Today is a day that all Montrealers of a certain age will always remember; it is the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, the deliberate killing of fourteen women at the École Polytechnique. So, at some point during the day, please take a moment and think about those victims and all victims of violence against women. This day has also become the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.
Archives for 2006
with rapt attention as my (mildly) preferred candidate Bob Rae looked like he was gaining some early momentum only to see it collapse in very short order. The winner, of course, was Stephane Dion, and as Paul Wells has summarized this morning, most of the media reaction is focusing on Dion’s negatives in Quebec.
While they aren’t all wrong – Dion does have significant problems in his home province even among federalists – I think the pundits are, for the most part, making the same error that they have been making for quite a while with respect to Quebec voter behaviour.
In fact, a leader’s or candidate’s positives/negatives on Quebec nationalism are only about half of the story, if that. As important – nah, MORE important, truth be told – is where the candidate stands in terms of policy. And on this front, even a Dion that’s despised for his Clarity Act may be able to succeed in bringing Quebeckers back in his direction. Quebec voters need candidates who are socially progressive in nature, and environmentally conscious, and I predict they’ll overlook a lot of Dion’s negatives on the “unity file” if they hear the right things on other policy issues.
In other words – it’s a non-starter to analyze a candidate’s potential in Quebec by only looking at the nationalism side of things.
I should also say that I have always thought that sovereigntists should welcome and embrace the Clarity Act – which will be their single greatest source of legitimacy should a referendum ever succeed
for traditionally inept telcom pirates like Rogers and the rest of them as more and more handset manufacturers start gleefully selling unlocked devices directly to consumers. The latest challenge (added to the speculation that any iPhone offering from Apple will be an unlocked DTC offering) comes from Palm, who are selling their new Treo 680, unlocked, for US$399.
Compare that with the best offer from Rogers: a two-year-old Palm Treo 650 model, which even with a three-year contract comes out at C$399 before the mail-in rebate.
So I can get a better, newer, slimmer phone and not be locked in to an over-long contract.
It’s even worse if you compare apples to apples – Rogers wants C$600 for their out-of-date Treo 650 product with no contract.
with the post this week at Engadget that (possible) manufacturer Hon Hai [has copped] to [having the] iPhone contract. I don’t know where this is really going to go, but the seemingly most reliable reports are that Apple will eschew marketing the device in the traditional manner – through the cellphone carriers – and sell direct to customers who will just put in any SIM card and go.
If this does indeed prove to be the case, it will be a very interesting development. And long overdue.
As far as features are concerned, that might be a tougher sell. I would love a good quality phone that was also a top-quality music machine, but I don’t think that’s enough to really distinguish the device in the marketplace. It seems that a great proportion of the market are current smartphone users – and while I agree with Jobs that phones aren’t necessarily the best input devices, having robust input functionality built in is nevertheless quite important. Synching with a larger device isn’t always possible, so foreclosing on a user’s ability to, say, compose and send a short email or make a quick grocery list would, for me, totally rule out the adoption of an iPhone, even if the “stick it to the cell providers” part does appeal to me.
‘Beta’ Is Not an Excuse. The changing concept of “beta” has been a problem for some time, but it doesn’t seem to be getting better; it seems to be getting worse over time. I haven’t tried Disco yet, but from what I’ve read, it clearly sounds like an alpha or dev release – not a feature-complete, let’s-get-the-last-bugs-out product.