First, an apology to all of my contacts who I inadvertently spammed. I got taken in by SkillPages a service that is gaining users by spamming contacts of new members as soon as they sign up to the site.
I guess this is going to happen to the best of us sooner or later and it happened to me today. Even though I am generally super, duper cautious about what apps and sites I allow to access my data today I slipped up and the results were…horrible. I received the below email this afternoon and thought to myself “Cool! A new site for connecting from a business perspective. Being the social media addict that I am I’ve got to check it out. As well, I know Jamie and he is a good guy who I trust not to send me spam. I am going to have to check this site out.”
What I should have done was google the site. If I had, I would have seen these autocompletes*:
The above does not look like the kind of site I want to be associated with or allow to have my information without a lot more research. The third result is VIRUS for crying out loud! That is not promising but it gets worse.. Below is a screenshot of the Google search results for just the word “SkillPages”*: Read more…
TTC Sheppard Yonge Station: You may have been to this station before, you may not have been but chances are decent that if you live in Toronto you’ve ridden on one of the subway lines which attach to it – the Yonge-University-Spadina (YUS) Line and the less used Sheppard Line.
As you can see in the picture above when you are walking throguh the subway station you are advised by a directional sign what the escalators and stairs in front of you lead to. The folks who wrote this TTC signage decided to indicate to travelers that at the bottom of these steps can be found “Yonge Trains and Sheppard Subway.” Wait, what? What’s the difference between the two subway lines aside from the obvious answer that they service different areas of the city and one’s a north-south line while the other is an east-west?
Why is the Yonge Line referred to as having ‘trains’ and the Sheppard Line as being a ‘subway’? Is the idea to confuse commuters, people new to the city, and tourists? If so, they’re probably doing a superb job! Seems that in the City of Toronto our public transit does not only have subway lines, streetcars, buses, and the Scarborough RT cars but we also have a fifth option – trains! But hold on a second…don’t GO, VIA Rail, and the like run the trains? Aren’t trains intercity not intracity? Why the confusing descriptors TTC? Why?
The YUS and Sheppard Lines both run the same subway trains in the T1 so there is no difference there. (although the YUS Line also has the Toronto Rocket as well as the older H5s running on it, the latter of which are slated to be sold to Eko Rail of Lagos, Nigeria in the coming years.) In fact, the only difference I can think of between the two lines is that the Sheppard Line remains underground for its entire length whereas the YUS Line comes above ground for a fair portion of its route. Does that make it a train and not a subway? I have never heard or seen of it referred to as anything but a subway and this sign just seems so weird. I wonder why the TTC has chosen to compose the sign this way. It just seems odd and silly to do so as well as unnecessarily confusing.
Until I hear otherwise I am classifying this as an epic FAIL on the part of the TTC signage team. There’s bad signage which is what it is because it’s illegible or badly placed or not lit up or simply not present and then there’s this. This goes beyond being bad signage to the point of being confusing signage which works against the smooth flow of urban passenger traffic on mass transit.
If anyone knows the answer for this, I would love to hear it. I assume – or rather I hope – there must be a rational explanation for this. Then again, it is the TTC.
Well Torontonians, as I am sure most of you have already heard we are getting a new area code in under 2 years for our city, 12 years after we got 647 overlaid in 2001. Yet, the problem with the confusion between what is long distance and what is a local call within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) still exists as I discussed in my post of April 2010, “New 365 Area Code Overlay For 905/289 in Southern Ontario Coming 2013”.
When the new 365 area code is introduced on March 25, 2013 in the area which already has 905 and 289 there will also be a simultaneous introduction of a new area code for Toronto – 437. While that is great and I am all for all of us getting tons of new numbers as we buy more and more technology I can’t help but feel the same two things as I felt in April of 2010:
- The idea that we aren’t sure what is a long distance call from the GTA to within the 905/289/365 area code is absolutely insane. Why can’t they just separate the long distance areas of the 905 area code from the non-long distance area of the 905 area code and assign one of them the 365 area code. That will free up numbers within 905/289 and make everyone’s life so much easier.
- I can’t stand the fact that we are still being charged long distance for calls within our own country and even within the same province. I think it discourages economic growth and keeps us separate and regional as a nation. It is straight up BAD and it must be changed so Canada isn’t continued to be perceived as backwards in the international forum. (I cannot back any of this up as I have no studies to prove it, it is just my personal feeling and logical conclusion based on my own experience with how differently people react to foreign area codes in Canada vs in the USA.)
As an aside, there are already plans in place for when the new 437 area code runs out in Toronto – they are going to give us a 4th area code: 387. Personally, I think somewhere in Canada (maybe BC, but Toronto works too) needs to get area code 420 for obvious reasons. Also, did you know the international country code +420 is linked to the Czech Republic and not to The Netherlands…what’s up with that?
What do you think? Do you agree that we should be doing something with the 905/289/365 area code and working to separate it in a way that makes sense for people within the GTA vs people outside of it? Do you like Toronto’s new area code? Will 647 now become an OK area code to have and people with them will no longer be looked down upon?
Sidenote: This is my 250th post to this blog and 206th post in the Post A Day Challenge.
The other day I was on the new Google social tool called Google+ (the way that is read is “Google Plus”) and I found myself given a 404 Error page. I don’t know if this is across Google or just for Google+ but it seems I have discovered another Fail Pet (or as I call them, Fail Cutie) to my list which I first started here and continued here.
This is a picture of a few little blurbs from a local Toronto newspaper talking about celebrity sightings and doings. No, I will not mention which. If you read the middle blurb you will see them talking about what Mel Gibson is up to these days.
The blurb mentions that Mel Gibson’s career was destroyed but unless they’re being sarcastic and I miss the joke they blame it on “chronic alcohol poisoning.”
How about blaming his career’s destruction on “letting his true, disgusting racist colors show when he gets drunk.” Or does alcohol poisoning/getting drunk make everyone into a racist douche? Or does the author of this piece just want to rewrite history so Mel doesn’t look so bad?
Again, maybe the reference to chronic alcohol poisoning is a joke that I just missed because I am not so into keeping up with the doings of celebrities.