Tuesday, March 29, 2011

$1000 per student per year = revolution?

I can say without exaggeration that this is a real revolution in learning and training in Canada. And that will give us the means of becoming the most competitive society in the world,
Ignatieff told a news conference at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ont. - CBC

I'm all in favor of more money for students, but $1000 is a fraction of what it costs students to go to university these days. (Tuition for arts at UBC, $4,518 - books, and residence fees bring it closer to $16,000) Oh and that $1000 replaces some of the tax credits that are there now, so it's less than it looks like. Hard to trust someone who says he's not exaggerating when he's clearly exaggerating.

BTW I'd be happier with $500 for all students and $2000 for those from low income families. But that's me.

- Peace

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Martyn and some Peacocks, a great musical weekend.

Trio at Sunset
Kim and I saw Martyn Joseph on Friday. Wonderfully thoughtful folk, rock from Wales. Show was sold out, 300+ people packed Southwood United.

Then Sunday night we drove out to Rosebud to see The Peacocks for their CD release concert. The artwork for The River Bending being photographs by your's truly. Another sold out show, the Gallery was packed at around 80 people. The Peackocks teamed up with Lewis and Royal also of Rosebud. Fantastic energy in the room as most people knew each other. There was great banter back and forth between stage and the audience. Deeply moving Canadian and celtic folk music was mixed with comedy and good cheer. Well worth the drive.

- Peace

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Forgot to Wear Green Today

So here's my penance: Sweedish Chef, Animal and Beaker sing Danny Boy.

- Peace

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

New York Hymns Songs for Lent

Just downloaded Songs for Lent from New York Hymns. It's a set of twenty contemplative songs based on the stations of the cross. Really enjoying it. You can listen to the entire album or download in exchange for your email and postal code.

While the album is free, you can tip New York Hymns via Noise Trade, they're giving all the tips to plywood people:
an innovative community addressing social needs. We are always searching for social problems with the hope to match them with entrepreneurial creativity to organize, innovate, and manage ideas that produce change. We hope to foster conversations and collaboration between the privileged and those in need through educational environments, sustainable ventures, community places, social experiments, storytelling projects, cause marketing campaigns, and new consumption patterns.

- Peace

UBB Canada vs USA

AT&T is introducing data caps for it's broadband customers. Can't help but notice the caps are higher than here in Canada 150 Gb for their DSL customers, Bell has caps as low as 25 gigabytes. If AT&T custoemrs go over they are charged $10 per every 50 Gb that they go over. That works out to $0.20 per Gb as an overage fee. Compare that to Bell who's been reported to charge $3 per Gb for going over you cap.

One doesn't have to look far to see that there is something wrong with the Canadian telecom market.

- Peace

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

If Bell Ran Tim Hortons with UBB

If Bell ran Tim Hortons it would be like this: you'd have to buy a Coffee Coupon book each month. Coffee coupon books come in sets of 4, 8 and 12. Each coffee is $2 each, no mater what size coupon book you buy. You go for 8 that's $16. Don't use all 8 in a month, that's too bad, they expire at the end of the month, Tim's keeps the extra cash. Need 10 cups of coffee in a month well extra cups of coffee go for 24x the regular price. That's an extra $48 each. An extra $96 for two cups of coffee - if Bell ran Tim's.

Think that's crazy? Well Bell thinks that's how Tim Hortons works. See
Bell's page on Usage-based Billing.

Quick recap, UBB is where an ISP charges you extra if you use your net connection more that the limit set on your plan. The argument is that heavy users should pay for using the net more.

Bell says "It's an approach employed by service providers of all kinds - electrical utilities, your gas company… even Tim Hortons and Starbucks! If you consume a lot, you pay more than those who don't."

They point out that you can pay $5 for 40 GB, $10 for 80 GB, $15 for 120 GB. That's $0.125 per GB for all thee plans. But if you go over you need to pay $3 a GB, that's 24x what they say a GB is worth.

If we singed up for 80 GB but use 85 GB in a month that $10 for the first 80 GB and $15 for the last 5 GB. Use only 50 of your 80 GB, they keep the extra cash. That's how Tim Horton's works? Really? Have these people ever had a Double Double?

- Peace

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

L.A. - 2 700 km of bike lanes and a Mayor Who Bikes.

CBC: L.A. to get 2,700 km of bike lanes
The bicycle master plan unanimously approved by the City Council sets a long-term goal of some 2,700 kilometres of interconnected bikeways and calls for 320 kilometres of the new bike paths to be added every five years.

The city currently has fewer than 640 kilometres of bikeways in a patchwork of segments.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also became a fierce advocate for designated bike lanes last year after he shattered an elbow in a bike accident with a taxi cab.
I really like that they have a plan to add 64 km of lanes a year with a focus on connecting the segments they have now. I have no idea what Calgary's plan is and we have plenty of disconnected segments. It also seems that this progress is connected to having a Mayor that bikes. Just saying.

- Peace