Community Student Life

Things to do in Montreal this month

October is not only for frights but many adventurous nights.

  1. Ramen Ramen Fest 

Where: In participating restaurants around Montreal 

When: Oct. 11-16 

What: A celebration of the iconic dish. You can try different ramen dishes around Montreal and then vote for the best online.

  1. Fright Fest

Where: La Ronde, Île Sainte-Hélène

When: every Saturday and Sunday from Oct. 8-30 

What: The amusement park has several haunted houses open to try, as well as zombies and vampires parading the park. 

  1.  Arab World Festival of Montreal

Where: Place des Arts 

When: Oct. 29 through Nov. 13

What: A multidisciplinary event that looks at the intercultural exchanges of the Arab and Western world. You can see a variety of performance pieces, art exhibits, and films from all over the world. 

  1. Montreal Connect

Where: online and in Montreal 

When: Oct. 15 – 23 

What: A festival that looks at digital development and its connection with many topics. Expect guest speakers, events and conferences. 

  1. Fika

What: An immersive festival of Scandinavian and Nordic culture and art.

Where: Participating locations around Montreal 

When: Oct. 17-23

  1.  SOS Labyrinthe Halloween Special

What: A halloween themed maze.

When: Every weekend until Halloween 

Where: Old Port of Montreal 

  1. Imagining a Queer Eruv: A Walking Conversation

Where: Starting in St-Viateur Park Outremont, 

When: Oct. 19

What: A walk and discussion with artist and researcher Iso E. Setel. 

  1. Walk the Promenade Fleuve-Montagne

Where: From Mont Royal near Pine and Peel

When: Any day

What: A 3.8 km walk that connects Mount Royal and the St. Lawrence river. 

  1. Le sentier du cœur de l’île

Where: downtown Montreal

When: Any day 

What: An interactive path that you can walk or cycle that goes across some of Montreal’s cultural landscapes as well as art installations.

  1. Quinn’s Farm 

Where: 2495 Boul Perrot, Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot

What: Farm visit including apple picking and pumpkin picking. 

When: October


Where: PHI Centre 

What: Yayoi Kusama is one of the most popular living contemporary artists today. She worked alongside the PHI Centre to bring her first exhibit to Montreal in celebration of the location’s 15th anniversary. 

When: Wednesday to Sunday until Jan. 15

  1. Festival du Nouveau Cinéma

Where: Participating venues around Montreal

When: Oct. 5 -16 

What: A festival showing hundreds of new and interesting films from a wide variety of genres. 

  1. Montreal’s Off Jazz Festival 

Where: Varying locations around Montreal

When: Oct. 6-15

What: A series of jazz concerts and shows, organised by Montreal jazz artists.

  1. Light The Night

Where: Virtual event

When: Saturday, Oct. 22

What: A fundraiser for those affected by blood cancer. 

  1. Carnaval des Couleurs

Where: Quartier de Spectacles

When: Oct. 7-9 

What: A celebration of LGBTQ+ communities, with shows and themed workshops regarding issues on homophobia and racism.

Student Life

An apple a day breaks the bank

Apple computers may be sleek and stylish, but are they really better?

Macs are taking over campus! This isn’t a conspiracy theory, so you can keep your tinfoil hats safely stashed away, I promise. If you’ve taken courses on campus that allowed laptops, then you’ve probably noticed that the majority of students are using Apple products. To that my only question is why?

Mac laptops cost about $1,000 from the get-go. They tout security, privacy and top-of-the-line hardware. But how much of that is actually true? Very little of it, it turns out. Let’s take things one step at a time to drive the point home.

For starters, for that thousand-dollar investment you get an i5 processor, 4GB of ram and 128GB of flash storage. A $500 PC laptop more than matches those statistics (for example, the Toshiba C55D series), and even triples the 128GB of storage you find on a Mac.

“But Jocelyn,” you tell me, “Macs are secure, they don’t get viruses like PCs do.”

This was probably true back in the ‘90s when Apple computers were used by graphic designers only, but even Apple now admits that viruses are a common problem for its users too, so no, Macs aren’t really that much safer. A computer is as safe as its user. What’s more, Safari (Macs’ default browser) was hacked in a remarkable five seconds by French company Vupen, making even the terribly flawed (and often ridiculed) Internet Explorer look like a champion.

So is it that Macs don’t break as often? Are cheaper to repair? Not quite. Mac components are more expensive, and can only be serviced by technicians that charge more than the average IT professional to fix. Why is this? Most Macs now require special tools to open up and service, and don’t take third party hardware very well at all. So what gives?

Macs are pretty, I get it. They’re easy to use and are fairly streamlined in how they function. At the end of the day, it’s your money and you can do what you like with it. But when I overhear someone on campus complain about how broke they are, while they’re hanging on to their $800 iPhone and $1,000 Macbook, a part of me dies a little. A Nexus 5 will cost you $250 straight from Google, without a contract, unlocked to every carrier, and an HP or Toshiba laptop will cost you between $500 and $700.

I suppose this raises another interesting question: Why are Macs the only computers sold on campus? Regardless of the answer, I have to congratulate Apple on their successful marketing, no matter how deceptive it actually is.


It’s all about the Apple

Graphic by Jennifer Kwan.

Watch out NYC, Apple products are now taking over the world, one product at a time.

Ever since the rise of the Mac desktops/laptops, iPods and the iPhones in the early 2000s, other electronic corporations have fallen behind in the race for consumers and have little or no chance to catch up.

The only option other corporations have left to do in order to stay in the game is to take Apple’s ideas, modify them to their own style, and paste their own logo on them.

Just look around. You see people open up Mac laptops in class and tune into their iPods on buses, metros and trains. When you pass someone on the street talking on the cell phone, chances are they are holding an iPhone to their ear.

Here’s something to think about: Apple possesses more money than some countries do. Apple has an estimated value of $626 billion U.S. as of September this year (which is more than Microsoft and Google combined). They’ve earned just over $5 million during their first weekend when their newest product, the iPhone 5.

When the iMac computers were first introduced, the products sold almost 800,000 units in their first five months. Later, when the iPod was revealed, it sold close to 100 million units in only six years.

Although the infamous touch screen wasn’t invented by Apple, they were the first to achieve an outstanding human interaction between the electronic device and the customer from its pre-programmed touch gestures.

Since then, many other electronic corporations such as Samsung, HTC, Nokia and LG have tried to re-vamp Apple’s idea with the touch screen. Other corporations now have their own variations, having their apps lined up in the same formation as the iPhone. Also, the sensitivity and the way you can flip from one screen to the next is the nearly the same as an iPhone.

In recent news, there have been many articles written about the lawsuit Apple has filed against Samsung for allegedly copying most of Apple’s products. However, the case is nowhere close to being resolved. ITWorld reported to the International Business Times that after winning a million dollars in damages in August 2012, Apple is demanding another $707 million from Samsung. On top of that, Apple is asking for a ban on the sale of 26 Samsung products.

After the release of the iPad, corporations such as Samsung and Blackberry released their versions of a tablet, mimicking some of the same structures and functions as the iPad. Another lawsuit was launched because Apple felt that the iPad and iPad 2 was infringed on by Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Despite the dispute with the phones, many of the iPods were also copied by other corporations. In early 2004, most MP3 players worked on a shuffle basis, meaning you couldn’t pick the song you wanted. Apple was the first to invent such a useful tool that made it possible to select. It was only later that other companies copied Apple’s idea.

Apple continually comes out with new and improved versions of their products. Some clients believe that these are pointless and over priced, while numerous others think that it’s what keeps Apple so fresh and addictive.

“There’s always something to look forward to,” said Sabrina Marchei, a second-year human resources student at Concordia and an Apple client.

Whether you like it or not, Apple is the clear leader in this particular brand of products and will continue to be so for many years to come, until the next big thing, that is.


The technology war has reached our bookstore, and Google won

Graphic by Sean Kershaw

Do you remember when companies stuck to what they did best? Google was a search engine, Amazon sold books and Apple sold computers.

Those days are over. All three companies have beefed up to offer a wide variety of services, and as a result, they encroach on each other’s territory every so often in an attempt to expand their customer base. Google, Apple and Amazon now offer music and storage services, as well as tablets.

This level of competition is advantageous to us, the consumers, because it drives prices down and offers a wider variety of choices.

This semester, Concordia’s bookstore started offering a decent range of e-books (textbooks, novels, etc.) through a partnership with Google and 22 other universities in Canada and the United States. “We are proud to sell Google eBooks because they offer students ultimate flexibility,” the website boasts. “They can be read on virtually any device, at any time.”

The key word is “virtually.” As a proud owner of an Amazon Kindle e-reader, which I bought for the sole purpose of reading, I was excited knowing that thousands of books, possibly some that I would need for class, would be made available for me.

Then I read this: “Google eBooks will work on the following devices: Android, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Computers, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo Reader.” It adds: “Google eBooks are not currently compatible with Amazon Kindle devices.”

After repeated attempts to get an explanation from the bookstore as to why it was exercising what seemed like e-reader discrimination, I got a reply from Ken Bissonnette, the operations and text manager at the bookstore. He started out by saying that the bookstore had sold roughly 450 copies of e-books that were required for courses in January, but “there are no plans to include the Kindle.” After demanding more precise explanations, he finally said: “At this time I don’t see Google using Kindle.”

This statement proves two things: firstly, that a partnership with Google clearly entails preference to Android-based tablet users, which is understandable, and secondly, that the bookstore itself is clearly unaware of student trends, and the advantages of making their e-books available to Kindle users.

While Apple clearly has a stranglehold on the tablet market share, the Kindle has the same kind of monopoly for e-readers. “During the last nine weeks of 2011, Kindle unit sales, including the Fire tablet, increased 177 per cent compared to the same period in 2010,” according to an official Amazon statement last month.

Kindle device sales in 2011 were nearly triple the 2010 total; this is due to its low starting prices and to Amazon’s “focus on an ecosystem and content for users, an approach closer to what Apple uses for the iPad, rather than focusing on hardware specs.,” according to Flurry Analytics.

The point is, the Kindle is prevalent among the student population and universities should opt to include the Kindle if they want to achieve substantial e-book sales. No one I know owns a Sony or Kobo eReader, and I certainly don’t know any students who want to strain their eyes by reading an 80-page document on an iPod or iPhone, let alone an iPad, which uses a reflective screen that simply won’t let you read in the sun.

Photo by Dean Sas via Flickr

In 2009, Princeton University carried out a pilot program (three members of faculty and 51 students) using e-readers in a classroom setting. One of their goals was to reduce the amount of printing and photocopying. “Most students surveyed in the Princeton pilot (94%) said they did use less paper, reducing by as much as 85% the printing they normally would have done in the pilot course,” according to the report.

Can you imagine if the Concordia bookstore sold the world’s most popular e-reader (which is already attractively priced) or at the very least made its e-books available to Kindle users? Not only would their e-book sales skyrocket, but the university would save an enormous amount of paper, which would certainly help Concordia’s efforts to become as sustainable as possible, and to be a model for other schools to follow.

More e-book sales would likely lead to more coursepacks and textbooks becoming available to the student body and subsequently, students wouldn’t be as turned off by the outlook of reading 80 electronic pages. So, will the bookstore bow down to Google, as so many others have done, or will it figure out a way to let us, the Kindle users, in on the fun?

Exit mobile version