Saturday, 20 September 2014

Windows Phone vs Windows

What I find interesting is that my now unsupported Windows Phone 7 is still a pretty solid operating experience far greater than my operating experience on a Windows 8.1 laptop, a laptop that was designed particularly for Windows 8 (the lonovo yoga).

 

It also appears (seeing that I follow tech blogs closely) that Windows Phone is continuing the path of great design, strong principles, and positive experience while making the operating system do more. While Windows 8 seems to be handicapping it’s capabilities trying to implement a bastardized version of Metro/Modern/RT or whatever they call it, and continuing that tradition of clusterf**k with Windows 9.

 

So. In being fed up. I shall present to you my list of what Microsoft needs to do to make Windows as good as Windows Phone:

  1. Call it something. Give it a real friggen name. The public loved the term “Metro” until you knee capped it to avoid some sort of trade mark owned by nobody anyone cares about.
  2. Stop making a “Metro/Modern/RT” start menu. Just because it’s where you start, it doesn’t mean it’s a “Start Menu”. This interface should be a desktop replacement on PC. All out, instead of icons scattered on a desktop have instead tiles positioned on a start screen. Put traditional “tiles/icons” like “My Computer” and “Recycle Bin” just to make a point – and yes – have them function like their icon predecessors did. Drag, drop, and everything.
  3. BRING BACK DRAG AND DROP in RT/Metro/Modern. The biggest reason for seeing multiple programs in one view is to do things across programs. We should have more capabilities between applications, not less.
  4. Horizontal scroll with the start screen should be optional. Vertical scroll if any at all… or just no scroll at all. The PC is too precision for there to be a need for scroll… There is more of a need for different zoom levels because of the resolutions, and if there is more desktop space needed aka start screen space. you can create a smart well designed version of multiple desktops then.
  5. Make Win32 programs modern and change the whole chrome of every window to be the exact same throughout: i’m talking, vertical snap, horizontal snap, and remember what size that window was opened too/snapped to. Opening up the calculator that was snapped thinly on the right, should by default open up thinly to the right when i open it up again. I hate resorting my windows/frames/whatever they are now called just to use a simple utility.
  6. Task Bar/Alt-Tab/Win-Tab menus… should be the same thing, and by that i mean, should just be the Task Bar. Just accept it. People want it always visible, and always accessible. Features like pinning links to it is also nice.
  7. Task bar should be visible when you drag up from the bottom (if you make it auto-hide). unless they put the task bar on the right, then it should be accessible from the right, ect…
  8. Here is an idea, if i drag from the task bar all the way across the screen (to the side opposite) show the desktop. And by desktop, i mean start screen.
  9. Closing an app should occur if i drag any window towards the taskbar, or minimize, or whatever you do when you close an app. (Apps in Windows 8 don’t really close, apparently)
  10. Switching apps should use the taskbar. Why did they make this rocket science? See my earlier point… Having 3 interfaces that do the same thing is ridiculous.
  11. Long press AND swipe from the right (by default the right side, unless the user puts the taskbar there) should be the context menu, and the context menu should show along side the selected context (or at least highlight what is selected, or blur out what isn’t selected). … I understand the purpose of using the bezel of a screen for functionality, as putting your hands in your view is not practical, but, if you need to touch the screen to select the content you need that context menu for… then… two different gestures (touch to select, then swipe in) doesn’t make sense.
  12. Bring back a start menu. But make it a list, literally a list. Just a list. A simple list. with universal search automatically selected when you hit it… And if the user types anything the list filters according to the search, and perhaps, the open app results show up in that list too.. because, who knows, context searches come in handy as well..
  13. Allow people to turn off the touch keyboard, or just have it peek out a bit when it could be needed. It’s annoying to lose so much screen real-estate every time i accidently touch a text area. using touch and a physical keyboard is so friggen annoying. I want to punch a small child every time it appears (and i’m not interested in shutting down the service – because i do from time to time go into tablet mode – which is nice)
  14. Make notifications make sense. It appears they got it right with Windows Phone 8.1… Why does the operating system that makes no money for Microsoft get better and more thought out dev?
  15. What the hell is wrong with the SHARE FLY OVER?! It’s like a full featured app that if you accidently touch out of, you lose all the content you were preparing…. no…. not cool….
  16. Make the people app work please. Windows Phone did a good job of creating a personal news feed of all social elements of your life, using this to find contacts, and other little goodies… but on Windows. Just fail. It actually is frustrating using it as a “contact” selector because of it’s insane failure to be useful and to connect to social services in a meaningful way.

So there you have it. A proper list of what Microsoft needs to do to make Windows more like Windows Phone in terms of experience… and, if you disagree with me: you are wrong.

 

/Regards

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Wouldn’t the York Region Police be more effective if they prevented crime rather than speeding?

david-odesho

This dude (David Odesho, 24) of Toronto, went murder crazy around the corner where I work yesterday. I don’t know what his problem is, but, get out of my town plz.

 

Let’s start with a quote from the York Regional Police Business Plan:

“We will ensure our citizens feel safe and secure through excellence in policing”

I find they are using an interesting Policing strategy: Give out enough speeding tickets and eventually they might potentially stop a murder. After seeing someone pulled over today for going 20 over on hwy 7, you are telling me that seeing this makes us feel safer than if that same officer stopped to have a coffee at one (of many) of these little mafia style hangout-coffee shops?

 

I refer to this particular incident:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/suspect-in-vaughan-targeted-killing-sought-by-police-1.2668382

 

The incident happened at a coffee shop is around the corner from my office – and – with each of it’s previous owners I was comfortable going in there and buying Jerk Chicken, or Indian Food, or a Coffee (business’ were not doing well at this location, low traffic). But, when this tenant came in the clientele that were notably questionable (not questionable enough for me to “call the cops” per say) but certainly would have been worth while if the police officers that attended the Tim Hortons (literally three buildings down the road) paid them a visit, you know, welcome them to the neighborhood – find out what their business is. The only police presence in the neighborhood though is in the form of a 3 officer police trap at Woodstream and Highway 7 where cars tend to go fast downhill going to the intersection, and are easily caught speeding.

Don’t get me wrong, speeding is bad and all… but… seeing that a month ago in our area another person was MURDERED AT ANOTHER COFFEE SHOP. The priorities of the police force should have shifted just a bit to put presence somewhere in the community. I mean Brazil, in dangerous areas they typically assign three police officers to just stand outside in public to remind people they are there if shit goes down. Now, that might seem ridiculous in comparison of crime rates of the respective countries – but – I rather have a police officer be available for my protection rather than my potential punishment in something as trivial as driving a little bit faster than a speed limit.


It’s quite notable that the York Region Police are separated from our community (being well paid beyond the average citizen) and don’t even bother integrating and interacting with the community except after a crime is goes down… you know… ask questions, “who are you? what did you see? oh a grey car you say?”


I feel that I have done more in terms of “Crime Prevention” by offering a helping hand to other citizens over the years than any single police officer… But then again, I’m speaking from my own perspective of having 3 murders occur blocks from me in the last couple of months - I don’t know how safe and secure I feel when all I see is the “excellent policing” consist of just following up on crimes and preventing speeding.


I really hope our police chief presents a call of action with ACTUAL and REASONABLE crime prevention rather than cry, ‘See Murder means we need more money!’ forcing me to watch my speedometer more intently and cower in suspicious fear every time I walk around in my neighborhood.


/Rant

 

 

 

Sources:

  1. York Region Police Business Plan
  2. CBC News
  3. Wikipedia article about law enforcement

Sunday, 1 June 2014

How to get elected

It is very important to reach out and see what your local representative is doing, to see where their party stands, and to understand what your vote means to you and your community.

 

I personally lean just left of centre on the political spectrum, however, the province has been notoriously slow at paying their dues in getting a hospital project started (it’s seriously 10 years overdue) and of all the potential issues – this one is make or break for me.

 

Now with the beauty of Twitter you can reach out and straight up mention said issue directly to your regional candidates, and if their representative is on the ball (or his PR team is) you may actually get a response:

 

 

This is much more response than I’m traditionally used to during an MPs campaign, and I rather this than a “virtual town hall” done over the phone, which becomes increasingly annoying when those go down.

 

With this response, I’m certain I will give him my vote, and he may have bought himself 4 more years on the job and a steady income in that time… BUT…. I will be certain to hold him accountable to the building of this hospital in 2014 now, and if by January 2015 there is no shovel in the ground… there would have to be some sort of miracle for him (and his party) to keep my vote.


I would strongly urge people to do the same. Elections are only valuable if you participate in them – so make yourself heard!

 

Sincerely,

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Add “Rich Text File” to the New Menu in Windows Explorer with One Click!

I don’t remember the last time I made a batch script, but, seeing that I literally require every one of my Windows machines to have “Rich Text Files” in the new menu… I was going crazy hitting up Google just for these instructions (which vary site to site)

 

The problem with those instructions is that there is a hell-of-a-lot of steps, and they get technical, and, if you forget one (or Google's the wrong set of instructions) you will not get what you want… which is this: Screenshot 2014-05-29 21.09.31 (2)

Rather than re-iterate those instructions, I compiled all those steps into one handy Batch File (a shell script) that allows you to have Rich Text Format show up in the New Menu!

All you need to do is download the following batch file, and run it (it will ask for Administrative Privileges for obvious reasons)

 

Download it here: Add RTF to New Menu.bat (Right click and Save As!)

 

Feel free to open it up in a text editor to see how it works! Modify it to make your own New menu additions!

 

And credit is due to all my sources:

  1. http://www.mockbox.net/windows-7/366-windows-7-and-word-2010-add-rtf-rich-text-document-to-new-context-menu
  2. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/5181212/windows-in-batch-file-write-multiple-lines-to-text-file
  3. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1894967/how-to-request-administrator-access-inside-a-batch-file
  4. http://stackoverflow.com/questions/4041998/how-to-create-registry-key-using-a-batfile

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Windows 7 Software > Windows 8 Apps

Windows 8 Pet Peeves #001

Windows 8 Modern Apps are significantly less functional than Windows 7 Desktop software, particularly the free stuff that comes packaged or recommended with the O/S. Seeing that I use much of this software on the regular, the frustration that comes with the modern apps on Windows 8 really drives me cray.

 

Here is a brief list of just some of programs which were better on Windows 7:

  1. Windows Live Mail > Windows 8 Mail App
  2. Windows Live Photo Gallery > Photos App
  3. Windows Default Picture Viewer > Photos App
  4. Explorer in Thumbnail View > Photos App
  5. Internet Explorer Desktop > Photos App (you can see i despise the photo’s app)
  6. Office > nothing on Modern… maybe I should get an iPad
  7. VLC > VLC Modern
  8. Windows Media Player > Video app
  9. Notepad > Any RT Text editor (this is pretty sad)
  10. Application Hangs > The app just closes mysteriously
  11. Window resizing > App placement left-right -- how do i get this video on the top right corner always on top?
  12. Windows Live Writer > nothing
  13. Zune > XBox Music (this is a close call… XBox music gets significantly better with each update)
  14. Visual Studio > nothing
  15. Windows File Explorer > nothing or FileBrick (File Brick does do a good job for making up for the failure for Modern/RT/Metro to manage files)
  16. OneSkyDrive desktop > OneSkyDrive Modern

There are however a few Modern apps which are clearly better than the old desktop equivalents. And depending on how you like using your computer…

  1. Solitaire, Minesweeper, small games are better on the Modern interface
  2. Search and the Bing suite of apps are better on the Modern interface… Sure beats the desktop offerings, and it does a great job with search. A great alternative to the advertising heavy Google trying to take all the moneys

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Harper’s Death Rattle

altAnuXF070e8xTBcNhsh5Qo-dlyk2yNMcPJpEcAyY5KvVdIt’s hard not to note Justin Trudeau in your news feed: Be it social media or traditional media. Be it critical or supportive, when does the leader of a minority party – that isn’t even the official opposition – draw so much attention. Is it his stature? his celebrity? his ego!?  

 

Our current Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the other hand certainly has stature, or at least, the ego of a Prime Minister. He also provided Canadians with a strong alternative to the policy brought forth during the Chretien era meanwhile avoiding completely sinking the economy of our nation through the international economic slow-down/recession brought forth by poor policy in the United States and England.

That being a pretty solid resume as a Prime Minister, yet we still get these ads on TV:


First, let me repeat something, Justin Trudeau is not the leader of the opposition. This guy is:

450px-Thomas_Mulcair,_Lac_des_Castors,_juin_2012
As the Leader of the Opposition, this guy is not too shabby, he presents well and really dictates the point of the NDP quite clearly providing strong opposition to the policies Harper government implements. Except: What is his name? It’s not Jack Layton, Jack was an honourable stand up guy… his name… Google says it’s, oh yea, Thomas Muclair.

I earnestly hope that Thomas Muclair retains his status of Official opposition – he bring forth value to discussion of policy, which is the essential purpose of the house of commons: to discuss and debate laws before they become policy. However… Even that political interest has diminished under the authority of Harper. Particularly with the omnibus budget bills that have nothing to do with the budget.



Even though it was Trudeau’s father who introduced Canada to Omnibus bills, in an action to that would eventually lay the legal ground work for legalizing divorce, abortion and gay marriage. It was Harper who took a stand against the Liberal practice of the undemocratic nature of passing large omnibus bills without due process, then, when coming into power took a Napoleonic turn for the worst and completely ignored his own position for the sake of, as Rick Mercer puts it, “Advancing the Right” and utilized the budget in an omnibus bill of cut backs without any justifiable point of public discussion.

Justin Trudeau right from the onset of claiming his post as Leader of the Liberal party of Canada, has made it clear that he is not his father, and that his intention is to include discussion from all elect. Pretty smart move, especially when the fear is his inexperience best countered with a collective experience of all elect in a concept called, democracy. Who would have thought that it would be the left that would propose such a wild concept into governance?

While the conservatives may be subversively focusing on Justin Trudeau’s experience with their attack ads, and simultaneously boasting about how they finally balanced the budget… no wait… will balance the budget in 2015… a feat not done since the Liberal’s were in power 8 years ago. They forget to outline, what they had to do in order to manage potentially reaching this balanced budget.

And therefore, I now bring you the omnibus list of government programs shut down without discussion by the experienced Harper Government:

Warning the following lists are huge… Toronto Star made a cool interactive that makes Harper’s destruction easy and fun to browse: http://misc.thestar.com/interactivegraphic/cutbycanada.html


For the long forms of all the cuts, I found the following:

    • Aboriginal Healing Foundation
    • Action travail des femmes
    • Afghan Association of Ontario, Canada Toronto
    • Alberta Network of Immigrant Women
    • Alternatives (Quebec)
    • Association féminine d'éducation et d'action sociale (AFEAS)
    • Bloor Information and Life Skills Centre
    • Brampton Neighbourhood Services (Ontario)
    • Canadian Arab Federation
    • Canadian Child Care Federation
    • Canadian Council for International Co-operation
    • Canadian Council on Learning
    • Canadian Council on Social Development
    • Canadian Heritage Centre for Research and Information on Canada
    • Canadian Human Rights Commission
    • Canadian International Development Agency, Office of Democratic Governance
    • Canadian Labour Business Centre
    • Canada Policy Research Networks
    • Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women
    • Canada School of Public Service
    • Canadian Teachers' Federation International program
    • Canadian Volunteerism Initiative
    • Centre de documentation sur l'éducation des adultes et la condition feminine
    • Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)
    • Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples (Toronto)
    • Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada
    • Childcare Resource and Research Unit, SpeciaLink
    • Climate Action Network
    • Community Access Program
    • Community Action Resource Centre (CARC)
    • Conseil d'intervention pour l'accès des femmes au travail  (CIAFT)
    • Court Challenges Program (except language rights cases and legacy cases)
    • Court Commission of Canada
    • Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Centre Toronto: (Funding cut by CIC in December 2010).
    • Democracy Council
    • Department of Foreign Affairs, Democracy Unit
    • Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women Toronto
    • Eritrean Canadian Community Centre of Metropolitan Toronto
    • Ethiopian Association in the Greater Toronto Area and Surrounding Regions
    • Feminists for Just and Equitable Public Policy (FemJEPP) in Nova Scotia
    • First Nations Child and Family Caring Society
    • First Nations and Inuit Tobacco Control Program
    • Forum of Federations
    • Global Environmental Monitoring System
    • HRD Adult Learning and Literacy programs
    • HRD Youth Employment Programs
    • Hamilton's Settlement and Integration Services Organization  (Ontario)
    • Immigrant settlement programs
    • Inter-Cultural Neighbourhood Social Services (Peel)
    • International Planned Parenthood Federation
    • KAIROS
    • Law Commission of Canada
    • Mada Al-Carmel Arab Centre
    • Marie Stopes International, a maternal health agency
    • MATCH International
    • National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL)
    • Native Women's Association of Canada
    • New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity
    • Northwood Neighbourhood Services (Toronto: (Funding cut by CIC in December 2010).
    • Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH)
    • Ontario Association of Transitional Housing (OAITH)
    • Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care
    • Ottawa Chinese Community Services Centre
    • Pride Toronto
    • Réseau des Tables régionales de groupes de femmes du Québec
    • Riverdale Women's Centre in Toronto
    • Royal Canadian Mounted Police External Review Committee
    • Sierra Club of BC
    • Sisters in Spirit
    • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
    • South Asian Women's Centre
    • Statistics Canada long-form census
    • Status of Women
    • Tropicana Community Services
    • Womanspace Resource Centre (Lethbridge, Alberta)
    • Women's Innovative Justice Initiative - Nova Scotia
    • Women's Legal Action and Education Fund
    • Workplace Equity/Employment Equity Program
    • York South-Weston Community Services Centre Toronto
Here is another set of Lists I found (There may be some overlap… it’s hard to cross reference everything ‘The Harper Government’ destroyed)

1. Canada Firearms Program (Chief Supt. Marty Cheliak, Director General)
2. Canadian Wheat Board (Adran Measner, President and CEO)
3. Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (Linda Keen, chair)
4. Foreign Affairs (Richard Colvin, diplomat)
5. Military Police Complaints Commission (head, Peter Tinsley)
6. Ombudsman for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces (Yves Coté)
7. Parliamentary Budget Officer (Kevin Page) (funding cut)
8. RCMP Police Complaints Commission (Paul Kennedy, chair)
9. Rights & Democracy (International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development – Rémy Beauregard, President)*
10. Statistics Canada (Munir Sheikh, Deputy Minister)
11. Veterans Ombudsman (Col. Pat Stogran)
12. Victims of Crime, Ombudsman (Steve Sullivan)
Community organizations, NGOs and research bodies reported to have been cut or defunded
1. Action travail des femmes
2. Afghan Association of Ontario, Canada Toronto
3. Alberta Network of Immigrant Women
4. Alternatives (Quebec)
5. Association féminine d’éducation et d’action sociale (AFEAS)
6. Bloor Information and Life Skills Centre
7. Brampton Neighbourhood Services (Ontario)
8. Canadian Arab Federation
9. Canadian Child Care Federation
10. Canadian Council for International Cooperation
11. Canadian Council on Learning
12. Canadian Council on Social Development
13. Canadian Heritage Centre for Research and Information on Canada
14. Canadian International Development Agency, Office of Democratic Governance
15. Canadian Labour Business Centre
16. Canada Policy Research Networks
17. Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women
18. Canada School of Public Service
19. Canadian Teachers’ Federation International program
20. Canadian Volunteerism Initiative
21. Centre de documentation sur l’éducation des adultes et la condition feminine
22. Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)
23. Centre for Spanish Speaking Peoples (Toronto)
24. Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada
25. Childcare Resource and Research Unit, Specialink
26. Climate Action Network
27. Community Access Program, internet access for communities at libraries, post offices, community centres
28. Community Action Resource Centre (CARC)
29. Conseil d’intervention pour l’accès des femmes au travail (CIAFT)
30. Court Challenges Program (except language rights cases and legacy cases)
31. Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood Centre Toronto: (Funding cut by CIC in Dec/2010).
32. Democracy Council
33. Department of Foreign Affairs, Democracy Unit
34. Elspeth Heyworth Centre for Women Toronto: (Funding cut by CIC in Dec/2010).
35. Environment: Youth International Internship Program
36. Eritrean Canadian Community Centre of Toronto (Funding cut by CIC in Dec/2010)
37. Feminists for Just and Equitable Public Policy (FemJEPP) in Nova Scotia
38. First Nations Child and Family Caring Society
39. First Nations and Inuit Tobacco Control Program
40. Forum of Federations
41. Global Environmental Monitoring System
42. HRD Adult Learning and Literacy programs
43. HRD Youth Employment Programs
44. Hamilton’s Settlement and Integration Services Organization (Ontario)
45. Immigrant settlement programs
46. Inter-Cultural Neighbourhood Social Services (Peel)
47. International Planned Parenthood Federation
48. Kairos
49. Law Reform Commission of Canada
50. Mada Al-Carmel Arab Centre
51. Marie Stopes International, a maternal health agency – has received only a promise of “conditional” funding if it avoids any and all connection with abortion.
52. MATCH International
53. National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL)
54. Native Women’s Association of Canada
55. New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity
56. Northwood Neighbourhood Services (Toronto: (Funding cut by CIC in December 2010).
57. Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH)
58. Ontario Association of Transitional Housing (OAITH)
59. Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care
60. Pride Toronto
61. Réseau des Tables régionales de groupes de femmes du Québec
62. Riverdale Women’s Centre in Toronto
63. Sierra Club of BC
64. Sisters in Spirit
65. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
66. South Asian Women’s Centre
67. Status of Women (mandate also changed to exclude “gender equality and political justice” and to ban all advocacy, policy research and lobbying)
68. Tropicana Community Services
69. Womanspace Resource Centre (Lethbridge, Alberta)
70. Women’s Innovative Justice Initiative – Nova Scotia
71. Workplace Equity/Employment Equity Program
72. York-Weston Community Services Centre Toronto

I’m not done… Probably the best research has been “The Fifth Estate” who do outstanding journalistic research (again, there might be some overlap, but at least this last list would be hardest to debate)

  1. Environmental Emergency Response Program
  2. Urban Wastewater Program
  3. Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences
  4. Smokestacks Emissions Monitoring Team
  5. Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission
  6. National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy
  7. Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, Winnipeg Office
  8. Municipal Water and Wastewater Survey
  9. Environmental Protection Operations
  10. Compliance Promotion Program
  11. Action Plan on Clean Water
  12. Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL) (PEARL lost its $1.5 million annual budget when the government stopped funding the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Science (CFCAS) . In May 2013, the federal government announced the facility would get a $ 1 million a year grant for the next five years. But according to Professor Tom Duck, of Dalhousie University, with the loss of CFCAS, atmospheric and climate research will be funded at less than 70 per cent of the level it was funded at in 2006.)
  13. Sustainable Water Management Division
  14. Environmental Effects Monitoring Program
  15. Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan
  16. Chemicals Management Plan
  17. Canadian Centre for Inland Waters
  18. Clean Air Agenda
  19. Air Quality Health Index
  20. Species at Risk Program
  21. Weather and Environmental Services
  22. Substance and Waste Management
  23. Ocean Contaminants & Marine Toxicology Program
  24. Experimental Lakes Area (Under the Bill-38 the ELA was shut down. As of January 2014, the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the Ontario government are working out an agreement with the federal government to take over the facility.)
  25. DFO Marine Science Libraries
  26. Centre for Offshore Oil & Gas Energy Research
  27. Kitsilano Coast Guard Station
  28. St. Johns Marine Traffic Centre
  29. St. Anthony’s Marine Traffic Centre
  30. Conservation and Protection Office
  31. Conservation and Protection Office (L’anse au Loup, NL)
  32. Conservation and Protection Office (Trepassey, NL)
  33. Conservation and Protection Office (Rigolet, NL)
  34. Conservation and Protection Office (Burgeo, NL)
  35. Conservation and Protection Office (Arnold’s Cove, NL)
  36. Conservation and Protection Office (Baddeck, NS)
  37. Conservation and Protection Office (Canso, NS)
  38. Conservation and Protection Office (Sheet Harbour, NS)
  39. Conservation and Protection Office (Woodstock, NB)
  40. Conservation and Protection Office (Port Hood, NS)
  41. Conservation and Protection Office (Wallace, NS)
  42. Conservation and Protection Office (Kedgwick, NB)
  43. Conservation and Protection Office (Montague, PEI)
  44. Conservation and Protection Office (Inuvik, NT)
  45. Conservation and Protection Office (Rankin Inlet, NU)
  46. Conservation and Protection Office (Clearwater, BC)
  47. Conservation and Protection Office (Comox, BC)
  48. Conservation and Protection Office (Hazelton, BC)
  49. Conservation and Protection Office (Quesnel, BC)
  50. Conservation and Protection Office (Pender Harbour, BC)
  51. Atlantic Lobster Sustainability Measures Program
  52. Species-at-Risk Program
  53. Habitat Management Program
  54. DFO Institute of Ocean Sciences (Sidney, BC)
  55. Freshwater Institute - Winnipeg
  56. Oil Spill Counter-Measures Team
  57. Maurice-Lamontagne Institute’s French language library
  58. Canadian Coast Guard Management
  59. Water Pollution Research Lab (Sidney, BC)
  60. Water Pollution Research Lab (Winnipeg, MB)
  61. Water Pollution Research Lab (Burlington, ON)
  62. Water Pollution Research Lab (Mont-Joli, QC)
  63. Water Pollution Research Lab (Moncton, NB)
  64. Water Pollution Research Lab (Dartmouth, NS)
  65. St. Andrew Biological Station
  66. Canadian Scientific Submersible Facility
  67. Ice Information Partnership
  68. Motor Vehicle Fleet
  69. Inshore Rescue Boat Program
  70. Species at Risk Atlantic Salmon Production Facilities
  71. Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization
  72. At-Sean Observer Programs
  73. Financial Management Services
  74. Pacific Forestry Centre, Satellite Office (Prince George, BC)
  75. Canadian Centre for Remote Sensing
  76. Pulp and Paper Green Transformation Program
  77. Isotopes Supply Initiative
  78. Clean Energy Fund
  79. Sustainable Development Technology Canada – Next Generation Biofuels Fund
  80. Program of Energy Research and Development
  81. Pacific Forestry Centre
  82. Astronomy Interpretation Centre – Centre of the Universe
  83. MRI research, Institute Biodiagnostics
  84. Polar Continental Shelf Progam
  85. Canadian Neutron Beam Centre
  86. Aquatic Ecotoxicology, Aquatic and Crop Resource Development
  87. Molecular Biochemistry Laboratory, Aquatic and Crop Resource Development
  88. Plant Metabolism Research, Aquatic and Crop Resource Development
  89. Human Health Therapeutics research program
  90. Automotive and Surface Transportation program
  91. Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research
  92. Environmental Risks to Health program
  93. Substance Use and Abuse program
  94. First Nations and Inuit Primary Health Care program
  95. Health Infrastructure Support for First Nations and Inuit program
  96. Interim Federal Health Program
  97. Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration
  98. Environmental Knowledge, Technology, Information, and Measurement program
  99. Science, Innovation and Adoption program
  100. Rural and Co-operatives Development program
  101. Farm Debt Mediation Service
  102. Centre for Plant Health (Sidney, BC)
  103. National Aboriginal Health Organization
  104. First Nations Statistical Institute
  105. Cultural Connections for Aboriginal Youth
  106. First Nations and Inuit Health
  107. Fertilizer Pre-Market Efficacy Assessment program
  108. Enforcement of Product of Canada label
  109. RADARSAT Constellation Mission
  110. Whapmagoostui-Kuujjuarapik Research station
  111. Kluane Lake Research Station
  112. Bamfield Marine Science Centre
  113. Microfungal Collection and Herborium
  114. Biogeoscience Institute
  115. Coriolis II research Vessel
  116. OIE Laboratory for Infectious Salmon Anaemia
  117. Canadian Phycological Culture Centre
  118. Brockhouse Institute
  119. Polaris Portable Observatories for Lithospheric Analysis and Research
  120. Mount Megantic Observatory
  121. Smoke Stacks Emissions Monitoring Team
  122. National Roundtable on the Environment and Economy
  123. Environmental Protections Operations Compliant Promotion Program,
  124. Sustainable Water Management Division,
  125. Environmental Effects Monitoring program,
  126. Fresh Water Institute
  127. Canadian Centre for Inlands Waters (Burlington)
  128. World Ozone and Ultraviolet Radiation Data Centre
  129. Environmental Emergencies Program
  130. Parks Canada
  131. Montreal Biosphere
  132. Statistics Canada
  133. Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences
  134. Laboratory for the Analysis of Natural and Synthetic Environmental Toxicants
  135. National Ultrahigh-field NMR Facility for Solids
  136. IsoTrace AMS Facility
  137. Canadian Phycological Culture Centre
  138. Canadian Resource Centre for Zebrafish Genetics
  139. Neuroendocrinology Assay Laboratory at the University of Western Ontario
  140. Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding
  141. Portable Observatories for Lithospheric Analysis and Research Investigating (POLARIS) (Ontario)
  142. Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics
  143. Brockhouse Institute for Materials Research
  144. St. John’s Centrifuge Modelling Facility
  145. Quebec/Eastern Canada high field NMR facility
  146. Félix d’Hérelle Reference Center for Bacterial Viruses
  147. Canadian Neutron Beam Laboratory
  148. The Compute/Calcul Canada
  149. Center for Innovative Geochronology
  150. Biogeoscience Institute
  151. Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences
  152. Pacific Northwest Consortium Synchrotron Radiation Facility
  153. Centre for Molecular and Materials Science at TRIUMF
  154. Pacific Centre for Isotopic and Geochemical Research
  155. Canadian Cosmogenic Nuclide Exposure Dating Facility
  156. Atlantic Regional Facilities for Materials Characterization
  157. The Canadian SuperDARN/PolarDARN facility
That last list shows how the Conservatives basically murdered Government funded scientific programs. Which, ughh… I thought were in the benefit to Canadians as a whole.

Which brings me to my last concern:

If Stephen Harper’s experienced governance brought us unreasonable cuts without public debate/discussion and still managed to increase the debt to new records never before experienced by any Canadian; How can Canadians permit him to continue to lead this nation? Call me sentimental, but I like the governance of old when we had more social programs with broader standards and a surplus to boot. That’s called good management, not just good politics.

We as Canadians gave Harper 8 long years, posting these attack ads is treating Canadian voters as if they were dumb and trust me Canadians just aren’t as stupid as Harper thinks. We’re just glad you are informing us who the real opposition is, and who will properly end your reign as prime minister,

/Sincerely

Alex Casamassima


REFERENCES
1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtcX4aC5keI
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leader_of_the_Official_Opposition_%28Canada%29
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Democratic_Party_%28Canada%29
4. http://www.ndp.ca/monsterbills
5. http://www.cbc.ca/archives/categories/politics/rights-freedoms/trudeaus-omnibus-bill-challenging-canadian-taboos/a-new-era-in-canada.html
6. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/liberals-use-harpers-past-attack-on-omnibus-bills-against-him/article4614987/
7. http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/05/03/john-ivison-how-stephen-harper-learned-to-love-omnibus-bills/
8. http://www.vancouverobserver.com/blogs/politicaljunkie/rick-mercer-takes-harper-governments-next-omnibus-bill
9. http://www.thecanadaguide.com/political-parties
10. http://petition.liberal.ca/harper-conservatives-omnibus-bills/
11. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/03/14/trudeau-attack-ads-2014-online_n_4965474.html
12. http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=782889
11. http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/list-harper-government-cutsactions
12. http://rewindthecuts.ca/
13. http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/blog/federal-programs-and-research-facilities-that-have-been-shut-down-or-had-th
14.http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2013/12/09/interactive_graphic_stephen_harper_governments_cutbacks.html
15. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/sean-casey/harper-debt-economy_b_3976972.html
16. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_Minister_of_Canada
17. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/05/08/trudeau-attack-ads-liberals-conservatives-poll_n_3237888.html
18. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prime_Minister_of_Canada

Sunday, 9 March 2014

CNET’s “Technically Incompetent”

facepalm-captain-picard 

In a recent post on CNET, Chris Matyszczyk argues that IPhone’s battery wastes faster then that of BlackBerry because they Iphone has more apps.

 

His article takes a critical lash at some remarks the CEO of BlackBerry, John Chen, who recently referred to iPhone users as “Wall Huggers” for their consistent need to find an outlet to charge their phones. Chris doesn’t deny this of course, probably from first hand experience, but what I find so amusing is that Chris points out that he has no idea what he is doing in the field of Tech Reporting as he says “There are so many darned apps in iOS that the weak and the superficial are tempted to download them by the thousand and watch them suck the life out of their phones” 

 

xVyoSlAs a technology reporter, it’s important to understand how technology work, or at least, consult someone who knows how technology works. Even… if it’s bluntly easy to comprehend technology like: batteries.

 

With that, let me explain how batteries work:

1) They have power

2) As you use something with power, the batteries run out.

 

So to make a statement like, “Apple makes it worse by making its devices so easy to maneuver.” shows little ineptitude in comparing battery technology, as well as, little ineptitude at “maneuvering” technology. I mean, I haven’t used the blackberry 10 operating system personally, but, I'm certain there is no difficulty to the ‘Swipe Up’ gesture required to navigate it.

 

So, here’s some real food for thought.

Rechargeable batteries are measured in milliamp hours (mAh)

Milliamp hours describes the life of a battery in how much electrical charge it can deliver. Bigger the number, the better the battery. Some companies (Apple) put cheaper batteries in their phones to shorten the life expectancy of their phone as well as better their profits.

 

BlackBerry Z30 - Battery

2800mAh

Samsung S4 - Battery

2600mAh

BlackBerry Q10 - Battery

2100mAh

Nokia Lumia 1020 - Battery

2000mAh

BlackBerry Z10 - Battery

1800mAh

iPhone 5S - Battery

1570mAh

iPhone 5 – Battery

1400mAh

 

So… yea… BlackBerry’s come with physically better batteries. Each “BlackBerry 10” model is on par with other flagship phones in the market, and decimate the iPhone’s battery capacity nearly 2:1.

iPhones don’t have more apps than BlackBerry 10 phones

Blackberry 10 phones run Android apps – a tech blogger should know this. If he can’t side load an apk to his bb10 phone (or even knows what that means) THEN WHY IS HE TECH BLOGGING?

 

What’s report worthy is that BlackBerry 10 phones, with the latest 10.2.1 update, can install android applications (also known as APK files) into the phone from the phone, rather than having to side load it from the computer in an unusual and complicated process. This opens up BlackBerry 10 phones to the wonderful world of Android apps in a very accessible manner.

 

However, I’m certain that anyone with a BlackBerry 10 phone may have noticed that the native BlackBerry store has apps that cover almost everything you could do with other phones.

More you use a phone, faster the battery wastes

This is true. And those who tend to stick to the BlackBerry brand intend to use their phone particularly for business. So, even though there are “flappy bird” alternatives available for BlackBerry 10, it is unusual to associate a BlackBerry user with spending time on flappy bird itself.

 

But, just because the association for useless use of a phone is not there, that doesn’t value how the phone’s battery capabilities are. A more reasonable metric for Battery Life is something called “talk time”

 

Talk time is the best metric of a phone battery, because it represents active use of a phone – it’s essentially the guaranteed amount of time you get from a phone when using it unplugged. Alas the above list sorted by talk time will look like this:

 

BlackBerry Q10 - Battery

2100mAh

The phone is powered by a 2100 mAh Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery. BlackBerry's performance ratings are: 14.8 days standby time, 1200 minutes talk time, 296 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Nokia Lumia 1020 - Battery

2000mAh

The phone is powered by a 2000 mAh Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery. Nokia's performance ratings are: 16 days standby time, 1146 minutes talk time, 330 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

Samsung S4 - Battery

2600mAh

The phone is powered by a 2600 mAh Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery. Samsung's performance ratings are: 20.7 days standby time, 1020 minutes talk time, 600 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

BlackBerry Z30 - Battery

2800mAh

The phone is powered by a 2800 mAh Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery. BlackBerry's performance ratings are: 16 days standby time, 840 minutes talk time, 454 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

BlackBerry Z10 - Battery

1800mAh

The phone is powered by a 1800 mAh Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery. BlackBerry's performance ratings are: 13 days standby time, 660 minutes talk time.

iPhone 5S - Battery

1570mAh

The phone is powered by a 1570 mAh Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery. Apple's performance ratings are: 10.4 days standby time, 600 minutes talk time, 600 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

iPhone 5 – Battery

1400mAh

The phone is powered by a 1400 mAh Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery. Apple's performance ratings are: 10.5 days standby time, 600 minutes talk time, 600 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

 

So yes, when John Chen refers to iPhone users as “wall huggers” he just may be making a more of a technical assessment in support of the brand he represents than the cringe-worthy tech reporting from Chris. I can’t even excuse CNET of “Tech Bias” like how The Verge loves anything Apple… It’s straight up a failure to understand technology.

 

Here are my references:

  1. A bad source of information: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-57620080-71/iphone-users-are-wall-huggers-says-blackberry-ceo/
  2. Milliamp hour: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ampere-hour
  3. Blackberry Z30 reference: http://www.cellphones.ca/cell-phones/blackberry-z30/
  4. Blackberry Z10 reference: http://www.cellphones.ca/cell-phones/blackberry-z10/
  5. Blackberry Q10 reference: http://www.cellphones.ca/cell-phones/blackberry-q10/
  6. iPhone 5s reference: http://www.cellphones.ca/cell-phones/apple-iphone-5s/
  7. iPhone 5 reference: http://www.cellphones.ca/cell-phones/apple-iphone-5/
  8. Lumia 1020 reference: http://www.cellphones.ca/cell-phones/nokia-lumia-1020/
  9. Samsung S4 reference: http://www.cellphones.ca/cell-phones/samsung-galaxy-s4/

 

Sincerely,

 

A better Tech Blogger

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

SQL – One to One (1:1) Table Relationships

None of this post is written by me… but, seeing that I will be using this information in the near future I figured I collect it here for my own reference.

 

The first portion is the best reference I have ever seen to describe one to one relationships in SQL Server. The second portion describes a (1:0/1) relationship with some reasons on why it would exist.

First, The structure of a One to One Relationship:

One-to-one is actually frequently used in super-type/subtype relationship. In the child table, the primary key also serves as the foreign key to the parent table. Here is an example:
alt text

CREATE TABLE Organization
( 
     ID       int PRIMARY KEY
    ,Name     varchar(200)
    ,Address  varchar(200)
    ,Phone    varchar(12)
)
go

CREATE TABLE Customer
( 
     ID              int PRIMARY KEY
    ,AccountManager  varchar(100)
)
go


ALTER TABLE Customer
    ADD  FOREIGN KEY (ID) REFERENCES Organization(ID)
    	ON DELETE CASCADE
    	ON UPDATE CASCADE
go

 

 

And now, The reasoning behind one to one tables

Any relationship requires that the "parent" table (the one side) have a Primary Key (PK), that uniquely identifies each row, and the "child" table (the other side) have a Foreign Key column or columns, that must be populated with values that are the same as some existing value[s] of the Primary Key in the parent table. If you want a one to many (1-M) relationship then the Foreign Key should be an ordinary attribute (column or columns) in the child table that can repeat (there can be many rows with the same value)

 

If you want a one to one (1-1) relationship then the Foreign key should itself be a Primary Key or unique index in the child table that guarantees that there may be at most one row in the child table with that value.

 

A 1-1 relationship effectively partitions the attributes (columns) in a table into two tables. This is called vertical segmentation. A common reason for doing this is if the usage patterns on the columns in the table indicate that a few of the columns need to be accessed significantly more often than the rest of the columns. (Say one or two columns will be accessed 1000s of times per second and the other 40 columns will be accessed only once a month). Partitioning the table in this way in effect will optimize the storage pattern for those two different queries.

 

The above actually creates a 1 to zero or one relationship, which is used for what is called a subtype relationship. This occurs when you have two different entities that share a great number of attributes, but one of the entities has additional attributes that the other does not need. A good example might be Employees, and SalariedEmployees. The Employee table would have all the attributes that all employees share, and the SalariedEmployee table would exist in a (1-0/1) relationship with Employees, with the additional attributes (Salary, AnnualVacation, etc.) that only Salaried employees need.

 

If you really want a 1-1 relationship, then you have to add another mechanism to guarantee that the child table will always have one record for each record/row in the parent table. Generally the only way to do this is by enforcing this in the code used to insert data. This is because if you added referential integrity constraints on two tables that require that rows always be in both, it would not be possible to add a row to either one without violating one of the constraints, and you can't add a row to both tables at the same time.

 

Source:

  1. Damir Sudarevic : http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1722741/defining-a-one-to-one-relationship-in-sql-server
  2. Charles Bretana: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/5112473/designing-11-and-1m-relationships-in-sql-server

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