Technology

Various topics on technology, mainly computers, software, open source, and the like.

Microsoft and the dumbing down of generations

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Sometimes, things happen or you hear them, and an bulb lights up! Something is revealed to you.

Years ago, I experienced such a moment, from a 10 or 11 year old: my daughter Suhaila.

For some reason the stove that was only a year old, displayed a blinking "8:88" in the timer, and did not respond to buttons pressed.

After trying for a while, I told my wife jokingly: "Well, I guess we will pull the plug. I wish we had Ctrl-Alt-Del on it". To my utter surprise, Suhaila, my oldest daughter said: "Yeah, Ctrl-Alt-Del is very good. It is so useful! It solves all problems you have!"

Obama, and the Blackberry as an information conduit

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US President-Elect Barack Obama was on an interview with Barbara Walters on ABC yesterday.

Among the things that was discussed, was his intention on keeping the Blackberry he currently uses.

What struck me was this quote:

"One of the things that I'm going to have to work through is how to break through the isolation -- the bubble that exists around the president.

Less choice is better: CEO of cell phone giant Vodafone urges fewer operating systems

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Arun Sarin, CEO of Vodafone, the largest cell phone provider in the world, is urging handset makers to cut down the number of operating systems they use.

He wants the 30 to 40 to go down to 3-5. Fewer operating systems would ease the job of developers, who would
only have to design software to work in several different iterations.

He praised Apple for raising the bar for the user interface.

Canada's wireless market may get more competitive

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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.

Mobile phones as wallets: Royal Bank of Canada and VISA to conduct trials in 2008

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The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and VISA will trial the use mobile phones as wallets in 2008. The trials will be done in Ontario, and will be limited to amounts of $25.

This is finally catching up to what some countries in Scandinavia have.

Via CBC.

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

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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.

IT World Survey reveals 'sobering' IT skill shortage

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A survey by IT World Canada reveals that employers are seeking experienced workers over new graduates.

In the survey, 61% expect to hire this year. Staffing in 2007 is up 12% for IT workers. The number of IT employees on payrolls is expected to increase by 2%. 68% of new hires are expected to have 10 years or more experience in other companies.Average total compensation increase across the IT industry is 4.1% from 2006 to 2007.

Web 2.0: Technology industry has trouble filling positions in USA and Canada

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Yet another resource shortage in the tech industry. Companies are having trouble filling tech jobs, and offer perks to try to attract talent. Builder.au has likened that to the dot com era culture.

This CBC article takes a Canadian view of the issue, with enrolment in tech courses being flat, while graduates have no trouble getting interviews and job offers.

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