Archive for the ‘Business and Economy’ Category

Uber Fast Ultra 2000 Plus

As some of you have no doubt read, Videotron is releasing their Uber Fast Ultra High Speed 2000 Plus internet service package.

Speeds are reported to max out at 50mbps. But as others have mentioned this comes with a 50gb download limit per month. After which, there is a penalty fee to pay.

Anyone who has a relatively fast connection to the web knows that the bottleneck isn’t from your house to the provider. It’s elsewhere. Even with just their Super Ultra Fast package it’s difficult to max out the pipe coming into your house.

So what’s the bleeding point ? If there was no cap, you could become a local reseller and just offer up Wifi to your neighbours. But really, I don’t get it.

Do you ?

More and more I find that cable and tv suppliers are becoming less and less relevant. At least in my life. I dumped cable tv over a year ago. We have a TV that we bought at Crappy Tire and a DVD player that my girlfriend bought from Jean Coutu.. It serves us very well. She rents Sex in the City and I buy European Bike racing DVD’s from the states.

My original plan was to get an unlimited connection, nice and fast, and download TV shows. Bah. Never bothered. Too much work for 60 minutes of blah. I don’t miss TV and in all honesty, when this contract with Videotron runs out, I’m going back to Teksavvy with no contract and dropping my monthly internet fees.

Interesting iPhone news for Canada

It seems unlimited data plans are coming to Canada with Rogers. According to the article, the changes could come as early as February 5th. That’s not when the iPhone will be sold in Canada, but it’s good news for people who already have one and want to browse without having to look for a wifi hotspot to avoid astronomical charges.

Except in Quebec

Tivo is coming to Canada.

Except in Quebec.

sigh

Can this be ?

Bell is offering full data on your cell phone for 7 bucks a month.

Whoa. I nearly fainted there. I figured it would take the arrival of another carrier to bring down data prices in this country. But there it is.

Canada can now finally crawl out of the stone ages in terms of data pricing and just in time for the iPhone too.

The other carriers will have to respond quickly. I believe is Telus has something similar and Rogers, well Rogers is hoping the rest of us aren’t noticing.

Price Check !

Canada’s finance minister bought himself a little prop yesterday: A Harry Potter Book The idea was to show how we as Canadians are paying too much when the exchange factor is taken into account.

With the Canadian dollar now higher then the American, we as Canadians are wondering what gives? Why are goods so much more expensive here then down there ?

Of course if you ask retailers, they will tell you that it’s the distributors. If you ask the distributors, they’ll tell you it’s the manufacturers if you ask them, they’ll say it’s their suppliers… And the game of Whack A Mole continues.

It’s a bit like trying to figure out why the price of gas is the same all over town.. You’re never going to find out.

I’ll tell you what the problem is, the problem is that we Canadians are stupid. We continue to buy all our goods here and complain about the pricing.

There is a company called Freeport Forwarding which is just over the US border that will accept all your packages. You purchase your goods in the US via the Web (including companies like Amazon.com which refuses to sell to Canada for some goods) and have it shipped to Freeport Fowarding and they will accept your goods (details on the website). One afternoon, you drive down, pick up your box, declare it at the border and voila. Instant savings.

A coworker does this regularly and figures he saved 50% on the recent purchase of snow tires, including tax and shipping.

Not too shabby. I’ve been ordering from the states via the Web now for a while but the kicker has always been the time that it takes to clear Canada Customs. It’s like a black hole! It goes in and one day, sometimes a week or two later, it comes out with taxes and service charge added.

This new option would definitely speed things up as you would clear your own packages..

So there are options to having to pay large Canadian price tags.

Sage advice

From yesterday’s Montreal Gazette:

If the city says it is coming to your street to beautify it – you know what to do. Organize your neighbours in an all-night vigil, armed with shotguns. Hire security forces, then set up a street blockade to keep the city out. It is not coming to help you – it is coming to bury you.

Things fall apart

From today’s Montreal Gazette:

Engineers, firefighters and city officials were at a loss today to explain how a seven-metre-long fissure opened in the city’s underground.

Call me cynical, but maybe it has something to do with the fact that the city cares more about beautification projects, cleanliness campaigns, and jaywalking crackdowns than its goddamn infrastructure. Morons…

Spectrum de Montréal, 1982-2007

A final farewell to the Spectrum, which, despite an enthusiastic petition, will close its doors tonight to make way for an office tower and big-box electronics retailer. Years from now, a new generation of Montrealers will fondly recall evenings spent shopping for iPods and memory cards under the magical glare of fluorescent lights, in a space that will surely have contributed as much to the cultural life of their city as the Spectrum ever did. In the meantime, the Gazette has published this obituary for the concert hall, which features a bunch of old geezers waxing nostalgic about something called “live music.” Luckily, progress will march on without them.

Future Shop Experts? I don’t think they exist

Qui sont ces experts? Les gens qui se promènent dans les magasins Future Shop? It can’t be, because I just had a very strange encounter.

Quand je suis aller chez Future Shop au marché central cette fin de semaine, je savais que j’allais acheter un écran widescreen d’au moins 22 pouces. L’écran 22″ que je regardais était à côté d’un écran qui semblait être un 19″ normal. Un des employés passait et je lui ai demandé quelle était la résolution des écrans. Il m’a répondu avec certitude que c’était 22″. Quand je lui ai expliqué ce que résolution veut dire, il m’a répondu avec autant de certitude que c’était 1280×1024 pour les deux. Il a aussi ajouté fermement que c’était pareil pour les deux écrans 19″ (not wide) et 22″ (wide). C’est à ce moment là qu’une voix a éclaté de rire dans ma tête.

If the resolution of your widescreen LCD monitor has a ratio of 1.25, I can tell you with more certainty than that clerk that you will return the monitor. Actually, you shouldn’t even buy it in the first place, because everything on your screen would be very much stretched.

Je sais que les employés chez Future Shop et ailleurs passent des entraînements, mais est-ce que leurs connaissances sont mis à l’épreuve à la fin de l’entraînement ou est-ce que c’est trop couteux pour les compagnies de viré les employés incompétents.

Ce n’est probablement pas le cas de tous les employés, mais je demande rarement l’avis des employés dans les magasins électroniques. Je me tourne plutôt vers l’internet et les geeks que j’y trouve. Les compétents, c’est vraiment ceux là.

Mon conseil: pour vos prochains achats d’articles électroniques, allez en magasins pour pouvoir prendre l’objet dans vos mains, mais gardez en tête que ce n’est pas le meilleur endroit pour avoir des opinions valables.

Breaking news: Tentative deal reached in transit strike

According to local media reports, an agreement in principle has been reached between the STM and the Syndicat du transport de Montréal. Both sides must still ratify the agreement, which would end the four-day old transit strike.

In other news, a protest called yesterday to denounce the striking STM workers drew exactly three people: the organizer and two of his friends. Maybe if they had offered to provide transportation…?

UPDATE: The agreement has been ratified. According to the STM, bus and metro service is being gradually resumed and will return to full service by Saturday morning. Negotiations between the STM and the union will continue with conciliator Jean-Pierre Gosselin.

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