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Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category

Black Berry Apps…why?

In BlackBerry, Canada, Mobile, RIM, Tech, YouTube on October 17, 2011 at 16:09

Just a tad…

It’s been a bad couple of days for RIM, but $100 in BlackBerry Apps isn’t going to make things any better. “One analyst has estimated that if RIM were to compensate all carriers and customers for the down time of the BlackBerry network, its earnings would be negatively affected by three to five cents per share in the current quarter — a total of about $26 million.”, from the Globe and Mail.  It’s not the fact that an outage can’t happen.  Amazon had two this year with it’s S3 cloud storage and Google had lock out issues with both Gmail and Good Docs.  Heck even Apple is having a time of it right now trying pull 25 million people into it’s iCloud system.  However all of these companies, even Apple, have been up front as to what the issues are and what you as a consumer can to do find a fix.  RIM, from a person that is actually using your product and really does want you to succeed.  I’d rather you keep the $100 and put it into better management of your systems.  I’m not a systems expert and have no idea how your back up system failed to back itself up but I’m more interested in knowing that they’re won’t be a next time when something like this happens again.

OCC

Music Mondays ~ Rush still kickin’ around

In Business, Canada, Media, Music, Tech, Video Games, YouTube on July 22, 2010 at 20:24

Just a tad…

How cool is this.  They get inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame this spring and what does Rush do for an encore?  Rush’s album 2112 becomes the main story board and musical influence to Guitar Hero: Warriors of ROCK.

Rock On!

OCC

You can read Chris Barth’s full article in The Rolling Stones Magazine here

Rush on Bringing “2112” to ‘Guitar Hero’

“It’s official: Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock has the most epically prog-rock sequence ofRush on Bringing “2112” to ‘Guitar Hero’ any music video game yet. Rush have teamed with Activision for the fall release, which features a story-based Quest Mode that includes with hero wannabes playing the entirety of “2112,” a seven-part suite from the Canadian band’s 1976 album of the same name. The story of the game’s final segment roughly follows Rush’s opus, and will be narrated by lead singer Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson. “In our story, the caves of 2112 are where our hero finds the lost guitar,” says Lee. “This rediscovery of music is much like the Guitar Hero warriors’ journey to find the Demi-God of Rock’s Legendary guitar, which has been trapped in a cavern.”


You can read Pete Nowak’s full article from the CBC here

New Guitar Hero to feature Rush’s 2112

Rush fans let out a collective “oh my God” on Thursday as Activision announced the Canadian band’s seminal album 2112 will be heavily featured in the upcoming Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock video game, out for all consoles in September. The game will include the entire seven-song, 20-minute 2112 “suite,” which tells the story of a future society in which music is banned.

For the uninitiated, 2112 isn’t your average rock album. It’s about the fallout from a galaxy-wide war in the year 2062, which ended with an oppressive organization, known as the Red Star of the Solar Federation, in charge. The federation exerts its influence over cultural matters through their conduits, the Priests of the Temple of Syrinx. But things begin to change for the better in the year 2112, after a rebellious man discovers a guitar in a cave and proceeds to rock out. Essentially, it’s the plot of Footloose, but with a bunch of spacey, Ayn Rand philosophy thrown in.

The album is considered a prog-rock masterpiece and, along with Moving Pictures (1981), it’s generally thought of as Rush’s best work.

The Lyrics to “2112”

‘I lie awake, staring out at the bleakness of Megadon. City and sky become one, merging
Into a single plane, a vast sea of unbroken grey. The Twin Moons, just two pale orbs as
They trace their way across the steely sky. I used to think I had a pretty good life here,
Just plugging into my machine for the day, then watching Templevision or reading a Temple
Paper in the evening.

‘My friend Jon always said it was nicer here than under the atmospheric domes of the Outer
Planets. We have had peace since 2062, when the surviving planets were banded together under
The Red Star of the Solar Federation. The less fortunate gave us a few new moons.
I believed what I was told. I thought it was a good life, I thought I was happy. Then I found
Something that changed it all…’

[I. Overture]

And the meek shall inherit the earth…

[II. Temples of Syrinx]

…’The massive grey walls of the Temples rise from the heart of every Federation city. I
Have always been awed by them, to think that every single facet of every life is regulated
And directed from within! Our books, our music, our work and play are all looked after by
The benevolent wisdom of the priests…’

We’ve taken care of everything
The words you hear, the songs you sing
The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes
It’s one for all and all for one
We work together, common sons
Never need to wonder how or why

We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx
Our great computers fill the hallowed halls
We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
All the gifts of life are held within our walls

Look around at this world we’ve made
Equality our stock in trade
Come and join the Brotherhood of Man
Oh, what a nice, contented world
Let the banners be unfurled
Hold the Red Star proudly high in hand

We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx
Our great computers fill the hallowed halls
We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
All the gifts of life are held within our walls

[III. Discovery]

‘…Behind my beloved waterfall, in the little room that was hidden beneath the cave, I
Found it. I brushed away the dust of the years, and picked it up, holding it reverently in
My hands. I had no idea what it might be, but it was beautiful…’

‘…I learned to lay my fingers across the wires, and to turn the keys to make them sound
Differently. As I struck the wires with my other hand, I produced my first harmonious sounds
And soon my own music! How different it could be from the music of the Temples! I can’t wait
To tell the priests about it!…’

What can this strange device be?
When I touch it, it gives forth a sound
It’s got wires that vibrate and give music
What can this thing be that I found?

See how it sings like a sad heart
And joyously screams out it’s pain
Sounds that build high like a mountain
Or notes that fall gently like rain

I can’t wait to share this new wonder
The people will all see it’s light
Let them all make their own music
The Priests praise my name on this night

[IV. Presentation]

‘…In the sudden silence as I finished playing, I looked up to a circle of grim,
Expressionless faces. Father Brown rose to his feet, and his somnolent voice echoed
Throughout the silent Temple Hall…’

‘…Instead of the grateful joy that I expected, they were words of quiet rejection!
Instead of praise, sullen dismissal. I watched in shock and horror as Father Brown ground
My precious instrument to splinters beneath his feet…’

I know it’s most unusual
To come before you so
But I’ve found an ancient miracle
I thought that you should know
Listen to my music
And hear what it can do
There’s something here as strong as life
I know that it will reach you

Yes, we know, it’s nothing new
It’s just a waste of time
We have no need for ancient ways
The world is doing fine
Another toy will help destroy
The elder race of man
Forget about your silly whim
It doesn’t fit the plan

I can’t believe you’re saying
These things just can’t be true
Our world could use this beauty
Just think what we might do
Listen to my music
And hear what it can do
There’s something here as strong as life
I know that it will reach you

Don’t annoy us further!
We have our work to do
Just think about the average
What use have they for you?
Another toy will help destroy
The elder race of man
Forget about your silly whim
It doesn’t fit the Plan!

[V. Oracle: The Dream]

‘…I guess it was a dream, but even now it all seems so vivid to me. Clearly yet I see
The beckoning hand of the oracle as he stood at the summit of the staircase…’

‘…I see still the incredible beauty of the sculptured cities and the pure spirit of man
Revealed in the lives and works of this world. I was overwhelmed by both wonder and
Understanding as I saw a completely different way to life, a way that had been crushed
By the Federation long ago. I saw now how meaningless life had become with the loss of
All these things…’

I wandered home though the silent streets
And fell into a fitful sleep
Escape to realms beyond the night
Dream can’t you show me the light?

I stand atop a spiral stair
An oracle confronts me there
He leads me on light years away
Through astral nights, galactic days
I see the works of gifted hands
That grace this strange and wondrous land
I see the hand of man arise
With hungry mind and open eyes

They left the planet long ago
The elder race still learn and grow
Their power grows with purpose strong
To claim the home where they belong
Home to tear the Temples down…
Home to change!

[VI. Soliloquy]

‘…I have not left this cave for days now, it has become my last refuge in my total
Despair. I have only the music of the waterfall to comfort me now. I can no longer live
Under the control of the Federation, but there is no other place to go. My last hope is
That with my death I may pass into the world of my dream, and know peace at last.’

The sleep is still in my eyes
The dream is still in my head
I heave a sigh and sadly smile
And lie a while in bed
I wish that it might come to pass
Not fade like all my dreams…

Just think of what my life might be
In a world like I have seen!
I don’t think I can carry on
Carry on this cold and empty life

My spirits are low in the depths of despair
My lifeblood…
…Spills over…

[VII. The Grand Finale]

Attention all Planets of the Solar Federation
Attention all Planets of the Solar Federation
Attention all Planets of the Solar Federation
We have assumed control
We have assumed control
We have assumed control

Tech Tuesday: Do You BBM?

In Business, Canada, Customer Service, Mobile, Tech, The Social, YouTube on July 20, 2010 at 22:24

Just a tad…

In the mobile messenger space you can still use AIM.  Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook all have chat messenger services too.  But one rules them all.  Do you BBM?  Blackberry Messenger is the king of “Instant Messaging”  Apple’s iPhone might have the cool factor and Google Android is just everywhere but you just can’t touch the BBM.  Hey even the Queen BBM’s!  Full full disclosure, I use an iPhone and love it…but if RIM every made BBM for the iOS4 platform, I’d use it.

OCC

You can read Tim Kiladz ‘s full article in The Globe and Mail here

Speed, privacy and price give BlackBerry’s Messenger an edge

…”When teenagers are asked why they bought BlackBerrys, “Two years ago the answer was always ‘My parents have a Verizon plan,’” …“Now, the answer is: ‘I need this for BlackBerry Messenger.’”

He attributes BBM’s growth to three things. First, the speed: BBM operates on RIM’s “push” architecture, so message delivery is almost instantaneous. While there are other instant messaging applications, such as WhatsApp, they have a 15 or 20 second delay, making them feel much more like an e-mail conversation.

Secondly, BlackBerry’s network is private. When a regular text message is sent, the recipient’s number shows up on the phone bill. This might not seem like a pressing concern for older users who pay their own bills, but teenagers might not want their parents to know who they’re talking to.

Thirdly, there is the cost. BBM operates on the BlackBerry data plan so there isn’t a charge per message, and each is so small that it uses very little data. This isn’t a big issue in North America, Mr. McCourt said, but it’s very advantageous for someone who lives in France and goes to Germany and is suddenly paying 40 cents per text message…”

and from Perez Hilton.  Yo can read all here

Snooki Accidentally Tweets Her BBM!

“Snooki Snickers, you big silly! Always causing a commotion, whether you mean to or not!

Our most beloved apparently made the intense contract negotiations for the third season of Jersey Shore that much more difficult yesterday when she accidentally posted her Blackberry’s BBM to her Twitter account, which prompted a good majority of her 310,000 followers on the microblogging site to inundate her phone with messages!”

Tech Tuesday: Canada is Suing Facebook… Yeah!

In Business, Canada, Customer Service, Law & Order, Tech, YouTube on July 20, 2010 at 15:49

Just a tad…

Finally!  When can we get our money?  I know this is old news now but this is what you need to know about this lawsuit:  The likelihood of you getting any money is probably very small.  At best, as long as your Canadian and have been on Facebook as of November 2009, you can split whatever is leftover from the Merchant Law Group.  I’m betting at least $5 if the win.  For more information on the suit go to http://www.merchantlaw.com/.

OCC

@JesseBrown from TVO’s Search Engine Twittered about his encounter with Tony Merchant last week.

Jul 13, 2010 5:16 PM
JesseBrown: Just intvw’d Tony Merchant, lawyer behind the class action lawsuit against Facebook. YOUR lawyer. All Cndns are automatically plaintiffs.
Jul 13, 2010 5:16 PM
JesseBrown: Tony Merchant says if you don’t want to sue Facebook, you have to OPT-OUT of his class action lawsuit. Not sure he sees the irony in this…
Jul 13, 2010 5:33 PM
JesseBrown: Tony Merchant says signups for anti-FB lawsuit are welcome. But only 500 Cndns have signed up so far. I suggested he advertise it on FB.
Jul 13, 2010 5:33 PM
JesseBrown: Clarification:only Cndns on FB as of 11/09 are automatically plaintiffs in Tony Merchant’s class action lawsuit. So, 40% of us or so…
Jul 13, 2010 5:33 PM
You can listen to Jesse Brown’s full interview of TVO’s Search Engine.  Click on the image below and listen to podcast number 1.

You can read Caroline McCarthy’s full article in the social on CNET here

Toronto law firm preps Facebook privacy suit

“…The suit additionally alleges that Facebook “intentionally or negligently designs its privacy policies, as disseminated to users in such fashion as to mislead and induce users into putting their personal information and privacy at further risk,” that these policies mean that user data can be unwittingly exposed to the harms of data mining, identity theft, harassment, and plain old embarrassment, and that Facebook has unjustly profited off of this member information.

It’s seeking damages equivalent to the total amount of money that Facebook has made through the use of that member information.

But pursuing Facebook’s privacy policies is just a single case in a massive portfolio of suits for which Merchant has sought class action status–chasing a virtual ambulance, if you will. Merchant Law Group specializes in these suits, and its Web site lists ongoing class action litigation against numerous pharmaceutical companies, toy manufacturers, telecommunications companies that charged for 911 emergency calls, and “chocolate producers (who) conspired to keep chocolate prices in Canada artificially high…”

Tech Tuesday: Netflix is coming to Canada

In Business, Canada, Film, Media, Tech on July 20, 2010 at 08:56

Just a tad…

I can’t remember the last time I went to my local Blockbuster, but after hearing the news yesterday that Netflix was bringing their streaming dvd service to Canada, the likelihood is Blockbusters days are officially numbered.  I’ve got wonder if Zip.ca might make a partnership with Netflix?  Zip.ca has the mail order DVD service that Netflix will lack when it’s brought to Canada in the fall.  I already download movies through my iTunes/AppleTV but at $5.99 per HD movie, there isn’t much of savings.  Right now in the states, Netflix streams 720p through you PC, enabled BluRay machines, enabled HDTVs and game machines like the Xbox360 and PS3.  If you have an internet connection you’re pretty much good to go.  Now if we could just get a Canadian version of Hulu, Pandora and Spotify we’d be golden.

OCC

Press Release

Netflix To Launch Canadian Service for Streaming Movies and TV Episodes Later This Year

Expansion Beyond U.S. Marks First International Venture for Internet’s Leading Movie Subscription Service

LOS GATOS, Calif., July 19 /PRNewswire/ — Netflix, Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX), the leading Internet movie subscription service, today announced it will expand into Canada this fall offering unlimited movies and TV episodes streamed instantly to TVs and computers for one low monthly fee.  The Canadian launch will mark the first availability of Netflix outside the United States.

Canadian Netflix members will be able to instantly watch a broad array of movies and TV episodes right on their TVs via a range of consumer electronics devices capable of streaming from Netflix, as well as watching on PCs and Macs.

In addition to representing its inaugural international market, Canada will also mark the first streaming-only service promoted by Netflix.

At the time of launch, the Netflix Canadian service will be available in English only, but the company said it expects to add French language capability over time.

Canadians interested in Netflix can go to www.netflix.ca and sign up to receive an email from the company when the service launches in Canada this fall.

You can read Dana Flavelle ‘s in The Toronto Star here

Netflix to bring Internet movies and TV to Canada

…Netflix has yet to reveal what it plans to charge for the service in Canada. Analysts are betting it will be more than in the U.S., where for $8.99 a month subscribers to its traditional mail-order DVD rental business can also stream the content online.

The company is not bringing the mail order business to Canada, a move that didn’t surprise industry watchers as technological advances have since made it easier for consumers to stream movies and TV shows directly over the Internet.

“Now, an average Internet connection with an average laptop lets you watch House on Global or Desperate Housewives on CTV,” Yigit said.

If consumers can also stream Internet shows to their TVs via their game consoles, such as the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3, it could have an impact on traditional cable and satellite TV subscriptions, analysts noted.

Netflix, which has 13 million suscribers in the U.S., already has strong brand recognition in Canada, said Jayanth Angl, a senior research analyst with Info-Tech Research Group, in London, Ont…

….

You can read Susan Krashinsky’s full article in The Globe and Mail here

Netflix to shake up Canadian industry

…Netflix’s entry into Canada poses a serious threat to players like Blockbuster Canada and Rogers Communications Inc. which, until now, have largely avoided the pricing wars that have decimated brick-and-mortar rental chains in the U.S.

Since it was founded in 1997, Netflix has helped to create an upheaval in the rental market south of the border, kicking off a pricing war aided by automated rental kiosks like the Redbox machines operated by Coinstar. In-store rentals now account for less than half of the rental market in the U.S.

The picture is very different in Canada, where rental stores still dominate the market and generate a steady stream of profits The online movie rental business accounts for just 0.6 per cent of the Canadian market, and kiosks take up only 1.4 per cent, according to Convergence Consulting Group, which tracks the industry.

That will change in the months ahead. Netflix is just the first in a series of challengers looking to take a piece of the $1.3-billion Canadian market for movie rentals…

…There is no part of the rental business quite as poised for change in the coming months as online.

“Prior to the Internet, any street in America had a travel agency … and you don’t see travel agencies that much any more,” Netflix spokesperson Steve Swasey said.

The company is pursuing the digital market: On the day the iPad was released, Netflix released an application for the device. Netflix is also coming to the iPhone, and it has put out job postings for developers for the Android mobile platform. It has deals with Blu-Ray disc player manufacturers to connect its online content to TV sets.

Zip.ca also plans to launch an online rental service in the fall, and Cineplex, which dominates the theatrical movie market in Canada, will expand its online DVD store to allow customers to purchase movies for download, or rent a movie in the same streaming format.

“Netflix is starting with zero base in Canada. We have 70 million people coming through our doors annually. I think we understand the movie business,” Cineplex CEO Ellis Jacob said…

Tech Tuesday: Cory Doctorow explains why copyright sucks in Canada

In Business, Canada, Law & Order, Politico, Tech, UK on July 13, 2010 at 13:38

Just a tad…

Does anyone really understand Canada’s Copyright Law?  Anyone?

OCC

You can read more articles from Cory Doctorow at guardian.co.uk here

Canada’s copyright laws show Britain’s digital legislation is no exception

A few months ago, Britain’s archivists, educators, independent artists and technologists were up in arms over the digital economy bill, a dreadful piece of legislation that ignored all the independent experts’ views on how to improve Britain’s digital economy; instead, it further rewarded the slow-moving entertainment companies that refused to adapt to the changing marketplace and diverted even more public enforcement resources to shoring up their business-models.

The bill was passed despite enormous public outcry, without real parliamentary debate, in a largely empty house, hours before parliament dissolved for the election. Despite reassuring promises to their constituents, huge numbers of MPs just didn’t bother to show up for work that day, allowing the bill to slip through (my own MP, Meg Hillier, sent me a letter to tell me that she was “concerned” that the bill was up for a vote without debate, but she voted for it anyway).

Well, here’s some good news for Britons: you’re not the only country whose laws are for sale to oligarchs from the entertainment industry. In my native Canada, a farce worthy of the worst moments of the Digital Economy Act is playing out even as I type these words.

Some background: there have been two recent attempts to reform Canadian copyright law. Both failed, due in large part to an unwillingness on the part of lawmakers to conduct public review or consultation on their proposals (though they were happy to have closed-door meetings with lobbyists representing offshore entertainment giants). The minority Tory government is now fielding a third attempt, called Bill C32 (Canadian bills have much less interesting names than their UK counterparts; here, we’d probably call it The Enhancement of Digital Life Through Extreme Punishments for Naughty Pirates Bill of 2010).

C32 follows the widest-ever public consultation on Canadian copyright. More than 8,300 Canadians filed comments in the consultation, and they spoke with near unanimity: “We don’t want a US-style copyright regime.”

The US’s copyright law was last reformed in 1998, with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which provided for near-total protection for “digital locks” (also called “DRM,” “TPM,” “copy prevention,” “copy protection” – this explosion of names being the legacy of two decades’ worth of attempts to rebrand an unpopular idea in the hopes of making it stick). In the US version of the law, breaking a digital lock is itself a crime – even if you’re breaking it for a perfectly legitimate reason.

For example, Apple uses digital locks to make sure that the only programs you can run on your iPad and iPhone come from its own App Store. The App Store has lots of conditions on it that are ripe for competitive challenge – it scoops a hefty 30% commission from software creators, and imposes prudish conditions on the presentation of “adult” content (previously, Apple has rejected an ebook reader because it could be used to call up the Kama Sutra, a dictionary because it contained “naughty” words, the Pulitzer-winning political cartoons of Mark Fiore because they “ridiculed public figures” and a comic book adaptation of Joyce’s Ulysses because you could see the characters’ willies – in each case, they reversed themselves after public outcry).

But breaking the digital locks on your iPad so that you can buy apps from someone other than Apple is against the law – even though there is no copyright infringement taking place. Quite the contrary: marketplaces where creators exchange their works for money is the kind of thing you’d expect copyright law to encourage, rather than prohibit.

Nearly all of the respondents to the Canadian copyright consultation said that they didn’t want to repeat America’s 12-year-old mistake. Yes, they said, let us have protection for digital locks, but only if you’re breaking them in order to commit an act of actual copyright infringement. Protecting the locks themselves is bad policy.

I was one of those Canadians. As a Canadian author (my latest novel, For the Win, is presently on the Canadian bestseller lists), I believe that I should have the major say in the destiny of my copyrighted works.

If I want to authorise a reader to break a digital lock to move her copies of my books from a Kindle to a competing ebook reader, that should be my call. Certainly, the mere act of putting my works into a digital locker shouldn’t give a company the right to usurp my copyright: copyright protects authorship, not assembling electronics in Pacific Rim sweatshops.

Only 46 of the 8,306 commenters thought otherwise. These 46 commenters advocated replicating America’s failed experiment in Canada; everyone else thought the idea was daft. You’d think that with numbers like 46:8260, the government would go with the majority, right? Wrong.

When minister of industry Tony Clement, and minister of heritage James Moore, published the text of their long-awaited copyright bill, Canadians were floored to discover that the ministers had replicated the American approach to digital locks. Actually, they made it worse – the Americans conduct triennial hearings on proposed exemptions to the rule; Moore and Clement didn’t bother with even this tiny safeguard.

The ministers have been incapable of explaining the discrepancy. When confronted on it, they inevitably point to the fact that their bill also establishes numerous “user rights” for everyday Canadians (for example, the right to record a TV show in order to watch it later), and suggest that this is the “balance” that Canadians asked for. When critics say, “Yes, you’ve created some user rights, but if a digital lock prevents their exercise, it’s against the law to break the lock, right?” the ministers squirm and change the subject.

It’s enough to leave you wondering whether the ministers understand their own bill. Indeed, Clement recently appeared on the public broadcaster TVOntario show Search Engine and promised that his law allows journalists to break a digital lock for the purposes of investigative reporting (according to lawyers, scholars and everyone else who’s read the bill, he’s wrong).

If they don’t understand their bill, perhaps it’s because they weren’t really in charge of what went into it. According to the former head of staff for minister of foreign affairs Maxime Bernier: “The prime minister’s office’s position was, move quickly, satisfy the US; we don’t care what you do, as long as the US is satisfied.”

It’s clear the US government has made a top priority out of ensuring other countries cut their throats just as stupidly as America did with the DMCA’s digital locks rules. Last week, the Obama administration’s newly minted IP enforcement czar, Victoria Espinel, reiterated America’s priority to use its trade muscle to force countries into adopting US-style copyright rules.

American industry is pleased by this. A shadowy new Canadian “citizens’ group”, Balanced Copyright For Canada, looks to be the work of the big-four labels, with a membership composed of employees and executives of the labels’ Canadian subsidiaries (the membership lists were taken offline hastily after this was publicised).

Moore seems to be cracking under the strain of supporting the unsupportable. He has publicly denounced opponents of his bill as “radical extremists” (these “extremists” include the Canadian Bookseller Association, the Retail Council of Canada, the Canadian Library Association, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and MPs from all the other parties). He then denied having made the remarks, blocked voters from following him on Twitter when they asked him about it, and has remained silent on the subject since videos of him making the remarks surfaced.

So, Britain, rejoice. It’s not just our government that can be bullied into voting against the public interest by big content’s power-brokers – Canada’s just as weak and pitiful.

Tech Tuesday: HMV.ca vs iTunes?

In Business, Canada, Music, Tech on July 13, 2010 at 07:29

Just a tad…

Welcome to 2004!  HMV Canada is allowing music downloads.  Last week HMV Canada opened up HMVdigital.ca.

Is this really going to matter?  Probably not.  Have you walked into a HMV store lately?  First question is where is all the music?  HMV use to be all about music.  Videogames and Videos spent little time in the front of the store.  That has of course changed.  Walls and walls of Xbox and PS3 game monitors and DVDs and Blu-Ray discs have taken up almost 75% of the floor space of many HMV stores.  But this is all about the online battle not the bricks and mortar physical space.  Will Canadians make a move from iTunes or has HMV.ca already lost the fight?

OCC

You can read Jameson Berkow full article in The Financial Post here

HMV Canada is finally offering what Apple Inc. has been offering Canadians for six years: a Web-based digital music store.

The country’s largest entertainment retailer launched HMVdigital. ca yesterday morning, after more than six months of testing. The new site offers more than five million downloadable MP3 tracks for about 99¢ each, comparable with the price charged per song on Apple’s iTunes store.

“We made the difficult decision of patiently waiting, until we believed we had a digital music offering which would allow us to offer consumers some key benefits beyond those they had with their incumbent digital music site,” said Humphrey Kadaner, president of HMV Canada, in explaining why the company was so late to the digital-music party.

In true Canadian style, the site will be accessible in both English and French. It also claims to be Canada’s only Web-based music store to accept Interac debit cards as a form of online payment. Accepting Interac-based payment will likely prove a worthwhile feature for the new site, as many of HMV’s customers are quite young.

“Our core consumers tend to skew younger than average, and when you think about younger consumers, by and large they don’t have credit cards,” Mr. Kadaner said.

All songs available through the site will be 100% MP3 DRM-free (digital rights management), meaning there will be no restrictions placed on how songs can be used once downloaded by a customer. For years, record companies placed internal digital locks within FP3 files in an effort to keep customers from copying songs and sharing them illegally.

My Privacy via Facebook in Canada

In Canada, Customer Service, Government, Me Myself & I, Media, Tech, The Social on April 27, 2010 at 13:02

Just a tad…

Dear Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Jennifer Stoddart,

What are you doing lately to protect my privacy on Facebook, Google (Buzz, Reader, Gmail, etc) and other social media sites and networks on the internet?  Back in August of 2009 you took Facebook to task on how it handled our information.  I even wrote about it here (just follow the “here” link) Specifically on how that information was shared and accessed by friends and by strangers.  Also on how to simplify deleting your account.  You were showing teeth and claws, but I’m looking at what Facebook has done thus far, it just seems like you put on an early Halloween costume to scare them a little. Fast forward to your letter to Google about Buzz on April 19th looked great on paper.  To bad the actual privacy breach happened the week of February 7th.  Not impressed.

My very edited back story of my frustration when it comes to privacy (specifically with Facebook)

I’ve had my account hacked in the past 18 months and have had personal pictures and personal information repurposed in a degrading manner.  I tired working with Facebook to locate and stop the perpetrator(s) to no avail.  After that I tried to find the person/people responsible for this on my own for months.  I was my own unpaid P.I. No answers and basically more family related stress over the matter than it needed to be.  I was basically forced to scrub my profile of pictures, information and friends.

I still use Facebook, sparingly.  The majority of my access is through twitter and the tweets I send specifically for my twitter audience and friends on Facebook.

I still want to be connect to my friends and I want them to be connected to me.  What I don’t want is any Tom, Denise or Harry to have access to me or my STUFF.  Clicking “Only Friends” option on Facebook and many other social networks means nothing.  You as OUR government needs to step in and force companies like this to tell the truth.  If my friends are the only ones that are supposed to see what I put up to show, then do that.  If not, show us exactly where our information is going and how it is being viewed and used.  I use this expression all the time of “no one puts a gun to your head” when it comes to using products on the internet.  However the use of simple language and access to information on the consumer side needs to be of the highest order.  I can’t eat coconuts.  When I buy products and read the ingredients and it reads, “with coconuts, or coconut oil or coconut milk”  I don’t use it.  I want to see a ingredients list, fully and easily accessible for all consumers using social media, networks and the sort.

Ms. Stoddart please do MORE.

Thanks for your time.

Lanrick (myonlinelifenow@gmail.com)

OCC

Not trying to preach to the government, just want my tax money going towards more than letterhead filled threats to Facebook and Google.

Below I’ve linked to a quick guide to some of the new things Facebook has added to make you more open than you may want to be to the internet.

http://www.downloadsquad.com/2010/04/26/a-guide-to-protecting-your-information-privacy-on-the-new-facebook/

US Senator Charles Schumer wants to get the FTC to set guidelines for privacy online with Facebook, Twitter and MySpace

http://schumer.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=324175&

I don’t usually agree with much Molly Wood has to say (sorry Ms. Wood) but her recent rant hits the mark.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-31322_3-20003185-256.html

Finally if you have something to say to The Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Jennifer Stoddart,

you can contact her here http://www.priv.gc.ca/aboutUs/message_e.cfm

Finally finally, I don’t know him personally but I enjoy his protected point of view on many of the issues surrounding the right to privacy in Canada.

Michael Gist and you can take a look at his stuff athttp://www.michaelgeist.ca/ and follow him on Twitter http://twitter.com/michaelgeist


Looking at the Olympics from a new height

In Canada, NASA, Olympics, Tech, The World, West Coast on February 22, 2010 at 22:14

Just a tad…

Imagine taking a look at Whistler…from above 35,000 feet.  WIRED.com gives some breathtaking shots of 2010 Olympics.  Here’s a small sample.

You can take a look at all of their shots over Vancouver, Whistler and other Olympic sites including Beijing, Salt Lake, London and Rio de Janeiro.  Click Here

OCC

What’s All The Buzz About?

In Canada, Government, Law & Order, Tech, The Social on February 18, 2010 at 10:29

Just a tad…

Last week Google released, hmm let me rephrase that, pushed down each and every gmail accounts throat a tool call Buzz. Buzz is the counter punch to social juggernauts Facebook and Twitter. Imagine having your inbox be a social gathering hub, allowing you to access your mail in a live stream and all of your contacts to have real time access to you. Sounds great doesn’t it? However isn’t this why we use social tools like Facebook and Twitter? Your email is your mailbox. It’s your first line of privacy. To have that open up might be a bit much for some to swallow. Google to their current has already changed the settings of Buzz to allow you to choice options as to how much opening up you want to do, but not before the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada made a few complaints. Again it seems like Canadians enjoy riding on the social stream, however they want to make sure they have open, clear and fair options when it comes to allowing access to their personal information. Another social tool gaining steam is geolocation “check-in” sites like Foursquare. As much fun as these sites are, there are real problems when users don’t fully understand the information they are giving out. Please Rob Me is a site that aggregates random geolocation accounts that give out information that you the account holder has recently left your home. Pretty scary stuff. Just another peak into the future of the always on and always connect world we now live in.

OCC

Privacy Commissioner reviewing Google Buzz

By Peter Nowak
Concerns around Google’s recently unveiled Buzz feature are deepening with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada looking into the social-networking tool.

Valerie Lawton, a spokeswoman for the privacy office, said the office is looking into concerns about Buzz.

“We understand the public concern about privacy issues related to Google Buzz,” she said. “Our office is looking at the issue.”

Lawton added that the office may comment further on Wednesday.

Google has ignited a hailstorm of criticism with Buzz, which adds real-time communication and media-sharing features found on popular social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to its Gmail service.

Buzz users can share status updates, news stories, videos and photos, and they can link in feeds from sites such as Twitter and Picasa.

The company unveiled Buzz last week as a feature inside Gmail. Once launched, Buzz automatically searched the user’s most emailed contacts and added them as followers, thereby inadvertently exposing potentially sensitive communications.

One user blogged about how Buzz automatically added her abusive ex-boyfriend as a follower and exposed her communications with a current partner to him. Other bloggers commented that repressive governments in countries such as China or Iran could use Buzz to expose dissidents.

Continue reading at CBC.ca


The dark side of geo: PleaseRobMe.com

by Caroline McCarthy

More than a social statement than an actual utility for aspiringColton Harris-Moore* copycats, a new site called Please Rob Me has popped up to expose the potential pratfalls of the geolocation craze: If you’re pushing a “check-in” from Gowalla, Brightkite, or Foursquare to a local restaurant out to your public Twitter stream, you’re broadcasting that you aren’t home. Which could be taken to mean that your home is ripe for burglary.

Please Rob Me consists exclusively of an aggregation of public Twitter messages that have been pushed through fast-growing location-based networking site Foursquare, one of a handful of services that encourages people toshare their whereabouts with their friends. You can filter by geographic location, too.

“On one end we’re leaving lights on when we’re going on a holiday, and on the other we’re telling everybody on the internet we’re not home,” the Please Rob Me site says to explain its rationale. “The goal of this website is to raise some awareness on this issue and have people think about how they use services like Foursquare, Brightkite, Google Buzz, etc.”

Continue reading ‘the social’ at CNET News