Thursday, June 28, 2012

Galaxy Nexus price gouging by Canadian Cellular carriers

All of the following screenshots were taken on 2012/06/28.
As announced yesterday and visible in the Google play store (only if you are in the USA or use a proxy) the price for the Galaxy Nexus android smartphone has been cut again by Google to $349.00 USD, down from $399.00 since April of this year.

It seems though, that they do not want non-Americans to know, as they do not even have the Galaxy Nexus listed if you go to and click the phone tab, at least for me, nothing shows at all (I had to use an american proxy to create the above screenshot:)

This has actually changed since yesterday, as I was able to see it just fine then.. I was able to find a direct link that still worked and took the following screen shot, where Google claims it's currently not available in my country, and seems to detect this via IP address, as I saw this same screen whether logged in to Google, using incognito, on or on

So, I thought, lets check and see if the Canadian cellphone carriers have this phone available, and how much they would charge to buy it outright, and if one paid full price. would it be network unlocked?

Virgin Mobile Canada wants $649.99 to buy this phone without a contract. I did not contact them to find out whether when purchasing this phone outright would it be network unlocked, but based on the responses of the carriers that I did, I'd expect not.

Wind Mobile wants $599.99 for this phone non-contracted, I also did not contact them about network unlocking.

Bell Canada does not appear to even offer this phone without a contract, however it shows hardware cost of $649.95. The Bell Mobility store was the only one that did not have a rep walk up and ask what I was looking at, so I did not ask about network unlocking, however there were two other customers browsing in the store, and only one rep working.
(No direct link avalible, Bell canada's website is session based)

Fido wants $600, and the rep in the store said that purchasing outright would not entitle me to having the phone unlocked and referred me to a third party booth in another section of the mall if I wanted that done, quoting an estimated price of $50 for the unlocking.

Telus's website does not have the Galaxy Nexus advertised anywhere that I could find, however the store claimed to offer 2 models(?) but have neither in stock. She claimed that the price would be $649 for the phone outright, and that no carrier will network unlock a phone, even if you purchase it outright.

Lastly, I went to the Wireless wave store where they provided the Galaxy Nexus through Rogers, where they wanted 599.99 for the phone. The rep there said that it most definitely was not network unlocked and that she did not know the extra cost for sure but that it was somewhere between $50-$100 to have that done. After I mentioned the price for Americans from Google, she then recommended that I drive across the USA/Canada border and register a Post office box in New York state, as that would me much cheaper.

So... Any thoughts as to why going 3 miles and across a river increases the price of a phone handset by $250-$300 while simultaneously locking you to a specific carrier (none of which offer unlimited plans, except for wind mobile, and that only in down-town Ottawa and Toronto)

Also, for the record, at the time of writing, $349 USD equals $361.31 CAD according to Google.

Just another example of the the many horrible price gougings endured by Canadians at the hands of their cellular carriers..

*Edit 2012/07/09

As you may have heard, Apple is trying to get an injunction to block sales of this phone in the USA claiming once again patent infringement in that it copies the "look and feel" of their devices.. I would never buy an apple device.. let alone an IPHONE.. Why would you want a locked down device when you could have the full features of a Linux operating system at your fingertips.. the possibilities with android are endless whereas with apple they are limited to the app-store..
I challenge anyone to get a remote root terminal, FTP server, etc set up (for free) on an iPhone..

(Although it certainly is quite easy to break the security and steal all of a user's data on a macbook air if you have a access to it for a few minutes and a thumb-drive to copy stuff into)

Thankfully Samsung was able to at least temporarily block apples injunction against them..

Will be interesting to see what happens with this case..

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

YouTube of the day 2012/06/25

Some important subjects in this post..

 Christopher Hitchens vs. Douglas Wilson - Collision Of Lives (The Documentary)
 Forcibly Sterilized? NC Republicans Say Too Bad
 Cesium 137 Detected in my Rain! (Radioactive Rain Detected)

This guy has detected Cesium 137 in his rain water.. One of the interesting comments he made was that, if he tested milk from the store and published the results, he would be sued by the milk industry, even if it was confirmed by a dedicated lab..
 Max Keiser: 'The banks are dead'
Some 15 banks, including Bank of America have had their credit ratings lowered..

 "M" Game of Thrones Solo Guitar Version
 Syria military shoots down Turkish warplane
 TSA trained to touch your genitals?
 Freed Texas Death Row Prisoner Anthony Graves on Surviving Torture of Solitary Confinement
If you watch any of these... watch this one..
 Bank downgrade "shocker" aims to plant fear & panic'
 How much does happiness cost in America?
 Families protest against extradition in the UK

Has an american citizen ever in history been extradited from the united states to another country to face trial for a crime allegedly committed from inside the united states?
Such as the united states wishes to do for British citizens?
As far as I can find, no...
 Obama Trade Deal To Put Corporations Above The Law
Obama has only continued to take freedoms away from the people of the USA..
 Turbulent Pakistan has new PM

Friday, June 22, 2012

YouTube of the day 2012/06/21

A lot of politics this time.. Especially worth watching are the last two (see my last post for more details about them)

 Big Brother talks back -- Is 1984 here?
 Julian Assange: the most wanted whistleblower?
 Lawyers for Ron Paul' sue GOP over delegate dispute
 Wikileaks will carry on despite crackdown on whistleblowers' - Hrafnsson
 Solitary confinement addressed by Congress
 NSA refuses Congress' plea for spy stats
 Julian Assange stand-off at the Ecuadorian Embassy begins
 Assange legal advisor: Torture, 40 years in jail await Julian in US
 Yahweh's Perfect Justice (Numbers 15:32-36)
 Block of ice melting in the sun @ 120x realtime
 Surface presentation FAIL
 Jesse Ventura exposes the Banker controlled U.S Government on Piers Morgan show !
 Portal: Terminal Velocity
 Polis Questions DEA on Marijuana Policy
 Rep. Steve Cohen Grills DEA Administrator

Drug Enforcement Agency oversight hearing 2012/06/20

The DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart was "grilled" in a session before the House Judiciary Committe on  June 20th. Subjects of the 90 minute session included Daniel Chong who was locked in a holding cell in the DEA San Diego office and then forgotten without food or water for 4 days, the DEA's involvement in the Columbian prostituton scandal, and these two clips that piqued my interest:

Based on the rest of the questions put and her answers, it appears that she is simply stalling for time to avoid the questions, instead of actually not knowing what the answers are..

Read more about Daniel Chong:

You view see the entire session here:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

YouTube of the last week 2012/06/20

Last week was sooo busy, moved to a new appartment, worked several shifts, and did quite a bit of walking .
Here are the latest in the YouTube of the Day series :)

 "Big Bill" Kicked Out Of All-You-Can-Eat Restaurant For Eating Too Much
 Robber SPANKED By Shop Owner (Video)
 Quiz Show (Bible Contradictions)
 Hitler 2012
 George Carlin - Religion is bullshit.
 Forgiveness, Grace, and God's Death Sentence
 Wet Dreams May Come (in the Bible)
 Navy drone crashes in Maryland
 No-fly list: once you're on, there's no way off
 Gerald Celente: American dream debunked

 Army makes guinea pigs out of US citizens
 Man Shoots 4-Year-Old Boy He Thought Was Gay
 F**k Habeas Corpus - Supreme Court Decision
 Congress combats CISPA with Internet Bill of Rights
 Ok For White House To Leak Classified Info, But Not Whistleblowers?
 Indiana legalizes shooting cops?
 Gamma Rays from March X-Flare Detected By Fermi
 Fantastic Aurora: Inside the Sun to Earth's Poles

 New Marijuana Crackdown Tactic By Obama Admin
 The Science of Human Races, Part 1
 Medal of Dishonour: US veterans dump awards outraged by endless wars
 Wife Smacked For 'Using The Lord's Name In Vain'

 Go Karts on Railroad Tracks

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Correlations between infant mortality and importance of personal religious belief

I recently posted this photo on a Facebook thread, afterwards realizing I somewhat hijacked the original poster's subject. I decided to compile the related data here to determine the accuracy and give more information about the related issues as well as show complete sources.

First, this graphic correlates (remember, correlation does not necessarily equal causation) data from two different sources, one Gallop poll data from 2006-2008 and the other from the 2011 revision of the United Nations World Population Prospects report.

This graphs nations on a chart of infant mortality rate of under 1 year old children per 1000 live births (united nations) vs the average yes or no answer to the question "Is religion important in your daily life" (Gallop)

One of the issues with the graph is that it is too small to be able to show specific country names for each data point graphed. This is fixed by publishing spreadsheet data used to generate the chart.


I was able to recreate the chart exactly as pictured above, as you can see there are no countries that both have a high infant mortality rate and said no to the question, Is religion important in your daily life:
Mouse over each data point for:
Number of deaths per 1000 / percent of people that said yes

And here is the spreadsheet data used to generate the above chart:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How to add a pre-amp and increase maximum volume in alsa

Some things I've noticed after doing this:

-mplayer volume control no longer has any effect.
-my sound capture devices have stopped working (mic, mic jack, line in)
-preamp must be enabled at least 20% with below settings to produce any sound through pcm at all.

A common complaint with alsa is that PCM (wav) playback, even on maximum volume is too quiet.

I created /etc/asound.conf with the following paramaters:
I am running debian squeeze linux x64 edition..

pcm.!default {
type hw
card 0
ctl.!default {
type hw        
card 0
pcm.!default {
      type plug
      slave.pcm "softvol"
  pcm.softvol {
      type softvol
      slave {
          pcm "dmix"
      control {
          name "Pre-Amp"
          card 0
      min_dB -30.0
      max_dB 30.0
      resolution 6

Save the file as root as /etc/asound.conf

Now open a test wav file in aplay:

aplay -D default file.wav

You may need to kill any PIDs using alsa, run (as root)

alsa reload

This will print all the PID's using alsa, e.g.

# alsa reload
/usr/sbin/alsa: Warning: Processes using sound devices: 2338(mixer_applet2) 3612(chrome).

Now when you open alsamixer or gnome-volume-control you should see a new volume control called Pre-amp:

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mulling over metrics..

Reviewing my stats for this blog, I have come across an unknown item..

Anyone know what "sam" as an operating system in the stats would be?

Browser stats are also quite interesting, with internet explorer taking only 20% of all time page views, after Google chrome at 36% and Firefox at 22% :D
I've never even heard of Dolphin browser.. looks interesting

Now for something truly amazing to me..
My YouTube channel almost has 25 thousand views, in 140  countries..
Just checked again, and it's gone up considerably..
I will in all likelihood NEVER be able to physically go to 140 different countries so this is awesome D:

Country Views
United States 6329
Canada 4237
United Kingdom 3772
Germany 814
Brazil 489
Spain 481
Italy 477
India 455
Australia 454
France 406
Netherlands 375
Poland 312
Mexico 288
Japan 286
Sweden 248
Hungary 214
Norway 201
Russia 197
Singapore 195
Belgium 190
Argentina 184
Denmark 172
Greece 169
Czech Republic 167
Romania 160
Austria 158
South Korea 152
Thailand 135
Turkey 135
Malaysia 134
Taiwan 133
Portugal 133
Finland 131
Chile 125
Philippines 101
Israel 100
Switzerland 94
Hong Kong 91
Slovakia 90
Pakistan 90
Ireland 86
Ukraine 85
Saudi Arabia 79
Croatia 78
Estonia 77
New Zealand 77
Slovenia 75
Colombia 69
Bulgaria 66
Indonesia 64
Egypt 63
Lithuania 52
Peru 51
Venezuela 49
United Arab Emirates 41
Puerto Rico 39
Serbia 39
South Africa 39
Vietnam 37
China 33
Latvia 27
Morocco 25
Sri Lanka 22
Iran 21
_unknown_ 18
Qatar 17
Bosnia and Herzegovina 17
Costa Rica 16
Ecuador 14
Cyprus 14
Trinidad and Tobago 11
Bahrain 11
Luxembourg 11
Macedonia [FYROM] 11
Iceland 11
Kuwait 11
Jamaica 10
Lebanon 10
Tunisia 9
Bolivia 8
Iraq 7
Kazakhstan 7
Dominican Republic 6
Armenia 6
Belarus 6
Malta 6
Nepal 6
Honduras 6
Jersey 6
Algeria 5
Georgia 5
Guatemala 5
Paraguay 5
Jordan 5
Uruguay 4
Azerbaijan 4
Albania 4
Bahamas 4
Moldova 4
Oman 4
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 3
Palestinian Territories 3
Bangladesh 3
Sudan 3
Maldives 3
Mongolia 3
Macau 3
Ethiopia 2
Faroe Islands 2
Gibraltar 2
El Salvador 2
Barbados 2
Syria 2
Brunei 2
Bermuda 2
Nicaragua 2
Panama 2
Yemen 2
British Virgin Islands 1
Dominica 1
Vatican City 1
Uganda 1
Tanzania 1
Grenada 1
Guam 1
RĂ©union 1
Antigua and Barbuda 1
Timor-Leste 1
Belize 1
Montenegro 1
Mauritius 1
Northern Mariana Islands 1
Mauritania 1
Nigeria 1
Haiti 1
Isle of Man 1
Cambodia 1
Kyrgyzstan 1
Cayman Islands 1
Saint Lucia 1

YouTube of the day 2012/06/11

Yes I did actually watch all of these videos yesterday.. not only these, but more that will be in a later post ;)
 Global Economic Collapse?
 Mexico's missing local election candidates
 Would You Go To Prison For 100k? Diane Tran Update
 Gays Compared To Zombies By Radical Fundamentalist
 Total surveillance: Thousands of secret court orders allow government to spy on Americans
 Phantom Eye: Pentagon builds gigantic mega-drone
 Ron Paul revolution empowers the Libertarian machine
 Identity Lost: Canadians boil over as govt mulls US welfare model
 Christianity Causes Brain Damage
 Banks rob us!' Canadian girl becomes Internet sensation after exposing banksters
 If Atheists Acted Religious
 LAST CHANCE in this lifetime to see one of these!
 crane lifts roof
 Christian Fundamentalists Plan To Teach Genocide To Kids In School
 Next week on RT
 AR11504 Crackling With M-Flares June 9-10, 2012
 Time Spent In Prison For Drugs Has Exploded Since The 90's
 Creationism Vs Evolution - Poll
 Romney Could Save $20M In Taxes If He Wins The Election
 Rand Paul 'happy' to back Romney
 Pentagon sanitizes movies to make Americans warlike'
 Good Evidence for God?
 FBI stole Megaupload data?
 Japan restarts two nuclear reactors
 Judge says Americans aren't part of 'Homeland Battlefield'
 The Stream : Canada's Maple Spring
 Obama Is 'Making Kids Gay' Says 14-Year-Old Conservative Talk Show Host
 Spying on Muslims legal in the US?
 Putting your Hand in the Large Hadron Collider (a prelude)
 Draw Mohammad Day III
 Pakistan Blocks Twitter over Draw Mohammad Day 3
 UFO? Missile trace? New mystery spiral lights seen over Israel, Middle East