Kik Releases Update | Fred Wilson joins board

Kik messenger just released the latest version of its  popular mobile messaging application for the iPhone and android today. It includes some cool new features that we profiled from the beta like picture messaging and group chat, it also features improved social aspects to help find your friends on Kik more accurately, a groups function and it remains lightning fast. In this mornings press release it also mentioned that esteemed VC Fred Wilson would be joining the company’s board of directors.

Kik messenger is an incredibly fast mobile messaging application. It features a read receipt system close to BlackBerry Messanger, but it works across all smart phone platforms.

The addition of Fred Wilson to the board of directors looks great on the firm. Among other notable investments, his company was one of the early investors in Twitter and a  shareholder in the popular location based social network foursquare. He possesses key industry insight that will help Kik take its already large user base to the next level.

Get What You want From Canadian Satellite Providers | Lower Cost Bell, Telus, Shaw

The cost of Television in Canada is outrageous thanks to limited competition in the majority of Provinces markets. That, coupled with the fact that TV service provider’s customer service is completely intolerable, make them impossible to deal with. This guide will show you how to go on the offensive against these monopolies to bring your bill down.

  • First, figure out what it is you really want. New hardware, low monthly bills, or a one time large bill reduction.
  • Next give your television provider a call. The person who first picks up the phone will not be able to give you what you want and neither will their manager. No matter how upset you are with the TV company, yelling at these people is just a waste of breath. Simply, and politely let the customer service representative know what you want (Eg. My bill is too high, My PVR is broken and I want a new one but dont want to pay anything for it, Promotion X is available to new customers and I want it)
  • The customer service representative will tell you, more or less, that this is impossible. At this point tell them that you would like to cancel your services / speak to the retentions department. Don’t worry if your in a long term contract, most larger tv companies require 30 days notice for you to cancel an account so it therefore takes 30 days from the day that you call in to cancel for any cancellation order to go through. This is ussually incredibly annoying for the consumer as it is rarely communicated upon purchase, but we can use it to our advantage in this case. If your conversation with retentions ends in you canceling the account you can call back in anytime before the 30 days are up and cancel the cancellation order.
  • The Customer Service rep will put you on hold and explain the situation to the retentions representative before passing you over to them. If you are in a long term contract the first thing the retentions rep will do is to try to scare you away from canceling by citing early termination penalties. Don’t budge, remember the 30 notice rule, and tell them that you still would like to cancel your account.
  • The retentions rep will give you an opening offer. If the offer fits your goal in mind then by all means take it but, depending on how long you’ve been with the company, how much your monthly rate is, and payment history, there is probably a better offer available. It’s advisable to deny this opening offer.
  • Continue negotiating with the retentions rep until you either get what you want, or end up putting in your 30 days notice to cancel the account.
  • If your account is put on the 30 days notice just call back in and cancel it with the customer service rep and try cancelling again tomorrow!

From experience some things are pretty easy to get the first time you ask for them, they are:

  • 30% off for 6 months of programming
  • 50% off a new reciever
  • Free installation of a rented reciever plus 12 months free rental charges
  • 3 months free programming

Try it out and let us know how it goes by posting a comment!

Broadcast Video on Chat Roulette | How To

Sometimes when you’re browsing through chatroulette you notice some of your partner’s camera feeds are of recorded video or picture. You can do this too on your mac using Camtwist and Soundflower.

Setting up the video and audio channels

Camtwist can be found here and Soundflower here. Install and launch both applications. Soundflower should populate up on your global toolbar as a small flower icon like so.Thats all we need to do with Soundflower.

Go over to camtwist and under the step 1 heading, click on Movie to select it (1) then press the select button(2). Find the movie that you want to broadcast in your finder and drag it into your playlist(3). Finally click the play button to play it (4), at this point you will only hear sound.

Click to Enlarge

Press cmd+, to go to preferences and click on “General”.  In the drop-down menu for the audio output  device select “Soundflower(16ch)”.

Setting Up Chatroulette

Visit the chatroulette website and, once the website has loaded up, move your cursor over your (bottom) cam window and a few options should pop up. For cam, select “CamTwist” and for Mic select “Soundflower(16ch)” and press allow on any flash security prompts. A CamTwist screen should appear on your (bottom) cam window. Click the Start button and you are now broadcasting your movie or image to the other chatrouletter.

If you don’t see the CamTwist Icon appear on your cam window, try restarting the browser and configuring the chatroulette Cam and Mic options again.

Lose Weight FAST with Ephedrine and Caffeine | ECA stack

First of all, I am not a medical professional and the information below is for entertainment purposes only. It requires you to take ephedrine and caffeine for at least 2 weeks ramping up the dosage. These ingredients were the backbone for the original hydroxycut formulas, the ones that actually worked…

What is it?

Ephedrine and Caffiene act in synergy to supercharge your metabolism, burning more calories at any given time in any given state of exertion. This means that you can carry on your regular routine, consuming the same number of calories and still lose some weight. That said, combining the “stack” with a reduced calorie/carb diet  will lead to a much more remarkable results. This isn’t too hard to do while your taking these compounds because they are pretty powerful appetite suppressants. You should be careful to make sure your eating lots of small, protein rich snacks and meals throughout the day so that you don’t waste away too much solid muscle mass or become malnourished. Traditionally, the combination contains asprin to help reduce blood pressure (hence the A in ECA) but usage of the drug for extended periods of time has recently been linked to stomach ulcers so we recommend against using it. If you’re very concerned about your blood pressure, taking half a tab (162.5 mgs) per day probably won’t put you at too much risk.

Where do you get it?

In Canada you can get the two ingredients at any Popeye’s supplement store or online at  livepurehealth.com, which is by far the cheapest option. Ephedrine almost always comes in 8mg tablet and Caffiene usually 200mgs, sometimes 100mgs.

How do I use it?

Ephedrine is a pretty powerful stimulant so when combined with caffeine it can lead to anxiety and “jitters.” In order to curb these side effects we work up to the most effective dose of 25mg of ephedrine and 200mgs of caffeine 3 times a day. Do not exceed 6 weeks of use without at least a 12 week break.

ECA dosing

Important Notes

  • Don’t take this if you are younger than 18 years of age.
  • Do not use EC with SSRIs, SNRIs, MAOI or any other anti-depressants.
  • Do not use EC if you have any sort of heart condition WHATSOEVER, seriously!
  • If you’re having trouble sleeping, reduce to only 2 dosages of the stack so 24mgs of ephedrine and 200mgs caffiene twice a day. This is still effective for fatloss and appetite supression.
  • The stimulating effects will wear off after about the 14th day but don’t worry the positive impacts on your metabolism are still there.
  • Never go over the recomended doseage!

What to do in Waterloo | Waterloo to host exciting event in the mathematical sciences this summer

The majority of this site’s contributers are from the Kitchener/Waterloo area or go to school at the university of waterloo. While putting fingers to keys in our luxurious office (the Waterloo tech library) we overheard some exciting news, the University of Waterloo is hosting the Canadian Undergraduate Mathematics Conference this summer.

It’s a week long annual conference that has been running for 17 years and it hasn’t been hosted at Waterloo since 1996. This time around, it should be twenty times as good with some extremely well decorated keynote speakers and 170 attendees.
I know exactly what you’re thinking: Its math… That’s what we (with the exception of the CSers and Mathies amongst us) thought too until we heard about the format of the conference and who the keynote speakers are. The way it works is students attending the conference are invited to give talks about any subject pertaining to math: pure mathematics, theoretical physics, computer science, economics, whatever you’re into. Student lectures done in a non-competitive and supportive environment with no Profs or pros to show you up. Not only is it great experience, but also it will look outstanding on a resume.

The student talks will be held throughout the day with breaks for the keynote speeches. This years speakers are the primary cause for our excitement, with big names from the math, finance and computer science worlds giving talks. Most notably, Waterloo CUMC has flown in Frank Morgan, the vice-president of the American math Society, to talk about the physical-geometric theory of soap bubbles. Phelim Boyle, the inventor on Monte Carlo methods in option pricing, will also be delivering a speech that should not be missed by any ECON or AFM student. The full list of speakers can be found here here on the CUMC website.

Talking to the conference organizer, I asked him what his favorite part of the event is:

“its really refreshing to meet a bunch of enthusiastic people you’re age when you’re into math. Its weird when you’re into math, and you spend a lot of time and energy on it, thinking that maybe there is no one else in the world, just you and your textbooks who find mathematics interesting. Last year when I showed up I was blown away by all the friendly down to earth people who found the subject as interesting as I do.”

At $90 registration, the whole thing is relatively cheap. A tip to any undergrads that want to go but are afraid the cost of travel/stay/ticket price is outside of their means -talk to you’re university or college’s math department. You might be able to get them to sponsor you. If you would like to attend, lecture or sponsor this kick-ass event visit the CUMC’10 website at http://cumc.math.ca/2010/en/ or contact them at [email protected]

Buy Cheap Textbooks

For almost all of your 100 and 200 level courses, and some of your 300s and 400s, you can probably find the international copy of your textbook on eBay. These versions of the textbook are paperback, intended for resale in developing economies and, for that reason, are usually about a quarter of the price of their University store hardcover equivalent. Simply search for only the ISBN in eBay and look for the result that says “international copy” in the description. Make sure that the seller has a decent rating before placing an order.

FLAC Audio Files To MP3 for iTunes on Mac

Although Flac gives you a far superior sound quality, the files are large and impossible to transfer to most big market mp3 players. In order to get these cumbersome files into itunes on your mac we need to get a piece of open source software called Max which you can get here .
Decompress and open the application.
First we need to pick the format that we would like our flac files to be converted into. Along the top select Max>Preferences or simply press command+, to open preferences. In preferences select format, this is where we select what we would like to convert our .flac files into. Click on the MP3 option in the “Available output formats” list and then press the plus button to the left above the list as shown here:

Max Prefs

Max will drop down a set of quality options, I advise selecting best to retain as much audio quality as we can when we convert to MP3. Set the Encode Quality to best and select “OK” to continue. Now that we’re back to the Formats menu, click the check box to the left of MP3 in the “Configured output formats” and close the window.

From the File menu, select “Convert Files…” or press command+shift+O. This will bring up the file conversion screen. Find the files that you want to convert on your hardrive and select Open. You can change the meta data of the music; the album, artist, genre, ect that will show up in itunes along with the song, by clicking “Metadata.”

Convert Screen

Select the convert button in the top left corner of that screen to start converting your FLAC files into MP3. Max will automatically add the files to your iTunes library to be put on your ipod.

Adding Thumbnails To WordPress Posts

Now this may not work for all wordpress skins, but it will for the majority of the magazine/blog types like arthemia and convergence.

First, add a file to the “Media” section of your WordPress admin tools  by selecting Add File (or some sort of variation of that depending on the theme you have used) , select Upload file and find the picture you want to use as a thumbnail on your computer.  Once The file is uploaded it should look like this:

addpicture to wordpress

Note the highlighted area, this will be your picture’s path. Copy that line starting from wp-content for later use.

Next, go to the post we would like to attach the thumbnail to in the posts section of the dashboard. If you scroll further down the edit page of your post there should be a section for a custom field. Create a new custom field by clicking on the text box below name. For name input “Image” and for Value input our path for the image, in this case wp-content/uploads/2010/01/arthemia-screenshot10.jpg.

NOTE: The ‘I’ in Image, must be capitalized!

Adding A Custom Field
Adding A Custom Field

Now click Add custom field and we’re done, you should see your thumbnail on the blogroll.

Speech to Text on a Mac Laptop Using the Internal Mic


MacSpeech Dictate 1.5
First, get Macspeech Dictate. It’s available for sale at www.macspeech.com, and you can save 10% on MacSpeech Dictate with Microphone by using coupon MACSPEECH during checkout. Once its loaded up it will ask you to create a profile by selecting a microphone. The stock Dictate application will not let you select your internal mic to be used as an audio input source. To get around this, we have to download two applications, the latest version of Soundflower from http://code.google.com/p/soundflower/downloads/list and LineIn from http://rogueamoeba.com/freebies/.

Install Soundflower and launch both applications along with Macspeech Dictate. If we go back to Dictate we can select “Soundflower 16ch” as depicted below.

Dictate Settings

Now go to LineIn and route the internal mic to Sounflower we select “Default System Input” and Output ” Soundflower (16ch)” then click “Pass Thru”.

LineIn Settings

Keep all these applications open and go back to Dictate and create your profile. Follow the rest of the steps in Dictate and this should allow you turn speech to text using your Mac Laptop’s internal Mic.