Archive for 2011

Holy cheese!!

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

I didn’t notice February sneaking up on me at all!!!  But then, all of a sudden, there it was!

Sorry January – I meant to make better use of you, but what can I say? It was really cold!!

Usage-Based Billing is bad for everyone… except Bell, Rogers

Posted in Aggravations, Finds, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2011 by Mitch Leuraner

A recent decision by the CRTC has mandated that ISPs institute usage based billing by 1 March 2011. 

This is bad.  Very bad.

If you don’t understand why, then go to the link above and read Digital Home‘s explanation of the decision – they have it explained at least as well as I could, if not better.

When you are done reading and you are furious – and you will be furious – you are going to want to know what you can do about it.  The truth is, getting something like this turned around is hard.  Government agencies, the CRTC especially, don’t like taking criticism and they really don’t like admitting they were wrong. 

But there are some things you can do, and our friends at Digital Home have a perfect list: 

If Canadians really want to stop UBB, the time is now. Instead of complaining on blogs or signing petitions, do the proper thing. Phone, mail and email your MP. Here is the link which lists all 305 Members of Parliament. Click on your MP and you will find a phone number and an email address. Send them an email to complain and when you’re done, email James Moore, Minister of Heritage Canada ( Moore.J@parl.gc.ca ) , email the Minister of Industry Tony Clement ( minister.industry@ic.gc.ca ) and contact Stephen Harper your prime minister at ( Harper.S@parl.gc.ca ).

When you are done that, goto this link and make a complaint online to the CRTC.


Do it.  If you have doubts about what you should include in your letters, check out Digital Home’s article Usage Based Internet Billing: What can you do? for help – it’s definitely worthwhile.

We can stop this. But not if we just sit by and watch it happen.

UPDATE:

This guy has the right idea – but he needs your support!  Make sure that your MP knows what is going on!

No, I didn’t make any resolutions!

Posted in Aggravations, Rules, Thoughts with tags , , , , , on January 4, 2011 by Mitch Leuraner

If one more person asks me what New Year’s resolutions I made this year, I’m going to lose it.

Let’s be clear – I don’t make resolutions. Not this year, not last year, not next year. Never.

On the surface, resolutions seem like a nice idea.  You identify the things in your life that you are not happy with, and resolve to change them. Maybe you want to lose weight, or spend more time with your spouse / children. Maybe you want to be more open-minded or less stressed.  These are certainly worthy goals for any life.

But what makes you think that you are more likely to follow through with them, just because you ‘resolved’ to at the  beginning of another arbitrary new year?

If you don’t like how much you weigh, then you have probably been thinking about it for a while.  In fact, you probably think about it every day.  And yet you’ve done nothing about it? And now you think that you’ll actually have the will-power to change, just because the year has changed?

Psh! It won’t happen.

Don’t make resolutions – make changes!

If I don’t like some aspect of my life, I don’t wait for symbolic things to line up before doing something about them.

Here’s my 5 step process to enjoying life:

  1. Identify something about life that I don’t like.
  2. Identify what specifically needs to be done in order to change it.
  3. Do a basic cost/bennefit analysis, identifying what the change will cost vs. what I will gain,  and then make a decision about whether or not the cost truly outweighs the benefit.
  4. If I think that changing is too much trouble given the benefit, then I accept it, stop whining,  and move on, so I can restart the process again with a different problem.  If I think changing is worth the trouble, then I follow through with the things identified in Step 2. Either way, I have made a decision and have to accept responsibility for my action or inaction.

That’s it! Just make a decision about what you’ll gain vs. the amount of effort it will take, and then do it.  If you follow the process and discover that you are not willing to accept the hassle required to really change something, then just move on to something else.

Making resolutions isn’t the same as making changes – resolutions are just one more way to procrastinate.  I’m all for procrastination – I won’t hold it against you.  Just don’t pretend like you are actually accomplishing anything.

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, because at the end of the year I have nothing to resolve. I fixed all of my problems as soon as they came up. 

In 2011, the only things that I will fix are things that become a problem in 2011.

Happy early New Year!!

Posted in Thoughts with tags , , , on December 31, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

The last post of 2010! What a crazy year it’s been.

Bring on 2011!!

Bell Canada is laughing at us all

Posted in Aggravations, Finds, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on November 23, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

Once again, the telecomunications gods have announced a raise in prices. As of January 2011, all of their ‘calling features’ will cost $2 more each month.

  • Caller ID and Voice Mail will cost $10.95,
  • Call Waiting will cost $8.95, and
  • Visual Call Waiting will cost $16.95!!

If you’re feeling a little deja vu, it’s because this is the second time this month that Bell has made a price increase annoucement – although last time they were stickin’ it to internet customers instead.

The incredible part is that these features cost the company nothing. Once the system is set up, which it has been for years, it is completely automated. Displaying caller ID information cannot possibly cost the company more today, than it did last year. And Bell is certainly not struggling to make a profit.

So why the increase?  Simple – people have come to rely on these features, and won’t give them up just for the sake of a few dollars each month.

And that is why Bell is laughing.