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TTC pushes for cell phone service on subway platforms

In Uncategorized on February 29, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Photo credit: Creative Commons

TTC subway riders will soon have cell phone service on the city’s underground platforms.

The TTC is in talks with three potential service providers and will put forward a former call for a proposal next week.

The project would cost about $250,000 with the remaining costs covered by the successful bidder. Service will not be extended to tunnels, though Ross says there could be some “bleeding” between stations.

The project is expected to be finished by the end of next year but Brad Ross, a spokesperson for TTC, said there is no specific date as of yet.

“The TTC board will be getting an update on this today,” Ross said. “The successful proponent will bring a work plan forward that will include timeline.”

Many students are in support of having cell phone signals on subway platforms.

“There’s an app that you can check when the next bus is coming so it’d make it really convenient to know when the next bus is coming while you’re on the subway,” Phillip Lin said.

Samuel Yeung agrees.

“I’m all for it. I enjoy using my phone and I think commuters will enjoy it too.”

City council is expected to debate the issue Wednesday at a transit meeting.

* Published on February 29 at the Ryersonian

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Wikipedia down until midnight

In Uncategorized on January 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm

This statement appeared on Wikipedia's homepage during the blackout.

Wikipedia’s English language site is down until midnight Thursday. The online encyclopedia is protesting a controversial piece of U.S. legislation currently being considered by congress.

If passed, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) would allow the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to file injunctions against websites that commit copyright infringement, meaning sites like YouTube, Wikipedia and Tumblr would likely cease to exist.

“For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia,” a statement on Wikipedia.com reads.

Visitors to Boing Boing, WordPress and Reddit are being redirected to SOPAStrike.com.

Web giants Google, Facebook and Twitter are opposed to the bill but are not suspending their services.

Supporters of SOPA include most major television networks, book publishers and movie studios. A statement from the Motion Picture Association of America says 2.2 million industry jobs are at risk due to online piracy.

“A so-called ‘blackout’ is yet another gimmick, albeit a dangerous one, designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals. It is our hope that the White House and the Congress will call on those who intend to stage this ‘blackout’ to stop the hyperbole and PR stunts and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy,” said CEO Chris Dodd, also a former U.S. senator.

For those looking to work around the blackout, Wikipedia is still viewable on mobile devices.

Alternatively, cached versions of Wikipedia pages can be accessed through Google.

* Published on January 18, 2012 at the Ryersonian

Zombie couture to hit the runway

In Uncategorized on October 13, 2010 at 8:07 pm

The Ryerson fashion design program is getting a unique showcase later this month, thanks to two of its students’ desires to dress the living dead.

“I always really wanted to do my own show with zombie makeup (and) one day I said it out loud,” said Meghan Erin, the third-year fashion design student behind the show.

Toronto has had a Zombie Walk since 2003, in which thousands of people dressed in their best blood-soaked garb lurch their way through the city’s streets. Last year’s had 6,000 participants. But there haven’t been any zombie fashion shows until now.

After telling her idea to friend and classmate Maegan McWade, the two decided to turn the idea into reality and began planning in early July, securing several sponsors and a historic venue for the show.

Zombie Walk: The Runway takes place at the Berkeley Church at 315 Queen St. E. on Oct. 26 and will feature collections from Ryerson’s fashion design and communication programs alongside styling from Spellbound Hair Salon and the Complexions Academy of Makeup.

The fashion show is not officially linked to Toronto’s Zombie Walk, athough it comes only three days after the big walk.

All proceeds from the $25 tickets will benefit the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada. They are hoping to raise $10,000.

For Erin, the foundation was an easy choice given that October is Brain Tumour Awareness month. Some of the people involved in the show have even been personally affected by the disease. It was also a natural and timely fit with the theme of the show.

“We made the connection between brains and zombies,” said McWade.

Though the two initially thought of doing the show as a personal project, Ryerson’s involvement has allowed it to reach a larger audience and transform into something far greater than either anticipated. The Ryerson Students’ Union is one of the sponsors.

“It’s come from being a personal idea to so much more,” Erin said.

“We knew we couldn’t do it without the support of the school.”

To raise awareness of the show, Erin and McWade sent out a series of emails to students in their program from first to fourth year. They ended up with four to five personal collections and 15 from Ryerson students, focused on the themes of darkness and subversion.

In addition to the designers participating, many of the models and volunteers were also found on campus and were eager to get involved.

“Feedback has been really positive,” said McWade.

“Everyone’s been really interested in the theme.”

Ashley Fitzgerald, a third-year fashion communication student assisting with ticket sales and planning, credits early advertising efforts and Erin and McWade’s hard work for bringing attention to the show.

“We generated a lot of interest early through postering,” she said.

“They’ve been handling it so well. It’s surpassed what they thought it would be.”

The high level of interest so far has Erin and McWade optimistic the show could turn into an annual event but for the time being, the two are focusing on ensuring the debut is as successful as possible.

Erin says that there’s something for everyone, even those not interested in fashion. There will also be a silent auction, a raffle draw, dance performances and theatrics.

Tickets for both the 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows are being sold on campus every Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in front of the library building and also online at zombiewalktherunway.ca.

* Published on October 12, 2010 in the Ryersonian