Web Archives (89 posts)
Last week, several news agencies including the CBC reported Bell admits internet metering problem. I knew there was a problem when I went to check my own Internet usage and saw the screen above. The message said that the usage tracker will be restored in an hour. I’ve been waiting 178 hours.
I want to know if I’ve gone over my measly 50 GB for my monthly billing cycle. I purchased an additional 40 GB each month for an additional $5/month and I don’t think I’m in danger of using up all 90 GB but I’d like to know how much Netflix.ca has affected my bandwidth consumption.
I’ve gone over my 50 GB limit in the past (before I added the extra bandwidth for $5/month) and Bell dinged my for $2.50/GB. For some months I paid an additional $5-10 in penalties for going over my limit. Now I’m learning that Bell may have been ripping me off? No wonder people hate the greedy telcos and they’re whining about not being able to make a profit by gouging their customers.
The CRTC decision on Internet billing has generated a lot of interesting press including Terence Corcoran’s column in the National Post that says the billing reversal would be bad policy. The subhead of his column says “CRTC move to user based billing would affect few”.
I can’t help but feel that Terence Corcoran is completely out to lunch when it comes to technology matters. Read his article and you’ll wonder if he has broadband Internet service in his home or still uses a typewriter to file his stories.
Most of my friends and family go through 50 GB a month in no time. I’ve written about bandwidth caps in the past and judging from the comments I receive, people hate them and feel ripped off.
If you live in a household of 3-5 people that are over the age of 10 then you know how fast 50 GB of bandwidth can disappear. In our house of 3 people our Internet connection is used for:
- web surfing via an iPhone, iPad, PS3, laptop or two desktop computers
- Netflix movies
- iTunes movies, music and apps (Rage HD for iPad alone is 1.18 GB)
- online gaming via PS3
I don’t think Terence Corcoran understands the average Canadian Broadband user. He seems to believe that the recent CRTC decision would affect very few Canadians:
One telecom company official put the number at about 30,000. These are relatively small number of Internet users who access the broadband network through third-party service providers such as TekSavvy Solutions Inc.
What about the 265,000 people that have voiced their opinion through Stop The Meter On Your Internet Usage? I bet the number will be up to 500,000 by tomorrow. I’ve noticed a lot of people posting it on Facebook and Twitter this morning.
People that aren’t concerned about Internet billing or bandwidth caps likely:
- don’t use the Internet very much
- don’t have a Facebook account
- never watch videos on YouTube
- have never watched a movie on Netflix.ca
- and probably write for the Financial Post.
Canadians are sick of getting gouged by Rogers, Bell, Telus and Shaw for going over their monthly bandwidth caps when it comes to Internet usage. The Canadian ISPs think that 50 GB is enough bandwidth for every Canadian in a given month. Bill Gates is famously misquoted as having said that “640K ought to be enough for anybody.” Unfortunately Bell and Rogers have made it clear that 50 GB ought to be be enough for anybody.
OpenMedia.ca has a great campaign called Stop The Meter On Your Internet Usage which has gone viral. When I signed their petition this morning they had around 265,000 signatures.
The petition is against a recent CRTC decision on Internet billing that will lead to Canadians paying even more for their Internet usage. The public outcry against this decision has turned into a major political issue in Ottawa. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is now getting involved in the dispute and the CRTC decision may be reversed.
CBC’s Strombo has a nice clip summarizing what’s at stake.
I just came across Better Password and thought, I have to share. Somebody I know quite well, and could be married to, used something along the lines of “aaaaa” for a password today. I was mortified.
My guess is that a lot of people use something like 1234 for their online passwords. I’m also guessing that these people use the same 4 digits for their bank card, cell phone unlock code, voicemail pin and more. If you’re one of these lame people then you need to change. Don’t use an obvious password!
Use a password manager for your web browser such as 1Password. If that is too complicated then right it down in a book. Save it in a document that is tucked away on your computer and not named passwords.doc or something obvious.
The next time you need to come up with a good password just visit Better Password.
Posted in Web at 10:43 PM
Dan Benjamin’s online talk show The Conversation is outstanding.
I watched Episode 27: Missionless Statements, which featured Merlin Mann and Jeffrey Veen (with host Dan Benjamin) talking about productivity, email, working for yourself, why mission statements are useless and a million other things that I found fascinating.
One of the nuggets of information mentioned, referenced a blog entry from Liz Danzico - Proposals for busy people. Danzico’s suggests that if you want to get something from a busy person (via email) then limit the choices you give them.
Instead of asking a client when they are free for a meeting, ask them if they are free on Tuesday at 10 am or alternatively on Thursday at 2 pm. Chances are you’ll save them time and you’ll keep the email exchange short.
Another interesting topic that came up was auto responder emails. I recently went on vacation for 4 days. When I came back I had a lot of email to sort through. If you’re going on vacation, why not tell people that you won’t be replying to any email at all. Instead, tell them when you are back to work and when you can be reached. Chances are, most of those emails sort themselves out or can wait until your return.
The amount of email we generate these days is insane. The biggest interruption to my workflow is email and phone calls. There are days when I put by phone on Do Not Disturb (DND) just to get an hour of work done.
I need to reduce my ‘check for new email’ frequency and stop being a slave to my inbox. I’ll often get an email that interrupts my workflow and pulls me away from my current task. This reduces my productivity during the day and is why I often prefer to work at night or on the weekend when the phone calls and emails are less.
I need to check my email less and hit the DND button on my phone a little more often.
Posted in Web at 6:40 PM
I’ve always used the word website instead of Web site. It’s nice to see that Associate Press has caught up with the times and switched to using the word website.
For the record, it drives me nuts when I see newspapers and magazines using the word E-mail instead of email in their publications. And don’t get me started on publications that are afraid to use a lower case i when they do a story about the iPad, iPhone or iPod.
Nothing says fail faster than your news story about the IPad.
Posted in Web at 9:11 PM
Elmore Leonard has 10 rules for writing fiction. Number 10 should be applied to all writing for the web:
Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them.
Jakob Nielsen has been telling us for years how people read on the web - they don’t. People scan text on web pages, picking out words, phrases and sentences.
Last week I was rereading Steve Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think! and his advice on writing for the web is “get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what’s left.”
Are you writing for the web? Just remember that less is more. Omit
Posted in Web at 9:30 PM
I was looking through some old stacks of Wired Magazine when I came across the May 1996 issue. It featured Jerry Yang and David Filo (Yahoo!) on the cover with a great article about search engines - Seek and Ye Shall Find (Maybe). I was struck by how much the web has changed in the last 14 years.
- Yahoo! listed more than 200,000 websites with 20,000 different categories
- 800,000 people a day used Yahoo! to search
- there were approximately 500,00 searchable websites with 30-50 million web pages
- the entire web contained 200-330 gigabytes of text
Today’s laptops could easily store a text version of the web from 1996 but the size of the web was growing by 20 percent a month. There was concern that the search engines wouldn’t be able to keep up with the growth:
In two years, as the Web surpasses the roughly 29 terabytes in the current Library of Congress, will the inverted index become too large to feasibly store? Will it simply take too long to compute? Or will attempts at indexing the Web break down in some other, unexpected way?
The Web in 2010
In 2010, Jerry Yang and David Filo are dumping Yahoo! shares after Yang botched a deal with Microsoft who wanted to buy Yahoo! Today, Goggle owns search and Yahoo! struggles to survive but far more interesting is the enormous size of the web:
- The first Google index had 26 million pages in 1998
- By 2000 the Google index reached a billion pages
- On July 25, 2008, Google announced that it had discovered one trillion unique URLs on the web
- The web contains at least 19.59 billion pages (as of Feb 15, 2010)
At what point does indexing the web break down and fail? Is this even possible with the insane number of data centers that Google owns and maintains?
Posted in Web at 5:03 PM
TeuxDeux is a simple, designy, to-do web app that looks fantastic. There are some nice user interface touches that make this app shine.
If I wasn’t already using The Hit List to stay on top of my lists, I would consider switching to TeuxDeux. Check out the video demo on their site. It illustrates how the app works perfectly and the guy doing the demo is quite funny. Oh, and the best thing about TeuxDeux? is that it’s free!
Posted in Web at 11:39 AM
Anyone that is a regular reader of this site knows that I’ve written a few posts about Rogers Internet service. I just came across Boycott Rogers!, a website where unhappy Rogers customers can commiserate and share horror stories. You’ll find information on customer service nightmares, public cancellations and help with canceling your Rogers contracts.
Here are the details:
- Wednesday December 9, 2009
- 11:00 AM EST
- Register Here
This is part of the EDge Webinar Series. If you have an interest in online video for your website you can find out more tomorrow. Sign up today!
Posted in Web at 10:02 PM
Does it seem to take forever to web pages to load in your browser? It could be time to change your domain name server (DNS) settings. Most people just use the DNS of their ISP but you can change it to Open DNS or better, Google DNS.
The Google Public DNS IP addresses are as follows:
Read Using Google Public DNS if you’re not sure how to change your DNS settings and don’t forget to write down your old settings if things go horribly wrong.
I just update my AirPort router and pages are loading faster than ever before. Thank you Google.
Daring Fireball has this to say about Google DNS:
I was using Bell Sympatico’s DNS (my ISP). Every website I typed into my browser was taking a whopping 2-10 seconds to find and then load. For the last two weeks I felt like I was using dial-up instead of a 12 Mbps DSL service.
I also tried OpenDNS but it too seemed slow after a while. So far Google DNS has been very quick and I feel like my computer has been turbo-charged.
Posted in Web at 12:47 AM
A friend of mine has developed a family tradition that helps him create a culture of encouragement in his home. He’s written a book and now he wants to share his idea with the rest of you through The Family Gold Plate.
I designed the website and provided the product photography. Visit the site and tell me what you think. If you have kids, you may find that The Family Gold Plate is a tradition that your family may benefit from.
I’m trying to create an account on a website. It requires a password so I used 1Password’s Strong Password Generator and entered these 10 characters: gis7ush8su.
The website form didn’t like my password and presented me with this beautifully formatted piece of prose:
The password does not include enough variation to be secure. Try: Adding both upper and lowercase letters. Adding punctuation.
I entered a new 24 character password: Fa6wrerd8ij2ac1yap9Nir1G. The website form rated my password strength as medium and stopped me again with this message:
The password does not include enough variation to be secure. Try: Adding punctuation.
Just for fun I entered abC-123 and the submission form accepted my password and rated this password strength as high.
Posted in Web at 12:33 AM
I don’t get FarmVille, Bejeweled or any of the Facebook games. Who has the time? It’s hard enough keeping up to date on RSS feeds, blog entries, news and a full-time job.
I had to laugh when I read Fake Steve Jobs’ take on Zynga which makes FarmVille and online scams:
The issue was a company called Zynga, which makes online games, like FarmVille, that have become incredibly popular on Facebook among people who are missing parts of their brains.
Okay, so I’m not alone here when it comes to Facebook. If you do play FarmVille or any of those stupid games, you probably need to read Scamville: The Social Gaming Ecosystem Of Hell then turn off your computer.
Posted in Web at 12:15 AM
I had unlimited Internet Usage (bandwidth) with Bell Canada and I foolishly believed that I could get faster download speeds if I “upgraded” to their Bell Internet Max 12 package. I was wrong.
In theory I have up to 12 Mbps downloads but I can’t tell if my downloads are really any different. I have noticed that bit torrent traffic is getting throttled back from 4:30 PM - 2 AM. My unlimited downloads now have a cap of 50 GB/month. I don’t really download/upload that much data, or so I thought.
In my last billing cycle my Internet usage was 59.08 GB. That extra 9.08 GB at $1.50 GB cost me $13.62. It’s still cheaper than purchasing a PVR for $400 but I should have kept my own plan.
I just set up an email alert so to tell me when I’ve used more than 75% of my allotted monthly bandwidth. I never thought I would go over 50 GB of data. Lesson learned.
Posted in Web at 12:11 AM
Have a look at the Silicon Insider Alley’s Chart of the Day which shows Microsoft losing millions for the last 5 years. In the last quarter they lost $480 million.
Who said it was easy making money online.
Posted in Web at 4:34 PM
You probably aren’t aware of how much Flash can slow down your web browser until you’ve tried an app like ClickToFlash for Mac OS X.
I’m not a fan of Flash but it has become necessary for video sites (YouTube, Vimeo, Google Video). It’s the easiest way to serve up video on a web page and the quickest way to slow down your browser.That’s where ClickToFlash comes in. Install this app and you tell the browser when to load Flash content by simply clicking on it. Brilliant!
I wish I had installed this app sooner. If you on Mac OS X you should install this app today. Does anyone know what solutions are available to Windows users that want to block Flash content?
Three years ago I wrote about Rogers’ bandwidth limit of 60 GB per month and people are still angry and commenting about it.
Rogers refers to bandwidth limits as the nicer sounding usage allowance. But is 60 GB per month enough? It’s 2009 and people are using more bandwidth than ever before.
Usage Allowance is Good
Usage allowance is good for Rogers. Their website makes it sound like imposing bandwidth limits is a good thing for their customers:
To continue to meet your needs for speed, reliability and continuous improvements to the network, each of our service options now includes a usage allowance.
Imposing monthly usage allowances on Internet services lets Rogers charge their customers more money in the form of expensive plans (95 GB per month for $54.95) or usage penalties — if you use more bandwidth than your service plan allows you are billed for the additional bandwidth.
You Don’t Really Need More Than 60 GB Do You?
According to Rogers’ website, with a 60 GB allowance you can:
- download 15 movies
- play online games for 2,000 hours (83 days)
- download 15,400 songs
If 60 GB of bandwidth isn’t enough you can upgrade to a 95 GB allowance plan that allows you to:
- download 24 movies
- play online games for 3,000 hours (133 days)
- download 24,300 songs
It seems like 60 GB would be enough for most people according to Rogers’ research but a quick glance at the comments from my earlier entry indicates that 60 GB isn’t enough bandwidth for a lot of people.
I’ve never gone over my 60 GB limit and I would describe myself as a moderate to heavy web user. I use my home Internet service for my business and I’m online all day long. There are 3 other people in my house that are online at various times and I still haven’t hit the 60 GB limit. Maybe my situation is unique. For all I know I fit the profile of the average Internet user.
If you were to put a limit on your bandwidth, what would it be? Do you use more than 60 GB per month on a regular basis?
Yesterday Jordana Huber of Canwest News Service did a telephone interview with me for a piece in today’s National Post newspaper — Economy could deal blow to jury duty. I’m quote a couple of times to give my perspective on jury duty as a self-employed person.
Back in October I blogged about my jury duty experience: How to get out of jury duty. For some, jury duty could be a disaster and affect their livelihood. With the state of the current economy I would be worried if I was selected again.
If you get a chance, turn to page 6 in today’s National Post or read the story online.
Cory Doctorow wrote an article for Wired magazine called Dumpster Diving back in 1997. This story caught my eye because the dumpster diving was taking place in Markham, Ontario where a lot of Canadian corporate head offices are located.
A lot valuable garbage gets thrown out that dumpster divers like Darren Atkinson turn into cash. Doctorow wrote an update to this story for Forbes.com —Â It’s Just Garbage. Ten years later, Atkinson is still pulling computer chips and monitors out of the trash as a full-time job.
One of the most interesting things about this story is that none of these high-tech corporations recycle anything! A lot of materials that could be recycled go straight into the dump. Why do residents in Toronto have to recycle their garbage and when corporations could care less what gets dumped into the landfill?
It stars Neil Patrick Harris as a supervillain that always gets beat up by the hero (Nathan Fillion). The first two acts are online and the third will be available on Saturday. Watch them soon because they will disappear at midnight on Sunday.
The production value is fabulous for a low-budget short film. Harris is brilliantand the quirky nature of this supervillain musical is refreshing. Thanks to Dave King for the link.
A few Canadian ISPs are furious about Bell Canada’s recent traffic throttling. Rogers has been throttling network traffic for a few years now and Bell has begun to do the same. I’m a Bell DSL user and I haven’t noticed any significant slowdowns but ars technica is reporting that Bell will be throttling all traffic by April 7.
Posted in Web at 2:05 AM
When you need a break from the daily grind, it’s time to head over to Hockey Fights and watch the big boys go at it. Special thanks to my blood thirsty friend, David Goldberg for the link.
Posted in Web at 11:27 AM
Fake Steve Jobs (Dan Lyons) has a great analogy of the pending Microsoft-Yahoo merger:
The Borg-Yahoo merger won’t work. Here’s why. It’s like taking the two guys who finished second and third in a 100-yard dash and tying their legs together and asking for a rematch, believing that now they’ll run faster.
The bizarre thing is that Steve Ballmer gave this analogy to Lyons about 10 years ago at a conference.
Try and find a story about anyone who is eager to see this merger take place. Nobody wants it, including a lot of Microsoft employees. I can’t see these two giants working together. The culture and philosophy of the two companies are polar opposites.
There is the hope that if Microsoft purchases Yahoo, that they’ll leave it alone. I like the scenario that John Gruber suggests:
But what if Microsoft does the unexpected and keeps Yahoo separate and distinct? On a vastly smaller scale, that’s what Microsoft has done with its Mac Business Unit. Microsoft created the Mac BU in the wake of Word 6 for Mac, which was, more or less, a direct port to the Mac of the Windows version of Word — and almost universally abhorred by Mac users. To succeed on the Mac, Microsoft needed a (relatively) independent Mac division, and so that’s what they created. Yahoo could be Microsoft’s independent web division.
Back in 1997 when Apple was floundering, Microsoft invested $150 million in Apple and signed a 5 year deal to continue development on Microsoft Office for Macintosh. Microsoft might have been able to purchase Apple back then but they knew it would never work (they also needed a competitor to keep the government off their back).
If Microsoft goes through with the takeover then I hope they leave Yahoo as separate division that can continue to innovate and thrive. If Microsoft took over Apple in 1997 then we probably wouldn’t have iPods and iPhones. I can’t help wonder what will die and never come to light if Microsoft attempts to assimilate the Yahoo!
Posted in Web at 9:34 PM
Lakai Fully Flared Intro — very cool opening to a skateboard video shot in slow motion with explosions by Spike Jonze and his production team. I’d love to get my hands on this.
Unfortunately the Lakai Limited Footwear website has nothing at all about the Lakai Fully Flared DVD. If they do have it for sale they’ve hidden it well.
Update: the video is no longer available on YouTube. You’d think that after a million people watch your video, you might put something on your website telling people where they can purchase it? How do these guys stay in business with such a crack marketing team.
Posted in Web at 9:39 PM
Everyone is looking for answers. Google Zeitgeist 2007 gives us a glimpse of what people were searching for in the past year.
- who is god
- who is who
- who is lookup
- who is jesus
- who is it
- who is buckethead
- who is calling
- who is keppler
- who is this
- who is satan
I find it fascinating that God, Jesus and Satan are all in the top 10. A lot of people tend to think that the world is going to hell in a hand basket because of war, declining church attendance and Britney Spears. It seems that spiritual questions are very much on people’s minds these days.
Now why is who is keppler in the top 10?
Posted in Web at 7:24 PM
Digg tends to have a lot of content about Apple which I tend to like. Del.icio.us has great web development and design techniques that keep me up to date on latest trends in my profession.
Mixx is the new kid on the block that provides different content from the usual popurls suspects. I like its tagging system. For example, Mixx has some great content on SEO that I’ve found incredibly useful and easy to find — content I normally wouldn’t see on the front page of Digg.
10 Reasons Not to Use Digg has some interesting insight into Digg and the comments for this entry show how competitive the Digg vs Mixx vs other content aggregators can be.
Posted in Web at 10:33 PM
If your ISP in Canada is Rogers Yahoo! Hi-Speed, then you might have a browsing session interrupted or rather hijacked to tell you that you’re using the Internet too much! Cory Doctorow posted a screenshot of this at Boing Boing.
If you use close to 75 GB of bandwidth per month then Rogers may scold you when you least expect it, through your web browser. Pretty soon they’ll be jumping out of the closet or from behind a curtain to tell you that you’re not using Yahoo enough!
Use more than 75 GB in bandwidth per month you’ll be charged an extra $1.50/GB. This seems fair but the way in which Rogers is telling their customers is complete idiocy.
You’d have to be stealing a lot of music and Hollywood movies to reach 75 GB in a month and I know a few people that do but you could also be downloading television shows from the UK or other countries that the Canadian government (CRTC) doesn’t let us watch. Or, if you don’t have a Tivo/PVR you might be downloading shows that you missed, but 75 GB is a lot of viewing time.
Rogers is pathetic for how has chosen to deal with high bandwidth customers. I hope that somebody sues them for something related to privacy. The need to wake up.
Posted in Web at 4:41 PM
- 85% of Canadians signed up in the last year
- half of Canadian Facebook users are over the age of 30
- Toronto has 990, 000 Facebook users
You can view my Facebook page here. I’m not on there a lot. Who has time to play trivia games and take useless online quizzes? People without a blog to update is my guess!
Posted in Web at 1:44 PM
Process to zero, advanced common sense, convert to actions — things you need to know if you want to become more productive when it comes to email. Merlin Mann’s talk at Google is very informative and worth watching if your email is constantly checking for new messages and always on.
Here are some highlights:
- Not every email needs a response. That, is so 1993. Don’t do it!
- Respond quickly to email but don’t write a book. Keep it short.
- Your Inbox should only have unread email.
- Don’t use your Inbox as a to do list.
Check Email Less
Mann suggests turning off your email program for periods of time so that you can actually get some work completed without interruptions. How many times have you received new mail, stopped what you were doing to check it, only to find that it was SPAM or something really lame?
One of the reasons I like to work at 2 AM is that my phone isn’t ringing and I’m not getting client requests. I’m going to try checking my email less to increase my productivity.
My Inbox is down to 143 messages from 1,645 an hour ago.
There is a very interesting story in BusinessWeek on How Top Bloggers Earn Money. The little bit of money I make from this site has more than doubled in the past year. I’m just happy that it pays for itself.
Posted in Web at 12:55 PM
Last Friday I finished editing a piece for Livebait.tv on Parkour. If you enjoyed the chase scene at the beginning of the last Bond film then you’ll want to check out this video and find out who David Belle is and what Parkour is all about.
View episode on Livebait.tv
Posted in Web at 3:32 PM
I received a request to be added to a friend’s network on LinkedIn. I hesitated for a second when I saw what my options were and clicked Accept.
Posted in Web at 3:22 PM
Today he’s featured in TIME and Gary couldn’t be happier. He celebrated by tasting 3 different champagne wines.
This is what he had to say about a 1996 Duval Leroy Brut Femme:
Exceptional stuff. 63 bones… Mmmm. It’s pricey, but it’s special. And it kicks Dom in the nuts!
You won’t find a review like Vaynerchuk’s in Wine Spectator which makes him a breath of fresh air in the stuffy world of wine tasting.
My gas utility in Toronto is Enbridge. If you try to visit there website using the Safari web browser you’ll probably see this screen:
Notice the text at the bottom that says Safari users - our site runs best on one of the browsers above.
It seems that the dumb-ass web developers at Enbridge haven’t heard of web standards. What year is this? Browser sniffers and messages like this are so 1999!
If you look at the HTML code on the homepage you’ll notice that the site is coded in XHTML/CSS. Keep looking at the code and you’ll also see that they’re using tables for layout. Lame!
Okay. End of rant.
If you’re using Firefox or Internet Explorer then you might want to take a look at these rebate programs that Enbridge is offering.
If you live in the Toronto area then take advantage of this program if your going to purchase any of these items in the next 2 months:
- a programmable thermostat
- high-efficiency gas furnace
- outdoor gas BBQ
If you’re feeling really generous, then donate your rebates to the web developers at Enbridge so they purchase a few O’Reilly books on web development.
Posted in Web at 10:46 AM
Last.fm is one of the fastest growing online communities with 15 million active users. I’ve never used the site but it allows you to connect with people that have similar music tastes, helps you discover new music and allows you to create your own online radio station.
Earlier this month CBS invested in Joost and contributed more than 2000 hours of CBS entertainment, sports and news programming. It seems like there is another dot.com boom percolating.
Posted in Web at 9:55 AM
There have been a lot of online acquisitions lately. Here is a recap if you missed some of the biggest deals this month:
Google is in the final stages of a deal to purchase Feedburner for $100 million. How much bigger can Google get?
Video blog, Wallstrip liked the Livebait.tv tagline (Where sub-culture meets pop-culture) so much that they copied it for their new tagline — stock culture meets pop culture. Last week they were acquired by CBS.
Amazon.com purchased Dpreview last week. Dpreview is a UK-based digital photography review site. If you’re looking for information on a digital camera, chances are that you’ll end up on this site and read their reviews.
Posted in Web at 11:19 PM
Wired recently did an interview with Google CEO, Eric Schmidt that I found really interesting. I’ve been trying to figure out where Livebait.tv might lead to in the future and to be honest, I have no idea. But I know I’m on the right track when Schimdt says:
People are using video everywhere. People are building communities of people who use video. They’re sharing them. YouTube’s traffic continues to grow very quickly. Video is something that we think is going to be embedded everywhere.
Livebait.tv has been a little slow going lately but we have a lot of interviews lined up and we’re going to be working with the Drake Hotel in Toronto to produce more content. Producing content isn’t new or groundbreaking but we’re filling a niche where nothing else exists at the moment (in Toronto) and that’s exciting.
Posted in Web at 11:23 PM
ChomskyTorrents.org is an interesting BitTorrent site with links to a lot of documentaries (CBC, PBS and other sources). Somewhere in the site there are links to content, related to Noam Chomsky.
I came across this site when looking at Top 20 Less Known BitTorrent Sites on TorrentFreak.
Posted in Web at 5:15 PM
What Does Marsellus Wallace Look Like is a brilliant interpretation of a scene from the film Pulp Fiction. Using nothing but text and some great animation you’ll be able to enjoy Sam Jackson yelling at Brett like you’ve never seen before. Turn the speakers down a little if you’re at work.
This week on Livebait.tv we have more DJ Champion. Ian talks to Max about his musical influences and the making of Chill’ em all.
Last weekend we visited the Brick Works in Toronto and spoke to Evergreen about their plans for this space in the Don Valley.
Posted in Web at 9:35 AM
After the Bullfrog Power video episode was posted on Livebait.tv we had a lot of feedback. A few people sent us emails to say that they were making the switch to Bullfrog Power. One of them was a reader of this site — Time Barnes.
Bullfrog Power also posted a button link to Livebait.tv on their homepage which is pretty exciting for the three of us that produce Livebait.tv.
Up next on we have an interview from NYC where Ian and Rose talk to the creators of the The Burg — an original show filmed in Brooklyn and only broadcast on the web.
Posted in Web at 10:53 PM
After you watch the interview, consider signing up for Bullfrog Power or a green electricity retailer in your area. It costs a little more than regular hydro but it helps to reduce the air pollution generated by coal burning power plants.
Now before my friend on the wet coast calls me a hypocrite, (for driving a Mustang instead of a hybrid vehicle) I haven’t signed up for Bullfrog Power, yet. I intend to sign up and will blog about when it happens.
Posted in Web at 9:07 AM
I quickly designed a site for livebait.tv and we put up our first episode —The Rose and Skinny Show. From there we:
- interviewed DJ Champion and shot his last concert at Lee’s Palace
- covered an event for The Walrus magazine in which Bruce Mau is interviewed
- interviewed Gabe Swahney of the murmur project
- interviewed the members of drawnonward — Canadian landscape painters
- and more.
The interview with DJ Champion was a great experience and it’s one of the best stories we’ve done so far. I’m extremely please with how it came together and the timing couldn’t be better.
DJ Champion’s single “No Heaven” is one of the biggest in Canada and gets a lot of radio airplay. Our interview has footage of that song being performed at his recent concert in Toronto. That was a big coup for us.
So what is my involvement? Ian and I shoot the video and Rose does most of the interviews. I’ll work with Ian on ‘finding the story’ for each piece and edit everything in Final Cut Studio — a fabulous creative experience every time we sit down and look at our footage. From there I’ll compress the footage into various video formats and upload them to livebait.tv for viewing.
Between the three of us it takes about 8-10 hours to produce a 5 minute story. If things look a little rough around the edges its because we don’t have the luxury of time, a budget, or a lot of professional experience. We’re learning as we go, meeting some really interesting artists and having a lot of fun.
The biggest challenge is finding the time to do all of this. Ian and Rose have an amazing ability for coming up with some really interesting interviews. Somehow we manage to pull it off each time, even when our day jobs get in the way.
Post some feedback. Blog about it. Toss me a bone!
Posted in Web at 12:08 PM
For a complete list of some of the most popular ‘Web 2.0’ sites, click here.
Posted in Web at 9:32 PM
After knocking my son’s front teeth out with a kayak, cooling off in Lake Huron, and visiting friends, I’m back to the relentless barrage of email and voice mail. Here’s a couple of links/stories that caught my attention this morning:
OK Go — Here It Goes Again
OK Go has a new video for “Here It Goes Again” that takes place entirely on treadmills. Watch it now.
Not that I have time to watch TV right now but BBC TWO has decided to put the latest season of Top Gear on its website. The quality of the video isn’t as good as the Torrent files that are out there but it’s nice to see a broadcaster making a popular show available to a global audience.
A video montage of the top 10 dunks by Michael Jordan. Awesome.
First Blu-ray drive for Mac unveiled
Logitech is making a Blu-ray drive for Macintosh. Price? Only $1,100.
What a waste of time. Who in their right mind would spend a penny on a Blu-ray drive or an HD DVD drive when they haven’t settled on an HD format?
Amazing satellite photo of a volcano erupting.
I’m not a fan of John C. Dvorak at PCMAG.com but I was impressed by his article about The Golden Age of the Internet. It’s hard to imagine what version 10.0 of the web will look like in 20 years. Will the Internet even be around in 50 years?
Compare the Internet to the early days of radio as Dvorak does and you get a sense that Al Gore’s information super highway might one day be insignificant.
Posted in Web at 9:38 PM
Neave Games developed an ‘unofficial clone’ of the original Frogger video game made by Konami Co, in 1981. If you’re at work, don’t forget to press the ‘M’ key to mute the sound (unless of course, you’re the boss). Play.
Posted in Web at 11:33 AM
YouTube has 80s music videos. Lots of them.
A website called Milinkito has a huge list of links to these videos. Bored? Take a break and check out some videos you probably haven’t seen in 20 years.
Want to know the latest buzz on the web without sifting through digg.com, del.icio.us or furl.net?
Posted in Web at 10:37 PM
Here is a piece of spam that made it past my spam filter today. There should be a bill passed that says all spam must be spell-checked and have at least a grade 5 reading level. This message fails on both accounts but it gets an A+ for creativity.
The first Dolphin batter popped up to the second baseman. The second batter struck out on three straight swings. The dozen or so spectators shouted encouragement to their team.
Your g1rl is unsatisfieed with your p0tency?
Don’t wait until she finds an0ther men!
She wondered what Castenago looked like, and she found out, to a slight degree, when she bought some postage stamps at the hotel desk.
Posted in Web at 3:11 PM
This looks incredible! Click here to see a new satellite image of the Eiffel Tower on Google Maps. You can now see individual people at the bottom of the tower.
I can’t imagine what the CIA version of Google Maps looks like. I don’t think I want to know.
Posted in Web at 1:45 PM
Google Video has this incredible climbing video of a few Russian guys back-flipping, jumping off roofs and showing amazing spider-man-like abilities.
Posted in Web at 11:26 AM
Forrester research did a study on podcasts and the results are a little surprising.
Although the idea of listening to podcasts appears to have strongly penetrated the consumer mindset, relatively few consumers appear to actively be taking advantage of them. The Forrester study revealed that about 25 percent of online users had an interest in podcasts, yet in North America, only about one percent of online households actually download and listen to them.
In the past I’ve subscribed to several podcasts but I never really listened to any of them. Video podcasts seem to have more appeal, especially if they are limited to a few minutes. I think the longer a podcast is, the less likely it is that someone will listen to it.
Posted in Web at 1:14 PM
It’s Saturday night and I’ve been kicked out of my house. My wife was going out to watch a movie with a friend. Her plans changed. Now she’s watching a movie in the home theatre and I’m not. So what’s a guy to do?
For the last couple of hours I’ve been updating Daniel’s Doodles — scanned in 11 new images, cleaned up a few old ones, improved the navigation and screamed at my flaky scanner.
It’s just after midnight. Maybe it’s safe to go home and watch the special edition DVD of Scarface (1983) now.
Posted in Web at 2:14 AM
If you live in Toronto then you’ll want to check this site before you leave the house or office to get on one of the major highways in the GTA. Using a Google Map interface it will show you where traffic is moving slowly or stopped completely. The map is updated every 120 seconds.
Posted in Web at 9:53 AM
Where do you find breaking news, interesting blog entries or the latest web video that everyone is talking about?
I get three newspapers delivered to my door in the morning (they’re practically giving away newspaper subscriptions these days). The problem is that the news is always old by the time I read it. Editorial content and local news is what keeps me reading for the most part.
I never became a fan of newsreaders and RSS feeds. I still like to visit my favourite sites to see if there is new content. I know it’s old school and inefficient but it’s what I prefer at the moment.
Lately I’ve been scouring digg.com and its competitors for interesting stories and links to some fabulous resources on web development and design. Wired News had an interesting story on some of the latest news sites.
Posted in Web at 5:00 PM
Pop Wuping is a blog about “modern stuff for a mobile lifestyle”.
You’ll absolutely love this site and drool if
- you are a creative professional
- collect really cool gadgets
- own a laptop or an iPod
Daniel’s Doodles has been added to the sidebar under the VIEWING section. Yesterday he did a drawing of Electro sporting a wicked ‘fro.
Posted in Web at 9:09 AM
I never thought I would be happy to say that I am a Bell Canada customer. No, I haven’t gone off my meds, but I just read that Rogers is starting to kill Bittorrent traffic on their network. I’m using Bell Sympatico and haven’t had any problems with bandwidth.
There is a discussion on Apple’s Support forums that Rogers’ attempts to kill Bittorrent traffic are preventing people from purchasing music on iTunes and listening to Podcasts! I can’t believe that Rogers would be so stupid. Oh, wait a second, that is why I switched back to Bell a few years ago.
My son Daniel likes to draw doodles so I created a doodle blog where he can publish his work. Take a look at Daniel’s Doodles. I helped him with the coding and he did the interface.
Instead of filing his work into a drawer somewhere I thought I would archive it on a website. One day he can look back and amuse himself. I just hope he doesn’t turn into another Robert Crumb.
Posted in Web at 4:44 PM
The DVD Journal has posted their list of the top 10 DVDs released in 2005. I was suprised to see that Team America: World Police made it into the top 10. I didn’t care much for this film but I seem to be in the minority here. Most of the people that I’ve talked to found it to be hilarious.
Glad to see FranÃ§ois Truffaut’s Jules and Jim listed here. The Criterion Collection almost always releases interesting films with great extras. The two disc set of Jules and Jim is no exception. It is packed with extras and also includes a few essay’s about the film.
Some of the DVD releases that didn’t make the top 10 include Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Browning Version and A Very Long Engagement.
Martin Scorsese’s documentary No Direction Home was also on the short list. I don’t know, I watched this Bob Dylan doc last week and wasn’t impressed. I thought D.A. Pennebaker’s Dont Look Back (1967) was much more interesting. This is probably why Scorsese uses a lot of footage from Dont Look Back in his own film.
Posted in Web at 7:54 PM
I was just looking at my Zip.ca account to see how many movies I’ve watched in the last few months. Part of the reason is to see how much value I’m getting out of the service.
I pay $28.70/month to have out 4 DVDs at any one time. Here’s what I found:
- September – 7 rentals ($4.10/DVD)
- October – 7 rentals ($4.10/DVD)
- November – 13 rentals ($2.21/DVD)
Now that my work load has returned to normal I should be able to average about 8-10 rentals a month. I still think the service is outstanding. I always know what is coming in the mail but there is something nice about getting “real mail” delivered to your door.
Here is the first of many lists for 2005.
I never knew that Metacritic had a Best of 2005 page for film that also includes previous years. This is a great way to select quality films for your ZipList.
RollingStone.com has a list of the Top 25 DVDs that some people may also find interesting.
Posted in Web at 8:11 PM
Having ZipRefill on your account means that Zip.ca will send you a replacement DVD within one business day. You don’t have to wait the 1-3 days before Zip.ca receives DVDs you send back to them in the mail.
Anybody else have this “privilege” or any others that Zip.ca offers? If you don’t use your online account to report when your DVDs are returned or if you’ve reported DVDs stolen/missing then you probably won’t get access to this service.
I’m still really pleased with Zip.ca’s service and haven’t had any problems with them to date. They recently added a location in Mississauga which has improved their service (they use to ship/receive from Ottawa). Their selection of DVDs is outstanding and getting bigger every day.
If you want a new release then your best bet is still Blockbuster. Even then you have to ask yourself if it isn’t just better to go to the theatre and pay $9.99 for a ticket. Blockbuster is charging $5.99 per rental ($6.88 with tax). If I want a new release for the weekend then I’ll still head to Blockbuster but 90% of my rentals are coming from Zip.ca or my dad’s extensive collection of discs (and they’re free with no late fees).
Posted in Web at 10:46 AM
If you live in Toronto and want to know where the closest beer store is (or LCBO) then look no further than Beer Hunter—a Google Maps guide to beer in Toronto.
Posted in Web at 1:28 PM
In 1978, French filmmaker Claude Lelouch mounted a camera to the front of a Ferrari 275 GTB . He and a professional Formula 1 driver drove through the heart of Paris at insane speeds—Porte Dauphine, through the Louvre, to the Basilica of Sacre Coeur.
In the film, the driver runs several red lights, almost hits a few pedestrians and drives the wrong way on several one-way streets. Crazy stuff.
Posted in Web at 12:15 PM
Well, this is the moment all of you Canadian, card carrying Blockbuster members have been waiting for. The BLOCKBUSTER Canada eStore® is now open for business! I just received an email alert about this.
Why does Blockbuster have an eStore you ask? So you can pre-order DVDs or games for purchase!
I know what you’re thinking. Why would I want to pre-order a DVD from Blockbuster and pay full price it. Why not go to FutureShop or Walmart and get it for the sale price? Actually, I wondered the same thing.
Here is Blockbuster’s BIG reason for pre-ordering movies:
Just in time for your holiday shopping, here’s the latest innovation from your home entertainment headquarters: the BLOCKBUSTER Canada eStore®. Now you can pre-order upcoming movies and games online. When you pre-order a movie or game, you’re ensuring that you’ll be among the first to enjoy it just as soon as it’s released.
Wow! I’m all excited. Pre-ordering movies online for purchase! Way cool! I bet Amazon FutureShop or Zip.ca haven’t thought of this! Wicked! Blockbuster is the best!
Just came across a new site called Ads of the World that features international ads—print, video and online. This one is going into my web browser favourites.
Blaupunkt bunny and teddy is a great ad that will probably never play in North America unless it is on your computer screen. Check it out and have a laugh.
Posted in Web at 4:17 PM
I’ve updated BOMBIPPY PHOTOS so that you can view photos by categories instead of having to hit the previous photos button endlessly. If you want to view photos of Paris you can click on the pull down menu view them all at once.
Criterion DVD.com is offering free shipping to Canada until September 18, 2005. If you were thinking about picking up some DVDs from The Criterion Collection then now is the time to do it.
Posted in Web at 2:31 PM
Somehow I forgot to mention that a friend of mine has a new blog. Jason Chu has some great DVD and film reviews at Chu It Up… Spit It Out! I’ve seen a lot of films but Jason always surprises me with a great recommendation by some director I’ve never heard of.
The Criterion Newsletter, an email newsletter launched today. If you want to keep up to date with The Criterion Collection then opt-in.
Coming to DVD in September by Criterion:
Naked (1993), directed by Mike Leigh
Masculin fÃ©minin (1966), directed by Jean-Luc Godard
The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), directed by Nicolas Roeg
Bad Timing (1980), directed by Nicolas Roeg
Posted in Web at 4:56 PM
Time.com has a list of 50 Coolest Websites 2005. The list is broken down into different categories—blogs, arts & entertainment, news, lifestyle and shopping.
Some of the sites that I found interesting are:
Posted in Web at 1:15 PM
I came across an interestign site called The Vanishing Point: An Ontario Draining Resource that describes storm water drains throughout Ontario.
It turns out that the Cliffside Storm and Sanitary Sewers are literally at the end of my street—the Scarborough Bluffs. Sanitary Sewers don’t sound very appealing but I think it might be fun to to do a little exploring when I’m finished working on CD-ROM projects.
Posted in Web at 11:38 PM
Yahoo News has been redesigned. Wow! Talk about effecient. I love how the photos appear when you put your mouse pointer over a headline.
There is some pretty nifty DHTML going on to let you compare news sources side by side in the different news sections. Very nice. How long before the other news portals start to look like this?
Posted in Web at 4:59 PM
One of the latest lists from McSweeny’s caught my eye—Reasons to fear Canada.
Funny stuff and typical of what many Americans think of Canadians. Hey, at least there wasn’t any meniton of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or SARS.
Posted in Web at 2:03 PM
How cool is this? Google Maps rock!
If you zoom into the house map, we’re actually to the left by about 100 pixels. Close enough. I’m impressed.
Posted in Web at 12:25 AM
Jason Kottke has decided to quit his job and make kottke.org a full-time job. He won’t be loading up his site with Google Ads but will be asking for contributions to pay the bills.
I think it’s a gutsy move and congratulate him. He’s pursuing something that he is a passionate about, and he’s taking a huge financial risk in doing so (unless the contributions exceed his expectations). It will be interesting to see how kottke.org evolves over the next few months.
Now if I could only figure out a way for my wife to make money from blogging, I’ll never have to work again.
Posted in Web at 3:51 PM
Pricenetwork.caâ€”find the lowest price, hot deals, check the flyers, or browse the classifieds. If you live in Toronto then this is a great site that could save you time and money. Today’s link comes to us from Tim. Thanks Tim!
Posted in Web at 7:38 PM
These aerial photographs are just incredible. I love the Stonehenge photo.
Posted in Web at 9:01 PM
Clive Thompson’s article for Wired magazine about BitTorrent. I’m amazed by how many people have never heard about BitTorrent, people that use computers every day to check their email or do their jobs. If you’re one of them then read this article.
Posted in Web at 8:00 PM
Movie news and reviews. I’m always on the lookout for great DVD sites. DVD Town is nicely designed, has great cover art photography, good reviews, announcements and HDDVD.org—a site devoted to the latest news on HD-DVD and Blue-Ray disc formats.
I visit a BitTorrent site called Suprnova occasionaly if I miss an episode of The Sopranos. I don’t have a PVR and I haven’t used a VCR in about 4 years so being able to download a current TV show, whenever I want is, well, the way it should be.
I can’t be bothered downloading DVDs from BitTorrent sites because I suspect the quality isn’t as high as a professionaly mastered disc. Call me a snob but I’d rather purchase or rent the real thing instead of suffering through a poorly mastered disc that is missing commentaries and extras. Sorry Dave, Neal and Youssef.
I wonder how long it will be before Apple figures out a way to distribute video using a P2P network? Thanks to Dave for the link to this story.
Posted in Web at 7:43 PM
Do you have some time to waste? Try looking for some images using Toogle. Pretty cool.
Posted in Web at 5:28 PM
This page looks interesting. I don’t know how credible, scientific or accurate it is because it doesn’t provide any information about who created the page. Oh, it also came from my friend Andy. I guess things were a little slow this morning at work.
Posted in Web at 5:00 PM
This is one of the most useful sites I’ve ever been to. If you’re in Canada and you’re looking for great online deals, then this is the place to find them. In-store deals? Of course! This website lists everything and is always up to date. Thanks to Tim Barnes for the link.
Posted in Web at 5:08 PM