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November 9th, 2013


06:45 pm - Yes, Toronto does have a crack head mayor
Poor guy, things just keep getting worse for him. I have no idea why he wouldn't step down, I can rarely remember anyone staying in office after having a single scandal, but Rob seems to do one after one after one.
The story has changed from shocking to amusing to crazy to sad. Its like watching a train wreck in slowmo.

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June 2nd, 2013


05:57 pm - Rob Ford Crack
I am a big Rob Ford fan as a councilor, and although he wasn't my councilor he was one of those most interesting people in council that would say something outrageous, and you laugh. He was also one of those that kept council in check, because you obviously don't want everyone at the city council to think the same. His conservative agenda is also a breath of fresh air, considering that Toronto is by far a left leaning city, and most council members would spend more money in a heart beat.
Having said all this, when he ran for elections as a mayor I was terrified of the idea of having someone like him run the city. The guy knows nothing about running anything besides a dictatorship. He would probably make a good business person running a small company in which everyone listens to him, but running public office is entirely different, you need to get consensus, you need to have leadership abilities to convince others to come to middle ground, or at least approve of what you are asking them to do, that he is not. He is also the kind of person that would consume the world with talking about him. I thought that if he ever was elected nothing will ever get accomplished at the city, and boy was I right! I never thought that the words "rob ford cocaine" can be put in the same sentence!
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February 20th, 2013


11:44 pm - The raise and fall of the iPhone empire
I have been off the journal for few months, unfortunately during this time some asshole started to argue with the victims of the fraud named Mike Preston, apparently there are idiots who think being victimized by thieves is funny. I digress.

Anyway, back to regular programming.
Recently Apple has been on the news quite a bit. I think this is mostly because there is so much expectation of that company that no matter what they do, they will disappoint. I have also been predicting this fall for quite some time, I wrote about it a while ago and although years have gone since that posting, Apple did not correct the direction they were taking the iPhone to.... the ditch.
They seem to be a little reactionary now, but so far there are no major changes to their attitude or the direction their products are going. This means that Apple will continue to milk the iPhone as a premium device till it hits a small market share.
So how about the iPad? well I think Apple noticed the drop in market share and reacted rather quickly with the introduction of the iPad. I have seen reports that Android tablet shipments have surpassed that of iPad, a little shocking as I have long thought that this will take few more years.
The iPad in my opinion remains the king of tablets but I think think it is also on the downward spiral unfortunately.
With all this gloomy news, Apple is by no means going down, they have tons of cash in the bank and tons of great engineers, it is just their strategy is not in the right place, and sadly, sooner or later they will lose the non-hardcore user base. We will have to wait and see I guess, but things don't look very promising.
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October 24th, 2012


11:53 pm - Vonage Database Compromised
To avoid spam and to improve password security, I maintain different email addresses when signing up for different services. Long time ago when I signed up for Vonage I started receiving spam on their address. Not making much of that event, I simply created a new address again specifically just for them, but somehow I started to get spam once more on that specific address.
This problem might occur with personal email addresses that my friends have, their computers somehow get infected with viruses or compromised and they get hold of my personal email. But when a specific alias used specifically for a given service receives spam, it means that the company's database has been compromised and my address was obtained from that organization.
The issue is these companies also retain customer info besides email addresses that might also be compromised.
This is truly the result is mediocre software practices, where passwords and important customer information are stored in plain text. Organizations that retain customer information must become liable for any breach of information if they don't provide sufficient security to the customer data. If you are not able to maintain the database with sufficient security measures then don't keep the customer data, you are simply not worthy of retaining that data.

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October 18th, 2012


11:51 pm - Mike Preston goes to jail!
Mike Preston head down

UPDATE: Someone is trying to defend Mike's son Chris Preston. They think it is OK to cover up for fraudsters, so despite Chris's covering up for his fraudster dad they think just because he wasn't taking the money himself it still makes him a good kid!! how sad!

WOW! Justice is finally served. After years from having scammed innocent people from their hard earned money, Mike Preston, the crook finally goes to jail. I was contacted by one of the victims and she shared her story and photos.
"He (Mike Preston) got max sentence suggested by the Crown: 6 months PLUS full restitution order. When he gets out, he has 30 days to pay into amounts or goes back to jail. He came dressed in his "costume" - the hapless working man - dirty golf shirt and jeans. He jumped up and tried to beg the judge; "But I need to work..." She told him to sit down and agreed with the crown that the term should be served consecutively (no weekends, not broken up by visits home...YES!!). He started bawling, wiping his eyes. The court was full of burly officers. They cuffed him and took him to jail!!! Right away!! He was asking about his car, asking if he could phone his family - they told him; "You get one call in jail"!! It was a total movie moment. I took pix of him cuffed, and asked him if he remembered telling me all those years ago that there was nothing I could do??? He just shook his head like he was being wronged. The cops escorted him through a crowded waiting room, while we followed and took pix. He would have been utterly humiliated. People were craning to get a good look at this "criminal". Such an important day emotionally. Now on to our architect :P Crown and Consumer Protection would like you to commence an action as well"

Tears now Mike? you have given grief and tears to dozens of innocent families, and you get away with 6 months! that's not even close enough, just be glad that you are only required to return the stolen money and not cover all the damages you caused to those victims. Here are some more photos of the crook.
Love those handcuffs!

And finally this:
with cuffs

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September 16th, 2012


10:37 pm - TekSavvy Reliability
Few months ago I was thinking about switching my ISP from Rogers to TekSavvy, the premise seemed unresistable, ditch Rogers who loves to charge its customers an arm and leg and keep offering a service that is years behind while charging for overages over a quota that is simply not enough for today's average internet user. On the other hand TekSavvy, a young company who is giving excellent value for the money.

While on the surface that seemed great, the actual experience is far from. The essence of the issue is reliability! I had to go through the whole switch over process only to realize that the TekSavvy reliability is an overlooked metric. Not because they have poor customer service, or because they have subpar network, their problem is actually caused by Rogers themselves!

It is a know fact that TekSavvy actually doesn't own the network, they are simply a reseller for cable and DSL, but what I didn't know was the actual logistics involved between the reseller and the company providing the service, and in my case... it was Rogers.

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August 28th, 2012


11:19 pm - Mike Preston
Few years ago I was ripped off by an HVAC guy named Mike Preston who promised to install a geothermal furnace and ran away with our down payment. His original company was called Max Air Geothermal which went bankrupt, later on I learned that this was not the first, and sadly it wasn't the last since he later created Fairway Mechanical through which was also ripping off people according to few commenter who visited the blog (Thanks guys for sharing your stories), in fact one user said that he is ripping banks off now, nice! So I decided to check whatever happened to his company and sure enough the website was down saying that it "has been suspended due to non-payment" well that sounds like Mike Preston alright.... I hope they can get their money!


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July 17th, 2012


10:18 pm - Fuck Rogers
UPDATE Unfortunately, I have switched back to Rogers because the alternative was to deal with TekSavvy Reliability issues, which are not acceptable.

I remember the days when Bell Canada used to be the bad guys, gouging customers, errors in billings that keep piling on, and ever increasing service fees. Rogers was the new kid on the block, they had better service (faster internet) and more reliable cable TV.
Fast forward a decade or two and it seems that Rogers now has become the new Bell. With fees that keep increasing year after year (to serve us better) with a service that is pretty much the same. This is no longer the same Rogers that was created by Ted, the guy who had a Toronto street named after him.

10 years ago, there was no bandwidth limit on how much internet you can use on the Rogers network, then they introduced the limits. Many people were not affected by these limits because it really was meant for those who are addicted to downloading. But those limits have remained pretty much the same all these years, whereas technology hasn't. With Apple TV, Google TV and Netflix on the rise, bandwidth requirement increased significantly, we used 20-30G per month a year ago, but we now require that much in one day.

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May 27th, 2012


01:14 am - CIBC Mortgage, The worst mortgage advisors in Canada
A while back a wrote about my experiences with the worst bank in Canada, but really that wasn't the only problem I had with CIBC at the time. The whole problem with my credit card was happening while I was still having issues at the same time with my CIBC mortgage. But surely there are incompetent employees in all fields and organizations, and the actions of one shouldn't cause us to label an entire bank to be the worst. However in this case, all my interactions with CIBC mortgage employees showed the lack of knowledge by those CIBC mortgage advisers.

The story started years back when I was shopping around for a mortgage. At the time, I found out that CIBC was giving very low rates compared to the rest. I went and met up with a CIBC adviser "Ali" at a Toronto branch who was fairly nice and helpful. I don't like taking long time making decisions, so we wrapped up the decision and signed up for a new mortgage with CIBC. The process to get the paper work done took long, really long. We had to go back few times to sign new contracts, because they kept making mistakes in the filing documents!


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February 10th, 2012


11:20 am - Fairway Mechanical
A while back, I wrote a story about Mike Preston, the crook that took our money to install a geothermal system but ran away afterwards. Well, few days ago I was contacted by a gentleman named Ryan from Green Monsters. It turns out that Mike is back only this time with yet another business named "Fairway Mechanical" and he is scamming people again, just like he did with his older businesses. A quick search I found Fairway Mechanical on the BBB website and guess what? it has an F (that is on a scale of A+ to F), good job Mike! you never disappoint me.

Anyway, here is what Ryan had to say:
"Mike Preston is working in the Hamilton area selling and installing furnaces and hot water tanks. His current company is called Fairway Mechanical. His web site lists the address for the company as "Ancaster, Ontario", with no street address. On yellowpages.ca, Fairway is listed as located at 592 High Vaule Rd, Ancaster (which does not exist - he probably just made up an address because yellowpages.ca wouldn't list him without a street address).

My company Green Monsters did 3 energy audits for Fairway Mechanical's customers. Preston did not pay us for those audits as promised (each time, he promised to be on site with payment, but was never on site), and now the homeowners will not receive any of the ecoEnergy grants Preston promised because their energy audits were not paid for or processed. The advisor who did the audits noticed a red flag when doing one of the audits - the quote that Preston had given the customer listed hand written grant amounts that seemed unusually high.

Preston is still out there, please be aware!"

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