Category Archives: Technology

“I Can See a Lion Behind Me” Ibrahim Gedeon, TELUS CTO (2003-2023)

Today, Ibrahim Gedeon, TELUS Chief Technology Officer leaves a 20-year storied technology career affecting many Canadians at home and at work, for new adventures. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the American University of Beirut and has a master’s degree in electronics engineering from Carleton University. With a total of six titles with previous companies like Nortel Networks, Bell and Mitel starting in 1988, the Lebanese-born self-professed “tech-geek-chef” always was customer driven. During a TELUS labour strike, he rolled up his sleeves and installed TELUS services in Edmonton often ending with recipe exchanges with home occupants at the kitchen table. After my interview with Ibrahim in 2004, his first formal media interview, I realized TELUS had hired an armful of technology leadership, and more.  

On a warm summer evening we met in heart of downtown Edmonton at Co Co Di Restaurant and Bar on Rice Howard Way, complete with water pipes, better known as hookahs, brimming with the cool aroma of tobacco marinated with apple-flavoured molasses. It was a five-hour affair on a sidewalk table busy with passersby. And of course a long parade of Lebanese dishes, with guidance. “I would rather do business or negotiate over a long meal like this,” said Gedeon.

Here is the interview published in the Edmonton Journal on August 2, 2004.

Note we talked about technology 20-year old technology then, a window in the past where companies like TELUS were positioning themselves with new tech challenges.

My five-hour hookah faceoff with Ibrahim Gedeon, newly appointed Chief Technology Officer for TELUS, right

At first glance, Ibrahim Gedeon looks more like an elevator service person than his white-collar colleagues rushing home after work. This corporate Chief Technology Officer (CTO) was definitely different.

“OK, so I have a title,” he says “But I see a world where there are no white-collar or blue-collar workers… just no-collar-collar.”

The 40-year-old bachelor has been the Telus CTO since last October but insisted he stay low until he got to know his new employer better.

Gedeon recently gave the Journal his first formal interview over a five-hour endless stream of Lebanese dishes and apple-flavoured hookah he had selected in downtown Edmonton.

What do you bring to TELUS?

I am a geek that can make technology work.

What makes a good CTO?

Successful CTOs are extroverted engineers who can speak and articulate well.

What motivates you at TELUS?                                                                                                 

It’s like a 100-metre dash. Which would make you run faster, a lion chasing you or an Olympic gold medal waiting for you at the finish line? For the last three years we just saw the gold medal ahead of us. But today I am motivated because I can see a lion behind me.

Who are the lions?

The unregulated service providers who are competing with our technologies.

What is your goal?

To evolve the TELUS vision to something more applied and practical.

So tell me about the TELUS consumer vision.

We want to bring network services into homes so the PC, TV, set- top box, phone and stereo work together on one screen. But we need to make it feature friendly and easy.

Gedeon orders an appetizer. “You are going to love these, they are fantastic.”

What frustrates you in t his industry today?

That everybody is converting to the same place through different routes. They all forget what their key value proposition is to the end user.

Aren’t you taking on new technologies beyond your core business?

We won’t succeed building our own application, neither will Shaw. We’re just too small, we’ve got to build the right framework for existing technologies… I approach everything with an open mind.

Do you ever talk to competitors?

Canada is a small place. We need pre-competitive relationships. I meet, casually, with other CTOs to understand where the industry is going, as pure professionals.

“OK, the food is here, this is fine for you, but don’t touch that one.” (he remembers I’m allergic to sesame oil)

What bugs you about how outsiders view TELUS?

Everyone is more impressed with how much money we spend. To me it’s what you do with it. I mean I can just go and make a pitch to the board and spend $ 300 million more. If that’s going to move the shareholder, fantastic. But it’s not who buys the fastest car, it’s who drives it faster.

How do you decide on what technologies TELUS should invest in?

You don’t want technology to be a boat anchor that kills you. You shouldn’t let peer pressure of people announcing new things impact you when it doesn’t make sense.

“Excuse me, I’ve got to fix my hookah because if I don’t smoke well I can’t be innovative when I am speaking.”

You equate everything with sexuality?

I believe food is attractive and sexy. What’s the definition of attractive – it doesn’t say woman -it’s something that is highly desirable, like that electronic board I showed you in the lab that we are evaluating – piece of genius like a beautiful cooked dish. I am a geek deep down and I think technology is attractive.

How are you going to match your TV quality with cable and satellite?

I have ours and Shaw running in my apartment in Edmonton. The key thing is, it’s digital, so they are comparable.

What about HDTV?

There is no consumer rush yet for HDTV so we can’ t build a case for a small market segment. But next year it will be just as good.

That’s really nice, what’s this?

“It’s bread.”

Who has the technology advantage between you and Shaw?

They have an initial speed advantage but beyond that it’s fair game for everybody. But we have been in the telephone business for 100 years. (laughs)

“The hookah enhances my taste buds, its apple flavour, but I don’t breathe it in.”

You offer VoIP in your enterprise sector, but seem happy to push your older land-line service on consumers while competitors offer cheap home-based IP telephony

Yes, I could come in and replace your phone service with IP, which is what we eventually want to go to, but there are government regulations that I am not an expert in. Even so, why should I invest in both technologies to give you the same service unless there is a compelling argument?

Well, you could lose business!

We will stay the course, whether it’s labour, regulatory, capital or profitability. I don’t mind suffering a couple of years to win the war.

“You need to draw harder to get the smoke up in your hookah.”

How will you sell all this integration to a mass audience?

For now, you sell it as Telus voice or TELUS TV. People have a lot of disconnected things in their home and reach the point where they say, “Oh my God, I have to do all this.” Can TELUS fix that? Yes. How can we make money? We need to know.

When will we see the new consumer TELUS?

In 2005, where you can pick and choose products and services. We are laying the seeds with the consumer to what the new world can be, so you are getting a cooked meal.

How is technology changing the old-fashioned telephone?

IP telephony now becomes a computer application people can use in many ways.

“Hey Lisa, is there sesame in the garlic sauce? Eat this, it’s great… lamb, beef and chicken.”

Consumers are attracted to new and cheap technology, like a competitor’s IP-based phone for half the price of your land-line phone.

People understand a value proposition. I have been going to the same tailor for the past 16 years. He is not the cheapest, but delivers the quality I need. Companies like Primus will eventually run into problems because of quality of service.

Why can’t TELUS  customers have the same number in their land-line phone and cellphone, rather than subscribing to two services now? It looks like a money grab.

Our strategy is not to squeeze the consumer just because we can. The technology is there from companies like Motorola. I would like to come to your home computer wireless network and let you make free calls from cellphones. Even make each one ring differently. But for now, it’s much easier and important to maintain the identity of each caller. That’ s something we are looking at but there are internal and regulatory issues too.

Would you ever get rid of your land line?

Do your bosses listen to you?


What is the killer app for today?

In terms of revenue, it’s voice. And you know, I pity those people who only use e-mail to communicate.

You and Shaw seem to be stepping over each other’s turf competing for all-in-one services to homes. Can you pull it off?

Shaw is considered best in class and I hope they become the most successful cable company in Canada. But I want to be the most successful service provider in Canada. If my intent is to make your life easier at home, I will work with the devil to make you happy.

“OK, you have to move the coal slightly, so the tobacco burns evenly.”

Is the technology sector making money today?

Most technology today displaces wealth… dollars they pay today are being paid somewhere else. I think it’s going to be a slow adoption interim for new wealth creation.

So why won’t you offer computer technology with your bundle?

If you want to buy bread, go to the baker. We are not a baker. We want to be the place where you have a choice of bread, a choice of meat.

Why did it take you so long to “meet the press?”

I needed to understand TELUS rather than speak early from cheat sheets just to please everyone. The first thing I did when I joined Telus last October was to go to home installations with the truck crews and meet and get to know consumers. It was a beautiful experience for me.

What frustrates you inside TELUS?

I think it’s a personality thing, the culture part. People keep telling me I am different. Maybe I am compared to the norm, I suppose. But TELUS is much bigger than me so I am adapting. The night is young!


The annual International CES 2020 event in Las Vegas this week saw more than 170,000 attendees walk over more than 2.9 million square feet of showroom space checking out some 4,400 booths. It’s impossible for a single person to see and experience it all at CES.



It’s back! The $2,600 Samsung Galaxy Fold smartphone/tablet with a bendable screen returned to a handful of Canadian Samsung Experience stores on Friday, December 6 in limited quantities and pre-orders, as previously reported.

I had the chance to check one out at the Samsung Experience Store at the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, so I could see it in a retail setting, just as any other potential buyer would. I originally got my hands on the first version last summer in New York City. But after media reviewers found troublesome faults, Samsung revamped the device for a re-launch. After 89 days, the “revised version,” as Samsung calls it, became available in the U.S. at the end of September. And last Friday, it finally arrived in Canada.

The first thing I noticed in the Cosmos Black model is that it’s as magical as before. It comes with a pair of Samsung Buds and a less than 1mm thin tight-fitting less slippery Kevlar case in two parts with adhesive to fit around every curve. The case doesn’t make the hybrid device much thicker than its 17.1mm thickness in 4.6″ phone mode, nor much heavier: it weighs 276g. It’s less likely to slip from your hands with repeated foldings and unfoldings. When folded out, the Galaxy Fold is slightly thinner than the Note 10+ at 7.6mm.

Is It Fixed?

With the initial version of the device, protective flexible screen layers could be peeled by the first wave of reviewers and the fold edges of the flexible screen allowed dust and dirt to get in.

The flawed articulated spine infrastructure for safely folding and unfolding the flexible screen has been reinforced with new parts. There is a new T-clip supporting both hinge ends, keeping the screen edges of the layers (now beefed up to five layers from the previous three) sealed in. According to Samsung the “revised version Galaxy Fold” is designed to keeps dust and dirt elements from finding their way in. Sadly, The Fold does not have an IP rating, even for dust. Yes, that’s what I said. You have to baby this phone when the weather turns bad.

Samsung confirms that the top protective layer of the Infinity Flex Display has been extended beyond the bezel, making it apparent that it is an integral part of the display structure and not meant to be removed. There are additional reinforcements to better protect the device from external particles while maintaining its signature foldable experience. The top and bottom of the hinge area have been strengthened with newly added protection caps. Additional metal layers underneath the Infinity Flex Display have been included to reinforce the protection of the display. And the space between the hinge and body of Galaxy Fold has been reduced.

I noticed a tighter but smoother feel when you open and snap the Fold, much like snapping those old clamshell phones. Even opening the Fold quickly with progressively more force didn’t seem to stress the bendable screen. The mechanical hinge infrastructure is better engineered to open and close the flexible screen without stretching the screen itself.

The centre seam bump is discernable, unless light shines at a certain angle. It can barely be felt under your fingers – it’s easy to even forget it’s there after a while. However, it’s tough to guess how well the Fold will hold up after repeated use.

What About The Software?

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any revision of note to the phone’s software in terms of performance and functionality. Any review you read in this respect of the original Fold versus the new one should be similar. Samsung was busy enough fortifying the folding mechanics. It’s just as snappy as the latest Note 10 series with similar responsiveness to touch and opening apps, undoubtedly with the help of 12GB RAM. The mechanics are what needed fixing and this is what Samsung has addressed with the revised device.

Does it Keep Up With its Siblings?

Some important S10+ and Note10+ features are missing on the Fold. The Fold has Samsung’s largest 4,380mAh phone battery, but it looks like it can barely squeeze a day running full all out tasks. It simply has too much glass to light up, even at a lower screen resolution. It doesn’t have Samsung’s Super Fast Charging either, important for a big battery. It only includes a Galaxy 15W charger unlike the 25W charger included with the Note 10 series. And the optional Samsung 45W charger isn’t even compatible with the Fold. There’s no stylus either, although having a pen tip slide across a plastic screen might not be a good idea. Still, the Fold, twice as pricey as the best phones on the market, should have it all. Not even the next-gen Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset. Nope.

Photography With The Fold

The Fold does photography right. It has the same wide range photographic experience as the S10+ but not quite as good as the Note 10, which sports some impressive augmented reality features on top of photos. The Fold settles for older colour to black and white conversion tricks to objects or people in photos.

Still, like the S10 and Note 10 phones, it has a smooth zooming from .5X super wide angle to 2X optical zoom with similarly degrading quality when you try to zoom father. The Selfies in both modes have a normal and wide angle view, the latter not being able to keep the background sharp enough if my face fills half the frame.

The Fold’s six onboard cameras cleverly play double duty between phone and tablet mode. Photos from all cameras in phone or tablet mode are deposited in the same camera folder. I must say its fun composing, editing and showing photos on that screen!

Best Features

It’s loaded with 12GB of RAM for multitasking, gaming, office and media apps like live broadcasting, plus 512GB built in storage and no expansion slot. It’s not faster than the Note 10+ but has more than enough RAM to multitask better.

The most noteworthy user feature is App Continuity which allows you to easily transition between screens back and forth with up to three open apps in Multi-Active Windows. Any apps you open in phone mode, are still there when you fold out to tablet mode, only spread out with more space. You can set which apps you want to open in from phone to tablet mode.

The 7.3″ main primary display touchscreen is brilliant, with a fixed resolution of 1,536 x 2,152 pixels at a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch (ppi). That’s not as high as the Note 10+ and S10+ models with a maximum 498ppi and 522ppi respectively. But hey, it’s a folding screen! You will still not be able to actually see pixels on the screen.

The tablet’s 4.2:3 aspect ratio is perfect for browsing, reading, office work, and gaming, all of which look impressive with the larger screen surface. Some of that real estate is wasted, however, when watching wide screen movies. But they look brilliant with the Bold’s HDR10+ support.

Dolby Atmos stereo speakers are impressive for their size but easy to accidentally cover with your fingers when playing games. Try experimenting holding the phone in vertical and horizontal modes to see what works best for you.

Should You Buy It?

Every Galaxy Fold comes with exclusive access to Galaxy Fold Premier Service, including Fold Concierge 24/7 access to expert advice, and a screen replacement offer.

The “revised version” Fold still has the same DNA as the previous Fold and while the hinge design has been improved, you might want to check in on some U.S. customer reviews to see what those who have been using one for the last few months now might have to say.

If someone decides to fork over the $2,600 for one of these phones, they’ll likely be doing so merely for the benefits of having a larger screen for apps, movies, gaming, spreadsheets, and more. And of course the “cool” factor.

If you are used to the toughness and fast charging of today’s best 6″+ phones, the Bold’s Wow factor fades a bit. Smart shoppers might want to wait for a brand new, redesigned version of the Fold which is rumoured to cost less with a more stable design and hopefully features and robustness equal to Samsung’s S and Note series. It’s expected to launch some time in Q2 2020 though there’s no official word yet from Samsung.

This Fold is the “wow” phone of the year. It’s a show-off piece for those with deep pockets and even deeper egos. I wish I had one for longer than a day to try, as there really is something compelling about repeatedly folding and unfolding it to accommodate different tasks. How long would the “wow” last? I’m not so sure yet.

Article Tags:samsung galaxy fold, hands-on, review, foldable phone, revised galaxy fold, bendable phone, smartphone, tablet, mobile



We may not remember but most of us first drew before we could read, with pencil on paper or colour crayons on restaurant kid’s menus. Sadly, we followed other endeavors in our lives leaving drawing and painting to artists.

Having a little fun with Fresco extending a photo with paintbrush work



We all know the pain point when going over the data limit on our smartphone. Telus addresses that with a new billing plan that keeps your data access going, even if you go past your monthly data limit, for free, but at a slower speed, commonly known as throttling.



Today,  LG Electronics Canada announced its latest flagship LG G8 ThinQ, is available in Canadian carriers. Its minimalist re-design has features never seen on a phone before.

The LG G8 ThinQ uses hand gestures for everyday control input



While it seems like we have experienced the now called web forever, it’s only 30 years old. And as my new friends from the Internet Society (ISOC), a non-profit organization focused on Internet technology and policy point out, we must not confuse the web with the Internet, the latter being twenty years older.

First web page online on August 6, 1991…

…compared to award winning web sites today

Continue reading HAPPY 30TH WORLD WIDE WEB!

US Ban on Huawei Doing Business with US Companies Drives 2019 Profits Down

Cloudy days ahead for Huawei

It looks like the US ban on Huawei Technologies is having an effect on the Chinese telecommunications giant’s 2019 annual report. Although Huawei (HWT.UL) revealed that its net profit for the year was CNY62.7 billion CND$12.5 billion, Reuters noted it was its lowest increase in three years at 5.6%. Continue reading US Ban on Huawei Doing Business with US Companies Drives 2019 Profits Down


Day one at the 2019 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona is off to head-turning news on mobile devices.Unless you are directly involved with the upcoming super-fast 5G network, I will spare you the news flurry of every player who is in the game, that won’t see the light of day in Canada this year.

Huawei folds same screen for a two sided phone or 8 inch tablet.



 Day one at the 2019 Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona is off to a head-turning news on mobile devices.Unless you are directly involved with the upcoming super-fast 5G network, I will spare you the news flurry of every player who is the game, that won’t see the light of day in Canada this year.