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Showing posts from May, 2010

Privacy law protects the guilty and penalizes the innocent

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Update: 2010-06-29 - Record arrived by mail. Was apparently processed 2010-06-18, eight days after I was advised to send (and sent) a second application. So it "only" took them about 70 days, but weren't even able to track whether or not they had received it during the process. Thanks very much for everyone who offered help and support. Remember, this is still a big problem for many Canadians seeking employment and immigration abroad. The CFSS still really needs a major overhaul.

I am a Canadian training for a Private Pilot's License (PPL) in New Zealand.

A few months ago, my flight instructor recommended I start getting my final paperwork ready.  He mentioned it can often take up to 30 days to obtain this from foreign governments.

I obtained my driving record in both countries via the Internet, and my New Zealand criminal record "all clear" report via postal mail, all within the first 3 weeks.

Up until December 2009, you could obtain your own Canadian crim…

Ideas have no value. Implementation does.

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There's a very common misconception that great ideas have great value.

This simply isn't true.

An idea with no action or implementation is worth exactly zero dollars and zero cents.

I have ideas all the time. Most are complete crap. Some are decent. But none of them have any value at all until I actually do something about them.

Some will argue, "but if I have a great idea and patent it, I can sell that patent to a big company for millions!"  That's fine. Patents have value. The ideas behind them are still worthless on their own.

Derek Sivers explained this quite nicely back in 2005:
It’s so funny when I hear people being so protective of ideas. (People who want me to sign an NDA to tell me the simplest idea.)To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.
An idea is certainly a prerequisite for a valuable endeavor, but until you add the action and implementation, it's all just hot air.

So don't be so

Copying is NOT Theft!

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I was a bit annoyed today reading through a few of the comments on this article in the Globe and Mail today.

Every time there is a debate about copyright law, there are always a slew of comments like the following:
"I walk into HMV and try and pocket a CD, DVD or game chances are I will be arrested and charged. Tell me how is it any different than doing the EXACT same thing while sitting at home in front of my computer." Ok. I'm going to tell you exactly how it is different.

This is such a moronic argument, and it's just not amusing anymore, because people are starting to believe it.

So here it is quite simply.

If you steal something, in the physical world, the original owner suffers a true and physical loss.  They no longer have the thing you took.

On the other hand, if you make a copy of something, in the digital world, nothing is lost.  In fact, there has been a net gain! In the digital world, you can literally create something of value (content) from nothing (rand…

Religion is here to stay

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I wrote most of this a few months ago, but a recent watching of the movie Agora prompted me to edit and post it.

Consider this quotation, attributed to Seneca, a Roman senator who was born around the year 4 B.C.:
"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful."There is a tendency to believe that religious extremism is a recent phenomenon, but if you look carefully, it seems to date back to the beginnings of civilization itself.

The first ancient tribes had their gods and superstitious beliefs.  I'm willing to bet you didn't get very far in native tribal society if you started expressing doubts about the Great Wolf Spirit.

It must have been around that time when rulers realized the power of controlling one's beliefs from a young age.

If you can convince an entire population that their fate is controlled by some deity in the sky, you can get away with horrid behaviour and not worry about them turning on you.

Once…