Some tech gifts Canadians won't be getting this Christmas

With Christmas time coming, you'll be seeing a lot of lists of great gifts to get for that special someone. This isn't that list. What we have here is a list of some great things that us Canadians just can't get, at least not in time for Christmas. Like the iPhone before it came out, this is the sort of lust-worthy gear that is almost worth moving across the border for.


Amazon Kindle: e-book readers have failed to take off largely because of price and the lack of available titles. While Sony has a very nice looking e-book reader it's on-line bookstore is a confusing mess and it's like hunting the bargain bin, as it's lacking in a lot of major publishers.

Starting as a bookstore first, Amazon has the selection taken care off. Plus, the Kindle has a whole lot of other cool features that other e-book readers lack, like wireless Internet access for buying and downloading new books, reading popular blogs, and news Web sites, and MP3 playback capability for audiobooks.

The Kindle is only out in the U.S. right now. When I was feeling rich earlier, I was consider getting one, but that would require abusing a friend's American address and, for buying Kindle books, probably getting an American credit card. It might be doable, but it's a lot of work.

Netflix: Sure we've got, which does a lot of the cool things that Netflix does in the States, but it's not the same. The biggest upgrade that Netflix has gotten is the ability to stream movies to your computer or Xbox 360. That means if you feel like watching a video in your rental queue, you have the option of watching it right then and there, instead of waiting for it to be sent through the mail to you.

Netflix has had plans to expand to Canada and the United Kingdom for a few years now, but has yet to do so.

Nintendo DSi: Nintendo knows how to monetize a platform. Like drawing water from a stone they're going to squeeze every possible dollar from their portable devices, with the Nintendo DSi becoming the third interation of the Nintendo DS handheld following the original DS and the DS Lite.

The thing is it's pretty cool looking, though if you've already got a functioning DS Lite it might not be worth the jump. The DSi adds two digital cameras, more Internet features and the ability to add expandable memory via SD cards, the same format that the Wii uses.

The Nintendo DSi won't be reaching North America until well into 2009, so unless you've got a source with contacts in Japan you're not going to be able to take pictures of yourself playing Pokemon.




Dec 4, 2008 at 7:09pm

I just wanted to mention that there are more than two ebook readers on the market. In regards to the Kindle, I've used both it and other ebook readers. The "wireless" access is through cellular service, and is slow, annoying, and not at all available outside the US. Got rid of mine when I moved back home. The Sony ebook store is ugly, but really is a lot more like early CAD iTunes than the bargain bin. More, it, and most other readers are multi-platform, capable of reading a greater variety of formats than the Kindle. Heck, outside of .pdfs of journal articles, most of the ebooks I read are from the public library: . A good site with reviews of all the readers, and a multi-national readership is Regards!