Royal Canadian MintChip Challenge: Evolution of Currency

From The MintChip Challenge | MintChip Developer Resources:

The Royal Canadian MintChip Challenge invites software developers to create innovative digital payment applications using MintChip, a development phase technology available only to challenge participants. Developers and the public are also encouraged to share ideas for how a digital currency can be used. Winners will receive approximately $50,000 in gold bullion from the Mint as well as promotional exposure. Prizes will be awarded for the apps that best demonstrate the potential value of the MintChip technology and have the greatest potential impact on digital payment technology. Submitted apps can run on Windows, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, or desktop and mobile browsers.

More on MintChip:

MintChip – The Evolution of Currency

Today’s digital economy is changing faster than ever, and currency has to change too. It is, introducing MintChip, from the Royal Canadian Mint – the evolution of currency.

MintChip brings all the benefits of cash into the digital age. Instant, private and secure, MintChip value can be stored and moved quickly and easily over email, software applications, or by physically tapping devices together.

Spot the [bandwidth] difference

Like most Canadians, we have a bandwidth cap with Videotron, our internet (and phone + TV) provider. We have one of the larger “packages”, which gives us 120GB per month. The chart above details our usage this month, and if you add it all up, it currently shows we used 188.7GB so far, with 3 days to go until our billing cycle is over.

The above usage exploded recently, and I was trying to find the culprit, since it’s costing us extra every month now. If you look at the usage in the last 3 days, compared to earlier in the month, you’ll see I’ve now found it. Was it Netflix? Nope. Roblox maybe (a known bandwidth hog)? Nuh-uh, still not it. It was in fact YouTube!

You see, they now have this option to switch to the highest possible resolution when entering full screen mode. One of my kids is really into watching Minecraft screencasts these days. Since most players play full screen, on large screens, their videos end up being uploaded in full HD, consuming between 1 to over 2GB per hour of video.

Just see the difference turning that option off on my kid’s laptop made:

  • Saturday February 18th: 18.78GB
  • Saturday February 25th: 4.12GB

Keep in mind he’s running a 14″ widescreen laptop at 1336×768, which means anything over 720p is basically useless as far as increased quality is concerned. So the switch did not even downgrade his experience (he watches most at 480p now, with no artifacts).

And there you have it. No more extra bandwidth fees for a while for the Daury household (we were at an extra $36 over our regular monthly bill already this month).