New Year’s Eve Linkfest

I’d like to thank all of the bloggers that have enriched my life over the past year with the only gift that has any value on the web: a link. You are all doing wonderful work that I appreciate deeply. Thank you all.


blowing balloons, How to Save the World, larry borsato, Mandy’s Minutes, michael’s blog, Mike And Julie Willikes, Philip Greenspun Weblog, Rondam Ramblings, Armed and Dangerous, Crossroads Dispatches, pc4media, Thoughtless


Blog Tips at ProBlogger, The Intuitive Life Business Blog, Search Engine Guide Blog, Blogger Buzz, Freshblog, The Jason Calacanis Weblog, JenSense – Making Sense of Contextual Advertising, Naked Conversations


bBlog: The sales, marketing and business weblog | XPLANE, David V. Lorenzo – The Power of Perception, Be Excellentâ„¢, BusinessPundit, Cardboard Spaceship, Career Intensity Blog – David V. Lorenzo, – Development Through Enterprise – Eradicating P, Presentation Zen


Alertbox: Jakob Nielsen’s Column on Web Usability, Creating Passionate Users,


Eclipse News, Planet Eclipse

Getting Organized

43 Folders, To-Done


CBC Television – Rick Mercer Report, The Dilbert Blog, Rick Mercer’s Blog, Strange New Products


Michael Geist Law RSS Feed, Online Rights Canada, Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC)


37days, Steve Pavlina’s Personal Development Blog,


gapingvoid, Johnnie Moore’s Weblog, Marketing Begins At Home, Micro Persuasion, Seth’s Blog, Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing, Duct Tape Marketing, WOMMA’s Word of Mouth vs. Advertising



CBC | Canadian News, CBC | Top Stories News, CBC | Toronto News, CBC | World News, The Record Blogs, TI Semiconductor Press Releases


Don Box’s Spoutlet, Joel on Software, Lambda the Ultimate – Programming Languages Weblog, Planet Lisp, sicpexercises at Yahoo! Groups, Updates from, 3pBlog – Mickaël Rémond – Performance, Process, Parallelism .., Larry Osterman’s WebLog, The Old New Thing, Particletree RSS Digest, Planet Erlang, Randy Holloway Unfiltered 2.0, Scripting News, Sutter’s (Online) Mill, Xooglers


New Scientist – Latest Headlines, Cognitive Daily

Social Networking

Never Eat Alone Blog


About Entrepreneurs, Business Opportunities Weblog, David V. Lorenzo |, Don Dodge on The Next Big Thing, The Entrepreneurial Mind, Gary Will, Greg Yardley’s Internet Blog, Home Office Voice – Home Business on the Web, microISV, Way to Grow, a crash course in entrepreneurship, alarm:clock, BarryBlog, BizzBangBuzz – technology & startup blog from strategic business, Bootstrappers’ Blog!, Business Model Design Blog, Comments for Ashish Kulkarni’s Journal, Entreprenerd, Escape Velocity, eVenturing Entrepreneurs’ Viewpoint, Hitchhiker’s Guide to 650, Innovation to Products to Ventures, Kauffman eVenturing, Kauffman eVenturing Highlights, Lifestylepreneur — the art of self-employment, Noam Wasserman’s “Founder Frustrations” blog, Paul Dix Explains Nothing, Relax, Everything Is Deeply Intertwingled, Sacred Cow Dung, Simplicity, Small Biz Advisor – News and Views, Small Business Cookbook, Small Business Trends, Solo Tees Blog, Springwise. The global new business ideas newsletter. Issue 26, , The Startup Biz, Startup Blog,, StartupNation blogs, Story of a startup: bootstrapping, business, productivity, WebKEW, killer resources for entrepreneurs

Startup: Entrepreneurs

The Entreprexplorer’s Journal, Eric.Weblog(), Fractals of Change, Hot Points, The Lazy Way to Success, Signal vs. Noise,, Asterisk, College-Startup, Entrepreneur’s Journey by Yaro Starak, Ian Landsman’s Weblog, OnlyOnce, Paul Allen Blog, Stake Ventures, UrbanDirtbag

Startup: VCs

A VC, Feld Thoughts, Genuine VC, Now What?, Paul Graham: Unofficial RSS Feed, Paul Kedrosky’s Infectious Greed, The Post Money Value, Bnoopy, EarlyStageVC, Joi Ito’s Web, Texas Venture Capital Web 2.0 Blog, Union Square Ventures


Ars Technica, Cool Tools, Jon’s Radio, MAKE: Blog, TechCrunch, timbl’s blog, INSPIONS, Om Malik on Broadband, Scobleizer – Microsoft Geek Blogger

Tools & Services

HaloScan, Feedster, Google Blog Search, IceRocket Blog Search, Technorati Search, XHTML Validation, XHTML Validator to RSS, FeedBurner, Blogger, WordPress,

Waterloo, Student Life Centre, University of Waterloo News Releases


Boing Boing, jwz


Louisette Lanteigne Withdraws Allegations

I’ve been sitting on this one for a while, but figured better late than never…

After reporting several safety and environmental problems, and subsequently becoming the target of a lawsuit, Louisette Lanteigne has withdrawn her allegations against Activa Holdings. Her website now reads:

During the period of April 2005 to October 2005, I broadcasted numeriuos statements alleging environmental and labour law infringements by Activa Holdings Inc. on a website I established. since broadcasting those statements, I have since learned that Activa is not responsible for any of the fuel spills or labour law infringements depicted or reported on my website. Activa has not been charged with any environmental or labour law infringements. I apologize unreservedly to Activa Holding Inc. for these broadcasts. I am pleased to make this clairification and apology and regret any inconvience and embarassment which may have been caused to Activa Holdings Inc.

Yours Sincerely, Louisette Lanteigne

Tip of the hat to Michael Heimstra.


Does Visual Studio Rot the Mind?

Charles Petzold asks the question:

Visual Studio can be one of the programmer’s best friends, but over the years it has become increasingly pushy, domineering, and suffering from unsettling control issues. Should we just surrender to Visual Studio’s insistence on writing our code for us? Or is Visual Studio sapping our programming intelligence rather than augmenting it? This talk dissects the code generated by Visual Studio; analyzes the appalling programming practices it perpetuates; rhapsodizes about the joys, frustrations, and satisfactions of unassisted coding; and speculates about the radical changes that Avalon will bring.

I don’t do very much programming in Visual Studio, anymore. Eclipse sees to that. Nonetheless, Charles’s offers some interesting warnings against tools that try to do too much.

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Crunching Some Numbers on Fossil Fuels

From a review of Jared Diamond’s latest book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, reads:

“I don’t think we have another 20,000 years,” Jared Diamond said in his impeccable German and with the same unassuming, polite composure with which he had answered all preceding questions. And he added: “I think it’s closer to fifteen years.”

I’ve occassionally wondered what the end of oil will look like. Tonight I thought I’d crunch some numbers to get a better idea.

Let’s start with current daily consumption. I’ll use U.S. numbers because they are quite easy to find.

How much energy does the U.S. consume each day from fossil fuels? According to this CBC article, the U.S. consumes 20.52 million barrels of crude oil per day, each of which contains 1700kWh of energy (according to this site). By my calculations (20,520,000 barrels/24h x 1,700,000Wh/barrel) that comes out to 1454 gigawatts of power.

When the oil runs out that energy will need to be replaced if we are going to maintain our current lifestyles. Where will it come from?

My guess is electricity, either directly or indirectly. Directly if we switch to electric cars; indirectly if we use electricity to extract hydrogen from our environment to power our fuel-cell cars.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the U.S., as of 2002, has the capability to produce 905 gigawatts of electricity, one third of which comes from natural gas and petroleum. That leaves about 604 gigawatts of coal, hydro, nuclear, and other renewable energy to see Americans through the end of oil.

So it looks as though Americans will need to more than triple their current capabilities (~600GW) to cover the loss off oil (~1450GW). Is that what they are planning for?

According to the same EIA article:

Of the new capacity, nearly 62 percent is projected to be natural-gas-fired combined-cycle, combustion turbine, or distributed generation technology. From 2011 to 2025, 105 gigawatts of new coal-fired capacity is expected to be brought on line—more than one-half of it after 2020. From 2011 on, coal-fired capacity is expected to account for 40 percent of all capacity additions. Renewable technologies account for just over 5 percent of expected capacity expansion by 2025—primarily wind and biomass units. Distributed generation, mostly gas-fired microturbines, is expected to add just over 12 gigawatts. Because the best resources for hydropower have already been developed, hydropower capacity is expected to increase only slightly in the future.

Assuming that coal outlasts oil, that leaves about 105GW of new capacity will survive after we run out of oil.

That’s a far cry from the 1450 gigawatts needed to fill the gap.

I don’t want to guess what this means for the future, but it certainly doesn’t look good from where I sit.

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Get 4 Months of Vonage for the Price of 3

Mandy and I have been using Vonage Canada as our primary phone service for over a year now and been very satisfied with it — especially the costs, although the voice quality is excellent, too.

We get our internet access via cable so we were able to sever all ties to Bell. Where we were formerly paying $60 per month for our phone service, our costs dropped to just $22 with Vonage, for a savings of about $456 per year.

Today I received an email from Vonage asking me to participate in a referral promotion that they have going. If I refer you to their service, you’ll get your first four months for the price of three.

So if you are in Canada and already planning to subscribe to Vonage’s service, send me an email and I’ll send you a coupon for a free month.

Disclaimer: For every new customer I refer, I receive two free months with their service.

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Pandora the Tease

I’ve known about Pandora since it was first publicly announced, but I’ve been ignoring it until today when Paul Kedrosky managed to convinced me to give it a try. It is absolutely amazing — at least the 4-song demo is, anyways.

Then it asks you to sign up.

It is the typical americentric registration screen: email address, password, gender, birth year, and zip code. So I check the terms of use…

In order to use any of the Pandora Services, you must be a resident of the United States of America

Gah! Foiled again!

If anybody at Pandora is listening, please come to Canada soon. I’d love to use your service.

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Theories of Humour

Scott Adams is giving away all his secrets:

The core of humor is what I call the 2-of-6 rule. In order for something to be funny, you need at least two of the following elements:

  • Cute (as in kids and animals)
  • Naughty
  • Bizarre
  • Clever
  • Recognizable (You’ve been there)
  • Cruel

I invented this rule, but you can check for yourself that whenever something is funny it follows the rule. And when something isn’t, it doesn’t.

I recently read Comedy Writing Secrets by Mel Helitzer, who had a similar theory about humour (or as you Americans spell it, humor). His is the rule of THREES. The more of the following that a joke contains, the funnier it’ll be:

  • Target: the butt of the joke
  • Hostility: works best if directed at somebody superior to the audience
  • Realism: be believable
  • Emotion: get people involved
  • Exaggeration: but not too much
  • Surprise: otherwise known as the punch line

The two theories are completely different, but both seem plausible when you think about it. So what’s your theory on what’s funny?

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Publishers Lose Big in Chitika Audit

JenSense is reporting that publishers are losing huge in a recent audit by Chitika:

In a thread at DigitialPoint, it didn’t take long to see the full extent of just how significant these audits actually were. One publisher saw one day’s income drop from $28.02 to $3.05 and saw similar drops on other days. Publishers are reporting drops anywhere from 10% to as high as 60% of revenue cut.

I applied to the Chitika eMiniMalls program when Darren Rowse was hyping it. It sounded like a an excellent opportunity at the time.

They rejected me, though, for reasons they kept to themselves.

Somehow I’m feeling pretty good about that now.

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