Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bacon time

I wonder how many degrees of separation Sir Francis Bacon and Kevin Bacon are, and if they have any relation.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

That was a crazy Jets - Flyers game

I'm not even going to blame Pavelec for anything.  He made some pretty good saves, and in the end the Jets won.  I don't even know.  It was just a wild game.  Entertaining as hell, but man when they tied it I thought we were doomed.  Pavelec is still young just like the rest of the team.  Remember the bombers last year?  All they need is consistent coaching and to work on fixing their worst problems, and who knows what could happen.

Still, if the jets do end up tanking, nothing wrong with getting a first round draft pick... it could be just the thing they need in the long run.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

BULL DRM

I read an excellent Op-Ed on DRM today, aka digital rights management titled "If you want to fight piracy, make better games".   In it, the writer Jason Schreier writes about the company Valve, and writes about how company owner Gabe Newell believes publishers should be using the carrot and stick approach.  It's a great read, and very timely when you consider the recent ill-advised bill C-11 the so called copyright modernization act.  Which wouldn't be a bad law if it weren't for the fact that it criminalizes the breaking of DRM, and no amount of proof of the fact that most Canadians are against enshrining DRM into law and that Canadians DESPISE it will stop the Conservatives from idiotically pushing this through now that they have a majority.  Hell, even the Conservatives, if you read what they are saying, sound like they're just reading a pre-written message from the music and movie industry.. which lets face it, they almost certainly are.  Now I've talked about DRM before and how it makes it illegal to do what you want to do with the cell phones or computers or music or DVD's that you buy.. If you don't know what DRM is by now or why it's evil, you're part of the problem and probably a member of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Anyways, What got me posting is my epiphany that the Conservative solution to crime prevention is the same as their approach to copyright.  Extremist, pointlessly expensive and ultimately unworkable.    It's the same in that INNOCENT PEOPLE get inconvenienced, but the CRIMINALS will keep on doing what they're doing.  In my mind these laws show that the Conservatives don't care about catching actual criminals, they care about making laws that criminalize everyone and everything.  Everything is a sin, in their eyes, and you're automatically guilty.  They'd get rid of the lawyers and judges if they could get away with it and lock everyone up.

That is how DRM works.  It inconveniences people who want to play a legally purchased game or watch a foreign movie in another country.  It makes it impossible to unlock a cell phone to work on a competing provider.  The Conservatives know this, because people have stated it to them, but they don't care!  It doesn't matter.   They can then lock up a number of people and say "Look, we stopped crime, arrests are up 5000% since our new laws!".. well no, you didn't solve anything.  It's only an illusion.  If you do arrest anyone actually guilty of something, you've arrested another 1000 generally law abiding citizens and created a culture of fear and domination and opression.  Which is clearly the point.  Welcome to America today.  Protection of ill gotten monopolies for the wealthy class.  The so called 1% of robber barons and still on the loose criminal bankers.

People don't want to break the law.  But when everything is illegal, what choice will they have? The fact that people download music is not a failure of copyright, its a failure of companies not meeting their customers demands.  Look at the success of netflix.  Old media companies hate it.  They've been spoon fed so long in this country they want to enact UBB to protect their little fiefdoms.  The regulatory capture in this country is sickening.  4 companies essentially own the media and the distribution networks and the government in Canada.  And they act in lock step.

The laws of this country are slowly being changed to protect only a small segment of wealthy foreign nationals.  That's what Bill C-10 and C-11 are for, they have little to do with stopping graffiti or putting gang members in jail.  That's who the Conservative party works for.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Good Riddance, Autobins

Years ago, my parents lived on a street where Autobins were being introduced. Originally, they were going to be the smaller variety, but then because nobody else wanted it to block their driveways, and because the property they owned would not be as inconvenienced, the city would put one large autobin behind their house.

 Now when I was a kid, you'd have actual garbage men, or I suppose waste disposal experts or whatever the correct term is (I like the term garbage men) and they'd go from house to house, often there would be special enclosures built into a fence just for the garbage bins to be kept tucked away neatly. But when Autobins were introduced, ugh. They take up so much space in a back lane, they attract rats, mice, mattresses and construction waste. My parents hated that autobin.

Well, where they live now they have one of those garbage bins that you wheel out. They love that. It's just so convenient and you can keep it in the garage. Apparently the city has decided FINALLY to get rid of the cursed autobin. Finally. Say goodbye to fires in the north end, mysterious waste disposal, and so forth.

I wonder where the rats and vermin will go now that they'll lose a source of food? I suppose the autobins can be recycled for business use. BFI seems to use similar bins. Now that I think about it, businesses who illegally use autobins will be forced to go legit.

The only thing I hope for is that instead of those small blue boxes, they instead had a blue version of those large garbage carts for regular garbage. I'd be more likely to chuck in plastic bottles and such if it didn't have to sit out in the open for everyone to see how much Diet Dr Pepper I drink on recycling day (I don't drink Diet Dr Pepper, It's juts an example. I actually hate Dr Pepper)

 Anyways, apparently removing autobins will cost property owners an additional $50 on their property tax bill. Funny how it always works like that.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Suffering the (River) Bends

It is with mild bemusement I read an article in the Winnipeg Sun about people in Riverbend area of Winnipeg being against the building of habitat for humanity housing on Benn Avenue. Not least of which is my parents almost bought a property there once. In fact I thought Benn Avenue was just outside the city limits but maybe that's been adjusted in the intervening decades. In fact back when my parents were interested in purchasing property on Benn Avenue, Riverbend was still a huge farmers field. Which is part of the reason I'm actually surprised there is still even an empty lot available.

I was out in Riverbend the other day and made a few observations. A brand new strip mall, the oddly named "L. Banag mall" which already is two thirds full of operating businesses, was spray painted with graffiti and half the businesses seemed to have their windows broken. I was genuinely surprised at this. This is something that is supposed to happen mainly in Downtown Winnipeg. Why is it happening there?

In the immediate vicinity of this strip mall lies a brand new skateboard park (which also already has graffiti). Now, I don't want to blame the skaters, because for one thing a lot of them are really young kids presumably from the area, and for another, I don't think the graffiti is being introduced by kids from the area. The skateboard park is located right next to the Red River Community Centre, a couple years old but still pretty new. I've noticed that questionable looking individuals seem to be congregating on the community centre parking lot in the evenings, for what purpose I can only speculate. They don't appear to be attending any community centre events in any case. So they are suspect #1 to me.

Down the road a bit is the still fairly new West Kildonan Collegiate building. Suspects #2 are kids who "go to school" there. Remember how a grade 10 student from West St Paul was killed in 2009? Not on school property, but a student of that school all the same, killed by a 16 year old. Gang members from the north end are almost certainly pushing their way into west kildonan and riverbend, probably to peddle drugs to students and push their contemptible and ignorant attitudes towards society farther and farther. There is graffiti around that area from students, though not spray painted. Just little "So and So was here" type graffiti.

Theres also people at the Tim Hortons who hang out all day there, but they don't seem the type to bother with graffiti and property destruction.

Anyways, back to the mall that showed clear signs of property damage. They already removed most of the spray paint from taggers (I wonder if anyone has ever taken photos of winnipeg tagger tags and documented what they mean?). Ice Time Sports had a broken window, but nobody seems to have actually gone inside and stolen anything.

There is a conservative party sign on one of the store fronts. Obviously the conservatives didn't win provincially, but Joy Smith used that property as a campaign headquarters in the last election as well. Now, the Conservatives do have an "omnibus crime bill" they're trying to enact, but how much do you think that crime bill protects the people of riverbend?

The crime bill has worse sentencing for marijuana based offences than for pedophiles. The crime bill pushes American style for profit prisons. The crime bill also includes draconian copyright protection measures at the behest of American special interests. But what does it do for the people of riverbend who voted in Joy Smith? I don't have much faith in it. What the crime bill does is it criminalizes the innocent, even those fools who voted the conservatives in. By comparison, gang members, punks and thieves will continue to advance to different areas of the city with their smug "what are you gonna do about it" looks on their faces as they group together considering their next act of violence or destruction.

The people in riverbend are justifiably worried about habitat for humanity. It's not that these individuals are necessarily going to be bad, but they're already seeing a bad element move in on their neighbourhood, and they want to get a handle on the situation. Putting faith in the Conservatives probably won't help. Partially legalizing Marijuana and selling it at specialty stores would be highly profitable for the country, and take away a huge market that funds the criminal element. However the Conservatives are too busy making new laws that criminalize innocent people who do something banal like share a song on the internet and protects antiquated business monopolies rather than to do something about crime and the reasons for crime. They care more about taking away your right to privacy on the internet than stopping crime. It's highly telling that the bill is tougher on pot growers than pedophiles.

I don't get the Conservative hate-on for marijuana. I can't stand the stuff, but I don't care for alcohol or tobacco either. I suppose if they thought they could get away with it, they'd criminalize alcohol too. But whatever the case, for all their talk, I'm not impressed with their crime bill. The people of Riverbend should look closely at what is being pushed onto their doorsteps and the effectiveness of those laws on actual criminal elements.

Theres also the question of cost effectiveness.. there isn't any. The Conservatives plan to just throw unlimited money at the problem rather than actually productively work to solve the underlying issues. Very simple minded of them.

Welcome (back Jets) to my nightmare

Well, the Winnipeg Jets played their first game and it was everything we thought it would be. Parties at the Forks, huge 50/50 pot, and just a great atmosphere at the arena. Unfortunately, the Jets lost. What does this mean? It can mean only one thing.

CERTAIN DOOM
CERTAIN DOOM
CERTAIN DOOM

Yes, after this one game, I can prognosticate that the Jets are going to lose every game they play this year. Half of the team is going to end up trapped in a time-space vortex at one point, and come out of it with all knowledge of how to skate erased from their minds. The Jets will be in last place for decades, and the city of Winnipeg will sink 1000 meters into the ground to be taken over by the mole people and their king.

Sure, you can scoff and say "Oh Reed, it's just one game" To which I must reply: NO. The Jets lost, and it's obvious they can never improve, that they are the same Atlanta Thrashers as last year, that the MTS Centre is too small and the NHL will never work in Winnipeg and this is all just the first sign of the aphockalypse

Dustin Byfuglien got a penalty and he didn't even do anything. This obviously means he is a horrible horrible defenceman and his legs are going to turn into jell-o.

The only solution is to trade everyone right away for someone else. Trade every player for another player that is better. We have to PANIC NOW while it's still early enough for our panicking to make a difference! Panicking doesn't help when we're already at 75 losses. God help us all. If the Jets don't win their next 40 home games, they're going to move to Regina! Am I the only one who can see? Why aren't Cheveldayoff or Heisinger doing something!!! Do something! Fire Coach Noel! Fire somebody! Blalrlalrglrelhwjepoihwekh

Seriously though, aren't sports pundits freakin' annoying? Yeesh. Way to overreact.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

I hope Gary Doer enters the Federal NDP leadership race

Not because I want him to win or care, but because Paul Dewar just entered, and it would just be hilarious to me to have Doer vs Dewar. What do we do!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Froot x 2 feet.

It's nice when you get an unexpected bonus.  Got myself froot by the foot and it had two stuffed in one! SWEET!

Crappy google quote of the day