Tech round-up for November 10: Canadian inventors win $50,000 Dyson prize, Vancouver is a smart city, stop reminding me Facebook

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This week, how you can block Facebook memories and four Canadian cities appear on a new smart cities index. But first, students from McMaster University have won the James Dyson Award.

Canadian scientists from Hamilton win James Dyson Award

A few weeks ago I wrote about the Canadian finalists in this year’s James Dyson Award.

Yesterday, the English inventor announced that this year’s winner is a team from McMaster University in Hamilton.

The team of four engineering undergraduates – Michael Takla, Rotimi Fadiya, Shivad Bhavsar, and Prateek Mathur – win a prize of Can$50,000, with an additional $8,500 for the supporting institution.

Their project is called the sKan, a low cost, handheld device designed to help diagnose melanoma. The device, expected to cost about $1,000, would replace a detection device that costs some $50,000.

The team plan to use the prize money to continue developing the device and plan on submitting it for FDA approval. In a release, the four said, “Winning the James Dyson Award means the world to us. The prize money will help us to continue developing a medical device that can saves people’s lives. We are truly humbled and excited to be given this remarkable opportunity.”

Vancouver places eleventh in new smart cities index

A new ranking of cities around the world orders them in terms of how smart they are. The idea is that cities that are digitized, providing easy wireless access, clean energy and environmental sustainability, and online access to government services.

Vancouver placed eleventh on the 2017 Smart Cities Index.

The analysis included more than 500 cities from around the world. They were considered on 19 different categories and assigned a score out of 10 on each.

Categories included things like car sharing services, education, clean energy, internet speed, and citizen participation.

Vancouver scored high on smart parking (number of spaces, availability of parking apps), car sharing, clean energy, urban planning, and poorly on traffic, smart buildings, waste disposal, and environment protection (CO2 emissions per capita).

Montreal (#16), Toronto (#19), and Ottawa (#40) also made the list.

The study was commissioned by EasyPark, which provides apps and services designed to help drivers find and pay for parking. The company operates primarily in Europe.

How you can stop Facebook from reminding you about things you want to forget

For all you Facebook users out there – you know who you are – you’ll be familiar with how the service automatically shows you posts from your past.

There may be some posts that you shared in the past that you don’t want to be reminded of. Because the events and information that we share on our social networks are not always positive, happy things.

Well, there’s a Facebook setting that you can use to specify periods of time or specific dates you don’t want to be reminded about.

You do this through the settings, or preferences, for the “On This Day” feature.

In a browser, you can find this in the left hand sidebar. On your mobile device, it’s found in the hamburger menu.

When you’re in “On This Day” you’ll see posts from your past. Find the “Preferences”, located in the top right corner of your browser window or by tapping on the gear icon in the top right corner of your mobile device.

In preferences, you can create filters to prevent Facebook from showing you previous posts from particular people or particular dates.

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