Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Canadians given the choice to stop targeted web ads

Read in papers few days ago that Canadian internet users will be given access to a tool to block behaviorally targeted ads. The users are given a web site - youradchoices.ca by the Digital Ads Alliance in Canada to visit and opt out of it.

Number of ad networks has joined the voluntary program to promote interest based advertising. From an advertisers point of view this might look like a blow but it is actually putting the industry in a more ethical and a truthful stand.

And this has the chance of promoting behavioral advertising when users gets to know the benefits and opportunities in targeted ads. For e.g. If you wanted to buy a laptop and searched for it - you would be happy to know a certain vendor has some exclusive deals during the season. This happened to me when i wanted to buy a new laptop for my wife.  After few google searches for laptops, web sites started showing me a futureshop targeted banner ads about their Labour Day sale and we got a nice Core i7 for half the price because of targeted Google ads.

Likewise there are both the pros and cons in targeted advertising. How do you think this change will effect the future of digital advertising in Canada?  

Friday, September 20, 2013

Vancouver Police Social Media Campaign to reduce texting while driving

Just came across a nice campaign by Vancouver Police Dept (VPD) about texting while driving called #StupidCombos on Twitter - Few ads given below

Its amazing to see how law and order using Social Media creatively for such a cause because back home 90% of police haven't heard of what Twitter is.  

And the winner gets a free Police ride along - can you imagine?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Best bank for international students in Canada

More on banking after my most popular posts about -
Personal Banking in Sri Lanka : Whats the best bank for you?
Best Credit Card in Sri Lanka - Whats best for you?

But this time on Canadian banks!

There are many banks in Canada - CIBC, BMO, Nova Scotia, HSBC, RBC just to name a few. Basics about Canadian banks when compared to other countries/Sri Lanka

  • Canadian banks charge fees depending on the no.of transactions you make. 
  • Banking in Canada is very much online - its called paperless. some banks charge you for pass books/statements
  • Credit rating is everything in Canada
  • Interest rates are super low for savings 

After arriving in Canada with a student, she immediately needed a bank account for money transfers.etc. We researched online and found many attractive offers for those new to Canada. First we went to a bank who advertised "Credit cards for new immigrants" but the small print said that it was for PR holders only.

After a few more days of bank visits we found Nova Scotia having a back to school offer of movies for how much you use money in your account.(Sounds like a trap) But this was an attractive offer since spending from credit card is actually beneficial in Canada since it improves your credit rating if you pay on time. And earning scene movie points is actually worth than other cash back credit card offers because most cash backs are limited to maximum $10 and thats also when you spend more than $1000 a month.

Student package in Nova Scotia has unlimited transactions at 0 cost. Best part of the offer was that they offer credit cards for international students with a substantial limit. This is key for a graduate student as it can help your credit rating for future money needs. And the paperless/online banking facility at Scotia bank offers automated credit card payments which makes sure you pay on time.

You need an appointment to open a bank account at Scotia bank and it can take up to 1-1 and half hours - quite lenghty buy very much detailed. The banking officer (Shelley - at North Rd & Austin Branch) was very friendly and knowledgable. Another reason for choosing Scotia was its branch coverage. There is even a branch at the university premises!

Overall - unlimited free transactions, scene movie offer & credit card facility makes Scotia bank - the best for an international student (From what we've experienced so far). Are you from Canada? which bank do you recommend? If you are a new student to Canada - comment below with questions.      

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Android Mobile OS new version co-branded Kit Kat

(Update below) Im back to making memes also. Was exposed to a lot of negativity about Google naming the next Android Kit Kat instead of Key Lime Pie. More postings were from Sri Lanka than Canada - or im following too little Canadians.

 In my opinion its a great idea and whoever thought of this must be rewarded for the possilbities it has opened for both Android and Kit Kat brands.

Update : That awesome moment when your meme has over 1700 shares, and over 9000 9GAG ups!

Back to blogging - Selecting a mobile phone company in Canada

So after a dramatic period of my wedding, honeymoon, homecoming (Lots of learnings - lots of "coming up" blogposts") and a relocation to Canada - im back on blogging.

Its like only the 2nd week in Canada for me. and we still didn't buy a phone connection - waiting for all the offers. Unlike in Sri Lanka - there are many mobile networks to select from and its very complicated. But after a few site visits - figured out most carriers are budget networks of the big players.

So its basically
Main network - Budget/Youth targeted network
Bell - Virgin Mobile
Rogers - Fido
Telus - Koodo

And there are small players such as Wind, Mobilicity.etc but you can never be sure of their coverage since Canada is a large country. So its good to stick to the 1st three.

In facevalue - all main networks charges the same and all budget networks charge similarly. Unlike in Sri Lanka - its still little expensive. For e.g. CLI is still charged seperately, there is an outgoing/incoming call limit.etc.

Phone prices are relatively much cheaper in Canada. And many carriers offer free phones when you sign up for a longterm contract. But when you compare with smaller players phone prices, you are ending up paying for the phone price anyways.

For e.g. I came across this Virgin Mobile S3 offer - they give you the S3 free for a $65 a month plan. And WIND offers S3 for $320 with $33 a month plan. So in Virgin you are actually paying extra $769 unless you pay for the phone upfront. Are you from Canada? what advise can you give?  (And guess its a time to wirte some posts on "Tips for international students in Canada"...)