Why People Live In Vancouver

My friends, particularly those from eastern Canada, often say to me:

Dude, how can you live there. It’s dark, it rains all the time, everybody’s either stoned or meat deprived and you’re always 3 hours behind the real world.

To which I say:

Click on these pictures shot today in downtown Vancouver.



Cypress Mountain Opens Tomorrow – sort of

Cypress is opening tomorrow Friday 30th November, but the only lift they’ll open is  the easy rider (bunny hill).  I guess it lets them say they opened in November.

The weather is supposed to stay cold but it’s annoyingly CLEAR and SUNNY right now – who thought anyone in Vancouver would be complaining about that.  Sunday is supposed to be snowing so here’s hoping we get a dump and they can open up some terrain.

Internet Radio Cracks ?


Bloomberg’s reporting that AOL and Yahoo may pull the plug entirely on their web radio. Why ? A 38% increase in royalties to air music.

Yahoo and AOL stopped directing users to their radio sites after SoundExchange, the Washington-based group representing artists and record labels, began collecting the higher fees in July. Those royalties may stifle the growth of Internet radio, which increased listeners 39 percent in the past year, according to researcher ComScore Inc. in Reston, Virginia. full story here

The wheels started coming off the bus back in March when the copyright board brought in pay-for-play fees based on recommendations by record companies.

If more internet radio stations follow suite, the people who’ll be hurt the most are the artists themselves as they watch their online exposure dwindle.

Now that makes sense.

Technology – Where The Rubber Hits the Road


The work I do centres around communication and technology. I hear the word technology a lot in my day to day work. And mostly when I hear the word ‘technology’ I think computers, the internet, video cameras, cool new gadgets, that sort of thing.

When I put a new set of tires on my car this week, I was hit smack in the head by technology. Its not sexy, and doesn’t make the tech pages of your local paper, but tire technology means I now have a smoother, quieter ride – even though I thought we had already reached tire nirvana.

Interestingly, the tires I bought have a more aggressive tread than previous, yet the ride is remarkably smoother and quieter. My old set of mud/snow tires were from the same manufacturer, Michelin.

Since I’m only using my old Jeep Cherokee occasionally now that we’ve got a Yaris, I figured a more aggressive tread would be ideal for those winter trips to Cypress and other snowboard destinations. This week I bought a brand new model, the LTX A/T 2.

I wasn’t expecting a smoother quieter ride – in fact quite the opposite.

I bought them the Tireland on the North Shore, and the guys were pretty jazzed about installing them since they’re a brand new line. They even gave me a deal on the price, on top of Michelin’s 100-dollar cash back promotion (on until the end of December in case you’re looking – get a coupon on their web site).

Bargain aside (and I like a good bargain) I couldn’t believe the difference when I drove away. Jeeps the vintage of mine (91) aren’t known for their smooth ride, so anything helps. It’s impressive when technology improvements are that pronounced – now I can’t wait to get a little snow under them.

CBC Integrates Radio/TV and Online Management

According to InsidetheCBC.com

In a note to staff today, CBC president Robert Rabinovitch announced that the CBC Board of Directors has approved “the formal integration of CBC Radio and CBC Television, which is effective immediately. The integrated services, including CBC.ca, will be led by Richard Stursberg, Executive Vice-President, English Services.” Jennifer McGuire becomes the new Executive Director of CBC Radio

The full story is on CBC.Ca.

This fully explains the resignation of Radio Vice President Jane Chalmers earlier this month.

If you’ve ever seen a CBC management flow chart you’d agree this all makes perfect sense. The re-org means that the main media lines all roll up under one head. From the CBC.Ca story…

McGuire, CBC-TV programming head Kirstine Layfield and CBC News publisher John Cruickshank will all now report to Stursberg.

Expect a lot of dire predictions from the radio folks in particular.

In reality this is good news and should help make the decision making process less moribund.

Coast Mountain Bus Company Gives The Finger to Commuters and Greenhouse Gas


Coast Mountain’s plan to go on a holiday schedule during Christmas week this year shows how out of touch they are with the lives of their customers.

There will be fewer buses travelling around the Lower Mainland during the entire week of Christmas, as Coast Mountain Bus Company tries something new this holiday season.

The usual Christmas Day schedule will remain the same but on Monday, December 24, plus the Thursday and Friday following Boxing Day (December 27th and 28th), buses will be running on a Saturday schedule. Full story at News 1130.

I guess all the Coast Mountain execs will be taking that week off, unlike 95% of the rest of the world who will be working.

By putting the entire week on holiday bus schedules, Coast Mountain is assuring riders there will be long lines and long waits for public transit. We should be encouraged to use transit to do our post-Christmas sale shopping, but the people who run our public transit clearly have decided we should all get in our cars and jam up city streets even more.

Bus drivers have reason to be concerned that they’ll face the wrath of frustrated consumers. Instead, you should be voicing your concern to the people who run Coast Mountain.

You can find them here:

Customer Relations representatives are available to speak with you from 8:00am to 4:00pm, Monday to Friday at 604-953-3040. You may also reach us by custrel@translink.bc.ca or by fax at 604-953-3663. Head office: 1600 – 4720 Kingsway Burnaby, British Columbia
Canada V5H 4N2 Telephone: (604) 453-4500

Flickr Hits 2 Billion Photos Before Its 4th Birthday

Holy Moly indeed.

In the Flickr blog today they mention that they hit their 2-billionth upload. To get a sense of the sheer volume, just check the ‘explore’ function.

If you select “most recent uploads” Flickr tells you how many photos were uploaded in the last minute. I’m usually seeing numbers between 2,500 – 3,500. That means that in one hour, at the low end, there are 150,000 uploads. Over a day, even at the low end, that’s 3,600,000 photos uploaded.

At that rate, it would take over 555 days to hit 2-billion. Flickr’s been around longer than that of course, the URL was first registered 4 years ago this month. But obviously they had no-where near this kind of uptake in the early days, and these days, I’m sure they have days that go way over that low number I’m using.

It’s staggering to think about this kind of volume. And Flickr is just one of many photo-upload sites. Add in the social networking sites that also allow photo uploads, and you really have to be impressed with sheer volume of images being uploaded, stored, tagged and displayed.

We used to keep our photos in a shoe box in a closet somewhere – the more annoying members of my family held regular ‘slide nights’ when they’d show off their snaps from their latest trip to Minot. Essentially, our family photos quietly gathered dust somewhere.

Now, they’re on display for the world to see, and in some cases downloaded, not only by friends of family, but by total strangers. Sure there are a lot of budding photographer types who use Flickr as a giant sounding board for their work, but mostly, it’s just regular photos taken by regular folks. Some of them even on a trip to Minot.

Encourage that kind of behavious, and the next thing you know you’ve got 2-billion pictures on your hard drive.


Internet surpasses TV for Young Europeans

A new study shows Europe has hit some major internet related milestones. The study was conducted by European Interactive Advertising Association. Highlights include:

  • 169 million people now online across 10 European markets
  • Internet use stretches ahead of TV amongst youth audience
  • Uplift in online driven by rising use amongst silver surfers and digital women
  • Internet users on average spending nearly 12 hours per week online and nearly a third (29%) spending upwards of 16 hours online
  • Internet users access the internet 5.5 days per week
  • Social networking sites now visited by 42% of internet users
  • 8 out of 10 Europeans connect to the internet via a broadband connection

full story here