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

RIM founder: TPP is "the worst public policy decision in Canada's history"

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Bob Coons writes, "Jim Balsillie, one of the founders of RIM, has made the headlines in Canada by stating that signing the TPP could be "the worst public policy decision in the country's history." Read the rest

How TPP will clobber Canada's municipal archives and galleries of historical city photos

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Jesse writes, "Like you, I've been following the TPP news with much trepidation. My partner is a librarian-archivist, so I'm keenly away of how difficult copyright law can make the job of the average archivist. I put together a piece explaining how the TPP's copyright extension will hurt Canadian city archives, and the galleries of historical city photos we love so much." Read the rest

Surprising history of the "Canadian Tuxedo," starring Bing Crosby

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I've been known to sport a denim jacket and bluejeans with some regularity, making me the butt of my chums' "Canadian Tuxedo" barbs. Yet I never knew the origin of that phrase until now! Turns out that its origins may go much further back than the 2001 film "Super Troopers" that certainly fueled the phrase's popularity. According to Levi's:

In 1951, the world famous American crooner Bing Crosby was denied entrance into a Canadian hotel because he and his friend were dressed completely in denim. Although the Hotel management eventually recognized Bing and made an exception because of who he was, the story of the incident traveled fast. Friends of his back home contacted Levi Strauss and Co. and the designers immediately developed a custom denim tuxedo jacket for Bing so that he would never have problems wearing Levi’s Jeans, even in fancy establishments. It was made of the sturdy denim used for 501 Jeans, and decorated with a lovely corsage of Red Tabs, held onto the lapel with a cluster of shiny copper rivets.

Inside the jacket was a huge leather patch printed with a “Notice to All Hotel Men” stating that denim is a perfectly appropriate fabric and anyone wearing it should be allowed entrance into the finest hotels.

LS&Co presented the jacket to Bing at the 1951 Silver State Stampede in Elko, Nevada where he was honorary mayor. He was so tickled with the tux that he wore it to many press appearances for his next film, “Here Comes the Groom.” The original jacket, as well as one made for the town’s mayor, is in the Northeastern Nevada Museum in Elko.

Read the rest

Globe and Mail: TPP's copyright chapter will cost Canadians hundreds of millions

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Canada's rock-ribbed bastion of pro-trade, pro-Tory ideology has come out against the Trans Pacific Partnership's Intellectual Property chapter in a leading editorial signed by the paper's editorial board. Read the rest

Canada's new Liberal majority: better than the Tories, still terrible for the Internet

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Justin Trudeau is certainly an improvement on outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He's unlikely to go on burning Canada's archives and warring on its scientists, and he'll probably stop ignoring the murder of hundreds of aboriginal women and girls, and he's not a racist asshole who plays to other racist assholes to keep power. Read the rest

John Oliver on the Canadian election: NAILED IT!

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Just in time for election day, the best show on late-night TV reports on the decade-long reign of error from Stephen Harper's Conservative Party, and finishes on a note of surreal triumph. Read the rest

Baseball fan in Canada arrested for spraying beer on a baby

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Police in Toronto, Canada arrested a man at a baseball game for hitting a baby with the spray of a beer can he threw from his seat in the stands. Read the rest

Every terrible thing Canada's Stephen Harper government has done in the past four years

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Dave writes: "Boing Boing has been nice enough to post my past yearly round-ups of terrible deeds done by Canada's Conservative Government. Here is the round-up of the round-ups. My summary of all of the bad things that have happened over the last four years. Read the rest

Listen: making sense of the Trans Pacific Partnership, a Canadian election perspective

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The current Canadaland podcast (MP3) carefully parses out the implications of the Trans Pacific Partnership from the perspective of Internet freedom, censorship, free speech, business, and transparency. Read the rest

Canadians: you can register to vote at the polls

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Elections Canada has made an awful mess of voter registration this cycle, mailing cards to old addresses and providing incorrect information about where your polling place is. But don't despair! Although Elections Canada would prefer that you register to vote before going to the polls, you can just show up at an advance poll, or a polling place on election day, with ID, and register to vote on the spot. Read the rest

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