Tackling the limits of touch screens

Tactile features can help build muscle memory and improve accuracy – skills lost in the rush to touch screens, said Scott MacKenzie, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at York University in Toronto who specializes in human-computer interaction. Many people who type on flat glass screens must keep their eyes focused on the surface to hit the correct key, he said in the New York Times May 17. “It’s not just that visual attention is needed,” he added, “but a lot of visual attention.” Read full story.

Cities fail to make the grade in the classroom
James McKellar, a former architect and planner who is now professor of property and infrastructure at York University’s Schulich School of Business, believes business schools have generally no interest in the area of urbanization. “We run a very successful program but we’re a real anomaly,” said McKellar in the Financial Times May 18. This lack of interest is unlike business he adds, citing IBM, Google and Siemens, which are working on urbanization and smart city projects. Read full story.

Toronto dining scene gets a western invasion
“It all boils down to demographics,” said Alan Middleton, marketing professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in the Toronto Star May 19. “The baby boomers want to go out. They want to have good customer experience but not spend as much as they would in a high-end restaurant.” The premium casual trend is in part taking the place of the independent neighbourhood restaurants that serve Italian and Greek cuisine. Boomers frequented such spots before the recession, said Middleton, noting a lot of these independent businesses didn’t survive the financial crisis. Read full story.

A brand new way of building a company’s image
WestJet Airlines Ltd. hoped to tap into much the same sense of national pride when it entered into a partnership with the Toronto Blue Jays two years ago. . . . “I think it’s a great fit because from a brand alignment standpoint there’s a lot of congruence in that the Blue Jays are trying, if they aren’t already, to be Canada’s baseball team and they view the entire country as their market,” said Vijay Setlur, a sports marketing instructor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, in The Globe and Mail May 20. “WestJet also sees an opportunity in that as the Blue Jays have more success in doing that, more fans may be inclined to travel and see the team play in cities that may be closer to them in terms of flights.” Read full story.

The mayoral magicians of job creation
Conservative Tim Hudak claims he would wave his magic wand and create no less than one million jobs, just like that, reported The Globe and Mail May 16. . . . His other job promises are almost as implausible. He wants to start a new medical school at York University, exploiting the coming subway link with Humber River Regional Hospital and creating a “high-tech employment corridor.” Mayors don’t create medical schools. That is a provincial responsibility. Read full story.

Happy in a world of quirk
Mike Myers came of age in Toronto obsessed with popular culture, going to art-house movies and writing high school papers that applied Joseph Campbell’s monomyth cycle to the James Bond thriller The Spy Who Loved Me. And at a pivotal juncture, Myers was accepted into a film program at York University in Toronto the same day he was hired by Second City, the influential comedy troupe, reported The New York Times May 15. Read full story.

Is this the most miserable Target store in North America? Rows of empty shelves offering discount prices on non-existent products reveal the state of retailer’s Canadian outlets
Troubled discount retailer Target need look no further than the state of the shelves in its own stores to comprehend its huge $2-billion loss in Canada since opening there in 2013, reported the Daily Mail May 20. . . . “They over-promised and under-delivered and they’re wearing two big shiners for it,” said Jim Danahy, chief executive of consultancy CustomerLAB and director of the Centre for Retail Leadership at York University’s Schulich School of Business. Read full story.

Positive business works at the base of the pyramid
For the world’s poor in developing countries, income isn’t the only factor that affects buying decisions, said Ted London, professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, in Phys.org May 19. . . . London, together with the William Davidson Institute’s Heather Esper, Andy Grogan-Kaylor from U-M’s School of Social Work and Geoffrey Kistruck from York University, found that income was just one factor that influences the likelihood of purchase. Read full story.

‘Art From The Streets’ opens May 25
The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue publication with essays by Charles Campbell, who introduces the exhibition and the artists, and York University environmental studies Professor Honor Ford-Smith, reported The Gleaner May 19. Ford-Smith writes about the issues of memory loss, violence in inner city, memorial murals in urban Jamaica and the questions of freedom of speech, human rights and censorship that surround the current police campaign to remove murals that are deemed to be gang-related. Read full story.