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An Open Letter to Bell Canada

Bell Canada LogoDear Bell Canada,

I have to say Bell, you and I need to talk. We have really had this bittersweet relationship for a number of years and, for the most part I have been silent. I have waited while you find a suitable customer representative, I have been patient when, after tying in my phone number, that very rep asks me for the same number again. As one of your customers, my tolerance for you has reached a breaking point.

How To: Securely Erasing USB Connected Hard Disks

The conventional methods of destroying data on a disk all relate to connecting the drive physically to a computer and using some sort of bootable media with an application on it to destroy data on the connected hard disk in a secure manner. This is the conventional way. I wanted a method that would be faster and more versatile than this, so I attempted to look for a free way to destroy data securely on an externally connected USB disk in Windows.

Ever heard of Holding Actions?

George W. Bush Holding A Baby

Recently, I was introduced to a phrase – I’m guessing many of you had never heard of this before either: “Holding Actions”. Definition-wise, this is known as a attack in war where you hold (or deceive) your enemy into a position that doesn’t help them. In the context I was introduced to this, “Holding Actions” are those that are being inflicted on the consumer forcing them to submit to control. This is how we are being (often blindly) screwed by companies – but their tactics remain legal.

Blackberry Unite! 1.0.0 Install/Test

I had been hearing (for some time) about this new offering from Blackberry and subsequently Bell called Blackberry Unite. It is essentially a scaled back version of the Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) targeted at home users. Unite! supports up to 5 blackberry devices and has a host of features. Since I have two working Blackberries, this solution seemed like a fit. It should allow for the sharing of contacts, calendar entries, and phone tracking and restrictions. Among them, most important was the Contact Sharing facility – something that Google’s Apps don’t provide for – yet.

First Impressions: Blackberry 8330 CDMA

Device: Blackberry 8330 “Curve”
Previous Device: Blackberry 8703
Provider: Bell
Base Price: $549.00

I’ve had this smart phone now for a day and so far I’m pleased with the new features and annoyed with some others.

Welcome to this new device are features like a camera, a gps device and the inclusion of media players as well as memory expandability. Some features not so welcome are the new keyboard layout, removal of the spinning wheel and addition of the track ball. Along the way, some unexpected surprises.

A Serious Problem, Passive Business Shadiness Needs To Be Exposed!

There’s a phenomenon that, if unchecked, is likely to cause serious damage to our system as we know it. This is so serious I’ve even heard of “economic collapse” as a possible future. What is causing this? I imagine there is probably an argument to be made that the average North American is irresponsible – but, I will say that in today’s business climate – the best way to sure-fire profits is passive business shadiness.

On The Human Side Of Moore’s Law

For those of you not familiar with the notion of Moore’s Law, its describes technology improving at an exponential rate. These improvements have been the driving forces behind computers, cell phones and anything else that uses at chip. With people, as well, we have begun to adopt and compound our use of technology at an alarming rate too. These changes are, as Robert X. Cringely says, about to change everything. I tend to agree with his thesis. I have seen these changes already.

The Really Useless And Misleading Microsoft Utility Award

Goes to, the Exchange 2007 PowerShell command Export-Mailbox and killing of ExMerge. They don’t document it, don’t let you use it the way you think, and give you another reason to waste a day on a Microsoft mistake.

Not since the choice of naming two very different e-mail clients “Outlook” have I seen such a horribly confusing and reprehensible display if de-innovation from a company that often preaches but doesn’t deliver.

The Tim Horton’s Cookie Switch

Many of you know, I’m sure, that I’m a devoted and dedicated Tim Horton’s customer. I consume way too much coffee and purchase all of said coffee from Tim Horton’s. I have recently found a small, somewhat secret change that Tim Horton’s has made that seems to have increased their earnings, while stiffing us, the customer.