Breakfast Television

Nick Jonas on five favourite things about Canada, answers your social media questions – Breakfast Television

I had the chance to chat with pop star Nick Jonas Tuesday morning, and I asked him his five favourite things about Canada as well as ask him the questions you sent me on social media.

Take a look at the segments below:

Nick Jonas on his five favourite things about Canada

Nick Jonas answers your questions from social media

And in case you missed it, check out his segment with Jenn Valentyne this morning:

BlackBerry launches ‘Passport’ smartphone – Breakfast Television

Whether you love BlackBerry or hate it, the Canadian smartphone maker is banking on its new Passport device to help reshape perception of the company in a highly competitive market.

“We are determined to win back the Canadian home crowd,” chief executive John Chen told the audience at the Toronto launch event on Wednesday.

“If you guys don’t support us, then you’ve got some problems,” he joked.

Rather, it might be BlackBerry that faces more problems if the Passport doesn’t catch on with the business users it wants to attract.

Nearly a year ago, Chen was brought on board at the struggling company to help dig it out of a financial pit and reshape its business model. So far, he has completed a major restructuring of its operations through cost cuts, layoffs and a shift in the company’s overall strategy.

Taking the Passport to users is the next step.

The device is comparable in size to a Canadian passport, a point which Chen demonstrated by placing the phone against the government-issued identification booklet. It has a square screen that measures 11.4 cm (4.5 inches) and a keyboard the company said is four times more accurate for the user than the phone’s competitors.

Priced at $699 in Canada, the Passport is angled towards health care professionals, government workers and the military, which tend to be industries that embrace technology through massive product orders and stick with a device for years.

Together the target market represents about 30 per cent of mobile phone users, Chen said.

“I no longer bring any laptops around when I go to business meetings,” he added.

“This is powerful enough as a tool.”

Aside from the new phone, the company also showcased its new BlackBerry Blend application, which securely links a user’s smartphone, and data like email, BBM and other documents, seamlessly with their nearby computer or tablet through the Internet.

Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy models have been encroaching on the business market where BlackBerry was once considered nearly untouchable with its dominant market share.

The company responded by opening up its secure enterprise platform to support Apple and Samsung smartphones in the workplace.

It has also launched features in Indonesia like BBM Money, which allows users to pay through a BlackBerry Messenger app at participating retailers.

Later this year, the company will also release BlackBerry Classic, a new take on its popular older smartphones.

Also on the schedule are numerous software updates, including BlackBerry Enterprise Server 12, a refreshed version of its management system for IT professionals who oversee employee phones.

BlackBerry will report its second-quarter financial results on Friday. While Chen declined to discuss specifics, he assured the audience that progress has been made on improving the company’s balance sheet and managing cash flow.

With files from Canadian Press

shomi: Canada’s newest subscription video on demand service


Cable-and-internet giants Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. are partnering to launch a new streaming-video service, set to debut in November.

The subscription on-demand service — called shomi — will feature 14,000 episodes and titles, 11,000 hours of TV shows and more than 1,000 movies. Users will be access the service on a computer, tablet, mobile device, Xbox 360 and cable set top boxes.

The joint venture will be owned equally by Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications. It will operate as its own standalone entity with its own management structure.

shomi will go head-to-head in the video-streaming space against Netflix Canada, which offers a similar all-you-can-watch-video model for one monthly fee. Earlier this year, Netflix Canada announced that it was raising its price from $7.99 to $8.99 a month for new customers.

The new service will be available first to Rogers and Shaw internet and TV customers and will cost $8.99 a month.

It will combine TV-and-movie recommendations from staff programmers as well as a software-based recommendation engine.

“We’ve taken the time to talk with Canadians to find out what they want and to create an unbelievable user experience,” said Keith Pelley, President, Rogers Media. “They told us loud and clear – they want all the past seasons of the most popular, current TV shows and they want it to be easy. shomi takes the guesswork out of finding what to watch, acting like a new-age video clerk serving up all the best content based on individual viewing habits.”

Barbara Williams, Senior Vice President, Content, Shaw Media, added: ”We keenly understand the media landscape is rapidly changing and that viewers are looking for greater flexibility when it comes to what they watch and how they watch it. shomi is our first step into the new world of content streaming and we’re so pleased to be able to bring this made in Canada service to the market.”

As part of its launch, Shomi has secured exclusive past-season streaming rights to titles such as Modern FamilyNew Girl, and Sons of Anarchy.

Rogers Communications is the parent company of this organization.