Passing Wind: 10 Ways to Improve Wind Mobile

wind-mobile-biglogoOn the face of it, Wind is the best deal we have here in Toronto. For $45 I get unlimited everything: talk, text and data. But there’s a long list of deficiencies which need to be addressed. Hopefully this post will be one more incentive for Wind to actually do something about their execrable service. At the very least it should give prospective customers pause.

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Remembrance Day at the Canadian Air and Space Museum

A few weeks ago I heard that the Canadian Air and Space Museum was embattled, under attack from its landlord, Parc Downsview Park.

David Soknacki, Chair of the Downsview Park Board of Directors has pulled every dirty trick in the book to evict the museum from its current home, the former de Havilland plant, where Tiger Moths and other gems of aviation history were first designed and built. Among his underhanded shenanigans, Soknacki has refused to recognize the historical and heritage significance of the building. Continue reading

Podcasts We Love

I’ve been giving my mom my castoff MP3 players. Recently I bought my parents His & Her’s iPod Nano’s. New ones even. And that’s when Mom discovered the joy of podcasts. She’s got her own faves, but they’re mostly (all) French, which doesn’t really jive with my readership (yep, the same three dudes). So I thought I’d tell you about some of the podcasts I listen to on a regular basis.

(BTW, if you’re not clear on the whole “podcast” thing, don’t sweat it. Check out these resources:

Tucows: How to Listen to Podcasts
Tucows: Tell Me About… Podcasting
butterscotch: Tune In: A Novice Guide to iTunes)

But first a quick rant about why podcasts are important, and should be part of your life. You’ve got limited time to expose yourself to content. You can choose pre-packaged, pre-digested, top-40’s content, or you can consume interesting, thought provoking material. You are what you ingest.

We’ve spent the greater part of our lives consuming content curated for us by others. The promise of the Internet was that we could assemble our own content feed. Is this good or bad? If you seek out content which agrees with your opinions, you’ll have no challenging opinions. No counterpoints. That’s probably not a good thing. So, I recommend finding content from a wide spectrum of sources. You may disagree with some of the views, but at least you’ll have exposed yourself to challenging opinions, and will be better able to articulate objections to those views. (OK, rant off.) Continue reading

Shafted In Florida: How AT&T Ruined My Vacation

Currently taking a short break from the winter cold, in Florida. Usually, my parents would be down here, and we would join them; but they had to remain in Toronto due to medical treatments. So we ended up opening the house.

My mother called AT&T ahead of our trip, and asked them to have the phone and Internet ready for the day of our arrival. And they promptly ignored her request. Upon our arrival, no phone, no Internet. Continue reading

Harper Giveth (to the commercial broadcasters), And Harper Taketh (from the CBC)

Our favourite moron is giving $150 million to private broadcasters, but is forcing the CBC to decimate its workforce by some 800 heads.  If we had any doubts of the Harper government’s agenda to put down the CBC, they’ve now been put to rest.

I don’t know about you, but I’m livid.  Clearly Harper missed the class where they explained the difference between public organizations and private enterprises.  If the private businesses can’t make it through these tough times, I say let them die, and allow new, more agile businesses take their place.  Not only are you delaying the inevitable, but you’re squandering public moneys.

As forests need the occasinal forest fire to renew and replenish themselves, to allow newer, more vital growth to take the place of the old growth, so too does business need to make way for newer businesses, with new business models and methods.  The world is changing, and we need innovation in every facet of our country, including the boardroom.

The other point which is blatantly obvious to the public, in spite of how gullible this government might believe us to be, is that with this “grant” to the private broadcasters, they’re now indebted to Harper and his minions.  Their journalistic integrity has been compromised.  I can no longer trust their judgement.

One of the victims of the CBC’s forced cull, has been Jesse Brown and his very excellent Search Engine podcast.  But in this case the story has a happy ending: TVO has picked up the show!

You can find the feed at this URL: http://feeds.tvo.org/tvo/searchengine.

(Nota bene: I had a terrific picture of Harper eating the CBC, which I’d spent a couple of hours on with Photoshop.  But it wasn’t backed up, so I lost it with Bender the first.)

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.