Recent posts:

  • Sonos streaming services in Canada

    submitted

    2019-08: Last Updated

    Sonos lists their streaming services available in Canada at Streaming Music.

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  • Amazon Prime Canada review

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    For years, I’d avoided Amazon Prime, on the basis that its primary benefit — free fast shipping for low dollar-value orders — wasn’t useful to me. I’m patient, and could always wait until I had a large enough order to qualify for free shipping. However, with Microsoft shuttering Groove Music Pass, I was left without a streaming music service. The various alternatives are either ad-supported (a non-starter), or in the $10/month range for a subscription.

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  • YouTube Red frustration

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    YouTube Will ‘Frustrate’ Some Users With Ads So They Pay for Music

    YouTube will increase the number of ads that some users see between music videos, part of a strategy to convince more of its billion-plus viewers to pay for a forthcoming subscription music service from the Google-owned video site.

    “You’re not going to be happy after you are jamming ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and you get an ad right after that,” […]

    I’m not happy when I see ads on my Android phone in the Play Store or in Google Maps. I don’t use YouTube, but I’d gladly pay for a subscription service to remove ads from the non-media (i.e. those other than YouTube or Google Play Music) services tied to my Google Account.

  • mobile carrier security

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    March 1:

    AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Detail Plans for ‘Next-Generation Mobile Authentication Platform’

    AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile announced a team-up with the mission of developing a mobile authentication solution for both businesses and consumers.

    March 5:

    LTE security flaws could be used for spying, spreading chaos

    The security of 4G LTE networks is largely based on obscurity […]

    In one case, the Purdue and Iowa researchers found that a carrier didn’t encrypt “control plane” messages at all, meaning an attacker could even eavesdrop on SMS messages and other sensitive data.

    And we’re meant to give them more security-critical responsibilities?

  • iPad (5th generation) review

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    I’ve had several Android tablets over the years, with the most recent being the Nvidia Shield Tablet, but at this point, the market has been essentially ceded, with Google no longer selling any tablets on their webstore, and a dearth of even first-party Android tablets apps. For a recent trip, I purchased a 128 GB 5th-gen LTE iPad to bring as my sole device. Ads on the iOS App Store are heinous.

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  • Google ranking for publishers

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    Google: First Click Free is over, being replaced by Flexible Sampling

    Publishers will not be required to provide free content to be indexed. Gingras said that Google will be crawling full articles behind the wall for indexing but that publisher decisions about how much content to sample to search users will not impact rankings in any way.

    Not a user-friendly move. Unless I specifically ask for it, I have no interest in seeing paywalled results for my queries.

  • buying a microwave in Canada

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    I recently went microwave shopping, starting with The Sweethome’s The Best Microwave guide. GE, in their wisdom, doesn’t sell any of the reviewed models in Canada, making comparison shopping impossible.

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  • New Nintendo 3DS XL First Impressions

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    Having recently acquired a New Nindendo 3DS XL (what kind of name is that?) system to keep my occupied on some upcoming plane trips, I’ve got several thoughts, unbiased by any prior portable console ownership. Hardware Build Quality: All plastic. Certainly not premium, but solid. Charger: Non-standard Nintendo plug, system does not include AC adapter. Charger output is 4.6 V, 900 mA. Should have simply been micro-USB. Any future iteration should be USB-C.

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  • setting wpf control properties based on bound property attributes

    submitted to categories:[ code ]

    I was recently working on an MVVM project where various validation attributes were being set on the data model, and was looking for a solution to bind WPF editor control properties to these validation restrictions. (e.g. Setting TextBox.MaxLength based on StringLengthAttribute.) Combining a couple of Stack Overflow posts: How to add a Blend Behavior in a Style Setter WPF TextBox MaxLength — Is there any way to bind this to the Data Validation Max Length on the bound field?

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  • SQL limited range attribute

    submitted to categories:[ code ]

    If you want your .NET property validation attributes to match the exact minimum and maximum values for your SQL decimal and numeric data types, you can do so with a validation attribute that you can apply to properties with [SQLLimitedRangeAttribute](p, s), where p and s are the precision and scale for the data type.

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  • decrapifying Acrobat Reader DC

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    In an ideal world I’d simply eschew Adobe products and use Evince and/or PDF.js for my PDF requirements. Unfortunately I require Adobe’s COM Interop for some Windows development projects I’m involved with. Although Acrobat Reader continues its march towards bloated, big-brother adware, Adobe does provide a customization wizard for enterprise deployments that allows much of cruft to be disabled, which can be used as follows:

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  • HD favicons

    submitted to categories:[ code ]

    Decided to add favicons and touch icons to the site. I’ve got no design skills, so used Jdenticon to generate icons based on my name. RealFaviconGenerator will automatically generate favicons with comprehensive browser and OS support, but I only really care about up to date browsers and operating systems, so I used their FAQ to piece together the requirements for that. I used Jdenticon to generated large (3200x3200) icon. Then using GIMP, I autocropped edges and scaled to required various sizes as detailed below, each from fullsize and exported as PNG or ICO.

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  • mobile ad blocking

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    2016-08: Updated to reflect currently available ad blockers. This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive guide, but rather a summary of the best available options. Device Independent Use a hosts file on your linux-based router of choice to block ads across your home network. Not really recommended anymore due to lack of control on individual devices. Android Use Firefox with uBlock Origin. Nearly as good as desktop browsing, except the uBlock UI isn’t really usable on mobile, so only the default easy mode blocking is practical.

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  • Apple Watch review

    submitted to categories:[ reviews ]

    Summary: It only works with iPhones, so it’s useless to me. Note that it doesn’t only work with iOS devices, it’s specifically limited to the iPhone; compatibility is articifically limited from both iPads and iPods. The latest (among several) revisions of either the iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad Mini, and iPod Touch all meet every possible requirement for the Apple Watch (as established by the minimum supported iPhone 5), the only thing they lack compared to an iPhone are cellular connectivity.

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  • two years with the Surface RT

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    I’ve now owned the original 64 GB Surface RT for just over two years. In that time I’ve probably averaged 20 minutes or so of use per day, including days with no usage, and days with 8+ hours of usage. My general observations on the device, not intended to be a full review so long after release: Wear Tablet: Impeccable condition still. The kickstand loosened a couple times, which I retightened with a very small Torx screwdriver.

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  • Google ties map features

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    Google Maps used to have a nice feature where, when logged in to your Google account, you could add named destinations. Once they were saved, you could type the destination like “work” when looking for directions, and the address would populate automatically, like so: This was lovely, but some time ago (mid-2013) Google disabled this feature unless you enable Web History to store all of your searches (among other things):

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  • goals vs dreams

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    I recently made a relatively flippant comment to a friend (“I don’t set goals, I just excel at everything.”) and felt the need to elaborate. There are two main points of contention in how I view goals. The first is purely a semantic issue; I view goals as a clearly achievable, likely set of circumstances achievable by following a certain set of actions. Buying two lottery tickets every week is a goal.

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  • IKEA standing desk

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    I’d been bouncing around the idea of a standing desk for health/comfort reasons for quite some time, but having a quality desk and chair already, I wasn’t particularly motivated to do anything about it. Finally after moving to a location with an IKEA for the first time in my life, I hit up Google for ways to build a standing desk setup without any power tools. Eventually I settled on using the IKEA Hackers: Galant Standing Desk post as a basis for my desk.

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