openoffice.org (free office suite / word processor and spread sheet);
www.divshare.com (Kind of like Youtube except it isn't)
www.t35.com (Free web hosting):
www.zillow.com (house prices accross the border in the now affordable USA)
www.salary.com (American salaries are a good reference point now that the US and Canadian dollar are at par) ;
www.motionbox.com (free video editing software)
www.gimp.org (a free program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring)
www.librivox.org (free audio books)
www.marvel.com/digitalcomics (free comics!)
ocw.mit.edu/ocweeb/web/home/home/index.htm (Now there is no excuse for being so ignorant or waisting your time on this blog. You could be listening to courses at MIT, for free)
www.video.google.com/ucberkeley.html (Hopefully less boring than the free MIT courses)
www.bbc.co.uk/languages (Usted habla Espagnol? No? Por que?)
Howard, leader libéral (parti de droite) a finalement perdu la gouverne du parlement Australien. Bon débarat diron certains, et je suis de ceux là. Attention, le modèle "Québécois" reviens à la mode!
an annoying blogger ragged on me for taking vacations in the US instead of Canada. Note to world: time and money are not unlimited. I plan to travel in Canada as much as I can, and with any luck, I have a long life ahead of me to do so. Meanwhile, people we love live in the US and we don't plan to stop seeing them.
Publié depuis 1 heure par iPuce
I watched a documentary on AandE Biography this morning about Wendy's founder Dave Thomas. According to the doc, Wendy's was one of the original forces behind the development of the modern day drive thru. Business went up 50% when they were introduced! Tim Horton's has had similar success in Canada with them.
But did you know that, in addition to contributing to global warming, drive-thrus are deadly? Not just from the noxious fumes and artery clogging food either. According to various studies, eating at the wheel is one of the main causes of driver distraction, way above children and cell phones.
Quebec's government is about to introduce a law banning the use of hand held cell phones while driving. While banning food and drink at the wheel might be a bit much (diabetics would complain), perhaps we should ban drive thrus. Clearly, if you take 10 minutes out of your life to use one, you have enough time to take an extra five to consume it inside.
This policy would save lives and lower insurance rates. Unfortunately, eating and driving isn't just dangerous for the eaters, it is dangerous for the rest of us to.
"Mississauga took the extraordinary step of placing a 5 per cent surcharge on property taxes. McCallion led the charge for the levy – needed, she said, because the city faces an infrastructure crisis.
It will raise $12.5 million a year, far short of the $76 million needed in each of the next 20 years to pay for an estimated $1.5 billion in repair and replacement of aging bridges, buildings, roadways and water systems."
Isn't great that a politician stays in office so long that her own mismanagement bites her on her ass. Hazzle McCallion has been a popular mayor all those years because she kept property taxes low, very low. Too low, an now the underfunding of municipal infrastructure (and terrible land use planning) is getting expensive. And how is this the federal government's fault?
The politician who spends should be the politician who taxes.
""The fate of the country is at stake," said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton, who added that his voters will face a stark choice: a share of the GST or a 30 per cent property tax increase."
No, Mayor Burton, the fate of the country is NOT at stake. Raise the municipal taxes by 30 percent (or $900 on a $300,000 home). My parents in rural New Brunswick should not be funding Oakville's infrastructure any more than Oakville residents should be paying for my parent's septic system.
Perhaps we should just get rid of local government and have Ottawa decide everything. We could eliminate provincial and municipal taxes. There would be one national income tax system. And then, on average, Torontonians would be spending SIGNIFICANTLY MORE in taxes, simply because Toronto area residents earn, on average, significantly more than other Canadians (so they pay more federal taxes)!
Advocating an Increase in the responsibilities of our federal government is the equivalent of advocating the increasing of taxes for Toronto area residents.
But regardless of how "fair" that would be, we live in a gigantic, regionally diverse country. Let's keep government local. Unless, that is, you want a politicians in Alberta and Quebec deciding which Toronto pot holes to fix.
From today's Toronto Star:
City officials unanimous that help needed now from Ottawa to repair crumbling infrastructureNov 17, 2007 04:30 AMPhinjo Gombu
The mayors of 15 of Ontario's largest cities are unanimous in their demand that Ottawa give them money "now" to cope with an infrastructure crisis – but they can't agree on a name for the campaign.
After meeting for more than four hours yesterday at Oshawa's General Motors Centre, the mayors, led by Mississauga's Hazel McCallion, emerged to announce their agreement that "cities need money now."
The next step is to pressure federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, who represents Whitby, to indicate in his spring budget that he is prepared to help cities, McCallion said.
But there's no consensus on the slogan.
McCallion, who recently launched her "Cities NOW!" campaign, had hoped to lead a national campaign on that theme.
But also present in the room was Toronto Mayor David Miller, who already has his "One Cent Now" campaign demanding a share of Ottawa's GST.
Mississauga hasn't signed on to the Miller plan so far, and McCallion was noncommital on it yesterday, while supporting the compromise resolution's call to share the "equivalent of one cent of the GST with cities and communities."
McCallion got only a commitment that the Large Urban Mayors' Caucus of Ontario supports her campaign as one tailored for her municipality. Miller – whose "One Cent Now" hopes were deflated by Flaherty's recent decision to cut the GST instead of giving money to municipalities – said that as far as he was concerned, Mississauga's campaign was the same as his.
"It's very helpful when Ontario's longest serving mayor speaks up and says that we need this funding now," he said.
Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti spoke, like many others, of the concern that Canada's economic engine, its urban areas, would sputter the way American cities did before federal and state governments stepped in. "We don't want to see the same decline they experienced south of the border," Scarpitti said.
"The fate of the country is at stake," said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton, who added that his voters will face a stark choice: a share of the GST or a 30 per cent property tax increase.
As the mayors hastily left the news conference, it was left to Oshawa Mayor John Gray to explain that a campaign name had been discussed but dropped.
"It is not about whose program is what," said Gray, describing how the meeting tried to "skirt around the issue" because no one wanted personalities to get in the way of the cause.
"People want to make sure their campaign is on the forefront," said Gray. "At the end of the day, Hazel acquiesced and understood it's about one program and one voice."
The otherwise routine mayors' meeting garnered attention after Mississauga took the extraordinary step of placing a 5 per cent surcharge on property taxes. McCallion, who chaired yesterday's gathering, led the charge for the levy – needed, she said, because the city faces an infrastructure crisis.
It will raise $12.5 million a year, far short of the $76 million needed in each of the next 20 years to pay for an estimated $1.5 billion in repair and replacement of aging bridges, buildings, roadways and water systems.
The surcharge was also meant to draw attention to a growing national backlog in infrastructure maintenance, expected to cost $100 billion over the next 20 years.
Toronto's backlog of about $7 billion is arguably worse because, unlike Mississauga, the city is heavily in debt.
I must have missed the memo, but Google Video now provides a link so you can download and save in iPod and Sony PSP friendly MP4 format.
Odly, Google doesn't offer that convenience on it's Youtube site. To save Youtube videos on your iPod, ipod touch or iphone from Youtube, Google's Picasa or from Têtes à claques (or other Adobe Flash video), you have to follow the following procedures:
(If you have access to a Wifi Internet connection (and/or EDGE for the iphone), you don't have to follow this procedure if you just want to watch, but not store, Youtube (only) videos on your iPod touch or iphone ).
1. Download and install the totally free and, according to Norton, safe, Freez iPod converter.
2. Go to Youtube or Picassas or Têtes à claques as you normally would, watch the video. Right click on it, boost the Adobe Flash player cache to something relatively high (After right clicking on the video: settings/folder icon/drag the arrow thing to the right), .
3. Once the video is finished playing, go to your temporary files (in Internet Explorer 7, click on Tools/Internet Options/Browsing History Settings/View Files).
4. When you have found the Temporary files folder, look for a recent absurdly large file (put your files in order of "Last Accessed", go ot the most recent, then go up from there to the large file).
5. Copy the large file, paste it. Change the extension to .flv (you can also change the name of the file if you want).
6.Open your free and installed copy of Freez iPod Converter (not a sponsor of this blog), chose the file you want to convert, chose to appropriate setting (.h264 in the case of the ipod touch and iphone) and voilà, a video in the appropriate iPod touch format (or normal Ipod, iphone, PSP or MP4 players) .
To transfer the video from your computer to your iPod (step one is done):
- Save the video to a location on your computer.
- Connect your iPod to your computer and open the Apple iTunes application.
- In iTunes, select "File" > "Add File to Library." Browse for the video you downloaded, then click "Open."
- Select the "Movies" tab.
- Check the "Sync movies" box.
- Click "Apply."
Let me know if you have any questions.
I thought I'd share a few hours of online research and a useless purchase with you...
So you bought an Apple iPod touch or iPhone, and you obviously want to use ALL the features.
Ipod touch TV out (or iPhone TV out) is one of those features. Now before thinking about the dubious usefulness of connecting your iPod Touch (or iPhone) to your TV or VCR, you want to do it because YOU CAN. It is a feature, says so at Settings/Video. You can even select the TV signal and width of the image! By then you are giddy with features anyway and you figure you will use the ipod Touch to take over the world, so why shouldn't the TV out work? Your TV should be begging for the privilege of being connected to your ipod touch or iPhone.
But you need a special cord from Apple. $59 in Canada, $50 in the USA. In Canada, I could only find the Apple store selling the thing: $59 plus $6 for shipping!
Go ahead, look for an alternative. Won't work. You need the Apple A/V composite cord (for those of you with HDTV, you can use the Apple Component cord). The cord comes, oddly, with a integrated usb cord and power charger. No, the USB cord will not be used to miraculously synch your iPod or iPhone with your TV (it is Apple, not magic). As far as I can tell, the video out on the ipod touch and iPhone needs power, and so that is why there is a power adapter (or it could just be marketing, you never know with Apple). SEE UPDATE 2
So $59 plus $6 shipping to view the video and pictures (will that work?) on your ipod touch on your TV. And we are talking expensive Canadian dollars! NOW, start to think about the usefulness of connecting your iPod touch or iPhone to your TV or VCR . Think about it, how did the content get onto your iPod touch or iPhone in the first place.
Granted, getting content from your computer to your own TV is a royal pain in the arse, never mind your friend's TV. By far the easiest and cheapest way is to burn a cd or DVD (use mpeg 2 for video, jpeg for pictures). Alternatives include San Disk's new Take TV available for an affordable US$99 (plus shipping, border brokerage and a trip to your local industrial park when you miss the UPS guy).
Update (2008-05-02): No, inverting the red white and yellow on a generic mini cable does not solve the problem. I had thought of that, but thanks to the prankster who made me check again...
Update 2 (2008-06-24): TV-out is now compatible with the iPhone, so the post has been amended accordingly. I finally bought the composite (RCA) Apple (ridiculously expensive) cable mentionned in my post in order to link my iPod touch to my Cathode Ray Tube ("normal"/prehistoric) TV. Works as advertised. Although you don't need external power, so I guess the included USB power adapter is there for marketing reasons after all.
Nice positive surprises:
-With the TV out feature of the iPod touch (and iPhone), you can show off your iPoded pictures on your TV while also playing your iPoded music on your TV (or stero system)!
-You can watch streaming Youtube (assuming you have access to a wireless network)!
-If you have access to the Internet on a wireless network, you can stream any H.264 Quicktime video you find on the World Wide Web with your iPod touch (or iPhone) and play it instantly on your TV (so the TV Out is compatible with Dailymotion.com)!
Negative surprise: the wire foursome (composite video, left and right audio and USB) is pretty big and cumbersome (and heavy!). Not a practical item to carry around just in case (although it will fit in a jaket pocket).
In other news, the Take TV product mentionned in my post didn't take and the related online service is being discontinued.
However, iTunes is as popular as ever and now allows you to rent movies (only in the USA, the UK and Canada)! If you already have an iPod touch or iPhone, shelling out $65 for the tv out cable now makes sense when compared to $230 for Apple TV. However, please note that if you want to watch movies in HDTV, then you are better off with Apple TV as Apple TV is the only way iTunes will let you watch movies in HD. Ironically, Apple TV does not include the necessery HDMI wire to link it to your TV. Marketing (and perhaps design), but certainly not engineering, runs Apple.
I rented "National Treasure 2" and the action sequences and dark scenes were essentially flawless on my CRT. You can lie to your iPod touch (or iPhone) and tell it you have it connected to a wide screen TV so the letter box effect isn't as pronounced in movies (such as National Treasure 2) that come in that format in iTunes. I also re-watched Steve Jobs' latest presentation on my TV. Is is true what they say, TV does add 20 pounds. And on TV he looks perfectly healthy...