Tag Archives: Technology

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

Project Glass by Google


Ultra cool! Not sure if we need to say anything else about Project Glass. Wonder how long before they become contacts, or even embedded in our bodies.

Finally a gaming device that won’t gather dust


Xbox 360

Xbox 360 (Photo credit: emelgeek)

It’s amazing to see how we consume media. No longer to we care about cable and satellites dishes. Alright, I am exaggerating a bit, but there is a definite shift in the landscape. Gaming devices, like the Xbox 360 and PS3 have now turned into media devices. Microsoft claims that Xbox users are now consuming more music and video content. How long will it last? I suspect that this is a permanent change. We want to consume content on our own schedule. We don’t mind watching old content on Netflix, with the odd sprinkle of updated series.  We want Hulu and streaming radio. We want to watch sports on-demand. We are seeing people spend hours online searching YouTube and watching homemade content. I imagine that we may start to see a run on people simply buying these devices for media. With Roku, AppleTV, and other devices doing so well the only winners maybe broadband providers. The times are definitely changing and advertisers better figure out quickly where they fit in the new media device world.

Open source in a time of recession


No one questions the fact of recession any more, although we have yet to confirm a single quarter without growth, let alone two. Tech hates recessions, even though tech booms start at the bottom of them. The PC boom emerged from the bottom of a recession in the early 80s, and the Internet boom from another in the early 90s.

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How about Microsoft investing in OLPC and releasing a low-cost laptop for the masses?


Now here is an interesting question. Since Microsoft is dealing with bad PR, in relation to Vista, what would happen if Microsoft put its full support behind OLPC and installed a version of Windows XP? XP SP2 is pretty much a solid Operating System and it really would not cost much for Microsoft to even load OLPC with an embedded or starter version. Imagine releasing a bunch of low-cost laptops to the world, in addition with the North American market. With the emergence of Eee PC and a host of other low-cost laptops, people are realizing that it really does not cost that much to “get-online”. Lets be honest, these machines are not for running high-end productivity and gaming applications. However, if you simply need to get online, check your email and get a little processing power, then why not. I am not sure if this would really fly in North America, but with the environment becoming such a hot issue, people are starting to realize that we consume too much. With everyone wanting to be portable and wi-fi slowly becoming available to the masses; a product like this could fill a small gap, for people who cannot afford high-priced laptops and notebooks. Maybe manufacturers like Dell, HP and others will look at the technology and try to develop low-cost products of their own. It definitely would be interesting to see what will happen.

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The G.T.A Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario

Read details from another article about OLPC below.

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Ontario’s dirty little election secret – Canadian citizenship is only based on trust


It may be a surprise to you but in Ontario we do not require voters to prove their Canadian citizenship. Yes, I said it! It is no lie! As clearly stated voters “MUST” be Canadian, whether by birth or by becoming a Canadian citizen. However, what many people do not know is our voters list is based on trust alone. Elections Ontario does not have a process requiring individuals to prove their Canadian citizenship. In essence all a voter needs is ID, with a signature. Now do not tell me this is not true, because as a person who grew up in the Toronto area, I have personal accounts of people who voted, who should not have. What is more of a concern is the flawed voter’s list process. There are instances of people who, while moving or residing in different locations are actually able to voter once, twice and in one case 3 times. What should happen is a requirement for ALL voters to provide photo ID. However, even that type of system would not be perfect. This brings back the debate of a Canadian Photo ID card for all Canadian citizens. However, this is another debate, as I am sure the Libertarians and others who hate government intrusion will indicate that their rights are being violated. So tell me then, what is the fix? Where are the checks and balances?

I actually was at an advanced poll to vote. What was interesting is that I had five different locations I could go to. I do not understand why? I went through an extremely rigorous process to vote though. I gave my driver’s license to the elections officer at the front door. I was “thoroughly” inspected and told to verify my address (thought I was at the airport for a minute or maybe he liked my suit). I was then told to go to the yellow line. A person sitting at the desk beside the yellow tape reviewed my license and then me. Just in case I do not look the same, I guess? Or maybe they had nothing to do. I then went to the front desk and went through the same process again. That good! However, there is a slight problem. Since I had 5 locations to vote at I “assumed” that they would have some fancy computer system that checked to make sure that I did not go to another location. All they had me do was read a statement. Wow, a statement! How many people who read it actually understood it? What are the consequences of voting at another location? Now tell me, if I decided to go to another location, how do they determine which location was the proper vote? How do I invalidate my vote? What if I voted for various parties? Which location is the proper vote or are they all removed? Again, how do they know? How do they do that? The head of Elections Ontario said that the system is based on “trust”. Is that good enough? I was told that at another location, they only needed to see a “bill” with the name and an address on it to vote? Great security! I guess they were too busy to rigorously check out their identity. Is that good enough for you for a fair election in such an advanced country such as Canada? We are a “trust based society” so, no need to lock your doors. Leave your wallets and purses open for everyone to see. No one will do another illegal, trust me! THE VOTING SYSTEM IS SERIOUSLY FLAWED!

As a side issue, for years there have been instances of various parties going to various areas to bus in people to vote. I wonder are all of these votes legitimate? We, in Canada, like to go to other countries to help with the democratic process. If we want to hold up ourselves as the best model then we better start to fix our own system. We have AMEX, Visa and MasterCard’s connected to complex computer systems. We have GPS and can track were you are at any given moment. And “If we can get the caramel in a Caramilk bar then I am sure they can figure out a way to perfect the election process”. Don’t tell me the technology does not exist! I am starting to re-think the MMP referendum. I was in support of it, but we need to “fix” the system. I am not sure what the best system is, for the voting process, but the one we have definitely needs a major overhaul. Do you now understand why the U.S is so concerned about our lax security practices, when we hand out cards like they came from Cracker-jack boxes (loved that snack)? But I digress, that is another subject, isn’t it?

The GTA Patriot
Toronto, Ontario