Archive for January, 2009

National Do (not) Call List

Canada’s Radio-Television and Telecommunications regulator, the CRTC, launched the National Do Not Call List (DNCL) on September 30, 2008 providing Canadians a way to “reduce the number of telemarketing calls (that) you receive”.  Registration on the DNCL is valid for three year and it may take up to 31 days for you number to be “removed” from all telemarketing lists.  Now before you go running over to the DNCL read the rest of the post.


Many who have registered on the DNCL list are reporting not an decrease but an increase of telemarketing calls to registered numbers-myself included.  This influx  is most likely due to the DNCL falling into the “wrong hands”.  Getting your hands on Canada’s Do Not Call List is as easy posing as a telemarketing company.  Once you have secured the list starting call-the list is fresh and contains million of numbers of Canadians across the country.  Not only does the DNCL have a number of exceptions but if the calls originate from outside of Canada-the CRTC has no authority.

If you are getting a few to no telemarketing calls currently I would suggest not registering with the DNCL.  Instead when you do receive a unwanted call kindly let them know that you are not interested and to please add your number to their internal do not call list so they do not call again.  If you have already signed up for the DNCL and are still receiving telemarketing calls ask them kindly to add your number to their internal do not call list and to please not call back.


2 comments January 15th, 2009

UNLIMITED txt, email, and im-Rogers Wireless

unlimited-txt-email-im~Rogers BB

Starting today (January 14, 2009) two new unlimited BlackBerry messaging plans will be available from Canada’s only GSM provider-Rogers Wireless.

For $25/month (plus voice plan) you are going to get:
-unlimited e-mail
-unlimited instant messaging
-unlimited sent text messages
-unlimited sent picture & video messages
-unlimited incoming text/pic/vid messages (excludes premium messages)
-enhanced voice mail
-caller id with name display

The second plan is going to set you back $45/month (plus fees and taxes) but includes a voice plan. Details below:
-unlimited e-mail
-unlimited instant messaging
-unlimited sent text messages
-unlimited sent picture & video messages
-unlimited incoming text/pic/vid messages (excludes premium messages)
-200 weekday minutes
-unlimited evening and weekends at 9pm
PLUS you choice of ONE of the following
-MY5 Canada-Wide (unlimited talk/text/pic/vid to 5 numbers)
-unlimited incoming calls
-unlimited local network calling (to/from: Rogers Wireless/Rogers Home Phone/Fido)
-5pm early evening calling

Act fast the unlimited plans are only available until March 2, 2009.  Follow the link for more-Rogers Wireless.


8 comments January 14th, 2009

out with the old and in with the new-Koodo Mobile

Rumor has it that Koodo Mobile (a division of Telus Mobility) will be discontinuing one existing phone model to make room for two new devices. The Motorola VE20, which is a remodeled RAZR, will be replaced in discontinued KRZR. The Motorola KRZR is currently marked down to $150 to get rid of stock. The Samsung m540 should also be launching around the same time as the VE20. Look for these two new devices within the first two weeks of February.


2 comments January 13th, 2009

Cleaning up my TV


So my wife was complaining that all my extra stuff was making her furniture look ugly. Basically, next to the TV I had a xbox (for xbmc), PVR, network hub, slingbox pro HD and RF extender. I wish I had a before picture – oops.

I was thinking of fixing the clutter using wireless HDMI when it occurred to me that I should try something using the TV’s VESA mounting holes.
I ran out and got 2 pieces of thick aluminum slats and drilled holes in them. Then I mounted them to the TV. Next I got some nylon straps, melted the ends with a hot knife and added clips. Finally I strapped everything onto the back. Here’s the end result:


I was going to mount a power bar or UPS to the back but there wasn’t enough room as you can see… guess we need a bigger TV. Instead I plugged everything into a power bar so if I want to move the TV, all I have to do is unplug the power bar, cable and network cable.

I also thought of adding a cable and network outlet so that they’re right behind the TV, maybe I’ll try it later.


Speaking of moving the TV, it went from a manageable 60ish lbs to close to 90lbs. Heavy enough that it’s noticeably more difficult to move.


A couple of people have asked me about heat. I used a laser thermometer to check the temperatures. Unfortunately it didn’t occur to me to check what they were before I mounted everything but the hottest point on the back is right where the PVR touches the TV. Right there it’s 41C which seems okay since the PVR runs pretty hot.


I was originally going to put a network switch instead of a hub, but to be honest I don’t need the extra bandwidth as XBMC and the Slingbox Pro HD don’t use more than 10mbps.

You could also use the XBOX for games since the ports are not really covered but I’m only using it for XBMC.

I used an RF extender (with my MX950 remote control) since the TV probably blocks the IR signals going to the XBOX and PVR. If you look carefully, the PVR actually has 3 IR blinkers on it (2 from the Slingbox, 1 from the RF extender).

So anyways, with this setup, one person can watch videos using XBMC on the TV, while another can watch the PVR on some of my phones (SlingPlayer mobile is available on Blackberry, iPhone, S60, Windows Mobile and Palm), on a TV (using a SlingCatcher) or on a computer in HD.

Also, my wife doesn’t complain about how everything looks now.

Howard Chui

7 comments January 13th, 2009

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