Friday, May 28, 2004

Gmail hits the Auction block

http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,116293,00.asp

Gmail Hits the Auction Block

Restricted invitations to Google's Web e-mail beta are drawing big bids on EBay.

Arin Hailey, PC World
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Ever since Google launched limited beta testing of Gmail, its free Web-based e-mail service, getting an account has been something like gaining entry to an exclusive nightclub.

Beta testers each receive two invitations to the service to pass on to whomever they deem cool enough. Friends and family are coming out of the woodwork clamoring for the goods.

But some beta testers are turning the opportunity into profit. By posting their invitations at auction on EBay, they're finding out how much 1GB of "free" e-mail storage is worth.


The EBay Experience
Gary Ng of Victoria, British Columbia, sold one Gmail invitation for $150.

"I've found you can sell almost anything [on EBay] if you give it a try," Ng says. "But the fact that I was able to sell something as little as an e-mail account invite was really fun and entertaining!"

Kevin Chang, a sophomore at Carnegie-Mellon University majoring in electrical and computer engineering, sold one of his invitations at auction for $91.

"I asked a few friends if they wanted accounts and no one was interested, so I figured I'd try putting it on EBay and see if I could make a few bucks," he says. Chang was invited to become a beta tester for Gmail because he has an account with Google's Web logging service, Blogger. After the success of the auction, his first-ever EBay transaction, he is considering auctioning the other invitation as well.

More than 280 Gmail account auctions are pending on EBay, some with dozens of bidders and current prices as high as $150. Sellers list locations all over United States, as well as in Canada, the United Kingdom, and Buenos Aires, Argentina.

A Google spokesperson declines to comment on the auctions, except to say, "It's flattering that there's so much enthusiasm about our product."

Worth the Price?
Hal Danziger, a Web development programmer from Holbrook, New York, paid $76 for his Gmail account. It's the first thing he's ever bought on EBay.

"I did a search on Google News to find out when Gmail would launch publicly, and I saw a mention of the EBay auctions. I wanted to get a good username before the service launched, so I placed a bid," he says. Unfortunately for Danziger, his first choice was unavailable: Gmail usernames must be at least six characters long.

Ng, Chang, and Danziger were all surprised to see such high and frequent bidding on the EBay auctions. But Danziger says he's happy with what he paid for his account.

Privacy advocates are concerned that even after the free service launches, users will pay a high price: Gmail scans e-mail for keywords and displays related advertisements alongside messages. In addition, Gmail's privacy policy says that "deleted" messages may continue to be stored in the system, even after a user closes the account.

But Danziger is undeterred: "Nothing's for nothing. I think it's kind of ridiculous that people are concerned. If you want the gigabyte of storage for free, it's not giving up much to see ads that are based on your e-mail."


Hotmail Killer?
Ng, Chang, and Danziger all say that they now use Gmail exclusively for personal e-mail.

"Gmail has been stellar so far," Ng raves. "The interface is amazing and is much easier to use than other online e-mail accounts. All I have to say is 'Watch out, Hotmail!'"

In fact, Microsoft's Hotmail is a likely target in the growing rivalry between the two tech companies. Gmail has drawn favorable reviews during its testing, despite some initial concern about the ad placements. And already it is having an impact: Yahoo has said that it will increase its storage offerings in response to Google's generous allotment.

"The best part is that with that much storage I don't have to delete things all the time," says Chang. He adds that as the science and technology editor at The Tartan, his university's newspaper, he saves a lot of e-mail messages for later reference.

Danziger says that he hasn't seen any spam in his inbox since making the switch. His one complaint about the service: Gmail does not currently provide an automated way to import his address book from his other e-mail accounts.

Thousands of users are participating in the ever-growing beta test program, says a Google spokesperson. The company has not released a timeline for Gmail's public launch.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Can you imagine if Gore had been President?

http://slublog.blogspot.com/2004/05/close-call-can-you-imagine-what-would

This is from another person's website, but I felt it should be copied here for more people's viewing.

Thursday, May 27, 2004
Close Call - Can you imagine what would have happened if this man had become president of the United States?

[President Bush] decided not to honor the Geneva Convention. Just as he would not honor the United Nations, international treaties, the opinions of our allies, the role of Congress and the courts, or what Jefferson described as 'a decent respect for the opinion of mankind.'
Wow. And this is only the third paragraph of Gore's speech. The prisoners have, as a whole, been treated humanely. No U.S. soldier has yet been accused of torturing or killing an Iraqi soldier. The abuses at Abu Gharib were sickening, but isolated.

International treaties? Does Gore honestly think the Arab world hates us because we didn't ratify Kyoto? Would a treaty have prevented September 11? After Hitler invaded France, Neville Chamberlain realized his mistake. A treaty didn't prevent World War II, and one will not prevent against terrorist attacks. After all, it's a piece of paper that represents trust between nations acting in good faith. The enemy we're fighting has already shown a willingness to abuse our good will and hospitality, and a disregard for normal rules of war. Would some signatures on a piece of paper change an entire culture?

Opinions of our allies - As always, read allies as France and Germany. Gore would have been willing to subordinate our national security to the whim of foreign elites. Thank God this man didn't become president.

Role of Congress and the courts - Congress voted overwhelmingly for war. The courts are a necessary part of the Patriot Act. Or has Gore, like so many, just not read it?

A decent respect for the opinion of mankind - Meaning, Al Gore and MoveOn.org.
He did not honor the advice, experience and judgment of our military leaders in designing his invasion of Iraq. And now he will not honor our fallen dead by attending any funerals or even by permitting photos of their flag-draped coffins.
Screw you, Al. What a sickening line this is. Gore and his minions have no problem using the military dead as a club with which to beat the president. The rule on coffins was instituted during the Clinton administration, and Gore knows it. That makes his words all the more outrageous. His use of this particular rhetorical point shows he's not interested in actual political debate - he just wants to score points. Pardon the strong language, but what a miserable bastard.
The long successful strategy of containment was abandoned in favor of the new strategy of 'preemption.'
Yeah, containment worked so well in the past. Check an encyclopedia. Look under "Chamberlain, Neville." Also, containment doesn't prevent a ruler from funding terrorist attacks (which Hussein did), bribing world leaders (which Hussein did), developing nasty weapons (like sarin gas) or murdering his own people (again, Hussein did). The new isolationism is on the left, it seems.
A policy based on domination of the rest of the world not only creates enemies for the United States and creates recruits for Al Qaeda, it also undermines the international cooperation that is essential to defeating the efforts of terrorists who wish harm and intimidate Americans.
Here we go again. International cooperation = France, Germany. When has France ever cooperated with the United States against terrorists? Or does Gore not remember April 1986 and the bombing of Libya? Who didn't let us use their airspace? The lack of international cooperation didn't begin with the Bush administration, and it won't end with the Bush administration.

If you want to see domination, by the way, look at France's treatment of its African colonies. Did they get UN permission to send troops into the Ivory Coast?
In December of 2000, even though I strongly disagreed with the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to order a halt to the counting of legally cast ballots, I saw it as my duty to reaffirm my own strong belief that we are a nation of laws and not only accept the decision, but do what I could to prevent efforts to delegitimize George Bush as he took the oath of office as president. I did not at that moment imagine that Bush would, in the presidency that ensued, demonstrate utter contempt for the rule of law and work at every turn to frustrate accountability.
Bitter much? Let's all remember that Gore only 'accepted' the decision when it was apparent that he had lost. Since then, his bringing up of Florida at every opportunity does plenty to delegitimize the presidency of George Bush.

Gore has completed his transformation from statesman to Ted Rall cartoon. If Gore were a more sympathetic figure, it would be sad to watch. After what Gore said yesterday, and his attitude saying it, I'm not exactly feeling sympathetic toward the former vice president. What I'm feeling is more along the lines of contempt.

posted at 7:58 AM by Slubgob

Myth of CD immortality is rotting away

CREDIT: http://news.scotsman.com/entertainment.cfm?id=553612004

Myth of CD immortality is starting to rot away

CLAIRE SMITH


WHEN they first appeared in the late 1980s, CDs were hailed as an almost indestructible form of storing music.

But to the dismay of rock fans, recordings by artists such as Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie and Pink Floyd have begun to suffer from CD rot.

Music fans may not notice at first when little red spots and scratches start appearing at the edge of the shiny discs.

But when they try to listen to their favourite album they will find the CD skips, jumps or is completely unplayable.

"I don’t understand how plastic and metal can rot," said Sarah Hopkin of Edinburgh, who said she was disappointed to hear that her extensive CD collection may not last forever.

"I remember when CDs first came out, Tomorrow’s World said they were indestructible and you could cover them in jam. Now it seems that’s not true.

"I still listen to vinyl and I still buy tapes but I’m very surprised to find out my CD collection might start rotting."

CD rot occurs when the wrong type of lacquer has been used on the printed side of the disc, or the lacquer has been incorrectly applied. Over time the lacquer reacts with the ink on the printed sleeve and begins to corrode.

According to industry experts, CD rot, also called CD bronzing, is most common on discs made in the late Eighties. Because a certain lacquer used in the label reacts to the chemicals in the disc booklet, some CDs made at this time are subject to oxidisation, which causes aluminium erosion.

Those who were among the first to buy CDs are now discovering that their supposedly indestructible silver discs have now become unplayable.

Among the problem discs are recordings by Big Audio Dynamite, Julian Cope, Laurie Anderson and Gary Numan. A number of classical recordings are also believed to be affected.

"I have had this with one or two of my own CDs," said Tim Keppie, of Hogs Head Records in Edinburgh. "It only seems to affect the ones which were made 15 to 20 years ago.

"Most of the CDs made nowadays are OK, but you have to take care of them. You have to treat them the way you treat a record."

Although industry sources claim it is an isolated problem, the experience of one American music fan suggests that CD rot may be more widespread than originally believed.

Dan Koster, a web designer, said that about 15 per cent of his 2,000-strong collection has begun to exhibit some degree of rot.

He uncovered the problem when he held a CD which was skipping badly up to the light, and realised the aluminium layer had become perforated.

"I was kind of shocked to see a constellation of pinpricks, little points where the light was coming through the aluminium layer," he told the Washington Post.

"We were all told that CDs were well-nigh indestructible when they were introduced in the mid-Eighties. Companies used that in part to justify the higher price of CDs as well."

Manufacturers say the discs are built to last 50 to 100 years, but as they were only invented in the 1980s nobody is really sure how long recorded data will last.

Most industry specialists still believe CDs are a good way of storing music and that with proper handling they should last well.

Jerry Hartke, who runs a CD-testing laboratory, said a lot of problems were caused by bad handling, which scratches the thin layer of lacquer on the printed side of the CD.

"If people treat these discs rather harshly, or stack them, or allow them to rub against each other, this very fragile protective layer can be disturbed, allowing the atmosphere to interact with that aluminium."

Mark Lawson, European director of DivXNetworks, said to be on the safe side music lovers should create back-up copies of their favourite albums. "Although designed to last, DVDs and CDs can get damaged very easily," he said. "Just as people used to tape their vinyl record collections, people should be allowed to back up their DVDs."

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Tories less popular than Alliance, PCs were in 2000

http://www.canada.com/national/features/decisioncanada/story.html?id=eaa6d7eb-4c17-4e0b-b5d0-db29cb4f3887

Tories less popular than Alliance, PCs were in 2000
Disgruntled Red Tories, defections to Liberals, Bloc to blame: pollsters

Norma Greenaway
The Ottawa Citizen

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Joe Clark walked away from the new Conservative party, and then thumbed his nose at its leader, Stephen Harper, by offering a "devil-we-know" endorsement of Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin.

The latest polls suggest Mr. Clark and other high-profile Red Tories such as MPs Scott Brison and John Herron are not alone in spurning the Conservative party in favour of Mr. Martin's Liberals in the runup to the June 28 election.

But analysts say it's probably off base to blame "Red Tory flight" for the Conservative party's poll numbers.

They show the new party's support falls at least six percentage points short of the combined popular vote garnered in the 2000 election by the former Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative parties.

"There's an evaporation of the Red Tory leadership, that's very true," said Conrad Winn, president of the Compas polling firm.

But Mr. Winn contends the defection of "elite" Red Tories does not translate into an evaporation of the Red Tory vote on the street.

"Ideology matters so much more to the elites than the voters," he said, pointing to the Conservative party's recent strength in Ontario as proof.

The latest Compas poll, conducted for CanWest-Global News Service, put Conservative support at 39 per cent in Ontario, compared with 42 per cent for the Liberals.

The current Conservative tally is almost identical to the total 38-per-cent support garnered in the last election by the Alliance (23.6 per cent) and the Progressive Conservative party (14.4 per cent).

On the national level, however, recent surveys say support for the new Conservative party stood at between 26 per cent and 31 per cent, down from the combined popular vote of 37.7 per cent in the 2000 election. The tally included 25.5 per cent for the Alliance and 12.2 per cent for the Progressive Conservatives.

The poll results, which put the Liberals at 39 per cent support, are important because in a close election the voting behaviour of a small percentage of voters could be crucial to the electoral hopes of both the Liberals and the Conservatives.

Mr. Winn traced the gap in the party's national popularity between then and now to the polarization of the vote between the Bloc Quebecois and the Liberals in Quebec. "When you have extreme polarization, all third parties lose out," Mr. Winn said.

Pollster Darrell Bricker, president of Ipsos-Reid, agreed and said former Progressive Conservative voters appear to be going primarily to the Bloc, which his firm's latest poll says has a healthy lead over the Liberals.

In Atlantic Canada, Mr. Bricker and Mr. Winn said many former Progressive Conservative voters, as well as some New Democrats, have shifted their support to the Liberal party, which is enjoying fairly widespread popularity in the region. Mr. Brison of Nova Scotia and Mr. Herron of New Brunswick, both former PC MPs, are running as Liberals in the election.

"The Liberals are threatening to sweep Atlantic Canada because there seems to be a bit of a consensus that these are the guys that should be the government," Mr. Bricker said.

Mr. Winn says the shift has more to do with economic self-interest than "Red Tory" ideology, which is seen as being more socially progressive than the thrust of the new Conservative party. "They are concerned the Conservative tax cuts mean transfer payment cuts for Atlantic Canada," he said in an interview.

Political analyst Heather McIvor suggested the Conservative brand is also suffering in the region because of the unpopularity of PC premiers such as John Hamm in Nova Scotia and Danny Williams in Newfoundland and Labrador.

"Just as Ontario's (Dalton) McGuinty might hurt the federal Liberals, Hamm is not overwhelmingly popular, neither is (Mr. Williams)," said Ms. McIvor, who specializes in Conservative politics at the University of Windsor.

Compas's latest poll has the Liberals at 50 per cent in Atlantic Canada, compared with 26 per cent for the Conservatives and 20 per cent for the NDP.

Mr. Bricker said the electorate is so volatile he hesitates to talk about how Red Tories or any other group is going to vote. "There's very little loyalty to any of the parties," he said. "People look at these things as though they are buying cereal.

"It's not the same as 'I'm a dyed-in- the-wool lifetime Conservative,' or 'I'm a dyed-in-the-wool lifetime Liberal.' People are quite willing to to move to any of the parties right now depending on the dynamics of the campaign."

Saturday, May 22, 2004

More on Stephen Harper Speaks

Easterners Steamed at Harper

Alliance Leader in Hot Water

The Toronto Sun, by Maria McClintock, Ottawa Bureau, May 31, 2002

Canadian Alliance Leader Stephen Harper could get boiled like a lobster if he goes ahead with his summer swing through Atlantic Canada.

Harper was in such hot water yesterday he was "too tired" to face the national media.

"He's tired. He's been doing Atlantic media all day ... setting the record straight," said Harper's communications director, Doug Main.

Maritimers are in an uproar over Harper blaming the Alliance's poor showing in the region on a "defeatist" attitude among Atlantic Canadians.

"There's unfortunately a view of too many people in Atlantic Canada that it's only through government favours that there's going to be economic progress, or that's what you look to," Harper had said Wednesday. "The kind of can't-do attitude is a problem in this country but it's obviously more serious in regions that have had have-not status for a long time."

The bitterness reached such a fevered pitch yesterday that the Nova Scotia legislature unanimously passed a motion condemning Harper.

"You can't expect to be a national leader who's successful if you become a serial offender of the sensitivities of the regions," said Tory Leader Joe Clark.

Late yesterday, Harper told Sun Media he wasn't backing down from his point of view, but he regretted how his remarks have been interpreted.

"I don't believe what I've said was clearly understood, or clearly communicated," Harper said, dismissing the Nova Scotia legislature motion as "partisan politics."

CBC National News Transcript, May 30, 2002

Program name : "Your Turn"
Broadcast Date: Thursday, May 30, 2002
Time: 22:00:00 ET
End Time: 23:00:00 ET
Network: CBC-TV

STEPHEN HARPER (Canadian Alliance Leader): There is a tendency in the region that breeds a culture of defeatism.



Stephen Harper Says Build a Firewall Around Alberta

Reform/Alliance/Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper has some interesting things to say.

Canadians should find out all they can about Stephen Harper before they consider voting for this man and his party.

===================================================================

Open letter to Ralph Klein
January 24, 2001
Hon. Ralph Klein
Premier of Alberta

Dear Premier Klein:

Re : The "Alberta Agenda"

During and since the recent federal election, we have been among a large number of Albertans discussing the future of our province. We were not dismayed by the outcome of the election so much as by the strategy employed by the current federal government to secure its re-election. In our view, the Chr├ętien government undertook a series of attacks not merely designed to defeat its partisan opponents, but to marginalize Alberta and Albertans within Canada's political system.

One well-documented incident was the attack against Alberta's health care system. To your credit, you vehemently protested the unprecedented attack ads that the federal government launched against Alberta's policies-policies the Prime Minister had previously found no fault with.

However, while your protest was necessary and appreciated by Albertans, we believe that it is not enough to respond only with protests. If the government in Ottawa concludes that Alberta is a soft target, we will be subjected to much worse than dishonest television ads. The prime minister has already signalled as much by announcing his so called "tough love" campaign for the West.

We believe the time has come for Albertans to take greater charge of our own future. This means resuming control of the powers that we possess under the constitution of Canada but that we have allowed the federal government to exercise. Intelligent use of these powers will help Alberta build a prosperous future in spite of a misguided and increasingly hostile government in Ottawa.

Under the heading of the "Alberta Agenda," we propose that our province move forward on the following fronts:

Withdraw from the Canada Pension Plan to create an Alberta Pension Plan offering the same benefits at lower cost while giving Alberta control over the investment fund. Pensions are a provincial responsibility under section 94A of the Constitution Act, 1867; and the legislation setting up the Canada Pension Plan permits a province to run its own plan, as Quebec has done from the beginning. If Quebec can do it, why not Alberta?
Collect our own revenue from personal income tax, as we already do for corporate income tax. Now that your government has made the historic innovation of the single-rate personal income tax, there is no reason to have Ottawa collect our revenue. Any incremental cost of collecting our own personal income tax would be far outweighed by the policy flexibility that Alberta would gain, as Quebec's experience has shown.

Start preparing now to let the contract with the RCMP run out in 2112 and create an Alberta Provincial Police Force. Alberta is a major province. Like the other major provinces of Ontario and Quebec, we should have our own provincial police force. We have no doubt that Alberta can run a more efficient and effective police force than Ottawa can-one that will not be misused as a laboratory for experiments in social engineering.

Resume provincial responsibility for health-care policy. If Ottawa objects to provincial policy, fight in the courts. If we lose, we can afford the financial penalties that Ottawa may try to impose under the Canada Health Act. Albertans deserve better than the long waiting periods and technological backwardness that are rapidly coming to characterize Canadian medicine. Alberta should also argue that each province should raise its own revenue for health care-i.e., replace Canada Health and Social Transfer cash with tax points, as Quebec has argued for many years. Poorer provinces would continue to rely on Equalization to ensure they have adequate revenues.

Use section 88 of the Supreme Court's decision in the Quebec Secession Reference to force Senate reform back onto the national agenda. Our reading of that decision is that the federal government and other provinces must seriously consider a proposal for constitutional reform endorsed by "a clear majority on a clear question" in a provincial referendum. You acted decisively once before to hold a senatorial election. Now is the time to drive the issue further.

All of these steps can be taken using the constitutional powers that Alberta now possesses. In addition, we believe it is imperative for you to take all possible political and legal measures to reduce the financial drain on Alberta caused by Canada's tax-and-transfer system. The most recent Alberta Treasury estimates are that Albertans transfer $2600 per capita annually to other Canadians, for a total outflow from our province approaching $8 billion a year. The same federal politicians who accuse us of not sharing their "Canadian values" have no compunction about appropriating our Canadian dollars to buy votes elsewhere in the country.

Mr. Premier, we acknowledge the constructive reforms that your government made in the 1990s-balancing the budget, paying down the provincial debt, privatizing government services, getting Albertans off welfare and into jobs, introducing a single-rate tax, pulling government out of the business of subsidizing business, and many other beneficial changes. But no government can rest on its laurels. As economic slowdown, and perhaps even recession, threatens North America, the government in Ottawa will be tempted to take advantage of Alberta's prosperity, to redistribute income from Alberta to residents of other provinces in order to keep itself in power. It is imperative to take the initiative, to build firewalls around Alberta, to limit the extent to which an aggressive and hostile federal government can encroach upon legitimate provincial jurisdiction.

Once Alberta's position is secured, only our imagination will limit the prospects for extending the reform agenda that your government undertook eight years ago. To cite only a few examples, lower taxes will unleash the energies of the private sector, easing conditions for Charter Schools will help individual freedom and initiative improve public education, and greater use of the referendum and initiative will bring Albertans into closer touch with their own government.

The precondition for the success of this Alberta Agenda is the exercise of all our legitimate provincial jurisdictions under the constitution of Canada. Starting to act now will secure the future for all Albertans.

Sincerely yours,
Stephen Harper, President
National Citizens' Coalition

Tom Flanagan
Professor of Political Science and former Director of Research, Reform Party of Canada

Ted Morton
Professor of Political Science and Alberta Senator-Elect

Rainer Knopff
Professor of Political Science

Andrew Crooks, Chairman
Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Ken Boessenkool
Former Policy Adviser to Stockwell Day, Treasurer of Alberta

PS: This letter represents our personal views and not those of any organizations with which we are or have been connected.

Cost of Harper's Quest for U.S. Tax Cuts - Dangerous to Canadians-

John McCallum Exposes Cost of Harper’s Quest for U.S. Tax Levels
May 21, 2004

OTTAWA- The Honourable John McCallum, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today warned that Alliance-Conservative Leader Stephen Harper’s pledges on taxes and military spending would fundamentally change Canada.

Mr. McCallum, speaking on behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada, believes that Mr. Harper’s twin goals of cutting Canadian taxes to match levels in the United States, while at the same time radically increasing military spending, will require at least $40 billion in cuts to essential public services. “Stephen Harper is saying in numbers what he dare not say in words…his vision of Canada means tax cuts so deep and military spending increases so great that he will put Canada’s social programs at risk,” said Mr. McCallum.

Mr. McCallum, formerly an economics professor at McGill University and the Royal Bank of Canada’s Chief Economist, bases his conclusions on an analysis of the impact of Mr. Harper’s goals on federal finances. McCallum, also a former Defence Minister, concludes that Mr. Harper’s military commitment amounts to a 67% increase in defense spending.

Mr. McCallum said that as an economist Mr. Harper knows the impact of his pledge of turning Canada into the “lowest taxing” country in the world, but he is not coming clean with the public. “Stephen Harper by the numbers is the true Stephen Harper. After all, he is an economist, and economists should live by their numbers. I think Canadians should be alerted so they understand the kind of Canada Mr. Harper wants, “said Mr. McCallum. “My kind of Canada- and Paul Martin’s Canada- does not have the federal government spending more on the military than on health care”.

C.B.C.'s future uncertain with a Harper led government

Future of CBC uncertain with Stephen Harper
May 20, 2004

Stephen Harper says "government subsidies in support of CBC's services should be to those things that do not have commercial alternatives," and that "things like main-English language television and probably to a lesser degree Radio Two" should probably be put on a commercial basis.

Harper is trying to reassure Canadians about his commitment to their values and priorities with one hand; and preparing to gut the very institutions that promote those values and priorities, with the other.

Reality Check

While the recently leaked Conservative Party platform makes no mention of CBC funding, the Canadian Alliance had a long-standing policy favouring the privatization of most aspects of the CBC, with a capital infusion to be achieved through a public share offering. The only protection they offered was that they would
limit foreign ownership in the new, privatized CBC.

The Reform Party platform of 1997 targeted CBC-TV as one of three Crown Corporations to be privatized, and the Canadian Alliance platform of 2000 said the CBC was a target for expenditure reduction: "A Canadian Alliance government will allow CBC television and internet services to raise private
capital while ensuring majority Canadian ownership and retaining a public CBC radio." (Page 7)

During the recent Conservative leadership race, all three candidates - Stephen Harper, Tony Clement and Belinda Stronach - pledged to review the future of the CBC, but at a minimum they committed to reducing its government funding and return it to its mandate.

This policy direction is in contrast with that of the late Progressive Conservative Party, which has - since the CBC first began broadcasting in 1936 - been a supporter of public broadcasting in Canada.

The Alliance-Conservative position on the CBC is another example of the takeover of the PC Party and the elimination of traditional Tory values from the new Alliance-Conservative Party.

The Liberal Party has a long history of supporting the CBC, and the public broadcaster's current budget allocation is $957 million in 2004-05 and again in 2005-06 from the federal government for operating expenditures.

For more information on the Conservative's plans for the CBC, and broadcasting in general, please contact Stephen Harper.

Canadians go to the Polls on June 28th. 2004

Media Advisory: Prime Minister Paul Martin to meet with Governor General

OTTAWA - May 22, 2004 - Prime Minister Paul Martin will meet Her Excellency the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, Governor General of Canada, on Sunday, May 23, 2004 at 1:00 p.m. at Rideau Hall, Ottawa, Ontario.

The Prime Minister will be available to the media immediately after the meeting.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Gmail swap

It's too wild, people are paying for Gmail invites and there's even a site now called Gmail swap where people can swap a item or a favor to obtain a G-MAIL account.I would add that GMAIL is simply the fastest and best Web based email you could ever hope to use. Till you have it, you can't realize how impressive it truly is.


Yes!!!!! The Calgary Flames move onto the Stanley Cup Final for 2003-2004. They havn't been back to the final since they last won their first cup 15 years ago. The last Canadian team out of 5 that started in the race for Lord Stanley's Mug. Way to go guys!!!!

Monday, May 17, 2004

Site of the day

My site of the day.

Howtoons

Howtoons are one-page cartoons showing 5-to-15 year-old kids "How To" build things.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

LA Lakers Move on


.

Congrats to the L.A. Lakers
Basketball's Best team (In my opinion)will prevail over the Spurs.

Final score

La Lakers 88 V Spurs 76 WON IT in 6 games, won 4 straight games. O'Neal grabs 19 rebounds as L.A. defeats San Antonio, 88-76, to rally from 2-0 series deficit into Western Conference finals.

Shaquille O'Neal scored 17 points and had 19 rebounds as the Lakers defeated the San Antonio Spurs, 88-76, Saturday night to advance to the Western Conference finals.

Kobe Bryant added 26 points for the Lakers, who will face the winner of the Sacramento Kings-Minnesota Timberwolves series

Calgary Flames Team Logo Test

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Flames win it on Sunday!

Calgary Flames are off to an excellent start, 3 more wins and they move into the Stanley Cup final. Let's go guys! Bring the Cup back home to Canada.

Flames burn Sharks in OT

CANADIAN PRESS

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Steve Montador scored 18:43 into overtime to lead the Calgary Flames to a 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 of the NHL's Western Conference final Sunday.

Montador took a pass from Flames captain Jarome Iginla in the slot and skated in untouched before firing a wrist shot that beat Evgeni Nabokov to the stick side.

Alexander Korolyuk forced overtime, scoring for San Jose with 3:21 remaining in the third period. He fired a shot that sailed over the left shoulder of Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, who was screened on the play by Nils Ekman of the Sharks.

Craig Conroy scored twice for the Flames. His second goal, at 9:25 of the third, gave Calgary a 3-2 lead.

Krzysztof Oliwa had the other goal for the Flames.

Mike Ricci and Todd Harvey also scored for San Jose.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series will be played Tuesday in San Jose. The winner advances to the Stanley Cup final.

A sellout crowd of 17,496, most wearing teal green, was on its feet screaming in the second period as the Sharks rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game.

Ricci started the comeback with just 1:23 gone in the second.

Scott Thornton, returning to the Sharks lineup after missing three games with an injury, wired a shot Kiprusoff stopped with his shoulder. The puck sailed high into the air and landed in the crease, where a diving Ricci banged it in.

Harvey made it 2-2 in the dying seconds of the period. Wayne Primeau fired a shot that Harvey got a stick on and redirected past Kiprusoff with 58 seconds left in the period.

Kiprusoff made some outstanding saves in the second. During a goal-mouth scramble, he got his stick on the ice to stop a shot from Korolyuk.

Earlier, the little Finn was bowled over by a Shark forward but popped up in time to get a glove on a shot from the point.

Nabokov stood tall in the Sharks goal. In the second period he robbed Shean Donovan, getting a knee on a puck that looked headed for the back of the net.

Oliwa opened the scoring for Calgary at 9:26 of the first. It was the first time since the Flames' first-round series against Vancouver they had scored in the opening period.

Oleg Saprykin started the play with a shot that Nabokov stopped. The puck rolled through the crease to Oliwa, who fished it out of his skates and banged it in.

Conroy made it 2-0 with 30 seconds left in the period. He skated down the right wing, used a Shark defenceman as a screen, then lifted a wrist shot over Nabokov's shoulder.

Conroy's goal came moments after the Flames had killed a two-minute, two-man disadvantage after both Chris Clark (slashing) and Chris Simon (elbowing) were sent off at the same time.

Simon returned to the ice after missing 10 games with an injury suffered in the Game 3 of the Vancouver series.

Notes: The last time the teams met in the playoffs the No. 7 seeded Sharks upset the No. 2 Flames in seven games in the first round of the 1995 playoffs . . . The Sharks won their first ever road game 4-3 on Oct. 8, 1991 against Calgary . . . Coming into the playoffs, the average of post-season games for the San Jose roster was 29.1 compared to 23.3 for Calgary.

Team Canada Hockey Club wins the Gold


Canada golden again
Heatley named tournament MVP
U.S. claims bronze in shootout

PIERRE LEBRUN
CANADIAN PRESS

The Star

PRAGUE — These guys just don't quit.
Jay Bouwmeester of the Florida Panthers broke a 3-3 tie 20 seconds into the third period Sunday as Team Canada rallied from a pair of two-goal deficits to beat Sweden 5-3 and capture its second straight gold medal at the world hockey championship.

And they did in nearly the same fashion as last year in Helsinki, falling behind 2-0 to the Swedes before charging back.

Matt Cooke of the Vancouver Canucks, Rob Niedermayer of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Dany Heatley of the Atlanta Thrashers and captain Ryan Smyth of the Edmonton Oilers also scored for Canada (7-1-1), who captured back-to-back world championships for the first time since the Whitby Dunlops (1958) and Belleville McFarlands (1959) turned the trick nearly half a century ago.

The back-to-back gold medals also give Canada four world titles since 1977, the year NHL players began playing in the tournament (1994 and '97 as well).

Also Sunday, the United States won a surprise bronze after defeating Slovakia 1-0 in a shootout, giving both North American countries a medal in the same world championship for the first time since 1996.

Heatley was named tournament MVP.

"It's great to repeat," said Heatley. "Both years are special. Coming together as a group is such a Canadian thing. We came together and really believed in each other. We fought back and clawed back in the last three games, it's such an awesome way to win."

"I love playing for Canada, any chance I get I love putting on the Maple Leaf. It's a great hockey country and lots of fun to play for."

Shawn Horcoff was one of eight returning players.

"It's so different than last year," he said. "In 2003, we knew right off the bat that we could win it. This year it was really a grind. We had some obstacles to overcome before we got it going."

As the Canadian players celebrated on the ice, many clutched their young children, including Smyth, who addressed the team in the locker-room later.

"We're not only proud of ourselves in here but we made Canada proud," Smyth told his teammates before the Champagne was uncorked.

Daniel Alfredsson of the Ottawa Senators, Swedish league star Andreas Salomonsson and former Toronto Maple Leaf Jonas Hoglund replied for Sweden, who suffered its first loss of the tournament (6-1-2).

Netminder Roberto Luongo of the Panthers recovered from a shaky start to stand tall once again for Canada, stopping 28 shots. The Swedes have had just about enough of Luongo, who made 37 saves in last year's gold medal final.

"Again we're down 2-0 we battled back," Luongo told TSN. "Deep down inside I knew we were going to come back. It was important for me to shut the door after that."

At the other end of the spectrum, 22-year-old goalie Henrik Lundqvist, a New York Rangers prospect who had been the surprise of the tournament for Sweden, crumbled after Canada tied the game in the second period.

Canada's No. 1 objective was to limit superstar Peter Forsberg as much as possible, and Horcoff's checking line with Niedermayer and Cooke did just that, keeping the Colorado Avalanche centre to one assist.

With the win, star defencemen Scott Niedermayer of the New Jersey Devils became the 14th player all-time to win a world championship, Olympic gold and a Stanley Cup ring. Joe Sakic, Rob Blake and Brendan Shanahan are the only other Canadians in the select club.

Niedermayer said he was especially happy for his brother Rob.

"Just to be able to play together is amazing," said Scott Niedermayer. "For my brother, who maybe hasn't been as lucky as I have in my career, he played like any winning player on any winning team plays. He played as hard as he could. I'm as proud as anyone could be of him."

It didn't look promising early on Sunday.

It was just the kind of start for Canada that head coach Mike Babcock surely had nightmares about.

"It's typical Canadian character," said Canadian GM Jim Nill. ``We faced adversity throughout the tournament but found a way to get it done."

The Swedes came charging out of the gates and were up 2-0 less than eight minutes into the first period, Hoglund finding the top shelf over a screened Luongo during a Sweden power play and Alfredsson finding the inside of the post on a breakaway.

Forsberg set up the Alfredsson goal with a long pass down the middle, the Canadians looking confused as they tried to get the Horcoff checking line on the ice to match up with the superstar Swede.

Smyth restored hope at 13:58, shovelling a Brendan Morrison pass from behind the net into an open net after the Vancouver Canucks centre forced Lundqvist to commit on a deke.

Canada came out stronger in the second period, the passes crisper and on the tape, the decisions more confident.

And Daniel Briere thought he had tied it 2-2, his slapshot beating a screened Lundqvist but ramming off the crossbar.

The Swedes came charging back down on a 2-on-1 after the near miss, Hoglund feeding Salomonsson for a one-timer that Luongo was slow to react to and got beat top corner on the glove side.

It was 3-1 and several Canadian players on the bench were slouched over in disbelief.

Then came Superman. Heatley took a long, looping pass from Bouwmeester and cut in from the right boards and lifted a shot over Lundqvist's left shoulder and just under the cross-bar to make it 3-2 at 14:44. It was his tournament-leading eighth goal.

The Canadian bench erupted, its confidence restored.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Calgary Roughnecks win Champions Cup

CONGRATS GOES TO THE CALGARY ROUGHNECKS. NEXT STOP CALGARY FLAMES HOCKEY CLUB WINS THE STANLEY CUP!!!!!!!!!!


CALGARY ROUGHNECKS WIN CHAMPION'S CUP

NLL

The Calgary Roughnecks defeated the Buffalo Bandits, 14-11, in front of a sellout crowd of 19,209 fans at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Friday night in the National Lacrosse League Champion's Cup Final. Curtis Palidwor was named Championship Game MVP with 41 saves. The Roughnecks used a balanced attack, with nine different goal scorers, including four defensemen. Lewis Ratcliffe scored three goals and added an assist to lead the Roughnecks, while Jesse Phillips also added a hat-trick, including the game-winning goal.

The sellout crowd certainly played a factor, as the Roughnecks won their first-ever Championship in only their third season. The win also marked a first in Calgary professional sports history; the Roughnecks were the first team to win a Championship while playing at home in Calgary.

Ted Dowling scored two goals and two assists in his final NLL game. Dowling and Tyson Leies (2A) announced they will retire after this season.

Kaleb Toth (1G, 4A), Kyle Goundrey (1G, 2A), Tracey Kelusky (1G, 1A), Grant Hamilton (1G), Brad MacArthur (1G) and Andrew McBride (1G) each scored a goal apiece for Calgary. MacArthur and Rob Kirkby dominated in the faceoff circle, winning 20 of 29 draws.

Buffalo was led by John Tavares (3G, 3A) and Mike Accursi (3G, 1A). Jason Crosbie was Buffalo's playmaker, recording four assists. Pat McCready scored two goals, both on breakaways, while Mark Steenhuis (1G, 2A), Neal Powless (1G, 1A), and Jonas Derks (1G) added singles for Buffalo. Steve Dietrich was impressive in goal, recording 45 saves.

Buffalo jumped out to an early lead, with a pair of power-play goals early in the game. John Tavares scored the first goal of the game only 51 seconds in, and Mike Accursi followed it up to put the Bandits up 2-0. Ted Dowling put Calgary on the board with an outside shot, however, Buffalo answered back with another pair of goals to make the score 4-1. Steenhuis dove through the crease to score, and Neal Powless beat Palidwor with the outside shot to close out the first quarter.

The second quarter was a different story, as the Roughnecks scored six consecutive goals to take command of the game. Ted Dowling started the barrage with a power-play marker, and Lewis Ratcliff scored two straight to tie the game at four. Jesse Phillips gave the Roughnecks their first lead of the game with a breakaway goal, putting Calgary up 5-4. Kyle Goundrey scored on a rebound, and Kaleb Toth scored Calgary's third power-play goal of the game to make the score 7-4. John Tavares cut the score to 7-5 at the half with an outside shot, but Calgary clearly dominated the quarter, outscoring Buffalo 6-1.

The Roughnecks came out of the locker room on fire. Veteran defensemen Grant Hamilton and Brad MacArthur scored to put the Roughnecks up 9-4, but Buffalo was able to capitalize on a 5-on-3 power play, as Mike Accursi put the ball past Palidwor. Andrew McBride scored from the defensive end, and Lewis Ratcliff followed it up by powering past the Bandits defense to complete his hat-trick. Pat McCready cut the Roughnecks lead to 11-7 with a breakaway goal with eight seconds remaining in the quarter.

Buffalo started the fourth quarter determined, with Mike Accursi, Jonas Derks and Pat McCready each scoring to cut the lead to 11-10. However, Jesse Phillips answered back, scoring the eventual game-winner, as the ball trickled past Dietrich to make the score 12-10. John Tavares cut the lead back to a goal with a goal with 3:10 remaining, but Tracey Kelusky answered back with a goal only 34 seconds later. Calgary was able to run out the clock, and Jesse Phillips completed his hat-trick with an empty net goal with 3.8 seconds remaining to bring the 19,209 fans to their feet at the Saddledome.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Calgary in the Western Final, Toronto is on the blocks -almost-

Congrats to the Calgary Flames hockey team who won their series 4-2 last night in Calgary over the Red Wings. Last few minutes of Period 4 (1st period of overtime) Calgary goes on, Detroit goes golfing.

Toronto Maple Leafs are on the ropes as I blog this entry. Going into the 3rd period Game 6 Leafs 0 v Flyers 2. Can the Leafs win to fight another day? Or be finished tonight? Stay tuned hockey fans.


UPDATE:

Leafs managed to score 2 goals in the third period, and got into Overtime, had some good chances in the Overtime period but they lost. Flyers win the series 4-2. Final Score Flyers 3 V Toronto 2. Go golf Toronto!

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Leafs lose it!

The Toronto Maple leafs lost game 5 today. Final score 7 to 2 for the Flyers. Flyers take a 3 game lead over the Leafs. Tuesday night is a do or die night for the Leafs. A few tickets are available at TicketMaster after midnight Sunday night. GO LEAFS GO!

Calgary Flames can go on to finish off the Detroit Red Wings Monday night back in Calgary. GO FLAMES GO!

Be nice to see 1 Canadian team in the final round to win the Stanley Cup.