An interesting theoretical question was poised today in our office: Why doesn't Canada Post, instead of raising postage prices to cover postage costs, reduce the number of mail deliveries? Many homes and businesses receive less than an average of one addressed mail item per day. Wouldn't it be nice if mail only came 2-3 days a week, and you knew for certain that there'll be something in your mailbox when you check it?
Nota bene: for the sake of simplicity, assume I'm talking about audio podcasts. Video podcasts are cool, but a totally different ball game.
I spend more time in the average week listening to podcasts than consuming any other kind of media. (Music is the only medium that comes close.) Each aspect of podcasting seems to trump a certain other form of media.
Podcast episodes are stored locally on one's devices, so you don't need a active internet connection to listen. This is great for people on the go who don't want to pay for Canada's super-expensive mobile data.
Malls should have mandatory valet parking. Maybe not all malls, but at least malls that are big enough to need multi-level parking.
Take West Edmonton Mall as an example. If any mall were to have valet parking, WEM, being the largest in North America, would really benefit from it. (Right now, just the hotel has a valet service.) If one goes to the mall in the early evening or on weekends, the parking lot is a madhouse.
The gross majority of Twitter users are the personas of humans and brands, of course, but there's a small group of Twitter accounts that aren't, and they are the best ones. They are the bots, and they are accounts controlled by software to do various things. Here's three of my favourtes.
Acrotowne is a simple game built by @zhaytee. First, it posts a random string of letters, such as "SATW". Then it's followers may send it a direct message with what they think those letters could stand for if they were an acronym. Finally, after a set amount of time, all the suggestions are anonymously published, and everyone who submitted a suggestion may vote. The one twist is that if you don't vote, any votes for your suggestion are nullified.
Updated on 22 February: see bottom.
What's going on, if you've been living under a rock: the FBI has requested that Apple help them by creating a modified version of iOS that doesn't have safeguards preventing someone brute-forcing the password.
It's key to realize that Apple is not being asked to decrypt what's stored on the iPhone, but to make it possible for the FBI to guess the passcode by trial and error. The thing that makes this case interesting is that, though we all know the FBI has the power to have a search warrant to ask the Apple to give over everything they have related to the case, the question is if they have the power to get Apple's assistance in the case. Apple has already stated that they've given the Bureau everything that's been asked of them, but does the FBI have the ability to force Apple to create the custom build of iOS? (An interesting side note is that the writ from the Bureau does explain that they will reimburse Apple for the cost of the work.)
I recently finished reading The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein, and it easily makes the list of the top ten fiction books I've read, if not the top five, though I haven't yet made such a list.
Background: it's the future. The Moon has been colonized in a way similar to how Australia was: it is used as a penal colony, for states on Earth to send their criminals. By this point in the timeline, Earth's resources are strapped, and the Moon's society is flourishing. The majority of residents on the Moon are not criminals: they've either been born there, or their sentences have been served and they've decided to stay due to the fact that their bodies have adapted to the lesser gravity.