And suddenly a week has gone by and I’ve been too busy writing to update on the blog. For iTnews, I looked at how next year’s census still won’t make us any more informed about broadband. I’d actually forgotten that there was an electronic option for filling out the last census, even though I used it at the time. Five years is, of course, plenty of time to forget.
The Loaded column, which looked at setting up a cheap home studio, wound up as the most popular story of the week after getting a mention on Lifehacker US. Road Worrier shifted to Wednesday last week because of the long weekend and examined quiet carriages on trains, while this week’s edition examined what mobile apps we utilise. Mobile Internet was the focus for Streaming, and Planhacker revisited the perennial topic of prepaid 3G broadband, and Lifehacker 101 looked at why software updates require a reboot so frequently.
And amongst the shorter stories:
Simplify Cable Access With A Lazy Susan
Google Docs Enhances Spreadsheet Import Options
Freelancer.com Rolls Out Australian Domain
Lunchtime Wrap: 3G Broadband & DIY Music
Qantas Waiving Qantas Club Joining Fee
Last Week’s Top Ten Posts
Bayifier Gives Photos That Michael Bay Look
Telstra Offers Proper Warranties With Two-Year Phone Contracts
Lunchtime Wrap: Phone/PC Transfers & Home Studios
Aussies Say Overwork Prevents Them Taking Holidays
Google Instant Rolling Out In Australia
Tell The ABC About Your Car Obsession
Decorate Your Storage Boxes With Maps
eBay Australia Now Allowing Multiple Variant Listings
Lunchtime Wrap: Quiet Carriages & Apple Recalcitrance
No More Unlimited ADSL From AAPT
Full-Length Shows From The ABC Now On YouTube
Gizmodo Explains All Your Mobile App Store Choices
How Loyalty Card Users Go Crazy When They Get Rewards
Lunchtime Wrap: The Wireless Home & The Entertaining Smart Phone
Curiosity Is Unwise When Malware Is Involved
Apple Promises iPhone Daylight Saving Fix, Won’t Say When
Virgin Blue Basically Offline All Wednesday
Powerhand Power Board Handles Bulky Chargers With Ease
ABC Warns Bluebird AR Viewers About Security Breach
Lunchtime Wrap: Invitation Services & iPhone Alarms
It’s Not About Being Messy, It’s About Not Over-Organising
Vodafone Simplify Offers Flat-Rate Prepaid Calling
Optus Improves Data Charges For Prepaid Mobile Users
Monday was a public holiday in NSW, so Lifehacker wasn’t running at full steam — no Road Worrier column, for instance. However, the onset of daylight saving in states that have a clue (and yes, that’s a dig at Queensland) resulted not only in a reminder on Saturday for people to check their devices, but also a post about how the iPhone’s alarms don’t appear to cope with the change. As of this morning, that still seems to be an issue (and unsurprisingly Apple itself hasn’t responded to my queries). Also on Lifehacker from my virtual quill:
Lunchtime Wrap: VOD Plans & iOS Jailbreak Benefits
Foxtel’s Prices Change To Reflect VOD
Dick Smith Selling 3 Gear For Half Price
Last Week’s Top Ten Posts
Today’s Due Diligence column in the Australian Financial Review discusses how Sydney’s Star City casino is being revamped. It’s an interesting read but it includes this clanger sentence:
The complex will have a few upmarket bars, including one on the roof, and an events theatre to house live acts – think Lady Gaga – as well as awards nights.
It’s blindingly obvious that at her current level of popularity, Lady Gaga would require a much bigger venue than Star City could ever cram onto its current site, no matter how much rebuilding it does. Earlier this year, she played two concerts at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, capacity 12,000 or so.
Tom Baker may look nothing like the curly-haired figure with a scarf we recall from our childhoods, but he still know how to ham it up. Here’s a sequence of photos I snapped of him at the Time Quest 2009 fan event (yes, it’s taken me a while to get these online).
Yes, I now have my dictionary. My second appearance on Letters And Numbers was extremely closely fought — I was tied with my opponent when the conundrum came up — and given that she was a former UK Scrabble champion, I can live with coming second. I’ve still knocked one item off my bucket list by being on the show.
I’ve developed a minor habit of writing about KISS for Gizmodo. The period when I first started getting seriously obsessed with pop music in 1980 coincided with KISS’ first Australian tour, which meant the band was absolutely inescapable in the media. As a result, I’ve always remained somewhat fascinated by the band, even though (unlike hardcore KISS fanatics) I prefer the poppier end of their output.
Anyway, having written about the KISS Flip camera earlier in the year, I couldn’t resist the KISS HD TV which just went on sale. That is, I couldn’t resist it as a topic. No way on earth I’d buy one.
Planhacker on Friday was about video-on-demand services in Australia. As Nick rightly pointed out in his Gizmodo pointer to the column, the pricing is in fact depressingly uniform. Elsewhere on Lifehacker:
Lunchtime Wrap: Headless Laptops & Costco Bargains
Access Hulu And Other Blocked Services Using Squid
Commonwealth Games Switch May Signal Change To TV Siphoning Rules
Australian Android Developers Can Now Sell Apps Through The Market
Lifehacker Returns To TV Quiz Show
As a Lifehacker reader helpfully pointed out, the obvious word in this set of letters from tonight’s episode of Letters & Numbers is RAPIST. Fortunately, I went one better and picked HARPIST, part of an early burst of activity which lead me to a comfortable victory on the night. I’m very happy now, as I’ve done much better than during my infamous appearance on The Weakest Link back in 2001.
If you didn’t catch the show (shame) and you’re in Australia, you can watch it on the SBS site. And I’ll be back on Friday night at 6pm for another crack at the glory (it’s all about glory, and an eventual dictionary).
As anyone who follows my Twitter stream would already realise, I had a mildly crap day yesterday. Slow PC updates, updates that wouldn’t install, PR companies that can’t even manage something as simple as maintaining an RSVP list, my BlackBerry crapping itself and having to go to the construction zone that is the Docklands to visit Costco made it less than appealing.
Aside from the Britney-themed episode of Glee, my favourite activity of the day was writing a piece for Gizmodo about a new line of Justin Bieber dolls. Sometimes you just have to kvetch.
Wednesday’s Lifehacker 101 column looked at the many versions of Android and why we’re stuck with them. I also did a detailed analysis of the new Everyday Rewards option to take frequent flyer points rather than petrol discounts (for most people, the petrol discounts are better). Also on Lifehacker:
Target Selling Two iTunes Cards For The Price Of 1.5
Lunchtime Wrap: Lifehacker.me & TV Network Woes
eBay Sees Doubling Of Sales Via Mobile Phones
Fairfax News Apps For iPhone Charging $2.49 A Month
This morning, Windows 7 decided I needed an urgent update installed. I figured I needed to reboot anyway, so I told it to go ahead. It took 50 minutes before the update finished installing itself. I have installed entire OSes from floppy disks in less time. Not good enough, team MS.
Tuesday’s Streaming column touched on the perennial issue of how badly TV networks treat their viewers and (by extension) why they shouldn’t be surprised at the popularity of downloading as an alternative. A much briefer post about drinking from skinny glasses to help with weight loss ended up being reposted on Lifehacker US. Elsewhere it was the usual mixture:
How Twitter Can Help Clear Clutter
HTC Aria Coming On Optus October
Lunchtime Wrap: Presentation Tools & Going Carless
Aussies Think Online Customer Service Often Sucks
No Australian Release Date Yet For BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet
Make A Standing Desk From A Filing Cabinet Drawer