Is Mexico Safe To Visit? Definitely!

This is an easy one to answer: yes, of course it is safe to vacation or winter in Mexico.  Of course you hear all kinds of stuff in the news about drug gang warfare and violence and so on.  And it definitely happens.  However, just as much if not more of that sort of thing happens in the US as well.  Personally I think it’s even more dangerous in the US; most Mexican criminals don’t have the easy access to firearms that Americans do, and certainly not the same kind of access to semi-automatic weapons.  If you search for Los Angeles or New York  and drug-related violent crimes, you’ll find more and much nastier crimes than you would in Mexico.  And just like the US, some areas are worse than others.  Overall, though, violent crime against tourists just doesn’t happen much. Continue reading “Is Mexico Safe To Visit? Definitely!” »

Cost Of Living In Bucerias

I thought I’d share some of how much it costs me to winter here in Bucerias for others who might be thinking of doing the same. The short answer is: about $1, 000 a month for everything! (For those who don’t know, Bucerias is 20 minutes outside of Puerto Vallarta on Bahia de Banderas, Nayarit – also called the Mexican Riviera)

Before I get into details, here’s a little on Bucerias as a town and why it’s worth living in. Continue reading “Cost Of Living In Bucerias” »

CRTC Backpedals On Allowing False News Broadcasting!

Hurrah for Canadian outrage! The more than 3,000 complaints on the CRTC’s website about Amendment 2010-931 and the resulting media furor has produced results: the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations has decided to question its own almighty wisdom in forcing the CRTC to change the amendment. Continue reading “CRTC Backpedals On Allowing False News Broadcasting!” »

Facebook: Now With Even Less Social Networking!

I’ve been wondering lately why some people seem to have vanished from my Facebook news feed, and why when I see some posts on my feed I have to hit the “View all x comments” switch or only the comments contributed by my friends appear. Makes for a very disjointed reading experience when you can only see one person’s set of comments in a thread!

As it turns out this is a new feature rolled out February 11th – unannounced, and turned on by default.  Now the news feed only shows items from profiles you’ve recently interacted with.   The only advantage I can see for this is for people who’s friends list is out of control because they see it as some kind of WoW quest to pump up their friends’ list count, and for people who use it as a gaming platform and so have added a multitude of ‘friends’ that just so they can play a game.  This type of filtering defeats the purpose of a social networking site, as my friends who are only on Facebook infrequently or don’t post much now might as well not be on my friends list at all!

To me this perfectly demonstrates how Facebook is no longer primarily being structured as a social networking platform.  Instead, it’s being optimized as a gaming and application platform which of course is what drives those dollars. Continue reading “Facebook: Now With Even Less Social Networking!” »

Pro CRTC Amendment 2010-931 Arguments & Responses

I’ve been seeing quite a bit of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) regarding the CRTC’s Amendment 2010-931, and thought I would address some of the more common arguments being brought up in favour of the amendment.  Most of them are pretty baseless, and some even contradict each other. Continue reading “Pro CRTC Amendment 2010-931 Arguments & Responses” »

How To Install Carrier-Blocked Android Apps Without Rooting Your Phone

Apparently some carriers block apps from being installed on their phones.  Which sounds anti-competitive to me, and ripe for a lawsuit, but that’s a topic for another day.  This sort of policy is obscene, in my opinion: it’s my phone and I should be able to install what I like on it, just like my PC.  Well, there is a work around!  And you don’t need to root your phone to use it, either. Continue reading “How To Install Carrier-Blocked Android Apps Without Rooting Your Phone” »

Take Action On The CRTC’s Amendments To Allow News Broadcasters To Report Opinions Or Lies As Facts

The Immediate Issue: The CRTC’s Proposed Amendment

This is, with no exaggeration, one of the most important issues we as Canadians need to take action on this decade.  The definition of what may be reported as news in the media as described by a new Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) amendment would allow broadcasters to report as fact anything that wouldn’t actually put the public in immediate, physical danger.  In other words, broadcasters may report as factual news anything they like so long as it doesn’t immediately endanger people, such as Orson Welles’ famous “War of the Worlds” broadcast hoaxOpinions, rumours, propaganda – basically anything can be reported as factual news without any disclaimers whatsoever! Continue reading “Take Action On The CRTC’s Amendments To Allow News Broadcasters To Report Opinions Or Lies As Facts” »

Ninjerktsu’s “Carl Sagan and his Fully Armed Spaceship of the Imagination” As A Single Image

A darn amusing comic showing Carl Sagan shooting down pseudosciences like astrology and homeopathy as if they were fish in a barrel.  Space fish in a space barrel, I mean!  My buddy Hypersapien thought it would be a good idea to have this as a single image file so that it would be easy to distribute, so here it is.  The whole image links back to the original site, with individual images and text captions: Continue reading “Ninjerktsu’s “Carl Sagan and his Fully Armed Spaceship of the Imagination” As A Single Image” »

Puerto Vallarta & Area: Tips For Snowbirds

When I was researching moving for the winter to Banderas Bay locales like Puerto Vallarta and Bucerias, I found a lot of information.  Unfortunately, lots of it was just wrong – or worse, didn’t even have a date on it so I couldn’t tell if it was relevant for 2010 or advice that only made sense in 1998.  I thought I’d share my own experiences, and hopefully provide a little more relevance than some of what I found on the ‘net. Continue reading “Puerto Vallarta & Area: Tips For Snowbirds” »

Bucerias: A Snowbird’s Impressions

I hate the cold.  With a passion.  Which is why I flee from Canada’s winters at all costs!  And as an information technology consultant, I work remotely and so can do my job anywhere, luckily for me.  This year I chose to escape to the Mexican Riviera, a strip of land around Banderas Bay in the southern Mexican states of Nayarit and Jalisco/Xalisco. Continue reading “Bucerias: A Snowbird’s Impressions” »