Canadians Talking Tech

Creative photography from 300′ above Ocracoke, NC

by Daniel Wolfe Comments Off on Creative photography from 300′ above Ocracoke, NC

Our good friend, Mike at Little Dog Photography sent us this awesome photo from his kiteboarding trip in Hatteras, North Carolina. Mike hooked his GoPro up to the line of a 24″ sled kite and let the line out 300 feet!

Check out his site for more great action sports photography – from snow to dirt, sea to sky. Thanks, Mike!

300 feet above Ocracoke, NC

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Ski Revelstoke BC

by Noah Bloom Comments Off on Ski Revelstoke BC

The BC mountains have no shortage of stunning scenery and great skiing. We were out in Revelstoke, BC this past weekend tracking down some lingering powder from the storm a few days before, and found no shortage of it.

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Nexus S 3G Frequency Foil

by Noah Bloom 3 Comments »

Google has done it again. This time with Samsung (previously HTC), they’ve release the hottest new mobile device, the Nexus S, follow up to their geeky delicious Nexus One. These are both clean installs of the most up to date Android operating systems, and the new Nexus S comes with brand spanking new OS 2.3, code-named “Gingerbread,” and some hot and fast hardware to boot. (Read TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb)

But they’ve goofed again. 3G on this first version of the device supports 900, 1700, and 2100 MHz. That’s great for a whopping 34.5 million mobile users, ie. 9% of the North American market.

In the USA, two networks support any of the bands, which is the 1700MHz AWS band. T-Mobile has 33.8M subscribers, and Cincinnati Bell Wireless has 571k. Out of a total of 292M, that’s 12% of the market.

In Canada, only the upstart carriers support AWS: WIND has 100k, Moblicity 50k, and Videotron 50k (and I’m being generous here for the undisclosed statistics). Out of a total of 23.4M, that’s 0.9%.

In Mexico, where there are 74M subscribers, nobody has 900, 1700, or 2100 (please comment below if I’m wrong here).

NINE PERCENT. BLAH. At least going 850MHz (like the iPhone or second release of the Nexus One) would serve today 114.8 million in USA and Canada alone (36%).

Does Google hate AT&T? How does T-Mobile get US “exclusivity”? Of course you can still make phone calls on other GSM networks, but you’ll only get slow EDGE (aka 2.75G) for data. This sounds like a dumb move by me. I’ll just sit and twiddle my thumbs (ie. mash my iPhone typos) a bit longer.

Approximate subscribers number for late 2010:
FYI In USA: AT&T 92.8M, Verizon 93.2M, Sprint 49M
In Canada: Bell Mobility 6.8M, Rogers 8.4M, Telus 6.8M
In Mexico: Telcel 57M

From our previous post, iPhone, Nexus One 3G Frequencies:

T-Mobile USA: 1700MHz (AWS) AT&T USA: 850 (1900 originally?) Rogers Canada (850MHz) Wind Mobile Canada: 1700MHz (AWS)
iPhone: 850, 1900, 2100 MHz no you bet yup no ;(
Nexus One/S: 900, 1700, 2100 MHz yes, go buy one no, only EDGE access no, only EDGE yes…

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Hands-on review: LCD viewfinder

by Daniel Wolfe 4 Comments »

We at NorthGeek are pretty lucky. All we ever do is geek out on tech, gadgets, cars, sports, apparel, and more – and sometimes, we have companies (like DigiFinder, for example) who send us products to review and GIVE AWAY TO OUR READERS!

This review covers the LCD viewfinder, a $60 must-have accessory for HDSLR owners. The one featured in the video is for our Canon Rebel T2i (or 550D for our European readers), but we have two other sizes – a 2.7″ inch and 3″ variant – to be given away to two lucky readers/Twitter followers. To win the model of your choice, simply leave us a comment below or on the YouTube page of this review, with why YOU deserve this free HDSLR LCD viewfinder. That’s it, that’s all! Winners will be selected by Christmas Day.

Also, if you’re Canadian and want these LCD viewfinders to be more readily available up here in Canada, please let us hear it in the comments! NorthGeek may just start bringing them in for sale up in the Great White North!

Enjoy the review, below:

Also worth noting, the DigiViewer eyecup is now available for sale! It’s $25 USD. Here’s what it looks like:

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Affordable iPod, iPad, and iPhone accessories – just in time for the holidays!

by Daniel Wolfe 1 Comment »

Our buddies over at BuyiJet sent us this nifty gift guide they put together for the holidays. As you’ll see, they have some really cool accessories for your iPad/Pod/Phone, at very competitive prices. We’re hoping to get some product at NorthGeek HQ to do some video reviews, and give out some prizes just in time for the holidays! Have a look at their gift guide, below:

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What is the Internet?

by Noah Bloom Comments Off on What is the Internet?

I constantly wish there were more resources like these — very clear and simple illustrations of what is the Internet and how to use it — when doing my F.I.T. duties (family IT support), like “where’s my email?” and “do I type this address into Google?”

Google just produced this lovely HTML5 book, entitled “20 Things I Learned.” It weaves a simplified and elegant story about the Internet — things like cloud computing, browser extensions, privacy, cookies, IP addresses, DNS, etc. But most importantly, don’t use IE6 and know what a fake URL is! I recommend you either read it yourself or share it with your friends and family with whom connecting over the Internet is critical, and you wish they felt more comfortable and knowledgeable doing so. Sure it’s some cute cartoons wrapped up in some Google propaganda, but isn’t it mostly good propaganda here.

Here is the classic “What is a web browser” video from Google:

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San Francisco from above Twin Peaks

by Noah Bloom Comments Off on San Francisco from above Twin Peaks

One amazing thing to do in San Francisco is to view it from Twin Peaks, the pair of mountains that, at 922 feet, make up the second highest point in the city after Mount Davidson.

You can drive to the summit, but perhaps you’d prefer to walk or run up there. Start from the Castro Theatre at Market and Castro, and follow the route below. Download the map to your phone, it’s optimized for iPhone and other smartphones, but will work on any device. Go to

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Top 5 Adventure Sport Movies of 2010

by Noah Bloom 3 Comments »

It’s that time of year again, to start thinking about sliding on snow. Ski season is just around the corner. But ski movie season is right now.

Sure, we all know the big budget, jaw dropping, pro proportions ski flicks from Matchstick, Teton Gravity Research, Poor Boyz, etc. (for those trailers, skip to the bottom), but we’re also seeing the emergence of a new breed of ski (and sport) action adventures films, proliferating from the professional power of DSLR HD video cameras, portable dolly rigs, and the other side of ski stories out there. They’re perhaps less focused on the massive stunts and moreso on the shot and the story. But they have quite the impact.

Thanks to The Adventure Life, Chris Sacca, Mike Berard, Leslie Anthony, Mike Douglas, Doglotion, etc. for promoting these and helping us curate… the top 5 “other” ski and sports film trailers / shorts / webisodes of 2010. Check out our list of last year’s as well.


b4apres media’s “AZADI: Freedom” official trailer, a “cultural documentary as seen through the eyes of skiers. Set in the disputed region of Kashmir, an area deemed the ‘most dangerous place in the world’ during the violent militant insurgency of the 1990’s.”


Relentless: Short Stories: Mickey Smith “Dark Side of the Lens”


Salomon Freeski TV: their first episode from this new season showed off that there was no scarcity of snow at Whistler during the Olympics, only a scarcity of skiers in it:

By far my favorite Salomon Freeski TV episode was from last year “1-09 Euro Road Trip.” You can’t get much better than watching Mike Douglas and Kaj Zackrisson chasing snow across Europe. I don’t think there are any skiers on the planet who are as technically bombproof and smooth as these two guys:


At long last, Life Cycles has just been released. Wow:


Jordan Manley travels with a Nikon D3S and a super lightweight setup. His shots, composing, and style is breathtaking. Here’s the latest from his May 2010 tour of the Canadian Rockies:

More from Jordan: Jordan Manley’s episode on La Grave (#2) is also worth embedding here, as it really shows the soul of the mysterious La Grave, but don’t miss the one above from the Rockies. Also, episode 1 is a glimpse into Kashmir.

Considering Mike D, Jordan Manley, and lots of more of that footage comes from Vancouver, BC, Whistler, and the Vancouver North Shore, it’s pretty sweet being out here in this mecca of Vancouver.

Bonus (as long as you’ve watched the ones up top first):

Matchstick’s The Way I See It:

TGR’s Light the Wick:

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Vancouver Canadians, A Summer Evening

by Noah Bloom 1 Comment »

NorthGeek made it out to a bunch of Vancouver Canadians games this summer at Nat Bailey Stadium. They’re a minor league baseball affiliate to the Oakland A’s, and it’s a helluva good way to spend a gorgeous Vancouver summer evening.

The tune is Billy Bragg & Wilco “California Stars.” Listen here.

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The Future of Media: Vancouver Olympics and True North Media House

by Noah Bloom 3 Comments »

Next week, Kris Krug and Dave Olson will be talking True North Media House at an event in London called #media2012, and I like to think this is a big deal. True North Media House emerged in the leadup to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, as a vehicle to give a voice to the citizens walking, talking, and covering the Games — in a substantial way unlike previous Olympics. The world is changing — nearly everybody has simple means to share text and media about the world in the way they experience it, and, well, a whole lot of people do that passionately.

Morning after view of the Olympic fame on my am run to Stanley Park  #van2010 #tnmh

As it turned out, through the use of a simple hashtag (#tnmh) and keywords, from many websites and united around social networks, here was a pretty amazing experiment of what non official media can do to cover a massive localized event, like the Olympics.

At first, there was a lot of fear. The IOC was supposedly sending cease and desist letters to anyone sharing media about the Olympics, official events, and venues. Rumours were abound — the “IOC police” could enter a private residence and remove publicly-visible signage that was deemed destructive to the Olympics vision. We (as I consider myself/ourselves part of the TNMH impetus) had no idea what to expect. We urged each other to review the fine text and figure out what we could and could not do. Could we bring cameras to venues without official IOC certification? Could we publish photos? Could we say the word “Olympics”?

But this was Canada! But this was social media! But this was 2010! People felt violated. People protested — well, for whatever reason they wanted, and unfortunately often the reason was less important than the thrill of protesting.

Mens Moguls

The Games
Then the Games happened. And the C&Ds didn’t show up. And we went wild with media and words. Hats off to John Biehler, Kris Krug, Miss 604, even ourselves, NorthGeek (some of our coverage is here), AND SO MANY OTHERS for giving us the insider view on the Games and showing the world that we had a damn good time.

And then some media brands and the IOC wined and dined some of the alternative-media-elite. It was a nice gesture. It said, very gently, “we embrace the new media.” But as far as I’m concerned was a half assed, suspicious, and way overdue attempt.

Our coverage
At least, for us at NorthGeek, we often left the real equipment (SLR, tripod, video, etc) at home and went with whatever was on us — phones, Flip, WordPress, and Twitter — and left the long shots for someone else, and focused on the closeups, the insider, on-the-ground view of the Olympics. We wanted to show off Vancouver, the glory of these athletes, and that it was a fucking good time.

NorthGeek with silver medalist Jenn Heil

The legacy of TNMH
TNMH will ultimately stand as a lesson on how to make a community. We were not antagonist. We preached about being open, being fair, and being there. Did that work? Was that necessary? Weren’t there enough others being antagonistic and even violent?

In the end, the success of True North Media House was not about getting more people to use #tnmh tag. It was in empowering people to create content (who otherwise may not have) and showing a stodgy organization like the IOC to realize that the times are changing.

What’s next?
Well, let’s just keep pushing further for London 2012. Will that be in the guise of #tnmh or something else: another form, another hashtag, another group? That really doesn’t matter. It’s about the people. The power is there. As Kris Krug would say, “Use it with kindness and discretion.”

P.S. Some inspiration
Were the Games meaningful to you? Did your country’s athletes make you proud? Then consider supporting them. Sure you paid big money (or your valuable advertising eyes) to follow the Games, but these amateur athletes are heroes, and you can help them do what they were made to do. Go out and support local sports. Learn who your country’s great amateur athletes are. Go watch their races and games. And they will make your proud.

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