Archive for the ‘Rant’ Category.

Health Records Havoc


I attended an H1N1 Vaccination clinic in  a local temporary clinic during early December. I went there with the express purpose of protecting myself against a known danger. Two weeks later I receive a letter from that same Regional Health office to advise me that they “might” have put my personal information at risk because of their inability to protect my data.

Systemic stupidity

Let’s get this right. This clinic was run by employees of the Durham Region Health Department. Their job is important and they are in the business of handling private and personal information for their clients. At this clinic they had many laptops which seemed to be networked together and they collected private information in order to identify the visiting patients. It seems they allowed an employee to copy this data on to a USB stick, walk out of the clinic and (a camera caught this) set the USB down on a rock in front of the clinic! From there nobody knows where it went to. Read more here.

The Privacy Commissioner has derided the Regional Health Department for not using strong encryption for mobile devices. What? Is my data that resides on their internal and non-mobile devices not encrypted? Every health record must be encrypted so as not to be compromised at all. This debacle has surely cost the Durham Region significantly more that actually using encryption capabilities—go figure.

Self Protection

Let this incident be a lesson to all of you folks who use portable devices for carrying around your corporate or private data. If you have a portable device (read laptop, smart phone, USB stick, portable drive etc.) you need to encrypt it. Encryption is easy and cheap. We use an very good open source encryption called TrueCrypt. If you are looking for something that will protect your sensitive data in mobile situations this is at least a start.

Tempting Treat—But No


Ma Bell is stooping to a new low. Today in the post I received a new offer from Bell to convert my existing phone to a “Home Phone”
Continue reading ‘Tempting Treat—But No’ »

Broadband Data Costs


Ericsson just released an interesting report ,written by Greger Blennerud, that dispels a lot of mumbo-jumbo that routinely plagues the mobile data industry. Given Ericsson’s prominence in the industry, and the fact that they have built some of the worlds most populated networks, it bodes well that they predict that broadband costs have nowhere to go but down. From their analysis it seems that mobile data can be as cheap as borscht if you run your network correctly.

Continue reading ‘Broadband Data Costs’ »

Wireless Wonkiness


Bernard Lord, president and CEO of the CWTA was recently pontificating at the Intelligent Communities Summit about why wireless services in Canada are so great. He’s generally a well prepared guy but in this case it seems that he should have done his homework a little more carefully.
Continue reading ‘Wireless Wonkiness’ »

If It’s Yellow


Have you used a telephone book in recent memory? We know we have not looked at one for at least three or four years.

Where oh where

With the convenience of 411 access using voice commands, the ubiquity of web access on mobiles and great tools such as Google over SMS who needs a book?

Drive by phone books

Further, it seems to us that the indiscriminate dumping of phone books inside apartment buildings (counted ~300 at a family friend’s apartment lobby—the books have been there more than three months), delivering two or more in urban areas, and using drive-by in rural areas is a completely stupid environmental action.

Bin there, dump that

What do you do with white/yellow books you do not need? Us, we toss them in the blue bin. Someone ought to tell the companies that produce them—or maybe the folks who advertise in them.

Venture Funding Valley


In a recent press release the Canadian Venture Capital Association in what appears to be another volley of concern to the federal government has again chronicled the precipitous fall in investment levels in Canada in the second quarter.
Continue reading ‘Venture Funding Valley’ »

British Broadband Bait & Switch


On the heels of the just ended CRTC review of broadband throttling (AKA broadband bluffers festival) in Ottawa, news from Britain’s telecoms watchdog indicates that folks in the UK are also being sold a bill of goods by ISPs.
Continue reading ‘British Broadband Bait & Switch’ »

Your Data Trail


I am regularly astounded by folks who seem to think that they do not leave a data trail or that there is some protection in ignorance. I’ve seen this happen in very innocent activities like donating computers or mobile phones to charity.
Continue reading ‘Your Data Trail’ »

Simply SIM


In the category of “old is new again” there comes the fresh, new, waiting to be cracked, SimBook.
Continue reading ‘Simply SIM’ »

I Want My P2P


In the ongoing bluff festival being sponsored by the CRTC over the traffic shaping of internet content (read blocking of P2P) it seems that most participants don’t see the obvious. The current lot of carriers are forgetting their history. Continue reading ‘I Want My P2P’ »