Category: Opinion & Analysis

  • Smart technology leaves homes, businesses vulnerable to online attack

    Smart technology leaves homes, businesses vulnerable to online attack

    Is your refrigerator hackable? Devices like smart appliances, cars, medical devices and even bike helmets can collect and transfer data wirelessly via the internet, creating a growing opportunity for hackers to steal information. These Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices are becoming ubiquitous. In 2018 there were an estimated seven billion of them. That could grow to 34…

  • Lowered flags symbolize a nation’s sorrow — and the need for concrete action

    Lowered flags symbolize a nation’s sorrow — and the need for concrete action

    The Canadian flag outside the Harrow Research Station continues to fly at half-mast, as do the flags at the Kingsville post office and the entrance to Point Pelee National Park. According to Canadian Heritage Services, flags on all Government of Canada buildings and establishments across the country will remain at half-mast until further notice. The…

  • Defend against computer hackers with a complex, hard-to-identify password

    Defend against computer hackers with a complex, hard-to-identify password

    Think your computer passwords are safe? It depends. Hackers use password “crackers” such as dictionary or brute force attack applications to detect passwords. Dictionary attacks search for common words or phrases and, while searching, will substitute characters, such as “s” for “$.” Brute force attacks try every possible combination of characters until eventually the password…

  • Finding light in the ‘grey zone’

    A political leader, speaking of the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, said he saw “light at the end of the tunnel,” as a way to express his hope that things will get better. The cynic in me worries that light at the end of the tunnel is from an oncoming train. The optimist says, “Yes!” My…

  • Answering the ‘good question’ — one breath at a time

    In August, I took this photo of a contemplation bench that sits behind Trinity United Church at Road 2 West and the McCain Side Road. It was a favourite rest spot this summer when I was out cycling. A lot of us have been whizzing by it recently because of the Main Street detour. Sometimes,…

  • Reflection, sense of purpose an antidote to the strange year of 2020

    The trees let go and leaves fall, scattering in the cool wind. We trade brilliant autumn colours for grey branches that frame a broader view of sky. Each season has its gifts, we may tell ourselves. But the changes that come can still feel like loss. The year 2020 has been one of many griefs,…

  • Shaking the COVID doldrums on Essex County’s back roads

    Shaking the COVID doldrums on Essex County’s back roads

    I rode my bicycle more in August than in all my previous 58 years. My shiny new bike had only been used a dozen times. It took the “new normal” to get me beyond good intentions. Disconnected, disappointed over cancelled travel plans and caught in the low-level distress of the pandemic, I felt it was…

  • It’s always phishing season for determined cyber scammers

    It’s always phishing season for determined cyber scammers

    Coined in 1996, the term phishing is analogous to the sport of angling — internet scammers “fished” technology users, luring them into sharing passwords or other valuable information. According to the FBI, phishing was the most prevalent form of cybercrime for 2020 — up 100 per cent from 2019. Nearly 75 per cent of organizations…

  • Mindfulness, self-compassion help break the mental shackles of lockdowns and isolation

    This illustration from an 1867 edition of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, called “I broke a bar of one of the windows,” may speak to that part of us that feels cooped up. If only it was as simple as breaking a bar and making our escape. Most of us are not actually locked up, although…

  • Atrocities against Indigenous students were an open secret of the residential school system

    Atrocities against Indigenous students were an open secret of the residential school system

    I’m from Thunder Bay, established on traditional territory of the Ojibway of Fort William First Nation. Sadly, in all my years in public school and in church I learned very little that was helpful or factual about those who first lived on this land. Instead, I heard stories of “good Indians” — First Nations folks…

  • Smart technology leaves homes, businesses vulnerable to online attack

    Smart technology leaves homes, businesses vulnerable to online attack

    Is your refrigerator hackable? Devices like smart appliances, cars, medical devices and even bike helmets can collect and transfer data wirelessly via the internet, creating a growing opportunity for hackers to steal information. These Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices are becoming ubiquitous. In 2018 there were an estimated seven billion of them. That could grow to 34…

  • Lowered flags symbolize a nation’s sorrow — and the need for concrete action

    Lowered flags symbolize a nation’s sorrow — and the need for concrete action

    The Canadian flag outside the Harrow Research Station continues to fly at half-mast, as do the flags at the Kingsville post office and the entrance to Point Pelee National Park. According to Canadian Heritage Services, flags on all Government of Canada buildings and establishments across the country will remain at half-mast until further notice. The…

  • Defend against computer hackers with a complex, hard-to-identify password

    Defend against computer hackers with a complex, hard-to-identify password

    Think your computer passwords are safe? It depends. Hackers use password “crackers” such as dictionary or brute force attack applications to detect passwords. Dictionary attacks search for common words or phrases and, while searching, will substitute characters, such as “s” for “$.” Brute force attacks try every possible combination of characters until eventually the password…

  • Finding light in the ‘grey zone’

    A political leader, speaking of the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, said he saw “light at the end of the tunnel,” as a way to express his hope that things will get better. The cynic in me worries that light at the end of the tunnel is from an oncoming train. The optimist says, “Yes!” My…

  • Answering the ‘good question’ — one breath at a time

    In August, I took this photo of a contemplation bench that sits behind Trinity United Church at Road 2 West and the McCain Side Road. It was a favourite rest spot this summer when I was out cycling. A lot of us have been whizzing by it recently because of the Main Street detour. Sometimes,…

  • Reflection, sense of purpose an antidote to the strange year of 2020

    The trees let go and leaves fall, scattering in the cool wind. We trade brilliant autumn colours for grey branches that frame a broader view of sky. Each season has its gifts, we may tell ourselves. But the changes that come can still feel like loss. The year 2020 has been one of many griefs,…

  • Shaking the COVID doldrums on Essex County’s back roads

    Shaking the COVID doldrums on Essex County’s back roads

    I rode my bicycle more in August than in all my previous 58 years. My shiny new bike had only been used a dozen times. It took the “new normal” to get me beyond good intentions. Disconnected, disappointed over cancelled travel plans and caught in the low-level distress of the pandemic, I felt it was…

  • It’s always phishing season for determined cyber scammers

    It’s always phishing season for determined cyber scammers

    Coined in 1996, the term phishing is analogous to the sport of angling — internet scammers “fished” technology users, luring them into sharing passwords or other valuable information. According to the FBI, phishing was the most prevalent form of cybercrime for 2020 — up 100 per cent from 2019. Nearly 75 per cent of organizations…

  • Mindfulness, self-compassion help break the mental shackles of lockdowns and isolation

    This illustration from an 1867 edition of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, called “I broke a bar of one of the windows,” may speak to that part of us that feels cooped up. If only it was as simple as breaking a bar and making our escape. Most of us are not actually locked up, although…

  • Atrocities against Indigenous students were an open secret of the residential school system

    Atrocities against Indigenous students were an open secret of the residential school system

    I’m from Thunder Bay, established on traditional territory of the Ojibway of Fort William First Nation. Sadly, in all my years in public school and in church I learned very little that was helpful or factual about those who first lived on this land. Instead, I heard stories of “good Indians” — First Nations folks…