Text messages are next spam frontier

Cellphone users should steel themselves now to fight spammers full force, because they will find a way to take over text messaging, warns Alan Middleton, marketing professor at York University’s Schulich School of Business, reported Canadian Press Jan. 26. “I think we’re going to see a huge explosion in text message spam and are going to need legislation to deal with it,” he said. Marketing via text message looks good because it’s cheap. It will appeal to some groups, Middleton predicted. “Teens with restricted budgets who were brought up in the tech world may not mind as much as the young professional group. Teens are an information-seeking group, so provided the marketer is talking about stuff of interest such as music and concert tickets, they may not be as annoyed.”

Research by Leger Marketing that tracks ad practices that most annoy people ranks text messaging low on the list. That will change, Middleton said, when direct marketers figure out how to do it on a bigger scale. “It’s worse than junk e-mail because it hits you in a more personal way. The Internet is a public domain, often accessed at work when you have time to easily dump stacks of unwanted messages. Spam on the cellphone can wake you up in the middle of the night.”

Nortel appoints Peter Currie CFO

Peter Currie has been appointed chief financial officer of Nortel Networks Corporation and its operating subsidiary Nortel Networks Limited, reported corporate news service CCNMatthews Jan. 27. He returns to Nortel after serving as vice-chair and chief financial officer of RBC Financial Group since 1997. Currie held a variety of management positions with Nortel Finance from 1979 to 1992 and served as senior vice-president and chief financial officer of the corporation from 1994 to 1997. Currie earned a BA in 1973 and an MBA in 1978 from York and serves on  the York University Board of Governors. In 2003 he was named Canada’s CFO of the Year by Financial Executives International (Canada).

Music prof conducts ambitious Bach concert

York music Professor Lisette Canton conducts the 40-voice Ottawa Bach Choir, a 25-piece orchestra and some top-notch soloists Sunday in the choir’s most ambitious concert of the season: a performance of Bach’s Mass in B minor, reported the Ottawa Citizen Jan. 27. “It’s always a profound experience to conduct this piece. It’s very close to my heart. It’s a union of the emotional and spiritual elements that are so prevalent in Bach’s works, and it’s one of the few pieces that crosses all boundaries and unites people on every level,” said Canton. She divides her time between Ottawa and Toronto, where she teaches music in York’s Faculty of Fine Arts.

Rapping on right side of the law

West Coast and local artists will grace the stage at the Mod Club Theatre in Little Italy Friday to raise money and support the work of York’s Osgoode Hall Law School students in the Innocence Project, a non-profit legal clinic for the wrongfully convicted with chapters across North America including Toronto, reported the Toronto Star Jan. 27. Ahmed Shafey, the 24-year-old behind the concert, hopes to offer a wild night of entertainment while raising awareness and cash to break the chains of those who languish in jail for crimes they did not commit.

Dancer blends Iroquois stomp and classical ballet

The earthy rhythms of an Iroquoian stomp dance will meld with the elegant postures of classical ballet when choreographer Santee Smith performs her pioneering work, Kaha:wi, for a hometown crowd, reported Brantford’s Expositor Jan. 27. The 11/2 years since Kaha:wi premiered at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre in June 2003 have been fruitful: Smith finished her master’s degree in dance at York University last year and, in November, was nominated for two Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, for the Kaha:wi soundtrack.

Schulich architect designs twin-tower for Halifax

A big, bold 27-storey twin-tower hotel and condo complex being proposed for downtown Halifax is an unabashedly modern design by respected Toronto architect Siamak Hariri, reported the city’s Daily News Jan. 27. Bold is something Hariri knows how to do. His high-profile commissions range from York University’s new Seymour Schulich Building to an ethereal Baha’i temple under construction in Santiago, Chile.

On air

  • Debra Pepler, a psychology professor in York’s Faculty of Arts, discussed bullying and teen suicides in Saskatchewan, on the “Dave Rutherford” call-in show on CHQR-AM in Calgary Jan. 26.
  • Historian Michael H. Kater talked about how German children at the age of 10 were compelled to join Hitler Youth, a movement recalled as the world commemorates the liberation of Jews from Nazi concentration camps 60 years ago, on CBC Radio’s “The Current” Jan. 26. Kater is a Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus at York’s Canadian Centre for German & European Studies and author of Hitler Youth: Chronicling the Rise, Fall, and Lasting Effects of the Hate-Based Youth Club.