindle Fire to help set things up and introduce you to some of the features it oners. File format support is limited within SanDisk's app, but in the event a video or music file wont work in there, it will serve up other apps on your device that probably can. like VLC, MX Flayer or CineKayer, among others. Some apps require you to download the file to your device, which isnt convenient, however. Read and write speeds aren't very fast, taking a couple hours The set-top box maker's Roku Streaming Stick is aggressively countering the Chromecast. It costs $49, and for the extra money, users get more than 1,000 channels and access up to 31,000 movies. Viewers can use their Roku to cast Netflix, YouTube and personal media from their smart-phones to their TV. They can also choose what they want to watch with the included remote control or from their mobile device. Roku's flexibility, vast selection of content, and user-focused simplicity trumps what the Chromecast has to offer. Roku has dominated the streaming device category for some time and their Streaming Stick manages to translate many of the touch-points that have made its boxes so popular. Another browseroperating system, Mozilla, is set to take on Chromecast and Roku with an open source version of their streaming dongle. The as-of-yet unnamed Firefox OS-powered device, is said to carry a lot of the capabilities of its competitors but it will be more open for tinkering by developers. Mozilla hasn't said when they plan on releasing this device, but I expect functionality to be on par with the current competition. The ease and simplicity of installing a wireless streaming stick to existing TVs brings a huge opportunity to these manufacturers as well as content providers looking to extend their reach beyond the confines of the Internet. Wireless streaming sticks have certainly become an exciting category in consumer electronics and it's interesting to see how each company tries to gain the upper hand and plant the first foot into the living room. pocket just to copy over 20GB worth of content. Still, there are some other perks. Both devices can be charged via a power outlet or laptop. When plugged into a laptop, the files stored on it can be accessed like a typical flash drive. Sliding in other memory cards taken from a camera allows you to preview photos on the larger screen of a phone or tablet, which is great for photographers. You can also connect to another Wi-Fi network directly from the app, if you need to, and it will then share that connection with all the other devices connected to either Drive. The app can also facilitate backing up files directly to either Drive from a mobile device, such as in cases where you may have shot photos and video on your iFhone or Android and are concerned about storage space. The Flash Drive is available in 16GB (S50), 32GB (6o or 64GB (sioo) capacities, while the Media Drive comes in 32GB (sSo) or 64GB (sioo) storage capacities.

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