Category Archives: Current Shows

Business April 10, 2014

The price of oil edged slightly lower from a five-week high today after China reported weak monthly trade data and U.S. crude supplies rose substantially last week.

By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark crude for May delivery was down 24 cents to $103.36 US in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Yesterday, the Nymex contract gained $1.04 to settle at $103.60 amid unrest in eastern Ukraine after adding more than $2 the day before. The last time it closed above $103 was on March 4.

Brent crude, a benchmark for international oil prices, was down 60 cents to $107.38 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

Oil prices fell as Chinese trade numbers showed that exports contracted unexpectedly in March, shrinking by 6.6 percent from a year earlier while imports contracted 11.3 percent. Chinese imports of crude oil were also the lowest in five months, totaling 5.54 million barrels in March.



Crude prices also slipped following the report by the U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration that showed 4 million barrels were added to supplies last week. That compares to a rise of 2.5 million barrels predicted by analysts.

In other energy futures trading in New York:

— Wholesale gasoline lost 1.84 cents to $2.99 a gallon.

— Natural gas fell 2.9 cents to $4.557 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil was down 0.89 cent at $2.9451 a gallon.

BusinessWise April 9, 2014

Oil declined today but stayed above $102 per barrel amid unrest in eastern Ukraine and the possibility of lower U.S. production.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil for May delivery was down 44 cents to $102.12 in overnight electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained $2.12 to $102.56 on Tuesday.

Brent crude, used to set prices for international oil varieties, shed 26 cents to $107.37 on the ICE exchange in London.

Traders are uneasy about possible disruption of supplies due to conflict in eastern Ukraine and possible European sanctions on Russia.

Pro-Russian separatists have seized government buildings in several cities in Ukraine’s east in the aftermath of Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Also this week, the U.S. Energy Department lowered its 2014 crude production forecast to 8.37 million barrels a day from 8.39 million barrels.

In other energy futures trading in New York:

— Wholesale gasoline shed 0.2 cent to $2.978 a gallon.

— Natural gas fell 1.1 cents to $4.523 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil slipped 0.2 cent to $2.932 a gallon.



105.9 The Region News April 9, 2014

A 12-year Scarborough boy remains in serious condition after being hit by a car; the price od housing in York Region is on the rise and Harper turfs a Russian diplomat out of the country.

From the 105 – 9 The Region News Room, I’m Bob Pritchard.


A pre-teen remains in SickKids hospital with life-threatening injuries after being struck by a car in Scarborough yesterday on Danforth Road near St. Clair Avenue.

Witnesses say the boy got off a TTC bus and tried to cross the street when a silver Hyundai hit him.

Police say the distraught driver remained on scene. So far no charges have been laid.

Toronto Traffic Services has taken over the investigation.


Smouldering embers appear to be the cause of a fire in Brampton on the weekend that levelled a Ukrainian church.

Brampton fire officials have deemed the cause of the fire “accidental” and say foul play was not a factor.

Parish officials say they will rebuild St Elias the Prophet Church on Heritage Rd, just north of Bovaird Dr.

Warming weather is pushing a spring pickup in Canada’s residential real estate market, according to Royal LePag. They report that after a “remarkably drab winter” for real estate activity, the final month of the first quarter saw inventory increase noticeably as the industry saw what had been an underperforming spring market turn a corner in the final few weeks.

The company’s latest House Price Survey found that most regions showed healthy year-over-year price growth, with the average price of a home in Canada rising between 2.5 per cent and 5.4 per cent.

Prices here continued to rise in the first quarter thanks to “scarce” inventory. Detached bungalows rose 4.1 per and standard two-storey homes jumped 6.8 per cent, respectively. Standard condos rose 1.5 per cent to an average of $364,979.


Once again hope is running high after officials say that sounds similar to those emitted by aircraft’s black boxes have been detected in the southern Indian Ocean. If the pings can be better triangulated, a video equipped submersible sub will be deployed.


Toyota is recalling nearly 6.4-million vehicles globally for a variety of problems spanning nearly 30 models built between April 2004 through August 2013.

No injuries or crashes have been reported in relation to the recalls, but there have been two fires connected to a defective engine starter.

Twenty-seven Toyota models are being recalled, as well as two other vehicles.


Canada has ordered a Russian diplomat to leave this country, as Moscow stands accused of promoting further unrest in eastern Ukraine.

The expulsion comes a day after Canada accused Moscow of fostering pro-Russian activity in eastern Ukraine after its recent annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.

Pro-Russian activists have taken over government buildings in Donetsk and have declared their wish to secede from Ukraine. Activists have also taken control of government and media buildings there. Tens of thousands of Russian soldiers have been stationed to the region.

Oscar Pistorius is testifying for a third day at his murder trial. He returned to the witness stand after breaking down in sobs yesterday while describing the moments he said he realized he’d shot his girlfriend by mistake. Pistorius says he called for emergency help after he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, and then police began arriving.

(“…got sick.”) (SOURCE:ABC) (445a)

The prosecutor maintains the double-amputee runner killed Steenkamp after an argument.


The Harper Conservative government is looking for public input on the topic of letting airport security screeners break into checked luggage.

Currently, Canadian airport screeners cannot force open luggage to examine the contents if an X-ray flags a concern.

They must first contact the airline, which then tries to find the passenger.

Transport Canada is seeking feedback on a plan to give screeners the power to break a lock or seal off a suspect bag without tracking down passengers.


In an epic finale more than 70 years in the making, red-headed comic book character Archie Andrews will die trying to save a friend.

The shocking news was announced Tuesday by Archie Comics publisher Jon Goldwater.

Archie will reportedly die in the July edition of “Life with Archie,” which is a spinoff series that explores the character’s life after high school and college.

There are plans for one more edition after the accident

While #36 shows readers Archie’s final moments, #37 to show how the remaining members of the Riverdale gang — including Jughead, Betty and Veronica and Reggie — have honoured the legacy of their friend.

BusinessWise April 8, 2014

Oil prices gained modestly this morning in Asia as traders awaited weekly U.S. data on crude oil and distillates stockpiles.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil for May delivery was up 62 cents to $101.06 a barrel in overnight electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract slipped 70 cents to $100.44 on Monday following reports that four Libyan oil terminals under militia control could soon open, possibly boosting global supplies.

Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of oil, rose 31 cents to $106.13 on the ICE exchange in London. It fell 90 cents on Monday to $105.82.

Under a deal reached late Sunday, the Libyan militia would hand over terminals it captured and shut down last summer to demand a share in oil revenues, costing Libya billions of dollars in lost export trade.

U.S. crude oil and distillates inventories are running at or slightly below levels a year ago.

In other energy futures trading in New York:

— Wholesale gasoline rose 0.8 cent to $2.934 a gallon.

— Natural gas rose 0.4 cent to $4.48 per 1,000 cubic feet.

— Heating oil climbed 0.5 cent to $2.896 a gallon.


BusinessWise for April 4, 2014

Asian stock markets were little changed this morning after the European Central Bank refrained from further easing of monetary policy and investors looked to the upcoming U.S. jobs report for a new trading cue.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 edged up 0.1 percent to 15,091.33 while Seoul’s Kospi drifted down 0.1 percent to 1,991.01. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was nearly unchanged at 22,549.74.

Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.3 percent to 2,049.36 while Australia’s S&P ASX/200 was flat at 5,408.70. Stocks in Indonesia were the biggest losers, down 0.6 percent. Other Asian markets were mostly flat.

The U.S. March jobs report will be released today in Washington. Many economists think it will show a bounce-back in hiring by employers who held off adding staff during winter.

A strong jobs report would boost confidence that that U.S. economic recovery is on track while also reinforcing expectations that interest rate hikes are in the pipeline after the Federal Reserve ends its bond purchasing program that has provided extraordinary monetary stimulus.

Earlier in Europe, sentiment was mixed after the ECB did not cut interest rates or announce any new stimulus measures, as some had been hoping.

The ECB decided to leave its main interest rate at a record-low 0.25 percent. ECB President Mario Draghi dismissed fears that consumer prices might fall in countries that use the euro common currency, but stressed that the bank was ready to act if inflation remained low.

Germany’s DAX closed almost 0.1 percent higher at 9,628.82 while France’s CAC 40 rose 0.4 percent to 4,449.33. Britain’s FTSE 100 shed 0.2 percent to 6,649.14.

On Wall Street, the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell 2.13 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,888.77. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.45 point, or less than 0.1 percent, to 16,572.55. The Nasdaq composite fell 38.72 points, or 0.9 percent, to 4,237.74.

In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery was up 4 cents to $100.32 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 67 cents Thursday to close at $100.29.

The euro fell to $1.3714 from $1.3720 late Thursday. The dollar was steady at 103.91 yen.


Computer Insider March 21: A look a super-thin tablets

If you’re looking for one of those small, sleek and thin tablets, and money is not a big issue for you, then we have quite a collection for you today.

We back in the beginning of tablets that would be the 1969 movie “2001: A Space Odyssey.”, you would have had to start training with power lifter, former actor and California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, just to have the muscle power to hall the device around with you. However, we’re happy to report that the times have changed and so have tablet designs.

After Apple released the iPad, aesthetics and design became a more prominent selling-point for the emerging portable devices. Overall, tablet girth has declined, ushering in the new era of thin slates, and we’ve gathered the ones so sleek, their predecessors wouldn’t even recognize them if they saw them walking down the street.

Let’s start with the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX. It continues to impress in its approach to tablets with its latest 7-incher. The Kindle Fire HDX rocks a supersharp screen and smooth performance, all in a small and light package. Its angular design is comfy and compact to hold or carry, and it stylishly stands out in the saturated pack of 7-inch tablets. For Amazon Prime members, the Kindle Fire tablets are a no-brainer, but if you’re hesitant about the restricted Android-based OS and lack of Google Play store, have a look at the Google Nexus 7.

Google set a precedent with the original Nexus 7, offering a pure Android tablet with zippy performance at an affordable price, and the second iteration of the Nexus 7 continues in that fashion. It has few bells and whistles, yet its simplicity suits it and matches its minimal comfortable and lightweight design. It’s as light as the Kindle Fire HDX and only beats the Amazon slate in depth by a small margin.

The invention of the iPad, helped steer tablets into the mainstream and the iPad Mini model replicates the successful, sleek aluminum slate but in a more portable form. It’s the smallest iPad available and rocks one of the most high-end designs, and if you’re already wrapped into Apple’s robust ecosystem, choosing an iPad is an easy decision.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 is an 8-inch slate that edges out the competition by packing a bigger, more impressive display in a comparably slim and trim profile. Though not as small as the 7-inchers that we have already mentioned, the Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4 is worth the extra space — and cash, if you got it. The 8.4-inch tablet stuns with its high-pixel-resolution screen, and it currently holds the title of tablet with the highest pixels-per-inch at 359ppi. It performs smoothly, comes with a ton of preloaded Samsung software, and if you fancy a high-end small tablet that runs Android, this is your best choice.

BusinessWise March 21: Asian stock markets recover, Conference Board index up

Asian stock markets bounced back Friday as upbeat U.S. economic data helped shake off worries about future increases in U.S. interest rates.

Trading was subdued as Japanese markets were closed for a public holiday.

The Conference Board index of leading indicators, a measure of U.S. economic health, rose in February by the largest amount in three months, suggesting growth should bounce back following a harsh winter. Separately, U.S. jobless benefits rose to near pre-recession levels, suggesting stable job market in the world’s largest economy.

The numbers helped to perk up stocks after Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen unsettled investors by suggesting earlier this week that U.S. interest rates could rise sooner than markets were anticipating.

South Korea’s Kospi dropped, then climbed to 1,931.22 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.6 percent to 21,313.32. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.8 percent to 5,338.10.

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite Index advanced 1.8 percent to 2,029.76 even as China’s currency remained weak. The you-ann was trading at 6.2238, the lowest in about 13 months.

A recent loosening of exchange rate controls has helped speed the currency’s decline. Analysts believe authorities are trying to clamp down on unrealistic credit growth and discourage speculators, as for the past several years the Yuan has slowly appreciated in value.

In Toronto, the TSX closed up 27.29 points at 14,361; on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.7 percent to 16,331.05 on Thursday and the Standard & Poor’s 500 rose 0.6 percent to 1,872.01. The Nasdaq composite climbed 0.3 percent to 4,319.29.

In currencies, the euro rose slightly to $1.3785 from $1.3779 in late trading Thursday. The dollar dipped to 102.36 Japanese yen from 102.39.

Oil prices fell. Benchmark crude oil for May delivery was down 59 cents to $98.31 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 27 cents to settle at $98.90 on Thursday.

Brent crude, used to set prices for international varieties of crude, was down 31 cents to $106.14 a barrel.

In other energy futures trading in New York:

— Wholesale gasoline fell 0.7 cent to $2.882 a gallon.

— Heating oil shed 0.7 cent to $2.906 a gallon.

— Natural gas dropped 3.6 cents to $4.333 per 1,000 cubic feet.


Computer Insider for March 20, 2014: Online Shopping vs Bedroom FUn

A survey suggests that many of us are beginning to use online shopping as an expression of not being, you know, side stepping our matrimonial responsibilities in the bedroom, and the surprise here… men use the excuse more than women.

Despite the best efforts of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, who insisted that the government had not place in the bedroom, it seems that your smartphone may.

New research suggests that the latest “Not tonight honey, I have a headache”, is to say they’re busy online shopping.

The new study sponsored by EBates looked at 1,000 adults with some fascinating conclusions.

Some 10 percent of women say they use their mobile devices — and the excuse of shopping on them — to deter their lovers from getting amorous.

But here’s the nugget that might astound even more: 13 percent of men admitted to doing the same thing.

Personally, I’m not sure how I would feel telling a partner that I wasn’t feeling “frisky” because I was trying to decide which pair of wireless headphone to buy.

The original purpose of this survey was merely to examine mobile shopping habits. It seems that 45 percent of Americans use their mobile devices to shop — and 10 percent claim they do it daily.

49 percent of the respondents confessed that shopping on their mobile device cures boredom while they’re waiting in line. And 24 percent somehow couple mobile shopping with watching reality TV.

The conclusions? Clearly the difference between sex and online shopping is that it’s much harder to haggle while online shopping.


BusinessWise March 20, 2014

Asian stocks fell this morning after comments from the new head of the Federal Reserve suggested U.S. interest rates could rise sooner than financial markets were anticipating.

Janet Yellen’s comments after the Fed’s first policy meeting since she replaced Ben Bernanke sent Wall Street lower and the American dollar higher on Wednesday.

The Nikkei 225, the benchmark for the Tokyo stock market, fell 1.7 percent to 14,224.23 and South Korea’s Kospi dropped 0.9 percent to 1,919.52.

Local analysts speculated that higher U.S. interest rates were expected to come eventually, but there was “a surprise element” when Yellen implied that the Fed’s time frame for raising interest rates was closer to the first half of 2015, sooner than many had expected. The Fed also voted to cut its monthly bond purchases from $65 billion to $55 billion as part of its ongoing winding down of the extraordinary monetary stimulus.

The US dollar had its biggest one-day gain yesterday since August because of the higher interest rate talk.

The next market-moving factor players are watching in Japan is a consumption tax hike effective April 1. Opinion is divided on whether some stocks will drop as a result of the tax, while others may rise. Many believe the effects will be small.

The TSX closed down almost 35 points at 14,334; The Dow Jones industrial average lost 114.02 points, to close at 16,222. The Dow fell as much as 209 points before erasing some of its loss. The Standard & Poor’s 500 dropped 11 points, to 1,860 and the Nasdaq composite lost 25.71 points, to 4,307.60.

Benchmark crude for April delivery was up 13 cents at $100.50 a barrel at in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 67 cents to $100.37 on Wednesday. Most trading has shifted to the May contract as the April contract expired today. Oil for May delivery was up 20 cents to $99.37 a barrel.

The euro rose to $1.3841 from $1.3825 late Wednesday. The dollar fell to 102.30 yen from 102.46 yen.

Computer Insider March 19: New USB Wireless Technology

Just when you thought that technology was stabilizing of the desktop front, along comes an idea whose time may be just right. There are two factors pushing this concept, the first being the wide use of smartphones, and the second is the increasing use of computers as the primary device in your home theater, rapidly displacing cable TV boxes and DVD players.

The new technology is in fact a shift in the USB sector, as the standards body behind that sector is launching media Agnostic USB (MA-USB). It uses the USB protocol, which governs how devices connect and transfer data, but runs it atop a range of wireless communication technologies and radio frequencies.

This is an upgraded approach from a 2007 wireless version that used ultra wideband only — and that technology never caught on widely. In contrast, this broader wireless approach should help the new version.


It’s designed to connect things like external hard drives, phones, tablets, cameras, and PCs. As long as a device supports Wi-Fi, MA-USB should work as long as the operating system is updated with a driver. That means that although your phone doesn’t support it today, it could in the future with a software update, since no new hardware is required.

Don’t expect to throw away all your Universal Serial Bus cables, though. The standards group is working on a USB power delivery technology that could let people charge their phones and tablets faster and possibly even get rid of laptop power cables, too.

And the USB-IF is working to sweep away USB cable confusion with a single cable that will work for mobile and larger devices. You’ll be able to plug it into the jack either side up, unlike current USB cables, and will be reversible end-to-end, too, so you don’t need to worry about matching ports at both sides.