Random Bump

Youtube/VEOH Fix For Canadians

Just thought I’d post this tidbit for Canadians who are having problems accessing videos on Youtube and Veoh.

I’ve been encountering an error for over a day on Youtube resulting in this message on all videos : “An error has occurred. Please try again later.”

This problem can be bypassed by using Google’s Public DNS Server.

The above linked site contains instructions on using this server for Microsoft Windows Vista, Mac OS X and Ubuntu Linux users.

Instructions on configuring Windows Microsoft XP, Windows 7 and other versions of Linux can be found by clicking here.

Platinum Blonde On Tour

80’s rockers Platinum Blonde are back on tour :

May 8th, 2010 – Cobourg, Ontario
Park Playhouse & Performance Center
May 24th, 2010 – Oshawa, Ontario
General Motors Center
May 28th, 2010 – Peterborough, Ontario
The Montreal House

Platinum Blonde

a-ha will be no more

Having lost track of this Norwegian band after the release of their Lifelines icon album in 2003, I hadn’t heard that the band was going to officially split up at the end of this year, two years short of their 30th anniversary.

Apparently their latest release, Foot Of The Mountain, was quite the success in Europe and the trio had decided to go out with a bang, appropriately naming their final tour the “Ending On A High Note Tour“.

Not only was the album critically acclaimed but it topped the German charts, reached #2 in Norway and had debuted in the United Kingdom charts at #5 last summer.

It’s rather sad to see this pop institution go, Take On Meicon being one of the best known music videos of the MTV generation, followed closely by The Sun Always Shines On TVicon.

These videos, along with the videos for Train Of Thought, Hunting High And Low and their incredible cover of The Everly Brothers’ Crying In The Rain aired quite frequently on Canadian music video networks Much Music and Musique Plus from the mid 80’s to mid 90’s.

But of course these stations had pretty much dropped most of their music videos by the time Forever Not Yours and Lifelines were released in 2002 so their Lifelines icon album didn’t chart higher than the 28th position here in Canada at the time. And this album had topped the charts in Norway, Germany, Latvia and Estonia.

Actually, I don’t even remember hearing anything from Analogue (All I Want) on the radio when it was released in 2005, which was the band’s first UK top ten hit since 1988.

Well, at least Toronto residents will be lucky to see them perform live for one last time on May 10th at Massey Hall. I understand tickets are still available for the gig.

a-ha

Free Music Downloads Via iCoke

Just thought I’d post this tidbit of info :

Canadians can redeem iCoke Points for music downloads from chooseyoursongs.com, in increments of five download credits for 5000 iCoke points.

Specially marked Coke, Sprite and Nestle products contain codes that can be redeemed online at icoke.ca for 500 to 1000 points each individual product purchase.

Basically you get 500 points per individual specially marked 591 ml or 2 L Coca Cola, Coca Cola Zero, Diet Coke product purchase, 500 points per individual specially marked 591 ml Sprite product purchase and 1000 points when you purchase specially marked 12 packs of Nestle iced tea (Zero and Green Tea versions included).

If you join iCoke’s mailing list you can also redeem 3500 points instead for this 5 song download credit package.

Please note that to redeem the points and download the music you will need to register at iCoke and chooseyoursongs.com. And the later is mostly limited to Universal Music Canada artists so you should probably browse the site.

LOTR on Blu-Ray Tomorrow

The Lord Of The Rings trilogy will be released tomorrow on Blu-Ray, though I should mention that these are the theatrical releases and not the Special Extended Editions, whose Blu-ray release date is unknown at the moment.

Amazon.com states that the extended trilogy will be made available in 2011 or 2012, though I suspect they will release it during this year’s Christmas holiday period.

The first installment of The Hobbit films is scheduled for release in 2011 according to IMDB.com and they could easily use the release of the extended version on Blu-Ray to build up a summer release of the first Hobbit film.

But of course this is speculation on my part and the press release scheduled for release tomorrow might shine some better light on the subject.

Having not upgraded to Blu-Ray yet i’m not in a rush to get the Blu-Ray release of the extended versions. And I am quite content in watching the special edition DVDs upconverted until it is released.

Contest VS Scam

Seeing that this is about attempts to fool people I thought I’d post this on April 1st.

A few days back I was tinkering with my older computer when I got this call from Florida.

When I picked up and said hello I heard nothing. No voice, no recording. So, of course, I dismissed it as a telemarketing call, from one of those rude telemarketers that use computerized devices that put people on hold while the staff pitches their products and services to someone else.

After hanging up I Googled the phone number, (813) 948-2768, and comments about a credit card scam came up so I decided to jot the number down where I could remember it.

A few minutes later I got another call.

This time the same phone number appeared for a few seconds and then was relabeled as “Unknown Caller“.

Whoops !

I was again put on hold and was subjected to about a minute or so of dead air, that I spent voicing some choice words in the hopes of being recorded by the telemarketer. But in the middle of my rant I was interrupted by a woman, who suddenly called me by name.

Well, apparently I had won something – A Universal Cruise.

Oh Wow ! Enter Gospel music here !

Isn’t it interesting how I’ve managed to win something I didn’t enter ? Something I had no interest in, what-so-ever, because it would require me to waste my time and money getting a passport ?

But of course, this didn’t deter the telemarketer, who apparently thought that because she had my birth date that I could be fooled into believing I had entered this contest, regardless of my concerns about the passport issue and general disinterest in the prize.

Annoyed that she had somehow managed to obtain my birth date I then pressed her for details about the contest. I asked her where I had allegedly entered the contest.

Her response was that she was just some telemarketer that was hired to contact potential winners and that all she knew was that I had allegedly filled up a contest entry form on one of the social networking sites, mentioning AOL, Yahoo, and Facebook by name.

This was all rather vague so I then asked who the sponsor of the contest was, a reasonable question that she apparently didn’t have a response for because she then proceeded to ask me to confirm my details again for my “prize package”.

By then I had decided that if she was unable to provide real answers that her supervisor could, so I asked to speak to him. But of course, customer service appeared to be secondary to getting me to confirm my address and marital status.

Hmm !

So I asked again to speak to her supervisor, stating that I could easily file a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner, whose office happens to be in the city I lived in.

That particular piece of information of course resulted in a prompt disconnection.

Goodbye telemarketer !

Apparently, this telemarketing company had not considered that a large percentage of Ottawa residents are in the public service industry and may be employed by the following or may know someone who is employed by the following :

I am a regular reader of RedFlagDeal’s contest forum so I enter contests frequently. But even I keep track of the contests I enter and having won numerous contests I know the following :

  • The sponsor or sponsors of contests contact winners directly, usually via their public relations department, legal department or department assigned to contests.
  • This representative knows where you have entered the contest because he or she has to know whether you agreed to comply with the rules of the contest (or not) and answered a skill testing question correctly (or not).
  • Contests are for publicity so no sponsor would ever ask their identity to be concealed. It would be counterproductive and they couldn’t write the contest off as an advertising expense with Revenue Canada or the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Prizes are NOT taxed in Canada or subject to any fees. In the province of Quebec the publicity contests fees are paid by the sponsor in advance in exchange for the right to advertise the contest in that province.
  • There are NO legal fees incurred in awarding a prize. Whatever expenses the sponsor incurred in running the contest is written off as a promotional expense because contests are promotional. These expenses include delivery (shipping & handling) and any customs fees & duties paid by the sponsor, if any.
  • You are NOT required to pay customs fees on prizes to the sponsor or sponsor’s representative. It is Canada Post or the courier (Fed-Ex/UPS) that collects and processes customs fees on Revenue Canada’s behalf, if any, when the prize is physically received by you from a foreign address.
  • The sponsor or representative should be able to provide a link to the rules and regulations that you had allegedly read online as a condition to enter their contest, upon request. These rules and regulations need to comply to our Federal, Provincial and Municipal laws to be valid.

Basically if the caller is loud, obnoxious, argumentative, dismissive and/or cheap, I tend to suspect he or she is a con artist.

And BTW, just after the call I had found out that my Facebook profile privacy settings had been changed allowing everyone to view my birth date. Check your settings !