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Pat Dryburgh

On the latest episode of The Talk Show, John Gruber made a comment during a conversation about the prevelance of email spam that made me chuckle:

There’s no possibility in the real-world [for] a spam filter.

I had to chuckle because here in Canada, we’ve had real-world spam filtering for over two decades 😆

Starting in 1998, Canada Post has allowed residents to request that unaddressed advertising mail no longer be delivered. When the policy was first introduced, residents had to send a letter to Canada Post and then a red dot sticker would be placed in your mailbox, letting carriers know to stop delivering unaddressed advertising mail to your address.

Most Canadians were unaware of this ironically unadvertised policy until 2008, when Vancouver-based marketer Beth Ringdahl created the Red Dot Campaign to encourage Canadians to make this request of Canada Post in an effort to reduce paper waste.

Canada Post has since updated their policy to remove the requirement of making the request to stop unaddressed advertisting by sending a letter. Now, all that is required is a note inside your mailbox. Or, at least here in Vancouver, a little red dot.

My Little Red Spam Filter
My Little Red Spam Filter
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Canadian wireless telecommunications provider Freedom Mobile is offering a very enticing deal right now: 20GB of data for $55/mo. The catch? The only way to get the deal is to risk exposing yourself to a lethal virus by entering one of their physical stores.

When I told the Freedom Mobile customer service representative I spoke to that demanding customers go into public during a global pandemic is insane, they responded “I understand where you’re coming from. I really do.”

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Pushed a big update to my site last night. Blog posts now live on the site’s homepage rather than buried under a menu item. I improved how pagination on the blog works and brought back a few old posts I found hadn’t been transferred from my old blogging system when I transitioned to using Jekyll in 2016. In fact, this week I discovered hundreds of posts that lived in my old system and didn’t make their way during the transition that I hope to migrate over in the coming months.

I also updated the about page with more of my history and added pages showing some of the work from early in my design career. Projects for companies like Corona Light, Pepsi Max, and my very first client as a freelancer back in 2010, Grammy-winning recording engineer Tim Latham. I learned just this week Tim later went on to win a second Grammy for his work mixing the Original Broadway Cast recording of Hamilton: An American Musical, which has since remained on repeat in my iTunes.

I would love to hear what you think about the changes. Write to me at

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Whenever I try to use Siri, I run into two frustrating issues:

  1. Siri often misses the first few words I speak, despite waiting for the ding before I begin.
  2. Siri often stops listening when I’m in the middle of my sentence or question.

The first problem is likely a bug, but the second is because I speak slowly to Siri and often need a few seconds to think of even very basic words.

Back when I could initiate Siri with the Home button, I could hold the button until I was finished my sentence and Siri would listen until I let go. Without the home button, I don’t know what to do.

Addendum: I’ve just discovered that if I invoke Siri by pressing and holding the power button and don’t let go, Siri continues to listen even when I need a few seconds for my words to come out. Not sure why that had not dawned on me other than that I had been invoking Siri with “Hey Siri” and by tapping my AirPods. I guess those aren’t options for me.

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