When the postal strike first started I commented to someone “this is the strike no one will notice” especially since at first it was not a full on strike but a rotating shut down that really wouldn’t impact service. And I think for most people until a few days ago when the full lock out went in to place it had been a strike with no impact.
Except in one area. I want you to think about the mail you’ve received in the last two weeks. Can you think of anything different about it?
Anything? If your mail is like mine or the few other people across the country I polled you’ve received noticeably less unsolicited junkmail (both of the addressed and unaddressed variety). Your bills have continued to come as normal and everything is more or less as you’d expect mail to be junk mail aside.
In announcements made by Canada Post they were crying poor due to lost revenues related to the strike, to the tune of $100 million.
So here is the terrible truth about Canada Post that they don’t want you to know about and we Canadians should be asking some serious questions about: Canada Post has become a company who relies heavily on the revenues from people sending you mail you do not want. The postal service has become more antiquated as the internet has increasingly became a hub for commerce.
Just before the lockouts Canada Post opted to deliver only 3 days a week because of the decrease in volume. Is a 3 day mail schedule the reality of how often we should be delivering?
Should we as tax payers be willing to fund a junk mail service?
For a month now I’ve had a dirty secret. I’ve switched from an iPhone to an HTC Incredible S, an Android phone.
My contract was up with Rogers and Virgin Mobile had a great no contract offer so I decided why the hell not. In the worst case I knew that we’ll have a new iPhone in the fall and I could always switch back.
As time goes on and I use the phone more I’ll do some more blog posts but I thought I’d give some initial impressions in the forms of pros and cons.
The way Android handles notifications is BRILLIANT. With the single touch of a button I can know about anything that is happening with any of my apps. I find with the iPhone I can easily lose track of notifications or in some cases the notification system just can’t handle what an application is trying to accomplish.
I have a home screen that I’ve completely built using apps and widgets. I also have a lock screen built by an application (Widget Locker is a brilliant piece of business if you don’t already have it). At first as an iPhone user the amount of customization is overwhelming and even feels gimmicky (“oh come on, what is the point of being able to control THAT”) but very quickly as you learn the ropes and how the various customization apps work you start to make your work flow smarter and all of a sudden these simple customizations are changing how you interact with your phone
- Web based app store
It’s a simple thing but I enjoy being able to browse the app store on the web.
- Android App Market takes you places the app store just does not…
I don’t know why or if this is just me but I’m finding on the android app market things I just wouldn’t find on the iOS app store. On my android I can now control my minecraft server, I can connect and use my ventrilo server, I can manage my files through applications. There just seems to be a hacker mentality that attracts developers closer to my own style of digital life
- Battery life
Jesus tap dancing christ the battery life is terrible. I get a day out of it and I guess that’s acceptable but on 12-14 hour days I’m likely hitting 0% as I walk in the door. It sucks. At the moment there is a bug in the Geocaching app that is making this even worse. Even with the Geocaching app doesn’t run it is draining the battery. So yeah. The OS lets that happen. That’s not good.
Where with normal apps it felt like I was finding some “cooler” stuff with games the Android platform is a barren wasteland. This is fine because I have an iPad but if this was my one device and games were important to me I’d be considering getting an iPhone. The games section of the app store is full of ROM emulators (which is great) and cheesy knock offs of iOS games (I love the tower defence game Fieldrunners on iOS and the best selling game on the android market is what appears to be a copy/paste of it)
- All Star App Development
This is more of a fear than anything I’ve actually seen BUT I have noticed before I came on board with Android that often times iOS will get new things sooner. It seems like the smaller start ups who do cool stuff land on iOS first and get to Android when they have time. I hope I don’t get screwed over when the next big thing hits.
So there’s the starting point of my Leaving the Walled Garden series. To wrap here are some screen shots of my various phone screens:
My lock screen:
My home screen:
My widget dashboard where I control basic phone functions:
My app launch board with my most used apps.
You’ve probably heard one way or another by now but I am no longer employed by Indigo Books and Music. I was let go as part of a restructuring as Indigo prepares to deal with the digital transformation in the book industry.
I have been with Indigo since 1999. I was already working at Exhibition Place but I needed a little extra cash for a trip to Europe (my parents were quick to let me know they weren’t covering a trip to Europe ). I started working in the computer books section to help drive sales and had a blast meeting professionals who would come in and talk about problems they were having and as I got more along in my own computer science studies it was great sometimes to be able to help them find a solution even without selling them a book. I fell in love with that environment where it felt like an exchange of ideas. It was a great environment and there were times I was learning so much my piddly hourly wage seemed like theft. So after the trip to Europe I stayed.
I worked there part time solid in to my university years until the spring where I busted up my knee playing baseball. I had already been planning on taking a summer job with the city of Toronto working on databases so when my knee literally made it impossible to do my job at Indigo I just went on an extended level of absence. That fall I got married and was torn between going back to school, finding a Real Job(TM) or becoming a hobo. A management position just happened to be open at the store during this cross roads and despite my honest desire to not work another Christmas in retail I decided to go for it. I did that for a year and just as I was ready to walk away and find something else they posted a position for an Inventory Analyst.
I had no idea what an inventory analyst was but it seemed to heavily involve SAP (which I would spend countless hours nerding away in at the store) and computers in general so I went for it. Upon meeting my future boss I was so excited I.MUST.HAVE.THIS.JOB and work with THESE.PEOPLE. Those first few years in inventory management at Indigo were a golden age for me and I learned so many things I’m sure will influence me for the rest of my career.
In recent years I’ve quickly climbed the ladder and worked on some great projects. I was privileged to work with some great people and can honestly say I accomplished some great things that I’m very proud of.
I’ve had some people ask me if I’m mad, worried or any number of other emotions and honestly I’m just happy to be moving on. I should be mad, I know that. Those closest to me know that I basically gave large portions of my life up to implementing EWM and opening a new warehouse at Indigo last year. There is a hole from August to December where I was working 12-20 hours a day weeks at a time. So after giving so much on a project that will help set Indigo up for success in the future I should be mad but honestly I don’t have an angry bone in my body. This is an extremely positive step for me.
I’m now taking the summer off to find some balance and deciding on the way forward. I’ve spent more time with Paige and Tammy in the last two weeks than I did likely in the entirety of last year. That has been extremely rewarding and done me a world of good.
So don’t worry about me and be ready for some phone calls asking for introductions and job market intel come the later Summer/early Fall.