Category Archives: Uncategorized

Omer Aziz – Brown Boy

This past weekend I spoke with Omer Aziz about growing up in Scarborough and his new book, Brown Boy.

We spoke about:

  • living in Scarborough
  • his book, Brown Boy
  • why he wrote Brown Boy
  • how seeing Barack Hussein Obama on television altered the trajectory of his life
  • what his next book will be about
  • his favourite bookstore
  • what’s he’s currently reading
  • and so much more!

Omer Aziz is the author of the book “Brown Boy”. The book is a memoir in which Aziz reflects on his experiences growing up as a Pakistani Canadian Muslim and explores themes of identity, belonging, and family.

In “Brown Boy”, Aziz writes candidly about his struggles with mental health, his relationship with his father, and his experiences of racism and discrimination. He also examines the larger societal and political forces that shape the experiences of people like him, including the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and the rise of Islamophobia.

The book has received positive reviews for its honesty, insight, and compelling storytelling. It has been described as a “brave and thought-provoking memoir” that “offers a fresh perspective on the challenges of growing up in a world that often fails to understand or appreciate difference.” Omer Aziz is a Canadian writer, lawyer, and journalist.

This is Episode #279 of the Welcome! podcast.

What Blurred Lines Decision Means for Musicians & Industry

Remember this song?

What about this one?

Yup. One copied the other.  This morning an American court of appeals upheld a verdict that the 2013 chart-topper “Blurred Lines” infringed the copyright to Marvin Gaye’s iconic “Got To Give It Up.”

J. Michael Keyes is a partner at the international law firm Dorsey & Whitney.

“In the closely watched music copyright infringement case, a panel of the 9th circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, upheld a jury verdict that Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (the world’s best-selling single from 2013) infringed the copyright in Marvin Gaye’s song “Got To Give It Up” from the 1970s.  The Court’s decision is noteworthy in a couple of respects.”

“Upholding the jury’s verdict (and the ultimate damage award) could very well mean we see a new wave of additional music infringement lawsuits and claims.  The 9th Circuit majority decision was quite explicit in opining that musical works receive broad protection and that “there is no one magical combination of factors that will automatically substantiate a musical infringement suit.”   That standard is rather noteworthy and leaves quite a bit of play in the joints for future litigants to cobble together a music infringement claim.  In fact, as the dissenting opinion points out, the majority decision seems to give copyright protection to a “musical style” as the two works “differ in melody, harmony, and rhythm,” Keyes says.

“One important but rather technical issue that the court did not decide (and that is directly relevant in the Led Zeppelin Stairway to Heaven appeal pending before the 9th Circuit) was whether the “scope” of copyright protection is dictated by the notes on the printed page (the sheet music) or whether the sound recording can be considered as defining the scope of protection  The trial court ruled that the scope of Gaye’s copyright protection was limited to the sheet music because that is what was submitted to the Copyright Office and what was ultimately registered.  The 9th Circuit assumed, without deciding the issue, that the trial court made the correct decision.  We will need to wait and see how the court deals with this same theme in the Stairway to Heaven case,” Keyes says.

Keyes is an intellectual property attorney with extensive trial and litigation experience in cases involving trademarks, copyrights, unfair competition and false advertising. He has tried several cases in federal courts across the United States. Keyes has a piano performance degree and has written on the issue of music copyright. One of his law review articles was cited extensively in a case in Chicago federal court in a music copyright case brought against Lady Gaga. Before going to law school to work with copyright law, he studied piano and composition at the Tbilisi State Conservatoire in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.


HashChain Technology Enhances Cryptocurrency Tax Software with Support for the Gemini Exchange and for Cross-wallet Transactions

VANCOUVER, March 13, 2018 /CNW/ – HashChain Technology Inc. (TSXV: KASH; OTCQB: HSSHF) (“HashChain” or the “Company”) today announced that its Balance cryptocurrency accounting software, adds support for  Gemini, a New York State licensed and regulated digital asset exchange, and provides additional support for transactions that span multiple wallets of digital currency holders. With these enhancements, HashChain continues to advance the software.

Balance is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering that allows cryptocurrency users to meet tax requirements in their respective countries by analyzing the blockchain to report capital gains and losses for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and DASH. For tracking activity from exchanges, users can directly integrate their Coinbase accounts with Balance and can now upload their transactions from Gemini. Balance also supports blockchain transactions created with software wallets where it calculates exact values of each transaction, and tracks the cost basis and days carried. Once the gains and losses are calculated, the software automatically details the information on a worksheet that can be shared with a CPA to file with other tax items. Whilst there is no formal agreement between HashChain and Gemini, the Balance addition means Gemini account holders can easily import their own transaction history onto a compatible piece of software.

Gemini Exchange

Gemini is a licensed digital asset exchange that allows customers to buy, sell, and trade both Bitcoin and Ether digital currencies. As a New York trust company, Gemini is regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS) and subject to the capital reserve requirements, cybersecurity requirements, and banking compliance standards set forth by the NYSDFS and the New York Banking Law. With this new support, users will now be able to easily download raw transaction data from their Gemini account as a spreadsheet and upload the file directly into HashChain’s Balance software. Balance will identify which currencies the user traded and generate comprehensive ledgers for each including gains and losses. The integration is designed to support any digital currency Gemini might add in the future.

Support for Cross-wallet Transactions

Balance is also adding support for cross-wallet transactions, offering customers who use third-party tools to generate raw blockchain transactions that span one or more wallets a simple solution to track their trade history for accurate tax reporting. Most hardware wallets allow owners to maintain multiple cryptocurrency accounts, and while many holders choose to keep accounts isolated, others treat several accounts as a single collection of digital currency. Balance can retroactively track the transactions that drew inputs from multiple accounts, which have been incredibly challenging for software and for digital currency holders until now.

“As digital currency continues to push its way into mainstream financial sectors and individual adoption continues to explode, we expect to see more coin holders using third party software to manage their digital investments,” said Patrick Gray, CEO of HashChain. “Consequently, we expect complex trades will become commonplace and we are dedicated to ensuring that our cryptocurrency tax software meets customer needs now and in the future.”

On March 5th, 2018, HashChain announced that Balance expanded services globally to meet the needs of cryptocurrency investors, as many countries tighten their tax laws around cryptocurrency transactions. On February 7, 2018, Balance activated support of the Coinbase exchange.

About HashChain Technology Inc.

HashChain is a blockchain company, and the first publicly traded (TSXV:KASH: OTCQB: HSSHF) Canadian cryptocurrency mining company to file a final prospectus supporting highly scalable and flexible mining operations across all major cryptocurrencies. HashChain taps low-cost North American power, cool climate and high-speed Internet: the trifecta most critical to mining success, to create a competitive position for maximizing the number of mining ‘wins.’ HashChain currently operates 100 Dash mining Rigs, 770 Bitcoin Rigs, and has purchased an additional 3,000 Rigs. Once all Rigs are operational HashChain will be consuming approximately 5.8 megawatts of power.  HashChain also acquired a Dash Masternode for approximately USD $280,000 which requires a collateral investment of 1,000 Dash coins.  Diversifying its business strategy beyond crypto mining, the Company recently acquired assets of NODE40, a blockchain technology company that developed NODE40 Balance, a new SaaS product making cryptocurrency tax reporting simpler and more accurate. The solution allows cryptocurrency users and traders to accurately report their capital gains and losses. NODE40 is also one of the leading masternode server-hosting providers for the Dash network and is seeking additional alternate coin masternode hosting.

HashChain Mining is a wholly owned subsidiary of HashChain Technology Inc. based out of Albany, New York, with offices in Vancouver, British Columbia.

On Behalf of the Board,
Patrick Gray
CEO & Director

For Further information please contact:
HashChain Technology Inc.
Larry Heinzlmeir
Vice President, Marketing & Communications

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements: Certain disclosure in this release, including statements regarding the performance of the Company’s operating and purchased Rigs, and expectations regarding future operations may constitute forward-looking statements. In making the forward-looking statements in this release, the Company has applied certain factors and assumptions that are based on the Company’s current beliefs as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to the Company, including that the 3,000 Rigs will be successfully delivered, the 3,000 Rigs will perform as expected by management. Although the Company considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect, and the forward-looking statements in this release are subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause future results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements. Such risk factors may include, among others, the risk that the 3,000 Rigs will not be successfully delivered to the Company when expected by management or at all, the risk that the Company’s current and ordered Rigs will not perform as expected by management.  Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The Company does not intend, and expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to, update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

SOURCE HashChain Technology Inc.

Street Art: Graffiti Alley St Catherines

Our visits of “small town” Ontario continued to St. Catherines, Ontario.

The official nickname of St. Catharines is “The Garden City” due to its 1,000+ acres of parks, gardens and trails.

As a way to erase St. Catharines’ graffiti problem, local businesses Fulton Fitness and Mahtay Café teamed up to showcase the work of dozens of graffiti artists from across the province. The alleyway in between James Street and the parallel Garden Park is now a dedicated area for serious artists to spend days straight on their pieces without having to worry about policing. Every year since 2003 there has been a convergence of artists during the Garden Park Urban Art Festival Graffiti Jam where artists are encouraged to let their creative flair free. (source)


Canadian Baseball Hall Of Fame and Museum

Earlier this spring we took a day trip to St. Marys, Ontario for a mini baseball tournament on the fields of Canada’s Baseball Hall of Fame. I had never been to the CBHOF. I was amazed at how small the actual Hall is.

The Hall (and Museum) is located in a former home on a parcel of land donated to the Hall by the St. Marys Cement Company.

Canadian Baseball Hall Of Fame and Museum
Canadian Baseball Hall Of Fame and Museum

While the home may be small, there is so much on display on the main floor and even more stored away on the second floor.

I remember watching this game in my parents living room. George Bell was, and always has been, my favourite baseball player.

Toronto once tried to acquire the Giants baseball team. They even had stationary made!

The Terminator!

Yes, the Babe played in Canada before his MLB career began.


Episode #75: Sameer Vasta and Jay Menard

Sameer Vasta is a Digital Anthropologist with the Government of Ontario. Jay Menard is a Content Strategist with Digital Echidna. Both are friends. And both currently call London, Ontario home. I recently met up with both of them in London to talk about London and so much more!

Recorded live at Covent Garden Market.

Music by Afraaz Mulji.

Listen below:

Girth Radio
Google Play Music
Pocket Casts
You can also subscribe to the podcast via RSS Feed if you’re so inclined.

Covent Garden Market
Covent Garden Market

Street Art: London

Many urban cities across Canada and around the world feature street art of one kind or another.

London is one of these cities. Located a couple of hours in between Toronto and Detroit, London is a city that is “stuck in the middle.” Recently, while in London, I had the opportunity to walk around the city that is home to the University of Western Ontario and the London Knights.

Here are some photos of the amazing street art found in London, Ontario.

Street Art: Hamilton

Many urban cities across Canada and around the world feature street art of one kind or another.

In my first of this series: “Street Art: City” I present Hamilton, ON. Hamilton was known as Steel Town at point in time. At other times it has been known as the armpit of Canada. Today, Hamilton is known as the home of a world class university, hundreds of water falls, beautiful hiking and of being an affordable place to live not so far from Toronto.