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Posts tagged Canada

Japan Considering Copyright Extension; Canada Next?
July 16, 2013 | 10:25 am

copyrightFrom the inimitable Michael Geist comes this little tidbit that Japan is considering extending its standard copyright from Life-Plus-50 to Life-Plus-70. What makes this especially worrying is that Canada, one of the last Life-Plus-50 bastions, is, like Japan, considering participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and is facing pressure from TPP leader America to similarly extend copyright to 70 years. Chris Meadows earlier reported for TeleRead about a study that proves longer copyright terms don't actually keep works available and thus benefit their creators. I hope Canada (and Japan) don't cave to the pressure. I am all for creators benefiting from their work, but...

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: ‘Cord Cutters’ Survey Makes Wrong Point
July 12, 2013 | 9:38 am

surveyGigaOM has a report about a comScore survey showing that 16 percent of Canadians "stream all of their TV from on-line sources." The survey also has an additional 35 percent of Canadians watching both traditional television and a further 35 percent only watching traditional television. Janko Roetggers correctly points out some food-for-thought in the results here: that Google, owner of YouTube, commissioned the survey, and that bandwith caps, which are prevalent in Canada, might be playing a factor in what Canadians watch on-line. But it also misses the point that if you don't ask the right questions, you won't get a full picture...

Canada: The Great White Shopping Hope?
July 6, 2013 | 2:20 pm

CanadaAfter years of neglect by major American retailers, Canada is finally seeing some love. The Star is reporting that Target is gearing up to open 20 more stores across Canada. And an email from this morning informed me that Canadians can now purchase toys & games, furniture & decor, health & personal care and lawn & garden products. And the Kindle Fire! I have only visited one Canadian Target store and found it underwhelming; the selection and prices were not as good as those at Walmart, and I have not been back there since. But anything that increases competition is a good...

Fancy children’s books: Who are they for?
July 3, 2013 | 11:17 am

children's booksAs a book-devouring adult reader, e-books have changed my life. But one of the areas in which I still prefer paper is children's picture books. Once they hit chapter-book reading level, I'd happily turn a kid loose on an e-book reader, but when they still need pictures, and when the layout and typographics matter, this is one genre where paper still rules. Or ... does it? It's been a holiday weekend here in Canada (Happy Canada Day!) and we spent most of it in big-chain bookstores letting the young relative we were visiting play with the train tables that were set...

The Mystery of the E-Book on the Subway Poster
June 24, 2013 | 3:15 pm

e-booksI'm all for creative marketing from the indie folks—it's a crowded market, and you want to stand out, no? What I don't understand? Spending money on this marketing without taking steps to make sure it's effective. Take today's little case study: I was on my way downtown and saw my first ever e-book subway poster ad. The poster was the little half-size kind they mount up at ceiling level, not unlike the Swatch ads shown in the photo above. A given subway car might have 10 to 15 of these per side, and often someone will rent out a whole car for a...

Wireless Playing Field Finally Leveled in Canada
June 4, 2013 | 10:00 am

wirelessIn this era of cloud-everything, Michael Geist reports on a hugely important story for Canadians—the CRTC, the regulatory body that deals with telecommunications issues, has released a new 'Consumer Wireless Code' that addresses a number of consumer complaints about cell phones. Significantly, it effectively eliminates onerous three-year contracts by phasing out the cancellation fee for customers whose contract has lasted a minimum of two years. The new rules also put limits on fees for cell phone roaming and data overages, and require carriers to permit unlocking of any paid-for phone. From the article: "The issue of contract length was the top issue raised by...

Are E-Book Sales Declining in Canada?
May 22, 2013 | 11:15 am

e-bookAn interesting report is circulating the book blogs, alleging that e-book sales in Canada are down almost five percent. I've seen reporting on the Booknet Canada report on at least 3 blogs (for example, here and here and here, but nobody seems quite sure what to make of it. We're selling lots and lots of devices here in Canada, aren't we? We're Kobo's number one country! So what, exactly, are we reading? Are e-book sales on the decline? Here are a few thoughts about what may be going on here: 1. Device Availability is Limited This is partly because the retail scene is limited! We've only just gotten Target here, and it opened...

Toronto Star Recognized for Success in E-Book Experiment
May 15, 2013 | 9:30 am

Toronto StarI wrote previously about Star Dispatches, an e-book subscription service being produced by the Toronto Star. According to this article on The Star's website, they're being recognized for this series with two Online Media Awards. The service has an intriguing set-up where, for a nominal fee, subscribers get a new e-book sent to them every week. There is no à la carte purchase, but the weekly fee is so affordable that subscriber retention has been high. From the admittedly self-congratulatory write-up: "We’re extremely proud of the stories being told in our weekly eRead format, our subscribers are highly satisfied and the business model has...

When Data Aggregation is a Good Thing
May 10, 2013 | 11:27 am

data aggregation There have been a lot of stories lately about government attempts to increasingly lock down data rather than letting it open up—in Canada, Bill C-11 granted users a host of new rights and then negated them all with its digital locks provisions; in the U.S., the president himself had to weigh in on the issue of cell phone unlocking before an overly restrictive bill got fixed. Lost in all the 'content must be protected!' rhetoric is the tiny detail that sometimes data aggregation can be a good thing. Two stories crossed my inbox this morning which are highlighted how. Case Study 1:...

Morning Links: OverDrive on Linux; Canada Post goes crazy; and more
April 30, 2013 | 9:00 am

Morning LinksOverDrive Media Console Now Available on Linux (Good e-Reader) 9 Ways Big Pub is Like Big Pharma (Huffington Post) Canada Post Claims Exclusive Use of Word 'Postal Code' (Boing Boing) The Digital Truths Traditional Publishers Don't Want to Hear (The Guardian) Kindle Daily Deals: Archie Meets Nero Wolfe by Robert Goldsborough (and 3 others)  ...

Instagram, Cyber-Bullying the the Connected Kid
April 11, 2013 | 3:00 pm

cyber-bullyingBlogger Hollee Actman Becker is making headlines for her blog post on a disturbing Instagram trend: the 'beauty pageant', wherein tweenaged girls post collages of their friends and ask readers to vote on which is the prettiest. The girl with the least votes gets Xed out of the picture, and the game repeats until only one girl is left. Her reaction to the discovery that her own daughters were playing these games was swift and surprisingly heart-felt: she posted an image about beauty being only skin deep (which has since gone viral), and used her daughter's account to publicly ask girls...

Author and TV personality Gail Vaz-Oxlade liberates geo-locked content as blog
April 2, 2013 | 2:01 pm

Gail Vaz-OxladeHere's an interesting story from one of my favorite financial writers, Gail Vaz-Oxlade. The Beloved and I are devotees of her 'jar' system for budgeting, and my diligence at applying her simple financial planning 'rules' helped me pay off my student loan and simultaneously save over $10,000 in my retirement account in four years. She also has several popular TV shows that are quite entertaining. But, as Gail explains in this blog post, most of her books have only thus far been available in Canada; her American publisher was concerned that her new book, Money Rules, needed a different 'spin' as a...