DTV Transition in the USA and its affects on Canadian TV viewers

The USA DTV changeover date is February 17, 2009.

The Candian DTV changeover date is sometime in 2011.

The USA will be switching away from "analogue" transmissions of "Over The Air" Television signals. The reason for this, is that they can save a lot of wireless spectrum (ie: the amount of space available in the sky to transmit stuff wirelessly) by transmitting it digitally. So, you get the same quality signal (perhaps even better) but they can also run things like more data over new cellphone airwaves.

CIBC Dividend Visa Review - Regular, Platinum, No Annual Fee, and Annual Fees

CIBC offers two Dividend Visas:

These are their two Visa credit cards that offer cash back rewards. Not points, but cash. I'll address their Aerogold and Aventura Visa cards in a later article. But for now...

LG Chocolate Repair: Phone Turns on for a few seconds, then turns off

Well, after my friend dropped his LG Chocolate into salt water, we took it apart based on this excellent guide and cleaned the insides with 30% H20/70% Isopropyl Alcohol.

How Does FDIC & CDIC Insurance Apply to Non-Citizens/Residents?

Of course, confirm everything with your bank. There may be exceptions, get the sure answer from them.

Lehman Brothers for Auction on Ebay: Current Bid: Way more than realistic Market Value

Lehman Brothers Ebay Auction - History in the Making

Ebay took down the auction Monday morning (I guess they don't work weekends). Need a shorter link to this page? Try using

Some person put Lehman Brothers up as a (presumably) fake auction on Ebay. Now of course, people try to sell all sorts of worthless junk on Ebay, so I guess this isn't much different.

But the Questions and Answers posted are hilarious, so here they are, nice and archived forever.

Professional Student Lines of Credit: Scotiabank and others

Professional Student Lines of Credit

Typically, professional students at university programs can get some preferred rates and terms for Lines of Credit at the big banks. Unfortunately, credit unions aren't particularly on top of things, so you're going to have to deal with the Big 5: TD, BMO, Scotia, CIBC & RBC.

Be sure to deal with their preferred branches (usually near the universities themselves), instead of standard branches which probably just do regular student Lines of Credit, otherwise they might not be too familiar with what is available for you.

Canada's Best Debit Cards: Airmiles, Scene Points and Hopefully More!

Do you make a lot of purchases where you can't use a credit card, or perhaps you don't qualify for a decent rewards credit card, like the Citi Enrich 1% Cash Back card?

Well, there are actually reward DEBIT cards (yes, those Interac cards) available for Canadians.

Inter Alia Definition

I always see this term in legal documents "inter alia", and I have no idea what it means, so here it is:

"among other things"

In legal cases, it is often used when a reference is made to another case and they only wanted to being up specific aspects about it, even though other items were brought in that case.


2% Cash Back Credit Card - Canadian - American Express

Amex USED to have a 2% Cash Back Credit card. Even then, the 2% didn't kick in right away, so you'd have to spend many thousands per year to get > 1% overall. And of course, spending lots of money on an Amex card can be a bit difficult in Canada, since many merchants only accept Visa or Mastercard.

The American Express Gold 2% Cash Back card is No longer available, as of ~1 month ago in Canada. Those that still have cards should be fine until they expire, but if you're looking to apply for such a card, you are out of luck.

For Canadians: Crossing the US Border & Passport Requirements

For Canadians, a valid passport is already required for those planning on entering the United States via Air, such as an international flight from Toronto to Seattle. However, a passport would NOT be required if you were to drive across the border to Buffalo and then take a flight to Seattle from there. This is as of 2008.

APC BE550R UPS Review - Runtime, Annoyances and more

APC BE550R Review and why to NOT get the BE350R

I Purchased this from for the price of CAD$50+tax, I would say it is well worth spending the extra $10 in cost to get the 550VA version, rather than the 350VA BE350R.

Canadian Bank Stocks Yields 2008

Yields and P/E Ratios for all of the Big Canadian Banks, as of August 19th, 2008.

But first, some recent news articles about Canadian Bank Stocks and their Yields:

Everything To Know About Bank of Montreal's Mosaic Mastercard

On this page I am going to cover all of the major offerings of the BMO/Bank of Montreal Mosaic Line of Mastercards

Mosaic Mastercards With No Annual Fee

Your choice of Cash Back or Airmiles.

You can choose either 1 Air Mile per $40 Spent or 0.5% Cash Back

Credit Cards for Students in Canada

Getting a first credit card can be difficult while a student, or otherwise young person, due to the lack of credit history, job history and plain and simply, age.

Undervolting Fans - Make Your Fans Run Quieter and Last Longer

Trying to get your PC to run fanless, but just can't do it? Don't want to run completely fanless?

Well, one solution is to undervolt your fans. 

There are a number of acceptable methods to undervolt your DC fans. Suprisingly, you can get quite a bit of granularity of control with ATX power supplies.

Cashing US$ Dollar Cheques in Canada at a Canadian Bank

Here are the main details on cashing cheques/checks from the US in American Dollars.

Yes, you can do it. Usually you won't be charged any extra fees. Sometimes, banks will put on a hold (if it is a personal cheque) of as much as 30 days. TD did that. 

Be sure to ask if there are any extra fees before you do the transaction! Though there usually shouldn't be any.

Apt-Get Pine and/or Pico: Alternatives for Ubuntu, Debian and other users

Getting back into Linux and having trouble setting up these text editting or email clients? Just installed this fabulous Ubuntu Package System where you never have to look for any utility, just do an "sudo apt-get install"?

Well, it seems like due to some licensing issues, pico and pine are distributed as source only, binaries are not allowed to be distributed.

Will a Visa/Mastercard Debit Card Work Overseas or in Canada?

Planning on travelling overseas, like to Europe or Australia, with your Mastercard or Visa Debit Card?

The answer is yes, it will work as a signature transaction the same way that a credit card is accepted. I've never had a problem using my US-issued Paypal Debit MasterCard or US-issued National City Debit Visa Card in Canada. I don't see why I'd have a problem overseas either. 

Doing cash withdrawls at an ATM may be subject to extra fees. There usually will be a currency conversion charge or some such, but it isn't too major. 

Best US Dollar Bank Accounts for Canadians

Compilation of US$ Bank Accounts Available for Canadians at Canadian Banks.

I've already written a guide here on getting a US-based US Bank Account as a Canadian. These have to be opened in-branch at a US Bank Branch. RBC, through its Centura operations can do it through a Canadian Branch (I think), but they're kind of expensive.

Another Free Student Banking Account: Royal Bank of Canada

In addition to my previous guide on Best Bank Accounts for Canadian Students, RBC Royal Bank Student Banking is now on the list. They make the website a bit hard to find on their site, which was a bit of a downer.

Saskatoon Passport Renewals Office Maps, Directions & Help. New Applications Too!

Please leave comments here about your experiences at this location (getting there, lineups, times to go, times to avoid).

Do Cell Phones Work During Power Outages?

So, this seems to be a hard question to get an answer to.

Do mobile phones keep working when the power goes out?

Answer #1: They don't legally have to have power backup.

In North America, there is no regulatory requirement for cell phone companies to have systems to keep them online when the electricity goes out, which is different for landline telephones, where some exchanges have been up continuously since the 1920s. 

Increase your Adsense Revenue by Adding To Your URL Whitelist

Increase your Adsense Revenue:

Add "" to your Allowed Sites list if you restrict your Adsense ads to certain sites on your Adsense account. 

MLS.CA Annoyances: Multiple Listing Service Real Estate Website Problems

Seriously, if a group wants to monopolize the market for something (in this case, real estate listings), the least that they could do is make a web-site that more than just barely works.