Canadians got their first look at the slick new plastic bills that will soon line wallets across the country.

The Bank of Canada unveiled two bills in its new series of polymer-blend bank notes at an Ottawa news conference on Monday afternoon. The $100 and $50 bills are slated to begin circulating in November 2011 and March 2012 respectively.

The new bills, which are smoother to the touch and harder to crumple, are made from a durable type of polymer and will eventually replace the cotton-paper blend used in existing currency.

While the plastic bills will cost nearly twice as much to produce compared to those currently in circulation (19 cents per bill versus 10 cents for the old version), the new plastic currency is said to be 2.5 times more durable.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty joined Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney to introduce the new bills, describing them as "cultural touchstones that reflect and celebrate our Canadian experience."

The Conservative government pledged in the 2010 budget to move the country to synthetic bills.

In a candid interview with AllThingsD's Ina Fried, AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega shared some interesting gems about how the company looks at its competing smartphone platforms, and Windows Phone 7 in particular.

de la Vega joins other executives in bad-mouthing sales of Microsoft's smartphone platform. An LG exec earlier this year bemoaned the slow sales of WP7 smartphones. de la Vega's comments aren't all that surprising, especially since Microsoft hasn't released firm numbers about WP7 sales.

"We actually like that software very, very much," he said to AllThingsD. "It hasn't sold as well as Microsoft or us would want it to, but I think having the Nokia hardware capability with the Microsoft software capability is a really good combination. They have to prove it by bringing some great devices to market. But I would love to have a great Nokia device with Microsoft Windows Phone 7."

The seeds planted by Nokia and Microsoft earlier year could eventually bear the fruit for which de la Vega so much hopes. Microsoft has offered up some solid smartphone software, and Nokia makes good devices. Put the two together and, there is certainly potential. de la Vega admits, though, that Windows Phone is still facing that version one visibility.

OTTAWA — The American ambassador to Canada says both countries should "seize the moment" and move ahead with a historic border-security deal, adding that Canadians have no reason to fear that their sovereignty is at risk.

The message was delivered Thursday by David Jacobson, who appeared at an event alongside his Canadian counterpart, Gary Doer. Both men said it is crucial that plans for a "perimeter security" agreement become a reality.

The broad outlines of the border agreement were contained in a declaration released in February by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama.

This guy is super-weird.

Just because you're a rich genius doesn't mean you're not also a dimwit. Take Mark Zuckerberg. Please.
The Facebook founder says he is now killing animals for meat, as part of a "sustainable living" project. On his own Facebook page, I am told, he announced recently that "I just killed a pig and a goat."

Fortune mag reports that the Zuckster told them he "started thinking about this last year when I had a pig roast at my house. A bunch of people told me that even though they loved eating pork, they really didn't want to think about the fact that the pig used to be alive."

He says he thought that was irresponsible, since eating meat makes you morally responsible for the animal's death.

Well, sure it does. But you don't go drill your own oil well because you're morally responsible for greenhouse gas. What a lightweight.

I suppose it's possible, but I don't really think our sovereign lady Queen Elizabeth is a fan of Justin Bieber. So I wonder what she will think of her grandson's in-laws doing business with the little punk.

Montreal Gazette