Saturday, July 31, 2010

It's about "the g word!"

Why are some people offended by TV show Jersey Shore?
By Finlo Rohrer BBC News, Washington/July 30, 2010
The cast of Jersey Shore have all become minor celebrities

The MTV reality show Jersey Shore is the latest in a parade of media stereotyping of Italian-Americans, but as the second season is broadcast in the US why is this particular ethnic group a target?

For those who have not seen it, the "reality" show Jersey Shore paints a very particular picture.

The first series saw eight loud young people descend on a house near a beach in the US state of New Jersey to indulge their hedonism. They drank, they shouted, they sat in a hot tub, much as in any other reality show.

Litany of stereotypes
Violent: New Jersey crime familyThe Sopranos, gangster epic The Godfather and numerous others
Vain: John Travolta as the preening Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever
Stupid: JoeyTribbiani on the sitcom Friends
Vain and stupid:
Jersey Shore

But for Italian-American activists the show represented an attack on their culture.

It was all about the "g-word."

From the off, the characters repeatedly referred to themselves as "guidos" or loving "guidos" or living a "guido" lifestyle.

"For me using 'guido' is like using the n-word," says New Jersey state Senator Joe Vitale, refering to the derogatory term for African-American.

Andre DiMino, president of Italian-American group Unico National, agrees. "It would be close to using the n-word. It is an insulting term. When I was younger that was a term where you would fight for your honour."

It's not a term that's well-known in the UK, but for many Italian-Americans the term can suddenly transport them back to the era of discrimination.

These people are not representative of the Italian-American community "It indicates an uneducated, boorish, stupid, low-class Italian-American," says Mr DiMino.

Of course, to the young people on the show, the term means something slightly different, something linked to being a fun-loving, well-groomed, sun-tanned gym-frequenter.

This nuance didn't make the Italian-American activists happy. Their anger is likely to be reflected in the tone of the second series, which started in the US on Thursday.

If the word "guido" is absent from the series, that would mark a major victory for the campaigners, whose actions prompted a dozen firms to pull their adverts from the first season.

They'll also want to see fewer Italian flags punctuating the drunken antics and loudness, which in this series will take place largely in Miami.

Nor are these "It is basically a mindless culture - how good their tan is, how good their hair gel is, how big their muscles are. That isn't fair as a representation of Italian-Americans," says Joseph del Raso, president of the National Italian-American Foundation.

What annoys the activists is that MTV has commissioned a show that seems to have been tailored to be as brash and crass as possible, and it's branded as Italian-American. Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, the diminutive, uber-tanned star of the first series is already one of the most famous Italian-Americans.

And whichever direction the new show goes in - and British fans will be able to start watching the second series on 5 September - it's part of a wider pattern of stereotyping that annoys Italian-Americans.

Continue reading the main story Use of word "guido"
Frequent display of Italian flag
Drunken behaviour
Obsession with gym, tanning and laundry
Macho behaviour

"There is this tremendous sensitivity to other groups," says Mr DiMino. "You don't see that sensitivity when it comes to Italian-Americans, the only group it is OK to bash in the media."

There have been countless fictional portrayals of organised crime over the years, from The Godfather to New Jersey's own, The Sopranos, which have built up a particular picture.
These people are not representative of the Italian-American community
Nor are these
"For decades, the connection was always made - if you were an Italian-American, you were in the Mafia or a mobster," says Mr DiMino.

The Sopranos won awards, was broadcast around the world and did address the issue of stereotyping, but the activists think it still may have influenced the thinking of simpler souls.

"People started to really identify life in the Soprano family with life in a typical Italian American family," says Mr Del Raso.

But some think there is a big difference between quality drama like The Sopranos or an Oscar-winning film like The Godfather and something like Jersey Shore, says Mr Vitale.

"They don't seek to offend, don't work in a manner that is intentionally offensive."

And for all that no-one really thinks that a significant proportion of Italian-Americans are criminals, the constant sniping irritates and reminds people of unhappier times past.

"When I bought my first home the guy wanted to know if I got the money legally," says Mr DiMino.

Once upon a time the Jersey shore was a sedate family resort

Just having a name with a vowel at the end can be enough to cause some difficulty.

"If you had an Italian-American moving into the mid-west to compete for a job, people see your name and think you are just like the rest of them," says Mr Del Raso.

A running theme among the activists seems to be that because Italian-Americans do not face serious discrimination in contemporary society, it's seen as fine to stereotype them.

"You just can't take liberties with certain groups," says Mr Del Raso. "There are other groups that are viewed as groups that don't need protection.

"We mainstreamed very well into American society. We have enjoyed a lot of success. We are not a group that people will feel sorry for. We don't want to look like we are hypersensitive and cry-babies."

Historian Vincenza Scarpaci, author of The Journey of the Italians in America, says that despite the early Americans love of Italian culture, art and architecture, there was still a hostile reaction to the Italian immigrants who started arriving in large numbers at the beginning of the 20th Century.

"Because we have not been marginalised like some of the other European groups people don't get as upset when someone is stereotyping Italians.

"In general Italians are not looked upon negatively but when it comes to stereotyping very few people are going to stand up on the principle that what is an injury to one is an injury to all."

And that leads to the jokes.

Ms Scarpaci winces when she recalls the friend who came up to her and said: "I tell all my friends I know Vinnie Scarpaci and they better not mess with me."

Snooki trying her new Bixi?

Snooki snookered!

'Jersey Shore' star Snooki arrested in Seaside Heights, charged with disorderly conduct
By Joe Jackson in Seaside Heights, N.J. and Samuel Goldsmith
Daily News Staff Writer
Originally Published: Friday, July 30th 2010
Jersey Shore star Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi was arrested in Seaside Heights, New Jersey and charged with disorderly conduct.

"Jersey Shore" star Nicole (Snooki) Polizzi was arrested yesterday after an apparently epic beach bender and was hauled away in cuffs wearing a T-shirt that read "SLUT."

Disheveled in a garish miniskirt that was tighter than sausage casing, the reality-TV "guidette" was later released with a summons.

"Nicole Polizzi was acting in a disorderly manner while located on the beach," Seaside Heights Police Chief Thomas Boyd told the Daily News.

Snooki emerged from the police station about 7:30 p.m. to a crowd of nearly 100 screaming fans. She was accompanied by fellow cast members Jenni (JWoww) Farley, Paul DelVecchio, Vinny Guadagnino and the newest housemate, Dina Nicole.

The crew climbed into a black Cadillac Escalade and sped away without saying a word.

A bartender at Aztec Ocean Resort on the boardwalk told The News that Snooki was at his establishment early yesterday and had "three shots of Patron Tequila and a Long Island Iced Tea."

"She didn't tip!" said the barman, who would not give his name.

A bartender at EJ's Ocean Lounge next door said Snooki and friends were there around lunchtime and "were plastered when they walked in."

"I saw her by the beach, just falling around, wobbling. No one could control her. She was so drunk - too drunk," said witness Kwame Achampong, 18, of Morris County, N.J.

Several gossip websites reported Snooki went out drinking Thursday night and didn't stop until she passed out on the beach yesterday afternoon.

"She was passed out face down in the sand," a source told "She couldn't even stand up. She was on her knees and kept falling on the beach."

At around 10 p.m, Snooki came out of the "Jersey Shore" pad with several cast members, piled into a black SUV and headed to high-end Italian eatery Luna Rosa, inside Karma, a well-known nightspot.

About an hour later, barefoot with a blue-baseball cap low on her head and a doggie-bag in hand, Snooki climbed back into the SUV with her castmates and returned to their shore house.

Photos taken before the arrest show Snooki walking along the boardwalk with cast members Guadagnino and Ronnie Ortiz-Magro. She was wearing a tight black-and-pink zebra-patterned T-shirt with the logo "I (HEART) SNOOKI."

When she was arrested some time later, around 3:30 p.m., she was wearing an identical T-shirt that blared the word "SLUT" and large sunglasses that were falling off her bronzed face as officers escorted her to a police car.

The second season of "Jersey Shore," which was filmed in Miami, premiered Thursday night on MTV. The cast is now back in New Jersey to film season three.

A spokesman for MTV declined to comment last night.

Boris busted!

Boris goes BIXI!

BIXI bicycles coming to Winnipeg?

Good Day Readers:

We've been following the phenomenal growth of Montreal-based BIXI bicycles a concept promoting an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional modes of urban transportation and wondered is this service available yet in Winnipeg? To the best of our knowledge it's not - at least we haven't seen any BIXIS.

We're going to send a copy of this posting to Mayor Sam Katz suggesting while the city is investing millions and millions of dollars in a light rapid rail transit system (Or whatever it's called?) what about BIXI? Can the major centres that have already adopted the system all be wrong? We'll share any response received.

BIXI's home page ( provides step-by-step instructions of how the system works.

Clare L. Pieuk
Yesterday (July 30, 2010) Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, launched the latest addition to the BIXI franchise. The city is adding it to an impressive list of world metropolises including Montreal, Melbourne, Boston, Washington and Minneapolis that have adopted the BIXI public bike system as an active and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional modes of urban transport.

Bixi (or BIXI in some marketing pieces) is a public bicycle sharing system launched during May 2009 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

In Montreal, the system provided 3,000 bicycles and 300 stations located around Montreal's central core. By June 2009 it had expanded to 5,000 bicycles and 400 stations later that summer. Bixi marked its one-millionth ride October 26, 2009.

Bixi is proliferating into other municipalities in Canada and abroad. From June to September 2009, the system was introduced as a pilot study in Ottawa/Gatineau. August 12, 2009, the city of Montréal announced contracts to export Bixi to London and Boston. During February of this year Melbourne and Minneapolis also announced they were creating public bicycle sharing systems based on Bixi. A couple months ago Washington (District of Columbia) and Arlington (Virginia) on the American eastern seaboard, along with the Washington State University campus, on the country’s west coast, announced their decision to adopt the public bike system.

Starting this fall, 1,100 new BIXI bikes will be found at one of the 114 stations along the Arlington-Washington corridor. Another 30 will be made available for students at Washington State University.

Since the end of May this year residents of Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city have been able to travel around town on a BIXI bike. A total of 610 new units will soon be available at one of the 52 stations set up in the heart of the city. In addition to supplying the system, BIXI is also responsible for technical support, training and the providing of parts.

The first BIXI unveiled on U.S. soil took place last month in Minneapolis. Seven hundred new bicycles will be available at any of the 65 stations found throughout the city's downtown core. In addition to providing the system, BIXI will be in charge of everything related to technical support, training, supplies, parts as well, the customer service call center. BIXI works jointly with Nice Ride Minnesota, a non-profit organization created specifically for the implementation of a self-serve bicycle system project in Minneapolis. (Wikipedia)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Bring in the clowns!

Judge: Motorist had right to call cops 'clowns'
By QMI Agency
Police officers in Quebec City and Montreal abandoned their uniforms for colourful pants and baseball caps in 2008 and 2009 while they fought for a new contract. (QMI Agency)

QUEBEC CITY – A motorist was well within his rights to compare two police officers to “clowns” for wearing camouflage pants and baseball caps on the job, a judge has ruled.

The driver had received a ticket in 2008 for insulting a police officer but the municipal court judge recently quashed the citation.

Judge Paulin Cloutier ruled the cops invited the comment by wearing non-standard uniforms as a collective bargaining pressure tactic.

Quebec City police stopped Claude Fortin in September 2008 for driving with an unpaid licence. As one of the officers was writing up a $430 ticket, Fortin said the officer and his partner “looked like clowns with their John Wayne-style cowboy pants.”

The officer responded by slapping Fortin with a second ticket for insulting a police officer.

Cloutier rejected the ticket, saying Fortin’s comments were an opinion and not an insult.

“The camouflage pants . . . deviated from the police dress code,” wrote the judge.

“Someone who voluntarily . . . deviates from the norm to evoke a reaction must accept that they will produce a reaction, even if it’s not the one they had hoped for.”

Police officers in Quebec City and Montreal abandoned their uniforms for colourful pants and baseball caps in 2008 and 2009 while they fought for a new contract. They went back to standard dress in April 2009 even though they’re still without a deal.

Stop downloading data!

Avoiding a Large Phone Bill When Traveling
Published: July 27, 2010

UBIQUITOUS connectivity has its downside, especially when it comes to the price of using your cellphone abroad. The proliferation of smartphones and the increased use of data have made it easier than ever to rack up huge communications bills while traveling overseas, even on a short trip.

“Many leisure travelers with iPhones are going to Europe, not turning off their data and allowing their apps to continue downloading data,” said Ken Grunski, chief executive of Telestial, a company that provides wireless services for travelers. “U.S. travelers were already getting hammered with expensive voice calls that start at $1 per minute. I know of people that have returned home to $1,000 or more roaming bills.”

Luckily for tech-savvy travelers who want to stay in touch, there are ways to avoid spending a small fortune. Here are some options.

Getting the Right Phone

Many countries outside the United States rely on a wireless network technology called GSM. But two major American carriers — Verizon and Sprint — use different technologies in most of their standard phones. Owners of those devices will need a special cellphone when traveling to many countries.

Verizon users have a fairly convenient way to deal with this problem. If you’ve been a subscriber for six months or longer, Verizon will lend you a global phone free of charge for trips of 21 days or less; the customer pays only the two-day FedEx fee of $9.99.

Once you receive the phone, call Verizon to activate it and select an international rate plan (with the $4.99 a month plan, a call from, say, France, will cost 99 cents a minute compared with $1.29 without the plan; texts, which cost 50 cents per message sent and 5 cents per message received, are not included). After the trip, just ship the phone back.

AT&T and T-Mobile have GSM networks, so many of their standard phones will work overseas, although you’ll still need to sign up for an international roaming plan to keep rates down. For example, with the $5.99 a month AT&T plan, calls from many Western European countries to the United States are only 99 cents. A package of 50 roaming texts costs $10.

Another option is to buy an inexpensive travel phone from a company like Telestial ( or Planet Omni ( They typically cost less than $50. For example, Planet Omni’s Kit V520 ($49) offers a dual-band GSM phone, SIM card with both a United States phone number and a global phone number, and $5 in airtime. The service allows you to receive free incoming calls in France, Italy, Spain and Britain on the global number, and free voice mail in 60 countries. Costs for outgoing calls depend on the country. For example, an outgoing call from France to a United States landline is 99 cents per minute, while a call to a mobile phone is $1.49 per minute. Telestial’s Passport package (starting at $99) provides free incoming calls in Europe, as well as calls back to the United States for 49 cents per minute.

Data Deals

With everything from Internet radio to online maps to multitudes of apps, iPhones and smartphones can consume huge amounts of data. It might not be a big deal at home, but using all those apps on the road can add up quickly. If you plan on using a lot of data services while traveling, make sure you check with the carrier to see if it offers international data roaming plans.

For example, AT&T offers data roaming plans for the iPhone and smartphones that provide 20 megabytes of data usage within 90 countries for $24.99 per month, and up to 200 megabytes for $199.99 per month.

These charges are in addition to whatever your usual monthly charge is in the United States, but the cost pays off if you use a lot of data, especially when you consider that the standard international roaming rates for many Western European countries are about $20 per megabyte (according to Mr. Grunski, of Telestial, some Web pages are half a megabyte, so downloading, say, five pages in a single day could cost you $50 without a plan).

In addition, AT&T recommends that iPhone users go to their settings and turn off data roaming and options to fetch new data. They should also reset their usage tracker to zero so they can keep an eye on new charges, and make sure to use Wi-Fi instead of their phones’ 3G services to check e-mail messages or use the Web.

SIM Cards

Frequent travelers may want to consider another money-saving technique: replacing a phone’s American SIM card (the little electronic memory card that identifies and configures your phone) with a local (or country-specific) SIM card. In general, when you do that, all incoming calls will be free and outgoing calls (local or international) can be significantly cheaper.

Be aware that replacing the SIM card means that your phone has a different number, so you may want to let your contacts know, or set your phone to forward all calls to the new number before you go. Your phone also has to be unlocked so it can work with other carriers’ networks — your cellphone company can provide information on how to do this — and it needs to be compatible with the wireless services in the country you’re visiting.

“Even with an international roaming package on AT&T, it can cost 99 cents a minute or more for voice calls,” said Philip Guarino, an international business consultant and founder of Elementi Consulting in Boston. “The moral of the story is, dump your American SIM card and buy a local one instead.”

When Mr. Guarino travels he simply buys a SIM card at his destination airport and uses it for cheap local calls.

“In a pinch, even if I call directly from my phone using a foreign SIM card, the average direct-dial rates are about 60 cents U.S. per minute, which is cheaper than using my original U.S. SIM,” he said.

The VoIP Option

Internet-based voice services (VoIP) such as Skype ( or Truphone (, which charge as little as 2 cents for calls to regular phones, are among the cheapest ways for international travelers to communicate. This spring, Skype announced support for the iPhone, allowing iPhone users to make or receive Skype calls over either Wi-Fi or 3G connections.

One good option for travelers wanting to use Skype or Wi-Fi while traveling is Boingo Wireless. For $7.95 per month, travelers can sign up with Boingo ( for unlimited Wi-Fi access in hotels, restaurants, cafes, airports and more in over 70 countries. Coupled with Skype or a similar VoIP product on an iPhone, smartphone or computer, it’s hard to beat the value.

Last, but Not Least

Don’t forget the old-fashioned calling card. When Mr. Guarino travels, he often uses discounted international calling cards from local cafes or newsstands.

“The rates to the U.S. are about 3 cents per minute, plus the cost of the local call,” he said. “It’s a good option for making a call from a land line, especially if you have a conference call to make where you don’t want to worry about call quality.”

Facebook's downside!

10 Ways Facebook Can Ruin Your Life

This week Facebook will register its 500 millionth member. It's a milestone both significant and meaningless: yes, it's a reminder of just how big the social-media giant has become, but really—did we need reminding? That Facebook is a part of many Americans' daily lives is clear. But how it's affecting those lives is still being examined. We know that Facebook can be good for your health, and that it can make everything from networking to sharing photos easier. But there's also a potentially sinister side, even aside from dubious privacy issues. Below, 10 ways that Facebook can do more harm than good.

1. You'll be reunited with your biological parents. This can be good news, but it's not always. Take Prince Sagala, who found her biological children on Facebook—children she alleges were kidnapped more than a decade ago by her ex-husband. The mom and kids are now reunited. The only problem: the kids grew up with their dad and don't want anything to do with the parent who now has custody. And in an even more horrifying story, Aimee Sword was sentenced to nine to 30 years in prison recently for sexually abusing her 15-year-old biological son, whom she tracked down on Facebook.

2. Your creditors can track you down. Creditors use Facebook as a way to both track the movements of debtors and keep their eyes on any potential assets that could be seized to cover those debts. At first, lenders may use Facebook to determine whether you're a worthy candidate for a loan. But should you come to owe a creditor money, the company can track you down and discover your assets by monitoring your Facebook feed.

3. Your insurers can deny your claims. Remember the woman who was receiving workers' compensation for depression, only to be "outed" by Facebook pictures of her smiling? Her insurance benefits were cut off, with insurers saying that her photos showed she was ready to return to work. That's left attorneys who argue for disability benefits concerned. Many now advise against giving away too much on Facebook.

4. Your ex can use it against you in a divorce. Facebook is a popular tool for divorce attorneys, who comb pages of their clients' spouses for evidence of neglect, infidelity, or deception. (One study suggests that Facebook comes up in one out of five new divorce petitions). Mashable says a woman lost custody of her children after her ex proved she was spending time tending her crops on Farmville instead of spending quality time with her kids, while divorce lawyers have given multiple interviews extolling the site's virtues as a way to air damaging dirty laundry.

5. It could make you depressed. Researchers from Stony Brook University in New York found that teenage girls who spend the most time discussing their lives with friends were more likely to be depressed. Apparently, spending too much time dwelling on gossip and your problems can make you feel worse, not better. The researchers didn't study Facebook in particular, but they indicated that social-networking sites such as Facebook made it easier for people to be in constant contact with friends and perpetuate the unhealthy discussions.

6. It can cost you a job. A British survey of employers found that half of those polled had turned down job candidates once something unsavory about that candidate surfaced on Facebook. (Examples include tales of drunkenness, photos of illegal activity, and bad grammar.) In the U.S., 20 percent of employers admit to scoping out the Facebook pages of potential job candidates, while 9 percent say they're going to start soon.

7. It can out you to your family. Even if you're discreet on Facebook, your loose-lipped friends might not be and could post comments on your wall that betray your secrets. But there are also more insidious outings going on: MIT students designed an algorithm that successfully pinpointed gay users by analyzing how many of their friends were gay.

8. It can make it easier for your stalker or abusive partner to follow your movements. Let's be honest: if there weren't Facebook, abusers would find another trigger to set off their rage. But Facebook has made it easier for these people to keep tabs on their victims and respond to their movements, even after the victim has tried to sever ties. In one particularly sad case, a woman who changed her Facebook status to "single" was killed by her husband, from whom she had separated. After seeing her status, he broke into her home and stabbed her repeatedly.

9. You can be sued for libel. There are already several cases of libel suits over content posted on Facebook. In Britain, where libel is easier to prove than in the U.S., a businessman won £22,000 when a former classmate created a fake profile full of defamatory information. Stateside, an Ohio-area band sued a Facebook "hate group," and a Michigan towing company sued a student who created a Facebook page alleging that the company tows legally parked cars. (The company says those claims are false.) So far, the law appears to be on the poster's side. But it's still a hassle.

10. Your kids could be targeted by predators. After a teenage girl in England was murdered by a sex offender who posed as a teenager on Facebook, the British version of the site added a "panic button" that allows teens to report any unwanted attention—including cyber-bullying—directly to the authorities. But the button is not yet on U.S. or other international versions of Facebook, and it's unclear whether the company plans to add it.


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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jockpotting your ATM!

Barnaby Jack Ingeniously Hacks ATMs at Black Hat
Carl Franzen, Contributor

AOL News Surge Desk (July 29) -- "Jackpot!" That's the message that was displayed on the screen of an ATM as it spewed its entire reservoir of cash across the stage at the Caesars Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Wednesday after a hacker easily bypassed its security features.

And indeed, for hackers and crackers and unscrupulous opportunists everywhere, the high-profile demonstration of a cash machine's vulnerabilities would indeed appear to be a boon. But for those gathered at the annual technology security conference known as Black Hat, the situation presented less a victory than a challenge: how to safeguard against clever new hacks as more and more important computer systems go online.
The crafty individual responsible for the hack was one Barnaby Jack, director of security research at IOActive, a cybersecurity company that services all sorts of clients, "including power and utility, game, hardware, retail, financial, media, travel, aerospace, health care, high-tech, social-networking and software development organizations." The former computer hacker spent two years perfecting two different, startling simple methods to bypass common stand-alone ATMs, according to The Associated Press.
1. Physically
One method involved ordering a $10 master key online to physically unlock a panel on the front of the ATM, whereupon Jack gained access to the device's USB port -- akin to that found on most modern personal computers to allow for quick, easy data transfer using a USB stick or thumb drive. At Black Hat, Jack plugged his own USB stick preloaded with a malicious code of his own design into the machine (manufactured by Triton), forcing it to dispense all of the money contained within.
2. Remotely
While that technique alone was impressive enough to draw wild applause and laughter from the audience, it was Jack's remote hack of a machine manufactured by Tranax over a wireless Internet connection that really stole the show. He said all that was needed to accomplish this was knowledge of the ATM's phone number or IP address and a way to get past the password, reports Wired. Of course, this technique has its own sexy code name: "Dillinger.

In fact, Jack noted that the idea of using any PC to gain access to an ATM's hard drive was so attractive to cybercriminals and so potentially damaging, he didn't go into specifics as to how he bypassed the machine's password, only showing that he could make it dispense all of its stash and gain access to the stored PIN numbers of previous customers. (His presentation was actually scheduled for last year's Black Hat conference but reportedly got canned at the urging of an unidentified ATM manufacturer.)
The Takeaway
Both machines were operating on Windows CE, both were-stand alone models (found in stores and bars, as opposed to those found in banks) and both have since had their firmware security flaws patched, according to manufacturers (via Computerworld). However, Jack is convinced that the ease with which he bypassed their security features is cause for a wake-up call.
"Sometimes you have to demo a threat to spark a solution," he said, according to Forbes.
The source of Jack's inspiration? A memorable scene from a little old movie by the name of Terminator 2.

"Beam me up Scotty!"

Obama bored with his BlackBerry
Agence France-Presse July 29, 2010
In this file photo, U.S. President Barack Obama is shown here looking at his specially-encrypted BlackBerry as he walks by doors of the White House. (Photograph by: Saul LOEB, AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON - Barack Obama fought hard to keep his BlackBerry when he became president, but with only 10 people authorized to email the super-encrypted device, he admitted Thursday that it is "no fun."

Obama also demonstrated a passing knowledge of popular culture, in the first-ever appearance by a sitting president on a daytime television talk show, as he increases campaign-style events ahead of November's congressional polls.

The president said that only 10 people have the address of the BlackBerry he was issued, and the conversation is a bit stilted because messages will likely be archived along with all other White House documents.

"I've got to admit, it's no fun because they think that it's probably going to be subject to the presidential records act, so nobody wants to send me the real juicy stuff," Obama said on ABC's "The View."

"It's all very official. 'Mr. President, you have a meeting coming up and we'd like to brief you.'"

Obama however was happy to reveal the contents of his iPod, which tears down musical barriers, including Jay-Z, Frank Sinatra and opera legend Maria Callas.

The president said he had no tracks by teen heartthrob Justin Bieber, but did once meet the singer when he performed at the White House.

"He's a very nice young man."

Obama however admitted he had never heard of "Snooki," a star of the popular MTV reality show "Jersey Shore."

Some commentators have questioned whether the dignity of the presidency is called into question with such informal performances.

But from Bill Clinton on, U.S. presidents and candidates have sought out such appearances on light-hearted shows, where they can expect softball questions and reach audiences normally beyond the political circuit.

Politicians are also conscious that voters often want to make a personal connection with their leaders.

This may be especially applicable to Obama, as many polls have shown that the president is more popular than some of his domestic policies — a fact that may help him during his expected 2012 reelection effort.

"The View" is a roundtable show presented by veteran journalist Barbara Walters, actress and comedienne Whoopi Goldberg and several other hosts. It has a large following among women, who form a crucial voting block.

Obama, who joked that he chose the show because his wife Michelle watched it, was happy to talk about his family and his daughters, before offering his take on more meaty issues, including the Afghan war and unemployment.

"Broke, dead beats!"

Telus removes "errant text" from its website
Postmedia News
July 29, 2010 A Telus retail store is seen in downtown Montreal, June 21, 2007 in this file photo. (Photograph by: Shaun Best, Reuters)

Telus tells its online visitors "the future is friendly." But for a few moments Wednesday the telecommunications giant used "broke" and "dead beats" to describe consumers.

A wider audience became aware of the Telus post, which was quickly taken down, with the help of the social networking site Twitter — where dozens of users tweeted about the incident.

The company also apologized.

"As soon as this came to our attention we immediately removed it," Telus spokesman Jim Johannsson said in an e-mail to Postmedia News. "The errant text does not represent Telus' policy or our view and we apologize for the error."

According to online postings the words in question appeared on a webpage that offered to explain why consumers needed a credit check. The response was: "You may be broke, therefore highly unlikely to pay your bill. We just don't want to lose money, you dead beat. You know how it is . . ."

The company, which has millions of customers, did not offer an explanation about how the incident happened.


Yikes! Bed bug capital of the United States?

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lighten up minister!

Our favourites?

Suitcase stickers draw ire of Baird's office
Minister's spokesman says people should 'think twice' about using images

Wednesday, July 28, 2010
CBC News

Two Vancouver entrepreneurs selling eye-catching stickers so travellers can easily identify their luggage say they might consider stopping domestic sales after hearing the reaction from the federal transport minister's office.
Transportation Minister John Baird is in charge of airport security. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
The series of four stickers make it appear that a suitcase has been torn open to reveal something nefarious.

In one sticker, a gagged and bound flight attendant seems to be stuffed in the luggage, another shows packets of cocaine, while another has bundles of money, and the fourth makes it appear the torn bag is filled with sex toys.

The stickers are sold through a website called

"Joking around like this could possibly be a serious violation of the Aeronautics Act," said James Kucie, a spokesman for Transport Minister John Baird, told CBC News.

"Joking about potentially trafficking illegal substances, or worse, is not funny, and the government will use the full force of the law to ensure Canadians who travel by air are safe," Kucie said.

"Whoa," was co-creator Colin Hart's reaction when told of the comments from the minister's office.

Stickers meant to help people spot their luggage have also caught the eye of Canada's transportation department. ("We don't want to get people in trouble, that's not the plan. We're just a couple of lads here in Vancouver having a bit of fun. We're not scared of this, we just want to make sure that people are OK, and there are no problems," he told CBC News.

Hart and his partner Ryan McCormick say they're surprised by the reaction the stickers are getting.

Since they were launched last week, the pair have sold more than 1,000 of the stickers at $15 apiece. But they say only two per cent of the orders are from Canada.

On Tuesday, there was a spike in sales to people in Germany, with other orders pouring in from Denmark, The Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.

A spokesman for Transport Minister John Baird said joking about trafficking illegal substances is not funny. ( the pair say they'll abandon sales in Canada if it leads to legal problems, they're not prepared to completely halt sales.

"I can't say if we'll pull it from the global market because the demand is so high," said McCormick.

Baird's office has some advice for anyone who might consider taking a sticker-laden suitcase into an airport.

"People should think twice about using such stickers," Kucie said.

Vatican cool!

Lawsuit of the week!

Porter CEO sues Air Canada
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The Canadian Press
The head of Porter Airlines is personally suing Air Canada, claiming the country's largest airline has broken an agreement to give him and his spouse free travel passes for life.
Robert Deluce's family sold Air Ontario and Austin Airways to Air Canada in 1986. He is seeking up to $5 million from the airline, a rival to Porter.
Porter Airlines CEO Robert Deluce's lawsuit claims up to $5 million from Air Canada. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
Deluce claims Air Canada agreed to provide him and his wife with the passes as part of the sale of the two airlines.
He says Air Canada stopped honouring the arrangement last fall without any warning.
Both airlines have had a history of legal clashes, most notably over claims by Air Canada that it should have access to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Porter's main hub.
A spokesman for Air Canada says it's completely understandable why Deluce would prefer to fly Air Canada.

Why some young ladies shouldn't aspire to become auto mechanics!

Who says Charles is irrelevant?

Prince of Wales's curtains to be made into carrier bags
The Prince of Wales is to recycle his old curtains into carrier bags as part of a new campaign to promote sustainability.

By Gordon Rayner, Chief Reporter
Published: July 28, 2010The Prince of Wales will launch his Start intiative in September (Photo: GETTY)

Visitors to a 12-day long garden party being staged on the Mall in London in September will be able to sew their own Morsbags out of curtains which until recently hung in Clarence House.

The Prince regards the Morsbags scheme – named after its founder, Claire Morsman – as a perfect example of the way everyone can reduce waste.

Morsbags, large, square shopping bags carried over the shoulder, are made by volunteers all over the country and given away to the public to help reduce the millions of plastic carrier bags used every day.

The garden party in the grounds of Clarence House, which will be open to the public, will be used to formally launch the Prince’s Start initiative, which aims to encourage sustainable living.

It will feature a wide range of exhibits giving ideas on how everyone can cut down on waste and conserve natural resources at home, in the garden and at work.

Celebrities including Alan Titchmarsh and Antony Worrall Thompson will be on hand to give expert advice and demonstrations.

The Prince said: “This festival aims to give people of all ages a fun day out, while at the same time, via the many imaginative exhibits, demonstrating the small steps that can, and are, being taken by all of us interested in building a more sustainable future.”

It will be the first time the gardens of Clarence House have been open to the public, and will also feature the gardens of the neighbouring Lancaster House, part of the Foreign Office, and Marlborough House, the home of the Commonwealth Secretariat.

The garden party, which runs from September 8-19, will also include music concerts, debates, comedy and fashion shows.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You're all jailbreakers!

What the iPhone jailbreaking ruling means
By Erica Ogg and Declan McCullagh, CNET
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
A statement from Apple said: "Apple's goal has always been to insure that our customers have a great experience with their iPhone and we know that jailbreaking can severely degrade the experience."

(CNET) -- To help answer some questions about this week's Copyright Office announcement regarding the legality of so-called cell phone jailbreaking, or the modification of the software that comes with iPhones and other handsets that is designed not to be changed, we've compiled the following list of Frequently Asked Questions:

What does the Copyright Office's ruling mean?

The short answer is that jailbreaking your iPhone or other mobile device will no longer violate a controversial federal copyright law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, or DMCA. Bypassing a manufacturer's protection mechanisms to allow "handsets to execute software applications" is now permitted.

But in practice, the actual impact of that portion of the decision may be limited.

How does it affect iPhones specifically?

Apple exercises greater control of its hardware and software than most of its competitors. Anyone remember last fall's court-ordered permanent injunction that Apple won against Psystar, which sold PCs with OS X pre-installed?

On the iPhone, Apple restricts the software that can be loaded onto the device. Applications can be downloaded through the App Store, and to be included in the App Store, the program has to be vetted and approved by Apple.

Apple says this maintains a high-quality user experience and weeds out malware. (An executive summed it up: "You and your family and friends can download applications from the store, and for the most part they do what you'd expect, and they get onto your phone, and you get billed appropriately, and it all just works.")

But if users want software that's not permitted in the App Store -- Google Voice is a big one, and tethering is another -- they need to jailbreak their phone. That unlocks the file system, allowing apps to be added without Apple's permission.

Groups of software developers and individuals work to devise jailbreaking software for every new version of the iPhone's operating system that is released. The best known is probably the iPhone Dev Team, which makes its software available at no cost.

Why do you say the practical impact of the Copyright Office's decision is limited?

Until this week, Apple has possessed the legal equivalent of a double-barreled shotgun, which would have permitted the company to file lawsuits accusing users (or jailbreak software creators) of violating both the DMCA and breaching the contract in the form of the Apple iPhone Software License Agreement.

Now, thanks to the Copyright Office, Apple's legal arsenal has been reduced to a single-barreled shotgun, the license agreement.

But these amount to legal claims that the company could in theory pursue. In reality, Apple has never sued a single person for jailbreaking or distributing jailbreaking software. It's never even threatened to do so, even after years have elapsed.

Translated: If Apple isn't going to sue the hundreds of thousands of customers merrily jailbreaking their iPhones, or the active developer community abetting their theoretically illicit activities, it doesn't matter what the caliber of their legal weaponry is.

So why should we care?

We asked Jennifer Granick, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the San Francisco-based civil liberties group that successfully petitioned the Copyright Office for the exception.

Here's what she told us: "Apple's never sued jailbreakers, but they claim it violates the DMCA, and thus there's a legal cloud. If they were right, they could stop people from jailbreaking the phones, i.e. get an injunction. Now, they can't. Even if it violates contract law, they'd have to sue, and all they could get would be a tiny bit of money. It greatly decreases any incentive they might have or develop to sue. And it takes injunction off the table. Which means that the law will not, in the next three years, prevent people from jailbreaking their phones."

In addition, the possibility of punitive damages has been eliminated.

Our old friend Leander Kahney extracted a statement from Apple on Monday, which says simply: "Apple's goal has always been to insure that our customers have a great experience with their iPhone and we know that jailbreaking can severely degrade the experience. As we've said before, the vast majority of customers do not jailbreak their iPhones as this can violate the warranty and can cause the iPhone to become unstable and not work reliably."

Earlier, Apple had told the Copyright Office it opposed EFF's request in part because the App Store process protected consumers, because iPhone customers only license the software and do not own it, and that fair use should not allow circumvention.

What was the Copyright Office's reasoning?

On all the important counts, it agreed with the EFF. It said, for instance, that "the amount of copyrighted work modified in a typical jailbreaking scenario is fewer than 50 bytes of code out of more than 8 million bytes, or approximately 1/160,000 of the copyrighted work as a whole."

The Obama administration had sided with Apple. The Department of Commerce said that granting the exemption "might just as likely deter innovation by not allowing the developer to recoup its development costs and to be rewarded for its innovation."

A side note: the Copyright Office also granted another exemption, which allows used handsets to be reprogrammed to enable use of the mobile phone on another network.

Why would I want to risk jailbreaking my iPhone?

You might want to jailbreak your phone if there's a piece of software you simply must have. But jailbreaking should probably be left to people who are technologically savvy -- after all, if something goes wrong, you're on your own.

The two big dangers to jailbreaking your phone are voiding your warranty, and not correctly following the instructions of whatever software program you're using to do the jailbreak, which can lead to a unusable or "bricked" phone. Taking a phone that's been jailbroken into an Apple store, or sending it to Apple's service center means they likely won't fix it because you've violated your user agreement.

This includes repairing something that is not software-related, like a cracked screen. You may be able to find an authorized repair center that would do it, but it's still a risk.

According to Apple, the company's support department already receives "literally millions of reported instances of problems flowing from jailbroken phones."

In a letter to the U.S. Copyright Office (PDF) opposing the new exemption, Apple warned that legitimizing the practice of jailbreaking would be a security risk for the devices and result in more malware being installed because the App Store's protections would be bypassed.

So does Apple have to support jailbreaking?

Nope. Section 2(c) of the Apple iPhone Software License Agreement (PDF) bans any attempt to "modify" the iPhone software or to reverse-engineer it.

What that means is that Apple can still legally -- if it chooses -- protect its phones from jailbreaking. The contract formed between the user and Apple (and the user and the wireless carrier) when the iPhone owner agrees to the user licensing agreement is binding, says Tom Sydnor, a senior fellow with the Progress and Freedom Foundation who takes an expansive view of copyright law.

Just because the DMCA allows individuals an exemption to jailbreak their own phones, "it doesn't mean Apple or a carrier can't protect contractual restrictions to deal with it," Sydnor said. "Essentially the exemption says this is the sort of thing that falls in bounds of contracts."

Apple could pursue breach of contract if someone jailbreaks their phone, or they could sue a person or company that creates jailbreak software for inducing someone to breach their contract with Apple. In other words, Sydnor said, "even if there was no DMCA, you could still be bound not to circumvent that technological protection."

What does the DMCA do, exactly?

Check out section 1201 of the text of the 1998 law. Part 1 says that, in general, "no person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access" to a copyrighted work, including a computer program.

Part 2 says that "no person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public, provide, or otherwise traffic" in any software that allows such circumvention. (Note this restriction has little impact on overseas software developers.)

But there's an important caveat to the first part. The Library of Congress' Copyright Office is charged with evaluating the DMCA's impact every three years and adding exemptions on behalf of Americans who want to make "noninfringing uses" of copyrighted works.

The last round of exemptions, for instance, said it's officially legal to "unlock" your cell phone's firmware if you're hoping to switch carriers while continuing to use the same device.

So how does this week's DMCA announcement benefit consumers?

While it doesn't completely remove all legal repercussions from users who want to jailbreak their own phone, losing the protection of the DMCA was a blow to Apple and other phone makers with proprietary software, according to Jason Schultz, co-director of Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at UC Berkeley School of Law.

"It is an uphill battle now for Apple. What this does is kind of shifts things in favor of users," said Schultz. "If Apple goes to court they have to explain to a judge why the copyright office is wrong (in this case) or why other laws should trump copyright laws."

"Another way to say it is the DMCA was Apple's strongest weapon in controlling the iPhone platform. (Losing that exemption) is like losing your best player on the team," he said.

Leaks aren't what they used to be!

Monday, July 26, 2010

"My Dear loyal subjects ....."

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Paris Hitler?

Paris Hilton denies Nazi salute as photo of her dancing is taken out of context
BY Kristie Cavanagh
Monday, July 26, 2010
Paris Hilton has spent most of the month partying with sister Nicky around the world.

Paris Hilton strongly denies enacting a Nazi salute after a photo snapped of her Sunday night shows the heiress wearing a military-style hat, holding her finger under her nose and pointing her hand upward in a Heil Hitler-like salute.

The heiress was partying aboard a luxury yacht in Saint-Tropez, France.

Hilton, 29, came under fire from fans shortly after the picture emerged online, but her spokesman adamently denies that the "Simple Life" star was simulating a salute, explaining that the photo was merely taken out of context.

"Paris was dancing and having fun with her arm up in the air as she always dances like that and was scratching [her] face when a photo was taken," Hilton's representative told the Daily Mail. "The hat was not a Communist hat, it's a military style hat from a club. Half of her family is Jewish and many of her friends are as well."

Hilton has spent the better part of the past month on a hard-partying trip with sister Nicky around the world.

During the past week, the heiress has been spotted downing champagne and being picked up off a nightclub floor by security, reported the British newspaper.

She has been stopped by police in connection with suspicion of marijuana possession twice this summer, although she was not charged in either incident, reported

Hail to "The Chief!"

Louis Riel-linked sword found
Monday, July 26, 2010
A sword believed to have been owned by Metis leader Louis Riel has been found after being stolen Friday.

The historical artifact was stolen from the British Columbia Pavilion at the Back to Batoche Days event in Batoche, Sask., prompting an RCMP investigation. But just a day later, the sword was found undamaged by event security on the grounds of the festival.

Riel, a francophone Metis from the Red River Settlement, led a provisional government that in 1869 and 1870 demanded Canada not annex their territory into the new country unless their lands and rights were recognized. Although the efforts of Riel and his allies helped Manitoba become a full-fledged province in 1870, Riel was convicted by the Canadian government for high treason and executed that year in Saskatchewan.

The Back to Batoche Days festival is an annual celebration of the Saskatchewan Metis community’s culture, traditions and heritage.

Meanwhile, on Monday evening the Manitoba Metis Federation was scheduled to hold the inauguration ceremony for its recently-elected government, including president David Chartrand, who will begin serving his fifth term. The ceremony was to be held at the Clarion Hotel on Portage Avenue with Lieutenant-Governor Philip S. Lee in attendance. (emphasis ours)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Is "Trach" in trouble?

Murray "Chief Two Briefcases" Trachtenberg;

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Traching!"

I heard today that the government won't fund the rental of the MMF headquarters office on Henry Avenue. David (Chartrand) charges each program for rental space there. Apparently the feds said no more, the Federation owns the building so they have to cover their own costs. What I see here is President Chartrand will have to cut staff by 50% or more. That will mean less money for "Trach."


Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. Makes perfect sense when you think about it. There's already a rumour swirling around the federal government is looking at not allowing MMF headquarters to charge the automatic 15% management fee before doling out tax dollars to the regions. Since public money helped purchace 150 Henry Avenue why should its programs then have to turn around and pay rent to the Manitoba Metis Federation. Sounds like a revenue grab to us.

We suspect some of this may have been occasioned by the results of the last election where: only approximately 9% of MMF members even bothered to vote; 4 of 7 regional Vice-Presidents got in by acclamation; and David Chartrand was re-elected by "a landslide" 7%-8% of the popular vote. Maybe just maybe the government looked at that and said, "Why should we continue to pump millions and millions of dollars into the headquarters operation?

As for "Trach" that could well translate into monthly taxpayer cheques that are a lot smaller than they once were.

Clare L. Pieuk

So we want to go to law school do we?

15 Facts Law Schools Don't Want you to Know

While colleges are often prestigious and highly regarded institutions, they are also in the business world and have to make enough money to cover the costs of the services and programs they offer. Just like advertisements you see for any other products, schools’ claims about their degree programs may not always be the full truth and may exclude some important information that could colour your decision about which school to attend or to attend at all. If you’re thinking about going to law school, take a look at these facts about attending and ultimately working as a lawyer that law schools don’t want you to know about.

1. Books are incredibly expensive, and you might never use them again. Think your books in undergrad were expensive? Those prices have nothing on the costs of law school texts. Students report spending on average $500 a semester on books, many of which aren’t tomes that can be referenced in your professional life. Over three years of law school that’s over $3,000 in books alone.

2. Your first year of law school will already be laid out for you. This means you won’t get to choose your courses, your professors or pursue any of your personal interests. Instead, you’ll be taking a set schedule of courses and you may not get a chance to work with professors you admire. And if it turns out you hate the school and want to transfer? You likely won’t be able to transfer out, and depending on your choice of schools, your credits may not even transfer if you could.

3. Your grades will be curved. Curved grades aren’t unfamiliar for many who braved degrees in particularly difficult majors in undergrad, but the curve in law schools can be a whole different animal. Think you rocked your final exam by getting a 97% percent? After the curve that 97 may only end up earning you a B, which can be disenheartening for many hard-working students.

4. Law school debts could total well over $100,000. Law school isn’t cheap, and even those attending public universities can expect to accrue debts into the six figures during their time in school. Most students can’t swing paying $30,000+ in tuition and fees each year, so loans are the only way to afford it. Unfortunately, these kinds of debts can be crippling if you don’t get a high paying job upon graduation.

5. What school you go to does matter. While many law school students will tell you that being happy at a school is more important than name recognition, when it comes to getting a job, names matter. You might enjoy your school experience more at a tier-two school, and get specialized training, but if you’re seeking a career at a high-powered law firm, attending the big name, top-tier schools is almost essential.

6. Your chances of getting a high paid job are slim. Many want to get into being a lawyer because they think it means big, six-figure paychecks and a life of luxury. While for some it might, the reality is that there are few high-paying jobs out there and your chances of getting one are slim. How slim? If you didn’t graduate from one of the top law schools or are in the top 5% of your class, you can pretty much forget about it. You’ll be facing hundreds of applicants who were. Of course, law schools would lead you to believe that getting one of these jobs is a lot easier than it is.

7. You can expect to work much more than 40 hours a week as a lawyer. Being a lawyer isn’t a 9-5 job. In fact, many lawyers at top firms work from 60-80 hours a week, so you can forget about a personal life. Even with a hefty $120,000 salary, if you’re working 70 hours a week you’re only raking in $33 an hour. It’s more than most people make, but not quite what many had in mind when they became lawyers and requires you to really love what you do.

8. The bar exam requires you to study for months, and even after that 33% fail. You’re unlikely to find a lawyer who exalts the virtues of the Bar Exam. It’s riddled with bizarre hypotheticals and legal questions that are unlikely to ever come up again in your entire law career. You’ll get the pleasure of studying for a good three months to take it, with no guarantee you’ll pass or be able to get a job to help you pay off your massive debts.

9. Breaks aren’t really breaks– you must spend them working. You might have been able to enjoy your summer breaks when you were an undergrad, but forget about that in law school. To stay competitive with your peers you’ll needs to take on internships and work at law firms, if you want to get a good job when you graduate. Some of these positions are paid, some are not, but all will require a hefty chunk of your time– even sometimes up to 50 hours a week.

10. Law school won’t teach you business skills. Law school is designed to help you think like a lawyer but it won’t teach you how to run your own firm, bill clients, get business loans or any other practical skills that can help you in your future endeavors. If you want to learn those things you’ll need to do it through personal experience or through taking a class, which you likely won’t have time to even consider doing.

11. Grades aren’t the end all. While your law school grades do matter to a certain degree, getting less than perfect grades won’t condemn you to a life of working outside of the law field. Law schools want their students to be hyper-competitive so it drives their reputation up, but the reality is that there are legal jobs out there for the rest of the school population as well.

12. Only 54 percent of all working-age law school grads are able to make it as a lawyer. Law schools are churning out tens of thousands of grads each year, and the reality is that there simply aren’t enough law jobs out there. The vast majority of these students will end up finding jobs doing other, much less desirable things rather than what they shelled out a hundred grand plus to do. Either that, or they will work as lawyers but won’t be able to make a living doing that so will have to move to other fields.

13. Fewer new grads are able to find jobs. You can blame the recession, but over the past few years a smaller and smaller percentage of new grads are able to find jobs in the legal field. Your law school may make it seem like you’re assured a job upon graduation, but the reality is that there is no assurance of a job for anyone these days, especially not young, inexperienced lawyers.

14. Law schools lure in minority students to improve diversity rankings without disclosing that less than half of African-Americans who enter these programs ever pass the bar. Are you a minority student hoping to become a lawyer? Law schools may not be working in your best interests and instead hoping to inflate their own diversity without offering the help and guidance students need to succeed as working professionals.

15. Schools create misleading employment statistics by temporarily hiring new grads and spotlighting kids who land top-paying jobs, while ignoring the fact that most students make far-lower average incomes. Being a lawyer should be something you’re doing because you love practicing the law, not because of the money. If you’re in it for the money, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. Many law schools will lead you to believe you have a great chance of landing a high-paying prestigious position, but the reality is that you’ll likely end up with a middle of the road salary if you can find a job at all in these highly competitive times.

Posted July 19, 2010 by Site Administrator for Online Degree Programs

Note: We initially found this article on Law is Cool which added the following comments:
While many of these are true, others are more relevant in the American context than in Canada. For example, where you go to school matters far less in Canada (Number 5), where all schools are publicly funded and are considered first-tier. Bar exam pass rates are far better in Canada as well (Numbers 8, 15).