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Comment Re: Deja vu (Score 5, Interesting) 197

I have to admit, I've been completely cynical about the country going from "conservative for conservative's sake, even when it flies in the face of logic" to "let's try new things, damn the expenses!" leadership -- but so far, the Liberals' actual moves have really impressed me; IMO they've been doing everything right. We'll see if that extends to some degree of fiscal responsibility -- that's going to be a thorny one -- and the TPP.

The one thing Justin has going for him is that he had to experience his father. There was a great documentary done a number of years back -- if it's at all factual, Justin won't be quick to repeat the mistakes of Pierre. He not only appears to have learned how things work from him, but also what not to do to mess up a country. We'll see if that lasts through an entire term.

Comment Re:Go lower tech (Score 1) 174

First of all, this question comes up every 4-6 months "How to store data long term?".

Take the best pictures, get them printed on quality material, and laminate that and make a photo album. It can now easily be shown to anyone who visits and will survive past the lifespan of your children. I have family pictures from 130 years ago in non-digital format.

I went the other way: I have family pictures from 130 years ago in digital format. I've also printed out magazines of photo collections, which are great, as they can be viewed and damaged, and when they're worn out, I can just do another run. It also means I can share these albums with other family members as gifts for relatively little money.

Oh, and don't laminate your photos -- the acids in the laminating plastic will eat away at the photo. You want archival printing on archival photo paper mounted in an archive album (acid free paper backings) if you're going to go that route.

Or, you could just keep the files in motion, checksummed, and ensure that you've got lots of copies of the images for years to come. JPEG and TIFF aren't going anywhere any time soon.

Comment Re:Growing Up (Score 1) 174

Actually, 31 years is about how long it takes for fashion trends to come around again. Yes, we're living in the 80's. I really hated re-living '70s fashion, and Vuarnet doesn't appear to have returned, so I'll live with it.

So buy a set of clothes that an average 21 year old would have worn 10 years ago, and you're all set.

Comment Re:Don't overthink it (Score 1) 174

My solution: bought a DSLR when my first kid was about to be born, already had a Sony digicam at the time. Eventually upgraded to a DSLR that could do decent video too.

But you know what? I bought a Nikon waterproof/shockproof CoolPix back in 2011, and have discovered that almost ALL my video is done via that, along with some of the best family photos. For a DSLR to work well, you have to take the time to have the camera on hand, compose the frame, meter the light, etc. I still take it on hikes, and to places where I can use a tripod and get posed shots -- but for anything candid, and for almost all video, the CoolPix comes out. Because it's shock resistant, I can even hand it over to my kids who have shown that when you don't restrict how many photos they take, they can take some amazing shots (this started even at the age of 3).

This leads to the next bit: take lots of photos, but keep only the ones that tell a story or look great. At the beginning, this will be REALLY difficult to do; but eventually, you'll get so that you can come back from an event with 400 photos and an hour of video, and quickly shrink that down to 10 photos and 5 minutes of video stock (which will then get further trimmed later when you assemble it into an easy to watch montage of 2-5 second clips... right?"

Then comes storage: I have a mirrored rsyned backup of my computer where all this data ends up (2x5Tb right now), and also 2 1TB portable drives that cycle through a safe deposit box. So far, all my edited down photo and video data fits in 1TB, so this works for me.

So the TL;DR is:
1) the best and most memorable shots will come from what you have on you at the time that you aren't afraid of damaging.
2) Take your photos/video in bursts; take a bunch, keep a little.
3) Take the time to do events and parts of events with the camera stowed, so that you can actually have fun things to remember as a family (instead of a record of you recording what everyone else is doing). Use the photos and videos as triggers for events, not to document every living minute. Your memories will be much more vivid and interesting than the photos and video, even if they become less accurate with time.

Comment Re:programming should be taught in all schools (Score 1) 69

Depends what you consider basic programming. There's already software out there that allows kids to do problem solving and create/test algorithms by dragging tokens onto the screen and creating relationships between them. It's even used in many Grade 2 curricula, and all students seem to enjoy bits of it, even if they don't all end up creating really complex bits of software with it.

Comment Re:If it's important maybe it shouldn't be taught (Score 1) 69

I didn't have the Internet to pull from, but that's pretty much what happened with me too. Bad math teaching in elementary school turned me off Math, and the only thing that got me back into it was programming. I started writing software when I was 9, and by the time highschool came around, I was getting algorithm books out of the library, and realized how it all depended on optimization maths. So I took some advanced math/calc courses in HS, but the damage was already done... mathematics weren't intuitive for me, so crunching the numbers was hard work.

So what K-12 REALLY needs to teach is a math segment on algorithms and optimization. Simple bits in the early years, more complex bits later on. Make it applied, so the kids have to solve real world problems with it (like writing some software, supporting a popsicle stick bridge, etc). All the bits are already supposedly in the curriculum, they just haven't been put together in a compelling way. No need for a required CS class, just slip it into the existing curriculum (write physics simulators, chem calculators, bio models, etc. instead of buying short-lived expensive software that does it all for the kids and lets them sit back and watch).

Comment Re:Good luck with that. (Score 2) 408

If a Canadian drives to the US to buy products in a US store, don't they have to declare them to customs? I think they mostly don't care about the bottle of Coca-Cola in your cup holder, but if you buy something expensive they might charge you some kind of import duty and/or taxes on it.

I think this is the kind of argument the Bell Media person was more or less trying to make. She owns the exclusive rights to a basket of content in Canada. If someone is going overseas to acquire this content, they are doing basically the same thing that a physical shopper is doing when they go to the US to buy a product that some Canadian store also wants to sell.

I think the purpose of tarrifs and duties is to specifically hinder this kind of ad-hoc cross-border arbitrage. Of course it's well nigh impossible to do for intellectual content.

There are good arguments to be made that Bell Media is just greedy and using monopoly position to extract rent from Canadians.

But there may be other arguments -- Bell's costs may be higher for reasons outside their control (ie, higher taxes, weak exchange rate, etc).

Actually, NAFTA means that Canadians/Americans/Mexicans generally don't have to pay customs fees when crossing the border. What Canadians pay when coming back from the US is GST (federal tax) on the value of the products purchased outside the country.
And if a Canadian buys a NetFlix subscription, the GST is added on in Canada. So there's no theft from this angle.

Comment Re:"stealing just like stealing anything else" (Score 1) 408

I'd rather go about this a different way. If the president of Bell Media wants to call infringement stealing, I'd like to compile a list of things stolen by Bell Media.

If the definition of "stealing" is that loose, we can surmise that the president of Bell Media:

Has stolen US programming -- it is also available from Bell Media under license, which steals from the US: after all, residents can step over the border and legally view the programming, so Bell Media is stealing viewers from the US.

Has stolen broadcasting technologies from people everywhere -- You know that TCP/IP? It wasn't invented in Canada. You stole it.

Has likely stolen all sorts of documentation -- a quick pass through the office would be enough for me to find multiple cases of infringement.

Just because Bell Media has come to an agreement with US distributors of media doesn't mean that individuals have to go through Bell, no matter what Bell ExpressVu was able to pass into law regarding satellite broadcasts.

Comment Flash for consoles? (Score 1) 20

So is this basically a framework that allows people to port all their Flash games to the console? Because at the end of the day, that's what it sounds like.

Adding another layer of abstraction means adding another layer of non-optimization in the coding process. For desktop apps, that's not too big an issue; but consoles have a longer upgrade cycle and a restricted memory footprint.

So for games that don't push the hardware in the first place, this should work fine -- such as porting a bunch of Web Flash games. But for doing anything serious, you're going to want to get as close to the metal as possible.

What I'd REALLY like to see for consoles is an asset optimization system -- something that will package up game assets in the optimal format for storage/loading on each platform. Then the coding becomes much simpler.

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.