Not everyone in Toronto dislikes the new HOV lanes


It’s it possible that we have actually found a “Keep It Simple” solution for Toronto (G.T.A) traffic woes? What would happen if we offered more GO Transit options using the existing HOV lanes, which now cross-cross the entire G.T.A? What if we leave the HOV lanes, as is, after the Pan Am Games and simply employ more transit bus drivers? What if we open things up to competition and allow other private bus (Greyhound, Coach Canada, etc…) companies to use the HOV lanes and compete for public riders in the outskirts of Toronto? It seems that we have a simple solution staring us in the face. I have talked to countless people who said “if there were more GO Bus service options and if they could know, with a guarantee, their travel time they would use it”. Knowing that you could grab a bus and zip across the city is just as good as any regional rail service. Think about it, other than fuel and paying drivers is it not a simple solution? I am sure if a bus was running every 10-15 minutes, or faster we may just leave the car at home; freeing up the roads and lowering traffic for others. We debate and politicians promise, but in the the end we just want to “keep it simple” and get to work, or home. It’s just a thought! What do you think?

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TTC (Re)Announces Ten Minute Network


Steve Munro

On June 15, TTC Chair Josh Colle and Deputy CEO Chris Upfold held a press conference at Bathurst Station to announce the “Ten Minute Network”, one more step in restoring transit’s lustre after the Ford/Stintz regime of cutbacks.

The announcement trumpeted the change for more than it actually represents:

The improvements include all four subway lines, 10 streetcar routes and 37 bus routes and will be implemented through the end of 2015 and into 2016.

Of course the subway lines already run at better than a 10 minute headway, as do most streetcar lines most of the time. Colle talked about how people would not be waiting as long for their bus. Technically, that is true, provided that their bus is one that now runs less frequently. Changes are planned for subway services, but they are not included in this package (I suspect we will see those in the…

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The Hamburglar, Colonel Sanders, and the case for reviving the corporate mascot


The world is changing and brands are doing their best to keep up. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few years.

Fortune

Earlier this month, McDonald’s brought back the Hamburglar after a 13-year hiatus. The new live-action burger thief received—ahem—mixed reviews. The consensus was that he was half hot suburban dad, half creepy neighborhood peeping tom. Missing from many of the social media reactions was any indication that the new Hamburglar would achieve the company’s goal: to get people to eat more McDonald’s food.

On Tuesday, KFC launched an ad campaign featuring a new Colonel Sanders, the character that represents the real-life founder of the fried chicken chain, who’s been dead for 35 years. So far, responses to the Colonel’s rebirth are positive. Perhaps that’s because KFC enlisted Saturday Night Live alum Darrell Hammond, best known for his Bill Clinton impersonations, for the role.

NEW Colonel Sanders KFC gifCourtesy of KFC

In an era in which there’s a premium on branding innovation, what’s the point of resurrecting a dated mascot, especially…

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Google™ Strikes Bizarre Licensing Deal With Nestlé® To Name Next Android™ Kit Kat®


You have to give Google credit. As confusing as the image is it truly represents how they were able to offer something for everyone. Google has helped to both enhance and level the mobile technology playing field by offering an OS, which OEMs helped to push out to the market in droves of both high-end and low-end devices. It does not matter what you think about the quality of these devices. They have flooded the market, making Android ubiquitous. Question is how long will it last? Or will Android become the de facto Windows that Microsoft once was?

Microsoft to buy Nokia’s phone business — A new direction?


English: Microsoft's logo with the old slogan,...

Well it looks like Microsoft has opted to go “all in”.  The move totally reshapes the mobile industry and Microsoft’s future. By adding consumer hardware to it’s portfolio Microsoft now gains the expertise of Nokia long standing know-how in the industry. In addition Microsoft also adds in Nokia’s assets, giving them additional ammunition in the patent area. It will be interesting to see what direction existing products such as the Surface Pro and Surface RT take. With the purchase of Nokia it more than likely means that BlackBerry is off the table for Microsoft. I doubt that Microsoft will end up purchasing any of BlackBerry’s assets or seek a partnership. It will be interesting to see how both companies will transition and merge; as they find  synergies between the two companies.  Will this move push Samsung to rapidly expand Tizen? Will Google place Motorola in a more prominent role? How will this hurt BlackBerry, if at all? Is this a great oppourtunity for Microsoft to change it’s standing in the industry?

So what is the Bombardier #C-Series anyway?


Porter Airlines Dash-8 at Ottawa Macdonald-Car...

It’s a nice looking jet and it’s great to see that a #Canadian company may possibly compete with the likes of #Airbus and #Boeing. Seating between 100 – 149 seats and leaving a smaller environmental footprint I dare to say that maybe “less is more”. With the rumors of Porter Airlines purchasing these jets it will be interesting to see what happens in the long-term. Will they expand Billy Bishop Airport? Will these planes fly out of Montreal? Maybe, with the new Airport link, they will fly out of Pearson? What about Hamilton, Oshawa Airport or Buttonville? We will have to wait and see what actually happens today at the announcement. Hopefully the Bombardier C-Series will shake up the industry. Maybe we are just a bit nostalgic over the prominent days of the Avro Arrow and Canada being on top once again.

By: @iammannyj

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The Bombardier CSeries is a family of narrow-bodytwin-engine, medium-range jet airliners that are being developed by Canadian manufacturer Bombardier Aerospace. Models are the 110-seat CS100, and the 130-seat CS300. These were initially named C110 and C130, respectively. In November 2012, Bombardier announced that the CS100 would take its maiden flight in June 2013 and enter service in 2014. 

To learn more about the CSeries go to http://cseries.com/info/en/

Let’s talk about transit at cross-roads again in Toronto


T1 TTC subway car parked in St. George subway ...

Transit is now on the radar. Everyone is talking about it. Yes, talking! Will we fund transit? How much will it cost? Will it really ever get done? I sense that there are a lot of skeptics; weary of trusting such a bold plan in the hands of politicians. Let’s be honest, we have been here before. We all remember the expansion plan that was pretty much killed by the Mike Harris and the Ontario PC Party. The common sense revolution took hold and since we didn’t have the money it was put on hold. So we got a third of a Sheppard line. However the PC party was not the only government to play with transit. We could have had an entire streetcar / LRT network in Scarborough. Instead we got the RT. What citizens are tired of is talking and fighting over transit. We need action, along with a long-term plan. Provincial and Municipal elections are coming soon. We finally have shovels in the ground. Question is will we fill up the sandbox again just so our grandchildren can continue to talk about it?

By: @iammannyj

Oil, Tar and the Irony of Life


The question oil haunts us like a cancer cell. We try to avoid it but it keeps coming back. It seeps throughout the bowels of the earth. We know its just dead things. A reflection or the past, or maybe our future?

We know something must be done to combat global warming and our over consumption; but we are unable to escape it. We have grown accustomed to our large homes, cars and the devices I am using as I type. So what are we to do? Movies Avatar or the shows Firefly talked briefly about our consumption; how we used up the Earth’s resources. Will it happen? I don’t know. I have to believe that we are better than that. Albeit, there was World War 1&2, the Korean War, Slavery, weapons of mass destruction, but I am off topic.

The question is oil, specifically the Alberta tar sands, is a good one. Yes the 1.8 trillion, or more, barrels of oil waiting to be used. The bitumen, or tar for a better description, is waiting to be “plundered”. Don’t kid yourself. We, as a species, are not ready to change. I am not here to tell you oil is all bad or even good. Think about it for a minute, or longer. How do you tell someone that they should ignore the mounds of money waiting to be extracted? Still thinking? Exactly, you don’t. You see we all have to face the fact that we are unable to change. President George W. Bush was correct when he said “we are addicted to oil“. We can talk about the environment but do we realize how ubiquitous and how far oil has come into our life? It’s everywhere! From the car you drive to the container you use. The chair you sit on or the stuff in your food. Can we change? Or do we really want to make the hard choices? What will our children say about us? Or will we leave anything to say?

Our addiction is massive, but life must go on. Humanity is an interesting species. We will adapt. We will continue to extract the “black gold” until its no more. Don’t kid yourselves, there is no quick fix. We just need to be better stewards and live in balance with the planet. When all is said and done I am sure we will find something else to consume or we will learn to live. Let’s hope there is something left, hence the irony. We run, we consume, we waste the dead things of life. What is oil, tar sands or bitumen? Maybe its just a reflection or what we are and what we will become when balance runs amuck. What do you think?

By: @iammannyj

The Usefulness of Facebook in Evolution or is it just Useful?


Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...

I am a user of Facebook, but not a real fan. By stating this some may feel it’s pointless to read on. Well let me confess, I have tried to understand our global fascination with Facebook. Why is it so popular? What makes it different than any other platform? Is it just another passing fad or the next MySpace? No, what Facebook represents is the nature of the Internet and technology. We all remember AOL. Did you get one of those CD’s in the mail? Do you know what mail is? Or what a pen is? Do you remember Compuserve? How about the Apple Newton? Sega? Atari? Napster? Netscape? Novell? Palm? A library? Alright, libraries are not dead yet, thankfully. I could go on, but can you see a pattern? All were powerful and amazing, during there time. They pushed limits and moved us forward into a new space. But alas, all good things must come to an end, right?

The virtual space, we call the Internet, is the new world. It’s fluid, dynamic and ever changing; never standing still to allow us to even truly understand what it is. Technology is constantly moving forward, dragging us along with it. We have to evolve. Every 6-8 months there is a new device or new idea for us to master. As we evolve some technologies get left behind. But what about Facebook? Where does it fit in? How is it useful?

I am mesmerised at the things people make public. How we broadcast our addictions and lower our language. Some swear and others do some remarkably strange things. It’s fascinating to see the things we dare not do in public are available online. What is Facebook? It’s that other world, within the world of the Internet. The one that allows us to broadcast who we are, until its dead and gone. We tell all, we connect with others. The odd people are now the ones who are not on Facebook. So is it useful? Of course it is. The question is useful to who? Useful to our species? Is Facebook just a part of the whole? I can’t wait for Google Glasses to take off. I am looking forward to the day when our evolutionary path makes us Betazoids. A marketers dream! But I digress. We we’re talking about Facebook, right?

By: @iammannyj

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Thinking about a Kia?


Thinking about a Kia?

The Geek Factor: The Rio has much to recommend it to geeks. It comes standard with a backup camera that displays on the dash with a guide to help you determine distance to objects, which greatly helped ease my mind when in reverse as the back of the car is high enough it’s hard to directly view anything below about four feet above the road surface. The stereo, at least in the model I tried, came with Sirius XM radio and HD radio included, and had a “jukebox” that could store MP3s for playback without a mobile device. If you, like me, never go anywhere without your iPhone (or similar device), you’ll love the Rio’s features, as it not only has a USB port that can charge your device and/or, if it’s compatible, allow you to browse your music library and play any track you like from the dashboard touchscreen.

Enjoy the rain, love the mud, who needs bus shelters in North Ajax anyway?


Well another year has gone by and the residents if North Ajax continue to enjoy the great outdoors. It amazes me that we want residents to take transit, yet don’t spend any money to encourage it. At least in Toronto there are proper shelters and some planning. With the taxes that are paid by North Ajax residents you would think they would be afforded the courtesy of a shelter and at least a bit of pavement to stand on. It actually fascinates me to see riders standing in a residents driveway, in the street or almost in a ditch on Westney and Tauton Rd. But let’s face it, urban sprawl has caused this, right? We cannot blame city planners. They assumed that we would just continue driving our cars and enjoy our large homes. Who needs the basics anyway? So as gas continues to rise and costs go up, be encouraged. You will continue to be taxed and enjoy the outdoor elements. So yes, while your waiting for that bus, in the rain, in your fancy new dress. When that car drives by and nearly takes you out. Or better yet on that wonderfully paved mud platform, enjoy. Smell the exhaust, and at least your not back in Toronto, right?

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A culture of fear at the Toronto District School Board


A culture of fear at the Toronto District School Board

“We thought it was a present from the union, you know, the union got a nice thing for me,” said the worker, who did not want his name used because he fears repercussions from his bosses.

The electrician said he bought a camera but most of the workers used their cards for home electronics.