Good morning, everyone! It’s Lava Lamp Day. As unlikely as it may sound, at least one company is using the hippie-era lamps for internet security. Cloudflare has 100 of them along a wall in its lobby; their movement is constantly recorded by a webcam, and those unpredictable patterns are then used for cryptography. More than merely groovy night lights, they are.
SHARE AND SHARE UNLIKE
And here’s why we need internet security: More than 620,000 Canadians were among the 87 million people whose data was improperly shared from Facebook to Cambridge Analytica. The social media company will tell its users on April 9 at the top of their newsfeeds whether their information was shared, either through apps used by themselves or their friends. Facebook made the announcement along with an update on its plans to restrict data access through its platform.
DEAL OR NO DEAL
A breakthrough on auto negotiations have propped hope for a NAFTA deal. As Alicja Siekierska reports, having originally proposed raising North American content requirements to 85 per cent from 62.5 per cent, the U.S. softened its demand, reportedly now applying the threshold only to major components. Major issues still to be worked out include dairy, telecom, and drug patents. But Trump’s wish for an end-of-week draft deal might just be possible.
Vancouver’s home sales slowed 29.7 per cent in March, but prices stayed up. Sales were the lowest in five years for the first quarter, but a dearth of listings kept prices high. In fact, March had the slowest uptake of new listings since 2009. New prices of all types of homes were jaw-droppingly high compared with the same month a year ago.
SELL HIGH, BUY LOW
Geoffrey Morgan reports that Conoco is selling off land in the world’s hottest oil play and buying Canadian gas assets, and asks why — given other majors such as BP, Total and Shell are selling off Canadian assets. Conoco said it has sold off multiple land packages in Texas for US$250 million and bought 35,000 acres of land in Alberta and B.C. for US$120 million. Besides hiking its bank balance, what is it about the Montney that has drawn ConocoPhillips?
Canada squanders some 873 pounds of food per person per year, making us one of the biggest wasters on the planet, even more than that of the U.S. And it costs us billions. The Commission for Environmental Cooperation, a NAFTA environmental watchdog agency, recommends a focus on the middle part of the food chain, where groceries are collected, processed, distributed and prepared. That’s where the economic case is clearest, the CEC’s David Donaldson says. “You can make a business case for it. Companies can improve the way they do business.”