In The News: Lessons From The Successful Investor

Media

Since self-publishing my e-book, Lessons From The Successful Investor, reception has been great! Thus far, Lessons From The Successful Investor has been featured in The Globe and Mail, Mississauga News, and moneyville.ca.

The Globe and Mail
Investor blazes his own path

Mississauga News
Grad student publishes e-book

moneyville
23-year-old writes book on investing

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Music Lovers Rejoice: Grooveshark Continues Napster’s Song

Media

Grooveshark

Remember Napster? Napster is one of those things in life I remember fondly. Napster was that revolutionary online music tool launched in the late 90’s. I remember first hearing about Napster in Grade 7 from a buddy in school.

It was mind bending you could download music online! I think Napster defined how you use the internet today: sharing. Napster was only as successfull as the people sharing music online. Kind of sounds like Facebook, Myspace and Twitter with the “conecting and sharing” concept of social networks.

Napster’s song ended in early 2000, with Metallica initating the first major legal blow to Napster. Napster staggered for a bit then finally collapsed. Napster users swarmed to Kazaa, Limewire and Morpheus to feed their music addiction. But soon after, music downloaders realized these new music platforms were a haven for viruses.

Around 2004 the online music industry took a new shift. iTunes accompanied the hugely successfull iPod. But music wasn’t free. Apple charged around $1 per song. Around the same time, Napster restarted its music engine, adopting a platform similiar to iTunes with pay per download. Napster never recaptured its early success and on its last breath was acquired by Best Buy.

Enter Grooveshark. Grooveshark is the new Napster. When I launched Grooveshark, I started remembering the good ol’ days of Napster. And Grooveshark is incredibly easy to use. Search for a song, singer or album, load up a playlist and start listening to songs in seconds. It’s brilliant. No downloading.

Go to Grooveshark now and start listening to music. Get off iTunes, Limewire and Windows Media Player. So 90’s.

Apple Video Game Console Will Shake Industry

Media

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An Apple video game console would shake the video game industry. Imagine a platform similar to iPhone Apps but with downloadable video games for your home iConsole. With the advent of cloud computing, the idea of an Apple videogame console can work.

The impact Apple’s videogame console would have on the gaming industry is huge:

– Cheaper video games
– ‘Try online before you buy’ video game concept
– Game development open to everybody
– Useful Apps for your T.V.

Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft would need to refresh their business model with an Apple videogame console in the mix. And imagine a gaming console with iPhone, iPod, iTunes, and Macbook sync-up – the possibilities are endless.

Don Reisinger of Cnet writes “with such a powerful piece of software in iTunes, there’s no reason to suggest the console couldn’t be tied to the platform and become yet another way to use iTunes to download music, movies, TV shows, and now, video game demos. Simply put, the infrastructure is in place and ready to go.” Read Cnet’s Why Apple should release a game console

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Rumours recently fired up again about the Apple videogame console. Apparently the recently announced Apple Tablet will function as a videogame platform. Read Destructoid’s Apple tablet Rumored to be a Gaming Device. However, I still believe a separate Apple home video game console is in the works. Stay tuned.

Dan Brown Knows How to Promote His New Book

Media

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Dan Brown, author of The Lost Symbol, launched his book campaign in Toronto with a brilliant promotional stunt.

Once the morning flow of commuters came into Union Station in Toronto, all they saw sitting on the benches were people reading The Lost Symbol. These professional ‘book readers’ were literally buried nose deep in the first chapter of Dan Brown’s the Lost Symbol. After the flow of commuters saw all these professional ‘book readers’ a salesperson was set up to sell The Lost Symbol book.

This is buzz marketing at its best. When commuters saw all these people reading The Lost Symbol, they must’ve wondered “what’s this book all about – it must be good!”.

Telus Tuesday: ½ Price Movie Combo at Cineplex Theatres

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Telus Tuesday rewards movie watchers big-time!. At Canadian Cineplex Theatres, Telus is helping to cut the price of movies. General admission ticket, Regular Popcorn and Regular Fountain Drink are now approximately 50% off of the combined retail price.

I was at a Cineplex Movie Theatre last night – Silvercity – and stumbled upon the Telus Tuesday Voucher that was included with movie tickets. The Voucher translated to FREE Popcorn and Pop. Great deal, now I’m going to movies on Tuesday’s. More Telus Tuesday information

Capitalism: A Love Story Review

Media

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You owe it to yourself to go see Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story. Moore paints a shocking picture of America post financial crisis. The movie depicts the story of Wall Street versus Main Street, haves versus have-nots. By establishing this socio-economical contrast, Moore hits home the fact America’s wealth is vastly disproportionate.

1% of Americans control 95% of the wealth in America. And yet Moore explains for years 99% of American people settled with a smaller piece of the pie, but the Financial Crisis dismantled the American Dream altogether, clearing their rosy glasses.

The movie also shows the apparent connection that Regan established with Wall Street in the 80’s that led to rampant financial de-regulation for the years to come. At this point in the movie, Moore started questioning the integrity of government and fabric of democracy.

At the end of Capitalism: A Love Story, Moore asks the audience to join the fight to end greed in America and restore the country back to its more ethical foundation. In his closing comments, Moore says something along the lines of “I can’t bear to live in a country like this, and I’m not leaving”.

I think it’s honourable for an individual like Michael Moore to shed light on what is happening to ‘real Americans’ amidst the recession, because the media seems to have focused entirely on Wall Street, and lately the coming boom in the stock market.

For me, the biggest point to take home from Capitalism: A Love Story is to never forget the lessons from the financial crisis else be doomed to repeat a another crash and ensuing recession. To this point, Capitalism: A Love Story opened with striking paralles of America and the Roman Empire. Moore provided the backdrop to an old film about the Roman Empire, showcasing a scene that described the path that led the Romans to their demise. It was an eye opener.

Porsche Canada launches winter marketing campaign

Media

Porsche Canada wants Porsche owners to drive in the winter. “While visiting Porsche dealers around Canada, I was amazed to hear how many owners put their Porsches away for the winter,” says Joe Lawrence, President and CEO of Porsche Canada. “There is no rule against driving a Porsche in the winter! To the contrary, a Porsche performs strongly and safely whatever the season”

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The marketing campaign to get Canadian Porsche drivers driving in the winter includes “15,000 direct-mail pieces, sent to customers and distributed through dealers; an e-mail promotion campaign; and national and dealer print advertising”.

My Press Release: University of Waterloo Students Behind New Startup Boom

Media, Startups

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University of Waterloo students are behind a boom in new startups launching in Waterloo, Ontario. Buddingup, Unsynced, and Findit Off Campus are the newly launched startups. It seems VeloCity, a startup incubator unveiled in 2008, has sparked renewed entrepreneurial spirit at the University of Waterloo.

Robin Speziale of Buddingup, Ted Livingston of Unsynced, and Paul Lee and Krishna Sivaranjan of Findit Off Campus represent a new generation of entrepreneurs from the University of Waterloo. And while not all entrepreneurs behind these new startups were members of VeloCity – a campus incubator for Waterloo students – they can thank VeloCity for renewed entrepreneurial spirit at the University of Waterloo.

These new student-launched startups vary in concept. Buddingup.com, a job site for students and new grads, was founded by Robin Speziale, an Honours Arts and Business student at the University of Waterloo. Speziale states he started buddingup.com to “provide students and grads a better job search experience”. Buddingup features entry level, internship and co-op job listings.

Among the VeloCity hatched startups are Unsynced and Findit Off Campus. Ted Livingston founded Unsynced.com, a music platform for the Blackberry, recently selected as one of 16 finalists in the international BlackBerry developers contest. Also, Paul Lee and Krishna Sivaranjan launched FinditOffCampus.com, a student housing site that offers an interactive map with local business search and bus route display feature to ease the housing process for students.

Buddingup, Unsynced, and Findit Off Campus were all launched by University of Waterloo students. No wonder StartupNorth writer Jevon MacDonald recently stated that “This pretty much makes Waterloo the go-to university for students serious about doing a startup”. MacDonald explains that “we have a bit of a thesis here at StartupNorth… that the biggest problem with the startup environment here in Canada isn’t that VC’s aren’t investing as much as we might like these days… but we think that the biggest issue is that there is no push that gets an early stage idea from the notepad to the web.”

Since opening in fall 2008, University of Waterloo’s VeloCity has been a welcome solution to Canada’s startup problem. Sean Van Koughnett, director of VeloCity, recently stated in Imprint – University of Waterloo’s official campus newspaper – that VeloCity has “largely met or exceeded the expectations of students, partners, and administrators”. “For students, it[VeloCity] has provided them with an opportunity to develop ideas they feel passionate about, to work and live with like-minded students, and to build professional networks.”

Indeed, the University of Waterloo is fostering a new generation of startups and the entrepreneurs behind them. For soon-to-be graduating high school students looking to join the new startup boom in Waterloo, Ontario – the University of Waterloo is a great place to start.

Review – Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2

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The following review of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 was written by great friend and Technical Consultant for Buddingup, Edward Lau:

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Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 is awesome! It’s an enjoyable game with a good story. It also doesn’t get too RPGy, which some people complain about, since the last few Ultimate Alliance games had more RPG elements. However in my opinion, I found this to be better, since this means that there aren’t useless powers to accidentally give points to. And seriously, its a superhero game – we want the action.

its a superhero game – we want the action.

Overall, Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2  a good experience, both single player and multiplayer (by that I mean offline co-op, I haven’t tried online yet). The only complaint I have are the loading times, but its not that bad. Loading times are only around half a minute or so… which is far better than Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

it strikes a good balance between being easy and too hard

I’m quite happy that I preordered Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, since it looks like they were sold out very quickly, and I got Juggernaut! While Juggernaut isn’t one of my favourite characters, he’s actually quite fun to use, so that’s good. And I’m pleased with how the developers included some of the lesser known heroes instead of only the popular ones. Plus, its not an easy game either, but it strikes a good balance between being easy and too hard. You should definitely try out the game.

Check back for more reviews by Edward Lau in the future.

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Edward Lau is currently attending the University of Waterloo for computer science. He is also Technical Consultant for buddingup.com.