Kevin O'Donnell's blog

My FEDCO delegation on Tax Rebates for Vacant Commercial Properties

My remarks to Ottawa City Council, FEDCO Committee regarding Tax Rebates for Vacant Commercial Properties. A three year cap on the tax holiday is a start but I wanted to encourage Council to push even harder. In the end FEDCO members did not change the motion from its original form, but I support it nonetheless.

An Act To End Abuse of Prorogation

If elected I will submit the following as a private members bill. Standing Order 7 of the Ontario Legislature already governs prorogation but clearly it is not enough. The following Act explicitly restrains the Crown's powers over prorogation. Two months is long enough to reset a legislative agenda. The updated section also provides certainty to Ontarians on when their legislature will return.

The Art Finalists - Churchill Avenue Reconstruction

The four finalists for the art installation that will accompany the Churchill Avenue reconstruction were on display tonight. I stopped by and let me just start off by saying I don't know art at all though I like what I like and I dislike what I dislike, like anyone does I suppose. The art is all headed to the Churchill/Byron intersection, south-east corner, except for one that has a second piece on the north-east corner.

Measuring traffic speeds with computer vision for $100

When I can get my hands on a Raspberry Pi with 5 megapixel camera I'd like to experiment with it as a tool for measuring traffic speeds. The basic algorithm would be to capture each frame of video (live), detect a pair of headlights, and track them through subsequent frames in order to rebuild a vehicle's path through the device's field of vision. From there is should be a relatively simple procedure to build a speed and acceleration profile for each trip.

Why Carbon Capture and Storage will never be deployed at scale: insurance

My holiday reading includes The Hobbit and some papers from Evan Mills that revolve around climate change, risk, and the insurance industry. The problem with Carbon Capture and and Storage (CCS), aside from the fact the technology is unproven and decades away, is the fact the insurance industry won't touch it, emphasis mine:

Nerdy Video Streaming Stuff

I've streamed live video from Parliament Hill a few times and, if I'm able to go, will do so again for #IdleNoMore tomorrow later this morning. UStream.TV has worked well for the streaming and regular microphones have been fine for sound, but regular USB web cameras have sucked for outside events where the speaker is any distance away.