Space botanists are beneficiaries of Canada's legal weed boom

It's hard to fund space exploration research -- the commercial applications are speculative and far-off -- but there's never been a better time to study super-efficient, closed-loop botany of the sort that will someday accompany human interplanetary missions, thanks to the need to develop better grow-ops for the burgeoning legal weed market in Canada. Read the rest

Unnamed Canadian telco sabotages' library's low-income internet service

Toronto's public libraries have followed New York and Chicago's lead in offering wifi hotspot lending to low-income families, allowing them to "check out the internet" and take it home with them. Read the rest

Mounties used Stingrays to secretly surveil millions of Canadians for years

Motherboard used public records requests to extract 3,000+ pages of court docs from a massive 2010 RCMP mafia/drug bust in Montreal, codenamed "Project Clemenza," which revealed the full extent of the Mounties' secret use of Stingrays -- AKA "IMSI Catchers," the fake cellular towers that let cops covertly track whole populations by tricking their phones into revealing information about them. Read the rest

Canada Post drops legal claim over crowdsourced postal code database

Canada Post claimed a "crown copyright" over the postal codes assigned to Canadian homes, meaning that Canadian organisations and businesses could only use this vital information if they paid -- that is, they'd have to pay to access something their taxes already paid for, and the richer you were, the more access you could afford. Read the rest

Canadian government thinktank warns that renewables will gut market for Canada's dirty oil

For a decade, Canada's previous petro-tory government prosecuted scientists who publicly reported their results without first passing them through the party's commissars, almost as though reality had a well-known left-wing bias and couldn't be trusted. Read the rest

We Stand on Guard: in 100 years, America seizes Canada for its water

Brian K Vaughan's varied career in comics has had numerous and diverse hits like Saga, the epically weird and sexy space-opera; Y: The Last Man, an end-of-the-world story; now, with We Stand on Guard, Vaughan dramatically ups his body count in a tale of an American resource war that's a lot closer to home than the invasion of Iraq.

Petition to reassign head of Canada Post to deliver letters at $500k/year

Derryl Murphy writes, "Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper gave Canada Post CEO Deepak Chopra (I know) a new contract a month before the election when he still had time on his contract, and Chopra's working hard to pillage the postal system in Canada. So I did this up for a little fun, but the word needs to get out there." Read the rest

On the death of Rob Ford

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

First-ever Tor node in a Canadian library

Library workers at Western University's Graduate Resource Centre in London, Ontario, had a workshop from Alison Macrina, the library organiser whose Library Freedom Project won a battle with the US DHS over a library in New Hampshire that was offering a Tor exit node as part of a global network that delivers privacy, censorship resistance, and anonymity to all comers. Read the rest

Guy who was hounded from work by homophobic "Valentine" gets a love-note from Justin Trudeau

Last month, an anonymous work-colleague at Alberta's Party City sent's Degas Sikorski a homophobic "Valentine" that he posted last week. Read the rest

50 reasons the TPP is terrible beyond belief

Michael Geist sez, "For the past two and a half months, I have been writing a daily series on the trouble with the Trans Pacific Partnership. The 50 part series wrapped up today with the case against ratifying the TPP. While the focus is on Canadian issues, the series hits on problems that all 12 countries face: unbalanced intellectual property rules, privacy risks, dangers to the Internet and technology, cultural and health regulation, and investor-state settlement rules that could cost countries billions of dollars." Read the rest

BC town votes to install imaginary GPS trackers in criminals

The town council of Williams Lake, British Columbia has unanimously passed a motion to implant GPS trackers in "high risk offenders." Implantable GPS trackers don't exist. Read the rest

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

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

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

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

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

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

TPP vs Canada: a parade of horribles

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

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

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