Gentle and not-so-gentle thoughts and musings from a Jewish, left-leaning, Canadian, pro-Israel, inner-suburban, fortysomething, libertarian, recovering perfectionist, quasi-socialist husband, dad, basketball fan, writer and editor with a few opinions.

wRanter.com - Gentle and not-so-gentle thoughts and musings from a Jewish, left-leaning, Canadian, pro-Israel, inner-suburban, fortysomething, libertarian, recovering perfectionist, quasi-socialist husband, dad, basketball fan, writer and editor with a few opinions.
Featured wRants
Being mislabelled by educators can make school a misery.

Your December-born kid may not have ADHD. He might just be immature.

A new Canadian study is bolstering an argument I've been making to my kids' teachers and principals for years: children born later in a calendar year are more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit ...

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He was burned by this very issue.

The Jewish community should fund its own schools

The fallout from the recent controversy over the creation of gay-straight alliance clubs (GSAs) in Ontario's publicly funded Catholic school system should give pause to those seeking funding – in the name of fairness – ...

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Jewish issues at centre of partisan sniping

Jewish issues and candidates made headlines last week and became the subject of some distasteful political rhetoric on the campaign trail. In Alberta, a 21-year-old hijab-wearing university student resigned Aug. 18 as the Liberal candidate in ...

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Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau

Israel shouldn't be a political football or litmus test

Despite public and private appeals to call off the event, the Jewish Defence League (JDL) went ahead with its unfortunate decision to picket a Liberal fundraiser at the Toronto home of pharmaceutical magnate and Jewish ...

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Who will be the next big-name Jewish MP?

Last week, we examined four “Jewish” battleground ridings, including two – York Centre in Toronto and Mount Royal in Montreal – where, one way or another, a Jewish candidate is likely to win. This week, ...

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Thursday the rabbi walked out, or was he pushed?

Being a pulpit rabbi can be a cutthroat business

When Toronto Jews awoke last Saturday morning and collected their Globe and Mail newspapers from their doorsteps (those who still subscribe, that is), they discovered a front-page story detailing how Holy Blossom Temple, the city's ...

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The next occupants of 24 Sussex?

Why Thomas Mulcair gets it when it comes to Israel

Not surprisingly, Thomas Mulcair won the NDP leadership last month, replacing Saint Jack Layton as the man social democrats hope can rally left-of-centre voters to defeat Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives. Here's hoping he's successful, but ...

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Does Facebook’s face-plant mean we’ve learned something?

Mark Zuckerberg at wRanter.com

He's worth a lot of money, for now.

The relatively poor showing of Facebook’s initial public offering of its shares on the NASDAQ exchange shows that, perhaps, finally, the hype around the social networking site may finally be abating.

As I post this, Facebook shares have closed around $31 after their third day of trading, down from their opening price of $38. And they didn’t do much better on their first two days, having closed on Day 1 at around where they opened.

Does this mean the business world and average folk may finally have acquired a sense of proportion about services like Facebook, or for that matter, companies such as Apple?

Let’s hope so. Continue reading

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Stop picking on RIM

It’s no secret that Research in Motion has taken a beating lately – it’s been late to market with new products, its stock price and profits are down, its market share is nosediving, and as a result, the press has been all over it.

BlackBerry Playbook 2.0 on wRanter.com

BlackBerry Playbook 2.0

But frankly, it’s getting to be a bit much, and it seems to me that a lot of the near-hysteria has to do with the herd mentality of the news media, a 20th-century holdover that, alas, the Internet has failed to quell, and perhaps has even intensified. Connected to this herd mentality, and perhaps driving it, is the almost magical spell that Apple has cast over the public and journalists alike. (It will be interesting to see if bean counter Tim Cook has the same voodoo marketing magic as the late visionary/psychotic control freak Steve Jobs did.) Continue reading

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Taking a bite out of the Apple Jobs myth

For those of us who haven’t consumed copious amounts of Apple-flavoured Kool-Aid, the the posthumous over-the-top comparisons of Steve Jobs to Edison, Einstein, Da Vinci, etc., have been more than a little hard to take.

Fortunately, sanity is starting to return to the conversation.

Malcolm Gladwell, largely riffing off the new biography by Walter Isaacson,  wrote an interesting piece for the New Yorker that might (finally) lead people to question the great man theory that has developed around the Apple co-founder.

Steve Jobs holding an iPhone: The great tech dictator?

The great tech dictator?

Gladwell argues that rather than being a great innovator, Jobs was more of a tweaker, someone who took others’ ideas and refined them through the force of his ruthless perfectionism and vision. Apple wasn’t the first to produce a personal computer, MP3 player or smartphone. Rather, Apple (read Jobs) tweaked those products and tied them to a closed universe of related software and devices to create a seamless, clean design experience for the end user. Far from minimizing this achievement, however, Gladwell argues that such tweakers are crucial to any era of great technological transformation. He points to similar figures in Britain’s industrial revolution who enhanced other people’s inventions. Continue reading

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