Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

What’s next for Apple?

Monday, September 7th, 2009

As the next Apple event approaches, I find myself wondering what may be be up Apple’s sleeve. Rumours point to the iPod Touch being upgraded with the same camera and video capabilities as the very successful iPhone 3G. There are also rumours of a camera being added to one or more of the iPod product lines. I think those are great ideas but I have a few more in mind. Here are some of the improvements I would like to see from Apple over the next year or so.

iPod Touch/iPhone:

increase the hard drive space up to 120 GB
add a firewire 800 connection

iPod Touch:
the addition of a microphone and the ability to record sound via an audio in minijack


add SD slot

Macbook Pros:

add SD slot to 17 inch
add ExpressCard/34 slot to 13 & 15 inch models

Cloud Computing

How I understand it is that cloud computing uses the internet as a storage and computing device. In other words software programs are housed/stored on the net and people can access them from any computer and use them for word processing tasks, graphic work, building websites, etc. Then people can either save the works online and/or download them to their personal hard drives.

It would be great to see companies like Apple develop the technology even further. Imagine if iWeb, GarageBand, Logic Studio, Final Cut Studio, etc. were also available on the web through an “Apple Cloud Portal”. Apple could charge a per use, monthly or annual fee to use the software. This would expand their revenue base and give most people who have broadband internet connections direct access to some of the best software products around.

It wouldn’t stop consumers from purchasing the products from certified Apple dealers or Apple stores, if they wanted to, it would just add to the overall number of consumers who use the products and become more familiar with them. Another possible benefit would be the demand for higher connection speeds in North America (where they lag behind many of the Asian and European countries with the USA ranking 28th and Canada ranking 36th). The benefits for higher connection speeds are numerous, including better communication between companies, medical and scientific applications (transmission of data, analysis, diagnostics, less time wasted waiting for transmissions between parties, etc.

Other benefits to people using cloud computing would be the development of smaller computer devices. If all software is on the net, then fewer people will actually need large computers, all they will need is a monitor, a keyboard and a hard drive at home and their iPhone/iPod Touch to store their most recent files. Hmm, it sounds like I’ve just described the iMac minus the software…

So what do you think? Does anyone else see cloud computing as a way to clean up clutter of devices and also expand the business of software companies to people who might be curious about but have never used some more of the higher end products from Apple and other companies?

Time for solar power to take the lead

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

What is the delay with bringing solar power to the average consumer on a massive scale? We have had solar powered calculators and even watches for many years. It seems as though governments who stand to benefit the most from solar power by reduced costs thereby having more money in the budget for healthcare, education and infrastructure investments are doing almost nothing to promote its widespread adoption and usage.

The question is why?

The answer could be infrastructure.

In the case of electricity and oil there are lots of middlemen who receive government money and support from the industry to build and maintain refineries, processing plants, parts companies and all the other aspects of electric and oil companies. Ethanol has received major funding and tax breaks even though it has caused major devastation in the world by using food (corn) to fuel machines, thus causing millions of people to suffer as the price of corn rises while their standard of living decreases. That means millions of families are having a harder time putting food on the table while multi-billion dollar corporations receive money to convert food to fuel.

One of the best ways to save the planet and use the best free, renewable resource that we have available, would be to go solar.

1. Government buildings should be converted to run at least 20% of their needs on solar power.
2. Cars paid for by the government should be hybrids.
3. An incentive such as a rebate or low interest rate loan should be given to all homeowners and builders to make/purchase/renovate homes and make them solar energy friendly.

Some more stories on the issues surrounding ethanol:
Technological Review

More stories on solar energy:
Triangle Business Journal
New Energy
UB Reporter


Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

The world wide web is a big place, full of lots of information about people, places and things but many people still don’t know a lot about Canada. So I thought that I would list and provide some links to some of the interesting people and events in Canada’s history and present. Enjoy.

Musicians / Bands:
Leonard Cohen, Michael Buble, Alexisonfire, The Dears, Jacksoul, Jully Black, Barenaked Ladies, K-OS, Sam Roberts, Nickleback, Nelly Furtado, Diane Krall, Oscar Peterson, Celine Dion, Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir, Avril Levine, Billy Talent, Nathaniel Dett Choir, April Wine,
Guess Who, Bryan Adams, Anne Murray, Simple Plan, Buffy Saint Marie, Luc Plamondon, Alanis Morrisette, Mario Pelchat, Oliver Jones, Paul Anka, Glenn Gould

Performers / Directors / Producers
/ Painters:
William Shatner, Christopher Plumber, Donald Sutherland, Keifer Sutherland, Jay Baruchel, Ellen Page, Gordon Pinset, Sarah Polly, Sandra Oh, Trey Anthony, Ngozi Paul, Jim Carrey, Brent Butt, Atom Egoyan, Norman Jewison, Lorne Michaels, Wayne & Shuster, Al Waxman, Dan Aykroyd, Brent Butt, Mike Myers, Nia Vardalos, La La Human Steps, Robert Bateman, Alex Coleville, Group of Seven

Bombardier, McCain Foods, Power Corporation, Hudson’s Bay, Canadian Pacific Railway, Bank of Montreal, Simons, Eaton’s, Molson Brewing, Seagram Company Ltd, Tim Horton’s, Research In Motion (RIM), AECL (CANDU reactors)

Media / Newspapers:
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation – (CBC), CanWest, Montreal Gazette, Globe and Mail, Le Devoir, National Post, Vancouver Sun, Ottawa Citizen, National Film Board – (NFB), TV show – This Hour Has Seven Days, Alliance Films, CTV, Cinar, Muse Entertainment

Pierre Burton, Margaret Atwood, Farely Mowat, Douglas Coupland, M. G. Vassanji, Robin W. Winks, Marshall McLuhan, Peter C. Newman, Mel Hurtig

John A MacDonald, George Etienne Cartier, Wilfred Laurier, Pierre Trudeau, Lester B. Person, Louis St. Laurent, John Diefenbaker, Robert Borden, Brian Mulroney, Jean Chretien, Jeanne Sauve, Jean Drapeau, Claude Ryan, Agnes MacPhail, Maurice Duplessis, Ralph Klein, Rene Levesque, Robert Bourassa, Tommy Douglas, Charles Tupper, Louis Riel, Lucien Bouchard, Mel Lastman, Brian Tobin, Ed Broadbent, Sheila Copps, Preston Manning, Hedy Fry, Louis-Joseph Papineau, Robert Baldwin, Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine

Personalities / Athletes:
Laura Secord, Roberta Bondar, Jean de Brefeuf, Huron, Private Leo Major, Romeo A. Dallaire, Donovan Bailey, Mark Tewksbury, Don Cherry, Guy Lafleur, Marie-Joseph Angelique, Rick Mercer, Adrianne Clarkson, Terry Fox, Dr. Henry Morgantaler, Dr. Norman Bethune, Samuel de Champlain, RCMP, Gordie Howe, Maurice Richard, Bobby Orr, Darryl Sittler, Chantal Petitclaire, Jacques Plante, Bob Gainey, Rick Hansen, Steve Nash, Ken Dyrden, Wayne Gretzky, Israel Asper, June Callwood, David Suzuki, Michaelle Jean, Jean Beliveau, Ed Mirvish, Edgar Bronfman, Valerie Pringle, Bruno Gerussi, Toller Cranston, Crazy Canucks (Alpine skiers), Patrick Watson, Barbara Frum, Ted Rogers, John Cabot, Jacques Cartier, Sieur de Maisoneuve Paul de Chomedey

Events / History / Canadiana:
The Quiet Revolution, Bill 101, 1970 October Crisis, Oka Crisis, 1837 Rebellion, Canada Arm, Canada-Russia ’72, 1867 Confederation, 1759 Plains of Abraham, Death of Dudley George, Underground Railroad, Expo 67, 1976 & 1988 Olympics, Quebec Referendums 1980 & 1995, Queen Charlotte Islands, Quebec Act 1774, Responsible Government, Chinese Head Tax, Slavery in Canada, Women’s Suffrage Movement


Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Well, well almost two weeks into the Canadian election and the CBC keeps putting down Stephane Dion. It is a daily occurrence where at least 2 or 3 journalists from the national public broadcaster question Liberal leader Stephane Dion’s efforts and repeatedly suggest that people in his party are against him and don’t support his policies. They do not criticize Stephen Harper nearly as much. Maybe they are charmed by Harper’s sweaters.

On the CBC (Newsworld, YourTurn, The Hour), the journalists routinely cutoff callers, commentators and guests who criticize the Conservatives. The Conservatives created a vulgar, nasty web page that actually had a bird defecating on the shoulder of Stephane Dion. I thought it was gross, cowardly and immature. The so-called journalists of the CBC however, spent the most of their time laughing about it. One of them even stated that she thought it was supposed to be good luck.

Imagine if you were applying for a job and your closest rival created a web page that had a bird relieving itself on your shoulder, as a way of suggesting that they were the most responsible person for the job, to the prospective employer. Very sad indeed. In the past, it seems that people slept with their employers or took them out for drinks (Mad Men anyone?). Of course, Stephen Harper (the Conservative Prime Minister whose party created the childish website) stated that he only briefly saw the image!? Stephen Harper is the most controlling Prime Minister in recent memory (his minsters don’t even speak to the media). Yet during an election campaign he wants us to believe that he didn’t know what his campaign team were going to put on the front page of his party’s web site?

Is that Stephen Harper’s idea of leadership?

On the show YourTurn there were various criticisms of the Liberal Party’s plan to add several billions of dollars in spending to help the infrastructure of our Canadian cities, which are sorely in need of help. The CBC commentator did not criticize the Conservatives promises of up to some 20 billion announced over the last 90 days before they called an election nor the 490 billion (yes, Billion) promised to the Canadian Army by the Conservatives over the next 20 years (all you need to do is google “490 billion canadian army”).

This is the link to the main source. Ironically, it is from the CBC who have stopped referring to it.

Another point: Stephen Harper uses the exact same terminology to criticize Stephane Dion that John McCain uses to criticize Obama. They both claim that their opponents will raise taxes and are not fit to be leaders. They both have stated that the fundamentals of our economy are strong while thousands of people are losing their jobs and life savings. At times, it seems as though Stephen Harper is being coached by someone…

When a MP makes jokes about Canadians dying because the Conservatives have actually reduced the role of the food inspectors giving corporations more control over the reports that are written, the CBC defends the Conservatives. Stephen Harper said that the phone call was private and the CBC journalist simply echoed Harper in his commentary.

Conservative MP Ritz was not speaking on the phone to his family, he was on a conference call to other leaders in the industry to deal with the crisis that was killing Canadians because the meats they bought from Maple Leaf foods were contaminated. Mr. Ritz’s response was to make a joke about it. Stephen Harper’s response was to complain that a private call was leaked… The call should have been leaked sooner. Canadians need to know how the Conservatives deal with a crisis. Now we know. Tasteless jokes and inaction. I wonder if the CBC journalists would have defended the comments, if one of their family members had died.

Last week, the Conservatives announced a 50% cut in the taxes for diesel fuel (most of the users of diesel fuel are corporations). Stephen Harper’s rational is that these corporations will pass the savings along to consumers, the same way oil companies and banks have modified their prices after their multi-billion record profits. In fact both gas prices and bank fees have gone up, gouging customers.

There is also the sad silence on Afghanistan. Stephen Harper apparently has a crystal ball and knows the Afghanistan will be pacified and stable by 2011. That must be the reason why he stated that Canada will withdraw its troops in that year. What if Afghanistan remains unstable or worsens? If Harper is Prime Minister, what will happen to his promise? Do we really want to find out? And why isn’t the CBC challenging him? Very, very strange…

There is a perplexing silence from Canada’s national broadcaster. They seem to be willfully hiding the facts and are reluctant to question the Conservative government on their record of cuts to social groups, attacks on homosexuals and tax cuts to corporations.

There has been no media coverage regarding the forcing of ethanol onto the market which drives up the cost of food. The cuts to arts groups which employ thousands of Canadians and the introducing legislature to censure Canadian art in one of the most tolerant countries in the world has also received very little press. If the media doesn’t take their job seriously and question the policies of the government, then we Canadians are the poorer for it.

It’s a shame that the CBC is too busy laughing. Canadians could really use some accurate information to understand how serious this election really is. By the way, Question Period on CTV isn’t any better.

What do you think? Have you noticed any bias in the media during this election? Does anyone really think that an MP should be making jokes about Canadians dying on their watch and still keep their job? How would you feel if it was your relative that died?

Hello everyone!

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

Well, it’s almost a go! I am getting closer to understanding what I am a-doin’ ;) . Stay tuned, it is going to be a lot of fun!