Life in Canada, weather, humor, and more
The Waterloo Region is the 4th happiest area to live in Canada wide, and ranks #1 in Ontario.
That is according to research at the University of British Columbia by economics professor John Helliwell, who analysed 100,000 surveys by Statistics Canada.
He found that Kitchener scored 8.2 out of 10, compared to 7.8 by Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa.
Neighborliness is what made a difference: trusting a neighbor is more likely in rural areas than in the big city. The size of Kitchener and Waterloo makes this more likely than in the big metropolitan areas.
Canadians pay one of the highest mobile phone rates in the developed world. This is due to an oligopoly by the triad (Bell, Telus, and Rogers). The OECD says that Canada is 29th out of 30 countries when it comes to cost.
The government has realized this and is now opening the market to competition.
40% of the spectrum will be reserved for new entrants, who would have the right to rent towers from the incumbents at reasonable costs.
According to a study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Canada's top 1% earners -- families that earn $266,000 or more, paid 30.5% of their income in taxes. Canada's poorest 10% -- families earning less than $13,523 paid 30.7% in taxes.
The full study can be viewed in Eroding Tax Fairness (PDF).
The study proposes some controvertial methods though, such as making capital gains tax the same as income tax.
Last month, there were reports that Comcast is sending forged RST (reset) packets for BitTorrent file sharing, hence hindering users who use this protocol.
Now, the local newspaper, The Record, has an article about how a local company, Sandvine, supplied Comcast with the technology to do what it is doing.
Sandvine's sales and stock price have been doing well of late.
According to a Buffalo, NY TV station "Canadian shoppers have raised the region's sales tax revenue by five per cent".
With the Canadian loonie reaching parity with the US dollar in September, and topping 1.07$ last week, this is only logical.
There are rumors that Rogers will make the Apple iPhone available in Canada by December this year. This is logical, since Rogers is the largest GSM provider in Canada.
The price is said to be $499 CAD with a 3 year contract.
Rogers Wireless, Canada's largest GSM mobile provider is testing a new 3.5G HSPA/UMTS network that can operate at 7.2Mbps.
I hope they have reasonably priced unlimted data plans, like those available south of the border.
Note that Rogers also own Fido, which is the only other GSM network in Canada.
Tony Blair says Canada will become an economic and political powerhouse.
Canada is poised to become an economic and political powerhouse in
the world, former British prime minister Tony Blair said Friday.
Since today was unseasonably warm, we all went out to a park and did some fishing. On the way back, we passed by some dirt hills by the garbage dump west of Waterloo.
Two wireless providers in Canada started offering laptop access via PC cards.
Bell Canada has introduced laptop cards that provide internet connectivity anywhere in coverage areas. The ads tout the fact that they can be used in a cab or on a train.
These cards use the mobile phone frequencies and data infrastructure (EVDO).
The monthly unlimited plan is $75 which is reasonable.
OnStep is a full featured telescope controller. A low cost controller based on the STM32 Blue Pill was created by myself. You can order kits for building your own, as well as a Smart Hand Controller.
More info can be found here:
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