On the death of Rob Ford

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My condolences to his family, who deserved a better person in their lives. Read the rest

Former Toronto mayor Rob Ford dead at 46

Toronto Mayor Ford makes his closing remarks during a mayoral debate hosted by the Canadian Tamil Congress in Scarborough

Rob Ford, the former Toronto mayor famous for political scandals and drug abuse, is dead at 46. He was suffering from pleomorphic liposarcoma, a rare form of cancer.

In 2013, the Star revealed that Ford had attended a military ball intoxicated and then that a cellphone video apparently showed him smoking crack. That bombshell triggered months of controversy and worldwide headlines as Ford angrily denied, and then finally admitted, abusing drugs and alcohol. Council stripped him of most of his powers. …

In October 2014, following his re-election as councillor and in between chemotherapy treatments, Ford talked to reporters about his legacy. “People know that I saved a lot of money, and people are going to know that I had a few personal struggles,” he said. “So you can remember it for what you want, but they’re definitely going to remember it.”

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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

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

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

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

An ARG to celebrate open access week, courtesy of the University of Toronto library

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Bobby Glushko writes, "Something's going on at the University of Toronto's Robarts Library. A concerned group of citizens is investigating a conspiracy hiding facts about the mysterious and controversial past of this masterpiece of brutalist architecture. At the same time a noble, if shadowy, society is working to keep its secrets hidden." Read the rest

Time-capsule: hi-rez scans of 1946 Toronto Star funny-pages pull-out

Zack writes, "Cartoonist John Martz was contacted by a woman who found a nearly 20-page comics section from 1946 under her floorboards while doing a home renovation. He scanned every one of the classic Sunday [ed: pretty sure the Star ran its comics on Saturdays] comics featured therein, including TERRY AND THE PIRATES, FLASH GORDON, MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN and SUPERMAN." Read the rest

David Byrne and St Vincent celebrate Color Guard with astounding Contemporary Color show

David Byrne and St Vincent are touring Contemporary Color, a concert accompanied by a huge, choreographed color guard show. Read the rest

Back a community makerspace, get a Dinosaur Comics laser-dino

Andy sez, "What could be better than dinosaurs? Dinosaurs made with lasers, of course! STEAMLabs community makerspace has been working with our friend Ryan North, author of Dinosaur Comics to bring you just that! There are 2 new rewards options for our Kickstarter to equip our makerspace." Read the rest

Kickstarting a lab where maker-kids produce amazing peer-educational materials

Andy from Steamlabs writes, "We challenged a sixth grade class to make learning about the power grid engaging and they designed a high-tech, science centre style exhibit over a 3 week period." Read the rest

Crowdfunding Toronto restaurant expansion for Fonda Lola

Our own sysadmin Ken Snider writes, "Toronto Mexican Restaurant Fonda Lola, in an attempt to both raise capital for bulk purchases (to lower costs) as well as create a War Chest to open a second location, has decided to issue 1000 public shares at $75 each, via Indiegogo." Read the rest

WATCH: Trailer for Haphead, crowdfunded indie cyberpunk series about pro gamers

In one week, Toronto's Postopian Pictures -- the people who brought us Ghosts With Shit Jobs and many other delights -- will premiere their crowdfunded cyberpunk series Haphead (previously): Read the rest

Toronto's public library under threat from Rob Ford's Library Board

The Toronto Library Board appointed by the disgraced former mayor Rob Ford has continued its programme of cutting library budgets, cutting way past the bone and threatening the Toronto public library system altogether. Read the rest

Sneaking subtle Star Wars references into photos

Toronto photographer Thomas Dagg produces artful shoops of landscapes with subtle Star Wars references worked into them. Read the rest

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