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June 25, 2009

iPhone 3GS with Rogers?


Like many technical people, I am intrigued by new technology. The iPhone is obviously one of the more popular and in-demand devices on the market right now. While there are other devices that some say are better - The Palm Pre, Android based phones and Blackberry - I have no interest in debating that here.

I live in the Toronto area and have been considering buying an iPhone 3GS. Being the type of person I am, I have also been researching it's features, capabilities and matching against my needs (ok, mostly wants). On that criteria alone, I'm almost sold. I want an iPhone.

The next thing to research is, of course, cost. Or so I thought. To most folks, cost is simply "how much do I have to pay?". Well that's simple to figure out. Ask. Then decide if you can afford it. Instead, I am looking at value, and not simple for the iPhone, but in comparison between other wireless providers.

Here's where it gets fun.

Given the new method of doing business between wireless providers and device manufacturers, each region typically has one official provider of the device. For Canada, it's Rogers Wireless. In the US I believe it's only AT&T (please comment if I'm mistaken). I haven't looked into the UK and European markets yet, and I know nothing about the Asian markets let alone the rest of the world.

This results immediately in one thing: a monopoly. And with a monopoly comes price gouging, one-sided contracts and nickel & diming. On top of that, I believe we in Canada are receiving an extra dose of love from Rogers sticking it to us in the a**. As I type this, I don't know... I only think this to be true. Below you will find a chart made up of what I think to be the package I would want from Rogers, compared to other wireless carriers. Where possible I will link directly to the source. Any notes will follow the table.

So... here goes some comparison shopping, in real time no less.
(Excuse my crappy HTML skills)





































Provider Base Plan Term Extras Total Cost
Rogers
Wireless

  • $35 Unlimited Messaging

  • $30 6 GB Data Service Plan

  • 200 + 50 Bonus Weekday Minutes

  • Unlimited Evenings
    and Weekends from 9pm

  • 3Yrs
    $20 Visual Voicemail
    Value Pack
  • Visual Voice Mail

  • Call Display

  • WhoCalled™

  • Unlimited Text Messages

  • CAN$335*
    + $127/mo (1)
    AT&T Wireless
    (USA)

  • $39.99 Nation 450
    w/Rollover® Minutes

  • $30 Unlimited Data

  • 2Yrs
  • $15 Text Messaging 1500
  • US$335*
    + $84.99/mo
    O2
    (UK)
    Table Cell 18Mo
  • 600 minutes

  • 500 texts

  • Unlimited data
  • £275
    + £35/mo (2)
    (Hong Kong) Not yet available...



    * One-time activation fees are included in the iPhone cost

    Footnotes
    (1) In Canada, all cell phones have a $.50 911 fee, and $6.95 "System Access Fee" on top of the selected rate plan. Included here in Total Cost. Sales taxes (GST & PST) have not been included.

    (2)The O2 website does not allow access to the store from non-UK based IP addresses. Pricing and plan obtained here. Please comment if you can provide more accurate info.


    Summary
    Without calculating exact numbers, Rogers is the most expensive per month and has the longest term. In the world of technology, 3 years is a loooong time to wait until you can upgrade your device. Honestly, I don't think I've ever had a cell phone for more than 2 years.

    I invite comments, corrections, bitching and flaming. Bring it on.

    June 23, 2009

    NASA: Metric? NOT!


    I'm not sure if this is entirely a budget issue, or stereotypical Amercian arrogance. NASA choosing to keep imperial measurements on some projects, even current ones, is a recipe for disaster.

    Before you go flaming me for the "arrogant American" comment, it's a sterotype... I am well aware that the majority of American's do not fit in this mold. It is, however, a sterotype widely recognised throughout the world.

    So, is this an example of said arrogance? Is this purely a financial constraint? I'd have to believe the truth lies somewhere in the middle. While the rest of the world, including much of the US, uses the Metric system in all things scientific, this just seems... dumb.

    NASA's own Mars Climate Orbiter burned up on entry into Mars' atmosphere due to calculation errors between imperial and Metric. Following this incident, NASA reverted back to using Imperial units as their only system of measurement, starting with the Mars Rovers in 2004.

    WTF?

    If the US, or NASA, were the only agencies working in space I would see few problems arrising. Not a smart decision, but it shouldn't have any negative results. However, there are currently 15 other countries involved in the International Space Station alone - all of which use the Metric system.

    Wait for it... disaster will happen. The aviation world learned a valuable lesson which impacted the entire commercial airline industry. Let's hope NASA doesn't learn the hard way.

    Final Destination?


    Much like the movie (and it's crappy sequels) Final Destination, an interesting but sad news story out of Austria.

    Johanna Ganthaler and her husband Kurt must have been breathing more than just a sigh of relief last week. The couple had been on vacation in Brazil and they were running late. Despite their best efforts, they missed the plane that was supposed to take them back to Europe, leaving them feeling frustrated.

    It was a frustration that turned to grateful amazement - the jet that took off without them was Air France Flight 447, which crashed in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 228 people onboard, including a former Guelph resident.

    The Ganthalers wound up taking an alternate flight back and arrived safely. They were driving home, when their vehicle veered off the road in Austria and into an oncoming truck.

    Johanna, who had managed to avoid dying in the plane crash, was killed in the collision, while her husband was seriously injured.

    It's not clear what caused their vehicle to lose control.

    June 22, 2009

    LCBO Workers May Be Next To Walk On Wednesday

    LCBO Workers May Be Next To Walk On Wednesday

    PANIC!!

    I get a kick out of this actually, having previously worked with the LCBO. At the time I was a student making in the area of $16/hr (late 80's) stocking shelves and occasionally working on cash. NOT a stressful job. As a casual employee, I paid minimal union dues and had the full protection of the union.

    I am not a fan of unions, as I believe they've outlived their usefulness.

    So, the LCBO wants to make the majority of their retail staff part-time based? Like almost every other retail line of business? I don't see a problem with it.

    In my mind, the only area of dispute is how they make the switch. Turfing existing full-time employees isn't the answer. Offer up early retirement or buy outs might work. Grandfathering in the part-time staff may work even better (e.g. no new full-time employees are hired, all part-time). Over time, the LCBO will get what they want, and current full-time employees will have minimal impact.

    It's a good day to die...

    But not today.

    When will you die?
    Have a look here...

    This blog will cease being updated in 33 years.

    June 20, 2009

    Why do men buy sex?


    First off, I am a man... not someone with a beef against guys who use escorts.
    The reason I'm posting here is I've just finished reading a magazine article entitled, "Why Do Men Buy Sex?" in Scientific American Mind, Volume 20, Number 3, 2009. This article discusses a number of possible reasons why men choose to use escorts, and one of the major proposed reasons is that "... these men typically want to use and dominate women".

    I've never visited an escort (you can choose to believe this or not), but I find it extremely hard to believe that to be anywhere near the majority. I'd tend to believe it's just the convenience of it. You're horny, the opportunity arises, and hey... why the hell not?

    While I know many women are forced into prostitution, many are not... they choose to do it. The money is good, demand is good, and she controls the supply. In the business world, this would be a dream come true.

    So, I've set up a poll and I invite you to let me know your opinion. No registration is required, and it's completely anonymous. I don't care if you've every visited and escort before, of you're a woman... or you're an escort. Everyone's entitled to an opinion. If your option isn't available in the poll, respond to the article with the same title and enter a comment with your opinion.

    UPDATE: The poll is closed. Here are the final statistics:
    Why do men buy sex?
    1) Intimacy on demand. 70 (39%)
    2) To use and dominate women. 16 (9%)
    3) Hidden fetishes/desires. 36 (20%)
    4) It's the only way I can get laid. 66 (31%)

    Casual Friday's

    Having been working in office environments for the bulk of my career, I'm accustomed to a variety of policies regarding what is appropriate office attire. Some have been 'business formal', meaning shirt and tie for men, and suit or skirt for women. Most these days seem to be steering towards 'business casual', which usually means no tie necessary and you can wear slightly less format pants, shirts, skirts, etc. Of course, there's also 'casual'... and many companies accept this on Fridays, allowing staff to wear jeans, t-shirts and other very casual wear.

    Now, I can stand ties and wear them only when absolutely necessary, but I do enjoy dressing up a little for work. On weekends I wear the basics - shorts or jeans, and a t-shirt. In my mind, this is never ok for office attire. Other professional will differ naturally, however, one thing should always be kept in mind. When you're at work, you are representing your company. Visitors in your office, or other staff if you go off-site to another locations, will see your attire and they will notice. Which brings me to a recent story I read...

    The council of Brooksville, Florida has decided to amend their existing dress code, enforcing employees to wear underwear and deoderant. Distracting, offensive or revealing clothing is also ver boten now, such as Spandex and halter tops, plus skirts "worn below the waistline such that the abdomen or back is exposed.

    So... I have two immediate thoughts.

    1) Who would consider going to work wearing spandex with no underwear or deodorant? In a private company, you represent your employer. In a government position (such as a city employee), you represent the city AND are paid by the taxpayers of the city, province, state, country.

    2) Ewww.

    I originally believed that this scenario simply evolved... it was a casual work environment and slowly got abused with no one responsible enough to step in until now. However, further reading has revealed that there is opposition to the new rules. Really??

    Oh yes... and who opooses this new dress code? A disgruntaled city worker? No. A slimy, greasy maintenance guy? Nope. A somewhat skanky chick in accounts receivable? Wrong again!

    Then who?!

    Well, the Mayor of the city of course.
    Mayor Joe Bernadini said the dress code is a way to bring more professionalism to the city, but he said the undergarment proviso was "a little far-fetched."
    "I think in a way it takes away freedom of choice," Bernadini said.




    EDIT: Just found this and HAD to add it..

    June 15, 2009

    Best divorce letter ever...

    This is a bit rude, but oh so perfect!
    You'll have to click on the image to see the full size and text.

    June 14, 2009

    Worst to First IS possible!

    If you're remotely close to being a hockey fan, you're aware that the Pittsburgh Penguins won the 2008-2009 Stanley Cup.

    4 years ago they were a nothing team, in a crappy run down arena and teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. Then comes the NHL lockout, the draft lottery... and Sidney Crosby.

    I was skeptical at first that the Penguins could turn it around, let alone so fast (they were Stanley Cup finalists last year as well, losing to Detroit). I liked Ovechkin more than Crosby, and Malkin even showed a whole lot of promise.

    Could a team rebuild around their new Captain "Syd The Kid"? Apparently so. Crosby has played well, very well. But to date hasn't really lived up to the hype of being The Next One. Injuries, pressure from other players and some discipline issues have hampered what is already a great few years.

    What Pittsburgh did well though, is build around him. Last year and this year they really made some amazing acquisitions on top of Malkin and Crosby: Hossa, Fleury, Roberts, Gill, Kunitz, Guerin, Satan, Jordan Staal, Sykora, Gonchar and a host of others who really stepped up when needed.

    Did Sydney Crosby bring Pittsburgh the Stanley Cup. In my opinion, no. But he was the anchor to build a team around. As the youngest captain to ever lift the cup, his team mates (including many seasoned veterans) all looked to him to set the mood or pace for many games. It also shows that one player cannot win it all... It takes a team, long term thinking, strategy, coaching and a little luck to win a Stanley Cup.

    Now, can the Toronto Maple Leafs follow the same strategy that Pittsburgh did? Can they secure one or two young players of the Crosby and Malkin caliber? Can they understand that second round playoffs is no longer good enough, when over half the league qualifies for the playoffs?

    Even if the answer to all of that is a resounding YES! Even if the Maple Leafs do everything right, there is still no guarantee that it will work. See Ottawa Senators, NY Rangers, San Jose Sharks. They did everything right in past years and did not win.

    Good luck Toronto. You will need it.
    Sent via Blackberry (PIN:206E6A8F)

    June 12, 2009

    Sonny + Cher = WTF?


    What would you get if you crossed Sonny Bono with Cher?
    Sounds like one of those really bad jokes, doesn't it? Well, if you're old enough to remember, or a die hard fan (?!), they were actually permitted to procreate.

    She's actually an adorable little girl. World, meet Chastity Bono.

    Some 40 years later, times have changed. World, meet Chaz.


    From a recent article:
    Chastity Bono, gay-rights activist and child of performer Cher and the late entertainer and politician Sonny Bono, is in the early stages of transitioning from a female to a male and will be known as Chaz.
    "Chaz, after many years of consideration, has made the courageous decision to honor his true identity..."
    "He is proud of his decision and grateful for the support and respect that has already been shown by his loved ones. It is Chaz's hope that his choice to transition will open the hearts and minds of the public regarding this issue, just as his 'coming out' did nearly 20 years ago."

    Now, I'm all for gay rights, equality, etc. What someone does in their own bedroom is none of my concern. I have no particular religious opinion on this, and from the few gay individuals I've known personally, they're just regular folk like most of us.

    But this...
    1) I can't honestly say I'm surprised.
    2) Ick.
    3) Still not my business to judge. But it is my blog. ;-)

    June 10, 2009

    Actual letter to the Canadian Passport Office

    I suspect there are multiple versions of this out there, from various countries... but I'm sure we can all relate.
    I'm tempted to actually send this in, but I don't want to see an unmarked white panel van sitting down the road from my house.

    http://www.overseashealth.com/uploaded_images/180px-Canadian_Passport_Cover-783122.jpg

    Actual letter to the Canadian Passport Office

    Dear Mr. Minister,

    I'm in the process of renewing my passport, and still cannot believe this.

    How is it that Radio Shack has my address and telephone number and knows that I bought a t.v. cable from them back in 1997, and yet, the Federal Government is still asking me where I was born and on what date.

    For Christ sakes, do you guys do this by hand?

    My birth date you have on my social insurance card, and it is on all the income tax forms I've filed for the past 30 years. It is on my health insurance card, my driver's license, on the last eight goddamn passports I've had, on all those stupid customs declaration forms I've had to fill out before being allowed off the planes over the last 30 years, and all those insufferable census forms that are done at election times.

    Would somebody please take note, once and for all, that my mother's name is Maryanne, my father's name is Robert and I'd be absolutely astounded if that ever changed between now and when I die!!!!!!

    SHIT!

    I apologize, Mr. Minister. I'm really pissed off this morning. Between you an' me, I've had enough of this bullshit! You send the application to my house, then you ask me for my fuckin' address. What is going on? You have a gang of Neanderthal assholes workin' there!

    Look at my damn picture. Do I look like Bin Laden? I don't want to dig up Yasser Arafat, for shit sakes. I just want to go and park my ass on a sandy beach.

    And would someone please tell me, why would you give a shit whether I plan on visiting a farm in the next 15 days? If I ever got the urge to do something weird to a chicken or a goat, believe you me, I'd sure as hell not want to tell anyone!

    Well, I have to go now, 'cause I have to go to the other end of the city and get another fuckin' copy of my birth certificate, to the tune of $60!!! Would it be so complicated to have all the services in the same spot to assist in the issuance of a new passport the same day?? Nooooo, that'd be too damn easy and maybe make sense. You'd rather have us running all over the fuckin' place like chickens with our heads cut off, then find some asshole to confirm that it's really me on the goddamn picture - you know, the one where we're not allowed to smile?!  (fuckin' morons)

    Hey, you know why we can't smile? We're totally pissed off!

    Signed - An Irate fucking Canadian Citizen.

    P.S. Remember what I said above about the picture and getting someone to confirm that it's me? Well, my family has been in this country since 1776 when one of my forefathers took up arms against the Americans. I have served in the military for something over 30 years and have had security clearances up the yingyang.

    I was aide de camp to the Lieutenant Governor of our province for ten years and I have been doing volunteer work for the RCMP for about five years.

    However, I have to get someone 'important' to verify who I am - you know, someone like my doctor WHO WAS BORN AND RAISED IN COMMUNIST fucking CHINA !!!

    June 9, 2009

    SHOCKER - Adam Lambert is Gay

    And the sky is blue.
    NOW can we move on???
    Read it here...

    Adam Lambert talks about his sexuality and his "Idol" experience in the new Rolling Stone.

    Woman Sues Quaker Oats Because She Thought A Captain Crunch Crunchberry Was A Real Berry

    I copied this article in its entirety from here. It is not my own... I just think it's f***ing hilarious. I hope no one objects.

    Woman Sues Quaker Oats Because She Thought A Captain Crunch Crunchberry Was A Real Berry And She Learned It Isn't
    Ate them for 4 years for better health. In other news, eating Captain Crunch Crunchberries cereal does not improve mental health


    Janine Sugawara of California was shocked to learn that the "crunchberries" in Captain Crunch Crunchberries cereal are not real berries. She had been eating them for better health for four years.

    Pic of Captain Crunch Crunchberries should be here

    Whilst most people would be too embarrassed to tell anyone they had believed such a stupid thing, Sugawara went and filed a class action lawsuit against Quaker Oats, claiming that they purposely deceived "reasonable" people into believing that crunchberries were a real fruit. Can you have a "class" of one?

    While we are all fed up by the number of stupid lawsuits which are allowed to progress, and which often end with ridiculous awards, our hero, US District Judge, Morrison C. England, Jr., immediately dismissed the suit writing,

    "Under normal circumstances, when this Court grants a Motion to Dismiss, the Plaintiff is given a reasonable period of time, usually twenty (20) days, in which to file an amended complaint. In this case, however, it is simply impossible for Plaintiff to file an amended complaint stating a claim based upon these facts. The survival of the instant claim would require this Court to ignore all concepts of personal responsibility and common sense.The Court has no intention of allowing that to happen."

    The specific reasons for the dismissal include:
    • "Defendant chose the moniker `Crunchberries' for its brightly colored cereal balls. As far as this Court has been made aware, there is no such fruit growing in the wild or occurring naturally in any part of the world.

    • Sugawara's attorney had previously failed in an attempt to sue Kellogg under a similar Fruit Loops action. This makes him a cereal frivolous lawsuit filer.

    LexisNexis 20-May-09

    Click here to see the court's decision

    June 8, 2009

    92.5 JackFM is no more...


    Toronto's 92.5 JackFM R.I.P.

    Here's a sample of some feedback based on the recent format change of 92.5 JackFM here in Toronto:
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090605160511AAv9JFh

    According to their website, "As of 3 p.m. on Friday June 5th, 2009, 92.5 JACK FM became KISS 92.5, Toronto's Hit Music Station."

    Great. Toronto was seriously lacking in crappy radio. Now we've FINALLY got a station that plays nothing but top 40 hip-hop 24/7.
    Don't get me wrong, JackFm wasn't anything special... but is was kind of like a iPod put on shuffle, with about 1,000 songs. Mostly mainstream, classic rock, etc. Still... easy to listen to without going insane.

    David returns to Italy



    After a two year loan to the United States,
    Michelangelo's David is being returned to Italy ....


    His sponsors while in the USA:


    Twitter

    I've had Twitter on my Blackberry for months now, and to be honest I forget I have it the majority of the time.
    When I remember I think, "oh I should update it!"... Then get writers block. It's just a mini version of a blog, isn't it?

    I wonder if I could have legions of fans hanging on my every word - sorry, Tweet.

    Ashton Kutcher is having dinner - OMG!!!! How can I top that?
    Angelina Jolie is buying another baby!!!


    Sent via Blackberry (PIN:206E6A8F)

    June 7, 2009

    Holy Crap!!

    For shits and giggles I decided to add Google AdSense to this blog.
    I had forgotten, but I had it enabled on another blog a while back (with absolutely zero content I might add). Turns out, Google owes me $5.06.

    HOLY CRAP I'M RICH!!

    So, yeah...

    Yet again I want to create a bog. So here I am toying around with the widgets and templates and feeling really good, then it comes to content.

    Is there really anything you want to know about? I mean, really... is my life that interesting to those who don't know me? Somehow I doubt it.

    I'm tired... bed time. I know this because of the nifty clock widget over there --->