The Best E-mail Testing Tool

HTML e-mail has come along way but different e-mail clients still load and display HTML emails different. The best way to reduce risk of someone seeing a poorly formatted e-mail is to test them in a tool that can show you how your e-mail will render multiple e-mail clients.

Retail Video Games

I hate discs and especially video game discs. They scratch easily and I loose them. All of the consoles only have a single disc slot so switching games always involved ejecting and swapping discs. Even worst if you have a problem with your console and the disc doesn’t eject properly…’

iWatch about being a wallet, not a wearable

There are a lot of rumours about the Apple September 9th event and a possible Apple iWatch launch. I believe most Smart watches today are largely useless. I was surprised at how quickly people abandoned their Pebble, we’re never far from our phones and continuous connection drains your phone quickly. Even the relatively small battery drain was much of negative relative the minimal value offered by notifications on my wrist. I haven’t seen anything more functional from any of the other Smart watches…

Joining Hill+Knowlton Strategies

I wanted to formally share some exciting news from my professional life. Effective yesterday, Ascentum Inc has been acquired and will be joining the Hill+Knowlton Strategies family.  I’ve been with Ascentum for 3 years and as you probably know Ascentum specializes in helping businesses, government and not-for-profit organizations facilitate and create dialogue with stakeholders via online, in-person and social media-based strategies and tools.

BlackBerry… Its all about the Browser.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been working on my first mobile project in a while.  I use an iPhone regularly and have access to an older Android device.  I haven’t used a BlackBerry device in close to 3 years.  In fact, to get one we asked the last person in our office that got an iPhone to dig up his old BlackBerry from his parents house.  The sad part is that the devices really haven’t changed much in the last 3 years…  The track ball is replaced by the touch pad but the operating system is very close to same.  The last device I used was a BlackBerry Curve ( model unknown ) with OS 5.0 beta in 2009, which was only a small improvement over BB OS 4.5.  Virgin Mobile and several other wireless carriers still sell a BlackBerry 5.0 device today.

BlackBerry devices, and specifically their browser experience have become horribly out of date

Fixing Draw Something…

There’s been a lot of discussion around Draw Something and Zynga’s purchase of the game.  Forbes recently reported that the game saw a 5M drop in Daily Active Users.   This is a problem but Forbes seem to focus mainly on the belief that users are tired of the game.  Gigaom has a more complete review with the acknowledgement that there are some technical issues with the game and the transition to the Zynga hosting.  I think the article down plays the issue and I think the following need to be addressed:

  1. Stability.  I know several people with the game that are completely unable to play or load it.  The game just crashes and they can’t play at all.  They don’t receive notifications and the game is unusable.  A quick search on Twitter shows several people suffering from this problem and it seems to effect the free version more than the paid version. 

How to Travel to the US, with your iPhone…

I travel to the US 2-3 times a year and I want to use my iPhone while traveling. The first task is to understand is your usage.  My typical usage is:

  • Voice Calls – I receive 2-3 calls daily with a total daily talk time of 20 mins, generally I know 2 of the 3 calls I get daily
  • Text Messages – I receive about 10 a day, and send 5
  • Data Usage – I use about 50 MB a day, more if I’m tethered

Move over Google and enter DuckDuckGo…


I think it was around 1998 when I first discovered Google on a trip to San Francisco, and I’ve been using it faithfully since. I tried Bing a few years ago but it didn’t really deliver much improvement. When I originally heard about people using DuckDuckGo, I was skeptical I’d see much improvement… I have to say I’ve been proven wrong, the search is great and includes a lot of little tricks that even one-up Google. One of the big considerations for me was the DuckDuckGo privacy policy and commitment not to track me. Its pretty simple, “DuckDuckGo does not collect or share personal information.”

Roger’s amazing shrinking value plan…

Since setting up and regretting Rogers One a few months ago my Roger’s value plan has been steadily shrinking.  My original Smartphone Value plan in December 2011 was:

  • Call Display with Name Display
  • Enhanced Voicemail
  • Voicemail to Text
  • Unlimited Sent Text, Picture & Video Msgs
  • Unlimited Rcvd Text Msgs – Unlimited Sent & Received US/International Text Msgs
  • Mobile Backup

The problem is Robocalls…

In Canada we’ve been experiencing a fairly large scandal involving Robocalls to Canadians surrounding the 2011 election.  I’ve been frustrated with Robocalls for several years and the lack of regulation by the CRTC.  A few years ago I kept getting Robocalls from a collection agency ( trying to reach someone named Brandi ) and recently I have been getting a barrage of calls from the NDP leadership campaign.  I think Robocall regulations should include:

Rogers One… Just not the one.

Over the past couple of months I’ve been using the Roger’s One Number service.  I was excited because this seemed to be a lot like the Google Voice service but for Canada.  The service lets you register your Roger’s wireless number and receive communications on your computer.  I’ve only used Roger’s One on my Mac Book Pro and it installs a small applet that launches a Roger’s One icon in your task bar.   This lets you know that the service is running and provides an interface to launch different web based locations to receive calls or text messages.  Roger’s One can also read your email and provide notifications, but I already have this via Gmail/Chrome so I disabled this functionality.

The Great US Paywall

I was recently in Florida for a Vacation and purchased an Amazon Fire device. The device is very similar to the Barnes and Noble Nook I purchased last year but I thought the Amazon content and store would provide a better experience. The first thing I did was sign up for Amazon Prime Trial, with no problems. I purchased some music, no problems and much better prices than iTunes. I also purchased a magazine subscription to 2600, no problems again.

I love Canada Post

Over the past few weeks I’ve ordered a number of things online and received shipments for all major shipping companies. My building has conceige that can sign for all packages that don’t require a payment for duty or COD. Its very interesting to see the process each company uses handle deliveries and collect the duty/COD charges:

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