Category Archives: the Net

Bell Canada wants to impose universal 60 GB bandwidth caps

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I got notified about this by Tek Savvy today, so I entered the following on their comment page.

File Number # 8740-B2-200904989 - Bell Canada - TN 7181

Bell's attempts to limit the availability of inexpensive high-bandwidth service would have a grave consequence: Canadian users would lose affordable internet services such as high-quality video downloads available from online producers like Apple and -- downloading just ten 430 MB episodes would consume over 7% of the proposed 60 GB monthly cap.

This kind of tariff would kill modern services such as HD movie rentals on iTunes, turning Canada into an internet backwater.

Canadians have been able to boast about our high-tech infrastructure to the world. This one action would topple Canada from the top to the bottom of the internet world.

Reid Ellis, Toronto ON

If you’d like to make your comments/concerns known about what Bell is
attempting to do, go to
CRTC web page
set up for it.
Just select the word “Tariff” from the drop down list, and add the following in Subject Line: “File Number # 8740-B2-200904989 – Bell Canada – TN 7181” – make your thoughts known!

The deadline for comments is tonight at midnight, so hurry!

TV shows tonight

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show list
shows on tonight – click for large

Wow, quite a few shows on TV tonight.

Until recently I used the site
TV Rage
to have a calendar showing upcoming shows.
But then they changed their APIs to not include iCalendar data. 🙁

The place I found out about TV Rage,
TV Calendar says it also uses,
so maybe they have iCalendar data I can use?

Worst case I can write a quick CGI script to read XML from TVRage and convert it to iCalendar on the fly.

Seems like a lot of work to go to though..

So, along with the screenshotted shows…

  • House
  • Greek
  • Gossip Girl
  • The Big Bang Theory
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • 24
  • Heroes
  • Saving Grace
  • Medium

there were some others!

  • My Boys (back for seaon 3!)
  • The Listener (new show)
  • Castle (new show)

So wow, that’s like 12 shows!
Which is good because the rest of the week is pretty bleak until Friday..

Google banned

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Well, I think it’s more of a combination of Google and Firefox.

My site was hacked via a WordPress exploit.
I’ve updated to the latest (I was at 2.5, now at 2.6.1), which should fix the issue.

I’ve applied to Google to get re-evaluated.
But their form for re-evaluation says it will take “several weeks”!
So until then, my site will be red-eye-banned by all Firefox users.

Ye gods.

2008-09-18 13:05 Update:
Found out that Google is in cahoots with, and applied to them to get my blog reviewed.
Their turnaround was significantly faster than that of Google (which hasn’t done anything yet).
I got this email reply from them a day or two after I asked them for a review:

We have received and processed your request for review of your website, Google’s most recent test of your website found no badware behaviors on the site. As such, the Google warning page for your site has either already been removed or should be removed shortly. In addition, if your site has been listed in our Badware Website Clearinghouse, we will remove your site from the Clearinghouse list.

Sometimes website owners are confused about why Google placed a warning in the search results for their site. In many cases, a website run by an innocent site owner has been hacked by a malicious third party, causing the site to distribute badware without the site owner’s knowledge. If your site was distributing badware because it has been hacked, then simply removing the bad code from your site is not enough to keep your site clean in the future. You will also need to work with your hosting provider to fix all security vulnerabilities associated with your site.

Please note that we will be retesting your website at periodic intervals in order to monitor that it remains free from badware. If we find that you are hosting or distributing badware in the future, the reviews process may take considerably longer than the original review.

Answers to commonly asked questions from site owners who are the subject of Google warnings can be found at:
For tips on keeping your website clean and secure, please visit:

The StopBadware Team

So with any luck, this blog will be out from under Googles Red Screen of Death sometime soon.

iPhone Updates

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It seems that (a) Apple is pissed at Rogers data plans and is limiting its shipments of iPhones to Canada as a result, and (b) Rogers will let you buy an iPhone on your existing plan, without a data plan.

Now, *I* would think that you would have to pay a higher price for the iPhone, since Rogers is subsidizing them with their onerous data plans, but Sergey says that you will still be able to pay the $200/$300 prices. We will see, I suppose.

P.S. This is a “blog post” submitted via , and I’m curious how it will look..

P.P.S. This is a second attempt. Hope I can delete the first one from LiveJournal..

Toronto Fire

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Queen Street fire
Queen Street fire, courtesy drpitch

There is a 6-alarm fire on the south side of Queen Street, east of Bathurst.
Lots of coverage, with crap from mainstream news sources:

Excellent stuff from local Toronto blogs:

Spooky Google Ad words on these sites include:

Fire Fighter Training
3 month NFPA Accredited
Program Emergency
Services Academy Ltd.

I’m trying to elucidate exactly what it is that makes the blogs better than the news sites.
I think it’s mostly presentation and the much larger, clearer photos.
Also the language is more down-to-earth and less “newsy”.

Also the use of:

  1. updates with new info
  2. community photos from Flickr
  3. community comments on the article page

really make a huge difference.
Also the use of actually useful links like the Toronto Fire Services’
Active Incidents page
stands out.