Our home internet service provider here in Toronto, Canada, is Bell Canada. I received an email from Bell at 10:01 telling me we are at 90% of our limit, and have 8.2G left. This email is not uncommon and I expect it on heavy months. Usually 8.2G should last us at least 2 days. At 12:30 I receive another email stating that we are now 350M over our limit.
What the hell!?! During that time I was having lunch and not even on the computer, and there is no one else in the house. This sounds fraudulent.
They have not caught on yet, as many Chinese search engines offer no explanation in English of their services, yet their bots are out there crawling all sites on the internet. I am trying to kill as many bots, scrapers, spiders, crawlers, and checkers as possible, and if I don’t find an explanation of what a site does, I’ll ban the user agent from my site. This might seem a little unfair, but I don’t want bots eating my bandwidth, and to have my ISP force me to pay more for hosting, all because they wish to crawl my site.
Free, the Internet should be, freedom to express oneself, is the standard thinking of most people. No one should be able to censor content. All should be able to read whatever they wish, whatever they can find. China, with their “Great Firewall of China”, does censor content for their 1.4B citizens, and is widely condemned for their radical actions. I am rethinking censorship of the Internet. In light of the rise of ISIS and other terrorist organizations maybe we should consider censorship for certain situations.
Authentic they do look, and my neighbour got suckered in. He found a roofer on their recommendation than may be less than legit. As with all things internet, it is buyer beware.
Even a cursory search for “homestars scam” on Google search shows a lot of mixed comments. it seems like contractors pay $150/month to Homestars and they get favourable reviews. When I say “favourable” I mean really stupendous reviews. This is what tweaked my curiosity. When reviews are gushing over a roofer’s services, I am a little suspicious. Site over site on Google have complaints about Homestars. If you are looking for a contractor in Canada, please use other means than Homestars. You may be scammed by their fake reviews.
If someone was to point a camera straight into your living room, most people would be horrified, and rightly so. This is a clear breach of our personal space and privacy. Yet surprisingly this is Ok in the online world. I am unsure why we accept this double standard, other than, “This is how it is and it should be Ok”? It is not Ok. At the very least we should acknowledge the level of risk to our privacy. I will try to assess our risk, here in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Trolls are everywhere on the internet where there is social interaction. A troll is anyone who participates in a internet discussion solely to provoke a negative reaction from others. They are not only disruptive and anti-social but can really clamp down on the free flowing discussion. With the anonymity of the internet this seems to unlock the nasty side of human beings. Even the venerated Roman Catholic Church’s Pope Francis has had experiences with trolls.
“The speed with which information is communicated exceeds our capacity for reflection and judgment, and this does not make for more balanced and proper forms of self-expression.” Pope Francis, source
I gave Rogers the heave ho, for both cable and internet, and feel better for it. Scummy, predatory, their service was. Over the air TV has replaced cable. It is not what we are used to, but saves us over $70 each month. Overall I would say that we are much better off without Rogers cable.
Over the air (OTA) TV is not all fantastic, though I did not know all the disadvantages and underestimated the advantages. I will discuss all I learned. With OTA we get 17 channels, which includes a couple of duplicate HD and SD channels, a French channel, though it comes in stunning HD, and a religious channel, also in stunning HD.
After 11 years with Rogers we pulled the internet plug and are trying Bell. Yes, there have been problems with the Bell installation, but if you know Toronto, Rogers and Bell you should have expected problems, and I did. In summary Bell Fibe does work, sort of, but my upload speed is no more than .7 MBps, 7% of what they told me I would get. There is also nothing I can do increase the upload speed. Apparently because I live 1.2 km from the central office the upload speed cannot increase, yet they did not tell me this when I signed up. I have been a Bell landline phone customer for 15 years, so they should be fully aware of my location.
As my Chinese teacher said to me in the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square incident, history is fluid and can be rewritten. While he nor I believed this at the time, in China this is indeed true. With China’s sophisticated propaganda machine on full throttle, the perception of China, globally and domestically can be changed. This is how China works, and works very effectively.