Roger Ashby retiring from CHUM 104.5 FM morning show


After 50 years on Toronto's airwaves, Roger Ashby is ready to sleep in. The broadcaster is retiring from the CHUM 104.5 FM morning show. […] His last show, a star-studded affair held at the Sheraton Centre, will be Dec. 5.

Well this doesn’t surprise me at all. 50 years is a long, long time to be doing something 🙂

IBM scrambles to find or train more COBOL programmers to help states


The COBOL programming language was created in 1959 and has been widely seen as obsolete for decades. Yet there are still a fair number of software systems based on the language. The economic stresses of the coronavirus pandemic have created a surge in demand for COBOL programmers. Last week, for example, the governor of New Jersey put out a call for COBOL programmers to help fix problems with the software that runs the state's unemployment insurance system.

A new initiative from IBM seeks to connect states with experienced COBOL programmers—and to train a new generation of them.

I know COBOL! Not that it does anybody any good, as I’m not an American citizen nor anywhere near New Jersey …

Not actually Linux distro review deux: GhostBSD


GhostBSD is a perfectly reasonable choice for a desktop distribution. It still lags behind most of its mainstream Linux counterparts in one or two places, but I didn't discover any real show-stoppers or WTFs.

It’s the WTFs that ruin an OS. I had way too many with Windows 😑

Editorial: Our civil rights matter, even in a pandemic


This is not the time for police and bylaw officers to treat them as enemies of the state. This is particularly so given that the vast majority of Canadians appear to be doing all they can to respect and abide by the new order of things. […] And so, unless an offence is egregious, we would urge police and bylaw officers to start by verbally warning individuals who violate one of the new rules. Explain to them what they’re doing wrong.

And any action should be based on specific regulations, not the whim of a martinet on a power trip. As the last resort, fines can be handed out, especially to stubborn scofflaws who persist in obviously unsafe behaviour. […] That’s the way to encourage Canadians to accept the new rules. That’s also the way to ensure life during a pandemic is no harder than it must be. Protect the public’s health — and their rights.

Indeed. Some of the tickets that people are receiving for being outdoors in Canada are beyond absurd.

Small luxuries make a big difference. Never had a Mnemosyne notebook before but I've heard good things.


the Minemosyne notebooks I have are some of my favorite especially for use with fountain pens.

All of my design work is done in Mnemosyne notebooks. They’re wonderful to work with. I generally get the A5-sized graph notebooks.

Canada looking to prepare 'surge' force, use cellphone data to contain COVID-19


Technology will also play an increasingly important role in contact tracing, but Canadian health officials are still deliberating over the best course of action. Cell phone location data is central to this discussion, and has been put to use in other countries such as Singapore, but it also raises thorny questions about privacy.

Japan isn’t far behind this, either. It’s a good reason to go phoneless.

China clamping down on coronavirus research, deleted pages suggest


China is cracking down on publication of academic research about the origins of the novel coronavirus, in what is likely to be part of a wider attempt to control the narrative surrounding the pandemic, documents published online by Chinese universities appear to show.

And nobody anywhere is surprised.

French regulator says Google must pay news sites to send them traffic


France's competition authority says that Google must go back to the bargaining table to negotiate a rate that the search giant will pay to link to articles on French news sites. So far, Google has flatly refused to pay fees to link to news articles, despite a new EU copyright directive designed to force Google to do so.

Guess a bunch of French news sites are about to be de-indexed. Oh well. No great loss. Every news site could be removed from the search engine and there would still be a billion results for every common query 🙄

Burlington residents could be fined $100,000 for violating new physical distancing bylaw


Burlington’s bylaw states that while on public property, no person shall stand less than a two metre distance to any other person that does not reside with them in a single household, or permit a child under the age of 16 to stand less than a two metre distance from any other person that does not reside with them in a single household.

Upon conviction of an offence under this bylaw, a person would be liable for a minimum fine of $500 and a maximum fine of $100,000.

100 Large for ignoring a Police hit from the 70s? Jeez …

Japanese officials say Tokyo is at risk of an 'overshoot,' but what exactly does that mean?


There has been much talk in Japan recently about the imminent danger posed by an “overshoot,” a word used with no Japanese translation, little context and an apparent disregard for the English language, baffling English and Japanese speakers alike.

“During a crisis like this, when it’s crucial for people to understand what’s going on, for experts to use confusing terminology is simply a failure of communication,” Torikai said, adding that using native Japanese for the general populace and a simplified form for foreign speakers would be much more logical. […] “Perhaps politicians were trying to downplay the crisis or use English words because people in this country think they sound cool. Either way, now is not the time for word play.”

Indeed. This word is in the news everyday with no explanation of what they actually mean.