employment update

“Back in June”:http://blog.cfrq.net/chk/archives/2009/06/16/employment-update/ I mentioned that I had a 4-month contract at UHN. Four months was up just over a week ago. My bosses decided to offer me a permanent position instead of extending my contract! So, I have a full-time job again! Woohoo!

posted at 2:27 pm on Sunday, October 25, 2009 in Personal | Comments Off on employment update

traffic shaping

The CRTC recently announced regulations around traffic shaping. The way I (and many others) read the announcement, this is a significant restriction imposed on the carriers by the CRTC; they must give customers 30-60 days notice, they must actually prove that traffic shaping is the only option available, and they cannot slow traffic so much that they are effectively blocking the service (which is what Rogers used to do with BitTorrent, although I haven’t checked lately to see if that’s changed).

Anyway, while it’s not the net-neutrality that some people wanted, I think this is actually a victory for consumers. As “Michael Geist puts it”:http://www.michaelgeist.ca/content/view/4478/125/ :

bq. The CRTC’s net neutrality (aka traffic management) decision is out and though it does not go as far as some advocates might hope, it unquestionably advances the ball forward on several important fronts. When considering the decision, it is important to remember that 12 months ago, there was virtually no ISP disclosure of traffic management practices and even an unwillingness to acknowledge that there was an issue. Today’s CRTC decision signifies that traffic management is not a free-for-all and the days of ISPs arguing that they can do whatever they please on their networks is over.

So, the headline in the Globe and Mail today reads:

bq. “Big Internet carriers win right to manage traffic”:http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/technology/big-internet-carriers-win-right-to-manage-traffic/article1332984/

Now I would _never_ accuse a newspaper of being biased (cough, cough), but if you follow the Globe and Mail’s ownership chain upwards, this headline is … disturbing … :)

posted at 10:30 am on Thursday, October 22, 2009 in Current Events | Comments Off on traffic shaping

less than one percent

I saw a story recently about a musician who took out an ad in a magazine to sell CDs, and ended up only receiving four orders. I don’t want to quote the whole thing, so the original is worth reading (“and if only one percent of those people…”:http://gapingvoid.com/2009/09/28/and-if-only-one-percent-of-those-people/).

In particular, the punch-line struck me as interesting in the context of SPAM and 419 scams and similar issues:

bq. He forgot there was a number lower than one percent.

Why do SPAM and email scams work? because there is a number lower than one percent, and because sending millions of e-mails is virtually free. Taking my recent “work on a cruise ship” scam e-mail, we have to remember that if only 100 people are sucked in, that’s still $32,000 revenue for the scammer…

posted at 8:38 pm on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 in Security | Comments Off on less than one percent

New 419 style scam

I just received unsolicited email offering jobs on a cruise ship; all I have to do is send a bunch of personal data and $320 for processing. They say all unplaced applicants will have their money refunded… Do you believe them?

posted at 2:40 pm on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 in Security | Comments Off on New 419 style scam

Traffic II

So it appears that during rush hour google traffic isn’t any better than the service that comes with my Garmin GPS, which is to say it’s usually out of date. However, google reports traffic for more places than the GPS, and they report on weekends. I’ll have to keep checking both for now.

posted at 2:37 pm on Wednesday, October 21, 2009 in Personal | Comments Off on Traffic II


Google Maps has traffic data for Toronto! woohoo! It even appears in the map display on the iPhone!

Now I can see if it is any more accurate, or updates more often, than my (redacted) Garmin GPS unit…

posted at 9:47 am on Tuesday, October 06, 2009 in Personal | Comments Off on traffic

Advertising to Smart People

I’ve suspected this was true all along:

bq. Advertisers don’t believe it’s worth advertising to smart people, because smart people don’t pay attention to brand. Smart people make an actual choice, they can’t be tricked or convinced. They research. So we can’t sell ads to a network for smart people.

from Leo Laporte on Advertising to Smart People | Smarterware, via Twitter.

posted at 11:19 am on Monday, October 05, 2009 in Links | Comments (3)
  1. Nita says:

    Not sure I entirely buy this (knowing a great many smart people that I’ve watched get influenced by effective marketing).

    It is a *different* kind of marketing – but few people have ever gone wrong by saying “Aw, shucks, you’re too smart for me to fool.”

  2. chk says:

    This is one of the differences between advertising and marketing, yes…

  3. Jeff K says:

    It’s a tautology because you are in the business of rapidly making your viewers “smart” enough that they don’t need you.

    That said, the “youtube community”, judging by comments, ratings, views and content, is the worst example of having teen and young-adult street culture rammed down your throat going.