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Free Windows 8 e-books yours for the asking

- November 9th, 2012

Windows 8 Dummies

Whether you’re using Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, 7 or maybe even Mac OS, if you’re curious about what Windows 8 might have to offer you, Dell is offering up a free pocket electronic version of a reference guide covering Microsoft’s latest operating system, entitled Windows 8 for Dummies, Dell Pocket Edition.

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How to watch the Super Bowl ads

- February 5th, 2012

Honda's Super Bowl commercial has already racked up more than 11 million views online. Save Ferris!

There are a lot of great things about being Canadian. We’ve got universal health care, other countries tend to like us, we know the right way to spell “colour” and “neighbour”, easy access to poutine and good beer… the list goes on.

But every year when the Super Bowl rolls around, we’re reminded of one of the downsides of living in this great nation: We don’t get to watch the good commercials.

With airtime for the game selling for as much as $4 million US per 30-second spot, advertisers naturally bring out their big guns. Supermodels, special effects, celebrities, monkeys, laughs, tears… if only the Super Bowl itself could be this entertaining.

Problem is, even if you watch the game on a U.S. station, the feed will be subbed out for CTV’s own. Which means you’re getting commercials localized for our maple syrup-lovin’ market. Hey, did you know American Idol is on CTV? After the 15th promo spot airs during the game, you sure as heck will.

If you absolutely must see the Super Bowl commercials that our American cousins will enjoy today, here are some tech-savvy strategies that might help. None of which requires leaving the country. Whew!

Watch them now

Dozens of advertisers have already released their Super Bowl commercials online to capitalize on advance buzz, or to feature extended versions that won’t be aired on TV. (Honda’s salute to Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is the most-watched so far, with more than 11 million views.) They’re a bit scattered across the web, but you can find most of them at Adweek’s Super Bowl hub, or our own Canoe.ca.

Stream the game

This will be the first year the Super Bowl is streamed live online, through NBC Sports and some mobile phone providers. The catch is we’re not sure if they’ll be showing the TV commercials in the online stream (and the NBC online broadcast might be unavailable in Canada anyway.) While the U.S. Attorney General recently shut down a bunch of illegal sports streaming sites, user-driven video sharing websites such as Justin.tv and Ustream.tv will almost certainly do an end run around the law and have live streams from U.S. networks – including the commercials.

Get an antenna

If you live close enough to the U.S. border, you might be able to use an HDTV antenna to pick up a signal from an NBC station in the States, which will naturally feature the full roster of American commercials. As an added bonus, these over-the-air signals are in crystal clear, uncompressed (or at least less-compressed) high-definition. There are tons of antenna retailers out there, but Xtek.ca has a good selection of gear, as well as primers on how to set it all up. Of course if you don’t have one already, this might have to wait until next year’s Super Bowl. Not even FedEx does same-afternoon delivery.

Wait a little while

While some advertisers won’t reveal their commercials before the game, they invariably put them online moments after the ads air on TV. YouTube’s AdBlitz channel will round up all the commercials after the game is over, and there are even iPhone apps – like the $1.99 Super Ads app – that are updated with new commercials as soon as the ads hit the web. This means you can actually use the commercial breaks during the game for more important things, like fetching beer and going to the bathroom. These truly are enlightened times we live in.

Need a Nerd? Get on-site IT services with Nerds On Site!

- November 9th, 2011

If you run a small business or have a home office, you’ve likely encountered IT issues that required outside help. That’s when I recommend calling on Nerds On Site.

Nerds on Site is a cost-effective alternative to an in-house IT department for small and medium sized businesses. Their primary goal is to save you time and money by reducing crashes, backing up your information, and setting up your office quickly and efficiently. They bill for their services, rather than hourly, so you don’t pay for any downtime.

The technological services they offer can vary, and aren’t limited to your basic networking. They offer services in Medical Technology, Legal Technology, Manufacturing Technology and many more, all provided by their certified technicians. Nerds on Site also offers 24/7 support, through online chat, or telephone, so that you always have the support you need for your business.  

If your company does a lot of travelling for business, you’ll be happy to know that Nerds on Site is the only IT Service to offer Air Miles, meaning you’ll be able to earn Air Miles faster, while getting needed services for your company.  

Nerds on Site also offers a secure cloud based program called TimeWellScheduled, in order for you to manage your schedules and payroll within one program. TimeWellScheduled allows you to manage your employees, sort out payroll, and allows your employees to easily clock in and out, while sending schedule updates to your employee’s phones. Check out our video review here.

We’re giving away $250 worth of Nerds On Site’s services this week, enter to win here!