Archive for the ‘Tech News’ Category


Facebook Inbox Search

June 20, 2008

Facebook just announced that it will be adding an inbox search. This is similar to what all other email systems currently have (i.e. gmail, hotmail, yahoo)… I know I’ve really been wanting this for a long time and so I’m glad they’re adding it. So now you can search your Facebook inbox for that message your friend sent you a while back wihout having to go from page to page and clicking from message to message…

Now, Facebook, buddy ol’ pal… please, please, let me reply to facebook messages directly from my gmail account… I really hate how I have to click on a link to be redirected to facebook before I can reply back… If you do this, I’ll like you more than I already do… a lot more for that matter 🙂



Ottawa Tech Sector is Live and Kicking!

May 19, 2008

The following is a guest post by good friend Harley Finkelstein in response to an article from entitled: A tech saviour’s manifesto:

Harley Finkelstein

Mr. Macdonald,

I recently read your manifesto article in the globe and mail.

To be honest, and as a 24 year old Law/MBA grad student and concurrently the founder of a tech venture firm, I think you may be out of touch with what’s really going on in the Canadian tech scene.

Silicon Valley wasn’t built because of companies like Cognos, it achieved its real success because of garage startups like Google and Paypal (which you mentioned in the article).

Cognos and ATI are NOT the current Canadian tech scene, the real tech scene are these amazing young startups that will eventually become the next RIMs and Skypes, and many of these guys have yet to even bring their ideas to market (which is when I prefer to invest in them).

The main reason I moved to Ottawa at 21 years old was to take advantage of the amazing grass roots entrepreneurial climate in Ottawa’s tech community.

And thus far it seems the Canadian startup tech scene is alive and well, albeit most VCs wouldn’t know it.

With a fund that is probably smaller than your daily payroll, my shop, Innoventure Capital, invests in local talent and their startups and in the last 3 years we have been inundated with amazing opportunities. Young tech wizards cringe at the idea of pitching an idea to a grey haired VC committee, and when we meet with them they seem relieved to see we are young, ambitious, and just like them. There is a real dichotomy and gap between the next great tech startup and the Canadian VC community, yet WE are getting more pitches and great ideas than we can even read.

I recently had the opportunity to meet some of the gents from Sequoia in California, and what immediately struck me was that they were the antithesis of the VCs we work with in Canada (Bay street and in Kanata).

The real problem in Canada is that conventional VC is a dinosaur, yet the Canadian shops are still cherry picking for homeruns and mandating overly restrictive covenants (which in itself is a dinosaur of a contractual concept).

Innoventure’s key to success has been investing small (5-10k) amounts of funding into strong people, and NOT strong businesses. We let the entrepreneurs focus on what they know best, and often we even pay their living expenses while they are doing so, while my partner and I focus on finding ways to make their ideas profitable. Most of the guys we invest in would never consider putting on a suit and heading into First Canadian Place (and neither did Jobs, Gates or Dell in the 80s), but once we show them that together we can make money most of these entrepreneurs always come back for their 2.0 idea.

The solution in Canada may be that the VCs need to recalibrate, and if we are so concerned with achieving success like in S.Valley than why aren’t we acting more like them.

I can show you 3 to 5 online businesses based in ottawa alone who are right now in need of financing, and whose companies have the potential to be market leaders. Innoventure prides itself not on our ability to fund even the smallest businesses, but rather on the mentorship and guidance that comes along with being our partners, and we look for these types of people.

I would love to continue this conversation if you’d like.

I mean no disrespect from my email, and in fact am somewhat in awe of you and your company’s success…I hope to one day enjoy even half of your good fortune.

Thank you in advance, and I hope you will respond.

Best regards,


h1 shuts down!!!

March 31, 2008

Here is the info from the TorrentSpy Team: (pay attention to the bolded text)

Friends of TorrentSpy,

We have decided on our own, not due to any court order or agreement, to bring the search engine to an end and thus we permanently closed down worldwide on March 24, 2008.

The legal climate in the USA for copyright, privacy of search requests, and links to torrent files in search results is simply too hostile. We spent the last two years, and hundreds of thousands of dollars, defending the rights of our users and ourselves.

Ultimately the Court demanded actions that in our view were inconsistent with our privacy policy, traditional court rules, and International law; therefore, we now feel compelled to provide the ultimate method of privacy protection for our users – permanent shutdown.

It was a wild ride,

The TorrentSpy Team

“Big Brother in the form of an increasingly powerful government and in an increasingly powerful private sector will pile the records high with reasons why privacy should give way to national security, to law and order […] and the like.” – Justice William O. Douglas


New Version of SpaceTime is GREAT :-)

March 28, 2008


3D Browsing is just sooo much fun. It sure beats boring old 2D browsing…. that’s why I really love Basically, it is a new browser that you can download that will make your life a whole lot easier and more fun by turning all your web pages into 3D images… You’ve got to try this! Although, of course, it won’t completely replace FireFox for me, but its a start…

For the SpaceTime team, not sure how possible this is, but, can we get SpaceTime as a plugin for FireFox? Perhaps with a button that we can use to turn on and off 3D?  The reason I make this request is because I know you guys listen 🙂 The last 3 requests I made actually ended up in the product which basically makes me think you guys rock! 🙂


Posted By: Aydin Mirzaee.


Facebook will soon have IM

March 22, 2008

That’s right… according to a TechCrunch Story, Facebook is adding its own instant messaging…

Is this brilliant? Yes. It will be a threat to all the other IM services out there.

What’s my concern?

Please let there be privacy options 🙂


h1 is an AMAZING search tool!

March 22, 2008

Wow! is like Google, except its 3D! You search for anything you want and then you can browse through the results in the form of screenshots. It reminds me a bit of (which I think is very cool btw).

Before I actually used it, I thought that there was now way that I would use this thing on a day to day basis, but it actually is a really good way to search! The only gotcha is that their database isn’t as big as Google’s database 😦 Let’s hope they can get there fast 🙂

btw, searchme is a Sequoia backed company (so was Google).


Posted By: Aydin Mirzaee


Absolutely FREE conference Calls!

March 3, 2008

iotum free conference calls

Iotum has always had a great application on Facebook that lets you make free conference calls. Now, it has become a lot better because it allows for 100% free conference calls…

Here’s how it works:

1) add the iotum facebook application here.

2) organize a conference call on facebook (really simple interface).

3) either call in using your computer or ask for a call back (both ways are completeley FREE!).

4) others join your conference in the same way (a conference can be public or private).

Try it out. you won’t be disappointed.


Posted By: Aydin Mirzaee