Thursday, April 5, 2012

CBC Funding Cuts

So the Harper government has finally released the new budget. In the crosshairs was the CBC. After promising to maintain or increase funding (pre-election of course), funding will decrease by 10%. This in spite of the fact that six out of ten Canadians support continued funding for the CBC. And hey, that is a higher proportion of Canadians that voted for Harper in the last election!

I grew up with CBC television and radio and still am an avid consumer. As a child I remember mornings with The Friendly Giant and Mr. Dressup. Today I usually watch the National and tend to listen to Radio 2 during the day. With 650 job cuts I wonder which of my favourite programs (Quirks and Quarks, Vinyl Tap or perhaps Q ?) will be axed and whether the quality and scope of news coverage will suffer.

I see the CBC as a core cultural institution deserving of funding. It is part of our heritage and common cultural experience as well a major supporter of the arts in Canada. It is part of the glue that unites Canadians from diverse parts of the country.

I happened to be living in the US in September 2001. In the midst of the media madness that followed my local PBS station started airing the National every evening. It provided a voice of reason - it was comforting and it was home.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Blogger as a web development platform

I've recently been spending more time exploring what is and isn't possible with blogger and came across an interesting article by a company that is using Blogger as a web development platform for some clients. Some of sites they have developed are quite impressive - they don't have that "blog" feel to them. Given some recent changes to Blogger such as the ability to add some Meta tags via the Blogger interface and the introduction of Dynamic views, it appears that Blogger is moving towards providing a more robust web development environment. I think these changes are beneficial especially for small businesses that want a web presence - most notably because of ease of use and reduced costs.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gaming Redux

In a very early post, I talked about playing online games with my nephew when he was younger. Well it looks like I'm going to have the same experience with another nephew. There are some differences though. When my older nephew and I started playing Runesape he was around nine-years-old. Brendan on the other hand is five! And even though his reading skills aren't quite up to speed, he has no problems figuring out how to play. And we aren't playing Runescape but Wizard 101 which is a much slicker game at least in terms of graphics:

Wizard101 versus Runescape

I'm enjoying playing this game with my nephew but can't wait to introduce him to Runescape when he gets a little older. It is a little more challenging and I think it is more amenable to social interaction which, in my opinion, is the major draw of all mmo games. But until that time you can find us in Wizard 101 - just look for Thomas Duskbreaker and Mary Fairyblood!

Friday, November 25, 2011

OWS and other things

Okay I'm going to voice my opinion on the #OWS. When I first heard that there were going to be  Canadian versions I was concerned.


Number one is that there isn't the same discrepency in wages as there is the US. Check out the Gini coeficcient. Won't go into stats but the US is dark purple and Canada is lime green.

Second, we did not bail out big banks because we have regulation.

Third we have universal healthcare - unless you have lived outside the country, you don't understand what an advantage this is.

Fouth, when I first moved to the US (outside a large city) I was shocked by the economic (racial) disparity.

I definitely support any groups' right to express themselves but I think the Canadian version of OWS needs to define their grievances explicitly in order gain any traction with the Canadian populace.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

European Debt Crisis Becoming Surreal

Things seem to be reaching an inflection point in the ongoing European debt crisis. Zero Hedge earlier today linked to this purported page from a trader's diary:

Dear Diary:

  • 7.00 – 8.00 Mkt rallies on Chinese Buying Italian Bonds – But they weren't!
  • 8.00 – 9.00 Mkt Crashes as Greek Electricity/Tax Office Strikes & therefore default looms.
  • 9.00 – 11.00 Mkt moves sideways to down as BNP in WSJ says that nobody will lend them $’s and nobody likes them. – But then they deny it!
  • 11.30 – 12.30 Mkt rallies like crazy because Sarko; Merkel to make an announcement – except nobody knows what that the annoucment is for.
  • 12.40 – 12.50 Mkt Crashes because they’re not going to make announcement
  • 12.56 Figure out how to explain to a child that ‘yes dear, there’s a lot of clever people who think very hard; make very bright decisions in the stock market business!
Since then even more rumours have begun circulating namely that Brazil will join the bailout party! The UK's telegraph is running a live thread on the debt crisis so we can all stay up-to-date on the latest rumours and retractions which seem to be coming fast and furious.