Three members of Halifax's Maritime Bhangra Group appear in this beautifully choreographed dance routine on a snow day, using shovels as props -- they're raising funds for the ALS Society of Nova Scotia. (via Neatorama) Read the rest
The Neurological Institute at Montreal's McGill University is host to the "Tanenbaum Open Science Institute," endowed by a $20M contribution; since last spring, the unit has pursued an ambitious open science agenda that includes open access publication of all research data and findings, and an end to the practice of patenting the university's findings. Instead, they will all be patent-free and usable by anyone. Read the rest
Michael Geist writes, "The global music industry has spent two decades lobbying for restrictive DMCA-style restrictions on digital locks. These so-called "anti-circumvention rules" have been actively opposed by many groups, but the copyright lobby claims that they are needed to comply with the World Intellectual Property Organization's Internet treaties. Now the head of the RIAA in Canada admits that the treaty drafters were just guessing and that they guessed wrong." Read the rest
The Internet Archive is augmenting its existing mirrors -- one in San Francisco, one in Amsterdam, one at the Library of Alexandria (that is: San Andreas fault, below sea level, military dictatorship) -- with a copy in Canada, on the premise that "lots of copies keep stuff safe." Read the rest
Sandra Jansen was elected to the Alberta Legislative Assembly as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party, but now she sits with the left-leaning New Democratic Party, who took the provincial government is a surprise upset that was driven by a mix of a split in the right (the Conservatives are mired in infighting with the ultra-right Wild Rose Party) and the decline of the oil industry. Read the rest
The massive talent shortage in tech has all kinds of weird effects: the inability to outbid tech giants means that badly secured hospitals get devoured by ransomware; it means that companies that value diversity get to outmaneuver much better-resourced competitors; it means that companies that pledge to be ethical can edge out their competition (and that unethical conduct can have real costs); and it means that companies get so desperate that they form industry-wide criminal conspiracies to try to short circuit the seller's market for tech skills. Read the rest
Ontario Judge Bernd Zabel displayed contempt for his position and its political impartiality by showing up for work the day after the US election in a Donald Trump "Make America Great Again" hat, which he wore, and then perched on his bench. Read the rest
The BBC reports that Canada's immigration info website has been intermittently unavailable through the night and early morning. Experts are trying to discern what on Earth might have caused a great many people to visit the website all at once, straining its resources.
I get the above appropriately blurry, tantalizing view of gros morne national park, but nothing to click on and nowhere to go.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation publishes several excellent podcasts, notably the As It Happens feed; like every podcast in the world, these podcasts are available via any podcast app in the same way that all web pages can be fetched with all web browsers -- this being the entire point of podcasts. Read the rest
Copyright trolls like LA-based CEG TEK are exploiting Canada's "notice-and-notice" copyright system to force ISPs to pass on extortion letters to their customers, threatening them with dire consequences unless they pay hundreds of dollars to settle unsubstantiated accusations of copyright infringement. Read the rest
Last week, Patrick Lagacé -- a columnist for the Quebec paper La Presse -- revealed that the Montreal police had gotten a secret warrant to spy on his phone calls and text messages and collect the location data from his phone, seemingly in an attempt to discover which police officers were the source for stories in La Presse about police corruption (confusingly, Lagacé wasn't involved in these stories). Read the rest
Police are investigating a Canadian man in a British Columbia border town after a video went viral that shows the man yelling racial slurs at another person, apparently over a parking ticket.
The old Canadian Conservative government of Stephen Harper had many controversial policies (cough climate denial cough), with mass surveillance powers very near the top of the charts. Read the rest
Vancouver has been wracked by a white-hot property bubble driven primarily by offshore speculators, mostly Chinese, who have driven up the price of housing beyond the means of working Vancouverites, crippling the city's daily life as workers, students and families struggle to find somewhere -- anywhere -- to live. Read the rest
According to RCMP investigators, Leston Lawrence would make 210g "pucks" of gold using the mint's "dipping spoon," hide them up his butt, then pawn them for about $6,800, at the Ottawa Gold Buyers in the Westgate Shopping Centre, depositing the cheques at a Royal Bank in the same mall. Read the rest