I was just randomly on Facebook, when I noticed one of the Tesla Owners posted a picture (above) that showed that Tesla now offers Trial Periods for Autopilot for owners that have the hardware, but have not paid for the software. This may seem like something small, however it’s huge. Traditional cars wouldn’t have this capability as you’d either have to drive the car in to the dealership to get the update flashed onto your car, or they don’t usually include hardware if you haven’t paid for it. This is such a clever way for Tesla to Upsell customers after the fact if they opted out, and creates easy revenue. It also reduces the amount of hardware configurations by having all cars standard with the hardware. This makes it much easier for customers to change their mind down the road. Every day there is something new that wows me about Tesla, and today this is it.
On season 16 episode 5 of Top Gear UK Jeremy Clarkson (Jezza), Richard Hammond (Hamster), and James May (Captain Slow) decided to tackle the big problem that England faces now more often than never. I am talking of course of the very minuscule amount of snow they receive. In early February 2009 the snow ranged from 3.9 inches to 7.9 inches, which is nothing compared to what happens here in Canada or the US. From watching the news, I was able to understand that they have not invested enough money in snow removal. I can understand that, however when it happens two years in a row, and causes high financial losses, and travel disruptions can’t they justify it? It’s not only a matter of money, they probably are not trained well for this type of job. Here in Montreal I actually stand and watch the snow removal team, because to me it’s so interesting, they have it down to a science.
I’m glad to have seen this episode of Top Gear because it’s always interesting to see that others have a similar viewpoint on a situation. The lads converted a combine harvester into a snow plow. For the most part it did an excellent job in my opinion. The manufacturers could easily create a more reliable set of modifications (which would probably not cost much in research and development) which lets the harvesters double as snow plows. I found it really interesting that since these harvesters are not being used in the winter, it’s a great win/win situation. This means farmers can either rent out their harvesters or plow during the winter to make extra money (Every documentary or news piece I’ve seen including farmers always says how they struggle to not go bankrupt) and the government does not have to spend too much money on a solution. Why did it take a TV show to bring the concept to light instead of the government/BAA? Finally let me just say that it wouldn’t be Top Gear if they didn’t add some other bells and whistles and made themselves look like bumbling idiots. I love their humor, and while others just don’t get it, that makes it all the more funnier.
Yesterday evening the greatest revolution was a success. Thanks to the youth of Egypt, the entire population of ~80 million people have been freed. That might sound a little pretentious, however it really is true. For the last 30 years Egypt has been under rule by a dictator who really does rule with iron fist. If anyone spoke badly about him they usually gave him a warning of beatings, if it was done again, they usually disappeared. All this was known by the people, however to the world he presented a fair and loved image.
I remember once I was in Egypt and plain clothed police tried to give me a hard time for standing in front of a hotel which my sister was staying in. I didn’t mind them and told them to stop annoying me. Since I live out in the western world this was normal to me, however to them this was very abnormal. They told me to give them my Egyptian national ID, which I told them I don’t have. They asked how come, and I told them I live out of the country. I gave them my Seneca College ID and didn’t care if I got it back as I transferred to Concordia University. They thought they had me. Then my friend came with his father to pick me up and because he is a big shot they shut up and didn’t say anything and even apologized. However what really annoys me is why this treatment in the first place? Why does someone in Egypt have to have a connection or be someone big to be treated well (and not because they want to treat them well, just because that’s the way the system works)?
Anyways that is how the system has been working for the last 30 years under Hosni Mubarak. I am thankful I have not lived there to experience the depressed state that people there have forcefully had on the for so long, seriously this is what causes people to live without any hope. I seriously can not believe someone has the heart to do that, not even to one person, but to 80 million. It is not only him though, he is the ring leader, all his family and cronies are the same. All of them have billions of dollars.
So why was the youth able to pull this revolution off? Well recent events sparked the thoughts I think. The revolution in Tunisia was the first incident and probably the most important. What happened there was a man by the name of Mohamed Bouzazizi was an educated graduate that could not find work, so he sold fruits on a street card to make ends meat. When his fruits were taken and he was slapped by the police he lost it. He lit himself on fire in protest to the way things work in the country. This caused an uprising of protests which eventually made the President Ben Ali step down. Next in Egypt someone bombed a Church in Alexandria (now thought to be the plot of Habib al Adly). What the government wanted was to divide the people of Egypt into distinct groups in order to preoccupy their minds in order to avoid what happened in Tunisia. What better way to do that then by religion. So they bombed the Church in order to stay in power. However their plan did not work, and Muslims reached out to the Christians. Next the Egyptian youth organized online using social media in order to form a revolution to overthrow the current regime. Headed by Wael Ghonim they headed to Tahrir square on January 25th 2011. I’m not sure if the Egyptian government knew about and underestimated the power of Facebook and twitter, or they didn’t know about it. Anyways the protest quickly gained momentum with everyone, even foreigners joining.
The regime tried to use scare tactics and force in order to quell the protesters. First they played it off like it was not a big deal, and ignored the movement while saying that the people have the right to protest in hopes of it dying down quickly. When it actually gained ground, they started using everything they have in order to regain power of the situation. They used state television to spread propaganda, shut off the internet and telephone communication, hired thugs (plain clothed police officers) to hold pro-Mubarak protests, attack the peaceful protestors, even with horses, camels and running them over with vehicles which the state tv quickly denied. All throughout this, the regime said they understand what the people want, and Hosni Mubarak will punish the corrupt officials in the government. Thing is though, he is the one that is to blame. He was in denial, knowing what was going on and just playing dumb. This angered the people even more. Finally he used one more tactic, having his regime announce that he would come on tv and resign. When he did come one late as usual, he said he would not step down. He wanted to anger the protesters in order to justify deadly force against them, however this tactic failed again and he had no more tricks up his sleeve and had to resign. The coward didn’t even have the guts to do it himself and had his goon Omar Suliman do it for him.
I don’t have a great knowledge of history but I do know that Egypt was great back in the day. So what caused this revolution to be so strong and able to withstand the brutal tactics of a coward for 18 days? First they have been living in terrible conditions for the last 30 years and didn’t want one more second of it. Secondly if they were to go home as the regime wanted them to, things would get way worse and it would turn into a complete police state, in which after Hosni Mubarak left his son would take over. I want to make it completely clear that when Hosni Mubarak said that he was not running and again and his son too, he was completely just saying that in order to trick people that there would be change, even if that was true he would hand the power to his cronies, which is the same thing in the back office, with different faces on the front.
In conclusion I would first like to thank all the people who risked their lives, especially the martyrs that have been killed supporting this revolution, of course Mohamed Bouzazizi for sending a harsh message that took his life, Al Jazeera and Al Arabeya for reporting the truth to the world, and finally the Christians and Muslims of Egypt for sticking together and not allowing anything divide them. I have never been more proud of being an Egyptian, and a human being.
P.S.: Some of this post is just my opinion, so don’t go using it for a source on Wikipedia. I might have gotten things chronologically incorrect, missed a few things, or made other mistakes.
I was bored and was on Gizmodo.com when I saw this post. Anyways it’s a commercial made in CGI that looks so realistic its just breaks your brain. It is called Above Everything Else created by Alex Roman for Silestone. I would have thought it would be some sort of insurance commercial based on the name and everything falling, however it’s just the counter tops throughout the commercial.
I’ve had bad luck in the last couple of years with Umbrellas in Montreal (merde il pleut). The first double canopy umbrella I had was large, and worked great. I lost it at Mister Steer (which has amazing burgers by the way) and was devastated when I came back and it was taken. Next I bought a small umbrella on the go recently because it was raining a lot, only to lose it a couple of days later. Finally I bought one that has a feature that if the umbrella inverts it doesn’t break easily. However it is sort of broken after a really powerful storm rolled through town.
We are now getting more into the raining/snowing season, so I decided I need a new umbrella. After about five minutes of research on the net, I bought the Senz Original which can stand wind forces up to 100kph/70mph which pretty much makes it wind proof. According to the manufacturer it plays with the wind instead of fighting it. One really cool design point is the higher front which allows you to see in front of you. I can attest that’s an important feature to have in an umbrella since others almost always block your eyesight. So you can head on over to the manufacturer’s website to check the umbrella out (I bought mine on eBay) and watch the video of it in front of a wind tunnel below.
Update: I changed my order for the larger Senz XL.
Ps. I still really hate Internet Explorer, the backend of wordpress looks so squareish compared to Chrome, Firefox, and just about every other browser.
Today I received an email from Armani Exchange with a link to get 15% off (valid until Oct 10th 2010). However they did not provide the coupon code in the email. I quickly found the code deciphered from the link and posted on retailmenot.com (coupon code site). I also thought I would share it on my website. It works on the American and Canadian sites, however there are some stipulations on the Canadian site. Also at the same time they are running a $50 off every $150 which can be combined with this offer, so you can save a nice amount in the next few days!
Of course clicking the link will take you the American site. If you live in Canada you have to go to the Canadian Store by selecting “Canada – Shop Online” from the drop down list in the bottom left of the site. As usual the savings are better if you live in the States, and the selection is much better. I found that out after having six items in my cart at a really good price. Anyways enough with the complaining, you can find the coupon code below!
Armani Exchange 15% off Coupon Code (valid until Oct 10th 2010): 15OFF100310
Montreal has had the Bixi bike for a little over a year now, and as a member I find it a great way of getting around the city or even just for a joy ride. Today my one year membership comes to an end (until I renew it), and these are the stats that are in my online account. Although recently I have been angered by the availability of the bikes at night, I still love Bixi. Over this year, I have made 297 trips, totaling a cool 47 hours, and traveling 565 kilometers or 351 miles for you imperial folk. The mileage though is approximate, because it does not actually measure how much you bike, but the time spent biking at an average of 5 kilometers per hour, I figure that I bike faster than that though. Finally we have greenhouse emissions, I would have used 142 kilograms of carbon emissions if i was using a car, and 40 liters of gasoline. Overall I really like using the Bixi bikes, and love the online statistics and thought I should share!
While everyone enjoys art, not many people agree on what is beautiful, or good art. Today I found a really great piece of art that everyone can probably agree is great art. This piece is called One Planet Version 3 and is a creation by harajukumatt on deviantart. It is available in white and black. He has given the OK to share and distribute it, but remember give credit when doing so. On the the deviation page, it says it was even featured on an Australian TV show too!