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News for the ‘consumer reviews’ Category

Apple Loses another iPhone Prototype in a Bar (also: iPhone 5 release date)

iPhone 5 is scheduled for a potential october release! So save up your pocket money kids, and get ready to give those old 4′s to your mother, friends, or girlfriend.

For the second time in little over a year, an Apple employee has lost an advanced and unreleased iPhone model in a public place, CNET said today.

The most recent incident came after an Apple employee misplaced his iPhone in San Francisco’s Mission District in July. Apple security scoured for the device over the following days and determined that the phone had been taken from a Mexican restaurant.

Apple officials believe the iPhone may have been sold on Craigslist for as little as $200. It’s also highly probable that Apple are intentionally leaking their devices to stir up a storm, given their savvy marketing techniques and their adaptability of leading the way with technological revolutionary items!

While Apple has not announced any plans to release a new iPhone, there have been numerous unconfirmed reports that the company was planning an October launch date for the iPhone 5.

CNET reported that no details about the phone – such as its operating system and design – have been revealed in the latest blunder by an Apple employee.

In April 2010, the gadget blog Gizmodo paid $5000 in cash for a then-unreleased iPhone 4 that a 28-year-old Apple engineer had left in a German beer garden in Redwood City, California.

Two men were charged on misdemeanour theft charges for selling the iPhone 4 to the blog. They are scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday (tomorrow AEST).

The already secretive company reportedly took even more extreme measures to protect itself from information leaks after the 2010 incident, including transporting iPhones in locked and sealed containers to carriers such as AT&T for compatibility testing.

Apple and Craigslist declined to comment on the latest iPhone-gone-missing episode, and the San Francisco Police Department said Apple did not file a police report related to the matter, CNET reported.

Posted: September 2nd, 2011
Categories: consumer reviews, gadget, news, pop culture, technology
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A Man in the Sky Told Me to Mutilate Little Boys and Girls Genitals

Catchy title hey? But be realistic, 1/3rd of the worlds population are saying this when following their faith and consider it ACCEPTABLE.

I thought I’d introduce you all to a podcast on iTunes I have been listening to recently; it breaks from the normal boring preachy atheist that causes me to troll them and call atheism a religion.

In one edition it even touches on female genital mutilation, although falls short of male genital mutilation which to date has very few scientific arguments (less in this century than any other), but is more a culture of “If I am, my son should be,” thus passing on an abusive act which somewhere stemmed from pseudoscience, paranoia, or a pact with some fictional deity.

That being said, I want to go on record to Jews and Muslims out there. Any ‘god’ that says hey to follow me you have to live by a lifestyle akin to a bunch of old wives tails, oh, and you have to slice half your knob off … dude, you just run, ok?

You do not stay and chat, you do not humor it, you run because clearly it’s batshit insane and evil.

If your god created us perfect, why would you take a scalpel to little boys and girls? Fuck mutilators, fuck religious zealots.

So, take a moment to sit down and have a listen through:

Reasonable Doubts Podcast
doubtcast.org
Other
40 Ratings

(Live link broke, WordPress of iPad lacks HTML support, will update live later.)

iTunes for Mac and Windows
Copyright © 2011 Apple Pty Ltd. All rights reserved

Posted: July 7th, 2011
Categories: consumer reviews, critical thought, op ed, podcasts, rant, reviews, science
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Dirt 2, Ken Block, Douch Baggery to the Max

Occasionally I come across someting so fucking horrible that I can’t POSSIBLY review it in 140 characters, and I’ve been drinking, bad mix. When it comes to bad games Dirt 2 takes the cake. I wanted to buy Dirt 3, but K-Mart are useless as tits on a bull and never have any games in stock (aside from games from 2009 being sold for $149, I shit you not, I have pics to prove it (and will tweet them when I find my iPhone). I honestly think this may have beaten Pure, the all time WORST FUCKING GAME IN THE WORLD that I blogged about a year or so back because it blew my mind that something could be so woeful, although that was made by Disney, so that says a lot about this game trumping it in the shit stakes.

In life, you have car dorks, then you have car guys.

Car dorks buy a Holden Commodore SV8, with it’s fresh from Thailand cheap nasty ABS plastic interior, it’s underperforming small block V8 that’s blown away by a little German 1.6 litre puppy like my Fiesta, but sounds like you’re going hard even at idle and you know that’s ALL THAT MATTERS, right? Oh, and because Holden racing team sink more money into V8 super car events and WIN! They win, so clearly their cars are the best, I mean, it’s not like their on road cars are any different than a million dollar race car that’s been specially developed by a group of thirty engineers who’s full time job is to make it devestatingly fast, surely the out the box $29,000 base model Commo’s do that too! This is their mentality. They’ll probably buy it because it’s an ‘Aussie’ car, even though it’s been American and not made on shore for the last couple of decades.

Car guys will divide kw / $$ and read up on the vehicle and purchase it based on the dynamics of the vehicle. They will do so based not on branding, commercialisation, how ‘pretty’ it is, or how it’s distant cousin in racing platform form with a mil of engineering dropped on it wins things. They will do so based purely on an understanding of the elements required of the right car for the job, taking into consideration elements such as cost to own as opposed to cost to buy, etc. They’ll also look into simplistic base level mods they can make on the cheap to get things rolling too usually. These are car guys (or girls, I guess there’s some out there, but very few).

This game is for car dorks. Pull right trigger, aim for things that don’t look like walls, win race. Even on hard settings. It’s a very polished product and looks great, but that’s it. You can’t customize your vehicle, aside from like 4 custom liveries, that aren’t custom, but commercialised wank, but that sums up this game. In the racing world one commercialised wanker is Ken Block. He puts together films for YouTube using a multi million dollar budget and full film production unit in his overpriced cars with no expense spared. Basically he’s just a rich kid who’s decided to try and pretend to be a race car driver but hasn’t even placed anywhere exciting yet.

Sad part is, you have people out there who idolise him and other dickweeds purely because they saw the vids on YouTube and … well, can’t fucking read up on a subject or tell sensationalistic babble from their own arsehole. He’s the owner of DC shoes, and tries desperately to be one of the cool kids but fails. That is the constant vibe throughout this game. You’ve got aggressive beats that would be pretty phat if they weren’t 10 second samples looped, great graphics and corporate / commercialised designs on … well, everything.

The entire thing is just pure complete product placement of sponsors and no game content. I’m SO glad I only paid $26 for it, but I REALLY fucking want to take it back. I’d set the fucking thing on fire and film it as a video response to one of Bent Cock’s uh, Ken Block’s YouTube videos but I’ve paid for it so they’ve already won. They even had the audacity to release downloadable (bought) content. Stupidest. Fucking. Game. Ever.

Posted: June 27th, 2011
Categories: consumer reviews, game reviews, games, rant
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IMPORTANT: Live Export Animal Ban, How To Fight Religious Zealotry (Read it, forealz)

It’s rare I post about political, religious, or other matters considered taboo. I like to keep things light and fluffy. But this is an issue that I’ve had first hand experience with back in the late 90′s when WSPA and PETA slipped a guy with a covert camera rig into a kosher slaughter house in Melbourne which ended up getting shut down when the footage was shown to the public.

Recently another instance of this has occured, where the ABC showed footage taken covertly in helal slaughter houses across Indonesia. Over 200,000 Australians have responded in a backlash against these disgusting acts.

You get a lot of propaganda by religious mobs on this issue as they see it as encroaching on their freedoms as opposed to pointing out that in the last six thousand years human understanding of animals biology has grown significantly, as has .. well, everything but religion, and that it is a social imperative that we enforce social normatives on those who would ever inflict barbaric acts on humans or animals alike.

You’ve got two lobbies who are obssessed that animals are chattals of man put there for exploitation and that they have no feelings nor souls and do not count as living entities, it’s hard to argue logic with them, but it’s easier to argue logic with politicians. Scary thought, isn’t it.

Thus, I ask every one of you to go here and sign this petition: http://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/animals/live-export/ban-live-export

If you want to go the extra mile email Nick Xenophon urging your support of his push to outlaw kosher and helal slaughter not just outside of Australia facilitated by live export, but within Australia too.

There are far too many slaughter houses using barbaric practices, and even more so they’re using outdated research and propaganda including bullshit fear mongering regarding BSE / mad cow disease to try and outlaw captive bolt guns which are currently not allowed to pierce the animals brain (causing instant death) but rather just knock the animal unconcious after a few agonizing attempts.

This lobby MUST be stopped, we can’t turn a blind eye to cruelty. I don’t give a fuck what a persons magical sky fairy demands, cruelty to animals is not on, and is NOT something that any Australian or in fact any one from ANY nation should ever tolerate on their watch.

Posted: June 8th, 2011
Categories: consumer reviews, critical thought, journalism, politix, pop culture, rant
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Chinese Prisoners Forced to Goldfarm in MMO’s

Imprisoned for “illegally petitioning” the government over corruption in his town, the former Chinese inmate known as “Liu Dali” has told the U.K. Guardian that in addition to back-breaking manual labor he and other prisoners were forced to play video games for hours on end. Not as a form of punishment or leisure activity, but because their overseers had assembled a massive “goldfarming” operation, wherein they exploited prison labor to earn money playing online games. From the Guardian:

“Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labour,” Liu told the Guardian. “There were 300 prisoners forced to play games. We worked 12-hour shifts in the camp. I heard them say they could earn 5,000-6,000rmb [£470-570] a day. We didn’t see any of the money. The computers were never turned off.”

While the idea of prisoners being forced to play video games may seem chuckleworthy, and it certainly is absurd, it is no laughing matter. Again, from the Guardian:

“If I couldn’t complete my work quota, they would punish me physically. They would make me stand with my hands raised in the air and after I returned to my dormitory they would beat me with plastic pipes. We kept playing until we could barely see things,” he said.

Goldfarming is now extremely widespread in China, where the Guardian reports nearly $2 billion in online currency was traded accounting for 80% of the world’s goldfarming. While for some of the world’s poor population, goldfarming could mean a better life, the use of prison labor is bizarre and more than a little troublesome. It also complicates international trade, since some countries refuse to accept exported goods made in prisons.

Liu speculates that many other prisoners are likely still forced into goldfarming operations, and assumes that the practice must be widespread. His belief is backed by University of California researcher Jin Ge, who describes China as “the factory of virtual goods.” One wonders how comfortable gamers would be if they knew that the items and credits purhcased for a game came at the cost of forced labor.

Update: The Telegraph reports that Chinese officials have denied the story, saying that gold farming would allow prisoners to communicate with the outside world, which they would never allow:

[A]n official at the central office for labour camps in Heilongjiang denied that inmates were forced to play games online. “I have never heard of this. If you want to see for yourself, come to one of our labour camps,” he said.

The official, who declined to give his name, said: “We do not allow our inmates to do high-risk occupations, such as coal-mining. We do not have large numbers of computers. And we do not allow our prisoners to have any contact with the outside world. If they were playing these online games they could easily communicate with other people. We would never allow that.”

(U.K. Guardian)

TBBT, Walking Dead, Torchwood, @scifitv & @triplej and Other Disappointments!

I am sick to death of TV series’ I get inti being canned or taking six to twelve months down time every fucking week. Today I found out there’s no more Big Bang until 2012. WHY do we have half a year with nothing but shit repeats and nothing new?

Battlestar Galactica ended, Caprica came out and got canned. Star Trek Enterprise got canned, even after the Star Trek film came out nothing came of it. Stargate Universe lasted a season. Let’s not mention Firefly. Big Bang is on hiatus until next year. Walking Dead had like three eps then went off until a year or more later (10-2011) .

It just seems bleak for me, no shows I like are in production at present, NO science fiction is being made anywhere in the world. ScifiTV and Syfy show non-sci fi ,ore than sci fi, it just really seems like the entertainment sector of TV world is anti-mensus and only mass producing crap that appeals to the brainless under achieving teenage demographic.

I know I’m not alone as I see many complaints on social networks and blogs everywhere, but how are the market research departments of these big networks utterly OBLIVIOUS to the huge demographic I’m a part of?

I just can’t fathom why it is acceptable in any way to have a year between seasons, BBC’s Torchwood is a perfect example of a huge offender. Season 1 was a MASSIVE hit, season 2 was a year and a half in the waiting and they decided to make a three part miniseries instead, then another season was ‘pending’ announcement for a year or more and now in six months we’ll see ANOTHER miniseries, this time only two lousy parts.

How do these fucks justify anywhere up to a year in wait? Is it all based on the fact ratings are measured over a short period and not the entire year? Surely given that 99% of people have digital cable with set top boxes measuring ratings can be a constant thing?

I propose lobbying ratings measuring companies to make their rating system based on a full calendar year, ensuring that ALL the year is filled with new material as opposed to lame repeats, or worse in the case of Scifi TV in Australia which airs mostly non-science fiction like Xena, Buffy, Angel and Charmed. They obviously think that all speculative fiction is the same as science fiction, but given that their entire customer service department is outsourced to a Mongol living in a yak skin tent drinking his own urine on a satellite phone remnant from the cold war 80′s and a mildly retarded Daschund that can type running their social network presence getting your complaint heard is as unlikely as banging Kaley Couco in the bum.

I’m just so frustrated and totally over how shit TV and even movies have been lately, even the music scene has been lame of late, if I hear another song with choir vox effects or the same but with little kids singing in addendum to main vocalist chorus I’ll self immolate.

What happened to the entertainment industry? Where did it all go wrong?

Posted: May 25th, 2011
Categories: consumer reviews, critical thought, general, music, op ed, piracy, pop culture, rant, sci-fi, television, vox pop
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iTunes U, Education in the Digital Age

Most of you know I’m a bit on the nerdy side, my academic peen is huge and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t actively seek to learn a few new things. From the arts to sciences, from landscaping to mechanics, or aeronautics to gaming I proactively seek to hone my skills in every field that catches my interest.

That being said, I can also be a bit of a dolt and in this case was entirely slow of faculty. I discovered iTunes U, I entirely forgot Americans abbreviate university to U (outside the US the common abbreviation is ‘uni’) and expected the U to be oriented around the selfishness of Web 2.0 with everything being self centered, my, u, etc included.

I was surprised to find that it has a mass of lecturers from various uni’s around the globe! My days will no longer have lulls of boredom within them, it really has a mass of interesting lectures to download and listen to from all around the world.

I can’t help but be amazed that I can gain insight from uni lecturers from the middle east, or listen to student workgroups from Russia discussing and covering any number of topics.

So, if you have an iPhone or iPad, I highly recommend cashing in on this free cache of information and wealth of knowledge. This is what the Internet was designed and meant for, it is absolutely brilliant and humbling in a way to see the milestone if where it has, with the help of the sage like prophets of technology and the digital church of awesome, come full circle.

Get downloading and get educated. It’s cool to be smart now, when the dumb kids realized all us nerds are what makes the world go around and that they bask in the technology and science brought about by their victims of bullying and the shunned geeky types in the world.

Expand your mind and you will also expand your future and potential as a human being.

Australian National Broadband Network (ITT: Vaporware)

It’s bad enough in our bipartisan political clime that the other major party are basement dwelling troglodyte technophobes whilst the others are bleeding heart nutjob sycophants who come up with awesome promises then slowly shift away from them, but this NBN has become outright fucking vaporware.

The National Broadband Network is meant to bring Australia up to speed with the rest of the world. Our Trading Practices Act will shank you like a bitch in a jail house if you promise X and deliver an inferior Y but our ISP’s (Telstra, Optus, Iinet and the worst of the worst TPG (who still owe me a few fucking grand I might add)) sell us ‘ADSL 2+’ connections that run at 3 – 5 megabit (ADSL2+ is 24 megabit with a 4 megabit fall off to it’s operational perimeter of 7 kilometers) when you’re located a mere 3 kilometers from the DSLAMM.

That’s ADSL speeds being passed off as ADSL2+ and being charged at a premium rate too.

It’s even worse that the NBN won’t be out until 2030 at current estimates (IF the other party doesn’t get in and can it) but earlier this morning Patrick Flannigan has quit as NBN Co’s head of construction. An acting head of construction has been appointed, Dan Flemming, who was until now the company’s general manager of construction, design and planning.

“We are disappointed with his decision to resign as he was a valuable member of the leadership team,” a spokeswoman for NBN Co told the press, “We wish him all the best for the future.”

This comes after the Government business enterprise last week “indefinitely” suspended tendering for construction firms, saying the 14 quotes they were presented were inflated. According to the NBN Co website, Mr Flannigan was the founding managing director and chief executive of Service Stream, a major provider of infrastructure, construction and maintenance services to the telecommunications sector and broader utilities sectors.

I swear I should just move to a more technophillic nation.

Posted: April 5th, 2011
Categories: consumer reviews, general, gossip, journalism, news, rant, scams, science, technology, vox pop
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Animation Realism ‘too Creepy’

Computer animation has a problem. When it gets too realistic, it starts creeping people out.

Most recently, moviegoers complained about the near-realistic depiction of humans in Disney’s 3D flick Mars Needs Moms, which bombed at the box office despite costing hundreds of millions of dollars.

A theory called the “uncanny valley” says we tend to feel attracted to inanimate objects with human traits, the way a teddy bear or a rag doll seems cute.

Our affection grows as an object looks more human. But if it looks too human, we suddenly become repulsed.

Instead of seeing what’s similar, we notice the flaws — and the motionless eyes or awkward movements suddenly make us uncomfortable.

Mars may have plunged to the bottom of this valley of fear.

“People always comment on things feeling strangely dead around the eyes,” said Chuck Sheetz, an animation director of The Simpsons and a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“If it gets too literal, it starts to feel false or has a strange effect.”

Skin texture that is slightly off can especially leave people feeling unsettled, said Patrick Markey, a psychologist and director of Villanova University’s Interpersonal Research Laboratory.

The near-realistic animation style championed by producer Robert Zemeckis uses motion-capture technology, where actors are covered with dots and skin suits and have their performances captured on computer. The dots provide the frame, and the rest is filled in with computerised graphics.

Mars creates humans that are more realistic and detailed than Zemeckis’ earlier attempts in such movies as Beowulf and The Polar Express — which were also criticised for inviting this discomfort. The greater detail might have made things worse.

Doug McGoldrick, who took his two daughters to see the movie, said the faces of the main characters “were just wrong”.

Their foreheads were lifeless and plastic-looking, “like they used way too much botox or something”, said the 41-year-old photographer in Chicago, Illinois.

Marc Kelley, a 32-year-old pastor in Allegan, Michigan, who went with his two young children, said he found the renditions of characters “all annoying in their own way”.

Indeed, when the mother of the main character Milo mentioned the word “zombies” at the start of the movie, it conjured up a feeling that the characters were themselves undead.

Animation experts say the key to success is to be only authentic enough to tug at our heart strings.

The best example of this was Avatar, the 2009 blockbuster that made $US2.8 billion in theatres around the world.

The humanoid, but blue-bodied Na’vi were alien enough not to trigger our inner rejection mechanism.

“My own personal opinion is try to stay away from photo-real with a human,” said Greg Philyaw, the business development director at Giant Studios, which captured the performance of human actors for their digital re-creation in Avatar.

“Subconsciously you know what you’re looking at isn’t quite right.”

Disney, by its actions, has already voted against the super-real animation format.

Last March, it said it would shut down the Zemeckis-run company ImageMovers Digital, which made Mars, to cut costs.

Several months ago, Disney also nixed a plan to fund and distribute Zemeckis’ Yellow Submarine, a half-finished work he is now free to shop to other studios.

Disney declined to comment for this story, and Zemeckis declined interview requests through an agent.

Mars had an estimated $US150 million production budget, but has brought in just $US34 million globally since its March 11 opening.

To be fair, there were other problems besides being visually unnerving.

For one, it appeared to be marketed at young boys who are interested in science fiction but also are closely attached to their mothers. That’s a small group to begin with, and neglects dads and daughters.

Some young children also got scared about the plot involving mommy abduction.

Mars also came just a week after Paramount’s 2D animated movie Rango, starring Johnny Depp.

And instead of appealing to fans because of the increasingly popular 3D format, Mars may have annoyed theatregoers faced with higher 3D ticket prices.

“If a movie’s unappealing and you’re trying to charge a higher ticket price for it, it makes it even less appealing,” said Brandon Gray, president of tracking company Box Office Mojo.

Mr Gray noted that Mars had the lowest opening weekend for a wide-release 3D movie ever.

Maija Burnett, associate director of character animation at California Institute of the Arts, took a broader view, even though the school teaches about the pitfalls of the “uncanny valley” in class.

“There’s a continuing attempt to explore what the boundaries are within (computer generated) animation,” she said.

“Every film that uses this is one important step along the way.”

In the “uncanny valley” theory, the valley isn’t bottomless. As things grow more realistically human, our affection starts increasing again, climbing out of the valley on the other side.

In other words, increasingly sophisticated animation might stop creeping us out and start fooling us.

Posted: April 5th, 2011
Categories: consumer reviews, critical thought, movie reviews, movies, oddities, pop culture, science, technology, vox pop
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Duke Nukem Forever Review

Duke Nukem Forever is coming. The long argued vaporware game has had it’s ups and downs to the point of becoming almost memetic by reputation alone. But it’s recent application for classification in Australia has led to a nice juicy leak of information that we can use to sum up what’s in store for us as gamers! And you guessed right if you guessed more sex, drugs, violence and toilet humour.

Below are the moments of most interest to Australian classifications censor dicks, spoiler alert btw. If you want to read the full review, you can find the report here (PDF).

Themes

An example of crude humour includes playable elements which enable Duke to “piss” and “throw” faeces.

In various bathroom locations throughout the game, the player can have Duke “piss” in urinals and on occasion, in these same venues can also pick up faecal matter from a toilet bowl and throw it about.

Dialogue contains various crude reference to “pissing” and when throwing faecal matter Duke is heard to utter “what sick motherf—er picks up wet faeces” and “what am I? A monkey?”

The Board also notes the player ability, in a final climactic scene when Duke kills the alien general, to implicitly urinate into the defeated creature’s eye socket.

Violence

The game contains violence that is strong in impact and justified by context. Constant battle with robot-like alien creatures is present throughout the game and is therefore strong in viewing impact.

Battles incorporate the use of futuristic weapons such as a Freeze Ray, Shrink Ray, other super-sized guns, grenade launchers and hand-to-hand combat.

In one of the game levels, Duke enters an alien lair to “rescue” kidnapped Earth women who have been implicitly impregnated by the alien enemy.

These women are rendered with a mannequin-like appearance, and appear torso nude and partially cocooned either suspected from a cave-like roof or against walls.

In order to “spare” the women’s suffering Duke has the ability to shoot the women resulting in small blood bursts. Those he does not shoot are seen implicitly exploding as the alien “baby” matures.

Sex

The game contains implied sexual activity that is strong in impact.

In the level Duke Lives, the player sees a first person perspective of Duke’s lounge room, as he implicitly sits on a couch, playing a computer game on a big screen TV.

Off-screen, sexual noises are heard and the shot widens to reveal two women rising up from a kneeling position just below Duke’s waist line. Fellatio is implied as the women wipe their mouths and giggle.

In the level Titty City, Duke enters a strip club where he meets a stripper who invites him to locate (among other items) a vibrator and a condom.

In the men’s toilet, Duke can enter a toilet cubicle with what appears to be a “glory hole” in the cubicle wall. A cartoon image of a woman’s face is on the wall with a hole evident in the drawing’s mouth and the word “Yum” beside it.

Upon the successful completion of this level, Duke is given a “special” lap-dance by the stripper. The breast nude female is depicted in a first person perspective implicitly gyrating on Duke’s lap.

The Board notes a facility also exists for the player to “jiggle” the stripper’s breasts during this scene.

Posted: March 31st, 2011
Categories: consumer reviews, game reviews, games, nsfw, pop culture, reviews, sci-fi
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@SBS and Irresponsible Programming, Heston’s Feasts

Tonight I watched some ugly bald twat ‘foodie’ undo sixty years of work of a close family friend who got an OBE for the protection of the massively endangered species of turtles. The first heads up the production team should have noted was when he had to fly to the US to a specific state as it’s the only place left in the western world you can legally hunt turtle, and it is there that their ethical responsibility should have kicked in.

The awareness of turtles being endangered is pretty low, but with 40 kinds on the near extinction list they’re surpassing whales. Turtle meat is grown in the place they went for the Chinese market which, given their national sport being erectile dysfunction, and anything and everything involving extremely endangered species, or extreme pain to an animal, is listed as some batshit insane ‘Chinese traditional remedy’ for their bonerless nation state, I am honestly not surprised when they claim some idiotic alternative medicine ‘need’ for an endangered species anymore.

The English fuckwit behind the show, and the Australian programmers at SBS aren’t that moronic, or are they?

How many idiots out there are now going to want to make ‘turtle soup’ in nations where it’s illegal to catch or kill them? I mean, people who’s entire lives revolve around food, tend to not have the greatest mental acuity when it comes to morality surpassing filling their stomachs.

Yes, foodies lack forethought, it’s a given, their entertainment outlet is FOOD for fucks sakes, you don’t get more primal an urge than that. It is up there with porn obsession and hypersexuality if you ask me as far as the pathology of it goes.

So right now because of this fuckwit, and SBS’ airing of this show, we’ve got a bunch of red neck hicks in the Australian outback who’re going to snare turtles, even if it’s a small number, when you have that many species of turtle on the brink of extinction, we don’t need these sorts of examples.

I don’t understand why every food program has to have it’s ‘out there’ section which involves cruelty, or just fucked up behaviour, but almost every show I’ve heard of filling this narrow minded demographic end up going that way for ratings.

Then again, the last half of the show was him submerging thousands of living creatures in boiling oil alive, enough said.

Posted: March 24th, 2011
Categories: consumer reviews, critical thought, pop culture, rant, television
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Shut @iPhone Dictionary Ducking with Your Words? (Workaround for the Secret Blacklist!)

For quite some time I’ve been nerdraging about the epic fail of the iPhone dictionary, it’s so prolific it’s a ducking meme, there’s entire sites devoted to how shit it is. Apple seem to flat out disregard user complaints on the subject. Earlier versions of iOS would learn after three declined word suggestions, or by re-writing the red underlined word.

After iOS 4ish, I noticed a distinct lack of it’s ability or willingness to learn new words, be they profanity or otherwise. You’d have to re-write a word and decline auto-suggests dozens of times for it to learn something SIMPLE but profanity, nope. No go. It just WOULD NOT work.

After extensive research (see: my legs went numb so I got off the toilet) on the subject, I discovered many ‘work around’ suggestions, most were dated and for older versions. I messed around with several and found the one sure way to duck that iPhone shut right off once and for all, and found TWO very good ways, one a solid performer and the other an INSTANT WIN.

ADD the profanity as a CONTACT in your contacts section. It’s irritating and frustrating but it finally let’s you use naughty words. (Edit: After typing in a metric fucktonne of words, I only just tested adding multiple words to one entry. It works effectively. However, you WILL get strange looks when people see your contact list!)

HOWEVER! There are some words it will still not recognise. It appears as though there’s a black list tier level, black listed words when added as contacts and / or retyped a gazillion times are still b& from your iPhone.

I added every profanity and pseudo-profanity I could think of, it still red underlines ‘cunt’ but the rest are fine. On racial epithets however it will force change ‘nigger’ to ‘bigger’ yet is an equal opportunity racist, it auto-changes ‘kyke’ to Kyle and ‘kike’ to like, it also red-underlines ‘cracka’ even if stored as a contact. I actually had to hit the wiki article of racial epithets to find more creative varying ones to test and EVERY single racial slur in existence is double blacklisted even when added as a contact.

Apple are not so kind to people of non-straight persuasions, with ‘faggot’ or ‘poof’ working, ‘dyke’ and various others all work, however GAY does not work. The one NON-offensive thing gets changed to ‘gag’ half the time.

I decided to tinker with the inner workings of my iPhone to look into this a bit more, so I took a peek at in/private/var/mobile/Library/Keyboard, there’s a file called dynamic-text.dat which has most of the plain text words it has to give special attention to and tells the auto-correct to lay off being a dick with or even suggest or accept the spelling. To test the manual update I tried the notes application instead, and started trying to add random words (nonsensical ones) to see how long it took to learn. I found that it wouldn’t. After typing pages of shit, the last modified date of my dynamic-text.dat file was my earlier edit.

-rw------- 1 mobile mobile 1244 Mar 19 20:30 dynamic-text.dat

I gave it a shot in safari, this instantly updated the dynamic-text.dat file on one attempt without repetition. The words added also appeared IN the file itself in plain text.

-rw------- 1 mobile mobile 1359 Mar 19 21:34 dynamic-text.dat

Testing this again in notes showed the words taught through safari were universally added and accepted in all other forms of addition. This means not every iPhone program will learn words or add them to your special dictionary, the data processing program Notes is completely non-functional in that way, and as we saw above the Contacts section has limited success. Safari, however, is the answer. I’d honestly expect the learning algorithym to be far less shit than this, but it appears that this is the only way to force learn things.

Go figure. Either way, this is clear proof that Apple have some deep seated issues! Not to mention they love to cramp my style, not that I tout out hate words, but I’m an Australian, every second word out my mouth (or fingers in this case) is a profanity. 🙁

Posted: March 19th, 2011
Categories: consumer reviews, gadget, general, hack, oddities, reviews, technology
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Don’t Thank me for my Patience, @Warcraft

Nothing pisses me off more than when people thank you for your patience. No one is patient. We don’t want to wait, we HAVE to wait. If we could punch you in the kidneys and make you do your job properly, we would. You are negligent and unable to maintain a service to a standard that is normative and expected compared to other companies. We just tolerate it because we have limited options, if we had the option for immediate service, we’d take it; hell if we had the option to obtain the same product from someone else we’d sell you out in a heartbeat.

Customer loyalty stops at the point where time consumed to rectify a problem exceeds tolerable standards divided by the amount you’re being dicked by said provider. In the case of World of Warcraft, every expansion leads to an exodus of millions of users, and every expansion involves a roll out that impedes game play over a period of several weeks leading up to, and several weeks thereafter an expansion. Usually it all comes with a caveat that “We know this isn’t cool now, but we’ll work on it after you’ve bought the expansion!” and never happens, so that is a dicked in butt multiplier right there too.

But I couldn’t go past the below thread without it irking me, and without thinking; we’re only patient because we don’t know where you live motherfucker.

Addendum: Most recent update by Blizzard, ‘We’re still finalizing our tests on all realms and are extending the anticipated time for bringing them back online to 6:00 p.m. PDT.’ I called it alright! 😛

Blizzard Entertainment

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Rishgur
Blizzard Poster

  • 0. Extended Realm Maintenance 10/12/2010 10/10/2010 11:00:19 PM PDT

We will be performing extended maintenance on Tuesday, October 12th. Maintenance will begin at 12:00 AM PDT and conclude at approximately 12:00 PM PDT. During this time, all realms and many web services will be unavailable.

Thank you for your patience.


Rishgur
Blizzard Entertainment

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Enthati
Blizzard Poster

  • 1. Re: Extended Realm Maintenance 10/12/2010 10/11/2010 06:53:29 PM PDT

Alongside this maintenance will be the release of patch 4.0.1; due to the size of the patch, we highly recommend enabling your background downloader. If you need assistance doing so please visit: http://us.blizzard.com/support/article.xml?locale=en_US&articleId=35274 .


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Laetzin
Blizzard Poster

  • 2. Re: Extended Realm Maintenance 10/12/2010 10/12/2010 10:13:22 AM PDT

Due to unforseen complications, we are extending the maintenance for all realms until 2PM PDT.

Thank you for your patience.


Laetzin
Blizzard Entertainment

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Ralvorinn
Blizzard Poster

  • 3. Re: Extended Realm Maintenance 10/12/2010 10/12/2010 01:25:22 PM PDT

We are extending the maintenance for all realms until 4PM PDT.

Thank you again for your continued patience.


Ralvorinn
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Ralvorinn
Blizzard Poster

  • 4. Re: Extended Realm Maintenance 10/12/2010 10/12/2010 03:43:04 PM PDT

We are in the final stages of completing the maintenance process and will begin bringing realms online shortly. We currently anticipate all realms will be online by 5:00PM PDT and appreciate your continued patience.


Ralvorinn
Blizzard Entertainment

Posted: October 13th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews
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Why I Pay 50% of my @Telstra Bill (Open Letter to @Bigpond)

I recently got a nice little suspension notice from Telstra for my ADSL2+ service, demanding I pay the full overdue amount by the 9th of October or face suspension and a $59 re-activation fee. So I figured an open letter to Telstra would be in everyone’s best interest given that my ‘personal affairs’ with all issues with consumerism are generally what I feature on my blog. My account number is 204 6653 110, the bill is A 246 258 723-0.

Telstra have, compared to other ISPs, done really well in managing issues for me, as long as I don’t have to call their tech support department which is outsourced, understaffed, and of such inferior quality an answering machine would provide the same services and pass on great savings to the consumer.

That being said, I have paid my bill from commencement to the total of 50% of the billed amount for internet services. Why? Because I’m only getting 50% of the speed I should be getting. My contract stipulates (Telstra: Check user file notes on sign up.) that the service will be @20MBPS. At present, I am connected at 10MBPS, which is a fairly high speed compared to previous experiences. Several technicians and come and gone, numerous tickets have been filed with tech support, however I am still not able to reach ADSL2+ speeds.

In 1998 the ADSL standard emerged at 12MBPS. The ADSL2+ standard (ITU G.992.5/M) is 24 MBPS down 3.5 up, with maximum falloff of 4MBPS at extremity from DSLAM. What that means in English is, the standard is designed to allow for loss over distance, however the ‘distance’ is 7km, I’m 3km’s from the DSLAM, and the maximum loss over 7km is 4MBPS. Thus, I should be able to connect at 22MBPS if Telstra aren’t choking the connection and if the line quality is ‘perfect’ as per their last several technicians sent on site.

I will continue to pay 50% of the bill, and will consider suspension to be an outright breach of contract and reserve the right to pursue recovery of paid amounts on grounds that the contract was void ab initio as the minimum required speeds were a clearly noted term of the contract. I would, however, be happy to begin paying 100% of the bill should Telstra meet the requirements of the contract and provide 100% of the bandwidth.

As a show of good faith, I recommend perhaps a bridged connection or a loop extender is one optional method of resolving this issue, also ensuring that the shaping that Telstra apply at the DSLAM is removed (you currently shape up to 7 MBPS off most users connections to allow for more connections to your DSLAM).

Addendum: I received a reply from Telstra on this issue, their resolution is if you don’t like it leave. At least that’s the summary I took from it, it’s attached in full below.

Reply from Telstra:

Hi Lex

Thank you for taking the time to contact me in relation to the speed of your ADSL 2+ service.

I can certainly appreciate how this matter is frustrating Lex and also that you feel you are within your rights to pay half of your services fees based on the fact that the speed of your service is not what you expect it to be. The balance on your account at the moment is $593.63 and if you have been advised that the service will become disconnected, then I suggest you contact our Credit Management team to make either a payment or a payment extension. This team can be contacted directly on 132200 and are available to take your call between 08:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday.

As much as I can understand the reasons behind not paying the full amount on your bill, I do also need to bring to your attention that the speeds of our services are never sold as absolute. This is supported in our customer terms and conditions which directly advise that all speeds are up to, the terms also outline that you are responsible for paying the full amount for your service as agreed on sign up. There is no agreement recorded on your account to suggest that you can pay half price for your service proportional to the speed achieved.

I can however confirm that notes on your account indicate a case manager, Angie, offered to waive the break of contract fees if you were not happy with the speed of your service. This offer was made on the 4th of March 2010 and the only proviso was that you attempt to contact Technical Support to attempt to resolve this issue, which you have done.

A full copy of our Customer Terms can be found at:

http://www.telstra.com.au/customerterms/bigpond/bigpond_general.htm

Please let me know if there is any further information that I can provide.

Thank you for choosing Telstra.

Kind regards,

Stephen
Social Media Team
www.telstra.com

Posted: October 7th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, critical thought
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Panasonic Handheld & Battlestar Galactica Online MMORPG!

Nearly 15 years after the demise of the 3DO, Panasonic is breaking back into gaming hardware with a new handheld dubbed The Jungle, designed specifically for online gaming and MMOs.

Details are limited at the moment, but according to reports from Gizmodo, Crunch Gear, and others, The Jungle will feature a full QWERTY keyboard, dual d-pads, shoulder buttons, and a touchpad. The design resembles some of Nintendo’s earlier handhelds, namely the Game Boy Advance, with a clamshell enclosure that allegedly sports a high-resolution display.

Specific technical elements of the device have not been announced, though it is believed that it will be based on Linux, feature HDMI output, and possibly even incorporate 3G networking.

Currently only one game has been confirmed for The Jungle; a new MMO called Battlestar Galactica Online. A web show named Online Underground has also been linked to the device, produced by Machinima.com.

Yes. Battlestar Galactica Online. The reimagined badass epic version, that, if you haven’t already seen in it’s entirety you should downlo… go and buy and watch immediately before any other geek or fellow nerd realises you’re a faker.

Below, the wonders of BGO trailer: -


A website for The Jungle has been established, though information is scarce aside from a short teaser video.

Again, these reports are currently unconfirmed and official details from Panasonic have not been released, so stay tuned for updates.

Read more: http://au.gear.ign.com/articles/112/1125473p1.html#ixzz11U8eoDKx

Posted: October 5th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, game reviews, games
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Halo: Reach (Around) Review, from a REAL Critic

I’m not a Halo fan, but I’ve familiarised myself with the previous games. When Halo was released back in 2000 I was too busy FPSing away with real games on PC’s and to be honest, the game console market was too pie in the sky back then for me to waste a dime on a console. So keep this in mind, and you’ll understand my viewpoint on some key issues of the game.

Reach fell short of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2′s $331M first day grossing, but it’s $213 million secured it as the highest grossing ‘entertainment launch’, beating out all other games, movies, and .. well, all entertainment. Except strippers.

The ONLY selling factor of this game in my opinion is the fact they have corrected a narratological flaw which has haunted them since day one. The Spartans are alive. You are not the last surviving super hero with matyr complex, and you can play as ‘one of’ the players in a game, which is exactly how I like my games. ‘Everyone’s the hero’ is such an outdated methodology of gameplay.

Every release of a Halo game had me asking if there was only one super hero or whether there’s armies in mech supported battle armor yet, every release was a disappointment. And Master Chief? What kind of a stupid name is that, I dig they were trying to be all ‘lol future army kthx’ but seriously, retarded.

In campaign mode, the first thing you will notice is that your fellow super soldiers are actually nerfed NPC’s. So nerfed in fact, if you take a dive behind an obstacle and set your controller down, go make yourself a coffee, watch a TV show, and come back, everyone is still standing and still exchanging fire in the ‘heat of battle’ kind of way it’s trying to depict itself as.

A spartan cannot kill a grunt. Wtf kind of nuboids wrote this game? Spartan mythology, or at least my take of it, was that they were super soldiers who could single handedly cleave a battlefield in two against insurmountable odds. Guess not. Although you don’t really care what happens to your team mates as there’s no emotive bonding, no cross-chatter between them that makes them ‘people’. It’s not a story about the epic last stand of the Spartans on a lone planet under full scale Covenant invasion, the last defence before earth and the fall of humanity. It just assumes you’ll ‘guess’ the story and ‘pick up the ambience’, without actually providing any.

Expect glitches, such as enemies in vehicles doing weird stuff or getting stuck, characters vanishing when killed and projectiles mysteriously piercing your shields and killing you. The flow of the game is no better, your radar only occasionally gives you waypoints, making you ‘guess’ the game play like Mass Effect. You also get obnoxious checkpoints slightly not where they’re meant to be, weapon racks after firefights, which on loading up leads you to a cut scene where you’re set back to default weapons anyway, and stuff is taken away from you inconsistently at absolute random points in the game, with the hump being perfectly and predictably mid-game where enemies can suddenly take on ten times the damage they previously took to die.

There ARE some pretty nice cut scenes, there’s nothing original or awe inspiring but if you’re a Halo fan boy, you’re already rolling your eyes at me and living in your denial that this is TTLY AWSUM. You’re wrong. It’s okay. If you’ve played the Halo: Reach Beta you’ll likely already be familiar with a lot of the new armour abilities, including jetpacks, sprinting (long overdue, a true sign of the banality and ineptitude of the game developers), and invulnerability but how they fit into the main campaign is another thing. Space combat is kind of cool, zero G adds a bit of a fun element.

Firefight 2.0 can be summed up as derivative of the fail PVP of Left 4 Dead 2, I won’t even go into more details about that, plenty of other people have given extremely positive and biased reviews of it, but to a hardened game critic you’ll just roll your eyes.

The multiplayer is ok. Halo has always had a vapid fanbase of multiplayers happy to spray’n'pray, die, respawn their way through player v player engagements, and so it continues. It does have a bit more of a Battlefield 2: Bad Company 2 feel to it in game dynamics though. Persistent armor is cute.

My ultimate caveat emptor is this.

If you’re not an XBL Gold member, or you’re a cynic, critic, or veteran gamer who just wants to experience the content, have a bit of a dick about, and score up some achievements (as with all games these days achievements are split so only XBL Gold members can unlock the goodies), then you will NOT be able to justify the high price tag Bungie placed on this.

If you’re up for further Bungie banality of grinding through endless dateless nights with your equally dateless friends in endless games of Firefight or Invasion, or simply a bleary eyed fanboy (or girl) of the left-dangling-in-the-air doubting your sanity due to the inconsistent narrative (nearly bordering on a JRPG) kind of aspect, then you lack the sense or mental faculty to understand what justifying a purchase means, and in fact you probably haven’t even read this far, so enjoy and gg.

6/10.

Posted: September 17th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, game reviews, games, xbox
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NBN, Fibre Optic Magic and Political Skulduggery

Fibre optic technology will make the National Broadband Network capable of speeds Tony Abbott finds unbelievable.  When he was asked what he thought of Labor’s National Broadband Network serving up speeds of a gigabit a second he looked as if he’d just uncovered a Fabian socialist plot.

“This idea that, hey presto, you can suddenly get 10 times faster speeds for something that isn’t even built yet I find utterly implausible,” said Mr Abbott. The bad news for Mr Abbott is that Labor’s expensive $43 billion NBN will be technically capable of many “hey presto” speed increases due to the fibre optic technology at its core.

Last March, researchers at Japanese telco NTT managed to transmit at a speed of 69.1 terabits a second (a terabit is 1000 gigabits) over a single 240km optical fibre. Fibre is high capacity and very, very fast, which is why telcos have been using it as their fundamental pipe for decades.

We won’t see those record speeds on our own NBN if it gets built but the first customers will see close to 100Mbps through what is known as gigabit-capable passive optical fibre technology, or GPON. Configured for our NBN that will reach 93 per cent of Australians, GPON provides 2.5 gigabits of bandwidth split between 32 premises, giving 78Mbps download if everyone hanging off the local splitter box takes up the service.

The next speed step coming for the NBN is XGPON, which lifts the bandwidth to 10 gigabits split between 32 premises. Here, Mr Abbott is unwittingly correct and the government is guilty of some “hey presto”. Split between 32 premises, it delivers a 312Mbps service per house, not the gigabit per second upgrade the government boasted of.

All that speed within the Australian NBN will make it very handy for transmitting  large amounts of data around in Australia but speeds will drop dramatically offshore due to the expense of transmitting via submarine cables. To keep perceived performance high, NBN access providers will need to build large local caches for frequently used overseas data — 70 per cent of our traffic comes from the US — and spend up on international capacity. At present ISPs charge like a raging bull for data transmitted regardless of whether it is intra-national, from their cache, or international.

The Coalition broadband policy document describes the NBN’s fibre to the premise plan as a “hugely expensive bet” on a particular technology but as techno bets go it’s very future-proof. Fibre or lack of it and $36 billion are the big differentials between Labor’s NBN and the Coalition’s $6.3bn broadband plan and may just be the deciding factor of many voters.

The Coalition aims to guarantee a minimum of 12Mbps to 97 per cent of the population using a mix of wireless, copper and fibre backhaul technologies. The plan cements in place the copper network built by Telstra and its antecedents over the last 100 years and the ADSL2+ technology that so far is the end of the line for copper-based internet access and is still considered ‘adequate’ by most telco’s even when it’s only pulling 3Mbps. Both of these figures fall drastically short of the real speeds of ADSL2+, and it’s a miracle that ISPs can legally sell these packages as ADSL2+ when they scarcely meet old fashioned regular ADSL standards.

ADSL2+ gives a theoretical maximum download speed of 24Mbps and upload speeds of a couple of megabits per second, of which from a DSLAM the extra 4Mbps are to be considered ‘fall off’ for the 7 km range that ADSL2+ has. Meaning a property at 7 km from a DSLAM should achieve 20Mbps, but properties closer can reach up to 24. At present no ISP in Australia who offers ADSL2+ stipulates ADSL2+ in their terms of service but rather claim their interpretation of the international standard, and if you’ve signed on the dotted line then tough you’ve missed out.

Not all exchanges are enabled for DSL-style internet services, so the Coalition plan provides $750 million over seven years to boost exchanges to DSL. For those beyond the reach of copper and also as a boost to slow old copper, the Coalition plan invokes fixed wireless technology. While it makes no mention of it in the plan, the Coalition almost certainly means WiMax technology. WiMax is a promising wireless technology already used here on commercial wireless services such as the Bigair network. It can already deliver peak speeds of 40Mbps a second and there’s a one gigabit per second upgrade in the wings, although WiMax performance drops off with distance from the transmission tower. It’s also a shared service, so the more users in a radio sector, the less bandwidth available.

There’s $1bn apiece for rural/regional wireless networks and metro wireless networks in the Coalition plan, which is laughable when you consider that in the middle of suburbia we have people pulling under 2Mbps; although most campaigns are about pleasing rural, families, and baby boomers only.

If you want more bandwidth, the Coalition suggests you move on to the hybrid fibre coaxial (HFC) networks built by Optus and Telstra for cable TV. Telstra have been planning a roll out of this service since 2009, having trained all their technicians and linesmen on this technology in 2008 however at present are not seeing it’s release anytime before 2014.

Posted: August 15th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews
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More Surprise Tax for Australians

In a nation that’s one of the highest tax, most people face ‘surprise tax’ as I’ve often pointed out, huge costs that they slug onto the cost of living from stupidly over the top $300+ parking fines, to huge speeding fines for doing 5 miles over the limit. Smokers, just three months after the Federal Government’s $5 billion slug on cigarettes, will be copping an extra tax and and regardless of who wins the federal election, beer and spirit taxes are also going up under the twice-a-year hit on so-called “sin taxes”.

The tax rise, which has been leaked not been announced, will add 24c to a pack of 50 cigarettes and 13c to a pack of 25s. A smoker who buys a pack of 25 cigarettes every day will pay $58.24 a week in tax. The original surprise tax rise pushed up prices by $1.44-$3.60 a pack for cigarettes, although punters were looking at (in reality) price rises of $5-$8 per pack due to dodgy mark ups. Beer drinkers will pay more from Monday with a tax grab of 21c for a full-strength slab of 24 cans – taking the total excise on the carton to $14.28.

A carton of light beer will increase by 8c, a six-pack of full-strength cans rises by 5c with a 2c rise for light beer. Those who prefer spirits face the biggest tax rise. The Federal Government is adding 27c to a 700ml bottle, taking its share on every bottle sold to $18.81.

Welcome to the Lie Downunder, home of the surprise tax.

Posted: August 2nd, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, politix
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iPhone 4G Fault, And What to Do if you Own One

  • Fault on iPhone 4G yields no service
  • Apple blames firmware
  • Industry experts blame design
  • 30 day refund period offered

Apple says a fault on its new iPhone 4 is causing it to incorrectly display the phone’s signal. Most of you are aware of the fault with the iPhone 4G, where users who gripped the phone on the lower left-hand side noticed the signal strength and reception fell away. This is happening because the metal band around the chassis is broken into two insulated parts, one being a wifi antenna and the other being for telephonic usage. By bridging the gap between these two parts it faults out the signal and kills it outright.

Apple says the problem relates to an error on how the signal bars are displayed, rather than the signal, which even a cusory glance at the fault is incorrect and merely the cheapest way to ‘fix’ the problem and try and make customers happy. Many industry experts say that there may be a deeper signal problem than a cosmetic design flaw. While Apple is promising a patch fix “within a few weeks” (which ultimately will NOT fix the issue) they have also stated that users may also choose to get a full refund within 30 days of purchase.

In a statement, Apple said the iPhone 4 had been “the most successful product launch in Apple’s history” and that all phones gripped in “certain ways will reduce its reception by one or more bars”. “We have discovered the cause of this dramatic drop in bars, and it is both simple and surprising,” the statement read. “Upon investigation, we were stunned to find that the formula we use to calculate how many bars of signal strength to display is totally wrong.

“Our formula, in many instances, mistakenly displays two more bars than it should for a given signal strength. For example, we sometimes display four bars when we should be displaying as few as two bars. Users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they don’t know it because we are erroneously displaying four or five bars. Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.”

Apple said it was going to adopt AT&T’s formula for calculating how many bars to display for a given signal strength.

The theory now is that, once the patch update has been applied, iPhone’s bars will report signal strength “far more accurately” providing users a better indication of the reception in a given area.

But Stuart Miles, editor of technology site Pocket Lint, was sceptical. Speaking to BBC News, Mr Miles said the news raised a few questions. “Why, for the first time, has Apple released a bumper for their phone, and why does no one else have this problem,” he asked. “HTC makes metal phones, but they seem to work just fine. Changing the display may make some people feel better, but it doesn’t really fix the problem,” he added.

Apple said the new software to fix this would be released in a few weeks, claiming that as the problem also existed in the original iPhone, it would also be available for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G. However, there have been few – if any – complaints about older iPhones losing signal strength when held in a certain way, although users with them can immediately kill their signal by locating the antenna portion of the phone from schemata online and then obstructing it with their hands.

Apple’s previous advice for iPhone 4 owners to overcome the problem of the device losing signal was to not place your hand on the lower left corner. Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said: “Just avoid holding it in that way.” This latest approach is an unusual admission from the company, which has apologised for “any anxiety we may have caused”.

The iPhone 4 went on sale on in June, with hundreds of people queuing Apple’s flagship stores across the globe. Many new owners reported that signal strength dropped when the phone was held. The problem is thought to be particularly acute for left-handed owners who naturally touch the phone in the sensitive area. Apple sells a rubber “bumper” that shields the sensitive area, as do many other firms.

When Mr Jobs introduced the iPhone 4 at Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, he described the integrated antenna as “really cool engineering”.

Extended antennae can be bought on eBay, and for most users who aren’t in an urban environment, extended antennae are the essential item for almost all phones given that phone producers seem to make their internal antenna out of diamonds and gold held together with baby seal eyeballs and thus are stupifyingly idiotic about how little ribbon you actually get in your phone, given how small ribbon antenna technology is they could easily afford to provide a huge antenna in quite a small case; something many mobile phone users would be willing to even pay a higher optional fee to obtain IN the cosmetic case instead of having to attach an external.

Posted: July 4th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews
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Top Ten Disposals of Phones for Fun and Profit

Okay, so ‘fun’ is misleading, what I meant to say is ‘charity’. There are so many phones coming out that the waste of technological accessories being stuffed in drawers is peaking at record highs. I’m as much to blame as anyone else, as I always have the most current gadget, see: iPhone 4G ASAP pls. So what do you do with all those old cell phones lying around? Do you give it to charity, recycle it, or palm it off for cash? Some fantastic organisations provide battered women with a cell phone in times of need, or resell them on for charity fund raising, but it’s really up to you what you do with it, but here are ten good example sites that will help you get rid of that old tech. These are services I’ve stumbled across, and haven’t tried myself nor implicitly endorse.

1. Cellforcash.com is a website that allows the consumer to recycle cell phones for a cash reward. They also allow you to donate phones to people in need.

2. Pacebutler.com is a website that promises up to fifty dollars for donating a used cell phone.

3. Flipswap.com is a website that allows you to search for local stores where you can trade in your cell phone. This website also promises you cash for recycling your cell phone.

4.Freerecycling.com is another site that allows you to recycle your cell phone with them for free but that being said in Australia the government has tech recycling programs that trump this.

5. Phoneiscash.com is a website that guarantees a pay out for sending in your unwanted cell phones. They don’t pay high, but it’s money for nothing.

6. Collectivegood.com allows the consumer to donate their cell phones to charitable causes. All you have to do to qualify is fill out their questionaire and hit submit, which is a bit much of an ask for a donation site, and they also allowed people to donate to political agendas in the past so a bit iffy about this one (albeit they allowed you to donate to Obama or Mccain, so it wasn’t really one line approach.)

7. Cashmyphone.com is yet another website that allows the consumer to recycle their mobile phone for cash. They also have some dodgy affiliate program promising 10% of anyone who donates using your ‘affiliate code’.

8. Simplysellular.com is a website that allows the consumer to sell their used cell phone for cash.

9. The website wadt.org is a charitable organization that helps abused women and children get on their feet.

10. Cellphonesforsoldiers.comis a charitable organization that allows the consumer to donate their cell phones, which are sold and the profits are used to purchase calling cards for American soldiers. Kind of lame, but I know a lot of Americans read my blog and I know you guys are super into the whole YEY PAY-TREE-O-TIZM bullshit.

Posted: June 20th, 2010
Categories: consumer reviews, gadget, technology
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