Monday, November 28, 2011
Anyone notice how Nickelback performed for the BC AND Detroit Lions? Whats with them and Lions? Subtle RBC sponsorship?
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Ever wished you could browse the internet or even do work on your computer without someone looking over your shoulder at what you're doing? Well, over at instructibles.com they show you one method. Granted, you risk destroying your old LCD monitor if you make a mistake.. but still.
It involves basically taking the polarized film off of a monitor, leaving you looking at a white screen. Then you apply the polarized film to a pair of glasses, thus allowing you to be the only one able to view your monitor (unless someone else with polarized film glasses wanders by.
I wonder why monitor companies don't use techniques like this to allow us to switch back and forth between a basic mode and a private mode.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
The whole home PVR by Shaw is pretty cool, but you know what's cooler? Being able to plug your cable in to your TV and not having every HD channel encrypted . It's maddening that they encrypt channels that are available OVER THE AIR UNENCRYPTED and in even better quality. What is the reasoning behind that? It makes no sense!
You know what I'd like? an HD Homerun Prime. It's a cablecard compatible digital tuner that plugs in to your router so that you can watch TV from any connected computer. I have the regular HD Homerun, which uses only Over the Air digital TV as its source, and it's great. But I can't use an HD Homerun Prime because Cable Card isn't offered as a solution in Western Canada either. Thanks for nothing, industry Canada and the CRTC.
The HD Homerun Prime is just an example. But sooner or later you wont be able to watch TV on your laptop or otherwise. Sorry, customer, but your needs are irrelevant.
So while I'd like to subscribe to TSN Jets, And would even pay for basic cable to do it, being unable to watch it on my own terms has lost them a customer. Not piracy, not netflix. Their own poor service and pathetic restrictions.
They can continue to attempt to enshrine DRM into law, pay off as many politicians as they can, and it won't help them get a single cent out of me. Providing me with what I want at a fair price will.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
However, I'd prefer to wear a pair of glasses instead. Easier to slip on and off, and imagine wearing one of those expensive contact lenses and losing it. Plus while they have the text and image display set up, I doubt you can install any sort of practical wireless receiver or memory or processor into something as small as a contact lens.
Of course, the technology has been around forever, its just that people haven't been able to figure out how to keep it from exploding when it encounters people with power levels over 9000. I mean, with a contact lens, you could lose an eye! So yeah, glasses only for me.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
If you've watched the Jets this year, you'll notice that they have spent a lot of time in the penalty box, repeated instances of being sent to the penalty box game after game. Obviously the coach would prefer not to have his players in the penalty box, and the NHL would prefer not to be seen as a revolving door of justice!
Hockey historian and Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper to the rescue. Mandatory Minimums are his Conservative Party's solution to the woes befalling Canada (falling rates of crime). Build more for profit prisons, find reasons to build them up. If people are against going to prison, call them socialists or crime apologists. Win-Win!
Imagine applying mandatory minimum sentencing to the NHL. Remember that high sticking penalty that wasn't deserved a few nights ago? Imagine if it was the third time that player (I honestly can't remember who it was) got a penalty this season. Guess what, no penalty box for you, douchebag! BANNED FOREVER FROM HOCKEY. Yeah that's right. That's how mandatory minimums work.
That's why you hear about people in California and Texas going to prison for 20 years for stealing a loaf of bread from the store.
If the Conservatives were serious about stopping crime, they'd be going after actual criminals. But they get a slap on the wrist and a hefty year end bonus.
I hear what you're saying. You're saying Reed, ref's have poor eyesight and selective hearing. They aren't as dependable as the RCMP or the local police, who are never wrong and never put innocent people in jail. Well yes, you're right. Police are model citizens who would never abuse their power. But what if, what if some of those police officers are really alien shapeshifters posing as police? Can we take that chance? Is it really wise to submit to their infiltration and eventual conquering of earth? I say no. If you hate aliens, say no to Bill C-10.
Winnipeg has crime problems. We don't need Judge Dredd and over-reaching and ultimately bad laws to solve them.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Now obviously the first solution would be for someone to buy the team and move them. It's the most likely scenario, but I hate the idea of a team moving from too many different cities and carrying the records of all previous teams with them.
It might not be as profitable in the short term, but maybe if the Coyotes do fail, the players should be dispersed and the team and its history could be merged with the current Winnipeg Jets. A minor contraction of the league, and in a year or two you can introduce expansion teams to Quebec or Seattle or what have you.
Team mergers aren't unusual. Cleveland Barons who were once the California Golden seals merged with the Minnesota North Stars.. Who when they became the Dallas Stars split their roster with the expansion San Jose Sharks, owned by the same people who owned the Cleveland Barons in the same market the golden seals played in.. You know what, I guess it's confusing either way.
I was hoping the Phoenix Roadrunners merged with the WHA Winnipeg Jets at some point to somehow make everything come full circle, but no. Oh well. I still think it would be the best option.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
up and up
up and up
The price of Winnipeg Transit goes up and up
every new year.
Like everything else in the world, and as it does every year, the price of Winnipeg Transit is going up.. This time a whole .25 cents. To help pay for rapid transit of course.
I buy a monthly bus pass. I do own a drivers license, and if I felt like it I could get myself a vehicle, but I prefer to take the bus, disgusting smelling vagrants, crying babies, fat people, the crazies and everyone else. I don't know how much the price of a monthly pass will increase, but I don't really care if it goes up another $5 a month.
Do I believe that this is necessary? It's probably not. It's just an easy way to get more money from the people. Will it get Winnipeg a rapid transit network? Not in the next few years.. and in a few years or so inflation will negate any increases in the bus price towards the city budget. Plus, it'll probably start to go up 5 cents every year in another year or two.
However, it won't effect me. It might even make my bus ride more pleasant if it keeps drunks and bed bug ridden drug addicts off the bus. But then again, it probably won't keep those people off. They often get on for free anyways and stink up the ride for paying customers.
If this ends up somehow spurring a light rail system for pembina and portage and perhaps through east kildonan down the old former rail line turned bicycle pathway, then good. It won't, but hey I could be wrong.
I'm now going to say something nice about Winnipeg transit. Yes, out of character, I know, but here we go:
One of the best things Winnipeg Transit has done in recent years is update their buses with GPS positioning and air conditioning. Most importantly, they created a completely open API available in XML format to any developer to access this data over the web. If you own an iphone or android phone and search for winnipeg transit, you will find a few apps that use this data to tell you if your bus is late, what buses are coming to the stop nearest you (detected with your phones GPS) and some offer other features. I've used Winnipeg Bus Live, a recent addition to the android market. It could use a few more features but it's pretty good already. If they update it to support integration with google maps or something, and perhaps even route planning.. that'd be neat. But even if they don't, the API is available to any other developer out there to write their own, even if Winnipeg Transit doesn't bother with writing an official app.
Sooner or later we may even be able to use our cell phones with NFC (oh you have an iphone and no NFC? awww sorry) to pay for or access transit. They do plan to eliminate the stupid old coin boxes soon, so that'll be welcome too. People really shouldn't be in the habit of paying for their bus trip in change, trying to short change the coin box by using pennies nickles and dimes.
Monday, November 14, 2011
According to this article and many others I've read and heard about recently, we're about 3 to 5 years away from solar power being able to provide almost 100% of the electrical needs of the average home.
Imagine a world where Hydro builds a brand new dam and even spends extra money to distribute that power along the west side of lake Winnipeg, and the price and efficiency of solar power once they're ready to go basically kills all their profit (nevermind the money they're not going to be getting from the USA)
It should prove interesting to see how it all plays out. Electric heating and solar power (I assume using some sort of energy retention system.. batteries or otherwise) will be fascinating.
When everyone stops having to pay for their utilities, I wonder what will happen. My guess is the price of a hookup for backup power will go through the roof despite lower and lower use. In fact the government will likely look for reasons to ban solar power if it becomes to popular and cuts off a source of profits. Just like they're attempting to shut down the free internet worldwide to protect the interests of a small monopoly of media cartels.
But maybe the solar power breakthroughs are just wishful thinking by its proponents. Still, considering how the price of energy, internet, cable and phone (and any other utility monopoly) goes up every year while the original investments made have been paid off for a while, imagining a world where people can once again be self sufficient and not spend their entire paycheck paying to their feudal lords the government and its appointed monpolies.
Nevermind electrical, in my opinion we're totally wasting much of the radio spectrum. Wouldn't a society with an internet completely set up as an unstoppable and uncensorable mesh network be neat.
Also, now I'm on a tangent. I feel now that the digital changeover has occured we should expand the FM dial to cover 76-88 MHz as well in North America. (Channels 5 and 6 VHF). Maybe as part of a plan to switch to DAB/Eureka-147 digital radio on a proper spectrum. that would allow for an FM band of 76-108 MHz. 76-88 MHz has been used in Japan for years, and they've been known to make tons of radios. It could work to expand the radio dial. If there was anyone intelligent working for the government of Canada it might be profitable.. But everything I said probably sounds like gobbledygook to them. Sigh.
Anyways, tl;dr. Solar Power is gaining efficiency and could be a contender in 5 years, magically transforming Hydro's business plan into toilet paper. Radio dial could be expanded and service improved if someone forward thinking existed in politics. But they don't.
I wonder though how solar power users in Canada deal with snow. I should do some research on that.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
The American tea party organization. You just had to pick that name, didn't you. I could forgive you people for being unwitting manipulated tools of big business interests, but I cannot forgive you for this. You people disgust me. Now ill be forced to listen to these wanna be Jim Morrison's on the radio.
They're not as bad as Nickleback, sure. But Nickleback isn't as bad as creed, and I'll bet the American tea party loves both.
Still, could be worse .. could be great big sea .. goddamn for a 10 year period they played the same songs over and over again at every festival in Canada. EVERY FESTIVAL. ugh. I bet they'll play your wedding too. But I only hate great big sea because they were overplayed. I just don't like the Tea Party's sound.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
I love how winnipeg transit signs/GPS reports that a bus will be 4 minutes late for 15 straight minutes. That must be how Santa is able to deliver toys to every girl and boy in one night. He uses the santa bus. I know there was a Santa Claus parade but really. Every year I get inconvenienced needlessly. Surely there's a better way.
Friday, November 11, 2011
I'll bet Dustin Byfuglien racks up a lot of roaming charges on his cell phone. I wonder if he cares. Perhaps he has a plan with unlimited roaming throughout north America. You certainly don't want your considerable salary going towards wasted roaming fees.
On the ice Byfuglien wanders perhaps a bit too much. It wouldn't be a huge problem if it helped the Jets win, but right now it's actually hurting them. Especially with Enstrom injured. Too many turnovers. I'm not keeping track but I know the Jets have been scored on at least twice with shorthanded goals while they were on the power play.
I like Byfuglien.. He's an entertaining player and his playing style is reflective of his personality. But at the same time, roaming TOO MUCH can seem like a lack of faith in your teammates .. justified or not, he needs to know when to reign himself in. Maybe he's the type of guy who wears his heart on his sleeve, but in a team game, you have to play your position.
I mean think about it like this, If the power ranger in charge of the left arm decided nah, I'm going to be in charge of the right foot, then the show would be over in a few episodes.
Now Coach Claude Noel has said he doesn't have a huge problem with the way Byfuglien is playing his game, that it's a high risk play and sometimes it pays off. Well, picking the Jets on Pro Line/Sport Select is also high risk that sometimes pays off. But it doesn't pay off that often.
I suspect they wanted to get the result of Toronto being the most hated city in Canada. They purposefully left Winnipeg off the list because maybe we're the only competition they have. Or maybe the euphoria over the return of the Jets would skew the results too much and Winnipeg would have outdone Ottawa, Victoria, and Vancouver?
We'll never know, though. But if you want to read a smug sounding individual from Toronto saying the rest of Canada are just haters, check out this Global Toronto piece. I can't decide if it's serious or satirical.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Johnny Carson used to air a repeat on mondays (or a Jay Leno fill in episode) and ran his show tuesday to friday. I wonder why Conan/TBS chose to do Monday to Thursday. I guess if it airs Monday to Thursday they can show replays of the previous day from Tuesday to friday, which is what they do here in canada on the comedy network here. See, now im just arbitrarily capitalizing things. What's wrong with me.
Still, if Conan aired Tuesday to Friday, he wouldn't have to compete with The Daily Show and Colbert for one day (and vice versa).. then again, perhaps the assumption is people have better things to do on Friday nights.
Recently they discovered a way to turn back the age of old cells. I wonder, if Jay Lenos audience was de-aged to their 20's or 30's, would they hate Jay Leno?
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
If you are driving down ellice avenue or are near the UofW and see this right up close, you'd swear its a cement bust sticking out of the wall, but in actuality it's just a well done illusion. Neat huh.
What's even funnier is if you click on the sign, Google actually BLURS OUT THE FACE. Even Googles cameras were tricked by the illusion. You can try it yourself, but here's a screenshot.
Homers is in good company, as the KFC Colonel himself was also blurred out by the same facial regognition software.. and he's a cartoony caricature of a real person.
Monday, November 07, 2011
I mean it's not without any redeeming features. The set date and time field is nice.. but I hate how everything is hidden.
You know what'd be cool? If it was made up to actually look like a completed blog post as I was making it. Then you wouldn't even need a preview option.
Sunday, November 06, 2011
Though they also took French Toast off the breakfast menu. Boo-Urns.
Saturday, November 05, 2011
The latest person to attempt to gain Obama's ear on this issue is Julia Louis Dreyfus, Actress from SNL, Seinfeld, and some other shows that have failed. Also she's been on Curb Your Enthusiasm, but that's almost a Seinfeld spinoff set in the real world. The Superboy Prime universe to the Superman main DC universe of Seinfeld. I don't care if you don't get the reference or the joke, Jerry Seinfeld would, so whatever, man.
The interesting thing in this case however is that she herself is actually an heiress. Her father is Gerard Louis-Dreyfus, a French billionaire. Louis-Dreyfus family's net worth was estimated at approximately 2.9 billion dollars a few years ago. The Louis Dreyfus group, of which Gerard was president and CEO until 2006, is, according to Wikipedia: "one of the world's largest commodities trading and merchandising firms" and has interests in everything from shipping to sports management. I wonder if amongst the ocean vessels they manage some happen to be oil tankers? Hmm. Looks like they do have an energy department called "Louis Dreyfus Highbridge Energy LLC"..
Julia has been part of the green movement for years. Julia and her husband Brad Hall's Montecito residence is built from "sustainably harvested tropical woods". The house also features a retractable roof clad in solar panels, recycled newspaper insulation, and a "natural ventilation system". She provides "Eco-Tips" to USA today and promotes clean water and land preservation through her involvement in environmental organizations like "Heal the Bay" and the "Trust for Public Land". She also drives a hybrid.
Now, its great that she believes in this, but with her connections to this company, one can perhaps infer a bit of hypocrisy. Still, she does walk the walk environmentally, but when you're wealthy, its a lot easier to spend the extra cash needed to be green. Not that we all shouldn't install efficient windows and solar panels to help reduce our energy footprint.
Anyways, the point of this blog post is that Julia is a nice lady and the oil sands aren't perfect either and I'm gonna eat some chicken fingers.
Friday, November 04, 2011
From CJOB.com quoting Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz with regards to bill C-10:
"Katz spoke with committee members about the need to close the revolving doors of justice so repeat offenders stay behind bars instead of escalating the nature of their crimes. He also emphasized the rights of citizens cannot take a back seat to the rights of criminals."
Can someone parse this statement for me?
"He also emphasized the rights of citizens cannot take a back seat to the rights of criminals"
Criminals are citizens, like it or not. Law breaking citizens, but citizens nevertheless. Everyone breaks the law all the time without even knowing it half the time.. especially if you include traffic violations.
When he is saying that the rights of citizens cannot take a back seat to the rights of criminals, what exactly is he saying? Rights are rights.
What I wish Katz was saying was that the rights of citizens cannot be ignored by legislation simply because we want to put all the bad people in jail forever and ever so that we can create a false sense of safety.
Mandatory minimums don't merely close the revolving doors of justice. Three strikes laws in the USA that we in Canada have grown fond of mocking for their ineffectiveness? welcome to Canada. For Profit prison systems? Welcome to Canada. American style justice? Yeah, sounds great.
I'm all for locking up gang members and thugs and drug dealers. I'm not in favour of trampling over citizens rights to do it.
Passing Bill C-10 in its current state is insanity. If the Conservatives go ahead with it (and Bill C-11), the next election can't come fast enough for me.
A majority is not an excuse to act like someone gave you a blunt instrument to bludgeon your detractors with. Who would have thought we'd be looking back at the Jean Chretien days wistfully as ones of sanity and measured thinking. Perhaps only by comparison.
Thursday, November 03, 2011
some choice quotes (click the names to go to the original full post):
"The atmosphere inside was bittersweet. It was more bitter outside. II think I was there. Sounds like something I'd attend.
think there was about a hundred people outside at the highest point, but a
lot of people left as soon as they found out the doors were locked. A lot
of those hanging around had disappointed and depressed faces - especially
when all the kids inside were cheering to the comment about Winnipeg kids
always being Jets fans. " - David A.
"Does anyone think it is fair to American NHL teams to institute a forof revenue-sharing. It would in effect be a form of cross-subsidization. Larger, richer team (mostly in the US) would be propping up teams from smaller centres, (mostly in Canada)" - Gregory M.
Oh if he only knew then what he knows now. The irony.
"The MEC (Manitoba Entertainment Complex) needs to sell 40 boxes and 1500 clubseats by the end of November to proceed. They've sold 38 boxes and about 500 club seatsso far.David Baker, Director of Corporate Sales for the Winnipeg Jets, sold the 40thand last private box yesterday evening to Coke. Club Seat sales are just over600 right now, and have started to sell more quickly. A couple of club seatpurchasers, MEC sales people, and press are going to San Jose, to check outthat building some time next weekend. The plan being that they will come backto the Peg gushing with news about how great our new building will be. - D Bergman
huh. How many private boxes do the current Jets have. Interesting to look back and see that the MEC plan called for 40.
"Senior city officials'. Hrmph. What this story seems to be based on
is a local radio station having Mayor Bill Norrie on saying that the
Jets majority owners have already sold their 64% interest in the team.
(For the uninformed, the other 36% interest is held by Winnipeg Enterprises
Corporation, a quasi-independent corporation set up under provincial
charter to operate the Arena/Stadium/Velodrome complex in the city. They
assumed this share of the Jets after a buyout attempt by Michael Gobuty
WEC has a complex arrangement with the private owners that the
WEC will cover all losses over a certain amount (approx. $400 000), or
the private owners will be free to break the lease they have with the
Arena until 1997. WEC has yet to cover the rest of the losses that the
Jets incurred this year (approx. $1.2 million). So needless to say,
there is a great deal of speculation of what is going to happen. There
are two local groups of people that are interested in acquiring either
WEC's share of the team or the whole team to keep it in Winnipeg. One
group plans on a new downtown Arena, tenatively called Manitoba Gardens.
The other wants to take over the arena as is. .
Barry Shenkarow has said that the situation is rapidly becoming critical,but as of yet, there are no offers on the table either way. Things still very much depend on city council. " - Daryl TInteresting. This is a post from 1991. The Jets stuck around for 5 more years.
"The only place the JETS are moving is UP, waaaay UP in the standings :-) " - Ken D, worlds biggestt optimist in 1994