October 10th, 2015
|10:45 am - Harper Economy|
If you talk to most people around the globe, they most likely will tell you that conservatives are better at handling the economy. In many cases it is true, but in many others it is not true, and this is especially the case for Canada.
Take for example the misconception of Stephen Harper's superior handling of the economy, he keeps saying that over and over and over, but how about the numbers, do they support his claim?
Let's look at the last 10 years of Harper's Economy and compare it with the previous 10 years....
Data source: data.worldbank.org/country/canada
It is absolutely clear that in the last 10 years of Harper, Canada underperformed the previous 10 years. Canada's GDP grew less than half rate of the growth during the previous 10 years, let alone stagnant wage growth, or high unemployment numbers. Yet Harper continues to say that Canada was doing great, and how in "global uncertainty" we should do nothing and be afraid to invest aggressively in programs that grow the economy.... because you know what? it is doing just fine.
The danger with that kind of thinking is that Canada is being outranked globally by other countries, if you stand still other countries are not standing still, they are growing their own economy and surpassing you. In 2006 Canada was ranked the 8th economy by GDP, now it is no longer in the top 10 economies, it has gone down to 11th (surpassed by Russia, India and Brazil) and will soon be surpassed by Australia which currently sits at #12.
One thing the conservatives are good at however is the ability to articulate that they are best for the economy, the opposition is always trying to articulate their position but come short, very short, they somehow try to talk about how they can help the middle class, or the poor who in a sense don't see a direct corelation (at least not in the short term) between their well being and the country's GDP growth. I think this is a shame, because if the discussion turns into hard numbers we will all be better off, be it under non-conservative government that tracks the growth of the economy and makes sure it is growing or a conservative government that knows that it actually matters to grow the economy, not just perception that they are doing a good job.
October 28th, 2014
|11:45 am - CIBC car loans|
Sometimes people have bad experiences with one company or another, and that can cause them to have negative reaction to that brand, but the problem with CIBC for me is that I have had way too many negative experiences to make undoubtedly make it the worst bank in Canada.
So my second interaction with CIBC (after trying to open a new bank account with CIBC as a new immigrant) was trying to get a car loan. The story starts after having been in Canada for few months, having a well paying job, I wanted to buy a car, and the financial department of that car maker told me basically that it was difficult to get a car loan through them, simply because I did not have a credit history, being a new comer and all, they explained to me that I need to find a bank that can give me with a car loan, but also be careful about how to get that loan,( Read more...Collapse )
October 24th, 2014
|10:26 pm - CIBC bank accounts for immigrants|
A while back I have written posts about how CIBC mortgage advisors are the worst, and how CIBC is the worst bank in canada, period, but then a recent commenter on one of these posts wrote a comment about how similar experience they had, and like many others hated what CIBC have done to them, and that reminded me of my first experiences with CIBC, so I thought I should write those too.
Back in the day when I first moved to Canada the first bank I tried to open an account with was CIBC, so I walked into a branch and I asked to open a bank account. Having just arrived here, I was staying at a hotel and had no permenant address, I also had all my money in a draft cheque issued by Royal Bank (which is a Canadian institution!), with very little cash on hand...( Read more...Collapse )
May 16th, 2014
|03:10 pm - New Facelift for LiveJournal|
OK, so I read that LiveJournal has a new facelift, which reminded me that I haven't written anything in a long time.
So Just trying out the new interface, hopefully this will make me keep my journal more current :)
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.
( Read more...Collapse )
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!
( More on Rob Ford"s Cocaine delima...Collapse )
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.
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.
October 18th, 2012
|11:51 pm - Mike Preston goes to jail!|
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.
And finally this:
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.
( Read more...Collapse )