November 2008 Archives

Are fixed-term contracts 'sleazy?' Koodo responds

by Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca

Yesterday I noted that Koodo's latest ad campaign includes a jingle calling fixed-term contracts "sleazy" and wondered at the inconsistency of the message, given that Koodo parent Telus (and many other wireless carriers) have such contracts.

Today I had a chance to talk to Chief Koodo Officer Kevin Banderk about the ads. Here is his response:

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Jesse Brown: Is Canada becoming a digital ghetto?

By Jesse Brown, CBC technology columnist.

Here are three things that suck about being Canadian right now.

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Do Koodo ads cross line?

by Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca

When Telus Corp introduced its Koodo brand earlier this year, wireless bloggers and analysts wondered aloud about the branding strategy, which seemed focused on dissing practices, such as the charging of System Access Fees, that the parent company itself still engaged in.

It was perplexing, but it was also undeniably successful, as I wrote earlier this year. It also had enough of an impact on the market to force rival brands Fido and Solo, the discount entrants of Rogers and Bell respectively, to also drop the system access fee, leading some to speculate the fee could be going the way of the dodo in Canada. Which is good news for consumers, who will now be able to get a better read on the final cost of their cell phone plan.

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A less-than lively venue

By Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca
Google Inc. is big enough that when they do something, people tend to notice, and they've been successful enough that when they stop doing something, it's even more noticeable.

Less than five months after giving the whole virtual world thing a try, Google has decided to end the experiment, announcing it would kill Lively on Dec. 31, 2008.

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Jesse Brown:15 years for violating MySpace’s Terms of Use?

By Jesse Brown, CBC technology columnist.


Millions of people pretend to be someone they’re not on the internet. On the scale of fraud, I’d say most people consider creating a fake online persona to be slightly less harmful than, say, sneaking in to a movie.

Then again, most fake online identities don’t result in suicide.

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Press releases in sheep's clothing

By Peter Nowak, CBCNews.ca

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is planning to host weekly "fireside chats," updated for the digital age of course on YouTube, in an effort to bring more transparency to the President's office. Obama's campaign was hinged on the buzzword "change," and his effort to present the world with weekly information updates is certainly that - a big change from the clamped-down, tight-lipped previous administration. But if, as the Washington Post reports, Obama's videos are simply going to be one-way communications, there will certainly be little change in the level of transparency. In fact, the videos could make things worse.

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Jesse Brown: Iran, China and Australia? Oz moves closer to world-class Net censorship


Australia’s biggest Internet Service Provider, iiNet, has agreed to take part in a “ridiculous” trial of a government web filter just to “prove how stupid it is.”

The above quotations come from iiNet executive Michael Malone, in response to the Labor Government’s plans to block all “illegal” content at the ISP level, which would make Australia the world’s only first-world Western democracy to do so.

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Jesse Brown: Obama's no geek


Barack Obama won because of the internet. That’s where he fought the smears, raised the cash, and got out the vote.

Plenty of pundits are citing his superior use of technology as the decisive factor, and they’re right.

But let’s put the point in context: Obama is no geek-wizard. His campaign didn’t code any groundbreaking new tools or conjure up some all-powerful White House-nabbing algorithm. It’s convenient to picture a team of young team-Obama hackers casting a digital spell over America, but to borrow an Obamian phrase - that’s just sloppy thinking.

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CNN beams us the news

by Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca

Last night's U.S. election, as we've been told many, many times, was all about change. And among the more interesting changes were of the broadcast of the election, when CNN unveiled a few new gizmos to explain Barack Obama's convincing win.

CNN had jumped ahead of other broadcasters earlier this year with its use of the Magic Wall, the whiteboard/touchscreen tech which allowed reporter John King to break down electoral results, zooming in and out of the map, with a few taps and drags of his fingers, much like an iPhone owner might browse for their favourite song or find the latest South Park video.

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Obama, McCain and chicken

By Peter Nowak, CBCNews.ca

With the U.S. election finally coming to a head today, it's going to be really difficult for anyone besides Barack Obama or John McCain to get any sort of media attention today. That is, unless you're selling chicken.

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