Hello, my name is Sachin Bahal. I’m currently studying at Ryerson University in their journalism program.  When it comes to writing and reporting,  I tend to focus the issues that matter the most.

In my spare time, I try to write as much as possible on my other website: TheCanadianTechie, as you can tell by the name it has a focus on technology news and culture that is more tailored towards Canadian consumers.



Self-Driving Cars: Are You Ready?

We’ve all seen the movies, how in the “future” we will all have hoverboards (like the ones in Back To The Future 2) and flying cars. They also show that we won’t actually have to drive our cars either because they’ll be able to drive themselves as we kick back and relax.

While we still might be a long way from flying cars, we’re closer than you think with self-driving cars.  Some aspects of self-driving cars are already available on certain vehicles.  Options like lane assist, adaptive cruise-control, self-parking and rear proximity sensors.

Let’s take a look at some of the technology behind self-driving cars.

Self-driving cars use a combination of cameras, sensors, as well as special software.


One of the technologies that Google uses in their self-driving cars is called Lidar. It stands for light detection and ranging. It essentially creates a 3D map, so the car will be able to detect potential hazards by bouncing a laser beam off of surfaces near the car, so it can tell how far the car is from those objects. Think of it like a digitized measuring tape.

While the Lidar system is good for mapping out areas surrounding the car, it isn’t good at accurately determining the speed of other vehicles in real-time.

This is where the radar units, that are attached to the car’s bumpers, come into play. There are usually two radar sensors in each bumper.

These sensors can help the car avoid an impact with another vehicle or object. The sensors talk to the on-board computer by sending a signal to let it know when to apply the brakes before it collides with an oncoming car. It can also tell the car to steer out of the way of an object on the road to avoid an accident.

Some self-driving car technologies are using high-powered cameras in their setups. The cameras can see the car’s surroundings up to 30 metres away.

Another piece of technology that is used in self-driving cars is GPS (Global Positioning System). This is the same technology that is already in use for in-car navigation systems or on your smartphone. While a current GPS is accurate to within 4 metres, efforts are being made to improve GPS accuracy to within a centimetre, by making use of ground-based reference points in addition to satellite data.

All of the data from the Lidar, radars, sensors, cameras and GPS gets processed in real-time by sophisticated software, which runs on a powerful on-board computer. It is the computer that manipulates the car’s steering, acceleration and brakes.

So, where is General Motors when it comes to self-driving cars?

GM has announced that its Canadian Regional Engineering Centre in Oshawa will help play a leading role by building a fleet of self-driving 2017 Chevrolet Volts. The vehicles will be part of a bigger test program at the GM Technical Center in Warren, Michigan.

Employees at the Tech Center in Warren will be able to reserve one of the Volts using a car-sharing app, then select a destination. The self-driving car will be able to take them to their destination and then park itself.

To help improve upon the self-driving car technologies that GM has developed so far, GM announced in March 2016, that it was acquiring Cruise Automation, a San Francisco-based developer of autonomous vehicle technology.

So why the push for self-driving cars? The main reason is safety. Over 30,000 people a year die in car crashes in the U.S. and Canada. Approximately 1.25 million people die worldwide every year due to car accidents and an additional 20-50 million are injured or disabled.

“GM’s commitment to autonomous vehicles is inspiring, deliberate, and completely in line with our vision to make transportation safer and more accessible,” said Kyle Vogt, founder of Cruise Automation.

While there may be many people who will still prefer to drive their own cars, self driving cars are definitely in our future.  Are you ready?

To Toy Story Sequels and Beyond!

Toy Story has already spawned two sequels and another sequel is on its way.

Toy Story 2 was initially going to be a direct-to-video release but after the return of the cast from the first movie and the story prove to be better than just a direct-to-video release, the movie was given a theatrical release. The sequel focuses on Woody being stolen at a yard sale and the rest of the toys going to rescue him.

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Toy Story: 20 Years Later

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been 20 years since the release of Toy Story. In those two decades, two sequels have been released (with another coming in 2018), two television specials have aired and three of Disney’s theme parks around the world have a Toy Story-themed attraction. In the first five days of Toy Story’s release (on Thanksgiving weekend, November 22nd 1995), it earned over $39 million. It placed first at that weekend’s box office and it stayed at number one for the next two weekends.  Toy Story was the highest-grossing domestic film of 1995, beating out Batman Forever and Apollo 13. The film gained a total of more than $362 million worldwide. It also was the third highest-grossing animated film after The Lion King (1994) and Aladdin (1992).
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The rise of Canadian music

The number of Canadian singers and bands with songs on the Billboard Top 100 chart has increased drastically since 2006. This is because people discover artists and music via sites like YouTube or apps like Vines. Some artists share their music online on their own website and allow people to download them for free.

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Moto X – The Most Hyped-up Phone that Missed Expectations

After months of waiting and hundreds of rumours about the next flagship from Motorola after being acquired by Google, the Moto X is finally revealed. From above it seems like the Moto X is a awesome phone, with it’s blend of what both Motorola and Google have to offer.

Sure it can be customized in thousands of different ways, and you can control the device without even touching it or activate the camera with a simple gesture.

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Durham College receives donation from rotary club for CFF

The Rotary Club of Whitby has donated $20,000 to Durham College’s Centre for Food (CFF), located at the DC Whitby campus.

Lovisa says the donation from the Rotary Club will be used to build an arboretum at the Centre for Food, which is a garden area with a collection of trees and shrubs. These will be used for educational purposes.

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Back To The Future: 30 Years Later

In the words of Doc Brown, Great Scott! It’s crazy to think that it has been 30 years since the first Back To The Future movie was released back in 1985. While the actual 30th anniversary was back in July, celebrations are underway for Back To The Future day, which is on October 21st 2015.

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Tim McTiernan reappointed as UOIT president

Dr. Tim McTiernan will get to keep his position as President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) for another four years as the Board of Governors of the university renewed his contract. His first term began on July 1st, 2011 and his second term will begin on July 1st 2016 and last until 2020.

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