2011-12-16

Canada Should Remove Visa requirements For Visitors to the USA

Admiring the Emirates Airline network something becomes clear: there is money in geographic position. 

Granted, there is a nuisance factor of having all those international flights flying over your head, but we are talking money out of nowhere. Canada should get in on this and capitalize on its northern position and gigantic landmass.

Canada should:

-Remove tourist visa requirements for anybody with a valid American or European visa within the next or previous 30 days.
-Remove tourist visa requirements for citizens of rich Arab countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
-Remove tourist visa requirements for citizens of Caribbean countries.
-Remove tourist visa requirements for citizens with fewer than 10 million people.  

Obviously, some civil servants would loose their jobs as a result of this, but they could be reassigned to immigration enforcement.

Removing visa requirements doesn't mean letting every Haitian with a one way ticket just walk out of Pierre Trudeau airport, immigration officials would still have to right to refuse entry of those "tourists" who clearly intend on working here.

The government should also close Pierre Trudeau in Montreal and make Mirabel that region's airport. Mirabel does have some design issues ( tarmac buses to and from planes) but it can accommodate more planes, and, most importantly, do so without a curfew. Ideally, Toronto's Pearson wouldn't have a curfew either, but alot of people live in the flight path...

A tourist who is allowed to fly over Canada en-route to the USA should be allowed to land in Toronto and enter the USA at Niagara Falls without bureaucratic hurdle. Niagara's kitsch industry would be greatfull.

2011-12-10

Drinking Pepsi Gave Sofia Vergara Bigger Breasts

Sofia Vergara Vergara, the actress so amazing they named her twice. The Modern Family star started off in commercials at 17. She recently did a homage to that commercial at the tender age of 39. I'm headed off to the grocery store after posting this, and I won't be buying Coke. :)


2011-12-05

Saganash is Canada's Obama

Jean Chrétien did a terrible thing when he allowed the residential school system to continue to take aboriginals away from their family and culture while he was Indian Affairs Minister. One of the victims of this abduction and assimilation attempt was Romeo Saganash. Saganash clearly survived better than many others, and went on to get a law degree.

He is fluent in English and French, and, apparently, Spanish and Cree. He is the NDP federal MP for Abitibi - Baie-James - Nunavik - Eeyou. He has progressive values. His 3 children are grown up, and he is ready to lead a country.

Barak Obama was a long shot. So is Saganash. Obama, without is teleprompter and speechwriter, is dry and boring. In Sunday's debate, Saganash looked nervous. But with a bit of music... 

Jean Chrétien did a wonderful thing when he presented election act reforms that set strict limits on donations to political parties. You can take advantage of that. Your money has influence. If you haven't already donated this year, you can give $400 to the Saganash campaign, via the NDP web site, and you will get $300 back at tax time this Spring. If you have already given $1100 this year to a political party, you have reached your legal party donation limit. But you can still give an other $1100 to the Saganash campaign (but no tax credit if done in 2011).

Why is donating important? That is how Obama won. Donations. From people.




 

2011-11-26

Playbook Vs. iPad2

This is a great comparative between the Blackberry Playbook and the iPad 2. A couple of things are no longer accurate:
-iPad 2 now has iOS5 with its tab browsing and swiping between apps.
-The Playbook is now soooo much cheaper. If you missed the sale, head on over to your local Kijiji (I bought 5 at the sale price).

Note that video is essentially the same size on the Playbook and iPad. For web surfing, the additional real-estate is used, but the Playbook has Flash, that missing feature is a contestant annoyance when surfing on an iPad.

The iPad is not pocket size. The Playbook is jacket pocket size. The Playbook has hdmi out. You need a $50 adapter to do that on an iPad.

Conclusion: iPad is the better tablet. But if you already have a 42 inch TV, a 24 inch computer screen, a 17 inch laptop, a 10 inch tablet and a 3.5 inch smart phone, the 7 inch Playbook is a nice addition. :)


We Could of Had it All

Adele's video has been viewed 173 million times!


Holly smokes, Tottemhan born Adele has quite the accent!

I bought her music before ever seeing her, I have to admit, when I first saw her (on Saturday Night Live), I was quite disappointed. My Adele was thin! :) 




My favourite

2011-11-22

Africa Is a Country (Santorum, Carey et. al)

I've been to Africa. If Africa is a country, it doesn't include Morocco (shameless bragging about my trip to Morocco, which I recommend).

Country and continent are easy to confuse when speaking. We'll never know if the folks below really thought Africa was a country.

Republican candidate Rick Santorum

Improve TV host (now Price is Right host) Drew Carey.

 I love how Drew Carey describes Africa as "being in the middle of the world".  Maybe believing the world is flat is a more serious issue. :)

Alleged info on Palin


One republican candidate also thinks that Libya isn't part of Africa. Perhaps worse, however, is Ron Paul who kind of implies that Africa is a country where capitalism doesn't exist (hence, they keep getting hungry). Ignorant people generally know they are ignorant. It is the very knowledgeable ones that you got to watch out for (we all have a specialties, and clearly, history, geography and economics are not Ron Paul's). 

I Am Influencing CIDA!

I write my blog to influence people like the policymakers at the Canadian International Development Agency. However, this isn't quite what I had in mind. :)

2011-11-21

Iran Should Get The Bomb

A democracy or not (currently not), it is in Iran's interest to get nuclear weapons. Pakistan, China, India and the USA have nuclear weapons and desperately need cheap oil. Iran has too many neighbours that can't be trusted. Iranians have suffered too much during the never-ending Iran-Iraq war. The population supports nuclearisation of their country. And who can blame them?

If every country in the world used their military to invade the USA, the world coalition would lose. That is how much the USA spends on its military. 

The arms race is US led. Leave Iran alone.

Hotlinking

Thanks to a question from my mother, I just realized you can easily hotlink pictures when using the Gmail web site or the generic iOS Mail app.

Cool, eh!

And since Blogger alows me to post by email...


PS. Hotlinking is wrong in the moral sense. Oh, and you can't hotlink video in Gmail. However, you can link to a Hotlink video.

2011-11-13

The Tim Hortons Gap

You know about the Darien Gap that stops you from driving to Columbia. But did you know about the 304 km Tim Hortons gap, that stops you from taking a well deserved bathroom/coffee/donut break when driving across the Canadian Rockies?

This needs to be solved. Also, I'm not sure about the one in Relvelstoke, it may be an urban legend.

At first, I tough Dubai got a Tim Hortons before Banff. But there may be a Tim Hortens at 100 Gopher street. However, it might be closed because it is a fire hazard. I guess people in Banff don't have the Internet because I can't get a straight answer. If there is a Tim Hortons in Banff, the Tim Hortons Gap is only 283km (but that can take you 4 hours in the Rockies!).



Agrandir le plan Last Tim Horons for 304 km!
View Larger Map

Remember, not all Tim Hortons are drive-thru. By the way, Tim Horton, the person, died in a car crash.


Tim Hortons in Dubai

I'm excited that Tim Hortens will finally have espresso. Coffee is just too hot for Canadian summers. Speaking of which, did you know there is now a Tim Hortons in Dubai. Right next to the Starbucks. This is why I work in a call centre for $14 an hour. Because never in a million years would I have ever invested in a Tim Hortons in what is possibly one of the hottest countries on earth. I mean, granted, Arabs invented coffee, and caffeine is one of the few authorized drugs for Muslims, but Tim Hortons?

Skip to the end if you don't want the driving and parking part (note there is inexplicably no drive-thru at Tim Hortons Dubai). Note the guy eating a bagel. A bagel!


Agrandir le plan

The Three Mouthketeers

Insert food blog here.

PS. I still love The Simpsons AND Breaking Bad. 

Canada Should Ban Pets

Global warming is happening and those drowning Bangladeshians are going to start interfering with my nightly sleep. I live in a basement apartment, I take the bus to work. I walk to the grocery store. My yearly leisure trip involves a 17 hour bus trip to Montreal. Move over Al Gore, I'm Mr. Anti-global warming.

However, I can only do so much. Time to start banning stuff. So I suggest we ban pets.

Pets eat a lot of animals. As you know, animals take a lot of land to feed. In Canada, we use plenty of fossil fuels to grow and cultivate that food. Many of the animals we feed our pets with give off alot of methane. Pets have a short life cycle, and are often disposed of  in shallow graves or the garbage (so their accumulated CO2 is returned to the atmosphere).

Many childless couples pretend their pets are children, and so justify large suburban houses with the required yard. As you know, low density housing is Canada main reason for our large per capita carbon footprint. Pets can also be noisy, discouraging high density environmentally friendly housing.
We could ban private jets, require jets landing at Pearson have a minimum of 500 passengers, raise the gas tax (or use it to fund car insurance). But all in all, since I hate dogs (I had a paper route when I was 10) and am allergic to cats, I've decided the best thing to ban are pets.


2011-11-12

The Occupy Movement is About Taking Power Away From the People

This is is response to David Suzuky's Occupy movement is about power for the people .

Direct Democracy Sucks
Do you have time to participate in direct democracy? For example,  were you in the Occupy Wallstreet general assembly where they decided to spend 8 THOUSAND DOLLARS on the occupywallstreet­.net domain name. Not on the web site, on the DOMAIN ! That insane decision was reached by "consensus". Their whole "democracy" point of view is that you have to be at the freaking meeting (no elected representatives). Worse, to appease the anarchist element of the group, if you don't like the decision, you don't have to be involved. Volunteer taxation anyone?

The System
The people have the power. You could argue they have more power in Quebec, where corporations are not allowed to give to election candidates or parties. A corporation's power to donate is severely restricted at the Canadian federal level (thanks to Jean Chretien's election act reform). The US is clearly an other matter, but Barack Obama, for example, was elected thanks mainly to donations from people, not corporations. Many people who have to ability to donate to political parties, don't. That, in my opinion, is the problem. Not "the system". 

The 99% Cause Global Warming
Poor people have very little impact on global warming and the environment. They live in small homes, don't travel and tend to walk or use crowded buses. In Canada-USA, the poor are a small portion of the 99%. The folks we have to worry about are the ones living in suburban houses driving 20 km each day to go to work. Rich people with their private jets and way too big houses are annoying, but eliminate them and you still have all those suburban global warming causing dwellers...

My Hands Are Busy
I'm all for policy debate, but I take issue with folks "demanding" that I not be able to elect a representative, and therefor not be able to have a voice, because I'm at work trying to earn money to buy food, bus fare, and pay the rent.

Environment
Oh, and for those of you that do care about the environment, what is the first line in the "Declaration of the Occupation of New York City"? 

They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage. 

Well, if that is true, that clearly sucks. But what the hell were you doing with a house in New York City!? New Yorkers, even rich New Yorkers, have a far lower global warming impact than the average American (New Yorkers usually live in apartments and take the bus/subway). But New Yorkers that live in houses are an other matter. 

Global warming and other pollution isn't the result of democracy and capitalism (there is plenty of pollution in communist, monarchist and dictatorship countries), but the result of people making bad decisions. Science and education can help, but the Occupy movement (1000$ to the NYC herbal remedy table, by "indirect consensus"!), can not. Sorry.

-I Do Not Support the Occupy Movement.

Update (2012-05-15): You can watch, but you can't vote (unless you are there).

2011-11-07

I Do Not Support the Occupy Movement.

The Occupy Movement is against democracy and capitalism. Think about that. Ponder that.

I love freedom.
I like to be free of disease. Free from food poisoning when I'm too lazy to cook my own food. I like the freedom of changing jobs without having to worry about my health insurance coverage (unfortunately, I do for pharmaceuticals). I like that my city is free from the smell of garbage that permeates many parts of countries like Venezuela. I like that I am free to move to my nation's capital (although it would be great if the federal government removed geographical restrictions on applying for federal jobs, at least I'm not banned from moving to the capital, like in Russia).

I believe in gaming theory (win win). I support the World Trade Organisation.

I love the good things in life. Some of them are free, but I'm willing to work for travel, good food, beer, Internet access and my iPhone.

I am a social democrat, a progressive, and I love freedom.

I do not support the occupy movement.

---------Update: 2011-11-08------
From the working draft of "Principles of solidarity" of the NYC Occupy Wall Street General Assembly.


-Engaging in direct and transparent participatory democracy;
-Exercising personal and collective responsibility;
-Recognizing individuals’ inherent privilege and the influence it has on all interactions;
-Empowering one another against all forms of oppression;
-Redefining how labor is valued;
-The sanctity of individual privacy;
-The belief that education is human right; and
-Endeavoring to practice and support wide application of open source.


To me, that sounds like communism...


2011-10-10

Canadian Hulu 2011

Shortcut to this page: http://j.mp/aaa2011

Canadians don't have Hulu, but we do have access to most American shows via Canadian network websites.
Here is my list of TV to watch this year, with links to their Canadian web location.

The Best:
-Weeds (Showcase)

Drama:
-Pan Am. (CTV)
-Terra Nova (City)
-Desperate Housewives (CTV)

Comedy
-The Simpsons (Global Sunday night or iTunes)
-The Office (Global)
-30 Rock (City)
-Parks and Recreation. (City)
-The Big Bang Theory (CTV)
-Modern Family (City)
-Suburgatory (City)
-Raising Hope (City)
-The Daily Show (CTV)
-Saturday Nigth Live (Global)
-The Rick Mercer Report (CBC)
-Et Dieu créa, Laflaque (SRC)
-Acadieman (Télévision Rogers)

Reality
-The Amazing Race (CTV)
-TMZ (CTV)

Sports
-Hockey Night in Canada (CBC), click with your glasses off so you don't see the score (or watch live).

Infotainment
-Doczone (CBC)
-The Fifth Estate (CBC)
-The Nature of Things (CBC)
-The Passionate Eye (CBC)
-60 Minutes (CBS)
-Frontline (PBS). Some episodes not available in Canada.
-Nova (PBS). Some episodes not available in Canada.
-Documentaires de Radio-Canada.
-La facture (SRC)
-Découverte (SRC).

Podcasts:
-Diggnation (HTML 5, plays on iPad).
-Tech News Today, etc. (Twit.tv)


2011-10-07

iPhone 4S on Koodo or Telus

I just found out my over 3 year old out of contract iPhone is locked
on Rogers, for ever! There is no simple way to unlock it without
jail-breaking it.
So I've decided to to buy the 4S, unlocked, directly from Apple. If I
move or a company expands their network, or suddenly suffers from
congestion, I want (need?) the flexibility. Not being able to use my
iPhone at my new home, because I live on the wrong side of the
building, would be a costly mistake. And coverage varies incredibly
between Rogers and Bell/Telus.
But the cost. Ouch! Sticker shock is real when you pay up-front. $650
and a significant contribution to hospital care via the HST. Worse, on
the main Telus, Bell and Rogers providers, there is no price plan
advantage to having your own phone. For that you have to go pre-paid
or second tier (Koodo, Virgin or Fido). Note that the iPhone is not
compatible with Wind, Mobilicity or Vidéotron.
If you are like me, you don't talk on your phone much. You probably
don't need that much data either (text is not very data intensive at
all). But you could, you might. And as you probably know, cell phone
plans are relatively cheap as long as you get the right bucket. Spill
over and it will co$t you. Over-estimate your usage, you will end up
throwing your money out the window, every month, for the duration of
your contract.
I have an extended battery pack for my iPhone 3G, I love the iPhone
and the Internet, but have never gotten anywhere close to using my 6GB
allowance, even when trying (Netflix and YouTube marathons, tethering
my computer...).
The coverage with Rogers in Moncton is great. But as most Maritimers,
I spend a significant amount of time out of the city. The Bell/Telus
rural data coverage is vastly superior in Atlantic Canada. So price
being equal, Rogers is out.
But being a Maritimer, price is of vital importance. Salaries are
ridiculously low here, so money is always an issue (I have colleagues
who use food banks to help the feed their kids!).
Spend some time doing your own research and calculations for your own
perceived "needs". With the Internet, researching prices is somewhat
easy (if you have a degree, you should do fine). But you will quickly
concluded that confuse-economics is alive and well in the cell phone
business, even more so with smartphones.
I've decided to go with the unlocked iPhone 4S from Apple and a Koodo
(aka Telus cheap brand) $15 Canada wide voice and flex data plan.
(Via iPhone)

2011-10-02

Immigrants to Canada Should Speak English and French

I am of the opinion that potential immigrants to Canada who speak English and French should be given more points. Potential immigrants who speak neither should be given less (ie, none).

Lack of local language skills is the number one irritant and probably the number one obstacle to integrating Canadian life. Even if they are fluent in English or French, they are at a significant disadvantage over other Canadians who took French or English as a second language in high school.

 

2011-09-30

Attention Employees: There are Gummy Worm Thieves Among Us!

"It has come to my attention that there are thieves among us; this is never a good thing".


Do you have a gummy worm theft problem in your office? Apparently, I do. I'm pretty sure my boss has an office memo quota because his latest is about gummy worm thieves with a sincere promise to eventually catch and fire them. "These individuals have to go, they will eventually get caught".

But according to the memo, "these individuals are difficult to detect and catch" (the entire office is covered with video surveillance, ostensibly to prevent data theft). If you have any tips on how to catch an office gummy worm thief, I'd like to know so I can collect some brownie, err, gummy points with my boss.

I've never tried a gummy worm, but they must be amazing if people are willing to risk their job over them!

Here are some gummy worm thieves I found on the Internet:


2011-09-29

Non-Touch Kindle In Canada

Cost
If you live in Canada, it will cost you C$122.86, plus HST, for the cheapest Kindle. The Kindle Touch and the Kindle Fire are simply not available to Canadians.

By comparison, the Kobo Wifi will cost you $109 (the newer Kindle Touch is $140) . If you are really cheap, you can pick up a refurbished Kobo 1st gen (not wifi) for $70 at Future Shop.

Cost of ebooks
Remember that with a Kindle, you are really stuck buying books from Kindle's store. Many books are not available to Canadians and those that are, are almost always more expensive in Canada. However, when you factor in the sales tax, that American Kindle store does not charge, the Kindle store books are usually about the same price as other ebooks (at Kobo or iBooks, for example).

Library books
Also, keep in mind you can't read library books on a Kindle (at time of writing, that option is limited to some US libraries). 

Comparison
If you will spend a significant time with your ereader. Possibly in intimate places like your bed and the bathroom. However, why spend more that you have to.

iOS
-I love my iOS devices (iPhone and iPad) because I can shop for ebooks on many different stores as well as the New Brunswick library. Reading, however, is an other issue. The main problem is that I have the entire freeking Internet at my finger tips. To say there are distractions to reading a book on an iOS device is an understatement. The iPod touch is the lightest reading device and very portable. The iPad is bigger and heavier than an ereader, so less portable, but it is easier to read formatted text like magazines. Anything that had glass will have glare. However, the back-lit iOS devices can become challenging in very bright situations (at the very least, you will have to take off your sunglasses).

-Kobo. Every Kobo feels rushed and imperfect. That is just the way they do things. However, you won't suffer from feature creep. They use the standar ePub, so works with elibrary books and you technically could buy from different stores. I'd advise against the non-wifi model as not having to sink to your computer is a luxury that is worth the extra coin (think buying books while on the can). The advantages of touch are debatable in my opinion. I don't remember doing anything but turning the page while reading books on my iOS devices. Glare is a factor when reading under bright lights or outside. Non-glossy paper wins in that respect. 

-Kindle 3G. You can buy an ebook no matter where you are IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. Even if you are house bound, that might be worth the extra $50. Of course, if you don't have a router, or any intention of getting one (and live within the Telus-Bell coverage area), it is the cheapest option.

-Kindle with keyboard and wifi. If you are realistic, and have access to wifi, you won't spring for 3G. And the keyboard is there if you suddenly get the urge to type something while reading a book. But I've never typed anything while reading a book on my iOS devices.

-Kindle without keyboard or touch capability. This Kindle is Koboesque is its lack of features. But is has wifi. And if you aren't the type to write in the margins of paper books, you don't need a keyboard, virtual or otherwise. The lightest eink reader (but almost twice the weight of an iPod touch).

Need more information? If you really like books, more is never enough:

2011-09-26

Online Movies in Canada

Here is a list of legal online movie sources for Canadians:

Like with alcohol, know your limit! Most Internet providers have bandwidth buckets. You go over, you will pay much, much more. And yes, streaming movies counts. As a guideline, figure about 600mb per movie. Double for HD (5GB with the PlayStation Store!)

-iTunes: Rent or purchase, computer, Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, English, French (limited selection), HD (720p)
-Play Station Store: Rent or purchase. PS3, English, French, HD 1080p (large files), taxes included in price.
- Netflix: Subscription, computer, Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, PS3, Xbox360, Wii (in 480p), some Blu-Ray players and other devices, English, French (very limited selection). Control over resolution and compression (file size) in account settings.
-Crackle: Free, ad supported, computer, iPad, English.
-Youtube, rent, computer, Android tablet and phones, English, interface available in French, 480p. 
-http://www.nfb.ca/ , good luck finding anything worth watching, but you paid for it (via federal taxes). 

-Rogers On Demand Online, ad supported, limited selection for non-cable subscribers.
-Shaw subscribers: vod.shaw.ca
-Bell TV: Bell TV subscribers: http://tvonline.bell.ca

Do you know of any others?

Here is a list of Canadian Internet service providers (ISP) that don't charge for bandwidth overages:
-BellAliant.

The Hangman’s Daughter Did Not Have a Kindle Tablet

The Hangman’s Daughter is the English version of Die henkerstochter, a German book set in 1600 Bavaria. I just bought it because I was reading an article in the New York Times about the upcoming Kindle Tablet.


According to the article, Amazon bought the English rights to the German book and sold 200,000 copies of it. Then, someone thought it would be a good idea to publish a paper version of it.


In case you were wondering, Gutenberg invented the movable printing press in 1439. So although the Hangman's Daughter didn't have this week's new Kindle Tablet, she could have had access to a book. 

2011-09-13

"If You Are Not Annoyed [at military spending] There is Some Problem" (Ron Paul)

Americans were not attacked in 2001 because of their way of life, and certainly not because of their wealth (Ben Laden was far richer than the average American). Americans were attacked because of their military presence in the Arab world. Ron Paul knows this. Do you?


2011-09-04

Tablet Wars

I like wars wear humans don't die. Although if people lose their job and the country doesn't provide a social safety net, they could actually starve or freeze to death (or if they lose their healthcare benefits and are/get sick). But lets agree that fewer people will die in the tablet war than in, say, the American Civil war. That's a safe bet, I think (people do die mining for all those rare minerals... ).

Prices including New Brunswick's 13% HST.
-32GB iPad2: $699.47 (taxes incl.).
-32GB Sony: $678 (taxes incl.)
-32GB Blackberry Playbook: $677.99 (taxes incl.).
-32GB Motorolla Xoom: $565 (taxes incl.)
-32GB Toshiba: $565 (taxes incl.)
-16GB Samsung Galaxie Tab: $565 (taxes incl.)
-32GB Acer Iconia: $452 (taxes incl.)
-0.5GB Viewsonic View Pad: $334 (taxes incl). 
-6 inch,1GB Kobo eReader, Touch Edition: $158.20 (taxes incl)
-6 inch Kindle (at Staples): $179.67 (taxes incl).
-3.5 inch, 32GB iPod touch: $360.47 (taxes incl).
-Future 7 inch 6GB colour Kindle: $282.50 (taxes incl), subject to change (and regional availability).

As you probably know, HP has decided to stop making the HP Touchpad. Then they decided to sell them for $100 and $150. Now everybody wants one, and people are paying between $300 and $400 on ebay and various sites like Craigslist and Kijiji...

2011-08-28

Hurricane Irene NBC Nightly News

NBC`s Nightly news with Brian Williams is my favourite newscast. Since Hurricane Irene is headed directly for 30 Rock, HQ of NBC News, you might forgive this Saturday's episode to be a tad hurricane obsessed.

Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938Hurricane WarningThe Great Hurricane: 1938Hurricane Watch: Forecasting the Deadliest Storms on Earth

2011-08-27

Naked Against the Power of Hurricane Irene

Funny video I found on Youtube thanks to the  Twitter hastag (hat tip @ for that hashtag).


***Warning, may contain men in their natural state****

"You Are All Going To Die" (Irene to NYC)

Hurricane Watch: Forecasting the Deadliest Storms on EarthAlternative title: Jersey Shore, RIP.


NBC Nightly News had an hour long hurricanecast tonight in-lieu of news. NASA has a nice hurricane Irene photo. 90% chance of tropical storm winds hitting NYC this weekend, according to the National Hurricane Center.



Seach iRobot, But Do Not Search iRoboto

There was a time when I unsuccessfully tried to make money peddling
iRobot on Myspace. So I feel for whoever decided "seach" was a word.
Truly ironic, because they avoided using a URL (that people can never
remember and ALWAYS get wrong). Telling people to search is a good
idea, as long as they are not confused by the "seach" typo and also
remember how to spell iRobot (not iRobo, iRoboto, or Roboti).

2011-08-23

Top Gear On 60 Minutes

The World According to ClarksonTop Gear is the one non-girl show on BBC Canada. In the UK, half of Top Gear viewers are women! That makes sense, since about everybody in the UK is watching (slight exaggeration). Anyway, I used to fork over $2.75 a month for the privilege of watching the show on BBC Canada. When I cut my cable last year, I actually paid iTunes for the privilege, à la carte. Since, I've contented myself with reruns on Netflix (with the occasional splurging on a special in the PlayStation store).


This is what 60 Minutes had to say about Top Gear.

The Mini: Celebrating 50 Years of a Modern Motoring Icon
Driven to DistractionHow Hard Can It Be?: The World According to Clarkson Volume 4 (World According to Clarkson 4)Notes from the Hard ShoulderHow to Land an A330 Airbus: And Other Vital Skills for the Modern ManThe Man in the White Suit: The Stig, Le Mans, The Fast Lane and MeFor Crying Out Loud: The World According to Clarkson Volume 3: v. 3 (World According to Clarkson 3)As You Do: Adventures With Evel, Oliver, And The Vice-President Of Botswana

David Letterman is Fat

American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely PatriotWhat do you mean you don't have Letterman embeded on your blog?

Since cutting the cord, I can no longer watch Letterman episodes. Global Maritimes (digital HD Over The Air) doesn't even carry it (possibly thanks to evil NTV). However, thanks to the generous folks at CBS, they let this Canadian watch short clips, despite not being in the geographical target market of their online video advertisers. Even better, lets see if this works, I can embed my favourite clips in my blog!

By the way, the Daily Show and Conan are available, in their entirety, on the CTV web site.

 

2011-08-20

An Over the Air Reality TV Check for Sun's Michelle Thomson

You'd have trouble finding anything in this Sun August 16th Michelle Thomson article, Rabbit Ears Going Way of Dodo,  that is factually correct. What is scary is that nobody caught it. Not enough men in the newsroom?

As of this week, I can get Global TV in clear, pristine HD, using a rabbit ear antenna. I had to dig my antenna out of storage as analog over the air TV is way too fuzzy in my basement Moncton apartment. But over the air digital TV, at least for the Global Maritimes channel, is perfect. CTV and SRC will be available in Moncton by the end of August. 

The fact is, folks in Edmonton have plenty of over the air (OTA) digital TV options. Yes, using standard rabbit ears...

 
Rabbit ears are set to join the Walkman, VCR and record player in the ranks of endangered household items. 
And that's costing Edmontonians big bucks to keep up with the trends as they're being forced to upgrade their TVs in preparation for a sweeping digital transition.
Rabbit ears — the double-pronged, upward rising antennas popular among the elderly and the frugal — are set to become extinct as the CRTC prepares to make digital cable mandatory in the Edmonton market.

The double-pronged antenna is perfectly fine for capturing digital TV signals, especially in an urban setting like Edmonton.

The CRTC is forcing most Canadian television stations to broadcast in digital in major Canadian cities, starting Aug. 31.

Actually true!

That means those receiving stations through rabbit ears or outdoor antennas will no longer be able to get service.

False!  In fact, you need an antenna to get digital over the air (OTA) TV. If do use an antenna, and your TV doesn't have an ATSC tuner (found in most HD TVs), you will need a $30 converter box (to convert the signal from digital to analog). 
 
If they want to keep tuning into their favourite shows, they will have to get a cable box, digital converter or new TV. The cost will depend on the cable package.

Well, no! If you have an antenna and a $30 converter box, you won't be forking over anything to the cable company! 

Lorne Konelsky, who's selling a pair of rabbit ears on Kijiji, said, "They're an antique now. Those things are over 25 years old."

They can last an other 25 years.
 
 
Konelsky recently found the gadget while helping clear out the house of his son's mother-in-law. She used them until she moved into a seniors home, he said. They're for sale for $5. 
The ad's been static for months and just a few calls of inquiry have come in — mostly from people wanting to know what they are.
Until recently, married mom of three, Tena Trefz, used rabbit ears to catch the news and cartoons with the family. The two channels it provided was all she needed until a few months ago, when the family switched to cable.
"To us, it was a luxury. We never had it before," she said. "We didn't really feel the need for cable. We just decided to get it for fun." 
Those being forced to make the switch have a right to be annoyed, she added. 
"Now it's just being forced on people, (and) they have to switch. If you're getting two or three channels and that's all you really need, you might not want to pay for cable." 
The matriarch of another Edmonton-area family said they're shelling out thousands to upgrade their TV systems in advance of the digital switch.
Tracy — who didn't want her last name used — said she and her Lacombe clan had been using rabbit ears up until a few weeks ago.
But when they moved into a new home, they decided to sign on to cable, and upgrade all their TVs in the process. 
"We're splurging. We're going big. It'll be thousands." 
While she might have otherwise been irked by the change, Tracy said the household move helped change the tone. 
"It would have normally been a headache," she said. "But because this is a happy move, this is exciting." 
While CRTC change will take effect Aug. 31, some stations have received a deadline extension.

Well, it could be a headache if you are on the fringe of the analog coverage area and you had a high tolerance for snowy screen. Because digital, it works or it doesn't. But for everybody else trying to get overt the air TV, unless you have and ATSC TV, all it requires is a $30 purchase.

By the way, the US went thru this 2 years ago... Although SUN Media wasn't there to misinform.


2011-08-19

How To Have Fun With Fake Virus Phone Scammers

Don't watch, just listen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztOArBQHwFU&feature=youtube_gdata_player

In order for this YouTube video to work properly, you will need to
provide me with your credit card number number and expiration date,
please do so in the comments here. :)

Via iPad

2011-08-09

Acadie Nouvelle gratuit via le site de la bibliothèque

Des photos en noire et blanc, en 2011, c'est plutôt triste. Surtout sur un iPad!

Ceci-dit, lorsqu'on lie quelques chose sur l'app Kobo en mode "nuit",
et qu'il y a une photo en noir et blanc...

En passant, vous pouvez maintenant télécharger gratuitement l'Acadie
Nouvelle du jour via le site de la bibliothèque (auparavant il y avait
un délais de trois jours). http://gnb.ca/0003

2011-08-08

US Gives Alaska to AAA Rated Canada to Pay off Debt (CNN)

If you look carefully at the CNN map, it appears there is even a pixel
for the north of 49th American Indian reservation. Unfortunately, that
attention to detail didn't extend to Alaska...

Oh, before you hop on a short range plane to AAA rated New Zealand or
Australia, you might want to consider that the Pacific and Hawaii have
been chopped of this CNN map.

Now that we Canadians have Alaska, we might as well pick-up Greenland,
as Denmark no longer wants it (according to CNN map). France also has
some over-seas departments worth a look.

Finally, looks like the Falklen War was for naught; the island have
been reassigned by CNN Money to some non-AAA nation.

2011-08-07

300 Episodes of Tech News Today

Geek Silicon Valley: The Inside Guide to Palo Alto, Stanford, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, San Jose, San FranciscoIn honour of TWIT's Petaluma, California, Tech News Today's 300th video podcast episode, I'm embeding 5 days worth right here.



Agrandir le plan

Monday, 296:



Tuesday, 297:


Wednesday, 298:


Thursday, 299:


Friday, 300:

A House is A Great Investment... or Not

Canadian lawyers now often buy title insurance INSTEAD of doing due diligence. But if the insurance company fails...

Below is what happened in the USA. (60 Minutes).

Dubai Metro at 763km/hr !

This is the most awesome video ever (assuming you are a public transportation geek and tired of looking at people)!



A while back I embeded some other cool public transportation videos, but Google Video closed down! Perhaps that is the best feature of a subway: relative permanency.

This is what can happen when you don't build a subway (Detroit only has a uni-directional people mover). Detroit: A City on the Brink :)

2011-07-31

MacBook Air At Par!

Finally, Apple is selling something at par in Canada!

Now, if only they could do the same with their iPads and accessories. Also, note that even at par, it means the MacBook air (and new Mini) is more expensive on this Canadian side of the border. Based on US pricing, at time of writing the cheapest air should only be C$946. By the way, there is no duty on computers, so taxes are not the reason for the pre-sales tax price difference. And since Apple's computers are made in Asia, transportation to Canada is also cheaper, by boat or plane. Retail costs (labour and rent) and shipment to customers could theoretically be more expensive in Canada, but I doubt it.

However, before you drive to the USA to save $70 on a US$1599 Mac, remember that most US states, and some US cities and counties, charge a sales tax, and the price difference is only 4%. Also, your credit card company probably charges a 2.5% conversion fee. New Hampshire has no sales tax on computers, but does on restaurant and hotels...

However, if you are in Old Orchard and are planning on buying a MacBook Air or Mini, buying one in NH before you get back to Canada is a way to save a few bucks, assuming you don't care about the 141km detour to Salem or Nashua. You could instead buy an Apple computer at the nearby South Portland store, but because Maine sales tax is 5%, you would have to pay MORE for your computer if you declare it at customs (you have to pay HST on the entire price, including the Maine tax).

Deleware and Oregon are the only other options for Canadian Apple cheapskates (Montana and Alaska have no state tax, but no Apple stores either).

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