Masthead Blogs
Wednesday, June 15, 2022
Gadget Blog
Martin Seto

What can you say about Google? It has become a key component of the digital infrastructure for everyone to the point the word “Google” has become a verb. Google has provided the tools for just in time learning for just about anything for home, cars, etc  through YouTube how to videos. If you don't know something, just Google your question and you will find the answer. Tech guys have been using this technique to troubleshoot for years.

Google is the classic university school idea that became a very successful product and has become an intricate part of today’s digital ecosystem.It all started in 1998 during the dotcom boom by Larry Page and Sergy Brin students at Stanford University in California as a web based search algorithm called “Back Rub” and has now morphed into Google. The name “Google” is derived from the mathematical term “googol.”


“The internet is one of the world’s most powerful equalizers; it propels ideas, people and business large and small. Our mission is to organize the World’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. We aspire to give everyone the tools they need to increase knowledge, health, happiness and success.” Quote from the Google 2022 Annual Report

I believe Google has achieved that goal and we will be entering an interesting phase in the next generation of technologies that will incorporate AI learning . If we take inventory of what Google offers to users it is pretty impressive and it is free to use for everyone if you are part of the Google digital ecosystem and it all starts with a Gmail account.

The Google Digital Ecosystem

Today the world’s population is 7.8 Billion and if you take out China’s 1.4 Billion you have 6.4 billion people with access to Google and the numbers are staggering. Then you factor in that 20% of the population is under 15 years you are left with 5.1 billion adults 16+


How Big is Google?

1. Google Search Engine - 3.8 million searches per minute

2. Chrome Web Browser  - 2.65 billion users

3. Gmail Email - 1.5 billion users

4. YouTube Videos - 2.65 billion users per month

5. Android OS for mobile phones - 3 billion phones

6. Google Photos Cloud Storage - 1 billion user

7. Google Maps with advance features - 1 billion users/mo

8. Google G Suite (Sheets, Slides, Docs) -  2 billion users

9. Google AdSense Network - 38.3 million websites

10. Google Classroom - Jan 2022 - 600,000 downloads - largest ever

11. Chromebook OS for computers - 30 million sold a year

12 Google Play Store - Store has over 3.5 million apps

13. Google Drive - 1 billion users


Unintended Side Effects of the Google Invention - “ Gamers” and “BlackHat’s”

One of the unintended consequences of this invention as with any live ecosystem were the actions of the “Gamers” who try to rig the outcome of Google's search engine for better rankings, which lead to a new ecosystem called search engine optimization. This led to a wave of tools such as click bots that click on ads and links for better results, link farms that had links just for SEO results and the best of all were ad farms that were fake websites that linked to ads to scam the pay per click market that Google invented. Today, content marketing is being used as a SEO tool to improve Google rankings. As we know the better the rankings the more exposure you get. On top of this were all Black Hat Hacker threats that Google has had to deal with too.(Some critics said that Google took a blind eye to this activity in the early years of their existence)

When you are number 1, everybody is after you. 

Google has survived criticism, stealth attacks and USA style competition, but credit is due to the Google team to be the last company standing. The Google search engine can be considered today as part of the public domain and should not be owned by one company, but it is. It has evolved to become a day to day necessity for everyday life and will eventually be regulated in various countries in some form around the world. Yeah, Google has become a victim of their own success unfortunately, just ask the folks at Microsoft how it feels. When you are number 1, everybody is after you. 

Google’s risk taking nature is evident in some of their misses and they include Google+, their response to Facebook and Google Glass that came with a lot of hype and has faded away. Google has entered the hardware market with an Android Phone (Google PIxel) and Home Automation with Google Nest so they are branching out in other markets.
In the 2022 Annual Report Google (Now Alphabet) reported revenues of $257.6 billion. Google Advertising revenue was 209.7B or 81% of total revenue. Search Ads were $148.9B, YouTube $ 28.8B that was 85% of advertising revenue combined. The USA market contributed 46% of Google revenue. This is a big powerful company now and has gone through an incredible journey of innovation to get where they are today.

What Powers the Google Internet?

For the uniformed Google has 23 Data centers worldwide that provides their services with 14 in the USA, 1 in Chile, 6 in Europe and 2 in Asia. These are big facilities with lots of security and can range in size from 200,000 sq ft (4 BIg Box Stores) to 980,000 sq. ft. 

 Google is a carbon-neutral company for power use


The electricity demand of these types of facilities is enormous; it is estimated that all the Google data centers combined require the same amount of electricity 2 times the needs of the City of San Francisco and cost $10-$25 million a year to operate per data center. Google has become carbon neutral in their energy consumption through a 5 year sustainability strategy and in 2020 Google became carbon neutral for the first time and kudos should be given out for that achievement also.

Google’s success will face another chapter as they deal with their market dominance and the possible intervention from the USA government for Sherman Act (1890) anti-competitive measures. History has shown that when companies get too big they will intervene and this has happened in Telecom (AT&T 1984), Energy (Standard Oil 1909) and Tobacco (American Tobacco 1908). Google's Search Ads and Ad Sense network has driven local publishers to the brink of bankruptcy and this is a global issue.
Maybe history will repeat itself, but my guess is Google is already three steps ahead. Europe and Austrailia are already ahead of the curve and has introduced legislation to deal with privacy (use of cookies) and content creator rights in this new ecosystem that did not exist 25 years ago, Canada’s is now being debated.

Tuesday, May 03, 2022
Gadget Blog
Martin Seto

The digital transformation of our economy is now complete, the pandemic drove online engagement to the top of the corporate funnel for all companies. Schools are the best example of this digital transformation as online learning became the staple in both post-secondary and K-12 institutions. A zoom meeting became the new norm.

As we move slowly back to life as normal as possible, we are still facing the inflationary after effects of supply shortages as production ramps up again. Cars for example have gone up 30% during this period. I would not want to buy a car now. During this time there has been a leap in processing power of personal computers.
I have been doing a gig as an HP Brand Ambassador in a Best Buy store (this is my version of going undercover) and this has allowed me a front line perspective of the changes in technology and I get to chat with some of the tech wizards at Best Buy.

 Left to right- Jihan Alani, Martin Seto, Maddie Sato and Aitken Kay



We are at the beginning of a 5G World - The World of Super fast Computing and Internet
This is what I have learned the latest computer chips are experiencing Moore’s Law of processing, where it will double every two years. This is happening now in the I7 chips from Intel and AMD’s Ryzen 7 that enable 5 Ghz CPU processing speed, which borders on super computer fast according to press releases. Previous generation chips (I5, I3) offer speeds in the 2-2.5GHZ range. 

“Moore's law is a term used to refer to the observation made by Gordon Moore (Founder of Intel) in 1965 that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit (IC) doubles about every two years.”

Other changes in technology is that Bluetooth technologies now allow multiple devices to be connected at once as it can connect multiple headphones to listen together for example. All printers today are all wifi enabled and the cost of laser printers is at an all-time low as some are now cheaper than ink-jet. Ink-jet printers now have a refillable ink tank option so you don’t have to pay a lot for ink anymore.
Apple not to be out done has released the M1 Chip in their lineup that offers superior speed too. While Apple does not publicly release CPU speeds the latest chip is rated at 3.6Ghz speeds, which is snap at your finger speed btw. If you are gamer/graphic designer a CPU speed of 3Ghz or higher is ideal to give you an idea how fast these speeds are.

 HP Spectra 2-1 Laptop

What is emerging in the latest generation of Windows laptops are 2 in1 versions that have a touchscreen as part of its configuration. The HP Spectra 2-1 Laptop, has 5 GHz CPU speed using the Intel I7 chip, it comes with 16GB ram, ITB storage and Nividia Graphics card. This is the TOP of the line laptop computer and retails for $2,229. It also comes with a backlight and very responsive keyboard for those speed typers. Windows 11 going foward will need 16GB of ram to operate fast as it take up to 5GB of ram.

The Canadian Digital Ecosystem Fast Facts

The digital ecosystem in Canada primarily consists of Apple, Google/Android, Microsoft and Facebook. I pulled some stats off the internet to get a snapshot of the size digital ecosystem and to see how they are all interconnected.

  • Canada’s Population 38.1 million
  • 33 million mobile subscribers (86% of pop)
  • Social media users 33.3 million
  • 10.5 million households (94% with cable internet)

Canada is about fully connected to the internet as it going to get, we just need everybody’s grandma now to get a computer, but they already have a tablet and smartphone in most cases. LOL

Mobile Vendor Market Share

Apple: 57% Android 43% - Samsung 29%, Google 3%, LG 2%, Huawei 2%, Motorola 2%

This is not surprising this ecosystem is dominated by two players Apple and Android Devices. Expect this to be a two horse race going forward, but with changes in the mix from Android vendors.

Desktop OS Market Share

Windows OS 68%, Mac 24%, Chrome 4%, Linux 2%

This is no surprise, but Apple’s almost 25% share in Canada suggests Apple is very popular as Apple as only a 7.6% share of global computer shipments. The Chrome OS is used in Chromebooks.

Global Market Share of Computers 2021

Windows: Lenovo 24.7%, HP 21.8%, Dell 17.6%, Acer 7.2%, Asus 6.4%, Apple 7.6%

Windows machines still dominate computer shipments worldwide and this will not will change anytime soon. (Note all Windows vendors provide chromebooks)

 HP Chromebase 21.5" All in One Desktop

What is a Chromebook? This is the Chromebase 21.5” desktop version of the Chromebook from HP, it is the sexiest machine on the sales floor. It has a rotating touch screen so you can go vertical (90 degreee rotation). Chromebooks are a web/cloud computer as everything is done through the chrome browser, there is no internal storage. The laptop versions are $200- $500 in price so are very affordable for schools, who use Google Classroom. The desktop version goes for $800. It looks like Google is playing the long game with this machine.

Browser Market Share 

Chrome 50.6%, Safari 31.2%, Other: Edge 6.9% Firefox 5.12% Samsung Internet 3.3% Android .42%

This is very interesting stat to look at as Windows has a 68% OS share but Chrome is #1 in how people access the internet then Apple in second and Edge a distant third.
As you can see the digital ecosystem is very much interconnected. For office productivity software it is a two horse race between Microsoft Office 48% share and Google Office 45% (Global) so this interconnection goes deeper in the digital ecosystem.

Social Media Apps

Facebook 76.9%, Instagram 58.2%, Twitter 36.8%, Pinterest 34.5%, Tik To 32.2%, Linkedin 31.4%, Reddit, 26.7%, Skype 19.8%, Tumblr 7.5%

Messaging Apps

FP Messenger 64.4%, Whatsapp 38.5%, I Message 38.2%, Snapchat 30.3%, Discord 15.1%, Telegram 8.2%

Social Media and Messaging apps are very turbulent ecosystems as changes happen frequently to the players. Tik Tok for example has become a dominant player. Same can be said for WhatsApp.

As you can see the digital ecosystem in Canada is controlled by a handful of players which means money is leaving the publishing industry in Canada in the form of advertising revenue, control over audiences and audience destinations.
The free to pay crusade for digital subs is a starting part, but there is too much free content out there to be successful except for a handful of brands perhaps like the Globe and Mail. For example the CBC and CTV news will alway be free online. Governments are now trying to fix this problem through regulation, taxation and fines, but are slow to act for some reason unless we shout out loud.


We will be publishing a series of posts on the various digital ecosystems from Apple, Google/Android, Windows and Facebook that are part of the State of Digital postings for the 2022 COPAS.
Sources: Statcounter Global Stats - April 2022, Stats Canada, Wikipedia, Statista, Global Statistics

Friday, September 10, 2021
Gadget Blog
Martin Seto
Canada has always got lost on the global stage (except for hockey of course) and we need to raise the voice of the work of Canadian digital creators to demonstrate the world class work being done in Canada. We no longer want to be second fiddle on the world stage, we want to be a player. The Canadian Online Publishing Awards aka COPAs has become the tip of the spear for the digital publishing industry in Canada by showcasing and helping Canadian content creators move the needle forward for their brands.


The COPAs was started in 2009 as an industry showcase of the Best Digital Content creators in the magazine and newspaper industries. In 13 years it has become the largest Digital Publishing Awards Program in Canada with 4 divisions - Academic, B2B, B2C and News/Sports with a mandate is to reflect Canada’s multi-cultural diversity whenever possible. This industry showcase will show marketers the benchmarks for quality and authentic content on the internet. In world of SEO driven content, we need to show the gap on what is authentic and SEO fluff.


Sandy Donald, Publisher of Masthead, states  the COPAs “have become the pre-eminent Digital Awards Program in Canada.  With more than a decade of history, it is important to refer to the inclusiveness and participation of all geographic regions across Canada. 

The Who’s Who's in Canada of Digital Publishing

The 90+ volunteer Judging Panel for the 2021 Awards program (available at this link) is a Who’s Who in Canada of industry experts in publishing, digital, creative, writing, marketing and media.  2021 Judges Link




The Winners in 2020 came from across Canada and there was a multi-cultural flavour amongst the winners that had English, French, Chinese and tribal communities (IndigNews (gold and Silver) and Nuu-chah-nuith Tribal Council (Silver). Elle Canada Quebec (two gold,) Tabloïd (gold, silver), Fête Chinoise (two gold ) and Xtra magazine a gender magazine won a silver.


To build on this the 2021 Awards will have for the first time a multi-cultural article category that is free to enter. There has been a lot of news created in this area the past year and the COPAs want to recognize this work. Entry Deadine September 30.  ENTER HERE






Help Support Orange Shirt Day (National Day for Truth and Reconciliation) this September 30. It is now a statutory holiday in 2021. All communities should look at this as the rallying cry for the people that have been disadvantaged in our nation’s checkered history.  Help educate people and promote awareness in Canada about the plight of tribal communities and the use of the residential school system by spreading the word.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Gadget Blog
Martin Seto
One rule of life is that invention is the mother of necessity and the COPA Awards this year we had to pivot on the fly to changing to market conditions. My journey in re-inventing the COPA awards party this year has been both fun and exciting in many ways as I was forced outside the box to come up with a solution. This year I wanted to retain the key elements of the COPA Awards party as this is a PARTY and this is an industry celebration. With the pandemic keeping people at home I also want do something to lift the spirits of these people with the event, a challenging prospect.


The COPAs are the tip of the spear for the publishing industry as we forge ahead in competing with the titans of the digital ad industry that control the lion share of ad dollars. So we intend to lead the charge as help the industry innovate with the re-invented COPA Awards Party. We resisted the temptation to have a free event and have created a paid model that hopefully makes it better than ever before for all participants from across the country. We welcome the industry to participate in this test of this new model,


12th Annual COPA Awards Party


This year’s COPA event has been reinvented to a live digital affair that will allow finalists to participate for the first time from across Canada versus a live-in-person event. Based on industry feedback we are going too push the edge with a digital event where all attendees will have a personal Avatar, that will be your virtual person at the digital venue. (We have been told that Zoom is so tired and we need a little excitement and fun.) The event will be broadcasted on twitter #COPAwards as in previous years.


Your own Personal Avatar

The Avatar will allow you to go into to different rooms and have one-on-one  conversations with people you see at the digital venue. The rooms are set up for presentations with video, for networking and group chats with friends and colleagues. You can even send a drink emoticon to friend you see to start a conversation.


Digital Venue
The COPA Awards will be held on Thursday Feb 4 from 4-7pm EST in a Classroom style floorpan that you can navigate with your avatar and go to different rooms and watch presentations or just chat with a friend or colleague. You can come a go as you please in the rooms. Each room can hold up to 16 people and with a video chat format. We will have drop-in presentations in two rooms from Business Wire on Content Management and from Happyfication on Media Tech Trends for Publishers. The main auditorium where the COPA Awards will shown will allow attendees to come to the stage and receive the award.



COPA After Party

We will have for the first time a "COPA Winners After Party" at a virtual paradise island location as part of the festivities. Members of your team can go into any room or on the beach on this virtual island and have your own private party. All Winners will receive a Winners Digital Loot Bag via email during the After Party to all people that attend.



We are working with Sococo in creating an event model using their virtual office platform in Canada as an added value partner, who has been around for over 5 years. Here is a link to a video how on this works. We hope you will join us in what has been described by the COPA Judges Panel so far as “Cool” and “Innovative.” shows us that we are on the right track. The cost is $30 to attend and you can register here COPA PARTY.



Dates: February 3 and 4, 2020

Wednesday: February 3: Digital Venue Open House (Drop-in)

Thursday: February 4: COPA AWARDS PARTY

Presentations: 2pm and 3pm 

BusinessWire: Content Trends (30 mins)

Happyification: Media Tech Trends (30 mins)

COPA Awards - 4 -7pm

COPA AFTER Party 7-9pm

Cost: $30 person (10% discount for 5 or more)

Sunday, August 23, 2020
Gadget Blog
Martin Seto
The Internet is now entering its third decade and the new industries that piggybacked on this development included sin industries like porn and gambling that are multibillion segments of the digital ecosystems. The Porn industry is estimated at $5 Billion in the USA. Ad Fraud in ad networks became a major concern in this decade and it is also a multibillion$ segment. The emergence of the dark web (invented by the USA government btw.) allowed illegal activities like the Silk Road site to sell illegal drugs that used bitcoin as digital currency for transactions, you can say this is the origin of e-commerce today.

 The Silk Road Website was an underground website that sold drugs using a newly invented digital currency bitcoin.

Google entered the hardware market in 2011 with the Chromebook software that was used in low cost laptop computers that was connected to the cloud. This device has become a major staple in public schools due to its $200 price point. The app gold rush started to wind down by 2013 and a whole bunch of new technologies emerged to continue the internet gravy train.

QR codes was a innovation that started with a flash in 2001 and then disappeared in North America, but has made a huge impact in Asian countries especially in China as part the WeChat mobile app for personal security. QR codes are graphic icons that are scanned by your smartphone that goes to a specific URL 


Behavioural advertising was a concept that enabled advertisers to model consumer behaviour based on their website browsing history through the use of cookies and then deliver ads based on this history (this model it is felt is wrong 50% of the time). This opened a privacy issue can of worms, some people found this creepy and this raised the issues of the use of personal data without consent by these companies.

In 2012, the Gangham Style video had over 1 billion views on YouTube. This video really brought YouTube mainstream as a dominant digital channel as it created a mystique that you can post a video on YouTube and become famous and wealthy. This started a video tidal wave gold rush mentality.

 The Gangham Video created a Video Gold Rush of Selfie Videos and Branded Content

As the Internet got older more facts were learned about the ecosystem as we had the public web and dark web and got know know a little bit of bot traffic, the non-human component of the internet. Bot traffic consists search engine spiders, spammers, fake profiles and click bots. This traffic is included in some web analytics as they cannot tell what is real and not real. It ha been estimated 50% of web traffic are humans and the rest bots.

This decade saw the adoption of 4G speed wireless networks that enable broadband spread for the internet, this enabled smartphones to become more useful and became the primary device for most individuals. Smartphone traffic on the internet jump to 50% of all traffic by 2016. The term Smartphone Zombie emerged in 2016 to describes an individual personal relationship with the smartphone. In previous years it was Crackberry.

The hype for 5G Wireless networks that offer fibre optic speeds or faster with higher bandwidth capability, in others words a high speed super size tunnel for the internet, started with the “ Internet of Things“ hype where smart appliances can connect to the internet like your fridge.

The second of half of the decade the digital ecosystems was rocked with it share of scandals like Ad Fraud. Facebook revealed they had 3.2 Billion fake users on the website in 2019 and there was a growing misuse of fake news for political objectives in social media. Google and Facebook both took a blind eye to the rampant ad fraud as they profited from it. Facebook was accused in a court action in 2016 of inflating advertising metrics to the detriment of advertisers.

 The digital shakedown of the Ad Tech Industry began in the later half of the decade

Government intervention was required to help deter the rampant ad fraud and hacker activity the CASL SPAM Regulations in 2017 and GDPR Email rules in 2018 that require for all digital communication to be permission based that include these of cookies. In January 2018 Procter & Gamble publicly stated that the their is a lot of bad actors in the digital ecosystem.

Three new technologies emerged in 2017, virtual reality headsets, Chatbots and artificial Intelligence as the latest hype from the tech industry. Earlier in the decade BIG Data and the cloud computing was the big hype. One of the milestones of AI was a conputer beat a human in chess game in 2017. New Apps for the smartphone emerged that provided free communication services like Whats App and We Chat in China. The WeChat app is unique as it allows mobile payments and QR codes as part of the person profile. The safety promises made by self driving cars took a big hit in 2016 when there first fatal accident. Drone technology took off in his latest part of the decade and is now a military weapon of mass destruction.

With the introduction of 5G networks in Asia a concept called the Smart City emerged. These 5G networks allows the use of smart lampposts that is the cornerstone of a smart city. These lampposts connected to the internet can provide a wifi hotspot, video surveillance, sound/speakers, image sensing and a range of other features. Smart Cities is a vision of the future but critics of this technology say this is an invasion of privacy. They are now used in Hong Kong and they are viewed as a public spying tool and protests have been made damaging the posts in 2019.

 The Smart Lampost that is part of the Smart City Vision

As we enter 2020 what is emerging after the COVID-19 market disruption is that the economy will now be more digital centric as online shopping, curbside shopping and the closure of malls affects consumer behaviour. We will see the growth of consumer medical technology in 2020 with personal apps for medical screening in addition to security screen in public events and airports. We will see the acceleration of the digital cloud infrastructures as companies will now have a higher percentage of remote workers in the next decade. We look forward to the technological marvels that will be invented with the advent of 5G mobile networks in the coming decade.


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Marty Seto says:
Make Sure you Enter the COPAs this year. We have a FREE Covid-19 News category that is free to enter...