CRTC Launches Online Consultation on Net Neutrality

As I discovered on Michael Geist’s blog, the CRTC is offering Canadians the opportunity speak out on Net Neutrality in advance of their hearings on ISP network management practices.

I had this to say, in the Impact on User Experience section:

To me the internet is an infrastructure service. I don’t expect my provider to give preferential treatment to any type of traffic based on the source, content, or destination. Just as I don’t expect the city to regulate my water pressure based on whether I’m watering the lawn or taking a shower.

But to continue the water analogy I understand there’s a difference when I run a bath (i.e.: bit torrent) and when I wash my hands (i.e.: e-mail). The bandwidth consumed by bit torrent can have a negative impact on my internet neighbours unless the total bandwidth is sufficiently high. Especially if we’re all torrenting at the same time.

I’d love to see over-building of the network, but it’s only a short-term solution until more people get on the net and use up all the over-capacity. Traffic management is unfortunately a necessary tool to ensure consistent service for all subscribers as-is continuous re-building of the network.

But the management should not require deep packet inspection – a simple high level valve that adjusts the pressure regardless of what is going through should be sufficient and would keep the ISPs neutral regarding how we use the internet.

It certainly is a concern to me that some ISPs have conflicting interests (they run multiple distribution channels, ex.: Cable-TV vs. Internet) and might specifically block or limit my access to their competitors in order to artificially increase the viewership of their material.

It would be like the water company cutting of my water if I didn’t use their brand of soap!

See the full thread of my discussion…

Cross-posted on 2FatDads at CRTC Launches Online Consultation on Net Neutrality

GMail cheat sheet is now on

Inspired by the vi/vim graphical cheat sheet I wrote a GMail Keyboard Shortcut graphical cheat sheet for Google’s GMail (using Google Docs of course).

A few days ago a stumbled across and I submitted it to their directory. It’s now listed in the GMail section!

Cross-posted on 2FatDads at GMail cheat sheet is now on

Bonuses for AIG

Rex Murphy did a bit on AIG last night after the news. I can’t find it online though – I guess the internet is slacking off.

Rex made a couple interesting points:

  • The AIG chairman only gets paid $1 a year (no mention of other forms
    of compensation though, besides the bonus)
  • The rescue bill that’s paying the bonuses explicitly allows for bonuses
  • The larger stimulus bill has over 200 “special” projects targeted
    specifically by the congressmen who are so furious about the AIG

So basically it comes down the AIG “fiasco” being a cover-up for how much the congress (and the senate I suppose) are taking advantage of Great Depression II to dole out the thank-you money for the lobby groups who supported them during the election.

I am normally in favour of market solutions, but JMK taught us the reactions to a system shock take longer to actually happen than when we graph them in our Econ 101 class. So I accept the government has to intervene, but there needs to be some pain, there needs to be a lesson for history to teach us. And I believe less in “innocent by-standers” than I do in gov’t intervention, so I think all those poor investors who believed it was true even though it was so good need to suffer as well as the people in AIG, etc. whose job it was to see this coming and yet ignored the warning signs.

Here’s a bit of a humorous take on the subject: In New Terror Video, AIG Demands Huge Ransom from U.S. (thanks to Brian for the link)

Cross-posted on 2FatDads at Bonuses for AIG

Another trip to Valois Park in the Snow

It was another beautiful day with the temperature just around zero and the sun shining bright. As soon as story time was over we threw (ok, struggled) on the snow suit and headed for the park. Lindsay’s friend Madeleine brought her dad and two brothers along too.

From Valois Park in the Snow

Of course the swings were a big hit, but enough snow had melted by now that sand was starting to show. That meant it was time to get dirty and they spent most of the outing underneath the play structure building sand piles!

NOT Getting Things Done

As many of you surely know, I’m a big fan of David Allen‘s time/task management principles known as Getting Things Done. Well, I’ve fallen off the wagon somewhat a while back and, being a geek, I’ve been looking for something new and shiny to motivate me to get back on the horse. But a post from a GTD coach Kelly Forester got me going, however…

Kelly’s post discussed how some people implemented GTD on their Mac’s, PC’s and on the web. Since my PC is company issue (and I can’t really use Outlook because of the way our network is setup) I tend to put a lot of stuff on the web (in the cloud as Web 3.0 people put it).

The two most popular choices seemed to be Remember the Milk and Nozbe.

We all know Remember the Milk because it has such a cool name it must be good and deserves a lot viral publicity. There’s three problems with RTM as far as I’m concerned:

One: Their tabby-looking interface doesn’t survive as you increase the number of lists (or contexts in GTD terms). It pretty quickly looks butt-ugly (sorry, RTM, but that’s how I feel). And if it doesn’t look as cool or cooler than the competition it better make up for it somewhere else!

Two: Their Overview page is based purely on when a Task is due. There’s no way to filter by list (Context) or by Next Actions (a GTD term identifying the next task required to move a more complex objective forward).

And finally three: Their iGoogle gadget suffers from similar short-comings: you can’t limit the list to the context you’re currently in (so I can’t hide my At home tasks while I’m At work and vice-versa) – which is a major part of GTD.

Nozbe has two major short-comings although it is designed from the start to be used by people for GTD so it’s a great solution otherwise.

One: The free account is severely limited and the web is about getting things for free!!!

and Two: The iGoogle gadget doesn’t work in Google’s Chrome browser!!!

Finally, that leaves Google’s recently added Task manager. There’s an iGoogle version and integration with GMail so it’s available where I spend a lot of time online. It’s free (as in beer, but not yet as in speech). And I can view my tasks by list so I can narrow them down to my current Context.

All-in-all I’d say it’s almost perfect, except that I can’t synchronize it with Blackberry – yet, I hope Google is working on it though!

Cross-posted on 2FatDads at NOT Getting things Done

Valois Park in the Snow

The weather was so nice and Lindsay loves the park so much we couldn’t resist a walk to the park and playing on the equipment. Along the way we ran into her friends Chloe and Madeleine out for a walk with their grand parents and new baby brothers.

From Valois Park in the Snow

Of course the swings were a big hit but we did the tour of all the slides and structures several times. Lots of other families were out enjoying the blue skies and warm sun, a first taste of spring and a beautiful summer to come.

Soaking my butt at Sunnyside

What a winter weekend be like if I didn’t struggle into my ski suit and head for the hills with my daughter and the toboggan?!

From Sunnyside Park Sledding

The weather was pretty warm this weekend and a lot of snow had already melted but we threw good sense to the wind, joined forces with the neighbour and her grandkids, and headed over to Sunnyside for a few runs.

Thankfully the joy of seeing kids have fun outweighs the misery of sitting in a puddle of slightly above freezing slush. Of course the princesses insisted on being pulled back up the hill by their faithful (grand)parent, but that’s all part of the fun.

We finished the day off with a picnic in the basement while watching Beverly Hills Chichuahua.