Thinking back to all of the computers I’ve junked or sent to e-waste recyclers, I’m wondering if I should have saved some of they. They might have been worth something:
Last November, an Apple-1, also commonly known as the Apple I, sold for $640,000 at an auction in Germany. That sale surpassed the previous record of $374,500 set only five months earlier at Sotheby’s in New York.
The City of Waterloo chose to restrict access to thousands of pages of public documents when it revamped its website in January — and Ontario’s information and privacy commissioner is calling the move “inadequate and unacceptable.”
Six years of council and committee meeting minutes, agendas and other city reports are now only available upon request.
Initial suggesting that this was due to provincial accessibility legislation requirements, they later gave the real reason:
“It was just such a large amount of (documents) that we decided not to include them on the website,” said Megan Harris, director of communications.
So let’s get this straight. The documents were on the old website, but you just decided not to include them on the new website? I guess that we do need to conserve space on the internet; it’s getting so big after all.
I especially loved this comment by Waterloo CAO Tim Anderson:
“It wasn’t meant to do anything in terms of not providing information to the public,” he said. “If there’s public demand for access to the information I think that is an administrative decision that we can reconsider.”
So basically he’s saying that yes we took the information away, but if enough people ask what the city government is doing, then we’ll think about telling you. It’s kind of simple really. When you take away the information, then you have very clearly made a decision to not provide information to the public. Kind of obvious, right? This action was a clear result of an intentional decision.
This is public information, and he doesn’t get to decide what citizens get to know and what they don’t. There is a law that covers that. And the councillors of Waterloo should be ashamed of themselves for completely failing in their duties to act on behalf of the citizens of Waterloo.
I always thought that it should be a cardinal rule of advertising to not give attention to your competitors. Obviously Microsoft does not agree. Their latest tablet add attempts to show how much better theirs is than the iPad:
Microsoft choses to highlight Windows 8′s side-by-side apps with Live Tiles, PowerPoint, and the $449 price of the 64GB ASUS’ VivoTab Smart as the benefits of Windows 8. It casually ignores any strengths of the iPad, while assuming consumers will purchase a comparable 64GB model at $699. “Should we just play chopsticks,” quips Microsoft’s ad, with a sequence that mimics the iPad mini commercial. Microsoft recently created anApple vs. Samsung wedding fight for its latest Windows Phone ad, and this latest commercial feels all too similar to the “I’m a PC” ads that Microsoft crafted to counter Apple’s “Get a Mac” campaigns years ago.
I suppose they need to do whatever they can to get people looking at the product so they can sell some. Though for the first time I did see a couple people with Surface tablets the other day.
I still think reminding people of the competitor in your ad is counterproductive. Pepsi insists on displaying Coke prominently in almost every one of the ads. Strangely enough, even if I wasn’t thirsty before, when I see the ads I suddenly want a Coke. I’m pretty sure that wasn’t Pepsi’s goal, but they brought Coke up after all.
You can judge for yourself how effective Microsoft’s ad is.
I’m sure when most people signed up for mobile phone service, they didn’t expect that the providers would be tracking where they went when web browsing, and then selling that information:
When a Verizon Wireless customer navigates to a website on her smartphone today, information about that website, her location and her demographic background may end up as a data point in a product called Precision Market Insights. The product, which Verizon launched in October 2012 after trial runs, offers businesses like malls, stadiums and billboard owners statistics about the activities and backgrounds of cellphone users in particular locations.
It’s one thing when a free service like Google uses my information; in that case I am the product, and I exchange information for the value of the service. But when I pay a company like Verizon for a service, they should be barred from doing anything with my information unless I am informed and possibly compensated.
When we agree to allow a company to use our “information” I’m certain most people think that only includes name, address, and phone number type stuff. But these days that information extends to anything that might pass through their pipes.
Companies should be forced by law to enumerate the information they plan to use, and how they plan to use it, and allow customers to agree, disagree, or opt out later.
It should be my information, first and foremost, not theirs.
The first long weekend of the summer of 2013 is drawing to a close, and I’m enjoying every bit of it. And so should you be. Of course all of my neighbours have picked now to cut their grass, but they’ll be done soon.
Quit reading this and go outside and enjoy the sun. Breathe in the fresh air. Catch the sunset.
Feel free to return tomorrow to our regularly scheduled programming.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has made it clear it wants to intercept Internet audio and video chats. And that, according to a new report being released Friday by a group of technologists, could pose “serious security risks” to ordinary Internet users, giving thieves and even foreign agents a way to listen in on Americans’ conversations, undetected.
The 20 computer experts and cryptographers who drafted the report say the only way that companies can meet wiretap orders is to re-engineer the way their systems are built at the endpoints, either in the software or in users’ devices, in effect creating a valuable listening station for repressive governments as well as for ordinary thieves and blackmailers.
So the only way to let them do that is to disable all of the security that has made these communications products so useful. Which means that not only the FBI, but also anyone else who feels like listening, can have access to your conversations.
So why bother with security at all? We’d be better off with two tin cans and a long piece of string.
Rob Ford is the democratically elected mayor of Toronto, whether you like it. But a lot of people have a problem with democracy, and really don’t like Rob Ford. So they will apparently stop at nothing to get him removed as mayor.
Gawker claims that they have seen a video of Rob Ford smoking crack, and they have mounted an IndieGogo campaign to raise $2oo,000 to pay drug dealers for the video. For some reason they don’t want to spend their own money, but they’ll happily take yours. Don’t worry though. If it doesn’t work out, they’ll give all of your money to charity (but keep the charitable receipt?).
Now I suppose that I’m contributing to this idiocy just by linking to it, but it seems to me that paying drug dealers (not the most trustworthy lot I would assume) for information to bring down a democratically elected politician that you just don’t like crosses just about the last line there is in journalism.
Disgust isn’t even a strong enough word. This is beyond abhorrent.
I really don’t understand the studios. I would think they would want to put their content in front of every possible person in every for-pay medium. But they hem and they haw, as it having people pay for their content legally is somehow a bad thing.
I currently live in Canada. A couple of years ago we watched the last episode of Season 2 of The Big C. It was a cliffhanger, and we had to wait interminably, painfully, until Season 3 started. But then, when it finally did, there was no way for me to watch it in Canada.
In early April, my wife and I wanted to watch Silver Linings Playbook. Apple TV had it, but only to buy for almost $30. I didn’t want to buy it, but instead rent it for $5. How many rentals were missed because of that?
I had money in hand, and would have willingly paid to watch the shows. But they wouldn’t take my money.
The idiocy of it all is that because the studios are so worried about losing a few dollars on a deal and protecting existing revenue streams, they completely miss the opportunity to generate new revenue streams and even more money over the long term.
Hollywood used to be the dealmakers. Now they just seem to chasing their tails and running in fear.
My advice? Embrace the now and make the most of it.
I wrote about this a couple of days ago, but it seems that we’re down to the wire and the LCBO strike might actually happen at midnight tonight. Ontarians are lining up in droves to buy their liquor just in case.
The LCBO is the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. Sort of like New Hampshire’s state run liquor stores. And this is the Victoria Day long weekend, which is basically Canada’s Memorial Day weekend equivalent.
No liquor on the long weekend in Canada is a very bad thing. I wonder who times these strike deadlines? Obviously the union. Contracts never seem to run out on a day like January 5th, when everyone has had their fill of alcohol.
Canadians don’t usually get upset about much, but this is one of those things.
I’m actually sitting about a block from an LCBO right now, but I have absolutely no intention of heading over there. Too crazy for me.