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Apple Maps lane guidance expands to Australia, Canada, France, Germany & UK

Lane guidance, a tremendously useful feature added to Apple Maps with iOS 11, has expanded to five additional countries following its initial launch in September.... Read the rest of this post here


"Apple Maps lane guidance expands to Australia, Canada, France, Germany & UK" is an article by iDownloadBlog.com.
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Amazon launches Alexa, Echo, and Prime Music in Canada today

Enlarge / The new $100 Amazon Echo. (credit: Valentina Palladino)

It has been a while coming. Amazon launched its Alexa virtual assistant and smart device platform in Canada today. In tandem with Alexa, Amazon is now shipping three devices there—the Echo Dot, the Echo, and the Echo Plus.

Amazon expects 10,000 skills to be available to Canadian users this year, "including skills from Air Canada, TD Bank, TELUS, CBC, The Weather Network, Bank of Montreal, Manulife, Aviva, Yellow Pages, and more." Amazon Prime Music has launched for Canadian users as well. It will compete with Spotify and Apple Music in the Canadian market with one million songs—and yes, that includes songs by The Tragically Hip.

The rollout is part of a wave of expansion to new countries; Japan just got a similar rollout last week. With a platform like Alexa, localization is both critical and complex. Even between the United States and Canada, there are linguistic differences that could trip up Alexa's functionality if not accounted for. To address that, Amazon has implemented local knowledge and local skills put together by Canadian developers.

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Lyft to Launch in Toronto Next Month as Uber Competitor Expands to First City Outside of United States

Lyft today announced that it will launch its ride-hailing service in Toronto next month as its first market outside of the United States.


Riders in Canada's largest city—and nearby Hamilton, Ontario—will be able to hail Lyft or Lyft Plus vehicles that hold up to four or six passengers respectively, as well as fancier Lyft Premiere, Lyft Lux, or Lyft Lux SUV rides.

Lyft hasn't disclosed passenger rates, payouts to drivers, or any other specific details ahead of the December expansion.

Lyft's biggest competitors in Toronto will be Uber, which launched in the city over five years ago, and traditional Beck Taxi cabs. The city also operates the TTC subway system and a network of streetcars and buses.

Beck Taxi, which has already heavily protested Uber, naturally isn't happy about Lyft's arrival. "It's another reason to encourage cars to cruise the streets of our city — many of them who come from outside it — who otherwise wouldn't be there," said the company's operations manager Kristine Hubbard.

In an interview with the Toronto Star, Lyft president and co-founder John Zimmer said he expects Toronto will likely become one of the ride-sharing company's top five markets overall in North America.
We see it as a world-class city. It will likely become one of our top five markets overall. We expect that to happen, and we see it as a city that really shares the values that we have at Lyft — focusing on people taking care of people, treating people well, treating people with mutual respect and promoting both inclusion and diversity.
Zimmer said 50,000 people in Toronto downloaded the Lyft app this year despite the service not being available in the city. He also subtly suggested that Lyft will be a fresh alternative to the scandal-clad Uber.

Lyft's app can already be downloaded from the App Store [Direct Link] in Canada for iPhone and Apple Watch.

Tags: Canada, Lyft

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IBM’s plan to regulate pot with blockchains isn’t as crazy as it sounds

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson)

Canada is legalizing marijuana and leaving it up to provincial governments to regulate its sale and distribution. The government of British Columbia asked for comments on the best way to manage the province's marijuana market. In a regulatory filing, IBM argued that the province should use a blockchain to manage its legal marijuana market.

That is probably not a sentence that you ever expected to read. But it's not as crazy as it sounds.

IBM helped build a different kind of blockchain

The idea of a blockchain originated with Bitcoin. The Bitcoin blockchain is the public, shared ledger that keeps track of payments in the Bitcoin network. The volatility of Bitcoin's virtual currency has hampered its mainstream adoption as a payment network. But companies quickly realized that the core concept of the blockchain could be repurposed for other applications.

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US judge says “global de-indexing order” against Google threatens free speech

A magnifying glass is seen in front of a Google search screen. (credit: Photo by Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images)

Canadian courts can't rule the Internet—at least not outside Canada.

A US federal judge has stopped a ruling from the Canadian Supreme Court from going into effect in the US. The Canadian order would have ordered Google to de-index all pages belonging to a company called Datalink, which was allegedly selling products that violated the IP of Vancouver-based Equustek.

When the order came down earlier this year, Google filed a lawsuit in US federal court seeking to render the Canadian order unenforceable stateside. Google called the Canadian order "repugnant" to the First Amendment, and it pointed out that the Canadian plaintiffs "never established any violation of their rights under US law."

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