Archive for Canada

The end of TV as a vehicle for entertainment

Posted in Finds, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2011 by Mitch Leuraner

You may recall last week’s post about the CRTC’s decision to deny Shaw the right to air National Geographic Wild in Canada. The CRTC argued that there are already two other Canadian wild-life channels available which might lose viewership to the American National Geographic channel.

Okay, that’s lame, but whatever – that’s how the CRTC rolls.

Fast-foward to this week and we see that The Canadian Press is announcing that Swiss Chalet will be launching a 24-hour roasted chicken channel on Monday.  The channel will be nothing more than 2 rows of chickens roasting on an open flame – much like those fireplace recordings that play at Christmas – and it will run for 13 weeks.

Really.

Now lets consider this for a second…  a third wild-life channel is disallowed because it lacks enough Canadian content.  But a channel with nothing but roasting chickens is completely fine? 

I guess the chickens are were all Canadians?

But hypocracy aside, what really scares me is that a new channel is being created for the purpose of airing nothing more than a single commercial.  Really, that’s all this is.  Swiss Chalet is literally buying 13 weeks of 24 hour airtime on a dedicated channel, just to air a single, chicken-based commercial. With no actual entertainment value at all.

CRTC has a poor memory, send your complaints again

Posted in Aggravations, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on February 23, 2011 by Mitch Leuraner

A few weeks back I sent the CRTC a message telling them what I think of their ruling to allow Bell Canada to force Usage-based Billing on the customers of its competition. Not long after that Tony Clement came out and told the CRTC just what he thought about it too – and they “agreed” to a review.

Well, that review is now.  Just yesterday I recieved this email:

Hello

Thank you for taking the time to contact the CRTC to express your concerns regarding the billing practices of wholesale Internet services. In light of the concerns expressed by Canadians regarding this issue, the Commission has decided to review its own decision.

We therefore invite you to participate in the review by submitting your comments at https://services.crtc.gc.ca/pub/Intervention/Submission-Soumission.aspx?lang=e&EventNo=2011-77&EventType=Notice#Step0. Comments must be received prior to April 29, 2011. Note that all information you provide as part of this public process, including any personal information, becomes part of a publicly accessible file and will be posted on the Commission’s website. We also include links to the CRTC news release http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/com100/2011/r110208.htm as well as Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-77 http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2011/2011-77.htm for your information.

Yours truly,

Suzanne Papineau
CRTC Client Services

1-877-249-2782 /télécopieur/facsimile 819-994-0218
Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des télécommunications canadiennes / Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission / Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2
Gouvernement du Canada / Government of Canada

On the surface this seems good – the CRTC appears to be willing to hear what regular Canadians think about the issue. 

But wait a minute… didn’t I already tell them what I think? That is, after all, the whole reason they sent me the email in the first place.

I guess all the complaints that were sent in weeks ago don’t count now, because they were sent before the review processes was started.

So… send in your complaints again!  Don’t let the CRTC ignore your voice just because you were willing to speak up early.  And if you didn’t complain before, make sure you do now!  Before 29 April!

Canadians read, Americans shop, Everyone Googles

Posted in Books, Finds, Random with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2011 by Mitch Leuraner

I had a funky issue with my computer last night that made it so I couldn’t access Google.ca – I could access every other Google version, just not Canada. Boo. In any case, once I got everything sorted out, I was switching back and forth between the basic Google home page for the .com version and the .ca version, and I noticed a tiny difference:

The menu options at the top of the Google.com page are: Web, Images, Videos, Maps, News, Shopping, Gmail, and more. Like this:

But the same menu on Google.ca has slightly different options: Web, Images, Videos, Maps, News, Books, Gmail, and more. Like this:

Now, the fact that the US page would have shopping on the main list while Canada doesn’t, isn’t really that big a mystery.  Google is an American company and there are a whole lot of reason’s why they would be less likely to have shopping as a major option for Canadians.  But what I found most interesting is that they chose to replace shopping with books.

Google has so many products and services, I just find it surprising that they wouldn’t have chosen something like YouTube, or Photos. But hey, Google is all about knowing everything about their users, so if they say that Canadians want books, I tend to believe them!

Yet more proof that Canadian phone companies suck

Posted in Aggravations with tags , , , , on October 18, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

Another study has once again pointed out that Canadians pay way too much for cell phone use.

Take a good look at that chart (which Engadget has graciously bestowed).  Notice how Canadians pay as much for voice service alone, as most of the world pays for voice, text and data put together?

It’s a sad day when even the US looks enviable.

Gmail is a pretty good phone

Posted in Finds, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

So yesterday, I’m minding my own business, checking my email, when Gmail decides to point out a new menu option labeled “Call Phone“.  If you missed it, it’s listed under the Chat menu on the left hand side of the screen.

I didn’t have the time, or a mic, so I just logged the incident in the recesses of my mind and went about my business.  But tonight, I was using my netbook which coincidentally has a mic built in…

So I hit the link.  It makes you install a browser plugin, and restart your browser, but then … oh, then you have a full on telephone built into your computer – without any need for an external application.  The thing runs straight through the regular Gmail interface.

And it really works.  Well.

Apparently, it will do video chat too – but I’ve only tried it with actual telephones, so I don’t know how well that works.

And the best part? Free calling to Canada and the US in 2010.  It wasn’t explicit, but I’m betting that means it will cost something in 2011.  But who cares? It’s free now, and totally awesome!

This world isn’t ready for Twitter

Posted in Finds, Random with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

Sometimes, the internet just makes me want to delete all my posts and log-off.  But for some reason I can’t.  Instead, I friend/follow/RSS the content instead. It’s very disconcerting.

Case in point: I came across something terrible on Twitter today.  This user actually embodies everything that is wrong with the internet:

  1. Fake Identity
  2. Impersonation
  3. Frivolous Content
  4. Sporadic Updates
  5. Politics
  6. Kitten Anthropomorphism

Yes, those are the worst things about the internet, and no I did not forget porn.

Happy Canada Day!!

Posted in Random, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , on July 1, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

I hope I look as good when I am 143 years old!!