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Hyack floatplane terminal in Victoria sold

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012 Leave a comment

Hard to say what this announcement means for the embattled Vancouver terminal, but it looks like a possible competitive service to Harbour Air on the Vancouver-Victoria floatplane route.

Float-plane terminal still up in the air

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 2 comments

Billy Collins: Everyday moments, caught in time

Monday, March 26th, 2012 Leave a comment

Humanizing Data

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 Leave a comment

Transforming how we look at things, from flight monitoring to music.

What (not) to do in an Earthquake

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011 Leave a comment

In this post I outlined sources of information to use for guidance in preparing for, and responding to, an earthquake.   It appears that some misguided information is also finding its way around the internet once again: the Triangle of Life promoted by Doug Copp.   It may apply in some third world countries, but guidance in North America still says to drop, cover and hold on.  Follow these links to learn more:

The problem here is not Doug Copp, it’s folks who do not take the time to verify the validity of information.  Google makes this easy now, and a simple search will quickly give you guidance as to whether the information is credible.  So the rule is: don’t pass on any advice on any life/safety issue unless you’ve verified it with a couple of credible websites, or it comes directly from someone who you know personally is an expert.

As an aside, I was surprised to see people standing around or running out of buildings in videos of the recent Japanese earthquake.  That’s the wrong thing to do, and in any case don’t think you’ll have that much mobility.   The earthquake was well offshore and the ground shaking in Tokyo (where much of the video was from) was much LESS than we might experience.  You may not be able to walk or even stand.  Most injuries occur (according to the American Red Cross statement above) when people try to run out of a building: stepping on broken glass, being thrown about or falling down stairs.

This article shows that Tokyo was subject to ground accelerations peaking at 0.16 g (VII on the USGS scale).    To put this in perspective severe ground shaking (X+) was recorded of up to 2.7g in Miyagi prefecture, more than 15 times higher.  A human would be thrown about like a ragdoll at such accelerations.  Unless they had dropped, covered and held on.  Tight.

OS 6 on Blackberry 9700 (Bold)

Sunday, March 27th, 2011 1 comment

This month OS 6 became available for the Bold for Rogers customers. Some thoughts:

  • Upgrade was painless, with prompt for backup and mostly seamless app migration
  • Browser is much improved, but still has fundamental flaws: many pages are “too big” to load; still no Flash support; page zoom is nifty but frequently doesn’t work (I/O keys or context menu)
  • Performance is sometimes sluggish
  • Universal search rocks.  Well, kind of: it only searches names and numbers in contacts, OS5 searched through the entire contact record.
  • Calendar daily display is a disaster, showing only a tiny fraction of the day
  • Still no support for Skype
  • User interface is cool, but more complex
  • YouTube videos are vastly better quality, but jerky
  • Memory is an issue, I’ve had warnings that memory is low and tabs need to be closed. I don’t have very many apps.

There are far more thorough reviews out there, but this is what stuck out for me. For the user satisfied with their phone, using it for simple tasks, this upgrade would just be confusing. For others it’s probably worthwhile.

UPDATE: “page too large” to load, and “low on memory” errors are frequent enough to make this a questionable upgrade.

UPDATE #2: known issue: volume and next/last song function buttons are disabled when the device is in the holster.  :(

UPDATE #3: I think it was too much to ask to squeeze OS6 on to the slower processor and microscopic memory of the 9700. Unless you need to be cool, and don’t mind random waits and out of memory errors give this a miss. Too much time is spent waiting for the spinning hand of nothingness. If you want more than OS5 offers, you’re better off with a 9800, or wait for OS7 on RIM’s next behind-the-curve BB, the 9900.

Cables anyone?

Thursday, July 9th, 2009 Leave a comment

I don’t have an issue with retailers making profit where they can, especially with the current economic state.  But I also like to save money.  If you have audio/video/computer cable needs in Canada I highly recommend CableSalesCanada.  From my experience in offshore manufacturing I know that cables often cost less than $1 to make, and ever since the introduction of “monster cables,” sellers figured out that consumers will pay huge markups on cables, with no commensurate increase in quality.

A good quality HDMI 1.3b 1m cable sells for $9.50 at CableSalesCanada, plus shipping and tax.  The equivalent starts at $30 at FutureShop and you can pay absolutely silly prices for HDMI monster cables claiming superior video and audio.  I would challenge any viewer/listener to tell the difference.  HDMI is a digital signal, and as long as the integrity of the signal is maintained, the cable will make no difference.

Not that all substitute cables are good, some of the cheaper cables Sears sells have poor connectors that easily fatigue and fail.

For $110 including tax and shipping, I bought 15m (DVI to HDMI), 3m and 2m (HDMI) cables and got a lovely pen and mousepad (ok that’s not much of an incentive, I know!).  Arrived in just a few days.

Other countries I’m sure have equivalent suppliers, I can’t recommend from personal experience.

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