This is the Tech issue


My (Un)justified Social Media Fears

A decade of on-again, off-again social network use has one millennial thinking about the big picture. I never really hit it off with social media. To me, networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all feel like one long, awkward first date, and I’ve always had one foot out the door. I’ve tried to get to know them, in fact, I probably know them better than most, having spun-up countless social media developer apps and accounts in my professional life – I’ve combed over Facebook’s social scrape data, wrestled with Twitter’s APIs, and configured enough YouTube profiles that I could probably do it in my sleep. So I’ve tried, but we’ve never clicked. My anxiety around social media is easy to explain. I think its communication lacks subtlety, and I find my lack of control over news feeds and what others are showing me to be frustrating. The discomfort I feel around social media may actually be healthy, but when I go out of my way to avoid it (Facebook and Twitter notifications get turned off …


The Security Dilemma and the Personalization of Technology

We’re storing increasingly more personal data on services and on our devices every day and this means having strong security is essential. In 2016, my advice is to “lock it down.” If there was one recurring story this year it is the increasing number of data breaches. I feel like we’ve been here before. Despite all of our advances, the tech that makes our lives better relies on old paradigms, that is, we still rely on passwords to secure our data. Despite all our hardware advances, we still use a (mostly) terrible system of securing ourselves online. It’s unreasonable to suggest we simply stop working online because of security concerns; instead the best thing to do is focus on securing yourself. The fact is, as devices become more personable we are putting much more personal data in the hands of others. With data breaches becoming more common, it seems reasonable to ask yourself questions like “am I OK with this data getting into the hands of others?” And even without data breaches, do you know what the …


Fill Your Bag With Timely Tech

My elementary school career began in 1989. I was four years old. In March that year, Tim Berners-Lee would submit his proposal for a distributed system at CERN, laying the foundation for what would become the Internet, and changing the world forever.

But it would take a while for the future to make it’s way to Bracebridge, Ontario, so for much of the 90’s I was filling my backpack with books, pencils and maybe a calculator. It was a heavy bag.

Today, I could replace everything I used to carry in my backpack with an iPad. And you know what? I would. Technology has changed everything since I was in school and aside from a few concerns about information retention (more on that later), I think we should embrace it. And since this month’s theme at The Reply is Breaking the Norm, let’s check out some school-worthy tech that you might not usually give a second glance.