Friday, December 24, 2004

Skype Santa your X-mas List - Happy Festivus

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Festivus, in true Festivus style I hope you have all purchased your aluminum pole and are preparing for feats of strength and the airing of your grievances.

If you click here callto://santasworkshop or enter skype username: santasworkshop in your Skype window you can leave Santa a quick message to let him know any toys you have forgotten to put on your X-mas list.

Safe and happy Holidays...

PS - I could use some more SkypeOut Minutes, if any staff are feeling generous around the holidays towards a loyal beta tester. :)

Thursday, December 23, 2004

The only thing IE is good for is downloading Firefox.

I am a huge fan of Mozilla Firefox, honestly if you still use IE, immediately proceed to and install Firefox.

This tweak, really sped up my overall Firefox experience, which was already great - props to the author..

Basically (the way I understand it - please correct me if I am way off) it changes the way Ffox pings a web server.. instead of sending individual requests it sends 30 - a little tougher on the webserver but much better for you...

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

What's in the Water in Estonia?

Josh Levine (Forbes), wrote a really good piece on the Skype guys, and the general IT climate in Estonia. Being small, smart and driven has its advantages, but combining that with a driven entrepreneurial 'I've got something to prove' attitude, seems to be a winning combination. The talent pool in this country seems endless, some of the most clever programmers I have had the pleasure of working with, all seem to have roots in this E-Baltic wifi prodigious nation.

Might be time for a visit, I am one hell of a paintballer - so I might fit right in at the next office party. Got a spare bed Jaanus?

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Extreme Skype

This is undoubtedly the coolest use of Skype I have seen yet. I often joke that with a satellite connection you could talk from the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro to another guy at the top of Mt. Everest, but looks like these guys are actually doing it.

One of the neat things I have been working on is the ability to audioblog using Skype, so remotely on a PDA, say hanging by your fingertips to the rock on the North Face of some mountain :) you could take a moment and audioblog your experiences if you had a Sat. connection, through an RBGAN.

Unfortunately you could end up audioblogging your screaming death plunge if you fall off during your session. Although you would go out with a bang, your blog would get more traffic than you could imagine.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Peace Up, A town down.. west side Aiee..

I have no idea what it is about this clip, but it completely cracks me up.

Need Quicktime.

Peace Up

Credit to the author, whomever you might be.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

10 Cheesiest Movie Lines of All Time.

These are hard to argue with, cept' for the Top gun reference - that scene brings a tear to my eye everytime.

Did they miss any?

The list of big cheese moments:

1. "Titanic": Leonardo DiCaprio's "I'm the king of the world!"

2. "Dirty Dancing": Patrick Swayze's "Nobody puts Baby in the corner."

3. "Four Weddings And A Funeral": Andie McDowell's "Is it still raining? I hadn't noticed."

3. "Ghost": Demi Moore's "Ditto," to Patrick Swayze's "I love you."

5. "Top Gun": Val Kilmer to Tom Cruise : "You can be my wingman anytime"

6. "Notting Hill": Julia Roberts' "I'm just a girl ... standing in front of a boy ... asking him to love her."

7. "Independence Day": Bill Pullman's "Today we celebrate our Independence Day!"

8. "Braveheart": Mel Gibson "They may take our lives, but they will not take our freedom!"

9. "Jerry Maguire": Renee Zellweger to Tom Cruise: "You had me at hello."

10. "The Postman": A blind woman says to Kevin Costner : "You're a godsend, a savior." He replies: "No, I'm a postman."

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Microsoft Blogging - preview

It looks like MSN is adding a blogging feature - integrated to Media Player and the new Messenger 7.0. I would imagine that this will be similiar to the integration between Blogger and Hello, but as with everything with M$ - it will be non-Firefox friendly. I am not a Software prophet but it would seem the Microsoft has been very reactive (G-mail, Blogging) as opposed to being proactive, and coming out with something innovative and exciting.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Microsoft PR firm in India Uses Firefox

I feel a little bit like Homer Simpson writing about things are not really confirmable, but I like Firefox, so what the hey.

According to this blog by Terrier, a PR firm for Microsoft released some screenshots of the next iteration of its search engine. Only problem; the screenshots were taken from a PC using Firefox ! oops.

I don't begrudge the Microsoft staff that uses Firefox, it is a superior browser in every way. It should be motivation to shrink there 50 meg. Behemoth, down to something a little more manageable like the 5 meg Firefox.

Friday, November 26, 2004

SkypeOut minutes NEVER expire.

Skype in another series of great announcements, has extended the SkypeOut credit expiration policy.

Basically before, it was a pre-paid environment - buy 10 euros they expire in six months. Now everytime you make a call, you account balance is extended 6 months. So if your not a heavy PSTN user the 6-700 minutes of PSTN calling you get for 10 euros could last you all year, if not longer.

Short of having no expiration date (which in the pre-paid world is not smart business at all) this is about as good as it can get. It will be interesting to see if Skype can incorporate this never ending expiration idea, into other services they plan to offer, such as SkypeIn, in the future.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Skype to be included in the KaZaA Network

This is a very worthwhile development and good idea by Skype Biz. Dev. By bundling Skype in the adware version of KaZaA, they are pretty much locking up an additional 300 million users worldwide. This puts a damper on the talk of Skype ever including Spyware or Adware, the application on its own will be free or adware, it is user defined.

Suddenly and with the stroke of a pen, I can now call 330 million people using my PC. This clearly puts Skype well in the lead and at the same time drives a nail in the coffin of any other wanna' be upstarts in the residential free VOIP offering.

At 30 million users there was still a chance for someone to compete with Skype, at 330 million, that lead will prove to be insurmountable.

I will do some research on numbers, but it could very well turn out that Skype is the new standard and H.323 and SIP will be playing catch-up now.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Skype for Symbian and Palm OS is coming.....

JD Lasica report from Engadget, interview with Niklas Zennstrom...

We started with Pocket PC, and now we’re looking at other mobile platforms like Windows SmartPhone, Symbian and Palm. We don’t have any launch dates yet for any of those platforms. It’s going to be wonderful to be able to make a Skype call from cell phones or PDAs.

A natural evolution and often talked about enhancement for Skype is its availablity on the Symbian and Palm OS's. So it looks like Skype is working on it - which is great news. If Skype is available and ubiquitous on all platforms both mobile and fixed, can anyone really compete with free calling? The folks @ X-ten better be paying attention.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Americans Flock to Canada's Immigration Web Site

The number of U.S. citizens visiting Canada's main immigration Web site has shot up six-fold as Americans flirt with the idea of abandoning their homeland after President George W. Bush (news - web sites)'s election win this week.

"When we looked at the first day after the election, Nov. 3, our Web site hit a new high, almost double the previous record high," immigration ministry spokeswoman Maria Iadinardi said on Friday.

On an average day some 20,000 people in the United States log onto the Web site, -- a figure which rocketed to 115,016 on Wednesday. The number of U.S. visits settled down to 65,803 on Thursday, still well above the norm.

Bush's victory sparked speculation that disconsolate Democrats and others might decide to start a new life in Canada, a land that tilts more to the left than the United States.

Would-be immigrants to Canada can apply to become permanent resident, a process that often takes a year. The other main way to move north on a long-term basis is to find a job, which requires a work permit.

Canada is one of the few major nations with an large-scale immigration policy. Ottawa is seeking to attract between 220,000 and 240,000 newcomers next year.

"Let's face it, we have a population of a little over 32 million and we definitely need permanent residents to come to Canada," said Iadinardi. "If we could meet (the 2005) target and go above it, the more the merrier."

The waiting time to become a citizen is shorter for people married to Canadians, which prompted the birth of a satirical Web site called

"As Canadians, you'll have to learn to embrace and use all the products and culture of Americans, while bad-mouthing their way of life," he said.

Having a discussion with a friend this morning we thought it might just be easier for the parts of the US that are actually "progressive" (see map below) to just join Canada, as opposed to having all of the residents immigrate. Now that would be worth some discussion. And if interested, any American Democrat women looking for a change of nationality and want to meet a budding entrepreneur in the technology world, and are in any way, shape or form, interested in my mishapen malformed mug, drop me a comment or two.... :)

Friday, November 05, 2004

SkypeIn + Video + Voicemail = WOW !!

Here is a snippet, from a really good interview with Niklas Zennstrom CEO of Skype Technologies., from previous interviews the timetable for these enhancements was July 05, so this is a huge move up in release date if Silvia is correct.

Silvia Carr of (link in title)

"By this winter, the company plans to roll out more pay features such as voicemail, videoconferencing and SkypeIn, which will let people place calls from a telephone to Skype software users and will allow Skype users to choose a phone number with any country or area code they like - a key advantage to date of VoIP services such as Vonage and AT&T CallVantage. Skype doesn't take its millions of users for granted, employing their suggestions to drive product development and even calling on the most vocal users as beta testers."

I am lucky enough to be one of these beta-testers, I have worked with the Skype staff for over a year now and they are geniuses - and I can't say much except for WOW.... Skype is already a killer app right now, just wait for a few months..

Don't type, Skype - is going to have to be changed to:

Don't Type - pick any form of communication you could possibly want to use to get a hold of me and do that... although that isn't as catchy, maybe I better leave the marketing to the pro's...

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Unhappy U.S. Democrats welcome in Canada, Martin jokes

OTTAWA (CP) - Americans can't quite qualify for refugee status but they're more than welcome to move here if they're unhappy about the U.S. election result, Prime Minister Paul Martin joked Thursday.

He was responding to reports from south of the border that some Americans want to move north rather than put up with more George W. Bush.

Despondent Democrats have been musing about leaving on Internet chat rooms, university campuses and in a few phone calls to Canadian consulates.

But officials on both sides of the border aren't taking the talk to seriously. The chatter so far has been mainly limited to jokes and expressions of frustration.

United States of Canada

This really sums it up.... I was up last night late trying to come up with a commentary on progressive forward thinking societies, and the election, but this just sums it up perfectly...
Can someone overlay this map with broadband internet availability/subscription? I wonder if there is any correlation?...... picture courtesy Ian Bruk.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Just off the Shore of (Georgian Bay) Lake Huron, Outside of Collingwood Ontario.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

"Oh the Places We Will Go" Dr. Seuss

After much deliberation I have finally decided to take the plunge into the world of blogging. I guess partially; as this gives me a unique conduit to other people of the same interests, businesses and ideas. Lately I have found myself spending more and more time on blogs, commenting posting networking, my interest started here about a year ago, Unbound Spiral, Stuart an excellent blogger and theorist on all things presence, really illustrates the power that blogging can have on an industry. I have a genuine passion for technology, this will be the primary theme of my musings, but hopefully I can add some humour and ideas, in a vain attempt to be entertaining.

Skype has changed pretty much everything about the way I work, it is an interesting phenomena, and for the time being, most of my ideas and thoughts will be centred around how it can be incorporated into how you do; well... everything.

I have friends overseas, I chat with and think about, today I had a conference call with India, British Columbia, Germany and Ontario, these are things I wouldn't have done a year ago. This wasn't just a call to say hi, it was business, international business, and it was all facilitated by networking, presence management and meeting people online with similar ideas and concepts of how to deploy these crazy new things. Most importantly, it cost me zip, nadda' just some bandwidth on the cable modem from Rogers, $44.94 a month, 3Mbs/384kb/s. The eventual and wanted outcome is led by the same driving force for all of us, communications are changing rapidly (for the better) and we can help business and generally everyone take advantage of it. It is fun to think outside your borders.

Hopefully I will be able to keep this up and improve my writing - I enjoy it, even though I am not particularily gifted at it, I found an essay I did 13 years ago, cleaning out a box in my mothers house a few weeks ago, it was entitled "Small Business - Impact on the Canadian Economy" I actually remember writing it, if I have the time I will post it in the future, my conclusions (if you want to call them that) were actually pretty sound, perhaps it was a catalyst for what I am involved in now, running and operating several small business today.

Note: the Blogger spellcheck, doesn't recognize the word "blogging" ...

This is where I spend all my time --> Qzoxy

Drop by and Skype Me anytime.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Ground Control to Major Tom

Learning to Fly, cause I ain't got wings