Terrifying (and satisfying) true tales of customer service

One day, you’re an unshakable fan of a company; the next day, you’re warning complete strangers to stay away

Terrifying (and satisfying) true tales of customer serviceThe relationship between customer and company is a delicate thing. One day, you’re an unshakable fan of a company; the next day, you’re warning complete strangers to stay away. Here are three examples of customer service and how it can go so right – or so wrong. Many years ago, my Telus internet went out.…

Keep government out of the internet business

Keep government out of the internet businessManitoba’s Opposition New Democratic Party proposes the creation of a new Crown corporation to provide high-speed internet service to rural and remote communities, particularly First Nations communities, in that province. This is a bad idea for several reasons. A host of private-sector and government organizations are launching enormous flotillas of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to…

New funding could help scientists unlock the quantum internet

Will help researchers build next-gen, ultra-secure networks for quantum computers

New funding could help scientists unlock the quantum internetOn Oct. 29, 1969, researchers at UCLA, with help from a computer the size of a cement truck, sent what would become the first message over the first incarnation of the “internet” to Stanford. The first two letters of the one-word message, LOGIN, made the cross-California trip before the fledgling system crashed. “Fifty years ago…

Indigenous communities leaping the digital divide

Indigenous communities are setting up their own satellite, fibre optics and even cellular phone networks

Indigenous communities leaping the digital divideWhen Bruce Buffalo returned to Maskwacis after years away in the big city, he was appalled to discover parts of his community still had no internet service. Just an hour’s drive from Edmonton, some neighbourhoods in the Indigenous community remained cut off from the rest of the world as recently as 2016, apart from a few…

Satellite breakthroughs will change internet delivery

Exciting times in the satellite industry

Satellite breakthroughs will change internet deliveryElon Musk’s Starlink low Earth orbit (LEO) network has been awarded US$885 million over 10 years to build out rural internet access in the U.S. This was the fourth largest amount awarded under the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF). Testing of preliminary Starlink service recently began. This is a billion-dollar (almost) vote of confidence in…

Website provides resources, support for LGBTQ2+ cancer patients

U of A faculty educator and two collaborators saw a need and worked to create a supportive space

Website provides resources, support for LGBTQ2+ cancer patientsCancer doesn’t discriminate, but the health-care system sometimes does. There’s a marked gap in information when it comes to resources and peer-support services tailored to LGBTQ2+ people. That need in the system is what prompted a University of Alberta faculty educator and collaborators to launch a new website, called Queering Cancer, aimed at closing the…

Just the facts? Don’t count on fact-checkers

A closer look at almost every fact-checking organization shows a great deal of politics and vested interests involved

Just the facts? Don’t count on fact-checkersFact-checking takes us past the spin and straight to the truth. Or maybe not. A closer look at almost every fact-checking organization shows a great deal of politics and vested interests involved. Years ago, I went to Snopes.com whenever someone sent me an email thread I wasn’t sure about. I even recommended to others that…

Google’s leverage raises serious antitrust allegations

As the world’s favoured search engine, dominant email service and most popular video provider, Google has immense power over public opinion

Google’s leverage raises serious antitrust allegations“The Google of today is a monopoly gatekeeper for the internet,” reads the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit against the tech giant. The document filed on Oct. 20 alleges the company has used exclusionary agreements to block out competitors. Google accounts for 80 per cent of U.S. internet searches and 30 per cent of U.S.…

Eliminating the rural-urban divide, one internet connection at a time

Many Canadians are fleeing cities only to realize how poorly serviced rural regions are in terms of internet access

Eliminating the rural-urban divide, one internet connection at a timeThey say food connects us all. So does the internet these days. Along with the provinces, the federal government says it is now on a path to give 98 per cent of the Canadian population access to high-speed internet by 2026. This is a much more ambitious target than the previous goal of 95 per…

Internetization setting the parameters for the new normal

Internetization is revolutionizing our lives. But too many parts of Canada lack the electronic capacity needed to take advantage of it

Internetization setting the parameters for the new normalEarlier this year, I was invited to deliver the keynote address at the 36th annual international conference of the Business & Economics Society International in Italy in July. But COVID-19 intervened and the conference was transformed to a virtual platform. I delivered my keynote address from my living room in Fredericton, N.B. The title of…
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