Tech Talk: Automating your smart home

23Oct

More than 15,000 tickets issued to drivers in Toronto from speeding cameras – Toronto

by BBG Hub

The City of Toronto says the automated speed enforcement cameras (ASE) installed across the city issued 15,175 speeding tickets in one month.

The tickets were issued between Aug. 6 and Sept. 5, which was the second month since the cameras were put into use to catch drivers travelling above posted speed limits.

An ASE device on Renforth Drive near Lafferty Street, in Ward 2 Etobicoke-Centre, issued the most tickets with 1,534 or roughly 10 per cent of all tickets during that time period.

Read more:
Cameras across Toronto will start ticketing speeders, fines mailed to car owners

The highest fine was $682, as four vehicles were detected travelling at 86 km/h in a 40 km/h zone. The four vehicles were caught on Royalcrest Road in Etobicoke-North; Renforth Drive in Etobicoke-Centre; Jameson Avenue in Parkdale-High Park; and Caledonia Road in Davenport.

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The number of repeat offenders caught during the second month of ticketing was 1,198, down from 2,239 repeat offenders in the first month. The first month of ticketing also saw 23,301 tickets issued.

The three most frequent repeat offenders each received seven tickets for speeding on Bicknell Avenue, Caledonia Road and Murison Boulevard.

“The data for the second month of enforcement shows us that speeding is still an issue in our city,” Mayor John Tory said.

“Automated Speed Enforcement will not only reduce speed-related collisions, but it will also enhance quality of life for our communities. Speed cameras deter speeding, increase compliance, and improve overall road safety.”

Read more:
Toronto issues 7,645 tickets in 2 weeks through speed enforcement cameras

What is an automated speed enforcement camera?

When a vehicle is caught speeding by an ASE, an image of the vehicle is captured and stored in the system, city officials said.

The images are reviewed by provincial offence officers, and then tickets are issued and mailed to the owner of the vehicle— regardless of whom was driving — within 30 days.

If convicted, the only penalty is a fine. No demerit points are issued and the registered owner’s driving record is not be impacted, the city said.

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An automated speed enforcement system in Toronto.


An automated speed enforcement system in Toronto.


Kamil Karamali / Global News

In late December 2019, the Ontario government approved regulations to allow municipalities to use automated speed enforcement cameras.

Cameras and warning signs were then installed at 50 locations across Toronto. The province required a 90-day warning period to drivers in advance of using the new cameras to issue tickets.

The new ASE systems were installed in community safety zones, near school zones, and to ensure an even distribution, there are two systems per Ward across the city. The systems can rotate as the city deems necessary.

Ticketing speeding vehicles in Toronto officially began on July 6.

“This data continues to show the need for automated speed enforcement across our city,” Tory said.

“These speed cameras are focused on roads around schools to help keep kids safe. For drivers, the simplest way to avoid getting a ticket is to slow down and obey the speed limit.”

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A municipal speed warning sign located at Renforth Drive between Tabard Gate and Lafferty Street in Etobicoke.


A municipal speed warning sign located at Renforth Drive between Tabard Gate and Lafferty Street in Etobicoke.


Kamil Karamali / Global News




© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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16Oct

Teaching the importance of knowing CPR

by BBG Hub



World Restart a Heart day is a movement aimed at educating people about CPR and using automated external defibrillators. Global’s Amanda Jelowicki spoke with two people who are alive today thanks to quick thinking people who saved their lives.


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16Oct

Learn CPR and save lives: World Restart a Heart campaign aims to raise awareness, educate – Montreal

by BBG Hub

Ajoy Puni almost lost his life seven months ago.

The 51-year-old suffered a massive heart attack while playing hockey. Doctors say technically he died on the ice, with his heart literally stopping.

“Obviously, it was tremendous shock learning about what happened, and then seeing what happened, because I saw video of it,” Puni said from his Montreal home.

Four quick-thinking teammates — including two doctors — sprung to action when Puni collapsed. They performed CPR and then used a defibrillator to restart his heart and save his life.

“I was extremely fortunate, when I look back at what took place, and you think about the things that lined up to be able to allow me to be here today,” Puni said.

Read more:
Miracle on ice — Quebec man survives major heart attack playing hockey thanks to defibrillator

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Puni is one of the lucky ones. More than 35,000 people die of sudden cardiac arrest each year in Canada. Less than 10 per cent of cardiac arrest victims survive.

Medical professionals say that number could be much higher if more people knew CPR and how to use an automated external defibrillator, or AED.

“You can’t harm someone, you can only help just by getting to the floor and pushing hard and fast in the centre of a chest. You really can help save a life,” said Christina Skiadopoulos, a pediatric nurse practitioner student at McGill University.

Skiadopoulus is helping run McGill’s Restart a Heart Day. It’s part of World Restart a Heart, an international awareness campaign to educate people about CPR and AED use. She helped host virtual events all week, educating the McGill population on the importance of learning CPR.


Click to play video 'Heart attack survivors urge CPR and AED education'







Heart attack survivors urge CPR and AED education


Heart attack survivors urge CPR and AED education

“Our goal is to really educate the population about the importance of resuscitation, to enhance their CPR knowledge and skills. We hope to empower them to be able to react,” she said.

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The students worked alongside doctors for the awareness week.

“Acting in the moment can double or triple the chances of that person’s survival,” said Dr. Farhan Bhanji, a professor of pediatric critical care at McGill University. “Everything we do in hospitals can make a difference. Nothing is that big as what in what you do in those first couple of minutes.”

Rose Bloom knows just how true that is. Her 15-year-old son Jacob Dawes went into sudden and unexplained cardiac arrest playing hockey last year.

Read more:
Montreal teen lucky to be alive thanks to CPR-trained bystanders

“He just fell to the ground. His colour changed. When someone has a cardiac arrest they go grey, and that was the sign that things were not OK.”

Jacob survived his dramatic and extraordinary ordeal, with bystanders performing CPR and using a defibrillator.

His family now advocates for people to learn CPR.

“My message is go and get CPR training,” Bloom said. “You just have no idea how lucky we feel that we were surrounded by the right people. The stars could not have aligned better.”







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14Oct

Here’s a look at Toronto’s 1st self-driving shuttle bus – Toronto

by BBG Hub

Its name is Olli 2.0 and it will be Toronto’s first ever automated, driverless shuttle bus when it arrives in spring of 2021.

The City of Toronto announced Wednesday that it had signed an agreement with Phoenix-based Local Motors to deliver an electric, automated shuttle for a six-to-12 month trial period.

The shuttle bus can seat up to eight passengers, is wheelchair-accessible, and provides audio and visual announcements.

Read more:
Ottawa, Ontario rolling out half a billion dollars for Ford’s electric vehicle overhaul

The single automated vehicle being used for the pilot project will cater to Scarborough residents living in a transit dead-zone and transport them to the Rouge Hill GO station.

“It’s a long walk for residents to get out to the Lawrence bus, so this will shorten their commute time and hopefully encourage more residents to take public transit,” said Scarborough-Rouge Park councillor Jennifer McKelvie.

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She adds that the more use the shuttle bus gets, the better the chances that the city will order more of the autonomous vehicles.

Read more:
Looking to buy an electric car? Here’s why they may be harder to find

“Success will be based on ridership and it will be in showing residents are comfortable in using this new technology and ultimately they’re taking it to the Rouge Hill GO station so that they can use it for their commute daily to work.”

The project, called the Automated Shuttle Trial, is in partnership with Metrolinx with funding from Transport Canada.

“Transport Canada is providing a contribution of $365,000 for service preparation, delivery and evaluation,” said Toronto’s Transportation Services spokesperson, Eric Holmes.

“The project partners (City of Toronto, TTC and Metrolinx) are also contributing in-kind support, such as staff time and other resources, and the City is providing some financial support. The procurement of the shuttle itself is included as part of the overall program delivery costs.”

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The City of Toronto adds that two staff members will be on board for every trip to monitor and learn from the trial runs.

Local Motors has already deployed the Olli shuttle bus “around the world, including in California, Florida and Belgium” according to the company.

Meanwhile, another project partner, Pacific Western Transportation, has also led shuttle trials in Alberta and British Columbia.


Click to play video 'Alberta government shows support for hyperloop shuttle between Calgary, Edmonton'







Alberta government shows support for hyperloop shuttle between Calgary, Edmonton


Alberta government shows support for hyperloop shuttle between Calgary, Edmonton




© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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11Oct

Will the 2nd coronavirus wave wipe away Canada’s movie theatres? – National

by BBG Hub

Recent headlines about movie theatres sound like they could have been ripped from the script of a horror movie.

Cineplex stocks took a dive earlier this week after the launch of the new James Bond movie No Time to Die was postponed yet again because of the novel coronavirus health emergency. The North American release of the much-awaited 25th iteration of the Bond saga, which stars Daniel Craig, is now planned for April 2, 2021, a year after it was originally scheduled.

READ MORE: Netflix Canada raising prices for standard, premium subscribers

Superhero mega-movie Black Widow, with Scarlett Johansson, is now set to hit the theatres on May 7 of next year, instead of Nov. 6. Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story has been pushed back a year from December 2020 to December 2021. Avatar 2 suffered the same fate. Even Halloween movies are on hold.

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Amid the cascade of delays, IMAX announced on Oct. 8 it would furlough 150 employees. On the same day, Cineworld Group temporarily shut down its more than 500 Regal locations across the U.S. as well as 127 venues in the U.K.


Click to play video '‘James Bond: No Time to Die’ teaser trailer'







‘James Bond: No Time to Die’ teaser trailer


‘James Bond: No Time to Die’ teaser trailer

Theatre closures could erase movie-going for good from American culture, director Patty Jenkins, whose Wonder Woman movie has been delayed three times, warned earlier this week.

“If we shut this down, this will not be a reversible process,” she said in an interview with Reuters. “We could lose movie theatre-going forever.”

The U.S. National Association of Theatre Owners said 69 per cent of small and mid-sized cinemas could be forced to file for bankruptcy.

In Canada, the plotline for movie theatres portends an equally high-stakes gambit as the country is well into a second wave of the pandemic.

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On Friday, Ontario announced cinemas will be among the venues mandated to close temporarily in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel Region, as the province as the country battles daily case numbers that have now surpassed the peak of the spring wave.

In Quebec, where case counts are even higher, the province has shut down cinemas in Montreal, Quebec City and the Chaudière-Appalaches region, among many other restrictions.

READ MORE: Quebec announces $50M to help theatres, other venues cover losses

That’s despite the fact that, if you’re looking to have fun outside the home, going to the movies is one of your safer bets — literally speaking.

Canadian movie-theatre operators are adamant they’ve taken every precaution to keep guests safe.

Cinemas north of the border have seen over two million admissions since reopening around four months ago, and not a single COVID-19 outbreak has been traced back to them, says Nuria Bronfman, executive director of the Movie Theatre Association of Canada.


Click to play video 'What’s Streaming: October series and movie releases'







What’s Streaming: October series and movie releases


What’s Streaming: October series and movie releases

Movie theatres, she says, areuniquely poised to offer a very enjoyable entertainment experience while still providing safety measures and maintaining social distances,” she says.

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Movie theatres are large, usually well-ventilated rooms where guests who aren’t in the same social bubble sit far apart. Everyone stares in the same direction — instead of, say, sitting across a table from each other — and interactions with staff are minimal, Bronfman notes.

Theatres have also automated a lot of ticket and concession purchasing, staggered showtimes and established one-way entry and exit points to avoid two-way foot traffic, she says.

With the proper safety protocols in place, the movie-going experience can be made safe, says Dr. Sumontra Chakrabarti, an infectious disease specialist at Trillium Health Partners in Mississauga, Ont.

READ MORE: Surrey movie theatre that reopened amid COVID-19 closes after 200% rent increase, says owner 

A crowded theatre with audiences screaming, laughing or crying at the screen would pose a high health risk, Chakrabarti says. But a room with good ventilation and where people are sitting five or six metres apart and wearing masks is very different, he notes.

At the same time, though, when evaluating the health risks of going to the movies, “you have to also think about what’s happening in the community,” Chakrabarti says.

While case counts remain very low in parts of the country, going to the movies may present “a bit of a higher risk” in Toronto, where cases have been climbing over the past four weeks, he says.

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But as studios delay major releases, it’s the lack of big-budget movies — in addition to health concerns — that might keep Canadians and Americans at home.

“It’s really tough because these theatres rise and fall based on the content,” says Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “It’s the big blockbusters that really inspire people to go out to the movie theatre.”

The pandemic has put a wedge between studios and movie theatres, even though both have much riding on box-office numbers.


Click to play video 'How are people getting COVID-19 in the second wave? One doctor weighs in'







How are people getting COVID-19 in the second wave? One doctor weighs in


How are people getting COVID-19 in the second wave? One doctor weighs in

Revenue from ticket sales is typically split among theatre owners, distributors and studios, with the latter often taking a larger share of opening-weekend sales.

But with theatre attendance plummeting in North America, many studios are pressing the pause button on their most-awaited releases.

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Some have opted for releasing some content straight to streaming. Universal Pictures’ Trolls World Tour had nearly five million rentals in the U.S. and Canada by the end of April, just three weeks after release, racking up nearly US$100 million ($140 million), The Wall Street Journalreported. Walt Disney tried its luck with the same model with its US$200-million ($263-million) Mulan remake, which has been available for streaming for US$30 and $34.99 in Canada on Disney+.

But a streaming-only model likely isn’t viable for Hollywood studios, especially for big-budget movies that might cost more than $200 million to produce and market, Dergarabedian says.

Tellingly, Disney released its live-action version of Mulan in theatres in China, where movie attendance rose to pre-pandemic levels during a recent national holiday. And while Mulan had a disappointing debut there amid a chilly audience reception, the Chinese box office has been a bright spot for Hollywood studios throughout the pandemic.

READ MORE: #BoycottMulan — Disney movie faces backlash for filming in Xinjiang, China

Christopher Nolan’s spy movie Tenet has grossed around $300 million ($394 million) at the global box office, though just around $50 million ($66 million) in the U.S. and Canada.


Click to play video 'Tam warns habits must change to avoid second wave'







Tam warns habits must change to avoid second wave


Tam warns habits must change to avoid second wave

Dergarabedian argues Tenet’s North America numbers are solid, given the circumstances, and that studios shouldn’t give as much weight to opening weekend sales as they used to with exhibitors operating with limited capacity and fewer theatres open.

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“We have to look at the long-term success, the long-term trajectory of these films, not look at an opening weekend anymore,” he says.

But Tenet‘s less-than-stellar performance at the North American box office may have given studios pause about releasing more of their big-budget films.

Amid a dearth of new material, Canada’s movie theatres are resorting to running on indie productions and re-runs to help keep the lights on.

Jaws and E.T. were the number one films for a few weeks when theatres reopened, Bronfman recalls.

Some theatres, she says, have improvised their own mini-film festivals, showing the full collection of popular sagas (think: all of the Rocky movies, for example).

READ MORE: ‘Percy’ director adds fictional elements to Percy Schmeiser’s onscreen story

But cinemas are also hurting from drastically lower revenues from concessions, a key profit generator, according to Dergarabedian.

“A lot of theatres make their money by selling popcorn and candy and soda,” he says.

In Canada, some theatres can’t sell concessions due to local by-laws, while others have opted to let guests bring their own snacks and drinks, Bronfman says.

Still, Dergarabedian believes movie theatres will still be here once the pandemic is over.

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“I think theatres are still going to be the destination for blockbusters and other movies,” he says. “A streaming-only world, I don’t think, is ever going to exist because we are social beings,” he adds.

— With files from Reuters

 







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2Oct

Homes for Heroes veterans housing development in Edmonton receives funding boost

by BBG Hub



A project to house Edmonton’s homeless military veterans received a big financial boost on Friday, when Premier Jason Kenney announcing $1 million in funding for a tiny home development in the north end. Chris Chacon reports.


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2Oct

$1M announced for Edmonton Homes for Heroes veterans housing development

by BBG Hub



Premier Jason Kenney announced Friday $1 million will go to a tiny home development for military veterans in Edmonton. Chris Chacon has the details on the noon news.


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30Sep

FAA carries out test flight of Boeing jet revamped after fatal crashes – National

by BBG Hub

The head of the Federal Aviation Administration began a test flight of Boeing’s revamped 737 Max jetliner on Wednesday as his agency considers whether to allow the plane to return to flight after two deadly crashes.

FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson, a pilot who flew for the military and Delta Air Lines, was expected to sit in the captain’s seat during a two-hour flight. An FAA spokesman said Boeing pilots would also be on the plane when it takes off from the former Boeing Field in the Seattle area.

Read more:
Future of Boeing 737 MAX hangs on customer confidence and COVID-19

The crew put the jet through repeated changes in direction, speed and altitude as it headed east over the Cascade Range into central Washington state, according to data from tracking site Flightradar24.com.

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The Max has been grounded since March 2019, after the second crash. Both crashes have been blamed on an automated anti-stall system that pushed the noses of the planes down based on faulty readings from sensors. Boeing hopes to win FAA approval later this year for changes it has made to flight-control software and computers.

In Washington, the House Transportation Committee approved legislation to change the way the FAA certifies new planes, including the agency’s reliance on employees of Boeing and other aircraft makers to perform key safety analysis.


Click to play video 'FAA warns thousands of Boeing 737 planes at risk of engine failure'







FAA warns thousands of Boeing 737 planes at risk of engine failure


FAA warns thousands of Boeing 737 planes at risk of engine failure

The bill would not eliminate the FAA’s use of private-sector employees to review their own companies’ planes — lawmakers believe it would be too expensive for FAA to do the work, and that the aerospace companies have more technical expertise. Instead, the bill would give FAA approval over picking private-sector employees who perform safety analysis and allow civil penalties for companies that interfere with their work. Boeing whistleblowers complained of pressure to approve systems on the Max.

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Read more:
U.S. flight regulator orders defect inspection for all Boeing 737 Max planes

The bill would also require plane manufacturers to tell the FAA, airlines and pilots about automated systems that can alter a plane’s path. Top FAA officials and most pilots did not know about the anti-stall system on the Max, called MCAS, until after the first crash, in October 2018 in Indonesia. Less than five months later, another Max crashed in Ethiopia. In all, 346 people died.

“Those crashes were the inevitable culmination of stunning acts of omissions within Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration,” said committee Chairman Peter DeFazio, D-Ore.


Click to play video 'How can Boeing survive the coronavirus pandemic?'







How can Boeing survive the coronavirus pandemic?


How can Boeing survive the coronavirus pandemic?

Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., a staunch defender of the FAA, said the agency represents “the gold standard” in aviation regulation but the crashes show the need for improvement.

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The committee approved the bill by what appeared to be a unanimous voice vote. Rep. Paul Mitchell, R-Mich., left the meeting after complaining that lawmakers had only one day to read the bill, which he called an “absurd” rush for such a complex, technical subject.

The measure, based on recommendations from U.S. and international regulators and safety investigators, goes next to the full House. Its fate is uncertain, however. A similar bill was pulled from consideration in a Senate committee on Sept. 16, and Congress is rushing to adjourn so that lawmakers can go home and campaign for re-election.




© 2020 The Canadian Press




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