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

10
Jan
10

McDonalds To Offer Family Meals In Australia, Good or Bad

I received an email a little while back. A survey asking what I thought about some things that McDonald Australia was thinking of offering. What it basically was saying was that McDonalds were going to have Family Meal packs on offer after 6PM nightly.

It went through options and offers with lots and lots of varying combinations of burgers, fries, drinks and desserts. All were pretty terrible and all were not a very healthy or appetising option. And to be honest not one seemed to very good value for what was offered.

Here is a screen capture of one of the deals McDonald Australia are thinking to unleash on to us.

new McDonalds Australia are going to offer 'special' family meal deals at dinner time - do any of us really whant this.

 So what do you think, is this a good idea and is it actual value? I think No for both. I am guessing they are trying to go against the Hungry Jack family meals but no families really want this. I don’t believe it is cheap and where is something like coffee or tea for adults or juice for the kids rather Coke and softdrink for everyone? What about a little toy for the kids, I am sure that would only cost Maccas 1cent or even less (maybe they charge the companies for the advertising that the toys are doing)

13
Dec
09

More Than 100 Best Tips, Secrets, Tricks, Hacks For Windows 7

Windows 7 has been around for a little while now and so far it is pretty good, the only gripe I have is Microsoft Australia are not offering a family pack (3 copies) like they do elsewhere. In fact one copy in Australia is more expensive than the three pack in the US – ripped off. (I have just found out that you can buy the family pack of windows 7 in Australia but it is only available for December?? and around the $240 mark)

Anyway, lots (well 100 or maybe 101) of tips and hints for Windows 7 here, some well known others not so.

Here it goes.

Right-click an empty part of the desktop and ,instead of needing to go through the display settings, you will find a menu entry to set your screen resolution.

Right-click the Explorer icon on the taskbar to get speedy access to the Windows folder, Documents and Pictures.

Generate an Energy Report. To create a report type powercfg -energy in a cmd window and it makes a report named energy-report.html in C:\Windows\system32. It shows you anything in your computer that keep the PC buzzing away wasting power.

How to Change the Background in WMP12. Run regedit and go to the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\MediaPlayer\Preferences . Double click on the key LibraryBackgroundImage and enter a value between 0 and 6 (each number is a different style background).

Windows Logo+Left Arrow and Windows Logo+Right Arrow docks the window to the left or right edge of the screen.

Windows Logo+Up Arrow and Windows Logo+Down Arrow maximizes or minimizes the window.

Windows Logo+Shift+Up Arrow and Windows Logo+Shift+Down Arrow maximizes or restores the vertical size of the window.

Access hidden international themes, just type C:\Windows\Globalization\MCT in the search box and Enter. You will see folders of other countries themes.

Installing Win7 on a Netbook with a USB Memory Stick. Take a 4GB USB 2.0 flash/thumbdrive and format it in FAT32, then just copy an ISO image to the flashdrive by xcopy d:\ e:\ /d /e (where d: is the DVD drive and e: is the usb drive location).

Make a system repair disc straight after install just in case you have problems booting Win7 later. Just go to Start , Maintenance , Create a System Repair Disc, and then Windows 7 will build a bootable emergency disc.

The new Windows 7 calculator looks like my old Vista one, but if you use the Mode menu there are Stats and Programmer views. Also in the Options menu it has unit conversions (weight, length etc.), calculates dates and templates for calculating vehicle usage and loan rates etc.

WordPad has new formats you can save and open, now you can save or open Word2007 .docx and OpenDocument .odt formats.

Have the desktop wallpaper act as a slideshow. When choosing your desktop wallpaper picture just hold down Ctrl and click on as many pictures as you like. Then choose how the time delay they change and even choose shuffle and enjoy.

Change the power switch. Windows 7 shows a shut down button on the Start menu but to change it to something else just right-click the Start orb, choose Properties and set the power boot action to what you want.

Show hidden drives. Win7 no longer displays drives (mem cards for example) if they’re empty. If you want to see them go to Explorer, Tools, Folder Options, View and untick the Hide Empty Drives In The Computer Folder.

Alt + P displays or hides the Explorer preview pane

Windows Logo + G displays your gadgets in front of other windows

Windows Logo + + zooms in

Windows Logo + – zoom out

Make IE8 start faster by getting rid of slow add ons. Click Tools, Manage Add-ons, and check the Load Time in the right column, and you will quickly see which add on is slowing IE8 down.

If you want to use Windows 7’s XP mode you need to have the Win7 Pro, Ultimate, or Enterprise not Home plus you also have to have a CPU with hardware virtualization support. To find out if yours has download Steve Gibson’s Securable (it’s free).

You don’t need a seperate burner to burn ISO images anymore, Windows 7 now supports this. Just right click the ISO file and select Burn Disc Image, or easier just double click the ISO.

Calibrate your screen by typing dccw in the Start Menu. It steps you through adjustments of gamma, brightness, contrast, and colour of your screen.

You have already got an app open on your desktop and you want to run a second copy, just Shift and click its taskbar icon, and it will open a new instance. Another way (and easier) is to middle-click the taskbar icon.

To get Windows Live Messenger off the taskbar and back in the system tray where it should be, close Windows Live Messenger and edit the shortcut properties by choosing run in Windows Vista compatibility mode.

Run cttune.exe to tune up the Clear Type font display. You will get the text looking perfect on your screen.

If you work on the same folder often, in Explorer right-click Favourites on the left-hand menu, and choose Add to Favourites. It then appears at the bottom of your favourites list for quick access.

For the visually impaired the Windows 7 Magnifier has two options for providing a bigger display. One is a dock and the other being a rectangular maggy lens that is stuck to the cursor.

You can rearrange the system tray icons, just drag them to the order you want on the tray or you can even move them outside (and back again) the tray.

How to disable or uninstall IE8 in Windows 7. Click on the Start Menu and go to Control Panel and find Programs and Features. Click on the Turn Windows features on or off link on the left side and uncheck the box next to Internet Explorer 8.

Disable Aero Shake in Windows 7. Run regedit.exe and find the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows , right-click on the Windows key and make a new key called Explorer, right-click on the right-hand side and make a new 32-bit DWORD with these details Name: NoWindowMinimizingShortcuts , Value: 1 .

Add Videos to the Start Menu by just a right-click Start, select Properties then click Customize. Choose Display as a link in the Videos section near the bottom.

Windows 7 Paint the Ribbon UI, which lets you customise it and has the great live formatting previews.It also has new brush strokes, shapes, and grid support.

Control Panel has a new tool that allows you to save your usernames and passwords, it’s called Credential Manager. These credentials are saved in a Vault, that can be backed up.

Use BitLocker To Go to encrypt data on USB memory stick or other removable storage device, with a digital certificate or a password for access.

Turn Your Windows 7 Laptops Into Wi-Fi Hotspots. Microsoft’s Windows 7 has something called Virtual WiFi that makes one wireless card act as several separate one. Just go and use the free software Connectify and make you notebook/laptop/netbook into a Wi Fi Hotspot for free.

Install the best free antivirus/security suite for Windows 7. Just install Microsofts own Security Essentials, free , fast and does the job well.

Install Windows 7 on your Netbook. Use IMGburn to convert your Setup DVD to an ISO. Copy the ISO to a USB memory key by using Microsofts Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool. Reboot the netbook and boot off of the USB mem key and follow the instruction to install.

You can move windows across multiple monitors without having to minimize or shrink the window first.

Pin up the folders you use most to your taskbar. Just hold your mouse over the folder, click and drag it onto the taskbar. Windows 7 automatically pins it to the Explorer Jump List.

Change the order of your Taskbar by simply dragging them to whatever order you desire. And you can launch the first five icons with a simple keystroke: just by pressing Windows+1, windows+2 etc.

Windows 7 automatically reduces screen brightness after a period of inactivity (a bit like mobile phones do) but Windows 7 adapts to your activity. For example, if the screen dims after 30 seconds and you immediately move the mouse to brighten the display, Windows 7 will wait 60 seconds before dimming the display again. Good when watching videos – actually I am sure my Vista does this as well.

On the Windows 7 Start Menu, the default power option is a simple shut down and that is what I want. Bit, if you want something else, you can simply change it to default to Switch User, Log Off, Lock, Restart, or Sleep. All you do is Right click on the Start button, Properties, Start Menu tab, choose the Power Button Action that you want. A lot better than how to change the shutdown button in Vista

Windows 7 includes a great taskbar preview feature where, if you hover over an open program’s taskbar icon, a preview pops up and where you can switch to or even close the program. By default you have to hover over the icon for a short time (400milliseconds) for it to pop up. I would like it a bit quicker and you can do it by a registry change. Just get into regedit, and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Control Panel -> Mouse. Double-click on MouseHoverTime, and set the value, in milliseconds (say, 200) to whatever you want. Click OK and exit and restart.

Well that is it, I am not counting to see if there are 100 tips and hints for Windows 7 but it must be close. I will keep adding more when I come across them.

03
Feb
09

A new phone, N96 or C905

I am on the hunt for a new mobile phone. Yes, it’s called a  mobile phone not cell phone in my country 🙂

Here is a view/ review (written in good old sales script) on a couple of good looking phones, not bad at all but maybe a bit too over the top for me. The Sony Ericsson c905 is a little smaller than the Nokia N96 and feels nicer in the hand. Let me know what phone you think, remember data plans are super expensive here in Australia, especially Telstras network (at least double of others) so things like the iPhone are out.

nokia-n96-and-sony-ericsson-c905

Nokia N96

Some people are looking for a phone that’s just a phone. But if you’re looking for a phone that has more tools than Inspector Gadget, then you’ve found it right here. Offering superior features and multiple applications, this phone will keep you entertained with big-time fun that’s small enough to fit into your hand.
Photo quality is fantastic thanks to a 5 megapixel Carl Zeiss lens, autofocus and dual LED flash. Ever wanted to share a great place with your friends, but have found it hard to relay exactly where it is? Switch on ‘geo-tagging’ to add the geographical location to any photograph you take. Friends can use this information to locate your recommended destinations while travelling or out-and-about in town.
The Nokia N96 features an FM radio and music player with dedicated music and gaming keys.Listen through your own headphones or enjoy full-bodied sound through built-in stereo speakers. Sporting an unbelievable 16 gigabytes of internal memory, you’d have a hard time trying to fill it up, but for those who like to max out their phone’s capacity, the microSD slot will take up to 16 gigabytes on top.
On the practical side, the N96 features easy email set-up with document viewer, wi-fi internet and an in-depth organiser. Speaker phone is clear, as is call quality and messaging is straightforward and intuitive.

Sony Ericsson C905

You’d curse yourself for not bringing your camera. Who would believe you without proof? Enter the 8 megapixel Sony Ericsson C905 for immediate image capture. This brilliant auto-focus camera phone takes only a second to open so you won’t miss another once-in -a-lifetime moment. With heaps of settings and the Xenon flash illuminating even the darkest environment ,your photos will be of stunning quality. Immediately send them via MMS to mobiles or email addresses to spread the wprd of your discovery!

The music player is very similar to the Sony Ericsson Walkman phones, playing a variety of file types with MegaBass equaliser and stereo Widener.The FM radio features the TrackID system which traces the artist and song title of any radio song that you like. A new innovation of this system is the “Find similar music” function to recommend similar songs to the one you have traced.

It’s certainly not lacking in communication advancements either. The Manage Message feature helps to organise your messages by sorting into Business, Follow Up, Important, or create your own categories. You can also sort by sender and store on the phone or transfer to the included 2GB memory card. Call quality is great and you can count on long battery. The phone also features GPS navigation and Google Maps. So map out where the action is and get yourself there with this image-hungry essential for any photo fan.




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