Telus More!

I have talked a few times in this Blog about the exorbitant prices charged by Rogers and Bell to us frequent travellers to the U.S. for roaming. In fact I have recommended that if you are a Snowbird you would be wise to suspend your Canadian service and get yourself a pay-as-you-play U.S. phone from Tracfone or put a U.S. Sim card in your phone.

I’m pleased to see that Telus now has a Canadian – U.S. Plan for Smartphone users. For $75.00 Telus treats calling and texting the same in Canada and the U.S. – You can add Data to the plan as required. For example 1GB of Data costs $25.00 however they are offering a Bonus 2GB for no charge. Therefore you get 3GB, regardless as to where you are, for $25.00/mth.

If you are a serious U.S. traveller check out this offer.

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Border Inspections – Digital Devices

There has been much in the press the last few days with regards to the “ability” of a border agent, regardless as to hat side of the border they are on, to inspect a travellers phone, tablet and computer. Also are you required to provide your passwords to same and your email, social media and other accounts. The issue gained attention recently after at least three travellers, including a Canadian journalist, spoke out publicly about their experiences.

The short answer is YES THEY CAN! according to The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada “Travellers at Canadian airports and U.S. border crossings are subject to close scrutiny and several layers of security measures.” and “Under Canada’s Customs Act, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers have widespread powers to stop and search people, and examine their baggage and other possessions and devices at any Canadian port of entry (land border crossing, air terminal or sea port).” finally “If your laptop or mobile device is searched, you will likely be asked to provide the password.Officers may only examine what is stored within a device, which includes, for example, photos, files, downloaded e-mails and other media. If you refuse to provide your password, your device may be held for further inspection.”

A senior (US) Border Protection official briefed reporters on the issue Friday, but the agency insisted the official not be identified. “We see it as an article that is brought into the U.S., no different than a booklet of materials, no different than a suitcase with items in it,” the official said.

So if you don’t want any of your data getting into the hands of agents at the border what should you do? East Answer is don’t take your electronic devices with you when you travel or delete anything that you may “believe” would be an issue before travelling. If these are not practical, for whatever reason then consider the following…

clouds

Hark back at the agents quote “We see it as an article that is brought into the U.S., no different than a booklet of materials, no different than a suitcase with items in it,” In the old days you really had few options; store information on your device or on a removable media like a floppy disk. Today you do not need to store/save information, pictures, files and whatever on your device or on removable media that travels with you. There are multiple, low cost, storage options available from companies like Dropbox, Apple, Microsoft and a myriad of others. Don’t trust any of these then consider your own “cloud” server, a network attached server or hard drive, that can reside at your own company, house or wherever. If information is stored in one of these options you are not “bringing it in with you” it is effectively already at your destination whether that be your home country or your destination.

On iPhones and iPads for example you could delete your installed social media applications like Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others. Archive your emails to the cloud then delete all email accounts. Clear out all message threads and delete browser histories. Basically now all you are traveling with is a phone. Use web based email while on the road. When you return home or reach your destination Apps, files, pictures etc. can easily be retrieved from the cloud, server or drive.

The bottom line is if you would be embarrassed having someone look in your suitcase and finding something then treat your phone, tablet and computer the same way. Unless you are going to some third-world country where they don’t have internet you can retrieve any information you need or want from the cloud.

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POP QUIZ – What costs 1400% More In Canada?

I have a neighbour in Canada who thinks dandelions, crabgrass and other weeds are to be admired not controlled. The neighbours solution then is to start spraying early in the year, literally when the snow has melted, to prevent the migration of his lawn on to ours. One item that I have found effective is Weed B Gone. A spray concentrate that you attach to your hose and spray away.

Here is the quiz, which picture is from Walmart Canada and which is from Walmart U.S.?

weed3

Congratulations! Weed B Gone is $39.83 in Canada compared to $2.50 in the U.S. The $20.00 I spent to keep a nice lawn would have cost me $360.06 including HST. In FACT just the HST would cost me $16.00 MORE than the product in the U.S.

Love that FREE HEALTHCARE!

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Rogers – Shutting Down “One Number”

Of course they are doing this while all the Snowbirds and winter travelers are out of country! Anyone surprised?

alfHA

Following is Rogers Email…..

Since the launch of Rogers One Number, we have introduced a number of wireless innovations that help Canadians stay connected in more ways than ever – like our Share EverythingTM plans with unlimited Canada-wide calling and Wi‑Fi Calling that allows you to call and text in more places with a compatible device.
Rogers One Number will no longer be available after January 31st, 2017. As of this date any Rogers One Number Call Control rules such as Do Not Disturb, Forward My Calls, Ring My Numbers and Blocked Numbers that you may be using will no longer exist. Forward My Calls (Call Forwarding) is available as a part of Rogers Share Everything plans, however you will have to set up this feature again, if desired. Use the call settings menu in your mobile device or visit here for additional details on setting up Call Forwarding. No action is required if you do not have Forward My Calls set up.

UPDATE – January 24th.

I contacted Rogers to find out if i needed to turn phone on (currently in Airplane mode) to activate call forwarding once One Number discontinued. Was told by agent “On Janaury (sic) 31st simply contact us and we can’t do the call forwarding from here, you won’t need to turn your phone on”

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Don’t Be A Tool

This one is for the guys, If your looking for a large rolling tool cabinet and are considering the following from Canadian Tire..

ctc2ctc1

 

Take a look at the following on sale at Costco.com

cost2cost1

Even with the exchange (with our crummy loonie) your looking at a $395.00 CDN savings before the dreaded HST!

 

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Afternoon Project – Setting up a Wireless Repeater Bridge

This is a great way to use your older technology to extend useful life!

Life through Time and Space

After nearly 6 years of shitty WiFi in my house,  I finally decided to do something about it today. I had 2 horrible WiFi dead spots in my house.  One was in a room  where  my laptop and wireless printer are and the other is in our living room where we try to watch Netflix and use the  XBox. I can’t believe I tolerated this for so long.

Until today, I was dealing with a horrible Rogers Wireless Modem and the Cisco Valet (M20). The M20 is an  attractive device for putting in your living room, but it didn’t have very good performance.

As part of this project, I didn’t just get a new router, I moved the Rogers Modem into the other living and installed the new D-Link router there.

My problem now, is I still have a Smart TV in the primary living room that needs a network…

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Road Trip – Results

roadtrip

After a 2,300mi (3,701km) road trip in the US, approximately the same distance as a trip from Toronto to Calgary here are the results in Canadian Dollars….

* Hotels four star well known chain, gas regular 87 octane,

Gas $223.71, Hotels 3 nights $492.37 (breakfast, Happy Hour and dinner included), Food $22.10 (includes all taxes)

Time to travel @average 75MPH 30Hrs (three 10 hr days)

 

Assuming same trip to Calgary here is what we would have spent…

Gas $344.40, Tolls $12.00, Hotels 4 nights $693.00 (breakfast included), Food & Drink $225.00

Time to travel @average 100KM/hr 37hr (three 10hr days, one 7 hr day)

Total Cost U.S. Trip = $750.00 CDN               Total Cost Canadian Trip = $1,262

Money in Pocket = $512.40

Result even at a $0.70 loonie it is still more cost effective to travel in the U.S.

 

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