Americans will soon be able to subscribe to HBO without subscribing to cable, satellite or IPTV services according to The Wall Street Journal.
The chief executive of HBO informed Time Warner investors today that this service will be made available next year and I suspect many other networks will follow suit. But Canadians will of course be forced to wait for these services as the CRTC decides the future of television.
I certainly hope HBO will choose to bypass the Canadian oligopoly and offer services directly to individuals over the internet like Netflix.
It’s Canada Day 2014 and most Canadians have probably noticed their email inboxes filling up with requests to confirm their subscriptions to several mailing lists.
This is of course because the new anti-spam legislation comes in effect today, restricting the sending of unsolicited emails to Canadians.
I’ve personally taken advantage of several offers to confirm my subscriptions in exchange for contest entries. But I have also used the opportunity to unsubscribe to the mailings lists I no longer read regularly and recommend that you do so as well, as soon as possible.
You should note that this legislation is not limited to commercial email but extends to “malware, spyware, address harvesting, and false or misleading representations involving the use of any means of telecommunications, short message services (SMS), social networking, websites, URLs and other locators, applications, blogs, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and any other current or future Internet and wireless telecommunication threats prohibited by Canada’s anti-spam legislation.”
You can also help stop some of this activity by securing your Wi-fi with a password and by updating your antivirus & firewall software regularly.
I have just received word that the “Tour Tax”, a prohibitive fee that international artists were subjected to when performing in Canada, has been scrapped.
This counterproductive fee kept newer artists out of Canada, especially independent and unsigned artists, and has caused many clubs to stop featuring live acts altogether.
Over 143,000 signatures had been registered on a change.org petition promoted on this blog in 2013, which was presented to Jason Kenney, Canada’s Minister for Multiculturalism.
I had originally wanted to wait until the Privacy Commissioner of Canada released a report on Bill S-4 before commenting but decided that I should just go ahead and post something about this senate bill.
This bill was proposed to help in the cases of security breaches, to help control identity theft. But unfortunately it may also cause individuals to have their information given to third parties without their consent or knowledge.
“an organization may disclose personal information without the knowledge or consent of the individual if
(a) the disclosure is made to the other organization, the government institution or the part of a government institution that was notified of the breach under subsection (1); and
(b) the disclosure is made solely for the purposes of reducing the risk of harm to the individual that could result from the breach or mitigating that harm.” – Bill S-4, Section 10.2 (3)
Furthermore warrants may not be required under Bill C-13 and the costs associated to the infrastructure required to keep records of your online activities would be passed onto either consumers and/or taxpayers.
Are to believe this bill is meant to improve our situation ? We would be paying more for internet and give more private information to a government that was just hacked because of the Heartbeat Bug.
I think this bill needs to be re-written. And if you do too I think you should sign the Open Media petition on Privacy.
Today is Budget Day in Ottawa. And the current government has been promising to address some issues related to the higher prices Canadians pay for certain products.
Canadians pay significantly more for certain products than the Americans and although some of the price differences can be attributed to tariffs, labour and transportation costs, much of the purchase price is pre-determined by the manufacturer.
“Country Pricing” has become the standard and unfortunately Canada’s prices have not been adjusted to match our dollar’s strength.
Some online retailers have done their best to match prices but Canadians were still forced to either import products from the states or pay higher prices at their local retailers.
I suspect that tariffs will be reduced or eliminated on certain products in this budget, perhaps on books, clothing, electronics and home appliances.
Those are the most imported products, especially on Black Friday. But I’m also hoping they will follow the recommendations in the February 2013 Senate Committee report of the US/Canada Price Gap and raise the de minimis threshold for postal shipments from $20.
When you import most products by mail you are exempt from duties, fees and taxes if the product or products shipped are valued at less than $20 Canadian.
I’ve managed to save some money using they exemption. But many countries like the United States, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore had raised this minimum to US$100 in November 2011, enabling their citizens to avoid paying the hefty brokerage fees some couriers charge on parcels.
Brokerage fees have recently gone up in Canada so I’m hoping they will at least consider a CAN$50 threshold.
The other probabilities in the budget are reductions in credit card/banking fees, funding for an expansion of high speed internet into rural areas, and the unbundling of cable channels so I guess lots of Canadians will be watching this afternoon.