food22 Dec 2009 02:53 pm

I guess it’s OK… right?!

Et en français ici:

money15 Dec 2009 09:59 am

There we have it, Canadians have a higher debt load that ever:–canadians-deeper-in-debt-than-ever-before

We’re trying to buy a house, and while we can afford it, we feel that prices are too high.  The problem is that we look at the price of the house, but the rest of you morons are only looking at the monthly payments based on the current interest rates.  The current rates are artificially low, and are part of the economic stimulus intended to get us out of this “crisis”.  All of you morons buying houses that you can’t afford are driving up prices beyond all rational measure.

When interest rates rise,  and it’s time to renew your mortgage, what are you going to do?  If other morons are also selling their houses, prices will fall, so you might as well sell now, while prices are still high, and downgrade while prices are high.  Remember: downgrade while prices are high; upgrade while prices are low.

We need to buy a house now, we can’t wait for all you morons to come to your senses, so we’re stuck paying moron prices… will that make morons of us too?

Anyway, what would be best for us is a good old stampeding panic right now, when you all dump your house in fire sales.  So instead of calmly and rationally downgrading your house now, won’t you consider immediate panic as alternative course of action?

voip and wireless15 Dec 2009 09:14 am

Rumors of a Google-branded phone have been floating around for a while.  This article is interesting:

What I like is the possibility of using a data-only plan from your cell phone carrier.  Voice is only data after all, and SMS is just an inferior (?) and expensive version of XMPP.

Oh, and it rumored to be cheap, just $199, unlocked, no contract!

We’ll see, but my N95 is getting oooooooooold.

web12 Dec 2009 12:45 pm

My ISP’s DNS servers cannot resolve any or domain names.  Other domain names, such as and (hmmm, what a coincidence) resolve just fine.

For now I’ll be using OpenDNS servers: and  I made the change on our router.

Of course, most people would assume that it’s google that’s slow or broken, but you can tell it’s not the case because the browser gets stuck at “resolving…” Once I changed the DNS server settings, everything is back to normal. This has been a recurring problem (off and on), but it’s always targeting google to the exclusion of all other domain names that I know of. But it’s a purely coincidental coincidence that frequently happens by coincidental chance.

Eventually, some other unfortunate and totally unintentional glitch may block traffic to google altogether, so we may have to change ISP or use our ISP’s preferred search partner.   Perhaps another glitch will also totally block my VOIP provider; our ISP would be more than happy to benevolently help us by signing us up for their phone service (only thrice the price we currently pay!)

health10 Dec 2009 09:37 am

videos07 Dec 2009 08:34 am

… et merci à Co!

Uncategorized29 Nov 2009 06:29 pm

… what????

cats and videos28 Nov 2009 03:06 pm

cats and videos25 Nov 2009 02:55 pm

voip24 Nov 2009 05:33 pm

Last month, we switched to VOIP.  Our VOIP provider is, and we use an Analog Telephony Adapter (ATA) to connect our existing phones to our VOIP provider.

As expected, our phone bill is slightly less than $10/month.  It includes every calling feature that I know of (call display, call waiting, voice mail, call forwarding, caller ID filtering, …)

One issue we’ve had is with the ATA: when talking to high-pitched people, we heard touch tone beeps, and it could be very disruptive.  Apparently this is called DTMF talk-off.  It is not the VOIP provider’s fault, it is our equipment that’s causing the problem.  Here are the proposed fixes I found on the web and the results:

  • use the g711 codec: did that, problem persists
  • upgrade the firmware on the ATA: done, and no effect
  • Set the DTMF transmission method to INBAND: did that, problem persists
  • Set “DTMF Process INFO” and “DTMF Process AVT” to OFF: problem solved!!!!! … hopefully (still too early to tell)

We still use our answering machine (we can be both high-tech and retro), but it’s possible that the last 2 items would interfere with IVR services such as voicemail if we used them.

While it’s still too early to tell, the service so far has been more reliable than the service we used to get from a certain telephone company – the telephone lines in our neighborhood are in a state of complete disrepair, I’m fairly certain that everybody on our street switched to cable or cell phones – I don’t see their repair truck anymore, but their decrepit infrastructure is still in shambles.

In the event of a power outage, we would have to rely on our cell phones to make calls.  I looked into  getting an uninterruptible power supply, but it would get us less than 1 hour of service – the wave generator, which converts DC to AC, seems to be extremely wasteful.  My best bet would be to get one 5V battery (for the router and ATA) and one 12V battery (for the cable modem) and connect the batteries directly to the devices, thus skipping the wasteful conversion: DC to AC and then AC to DC again.

In fact here’s a product idea: an uninterruptible power supply that provides DC power: no AC output, it should instead have several output cables with interchangeable tips to connect to various equipment.  It could probably be quite small and use lithium or NiMH batteries; I don’t think it would require a huge lead-acid battery.  I would buy two: one that’s 5V, another that’s 12V, unless you can combine that into one unit.

EDIT: Nope, we still get touch tone beeps.  The solution would be to get a better ATA, or a get pure SIP phone, no analog conversion.  Based on the information I found, setting “DTMF transmission method” to INBAND should completely stop the ATA from trying to interpret any sounds as DTMF tones; either this information is incorrect or the ATA does not support INBAND (other than displaying it in the web interface.)  As a last resort, I unplugged the ATA and plugged in back in, perhaps then the setting will finally be in effect.  I also set all the fax-related stuff to disabled, in case those aren’t DTMF beeps but some sort of stupid FAX-related functionality.  But we all know it won’t work.

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