Category Archives: Tech

Why Australians will still pirate


April 14, 2015 10:15 PM

22 Jump Street
That Australians are the torrent pirate kings of the world is an indisputable fact. However, there are also some of us who are willing to pay for content even if it means using a VPN to connect to Netflix USA. They do this because the legal alternatives to streaming content in Australia cannot compare to what’s available in the US.

Seven out of 10 most pirated movies not available for legal purchase in Australia – NEWS.com.au.

The above article was written in Sept 2014, and even though Netflix Australia has now launched here, the situation has not improved.

Of the 158 movies that topped Australian box office takings between 2010 and 2014, just 26 are available on Netflix Australia. While older flicks have a better chance of appearing, even in 2010 less than a third of the chart-topping movies have made their way to Netflix. That doesn’t mean you won’t have a lot to watch — but if you think of a popular movie, the chances are it isn’t on Netflix right now.

These Are The Most Popular Movies Netflix Australia Is Missing | Lifehacker Australia

Even when the desired content becomes available, we are waiting too long and paying more for it than people in the US.

Legal downloads not cutting it for Australians: Comms Alliance survey – CNET

So once again like the last time when I tried to legally rent and stream “The World’s End” without much luck, I’ve decided to conduct a very scientific study of one to prove the points listed above. Spoiler alert: I came to the same conclusion as previously.

One fine weekend, I wanted to watch “22 Jump Street”. I searched the two streaming services that I know of in Australia that do not require a subscription (I’ll never pay for one!): EzyFlix TV and Bigpond Movies. Both of them don’t have the movie available to rent. A bit more research via streamin.it shows that the only rental options in Australia require subscriptions (Quickflix and Fetch TV).

Needless to say, I then did the easiest thing. Not going to say what but suffice to say, I was entertained by Mr. Hill and Mr. Tatum over the next two hours. So there you go – until the content providers fix the cost and availability issues for Australian viewers, Australians will continue to pirate content. Even with this legal precedence being set:

'Dallas Buyers Club' wins access to pirates' information in iiNet case – CNET.

Why pirating movies and TV shows in Australia is easier than doing the right thing


August 2, 2014 2:00 PM

The World's End movie poster

In the news lately there was this item about how the government is contemplating how it can reduce and prevent instances of copyright infringement, most notably when it comes to TV shows and movies.

Australia floats website blocks and ISP liability to stop copyright thieves The Register.

As you might know, Australia is the biggest offender when it comes to doing the torrent thing:

Who's Pirating Game of Thrones, And Why? | TorrentFreak.
What Those Breaking Bad Piracy Statistics Actually Say | Lifehacker Australia.

So i recently conducted a study on why this is so using a very definitive and comprehensive sample size of one: me trying to rent and stream the 2013 movie “The World’s End“, and my only criteria is to be able to quickly rent and watch it when I want to watch it. That is, RIGHT NOW.

In Australia currently, these are the ways that you can watch a movie legally online or on your TV:

  • Free-to-air. Downside: erm, how long do I have to wait after it was released? Next.
  • Subscribe to Foxtel. Downside: pay a monthly bill of at least $74 to get their movie package which gives you access to other channels too granted but you cannot pick and choose which channels – they are bundled together, whether you want them or not. And you can’t rent just one movie. Next.
  • Subscribe to Quickflix. Downside: having to pay $14.95 monthly whether you wanted to watch a movie or not; can’t rent a single movie or pay as you go. Next.
  • Bigpond Movies. This looks more promising – you can rent individual movies without monthly access fees or charges. Bonus if you are a Bigpond customer as the download/streaming will not eat into your data allowance. This goes on the shortlist.
  • iTunes. Also promising – movies can be rented individually. Added to the shortlist.

A comprehensive read:
Australia's Best (Legal) Online Movie Services | Gizmodo Australia.

Now the fun begins. I went onto Bigpond Movies and this movie is not in their catalogue. Son, I’m disappoint. So then I went into the iTunes store and found the movie. The movie is available to be purchased but the “Rent” option was not available for it like it is for other movies. More disappoint.

What is the deal here? I’m sure I’ve read this somewhere before but I couldn’t find something online to back this up so this is purely how I remembered it – movies are released to the cinemas first, then to DVDs and DVD rentals, then to pay-per-view/Foxtel and then to free-to-air TV.

I do not know how online rentals figure into this but I suspect that here in Australia at least, it is after Foxtel has squeezed all revenue potential out of a movie first. So theoretically, online rentals are available before free-to-air but only after Foxtel has aired the movie. For how long, I don’t know.

And just to confirm that this is the case, I searched for another movie that was released around the same time, “This Is The End” and found the same thing – I can buy it but I couldn’t rent it.

Frustrated, I typed in “the world’s end torrent” and BAM – options aplenty. I can neither confirm nor deny that I then proceeded to torrent the shit out of it, but instant gratification was achieved albeit with a short delay of about an hour while it downl … *ahem* I said nothing, you saw nothing, move along now.

Yes I know that I could have possibly rented the movie by walking into an actual video rental place (remember those?) but:

  1. I have to find one near my place
  2. I have to get out of the house
  3. I will have to look around the shelves for it – it ain’t a new release so it would be tucked away somewhere not obvious
  4. FFS, I’m tired already.

So I’m very glad to hear that Malcolm Turnbull agree that the content providers are making it all too hard for people who want to do the right thing in Australia.

Turnbull to Big Content: Let your movies RUN FREE … for a fair price The Register

One last thing: sorry Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright and Nick Frost, I really wanted to give you $5.99 to enjoy your movie.

You are so beautiful ! Get away from me, you creep!


May 2, 2013 9:47 PM

Went to the moon, took 5 photos; went to the bathroom took 37 photos

I’ve been noticing a trend lately especially since Instagram came onto the scene and that is girls really like taking photos of themselves and then uploading them. And it’s predominantly a girl thing. I can say that because I follow guys on my Instagram and they don’t post any many pictures of themselves as the girls do. I don’t know about male celebrities *cough*selinalovessungkangtoomuch*cough but between regular guys and girls? The girls win.

Before the invention of the “like”, to be creepy takes effort. You have to leave enough comments like “OMG you are so beautiful!”, “Wow, marry me!”, or “No seriously. Marry me” before you creep someone out. Now with “like”, being creepy is effortless. It’s an impulsive and spontaneous thing. You see something you like? You “like” it. Tap-tap. Done! Omg she’s so hot.

Toilet selfie
Seriously though? What’s with all the toilet selfies?

The question then becomes: how many times can you like a girl’s selfies before it becomes creepy? I asked this question on my Facebook and I got only two answers. Thanks Facebook friends! My cousin JC says so long as she keeps posting them, one should keep liking them because that’s what they really want. Attention and lots of it. Which is kinda true.

Daniel Craig photobombs Taylor Swift
I like this x1000

And Selina says one does it until she blocks you. Which is a non-answer. Thanks Sel!

Selfie girl gets photobombed
(source: People of Walmart)

Wahahahah! Ok so back to the question. How many “likes” does a stalker make? To understand that, one needs to question why a girl uploads photos and photos of herself for everyone to see. It is to fish for compliments is it not? So it’d behoove us, the audience to clap and approve, right? So my answer is, it’s never too creepy to “like” if she likes people looking at her. 😛

I will leave you with a sub-genre of the selfie: the flexing selfie. Hey girls, never stop doing what you do. Ya-yer.

Fit girls flexing themselves in their selfies

(pictures are from all over the Internet)

Patience is a limited resource


December 13, 2012 1:12 PM

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

… and I work in tech support which means I have very little patience left after work. It gets drained out of me. Imagine doing tech support all day at work and then coming home and having to do it for your family too. The friends and families of doctors and lawyers would take advantage of their skills and knowledge too but needing a doctor or a lawyer is not an every day thing.

Unlike tech support. Tech is pervasive. It’s almost everything that we touch these days, especially in recent years when the iPhone started the whole smart phone era.

OMFG I only just finished teaching my mother how to text!

Anyway where was I? Oh yes, coming home and having to do tech support on a daily basis for my family. The point of this story is that I get very impatient and grumpy with my family.

I am sorry that I get pissy but I just finished work, can you just let me sit down for a few minutes without asking me how to forward an email please?!?! And no I don’t know why that website is not loading. I don’t work for them. Look, if you’ve already turned the modem off and on like I’ve taught you and the site is still not showing up, then their server is down. And no I can’t bring it back. I don’t have magic powers! I’m not fucking Dynamo!

Mom: I cook and clean for you and you can’t even help me out with this?

Me: I appreciate everything that you do for me but I don’t come up to you when you are relaxing and ask you to cook and clean some more right???

Mom: That’s not the same and you know it.

Me: How is it not the same? *argh* Ok ok fine. Right-click on that icon. Right-click. Right mouse button. Click it. See the button on the right? Click it. Yes, click it once. Once. Click. Right-click! RIGHT-CLICK!!!

And you wonder why I drink. :mrgreen:

10 things to not do when drunk Facebooking


April 9, 2012 2:15 PM

Used to be there was only the mobile phone to make a fool of yourself with when you were drunk. Now, you’ve got Facebook too. When drunk, you really should not log into Facebook. But if you are already there, these are the things that you definitely do not want to do.

  1. Attempting to have what you may think is an intellectual and mind blowing conversation via a wall post or comment thread. Wall posts and comments are public. This will be what happens when you read it in the morning.

    Crying baby
    (source: senorgif.com)

  2. Oversharing. TMI. STFU or GTFO.
  3. Posting a photo of your friend who is way more drunk than you are. Something like this. You will not be friends in the morning.

Late Night Mistake girl
(source: latenightmistakes.com)

  1. Troll through the “People You May Know” list and adding the hot ones.
  2. And then messaging them “a/s/l? *smiley face*” – this ain’t IRC fool. Oh that was some sort of retro humour? Stop it. You are not funny.
  3. Adding an ex – she’s the one who dumped you. What makes you think she wants to be Facebook friends with you. And who would stay friends after a break up anyway? Stupid people that’s who.
  4. Message that hot girl you used to know in school with “So erm, you used to be hot. What happened?”
  5. Hover over the “Add Friend” button of that friend of a friend. You only met once, she didn’t think you were funny and she’s avoided eye contact ever since. She’s not gonna add you, no matter how awesome you think you are right now. Move that finger away from the mouse.
  6. Liking ONE person’s comments, photos and status updates all over the place. She’s not gonna think that you’re sweet. She’s gonna block you, you psycho stalker.

  1. See that a hot girl has changed her relationship status to “Single” and message with, “So hey you are available again huh? Wanna meet for drinks? *smiley face*”

How to watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report in Australia


August 14, 2011 12:32 PM

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert

Update 25 Nov 2015 – this loophole that allowed the old method to work has now been closed. So here’s the new method below.

  1. Create a free TunnelBear account:
    https://www.tunnelbear.com/bear/account#/signup
  2. Install the TunnelBear extension for Google Chrome.
  3. In Chrome, turn on the extension and then visit the video page.
  4. As soon as the video starts playing, turn off the extension so that you don’t use up your free monthly bandwidth allowance of 500MB.

Old method below for reference only

If you are a fan of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report living in Australia, you can either watch it by subscribing to Foxtel or you can watch the clips online after it has aired on Foxtel. This was a fair situation I thought. But this appears to have changed. Now, you can only catch the shows on Foxtel – the online clips are no longer available to Australian fans and from what I read on the show’s forums, to all fans outside of the United States.

This is not the first time that it has happened either. It does not make sense that they would do this once, reverted back to the status quo and then revoke access again. What has changed? They are not saying. Currently the thread on the forum about this issue runs 15 pages long.

“Video unavailable from your location”? – The Daily Show Forum.

However a fan had posted a good workaround on page 3. And this is it:

  1. Use Firefox and install an add-on called “Modify Headers“.
  2. Using the add-on, add a header of “X-Forwarded-For” with a value of “12.13.14.15″ or any IP that you know is an IP address in the US.
  3. Set the add-on to be “Always on” in the Options.
    On the Firebox button (big orange one) click on Options – Add-On Bar, then click on the Modify Headers icon in the Add-On Bar (bottom-left corner) and select “Start”. (thanks to helpful comment from Annoyed below)

And say goodbye to this … :)

The Daily Show - video unavailable in your location

The Colbert Report - video unavailable in your location

My second month with the iPhone 3G


September 3, 2008 10:01 PM

My iPhone 3G

This is my second month with the iPhone 3G. For the most part, I love using it and it has been a worthwhile purchase. Before I get to how it’s changed my daily commute and other things, I’ll list the things that I wish could have been done better or that took a while to get used to.

The not-so-good includes:

  1. It can’t recognise numbers stored on the SIM card, and therefore cannot transfer them from the SIM to the phone. To get all my contacts onto the phone, I had to use my colleague’s Mac and its bluetooth connection to first transfer the numbers off my Nokia 6280 onto the address book in his Mac, and then use iTunes to transfer the numbers to my iPhone. If I didn’t have access to a Mac, well I probably would have had to do it manually.
  2. You can’t easily save numbers from calls missed, received, and dialed, or in text messages. There’s just no function to do so. You have to manually key the number in by flipping back and forth between the call log and the virtual keypad, which thankfully retains what you type as you flip between screens. Otherwise, this would have been an even bigger pain.

    (Update 6th Jan 2009 – ok I’m a dork. I’ve now figured out that touching on the blue arrow is different to touching the actual number that it is next to. It takes you to a screen that allows you to save the number. :P)

  3. I’m ok with the camera being 2 Megapixel but the focus is slow and it’s kinda fiddly to use because the shutter button is virtual. This makes it hard to take self-potraits or reverse shots. And you can’t do MMS which is a glaring deficiency in such a multimedia capable phone. Oh yeah, no video either but that’s not that big a deal.
  4. I’ve mentioned this before and that is: the virtual keyboard takes a little while getting used to. And even after that, you can’t do single-hand texting easily like you can with a phone with a more tactile feel. So you can forget about texting coherently if you are holding a drink in your other hand.
  5. You can do your own custom ring tones but it’s not as straight forward as copying a sound or a song onto the phone. And you can’t do custom message tones, even if you buy them from the iTunes store. Because the phone just doesn’t have that capability. And that sucks. I miss my Yoda message tone that says, “Mmm, message from the dark side you have.”
  6. The phone software updates can potentially fail and you will have to restore your phone from the automatic backups (now I know why iTunes do it!). Which is not so bad if it didn’t mean having to sync up my songs to the phone again. Depending on how many songs you had on the phone, this can take a while. Because yeah, when the updates fail? It wipes the hard disk clean. Oh you’d also have to re-download any apps which you have downloaded from the iTunes Apps store previously. This area of the phone should have been done much better than this.

Ok so those are my major complaints. But I still enjoy using the phone a lot. The big sell for me? 3G Internet surfing and the iPod touch functionalities. Thanks to both of these, my daily commute feels shorter and is much more enjoyable.

Despite reports of 3G reception problems, on my daily route to and from work the signals are strong enough for me to have a good surfing experience. I use Google Reader, and news sites like News.com.au and NYTimes.com – all of which have iPhone versions so they are light on the multimedia and loads up fairly quickly. The amount of information on screen is just right, and text is easy to read and scrolling is smooth. Try and read a full size site though and that’s when you really notice the inadequacy of the screen, so I don’t.

Checking my Gmail is also simple and easy to set up. I don’t compose or reply to messages though because that would take too much effort. Other useful internet applets includes Yahoo! Weather and Google Maps, both of which I use quite often.

There are also other apps, free or paid ones, available from the iTunes Apps store. So far, I’ve got the Facebook one and the New York Times one.

My iPhone3G as an iPod touch

And finally, the iPod touch. I love it, I don’t know how I lived without it. I’m now listening to more music than I did before. I’ve been ripping a lot of CDs, and in addition to what I normally download (shhh), I’ve been purchasing more music as well in CD form and from the iTunes store. The iTunes store is quite well done because if I find one song that I like, it recommends 5 more to me. This can get addictive and it’s very easy to just click and purchase more than you want to.

To really enjoy the iPod, I’d highly recommend getting a pair of 3rd party headphones. I got a pair of Seinheiser in-ear ones from the Apple store. And these are great. Like how you’d press normal earphones into your ear to hear better, except you don’t have to because these block out outside noise. You don’t have to turn it up so it’s good for your hearing and you don’t disturb others. Only downside is that it can get quite mucky because you are pushing them into your ears, so you will have to clean them after every use.

And lastly, because you are constantly touching the phone it will require daily cleaning if you want it to look its best all the time. Oh yeah I almost forgot – the phone itself? Call reception and quality is nothing fantastic, but nothing shoddy either. It’s adequate.

As a package though, you are getting so much more than a phone. Because of the way it looks, the touch screen, and how it feels in your hand, the whole thing just rocks.