August 12th, 2016

The Best Tablets for Back-to-School 2016

back to school 2016 tablets

Last week, our LD Experts covered the best school laptops of 2016. But what if you want a device that’s more practical for schoolwork than a smartphone, but lighter and generally cheaper than a laptop?

Of course, you’ll be interested in tablets. These days, that also includes convertibles or hybrids – with hideable or detachable keyboards. That way, they function as either a laptop or a tablet, as needed.

But which are your best options? As always, that depends on your needs and also your budget. Here are some of the best tablet options for 2016.


August 19th, 2013

#LDTouchTech Twitter Party

LDTouchTech_403x403It’s that time of year again – time to get back to class and back to business. London Drugs is hosting another great online event to showcase some cool tools for back to school.

Join our tech team for a Twitter party on Tuesday, August 27 to learn more about the evolution of touch screen technology, why it’s so prominent in today’s devices, and some of the latest and greatest products in touch screen technology available at London Drugs. You’ll also have a chance of winning one of several $50 London Drugs gift cards.

Join us:

Date: Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. PST
Location: Online – Twitter
Hashtag: #LDTouchTech

Why Join the Party?


July 3rd, 2013

SurfEasy Mobile is here!

Your smartphone is a modern marvel. It’s your banker, your friends, your spouse, your work, your recipe book, your tour guide, your photographer, your personal shopper and so much more. With all that access to everything in your life in one place have you ever stopped to consider how secure your connection is? You may usually connect to cellular data which is secure for the most part. When you connect to WIFI, especially open hotspots with no password, you don’t really know how safe it is. Most people just trust that they have nothing important to steal. You might say “I’m not that interesting to a hacker.” Just imagine if someone got the password to just your email account. They could use it to reset the passwords on all your social media accounts. Then they could spam your friends and business contacts that looks like it’s coming from you. That alone is just embarrassing. If they get hold of your banking information that can cause you gross inconvenience while you fix the problem and hopefully insurance covers your losses.

There is a solution that can protect you from this. SurfEasy Mobile VPN.

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It’s an extra layer of protection that routes everything through a secure server. The connection between your device and the server is encrypted which means it’s only visible to you and no one else.

SurfEasy Mobile VPN is a service you pay for. It costs $29.99 a year available at London Drugs. It works on Apple iOS (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch) and Android. It installs a service within your device that routes all internet traffic through a secure connection run by SurfEasy. The connection is not only encrypted to make sure no one is looking in at what you’re doing it also hides the physical address of your phone. There’s a little bit of magic that the SurfEasy conjured up to give just enough information to location aware apps like Maps and Foursquare so they still work.

The SurfEasy Mobile VPN also makes your device make it look like it’s in another country. That means you can get US Netflix or other blocked content not normally available in Canada. There is no bandwidth cap on the paid SurfEasy Mobile VPN so you don’t have to worry about how much you use the security and location changing.

I tried it out for a few weeks on my iPhone 5 with LTE. I was impressed at the speed. You don’t want anything slowing down your data connection. If SurfEasy slowed me down I would just turn it off most of the time. I have left it on for almost a month and have never turned it off. Other free ones I tried in the past have been notorious for being slow. That’s mostly because there are so many people using it. SurfEasy is paid so there’s less people on it and they maintain a very fast server with a limited number of users per connection. You don’t have to worry about the server filling up because you have priority on it at as a paid user.

I noticed a couple interesting things when I was using it. First when I went to search for something Bing or Google would ask me to fill in a human verification check because I was ‘changing locations so quickly’ which means it’s working well! I also had to re-verify my user name and password on a few of my social media apps. Once I did it once I was fine. They just want to check that you are who you say you are even if you traveled 10,000 km at the speed of light.

Available in store and online:

Still not sure SurfEasy Mobile VPN is right for you? They have a free trial and more information available here

Check back for the recently release SurfEasy Total VPN for Mac and PC review I just started playing with it.

Julian Sanders
in @LD_Saskatoon for @LDComputers

December 19th, 2012

Stocking Stuffers 2013 – Tech Talk

Watch Jeff and Julian talking about some high tech stocking stuffers. Link

More information about – Pinball – game controller – Livescribe Smartpen – Wacom Bamboo Tablets – Commercial Drive Coffee

Happy Holidays!

December 7th, 2012

12 Scams of Christmas

Don’t get hit by “Cyber Scrooges” this Christmas.  Digital threats don’t care that we all should be enjoying the holiday season.  McAfee, makers of security software for your digital devices, wants to help by identifying the 12 Scams of Christmas

1) Social Media Scams — Many consumers use social media sites to connect with family,friends and coworkers over the holidays, and cybercriminals use these channels to catchusers off guard. Here are some ways that criminals will use these avenues to obtain shopper’s gift money, identity or other personal information:

• Scammers use channels like Facebook and Twitter in the same way they use email and websites to scam consumers during the holidays. Be careful when clicking on or liking posts while taking advantage of contests, ads and special deals that you get from your “friends” that advertise the hottest holiday gifts, exclusive discounts at local stores and holiday-related job postings. Be on the lookout for your friends’ accounts being hacked and sending out fake alerts to all their connections.

• Twitter ads and special discounts for popular gifts are especially huge around Boxing Day, and they utilize blind, shortened links that may be malicious.

Criminals are getting savvier with authentic-looking social ads and deals that take consumers to legitimate-looking websites. In order to take advantage of the deals or contests, they ask users for personal information including their credit card number, email address, phone number and home address.

2) Malicious Mobile Apps — Earlier this year, both Apple® and GoogleTM announced that they had each garnered more than 25 billion downloads from their app stores. But as the popularity of mobile applications has grown, so has the chance that users could download a malicious application designed to steal their information or even send out premium-rate text messages from their phones without their knowledge.

3) Travel Scams — Before shoppers make holiday travel plans to visit family and friends, they need to keep in mind that scammers want to hook them with too-good-to-be-true deals. Phony travel webpages with beautiful pictures and rock-bottom prices are used to entice users to hand over their financial details.

4) Holiday Spam/Phishing — Many of the spam emails that shoppers are used to seeing will take on holiday themes. Cheap designer watches and pharmaceuticals may be advertised as the “perfect gift” for that special someone.

5) iPhone 5, iPad and Other Hot Holiday Gift Scams — The excitement and buzz surrounding Apple’s new iPhone® 5 and iPad® Mini create the perfect environment for cybercrooks to plot and carry out their scams. They mention must-have holiday gifts in dangerous links, phony contests and phishing emails to grab readers’ attention and entice them to reveal personal information or click on a dangerous link that could download malware onto their machines.

6) Skype Message Scare — People around the world will use Skype to connect with loved ones this holiday season, but they need to be aware of a new Skype message scam that attempts to infect their machines and even hold their files for ransom.

7) Bogus Gift Cards — Another tactic used by cybercriminals is to offer bogus gift cards online. Shoppers need to be wary of purchasing from third parties to avoid the risk being scammed.

8) Holiday SMiShing “SMiShing” is phishing via text message. Just like with email phishing, scammers pretend to represent legitimate organizations in order to lure shoppers into revealing information or performing an action they normally wouldn’t do.

9) Phony E-tailers — Phony e-commerce sites that appear real try to lure users into typing in their credit card number and other personal details, often by promoting great deals. But after giving this information, shoppers never receive the merchandise and their personal information is put at risk.

10) Fake Charities — This is one of the biggest scams of every holiday season. As holiday revelers open up their hearts and wallets, the criminals hope to take advantage of their generosity by sending spam emails advertising fake charities.

11) Dangerous e-Cards — E-cards are a popular way to send a quick “thank you” or holiday greeting, but some are malicious and may contain spyware or viruses that download onto users’ computers once they click on the link to view the greeting.

12)Phony Classifieds — Online classified sites may be a great place to look for holiday gifts and part-time jobs, but beware of phony offers that ask for too much personal information or ask for funds to be wired via Western Union, since these are most likely scams.


October 26th, 2012

Windows 8 Is Here!

Today Windows 8 hits stores! Julian talks to Jeremy about Windows 8 being released and what that means to the tech world. Also answered is the burning question “Can Windows 8 play Angry Birds?”



February 17th, 2012

Electronic Wardrobe

When you see it raining outside, which happens often in Vancouver, you put on a raincoat or bring an umbrella. When it is snowing, you put on heavy coat, gloves, hat and boots. That is the most natural thing to do: choose the right wardrobe items for the conditions.

What does that have to do with electronics and computers? As it turns out, a lot.

As the neighbourhood Geek, I am often asked:

What’s the best computer around?

What should I get: a tablet or a notebook?

Is the desktop computer history?

From my own 30+ years of experience with computers, choosing the right computing device should start with the conditions, not the device. In fact, it is not that different from your mother telling you to dress warmly when the weather is cold.

I’ll use myself as an example. I work in an office most of the time; I travel for business and for pleasure, on trips that range from overnighters in North America to longer trips to Asia or Europe. I need to keep in touch with family, friends and colleagues through email, video and internet conferencing. My work follows me all over the globe. I am also an avid photographer.

Based on my decades of experience in computing devices, here are my recommendations:

For the office: I use a desktop. You simply cannot beat the investment value of a desktop. It is the most upgradeable and longest lasting format. Add a pair of decent sized monitors and I have a work environment that is secure, powerful, and productive for years. My choice is a Certified Data PC with Windows 7 and a pair of ViewSonic monitors.

For the short road-trips or vacations: I bring only my tablet. I will not have enough time to do too much else other than email, so why bother with gadgets and weight I don’t need? For this, my choice is either the Apple iPad or the RIM PlayBook. The larger screen of the iPad is nice and the email app is reasonable. The fact that it runs Netflix just makes it that much nicer. The 7 inch format and the PlayBook Operating System make the PB an absolute joy as a traveling companion. I took the Playbook on vacation last year and managed to bring it along everywhere I hiked and did not do irreversible damage to my back.

For longer trip: Since I need to bring my office environment with me to stay productive for the two weeks on the road, I take my notebook. A tablet is no longer an option. It simply will not allow me to be fully productive for that stretch of time. I need a real keyboard, fully functioning suite of Microsoft Office apps and access to corporate network. My choice is a Certified Data notebook.

For the photographer in me: I sometimes go on extended trips to shoot photographs. Since I like to see and edit my shots at night in my hotel, I take along the notebook.

Now, before you say that I have too many computing devices, hear me out: all my equipment listed here costs less than one single Apple Macintosh when it was introduced 28 years ago.

The price of that original Mac was $2,495.

For the complete nerdy set up describe above? Let’s see:

  1. Tablet: Apple iPad 32Gb: $619.98 or Playbook at $299.99
  2. Certified Data i7 notebook: $799.99
  3. Certified Data Desktop with two Samsung monitors: $1,000

Total price comes to between $2099.95 with the Playbook to $2419.94 with the iPad. So, instead of a computer with a 9 inch black and white screen, no hard drive, a single floppy drive and 128K RAM, I can get all of the above and treat my electronics like my wardrobe: wear what is appropriate for the conditions.
The main reason for doing this?

I can be more productive when I use the correct wardrobe item that fits the conditions.

Written by Cedric Tetzel

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