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March-April 2018

Is cryptocurrency our money of the future?

Its mavens say it will get you rich quick. Others say it’s the way of the future. The reality of Bitcoin remains to be seen

Mark Mann

In the 1951 animated film Alice in Wonderland, Alice was trying to find a party when she fell down the rabbit hole. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that this has become the favourite cliché for people struggling to explain what it’s like to enter the disorienting world of Bitcoin. We’ve all heard stories about the mad crypto-party, […] More »

Facebook’s new algorithm isn’t all bad news for independent publications

The change, aimed to curb fake news, could leave indie outlets stranded. But it may also promote a move to more meaningful content—the stuff independents are best known for

Hanna Lee@hanlllee

Facebook has killed news. Founder Mark Zuckerberg announced early last month that the network’s algorithm was changing to show “less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media” in users’ news feeds, instead highlighting personal posts that “encourage meaningful interactions between people.” The announcement cost him more than $3 billion of his own personal […] More »
January-February 2018

Dear internet algorithms: Stop invading our privacy

Big Brother is watching—and it's not cool

Megan Jones@MegJonesA

Dear internet algorithms, I know that you’re cold, calculating, and goal-driven by nature, so I’ll get straight to the point: We need to talk about your manners—or rather, the fact that you don’t seem to have any. I know you’re made up of computer code, so it’s understandable you’d favour logic and efficiency over any […] More »
January-February 2018

Shyra Barberstock’s online venture brings together Canada’s First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities

A look inside the Indigenous-led Okwaho Network

Sohini Bhattacharya

Shyra Barberstock was 21 years old when she met her Anishinaabe birth mother and finally gained Kebaowek status. Until then, she was unaware of her Kebaowek First Nation roots, having grown up with her nonIndigenous adoptive family. “As you can see I’m very fair skinned,” says Barberstock. “Had I not met her, I may never […] More »
November-December 2017

Generation Too Much Information

Children raised in the internet age are bound to share their lives—the good, bad, and ugly—on social media. What happens when they run for public office? Inside the world of online privacy laws, bitter political mistakes, and changing attitudes

Alisha Sawhney

In August 2015, Ala Buzreba, then the Liberal candidate for Calgary Nose Hill, was giving up her candidacy. Just 21 years old, Buzreba was trying to unseat Conservative Michelle Rempel. But that dream crumbled when a few less-than-savoury comments posted to her Twitter account during her high-school year surfaced—four years before she entered the political […] More »
November-December 2017

Newfoundlanders and Labradorians share some of the world’s greatest genetic similarities with one another—and scientists are racing to study them

Genomic information from the province could help one company develop new medications and treat illnesses

Terri Coles

Newfoundland and Labrador’s unique culture has endured in part because its people are, in many ways, remarkably similar. But the Atlantic province faces a paradox: As its population shrinks, its shared ancestry will have to change significantly in order to survive. Now, a small group of scientists and entrepreneurs on the island are jumping on the […] More »
November-December 2017

An ode to old technology

In defence of the big-ass cellphone in our pop culture favourites

Lisa Whittington-Hill

Dear pop culture, You know I love you, but you really need to stop making me nostalgic for the technology of days gone by. Please, I beg of you, stop reminding me of the good old days like I am Lindsay Lohan and you are 2004. In Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson, Adam Driver’s character Paterson refuses […] More »
November-December 2017

The gadgets we rely on are intrinsically changing us

Technology helps us unconsciously make major life decisions—from the way we live to the way we love

Tyler Hellard@poploser

On February 1, 2003, Space Shuttle Columbia came apart somewhere over Texas, reminding us that putting people into space is hard to do and very, very dangerous. Engineers determined a piece of foam that broke off during launch had damaged the heat shield on one of the wings. NASA knew about it almost immediately and […] More »
November-December 2017

How voice casting for video games has made the Canadian industry more homogenous than ever

Improved video game technology should have made more room for visible minorities. Instead, it’s created more jobs for white people

Mike Sholars@Sholarsenic

When you love something,  you want to know it loves you back. It’s why we look for ourselves in art: We want to see reflections of our struggles acknowledged, and we long to hear stories where we can be heroes. As a Black and Indian child of the 1990s, I was starving to see myself […] More »
November-December 2017

Inside Canada’s first coding truck, bringing digital literacy to communities across Ontario

Ladies Learning Code's Melissa Sariffodeen is pioneering the Code Mobile

Allyson Aritcheta

In her bright turquoise van adorned with purple lightning bolts, Melissa Sariffodeen resembles a digital era Ms. Frizzle—travelling the country, expanding the minds of bright-eyed students in new and exciting ways. This is the Code Mobile, Canada’s first coding truck led by Sariffodeen, the CEO of Ladies Learning Code. Sariffodeen was inspired to start the […] More »
November-December 2017

Social media is keeping us stuck in the moment

Social media is designed to keep us trapped in the present and devoid of history. Clive Thompson on why internet moguls want us to keep scrolling

Clive Thompson@pomeranian99

The next time you look at social media, I want you pay attention to a subtle detail on each post: the timestamp. If you’re on Twitter, for example, when was each post published? When I was writing this paragraph, I glanced down at my Twitter feed, and here’s what I saw: A tweet about a Chinese […] More »