A year in retrospect…

Before I get my thoughts out, a year into the second best decision I ever made, I want to be raw with something: do not let money be the reason why you don’t take the leap you want to take. That is absolute bullshit. Have an idea that you are sure will work? Run. With. It. Or someone else will. Yes, we all have bills and financial obligations, but we also have banks and loans. If you believe in yourself and the idea that you have, make it happen. Money comes and goes; it’s not like you can take it with you when you die. You’d rather a bit of debt and failure, then live a mundane, risk-free life, always wondering “what if I had tried?”

Anyway today, February 1, 2016 happens to be the one-year anniversary of the forming of Herscu & Goldsilver and I couldn’t be happier about it. We’ve gone from two scrappy independents, to a team of six and counting. Proud isn’t the proper adjective to describe how I feel, and truth be told, I am not sure I can even put it into words.

Rather, I have a few year-in-review points of reflection I want to share.

Bear with me: Continue Reading

Breaking Down the Barriers of Transparency

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I remember learning about the word transparency during the first year of my Public Relations studies. Though I initially struggled with the concept and how it applied, I eventually adapted to the know-hows and rules to live by when applying it amongst the buzzing world of communications and media relations. Transparency is not something new. It’s been in place forever.  But with the advancements in technology, and online chatter, businesses are finding it crucial to step up and close the communications gap, while keeping their audiences informed and engaged.

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How to get your company in the media

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(Originally published on theglobeandmail.com)

Journalists are very fickle characters, and for good reason. You would be, too, if you had hundreds of people a day vying for your attention, every one of them thinking their story is more important than the last.

Try following these tips to help build relationships with key journalists and boost the odds of getting media coverage.

Write a compelling subject line. If you want to break through the clutter, you need to get creative. It also helps to clearly indicate that you are sending a release or pitch, so the recipient knows it’s not spam or marketing material.

Personalize it. Avoid mass mailouts. Research the journalists who cover your area and focus on them. Target your pitch to the individual journalist, while referring to their previous work.

Get to the point. Your pitch is going to a journalist, not the public. You don’t need to quote each person, or list every sponsor. Offer the general concept; the journalist will decide who is important to the ultimate story.

Timing can be everything. Try to time your pitch with the relevant news of the day. If you are launching a snow-removal service, don’t pitch it in July. Likewise, you don’t want to pitch the perfect Christmas gift in February.

Know when to fold ’em. PR is not sales, and journalists will know pretty quickly if they are interested in your pitch. A surefire way to permanently damage a relationship with a journalist is to call multiple times.

Corey Herscu and Samantha Goldsilver run Herscu & Goldsilver, a public relations agency focused on emerging technologies.

The highs and lows of crowdfunding

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(Originally published on betakit.com)

Despite popular belief (and what anomaly projects like Pebble and Neptune have lead us to believe), crowdfunding is not always the millionaire-maker, rainbows and unicorns experience you think it is. On the contrary, it’s an emotional rollercoaster that one needs to understand before undertaking such a project.

Luckily, you have me, and I’ve been through the trenches with a few of them. There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes of a crowdfunding campaign that few know about (and Pebble and Neptune would never mention). Let’s go over a few highs and lows that an entrepreneur like yourself can look forward to once you press that “publish” button and unveil your idea to the world.

Your crowdfunding campaign will be the longest 30-45 days of your life

No, seriously. And you can’t manipulate time, no matter how hard you try. Think about the last purchase you put-off to the very last minute and stop and think why anyone else would be any different. On items that are ‘wants’ rather than ‘needs’, many people won’t pull the trigger until they perceive it to be the absolute last-minute. In other words, the money comes in waves.

The waves usually happen as follows: the first 30% will likely be from friends and family backing. This is followed by about 25% from early adopters who read about it from early-adopter targeted sites. After initial momentum, you can expect a brief lull, followed by another wave (this should hopefully bring campaign to 100% and above) from backer referrals generated by regular updates and online communication.

The waves also cause something else you should be prepared for…

A crowdfunding campaign is an emotional rollercoaster

Before you go “live,” make sure you have some solid people in your corner; the next 30-45 days are going to be one heck of a ride and you’re going to want to be surrounded by patient people. This is a broad claim, I know, so let me elaborate. In the last paragraph I spoke of the ‘waves’, but didn’t get into the details of what is going on behind the scenes during this time.

Regardless of how the campaign is going, you’re likely strategizing on how to ensure every resource is being maximized. If you’re nowhere near where you want to be, heads are likely going to roll. Whereas, if at this point you’re doing well, you’re still wondering what can be done to make things better. Touch-up the video for the millionth time? Maybe add another stretch goal? Maybe send another grovel-filled email to your backers? Check, check, and check. But you’re still going to feel pressure. Just make sure you’re taking deep breaths and listening to the right people when you need answers.

Which brings us to the next hurdle…

Crowdfunding campaigns are filled with misguided ‘help’

Earlier we talked about the funding coming in waves, but you might be thinking, “Hey, a guy made a fortune asking for help to make potato salad.” Yes, that happened, but this is one crazy exception to the rule. Keep in mind that you are asking strangers to give you money for an unproven concept from someone without a track record. So, if you’re at 50% of your goal after a few days, you’re in GREAT SHAPE!

Your older brother will remind you about the potato salad guy and get you worked up and worried, but remember that, though wise in his own right, he is likely not a crowdfunding expert. Your cousin might suggest you commission a new video two weeks in. Again, she doesn’t know how this works. Before you panic, speak to some people who’ve done this before; they’ll provide a dose of reality and guidance.

The point is to ensure that you and your team are equipped to handle everything that could possibly pop-up. Be prepared to take everything else in stride.

Crowdfunding 101: No potato salads

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(Originally published on http://betakit.com)

My name is Corey Herscu and I am former tech journalist who’s now made the full-time shift to tech-focused public relations. For those of you who don’t know me, I run an agency that has carved a very specific niche in promoting successful technology-focused crowdfunding campaigns; we call ourselves Herscu & Goldsilver.

There is no secret sauce for guaranteed success in crowdfunding. I promise you.

Being someone who has played the game a few times, I am going to let you in on a little secret: there is no secret sauce for guaranteed success in crowdfunding. I promise you. Despite what many say, campaigns are more luck and timing than anything else, but that shouldn’t stop you from setting yourself up as best you can to see amazing results.

Below are a few tips to consider before going live with your campaign – Crowdfunding 101 if you will. While they won’t guarantee anything, they’ll definitely ensure you put your right foot forward.

1. Is it a good idea?

No seriously, is it? Don’t assume that because someone made $50,000 off potato salad that you will too. It doesn’t work like that. Anyone who made money without a good idea was trolling the world, or just got lucky.

While crowdfunding is a great medium for market validation, you should do some research and see if your idea has been done before; moreover, if it’s been done the way you want to do it. The crowdfunding community isn’t stupid and will call out plagiarism if it’s blatant. Also, luck rarely strikes twice, so flex your creative muscle to ensure your idea is unique and back-worthy.

2. Did I explain what I am selling, in 30-seconds, so that a five-year-old could understand?

I mentioned in the last paragraph that people aren’t stupid and that is 100% true. What I didn’t mention, though, is that people do not have an attention span. We live in a world of mobile and social media filtering our news; things change so rapidly and people need their content so quickly, anything that is too long will just get lost.

To this, I say work on your messaging, like a lot. Refine it over and over. You must be able to explain, succinctly, why people should care in 30-seconds or less (less being the operative word here), and it should be so simple that a five-year-old (or your technology-befuddled parents) would understand it.

Sounds tough? You have no idea; it’s possibly the hardest part of launching any product. The message of your crowdfunding campaign will need to be refined like a bajillion times.

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3. Is the campaign page inviting and sexy?

Is the page clear and concise? Does it offer real-life use-case scenarios? Is there a great video? Is the creative eye-popping? This is the detail work that can make your campaign stand out and pop.

Also, hire a copywriter. Bad copy, regardless of the idea, will shoot you square in the temple. I promise.

4. Do I have a kick-ass publicist who can translate your campaign into a story that journalists want to read?

This may sound self-serving, but, to put it bluntly, don’t just assume that because you’ve pressed ‘live’ that people are going to gravitate to your page and back you. A good agency can get the eyes you need.

Further, don’t be fooled to think that PR is blasting a press release out and hoping something sticks. PR is relationships. If the agency you have hired has forged good ones, they’ll have no reason to not get your project covered. The agency that you choose can also help you refine your messaging to create a storyline that journalists will have interest in covering.

While the above will not guarantee success, it will help you explain to people why they should give you their money — and that’s the real key to a successful campaign. Everything else is just noise.

 

Interview: The BlackBerry 10 Challenge with Isaac Ziskind, Personal Injury Lawyer

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(Originally published on blogs.blackberry.com)

We’re now three interviews in, and we’ve spoken to three different professionals who’ve all chosen very different career paths but all demand nothing but the best from their cell phones. If there is any one thing that we’ve learned from this project so far, it’s that productivity is career-agnostic. Case in point, today’s interview is with Mr. Isaac Ziskind, personal injury lawyer at a Toronto-based law firm. When he isn’t managing several files at once, Isaac is all-in #TeamBlackBerry, so we caught up with him at his North Toronto office to discuss why, despite the options out there, he stays true to hisBlackBerry device.

 


 

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CH: Isaac, thank you kindly for taking the time to talk to me!

IZ: Of course, my pleasure!

CH: So, with all the options available, can you answer the daunting question: Why BlackBerry?

IZ: Very easy, I’ll give my top six reasons

  1. Layout of BlackBerry 10 and ease of retrieving multiple emails.
  2. Ability to manage my folders within my email client (Microsoft Outlook), while seeing it on the BlackBerry in pretty much real-time.
  3. The BlackBerry Hub is a huge benefit, for me.
  4. The keyboard is second to none, solely because of the amount of emails I need to respond to in a day — more than 150.
  5. BlackBerry 10 bridges the gaps in what I need from my phone. Really can’t see myself using anything else again.
  6. Size, battery life, design and fit.

CH: What is it about BlackBerry 10 that allows you to be productive?

IZ: How quickly I can respond to emails. The ability I have to view documents on the go (zooming in and such). Multi-tasking is unreal. Even during calls I can easily multi-task.

CH: What apps do you use to stay focused?

IZ: I don’t really use apps at work aside from what is already built-in. My calendar, the BlackBerry Hub, LinkedIn and browser are my core apps. Oh, and BBM, of course. But I do know that the majority of apps I would use outside of work will run on BlackBerry 10, which is great.

CH: On average, how many emails do you get a day? Does the BlackBerry Hub help you keep track of them?

IZ: Again, I get about 150-300 emails daily, so I need a messaging powerhouse. And yes, the BlackBerry Z30 helps me manage them because I have it all organized and separated. I only have one caveat, as mundane as it sounds, is that it should be easier to change my signature. Other than that, working in a secure and confidential environment, I enjoy the piece of mind that data is getting delivered safely, securely and the moment I need it.

CH: How do you measure productivity? — Or how do you know you’ve operated at peak efficiency?

IZ: When I can leave the office with a clear head, I know I’ve gotten work done. Happens at least four days a week. I’m in the office for a full work day . . about nine hours, for me. I don’t really take lunches and I work from home a lot. That’s why I love using BlackBerry…. I am always go-go-go. When I am in court I can stay on top of things so I don’t feel lost after a day out of the office.

CH: Aside from greeting your children, of course, what’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

IZ: Check my emails, brush my teeth, kiss my kids; and of course, breakfast! I’ve got to stay powered for the full day, which reminds me. . . . the battery life on the BlackBerry Z30 keeps me going all day, even if I do skip breakfast.

CH: Any words of advice to aspiring business owners?

IZ: Starting your own business is like taking a leap of faith…. You just need to do it and hope you land safely. Don’t be afraid to take the leap. You’re only going to see rewards if you plan ahead, focus on your landing and take the leap.

That wraps up this session, keep following the BlackBerry 10 challenge, read our previous entries and leave us a comment about how you’re using BlackBerry solutions to stay productive.

Interview: The BlackBerry 10 Challenge with Christopher Dewdney, Financial Planner

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(Originally published on blogs.blackberry.com)

We started this project just over a month ago with a few goals in mind. First, I wanted to disrupt the work environment of those interested. I also wanted to introduce a few people to the powerhouse that is BlackBerry 10 ahead of theBlackBerry Classic (formerly BlackBerry Q20) launch later this year. Finally I wanted to discover what it takes a professional to power through their busy workday. The results so far have been outstanding. As you’ll discover throughout the series, our subjects, have really enjoyed their new phones. This takes us to todays interview with well-known Toronto-based financial planner and social photographer extraordinaire, Christopher Dewdney. When Christopher is helping his clients achieve their long-term financial goals, or he’s posting inspiring/uplifting quotes on his social feeds, he now uses a BlackBerry Z30 to be productive. I caught up with him for breakfast at his stomping grounds in downtown Toronto to get some insight into what moves him throughout his day.

 


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CH: Chris, thank you so much for sitting down to talk!

CD: Honestly, I feel privileged to have been included in this program.

CH: So, Chris, let’s start the questions off light. Anyone who knows you knows you’re a notorious multi-tasker, balancing a busy schedule and social life. Having officially exiled yourself from your previous smartphone, what are the biggest differences, productivity-wise, that you’ve noticed since going 100 per cent BlackBerry 10?

CD: Let’s say it’s been an experience and an adjustment, but in a good way – following? For me, the BlackBerry Hub is the biggest advantage. It offers a snapshot of what’s going on at any given moment and allows me to prioritize what needs to be addressed. I also like the flow of BlackBerry 10 and being able to easily maneuver around. The screen is phenomenal, and that keyboard is next level! I think I have about 7000 contacts; the address book polls all the social media information into their profile so I can see everything in front of me. This battery is the first of any device that can last the entire day. I relied heavily on a juice pack for my other phone — I’ve never had the BlackBerry Z30 run empty on me. I don’t even need a car charger, I unplug it in the morning and it runs the entire day… I wish my other phone lasted until lunch! I do sometimes yearn for a few key apps, but for the most part, it runs everything I need.

CH: Being a financial planner means you are bestowed with a lot of trust from your clients. How important is mobile security to you? Do you feel safer using BlackBerry 10?

CD: In regulated industries, security is very important. Like, one of the biggest features. When a client enters into a fiduciary relationship with me as their advisory, it means everything relies on trust. The trust transcends everything we do together, especially the access I have on the go. I feel 100 per cent confident and secure now. It’s always been the go-to for my line of work in financial services and I understand why.

CH: With the introduction of BlackBerry 10.2.1 BlackBerry has increased compatibility for Android developers to bring their apps to the BlackBerry World storefront. Do you see any app-gaps in your day-to-day use?

CD: I’m a productive person, so I don’t tend to play a lot of games. But, like I said, there are a few I rely on and I have found most of what I need.

CH: On average, how many emails do you get a day? Do you find that the BlackBerry Hub helps you stay on top of things?

CD: I have two main addresses that I use, combined I get about 200 emails a day, and that doesn’t include SMS or BBM messages. Again, I can’t stress this enough, the BlackBerry Hub helps shave off so much time because I can glance, see a text, and know to whether to ignore a buddy or address a critical email.

CH: You’re constantly on the go. How do you measure your personal productivity throughout the day? How do you know when you’ve hit your peak efficiency?

CD: I consider myself a pretty happening young professional. It’s difficult to keep entirely focused throughout the day when you’re heavy on social media. The way BlackBerry 10 organizes information and notifications, I don’t get pulled away from tasks over every single notification. I notice myself getting a lot more done now, without the distractions. For me, distractions are mostly coming from social media engagements, and I can cut through it now. Facebook is my biggest distraction, but I spend a lot of time snapping and sharing photos as well.

CH: A month in, to using BlackBerry 10 do you have any regrets? Do you see yourself going back?

CD: Nope. I am actually selling my other phone. Work and efficiency are my number one priorities and I’m coming out ahead on both fronts with the BlackBerry Z30. Side note: the accessories that came with the phone, and the presentation, were fantastic and I want to give a huge nod to the team for it.

CH: Any closing comments for #TeamBlackBerry?

CD: I know BlackBerry has customers around the world and, for me; it strikes a “Canadian Pride” cord. BlackBerry does make a great product and they know their market. The value-add I offer my clients is that I go see my clients. Each meeting is about an hour and half, plus travel. Further, my car doesn’t have GPS, so I rely on my phone for GPS as well. I can take calls, emails, and use maps and not be at risk of my phone dying out on me. The value-add that BlackBerry offers me is that I can focus on my clients and put them first.

Interview: The BlackBerry 10 Challenge with Jay Klein, CEO PUR Gum

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(Originally published on blogs.blackberry.com)

What does it mean to be an entrepreneur? Granted, no two people will give the same answer, but everyone will agree: tenacity and drive are two major factors. However, aside from personality traits, it takes some exceptional organization and multi-tasking skills to ensure that parts keep moving; something BlackBerry 10, at its core, is built to do. So, for the first in our series of interviews, we caught up with Mr. Jay Klein, Founder and CEO of Toronto-based PÜR® Gum and asked a few questions about his career. Below he’ll touch on what has kept him such a loyal BlackBerry customer over the years, why he attributes his early success to his trusty BlackBerry 7290 smartphone, and of course, why he thinks that you must always crawl before you walk.


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CH: Jay, thank you so much for taking the time to sit and talk to me!

JK: My pleasure!

CH: So, let’s get started: What is it about BlackBerry that keeps you as loyal? I understand that you’ve been on #TeamBlackBerry for a long time!

JK: Honestly, I am an ultra-loyal guy and BlackBerry was my first smartphone. I switched from a flip to a BlackBerry (the 7290) many years ago, upgraded several times as the device evolved, and never looked back. As an eager entrepreneur, having just graduated from school, I didn’t want to be tied to my desk; owning a BlackBerry solved that. It allowed me to take my business on the road. I attribute a large part of my early success on using a BlackBerry. I admit … at one point, I purchased another device during the BlackBerry transition time a few years ago. BlackBerry 10 hadn’t been released and I needed more from a phone at the time than my BlackBerry at the time could handle. And, no word of a lie, it was a huge learning curve. That phone, as great of a media and time consumption tool it was — was a big time waster in terms of productivity. It was hard to remain focused. I also missed the true communications experience that came with having a BlackBerry smartphone. To worry about constantly refreshing my inbox was getting taxing. It wasn’t long before I started to miss the keyboard on my BlackBerry. I could no-look type, longer, more thought out emails. On my other phone, not so much. It doesn’t provide nearly the same experience, for me.

CH: You’re a natural entrepreneur. You’ve tried and failed, but, unlike many, you’ve learned and let yourself (and products you’re building) benefit because of it. As the CEO of PUR Gum, and having your hands in other projects, you must be a natural multi-tasker….how does your BlackBerry allow you to be so productive?

JK: Now with hub and notification center it always brings forward the most relevant information. You can have fun with the device, but at its core, it’s built for business. BBM also makes global communication very easy as especially with overseas suppliers. PUR Gum is sold in over 25 countries and almost all over, I find, our suppliers are on BlackBerry. We all speak the same tech language. Further, push lets me know my suppliers are getting my emails, rather than waiting for refresh. And, of course, with the introduction of cross platform BBM, I have no boundaries for keeping in touch.

CH: You’ve likely more than doubled your staff in three years. Do you use BBM to communicate with them? If not, what other messenger service do you use?

JK: We definitely use BBM. As new staff comes on board, many with different devices, we generally adapt. Not everyone has an unlimited text plan, if they’re on BBM we can talk wherever, whenever… even over Wi-Fi®!

CH: PÜR Gum doesn’t have a BBM channel. If you created one today… what would you put as the subject headline for your first post?

JK: ‘Great taste runs with BlackBerry and pomegranate’. We need to always be where our audience is. Need to be aware, communicate and connect. We will be starting a BBM channel.

CH: You’ve successfully built a product from an idea to worldwide distribution in a few short years. If you could offer one small piece of advice to an aspiring entrepreneur reading this, what would it be and why?

JK: I advocate this to everyone: lay a very solid foundation early on. Think big and take it slowly. If you start to chase the finish, you’re going to hurt yourself. People only read headlines and see the money, but don’t know the work and effort that went into building it.

CH: Anything else you want to say to #TeamBlackBerry?

JK: Overall, I just love BlackBerry. Always available, battery great, speakerphone is great, solid feel and durable! Happy to promote the brand to anyone who will listen!

The pros and cons of: Streaming your digital content via Apple TV or Roku

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(Originally published on http://globalnews.ca/)

As the Internet age takes over, many of us are steering away from consuming our cable digitally and leaning more on the Internet (streaming) for catching up with our favourite shows and movies. There are several reasons for it, most notably is the cost. However, convenience also is a big factor: one monthly fee and it follows you wherever you are. Imagine watching a TV series, in its entirety, when it’s convenient for you, anywhere in the world. Services like Netflix allow you to do this for low monthly fees, on your own time. Streaming content is also available in many shapes and sizes for Canadians, the most common via your local television station’s website or third-party hardware like Apple TV or Roku.

The bigger question lays with each one of us respectively. So, let’s first take a look at some pros and cons of streaming digital content and find out if it’s the right choice for you.

Pros of streaming:

  • Access to lots of content: Streaming services give users access to vast amounts of content, often for one subscription price. This means you can watch or listen to whatever you want and never need to store files or physical discs.
  • Legal: Legitimate streaming services  like Netflix, Sirius and RDIO are completely legal, so you never have to worry about future lawsuits.
  • Flexibility: Regular TV and radio mean you have to tune in to someone else’s schedule. Streaming services let you watch or listen on your own time, with no restrictions. It also lets you access content wherever you get an Internet connection – whether you’re at the gym, at the cottage or on the road.
  • Consistent and high quality content: Unlike pirated content or torrents, streaming services always offer a high quality and consistent experience.
  • No ads and no interruptions: Anyone who watches regular TV knows there are just too many commercials. Most paid streaming services offer an ad-free experience, so you never have to wait through a commercial when streaming TV shows or listening to music.

Cons of streaming:

  • Freshness of selection: Streaming of any kind is limited to what agreements allow for, this could mean that the content isn’t always up-to-date or new. Think Netflix Canada.
  • Reliance on a connection: If you’re at the cottage, airport or gym and don’t have a solid internet connection, the content you want access to could be unusable.
  • Need more data: Streaming uses a lot of bandwidth, whether on your phone or home plan, so be careful. If you’re new to this kind of service, you may get bill shock if you haven’t planned ahead.

Now, for the ever-daunting question: what streaming service is best for me? I don’t own a smart TV, I don’t have a gaming console, and I would rather not plug my computer directly into my current TV every time I want to watch an episode ofBreaking Bad.  Guess what, dear friend, you’re in luck! There are two popular options, priced under $100, that are currently available for Canadians: Apple TV andRoku3 (Chromecast is a great option but unfortunately is not officially available in Canada).

Let’s take a look at a few pros and cons of each respectively.

Pros of using Apple TV:

  • Works succinctly with all your Apple products, allowing for wireless AirPlay over wifi.
  • Access to Netflix, PhotoStream, YouTube and other social media outlets.
  • Support for surround sound and 1080p video.
  • Very easy setup – just plug the HDMI cable into your TV and go.

Cons of using Apple TV

  • Content is limited to: Netflix, Hulu Plus, MLB.TV, NHL GameCenter, NBA, Flickr and YouTube as well as the ability to purchase and rent content from iTunes.
  • No USB playback ability.
  • No slot for memory or content expansion.

Pros of using a Roku3:

  • Loaded with content:  Netflix, Hulu Plus, MLB.TV, NBA, NHL Game Center, EPIX, HBO Go, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, Major League Soccer, UFC TV, CNBC, FOX News, NBC News, AOL HD, TED, Pandora, Crackle, Flickr and has support for PLEX.
  • Open SDK (software developers kit) means that new content is being created regularly.
  • Can handle light gaming with the remote doubling as a controller.
  • Headphone jack in remote allows user to listen to content without disrupting those around them.

Cons of using a Roku3:

  • No current YouTube support.
  • User interface and experience known to be a bit buggy.
  • Playing back content from your computer isn’t built into the Roku, you must download an app.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider when making your final decision. If you’re looking for something that is easy to navigate, has a gorgeous menu, and will speak to your iPad and iPhone, the natural choice is Apple TV. Whereas, if content is what you’re after and you’re willing to forgo usability to achieve it, the Roku3 is your go-to!

Hands in, foot down, and connecting with the 2013 Tesla Model S

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(Originally published on http://globalnews.ca/)

On a snowy, seemingly unassuming Tuesday in December, my mind was blown because I had the opportunity to test drive a Tesla Model S. The fully electric wonder-child of billionaire investor Elon Musk (think PayPal) is as gorgeous inside as it is out. From conversations with car / technology enthusiasts, the general scepticism comes from performance around an engine-less car – a car that relies on a few hours at a power station to keep it purring. Regardless of price tag, potential buyers want to know that the next car that they’re going to be investing in is an idea that will be widely adopted, not just be yesterday’s afterthought in a few years.

While I empathize with where they’re coming from, I also love seeing disruption, especially in an industry that desperately needs to be shaken up a bit.

Let’s take a look at the 2014 Tesla Model S after 24 hours of driving it.

First impressions:

For those who love their cars, appearance is everything; it’s almost as important as the drive itself. It’s that idea (among others) that has helped sell Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Audi and Porsche over the years, and it’s the first detail you experience when you walk up to the car. From that moment, key in hand, when the door handles slide out from the door, you know you’re in for something special.

Sitting in the car, aside from being very spacious, one can’t help but be overwhelmed by the massive 17-inch touch screen display (which makes up the entire centre console). Like a mini-computer, it offers full 3G connectivity (embedded Tesla-covered SIM card, roaming in North America is included, for now), Google maps-powered navigation with traffic notifications, web browsing, music streaming (Slacker radio and A2DP), full HD back-up camera, and of course, phone calls.

Getting going, the drive and charging:

Gone are the days of the push-to-start feature; it’s simply too many steps. In the Model S, once pressure is put onto the driver’s seat, and the key is detected, the high-resolution dashboard activates and you immediately are made aware of energy, kilometre range, and other relevant stats. The centre console gives you immediate access to everything you’re looking for control-wise, and is very intuitive to navigate.

The Bluetooth, Internet, sound and navigation integration makes it feel like you have a personal assistant sitting in the passenger seat. That, combined with rear wheel drive (which I was pleasantly surprised how well it handled in the snow), ensure you’re secure and confident on the road.

As for the biggest question, the battery power: the top-tier (the model I was outfitted with) 85-kWh lithium-ion battery pack advertises a range of  482 KMS, but the lighter, less-expensive 40-kWh and 60-kWh packs respectively, will come later, offering claimed ranges of up to 257 KMS and 386 kilometres, respectively. The Model S comes standard with an onboard 10-kW charger, while a 20-kW unit can be purchased initially or retrofitted for $1,600. It will cut recharge time on the mega 85-kWh pack from eight hours to about four, depending on the amp and voltage ratings of the outlet being used.

Overall:

If this is an example of what cars are going to be like in the future, I am thoroughly excited at what the future holds. Despite the price tag and charging limitations in Toronto, the Tesla proves that there is life after petrol, and more importantly, that technology, if implemented right, can make driving an interactive experience.

Although I only had a short time with the Model S, I am left wanting more, and that’s exactly what Tesla is looking for. The Tesla Model S starts at $69,900 USD. / $77,800 CAN.

Learn more about Telsa’s cars here

Do you own a Model S? Do you plan on buying one? Sound off below!