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Russell McOrmond
Works at Canadiana.org
Attended Carleton University
Lives in Ottawa
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Russell McOrmond

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I continuously get into conversations with people who still believe the lines from the phone/cable companies that "if it is our wires and our investment, shouldn't we be able to manage them any way we want"?

Those wires aren't where the value is:  there is large and economically valuable government regulation in the form or right of way exceptions to property law which allow those wires to be put above/below public/private property without these companies having to get permission or make any payments to the property owners.   This massive government handout SHOULD come with obligations to the public, and in my mind it has always been total nonsense to suggest that Bell/Rogers/etc should be able to manage those connections any way they want.

The phone/cable companies are temporary stewards of this public infrastructure, granted stewardship by governments on behalf of the public, and not owners in any meaningful sense of that word.   This is true of right-of-way cabling and wireless spectrum, and the sooner the public and politicians understand this, the more modern our communications infrastructure can become.

Earlier this month TVO had a conversation with Corey Doctorow which included this type of issue as it relates to Net Neutrality.  I like his matter-of-fact style of explaining these complex issues.
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I've been thinking for a while that private property rights in EM spectrum in similar form as we have for land would allow for a dynamic and diverse mobile network (and other radio telecommuncations) space.  Everything from mesh networks, to locally owned micro-ISPs, 

Private property rights are arguably defined in terms of exclusivity, and as such they are established from homesteading.  Especially considering the inverse-square law, meaningful value-adding development would be needed to hold the property.

 The mostly country-wide bandwidth government auction and rent collection regime that we have now highly favours established incumbents, and makes no allowance for local, small scale development.  If someone "purchases" the government license to bandwidth at the Industry Canada auction, it is entirely exclusionary on that part of the spectrum for most of the country. 
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Russell McOrmond

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Found this via http://infojustice.org/archives/34136 "Global Library and Archives Community Welcomes New Report from United Nations Special Rapporteur on Copyright Policy and the Right to Science and Culture"
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Russell McOrmond

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Eben Moglen is one of those thought leaders I always like to follow closely.  Hopefully the people and government of India will take his advise as a legal historian and not make some of the mistakes of western nations.
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Ontario Government intervention in Over the Top video policy discussions
I sent the following to my MP and Ontario MPP, after reading a few articles on Michael Geist's blog about Ontario’s Campaign for a Netflix Tax . For me this isn't about price, as I believe I get good value for money from Netflix and wouldn't mind paying mo...
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Russell McOrmond

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Always useful to share this type of information, for people who aren't thinking about the complexity of the devices we are carrying in our pocket.


And this always reminds me of all the ways that "legitimate" governments are making it harder for citizens to secure their devices, and how much less secure (physically, economically, etc) this makes our countries...  The greatest national security threat in most western countries is their own government.
Published: Wed 11 March 2015. By viraptor. In misc. tags: wifi security privacy probes. Many people may already know that all your devices try to broadcast your previous connections. I expect that many more have no idea that's happening. There have been articles published about it before, ...
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A video about the stuff we do at my workplace.
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Russell McOrmond

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Tough on criminals and terrorists, but soft of crime and terrorism
Out of interest I subscribe to the email mailing lists of all 4 Canadian parties with members in the house of Commons (I have no interest in the Quebec-only parties).  While there is nothing unexpected in the mailings from the Greens, Liberals and NDP, I fi...
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Russell McOrmond

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While I wasn't at talk, from what I saw in this report I'm with Even Moglen n this.  People like to believe that new technology is empowering individual citizens, but I believe the reality is quite opposite and that while elected representatives aren't in control, unaccountable government agencies and branches of corporations are.

In this I am suggesting that most politicians and most executives of corporations are as powerless in the changing power equation as the average citizens are.

The problem with this new code=law world is that those in control of code, folks like the NSA/etc, aren't being understood for the power that they are being granted.  They aren't understood by citizens or politicians who might reign them in if they were technology literate enough to know what is happening.

There are tech-savvy politicians, and like these government agencies and branches of corporations, can rely on the illiteracy of fellow policy makers to remain unaccountable.  But with my viewing at least the Canadian parliament, technologically literate politicians are an extremely rare thing.

Reading the About on http://www.disruptive-power.com/ , I think the author misunderstands what is happening.  The issue isn't non-state actors potentially wrestling power from otherwise potentially accountable state-actors.  The real issue is the reduction of accountability of state actors as they centralize their own power, while at the same time the ability of citizens and elected representatives to hold them accountable diminishes with the lack of basic technology literacy within society.
The book was 'Disruptive Power: The Crisis of the State in the Digital Age' by Taylor Owen, and the launch party didn't turn out quite the way Owen would hav...
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Russell McOrmond

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Not that I needed an additional reason to refuse to be a Bell customer, or to not treat television "News" coverage as if it were unbiased.

I've long laughed at the suggestion that "journalism" is unbiased, and that the political motivations of that individual, and any executive above them where they are employed, will influence how stories are reported.

That the legacy vertically integrated media companies abuse their ownership of media companies to manipulate coverage of coverage of their own controversial activities will become yet another reason for increased regulation of these entities.
The Globe and Mail's James Bradshaw reports that Bell Media President Kevin Crull banned CTV media properties from including CRTC Chair Jean Pierre Blais in coverage of the recent TalkTV decisions. The report indicates that Crull ordered the head of CTV News to stop including Blais in coverage following an interview on BNN, which led to the cancellation of an interview with Don Martin and dropping him from local news stories (he was included in t...
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Where does "Television" fit on the "Information Superhighway"?
Policy makers during much of the 1990's liked to use the phrase "Information Superhighway", trying to make an analogy between transportation technology and communications technology. With all the recent talk about the future of Canadian television, I starte...
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Interesting note from +Diane Wild  of TV-Eh.  I previously listened to the podcast version of her site, but got frustrated. Her show and site promotes Canadian TV, but little of it was made available to me. 

I'm not interested in subscribing to a BDU as I consider them political opponents, and not legitimate service providers.  "Canadian" (And I use that term loosely) BDUs own most of the "Canadian" broadcasters which create most of the "Canadian" TV content, and the BDUs don't want them available to people who are not subscribers to BDUs -- like me.

Amusingly, the only stuff I've watched streamed from the websites of Canadian broadcasters in the last year have been UK based shows: watched Doctor Who via http://www.space.ca/Doctor-Who , and watched season 2 of broadchurch via http://www.showcase.ca/broadchurch . I wrote about my experience with those sites at http://mcormond.blogspot.ca/2015/01/broken-broadcaster-streaming-websites.html

So, back to Diane  - her recommendations to the #CRTC for allowing Canadians to discover and access Canadian Content?

2 votes for Netflix in the form of "Sell your damn shows to Neftlix" and "Did I mention Netflix? I hear they buy shows."

2 votes for "Fund TV critic positions..." with a plug for "fund TV, Eh?".

1 vote for running away from the idea that "Canada" is the brand, rather than the show being what matters.

As was often the case when she waded into the politics and business of this broken Canadian TV sector, I'm in complete agreement with her.   The best thing that could happen to the Canadian TV industry is if the creators could break free from the BDUs and recognize that Netflix is one of their most important partners, not a threat.  Illegitimate sites like Shomi and CraveTV are not competition to Netflix, but an IMHO unlawful attempt to delay the inevitable http://mcormond.blogspot.ca/2015/01/legitimacy-of-new-tv-options-cravetv.html

Enough of a pro-Canadian TV rant from me for this morning...
I've been gorging on a lot of UK crime dramas lately, though crime shows have rarely been my preferred series of choice (there's a The Wire exception to every rule though).  Luther might have been ...
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Russell McOrmond

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Cool....
The Little Library in the Westmount neighbourhood is open again after it was vandalized on New Year's Eve.
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That was supposed to say "Libraries are Cool...", but I hit send too fast :-)
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People
In his circles
169 people
Have him in circles
379 people
Alex Blackie's profile photo
Angel Katz's profile photo
anil kumar's profile photo
Santosh Dhale's profile photo
Jeff Power's profile photo
Brendan Wall's profile photo
Canadian Internet Registration Authority's profile photo
Chandrashekhar Rai's profile photo
Kunal Deb Chandra's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Internet/FLOSS Consultant
Employment
  • Canadiana.org
    System Administrator/software developer, 2011 - present
    System administration of LAN and Internet servers, software developer (primarily Catalyst/PERL based web application)
  • FLORA Community Consulting
    Internet/FLOSS Consultant, 1995 - 2012
    Self-employed consultant http://www.flora.ca
  • Agriculture Canada
    2008 - 2010
    Configuration management, system administration
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Ottawa
Previously
Sudbury
Story
Introduction
I have a hardware/software background and primarily get paid for related skills, but my passion is public policy.  Active in areas where technology, law and economics come together -- most recently focused on digital copyright, information/mental process patents, and new media/network neutrality.

A few years ago I was thinking of the past and started drafting a biography:  The life of one Hacker.

Bragging rights
Don't have a drivers license, been involved in computing since 1980s, Eastern Ontario Authorized Commodore repair-person in late 1980's, Linux user since 1993
Education
  • Carleton University
    1987
  • Garson Falconbridge Secondary School
    1982 - 1986
  • Nickel District Secondary School
    1986 - 1987
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Great location and view. Only thing I would change is add some healthier options for breakfast/dinner (yoghurt, more salads/vegetables, etc).
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Nice way to organize menu: pick 2 or pick 3 (dessert) for a simple price.
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Was here to see the building used for Torchwood 1 (Dr. Who verse..)
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Lots of Dr Who (verse), Merlyn and other scify/fantasy stuff. Oh, and stamps for collectors... :-)
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