Life in Canada, weather, humor, and more

Happiness: Waterloo Region ranks #1 in Ontario, and #4 Canada wide


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.

Canada's wireless market may get more competitive


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.

Canada's poorest pay more taxes than its richest


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. 

Sandvine's technology aiding Comcast BitTorrent filesharing blocking


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.

Rogers Wireless testing 3.5G HSPA/UMTS data communication


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.

Bell Canada and Rogers laptop connection cards provide internet access anywhere (Linux?)


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.


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