Music Technology

New Tablet

Amazon Canada has just released their 8″ Fire tablets in Canada, enabling people to access Netflix, Spotify, Facebook, Kindle, Prime Music and Prime video for 12 hours on one charge for less than $130.

The device has a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor and is available in with either 16 GB and 32 GB internal storage, which can be expanded by another 256 using a MicroSD card. It also has front and back facing 720p HD cameras, though these are 2 MP.

I personally don’t use my tablet for photography so I wouldn’t mind the lower resolution. But I prefer a larger screen, although this compact tablet would be great for those longer train or plane rides. I’d definitely consider one for those trips over my significantly more expensive Samsung tablet, which doesn’t have as much battery life and storage capacity as the Fire Tablet.

Yes, Youtube, Google Play and Gmail will not likely be available via an app on this tablet because of the ongoing issues in-between Google and Amazon. But you should be able to access these services through the tablet’s browser and Plex is available on this tablet, an app that allows people to access media on their personal computer.

Overall, i’d say it’s a great tablet for the price.

Cyber Monday

Looking through the Cyber Monday sales there still appears to be a few good deals to be had from Amazon.ca, its international counterparts, Best Buy Canada, Barnes & Noble, Indigo, NewEgg Canada, Second Spin, Sonos Canada and other retailers listed on my previous blog entry so i’ll be busy shopping around today.

I’ve already found a significant drop in price for the Deluxe version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Tango In The Night” and will be keeping my eye out for other deals. 🙂

Search over 1 MILLION titles!

Net Neutrality Still Under Attack

It appears that Americans will have no choice but to subscribe to services dictated to them by their internet providers. And that Canadians will be up for a fight to retain fast access with the states.

That’s right, not only are these Americans limited in regards to their choice of internet providers but these providers will be able to throttle sites that compete with sites they own or have business relationships with, which include Canadian sites.

Although this is being sold as an improvement to the internet by the Federal Communications Commission in their official November 21st, 2017 statement (PDF), most experts know that this is yet another call for deregulation, a process that eventually results in parties imposing themselves on the consumer, without a means for the consumer to defend himself/herself.

In this statement, the FCC claims “the FCC would simply require Internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate” yet nothing is mentioned about the lack of competition is some states or the possibility of fees being placed on accessing certain sites like Netflix, iTunes or even Amazon.com, who also stream content to Americans.

The bill itself calls for the US Government “to prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from reclassifying broadband Internet access service as a telecommunications service and from imposing certain regulations on providers of such service” with no information on how it proposes to regulate internet providers that currently hold a monopoly on high speed internet access in some areas or how it would prevent some internet providers from blocking certain competitors or redirecting traffic to their sites.

As Canadians we should also be conserved about these content providers because whatever happens in their primary market can determine how much we pay for their services here. And it appears that quite a few of the content providers are spending considerable amounts fighting the so called “Restoring Internet Freedom Act” because it hinders not only their freedom but the freedom of their customers.

In what way is the average consumer having his or her freedoms hindered by net neutrality ?

The claim that access is being withheld because internet providers are unable to fund their infrastructure is made dubious by the amount of profit these companies release every quarter. They can easily afford expanding but won’t because they want to re-direct their customers to more profitable in house services, whose cable television services have been suffering because of the new content providers.

In other words they’re asking the FCC to give them their cable television customers back by enabling them to throttle and block their competition, which could easily include streaming broadcasts from television networks they do not own. This is a rather vague, slippery slope situation that could be so litigious as to cause subscription fees to skyrocket beyond the inflation rate. And the North American Free Trade Agreement talks won’t help either.

If you have American friends, please encourage them to visit Open Media and to contact their local representatives in regards to this issue.

Thank you.

Pre-Black Friday Week Sales

The Pre-Black Friday Week discounts have begun at the following retailers :

* Amazon Canada – Shop Black Friday Week Deals
* Amazon International – Shop Black Friday Week Deals
* Best Buy Canada – Black Friday Prices Now
* Books A Million – Shop Early Black Friday Deals at Books-A-Million!
* Guitar Center – Countdown to Black Friday Daily Pick: Top-selling gear at the lowest prices of the season. Valid 11/8 to 11/22.
* Indigo/Chapters – Pre-Black Friday Sale. Check out this store’s Record Shop
* Mac Mall/PC Mall – Pre- Black Friday Sale
* Mark’s Work Warehouse – Various Deals
* Microsoft Canada – Starts mid next week / Shop Microsoft Store – Free Shipping and Free Returns!
* Music & Arts – Black Friday Deals – 20% off purchases $199+ with code: BF20. Valid 11/17 to 11/26.
* Musician’s Friend – (Deals start on Monday)
* Newegg Canada – Black Friday Deal Leak
* Pinnacle Systems – Black Friday deals have arrived! Save Big on Pinnacle products
* Roxio – Black Friday deals have arrived! Save Big on Roxio products

Prime Music Comes To Canada

Prime Music is now available for free to Amazon Prime Members in Canada.

This music service, which is available on multiple devices through an app, features millions of songs and is advert free.

Amazon Prime Members will also notice that many addresses in Ottawa-Gatineau are now eligible for one day shipping.

Scalper Exposed in Paradise Papers

CBC’s Fifth Estate will be airing a report on Super Scalpers tonight at 9pm Eastern, one of which is listed on the Paradise Papers.

This Montreal based scalper managed to accumulate millions in sales via Stubhub, a site that sells event tickets throughout the world, by allegedly bypassing a four ticket per fan limit at a site that had sold tickets for Adele concerts through-out Europe last year.

Unfortunately, scalpers like these have been keeping tickets from the poorer fans for years by using ticket bot software that gives them unfair access to tickets and governments throughout the world, like that of the provincial government of Ontario are trying to control this unscrupulous behaviour through legislation. And now we know at least one of them is evading taxes…

Consult your local television listings for your local broadcast. And if you miss this program, you will likely be able to watch it via the Fifth Estate web site.