In Your Ear – Episode #1

In Your Ear LogoSo I’ve long been a listener to podcasts, in fact I can’t remember when I started; I think somewhere around the time that Adam Curry did and we were all forced to use iPodder..

Now I have started my own podcast. Its a music podcasts, primarily playing indie rock/alternative bands. I’m going to try to get it out weekly.

But without further ado here it is:

[audio:http://www.archive.org/download/InYourEarEpisode1/InYourEarEpisode1.mp3]

A download link for people that want to enjoy it later:

In Your Ear – Episode #1

Finally the podcast feed:

Types of Twitter Users

I think its been roughly a year since I joined Twitter and in that time I’ve noticed there are a variety of Twitter users.

  1. Some that use it to constantly advertise their latest blog post or appearance on some live cam.
  2. Others that are there for socialization and friends
  3. Users that somehow follow everyone AND have ongoing communications with all of them
  4. People that never comment on anyone elses tweets and seem to live in their own “what are you doing” world
  5. And finally, people that signed up and haven’t updated their status since

And you know what is the best thing about twitter? It has all this diversity!

 Twitter Bird

Facebook Ignorance

Facebook LogoI came across this article on FoxNews.com today; Facebook’s Death Spiral Has Begun. Reading this article made me wonder if the “reporter” has even used Facebook before. My two cents of the matter are the allowing Facebook user’s to delete their accounts will actually increase the number of signups. People might want to know that there is a way out once they’ve created an account.

Lance Ulanoff’s ignorance is displayed even more when he writes:

“I’ve had a couple of “pokes” on my page for ages. Someone poked me, I poked them back, and that should be the end of it. But the initial poke remains on my page, so I’m never sure if this is a new poke or a remnant.It’s also hard to delete things like mail, so old messages stick around as if they’re fresh. Everything seems more active than it really is.”

There is no plot on the part of Facebook for the site to look more active then it is. Its only as active as all your friends are. Or does Lance think that he’s getting lots of email everyday just because he never empties his inbox?

I don’t want to seem like an elitist, but I miss the early days of Facebook. When it was just a few college kids and we didn’t go around complaining about things. Except when Facebook would go down and we couldn’t access it….

The Confusing Canadian Copyright Law

Blank CDsToday I was engaged in a long discussion about the current state of copyright law in Canada. Never before have I seen such a confusing and almost specifically designed to be unclear, set of legislation.

After browsing all over the internet and trying to get a handle on it, this is what I’ve established

1. Per-to-per downloading is legal because of
2. The private copying levy, that we pay a “tax” on all blank media
3.  The law surrounding movies is even more vague
4. At least we don’t live in a copyright dictatorship like the U.S.

A lot of what I’ve discovered has come from Michael Geist’s blog.

Desktop Screenshot

This is my current desktop. Something about this wallpaper just grabs me. Plus I really like Helvetica…

Screenshot : Februar 22nd

Apple Announcement: What Happened To It?

ShuffleSo last week and early this week the internet was abuzz with rumours that apple was going to make an announcement at a special event being held on February 20th. Well its February 21st now and it doesn’t look like there was any big announcement.

I mean other then the price drop of the iPod shuffle and the introduction of a 2 GB model.

I wonder if this was all Apple was ever planning on doing yesterday? Apple’s stock has been up the last few days so the analysts are happy with this announcement. I was hoping for something a little bigger myself.

I must admit though, at only $49 for a 1 GB shuffle it is definitely an impulse buy. If I wasn’t so short on cash right now I would probably pick one up myself.

Weekly Web 2.0 : Twitxr

I’ve decided to post a link/review every week of a new 2.0 web service that I’ve discovered. This week I’m going to start it with Twitxr.

Twitxr

Twitxr allows you to spice up your status updates with photos. The site is very basic, minimalist even. Very web 2.0. It allows you to link to both Twitter and Facebook. As if you needed anymore reason to spam every single social media site with the same update.

Twitxr allows you to update from an email. That would be allow you to update from your phone. Take a picture of “What Are You Doing“; email to Twitxr from your phone and its sent to Twitter.

Twitxr is going to bridge the gap between text and photos updates. Its adds some of the features of Pownce with the community and ease of use of Twitter.

 

 

Easy Text to Voice Memos With Jott

I’ve recently discovered a new service that I’m totally amazed by. Jott. It allows you to dial into a number on your phone, tell it who you want to send a message to and the dictate for thirty seconds. Within a few minutes it has sent a text and audio version of your message to wherever you told it to.

Services Not only can you send Jotts to email addresses, you can also Jott a whole slew of web 2.0 sites. Twitter, WordPress, Google Calenda etc..
I was curious to how this service works so I checked out their FAQs. I found that they use a combination of machine and human transcription. They do promise though that their transcribers work in a “clean” environment, similar to medical transcriptionists and that our information is protected.

Until recently their Canadian number was based on Toronto which required a long distance call for much of the country. Earlier this week they released a whole lot of local numbers for clear across Canada.

I’ve been in contact with the CEO, John Pollard, and hopefully I’ll have an interview with him soon!

Unlimited Data Plan in Canada

This is a bit of a summary of the current state of data plans in Canada. Occaisionally I see people getting excited about unlimited data plans. I hope this post will put to rest some of the confusion.

Many sites like Apple Insider is reporting , IntoMobile and TalkiPhone are reporting that Rogers Canada has announced an unlimited data plan in Canada; the $20 a month Communication pack, they seem to think that this removed a barrier to releasing the iPhone in Canada. But lets take a closer look at what this plan offers and if that is even the case.

Rogers in fact has two “unlimited data” plans; the $20 Communicate Value Pack, and the $7 Unlimited On-Device Mobile Browsing Plan They are basically the same plan, for $13 dollars more though you get text and video messages, voicemail and call display.

What does Rogers mean by unlimited mobile browsing though.? If you read the fine print you’ll see this: “Important: This plan includes unlimited on-device mobile browsing only. Plan is available on select phones only (PDAs such as Blackberry or Windows Mobile devices, PC cards and non-Rogers certified devices are not eligible). Data usage incurred on ineligible devices, incurred while tethering (using device as wireless modem for laptop) or incurred using non-Rogers (3rd party) applications downloaded to your device will be subject to pay-per-use charges of 5 cents/KB.”

What does that mean? It means that if you use a non-rogers browser (like safari) you pay the per-use rate. It also means that all you have is unlimited WAP data. Translation: crappy web browsing, not what the iPhone was intended for.

It’s interesting that Rogers goes out of their way to put this disclaimer in: “3rd party applications are applications like Yahoo! Go or Google Maps. These are non-Rogers applications which can be downloaded to the device and incur data charges at a rate of 5¢/KB.”

So what does this mean for the iPhone. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. You do not get any added features on your hacked iPhone in Canada if you add this plan. In case you didn’t get that. This announcement does not mean that we will be getting the iPhone anytime soon. We Are No Closer to Getting the iPhone in Canada.

Shame on Rogers for continuing to screw their customers over. I hope that people read all the fine print closely before getting excited and adding this feature. I’m worried that when next months bill comes some people are going to be in for a shock.

Finally, I wish that American sites, like Apple Insider, who have no understanding of the issues would stop reporting on “developments” like this. Its getting annoying, please stop. Sites like ArsTechnica have understood that “unlimted” doesn’t mean unlimited, and I thank them for that.

Working from Anywhere: The U.W.O. Addition

So the benefit of the new media, internet based applications, and doing business online, is the ability to work from anywhere you have a wi-fi connection. This is also true regarding students at universities. With last minute papers always been finished off and assignments due within minutes, its imperative that we be able to work anywhere on campus.

Unfortunately around this time of year that becomes increasingly difficult.

The University of Western Ontario (U.W.O) has done a great job providing wireless internet access to its students in pretty much all the major areas on campus, as this map shows. What the school is missing is adequate seating and desks.

Unless you arrive on campus early enough, say before 9 am, (early for students), you will proabably spend between 10 to 20 minutes looking for a seat anywhere. The library is always full, the cafeteria is packed from 1o am to 4 pm. The University Community Centre (UCC) has almost no good seating arrangements and other buildings on campus have almost no extra seating outside of class rooms.

Thankfull the university seems to realise this and the new athletic center will free up space in the UCC. I just hope they can maximize the space and not waste it will ill-designed kiosks. (third – fifth floors of the library for example)

I would have liked to included pictures in this posts, but I forgot my camera and walking around taking pictures with an iSight did not seem to be a good idea.