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How Not to Lock a Bike Like an Idiot

Hal Grades Your Bike Locking 2014 (Part IV) from STREETFILMS on Vimeo.

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Toronto potholes!

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Now that spring has sprung in Toronto, and there is no more ice on the roads, what’s left is winter debris and potholes! In case you were interested, this is a link to how potholes form.

All along my commute are the massive potholes. This is a nuisance to cars and may damage them. In fact, you can claim any damage caused by potholes if the City doesn’t maintain the roads to the minimum standards prescribed.

That said,  potholes are dangerous to cyclist. A pothole threw me off my bike during a weekend ride a few weeks back.

Did you know you can call 311 and report the potholes? Just dial 311 on your phone and you’ll be connected with a human that will take your pothole report.

You can also report the potholes online.

And, now, there is an Open311 standard that allows software developers to create apps that allow the reporting of the likes of potholes and graffiti on smart phones.

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Learning to think

Check out this free edX course on how to think, argue, and decide better…

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Hey Donna, buy something…

This is a test post to help out my brilliant friend Donna with a iframe issue on her blog.

Issue:
While trying to embed an affiliate iframe code from Amazon on her blog, she just gets a blank page. It seems like embedding iFrames in WordPress is broken or just not working for her.

Resolution:
It seems that if you have an ad blocker running, you can still see YouTube embedded iframes like this one from one of my favourite musical finds below, but not the Amazon affiliate iframe below that…

Speaking of brilliant friends, check out this amazing book from my friend Anthony De Sa. Anthony is a Giller-nominated author who serves on the Story Planet board with me.

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OK, it seems that I’ve been asked a few hundred times in the past few weeks, so here is it is…

Most streaming services like Netflix or Rdio check to see where you’re located by examining the IP address provided by your internet provider. So if your internet provider is in Toronto, your IP address will also be pegged to Toronto. So, what happens if I want to appear from the US or anywhere else in the world?

There are a couple of ways around this, but the simplest is through the Unblockus service. It is $4.99 a month with a free trial to see if it is worth it to you.

Rather than going through a VPN or other similar scheme, this service does a bit of black magic with DNS.

How_to_Setup___Unblock-Us_-_smarter_faster_VPN

 

 

 

All you do is change your device or router’s DNS settings with a few simple instructions.  If you can’t get it to work yourself, their Support is pretty good too.

The gist of it is that you go either into the DNS settings of your device like computer, iPad, Apple TV, Roku, PS3, etc. and change the DNS address to:

208.122.23.22
208.122.23.23

And that’s it!  You go to the Unblockus web interface, and from there, you can select your region.

If you change the DNS settings in your network’s router, you can switch the region for ALL the devices on the network. The DNS settings don’t mess up other applications such as Facebook, banking, etc. It only changes the region for the selected streaming services. As far as I can tell, their DNS servers respond very quickly as well.

An interesting thing about using Unblockus with Netflix is that when you change the region, with the same account, it will change the content. So, if you change the region to the US, you see US content. If you change it to the UK, you see more content from the Beeb!

These are the Netflix regions that you can pick from:

Unblock-Us_-_smarter_faster_VPN

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