O Canada


Sending SMS from Gmail - Not in Canada!

Sending SMS from Gmail - Not in Canada!Canada remains a digital ghetto. It's always been this way and it's only gotten worse.

The latest evidence comes from Gmail where they now allow you to send text messages to cell phones via their handy Google Chat client, which is also built into Gmail. Unfortunately, not all carriers support this, and a visit to the supported mobile operators page leaves this Canadian feeling glum.

  • Afghanistan
    Afghan Wireless Communication Company
    Etisalat
    Roshan
  • Algeria
    Nedjma
  • Angola
    Movicel telecomunicações, SA.
    Unitel
  • Bahrain
    Viva
    Zain
  • Bangladesh
    Airtel
    Banglalink
    Citycell
  • Benin
    ETISALAT Bénin
  • Botswana
    Orange
  • Cambodia
    Cell Card
    Smart
  • Cameroon
    MTN
    Orange
  • Congo, Democratic Republic
    Airtel
    Vodacom
  • Côte d'Ivoire
    MTN
    Moov Cote d’Ivoire
    Orange
  • Egypt
    Mobinil
  • Ghana
    Airtel
    MTN
    Tigo
    Vodafone
  • Guam
    iConnect Buddy
  • Guinea
    Cellcom Guinea
    Orange
  • India
    All mobile operators
  • Indonesia
    AHA
    Axis
    Esia
    Indosat
    Telkomsel
    Tri
    XL
  • Iraq
    Omnea
    Zain
  • Israel
    orange
    Pelephone
  • Jordan
    Orange
    Umniah
    Zain
  • Kazakhstan
    Beeline
    Kcell
  • Kenya
    Airtel
    orange
    Safaricom
    Yu
  • Kuwait
    Viva
    Wataniya
    Zain
  • Kyrgystan
    Megacom
  • Lao
    ETL PUBLIC COMPANY
  • Liberia
    Cellcom
    Lonestar Cell MTN
  • Madagascar
    Airtel
    Telma
  • Malawi
    Airtel
    TNM
  • Malaysia
    Celcom
    DiGi
    Maxis
  • Maldives
    Dhiraagu
    Wataniya
  • Morocco
    inwi
  • Mozambique
    mcel
    Vodacom
  • Niger
    Airtel
    Moov
    Orange
  • Nigeria
    Airtel
    Glo
    Etisalat
    MTN
    Starcomms
    Visafone
  • Pakistan
    Mobilink
    Telenor
    Ufone
    Warid
  • Palestinian Territories
    Jawwal
    Wataniya Mobile
  • Philippines
    Globe
    SMART
    Sun Cellular
  • Saudi Arabia
    Mobily
    STC
    Zain
  • Senegal
    orange
    Tigo
  • Seychelles
    Airtel
  • Sierra Leone
    Airtel
    Comium
  • Somalia
    Somtel
    Telesom
  • South Africa
    8ta
    MTN
  • Sri Lanka
    Dialog
    Etisalat
    Mobitel
  • Tanzania
    Vodacom
    Tigo
  • Thailand
    dtac
    True Move
  • Togo
    Moov Togo
  • Tunisia
    Orange
    Tunisiana
  • Uganda
    Orange
    MTN
    Uganda Telecom
  • Ukraine
    Intertelecom
  • United States
    All operators
  • Uzbekistan
    Beeline
    MTS Uzbekistan
    Ucell
  • Vietnam
    VinaPhone
  • Zambia
    Airtel
    MTN
    Zamtel

Did you see that? Not a single Canadian carrier is listed. Meanwhile, Zambia and Uzbekistan each have three listed, India is all-in with the United States, and Guam's hooked up.

Just throw it in the pile of mounting evidence that we Canadians are getting screwed by our telecom industry.

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Natural Canadian Flags

Natural Canadian FlagsI recently came across Don Komarechka's natural Canada flag picture on Reddit. I quite like it.

flag1

It inspired another photographer over there, known only to me as Cuervo2099 on Reddit. I like this one, too.

flag2

I like this new trend. Who's next?

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A Part Of Our Heritage Vignettes

A Part Of Our Heritage VignettesIn the 1990s, we learnt a great deal about Canadian history from the A Part Of Our Heritage vignettes that played on television during commercial breaks. Where else was I going to learn to ask aloud "burnt toast, Dr. Penfield?"

Here are a couple of my other favourites.... First, there's the story of our flag:

Then, there's the story of how Canada got its name. This one cracks me up:

Which is your favourite "A Part Of Our Heritage" vignette?

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How Ontario Got That United Kingdom-ish Flag

How Ontario Got That United Kingdom-ish FlagIn Toronto, we're getting Simcoe Day off on Monday, but it's not Simcoe Day everywhere in Ontario.

Civic Holiday may also be known by one of a number of local appellations such as Mountie Day in North York, Colonel By Day in Ottawa, George Hamilton Day in Hamilton, Joseph Brant Day in Burlington, Founders' Day in Brantford, McLaughlin Day in Oshawa, Alexander Mackenzie Day in Sarnia, James Cockburn Day in Cobourg, Peter Robinson Day in Peterborough, and John Galt Day in Guelph, as well as numerous other names in smaller municipalities.

Speaking of Ontario, our flag is awfully British. Allow me to demonstrate and then explain how this came to be.

This is the United Kingdom Union Flag they've been using since 1801.

uk

This is the Canadian Red Ensign flag Canada was using before 1965. You'll notice it has the Union Flag in there as a nod to our motherland.

red-ensign

But in 1965, PM Pearson lobbied for a flag without the Union Jack, a symbol of our independence. This ticked off Diefenbaker who was rather fond of the Red Ensign. This familiar red maple leaf became Canada's new flag:

canada

Diefenbaker wasn't the only one upset we lost the Union Jack. Ontario Premier Robarts wanted Ontario to adopt a new flag that restored this history, so Ontario got this flag with the good 'ol Union Jack featured prominently.

ontario

And that's how Ontario's flag came to look so damn British.

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Happy Birthday Canada

canadaHappy Birthday, Canada, you're 145 years young today. Here area few entries I've written about you over the past 9.5 years.

  1. Vimy Ridge
  2. O Canada! (2003 Version)
  3. A Distinct Identity
  4. Blame Canada
  5. Reason Number 32
  6. Our Other Anthem
  7. The Maple Music Revolution
  8. My Ten Favourite Song References to A Canadian Place
  9. Best Canadian Movies
  10. Top 100 Canadian Songs: The Definitive List
  11. D'oh Canada!
  12. My Ten Favourite Canadian Albums
  13. Helping Fukuoka, Japan Celebrate Canada Day
  14. 117,000 Reasons to Remember
  15. Canada Owns Podium in Vancouver

Happy Canada Day!

moose

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Thain Wendell MacDowell: Awesome Canadian of the Day

canadaThain Wendell MacDowell was a Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross for his efforts in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Thain Wendell MacDowell was only 26 years old and a captain in the 38th (Ottawa) Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War when he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Here's what he did:

On 9 April 1917 at Vimy Ridge, France, Captain MacDowell, with the assistance of two runners (company orderlies, Pvts. James T. Kobus and Arthur James Hay, both of whom were awarded the DCM for their part) reached the German position ahead of his company. After destroying one machine-gun nest he chased the crew from another. MacDowell then spotted one German going into a tunnel. At the base of the tunnel, MacDowell was able to bluff the Germans to think he was part of a much larger force, resulting in the surrendering of two German officers and 75 German soldiers. He sent the prisoners up out the tunnel in groups of 12 so that Kebus and Hay could take them back to the Canadian line. Seeing that he had been fooled, a German prisoner grabbed a rifle and tried to shoot one of the runners. The German was then shot and killed.

Although wounded in the hand, MacDowell continued for five days to hold the position gained, in spite of heavy shellfire, until eventually relieved by his battalion. He was promoted to the rank of Major following his actions at Vimy Ridge. He later achieved the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel of the Frontenac Regiment from Napanee, Ontario.

That makes Thain Wendell MacDowell our Awesome Canadian of the Day.

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Brace Yourself, Canada

roll up the rimIt's roll up the rim time, Canada.

Brace yourself.

roll up rim

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Copyright Modernization Act, Bill C-11 (SOPA With a Canadian Eh)

canadaWe might have won the battle against SOPA, but we in Canada have another fight on our hands. It's called the Copyright Modernization Act, Bill C-11 and it's an awful lot like SOPA and the DMCA. Bill C-11 is currently under review in Canada’s House of Commons.

Why should we be concerned about Bill C-11? Just ask Michael Geist.

Citing a document that appears to be a set of proposed amendments to the legislation from a music-industry representative, Geist makes the case that the same lobbying groups that backed SOPA are laying the groundwork for SOPA-like rules in Bill C-11.

“While SOPA may be dead (for now) in the U.S.,” Geist writes, “Lobby groups are likely to intensify their efforts to export SOPA-like rules to other countries. With Bill C-11 back on the legislative agenda at the end of the month, Canada will be a prime target for SOPA style rules.”

In particular, Geist says the idea of blocking sites from the Internet — or at least the Internet in Canada — is on the list of proposals. The note, dated March 1, 2011, suggests that the bill should “permit a court to make an order blocking a pirate site such as The Pirate Bay to protect the Canadian marketplace from foreign pirate sites.”

Besides that, the proposals would incentivize Internet service providers to terminate users who infringe copyrights more than once. Geist points out that there’s no mention of due process or what sort of proof would be required. Also under consideration is an “enabler” provision, which would target sites that aren’t necessarily pirate havens, but are primarily used for piracy.

If you like the idea of the internet as a police state, then don't complain to your MP. If you embrace the internet as the last truly free market, send a letter to Ottawa to stop Bill C-11.

Seriously. Do it now. Click that link and send a letter in less than 2 minutes.

I believe it is in the best interest of Canadian consumers and creators alike to amend Bill C-11 to clearly link the act of circumvention to infringement, remove the all-encompassing ban on circumvention tools and to establish a new TPM labelling provision.

Sincerely,

Mike

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Polymer Porn: Canada's Sexy New $100 Bill

moneyHave you got your hands on one of our new $100 bills yet? It's made out of a single sheet of plastic polymer and it's totally pimped out.

Canada will introduce plastic $50 notes in March, and plastic $5 and $10 bills will come out by the end of 2013.

Now that's hot.

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11.11.11 Remembrance

poppyOn the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Canadians are asked to pause and remember the thousands of men and women who sacrificed their lives fighting for freedom and democracy during the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Afghanistan conflict and during peacekeeping missions.

I've scoured my site for relevant entries. Here are some you may want to revisit today.

Here are some entries about Alfred Finley, a veteran and familiar face in Bloor West Village for many years.

And to those who served, or are serving this great country right now, I have one word: Thanks.

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