the digital peasant — Khosrow is Dreaming

June 5th, 2009 — Tags: Bicycle, Montreal

I tried out the Bixi bike rental system last weekend. Many people have already written about them so I thought I would add my cents as well.


  • Convenient locations around downtown
  • Cheap prices if you get a yearly subscription and use less than 30 minutes each time
  • You can rent friggin’ bikes!
  • Promotes biking in the city


  • Requires one credit card per bike rented
  • Puts a hold on $250 in your credit card each time you use it
  • Instructions for some things (like the 24-hr access) not very clear
  • Lack of billboard with info on nearby rental stations.

Another side-effect of the design of the system: When I tried to get a bike to go back home, the first station had no bikes, but luckily the one where I had returned my bike still had one left.
Oh, and here’s an official video from Bixi explaining how the 24-hr access works.

BIXI – 24-hour access from BIXI on Vimeo.


June 3rd, 2009 — Tags: john lennon, Life, peace, Politics, Video

Festival on the Main

May 31st, 2009 — Tags: Festival, Life, Montreal, Video

This weekend, the Main was closed from Sherbrooke to Mont-Royal and was turned into a pedestrian street. All businesses put out their merchandise, or food, or anything else and that part of the city was alive!

While on our way back home we ran into a breakdancing crew doing their thing, so I broke out the Qik camera.

Noteworthy: At around the 3 minute mark, the breaker in green seems to have hurt himself but I never figured out if he actually did.

Tamtams and journée des Patriotes

May 25th, 2009 — Tags: Life, Montreal, Politics, Tam-Tams

I was walking home yesterday, when I saw a huge crowd and what appeared to be a protest next to Mount Royal Park. My first guess was the usual Sunday Tamtams, but when I got closer I saw a large number of Fleurdelisé. I assumed it was just a pro-sovereignty rally and continued walking to go record a bit of the tamtams madness. But last night while doing my rounds in the blogosphere I found this interesting article on the topic which answers my questions about the rally and I think it’s a good read.

And here’s the video I took yesterday, but unfortunately I had my earphones on and didn’t get any of the audio. I have to say the sounds of hundreds of drums playing was incredible!

Making work for myself

May 15th, 2009 — Tags: boredom, idea, Life

These days I’ve been spending my time home somewhat idly. So, to break this bad pattern here’s my solution:

  1. jot down some ideas I’ve had (mostly computer related)
  2. start with the easiest one and hope the rest will follow

I’ve now completed step 1. Lets see how step 2 goes! My easy idea is to re-work the photo gallery that I have on the site.

Twitter Has Come Of Age

May 5th, 2009 — Tags: internet, twitter, Web 2.0

What’s the hottest new thing these days? Why it’s twitter! And where people are, the spammers will surely follow. Like the parasites of the internet ecosystem, they will find a way in. Then they will start hammering away, sending messages until they get a click here and a click there.

I woke up this morning to see that 5 or 6 people had started following me on twitter. When I went to their profile to check who they were I was greeted with the page below.

This can mean bad things because twitter’s sign up page has the standard anti-spam measure of captcha. So either the spammers are using sophisticated technology to get in, or they’ve outsourced the sign up process to a large number of human workers. I would prefer if it was the latter since it means there’s a limit to how much spam I will get. Although I remember a reading a while back that Gmail’s captcha was broken.

Game Theory in Public Policy

April 26th, 2009 — Tags: iran, Politics, Video

It’s an interesting notion to use mathematics in the setting of political policies. What’s a little chilling to me is what would happen if the math suggested something like an all out attack on a nation? Are we to believe the math hard, cold math just because it is unbiased and doesn’t lie? Is the assumption (the 90% assumption) that reality will follow these predicitions?
Luckily what Bueno de Mesquita predicts is a good outcome for both Iran and the west.

An Interview with Namjoo

April 1st, 2009 — Tags: Music

A few weeks ago I went to Toronto to see Mohsen Namjoo in Toronto. I had a fantastic time, and enjoyed his work. But what got me into listening to his music was his views on Iranian music an its evolution. The day after the concert he held a question and answer session where he gave his opinions on music. It is worth a listen:

The original source is : Radio Zamaaneh

In the meantime, here’s a quick video of the concert

I need a new theme

April 1st, 2009 — Tags: update

Do I need a new theme? Or should I just modify this one that I’m currently running? I’ve had an idea to at least replace the heading banner but just don’t have the time to do the work.

Ideas, please!

On Current Canadian Politics

March 22nd, 2009 — Tags: canada, Politics

In the past few months since the brouhaha in parliament ended, and the parliament came back to resume its normal business there has been a distinct absence of something. I realized this the other day when I heard a news report about our Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Trade traveling to Afghanistan. I realized that the ruling government of Canada has not been in the media since much.

It’s no secret that Stephen Harper, and his government are not fans of the media and like to put out propaganda more than informing the public. But at some point the duty of the elected representative is to inform the public. We elected these guys (albeit with a 34% majority!) to rule, and it is their job to tell us what they are doing. Ruling in secrecy is something we like to think the other governments do, but apparently we are very good at it!

So when are these guys going to start being transparent?