A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘internet

[URBAN NOTE] “A Trip Advisor for rental apartments?”

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Spacing Toronto’s John Lorinc describes the push for a landlord registry and licensing system.

When the members of the Municipal Licensing and Standards committee meet tomorrow at City Hall, they’ll be considering the latest attempt to license the apartment sector, with a motion to create a public consultation process around how such a system might function, and how the city should rate multi-unit buildings, which provide homes for hundreds of thousands of Torontonians.

For those with long memories, the lobbying and caterwauling that will begin to escape from the powerful landlord industry in the wake of this meeting will likely rival the complaints from Toronto’s restaurant sector circa 2000, when Mel Lastman’s famous “rat shit” quote ushered in a new era of public health ratings for eateries (now known as DineSafe).

Times have changed, and the licensing debate that begins after Thursday’s session will be informed and shaped by the open-data movement.

Firing the first volley, ACORN Canada, a tenants group, and a New York civic tech firm, RentLogic, have teamed up to create something called Toronto Landlord Watchlist, which is modeled on New York City’s Landlord Watchlist, a project of the NYC’s Public Advocate (currently, Letita James). The site, which went live this morning, contains information drawn from inspections triggered by tenant complaints. That data has been used to compile a list of what the organizers call Toronto’s 100 worst apartment buildings. (The data sets are available here.) Let the searching begin…

In New York, RentLogic has set up a beta site for a Big Apple apartment rankings service, which draws on all sorts of granular information from open-data releases, including reports on rodents, electrical problems and hot water interruptions.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 24, 2016 at 9:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • blogTO notes planned additions to the Eaton Centre.
  • Centauri Dreams explores protocols for contact between our spacecraft and those of aliens.
  • Discover‘s Dead Things notes the discovery of an archeological site almost 15 thousand years old off the coast of Florida.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes the roughness of Neptune’s migration to its current orbit.
  • The Dragon’s Tales tries to explain the odd orbits of Kuiper Belt objects.
  • Language Hat notes name changes in the early Soviet Union.
  • Marginal Revolution reports on an abortive Soviet Internet.
  • Towleroad notes new anti-gay legislation in Kyrgzystan.
  • Understanding Society looks at a report on racism and riots from the 1960s.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at a Russia strategist’s defense of Russia’s tactics versus NATO.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • blogTO notes that the Canadian government has prevented Conrad Black from selling his Forest Hill mansion on account of taxes.
  • Dangerous Minds shares a beautiful 1981 live performance by The Church.
  • Language Log notes the inclusion of Singaporean and Hong Kong English words into the OED.
  • The Map Room Blog notes the four Italian nuns who helped the Vatican map prt of the sky.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the increasing concentration of the Quakers in Kenya, and by extension other Christian denominations in Africa.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer looks at the success of solar energy in Mexico.
  • Strange Maps notes the history of Middle Eastern migration into Europe.
  • Torontoist looks at a Kensington Market project displaying graffiti from around the world.
  • Towleroad notes Donald Trump’s refusal to reveal his tax returns.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at the role played by Vladimir Zhirinovsky in Russian politics.
  • Zero Geography links to a paper co-authored by the blogger looking at the online representation of Jerusalem.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • At ‘Apostrophen, ‘Nathan Smith writes about his experiences as a gay writer at an Ottawa romance writer’s festival.
  • blogTO notes the impending closure of Toronto’s Bar Volo, owing to condo construction.
  • Centauri Dreams reports on the latest news on KIC 8462582.
  • Dangerous Minds remembers the Dave Clark Five.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes a paper on using microlensing to detect far-orbiting planets.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes how dust blown from the Sahara triggers bacterial growth in the Caribbean.
  • Joe. My. God. looks at the gay conservatives who signed up for Trump.
  • The Signal considers how to archive E-mail for future generations.
  • Towleroad features Dan Savage defending Hillary Clinton from charges she did not support same-sex marriage early enough.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • blogTO notes a new union for Toronto freelancers.
  • Dangerous Minds notes a Chinese ban on live streams of women eating bananas seductively.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes a paper purporting to provide ways for telescopes to distinguish between exo-Venuses and exo-Earths.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a study modelling the collision between Theia and the proto-Earth that created the moon.
  • Language Log notes Chinese colloquialisms.
  • The LRB Blog reflects on the environmental and political implications of the Fort McMurray fire.
  • Marginal Revolution recommends postponing tourism to some exotic destinations until they build up the needed infrastructure.
  • The NYRB Daily introduces readers to the Weimar-era novel Grand Hotel.
  • I disagree with Peter Watts’ argument that things need to get worse before they get better.
  • North!’s Justin Petrone reflects on his experience of the esoteric in Estonia.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the importance of the Soviet victory in the Second World War as a way of justifying Russian hegemony.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes an observation of bright star HD 76582 that may have turned up indirect evidence of planets.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes a study claiming that climate change will trigger large-scale migrations.
  • Joe. My. God. notes controversy in North Carolina over the demand for a rapid repeal of HB2.
  • Language Log shares a paper taking an Aristotlean approach to trolling.
  • The Map Room Blog shares the first global topographic map of Mercury.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that Donald Trump voters are relatively well off.
  • Personal Reflections touches on the decline of Sydney’s last Chinese market gardens.
  • Savage Minds makes the case for boycotting Israel academic institutions on the grounds of their collaboration with the denial of education to Palestinians.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Russia’s cults of victories are used to justify almost anything.
  • Arnold Zwicky looks at the interesting gay graphic novel Shirtlifter.

[URBAN NOTE] “Local stars shine bright at YouTube Space Toronto”

Michelle da Silva’s article at NOW Toronto explores what sounds like an ingenious institution. Why not a shared space for YouTube users of note?

The YouTube stars are setting up in one of two studios at the new YouTube Space Toronto, a creative incubator for online stars. The first Canadian location, located at 230 Richmond E behind George Brown College’s School of Design, is one of just nine global YouTube Spaces that include Tokyo, Berlin, Sao Paulo and Mumbai. The first one opened in Los Angeles in 2012.

“Toronto is a phenomenally creative city,” says Chris D’Angelo, the head of production and programming for YouTube Spaces. “It was important to have a large collaborative open space where our creators could come together. Community is a very big part of YouTube.”

The space was designed by George Brown students, with local elements added throughout. A red and grey pixelated print in the front entrance was apparently inspired by TTC streetcars. In another room, Toronto artist Alex Currie, who’s better known as Runt, has painted a replica of his famous Lee’s Palace mural. There is a lounge, event area, a foyer with a bar and two film studios. “You can take part in classes, and connect with other YouTube creators. We look at your subscriber count and try to offer the right help and solution, depending on what level you’re at.”

To that extent, the film studios – including professionally-built sets, cameras and lighting equipment – are free to use, but only open to YouTube stars with at least 10,000 subscribers. That isn’t a problem for the Domestic Geek, which boasts nearly a quarter million subscribers.

“I started the Domestic Geek just over two years go to share my passion for food with the world,” says Toronto’s Sara Lynn Cauchon. “I usually make cooking videos in my home kitchen, but it’s so cool that now I can come to the YouTube Space and film and collaborate with other creators here.”

Cauchon uploads several videos to her YouTube channel each week and has gotten more than 40 million views. Previously a broadcaster and TV host, she now runs the Domestic Geek as her full-time job. “You’re looking at the next generation of entrepreneurs,” she adds. “I think this space will help new creators evolve their channels. It’s really exciting stuff.”

DIY tutorials and healthy-cooking videos are just a sampling of Toronto’s online talent. A handful of YouTube stars hanging out in the space that day ranged from relationship experts (Ask Kimberly) and fashion gurus (AnthonyDelucV), to vegan chefs (Edgy Veg) and science educators (AsapSCIENCE).

Written by Randy McDonald

April 27, 2016 at 9:41 pm


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