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Apple Hello Again Event Roundup: New MacBook Pro Models, the 11.6” MacBook Air is Dead + More!

Apple Hello Again Event Roundup: New MacBook Pro Models, the 11.6” MacBook Air is Dead + More!

By Simon Hung

The iPhone and iPad reign supreme in Apple’s product strategy, so much so that their ubiquitous MacBook laptops have been somewhat neglected for the past few years, with incremental spec bumps and no major hardware revamps to their MacBook Pro line since 2012.

That changed today during Apple’s Hello Again Event, where they introduced three new MacBook Pro notebooks, right in time for the holiday season. The new products borrow several cues from the single-port MacBook introduced in 2015, including the butterfly keyboard and all-metal design, while adding some new tricks like Touch ID.

The new MacBook Pro includes a Touch Bar and Touch ID.

We’ve listed some of the notable features for the new MacBook Pro below along with some other tidbits from the keynote.

Product updates and Apple TV

The keynote began with Apple tooting their own horn, with updates on the success of the iPhone 7 and iOS 10, Apple Pay’s launch in Japan and a new website dedicated to accessibility.

Apple TV was the first product to be featured, with the announcement of Minecraft coming soon along with interactive NFL livestreams through Twitter, though the latter is irrelevant to Canadians (thanks, Rogers).

A new TV app was also demoed, with the ability to consolidate video from your media apps into a single interface, with curated suggestions and Siri functionality to provide what Apple calls a “unified TV experience.” The app is also available on iOS and will be available later this year via a free update in the United States with no mention of a Canadian release.


Apple’s three new MacBook Pro laptops were unveiled next, with a new design, some interesting omissions and an obligatory video narrated by Jony Ive. We’ve listed the key features and prices for each one below along with more details about the biggest new upgrades afterwards.

The new MacBook Pro is available in 13.3" or 15.4" sizes.

13.3” MacBook Pro with Traditional Function Keys (Starting at $1899.00)

  • All-metal design with Retina Display (2560 x 1600 resolution at 227 pixels per inch)
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports and a headphone jack
  • 17% thinner than the previous generation
  • Butterfly mechanism keyboard with larger Force Touch trackpad and improved speakers
  • Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, up to 16GB RAM, up to 1TB SSD and integrated Intel Iris graphics

13.3” MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (Starting at $2299.00)

  • All-metal design with Retina Display (2560 x 1600 resolution at 227 pixels per inch)
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports and a headphone jack
  • 17% thinner than the previous generation
  • Butterfly mechanism keyboard with larger Force Touch trackpad and improved speakers
  • Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, up to 16GB RAM, up to 1TB SSD and integrated Intel Iris graphics

15.4” MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (Starting at $2999.00)

  • All-metal design with Retina Display (2880 x 1800 resolution at 220 pixels per inch)
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports and a headphone jack
  • 14% thinner than the previous generation
  • Butterfly mechanism keyboard with larger Force Touch trackpad and improved speakers
  • Intel Core i7 processors, 16GB RAM, up to 2TB SSD and discrete AMD Radeon Pro with integrated Intel HD 530 graphics

That Touch Bar

The biggest change was the long-rumoured removal of the function keys for the new Touch Bar. Apple stated that they chose to replace antiquated function keys with an input method that can dynamically change depending on the app.

Apple removed the function keys to add more functionality and Touch ID.

The Touch Bar can display things such as system controls, typing suggestions and more, depending on the program and usage scenario. You can display the function and escape keys on the Touch Bar if needed and the entry-level MacBook Pro includes traditional physical function keys.

Touch ID is also integrated on the right side of the Touch Bar, which serves as the power button and as a method to quickly switch user accounts or pay for items using Apple Pay.

The Ports (or lack thereof)

The new MacBook Pro includes up to four Thunderbolt 3 ports (via a USB Type-C connector) and a headphone jack. While Thunderbolt 3 is versatile and can be used for power (any of the ports can be used for charging), display output and more, the new model loses the magnetic MagSafe power connector, standard USB ports, native HDMI output and SD card reader found in the previous generation and owners will likely need adapters to use accessories.

While versatile, new MacBook Pro owners will likely need adapters to use accessories.

You’ll need a dongle to charge an iPhone. You’ll need a dongle to access a USB hard drive. You’ll need a dongle to plug in an SD card. You’ll need a dongle to use an external display. You’ll need a dongle to get wired internet. You’ll need a dongle to use a mouse. You’ll need a dongle to use a USB hub so you can charge an iPhone, access a USB hard drive, plug in an SD card and use a mouse at the same time.

It’s a messy solution to solve problems that really shouldn’t exist with a product at this price, but it’s a route that Apple has unequivocally taken with their products in recent years.

No MacBook Air updates

Much to the disappointment of average consumers and college students, Apple made no updates to their cheapest and most popular laptop, the MacBook Air. Instead, they chose to quietly discontinue the 11.6” MacBook Air and made a mention of positioning the new entry-level MacBook Pro alongside the 13.3” MacBook Air, despite the $700.00 price difference.

Apple will only carry the 13.3” MacBook Air moving forward, retaining the same design, last-generation processors and lacklustre 1440 x 900 display.

With the announcement of the new MacBook Pro models, expect to see modest discounts on 2015 MacBook Pro hardware as well as the 11.6” MacBook Air during the upcoming holiday shopping season as retailers try to clear excess inventory. While steep discounts are unlikely, be sure to keep your eyes open if you’ve been in the market for a MacBook Pro or if you just want a MacBook laptop that includes standard USB ports.

Excited to see a new MacBook design? Disappointed in the announcement? Wished there was a MacBook Air update? Sick of needing a million dongles? Let us know how you feel about the new MacBook Pro or if you plan to get one!

November 2016 Video Game Release Dates

November 2016 Video Game Release Dates

By Ambia Staley

The year may be winding down, but there are still plenty of new video games to pick up this November! If you're looking for something to pass the time on cold days, check out this month's new titles, including Mario Party Star Rush and Pokemon Sun/Moon for the Nintendo 3DS, and after its last minute delay, Final Fantasy XV for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will finally hit store shelves later in the month.

If you're looking for even more titles to play, you can check out our list of releases for past months including August, September, and October.

Without further ado our list of November's video game releases below:

  • BlazBlue: Central Fiction (PS3/PS4) - November 1
  • Earth’s Dawn (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - November 1
  • Owlboy (PC) - November 1
  • Root Letter (PS4/PS Vita) - November 1
  • Seraph (PS4) - November 1
  • Super Dungeon Bros (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - November 1
  • Xanadu Next (PC) - November 3
  • Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - November 4
  • Football Manager 2017 (PC) - November 4
  • Mario Party Star Rush (3DS) - November 4
  • Moto Racer 4 (PS4/Xbox One/PC/Mac) - November 4
  • Trillion: God of Destruction (PC) - November 7
  • Cartoon Network: Battle Crashers (PS4/ XBOX One/ 3DS) - November 8
  • Eagle Flight (PSVR) - November 8
  • Harvest Moon: Skytree Village (3DS) - November 8
  • Lethal VR (Vive) - November 8
  • Robinson: The Journey (PSVR) - November 8
  • Small Radios, Big Televisions (PS4/PC) - November 8
  • Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization (PS4/PS Vita) - November 8
  • Transport Fever (PC) - November 8
  • Motorsport Manager (PC) - November 10
  • Senran Kagura: Bon Appetit! Full Course (PC) - November 10
  • Tyranny (PC) - November 10
  • Candle (PC/Mac/Linux) - November 11
  • Dishonored 2 (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - November 11
  • Assassin's Creed: Ezio Collection (PS4/Xbox One) - November 11
  • Silence (PC) - November 11
  • Watch Dogs 2 (PS4/Xbox One) - November 15
  • Planet Coaster (PC) - November 17
  • Killing Floor 2 (PS4/Xbox One) - November 18
  • Pokémon Sun and Moon (3DS) - November 18
  • Yesterday Origins (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - November 19
  • Darksiders: Warmastered Edition (PC) - November 29
  • The Crew Calling All Units (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - November 29
  • Final Fantasy XV (PS4/Xbox One) - November 29
  • Star Trek: Bridge Crew (Rift/Vive/PSVR) - November 29
  • Watch Dogs 2 (PC) - November 29

Release date TBA:

  • The Walking Dead: A New Frontier (PS3/PS4/PS Vita/Xbox 360/Xbox One/PC/Mac/iOS/Android)

Looking forward to any of November's releases? Let us know in the comments below!

Cheap Thrills: How to Throw a Halloween Bash on a Budget

Cheap Thrills: How to Throw a Halloween Bash on a Budget

By Amanda Aikman

When it comes to parties, Halloween parties are our favourite. You get to dress up in costumes, transform your home with cool, spooky decor, and eat appetizers that look like body parts. What could be more fun?

If you're looking to throw a Halloween bash to remember, but on a budget you'd rather forget, fear not. We've got a few affordable Halloween party tricks up our sleeves.

1. Dollar Store Decor

Plastic vampire teeth make cute napkin rings, black crows perched on chandeliers and bookshelves add a chic-but-creepy touch, and a couple of bags of cobwebs go a long way to upping the fear factor in your home. Other affordable dollar-store decor includes rubber rats and bats, foam skulls and gravestones, witches hats, and candles.... lots of candles.

2. Host a Haunted Potluck

Feeding hungry Halloween revelers can be pricey. Instead of doing it all on your own, get your guests involved with a potluck party. Make it fun by incorporating a Halloween theme or offering a prize for creepiest concoction. Some fun and festive foods include a pumpkin cheese ball and spider deviled eggs. For something a bit scarier, go for the shrimp brain cocktail!

Photo from

3. Dress up for Less

Just because you can spend a fortune on a costume in a Halloween store, doesn't mean you have to. Try repurposing old costumes, clothing, and household items or adding low-cost touches from thrift stores to come up with costumes like Derek Zoolander, Wilson from Home Improvement or a contestant on The Price is Right.

Photo from

4. Affordable Fun and Games

If you're looking to break the dry ice at your spooky party, one of these low-cost games might do the trick (or treat). More mature party goers might appreciate a murder-mystery evening or a rousing round of Halloween-themed beer pong, while kids can try their hands at pass the pumpkin or mummy wrap.

5. Check For Coupons

Right now we've got two great Halloween candy coupons -- $2 off $10 at Giant Tiger and $3 off $10 at Bulk Barn!

Now that you've got your home, menu, costume, and activities taken care of, all that's left is to relax, hit play on "Monster Mash" and enjoy the party. Happy Halloween!

Best Buy Raises Free Shipping Threshold to $35.00

Best Buy Raises Free Shipping Threshold to $35.00

By Simon Hung

One month after raised their free shipping threshold, Best Buy has quietly done the same in their online store, as you’ll now have to spend a minimum of $35.00 to qualify for free shipping.

The $10.00 increase doesn’t come as a complete surprise for many, as some forum members had speculated that the increase was inevitable after changed their shipping policy.

Best Buy is replicating by increasing their free shipping threshold by $10.00.

Back in 2010, Best Buy and Indigo both lowered their free shipping thresholds from $39.00 to $25.00 in an effort to remain competitive with and it appears that Best Buy is replicating’s strategy yet again. As of October 21, Indigo’s free shipping threshold is still $25.00.

If your Best Buy order is below $35.00, you’ll have to pay a shipping fee of $4.99 or higher, depending on shipping location and product size -- click here for more information about Best Buy’s shipping and delivery policies.

Let us know how you feel about the change and if it'll affect your spending habits at Best Buy!

Hundreds of Free Pumpkin Carving Stencils and Templates for Halloween 2016!

Hundreds of Free Pumpkin Carving Stencils and Templates for Halloween 2016!

By Elaine Jair

It's that time of year again! Sharpen those carving knives and get ready to delve into your pumpkin with one of many free downloadable pumpkin carving templates. From traditional Halloween stencils to more obscure pop culture stencils, we've found free stencils that are suitable for anybody. Keep reading for hundreds of free stencils!

Have fun and practice safe carving!

Nintendo Officially Unveils the Nintendo Switch Console

Nintendo Officially Unveils the Nintendo Switch Console

By Ambia Staley

Finally ending over a year of endless rumours surrounding their next generation console, Nintendo officially announced the Nintendo Switch, earlier today.

Nintendo's Switch announcement streamed online earlier today.

Previously known by its codename, the "NX", the Nintendo Switch is a hybrid home and mobile console as some earlier rumours speculated. Based on trailers, the Switch appears to have both a dock that allows you to game on your television, as well as a detachable tablet screen for on-the-go gaming.

The new controllers, dubbed "Joy-Con" can be attached to a central unit making a single game controller called the "Joy-Con Grip", or they can be separated and then slid onto the sides of the tablet screen to create something resembling the current Wii U gamepad. Alternatively, the two main pieces of the controller can be used independently in each hand for more comfortable gameplay. If none of these options are to your liking, Nintendo will also offer a "Pro Controller" option, similar to what exists with the Wii U.

The Pro Controller, one of the many options offered for the Switch.

Game cartridges this time around look quite small, with the preview video showing something around the size of a typical SD card being inserted into the system (although at this point it's not confirmed if this indeed is the game cartridge). Gaming prospects for the Switch already appear to have more promise than the Wii U, with Nintendo saying they have support from many popular developers including Square Enix, Ubisoft, Capcom, Konami, and more, along with their usual first-party titles such as Mario and The Legend of Zelda.

A look at what may be the game cartridge.

The Nintendo Switch will be released worldwide in March 2017. Prices are yet to be announced.

Are you excited for the Nintendo Switch? Will you be picking one up? Let us know in the comments!

The PRESTO Beginner’s Guide for TTC Riders

The PRESTO Beginner’s Guide for TTC Riders

By Simon Hung

Welcome to the world of tomorrow (or yesterday, depending on who you ask).

Transit riders in Toronto are in for a major change in 2017, because the TTC is slated to fully adopt PRESTO -- the smart fare card that will replace tickets, tokens and passes. The PRESTO rollout has been ongoing since 2015 and while it has been frustrating for early adopters due to spotty coverage (not all subway stations and buses are PRESTO-ready), only PRESTO or cash will be accepted as fare once the rollout is complete.

TTC CEO Andy Byford answers some common questions about PRESTO.

With this big change on the horizon and the fact that some many people do not like change, we’ve made this beginner’s guide to teach you some basics about PRESTO along with some savvy tips to make the most out of your fancy new green card.

What is it?

PRESTO is the long-awaited fare card implemented by many transit agencies across Ontario, including GO Transit, York Region Transit, UP Express and more. Finally coming to the TTC in 2017, the card is “smart” and knows the correct amount to deduct whenever you tap it on a reader, which means you no longer have to fiddle with change or tokens.

How do I get one?

New cards are available online and at customer service outlets for an activation fee of $6.00 and a minimum pre-load of $10.00. You can load a card with any amount from $10.00 to $1000.00, which means the minimum upfront cost of a PRESTO card is $16.00.

You can waive the activation fee with a minimum pre-load of $10.00 at PRESTO events that occur at various locations throughout the year -- click here for a list of upcoming events.

How to use on the TTC

The TTC charges a single fare per trip ($2.90 for adults and $1.95 for seniors and students), which means you only need to tap once at the beginning of your trip on a green card reader. You'll also need to tap if you transfer routes, but you won't be charged an additional fare.

You'll see a checkmark and hear a beep when tapping your card.

Upon tapping your card onto a reader, you’ll hear a beep and see a green checkmark on-screen to verify that the correct fare was deducted from the card. Otherwise, you’ll see a red X and hear a doleful tone which indicates that there was an error, usually insufficient funds.

Currently, PRESTO is accepted on all streetcar routes, select bus routes and most subway stations. When the rollout is complete, all vehicles and stations in the TTC network will accept PRESTO. With the implementation of PRESTO, the TTC has adopted an honour system where operators won’t actively check for fares from passengers, but fare inspectors will patrol routes and may ask to see proof of payment (POP). Failure to show proper POP can lead to a fine of $235.00 and up.

Tips and tricks

  • Load your card -- you can load your card via the PRESTO website and at self-serve reload stations located in select subway stations
  • Set up autoload -- setting up autoload will load your card automatically when it drops below a certain threshold, which is handy if you don’t want to manually reload your card
Self-serve reload machines are located across the PRESTO network and loads cards instantly.
  • Senior and student fare -- seniors (age 65+) and students (age 13-19) are eligible for a lower fare of $1.95, but you’ll need to visit Davisville Station to verify eligibility
  • Check your balance -- regularly check your balance and transactions to ensure you’re not being charged incorrectly. You can dispute a charge with PRESTO if you were overcharged, but hopefully they won’t send you a single token as compensation
  • Register your card -- register your card online in case it ever gets lost or stolen. You can freeze your account and have a new card sent with your balance intact
  • Tax credits -- you can download your Transit Usage Report via your account page to verify eligibility for the Federal Public Transit Tax Credit during tax season


  • It's easy to use -- there are a few hoops, hurdles, troubles and growing pains during the rollout stages, but once everything is up-and-running accordingly, PRESTO is simple and easier to manage than tokens and tickets
  • Consistency -- the adoption of PRESTO on the TTC and other agencies in Ontario means that commuters from surrounding boroughs can seamlessly travel between different agencies
You'll also see new fare gates at subway stations as part of the TTC's modernization efforts.
  • Modernization -- with PRESTO, the TTC has finally adopted a modern payment system similar to other major transit agencies around the world


  • Many problems -- despite the positives, there's been a concerning trend of numerous hoops, hurdles, troubles and growing pains that have plagued PRESTO
  • Children -- kids under the age of 13 ride for free on the TTC, but for some reason they need a special PRESTO card to ride
  • Reload delay -- when loading your card online, there’s a 24-hour delay before the balance actually updates on your card, which is cumbersome for those who need funds in a pinch. Loading funds via a self-serve kiosk is instantaneous
  • No sharing -- since PRESTO is “smart” and can recognize when you’ve tapped, it rejects subsequent taps to avoid overcharging. As a result, friends or family who don’t have a card can’t use yours and must pay cash. Other agencies support multiple fares on one card, but the TTC currently does not
  • Senior and student fares -- seniors and students have to visit Davisville Station to verify eligibility for lower fares. You only have to do it once, but it’s an annoying, out-of-the-way task for many riders

Things we want

  • Passes -- Metropass users will have to wait for details about how the TTC plans to implement monthly passes onto PRESTO. As of now, there is no option to load a weekly or monthly pass onto cards
  • An app -- there’s no official PRESTO app to manage your card, but the PRESTO site was recently updated to be mobile-friendly, so we have that going for us, which is nice
  • Digital wallets -- similarly, it'd be nice if PRESTO was able to integrate with digital wallets like Apple Pay. They announced plans in 2015, but details have been scarce since then
  • Credit or debit fares -- the TTC has mentioned plans to implement a tap and pay system for single fares with credit or debit, but you’ll need exact change for fare until then
  • Time-based fares -- since 2005, the TTC has run a pilot program on the 512 St. Clair route for time-based transfers, a special transfer which grants unlimited travel on the route for two hours. There are currently no plans to implement a time-based system, even though it would be useful for round trips on the same route as you’d only have to pay once

This guide focuses on using PRESTO with the TTC, but note that fares and tapping procedures will vary with other transit agencies -- click here to view agencies that accept PRESTO and their fare guidelines.

Have you used PRESTO since its TTC launch in 2015? Are you looking forward to using PRESTO on a regular basis? What features do you want to see added? Join the conversation or visit our PRESTO forum thread to share your thoughts or concerns with other PRESTO-users in preparation for the big change in 2017!

Here's How to Return Your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in Canada

Here's How to Return Your Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in Canada

By Ambia Staley

Earlier this week amidst continuing reports of fires, Samsung decided to permanently stop production of its Galaxy Note 7 phones.

With the announcement, comes a brand new set of questions from consumers who were told to immediately stop using and return the phones. Where can Canadians return the devices and what are their options going forward? If you're the owner of an original or replacement Galaxy Note 7, take a look below to see how you can get a refund from various cellular providers around Canada.


If you purchased your Note 7 through Samsung or an authorized reseller, bring the device back to the location you purchased it from beginning on October 13. You can then exchange your Note 7 towards a Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge device. Alternately, you can choose to receive a refund for the Note 7 phone and any Note 7 specific accessories.

If your Note 7 was purchased via, you can receive a refund upon receipt of the recalled Note 7 devices. Samsung will email online customers beginning October 13 to provide more instructions.


According to Roger's website, exchange process details will be available in full shortly and they are urging customers to power down and stop using their Note 7 devices immediately.


Bell customers can take their Samsung Note 7 to the Bell store which is was originally purchased and receive a refund, or exchange the phone towards another device. If you purchased your phone online, you are urged to call Bell customer service for more details.


Telus customers are asked to immediately power down their Note 7s and return it to their nearest Telus store for an exchange.

Samsung's exchange and refund procedures should apply to most mobile carriers, but if your mobile carrier is not listed here, it is suggested you contact your provider's customer service department for more details. We'll keep this article updated as more refund details are released.

McDonald's Monopoly is Back for 2016!

McDonald's Monopoly is Back for 2016!

By Simon Hung

It’s time to feast on McDonald’s for the next month, because the popular McDonald’s Monopoly is back for 2016 and you have a one-in-five chance to win prizes including a $2000 Hudson’s Bay gift card, 2017 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen Alltrack, a dream vacation from Travel Nation Canada and more!

This year's prizes include a $10,000 cash prize, Polaris snowmobile and more!

There are two types of prizes available -- property set prizes where you must collect a set of game pieces from the same colour group and instant prizes, which award prizes immediately. You can click here to track how many of the major prizes have been claimed throughout the promotion and we’ve listed this year’s prizes below. We've also included the odds of collecting the rarest pieces from each property set.

Property Set Prizes

  • Brown -- $100.00 cash prize (2000 available); Rideau Canal (1 in 39,622)
  • Light Blue -- Berkley family fishing equipment package (10 available); Mackenzie River (1 in 7,924,366)
  • Pink -- $10,000 cash prize (10 available); Percé Rock (1 in 7,924,366)
  • Orange -- A free year of movies from Cineplex (10 available); Tunnels of Moose Jaw (1 in 7,924,366)
  • Red -- $5000.00 Vanilla prepaid card (4 available); Confederation Bridge (1 in 19,810,913)
  • Yellow -- Polaris snowmobile (10 available); Whistler (1 in 7,924,366)
  • Green -- $2000.00 Hudson’s Bay gift card (4 available); Portage and Memorial (1 in 19,810,913)
  • Dark Blue -- 2017 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen Alltrack (5 available); Fairmont Le Château Frontenac (1 in 15,848,731)
  • Airports -- Travel Nation Canada dream vacation (20 available); Vancouver Airport (1 in 3,962,183)

Instant Prizes

  • 12-month subscription to CraveTV and 49” curved smart TV (10 available)
  • Polaris Sportsman ATV (10 available)
  • $10,000.00 cash prize (11 available)
  • Xbox One S console (100 available)
  • Abu Garcia fishing rods and reels (200 available)
  • Monopoly Millionaire games (300 available)
  • $50.00 McDonald’s Card (600 available)
  • $50.00 Vanilla prepaid card (600 available)
  • Roku 3 Streaming Player (925 available)
  • EA Sports FIFA 17 (1000 available)
  • iON SnapCam Lite Cameras (1300 available)
  • $100.00 cash prize (5000 available)
  • $10.00 McDonald’s Card (20,000 available)
  • $5.00 and $10.00 Hudson’s Bay promotional gift cards (75,000 available)
  • 3-month premium subscription to Texture (1,500,000 available)
  • Millions of McDonald’s food prizes

To get started, click here to download this year’s game board and buy food products that include game pieces to collect properties (game boards are also available in restaurants). There’s also an online tool to help track your collected properties if you prefer to manage them digitally. We’ve listed the food products that include Monopoly game pieces below.

Entrées and Sides

  • 10 or 20-piece Chicken McNuggets
  • Big Mac or Double Big Mac
  • Country Chicken Sandwich
  • French Fries (large)
  • Quarter Pounder with Cheese, Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese or Double Quarter Pounder BLT
  • Signature Chicken or Veggie McWrap


  • Egg, Bacon ‘n Egg or Sausage ‘n Egg McMuffin
  • Hash Browns
  • Signature More-ning McWrap

Drinks and Desserts

  • Fountain Drinks (medium or large)
  • McCafé Premium Tea, Mocha, Latte, Cappuccino, Americano or Deluxe Hot Chocolate (medium or large)
  • McFlurry (regular)
  • Triple Thick Milkshake

Click here to view the complete rules for the promotion, including instructions on how to get a game piece without purchasing a food product!

What prizes do you hope to win this year? Did you get an uber-rare game piece with your Big Mac? Let us know and be sure to collect as many game pieces as you can before the promotion ends on November 14!

Danier Returns to Canada Under New Ownership

Danier Returns to Canada Under New Ownership

By Ambia Staley

After entering insolvency and closing all stores earlier this year, Danier has re-entered the Canadian retail market this fall under new ownership.

The newly relaunched brand has dropped "Leather" from its name, and along with its new ownership and name change, comes a new strategy that hopes to make the brand accessible to a wider market. While the old Danier focused on leather goods, the new stores will have a lighter and more modern feel with a reasonable price range and a wider variety of clothing and accessories such as wool jackets and sweaters, silk shirts, nylon bags, and more options for both men and women.

Olga Koel, Danier's Managing Director says the brand will focus on opening several new locations and expanding first within Ontario. As of now, the relaunched Danier has locations open in the Oshawa Shopping Centre, and Burlington's Mapleview Shopping Centre, with a new location set to open in Newmarket's Upper Canada Mall on October 13, 2016.

Are you happy to see the return of Danier? Have you visited any of the new locations? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Samsung Permanently Stops Production of the Galaxy Note 7 Over Fire Concerns

Samsung Permanently Stops Production of the Galaxy Note 7 Over Fire Concerns

By Ambia Staley

After 2 months filled with reports of burning phones and other safety concerns, Samsung announced earlier today that it is permanently stopping production of its Galaxy Note 7 Smartphones.

After initial reports of igniting phones in early September, Samsung issued a recall of 2.5 million Note 7s, and delayed the shipment of new devices in hopes of fixing the issue.

After the initial recall, Samsung said it had identified a manufacturing defect in the batteries as the cause of the fires. Shortly afterwards, new phones began shipping to consumers, however it was not long before reports surfaced of the replacements catching fire as well. The new reports of ignitions prompted a series of new warnings from phone companies, regulators, and even a variety of airlines have banned or asked customers not to use the phone on flights.

One of several replacement Note 7 phones said to have caught fire

The decision to scrap the phone is a huge blow not only to the company's reputation, but to its pockets as well. Analysts have estimated that the decision to pull the plug on the phone could cost Samsung as much as $17 billion, and may cost them even more depending on how much their reputation has been effected by this issue.

The Galaxy Note series is not the most popular selling Samsung Phone, as the Galaxy S series sells more units, however it is still a significant blow. Since this morning's announcement, Samsung stock has dropped 7.5%. At this time its unknown whether Samsung will ever relaunch the Note 7, or if consumers will have to wait for the Note 8.

Details regarding refunds for Note 7 owners are expected to be announced shortly.

Do you use the Note 7 or another Samsung device? What are your thoughts regarding this announcement? Do you plan to keep using Samsung phones, or will you switch? Let us know in the comments!

Cineplex Raises Ticket Prices in Theatres Across Canada

Cineplex Raises Ticket Prices in Theatres Across Canada

By Simon Hung

You’ll need to pay more the next time you see a movie at Cineplex, because the theatre has raised their prices by up to $0.51 per ticket in theatres across Canada.

In an internal memo obtained by Global News via Reddit, the theatre notes provincial minimum wage increases as the primary factor behind the move and that price increases will vary by province -- between $0.22 and $0.51 per ticket.

The increase went into effect October 1 and not all theatres will see higher prices, according to a statement to Global News from Sarah Van Lange, director of communications for Cineplex Entertainment. Van Lange also stated that the price hike was made to help offset rising operating and real estate costs.

After some investigating of our own, we discovered that prices had risen in all of the theatres we tested in the Greater Toronto Area, including popular cinemas like Scotiabank Theatre, Yonge-Dundas, Queensway and Vaughan.

Toronto's Scotiabank Theatre received the maximum price increase of $0.51 per ticket (before on left).

We noticed that high-traffic theatres located in downtown Toronto received the maximum price increase of $0.51 while the Vaughan cinema located in a more rural area only received a bump of $0.26, so it looks like theatres in more populous areas received larger price hikes. All formats seemed to be affected by the change, including premium 3D, UltraAVX and IMAX tickets. Child and senior ticket prices remain unchanged.

The theatre in Vaughan only received a modest price bump of $0.26 per ticket (before on left).

Cineplex employs approximately 13,000 people (roughly 89% of which receive an hourly wage) and the price increase comes despite the fact that Cineplex had recorded a record-breaking $1.4 billion in revenue this past year.

Promotions including Tuesday pricing and SCENE member benefits will remain unchanged, but this move will draw the ire of those who frequent Cineplex theatres to watch movies, especially after Cineplex changed SCENE point redemption thresholds last year.

How will you cope with the price hike? Stock up on cereal boxes? Cut back on movie theatre popcorn? Hide your friends in an extra-long trench coat to save money? Binge-watch Netflix movies instead? Share your frustration and join the conversation in the comments!

Made By Google Event Roundup: The New Nexus is a Pixel, Chromecast Gets 4K and More!

Made By Google Event Roundup: The New Nexus is a Pixel, Chromecast Gets 4K and More!

By Simon Hung

While you were enjoying lunch on a lovely Tuesday afternoon, Google was busy holding their #MadeByGoogle Event, introducing a number of products designed by Google and releasing in the near-future.

We count four sick Apple burns in this Pixel introduction video.

While this particular keynote was marred by several leaks leading up the event, Google officially unveiled their new products and couldn't help but take a few swipes at their rivals in Cupertino along the way. We've listed all of the announcements from the keynote below in the order in which they were presented.

Google Assistant

Originally announced during the Google I/O Event in May, Google showcased more of its smart assistant, capable of holding natural conversations and understanding context while integrating with Google’s new line of products, allowing it to be wherever you are.

Google Assistant is at your beck and call at any time.

Google’s efforts with machine learning was also highlighted, specifically their artificial intelligence initiatives -- including natural language processing, voice recognition and image recognition -- that have improved as a result of Google’s Knowledge Graph.


Google’s much-anticipated, highly-leaked new smartphone was the next highlight of the keynote, as Google officially announced the Pixel and Pixel XL.

Google's new Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones start at $899.00 and $1049.00, respectively.

Abandoning the Nexus branding, these new phones take on the Pixel moniker that Google has previously used for Chromebooks, with the company taking an approach similar to Apple by directly designing the hardware and software for the new flagships.

The phones feature a seamless aluminum and glass design with a 5” 1080p (Pixel) or 5.5” Quad HD (Pixel XL) display, a rear fingerprint reader, 4GB of RAM, 32 or 128GB of non-expandable storage, a 12.3MP camera with no unsightly camera bump, 8MP selfie cam and 3.5mm headphone jack. Aside from screen-size, both phones feature identical internal specs.

Google displayed some courage by including a headphone jack.

A significant amount of time was also spent praising the camera, which Google calls the best smartphone camera ever, featuring a best-ever 89 DxOMark Mobile score, optical image stabilization and free unlimited photo and video storage via Google Drive. Like Nexus phones, these Pixels are loaded with Android without any skins or bloatware and will receive the latest Android updates as soon as they’re available. Battery-wise, Google touts an all-day battery with the ability to fast-charge to up to seven hours of use from 15 minutes of charging.

Legend says these colour names were inspired by Doge.

The Pixel and Pixel XL are available for pre-order now and come in Quite Black, Very Silver and limited-edition Really Blue colours, starting at $899.00 for the Pixel and $1049.00 for the Pixel XL.


Daydream -- Google’s entrant into the virtual reality market -- was the next to be featured, with the announcement of Daydream View, a VR headset made of soft fabric instead of hard plastic. Daydream View is compatible with any phone that meets Google’s Daydream-ready specification, including the new Pixel phones.

Daydream View is Google's VR headset for Daydream-ready phones.

Available in three stylish textiles (Snow, Slate and Crimson), Daydream View will release in November for $99.00.

Google Wifi

The next product to be unveiled was Google Wifi -- a router that’s designed to simplify home networking. Sold as a single device or pack of three, these white hockey puck-styled routers work with an accompanying Google Wifi app, which allows owners to manage devices easily and change settings such as device priority and parental controls. If purchased in a pack of three, the routers work together seamlessly to act as range extenders to provide Wi-Fi access throughout your home.

Google Wifi aims to make networking easy for everyone.

Google Wifi will available in Canada in 2017. Canadian prices are unknown, but at launch in the United States, they will cost $129.00 USD for one and $299.00 USD for a pack of three -- click here to learn more.

Chromecast Ultra

The popular Chromecast streamer was the next to receive the spotlight with the announcement of the Chromecast Ultra, which supports 4K streaming, HDR colour and Dolby Vision. The new streamer is also 1.8 times faster and features an integrated Ethernet port in the power adapter for wired networking. Google also announced the availability of 4K content on Google Play coming in November.

Chromecast Ultra can stream 4K content to your TV.

The Chromecast Ultra will be available in November for $90.00.

Google Home

The final product to be featured was Google Home, the smart hub that was introduced at Google I/O and meant to compete with similar hubs like the Amazon Echo. With a design “inspired by wine glasses and candles,” the device features a touchpad top and voice recognition to allow you to speak to it and control media or smart devices. Services including Spotify, Google Play Music, Nest, Philips Hue lighting and more will be integrated with the device at launch. Google Assistant is also built-in, allowing you to speak to it naturally and ask any weird, abstract questions you have on your mind.

Google Home comes in seven colours to fit any decor.

Like Google Wifi, Google Home will be available in Canada in 2017 and Canadian pricing is unknown. There are seven colour options and will cost $129.00 USD at launch in the United States -- click here to learn more.

What are you looking forward to the most? Happy that the Pixel includes a headphone jack? Disappointed that the pricing is more exorbitant than the previous Nexus phones? Afraid of the robot revolution with the new Google Assistant-enabled devices? Stick around and join the conversation by leaving your thoughts in the comments!

Costco to Open Seven New Stores in Canada in 2017

Costco to Open Seven New Stores in Canada in 2017

By Kate Musgrove

Great news, everyone! Costco revealed yesterday that they're planning on opening seven new Canadian stores in 2017! Costco currently operates 91 stores across Canada and typically opens one to three new stores in any given year.

So far no information has been released as to the specific locations of the new stores. Are you hoping one opens in your neighbourhood?

Visiting Canada's First Uniqlo on Opening Day

Visiting Canada's First Uniqlo on Opening Day

By Ambia Staley

Canada's first Uniqlo location opened today in Toronto's Eaton Centre, and we here at RFD decided to brave the crowds and lineups to get you a glimpse at what the popular Japanese retailer had to offer Canadian shoppers!

Hundreds of shoppers queued up for a chance to shop at Uniqlo on opening day

As today was the store's grand opening, it seemed as though all of Toronto turned out to shop. Over 1000 people waited in line just for a chance to be among the first to comb through store shelves. Uniqlo staff tried ease the restless crowds with free snacks, a raffle for a chance to win trip to Japan, and free tote bags for the first 500 customers through the doors.

A view of Uniqlo's exterior

After opening speeches, the doors to the store opened at 10:30 AM, and the line moved rather quickly. Surprisingly, despite being around 800th in line, we were able to get inside in just under 2 hours, versus the original 3 days we originally estimated it would take.

Uniqlo's packable vests, which are great for transitional seasons

Once inside, you're greeted on a red carpet by Uniqlo staff who hand you a shopping basket to hold all the goodies you're shopping for. The first floor is packed with flannel, wool sweaters and jackets, jeans, and other fashions for men and women. You can also shop a wide selection of Uniqlo's famous packable jackets and vests for between $59.90 and $89.90. These jackets are great to have on hand during the fall, as you can wear them on chilly mornings and then easily roll them up into a small pouch for storage in your bag on warmer afternoons.

Some of the products Uniqlo carries from Canadian designers and brands

This particular location also boasts a small area at the back of the first floor aptly titled "Uniqlo meets Toronto", where you can shop a small selection of items from Canadian designers like Drake General Store.

Once you head up to the second floor, you'll find more men's and women's fashions as well underwear, loungewear, and Uniqlo's popular Heattech clothing. You can also find a small selection of clothing for children and babies on this floor, but the selection is nothing compared to the options offered for adults.

Smart Pants are one of the many weekly deals you can find at Uniqlo

Price comparisons of Chinos and other pants in Japanese stores, which are similarly priced in Canada

Most surprisingly, prices in Canada do not vary much from those in Japan, which normally happens with most international retailers when they enter the Canadian market. While in Japan recently, I was lucky enough to view Uniqlo's fall collection during a preview show in a Tokyo store, and the majority of the items have made it across the ocean to Canada and sell for approximately the same price here as they do in Japan. For example, Uniqlo's Smart Style Pants are selling in Canada for $39.90 ($29.90 if you head in store during opening week), and in Japan, Smart Style pants and other dress pants are selling for 2,990¥, or about $38.70 CAD.

Uniqlo offers some great basic options for your wardrobe

Uniqlo is not known for it's cutting edge style, but it's a great place to go if you're looking to add basics like jeans, chinos, merino sweaters, and other items to your wardrobe. Prices are very reasonable, with the majority of the store priced under $100.00 -- the only exception being a few of the sturdier wool coats which are priced between $149.90 and $199.90. While prices are around the same as you'd find at H&M or Old Navy, the quality of the garments is quite a bit higher, which means your purchase will go a lot father than items bought from some of Uniqlo's competitors.

Currently, Uniqlo in the Eaton Centre is the only place you can shop Uniqlo in Canada, with a second location opening in Yorkdale Shopping Centre on October 20. At this point in time, Uniqlo does not have an online store for shoppers outside of the Toronto area.

Are you excited to see Uniqlo finally open its doors in Canada? Do you think the retailer will be successful? Let us know what you think in the comments!

BlackBerry Announces the End of All Internal Hardware Development

BlackBerry Announces the End of All Internal Hardware Development

By Ambia Staley

BlackBerry Ltd. is officially ending internal manufacturing of all hardware, announced chairman and CEO John Chen earlier this morning. This news comes on the heels of the Waterloo-based company reporting a net loss of $372 million over the last quarter.

The company will now focus on software and development in-house, while core hardware, including their namesake smartphone, will be outsourced to third-party manufacturers. Along with this news, it was also reported that Chief Financial Officer James Yersh would leave BlackBerry effective October 1 for personal reasons, with former Sybase executive Steven Capelli taking over the role.

Despite news of the major shift at the company, shares rose to $8.35, a 6.7% increase, in premarket trading. While the net loss is reported at $372 million, BlackBerry claims it breaks even after excluding one-time items.

This is just the latest shakeup at the once-powerhouse mobile company. In 2007 BlackBerry, then known as Research in Motion (RIM), was valued at $236 per share, and in 2009 made up 20% off all smartphones worldwide. In recent years stock usually hovers between $7 and $10 per share, with BlackBerry phones making up less than 1% of smartphones worldwide.

While this isn't the end of BlackBerry, it is a major change in direction for the Canadian company. What are your thoughts on BlackBerry's latest announcement? Do you think this strategic shift is enough to save the company? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Amazon Launches Free Same-Day Delivery for Prime Members in Toronto and Vancouver

Amazon Launches Free Same-Day Delivery for Prime Members in Toronto and Vancouver

By Simon Hung

Last week, quietly raised their free shipping threshold to $35.00. The contentious change affected those who aren’t subscribed to Amazon Prime the most and was largely seen as a strategy to increase Amazon Prime subscribers, as members receive free two-day shipping regardless of order size. Even so, only 2% of over 3000 users who voted in our poll said that they would subscribe to Amazon Prime as a result of the change.

Today, Amazon has made Prime a little more enticing for those in Toronto and Vancouver, as the company has introduced free same-day delivery for Prime members on orders over $25.00 in those two cities.

Free same-day delivery is now available for Prime members in Toronto and Vancouver.

At launch, about one million products in Toronto and 700,000 products in Vancouver are eligible for free same-day delivery, including cell phone accessories, diapers and more. Orders placed before noon will be delivered by 9:00 PM the same day while orders placed after the noon cutoff will ship the next day. Same-day delivery is available seven days a week, including weekends.

Alexandre Gagnon, country manager for, stated that the launch of Prime same-day delivery and the increased free shipping threshold for non-members are unrelated, but the timing of the events doesn’t seem like a fluke coincidence. Back in April, Amazon expanded their Amazon Logistics delivery service to Canada and has invested heavily in delivery assets to lay the groundwork for same-day delivery.

With the holiday season around the corner, free same-day delivery might be enough for some shoppers to subscribe to Amazon Prime for the convenience alone, but the service still doesn’t include some of the perks as the American equivalent, including instant video streaming and unlimited music streaming.

An Amazon Prime subscription costs $79.00 per year or $39.00 per year for eligible students. Free trials of the service are also available for those who have never used it. Click here to learn more about Prime delivery benefits and to see if your area is eligible for free same-day delivery.

Is free same-day delivery enough to get you to subscribe to Prime? Where do you want Amazon to expand this service next? Vote in our poll and leave a comment to let us know what you think!

Shomi, The Rogers Streaming Service, Shuts Down for Good November 30

Shomi, The Rogers Streaming Service, Shuts Down for Good November 30

By Kate Musgrove

Shomi, the streaming video service from Rogers and Shaw that launched to modest fanfare in 2014, is shutting down for good later this year. The last day of operations will be November 30, 2016.

The service was intended as a Canadian-owned alternative to Netflix and it cost $8.99 a month. From November 2014 to August 2015, it was available only to Rogers and Shaw subscribers. After August 2015 it was available as a standalone product.

Readers in the RFD forums started theorizing that Shomi was going to be discontinued a few months ago, since Rogers had started offering Netflix bundles.

It's estimated that Rogers will report a loss of $100-$140 million on Shomi in its third quarter 2016 earnings.

What are Hatchimals and Where Can You Get One?

What are Hatchimals and Where Can You Get One?

By Simon Hung

They’re expected to be one of the most popular toys this holiday season yet nobody has a clue what they look like. They’re called Hatchimals -- interactive eggs that require nurturing and patience before they “hatch” into a magical surprise creature. Once hatched, the walking, talking Hatchimal will continue to evolve and remain interactive with its owner.

This Hatchimals teaser doesn't reveal much about the mysterious toy.

Aimed at children age five and up, the toy was previewed earlier this year by Toronto-based company Spin Master to industry insiders and has since landed on must-have lists from both Toys R Us and Walmart. The toy has been shrouded in more secrecy than the contents of Area 51, but all will be revealed when Spin Master officially releases the toy on October 7, a day that they’ve dubbed Hatch Day.

The eggs "hatch" to reveal their unique design.

Only the speckled egg exterior has been shown thus far, while creature designs remain unknown. Children can choose a colour and one of four species when purchasing, but the Hatchimal inside is a mystery until it’s hatched. Those familiar with Pokémon GO can think of the toy like incubating eggs, as part of the thrill involves not knowing what’s inside until it’s hatched. Individual Hatchimals will vary even if you purchase the same colour and species as somebody else, so you’ve “gotta hatch ‘em all” to discover all of the unique designs.

If you’re wondering where you can get one, they’re currently available for pre-order from Indigo, Mastermind Toys, Toys R Us and Walmart starting at $79.97. We’ve listed the stores and prices below.

While you wait for Hatch Day, visit the Hatchimals website to interact with a virtual egg and be sure to visit on October 7 for the full reveal!

Fad or flop? How do you think these mysterious toys will fare during the holiday season? Do you plan on buying one (or several) for your child? Let us know what you think in the comments!

October 2016 Video Game Release Dates

October 2016 Video Game Release Dates

By Ambia Staley

With the weather cooling down, you may be looking to spend more of your time indoors than outdoors. If you're in need of something to pass the time, you're in luck as October 2016 has a long list of new video game releases coming your way! This month's notable releases include Paper Mario: Colour Splash for Wii U, World of Final Fantasy for PlayStation 4 and PS Vita, and Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

If you're looking for some games that are already on store shelves, you can check out our list of releases for past months including July, August, and September.

Need some ideas on what to play? Check out our list of October's video game releases below:

  • Aragami (PS4/PC) - October 4
  • Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 1 (PS4/Xbox One) - October 4
  • Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 2 (PS4/Xbox One) - October 4
  • Atlas Reactor (PC) - October 4
  • Rocksmith 2014 Edition Remastered (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - October 4
  • Warhammer: The End Times Vermintide (PS4/Xbox One) - October 4
  • Slain: Back from Hell (Xbox One) - October 5
  • Wheels of Aurelia (PS4/Xbox One) - October 5
  • Syndrome (PC) - October 6
  • Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location (PC) - October 7
  • Mafia III (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - October 7
  • Paper Mario Color Splash (Wii U) - October 7
  • The Silver Case (PC) - October 7
  • WRC 6 (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - October 7
  • 100ft Robot Golf (PS4/PS VR) - October 10
  • Criminal Girls 2: Party Favours (PS Vita) - October 10
  • Dragon Quest Builders (PS4/PS Vita) - October 11
  • Duke Nukem 3D 20th Anniversary Edition World Tour (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - October 11
  • Manual Samuel (PS4/PC) - October 11
  • Gears of War 4 (Xbox One) - October 11
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider (PS4) - October 11
  • WWE 2K17 (PS3/PS4/Xbox 360/Xbox One) - October 11
  • Crazy Machines 3 (PC/Mac/Linux) - October 13
  • Batman: Arkham VR (PS VR) - October 13
  • DriveClub VR (PS VR) - October 13
  • Moto Racer 4 (PS4/Xbox One/PC/Mac) - October 13
  • PlayStation VR Worlds (PS VR) - October 13
  • Rollercoaster Dreams (PS VR) - October 13
  • Shadow Warrior 2 (Xbox One/PS4/PC) - October 13
  • Super Hyper Cube (PS VR) - October 13
  • Thumper (PS4/PS VR/PC) - October 13
  • World War Toons (PS VR) - October 13
  • Yesterday Origins (Xbox One/PS4/PC) - October 13
  • Disney Magical World 2 (3DS) - October 14
  • Hatsune Miku: VR Future Live (PSVR) - October 14
  • Manual Samuel (Xbox One) - October 14
  • Skylanders Imaginators (Xbox One/PS4/Xbox 360/PS3/Wii U) - October 16
  • Crazy Machines 3 (PC) - October 18
  • Eagle Flight (Oculus Rift) - October 18
  • Exist Archive: The Other Side Of The Sky (PS4/PS Vita) - October 18
  • Superdimension Neptune VS Sega Hard Girls (PS Vita) - October 18
  • Batman: Return to Arkham (PS4/Xbox One) - October 21
  • Battlefield 1 (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - October 21
  • Civilization VI (PC) - October 21
  • Lego Harry Potter Collection (PS4) - October 21
  • Darksiders Warmastered Edition (PS4/Xbox One/Wii U/PC) - October 25
  • Dragon Ball Z Xenoverse 2 (PS4/Xbox One) - October 25
  • Just Dance 2017 (PS3/PS4/Wii/Wii U/Xbox 360/Xbox One/PC) - October 25
  • Farming Simulator '17 (PS4/Xbox One/PC) - October 25
  • Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence - Ambition (PS4/PC) - October 25
  • World of Final Fantasy (PS4/Vita) - October 25
  • Carnival Games VR (PS VR/ HTC Vibe) - October 25
  • Dragon Ball Z Xenoverse 2 (PC) - October 28
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Special Edition (Xbox One/PS4/PC) - October 28
  • Titanfall 2 (Xbox One/PS4/PC) - October 28
  • Yomawari: Night Alone (Vita/PC) - October 28

Release date TBA:

  • Friday the 13th: The Game (PS4/Xbox One/PC)

Do you plan on picking up any of October's titles? Let us know in the comments below!