Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Shown here, the mashup artist plays the Theremin. I gotta get me one of those.
Yeah. I know what really happened. The First Officer said to the attendant, "I'll give you $100 if when the pilot tries to get back in, you hold the door closed and we pretend it's stuck."
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
I'm reading this story on the news wires, but I still find it hard to believe. A poor guy accidentally drops his
Yeah............. we're winning the war on terror, eh?
Picture from joshmadison.net
Monday, August 28, 2006
I have an idea though. I hear the after-awards parties are the real big event. Maybe they should sneak some cameras into those suckers and secretly record our favourite stars making asses of themselves. Then we could watch them get drunk. That could be some fun TV.........
Wouldn't that be totally freaky? Because it happened. And they got some of it on video. It was all a big joke of course. Behold the creativity of a group called Improv Everywhere.
Be sure to at least watch the compilation video about half way down the page right after the paragraph "I've compiled several videos........"
- Rainbows are just to look at, not to really understand.
- South America has cold summers and hot winters, but somehow they still manage.
- Many dead animals in the past changed to fossils while others preferred to be oil.
- Most books now say our sun is a star. But it still knows how to change back into a sun in the daytime.
- There are 26 vitamins in all, but some of the letters are yet to be discovered. Finding them all means living forever.
- Vacuums are nothings. We only mention them to let them know we know they're there.
- Some oxygen molecules help fires burn while others help make water, so sometimes it's brother against brother.
- Humidity is the experience of looking for air and finding water. We keep track of the humidity in the air so we won't drown when we breathe.
- The wind is like the air, only pushier.
Sunday, August 27, 2006
This week, one of our megabox stores offers a Toshiba with 512MB of RAM, a 60GB hard drive for only $600 plus tax. That's brand new. No abuse. No risk. Accessories still available. Granted - it's not a powerhouse computer, but you weren't going to get a powerhouse in a used model either in most instances. Because people typically sell their laptops when there's something bigger and faster out there. Or because they dropped it one too many times and need to offload the sucker before it has a massive breakdown.......
So do yourself a favour. Get the new one.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
In Canada, the actual text of the Copyright Act on the Infringement of Copyright states (and I quote):
29.1 Fair dealing for the purpose of criticism or review does not infringe copyright if the following are mentioned:
(a) the source; and
(b) if given in the source, the name of the
(i) author, in the case of a work,
(ii) performer, in the case of a performerÂs performance,
(iii) maker, in the case of a sound recording, or
(iv) broadcaster, in the case of a communication signal.
1997, c. 24, s. 18.
(the next section, 29.2 is an exact copy of 29.1, but substitutes reporting for criticism or review)
Now, when I mention the existence of works on another site, I don't always mention an author. But this law was written before bloggers started 'linking' to works on other web sites. I believe the courts will see that hyper-linking to the source of a work is the same as mentioning the source, because clicking the link will immediately take you to the owner's / author's site and make available everything you would want to know about the author of the work. Which also makes it very clear that the work is not mine, nor am I trying to take credit for it.
So get off your high horses people and read the law before you harass, threaten and bully people who are in effect, just trying to do you a favour and paying you the biggest compliment by reporting on your activities. That's right - you are in essence kicking a gift horse in the mouth. So be careful what you wish for. You might get it. When bloggers become paranoid and stop reporting works owned by popular sites........... those sites don't stay popular anymore. And unlike us poor schmucks, you all are more likely in it for the money. Therefore - you have the most to lose.
Damn! We should be suing you and demanding a cut of all the money we've helped you make....
Friday, August 25, 2006
1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it's the only thing you are sure to keep for the rest of your life.
2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called "Life on Planet Earth". Every person or incident is the Universal Teacher.
3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of experimentation. "Failures" are as much a part of the process as "success."
4. A lesson is repeated until learned. It is presented to you in various forms until you learn it -- then you can go on to the next lesson.
5. If you don't learn easy lessons, they get harder. External problems are a precise reflection of your internal state. When you clear inner obstructions, your outside world changes. Pain is how the universe gets your attention.
6. You will know you've learned a lesson when your actions change. Wisdom is practice. A little of something is better than a lot of nothing.
7. "There" is no better than "here". When your "there" becomes a "here" you will simply obtain another "there" that again looks better than "here."
8. Others are only mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another unless it reflects something you love or hate in yourself.
9. Your life is up to you. Life provides the canvas; you do the painting. Take charge of your life -- or someone else will.
10. You always get what you want. Your subconscious rightfully determines what energies, experiences, and people you attract -- therefore, the only foolproof way to know what you want is to see what you have. There are no victims, only students.
11. There is no right or wrong, but there are consequences. Moralizing doesn't help. Judgments only hold the patterns in place. Just do your best.
12. Your answers lie inside you. Children need guidance from others; as we mature, we trust our hearts, where the Laws of Spirit are written. You know more than you have heard or read or been told. All you need to do is to look, listen, and trust.
13. You will forget all this.
14. You can remember any time you wish.
(From the book "If Life is a Game, These are the Rules" by Cherie Carter-Scott)
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Well, on my colleague's suggestion, I set out to rectify the situation. I went back to my desk and made a hand-drawn red hat - like the kind you see (pictured above) on those television commercials from Arby's. "I'm thinking Arby's". Yeah........ that hat. I cut the hat out and strategically placed it over the head of the guy in the poster to see if it was appropriate. It was bloody perfect. But I was chickening out. Luckily, a good friend took matters out of my hands and taped the hat over top of the person's head in the poster. It attracted a lot of people over the course of the day. The best part was when the subject in the photo came by and laughed. Fantastic! The guy has a sense of humour.
Soon after this announcement, the other planets began taunting Pluto, shouting inappropriate vituperations at the cold rock. Pluto mumbled back, "We're not dwarves................. we're little planets....."
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Yet everywhere you look in this city, houses are sprouting, even a few high density buildings are going up. But they're all condominiums. There's no profit for developers in building apartment (rental) buildings, because condos get cash to the developer as soon as the unit is sold instead of having to borrow on the development over the long term. This means the only hope for rental units coming available, is for the City to relax home rental suite regulations (not a very safe option), or for investors to buy up homes and/or condos as investments and rent them out. I don't know many people in the position to make this kind of investment when housing costs are so high.
So what's the solution? Like everything else wanting in our local economy as a result of the booming oil sector, the government needs to start thinking about investing oil more royalties on current needs rather than socking it all away for a rainy day. Part of this investment in our situation today should include incentives to get developers to build rental properties on a grand scale, with percentages set aside for low income individuals.
Pictured: The Monk station in Montreal's Metro.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
I got my phone bill in the mail today. Enclosed with the bill was a notice from the company. It stated that based on an initiative by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) regarding Quality of Service Indicators, the company had not met performance targets in the area of trouble reports and repair appointments, particularly in rural areas. This genius plan by the CRTC looks at the service quality results and calculates a credit to be refunded back to clients. Everyone with a phone line (from this company) gets the credit. This year's refund? $0.76
Now, I'm not the smartest person in the world, but here's what I'm thinking. The service quality issues seemed more focused on rural support than urban support. I'm going to take a wild guess and imagine that the company in question has about 5 million customers (with land line phone lines). Multiply that by $0.76 and you're looking at a rebate totaling about $3.8 million. Considering that the rural customer bore the brunt of the service flaw, why does everyone get the credit? Wouldn't the almost $4 million be better spent on solutions to improve the quality of service in rural areas (like hiring more people) than handing out an insulting and completely useless $0.76?
"Here's a compact survival kit that actually survives being carried along. It's watertight and it floats so in the event that you actually need it, everything inside is in perfect condition. It includes an amazing array of supplies for all outdoors enthusiasts including:
Acetaminophen, adhesive bandage, alcohol prep, antibiotic ointment, book of matches, tea bag, chewing gum, sugar, salt packet, energy nugget, duct tape, fire starter cube, wire clip, first aid instructions, fish hook and line, note paper, pencil, razor blade, safety pin, whistle, compass, reflective signal surface and waterproof bag."But no freakin' sardines!
Drive your car (the whip) - get out while the car's still moving - dance all around / on top of it (yes - the car is still moving) - hope it doesn't crash into [you / another person / another car / a light standard / the house at the end of the street] - post proof of your intelligence quotient online.
Believers in natural selection - you can jump into the conversation at any time.............
Cory Doctorow - BoingBoing
Monday, August 21, 2006
Disclaimer - that is not a picture of Gary Hebert.........
Sunday, August 20, 2006
1. Wireless is only a good idea when running network cable is impractical or when computer location makes cabling difficult. Why? See #2.
2. Wireless is still not as fast as wired. Even when a technology arrives that promises 'as fast as wired' speed, there will still be issues. Why? See #3.
3. Wireless works on a technology few consumers understand - radio frequency (RF). RF (especially at the high frequencies that wireless uses) cannot penetrate all walls and floors perfectly. But even more, RF suffers from interference from things as innocuous as your cell phone, cordless phone, microwave, wireless mouse - anything that produces RF energy (intentionally or otherwise). RF does NOT have to be the same frequency to interfere with other RF - it only has to have ooomph (or be close by).
4. Because wireless uses RF, you want to use products that maximize the efficiency of sending / receiving RF. Translation - the USB network adapter is not as good as the PCI adapter that fits inside your computer with the antenna hanging off the back. Visible antenna always trumps invisible antenna for performance.
5. You cannot get by (safely) by just hooking up a wireless network and carrying on. You need to set up the security features of your system (they are usually disabled by default). There may be more than one security feature to choose from. Translation - you need to read the damned manual! If you don't understand the manual, you need to get help setting up the security features properly. If you don't, you will have poor or no security and anyone with the desire will be able to use your internet connection as their own.
Don't get me wrong, wireless networking is a fantastic technology. I use it. But I only use it when my wired network just won't do (such as when I want to surf the net out on my porch). Most importantly, I know its limitations and I take them into account. For a good primer on wireless, read this article, then this one, then this one.
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Michael Geist, a lawyer who knows copyright law, intends to spend the next 30 days explaining what's wrong with the DMCA idea and what must be done if a similar law is to be introduced in Canada.
I believe this is important to every consumer, anyone who enjoys any form of entertainment in any digital form. The entertainment industry is desperately trying to set the stage that would allow them to decide what the cd, dvd, vcr / pvr, cable box, computer, mp3 player, satellite radio of tomorrow can and cannot do. These are the death throes of an industry that thinks it can win the argument that new technology is bad for business (remember the cassette and video tape? - yeah, it hurt them soooo badly). This is the same industry that wants to ban all online lyrics and guitar tablature sites, because it threatens creators and publishers.
But don't take my word for it, just listen to the group of artists who have come out to declare that current artistic regulations are too restrictive as it is.
One of my favourite parts:
When: Before the title appears.
What: Call out alternate snake-related titles for the movie, like: “Snake the Money and Run,” “Muppets Snake Manhattan,” “Extreme Snakeover, Plane Edition,” "Snakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo" "Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Snakes." Alternatively, start a slow chant in the crowd of "Snakes, snakes, snakes..." until the title is displayed.
Is it me, or does one of these things not belong? Because when I think about a hot car deserving of a come-back, I think Zephyr........ mmm yeah.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Cable Co: How can I help you today?
Customer: Ummm, yeah. I can't get my wireless network working and I 'm wondering if it has anything to do with the fact we're only on the 'Lite' intern.... [cut off]
Cable Co: You're switched over.
Cable Co: I've already switched you over.
Customer: To what?
Cable Co: To the faster internet service.
Cable Co: You'll see your new fee on next month's bill.
Customer: But I .......... are you sure that......................... kay thanks.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Sometimes you just know you've found what you're looking for when you see it.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
The best reaction I've read so far on this news was at the J-Walk blog:
"They should just set up a sound stage and re-shoot it."