“Computational Thinking” by Professor Jeannette Wing, CMU Comp Sci Department Head

Wednesday, 20 June, 2012

Highly recommending an insightful Feb 7, 2012 “Computational Thinking” presentation at U of Toronto by professor Jeannette M. Wing (President’s Professor of Computer Science and Department Head, Computer Science Department, Carnegie Mellon University).


Exclusive: Bank of Canada found only one poor-quality counterfeit new polymer $100 note, analyzed by RCMP

Thursday, 17 May, 2012

2011 Canada New Polymer $100 - back - pix 18

In a followup interview with Nish Vairavanathan, a Bank of Canada currency analyst, this reporter has confirmed that (as far as Vairavanathan was aware) there is only one known case of counterfeit new polymer $100 banknote. (Note: The new polymer $100 was launched a few months ago in November 2011.) As reported yesterday (also mirrored in an article here), the counterfeit new polymer $100 bill was of very poor quality. For example, the counterfeit new polymer $100 bill did not have the transparent window in the middle of the banknote, one of the most obvious and easily verifiable security feature.

Readers of this article should not be alarmed by the existence of this one known case of counterfeit new polymer $100 banknote, what you can do is arm yourself with the knowledge of the new polymer banknote’s security features. You can start by watching a video of me handling and inspecting a new $100 banknote for its security features up close. Also watch this informative PSA video from Bank of Canada: The New $100 Note. I’ve been informed the single counterfeit new polymer $100 banknote is with the RCMP National Anti-Counterfeit Bureau being analyzed. I asked if a picture of it is available to the media but was told that information like how it looks, where it was found, etc are not being shared (I presume for security or police investigation reasons).

What should Canadians do when we come across suspected counterfeit banknotes?

Any Canadians handling cash, especially those in the front line handling cash as a cashier or merchant, etc, should familiarize ourselves with the new polymer banknotes’ security features. When we see any cash that doesn’t look real, then we can and should refuse it and simply politely ask for another form of payment.

For our safety, don’t confront the payer as it may put ourselves in danger, contact local police instead. Plus the person with the “counterfeit-looking” banknote may be truly innocent and not aware the banknote is potentially a counterfeit. You may be interested to know, Bank of Canada discovered $2.6 million dollars worth of Canadian Journey series counterfeit banknotes last year, 48% are $20 bills and 37% are $100 bills.

Curious readers may be interested to know, the old Canadian Journey series banknote costs 10 cents each to print compare to the new polymer banknote costing 19 cents each to print but will last 2.5 times longer make the polymer banknotes more cost effective in the long term according to Bank of Canada.

Note: This news is marked “Exclusive” because at press time, as far as I can find or search, no news media has reported or picked on the existence of the one poor-quality counterfeit new polymer $100 note and the fact that the RCMP National Anti-Counterfeit Bureau has it under analysis.

(Article is cross-posted to Examiner.com)


Bank of Canada confirms poor-quality counterfeit polymer $100 notes as it launches 4 new PSAs to help educate public to prevent financial crimes

Wednesday, 16 May, 2012

Bank of Canada - pix 00

Yesterday, Bank of Canada unveiled four public service announcements (PSAs) at Toronto Police Service headquarters.

The Bank of Canada takes counterfeiting very seriously and responds by researching and developing new notes with innovative security features that are both easy to check and hard to counterfeit. The Bank of Canada will be unveiling four new public service announcements to help educate the public and assist in the prevention of Financial Crimes.

During the post-press conference Q&A, Bank of Canada representative confirmed with this reporter that since the launch of the new polymer $100 notes in November 2011, there have been attempts to counterfeit the polymer $100 notes and the counterfeit $100s were in circulation. Fortunately, according to the Bank representative, the quality of these counterfeit C$100 notes were of very poor quality, for example, these counterfeit notes didn’t even have the transparent windows, one of the most obvious and easily verifiable security features. Which is why the Bank is emphasizing the importance of educating the public to detect counterfeit polymer notes. You can watch my questions and the Bank representative’s answers at the 20:00 mark of this YouTube video.

Full press conference video: Fighting Fraud On The Front Lines ~ Bank of Canada & Toronto Police Financial Crimes Unit

Bank Note Counterfeiting – from Bank of Canada

A good way to check bank notes is FLP (Feel, Look, and Flip) as explained here at the 3:20 mark.

Some readers may remember I’ve previously written about polymer banknotes since Bank of Canada first announced (in March 2011) that it would launch polymer notes in Canada. The following are my in-depth research articles based on information known or found at the time.

March 2011, “Secrets of Bank of Canada’s new plastic money: An advance look of 12 possible security features

March 2011, “Bank of Canada’s new polymer banknote – Patents & technologies by Securency International

June, 2011, “Canada New Polymer $100 Notes in Nov 2011 – Now your money is smooth & will bounce!

November, 2011, “Canada polymer $100 banknote hands-on look finally! (with video)

Note: See also this 660 News article reporting about the BoC press conference, “Bank of Canada launches fraud prevention campaign“.

Note: article is cross-posted to examiner.com

Bank of Canada - pix 01

Bank of Canada - pix 02

Bank of Canada - pix 03


Finding Jan Wong Out of the Blue – The ugly sides of Globe and Mail & Manulife

Monday, 14 May, 2012

Jan Wong Website page pix 01

As a long time reader (and fan) of Jan Wong‘s (website, twitter) newspaper articles and “Lunch with” columns, it came to me as a total shock when I belatedly discovered the real reason of why Jan is no longer working for the Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail (she was fired from the fallout of one article) and why Jan, a successful books author and highly skilled writer, has to self-publish her memoir Out of the Blue (Amazon) (this is a story in itself).

Check out this video “For my review of Jan Wong’s “Out of The Blue” & news report” and the following insightful articles and interviews.

* CBC News, “Q&A: Jan Wong’s long march from depression to reinvention”

* CBC Books Radio interview, Michael Enright’s interview with journalist Jan Wong about her latest book”

* 2012, May 11, TVO Allan Gregg video interview, “Jan Wong On Her Battle With Depression

* TorStar Apr 27, “Toronto author Jan Wong’s book on workplace depression an instant classic

* Ottawa Citizen, Jan Wong’s blues – “Journalist chronicles her controversial descent into workplace depression

* Now, “Jan Wong wronged? The Bestselling journalist wound up self-publishing her memoir?

* Now Book review, “Out of The Blue – Wilful Wong

* backofthe book.ca “Jan Wong’s Globe and Mail blues

* The Chronicle Herald “Old China hand explores Canada’s mysterious East

* Quill & Quire Book review, Out of the Blue: A Memoir of Workplace Depression, Recovery, Redemption and, Yes, Happiness”

Ref: 2006 Sept article from Premier Jean Charest.

Disclosure: I own shares of Manulife and I am shocked and angry of Manulife’s unacceptable business practices. Setting personal feelings aside, it is just bad business to deal with legitimate insurance clients like it did with Jan. These kind of unacceptable behaviours can rightfully drive potential future clients away. I may write a separate article about this. Will see.

Jan Wong Website page pix 02


LIVE broadcast of Ceremony of Remembrance @ Queen’s Park Ontario Police Memorial (May 6th, 2012)

Sunday, 6 May, 2012

Pre-ceremony @ Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial, Sun May 6th - pix 01

Pre-ceremony @ Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial, Sun May 6th - pix 02

The LIVE broadcast of the Ceremony of Remembrance @ Queen’s Park Ontario Police Memorial this morning (May 6th, 2012) went really smoothly, the following are the recorded videos. (Facebook page for Ontario Police Memorial Foundation) Here is an informal detailed writeup from Toronto Police Constable Scott Mills.

Video pre-Ceremony of Remembrance at Queen’s Park Ontario Police Memorial (reading of the names of 251 police officers killed in the line of duty in Ontario)

Video of Ceremony of Remembrance at Queen’s Park Ontario Police Memorial

Video of March Past: Ceremony of Remembrance at Queen’s Park Ontario Police Memorial

Debrief of the LIVE broadcast at Ceremony of Remembrance (includes interviews with all of the major contributors on the ground in Toronto… including Glen Russell, the father of Scott’s friend Ryan Russell who died in the line of duty in Toronto in 2011)

Ceremony of Remembrance at Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial, Sun May 6th - pix 03 (Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty)

Pre-Ceremony intro:site test for Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th) - pix 01


Pre-Ceremony intro for Queen’s Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th)

Friday, 4 May, 2012

Pre-Ceremony intro:site test for Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th) - pix 01

It was my honour to work with Toronto Police Constable +Scott Mills this afternoon in preparation for this Sunday (May 6th, 10:30am EST) Queen’s Park Ontario Police Memorial LIVE broadcast. More info here.

Watch the video to see the site for yourself.

Pre-Ceremony intro:site test for Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th) - pix 03

Pre-Ceremony intro:site test for Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th) - pix 04

Pre-Ceremony intro:site test for Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th) - pix 05

Pre-Ceremony intro:site test for Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th) - pix 06

I especially love this last screen capture where a beautiful butterfly lands next to the broadcast equipment.

Pre-Ceremony intro:site test for Queen's Park Ontario Police Memorial this Sunday (May 6th) - pix 07


Toronto Police Constable Scott Mills talks about LIVE broadcasting Ontario Police Memorial (Sunday May 6th, 2012)

Thursday, 3 May, 2012

Constable Scott Mills talks about 2012 Ceremony of Remembrance Ontario Police Memorial - pix 1

Toronto Police Constable Scott Mills talks about live broadcasting Ontario Police Memorial (Facebook) this Sunday May 6th, 2012. It is my honour to help Scott broadcast this live to people who really want to but can’t attend in person.

Constable Scott Mills talks about 2012 Ceremony of Remembrance Ontario Police Memorial - pix 2


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