WordCamp 2009 Toronto: I’ll Be There

I missed it last year, but I’ll be there with bells on this year!  WordCamp is a series of regional conferences dedicated to our favourite blogging platform, WordPress, as well as blogging and social networking in general.

Get the 411 at http://phug.ca/wordcamptoronto/.

WCT is coming this Friday May 8, through to Sunday May 10.  Registration is $35 for students, and $50 for us reg’lar folk.

It’s Ada Lovelace Day

Ada LovelaceI’ve always thought of Ada Lovelace as being a contemporary of Mary Shelley.  Turns out Shelley was a friend of her father’s, Lord Byron, who Lovelace hardly knew.  She is widely credited with being the first computer programmer, having written a description of how to setup Charles Babbage‘s Analytical Engine to produce Bernoulli Numbers.

Of course, Babbage never actually built either of his engines (Difference or Analytical); so Lovelace was saved the heartache and tedium of debugging.  Of course, she also never knew the elation of seeing your program running.  Oh well, software giveth, and software taketh away.

Ada Lovelace Day is a celebration of women in technology.  Bloggers are asked to post about women they know and admire in technology.  So here goes.

Sue Nichols- Miss Nichols was my first Computer Science teacher in grade 9.  She taught me BASIC on an HP 2000.  She also arranged for me and two friends to get our first summer job programming at Cygnet Mini Computers.

More recently I’m privileged to be working with extraordinary women at Tucows, such as Heather Leson, Joan Sumner and Jackie Fraser.

Happy Ada Lovelace Day, all.

Remix Manifesto a Must-See

RiP: A Remix ManifestoI’d heard about RiP: A Remix Manifesto on CBC’s very excellent Search Engine podcast a couple of weeks ago.  I’m not sure how it bubbled up (probably through Facebook), but I ended up going to see it at the Royal on opening night with Morty and Bebe.

WARNING: You will come out of this movie hating the Disney Corporation with the red-hot intensity of a thousand suns.  (You know… if you didn’t already.) Continue reading

Net Neutrality: Tell the CRTC How You Feel

crtc2009The CRTC is in the process of gathering comments on Net Neutrality from Canadians, in preparation for their hearings on the subject this summer.  Now is your oportunity to let your voice be heard on this important subject.

Our friends at SaveOurNet.ca have set up a handy form to send your thoughts on the matter to CRTC Chairman Konrad von Finckenstein.  They’ve even provided you with a very well crafted default letter (which you can easily edit, or override), in case you don’t have time to write one yourself.  The deadline is Feb. 16, 2009, so don’t delay!

Update: According to Mediacaster Magazine, the deadline has been extended by a week, to Feb 23.

The Return of CBC’s Search Engine

Jesse Brown, host of CBC's Search EngineOn June 19th one of my favourite podcasts, CBC’s Search Engine, announced they were being taken off the air.  I was so upset I started a Facebook group, Saving CBC’s Search Engine, which managed to attract over 800 other unhappy fans of the show.

Search Engine tackles some of the most important issues facing Canadians in the Digital Age.  Their motto was “We predict the present”. Continue reading

Google Chrome Coming Soon

Google ChromeGoogle is today releasing a new browser called Chrome. It’s supposed to be much faster and more robust than existing alternatives. (Yes, even better than FF. Can you believe it?) Google describes the philosophy and advantages in a 38 page comic book:

http://www.google.com/googlebooks/chrome/

The big question is what this will mean for the current players?  I figure it’s too soon to tell.  But I’m hoping Mozilla will use the opportunity to pick up whatever they can from the GPLed Chrome, for inclusion in Firefox.

Also, I’m not sure how much I can trust Google since they’ve pulled the rug out from under my feet with their now defunct Browser Synch extension.

What I’ll Tell Ken Dryden

Over a month ago I contacted Ken Dryden’s riding office to arrange a meeting with my Member of Parliament.  I expected to see him within a week or two; I’d tell him of my concerns related to various issues of the day, and he’d take that into consideration when he returned to Ottawa.

But no.  It’s been over a month, and I don’t even have an appointment yet.  I was told his office had been flooded, and was currently being renovated.

If my office were flooded and needed to be renovated you can be sure I wouldn’t wait for the renovations to be completed before seeing my clients and assuring them I’m still on the job; that they can count on me to continue getting things done for them.  That it was business as usual.  I wouldn’t let a small matter like a bit of water get in the way of the important work I’m doing for them.

But hey, I’m not a politician. Continue reading

Why Peer-to-Peer Filesharing is Good For Big Media

Mom invited me over for dafina yesterday, and as my car was in the shop most of the day, I spent the afternoon with M&D.  I had Bender with me and, to pass the time, I uploaded a few episodes of Weeds I had on my hard drive, to a jump drive.  Then I played them on Mom’s Ubuntu computer.

I always enjoy watching TV and movies with my mom: she’s very emotional and expressive.  Without fail, she’s more entertaining than the show itself.  In fact, even though she was tired and had said she was going to have a nap, she watched six episodes back to back!  She was hooked! Continue reading

Strategy Building Session With Michael Geist

Michael Geist and I at the Fair Copyright for Canada strategy sessionThey called it a “strategy building session”, but it sure felt like a pep rally to me.  Don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing wrong with pep rallies.  Especially when they’re done right.  And this one was done very well.  From the hip and inspiring location, to the fresh snacks, to the articulate, well-informed, engaging speakers; it was a pleasure to participate in this event. Continue reading

Joss Whedon Does It Again!

What cool people I work with!  Today at 12:30, we gathered in the boardroom with our lunches.  Buddy Richard hooked up his MacBook Pro (oh!  How I’m missing Bender.  And it’s only the first day…) to the projector, and regaled us with the first episode of Joss Whedon’s latest effort: a micro-miniseries (3 episodes, 15 minutes apiece) entitled Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

It’s high camp, to be sure, and artfully showcases Harris’ impeccable comedic timing, as well as Whedon’s mastery of the genre. Continue reading