Sunday, March 27, 2011


And so my political posts begin... As I said elsewhere, this blog is also a soapbox. Caveat Lector.

I have a different opinion on healthcare than many Canadians, including some in my own family.

I believe in providing some level of care to all, regardless of ability to pay BUT I believe that a single-payer system such as the one we have in Canada is unfair and fundamentally broken.

Unfair because it restricts choice. In essence, why can I choose to send my kids to private school but not have the option of sending them to a private doctor, to be paid either out-of-pocket or through a private insurer?

I find it utterly unfair as well that there IS a two-tier system already, but one where the privilege is obtained with influence, not money (which happens to be a lot more 'democratic' than "who you know"). Professional sports athletes, politicians, cases handled by the WSIB (Workers Insurance Board), etc...

Or worse, the issue is addressed based on political concerns. The recent saga of approving Herceptin is an example.

Broken because it costs too much and has no real incentive to improve. I tend to agree with the notion that once we stop having to pay for something ourselves, we lose the interest into how much something costs, hence costs skyrocket.

On that notion, I appreciated two posts I came across recently:


There's a lot to discuss about healthcare, but as Canadians (and Ontarians) we should be concerned of surrendering freedoms to government under the mistaken impression that, when the time comes, the government "will be there" to support us to a level we want.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

iPad - Part 3 of ?


I thought I'd do a brief update on how iPad usage has changed over the past few months. As we got more familiar with the device, usage changed a bit.

  • I use the iPad every single day as the primary tool for consuming content updates from social networks. I use Osfoora HD as my Twitter client, FeedlerPro as my RSS reader and Friendly as the Facebook client. I still use ReadItLater as the 'catch-all' for content I want to check later. 
  • One thing I did is that I purchased the 'Digest' option for ReadItLater. It aggregates links in a magazine-style layout, similar to Flipboard. Very, very nice, well worth the $4.99 or so.
  • My routine is such that I am used to a few minutes of iPad screen-time just before going to sleep and a quick check of things in the morning as I wake up. Just a bit compulsive, eh? ;-)
  • I use SoundNote, SimpleNote and Evernote to store meeting notes, depending on things like the surrounding environment (recording sound with SoundNote might not be viable) or the need for more permanent storage (Evernote) or something I'll delete after dealing with it (SimpleNote).
Finally, I share my iPad with family members a lot more now... :-)
  • My wife still uses it rarely - she has her trusty (but long in the tooth) Sony eReader - but she enjoys a quick game of FlightControl HD.
  • My son (just shy of 6 years old) really took to several of the games on the iPad - Angry Birds, Angry Birds Season, Dots Free and now Puppet Pals HD.
  • I have loaded several "educational" apps for him and  he enjoys using them every now and then: "Stories", "KidCalc", "Sight Words" and "Kindergarten" are a few of them.

All in all, nicely integrated into our home life. I followed the iPad2 launch and I am curious about it as a possible replacement for my wife's Sony eReader. We'll see...