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:
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.
I love that my working life means I can write this sort of stuff:
- “charge like a wounded hooker”
- “4 kilograms of margarine for $7.69 is way cheaper than anything else on offer”
- “Revealing that I don’t drive often results in barely-masked horror”
- “the most hideous piece of footage ever inflicted on innocent viewers”
- “Some days being Helen Keller really sounds like an appealing option”
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.
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:
OK, I spent the whole day waiting to appear on television, but I still had to work. For Gizmodo, I stuck with the television theme by noting that Microsoft was considered by viewers of The Gruen Transfer to have produced the worst ad of all time.
My depressing Costco visit bore fruit with a Loaded column looking at which tech products are actually cheaper there. I also got to quote from Deborah Conway in a story about how music is used in gyms. Elsewhere at Lifehacker:
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:
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:
My brother recently bemoaned on his blog his apparent slackness in making updates, but compared to me he’s a model of efficiency. Time for a listburst!
The biggest single themed bit of work I’ve done since my last update was the Off The Rails project for Lifehacker, which combined broadband testing with a slow-ish rail journey up the North Coast. Beyond that . . . well, writing is what I do for a living after all.
Off The Rails
- Off The Rails: The Truth About Wireless Broadband
- Off The Rails Day 5: A Seamless Gold Coast Test
- The Issue With 3G Broadband Is Its Unpredictability
- Off The Rails Day 2: Maitland Meanderings
- Off The Rails Day 1: Software Blues
- Samsung Galaxy Tab Will Cost $999 Outright In Australia
- Michael Jackson Virtual World Will Be Free Of Lawsuits, Overdoses
- Your Hybrid Car Could Be A Portable Battery That Makes You Money
- LG Outlines Australian Release Plans For New Optimus Models
- Weird And Amusing Aussie Computing Ads From The 1980s
- Could We Survive Without Private Cars?
- How To Speed Your Way Through The Airport
- Testing Telstra Ultimate Wireless Broadband Over Four States
- Are Australian Movie Release Dates A Major Piracy Driver?
- Have You Got Enough Televisions Already?
- Repeat After Me: Will Endless Repeats Backfire On TV?
- How To Restore Your Windows Default Programs
- How To Set Up A US iTunes Account
- Ten Misheard Expressions To Avoid In Your Writing (this also got a run on Lifehacker’s US site)
- How To Dispose Of Your Mobile Phone
- Why Freelance Workers Are So Happy
- ATMs Your Bank Will Let You Use For Free
- Store Brand Foods Can Actually Taste Better
- What Not To Sell When You’re Done Spring Cleaning
- Planhacker: Outright Android Purchase Deals
- Planhacker: 1TB+ Broadband Deals
- Planhacker: Unlimited Broadband Deals
Long Lifehacker stories
- 10 Reasons Call Centre Work Is So Painful
- TechLines: Ways To Get Your Email Under Control
- Why Updating Your Smart Phone OS Is A Myth
- Five Things You Can Get On With Now The Election Is Over
- Aussies Still Can’t Rent TV On The Apple TV
- Testing High-Speed Wireless Broadband In Dubbo
Shorter Lifehacker posts
- Cook A Pizza Without An Oven
- Ask Lifehacker: Can I Make Windows 7 Run Better On My Netbook?
- Lunchtime Wrap: Android Phones & Stolen Goods
- Do Not Let Your Laptop Get This Filthy
- Embed An Excel Spreadsheet Online
- Last Week’s Top Ten Posts
- Nine’s GEM Launch Delayed By Technical Hitch
- Catch Of The Day Sale Next Tuesday
- Lunchtime Wrap: Android Music Players & Fast Windows Login
- Trip Elated Offers Nothing But Positive Hotel Reviews
- Dell Streak In Australia Through Optus From October 1 (also on Gizmodo)
- Remember To Retune For Your New Digital Channels
- 2lingual Lets You Search In Two Languages At Once
- Lunchtime Wrap: Laptop Security & Call Centres
- ACMA Tells TV Networks To Clean Up Their EPG Act
- Motorola Flipout Coming On Vodafone For $299
- What’s A Fair Price For An Android Tablet?
- Big W Offering Two $20 iTunes Cards For $30
- Lunchtime Wrap: Movie Piracy & Google Takedowns
- Auslan Tutor Teaches Basic Sign Language
- Tomatoes And Capsicums Are About To Get Expensive
- Aussie Government Keen To Yank Content From Google Groups
- Pocket Cinema Downloads Movie Tickets To Your iPhone
- How To Disable Outlook 2010′s Favorites Pane
- Share House Cleaning Is Rarely Organised
- Lunchtime Wrap: Movie Recommendations & Airport Manners
- Dogs In The Office May Help Team Building
- 3.5 Million Australians Now Using Wireless Broadband
- TechLines: You Can Only Go So Far With Automation
- Clear Your Cookies For Google Instant Access
- Lunchtime Wrap: Streamlined Workspaces & 1TB Broadband
- Foxtel To Launch Dedicated 3D Channel In November
- Get MobileMe For $66 From David Jones
- Planhacker 1TB+ Listing Gets Expanded
- Last Week’s Top Ten Posts
- TechLines: Watch Lifehacker’s Editor Get Celebrity Busted
- Who Will Rule The Smart Phone Market in 2014?
- Lunchtime Wrap: Workflow Sync & Free ATMs
- GPS Apps Shouldn’t Drain Your Data
- Cheap Parking Finds Parking Spots Near Your Location
- Douglas Kirkland On Seeking Sympathy From Your Subjects
- TechLines: Questioning The Future Of Email
- Avoid Contractions In Your Writing For Clarity
- Lunchtime Wrap: Wireless Myths & US iTunes Accounts
- Does Your Workplace Have A Social Networking Policy?
- HTC Desire HD To Launch On Vodafone and 3
- Telstra Promises Froyo Update For HTC Desire Within A Month
- Crikey Newspaper Tracker Shows Where You Can Find Free Newspapers
- 7-Eleven Dollar Day Promises Cheap Junk Food
- Lunchtime Wrap: Coworking Spaces & SSID Security
- BackupMyTree Offers Online Backups For Family Tree Information
- LG Optimus Will Get Updated To Froyo Eventually
- Getting Started Is Not Overrated, It’s Just Not For Everyone (this also got a run on Lifehacker’s US site)
- Big Four Banks Rate Poorly In Mozo Rankings
- Lunchtime Wrap: 3G Broadband & Tax Returns
- Which Numbers Should Be On Your Emergency Contacts List?
- TechLines: Email Rules Are Not Yet Defined
- Melbourne-Sydney XPT Service Has Resumed
- Lunchtime Wrap: Windows 7 & Email Habits
- Nine’s New Digital Channel GEM Aims At Women
- RTA Site Shows Live Traffic Information For Sydney
- Lodging Early May Not Speed Up Your Tax Return
- Last Week’s Top Ten Posts
- TechLines Poll: Which Emails Do You Answer First?
- Lunchtime Wrap: Store Brand Food & Google Instant
- Combine Microwaving And Grilling For Easy Fried Food Reheating
- GameTraders iPhone App Tracks Deals, Loans
- Are Food Package Sizes Too Big These Days?
- V Australia/Delta Flights Alliance Blocked In US
- Optus TrafficView Tracks Traffic Problems Via Mobile Phone Users
- TechLines: Is Email Overload A Good Thing?
- Lunchtime Wrap: Misheard Phrases & Better Passwords
- BigPond Shaping Upgrades Will Hit Late September
- How To Access Google Instant From Australia
- Sydney Gets Free Wi-Fi Trial At Circular Quay Station
- Get 2 $20 iTunes Cards For $30 At Target
- ACCC Takes Optus To Court Over Shaping Disclosure
- Lunchtime Wrap: OS Reinstalls & TV Repeats
- Office 2010 Migration Guides Help Shift From Older Versions
- Telstra Ups Shaping Speeds On BigPond Broadband Plans
- ESTA Fee For US Travel Applies From Today
- Aussies Took Nearly Ten Sickies Last Year
- Chrome Highlights Keyboard Shortcuts If You Use The Keyboard
- Lunchtime Wrap: Ultimate USB Tested & Mobile To-Dos
- Qantas May Return To Some Jetstar Routes
- Thermal Receipts Can Be Dangerous As Well As Annoying
- Aussie Extensions For Chrome Rounded Up
- Directory Select Lets You Cancel Telephone Directories
- Lunchtime Wrap: Unlimited Broadband & Windows Troubleshooting
- ATO Has Issued $11.5 Billion In Refunds
- Internode’s Terabyte Plan Has No Peak Times, High Prices
- Last Week’s Top Ten Posts
- Superwoman’s Tips On Spring Cleaning
- What Are The Most Dangerous IT Jobs?
- Lunchtime Wrap: Apple TV & Android Home Screens
- Cudo Joins The Group Deal Crowd
- Ask Lifehacker: Planning Your Weekend Activities Online
- Mastercheap: Rural Reality Check On Prices
- Is Your Head Too Small For 3D Glasses?
- Lunchtime Wrap: Rural Broadband & Phone Disposal
- Acer Offers Five New Android Models
- Sony Reader Finally Reaches Australia
- New iPods And Apple TV: Price And Availability In Australia
- Suna Phase 2 Promises Better Traffic Information
- Lunchtime Wrap: DVD Sorting & Laptop Wiping
- OurDeal Offers Group-Style Discounts
- Vodafone Offering Extra 1GB Of Data With Android Phones