Diogenes's blog

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Calgary and the Homeless

homeless2 (52K)

I'm from Calgary, lived there almost 47 years. I subscribed to the Calgary Herald for many of those years. Now, even though I live in another country, I can read the news back home in the Herald or the Globe & Mail, the National Post or even the Edmonton Journal, using the miracle of the internet. The other "papers" offer better reporting and it's free.

The memory is a bit fuzzy because it was many years ago, but it was in a Calgary Herald editorial that I first saw the terms poverty/homeless/food bank (can't remember which) and growth industry used in the same sentence. It was a clever but cynical turn of phrase, calling into question the motivations of some bleeding heart liberal attempt to advance socialism in this part of the country.

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I'm on Stack Overflow

dilbert (3K)

I recently discovered this web site called Stack Overflow, a Q/A (question/answer) site for programmers. It was mentioned in an online article from the NY Times titled Everyone Loves Google, Until It’s Too Big. I came upon it thru a Google Canada / News / Sci-Tech page. There is a certain irony in all of this.

At the time, I was having issues with certain web pages I had created; pages with sounds. Internet Explorer 7 had stopped working with these pages on the 2 computers we have. I didn't know when or why they stopped working, or if it was just our two systems or everybody's.

I Googled everywhere for an answer, including Usenet, but the best I came up with other were other vague queries similar to mine. No answers. So I gave up for awhile and read the news.

That's when I came across the NY Times article and tried out Stack Overflow. A "stack overflow" is a programmer term ( or error message) that is usually accompanied by a program or system crash. It's a great name for a programmer Q/A website.

Stack Overflow has at least 5 answers for each of the more than 100,000 questions posted on the site. It's a public site; all Q/A information posted is available to anyone free of charge. Anyone can post a question or provide an answer. There is also a voting system in place so questions and answers can be voted up or down.

Sure, you say, but that's all been done before, 100 times before. There is more, much more.

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GIMP and StackOverflow

dilbert (3K)

Two great discoveries in the last 3 weeks (at least for me).

The first was GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) which lets me create transparent GIF and PNG images (like this one). It does a lot of the same things that the uber-expensive Adobe PhotoShop does, but it's free.

The second discovery was a site called Stack Overflow, a Question/Answer website for programmers.

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Microsoft Does It Again

allesgoed (42K) wmpError (3K)

For those of you that use Microsoft Internet Exploder as a browser, you may have experienced pop-up errors on these pages for the last month or so. I believe the last Microsoft monthly update (Jan 2009) made some changes to the browser that rendered this page, and quite a few others on the internet, broken.

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More homepage renovations

allesgoed5 (44K)

So I finally figured out that site navigation on this page really sucked if you were not using Firefox.

With this update most of the standard links here ave been converted to javascript links. These will open in a different window (or tab) when you click on them. The page tries to keep using that the same window (or tab) when you click on a different link. Too many windows and you can catch a cold.

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Black Screen of Death II


It was a little over one week ago that I was finishing off the homepage renovations when my notebook computer completely locks up - not even a mouse or keyboard response. I have to press on the power button for about 10 seconds (this is like 10 minutes in internet time) before the laptop shuts down. I power up again.

MBR error appears in white letters on a black screen. I try again.

Disk read error comes up this time, in white on black. This is a bad sign,very bad.

Us old-timers call this the Black Screen of Death (BSOD). It is a sign that either the hard disk has failed or the operating system has been corrupted.

This is my 3rd BSOD in five years. Dealing with BSOD's on a Microsoft Windows system is a royal PITA.

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Home renovations

All is good!

We have been doing more home page renovations, experimenting with different backgrounds and colors and stuff, when I decided I really do like orange. I must be losing my mind! So I go back to the original orange.


Then MLW says, that's not orange, there's too much yellow! I think you have color blindness issues. So so then I end up repainting all the rooms again! Typical home renovations.

A new section has been added, The ABCP Crusades, for all the blogs written about the topic.

Last Friday the retail investors of Canaccord Securities got their money back, bringing a happy close to an amazing saga.

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Beware of the experts

My friend Brian sent me an email with this little gem of a quote. He had received it in an email from a stockbroker.

marx (5K)

"Owners of capital will stimulate the working class to buy more and more of expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take more and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable. The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks, which will have to be nationalized, and the State will have to take the road which will eventually lead to communism"

Karl Marx, Das Kapital, 1867
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Point & counterpoint

Do we need a national regulator?

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach

The government of Alberta has stated that it will oppose the establishment of national securities regulator. They argue that it is a provincial responsibility, accorded to it by the constitution. They have offered few other reasons why this should be an exclusive right.

Canada has had many expert panels and commissions over the years that have consistently recommended replacing Canada's patchwork of 13 regional regulators with a single national regulator. The latest panel was chaired by Tom Hockin, the one before that by Purdy Crawford, architect of Canada's recent ABCP restructuring.

Purdy Crawford

Economists and other experts on these matters have almost all agreed that a single regulator in Canada would be a good idea, both for investment and protection of investors.

Why then, the resistance?

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Mad as hell, again

purdy2 (3K)

I'm mad, mad as hell, over Alberta's resistance to a national security regulator.

I have rejoined Facebook under a new name and rejoined their group "Canaccord and Other ABCP Clients". An internet activist is reborn.

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach

The ABCP fiasco is coming to a close after 18 months but retail investors will not be celebrating until the money is in a mattress, so low is the trust in lawyers, committees and banks.


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