Pricey Titanic wreck tours hope to bring new life to a century-old story

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — Adventure tourists with money in the bank have a new bucket list travel item: a spot on a submarine diving 3,800 metres down to the rusting remains of one history's most iconic shipwrecks.

Week-long expeditions to the Titanic are set to depart from St. John's, N.L., this June, in the first manned surveys of the decaying vessel since 2005.

A ride on the aptly-named Titan submarine costs just over $168,000 per ticket.

Stockton Rush, CEO of OceanGate Expeditions, the U.S. company running the show, defended the hefty price tag, saying the trip is more than worthwhile for an experience he said is more rare than space travel.

“What we're doing is something that's going to add to the historical record of the Titanic — what is it like now, how is it decaying, what kind of marine life is there. We're going to be making real discoveries,” Rush said in a phone interview from Washington state.

“It's going to be a different experienc..

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Top Canadian mobile stories from the past week

Every week we bring you the latest in Canadian mobile news. Listed below is a quick overview of the top stories from the past seven days.
Amazon launches Echo Input in Canada for $29.99iPad mini (2019) Review: Tiny powerHere’s what’s coming to Bell Media’s Crave in April 2019Google Kitchener-Waterloo manager on developing Stadia streaming techApple announces new AirPods with H1 chip, wireless charging caseTim Hortons launches loyalty rewards program in CanadaFederal MPs say they’ll listen to Huawei even if lobbying unlikely to sway ban considerationTelus to invest $40 billion over next 3 years to improve broadband internet servicesMP Murray appointed new Treasury Board President and Minister of Digital GovernmentRogers to bring LTE service to more than 1,000km of unserved highwaysFederal government pledges more than $400 million to promote zero-emission vehiclesBudget 2019 invests $1.7 billion for high-speed internet access by 2030Hey Google, we have some questions about your Stadia ga..

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Why do popular digital assistants default to female voices?

Apple's Siri can prattle off the height of celebrities at the drop of a hat. Amazon's Alexa can order a fresh batch of toilet paper to your door. Google's Assistant can help tune your guitar, while Microsoft's Cortana does impressions on request.

Just say the word, and these digital assistants will respond to your queries with synthetic pep and nary a hint of complaint. But ask any of the devices about their gender and they seem to demur.

Pose the question to Siri, Cortana or Assistant, and each will insist they transcend such human constructs. Alexa replies, “I'm female in character.”

But all of these artificially intelligent aides will answer in a woman's voice, at least according to their default settings for Canadian users.

Critics argue this chorus of fembots reinforces stereotypes about women being servile, while members of the tech industry insist they're simply catering to consumers.

Jodie Wallis, managing director of consulting firm..

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Startup jobs of the week: Canvass Analytics, Skritswap, Real Estate Webmasters

Every day, Canada’s tech startups post their latest and greatest job opportunities on Jobs.BetaKit, powered by Jobbio. From early-stage to Series B and beyond, Jobs.BetaKit helps startups from all over the country hire Canada’s top tech talent.

Each week, BetaKit will highlight a selection of the job roles posted to Jobs.BetaKit. If you’re a candidate looking for a position at a tech Canadian startup, survey the selection below or view all the posted positions here. For companies in need of top candidates, scroll to the bottom of this post to learn how to get your roles posted to Jobs.BetaKit!

Jobs of the Week (March 22, 2019):
Toronto
Canvass Analytics – Data Scientist Lead

Canvass Analytics’s new Data Scientist will build their Reinforcement Learning models and coach a young team. This is a chance to use advanced quantitative and statistical analysis techniques to drive business innovation and to help solve some of the most complex processes in the Industrial sector. This is an op..

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Streaming in Canada this weekend: Death of Stalin, Kubo and the Two Strings, Delhi Crime

Every week, MobileSyrup goes over some of the most notable movies and TV shows to recently hit Canadian streaming platforms.
Typically, this column will focus on content from Amazon Prime Video Canada, Crave and Netflix Canada, although other streaming services may be mentioned when relevant.
Any shows or movies that are made in Canada, involve notable Canadian cast or crew or are filmed in Canada will also be highlighted.
CraveThe Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley
The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley examines the true story of Elizabeth Holmes, the woman who was heralded as the next Steve Jobs and became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire but lost everything after fraudulent conduct was discovered.
The documentary was directed and produced by Alex Gibney.
HBO Canada premiere date: March 18th, 2019
Crave release date: March 18th, 2019
Les Misérables
Crave is now streaming the 2012 musical drama film adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic Les Misérables novel. The ..

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NDP promises to fight for lower cell service fees ahead of federal election

The cost of cellphone plans and internet packages could become a federal election issue.
A recent update to the NDP website includes a new blog post about the issue, along with a fact page detailing the party’s stance on the subject.
The NDP argue that, despite their necessity, high-speed wireless and broadband services are neither affordable nor reliable in Canada.
While the latter point could be argued — a recent Tutela report notes Canada’s wireless networks offer consistent, excellent service — there’s little doubt that Canadians pay a premium for wireless service.
The NDP website says the ‘Big Three’ — Bell, Telus and Rogers — serve 90 percent of Canadians, and on average charge them 30 percent more than people in France, Germany and the U.K.
The NDP is looking to declare cellphone service and internet access as essential. Additionally, the party wants to require every company to have a basic plan for internet and cell service that meets the essential needs of Canadians.
Additiona..

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Motorola One Vision render shows off hole-punch display, copper colour

A recent leak suggests there’s a new version of Motorola’s ‘One’ phone dubbed the ‘One Vision.’
Renders of the Motorola One Vision have surfaced on SlashLeaks. Unlike the previous variant, the One Vision ditches the iPhone X-style notch for a Samsung Galaxy-style hole-punch display.
Along with the single front-facing camera, the render shows off a dual-camera set-up on the rear. Further, the back of the One Vision is a unique copper colour.
It’s worth noting that the One Vision is called the P40 in some markets, specifically China. The ‘One’ monicker is used for the international variant of the phone.
A picture of the One Vision’s battery leaked as well. The battery’s label lists the capacity as 3,290mAh.
Also, a rendered video of the Motorola P40 leaked late last year. The footage showed off a similar looking device and included some specs.
The One Vision is expected to have a 48-megapixel sensor, a 6.2-inch display, rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, a USB Type-C port and 3.5mm headpho..

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Juno captures striking view of ‘Jupiter Marble’

A spectacular new image of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot and turbulent southern hemisphere has been released by NASA.

NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured the image as it performed its 17th science pass of the gas giant planet.

Juno took three images in total of Jupiter on Feb. 12. The spacecraft was between 26,876 kilometres and 95,434 kilometres above Jupiter’s cloud tops.

Juno is a NASA spacecraft explorer orbiting Jupiter and is currently using scientific tools to study the planet’s atmosphere.

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Fido to charge customers a $10 fee when they call in, use live chat

Rogers-owned flanker brand Fido will soon charge users a mandatory account handling fee when they call in, use live chat or social media to complete certain transactions.
The $10 account handling fee will go live on May 14th, 2019. Further, it will apply to transactions where Fido also offers self-serve options.
It does not apply to customer inquiries — such as asking about your account or bill or how to complete a transaction through self serve. Additionally, there are exceptions to the fee, including for customers with special needs.
Typically, the charge will impact quick transactions, such as making a one-time payment or resetting a voicemail password.
While users can still call in, use live chat or social media services to make these quick changes, they’re generally faster to complete through Fido’s website, app or interactive voice response (IVR) system.
“As more Canadians choose self-serve options to manage their day-to-day needs, we’re continually investing in digital services ..

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New report details impact of proposed N.S. spaceport in event of explosion or fire

HALIFAX — The head of a company proposing to open Canada's only commercial spaceport near the small community of Canso, N.S., says the impact of any launch failure would be relatively small.

Steve Matier said while a launch failure can happen, a lot of research and engineering goes into trying to avoid it.

“When you're analyzing a rocket, you're analyzing the trajectory, the location, and you're putting in the engineering controls and the processes, mature technology, you're nowhere near the general public and you've got a rocket with a heritage of hundreds of successful flights,” he said. “…That makes it an extremely unlikely event.”

That said, Matier does point out the chance of a failure is not zero.

Maritime Launch Services has filed a 475-page report with the Nova Scotia government to detail the environmental impact possible under a variety of scenarios.

The report says an explosion on the launch pad would leave a crater in the granite ab..

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