What did you do on Thanksgiving?

We traveled to Canada this year, to celebrate US Thanksgiving with family in the Ottawa area. Of course, it was also my youngest sister's 33rd birthday and her 3-year old son's too, and my wife and I celebrated our 25th anniversary (2 weeks ago). Even though Canadian's normally celebrate Thanksgiving on the first Monday in October (history provides the answers as to why this holiday is different), my fiercely independent siblings bowed to the US-centric sentiment with unusual grace.

Frankly, giving thanks is something we need to do more often. Personally and professionally, 2008 (so far) was a fantastic year. I am eternally grateful to God for all the many blessings that we have shared this year and every year.

While here in Ottawa, I did get a chance to catch up on a few uniquely Canadian perspectives on high tech. The Nortel troubles are matched by the troubles of the Ontario Teacher's Pension Fund's plan to acquire BCE, the largest phone and mobile service company in Canada. It sure looks like the BCE deal is dead. The stock is trading at a discount to the offer price, amid statements by a hired gun that the deal would require Bell to acquire debt that it can't pay back. Not good for BCE shareholders hoping for the premium (extra thick now that the rest of the market has collapsed), but the teachers are probably ecstatic. This looks like it gives them a way out of the disaster.

Atif Shamin, Muhammed Arsalan are electronics PhD students under the supervision of Langis Roy at Carleton University  invented a 'transmitter system on-package' that significantly extends the battery life of mobile devices. The Ottawa Citizen reports that it can do so by factors of up to 12 times longer life. He targetted the connection between the circuit board and the antenna. Instead of wire, he designed a high frequency micro-transmitter and receiver, avoiding the usual loss of power pumping bits through a wire.

That's the lesson for all folks dealing with electrical power supply limitations. Automakers and battery manufacturers need to take this into account. Maybe the Chevy Volt is the reason to reconsider intelligent roads and redo the entire driving paradigm – for more efficient driving, power management and a better consumer experience.

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