Let’s hear it for empty rhetoric!

From Peter Foster in today’s National Post:

Climate change is said to threaten a biotic holocaust. This is on top of the horror of the tens of thousands of species that are already disappearing annually due to pesky human activity. Tragically, nobody can name any of these species because although we’re wiping them out, they haven’t yet been discovered. The carnage is taking place entirely in computers. This makes "progress" on the issue a bit of a problem. Still, since enviro-hysteria is about faith not facts, and votes not reason, Mr. Harper chose to sing in Bonn from the bio-hymnbook. [emphasis mine]

Don’t stop there though. You really need to read the whole thing.


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How does socialized healthcare sound now?

A local hospital is hoping that the provincial government will approve a request for a second MRI scanner:

In April, the wait time for for an MRI scan at Grand River was 95 days, according to Health Ministry statistics. This is far above the provincial target of 28 days but below the actual provincial average of 105.

It takes 220 days to get an MRI at the London Health Sciences Centre and 50 days at Guelph General Hospital. [emphasis mine]

A target of 28 days, but an average of 105 days, or three and a half months. The Ontario government likes to claim that it has reduced wait times, but according to its own site, there is only one hospital in the province actually meeting the target.

Just pray you don’t get sick.


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Spam. Still the scourge of the net.

Someone, seemingly from Russia, is spamming people like crazy and forging my email address as the From: address. How do I know this? Because I awoke to over 3000 "undeliverable mail" messages in my inbox this morning.

And that’s probably just a small fraction of what was actually sent. If you got a spam mail from me I apologize, but it didn’t really come from me.

I use a Macbook. It is free of viruses and zombies, and I don’t leave it on when I’m not using it, so the messages aren’t coming from me.

The really frustrating thing is that no only does it bother average people who then blame me. It also clogs up my inbox, making my email unusable, and potentially causing me to miss valuable messages. It also wastes my time.

I just don’t understand what spammers get from this. I’m not buying Rolex watches or Viagra because I got an email about it. And don’t even get me started about the idiots at Settec Training House, who send constant spam from different addresses.

If you have a good product, you don’t have to trick people into using it.


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When is “free speech” not free?

When you have to pass your speech through a "human rights filter" then it is no longer free:

In a wide-ranging interview this week about the upcoming changes to her commission’s mandate, she [Barbara Hall, chief commissioner of the Ontario Human Rights Commission] stood firmly by her position that media have a responsibility to put their writings through a "human rights filter" before publication, and said the commission is keen to call out those who do not, jurisdiction be damned.

I’m not sure exactly what a "human rights filter" is, but it appears that anything that might potentially offend someone is off limits. Actually that isn’t quite correct. It must be something that might offend a visible minority. Being a white male, it doesn’t matter if I’m offended.

Of course given that I live in Canada currently I should be very careful what I say lest I offend someone.

Frankly I prefer free speech without limits. I think that we do people a great disservice when we assume on their behalf what might offend them.

Thanks to Kathy Shaidle for reminding me about this travesty.


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A year of the Facebook Platform.

My latest article at The Industry Standard looks at a year of the Facebook Platform:

Almost one year ago Facebook announced the Facebook Platform, unleashing an assault of applications on unsuspecting users. At first those applications were silly, even bothersome. But now they are beginning to provide real value to groups of connected users. Currently there are approximately 15,000 applications, and 350,000 developers have signed up so there will probably be more on the way.

Read the whole thing.

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The rise of social gaming.

Welcome to the social. Game, that is:

Social games might be multiplayer games that you can play with friends on your favorite social network. But some companies are looking to those free casual games as being a core component of something bigger — and a revenue-generating business, too. Companies like Mytopia and J2Play are building communities around the games, and spanning multiple social networks, which means that you can play games or issue challenges to your friends across different networks. And in a world of applications that grows more crowded every day, it provides an opportunity to discover new games.

Read the whole thing over at The Industry Standard.

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Who owns “public” content?

Would it bother you if someone lifted your entire RSS feed without asking?

What if someone decided to take your RSS feed and republish it on their site? A company named Shyftr did that a couple of weeks ago, creating a fury of comments from bloggers around the internet. Louis Gray likes the fact that there are more places for conversations to take place. Tony Hung doesn’t like people stealing his RSS feed. And Robert Scoble says that bloggers no longer have control of their content.

Read the whole thing over at The Industry Standard.

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Improving Customer Service.

We have all kinds of technology, but we haven’t improved customer service one iota:

We have better communications technology now than at any point in human history. We have email. We have instant messaging. We have website feedback forms. We have blogs. We have Twitter. All of these services can be used to communicate information about products or services to a company. Yet customer service really hasn’t improved at all, and few companies make the effort to use any of these technologies to make it better.

Read the whole thing over at The Industry Standard.

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Buying Mom a domain for Mother’s Day.

GoDaddy sends me frequent emails to announce sales on domain names, but they surprised me today. They let me know that they have a Mother’s Day special – Save 15% on any order of $50 or more.

I guess that it had never occurred to me that my mom might want a domain and web hosting service for Mother’s Day. Unfortunately worldsbestmom.com is already taken.



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