March 11, 2013

TV Review: Continuum – S01E01 – A Shift in Time

This is one of two reviews from All Too Convenient, a project I recently cancelled. It was originally published on October 13th, 2012, and features a humor-based writing style. Hope you enjoy! Spoiler Level: Mild I finally got around to watching Continuum in the last few days, and felt like sharing a little bit of the ridiculousness with you all. Ever since the creation of Corner Gas, I've been desperately awaiting the arrival of a TV-show that would allow us Canadians to regain some of our dignity. Yes, I realize that it's a comedy, and Continuum isn't, and I also realize some of you actually like Brent Butt's monstrosity of a TV-series, but can't quite understand why that is. But, you know, to each his own. Anyway, I felt like Canada had a…
HumorPersonal Stories
January 19, 2013

So Apparently I’m a Complete Slacker

I attended college at a very turbulent time in my life, and though it resulted in many negative experiences, it also provided me with great stories to laugh about and share with others. Today, I'd like to tell you about this one class that I had... I don't remember the name, exactly, but it can be best described as a physical education class that focused on nutrition. In case you haven't read my previous posts, I'll set the stage by explaining that it took me somewhere between 1.5 to 2.5 hours to get to the campus in the morning, and the same at night. Because of this, most of my efforts were focused on my core Computer Science classes - the others weren't my priority, but…
January 13, 2013

Is YouTube Allowing Accidental Ad Clicks By Design?

Like many creatures of the web, I've been known to watch YouTube videos every now and then. For the last year or so, I've noticed something strange going on with Google's advertising approach within YouTube. Initially, I just thought I was witnessing a mistake that their developers made, and I waited to see when they'd fix the issue. To my surprise, that day never came - so today, I'm going to describe the problem, as I perceive it. Let's start with a screenshot: An example of the pre-roll ads that appear on YouTube, with a countdown. Notice the message to the bottom right? It says "you can skip to video in," and then has a countdown, in seconds. There's nothing wrong with such an approach…
November 15, 2012


Now that I've dipped into the topic of Halloween, here's a picture of me getting kicked by a guy in a SWAT costume: Notice how I'm still holding a glass, despite being cuffed? I'm dressed as Julian from Trailer Park Boys, a character who always walks around with a glass of liquor. Even in the most ridiculous scenarios, he'll keep his glass in hand. Given my hair color and overall body type, I felt I could do his character justice - the result can be seen below. And finally, here's a really specific reference to first Trailer Park Boys short that was ever created (which was in black and white). Important: While I'm pointing a toy gun at a cat, I am not advocating violence towards animals…
November 11, 2012

Movie Review: The Hunger Games

Some of you may remember that I wanted to expand into TV and movie reviews, with video as a delivery format. The idea was to have a review show named "All Too Convenient," but despite some effort, I never seemed to find the right approach. It wasn't a total loss, however, as it resulted in one YouTube video that detailed the experience. Today, I'd like to reveal another product of "All Too Convenient" experiments: a written review of The Hunger Games. I originally published it on April 20th, 2012, but it didn't take long for me to pull the plug. It's a good review, in my opinion, but I felt it took me too long to write, and I already had one blog that I…
September 3, 2012

Interviewing Cosplayers at Dragon*Con 2012

It's no secret that I've been less active with this blog, as of late. I won't go into the details, but I've been putting a lot of time and effort into a certain project, one that I can't yet reveal. What I can say is that it's something that I've been working on for a very long time, and I'm really looking forward to introducing it in the near future. Today, however, I'm happy to announce that I'll be releasing a series of interviews that I hosted from Dragon*Con 2012. I've always wanted to expand into video, and this turned out to be a great way to do so. You may recall that I've previously mentioned wanting to start a web series, and even posted…
Tips & Tricks
June 25, 2012

How to Pin a Batch File to the Taskbar in Windows 7

One of my favorite features in Windows 7 is the taskbar, as it combines the convenience of Vista's Quick Launch, while organizing windows in a more intuitive manner. I've grown accustomed to dragging program shortcuts into it, and having them remain there permanently. That is, until this morning. For some reason, I discovered that Windows wouldn't let me drag a batch file to the taskbar. In DOS, OS/2, and Microsoft Windows, batch file is the name given to a type of script file, a text file containing a series of commands to be executed by the command interpreter. Even when I right-clicked the file, I didn't see the typical "Pin to Taskbar" shortcut. Seeing as batch scripts can execute programs within themselves, I was surprised they were being blocked.…
The skull mask
Personal Stories
June 16, 2012

The Monk and the Gorilla

It was around the time where I was getting to be too old for Halloween, so I didn't do the whole candy collection thing. Instead, I served as a candy dispenser for the kids who wandered over to my parent's place. I decided I would also dress up to entertain the children that passed, but I wasn't exactly sure of what I would do. All I knew is that I had a mask, and a monk's robe. The mask was designed to make my head look like a large, sinister skull. Not quite unique, I know, but this one was different - when I first saw it, it struck me as being particularly high in quality. As a result, I couldn't help it - I…
March 9, 2012

Thoughts On Cross Browser Testing (And a Tool to Simplify the Process)

If I were asked to identify one primary annoyance associated with a web development career path, it'd be the abundance of browser inconsistencies. From the consumer's point of view, the web is an endless source of content, and they are given the ability explore that world. Browsers permit such exploration, but the resulting experience depends on a multitude of factors, most of them transparent to the consumer. There's an organization known as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and their entire goal in life is to ensure the long term growth of the Internet. In accordance with this objective, the W3C took the time to define standards for the core technologies they created, such as HTML and CSS. Yet, the reality is that browser developers don't…
CostumesPersonal Stories
January 3, 2012

Montreal Comiccon 2011: Top 10 Costumes

After my second consecutive visit to Atlanta's Dragon*Con, I decided it was time to give my hometown a chance. In Montreal, the closest we have to Dragon*Con is Montreal Comiccon, which was first held in 2006. Dragon*Con is a much older convention - it dates back in 1987, and comprises of multiple large hotels (lobbies, conference rooms, ball rooms), whereas Montreal Comiccon's primary space is one large convention hall. As a result, the scale of Dragon*Con is far from being matched by Montreal - which means the celebrity guest list is also a bit disappointing, in comparison. Despite the differences, I attended Montreal Comiccon this year - and in my opinion, it's worth doing so at least for the costumes. After all, it is still a young event, and it…
Personal Stories
December 23, 2011

How My Sister Made Her Own iPhone

While I was in Atlanta earlier this year, I tried to convince my sister to buy herself an iPhone. Though I consider myself a PC enthusiast, I can't deny Apple's prowess when it comes to delivering a superior user experience. So, with a firm belief in the iPhone, I proceeded to explain the many benefits of the device. When my sister started showing concern for the inconvenience of re-arranging her cellphone plans, and the associated cost, I suggested first trying an iPod Touch. After all, that's how I came to own an iPhone - I had first tried the iPod, and was amazed by the experience. I then realized that carrying a regular cellphone plus an iPod would be a bit too much, especially since…
Tips & Tricks
December 16, 2011

Using Google Alerts to Fight E-mail Spam

I was recently reminded of the existence of a particular Google service, one which I had completely forgotten. To my surprise, it turned out to be a significant discovery, as the product can be used to improve one's privacy on the web, while reducing spam. The service, Google Alerts, allows users to choose specific search queries that they'd like to monitor. When new results appear in one of these queries, the user can be automatically notified by e-mail. Here are some suggested uses, according to Google: monitoring a developing news story keeping current on a competitor or industry getting the latest on a celebrity or event keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams All very interesting, sure - but what does it have to do with privacy,…
October 24, 2011

It’s Against the Law

While I was in Atlanta for Dragon*Con 2011, I found myself using their metro system on a fairly regular basis. Over there, they call it the MARTA, which stands for "Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority" - it happens to be the 9th largest metro system in the United States. Unlike Montreal, their trains use a combination of underground and outdoor rails, the latter made possible by the subtropical climate. On one particular day, I found myself waiting for a lift at a MARTA station. Since I had nothing else to do, I began reading a sign that described some of the rules and regulations behind the MARTA. I was particularly curious about whether they allowed eating or drinking on the trains - it clarified this,…
September 25, 2011

Learning All The Things

Over the past month, I've been working with Joseph Pereira to create a web-based review show. Primarily intended for YouTube, the show is titled "All Too Convenient", and will start with us reviewing the first season of a particular TV series. At this moment, we have one episode completed; however, due to the comments we have received, we decided to return to the drawing board, and start anew. It was a tough decision to make, mainly because it took us a month to get one episode fully edited and ready to go. This delay was largely due to Joseph's hectic schedule, as it interfered with his ability to edit the video. His job was further complicated by the fact that the episode was scripted, and…
CostumesDragon*ConPersonal Stories
September 24, 2011

Dragon*Con 2011: Top 10 Costumes

Earlier this month, I attended Dragon*Con 2011 - in full compliance with a personal ritual of mine. It was my sister who initially suggested we attend Dragon*Con for the first time, and that was last year. I knew after attending that I wanted it to be repeated on a yearly basis. It was a great excuse to spend time with my sister, and at the same time, it was a lot of fun. It also resulted in three blog posts, and that means the experience was significant enough that I felt it was worth sharing. That is a powerful statement, given my own obsession with posting only the non-mundane. One of those blog posts listed my Top 5 favorite costumes, and I really enjoyed sharing…