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Q&A: London has buzz in the tech economy, but now city hall has to capitalize on it



The tech sector is Canada’s “economic sleeping giant,” according to a commercial real estate firm that has released a report scoring the tech talent and potential for growth in 75 North American markets.

London appears on the Next 25 list of up-and-coming markets, coming in 8th after nearly doubling its tech talent population in the last five years, according to the CBRE Scoring Tech Talent report.

“Canadian tech is on a path to a more normalized, sustainable growth trajectory, which will make for a healthier sector in the long run,” said Paul Morassutti, CBRE Canada’s chairperson. “You could say that Canada’s tech sector has shifted from office-market juggernaut to a sleeping giant in the short-term.”

CBC London spoke to Concordia University economist Moshe Lander, who grew up in London, about the potential here, and what pitfalls the city can avoid.


London Morning6:10Should tech companies consider London?

Economist Moshe Lander joins London Morning with an in depth look at London’s potential to become a booming tech hub.

CBC: London being an emerging tech hub might come as a surprise to some Londoners. What makes us a player in this field? 

Moshe Lander: It’s got Western and Fanshawe, which are in their own ways well respected within Canada and well–renowned for their technological prowess and the work that they do within computer science and technology fields. London’s greatest attraction has always been it’s close to Toronto, but not Toronto.

London offers easy access but at a fraction of the the price, so that’s also going to be attractive, if you need employees that are going to have to be well paid, better that you pay them well in London than having to pay them really well in Toronto.

CBC: When we’re talking tech, what are we talking about? 

Lander: It could be everything from Silicon Valley-type tech to more of the the nuts and bolts of tech. Again, that’s where both Western and Fanshawe offer attractive features for the tech industry. You’ve got a fantastic community college that has a very strong tech reputation, all the way up to the Silicon Valley-type approach where Western is turning out graduates with tremendous skills. And you have the Ivey business school which is also internationally known. The ability to turn all of these tech ideas into actual business models is attractive, too.

CBC: How do we capitalize on this and not just remain 8th on the list? 

Lander: This is where city hall has to come into play. It requires vision, and unfortunately this is something that London has repeatedly shown that it’s lacking.

In my 30 or 40 years of ties to London, the city has not grown beyond 400,00, 450,000 people. You look at Hamilton and Ottawa that are now exploding population-wise and it’s because London city hall lacks vision. If you want to make sure that London continues to be a draw, city hall needs to be thinking about all of the influx of people that are coming and what they are going to need.

Moshe Lander is a professor in the department of economics at Concordia University in Montreal. He’s also an Alberta resident and homeowner. (CBC)

They’re going to need healthcare, they’re going to need schools, You’re going to have to develop an infrastructure, roads, maybe a light rail line, zoning laws to build housing to make sure that everybody who’s coming into the city is not going to find that they overwhelm the local services and make it impossible to function.

If people get frustrated that their quality of life is lacking in London, then they’re just going to move to the next city, say Kitchener-Waterloo, or somewhere else where they’re going to be able to say ‘We can offer you the same thing, but we have the vision, we’ve laid the groundwork for you to be able to come and live here, work here, play here.’

CBC: That doesn’t sound like an easy thing to do.

Lander: There’s a very small window for it to happen because people are coming to London now, seeing that it’s on the Top 10 list. You can’t say to them, ‘Give us a decade and we’ll have our act together.’ They’re not going to wait that long. That’s the thing with the tech industry — it’s very, very fluid. If they don’t find that it’s attractive today, they’re very mobile.

CBC: What can the city do? 

Lander: I’m out in Calgary right now, and there are hundreds and hundreds of kilometres of bike paths. You can get to work, you can also enjoy all the greenery. And you have the Forest City, and the fact that there’s not hundreds of kilometres of pathways and bike paths, that’s a problem. Those are the kinds of things that people are looking for in terms of quality of life. You have to have a vision.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity



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New photos reveal more details about Google’s Pixel 9 Pro Fold



Google’s secret new line of Pixel 9 phones isn’t that big of a secret anymore. Taiwan’s National Communications Commission (NCC) released new photos of the phones including the Pixel 9 Pro Fold from almost every conceivable angle.

Android Authority found the photos in the NCC archives and uploaded galleries of each of the four phones including the Pixel 9, 9 Pro, 9 Pro XL and 9 Pro Fold. They reveal some interesting details about the new Pixel phones.

The charging rates will be a little faster than the last generation of Pixel phones: Taiwanese authorities measured 24.12W for the base model, 25.20W for the Pro and 32.67W for the 9 Pro XL. The Pixel 9 Pro Fold, however, was the slowest of all of them at 20.25W. These numbers don’t often match up perfectly with the advertised ratings, so expect Google to be promoting higher numbers at its event.

Speaking of chargers, it looks like Google needed a bigger charger to power its new phones. Photos included in the NCC leak show each phone will come with a wall charger that’s around 45W depending on which model you purchase. The charger’s plug moved from the middle to the top of the brick.

The Google Pixel 9 Pro Fold can fully unfold.
NCC/Android Authority

The latest photo dump also shows the 9 Pro Fold unfolded for the first time. Google has moved the selfie camera to the inside screen for a wider field of view. The 9 Pro Fold also has a slimmer top and bottom, a reduced fold crease on the display and a full 180 degree unfolding angle to make a screen that’s just over 250mm or just under 10 inches.

These photos are the latest in a very long list of leaks of Google Pixel 9 photos. The last Pixel 9 leak came down yesterday showing two prototype models of the base and XL models. Google might look into buying a new combination lock for the high school locker where they apparently keep all their unreleased gear.



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Apple Wallet now supports Canada’s Presto card, with Express Transit



Apple Wallet now supports the Presto transit card used in Ontario, Canada. The card can be used for travel in Toronto, Hamilton, and Ottawa.

The digital version of the card includes the Express Transit Pass feature, meaning that you can tap in and out without having to authenticate …


Ontario’s Presto card

The Presto contactless smart card system was first trialled back in 2007, and started the full rollout in 2009. The card can be used across 11 different transit systems in the areas covered.

Apple Wallet support was first promised many years ago, but things went quiet until a “coming soon” announcement back in May of this year.

Although the contactless terminals allow the use of credit and debit cards for regular fares, a Presto card is needed for monthly passes and discounted travel.

Apple Wallet support now available

The company made the announcement today.

Tap to ride with PRESTO on iPhone and Apple Watch.

Traveling around town just got easy with your PRESTO in Apple Wallet. With Express Mode, you don’t need to wake or unlock your iPhone or Apple Watch or open any apps to use PRESTO in Apple Wallet. Just hold your device near the reader to pay and go.

Ride, even when your iPhone needs a charge

If your iPhone needs a charge, PRESTO Card in Apple Wallet will still work. Power Reserve provides up to five hours of support, so you can still ride.

Reload on the go. 

With your PRESTO card on your iPhone and Apple Watch, you can easily load funds, right from Apple Wallet or PRESTO App. No need to visit a customer service outlet.

Extra security. Built right in 

PRESTO in Apple Wallet can take full advantage of the privacy and security features built into iPhone and Apple Watch. Your PRESTO card is stored on the device, which means Apple does not see when you use it—helping keep your data private and secure.

If you lose your iPhone or Apple Watch, you can use the Find My app to lock and help locate the device and suspend your PRESTO card or remotely erase the device and its cards.

Mobile Syrup reports that you can choose between adding your existing card to your Wallet, or creating a new one.

There are two ways to add a Presto card to Apple Wallet. You can either buy a new card or move your old one over using the Presto app.

That being said, for simplicity’s sake, unless you have a discounted Presto agreement like a student or senior plan, I think most riders will be happy just making a new card in Apple Wallet and loading funds from that app.

As with any digital card or pass, you can use either your iPhone or Apple Watch, but because each generates a unique virtual card number, you need to use the same device at both ends of your journey.

Express Transit feature

To minimize delays, Presto offers Express Transit support. This means that you don’t need to authenticate using Face ID or Touch ID on your iPhone, and you don’t need to double-tap the side button on your Apple Watch. Simply hold your device close to the pad and you’re good (a number of clues are used to detect fraudulent use).

Express Transit also has the advantage that it continues to work in Low Power mode, so you’ll still be able to complete your journey even if your phone or Watch is almost dead.

Image: Presto


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The OnePlus Pad 2 Wants to Be the iPad Air of Android Tablets



The original OnePlus Pad was a decent all-around Android tablet, but it was not amazing in any one area. Now, OnePlus is back with a new tablet device that packs more power, has a better screen, more speakers, and a higher starting price. OnePlus offers an Android tablet alternative that costs less than the latest iPad Airs, though it seems like it’s hewing very close to the rendition from 2023. 

The OnePlus Pad 2 is a one-size-fits-all 12.1-inch 3K tablet. At $550 for 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, it’s $70 more than the first OnePlus Pad, though it starts with more memory and twice as much internal storage as the first go around’s paltry 128 GB. It’s bigger than the 11.6 LCD on last year’s Pad, though now it’s beefed its resolution to 3K (3000 x 2120) with a stated 600 nits typical and 900 nits peak brightness. It has a variable refresh rate between 30 and 144 Hz, though it’s still an LCD screen, the same as the 2023 OnePlus Pad.

Just like last year’s version, the new Pad supports Dolby Atmos, but it boasts a six-stereo speaker configuration on either side of the device. It may not be as specifically sound-tailored as the Lenovo Tab Plus, but what’s promised is a solid middle ground. 

Last year’s tablet used MediaTek Dimensity 9000 CPU, which was good enough for most applications but not exactly top of its class. The Pad 2 is now powered with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 mobile chip. Gizmodo has already experienced some of the chip’s capabilities in Samsung’s latest foldables, and already it’s very promising. We haven’t yet had the chance to compare a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 tablet to Apple’s latest iPad Air with M2, though on the whole, M2 usually performs better than Qualcomm’s mobile chips in bare benchmark tests. How much that matters depends on what programs you expect to use on your tablet. 

Image: OnePlus

Every device maker thinks they need AI to compete, and OnePlus isn’t an outlier here. There are promised “AI Toolbox” features like AI text-to-speech and recording summaries. The AI Eraser 2.0 will also work like Google’s Magic Eraser to remove unwanted photo elements. 

There’s a new $99 OnePlus Stylo 2 and a $150 Oneplus Smart Keyboard to accompany the new tablet. Despite the size and price difference, there will be many similarities between last year’s and the 2024 model. The Pad 2 has the same 9,510 mAh battery as last year’s, plus the 67W “SUPERVOOC” fast charging. It promises 43 days of standby time, though in our experience, the first Pad’s lifespan and promised “one-month standby life” was far more modest in practice, lasting most of the day before needing a recharge. 

With a bigger screen, the upcoming Pad 2 is slightly heavier than last year’s rendition. It weighs about 1.3 pounds, so it’s exactly between the 11- and 13-inch iPad Airs or slightly more than the base 11-inch Galaxy Tab S9 (and far less than the humongous Tab S9 Ultra). It will be relatively thin at 6.49 mm, but it’s not beating the iPad Air’s 6.1 mm or the iPad Pro 13-inch’s holy grail 5.1 mm.

The first OnePlus Pad didn’t exactly break new ground in any one category, though it did show Android tablets had legs. We’ve seen attempts from Goole and its Pixel Tablet, though that, too, wasn’t the pioneer of Android tablets. A better chip and more speakers do seem promising, though, in its effort to be everything to everyone, we’ll need to see if it manages to stand out in any area.

The OnePlus Pad 2 is now available for preorder. It should be available on the OnePlus website starting July 30 and on Amazon starting August.



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