Thumbs Up / Down
10.4.2002 by , every Wednesday.
I had the opportunity to go to a speech by Deputy PM John Manley today, and I must say that he really impressed me. Questioned by everyone from anti-globalists to law students to myself, his answers were all to-the-point and right-on (although, stangely, his speech was pure fluff). This guy knows what he's doing, knows when he's right, and isn't afraid to say it. In other words, he's not a typical sleazy politician. This may have something to do with the fact that he hasn't been in politics that long, his lack of re-election-worrying or that he is Minister of Finance. Anyway, we at least have one high-ranking politician whose head seems to be firmly screwed on. He's got my vote (if he ever gets the chance...).
Read this (condensed) transcript of a phone conversation my roommate had while trying to cancel our Bell Sympatico DSL service:
"I would like to cancel my service"
"The [newly introduced] bandwidth cap [of course, you goddamned idiot]"
"Are you absolutely sure?"
"Yes [no, definitely not, in fact I was calling to ask you what to do. Moron.]"
"What if I gave you free internet for a month?"
"What if I offered you a three month discount on our premium Internet service (which is twice as expensive as what you're paying now)? "
"What about if I gave you a free six-month subscription to our online gaming service?"
"Can I do anything? Send you a free Webcam maybe? Anything at all"
"no!!!!!!!!! [I want to cut you up and play with your blood!!]"
Well you get the picture. Bell somehow thinks that because they're a monopoly in some areas, that gives them licence to act like used-car salesman in all areas. When they put you on hold, they try to sell you stuff. When you call them, they transfer you from one operator to another, until one finally says "We don't have enough operators right now, can one call you back?" Still, it can't be just because they're a monopoly - Brewer's Retail doesn't try to hard-sell you more expensive beer. Hydro-Québec doesn't stuff their bills with advertising flyers. The Banks don't engage in false advertising. Even Air Canada and Via Rail don't treat their customers like naughty children. Sooner or Later, Bell must either smarten up or go down.
So they have this pilot project at school where they lend people 802.11b (a.k.a."Wi-Fi", "AirPort") wireless-equipped laptops, and it's one of the most nifty things I've seen in quite some time. Not only that, but it is getting to the point where wireless LAN equipment is getting to be affordable - affordable enough that the added price of cables might even make it cheaper than normal Ethernet. Surf the web in the kitchen. Take your streaming music to the Living Room. Check your email on the John. You can even get adapters for Palms and Handsprings, which could be the perfect match in, say, a hospital environment. The possibilities are endless.
Our house is clean. Our house is tidy. Our house does not have dishes lying around, overflowing garbage cans, Concordia students or fruits unless you count my roommates. What our house does have, though, is a ridiculous fruit fly infestation. They're everywhere. What are they feeding on? Beats me. I initially blamed it on warm weather, but they're still here and they aren't in anybody else's apartment. We've tried everything from insecticides to bleach to Edith Piaf, and nothing lessens their numbers. Of course there is one plausible explanation I can think of --Maybe they're not flies at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!