U.S / Canadian Dollar Parity

Economists predict that the Canadian dollar will be at parity with the U.S dollar shortly so I thought I’d repost my guide on importing CDs & DVDs, with a few select links :

Importing CDs & DVDs to Save Money

As you can see I haven’t managed to find the time to move the international listings to this blog yet. I’m hoping to get something up by the end of this week. I will post a link here when it is added.

Don’t Fall for The Scams

I have just made aware of yet another phishing scam, this time involving Facebook.

Every few days someone tried to get people to click on fake links in official sounding emails and people are unfortunately still falling for it.

It’s quite simple. If a company sends an email to you saying there’s a problem with your account then go to the company’s web site directly.

Do not click on the link provided in the email !
Delete the email immediately !

These links are fake and dangerous. They lead to fake websites that steal passwords and install viruses onto your computer, that also not only steal more passwords as you type them but send out copies of the email you just received to the emails you’ve got in your contact list.

Some of these viruses also take over your computer, so it’s best to just delete these emails immediately and to install virus/malware scanners that will look for these viruses in the email you receive.

Microsoft currently offers windows users a free software package that can be used to protect Windows based machines.

Microsoft Security Essentials will protect machines against viruses, spyware and malware. But I also recommend the use of alternative browsers like Firefox, which is more secure, as well as web based email, like Gmail, whose email is usually scanned for viruses and spam.

I also like the immunity function of Spybot-Search and Destroy, which instructs your browser to prevent certain suspect scripts and websites from loading up. But you need to turn off real time protection if you’re using another virus scanning program.

Some of you may already have anti-virus and anti-spyware software pre-installed on your computers. Or some of you may have software provided to you by your internet providers. You should always update these regularly to address the latest threats. But even with this software installed it’s best to consider all emails of this nature to be potential threats.

New Levy Proposed For Mp3 Players

A new levy for mp3 players and iPods has been proposed in Parliament.

Private Members Bill C-499 would extend the current private copying levy from blank audio cassettes, CD-R, CD-RW and DAT tapes to MP3 Players, including iPods, in order to compensate copyright holders for the distribution of copyrighted material to these devices.

Unfortunately the previous attempt to expand this levy to “digital audio recorders” called for rates up to $75 per device, which would have been passed onto consumers by the manufacturers, and would have resulted in the decimation of the Canadian sales of these devices because Canadian consumers would have imported them to avoid the additional fees.

As a consumer I oppose these levies because I believe I have already paid for the right to distribute recordings that I have purchased online to these devices. And I have also purchased the compact discs from which I make private copies, copies for personal use that are deemed legal since the passing of the Private Copying Act in 1997.

Remuneration is not required from me because I do not download music illegally off the net, yet this levy is based on the assumption that I download recordings off the net illegally simply because I own a device that can be used to store this material.

After all they had assumed that most of the previously levied items were used to make copies of copyrighted material. And this will of course result in further assumptions about film downloads, which will likely result in more levies in the future on DVD-R, DVD-RW and devices on which video can be stored or played back.

We need an equitable, logical remuneration scheme based on the realities of today’s recording industry.

Distribution is no longer limited to a physical medium like vinyl, cassette or compact disc and the consumer should not be paying for a recording every time they copy this recording to a medium when this copying is meant for personal, private use.

Please contact your local Member of Parliament and voice your opinion on this issue as soon as possible.

I will be updating this blog entry as the issue progresses.

Congratulations Platinum Blonde

Canadian 80’s new wave rockers Platinum Blonde will be inducted in the Canadian Music and Broadcast Industry Hall of Fame tonight.

Congratulations to Mark Holmes, Sergio Galli, Chris Steffler and last but not least, the late Kenny Maclean.

Amazon Wants Canadian Distribution Center

Online retailer Amazon.com is considering a distribution center in Canada according to The Globe And Mail.

The online retailer currently operates Amazon.ca via a Canada Post subsidiary and hopes to pass on their savings in operating a “fulfillment center” in Canada.

My Favorite Corey Haim Film

I’m sure most people will probably say that their favorite Corey Haim film is “The Lost Boys” or “License To Drive” but I prefer Stephen King’s “Silver bullet”.

I don’t mind the 80’s teen films Corey Haim is primarily known for but I was never really interested in the genre so I don’t have many of these films in my collection.

Strangely enough I had not known he was Canadian, even after seeing him in The Edison Twins, a CBC television series that aired in the 80’s in Canada. He was born in Toronto in December 1971.

I guess I’ll be adding a few of his films to my online rental list but I think I’ll skip “National Lampoon’s Last Resort”, which I heard was quite terrible.