Updates from July, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 19:38 on 2017/07/11 Permalink | Reply  

    The woman whose red adult tricycle was stolen a couple of weeks ago has experienced an outpouring of support as well as the gift of a new trike.

  • Kate 07:17 on 2017/07/11 Permalink | Reply  

    City public wifi is now theoretically extended to the Quartier des spectacles, Jeanne-Mance park and a sizable slab of downtown indicated on a map. I haven’t found or tried these signals and am curious whether they work and, if they do work, if you have to acknowledge how terrific and generous the city is on a screen first.

    • Alex 10:35 on 2017/07/11 Permalink

      It currently doesn’t work very well…the signal seems strong enough but it’s difficult to connect and stay connected, and it’s often pretty slow.

    • Bill Binns 12:10 on 2017/07/11 Permalink

      My house is on the coverage map but currently has no signal. Perhaps it is planned. It’s interesting to see it creep into residential neighborhoods. Is the service intended to be a free full time internet connection for those that can get it? I thought it was mostly a convenience for tourists.

      I like the idea of the government funding universal internet access. I would happily trade both the entire library system and the postal service for universal guaranteed internet access.

    • Ian 12:54 on 2017/07/11 Permalink

      You do realize libraries have free internet & workstation access, right?

    • Lucas 13:12 on 2017/07/11 Permalink

      While the library system in Montreal leaves much to be desired, libraries are an invaluable part of the community and often the centre of secular civil society. I would not trade them away for free internet.

    • SMD 13:20 on 2017/07/11 Permalink

      10GB per user per week! This is impressive: “At present, bandwidth is usually 10 gigaoctets of data (downloads and uploads combined) over a seven-day period from the first connection recorded on your device.”

    • Michael Black 13:44 on 2017/07/11 Permalink

      First, from what I read, this is from “Zap”, which is the new name for Ile Sans Fil. So there is a registration, but it works over “their” system.

      It is confusing, one place says this is in place, another says it’s an announcement, a start of a rollout. It’s old news, since there was an announcement two years ago. I didn’t think the group was involved back then. They seem to have faded, even St Lawrence Blvd went to some more commercial arrangement (and I’m not sure if that’s still there).

      Ile Sans Fil was more an organizing group, convincing stores and institutions to share their broadband. They charged the site for the router, and expected some other money, so it’s really the businesses providing the wifi. I’m not sure if this project works that way, which then depends on having high enough density of stores supplying the internet, or if they got money to do it another way, or maybe a combination. The article said it incorporates existing site, so maybe one no longer has to sign up at each of the malls, though I remember when Place Montreal Trust changed the process some years back and it seemed like you had to make a purchase.

      This is for public internet access, not staying home and sucking down bandwidth. Probably okay to download something occasionally, but not constantly. Though, the web has generally become a bandwidth hog, faster doesn’t seem to make things zip anymore. That’s the danger of high speed, sites get sloppy.

      The government did fund “universal access”, it put money into the Montreal Freenet. Three years of waiting, and then four months of operation in 1996. They were too optimistic, so a too large system, but in the three years things changed dramatically, so they lost the chance of a wide user base, and then not enough users. The easy adopters had gone elsewhere while waiting, and the rest needed more work to lure in. They ran out of money first. Ile Sans Fil pretends o be the replacement, but there was supposed to be more to Freenets than free internet access. Public wifi is useful, but sitting at a café doing facebook is not revolutionary.

      Libraries shouldn’t be traded in for “free internet”.

      St Catherine Street gets closed for three days starting on Friday, so that’s a chance to sample the wifi. Though not enough public benches to sit and enjoy it.

      Two tall ships are supposed to be at the Old Port starting Friday (I think Friday), a token visit of a larger group visiting Quebec City for the “150th Birthday’.


    • Bill Binns 14:01 on 2017/07/11 Permalink

      @Ian – Yes I understand libraries have internet access but giving everyone access at home would be a step forward IMO. Not really anti-library but they seem more and more an anachronism to me, at least as a distinct, brick and mortar location. I don’t think libraries get used by a wide swath of the public. There are library enthusiasts, the homeless and the ultra cheap. I know a few people who have nice homes, cars and good jobs but will go to the library to print a 3 page document or to rent movies. It seems expensive for the services provided. Would a modern Carnegie be spending money on buildings full of books as an efficient way to spread knowledge to the masses? I doubt it. I think he would be blanketing cities with fast, free internet and passing out $40.00 Android tablets.

      Decades ago we passed laws mandating universal access to the postal service, electricity, phone service etc. It’s time the Internet is recognized as being as vital or more than those services were at the time.

    • Ian 14:08 on 2017/07/11 Permalink

      I hear what you’re saying and while I do agree that internet access is increasingly a basic requirement in our society, getting rid of libraries is not the answer. There is a lot more to a library than some kind of book warehouse.

      For example…
      “The Mordecai-Richler Public Library (formerly the Mile End Public Library) holds a special place in the heart of the neighbourhood’s community life. The library is located on Park Avenue in the former Church of the Ascension, a 1910 building that has preserved its main architectural features.

      The library offers a wide range of activities, workshops and talks on subjects large and small. In addition to French and English documents, the library houses a large collection of works in Chinese and Spanish. It also specializes in comic books and travel guidebooks as well as offering a great many CDs and DVDs. Zone Ados, the youth section, provides a place for teens ages 12 to 17 to read and share ideas.”

      I think between the Library and the Y there is a lot going on for the community, especially teens. You hate graffiti, right? Doesn’t keeping teens off the streets appeal to you? ;)

      Really though in many ways libraries serve as a cultural centre, with not just internet access but free courses on how to use it, how to look things up, how to use software, how to get materials from any other library in the city through the Nelligan network…

    • Tm S. 15:19 on 2017/07/11 Permalink

      Just to add, libraries are pretty much the only place in our society where silence is more or less enforced. I wrote pretty much my whole PhD thesis in a municipal library, after an endless condo construction project set up about 30 feet from my home office. Sometimes I’d try working in a coffee shop, but all it takes is one person yakking on a cell about their various wheeling and dealings, or venting about their mother-in-law, and the whole place is ruined.

    • Bill Binns 15:34 on 2017/07/11 Permalink

      @Ian – I live 100 meters from the Grand Biblioteque and my neighborhood is covered in graffiti. I don’t think there is a whole lot of overlap between “kids who hang out in libraries” and “kids who vandalize property”.

      The other programs you mention look a lot like the “searching for a new mission” effort that libraries around the world have been going through for 10-15 years.

      Again, I’m not on the warpath against libraries. I just think universal Internet would be a greater good if we had to choose between the two.

    • Kate 19:29 on 2017/07/11 Permalink

      Bill Binns, trust you to divide the sheep from the goats, the deserving from the undeserving.

      Have you been in the Grande bibliothèque? It isn’t searching hopelessly for a new mission. It’s massively popular, and – as far as I can see – attracts people from all levels of society and age groups. Drop in on a winter afternoon and suss out the ground floor reading space. Sit down and read a paper or a book – if you can find a spot!

      Ironically, I don’t think random people can get on the internet at the BanQ. To use its wifi you have to log in with your library credentials, which are free, but you do have to prove yourself a resident of Quebec and get a card and passcode. In contrast, city library wifi is free to all, but as far as I know there’s no city library anywhere downtown or in Old Montreal, the areas where tourists would be most likely to want to use wifi.

      As Ian points out, the Mile End library is a gathering place. It’s a lovely little library. Even the libraries with unprepossessing exteriors, like the Park Ex, St-Henri and Verdun libraries, are nice inside. Then there are gems like the relatively new Ville St-Laurent library and the Marc-Favreau next to Rosemont metro. I’m glad I live in a city that has built things like these in the 21st century.

    • rue david 22:16 on 2017/07/11 Permalink

      Bill Binns looking for a handout, joining the “bum” class he despises so much.

    • DeWolf 00:02 on 2017/07/12 Permalink

      New libraries are being built all over the place, and architects are certainly aware that their role as a repository of books is now secondary. They are community centres and places where people can gather to work and read in a calm, quiet, comfortable public space. There are very few places in our society where people from all walks of life come together for a common purpose and libraries are one of them.

      Calgary just spent $245 million on a beautiful new central library and it sure isn’t because they needed a bigger warehouse for books.

    • Bill Binns 07:42 on 2017/07/12 Permalink

      @rue david – Huh? You think I am angling for free wifi for myself? I am suggesting a new government entitlement of which “the bum class” would be the major beneficiary. Free wifi would never be more than a 3rd place backup for me.

    • Margaret 09:52 on 2017/07/17 Permalink

      Libraries also employ professional staff to help search effectively and efficiently and offer other services. Much more than “book warehouses”, much more than “free access to the internet” for sure.

  • Kate 07:06 on 2017/07/11 Permalink | Reply  

    The return of major league baseball to Montreal is held up behind requirements that other cities pour their public money into new ball parks first. Once again the CBC makes the mistake of twanging the heartstrings with “the return of the Expos” when, if the city caves in and puts billions into this professional sport, it won’t be the Expos of memory, but a 21st-century team hungry for constant propping up with injections of public funds.

  • Kate 07:01 on 2017/07/11 Permalink | Reply  

    Victims of the spring floods in the West Island are mad at the authorities, at rules being made not to reconstruct on the worst of the flooded areas, and at the lack of compensation from the government. TVA link plays video.

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