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One of my courses this semester is “Digital Media in Practice” and while we just started, it already has me thinking in a different way. I am going to warn you though, once you read this blog entry you will start to notice something that may take away from your enjoyment of the Stanley Cup playoffs. My enjoyment of the playoffs was taken away by Anaheim when they beat Edmonton in Game 7, but that is another story. This is the kind of thing that you have probably ignored but once you see it you will be amazed at how often it appears in the arenas of NHL teams. So, with that forewarning, here is a photo of a rink board at the Boston Garden:

After a little googling I discovered that ORG Packaging is in the business of beverage packaging (Bloomberg, 2017) and has annual revenue of 6 billion yuan or 1.2 billion Canadian dollars (ORG Packaging, 2017). This begs the question, why is a B2B firm that operates in China spending millions of dollars on rink board advertising. This article in the Hockey News sheds a little light on his motivation, linked to growing the game in China and also being a superfan and player himself. I still cannot imagine why a businessman would spend this amount of money. It is difficult to find out how much rink board advertising costs for this season’s playoffs but if this article in le Journal de Montréal is any indication we can estimate $350 000. ORG has advertised in every arena in the NHL playoffs so we can conservatively estimate the company has spent $5.6 million on advertising (16 teams X $350K per arena).

He is advertising a product that no one in the target market will or is even able to buy and in a place where he has zero market share and seems to no have no intention of wanting to grow market share. Is this simply a case of a wealthy Chinese businessman trying to get in on the ground floor of what might be explosive growth in an untapped market? Why else would Zhou Yunjie of ORG spend millions of dollars on advertising that he must know will have little discernible impact on his company’s sales numbers. Perhaps it is the same reason Billy Ngok Yan-yu, a Chinese oil and gas investor, sinks $40 million into his Chinese entry in the KHL. Either stands to make a lot of money if the sport takes off in a market of 1.4 billion people.

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What you will need:

OTA Antenna – I like the RCA Multidrectional Indoor Antenna, it is available at Canadian Tire (Product #045-2815-4) for $90. It mounts in the window and is fairly inobtrusive. It also has an amplifier which helped bring in an additional channel for me.

Tablo Tuner and PVR – This can be ordered direct from Tablo at https://www.tablotv.com/store/ or online at various retailers like Best Buy and New Egg. I picked the two tuner model because I don’t watch that much TV.

Tablo Subscription – I opted for the lifetime subscription for $179.99, after 3 years you break even when compared to the yearly subscription.

Set top box of your choice – We purchase our movies from iTunes so Apple TV was the choice for us. It has to be a new Apple TV (the one with the black remote). I tried a Roku box and it was excellent but the movie rentals and purchases on my Apple ID brought me back to Apple TV. Check the Tablo site for other options, some TV’s have Tablo capability already.

I also subscribe to Netflix, Crave TV and FonGo (~$25/month) and changed my internet provider to one that had an unlimited plan ($45).

So, my monthly fees are down to $70/month from $180/month for cable (including internet and home phone). I spent about $600 on everything, including a new Apple TV. At that rate I will break even in under six months.

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Categories Funny tech tricks, Personal

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My kids have entered the Apple ecosystem, for better or worse. A used iPod, a hand-me-down iPhone and there we are. If you have kids in the same situation, almost ready for an iPod but nowhere near ready for an email address you can leverage these two Gmail hacks which I used for accounts on Apple and Microsoft.

1. Any Gmail address can have a suffix preceded by a plus sign.

This allows you to create Apple ID’s that all go to your gmail address but are still unique to Apple’s servers. As an example, John Smith (johnsmith@gmail.com) could create Apple ID’s for his kids that would be johnsmith+jack@gmail.com and johnsmith+jill@gmail.com. All these emails will arrive in John Smith’s inbox but will be seen by Apple as discrete Apple ID’s. Setup the Apple ID’s yourself and use your own birthday and security questions so that when your kids forget their password you can recover it.

2. Any Gmail address can have a period in it.

Did you know that johnsmith@gmail.com is the same as john.smith@gmail.com? Microsoft accounts do not allow you to use the plus sign trick so another way for John to create accounts for his kids on xBox One would be to move the period one space for each kid. For example, j.ohnsmith@gmail.com and jo.hnsmith@gmail.com would be seen by Microsoft as unique, Gmail sees them as identical.

The benefit of both these methods is you get all the alerts from your kid’s devices and can know when they sign in and out of services, particularly Facetime and iMessage. You can take it a step further and use a custom filter to add a label with your child’s name in Gmail for easy filing and sorting.

They load gift cards they have purchased on to their own Apple ID so they learn a little bit about spending their own money as well.

Hope this little tip helps as you help your children learn their devices and gradually release responsibility to them.

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Categories Funny tech tricks, Personal

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