Homemade air conditioners: a bad idea

A cool reception

As the temperatures begin to drop, the snow threatens to accumulate and that “Oh for crying out loud, it’s Christmas” feeling settles in, Canada’s collective mind turns to one thing: air conditioning.

This is perhaps the most ill-timed Insider entry since I started to write Insider entries (somewhere back in the early 80s), but what the hey. Oddball DIY enthusiast magazine Makezine offers advice (about six months late) on how to assemble an air conditioning unit from household bits of crap. I can’t speak about the results, but I can only imagine these are probably dangerous health risks. It should be noted, however, when you live in a Toronto apartment in mid August without A/C, the concept of dangerous health risk is easily forgotten if a cold air source enters the realm of probability.

The featured homemade unit at the top of the page looks quite nasty and so ugly you’ll want to throw a towel over it if in fact you let it in your home. The ones below it are amusing, to say the least. Well, since this is November, you probably don’t have a lot to worry about, but the way the weather’s been acting lately, we might have a heatwave by February.

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Found: stupid perps
GPS is one of those technologies which seems to have not quite found its place in society. GPS trackers installed in cars offer out of date maps, misguided driving advice and instructions on how to drive the wrong way up a one-way street. As adventurous as that might make the automobile experience, it doesn’t make getting from A to B much easier than referring to a simple street map.

The other problem with GPS is that it might alert your presence to others whether you like it or not. A group of criminals found this out the hard way when they stole a bunch of GPS trackers in an auto parts theft. GPS might be slightly less effective screaming at the top of your lungs or setting off fireworks, but it works. Especially if you plug the thing in, which is exactly what one of the lunkhead thieves did. Cops were able to follow the signal and make arrests.

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Insider: 0, Radiohead: 0
Regular readers of Insider (hi, Phyllis!) will remember when I wrote about Radiohead’s experiment to charge listeners whatever they were willing to pay for the group’s new album. I briefly toyed with the idea of charging for this content (yes, this drivel you’re currently absorbed in), but surmised that the most anyone would be willing to pay would be a wopping great nothing. It turns out the Radiohead experience wasn’t too far from my own expectations. Two-thirds of the people who downloaded the album paid nothing for it. The average price paid was about $12. Apparently, the album will be released as a CD to retail next year. I’m inclined to think sales won’t be terribly brisk. I’m also inclined to think that Radiohead is having a good laugh over this and still hasn’t lowered its middle finger, aimed squarely at the recording industry. Viva la freebie!

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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