Forget about Kickstarter, try IndieGoGo in Canada UK Australia Asia?

Thursday, 16 February, 2012

Sept 24, 2013 update: Kickstarter has finally launched in Canada earlier this year and you can find some Canadian projects here.

July 15, 2015 update: Since my 2013 update, I’ve used Indiegogo and like it. Worth investigate it for yourself and decide for yourself if it is a good enough crowdfunding site for your use.


After waiting for close to three years and trying to push a little, I am giving up on the idea of waiting for Kickstarter to come to Canada! Unfortunately, no more illusion for me. Kickstarter’s inaction/inability to find an alternative payment solution for Canada or non-US countries is inexcusable and can only be put as they don’t give a beep. To them, US is a big enough market for them to serve? After three years of waiting, I’ve given up caring. Quoting Kickstarter’s FAQ (emphasis added)

Am I eligible to start a Kickstarter project?

To be eligible to start a Kickstarter project, you need to satisfy the requirements of Amazon Payments:

Be a permanent US resident and at least 18 years of age with a Social Security Number (or EIN), a US bank account, US address, US state-issued ID (driver’s license), and major US credit or debit card.”

I am NOT paid by IndieGoGo to write this article! Judging from IndieGoGo‘s press articles and mention, they seem to be legit (I don’t know). A local friend has used IndieGoGo and I haven’t seen any complain from him.

I am sadden to write this article but then again, three years of Kickstarter inaction is inexcusable, enough is enough.

Can you share your experiences using IndieGoGo?

If you have used IndieGoGo to raise funds, can you please share your experiences good and bad? Both good or bad experiences are very much welcomed at this point. May be take a look of projects on IndieGoGo. And if they are worthy of your support, give them a try and let us know how things go? And if you are going to use IndieGoGo to raise funds, tell us how successful (or not) your experiences are.

P.S. To be fair, Kickstarter is doing good for permanent US resident. Even though I love my US friends, I just think Kickstarter sucks in helping projects initiated by non-US citizens around the world.

canada polymer $100 – money “laundering” test – wash and dry

Friday, 18 November, 2011

canada polymer $100 – money “laundering” test – after wash and dry

After a detail (with video) and more serious look at the new Canada polymer $100 banknote, I decided to have some fun and put the brand new $100 to a money “laundering” test. I washed & dried it in a dryer to see what happen.

Non-scientific test results:

* The fold marks are not much worst than regular use.

* The polymer $100 feels noticeably softer after heated up in drier but it feels ok and strong.

* The metallic strip and the holograms are still working great.


* If you accidentally leave your $100 bills in your jeans pocket, they will survive a wash and dry cycle easily!

canada polymer $100 – money “laundering” test – after wash and dry

Canada polymer $100 banknote hands-on look finally! (with video)

Thursday, 17 November, 2011

2011 Canada New Polymer $100 - back - pix 18

I’ve written and speculated extensively about the new Canadian polymer notes. Finally, I am excited to say I’ve got one in my hand now. Have a watch of this slideshow of the new polymer C$100. In comparison, watch this slideshow of the HK$10 (which is less than US/C $2).

Here is a video of me checking out the new polymer $100, I slowed down the video at various place so you can have a closer look at some features.


1) Raised ink: I definitely feel the raised ink on the large “100” and the shoulders and different parts of the bill.

2011 Canada New Polymer $100 - front - pix 09

2) What hidden 100? I have given up trying to find the hidden numbers (using a single light source) in the maple leaf! Some people can see it, not me. So if this security feature is hard to use, or only some people (or small percent of people) can use it, I am questioning if this is a good security feature at all!

Note: I wonder if this feature is the WinDOE® (Diffractive Optical Element) as I wrote in “12 possible security features” in March?

New Bank of Canada $100 Polymer Note - Hidden numbers

3) Polymer but not cheap plastic feel: I actually quite like the feel and don’t feel it is “cheap” or anything thing. It feel like it is good quality. But only time and actually use will tell.

4) Large transparent window and metallic strip: I LOVE them! To me, they are the best part of the bill. They are extremely easy to inspect and tell if it is a real $100 with minimum training! They are hard to fake thanks to Securency International’s security features and patented technologies.

2011 Canada New Polymer $100 - front - pix 06

Further info: In March, I wrote a speculative technology piece with extensive links to patents by Securency International, “Bank of Canada’s new polymer banknote – Patents & technologies by Securency International” After the new $100 was announced in June, I wrote “Canada New Polymer $100 Notes in Nov 2011 – Now your money is smooth & will bounce!

2011 Canada New Polymer $100 - back - pix 22

2011 Canada New Polymer $100 - back - pix 20

2011 Canada New Polymer $100 - back - pix 12

2011 Canada New Polymer $100 - front - pix 02

The HK$10 (less than US/C$ 2)

HK polymer $10 (2007)

Here are some design info about the polymer $100 from Bank of Canada:

“$100 Note – Design Features
Portrait: Sir Robert L. Borden, Prime Minister, 1911–20
Signatures: Left – T. Macklem, Right – M.J. Carney
Size: 152.4 x 69.85 mm (6.0 x 2.75 inches)
Issue Date: November 2011
Theme: Medical Innovation Read the rest of this entry »

Vancouver plane crash heroes

Tuesday, 1 November, 2011

These heroes deserved our public thanks.

* Vancouver Sun, “Video: Plane-crash heroes tell their stories

* CBC News, “Plane crash rescuer says he ‘didn’t have a plan (with 16 mins raw interview with Jeremy Kerr)’

* Vancouver Sun, “Jeremy Kerr writes letter to Vancouver Sun reporter Jeff  Lee about his role in the rescue of passengers on Northern Thunderbird Air Flight 204 and its aftermath

* CBC News, “Premier to honour Richmond crash heroes (with crash aftermath video)

* National Post, “Vancouver plane crash: Heroes who fought their way into the flaming wreckage tell their story

“Jeremy Kerr, John Redmond, Haim Peri and Shawn Nagurny share a common bond even if they don’t know one another.

They were among the small group of men who, against all odds, pushed their way into the flaming fuselage of Northern Thunderbird Air Flight 204 to drag injured passengers to safety after the small aircraft crashed Thursday in Richmond, near Vancouver.

None of the men sought public attention in the days after the incident, but they have now come forward, largely out of the cathartic need to talk about what they experienced. The trauma of being thrown into the situation of becoming unexpected heroes has weighed heavily.

As the men carried or dragged the victims out, as many as two dozen other Good Samaritans offered help, carrying the injured to a grassy area not far from the wreckage. Redmond says all who responded — from those who offered first aid to those who sprayed car fire extinguishers on the flaming wreckage in the vain hope of beating back the flames — deserve credit.

But it was Kerr, Redmond, Peri, Nagurny and several as-yet unidentified men who entered the aircraft, suspending common sense to risk their lives for the people on board.

Here are their stories.

Jeremy Kerr

[…] At first, he said, he didn’t know why he helped out. It was an autonomic reaction for him to race over, he said. In hindsight, he now knows he did so out of extreme compassion.

“Waiting for help to arrive wasn’t an option,” he said. “If they were my loved ones on board, I would hope that someone would do the same for me.” […]

Some of the events around what happened are blurry to Kerr. He says he doesn’t remember the faces and names of the other heroes who worked with him. “It’s like looking down the barrel of a straw,” he said. “All I can remember is the victims.” […]

John Redmond

[…] He drove straight through an intersection, stopped the car “a little bit too close to the airplane,” grabbed his steering-wheel club in case he needed something to smash through windows to free people, and ran as fast as he could toward the airplane. Read the rest of this entry »

Wiebo’s War opens Oct 21st in Calgary & Edmonton, and then Oct 26 in Lethbridge

Friday, 21 October, 2011

Wiebo’s War is one of the best documentaries I have seen this year, I highly recommend it. The film is especially relevant to Albertans as we thought we know a lot about Wiebo Ludwig from TV news but David York’s Wiebo’s War, with intimate access to Wiebo and his family over two years, will show you a lot more.

Wiebo’s War opens in theatres today (Oct 21st, 2011) in both Calgary (The Plaza) and Edmonton (Metro). And then screening in Lethbridge at 8pm, Wed Oct 26. (watch NFB trailer) Here is a YouTube trailer.

Film review from National Post (3.5/4), Calgary Herald (4.5/5).

David York, Director of Wiebo’s War interview at Calgary International Film Festival

Q&A at 2011 Calgary International Film Festival

Here is Wiebo’s War (NFB synopsis and trailer),

This feature documentary focuses on Wiebo Ludwig, a suspect in a recent string of pipeline bombings. The bombings echo a campaign of sabotage he waged against the oil and gas industry in the 90s – barricading roads and blowing up wells. And when a 16-year-old girl was fatally shot on the family farm in 1999, Wiebo’s fight with the industry was thrust further into the media spotlight.

The Ludwig family are part of a Christian community that lives in close adherence to their religious values. The community is comprised of 5 married couples, 7 unmarried adult children and 38 grandchildren. They are self-sufficient in food and energy, but live in isolation and believe that those that don’t share their religious beliefs, like filmmaker David York, are living in terrible darkness.

David York - Wiebo's War - Q&A

Remembering 9/11 – Friendships formed at Gander, Newfoundland

Saturday, 10 September, 2011

From Al Jazeera, Sept 10, 2011, “Friendships formed in shadow of 9/11 attacks” (with video),

“For residents of the town of Gander in Newfoundland, off Canada’s east coast, the events of September 11, 2001, are not altogether negative.

The town was flooded with nearly 7,000 passengers from trans-Atlantic flights that were forced to land when US airspace was abruptly closed.

The local population spiked from 10,000 to almost 17,000 in just a few hours. Overall, Canada received more than 200 aircraft and in excess of 30,000 passengers. In Gander, the giant airport took 38 commercial airliners and the Plane People – as they were known – stayed for almost a week.

During their enforced lay-over, lasting friendships were formed with locals.”

From Huffington Post, Sept 9, 2011, “9/11 Anniversary: Obama Thanks Harper For Canada’s Help” (emphasis added)

From Presiden Obama, “On the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001, we remember with gratitude and affection how the people of Canada offered us the comfort of friendship and extraordinary assistance that day and in the following days by opening their airports, homes and hearts to us. As airspace over our two countries was shut down, hundreds of flights en route to the United States were landed safely by Canadian air traffic control in seventeen Canadian airports from coast to coast. The small city of Gander, Newfoundland, population 9,600, received 6,600 diverted passengers, while Vancouver received 8,500 people. For the next 3 days — before our air space was reopened — those displaced passengers were treated like family in Canadian homes, receiving food, shelter, medical attention and comfort.

From Toronto Sun, Sept 7, “Gander, N.L., to receive 9-11 award from U.S.”

“The town of 10,000, which rallied to house and feed 6,500 stranded passengers for several days after North American airspace was shut down in the hours following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, will receive the International Resilience Award from the Center for National Policy.

“The story is an amazing one. The townspeople, with literally no warning, took into their homes 6,500 passengers who were strangers in need at a time of crisis,” said Scott Bates, the centre’s vice-president.

“For us, this is a moment of community heroism,” Bates said. “It’s something that we want to showcase so that people in the United States remember what Canada did for us and also, perhaps more importantly, how Gander is an example of how communities across North America should respond in a time of crisis.

“Rather than coming apart, they came together.””

From National Post, Sept 10, 2011, “On 9/11, air traffic controllers worked on a wing and a prayer”

“Don O’Brien and his air traffic control colleagues had been trained to handle emergencies in the sky. They knew how to guide an airliner without engine power onto the ground, for example — but no one had ever conceived of the crazy, high-altitude challenges of 9/11.

“We’d never trained or rehearsed for anything like it,” says O’Brien, an air traffic control supervisor at the NAV Canada operations center in Gander, N.L.

“After they closed U.S. airspace that morning — which was totally unprecedented — we suddenly had a couple of hundred large airplanes coming at us, and we had to find them somewhere to land.”

O’Brien works inside a two-storey concrete bunker of a building, surrounded by high, barbed wire fences on the outskirts of this small town in central Newfoundland. This is the command center from which NAV Canada, the country’s private, air traffic control provider, controls the skies over Canada’s eastern seaboard and the entire western half of the North Atlantic.”

Battles and War in the fight for Fair Digital Copyright for Canada – Government to Reintroduce Bill C-32 “In Exactly the Same Form”

Friday, 9 September, 2011

My heart sank reading Michael Geist, Sept 9, 2011, “Government to Reintroduce Bill C-32 “In Exactly the Same Form”” So my concerns and worries expressed in my Sept 5th, 2011 article, “Fair Digital Copyright for Canada – Insights from a new Phd thesis by Blayne Haggart” may have come true. But I am not giving up easily and Canadians shouldn’t go down without a fight.

Here is an excerpt from Winnipeg Free Press, Sept 8, 2011, “Long-awaited copyright bill returns, but top court to wade in too” (emphasis added)

“One of the hotly debated issues around the bill, around how educators are able to use copyrighted materials, has now popped up before the Supreme Court.

The justices will be hearing a case about whether grade school teachers who make copies of textbooks for their students should be shielded from paying tariffs.

The same issue came up before the Commons committee last March. Groups who represent educators and provincial ministers of education would like to see more explicit protection for classroom copying included in the “fair dealing” section of the Act, while those who represent publishers say they deserve to be compensated for the textbooks they create.

NDP heritage critic Charlie Angus said the government should be listening to criticism of the bill and making changes before it is forced to by the courts.

“There are problems that need to be fixed and we can do this in a collaborative way or a confrontational way, but I would prefer to get this bill done,” Angus said.

“I want to know that they’re actually listening to the witnesses, because witnesses have identified some serious shortfalls with the bill that can be fixed.” […]

Internal U.S. embassy cables posted by Wikileaks this year suggested former industry minister Maxime Bernier offered to show American officials a previous copyright bill before it was tabled in Parliament.

The cables also detailed how the office of another former industry minister, Tony Clement, suggested Washington include Canada on an international piracy watchlist in order to push legislative efforts along.


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