Parental Guidance Suggested

I’ve been preparing a few posts that have been in the works for a while, tending to break away from my typical topics from this forum, instead allowing me to express some thoughts on topics that are a little more serious and reflective. I’d really appreciate any feedback you have on these posts, which I will label with Reflection so that they can be easily grouped together.
I have been doing a lot of thinking in the last few months, as I am transitioning from my teenage years into a university student, and recently into what I’ll call a real person. As this transition has happened, I have also moved several times, and with those relocations I have also enjoyed more and more independence.
From when I was born until 18 years old, I lived at home (as is true of most anyone reading this I’m sure). I didn’t particularly like this fact, but I understood from a very young age that it was certainly in my best interest to follow the rules and align myself to be able to move out for university. I certainly didn’t and don’t detest my parents or their home, but I knew that my parents did some things quite differently from the way I would do them, and from the way I think they should be done. To their credit, I did learn a lot from my parents, and I think I was raised very well, their values and morals passing on to me in due course. However, I also found that there were certain things I learned from my parents and then altered to suit my own needs and ideas. I think that this is probably the most important part of growing up, coming to the realization that while parents are a great source of information and advice, their opinions and assistance is greatly biased, and should be taken as suggestion rather than as infallible fact. The idea that our parents are the final word on anything in life is a very antiquated notion.

I don’t mean to say that the respect of my parents doesn’t mean anything to me, it’s actually quite important to me that I have their respect and that they respect me and the decisions that I make. This is most important when my decisions are different than the ones I know my parents would make. If I can explain my reasoning to them, it actually reinforces for me that I have made the right decision, even if it isn’t a decision they would make. There are also definitely paths I have taken in life, especially since I moved away from home, that I haven’t shared with my parents. It’s not that I am keeping anything from them, but there is nothing I would share with my friends that I wouldn’t also share with my parents. Some people find this type of openness very odd, but I stand firmly behind the decisions I’ve made. For me, getting the approval of my parents does not stem from following their expectations to the letter, but from their acceptance of my lifestyle choices regardless of what they would do in the same scenario. I love both of my parents very much, and I know they also love me, even though we are across the country from each other for 95% of the year. If I thought for a second that anything I did repeatedly and intentionally would cause them to disapprove strongly enough that they would love me any less than they do, I would be strongly questioning their roles as mentors and guides (aka as parents). I have complete confidence that my parents would stand by me unquestioningly in anything I choose to undertake, so long as it is not illegal. Moral reprehension is another story which is more of a grey area, as some people have different views on morals, but having different moral standards than your parents is a good thing, and certainly should not be punished or cause for irrevocable disapproval.

Thank you, mom and dad, for showing me right from wrong and teaching me to make my own decisions. I have grown into my own man, and I want nothing more than to make you proud with the way I live my life.


I know I promised to be more timely with these, so here’s a little teaser: I have a bunch of stuff coming down the pipe in the coming weeks! Really my problem right now is that I just keep writing and writing and end up with super long posts which take forever, but what I need to do is keep it pretty short and timely. I’ll be working on this, because I do have some great stuff coming!

TSN Streaming Headaches

For those of you who don’t avidly follow sports like I do, soccer fans and much of Europe are fully in the grips of the 2nd largest international soccer tournament in the world. Every 4 years this tournament showcases some of Europe’s greatest soccer talent playing for their countries honour, and the major networks in Canada take turns broadcasting these games (really they fight and bid for the rights to show them, but that’s a whole other issue), along with the World Cup. This year, Bell Media (a massive entertainment conglomerate) has bought the rights to showing the tournament, using their sports networks (TSN and TSN2) to show the games.

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I do not like the idea of having cable in order to watch television exactly when it is scheduled, it is very inconvenient in modern society and with the many shows I like to watch, many of which occur on many different channels in different world centres, making it very difficult and expensive to watch what I would like to watch through conventional cable or satellite television. However, one of the huge benefits of a cable TV subscription is live sporting events, which I miss out on when they do come about. It is possible to find streams sometimes to watch these games live, and two years ago the World Cup was actually streamed live by CBC, which was a fantastic watching experience, with great stream quality and no charge or need for subscription. You were able to click and watch any game as long as it was currently on or had finished. Navigation through the video was difficult, but if you wanted to watch from where you started or watch it live, you could with very little issue, and the feed was a very high quality one if you had enough bandwidth.
This brings us to this year. After testing out streaming technologies for the last few years, companies have begun to have enough faith in the system to begin charging for it. I decided that since I would be home or close to home for most of June (when the tournament is played) it would be worth it to me to subscribe. The cost, while high at 19.99 for the 20 day tournament, isn’t a completely ludicrous amount, and it even allows for multiple streams from the same account, which was a nice surprise. However, there is a small matter which has been bothering me in watching the tournament, which is completely independent of other paid services. 
To put it simply, the issue is that the internet, especially when it’s live, is not yet a perfect service. It is by no means beyond reproach, and comes with absolutely no guarantees on speed or connectivity (or at least none which are 100% guaranteed which are not incredibly expensive). With that in mind, it becomes trivial for a company to offer a streaming service, and to charge for it, but to get away with lapses in service which would make service providers in other areas (like television or phone services) have people banging on their doors, and would make class action suits against these companies commonplace.
Everyone on the planet who has ever sat at a computer has encountered the issue of buffering. This issue arises when some form of content is being presented to you (be it audio or video), and the content is played before the entirety of is has actually arrived at your computer. It is very common (although less so these days) because internet speeds have only recently become fast and reliable enough to actually carry this content as fast as it can be played. This issue is nearly unavoidable unless you pay for much more internet than you need (which is actually something I’ve been doing for the better part of two years now). The issue I would like to finally get to today has nothing to do with any sort of buffering issue though, and I am in a unique position to be able to confirm that in this case there is actually a problem with the content provider (Bell Media) and not with any settings I have control over, regardless of payment I can provide. 
Currently I am in between internet providers, so I have available in my apartment a VDSL (Bell’s Fibe Internet at 25mbps down and 10mbps up with an incredible ping time of around 7-10 ms and 125GB download cap expandable at 25GB @ $5 rate) and a cable internet package (TekSavvy’s Extreme Cable package at 28mpbs down and 1mpbs up, with a slower and less reliable 100-200 ms ping, though with an unlimited download cap) and my roommate and I had one game going on each of these services, with wired internet on each. Streaming these games was a huge pain, because our service would reset itself about every 3-5 minutes for the course of the whole game. Normally, one would attribute this to the internet connection dropping off a little, but in this case our results show pretty definitively that this is a problem with Bell Media and TSN, and not our internet.
When the connections would drop every 3-5 minutes, we found that both games would drop at exactly the same time in almost all (>95% of cases). This implies that Bell Media does not have enough bandwidth to be able to confidently stream these games to all of its subscribers, and with that being the case, they really have no right to be charging for this service as being reliable, at least not while sleeping soundly at night. Streaming services will be better eventually, but until that is the case, while these companies are testing out streaming interfaces and bandwidth requirements for different load levels on these streams, they should not be charging premiums on the services. It is a money grab that feels very cheap as these CEOs and board members pad the lining of their pockets with the hard earned money I am giving them to watch soccer without interruption and to surf the internet without having to deal with any buffering.
You can call me petty and suggest I should stop complaining, but I am trying to live in the future, and things like this are preventing that from happening. 
Until next time,
Also, I’m considering opening up Google+ hangouts in the time directly after these blog posts, let me know what you think about that idea in the comments, or drop me a line about anything really, I’m happy to chat.