Toronto City Council defies mayor, demands open, neutral municipal broadband

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After years of fumbling, deference and mismanagement, Canada's telcoms regulator, the CRTC, laid down a landmark net neutrality rule and demanded that Bell, the nationally founded telcoms giant, would have to share its infrastructure with new entrants to the market. Read the rest

To do in Toronto: Create a Rey doll hackathon

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Many people have noticed that the female lead character Rey is notably underrepresented in the tsunami of Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys. Read the rest

Canada is Cool

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Canada is Cool is a beautiful canvas-based single-serving website that, to my mind, successfully establishes the fact that Canada is cool. There are shirts to buy. Read the rest

Same as the old boss: Justin Trudeau ready to sign Harper's EU free trade deal

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CETA is a Canada/EU "free trade agreement," negotiated in secret and containing the notorious "Investor-State Dispute Settlement" (ISDS) clause, which lets corporations sue governments in confidential tribunals in order to force them to repeal their environmental, safety and labour laws. Read the rest

Menu at Toronto's "Azure" was a work of fictitious fine-dining fraud

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Azure is the posh restaurant Intercontinental Hotel Toronto Centre, where the menu boasts "BC salmon" (which turns out to mean "boned and cleaned" not "British Columbia"), "freshly squeezed" orange juice (comes out of a bottle that boasts that the oranges were freshly squeezed before bottling), and some out-and-out lies, like calling boxed Quaker Harvest Crunch granola "organic granola" and store-bought salad dressing "home made." Read the rest

At least 5 killed in Saskatchewan, Canada school shooting

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Five people were killed in a school shooting in the northern Saskatchewan community of La Loche, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said late Friday.

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Independent economists: TPP will kill 450,000 US jobs; 75,000 Japanese jobs, 58,000 Canadian jobs

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Proponents of the secretly negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership -- which lets companies force governments to get rid of their labor, environmental and safety rules in confidential tribunals -- say it's all worth it because it will deliver growth and jobs to the stagnant economies of the rich world. Read the rest

The bizarre magnetic forest rings of northern Ontario

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Geoff sends us a post about "the 'strange phenomenon' of naturally-occurring 'forest rings,' or circles up to 2km in diameter only visible from the air, in northern Ontario. The rings are at least partially caused by electrochemical effects in the soil -- which are apparently strong enough to affect the local water table, such that 'the water is being held up against gravity,' as geochemist Stewart Hamilton discovered. This is 'beyond science fiction,' he gushed." Read the rest

Suspicious, photo-taking "Middle Eastern" men were visually impaired tourists

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A leaked Vancouver internal police bulletin sent the city into a tizz when they learned that the cops were trying to locate three "Middle-Eastern" men who'd been taking a suspicious amount of photographs of a shopping mall. Read the rest

WATCH: documentary featuring some of the best aurora borealis footage ever captured

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Back in 2012, I wrote about 'Magnetic Reconnection', a beautiful, haunting experimental film about the aurora borealis, scored by Jim O'Rourke (Sonic Youth, Wilco) and narrated by Will Oldham (Matewan, Old Joy). Read the rest

Toronto's mayor demands an end to competition for fast, affordable broadband

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In Canada, as in the UK and many other countries (including the USA, until the mid-2000s), the big telcos are required to wholesale their lines to small, upstart competitors as payback for access to rights-of-way and municipal infrastructure. This results in more competition, faster connections, and cheaper service for residents. Read the rest

Help wanted: malware researcher for U of T's Citizenlab

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Ronald Deibert from the University of Toronto's Citizenlab (previously) sez, "The Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto has a job posting for a security researcher/malware analyst. Read the rest

TPP vs Canada: a parade of horribles

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Michael Geist has rung in the new year with the first in a series of posts that set out, in eye-watering detail, the bowel-loosening terror of the effects that the secretly negotiated Trans Pacific Partnership would have on Canada if the country ratifies it. Read the rest

IXmaps: a tool to figure out when the NSA can see Canadians' data

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Canadians' data requests overwhelming flow through US cables, even when the communications are within Canada. Since the NSA takes the view that it is legally entitled to collect, inspect and retain foreign communications, this means that almost all Canadian communications are being spied on by a foreign power. Read the rest

Canadian civil servants grooming new minister to repeat Harper's Internet mistakes

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Mélanie Joly is the newly appointed Canadian Heritage Minister, and she's been given a briefing book by her ministerial staffers laying out the ministry's view of what's going on in the Heritage brief. The book's copyright section is a disaster. Read the rest

Open source hardware autonomous tractor uses repurposed drone autopilot

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Matt Reimer's homebrew autonomous tractor uses open source components to accomplish the kind of automation that John Deere's super-proprietary tractors are known for. Read the rest

How Hamilton, ON's violent "accountability" councilor intimidated a journalist out of City Hall

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Hamilton's the kind of city where half of City Hall says they've been bullied at work, where the "accountability" committee charges you $100 to make a complaint and proposed that it would only investigate if you are never quoted in the press on the matter, and where city policy prohibits linking to its website without written permission. Read the rest

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