Fact checking… Investors’ Business Daily has heard of it.

In a spectacular outbreak of foot-in-mouth disease the right-wing newspaper Investors’ Business Daily avers that “People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.” Without realizing of course that Hawking IS in fact British and that the NHS didn’t just leave him on a mountaintop to be pecked clean by the crows, something which any American health insurance company would no doubt have done decades ago. This, I’m afraid, is typical of the level of debate in the United States about health care reform.

Note: I’m quite sure that the original article will be removed as soon as it starts getting a lot of traffic, so if you can’t find the quote I highlighted have a look at the article as it originally appeared (local cache).

Like 1994 all over again!

Ah, the good old days of dialup internet and restricted university access, a time when people started wanting to know what this “internet” thing was about… may they never come again, except perhaps in parody form: Mastering the Internet and Mastering the Internet Part 2.

Time for a Chrysler Death Watch?

I just went to the Montreal Auto Show this evening. All in all it was a fairly staid affair, but one shocker is the Chrysler display which, frankly, might as well have smelled of impending protracted death. Seriously, they have huge space, but couldn’t actually be bothered filling it, so that you have a few well-spaced-out cars, few visitors, and an atmosphere that fit a funeral better than a marketing event. Maybe Fiat can use that space to show off the 500 and their Alfa-Romeo line next year…

More documentaries…

Here’s what I’ve been looking at recently in my quest to seek out all the interesting documentaries on the web. Just three today, but they’re well worth it.

Continue reading “More documentaries…”

Documentaries to watch in 2009

I’ve been watching a lot of documentaries on YouTube recently, so I figured it might be a good idea to recommend a few. I think all of them are well worth seeing, if you haven’t viewed them already.

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I’ve had broadband internet access for over 10 years now, about as long as it’s been available, and many times I’ve seen claims of “TV over the internet” trumpeted but prove disappointing when put to a real-world test. That being said, Livestation delivers. If you’ve always wanted to see Al-Jazeera English, BBC World and news stations from France, Germany, the United States and around the world on your PC, give it a try. Why not, it’s free…


I’m usually the one in my family and circle of friends with the latest & greatest electronic gadgets, so every once in a while a friend of mine will ask me not if, but when did I get Apple’s latest phone and how I find it. Inevitably I have to disappoint them because I don’t in fact have an iPhone, nor do I intend on getting one, and the reason for that is not the phone (which seems very slick and fun) but the network provider for it in Canada, Rogers Wireless (and its Fido subsidiary).

Continue reading “iPhoneless”

Extending the Recording Capabilities of your Videotron Illico DVR

Videotron Illico PVRs are neat, but they’re somewhat limited. Even the recently-released HD PVR will run out of disk space pretty quickly. If you like recording high-def shows, you will fill that disk in a rather meager 30 hours. This is not an issue on a day-to-day basis, but go on vacation for two to three weeks and you may well get to that limit. Even worse, the PVR I have is a first-generation HD PVR, which can only take 16 hours of HD programming. Sometimes you just need more. Continue reading “Extending the Recording Capabilities of your Videotron Illico DVR”


I’m a big fan of the BBC show Top Gear. That’s not a particularly rare or interesting fact, but I also happen to be a fan of SOMAfm‘s Secret Agent net radio station, and while re-watching some old episodes of the BBC TV show I couldn’t help but notice that a surprising amount of the music used comes straight from the net radio station’s playlists. I’ve been watching one and listening to the other for a couple of years, and I’d never noticed that before…

“Don’t make me use it! Now you’ve done it! You… forced me to use it!!!” -Ren Hoek

Today I used a crack to start a computer game I like to play. Now, don’t get me wrong. I own the game, a few months ago I went down to the shop and bought it fair and square. I haven’t lost the DVD, or even just thrown out the guide with the DVD access key by mistake. No sir. The reason I’m using a crack is because I have to. And I’m here to tell you that neither I nor anyone else should have to do that.

Continue reading ““Don’t make me use it! Now you’ve done it! You… forced me to use it!!!” -Ren Hoek”