London Indie Media Fair

This Saturday is the 3rd annual London Indie Media Fair from 1 to 5 pm. The event is taking place at the Central library in downtown London at 251 Dundas Street.

There is both an exhibit hall in Stevenson and Hunt and a presentation room in the Lerner’s and Tonda Rooms.

Myself, Bill Deys, and Greg Fowler will be heading down to promote blogging and podcasting, as well as our monthly geek dinners. I’d encourage anyone in the London area to come down and say hello. Hopefully there will be some other bloggers there and we can help the online community in London grow.

For more information on the event:

London Commons
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An Oddly Shaped Map

I was checking out my statistics using Google Analytics and I came across this map of the United States. Apart from my abysmal readership south of the border, what else do you think is wrong with it?

USMap

For some odd reason the Great Lakes region states (Michigan. Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio) are completely out of perspective. I’m not sure if this is so the map of Canada and the map of the United States will fit together without a gap for the Great Lakes. Or if the engineers working on Google Maps don’t talk to the engineers working on Google Analytics. Either way, it kinda threw me off when I first saw it.

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Easter Weekend

Its the Monday after a long weekend and I think its time for a more personal post, discussing how my weekend went.

It was nice to take a break from blogging, feeds and twitter over the weekend. I think that almost everyone needs to just unplug every once and a while. Connecting with friends and family outside of the interweb is refreshing and helps maintain a balance.

Friday morning was brich at my Aunt’s. It was a much more low-key affair compared to Boxing Day. Good food though, there is always a lot fo brie cheese, which is fine by me!

Friday night, my girlfriend and I were at her sister’s fiance apartment for dinner. There was a bit of panic once we remembered that all the grocery stores were closed. Thankfully we were able to scrounge up enough ingredients. We played a game of settlers and watched a movie. I’d reommend that anyone who hasn’t seen it yet go rent Renditio

Saturday was spent studying during the day. In the evening we had an amazing fondue dinner with a group of friends. Its always fun to spent time preparing and then eating food.

Sunday was Easter lunch at my girlfriends with her extended family. The traditional and always good turkey and ham.

So now its Monday and I’m just starting to catch up on the internet world. I enjoyed taking a break but I’m looking forward to find out whats been going on.

Things I’d Like To See on Twitter

There are a few changes that I would love to see Twitter implement. Keeping in mind their simple design philosophy and ease of use.

  1. Better Searching – something like advanced searching options. Both for users and for past tweets.
  2. Followers/Following Organization – I’d like to see who I’m following that is not following me.
  3. Groups -I’d love to organize who I follow into groups and turn on or off SMS for packs of people.

These are the top 3 things that I think if Twitter implemented they would destroy any competitors.

They also have to capitalize on the number of internet users who love to update their Facebook status but who aren’t on Twitter.

Talking to Apple Store Employees

Yesterday I was in Toronto so I decided to pop into the Apple Store in the Yorkdale Mall. The store is a bit smaller then other Apple stores I’ve been in, but it does have the usual large numbers of people just milling around the tables with merchandise on them.

applestore.jpgWhile I was there I decided to talk to some of the employees about the iPhone. Specifically I asked them “What reason have you been given for the delay of an iPhone launch in Canada?” Not suprisingly they refused to answer my question. I made the mistake of asking a group of them so none of them really wanted to say anything. They claimed that they have been given no reason, and that in fact they never know anything ahead of time, citing Time Machine and Leopard as examples.

I’m not satisfied with this answer though. The iPhone is in a different category. I’m sure they get hundreds of inquiries every day about the iPhone. Management must have given them some reason why its not out here yet. There are only 4 Apple stores in Canada. How hard would it be to let the employees of these stores know what was going on?

One last observation on the employees at Apple Stores. They are a snotty, arrogant bunch. They are the same teenage retail workers at any other mall store but because they work for Apple they think that they are the greatest thing since sliced bread.

It doesn’t really matter though. Like I wrote on Monday, the reason for the delay is copyright issues. Until that is sorted out Canadian’s can continue going down to the States for iPhones.

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iPhone is Released in Canada

Yep, its true! There is a device available to Canadian’s called the iPhone. But its not made by Apple.

I’ve already written several times about the price of data plans in Canada. While this is truly a big stumbling block for the release of the iPhone here there is an even bigger one. Copyright.

The Canadian Version of an iPhoneA Voice Over IP (VOIP) company, Comwave, owns the Canadian rights to the name iPhone. The term iPhone is used for a service that they say “is quite liberating and frees you from the Phone Company”. If you check out their site you can see all the services related to the ‘iPhone’.

They have just released the iPhone mobile edition too. It looks like they have no plans to settle  with Apple on the use of the name.

Their site is absolutely atrocious. It is full of spelling mistakes and bad grammar. I don’t understand how any company is willing to allow themselves to look this bad on the the internet. I’m glad that they don’t seem to have a large subscriber base. That means that average Canadians will not be associating a high quality product with a crappy VOIP service.

So Canadians have an iPhone. It looks like a peace of junk and offered by a brutal company. But now at least we have a physical object and another company besides cell phone companies to direct our anger at.

New Data Plans from Rogers

As a commenter on a previous post has pointed out, new data plans from Rogers have been leaked out. The prices I’ve seen have been as follows:

$15 – 20MB ~ Tier 1
$30 – 20MB to 60MB ~ Tier 2
$50 – 60MB to 500MB ~ Tier 3
$65 – 500MB to 1GB ~ Tier 4
$75 – 1GB to 2GB ~ Tier 5
$85 – 2GB to 3GB ~ Tier 6
$100 – 3GB to 5GB ~ Tier 7
$0.03 per additional MB
*Note: Everyone starts off at the $15 plan and based on usage, you move up the tiers

The price is per month and you move up the tiers the more internet you use. I see a huge problem in these that causes me to doubt the authenticity of them. Look at the price per additional MB compared to the pricing structure of the tiers. If you are in tier 1 but one month use 50 mb of data you should pay $20 + 30($0.03)  = $20.90. But if Rogers wants to automatically bump you up to the next teir you will be forced to pay $30 per month.

Also, why have a overage price if you’re just going to bump everyone up the next tier if they go over? Finally look at the price per mb of each tier

 $0.75 / MB ~ Tier 1
$0.50 / MB ~ Tier 2
$0.10 / MB ~ Tier 3
$0.065 / MB ~ Tier 4
$0.0375 / MB  ~ Tier 5
$0.028 / MB  ~ Tier 6
$0.02 / MB  ~ Tier 7

The only time an overage charge makes sense for Rogers is for customers in tiers 6 and 7.

I’ve looked around and I can’t find any indication that this was a typo and it is supposed to be $0.30 per extra MB or even $3.00. Site like iphoneworld.ca and Electronista and even engadget mobile all have the same information. With math that just doesn’t add up.

It looks very suspicious to me.

Admiration of Spark

I know that its late in the day and I haven’t posted anything other then pictures of my lunch. I wanted to just mention how impressed I am by the CBC program Spark.

I’ve always been a fan of Nora Young, dating back to when she used to host DNTO on Saturday afternoons. I’ve always felt that she was “in touch” with technology. Well that view has been cemented further with her more recent show Spark.

Unlike many CBC shows that pay lip-service to emerging technologies, Spark is not bluffing. The show makes use of wikis and blogs (that actually read like a real person wrote it) for contribution. They make the full interview available online. But what impresses me the most is that all the music is podsafe and licensed under Creative Commons.

From the show notes: “This episode features Creative Commons music and sound effects”

I love to see CBC  shows REALLY getting technology

Wednesday’s Lunch

So it’s turned into a bit of a trend that I post a camera phone picture of what I had for lunch. Today was a bit unusual since I had to run to the bank unplanned. I lost my bank card and wanted to get another one. Everything worked out fine and I now have a shinny new card. So lunch was eaten in the car on the way there.

Wednesday Lunch

Asian cabbage salad from last nights dinner. I also had a peanut butter and honey sandwich and a banana. I was too focussed on driving to take a picture of those though.

As an aside, the Masonville Public Library also has wireless internet. I wonder if this is a plan to roll it out in all the branches?

Tuesday’s Lunch

Continuing my trend from yesterday, here is my lunch today. I just looked at the clock and I see that its quite a bit past noon. Ah well, I usually eat when I’m hungry. I’m not a slave to time.

Tuesday's Lunch

Tortellini with a basic white sauce. Simply and enjoyable.