Posts Tagged ‘australia

25
Oct
13

Apple and Australia

APPLE yesterday freshened its products for the Christmas rush, and released an operating system upgrade to users free of charge.(I would think that OS upgrades are always free, but not Apple)

But not all Apple developments come without a significant price.

The Cupertino-based company is also renowned for being prickly, for locking users into its systems, and for using geographic barriers as a reason to overcharge customers. Below are some examples of Apple’s worst behaviour.

Australian hardware prices.

Apple’s local hardware pricing is often similar to its US pricing, but not always. Take the Mac Pro announced yesterday. In the US, the machine will cost you $US2999 or $3090 in Australian dollars. In Australia, that same machine will set you back $3999. Even if you add GST to the US figure, there’s $600 unaccounted for and a lot of extra money coming out of Australian pockets.

Singing iTunes’ song.

Want to buy the same song as an American user? If it’s available in the Australian iTunes Store, it will probably cost more Down Under. Katy Perry’s song Roar? It’ll cost you $2.19 in Australia and $US1.29 in the States. The “Deluxe” version of her album will cost $20.99 in Australia, but just $US14.99 in the States. The songs sound the same.

Different SIM.

Want to use a smartphone? You’ll need an active Micro SIM card. Except with Apple, of course. Apple introduced the Nano SIM with the iPhone 5, a format no other phone uses. The act forced users to ask their carriers for a new SIM card, and effectively locked users into the brand unless they bought and used an adequate adaptor for other phones. Use that adaptor incorrectly, and you could tear the SIM contacts on your other phone.

Failed connections.

Since the invention of the iPod, Apple used a 30-pin connector to connect its devices to others. This 30-pin adaptor spread far and wide, from stereo docks to car radios, and the cables snaked through offices everywhere. Then, last year, Apple swapped this cable for a smaller, Lightning connector, rendering all 30-pin connections cumbersome, at least, and obsolete at worst. The company also initially refused to let other manufacturers make the cable, forcing customers to pay $25 for a spare charging cable.

Software updates forever.

Unlike other manufacturers, Apple ensures once you upgrade your software, there’s no going back. Even if the new software slows your device or gives you motion sickness, you cannot return to the comfort of old iOS software. A Californian man this week launched legal action against Apple for that problem, filing a small claims action that calls the move “corporate thuggery”.

Locked into iTunes.

Once upon a time, customers who bought iTunes music could only play that music in Apple devices or within the iTunes program. Digital Rights Management software prevented its use elsewhere. While Apple has relaxed the requirement, after several lawsuits, the company will still only let users backup their device to one computer. Want to sync your iPod to a laptop and a desktop computer? Nope. Not allowed.

Locked out of your phone.

One new feature in Apple’s iOS 7 software can help prevent theft … or forever brick your device with no chance of appeal. It’s called Activation Lock. If your phone is reported lost using Find My iPhone, users must enter the original Apple ID used to activate the phone. If they cannot remember it, or cannot access it in the case of a second-hand phone, the phone will be forever bricked. Apple support will not help you recover a phone bricked in this way.

Apple trademarks.

Think “start-up” is a common term? Apple doesn’t. In August it filed an application in Australia to trademark “start-up” for its exclusive use. The application follows similar filings by Apple in the US and China. And they follow Apple’s claim that “app store” should also be its trademark. Oh, and before you say, “there’s an app for that”, remember that’s an Apple trademark too.

Closed library.

Apple launched its iBooks application in 2010. The library-looking app let users download digital tomes to their iDevices and will, with Mavericks, allow the books to be read on Mac screens too. But the company recently lost a battle with the US Department of Justice, with a court finding Apple had artificially kept the price of digital books high by excluding competition. It recommended Apple allow the likes of Kindle, Kobo and Barnes & Noble to sell books within Apple’s ecosystem, and was awarded a $US162.25 million settlement. Apple is appealing the decision.

Closed app store.

There are benefits to having a closed app store, with apps carefully vetted for security. But Apple can go too far, banning apps for its own purposes. HMV’s app was this week booted from Apple’s app store for letting users listen to music, Apple previously rejected the Google Now app from its store, inspiring Google to file a lawsuit, and Apple recently banned apps that recommend other Apple apps to users, including popular French-made AppGratis.

27
Sep
11

New Pepsi Max Flavour for Australia – Pepsi Max Citrus Oxide

I got an email a few days back – one of these online survey jobs like the McDonalds Family Meals in Australia – and it was all about a new Pepsi Max flavour that Pepsi wants to sell in Australia. It will be called Pepsi Max Citrus Oxide. It is not the Pepsi Max Ceasfire Lime flavour but a completely new caffeine drink.

The flavour seems to be a Lemon-Lime type but has caffeine in it, just like Pepsi Max Cola does and of course no sugar. Well I think it will be Lemon Lime, they don’t actually say what the flavour is, the colour is the same as Lemon-lime sports drinks. Artificial drinks taste awful, they always leave a strange taste in my mouth. I think they would be better releasing a low sugar soft drink.

The survey was all about the marketing such as what label looks best – heaps of different combinations for that and also about a launch competition they will have. I guess they are going after the V8 rev head crowd with the competition prize of a HSV V8 car , there is also $50,000 – I would choose that.

Anyway, here is the label that I thought looked best.

19
Aug
11

PS3 update 3.70 for Australia – ABC iView problems

Well today I turn on the PS3 to watch a little ABC on iView and it pops up that there was a system update downloaded and ready to install. I go to install it – weary that an update might not be an actual improvement – and the agreement mentions that the TV tab will be changed to TV/Video Services.

Well, that seemed to be OK to me – maybe we will have a little more than ABC iView (a fantastic TV service – not just catch up TV but some shows are on iView before live TV), Seven Plus (which is really poor so I never use it) and Mubi (arty movies you need to pay for) . I installed the system update and it then auto-rebooted.

Now to check the cool new TV/Video Services. – what!!! nothing is there – iView on the PS3 is gone – iView is missing. Now I am cranky. The item I use most on the PS3 is not there. reboot, still not there. Start a game up and close it down then magically the new TV/Video Services is there!!!

Continue reading ‘PS3 update 3.70 for Australia – ABC iView problems’

03
Jan
11

how many articles you need to write for platinum level expert author at ezinearticles

I am not sure how many articles you need to write to get to be a platinum level expert author at ezinearticles but I have written only 11 articles and made that level. I have read that it takes at least 50 but that is not the case for me. Maybe I wrote better articles than most, maybe I was lucky – I don’t know.

What I do know is I got a little Christmas present from them. It was waiting for me when we got back back from a break at Noosa Heads. Gee, the postage would have cost them a bit to get to me in Australia. I got a little note saying Congrats, a notepad, a mouse mat (does anyone use them anymore?) and a stainless steel ballpoint pen. The pen is actually pretty nice – it’s light and writes really well, smooth like a rollerball pen.

If you want read this post on the top 20 article directories you should write for – ezinearticle is number one.

 

how many articles you need to write for platinum level expert author at ezinearticles

31
Oct
10

Great Windows Weather Gadget

I still have Vista on my notebook PC, it works fine for what I want and I liked the weather gadget that was in the side bar. If you dragged the gadget out of the sidbar it grew bigger and and gave you a forecast for 5 days. This weather gadget worked well I thought and I had no need to update it.

We recently got a HTC Desire mobile phone and the sense interface is great. The front scree with the clock and weather looks fantastic. I have found a Windows version of this Clock/Weather gadget. It is called HTC Home. It workd well, doesn’t slow my PC and looks just as good as on our HTC Desire. The animations look pretty but I wish they didn’t animate quite so long, 5 seconds would be plenty.

I did find that although you have a choice of two places it can get it’s weather information from – Accuweather and MSN –  one was not very accurate, strangely it’s name suggests it is accurate. Remember I am in Australia so maybe they are better in the US, MSN seems fine. Give it a try and see what you think www.htchome.org/en/

Window weather gadget like HTC - HTC Home

04
Sep
10

Australian PS3 now has Plus7 TV channels

Our family has a slimline Ps3. I don’t play games much on it but my son does – what I mostly use it for is watching videos that are on the external USB hard drive (it’s great that you can plug in any old USB drive), watch videos streamed from my laptop (it sees it as a media centre or via Vuze),  and watch catch-up TV with the great ABC iView PS3 application. The Ps3 and iView team up nicely and it’s great to be able to watch a whole range of TV shows when I want to. It is simple to use and works well – not like the god awful Vidzone application.

One thing I would added would be more catch-up TV channels – I know I can always go to them via the internet browser in the PS3 but that is too awkward – I want a nice neat app like iView.

Well yesterday I noticed that in the TV tab under the iView logo was Plus7 – the catch-up TV channel from channel7 and yahoo. Excellent, one more channel to choose, although I would rather the Ten network if I could choose one. I clicked it and it seemed to work well using it’s menu. I did notice that it had only 18 videos in total and nearly all were shows that really failed in the ratings (like the magician show), so not really catch-up TV but showing mainly TV shows that are not good enough for prime time Seven. Some of their 7Two shows would be good – 007, the UK mystery shows and home shows. A pretty poor effort and I don’t really expect much from the seven network as they are the ones trying to push Freeview (which has in it’s specs all types of things to restrict viewing and force advertising – no skipping ads). And they were the ones that tampered with a car crash site to make the photos for the news better looking.

I clicked on one of shows and it just waited and waited until I left, did  not work. Later in the day I tried again and I notice the layout was a little different, it still would not play any shows though. So I left it as a bad joke thinking the 7 network still needs to fix it at their end – probably to figure how they can add 15 minutes of adverts into every 30 minute show (because I know it will be that bad).

Continue reading ‘Australian PS3 now has Plus7 TV channels’

28
Feb
10

McAfee Antivirus renew is more expensive than a new version

We bought my 11 year old son a Dell laptop about a year ago, it was good value, does the job fine and best of all , he thinks it’s great. Actually it is pretty tough as well – it had a full glass of chocolate milk spilled over it while it was on. I ended up pulling it apart to give it a wipe down, put it all back together and it is still working fine!

Anyway this story isn’t really about the Dell laptop at all, it is about the anti-virus that came with it. It came with a 15month  subscription to McAfee Antivirus andit was OK except it kept nagging about renewing the subscription after around six months even though it still had 9 months to go.

When it got down to about 2 months to the end of the subscription and getting very regular emails ‘reminding’ me to renew the subscription I thought I would have a look. As you can tell by the two screen captures to renew the subscription to McAfee Anti Virus is actually a lot more expensive than just buying a whole new one. Crazy isn’t it. Why should the resubscription cost AUD$84.95 (and that was with a 15% discount) where as a new one costs $74.95. Nice way to treat loyal customers McAfee.

So what did I do? Well I hate the feeling of McAfee rorting money out of me for no good reason so I did what I am telling everyone else to do – get the free Microsoft Security Essentials. It works great and doesn’t bug you with popups, emails or money.

mcafee antivirus renew is more than new price

mcafee renew subscription price - why is it more than new?

why is the mcafee renew subscription more expensive than a new copy

mcafee new price - why is the renew subscription more expensive than a new copy




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