Is Wi-Fi in a library Li-Wi-Fi?

Glenn Fleishman is researching the use of Wi-Fi in public libraries and indicates that many are providing the service for patrons only. I’ve been trying to convince my local public library to offer Wi-Fi, but we hadn’t considered limiting it to patrons. It was going to be open to everyone. The one difference may be the fact that in Canada libraries cannot charge patrons for services, so there is no real fee collection system. The system was essentially planned as a proof of concept to bring more people into the library.

Too many choices?

Down The Avenue has some interesting thoughts about the effects of too many choices. Sometimes may of these choices are from the same company. When my kids we in diapers I was surprised to learn that both Luvs and Pampers were Proctor & Gamble products. How different could these product possibly be? They merely succeed in giving the company more shelf space, but probably don’t increase the real choice at all.

Sometimes when faced with too many choices I just fall back on the old predictable popular brands. I may be missing out on some great new thing, but I just don’t have the time or inclination to make such a difficult decision.

In Canada the selection is substantially more limited. We don’t even have Victoria’s Secret or TiVo, and it is illegal for us to have DirecTV.What bothers me most is the selection of Tabasco Sauce. I like the green chile sauce, which I can only get in the small bottle, yet I can get the Smoky Chipotle in the big bottle. I can’t get the Garlic flavor at all. Having too many choices may be bad, but it’s worse when you can’t get the one thing you really want.

Oops!

By now I’m certain that everyone in the world has heard about Ashlee Simpson lip-synching her performance on Saturday Night Live the other day. What is impressive is the world-class spin control that is now happening. Many pop stars lip-synch – there’s no way Britney Spears could dance the way she does and still have the breath to sing flawlessly – but Ashlee Simpson got caught. On the positive side, she certainly drove a lot of traffic to her website, where there are now over 18,000 postings on the topic.

Valid terrorist targets?

Mohamed Elmasry, president of the Canadian Islamic Congress, stated in a television interview that all Israelis above the age of 18 are legitimate targets of attack because they are part of the Israeli army. The Canadian Islamic Congress issued a statement over the weekend saying controversial remarks from its national president Mohamed Elmasry last week were “regrettable and misunderstood.”

Try as I might to understand terrorism as a legitimate struggle from those who have no other means, I just can’t. It sometimes just seems to me to be an entrenched hatred of an entire race.

Anti-competitive threat.

I heard an odd commercial in Canada today. A product named Laker advertises itself as the number one value-priced beer in Ontario, at the lowest price allowed by law, $24 for 24 bottles. Brewed near my home in Waterloo, Canada, it isn’t the best beer you can buy, but it is the cheapest. The typical case of 24 costs around $35.

What I found odd was the fact that there is a minimum price for beer set by law. This guarantees that there won’t be any competition in the beer market. In fact, by law domestic beer can only be sold at the provincially licensed Beer Store which is controlled by the two largest breweries in Canada, Molson (merging with Coors) and Labatt (owned by Interbrew of Belgium). Smaller domestic breweries have no say in the operation. Generally any non-domestic product is brewed under license to one of the larger breweries with the exception of some premium brands like Guinness or Sam Adams. So dumping isn’t really a potential problem.

So why does the government feel the need to ensure that companies cannot compete on price by setting an artificial floor on that price?

Misleading advertising.

Cogeco offers unlimited usage for their broadband internet over cable. However at least one user has been shut down for downloading 150 gigabytes of data. While this may be excessive, is the company has advertised “unlimited” use, then is this not false advertising?

Of course in Canada, products containing less that 5 milligrams of Sodium can be labeled as “Sodium Free”, which ought to be illegal, but is clearly misleading unless one reads the fine print.

Speed trap.

Have you ever noticed that the police don’t sit in school zones to watch for speeders? Instead they seem to prefer to sit on expansive four lane roads more conducive to faster speeds. Wouldn’t it be prudent to be where safety is a serious concern?

In Toronto there are two major freeways. The 401 is older with no shoulders most of the way, typically very congested, but it still moves along quite a bit above the posted limit. It is rare to see a police car on the 401.

The 407 is a new private highway with great road surface and wide shoulders, with no congestion at all. I’ve seen as many as 30 police cars in a 15 mile strip of freeway, ticketing any car that exceeds the posted limit.

Just my little thought for the day.

Quick, hide the evidence.

This article in The Globe and Mail describes how handwritten notes detailing evidence of political influence in Canada’s federal sponsorship scandal were systematically purged from the files, leaving no records.

According to staff, it is standard operating procedure to destroy documents after a shuffle of government ministers. The judge presiding over the inquiry into the scandal seemed somewhat stunned by this admission.

Meanwhile, the three political parties with intervenor status at the inquiry asked for increased funding, complaining the fee schedules were too low. They were looking for about three times the amount of $500,000 currently provided for.