Thursday, November 27, 2008

Let the Big 3 Automakers Go Broke

First off, let me say that I have shares in both GM and Ford, so I will be personally affected if the Big 3 automakers go broke.

I still say "let them go broke."

What would it mean to Ontario and Canada if that happened? Would all the jobs and auto manufacturing disappear? Of course not! Anyone who says otherwise is either foolish or purposely misleading.

Scenarios After they Go Broke
1. Restructure.
They declare bankruptcy, rip up their union contracts, close un-productive plants, then continue to make only the most profitable and successful lines of cars.

2. Sell off Assets.
GM, for example, could call itself Chevrolet, and make just Chevrolet models, and sell off Buick, Hummer, etc. to other parties. Ford and Chrysler could do similar things. Maybe Shelby would put together some investors and buy Dodge. Whatever happens, we would have maybe a Medium-Sized 10 instead of Big 3.

3. Many other possibilities.
Look, people in the U.S. and Canada will continue to want/need cars and trucks, and wherever there's a need, the free market will step up and provide.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Complaining about Rogers DNS and URL Hijack

If you are as mad as I am, then here are some things you can do.

1. Login to and fill out their online complaint form.

2. Complain to the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services Inc.

3. Sign this petition:

Monday, July 21, 2008

Rogers is now Hijacking invalid DNS requests

Firefox has a great feature for finding web pages. It tries to load whatever you type in the URL bar, then if that doesn't work, it passes off what you typed to Google, and clicks the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button. This lets me type "apple" to get, or "costco canada" to get , etc. Great! I haven't used bookmarks for years.

So this morning I discover that Rogers has decided to over-ride this feature and piss me off to no end.

When Firefox tries to load something you typed in the URL box, like "apple", it gets a DNS error that says, in effect, there is no site called "apple", which is technically true, because it would have to be at least to be valid. Rogers has decided to hijack this behaviour by re-directing your browser to their own search page, instead of displaying the error. Of course, their search page is full of ads, which they are paid to run.

Imagine that the next time you dialed a wrong number, instead of getting an automated message that informed you the number didn't exist, you were instead sent to a telemarketer who tried to sell you lawn-care service. Now imagine that your phone used to automatically fix up wrong numbers for you, but now it can't any more because your phone company is hijacking all your wrong numbers. That's basically what Rogers is doing.

I've been mad at Rogers before, and even took steps last summer to make leaving Rogers really easy. (I stopped using my Rogers email address, and switched everything over to an email address on one of my own domains.) So, my first instinct this morning was to leave Rogers and switch to Bell Sympatico.

Then I thought about it for a minute, and decided that instead of doing that, I would just stop paying my Rogers internet bill.

How do you like me now, Rogers?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Blogger Thinks I'm Dutch

My last name is Dutch. I'm Canadian.

But, apparently Blogger thinks I'm Dutch, because there are Dutch ads in the sidebar.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Tim Horton's new Chocolate Brownie Iced Capp Supreme

I don't like coffee. It smells OK, but to me, it just tastes burnt, so I never drink it.

Today I was feeling drowsy, even after drinking two Coke Zeros, so I decided to go out for an ice cream treat. As I was driving by a Tim Horton's, I noticed the sign for the new Chocolate Brownie Iced Capp Supreme, and thought: "Hmm... ice cream that keeps you awake. Why not?" Also, my little boy has been watching the live-action Alvin and the Chipmunks movie lately, and I couldn't help thinking about the scene where the chipmunks enjoy some sort of iced coffee.

So I decided to try one and I freakin' loved it! It was really good, in a totally junk-food kind of way, and I was wired for several hours afterward. (A habitual coffee drinker, with a much higher caffeine tolerance, probably wouldn't feel the same.)

It's probably not the last Chocolate Brownie Iced Capp Supreme I'll have, especially since I'm going to be spending some time in the maternity ward later this month...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Kudos to local teen scientist

So, I fire up Slashdot, and the latest post points to a Kitchener-Waterloo Record article about a teenager from Waterloo Collegiate Institute whose winning science fair project was developing microbes that eat plastic shopping bags. Kudos to Daniel Burd!

And as far as I know, this is the first time that ever got slashdotted.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Another bogus late fee from Bell Expressvu

Am I the only one getting gouged by Bell Expressvu every month? Or does your Bell Expressvu bill have a "Late Payment Fee Unregulated" entry too?

My bill dated May 12, 2008 has a $0.31 charge for "Late Payment Fee Unregulated". Last month, I was charged $1.03. These charges are completely bogus, since I always pay my bill as soon as it arrives.

If they're getting an extra $0.31 to $1.03 out of everyone each month, then that's a lot of cake.

Monday, May 5, 2008

What should I do with the domain

Look at it the way it appears today:

And at the archived version from 4 years ago:

I used to do a radio show called Choke Chain, and always planned to do something related to music with, but never got around to it.


Saturday, May 3, 2008

Google == Internet

My account with my ISP, is going to expire in a few months, and I'm going to let it. I just spent the morning setting up Google Apps to host my email. And now I've moved my blog to Blogger.

It started with Gmail. Not only was it a handy web application, it was actually superior to a lot of traditional email clients due to the way it showed a series of emails as a conversation. Instead of scrolling to the bottom of an email message, and reading backwards, ignoring all those > signs, you could start at the top and read normally.

But the clincher is Apple's fault. I pre-ordered an iPod Touch last fall, and soon after I got it I was hooked. Partly because it was so slick, and partly because I configured it to connect to my Gmail account via IMAP, then configured my Gmail account to collect several other email accounts.

That means that checking all my email accounts is as easy as firing up the mail client on my iPod Touch. And due to IMAP, if I file or delete an email on my iPod, the next time I look at email on my MacBook, it's already filed or deleted, without me having to tediously handle it again.

In my next post, I'm going to have even more to say about Apple, Google, iPods/iPhones and the internet.