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No Electoral Reform

Unsurprisingly, the Liberals don't want to adopt a new election system now that they are in power.  The excuse is that Canadians "can't reach consensus" on a new system.  link

Do you like breakfast food?

McDonalds and A&W have announced they will start serving breakfast all day starting near the end of February.  link

Apparently Burger King and Tim Hortons both did this previously and have stopped.  I think I know why they weren't making enough sales on it... they didn't advertise it enough!  I certainly didn't know they went all day for breakfast.

I hope A&W includes their classic breakfast on the all-day menu.  Mmmm bacon, eggs, and toast.


Just a heads up everyone, you won't be able to log in for a while.  While dealing with a particularly nasty spam flood and their accounts, I accidentally deleted our accounts.  I'll try and restore from a backup, or else update the site to a new forum.

Update: Selected accounts have been restored

America Self Destructs

So sick of the establishment and wall street, last night Americans pushed the self-destruct button to elect a political Molotov cocktail.  Once it became clear Trump was going to win, the Canadian Immigration web site crashed from heavy traffic and the DOW took a nosedive.

The DNC really shot themselves in the foot by minimizing the voter passion behind Bernie.  What are your thoughts on this election?

Apple Loses It

Apple thought it would be a good idea to lose the headphone jack in their new iPhone.  They thought it was time to lose the X in OS X.  They seem to have lost the drive to innovate in favour of change for the sake of change.

They lost costumers.

They lost revenue for the first time since 2001. link  A 9% loss, in fact.

Do you think Apple has lost their way?  As a mac user (and Windows and Linux) they seem to be retooling their OS to adopt Windows 10 features.  The latest iOS has a distinctly Android feel.  Apple has gone from setting the direction to letting others set it for them.  This seems like a bad idea for the company branded on innovation.

Yes, Apple has borrowed great ideas from competitors in the past, but it was always rolled into the overall vision.  Now there seems to be no internal vision, and all the ideas are adopted from competing systems.

Electoral Reform Survey!

This is apparently the last day to offer opinions on the direction Canada's Electoral Reform should take:

It looks to me like the the options under consideration are 1) sticking with First Past The Post, 2) Alternative Vote, and 3) Mixed Member Proportional.  I would like to have seen seen Single Transferable Vote as a consideration as well.

Yahoo Hacked

Yahoo has confirmed that the names, email addresses, date-of-birth, telephone numbers, hashed passwords, and unencrypted security questions and answers of 500 Million accounts were hacked in 2014.  link

It is recommended you change your security credentials on any service that shares the same information.  Yahoo itself is committed to pushing their new "Account Key" app or give them your cell phone number (for hackers to steal that too) for 2-factor authentication.

Microsoft Listens

Usually it's a good thing when a company wants to listen to its users, but in this case not so much.  In the latest update for Windows 10, Microsoft has decided Cortana will be listening to you regardless of your settings.  Furthermore, Cortana will only use Bing to search and open the results in Microsoft Edge, regardless of your browser and search preference settings.

Prior to now, there was an option to shut Cortana off and just use a basic textual search.  In their wisdom, Microsoft has not only reactivated Cortana but also removed the option to turn it off.  This means every desktop running Windows will be listening for key phrases, and possibly more.  We already know Microsoft will send personal information in the clear back to their servers.

If, like me, you hate the idea of your PC listening to your every utterance, you can manually edit your registry to deactivate this feature (until Microsoft changes it again).  The instructions are here: link

Your BBQ Brush Could Kill You

Do you use a metal bristle BBQ brush to clean the grill between cooking?  If so, Canadian surgeons wish you'd throw those out.  Apparently the little bristles can break off, get stuck in your food, and lodge themselves in your throat, tongue, or digestive track.  link

Depending on how far they travel, those tiny spears could require surgery to remove and can cause unexpected symptoms in the meantime.  It's recommended you use a crumpled ball of tinfoil to clean the grill instead.

Dropbox Hacked

68 Million username and password hashes have been hacked from Dropbox.  Be sure your password is strong and newer than 2012.  link

New Solar Cell Uses CO2

Scientists at University of Illinois have created a new solar cell that produces energy from sunlight and CO2.  Like plants, this is a form of photosynthesis.  Unlike plants, this solar cell produces a fuel called "syngas" which can be burned directly or converted into something like diesel.  This means no more need for batteries!  Potentially solar farms of this type could put fossil fuels out of business.  link

Microsoft Squeezing Steam

According to an article on PC Gamer, Microsoft is planning to slowly and deliberately squeeze Steam off their platform.  With the introduction of UWP (Universal Windows Platform), Microsoft could just obsolete any software not bought from their own Store overnight.  Of course that would incite public outrage, so instead they will quietly release patches to make Steam flaky and unreliable, essentially pulling the rug out from under their competitor.  Users (in theory) would migrate to the more stable Microsoft Store.  link

Sounds like a conspiracy theory doesn't it?  Sadly it wouldn't be the first time Microsoft has used this tactic.  link

Microsoft sees the success Steam has had, now they want users to buy from their store instead of Valve's.  As long as they control the OS, they don't have to make their product better to compete.  They just have to degrade the competition.  This is one of the reasons Valve released SteamOS, so they'll always have an open platform to run Steam on.  Here's how you can install SteamOS on your gaming PC: link

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