Canadians Talking Tech

Fubar’s Back: Fubar 2

by Noah Bloom Comments Off on Fubar’s Back: Fubar 2

Fubar is back. Canada’s favourite headbangers with a movie have just released the sequel, in theatres October 1.

Trailer for Fubar 2:


Hey Twitter, I got a thousand followers. Where’s my free fuckin pizza?less than a minute ago via web

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Travis Pastrana Attempts Mt. Washington Record

by Noah Bloom Comments Off on Travis Pastrana Attempts Mt. Washington Record

At NorthGeek, above all, we love cars, mountains, and adrenaline. So when Travis Pastrana attempts a flying attempt at the fastest rally drive up New Hampshire’s Mt Washington, we’re all ears, eyes, and sweaty palms.

Bonus: here is more video eye candy. Ken Block drifts up a wall. It even makes a Segway look cool:

(via Jalopnik)

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The World’s Best at Montreal ProTour

by Noah Bloom Comments Off on The World’s Best at Montreal ProTour

This past weekend, the Tour de France came to Quebec.

It is extremely remarkable that Quebec City and Montreal hosted the ProTour. The ProTour is the season long series of races around the world and mostly in Europe, but very rarely in North America. The last time a similar race was held in North America was in Montreal in 1992.

These world’s best cyclists from the very select ProTour teams (there are only 18 of them) raced two road races on Friday in Quebec and Sunday in Montreal. The ProTour squads were joined a Canadian national team which is being directed by 1988 Montreal winner Bauer.

And what heroic racing and deafening crowds. Watch the final kilometres of the Montreal race here:

Rabobank’s Robert Gesink from The Netherlands apparently climbed the big hill, the Camilien Houde in Montreal, in 3 minutes and 45 seconds, the last lap and 16th of the race. This is unreal, and so hard to comprehend from my best — 4:45 or so.

NorthGeek’s own Chris Manitt shot this video on the downhill, for some appreciation of what they do — the pace and concentration:

Here are the final kilometres of the Quebec race:

The ProTour will be back for at least the next four years. Did you go see it? Was it promoted well?

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New motorized Omni-Tracker? Budget-conscious film/videographers, rejoice!

by Daniel Wolfe 1 Comment »

If you haven’t already, go check out Omni-Tracker. These guys build affordable, professional-grade camera dollies for everything from a Flip to a RED ONE. I, personally, look forward to getting my paws on one for some Hollywood-esque pans with my Canon Rebel T2i.

I’ve been in touch with Warren over at Omni-Tracker, and he sent me this sexy time lapse clip, apparently shot using a prototype motorized Omni-Tracker dolly. Can’t wait to hear more, and when we do, NorthGeek will deliver the scoop. In the meantime and in between time, enjoy:

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Real-life, R/C video game. Confused yet?

by Daniel Wolfe Comments Off on Real-life, R/C video game. Confused yet?

Ever wonder what it would be like if the damage you caused your vehicle in a racing video game were actually real? Well, wonder no more – thanks to this cool contraption, you can actually damage a real piece of machinery. Granted, it’s just a remote-controlled car, but still. Crash in the game, and cause some real damage. Good luck. Thanks to our buddy Brian at Black Book Design for this tip.

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Pro (outdoor) baseball lives in Canada!

by Daniel Wolfe Comments Off on Pro (outdoor) baseball lives in Canada!

UPDATE: I meant to say that pro OUTDOOR baseball lives in Canada – please forgive me, Jays fans. I’m not forgetting about Toronto’s MLB team, it’s just that this experience really gave me that “now, this is what sports should be like” feeling.

If you haven’t yet, go check out Nat Bailey Stadium for a Vancouver Canadians baseball game. This minor league club, currently at 11-11 and 4 games back of the first place Everett AquaSox, know how to put on a show for their fans. Nat Bailey Stadium, at Main and 30th in Vancouver, is a beautiful and well-maintained outdoor ballpark seating just over 5,500 loyal fans (I think – although Wikipedia disagrees). Tonight’s game, the third of five home games in a row against the Yakima Bears, was a special “fireworks” evening at the stadium – with ongoing entertainment following Vancouver’s 10-1 crushing of the Bears. The club didn’t disappoint – winning big for the first nine innings, and putting on a spectacular pyro show after the game.

Aside from being in a fun and energetic setting among the thousands of fans, in an open-air (packed) stadium, with the sun heating up the perfectly manicured natural grass field, there are plenty of things to keep the whole family entertained. Mascot races, animated beer and hotdog guys roaming the stands, and more – including a choreographed dance by the club’s grounds crew after the 5th inning at every home game:

I took this next video with my phone to send to my friends back home in Montreal, to show them how magical local baseball is:

Tickets to see the Canadians play are just $12.50 and less – depending on your student status, age, and whether you buy packaged deals. They also do a great job hosting groups in picnic or BBQ areas, and they even offer corporate boxes. The kids have a blast, too – even if they’re not into the baseball, there are plenty of activities and areas to keep them entertained.

While at Nat Bailey Stadium, be sure to check out the Canadians Baseball Hall of Fame – see who has worn the C’s uniform. It’s pretty impressive! Who knew Sammy Sosa once lived in Vancouver to play for the Canadians?? Also, keep your eyes open for General Manager Jason Takefman – he’s got a pretty amazing story!

Here’s a short clip from the fireworks show after the game:

Fireworks at Vancouver Canadians Nat Bailey Stadium

Fireworks at Vancouver Canadians Nat Bailey Stadium


Vancouver Canadians Baseball

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Travel the world with 10,100 horsepower

by Daniel Wolfe 1 Comment »

I’ve been looking at buying a new boat for some time now. My budget is somewhere int eh range of, oh, $300. That’s not $300,000, and definitely not $300,000,000 – I mean $300. One boat I will not be buying, is this one:

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not not buying this boat because it’s the coolest looking THING I’ve ever seen with multiple 52″ LED TV’s inside it, certainly not because it’s powered by two 4610HP engines, and not even because it comes with a pretty cool tender – an 880HP twin turbo V12 handcrafted sports car:

The reason I’m not buying this boat – if you must know – is because when I called the designer, he told me that $300 wouldn’t even be enough to buy the universal remote for the main entertainment system, let alone buy the boat.

This magnificent combo of marine (and land) engineering is a product of Strand Craft. Contact them here.

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Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 gets software update (confirmed in Canada, too)

by Daniel Wolfe 2 Comments »

July 7, 2010, TORONTO: Sony Ericsson has announced a global software update for Xperia™ X10 which is available to Canadian customers. By visiting, customers can update the product software for optimal performance and get the latest enhancements. This update focuses on improving the general performance, power consumption, speed and responsiveness of the Xperia™ X10.

Once upgraded, the Xperia™ X10 will include:

  • Free backup and restore application for your contacts, messages, bookmarks, settings etc.
  • Improved usability of camera and media player.
  • Improved overall phone performance, such as power consumption, touch sensitivity, and overall audio quality.

To upgrade the Xperia™ X10, please follow these steps:

1. Before you start, back up your contacts, messages, media files, bookmarks, calendar, tasks, notes, etc.
2. Go to
3. Select your phone – Xperia™ X10
4. Install and run the update by clicking on the link “Download here”
5. Follow the instructions on your computer to connect your Xperia™ X10 and update the software.

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Favourite artists from The Cheaper Show

by Noah Bloom Comments Off on Favourite artists from The Cheaper Show

This past Saturday was Vancouver’s The Cheaper Show, where the public was asked to come out to support ‘local’ artists, buy any of the 200 artists’ pieces onsite for precisely $200 each, and, well, be seen. While I have issues with arbitrarily pricing every piece at some mitigating level and the spectacle of selling art instead of being able to enjoy it, it was a very slickly run event, ultimately benefiting new, rising artists and new, curious art buyers.

Unfortunately, if you showed up after the doors were blown down by the first attendees, much of the highly sought work was already sold. Those red dots meant you were too late. And they really just indicated that the more established artists’ discounted work was the secret to such an event. Hell, if that were my work, I might have placed the red dots on my work before the event started. Most people notice the red dots moreso than their own perceived value of the art, and I was not the only person punching the names of memorable artists into my iPhone.

Still, it would appear that the brand of The Cheaper Show is beyond needing high profile artists anymore. So what’s next, more local events across the land for their respective cities’ new artists?

On that note, ironically, here were my favorite artists, all of them local to Vancouver — The Cheaper Show used to be only Vancouver artists, so I thought I’d stick to that. Check out all their linked sites. And support local art, because, well, Stephen Harper won’t.

In reverse alphabetical order:

Sara Araujo-Salas:

Robert Mearns:

Nathalee Paolinelli:

Jeff Ladouceur:

Dan Siney:

Adam Blasberg:

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iPhone 4, iOS 4 and the iPad: equal parts of my digital life

by Chris Manitt 1 Comment »

Editor: Welcome to new NorthGeek contributor Chris Manitt!

Like many Apple loyalists and perhaps those who were just plain curious, I was anchored at my office desk last Tuesday to watch Steve Jobs make his annual keynote address from the World Wide Developers Conference in SF. Of course when I say “watch the keynote,” I’m referring to how I was reading live blog posts from those who were lucky enough to be there in person. Even still, reading the posts, as they popped up on my screen giving me the play by play, I was excited to hear what Steve had to say, what new innovative products Apple was bringing to market and most importantly – why I had to have them.

What made this Keynote different from others was that in the weeks leading up to it, a much publicized lapse in judgment let the “new” iPhone see the light of day a little sooner than expected. I still had faith in good old Steve in being able to wow the crowd at the WWDC not only because of an inevitable “one more thing…” but because Steve hadn’t yet told the masses the “why,” even we thought we only knew the “what.”

iPhone 4. We knew what it was going to look like, had a pretty good idea of what it was going to do, but expectedly I was still surprised at how much more there was to it. While Steve explained that there are over 100 new features in iPhone 4, he only focused on 8. Of those 8, the following stand out in my mind the most:

  1. FaceTime. If iPhone 4 had only this feature I would still go out and buy it the day it is released in Canada. FaceTime is something that is classic Apple. It’s not about having two 5 mega pixel cameras or even an LED flash, it’s about being able to see loved ones when you’re away from home on a business trip. If you watch the FaceTime video on the Apple site closely, you’ll even see a deaf couple signing via this new marvel. The question is, will FaceTime work with any other video chat App – like iChat or Skype – or will I only be able to see other iPhone 4 users?
  2. New form factor. Up until the day the not-so-spy shots of the new iPhone were blasted all over the web, I thought that my iPhone 3GS looked great, felt great in my hand and was exactly everything I ever needed my iPhone to be. And then the pictures hit the web. At first I thought that it didn’t look very Apple. But, as I examined the pictures and video more and more I realized that not only was it completely different from what I thought an iPhone to be, it was 1000 times sexier than what was sitting on my desk. From that moment on, I looked at my iPhone 3GS as an older model (which is less than a year old) with an outdated shape, large clumsy metal bezel and rounded edges that just didn’t stand up. All of these thoughts were reinforced at the WWDC keynote and I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on one to see what it feels like. Just because I think it’s worth mentioning, when I do get my hands on it, it will be a white iPhone 4. After seeing both the black and white version I thought that the iPhone 4 would be the first time I go to a black iPhone. However, in seeing the photography of the black Apple branded bumper they’re selling (for $29.99!) on a white iPhone – I was once again sold. White it is.
  3. Retina display. From what I’ve read, this screen is something that really needs to be seen to be appreciated for what it is. Also, it’s everything and more that Steve hyped it up to be. From the numerous side by side comparisons that I’ve seen in the last week and even the podcast of the Keynote I can tell that this screen is going to be something specials. Like the form factor, I will not be able to appreciate it until I see what I’ve been missing. “It’s like digital ink…” Steve says.
  4. HD video. This was very simple for me: with my daughter now running around these days, the last thing I want to do is lunge for the video camera before she’s out of my sight and miss the moment. I usually end up taking a couple of minutes worth with my iPhone 3GS which is great except when it comes to the final edit of my iMovie masterpiece – the quality just doesn’t look that great on a 1080p screen. I’m really looking forward to having one device in my pocket that can capture the HD video that I want and be able to take a call and do all the other iPhone things too.

iOS4. While this was previewed back in the winter, there was still much to learn about the next evolution of the iPhone OS. Again, many new features were announced and given their time in the spotlight on stage. But without being able to have the OS on my growing number of i devices yet, here’s what’s keeping me dreaming in i’s:

  1. Mail. Updated and it seems like it’s better than ever. I love that there’s a universal Inbox now.
  2. Folders. This is something that has been a long time coming and a feature that was perhaps a necessity once the powers-that-be at Apple realized how many Apps people would house on their iPhones and iPads. It’s a welcome feature that will be useful and something we’ll wonder how we lived without, but will force many to rethink their screen layouts.
  3. Multitasking. Unlike the two features above, multitasking isn’t something that I’m looking forward to or even something that I feel I need. I’ve given myself the chance to try and understand how I could use it in my daily life to do things faster and more efficiently, but I don’t see how it will all fit in yet. Good for Apple to wait on multitasking until they figured out the right way to do it. Releasing it in such a way that battery life would suffer would have been a bad thing. I guess time will tell. Like folders, it’ll probably be something that six months from now I will not remember what it was like with it.

Does anyone else feel that more and more the updates to the iPhone OS are looking like the jail broken versions that have been available over the years since the iPhone was released? Am I alone here? I’m an Apple traditionalist. I update software via Software Update the day it comes out, I buy my Apps through the App store and I’ve never hacked my iPhone. Why would I want to? The reasoning I use is that someone at Apple believed in a given feature enough that they felt it was perfect for the iPhone. It didn’t need to be fancy, it didn’t need to be flashy, it just needed to work and that’s exactly what it would do. When the iPhone 3G came out, I had an answer for every criticism that was thrown its way. There wasn’t video functionality for a reason, cut copy & paste wasn’t needed either and why would you ever need a faster iPhone anyway?

John Gruber wrote a fantastic back page column in MacWorld last month. It really put Apple’s yearly ground breaking innovations in perspective using the simple analogy of building a snowman. You’ve got to start off with a solid base (iPhone 2G), add a middle section (iPhone 3G), add the head (iPhone 3GS), then add the buttons and carrot nose (iPhone OS 3). If Apple came out with an iPhone 3GS running OS 3 in 2007, it probably wouldn’t have been as good as it could have been because, as we’ve seen, Apple takes the time to build things one step at a time. They won’t ever take a next step unless they’re sure that the one that preceded it has been firmly established. In a way, it’s managing our i-expectations.

Oh and “one more thing”, this entire post was written, edited and submitted via my iPad. Yes, it may look like a giant iPod Touch or iPhone to the uninitiated, however once you get your hands on it you’ll know why it’s much more than that. Currently I use it at home as a replacement to the iMac that my wife uses for her writing. From the night that I brought it home, I use it more than my iPhone. In fact, I find myself using it preferentially for email, browsing the web and, of course, discovering the multitude of purpose-built iPad Apps that don’t have anything on their iPhone brethren.

No, it’s not something I would break out on my morning commute – because that’s what my iPhone is for. My iPad is a device that I use at home and at the office, that, for me, completely replaces any need I would ever have for a MacBook. I upload, edit and print photos from my iMac. I walk, talk and message with my iPhone. I sit down, email, web surf, and browse my entire photo library with my iPad. I’ve never done that on my iMac! That says something to the UI or lack of one on the iPad that makes me want to browse ALL my pictures and not just a a few here and there.

So, “what do i want?” No, it’s “what do i need?” iPhone 4 will be yet another addition to my Apple collection that I can’t wait to get my hands on.

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