CES 2017, Day One

As a computer manager at London Drugs I’ve always been fortunate to get a glimpse of new technology coming out. But there is no other experience for looking into the future of tech than the annual Consumer Electronics Show, or CES as you’ve most likely heard it referenced to.

Through my guest hosting on Victoria’s CFAX 1070 radio Tech Talk program I’ve been able to attend CES and report back what new tech gadgets and gear are coming to market. I’ve gotten to see some amazing products and many amazing innovations in technology, as well as products that have thankfully never come to fruition.

I want to start by giving you an idea of the scope of the show, the largest of its kind in the world, held each year in Las Vegas, Nevada.

  • There is 3,250,000 ft.² of dedicated display place for the show.
  • The show routinely attracts about 175,000 attendees.
  • There are almost 17,000 presidents, CEOs, and business owners here for the show including a team from London Drugs.
  • There are 6,000 members of the media here covering the show, that’s 1,000 more than covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio this past summer.
  • The show runs for four days, January 5th through the 8th.

For me, the two days before, January 3rd and 4th, are spent with CFAX radio interviewing vendors and looking at some of the innovations and previews we are invited to see ahead of the show for everyone else.

Over the next few days I will be sharing some very exciting and unique products from CES. Some may even change your life for the better in some way.

Talk to you soon!


Ron Fraser
London Drugs Yates Street
Computer Manager
Victoria, BC


CFAX Tech Talk airs each Saturday on CFAX 1070 radio in Victoria from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

LD Experts: Best Tablets for Back-to-School 2016

back to school 2016 tablets

Last week, our LD Experts covered the best school laptops of 2016. But what if you want a device that’s more practical for schoolwork than a smartphone, but lighter and generally cheaper than a laptop?

Of course, you’ll be interested in tablets. These days, that also includes convertibles or hybrids – with hideable or detachable keyboards. That way, they function as either a laptop or a tablet, as needed.

But which are your best options? As always, that depends on your needs and also your budget. Here are some of the best tablet options for 2016.


LD Experts: Best Laptops for Back-to-School 2016

London Drugs School Laptops Guide

Returning to class, whether it’s grade school, college, or university, is always part-thrilling-part-daunting. If choosing a new laptop is among your 2016 concerns, our London Drugs Experts can help.

First, consider what you need. Mainly web surfing and word processing? Keep it light and low-priced with good battery life. Running deep data analysis or, you know, video games? Step up in screen size and processing power.

That means there are two broad categories of back-to-school laptops. Let’s call them essential and advanced. Below are four recommendations for each category spread between the most popular laptop brands.

No matter what you do in 2016, London Drugs has a laptop for you. Here are some of the year’s best options.


LD Experts: May the Fourth Be With You

may the fourth be with you london drugs

By Matthew Simpson, Computers Manager

May the 4th is here! It’s that special time of year where we all gather together to celebrate Star Wars! It’s a big year for Star Wars fans, with the release of The Force Awakens and the upcoming Rogue One. Needless to say, it’s a good time to be a Star Wars fan! Let’s take a closer look at some cool stuff we’ve got in-store to help with the celebration of your favourite franchise.


Researchers Have Discovered the Perfect Password That’s Also Easy to Remember


Nope, it’s not “password,” sorry. Back to the drawing board….

The perfect password must be both secure and memorable. And that creates a big problem for just about everyone.

That’s because very secure passwords—like “{mk_S*b0r2xZ;9YW”—are also very hard to remember.

And very memorable passwords—like “password” or “12345678”—are also very insecure.

The perfectly secure, perfectly memorable password is rarer than the unicorn, writes Alexandra Petri: “Like the Holy Grail, the Fountain of Youth, the philosopher’s stone…no one has ever found it, and some doubt it exists at all.”


Not so fast, Alex. Two researchers from the University of Southern California have recently discovered what they call the perfect password solution: a randomly-generated poem. You know, something like:

A peanut never classified
expected branches citywide

Huh? Like many great ideas, on first glance this one seems bizarre. Marjan Ghazvininejad and Kevin Knight got the idea from the popular Web comic XKCD, which showed that a password composed of four random words—like “correct horse battery staple”—is both more secure and easier to remember than the typical alphanumeric jumble that most people consider a safe password.



This is because there are 327,868 words in a standard English dictionary. It is very difficult for even a powerful algorithm to calculate the correct relationship between random words. To guess the correct sequence, says Knight, a computer would have to test billions of billions of billions of possibilities before it hit on the right one.

To increase the cryptographic complexity, the researchers took it a step further. They proposed a password comprising between six and eight words, selected randomly and arranged in a short poem of two lines. Then they designed a computer program to ensure that each password’s governing metre is rhyming iambic tetrameter. (This is what gives it the beat of poetry, making it a cinch to remember.)

A tidy market compromise
agreement oysters butterflies

Read too many and the minds starts to reel, but the poems are often whimsical and fun, hinting at some deeper relationship between individual words.

His tariff curbing studio
includes a gripping cameo

A cookie Interpol survey
by Telecom hotel today

Polanski visible inside
pergola torturing a bride

Martina needle satisfied
ancestral readers nationwide

These passwords may seem odd, but they are very, very secure. At current computer speeds, Knight estimates, cracking them would take around 5 million years.

The researchers have created an online generator that creates these little poems. Take a look for yourself and see what happy accidents it spits out.


NOTE: The site is for demonstration only. Because hackers could potentially download all the poems and try them out, you shouldn’t use one as your password. (Try substituting some words in and out if you want to create your own.)

Another way to get a unique secure poem is to enter your email address here. Their program will send you a secure password, then automatically delete it from their server.

Happy secure computing!


London Drugs presents computer donation to Surrey Search And Rescue

Earlier this month, the London Drugs computer department at its Cloverdale location made a valuable contribution to the Surrey Search and Rescue. Cedric Tetzel, London Drugs computer buyer, and London Drugs store manager Edwin Chang presented Surrey Search and Rescue vice president Larry Kost, Fundraising Director Michael Surbey and Communications Officer Layla Giuca with eight HP laptops for their operations. READ MORE

Tech Talk – Back up, share and access your files anywhere

How to access all your music, movies and photos from any computer, tablet or smartphone with the new Pogo Plug mobile and V4.

New Pogo Plug Tech Talk with Julian Sanders from London Drugs. Take an external hard drive and make your own cloud. Pogo Plug makes it easy. Apps for your smartphone to access and backup your photos, movies, music and more from anywhere. Put a media collection on a huge hard drive connected to your Pogo Plug and access it all from your tablet. Never worry about storage limits again. Painless and easy backup too.

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