So yeah...

Microsoft debuted a new web site today that tries to guess the age and gender of people from a photo. The results can vary wildly and from my experience, it seems that when it gets it wrong, it thinks people are older than they are. I am sure that makes people really happy. In the example above, I picked a photo of a young Canadian male. It correctly determined his gender (make your own jokes here) and guessed his age was 24. The person in the photo is actually 21.

I tried it with a few of my own photos, I received ages of 45(!), 38, and 27. It’s a lot of fun to test and more fun if you use other people’s photos. Give it a try!


In late 2014, YouTube announced they were going to start supporting videos with a playback frame rate of 60 fps. Initially, they were starting to roll that out with videos that showcased lots of motion and only on Chrome. It looks like they’ve now opened that up to different types of videos and also to other browsers. I’m on Firefox and this evening, I saw the first sets of 60 fps videos available to me. When I clicked the “quality” button for a video, I saw surprised to see 720p60 as an option.

The one above is the first 60 fps video I had the pleasure of viewing. Yes, that’s right, Jimmy Kimmel is interviewing actress Patricia Heaton in sixty glorious frames per second. Even in a very stable, motion neutral video like a sit-down interview, the difference is noticeable. I hope more of these will be offered, especially sports videos. Having said that, film clips should stay at their current frame rates.


The Apple Watch was released to the public recently and if you weren’t paying attention, you’d think that Apple was the first company to make a smart watch. Deadspin wrote an amusing article on which celebs are now sporting these timepieces now. I didn’t see famous people clamoring to get a Pebble or a Moto 360 when they came out. Now some people might argue that they were waiting for the “superior” Apple Watch to come out before getting a smart watch. Something tells me Bey wasn’t sitting on the sidelines, pouring over smart watch specs before deciding, yes, the Apple Watch’s battery life finally won her over. These people got the watch because it’s a status symbol, not because they needed a smart watch.


I’ve been following the local professional ice hockey team here in Vancouver since I was about seven or eight years-old. Had I known how much disappointment embarking on such an endeavour would entail in years between then and now, I might have chosen something else to do. On Saturday evening, the Vancouver Canucks were facing elimination in game six versus the Flames of Calgary. They roared out to a three-goal lead in the first period, silencing the crowd in Calgary and putting doubt in the Flames team. Good hockey teams have killer instinct and won’t let the foot off the gas. A good team knows the best way to protect a lead isn’t to sit on it but to go out there and continue to score and dominate. The Vancouver Canucks, however, are not a good hockey team. They gave the Flames a sliver of hope and that’s all they needed. Well before the second period ended, Calgary pushed back and riding on confidence and hope, managed to score three straight goals to tie the game at three.

Championship caliber teams would manage to hold onto to a three-goal lead and win the game. That’s what champions do, they win, especially when gifted such an advantage. Vancouver was far from being anything to close to a champion last night. They folded like a fragile house of cards, tumbling down as the Calgary teams chipped away at the three goal deficit. I don’t think a single person watching the game didn’t realize that it was just a matter of time before Calgary would tie it up.

When the game was tied, to my surprise, the Canucks managed to find a modicum of redemption. They somehow managed to score another goal, briefly halting the Calgary momentum and taking the lead once again at 4-3. It seemed like a fluke though, a random bit of luck, like a gambler finding a lost chip on the casino floor, giving him one more chance to make a bet to save his skin. So this fragile Vancouver team ended the second period, perilously holding onto a one goal lead. Now, if you were to pour over the nearly century old statistics from all the played NHL games, you would find that the team entering the third period with a lead usually wins. I don’t have the exact percentage but here’s some current relevant data. Of course, that data doesn’t account for a Vancouver team that seemed afraid to win and a Calgary team that refused to believe they would be beaten by a fragile Canucks players.

So when the third period started, I had zero expectation that the lead would hold. I only had to wait about six minutes to for the Canucks to surrender the inevitable tying goal. It was at this point I knew that Vancouver would lose the game and everyone was just waiting until the Calgary would take their first and only required lead of the game. It was clear to everyone that the Canucks were just not determined enough to score one more goal to save their season. It surprised me that it took until the 15 minute mark of the third period for Calgary to take their lead. I was sure they would have done it much earlier. Once it was done, I’m not even sure if it was necessary to play the five remaining minutes. They could have played another three periods of hockey and none of the Canucks would have mustered up a goal.

The Vancouver Canucks lost the game in a spectacular collapse, in a way that history remembers the worst ways for a sports team to lose. The Canucks had to win this game and they should have been desperate. They somehow managed to secure a three-goal lead but in a manner befitting of a non-championship team, they bungled that. Then, given a chance of redemption with a 4-3 lead, they again frittered that away.

Failure is disappointing but it’s even more disappointing if you don’t learn from failure. To that end, I’ve learned to bet against the Canucks as that’s usually a pretty good bet. As some of you might have remembered, I wagered weeks ago that Calgary would win the series. I won that bet easily and my wallet is slightly thicker tonight because of the incompetence of the Vancouver Canucks.


Ugh... this sucks...

As per my previous post, I inferred that the Vancouver Canucks were fragile and mentally weak, and thus ripe for elimination in their Thursday night game against Calgary. All the signs pointed towards that, as their last two games were a disaster. So this afternoon, I ponied up $200 and bet that Calgary would win. I’m not sure what happened but a very different Vancouver team showed up and were all business tonight, out shooting the Flames by a 2 to 1 margin. They were rewarded by a 2-1 victory, staving off elimination and sending the series back to Calgary on Saturday.

I am $200 poorer for this. There is a reason why I my last sports bet was in 2013.


The local professional ice hockey team in this city, the Vancouver Canucks are currently facing elimination from the 2015 NHL playoffs. They are currently down three games to one against the Flames of Calgary. As you might remember, I already bet $20 free Bodog dollars that Calgary will defeat Vancouver when the series is over. That will net me a cool $24. Is that outcome likely to happen? Let’s just say that I’m pretty confident that I’ll be $24 richer in the next few days. It’s just a matter of exactly when that becomes a reality.

This brings me to my current dilemma. The daring and adventurous side of me wants to make another bet, this time on the outcome of game five. Calgary has won the last two games handily, dealing Vancouver a crushing blow on the scoreboard and to their confidence. I’ve watched a lot of hockey in my years and these last two games were not tightly contested affairs. Calgary has all the momentum and from a metaphorical standpoint, they have a very fragile Vancouver team down on the mat. The Flames will be looking to deal the killing blow on Thursday evening.

To that end, it seems like a safe bet to put some money down on Calgary to win. Strangely, the bookies haven’t changed their odds on the game as they still have Vancouver as the favourites. I believe this is the right time to make a significant bet as all the signs point towards a Flames victory. Knowing my luck though, the Canucks will find a fluky way to win just to screw up my bet.

I have most of tomorrow to make a final decision. I shall report back.


This morning I’m getting on the bus to get to work when I see a co-worker get on with me. We both wound up at EA after working at UFG on Halo together. The bus is usually full of students but there’s enough room for us to get seats, though not together. We both get aisle seats across from each other about three rows from the back of the bus.

As the bus pulls away, the last few passengers get on. There are about only three people standing, which is a pretty empty bus that takes students by a polytechnical school. The three people who are standing go right to the back of the bus, which normally is the right thing to do. My friend and I are having a conversation, which should be clear to anyone who has observed human behaviour before. As the standees are moving to the back of the bus, the third guy stands right between myself and my friend and turns his body so he now is blocking the both of us from continuing our conversation. I look up and of course it’s a stupid student with his headphones on, pretending to be oblivious to the situation.

I look to see if he actually he needs to be squished right up to where is because of more people on the bus. Nope. He is literally the only person standing closest to the front of the bus. The whole 4/5ths of the front of the bus is free of people and free for him to move to. If he even just moved one foot forward, he wouldn’t be acting like a dick.

So now my friend and I are trying to talk around this asshole who clearly knows we’re there trying to have a conversation. I really wanted to punch him in the penis but that would have made me late for work. Luckily, the bus ride is less than ten minutes. Eventually, it just becomes to awkward to talk around this douchebag but our stop is coming up anyways.

As I’m about to get up, I decide to exact some payback. Since he’s right next to me, I get up and then step on this fucker’s foot with all my weight. I make eye contact with him, give him a look and I say, “Oh sorry buddy, didn’t see you there” and I then proceed to get off the bus.

That idiot was a total moron. I know he has exams coming up and I hope he fails all of them.


In a recent post, I mentioned how my mortgage is up for renewal and I’m determined to find the best lender for me instead of just blindly renewing with my current lender. This led me to examine the other parts of my financial life, particularly which credit card I use.

Years ago, I used to have two credit cards, both Visa from CIBC. One had an annual fee of $29 but it had a low interest rate. I used to carry a credit card balance but it been about ten years since the bank have made any money off of me from credit card interest. I kept that card though, even after paying off all my credit card debit. One day I realized I was paying $29 a year for nothing. I cancelled that card and went down to a single credit card, one that offered cash back.

Last week, I re-examined how that cash rewards card worked and how it compares to the cards that are now available (that might not have been years ago). In summary, it didn’t take long to see my current card sucks. It has tiers of rewards, starting at 0.25% for the first $1500 in spending for the year, then 0.5% between $1500 and $3000, and then 1% only after you break the $3000 threshold.

In comparison, the MBNA Smart Cash Plus Mastercard, offers you %5 cash back on gas and groceries for the first six months, then 2% cash back on gas and groceries after that. For purchases that are not gas and groceries, you start off with 1% cash back right away, no tiers. There are also no annual fees. As you can see, it’s way better than my current Visa credit card.

I filled out an application form on the weekend and I’m hoping to get my new card as soon as possible. I’ve never had a MasterCard before but I’m willing to jump ship for more $$$ back. Once I get my new card, I’ll be transferring over all my re-occurring and monthly bills to it, like the Internet, Netflix, and the like.

Take it from me, it’s worth the five minutes to examine the financial products in your life.


On Friday, EA debuted the trailer for Star Wars Battlefront, the first game in a ten-year agreement between EA and Disney.

After I watched the trailer, I thought back to the my trip to San Diego, which I took right before starting my current job. While I was doing pre-clearance, I had to talk to one of the US Customs and Border Protection agents. In his standard line of questioning, he asked me why I was going to San Diego and I said I wanted a quick trip before I started my new job. He inquired who I was going to be working for. I answered EA and he perked up and mentioned how much he loved playing the Battlefield series. He also said that he was really, really looking forward to seeing Battlefront. He was quite concerned about its development and right before he stamped my passport, he implored me that if I knew anyone over at DICE, I should tell them they better not screw it up.

I have no doubt the border guy saw the trailer on Friday and I hope he wasn’t disappointed.