What’s happened in Egypt is not a revolution, at least not yet

Posted in Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2011 by Mitch Leuraner

Everywhere I go people are talking about the “revolution” in Egypt and how wonderful it is that the people have risen up to over-thrown the evil government.

Hogwash.

Hosni Mubarak

Before last week, the Egyptian government consisted of a president (Hosni Mubarak) who ruled as Head of State and who was also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.  This is not terribly unusual, afterall Obama is also both Head of State and head of the American military. 

But there is a big difference:  Egypt has been under martial law since 1981

In short, the Head of State in Egypt rules through the power of the military.

As of 11 February, when Mubarak officially resigned from the Presidency, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which is led by Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, took over the powers of the Head of State.

So what actually happened in Egypt?

Mohamed Hussein Tantawi

Essentially, the head of the military resigned and was replaced by the person who was #2 in the military and who is now the defacto head of the military – and Head of State.

So the bottom line is that right now Egypt hasn’t had any kind of change in it’s government at all.  Last week the country was under the power of the military, and this week it still is.  The only thing that has changed is the guy who was in charge of that military.

Of course, that’s not to say that major changes won’t happen.  It is yet to be seen if the next president to be elected will continue enforcing martial law.  With any luck, the people of Egypt will be able to conduct free and fair elections that lead to a decisive change in the way it’s government conducts the business of running the country.

But make no mistake – right now the changes that have occured in the government of Egypt are entirely symbolic. There has been no revolution, the government has not been over-thrown. 

All that has happened is the head of the government has been replaced.

Words that should never be used:

Posted in Aggravations with tags , , , on February 11, 2011 by Mitch Leuraner

Crampons

This word is just awful.  I know what crampons are, and why one would use them.  I’m sure they come in very handy (footy?). But there is absolutely no excuse for the name. Call them “boot spikes”, call them “mountain feet”, call them “spikey-so-I-can-get-up-the-mountain-without-dying-things”.

I don’t care what you call them.

Just don’t call them crampons!

It’s legal to do WHAT in Illinois?

Posted in Finds with tags , , , , on February 11, 2011 by Mitch Leuraner

I had cause to search Google for “Illinois” this morning and was a little surprised by the blurb that Google put under the link to Illinois’ Wikipedia page. (Click the image for a bigger version.)

None of that appears to still be on the page itself, though. <sigh> But we’ll always have the Google Cache (until it’s updated).

Motorola burns Apple, makes me smile

Posted in Finds, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2011 by Mitch Leuraner

If you were watching the Super Bowl from somewhere other than Canada, you probably already saw Motorola’s ad for the new Xoom tablet. But if you haven’t already, you need to watch it:

This has got to be the smartest shot at Apple ever to air on television, and it is just so perfect. Everything, from the reference to Orwell’s 1984, to the hot girl removing her iconic white earbuds, is just absolutely spot on.

Of course, the irony is that most people probably just wont get it.

Freudian slip? Or does Mobilicity have a sense of humour?

Posted in Finds with tags , , , , , , , on February 7, 2011 by Mitch Leuraner

Just in time for Valentine’s Day (gag!) Mobilicity has announced a new Couple’s Plan.  Why is this interesting? It’s not, except for the price:

$69

If you don’t get it, go ask your mom.

Someone at Mobilicity is either going to get a raise for this… or get fired.

You can still use Streets View in 3D!!

Posted in Finds with tags , , , on February 6, 2011 by Mitch Leuraner

Way back in April 2010 I wrote about an option in Google Streets View that let you switch to an old school Complementary color anaglyph 3D image.  Sadly, that option disappeared not long after I discovered it.

Or so we thought!

Today I noticed an option in the Streets View right-click menu that I haven’t seen before – a 3D Mode option! Take a look (click the image to make it bigger):

To make the magic happen, just go into Streets View and right-click any part of the image. And what happens when you select it 3D Mode On?  This:

Of course, you will still needs some of those crazy coloured glasses to actually take advantage of it, but if you’re like me you have a whole bunch kicking around anyway.

Just one click could save a life!

Posted in Finds, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on February 5, 2011 by Mitch Leuraner

The Ottawa Hospital Foundation needs your help – and it won’t cost you a cent!

The Foundation has joined a new crowd sourcing initiative called FundChange.  The idea is that charities can sign up for micro-financing, that over time will accumulate. The initiative is being sponsored by Telus, who has agreed to match any donations that are made – but only for the initiative that gets the most votes.

The Foundation is promoting its Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth (P.A.R.T.Y.) Program. From the site:

The P.A.R.T.Y. Program aims to reduce the number of teen injuries, and it works ­– a study by the Hospital showed that six weeks after completing the P.A.R.T.Y. Program, participants had significantly improved knowledge of risk factors for injury.

So what can you do?

First you can click THIS LINK, which will take you the the Foundation’s area on the FundChange site. Once you are there, click the VOTE button. It won’t cost you any money, and you don’t have to sign up for anything. Just click the button. And come back tomorrow and vote again!

If you are feeling particularly giving, you can also click the FUND button.  That one will cost you however much you are willing to donate.  But in the end, your vote could be worth a lot more if the Foundation wins.

Want to see more about the program:

Public Mobile, I hate you

Posted in Aggravations with tags , , , , , on February 4, 2011 by Mitch Leuraner

In 2009, the CRTC ruled that Globalive could not operate in the Canadian wireless industry because it has an Egyptian company as a majority stakeholder. The government, in a rare moment of sanity, overturned the ruling – effectively allowing Globalive to start up a new Wireless company: Wind Mobile.  Since then, roughly 250,000 people have become Wind Mobile customers – myself included.

But today a federal court ruled that the government was wrong to overturn the CRTC decision.  This means that, unless Globalive wins an appeal, 250,000 people will have to look for another wireless provider.

I am not a lawyer, and I am not qualified to speak to the legal issues regarding the court’s ruling.  But I do know one thing: the court doesn’t just make rulings on it’s own – someone has to bring it a complain.  In this case, the issue was brought to the federal court by Public Mobile, a rival in the Wireless market.

Let me be the first to give a nice big sarcastic thank you to Public Mobile!  And let me just say: I promise, no matter how desperate I am for cell phone service, Public Mobile, I will NEVER be one of your customers.

CRTC slapped down again

Posted in Finds, Movies, Music, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 3, 2011 by Mitch Leuraner

Usage-based billing in the internet industry is bad.  But the fact that an organization created to protect consumers actually tried to require such billing is nothing short of a travesty.  Thankfully, just about every politician in this country – regardless of ideology – seems to be able to see the problem with the CRTC‘s recent ruling.

And late last night Canadian consumers were finally vindicated. In an ironic show of support for the internet, Industry Minister Tony Clement Tweeted about his stance on the issue:

Borrowed from the Vancouver Sun online. Thanks!

Even better, the Vancouver Sun online has quoted a senior government insider who said:

“The CRTC should be under no illusion. The prime minister and the minister of industry will reverse this decision unless the CRTC does it itself.”

Booyah! That’s how representative democracy is supposed to work!

Now if only we can get some changes made in the CRTC itself.  Two major decisions being over-ruled in as many years definitely indicates that the current decision-makers are out of touch with reality Canadians.

2010 in review – sorry, I know it’s late!

Posted in Random with tags on February 1, 2011 by Mitch Leuraner

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 3 fully loaded ships.

 

In 2010, there were 136 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 74 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 14mb. That’s about a picture per week.

The busiest day of the year was June 27th with 813 views. The most popular post that day was FIFA World Cup 2010: England vs. Germany.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were stumbleupon.com, en.search.wordpress.com, makingmemagazine.com, facebook.com, and en.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for canada flag, canadian flag, christmas stinks, irina davis, and heart canada flag.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

FIFA World Cup 2010: England vs. Germany June 2010
1 comment

2

A universe without a big bang? August 2010

3

I don’t care about the music industry June 2010

4

The greatest single thought ever written down September 2010

5

How many cities have one of Pauta Saila’s dancing bears? September 2010