Amazon Cloud Goes Down Again, Breaks Foursquare and Others

The cloud is cool. But it’s not always there.

That’s what some Amazon customers learned today after another outage on Amazon’s cloud computing platform knocked off several popular websites offline.

Foursquare said the failure kept it and other services from working for “about 2 hours,” according to an e-mail from spokeswoman Erin Gleason.

Music-sharing website reported that it was down and “dealing with some Amazon Web Service issues,” at around 1:30 p.m. Pacific on Monday. A half-hour later, the site was operational.



Amazon Cloud Goes Down Again, Breaks Foursquare and Others | Wired Enterprise |

Richard Stursberg’s controversial tenure at CBC

Dragon Done by Trevor Cole

Nov 1, 2010

Source: The Walrus


He was “a bad man,” I was told. Those exact words. And “a nasty piece of work.” That was one person’s opinion, of course, so I asked others. “Arrogant,” I heard. Actually, I heard that one a lot. “Dismissive.” Someone took pains to express it more fully: “You know he couldn’t give a rat’s ass about you.”

Understand, these were his employees talking, the folks whose cheques he signed. Said one of them, perhaps unnecessarily, “There are a lot of unhappy people.”

There were others, outsiders, who echoed that discontent. Some of them are famous. R. H. Thomson, for instance, that nice actor who exemplifies Canadianness in Canadian television, feared the man wasn’t deeply interested in the very thing he was supposed to be protecting. “He doesn’t have the instincts for it,” said Thomson.

You wouldn’t have cared about Richard Stursberg if he’d been in charge of a sheet metal factory. If he’d been known to be mean to people who make muffins. But he was the vice-president of English Services at cbc. He was the guiding force of, as he described it himself, “the largest and most influential cultural organization in the country.” He was the pilot of the last flying fortress of Canadianism. And plenty of alert and reasonable people were pretty sure he was steering it straight toward the edge of a cliff.

When Stursberg arrived in August 2004 as vice-president of English television (he annexed radio in January 2007), many people who concerned themselves with that sort of thing were dismayed. Ian Morrison, spokesperson for Friends of Canadian Broadcasting, an organization that concerns itself with nothing but, seemed to fear the End Times had come. “There is absolutely nothing positive I could say about his appointment,” said Morrison, adding that the outlook for the corporation was “bleak.”

Six years later, those who feared wholesale change at cbc in the wake of Stursberg’s appointment could clasp their chins and gravely nod, unable to celebrate even as his departure was announced in early August. His legacy at cbc is not likely to be undone soon: Every one of the network’s programming directors has been replaced. Its prime-time TV line-up has been overhauled, as has everything about its news specialty channel, including the name. To cries of outrage, the comfortable rug of classical music has been ripped from under Radio 2. More than 1,000 people in cbc’s news division have seen their jobs changed or redefined. Anything else? Oh yes, the entire philosophical foundation of cbc English-language TV programming has been rearranged.

“I knew Richard was going to be a bull in a china shop,” says former cbc president Robert Rabinovitch, the man who hired him. “That’s one of the reasons I brought him in.”

Had any bull ever appeared less threatening? Just four weeks before Stursberg’s exit, suited in a grey that matched his thinning hair and wearing old-fashioned tortoiseshell-and wire-rimmed spectacles, the sixty-year-old then vice-president walked slow and straight-backed through the atrium of the cbc building. Hands crossed lightly behind him, a small smile on his face, he carried himself with the repose of a plantation owner. In his office on the seventh floor, it pleased him to discuss the Miles Davis book on his coffee table, the John Lee Hooker photo behind his desk, and the artists whose work hung on his walls (a group of five Canadians, including Douglas Coupland, all from the same class at Emily Carr University in Vancouver). I knew Stursberg loved art, because I’d been told his home was “dripping” with paintings. “There’s no one more cultured than he is,” said a former colleague. And this was important to note, because what he did to cbc is seen to be the opposite of culture. He is seen to have followed the agenda of a philistine.

“By and large, people don’t like change,” said the man himself, lightly, in his way. “Many people who have not altogether agreed directionally with where we’re going have been upset. That’s okay.”
Directionally, Stursberg made cbc Television a network concerned principally with ratings. To an audience of cbc folk, he once put it this way: he wanted the corporation to be Tim Hortons, not Starbucks. From this simple pledge flowed all of the change, and much of the ire.


Buffett on the Spot

What were you thinking, Warren? At his shareholders’ meeting, the oracle will have to answer for his biggest management bungle.

buffet-FE03-hsmallIllustration by Thomas Fuchs

America has a way of elevating its heroes beyond the realm of mere mortals. This has not been an issue on Wall Street, where heroes do not exist. Warren Buffett has been the glaring exception. An Omahan who was not of Wall Street so much as above it and who spoke in cracker-barrel English derived more from Twain than from J. P. Morgan, he fulfilled (I once wrote) America’s secular myth. He was the man from the Plains whose virtue offered an antidote to the corrupt Northeast and to Wall Street in particular. It is a measure of his reputation that a radio interviewer asked me whether Buffett had, until late, behaved in a “near perfect” manner. No flesh and blood, examined up close, can meet such a standard. As the saying goes, “No man is a hero to his valet.” The David Sokol affair, in which an executive of Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway was caught in a serious ethical trespass, and in which Buffett failed to deliver a rebuke, has shown us a bit of the great man’s undergarments. The question for the 40,000 shareholders converging on Omaha for Saturday’s annual meeting (a.k.a. Buffett’s “capitalist Woodstock”) is whether the Sokol business tells us anything new, and perhaps dispiriting, about Buffett.

When I was writing a biography on Buffett, in the early ’90s, the trait that most distinguished him was his searing independence. Buffett was a brilliant, socially responsible investor, who engaged with the world only on his terms. He refused to be co-opted or recruited, whether with regard to stocks, philanthropy, or politics. His aloofness often caused associates to suffer disappointment. He zealously protected his time and his money; even his children suffered from the billionaire’s reserve. In a not atypical incident, he could barely lower his newspaper to listen to his teenage daughter’s tearful rendition of how she crashed his car. Friends described how Warren had rebuffed their requests for even small donations, and to causes with which the liberal billionaire sympathized. More fundamentally, associates yearned for a closer emotional connection.

Read the full Article at >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> game_changers_smallA Newsweek Site

Amendments Make It Easier to Apply for Liquor Licence

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations  – Press Release – April 26, 2011 2:17 PM

The province is making it easier for businesses in Nova Scotia to apply for a liquor licence.
Proposed amendments to the Liquor Control Act introduced today, April 26, will streamline the application process to apply for, or renew, a liquor licence. "Many restaurants and bars must contact a number of departments and comply with a number of acts and regulations," said Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister John MacDonell. "This takes time and costs businesses money. We’ve been asked to make this process quicker and easier, and we have listened."
The amendments will save government an estimated $225,000 per year and also save industry money, while not compromising enforcement. The change will transfer responsibility for granting permanent liquor licences from the Utility and Review Board to the Alcohol and Gaming Division of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations. The change will make the Alcohol and Gaming Division the first level of appeal for issues about licensing and enforcement.
The amendments will also set up a public feedback system where objections to granting a licence can be heard. Public meetings will only be held if community members have objections. Currently, there must be an expensive, time-consuming public hearing for all licence application, even when unopposed.
The Liquor Control Act regulates liquor sales and consumption in Nova Scotia and the Liquor Licensing Regulations set rules for how licensed establishments can operate.

FOR BROADCAST USE: The province is making it easier for businesses in Nova Scotia to apply for a liquor license while maintaining protection for Nova Scotians. Proposed amendments to the Liquor Control Act introduced today (April 26th), will reduce the time and cost for businesses and government. The amendments will save government about $225,000 a year.
Media Contact: Penny McCormick
              Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
              Cell: 902-499-8135

One Year Later: What Marketers Have Learned About Facebook’s Open Graph

The Facebook Marketing Series is supported by Buddy Media, Power Tools for Facebook. Fans see when you post content on your brand’s Facebook Page, right? Wrong. Cut through the mystery of Facebook’s Edgerank — download the white paper now.

“Social platforms would now focus on the Web, not social networks themselves.” That’s how Mark Zuckerberg described Facebook’s vision when he announced the Open Graph in April 2010. Speaking at the f8 Developer Conference, Zuckerberg described an enhanced Facebook API and supporting tools that would give marketers new ways to make sense of a user’s preferences, passions and connections, which he characterized at as the “objects” of their lives.

Zuckerberg recognized that a user might live in San Francisco, work at Wells Fargo, listen to R.E.M., play tennis, eat at Chipotle and be friends with a number of people — but that Facebook by itself can’t map out these and other “objects.” Pandora, for example, knows a lot more about a user’s musical taste. But working together with these companies using Facebook’s Open Graph, a personalized Web with users each at the center of their own online experience could be created.

Now, one year later, the Open Graph is showing some effective traction in the marketing world. Here is a look at how it is working for (and with) marketers on its first anniversary.

Read the full article at>>>>>> One Year Later: What Marketers Have Learned About Facebook’s Open Graph.


by Pulse Entertainment on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 10:26pm

Pulse Entertainment promises a new standard of quality, style and sophistication for the “take no chances” customer

(Ottawa) October 12, 2010 – MELDAN Entertainment Inc. is proud to announce the official launch of Pulse Entertainment. Pulse Entertainment is an Ottawa-based boutique business providing disc jockey, events planning, and multimedia services for weddings, corporate events and conferences, private parties, and community and cultural events.

The company’s co-founders, Melissa Peneycad and M. Daniel Roukema, have extensive experience in the entertainment and professional services industries.  Both recognize the need for a more consistent level of service excellence in the Ottawa entertainment industry and are applying their experiences and expertise to provide clients with a higher standard of quality, style, and sophistication.  “At Pulse, we’re committed to maintaining a high quality service standard,” says Peneycad, Pulse’s President.  “For years we’ve proven our approach and delivery with a wide range of clients and we will continue to do so as disc jockeys, event planners, and multimedia service providers.  Our clients usually get only one chance to impress their guests and, as a result, we commit ourselves unconditionally to putting our best foot forward to deliver beyond expectations, every time.”

Roukema, the company’s Director of Operations, has been a disc jockey in Ontario, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia, and a guest performer in Africa, the Caribbean, and Europe, for almost 25 years, and says the timing for this boutique entertainment business in Ottawa couldn’t be better.  “Ottawa is changing rapidly,” he says.  “With up-and-coming infrastructure like the new state-of-the-art congress centre, it is clear that this city is reaching out for a larger piece of the national and international market.”  The multilingual Roukema also states that his experience in international relations, business, and diplomacy will allow Pulse Entertainment to reach out to and serve the VIP and dignitary communities including diplomatic missions in Ottawa.

Pulse Entertainment is headquartered on Cooper Street in downtown Ottawa.  More information on the company is available on its website


Melissa Peneycad   613.859.6735

Daniel Roukema      613.859.6735

Halifax’s Finest Aggressive Panhandlers

Les Muise Consultingclip_image002

Monday, October 27, 2008

Posted to MyHalifaxCa Panhandlers

The following is the Introduction to an opinion piece developed by request for MacKay Fashions of Halifax to be used to begin a discussion within the business and civic concerns with the objective of finding a better way to deal with the panhandlers of Downtown Halifax.

It’s time to deal with the issue….

Panhandling is a challenging issue faced by cities of all sizes, and one that affects Halifax as well. The experience of numerous professionals and service agencies finds that money given to panhandlers often only enables self-destructive behaviors like alcoholism and drug addiction.

One former panhandler and addict has even stated, “Giving money to a panhandler is like giving a gun to someone who is suicidal.

I think it was mid November of 1997 and I was sitting in the Great Taste Coffee Shop on Spring Garden Road enjoying a brew and writing in my journal. I was not aware of where he came from or when he arrived but suddenly, there was a little man sitting at my table. He was in rough shape having fallen and broke an arm, he had not shaved in a couple of days, he had no teeth, his fingers were deeply stained by nicotine, and he was cold, hungry and the smell… God the smell, it just about turned my stomach.

The conversation began with his statement that it had been a hard day and he was considering walking out to the middle of the Angus L Mc Donald Bridge and jumping.

My instant response was ‘I don’t know you from a hole in the ground but I figure if you’ve made it this far in life…. You’re too stubborn to do that.”

That was the day that I met ‘Terry M’ a paranoid schizophrenic who had lived with his parents on Cunard St till they died and had a room of his own [these days at Turning Point] in a know flop house. Terry had never traveled past the Halifax Commons, had memorized every word in three dictionaries and would give you the correct spelling, pronunciation, and use it in conversation…. several times in one sitting. He had a memory for detail as good as anyone I know but could never keep a job.


Tommy Boutilier, left, an on-street support worker, chats with a panhandler named Liam, while walking along Spring Garden Road in Halifax. – Halifax Herald

At the time Terry was one of a handful of regular panhandlers that you would see around town. Over the years I’ve watched, tried to help and got frustrated seeing my little friend loose ground in his life. He survives on $385.00 per month from Community Services and every check day his property owner drives him to Sobey’s on Queen and waits while Tarry cashes his check, takes $350.00 for rent and leaves Terry with $35.00 for a months worth of food.

No wonder he panhandles.

Anyone who spends time on Spring Garden Road, Argyle Street, Barrington Street or on the Waterfront [as I do] and is slightly aware of his/her surroundings should see the whole picture. You cannot help but have a certain amount of compassion for the street people like Terry M who for one reason or another have fallen through our so-called social safety net. As a community, we are failing to provide a safe, healthy and caring life for these individuals and that has to change.

Every situation has two sides and though I have a soft spot for the position in which people like Terry M find themselves I have also had to deal with the constant harassment, insults, threats and potential violence of navigating the downtown core of Halifax. As you read this document, you will read several personal accounts of both the good & bad side of our streets. In addition, remember … Big changes come as a result of many small steps.