Archive for January, 2010

After the protest, what’s next for concerned citizens?

I enjoyed reading the coverage of the No Prorogue rallys around the country. Opposition parties are acting on the public outrage and attempting to draft some legislation to slow down our proroguing Prime Minister (and future PMs).  The question now is, how does the public continue to show support for this initiative?  How do we let the politicians know that the public is still concerned.

News changes, different things come up (Olympics, etc.), and the public’s interest in this issue may wane.  It’s good to have a follow up strategy–the question is, what do we think that strategy should be?

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Can the government complete big projects?

I’m still getting alot of information from podcasts that I listen to while I walk the dog and I recently listened to Chris Gondak  review the book “If we can put a man on the moon”.  This book explored the sequence of events that led the American government to succeed in the pursuit of it’s lofty goal of putting a man on the moon.  It also explores and makes some hypothesis on what to do, and not to do.   It also looks at business people who try to succeed in politics, and some of the struggles they face.

It sounds like an interesting read. It seems like it has been a long time since a western government has been able to successfully complete a big project.

And one interesting local corollary is the tale of Larry O’Brien.  A successful business man who tried to make the transition to politician.  I know his term is not quite over yet, but Mr. O’Brien has faced some difficulties in implementing his plans.  From all I’ve heard,  government  is a different world and requires different skills to get things done.  Definitely a topic that I find fascinating.

Google vs. China

Wow, this is actually a big deal.  There are many aspects to this story which make it so compelling:  one of the largest technology companies in the world versus one of the largest governments of the world.

There is a lot of hope in China, especially as the domestic market grows.  Many American businesses have a lot to gain in this market, but what price has to be paid.  The censorship issue was a tough one to swallow for Google, but they did do it.  Are they being completely clear on their reasons for uncensoring now?  There are also conflicting reports on Google’s market share.  Are they losing or gaining ground?

Many interesting commentary articles here (NPR), here (Business Insider), and here (New York Times).

Many questions, but I will say if Google completely leaves China for good-natured reasons, I will have to applaud them.  They will be leaving money on the table, without a significant replacement market.  Maybe a company of this magnitude standing up to the Chinese Communist Party will open some eyes.

As an aside, in my work life I have been looking at the new Google Android mobile phone operating system.  One of the markets that has really embraced the Android phones is China.  One of (not all) the benefits of the Android OS is compatability with all that is Google.  This move may hurt Android adoption in China.

CSI–there’s something about it…

I don’t know why, but there is something about the CSI shows that sicken me.  I find that the premise is ridiculous, the science is ridiculous, and the acting is ridiculous.  Really, scientists that physically arrest people?  And the fact that the bad guys are just so bad, but really ridiculous?

I just watched an episode of CSI NY with my wife. If CSI Miami is on, I actually have to leave the room, but try to tolerate the other CSIs.  Maybe I was in a bad mood, but I could not handle it!

Crime shows can be done well…it has been proven!  I just watched an episode of Criminal Minds–a good show.  And I admit to being a fan of the Mentalist–the witty repartee works well.  How do people tolerate this CSI crap!!

Sorry, just had to vent…

Good comparative article on Parliaments around the world

I just thought this particular article from the Globe and Mail provides a good analysis and comparison for governments around the world.  Spurred on by the prorogue, it contains  a lot of information not directly related.  The power of the Prime Minister seems to be quite large compared to other democratically elected leaders.

Article here.

Heaven help those who are not ‘persons’

I was catching up on listening to some No Agenda podcasts while I was walking the dog, and heard some interesting revelations during the December 24th episode (#159).  It turns out that the Obama administration has kept going with some reprehensible legislation started by the Bush administration.

I’ll summarize (correct me if I’m wrong) but if anyone is determined to be an ‘enemy combatant’ by the government (military?) they are then stripped of all rights and privileges that would be afforded to a ‘person’ as mentioned in the Constitution.   A scary bit of legislation.

More of the details can be found in these stories:

Here, here, here, and here.

Dismantling of Nortel almost complete

It seems as if more of Nortel has been sold off over the holidays.  It is truly sad to see a Canadian technology giant just disappear.  There is always hope that the engineering know how will stay in Ottawa, but I am personally seeing signs of engineers leaving the city.  And large businesses usually employ many other types of people (for instance head office in Toronto), but that will definitely leave Canada as none of the companies that have eaten chunks of Nortel are Canadian.

They have kept the patents, which is a very good financial move as I know from the industry I work in, but selling and licensing patents is not a way for innovation–innovation that Canada sorely needs.