Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Trudeau’s Liberals needs to change their position on Bill C-51

x-defaultThe Liberal Party of Canada decided to officially support Bill C-51 properly going against the opinions of the majority of Canadians.

In short Bill C-51 will allow the government to better improve security of Canadians by improving and broadening the capabilities of information gathering and information sharing.

The bill is intended to target “Terrorists” in a preventative manner by enabling police and other government agencies (like CSIS) to process unwarranted information about Canadians in order to better catch potential terrorists.

They made a movie about this:


Minority Report is an entertaining action-packed movie about improved police powers essentially destroying crime rates by the improved power of seeing into the future. The issue was, those who had control of the powers abused it…

Now Bill C-51 will not enable the government to see future crimes but it does enable the government to spy on Canadians without warrant. This includes what you do on the internet, where you travel to, what you read, eat, watch, what party you support, and even if you are researching where to go to protest a policy the government supports.

Needless to say – any potential crime can be seen as an act of terrorism. And, in turn – anything the government disapproves of can be legislated into a crime. This bill entitles action before justice and smells horribly of a slippery slope of abuse that Minority Report can only dream of.

It’s a political Strategy

The Liberal party already announced that the bill urgently needs amendments – yet they will support it when it comes to the floor regardless of there being amendments. According to Justin Trudeau: the purpose of pushing the bill through is to prevent ‘Political Hay’ during an election year… This expression derives from “Make Hay while the sun continues to shine” in reference to the pair of shooting attacks that were associated with terrorism by media and the Harper government. Opposing the bill enables the conservative party to “fear campaign” to which they would have a clear advantage of.

Why this is a good idea

Voters… Most voters are susceptible to fear campaigns. Also – most voters are older and are not exposed to the internet – or at least – not aware to the degree of exposure they have with the internet. In fact, most people in general have no understanding that Transaction information, ALL digital communication, and literally every computational device, new car, new thermostat, ect… utilize the internet in one way or another. The Liberals can’t win an election by educating the public how the internet works – they can – however agree with the message, “Terrorism is bad – we should do something”

Why is this a bad idea

Aside from underestimating the intelligence of the average voter (granted, I can’t blame them – we did give Harper two consecutive majority governments). The lack of contrast and the lack of certainty on this bill can prove toxic. The media will have a field day getting easy reads on grey area answers from the Liberal party. This self-destructive method of political positioning has always served toxic for the Liberal strategy.

This also challenges those who are decided on Bill C-51 to vote NDP as a true alternative. My allegiance is Liberal – but – not enough for me to disclose my where-abouts, my communications, my software that I produce for my clients, or whatever business secrets I maintain with my clients for scrutiny by authorities I know nothing about.

How the Liberals can win back my vote

  1. Last minute change of position right when the bill hits the floor. Surprise motherf*cker, we hate this bill.
  2. A clear list of amendments and the reasons for those amendments to be announced prior to the bill.
  3. Both of the above at the same time!
  4. Let each member of the Liberal caucus decide their position – staying completely non-partisan on the matter  as a whole.
The problem with the above suggestions is that the Conservative party can literally do the same – and they could start winning the approval of more “on the fence” conservatives in the process (and still pass such a terrible bill in some cases)

This unpopular bill needs to die – just like Bill C-30. And the Liberal’s positioning on it will certainly guarantee some really entertaining and lively debates in the upcoming year. Let’s face it – politics aside: Harper, Muclair, and Trudeau is shaping up to be the political cage match of the century….


- An undecided voter


Thursday, 16 April 2015

Latest Safari on Mac/iOS breaks small textboxes

I have been getting a series of complaints about how 2 digit fields in my HTML forms everywhere do not appear to hold 2 digits – making them visually useless for data entry.


The problem:

The following HTML is used to produce a textbox input that is intended to show up as a 2 character input – and has been showing up as 2 character inputs since the good ol' HTML4/XHTML days – shows up as a 1 character input on Safari for Mac OS and iOS:

<input id="TextBox" maxlength="2" size="1" />

The Fix:

To make this Text Box appear correctly on all browsers everywhere requires additional styling, particularly a width statement:

<input id="TextBox" maxlength="2" size="1" style="width: 2em" />

Width styles are recommended, and absurd:

If it aint broke don’t fix it. This width style has always been the recommended approach of sizing textboxes – however – the unpredictability of “em” measurements (particularly with user font preferences) makes a simple method of putting a small textbox on the screen precariously annoying.



Tuesday, 14 April 2015

VB.Net DateTime.ToString formats

I’m tired of always digging through documentation for this information:


//       d: 6/15/2008
//       D: Sunday, June 15, 2008
//       f: Sunday, June 15, 2008 9:15 PM
//       F: Sunday, June 15, 2008 9:15:07 PM
//       g: 6/15/2008 9:15 PM
//       G: 6/15/2008 9:15:07 PM
//       m: June 15
//       o: 2008-06-15T21:15:07.0000000
//       R: Sun, 15 Jun 2008 21:15:07 GMT
//       s: 2008-06-15T21:15:07
//       t: 9:15 PM
//       T: 9:15:07 PM
//       u: 2008-06-15 21:15:07Z
//       U: Monday, June 16, 2008 4:15:07 AM
//       y: June, 2008
//       'h:mm:ss.ff t': 9:15:07.00 P
//       'd MMM yyyy': 15 Jun 2008
//       'HH:mm:ss.f': 21:15:07.0
//       'dd MMM HH:mm:ss': 15 Jun 21:15:07
//       '\Mon\t\h\: M': Month: 6
//       'HH:mm:ss.ffffzzz': 21:15:07.0000-07:00



Sunday, 12 April 2015

Thank you location restrictions, you are not welcome.

This is how Canadians view SNL skits online:



This problem is easily solved, search harder for the content or proxy around the restriction. But – let’s face it: the real problem is copyrights are out-dated and are designed to serve those who manage content rather than produce content.


Every potential restriction is another competitive market for content. The Canadian market might pay more for SNL skits then the US market. Or SNL over cable might be more affordable than SNL over HULU or Netflix. All these different mechanisms to sell through to is insane – seeing – all the consumer wants is the content itself – and it’s a painful way to abuse the consumer.


For example, If I am able to see Saturday Night Live on basic cable in Canada… how is this content which I had the right to watch available on one medium but not the other.


We need some forward thinking… some really progressive copyright laws where you pay for the message and not the medium and let the medium develop fluently around getting the message to the consumer – because it is certainly ridiculous that we pay for all these mediums and their failure to cooperate destroys the power of the technology we develop. Let me see this skit, and lawyers gtfo #YouKnowNothing #AboutTechnology.


/end rant

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Develop Eclipse / Momentics applications across machines with DropBox

I’m learning how to make BlackBerry 10 apps – and the last thing I want to do is set up GIT for an environment I am not committed to, for applications that are beginner level at best!


When Googling if sharing your workspace over DropBox was possible – everyone meets that with a stern “No” because of machine specific file path settings and, wait, what is the purpose of a workspace again?


In realizing that these settings are machine specific but the project folder itself is not… I find that there is a simple workaround using DropBox’s selective sync to opt out of syncing settings files to make multi-machine development both easy and quite possible:

  1. Right click drop box tray icon, and click the Gear to open DropBox Preferences
  2. Click Selective Sync
  3. Uncheck the .metadata folder:

Screenshot 2015-04-07 20.20.59


Do the same on the destination computer of choice, however, since you are working in a completely different workspace you will be required to import the existing project into the workspace.


  1. Right click in Project Explorer and click “Import…”Screenshot 2015-04-07 20.28.33
  2. Import “Existing Projects into Workspace” and select the workspace project folder you wish to develop
    Screenshot 2015-04-07 20.29.42

It is implied that the workspace for momentics is within my dropbox folder, of course, and I don’t guarantee this working in everyone’s situation. I am using two 64 bit Windows machines (windows 7 and windows 8) but, I am able to build on both… What is nice is that each machine uses different targets to deploy the apps – and that is quite wonderful, on one machine I use my BlackBerry Z30 and on the other machine I use the virtual environment.

If there are any caveats I should know, or this formula works for you – feel free to leave a comment. For now – this is a wonderful solution for me!




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