Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category

Vancouver embraces Twitter

I joined twitter a little over a year ago as part of some school research in emerging technology trends. For several months, I only had three followers: my professor, a classmate and a good friend of mine – not bad considering the huge Facebook craze at the time.

For some reason, I thought, “Hey why not see if good ol’ (or god-awful, depending on your point of view) Gordon Campbell is on Twitter.” Sure enough, he was. What about good ol’ (or god-awful, depending on your point of view) Carole James? She’s there too!

I added Gordon Campbell (@g_campbell) to my list… and within two hours he added me to his. Still waiting for Ms. James (@carolejames) to add me to hers. But considering that she’s not following anyone at the moment, I don’t think she’ll be inviting me to her list anytime soon. Granted, they’re both probably written by party staffers anyway.

Buzz Bishop (@buzzbishop) of 95.3 FM Virigin Radio fame tweets quite a bit, and I find his them to be a great source of what’s going on in Vancouver… and a great source for good eats! Local Vancouver Sun writer Gillian Shaw (@gilliamshaw) is a great read as well… She taught me a lot about how Twitter works on her recent Twitter article. For you Vancouver talk radio junkies, CKNW (@cknw) and News1130 (@news1130) are on it as well.

I’m sure that there are a more Vancouver twitter accounts out there. If you know of any good ones that we can follow, please leave a comment… Bonus points for you if you could find one that covers Vancouver’s food scene. I’m looking for more great places to eat!

Riddle me this…

Ponder this for awhile, and I’ll get back to you tomorrow.

[UPDATE] Did I say tomorrow? I meant… tomorrow after tomorrow.

As Ryan [MB] commented, those with a cellphone should take a look at Kaywa QR code reader – QR code is what you see above. There are in fact a number of different code formats, including ones that look like a beehive of hexagons or a series of circles. However, if you’ve ever looked at the labels or packaging for various foods and other sundries, you’ll most likely see a code much like above – a seemingly random collection of black and white pixels. Even the smallest of them can contain a lot more information than a best before date, including URLs. Some can even contain an image (there’s your Gibsonian cyberpunk moment of the day – escort ads that can “show” without getting into trouble. Or, fine. Kittens and puppies. The picture is of rainbows and ducklings.)

There are a handful of decoders for the iPhone, all of them capable of decoding more than just the QR code format, but they tend to be a little finicky. Currently, I’m getting the best results with BeeTagg.

And even if you don’t have a phone, you can still have a lot of fun making and decoding online. Here; go to this link, and then put the following URL in (it’s the address for the image above.)

Cool, right?

It’s possible that we don’t need this, but at the same time, I can’t help but think the uses are vast… up to and including pictures of dolphins covered in glitter. And really, they won’t take hold until people start thinking up some of those uses and acting on them. Got any good ideas?

Vancouver blog news

IMG_2171.JPG, originally uploaded by Jeffery Simpson.

There’s been quite a bit of activity on the Vancouver blog scene the last week or so, and since I’ve been busy the way I’m going to cover it is to throw it all online in a big’ol roundup of news. It’s like a Morning Brew [br] of slightly outdated Vancouver blog news.

– Morning Brew: the best MB title ever [br].

– Best of 604: we tried to do a best of Vancouver blogs thing here during the summer, but everything just sort of got overwhelming and I couldn’t hack it. Rebecca’s a professional blogger unlike me, so she’ll avoid making a complete hash of it [b604].

– Canadian Blog Awards: Apparently there’s a Canadian Blog Awards. I’m not sure if they’re any more reputable than the awards that were around in thet late ’90s when I won first place for design for my hidiously garish Matthew Good Band fansite that I made with Angelfire, but hey they’ve got a beaver logo. Lots of local blogs got nominated including the previously mentioned Rebecca and Raul who is always worth a vote [h604].

– Northern Voice 2009: I went to Northern Voice in 2006 and pulled a muscle from constantly having to roll my eyes [mbv]. I sort of fell between the target audiances of people who were super new to blogs and the internet and the type of people who wanted to spend an hour arguing about comment moderation software. Having said that it sounds like in recent years the conference has been stellar and I’m most likely going to be giving it another go this year. The conference is in late Febuary, and right now has an open call for speakers.

The Georgia Straight: I’ve been freelancing for the tech section of The Georgia Straight for the last few months, and now they’ve launched a dedicated tech blog [tgs]. On a related note if this roundup of local blogging news has gotten you freshly interested in blogs, it’s worth checking out my article on local bloggers that ran a few issues ago [tgs].

Finding diamonds in Canada’s north

C-FATO, originally uploaded by jspitfire.

There’s a fascinating feature article online from a recent Wiredabout University of British Columbia graduate Chuck Fipke whose discovery of diamonds in the north basically kick started the Canadian diamond industry [wm]. It’s an interesting read.

I went to grade school with Fipke’s son, and played road hockey with him a number of times. That was before the diamonds were discovered and the Chuck and his wife went through Canada’s costliest divorce settlements [nns].

In way of a factual clarification Cheetahs, the strip club mentioned in the article, is better described as Kelowna’s least skeevy strip club as opposed to its classiest.

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