Behavior, Content, Money – 3 Things you should never give away for free!!!

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My Experiment in Cutting Cords (and costs) with VoIP

Posted by bryan on November 1, 2012 in Cloud Computing, E-Business, Mobile with 1 Comment


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Example of residential network including VoIP

Example of residential network including VoIP (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Like most Canadians, I have paid way more than I care to admit to the greedy Telcos over the past several years. My estimates put my average monthly bill for two smartphone plans and a home telephone line with an international long-distance plan at approximately $175/month (some months higher, some months lower, but that’s the average). Carry that cost over 12 months per year and about 5 years since I’ve been back in Canada and at the mercy of the Telcos, and you’ve got a scary picture. Add in Internet, TV and Movie services (i.e. Netflix) and what you’ve got is blatant wastage and inefficiency, something I intend to put an end to now that my major smartphone plan’s 3-year contract is coming to an end.

Feel free to jump straight to my problem and my proposed solution right now, but I’ll lay out some background on my particular situation, and what lead me to this current fleecing and desparation to find an alternative.

 

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At first I ended up with three separate carriers, which is almost never the cheapest way of doing things, but almost always the way a typical household ends up. As families grow, couples may have had separate services, and its not always easy or even possible to package, bundle or combine services due to prior contracts. It’s easy to blame the greedy Telcos, but at least some of the responsibility for this situation rests on my shoulders as a result of laziness or simple lack of time and energy to do anything about it sooner and/or do more research into all the possible alternatives.

Being incredibly busy but needing to fill an immediate need for services to get my wife a phone since I had no home phone line, before I had much chance to figure out how badly I’d be getting screwed, I had myself signed on to two 3-year contracts with two separate carriers.

Later, I needed to add a second smartphone plan, mostly because I had to get a Mobile phone plan for my wife before she was actually a permanent resident, and at the time there was a “special offer” on at Rogers that would have made it cheaper than adding a second line to my existing Bell-Aliant account. What I didn’t know was that despite it being cheaper, Rogers tends to hike their rates more later on down the line. Live and learn I suppose.

I’ve considered something like a Mobile 4G hotspot, but the thought of carrying it with me everywhere and being dependent on a spotty service that’s still being rolled out does not really appeal to me very much. That said, here’s what I found were my options: Read the rest of this entry »

Suggestions for the Canadian Federal Government

Posted by bryan on July 31, 2012 in E-Government with No Comments


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English: Pic for WikiProject Political parties...

WikiProject Political parties and politicians in Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With all the world events going on these days (both good and bad news), there’s plenty I’d like to write about. The purpose of this post, however, will be to focus on the Canadian Federal Government (in as party-agnostic a manner as possible) and what we can do as a nation to not only keep up with other countries technologically and economically, but to also take a step forward and lead by example, thereby gaining the respect we deserve in the international community in the 21st century and beyond.

To get it out of the way, I’ll start with a little obvious bias and state that I think Stephen Harper and the current Conservative Party are not doing a great job, but can also agree they’re not doing a terrible job; instead, we’ve ended up with something in between which looks more like stagnation than progress. Even I will concede though, that in these tumultuous times, staying where we’ve already been is certainly not the worst we could have ended up. This is especially true when you look at the total and complete destruction of other developed nations‘ economiesĀ including our biggest trading partner and ally the United States, and the ongoing financial calamities in Greece, Spain and ItalyĀ that threaten to spread to the rest of the EU and potentially result in the dissolution of the Euro.
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BC$ = Behavior, Content, Money

The goal of the BC$ project is to raise awareness and make changes with respect to the three pillars of information freedom - Behavior (pursuit of interests and passions), Content (sharing/exchanging ideas in various formats), Money (fairness and accessibility) - bringing to light the fact that:

1. We regularly hand over our browser histories, search histories and daily online activities to companies that want our money, or, to benefit from our use of their services with lucrative ad deals or sales of personal information.

2. We create and/or consume interesting content on their services, but we aren't adequately rewarded for our creative efforts or loyalty.

3. We pay money to be connected online (and possibly also over mobile), yet we lose both time and money by allowing companies to market to us with unsolicited advertisements, irrelevant product offers and unfairly structured service pricing plans.

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