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Showing posts from 2008

Rogers is NOT the fastest!

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There's a commercial on TV that says Rogers is the fastest Internet provider. And the website says they are the fastest and the most reliable. So I thought I'd do a speed test to get some actual results. The results speak for themselves -- Rogers Internet is NOT the fastest and NOT the most reliable...





(Click on the images to see full size)

Networked Student

This is an excellent video that shows how learning works in a "networked" classroom.

Halloween Warning: Sherwood brand Pirate's Gold milk chocolate coins imported from China

I think this originally appeared on the AM680 News website:

"With Halloween fast approaching comes a warning to parents and kids regarding Sherwood brand Pirate's Gold milk chocolate coins imported from China.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is warning the public not to eat, distribute or sell the candy.

It is sold across Canada by Costco and may also have been sold in bulk packages or as individual pieces at various dollar and bulk stores.

The chocolate contains melamine which is the same chemical responsible for killing several babies in China, and sickening thousands more."

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/recarapp/2008/20081008e.shtml

http://content.costco.ca/Images/Content/misc/pdf/FoodSafetySherwoodPiratesGold-Oct82008.pdf (recall notice from Costco)

Election Day - Do the "Right" Thing

Canadians should not react to the media hysteria when voting.

Harper, who has kept the job as prime minister for 32 months when pundits only thought he would be in power for 12, has been excellent at the helm. He has made incremental changes that have been for the betterment of the country. People are upset that he didn't "react" to the economic crisis that is going on in the states. I'm sorry, but I don't want a politician that makes decisions and acts out of emotion and false urgency. I want one that is even-tempered, intelligent, rational, and truly thinks about what is best for Canada in the long term, not what is best for his election prospects. That has been, and should continue to be, Stephen Harper and his Conservative party.

Voting for the Liberals is a vote for a man that cannot lead on his own. Without Dion's aides, he is lost.

Voting for the NDP is a wasted vote, although that would split the leftist votes and help the Conservatives come up through…

Cats Hiding From the Rain

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I wish I had taken this picture, but I didn't. It was a picture my father took on a recent trip to the Barbados. Cute, eh?

Nikon P5000 vs P6000 ISO Noise Test

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This wasn't an entirely fair test because the P5000 was shot at the 35mm lens equivalent of 36mm, while the P6000 was shot at the equivalent of 28mm.

The original pictures were shot as jpegs at their highest native resolution (10 MP, 13 MP), auto white balanced in camera, with no additional post-processing.

These images are zoomed in approximately 11x from the original pictures for the P5000 pictures, and 13x for the P6000 pictures.





Alice Cooper at Hamilton Place on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

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What a great concert!

ExposurePlot

Here's a great little free utility that will analyze your usage of the focal length of your lenses, show charts for ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Very useful if you want to learn more about the kinds of pictures you take.

Learn more about it here: http://www.cpr.demon.nl/prog_plotf.html

Peter's Photo Time Capsule

View my latest photography time capsule here.

Pink Floyd, Meet Arthur C. Clarke

This is Pink Floyd's "Echoes", dubbed over part of "2001: A Space Odyssey". Visit here for more Pink Floyd/2001 pairing.

The Ultimate Steal (Microsoft Office 2007)

Here's a great deal if you are a university or college student...

You can buy Microsoft Office for just $64. Really! This deal includes Access 2007, Outlook 2007, Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Groove 2007, Publisher 2007, InfoPath 2007, Word 2007, and OneNote 2007.

Buy it here: http://www.microsoft.com/student/discounts/theultimatesteal-ca/

What's wrong with this Google ad?!!

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What's wrong with this Google ad?!!
Originally uploaded by pbeens.I saw this ad this morning while surfing the net on my iPod Touch. Sorry for the poor quality, but the only way I could think of grabbing the screenshot really fast was with my camera.Click on the photo to see it on flickr.

Google Chrome Is Out!

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It's amazing what Google keeps doing. A multi-threaded web browser, with each tab running as its own process makes so much sense.

Download it at www.google.com/chrome.

Initial Comments:

- fast! 
- no integration with Roboform, my password manager (bad) (Firefox's bookmarklets seem to work)
- integrates with Google Documents for offline editing (nice)
- no delicious integration yet (coming soon, I bet)
- no ad blocker (very bad) - interesting home page - shows thumbnails of your popular pages. Opened by clicking the New Tab icon (intuitive I suppose, although I keep looking for a Home button). Update: You can enable the home button in options. It's disabled by default - there is no master password for saved passwords (dumb)
Update: It's now 48 hours later and Chrome has already taken 1% of the browser share, which is more than Opera has gained in its entire life! Amazing!

Ontario Waterfalls

I have a real love of photography, and a favourite subject for many photographers is of course, waterfalls.

To get to many waterfalls it's probably wise to have a GPS with you, both to get you to the waterfalls, and then get you safely back to your car! I've been looking for the past year or so for a GPS file that includes the local waterfalls as waypoints, but to no avail. So, I decided to create my own.

This little project is on Google Maps, and can easily be converted to a GPX file to download into your GPS using the GPSVisualizer converter. At some point, I will post a link to the finished GPX file, but only after I get all the waterfalls entered.

Here are the sources I've used:

http://www.day-trips.ca/content/top-10-waterfalls-southwestern-ontario
http://www.hamiltonnature.org/localspecies/waterfalls.doc

...and here is the map. It's unfinished at the time, although I started with the top 10 list so the most picturesque falls are included.


View Larger Map

Still to do: fini…

My Motorcycle US Trip Log

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This picture should stay updated with my motorcycle adventures in the US:




Free, personalized travel maps at mytriplogs.com


Photo Time Capsule

It's interesting to see old photos delivered to you from your past. Photojojo has such a service, sending you photos twice a month that you had taken and posted to your flickr account a year ago.

Here's my most recent time capsule:

http://www.photojojo.com/timecapsule/pbeens/2008-8-1

Toronto to Seattle to Anchorage to Toronto

I'm considering this ride on my motorcycle next May or June. 14500 km overall.


View Larger Map

UPDATE: Nope, can't do it. I only have three weeks and and a trip like this needs five weeks to be enjoyable. So California, here I come instead!

My DL650 V-Strom Mileage

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With gasoline so expensive, I'm glad I drive a motorcycle!



Update: I should point out that the graph is automatically updated from the spreadsheet I have on Google Docs. Cool!

Iron Horse Rider

I'm very honoured to have some of my photos included in this promotional video:



Adelle "Legs" Laudan is a great author. Be sure to check out her books.

Toronto Skydome Panorama

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Toronto Skydome Panorama
Originally uploaded by Peter Beens.
I recently stitched together a panorama I had taken a few months ago of the Skydome (Air Canada Centre) in Toronto.

Click on the picture for a larger view, and then check out the the interactive view and view on black.

Do Not Buy From Radioworld!

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Since this is a "family-friendly" website, I won't go into the specific details of how rudely I was treated by Radioworld at the recent motorcycle show (but I will say it involved the centre guy in the blue shirt using the F word to me when I made him a very reasonable offer for a GPS).

Needless to say, I will NOT be buying the $700 GPS unit I was thinking of buying from them.

Instead, I will spend my money at www.gpscity.ca/ or in the states, where I'm sure I can get a much better deal anyway.

Please tell all your friends not to buy from Radioworld.

Radioworld -- You owe me a public apology.

Earth Hour 2008

Created to take a stand against the greatest threat our planet has ever faced, Earth Hour uses the simple action of turning off the lights for one hour to deliver a powerful message about the need for action on global warming.

In 2008, 24 global cities will participate in Earth Hour at 8pm on March 29. Earth Hour is the highlight of a major campaign to encourage businesses, communities and individuals to take the simple steps needed to cut their emissions on an ongoing basis. It is about simple changes that will collectively make a difference – from businesses turning off their lights when their offices are empty, to households turning off appliances rather than leaving them on standby.

Visit here to learn how you, your company, or your community can participate.

How do you know if you are a school teacher?

by Jeff Foxworthy1. You can hear 25 voices behind you and know exactly which one
belongs to the child out of line.
2. You get a secret thrill out of laminating something.
3. You walk into a store and hear the words "It's Ms/Mr. _________"
and know you have been spotted.
4. You have 25 people that accidentally call you Mom/Dad at one time or another.
5. You can eat a multi-course meal in under twenty-five minutes.
6. You've trained yourself to go to the bathroom at two distinct times
of the day: lunch and prep period.
7. You start saving other people's trash, because most likely, you can
use that toilet paper tube or plastic butter tub for something in the
classroom.
8. You believe the teachers' lounge should be equipped with a margarita machine.
9. You want to slap the next person who says "Must be nice to work 8
to 4 and have summers off."
10. You believe chocolate is a food group.
11. You can tell if it's a full moon without ever looking outside.
12. You belie…

Webster's Twin Falls

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Webster's Twin Falls
Originally uploaded by Peter Beens.
This is a very uniquely designed waterfalls, with a mirrored bridge crossing two waterways.

Awareness Test

This is a great test to see how aware you are:

http://www.dothetest.co.uk/

Jing -- Image and Video Capture and Sharing

"The concept of Jing is the always-ready program that instantly captures and shares images and video…from your computer to anywhere."

TechSmith is giving this away for free to see how users will use it. They're also throwing in free online media hosting.

All for free. (Did I say that already?)

For Mac and PC.

http://www.jingproject.com/

Nose Pickin' in T.O.

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Nose Pickin' in T.O.
This was my view as I was sitting at a restaurant here in Toronto. This wasn't just some quick pick -- no, it was a full two or three minute session!Most people would be discreet about doing something like this in public, but this guy didn't seem to care. He would casually extract the "goods", then roll it around between his fingers until it was good and dense, then carefully let it drop to the ground.

Then the whole process would repeat... Hilarious!

Wikipedia as an accurate reference

I was just reading an article about some schools or school boards blocking Wikipedia because it's not an accurate resource for the students. I suppose the students will just have to use the textbook that their teacher gave them because it's accurate...  Not!

(Anyone that bought that textbook should be entitled to a refund, IMO.)

Interesting Fact

I read an interesting fact today while researching biodiversity:

"Although about 80 percent of our food supply comes from just 20 kinds of plants, humans use at least 40,000 species of plants and animals a day."

Sort of redefines the 80/20 rule, doesn't it?  :)

Blu-ray vs HD DVD?

"HD DVD, the beloved format of Toshiba and three Hollywood studios, died Friday after a brief illness. The cause of death was determined to be the decision by Wal-Mart to stock only high-definition DVDs and players using the Blu-ray format."

Read the rest of the story at the NY Times.

$1 Tripod Alternative

Don't want to lug around a tripod? Try this cheap alternative:

http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1041948/1_image_stabilizer_for_any_camera_lose_the_tripod/

AVS File Format

"Audio Video Standard, or AVS, is a compression codec for digital audio and video, and is competing with H.264/AAC to potentially replace MPEG-2. Chinese companies own 90% of AVS patents. The audio and video files have an .avs extension as a container format, and the designers claim that it will have twice the efficiency of MPEG2."

Hmmm, I've learned something today. More here and here.

Can you Guess?

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Can you Guess?
Originally uploaded by Peter Beens.
Here's a new picture of mine that's achieving some success. Can anyone guess what it is?

Motorcycle Seat Said To Prevent Cancer

A Canadian inventor has won a patent from the United Kingdom for a motorcycle seat he says blocks electromagnetic radiation from the engine that could cause health problems, not the least of which is cancer.

Read more here.

Emerging Technology: Engineer unlocks Wii's hidden potential

Now this is really cool!

This engineer at CMU demonstrates a head-tracking system he developed that uses the Wii remote control. There's an excellent video that shows how the head-tracking could potentially work with games and "view portals".

Check it out at http://www.news.com/8301-13580_3-9858728-39.html.

Japanese police arrest computer virus maker on copyright charges

Hah! This was the only way they could arrest the guy! Amazingly though, he could get 10 years for it.

"A Japanese man suspected of creating a computer virus had to be arrested on a copyright infringement charge, police said Friday, in a case that highlights the nation's lack of laws to crack down on the sometimes malicious computer programs."

Read more here.

Website Tracking Service?

Does anyone know of a good website tracking service? I now use changedetection.com which does a good job of sending me email notifications, but I'd also like a summary of what the specific changes were to the page.

DL250 V-Strom?

For safety reasons, there's been a lot of discussion lately about forcing new motorcycle riders to learn on a smaller bike. New riders are generally encouraged towards bikes like the Honda Rebel, the Ninja 250, or the hot new Honda CBR-125 (not yet available in the US).  Learning to ride on a big bike can be very dangerous, often with tragic results.

Well I have an idea! What about a DL250 V-Strom? The V-Strom 650 and 1000's are great bikes, so why not make a smaller one for beginners?  I personally think it's a great idea. (Are you listening Suzuki?)

If Suzuki ever makes this happen, remember that you read it here first!

Motorcycle Show Pictures

Here are some pictures from the Toronto motorcycle show in December.

Free Fax Service - Faxzero.com

I've just discovered a service that let's you send faxes up to 3 pages for free. The only glitch is they put an ad on the cover page.

If the fax is longer than that, it's $1.99, payable from your PayPal account.

I won't use this service regularly, but in an emergency, it's not a bad idea.

https://faxzero.com/