Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Email to Senator Stephen Conroy

This is my email I have sent to Senator Conroy regarding the Australia Internet Filter.

For more information, please visit http://www.nocleanfeed.com/

Dear Minister,
I would like to say straight up that I do not agree with what you are doing in introducing an Mandatory Internet Filter.
Numerous reports have been published and reported on by various newspapers that Australian's do not want your filter.
It's the people's internet and you are not doing anything to protect it. Saying you are protecting people from Child porn is wrong and saying you are protecting us from other banned adult material is wrong. You can't stop this with a filter. You can't block this with a simple block list.

Given the importance your Government has attached to modernising Australia's broadband network, pursuing a policy that can only slow down and increase the costs of home internet access seems misguided at best. Australian households are diverse, and most do not have young children, so mandating a one-size-fits-all clean feed approach will not serve the public well. I don't think it is the Government's role to decide what's appropriate for me or anyone else for that matter.

Given the amount of Internet content available, the Government will never be able to classify it all and filters will always result in an unacceptable level of over-blocking. I feel that the time and money could be spent in better ways both to protect children and improve Australia's digital infrastructure. Australian parents need better education about the risks their children face online. Trying to rid the Internet of adult content is futile, and can only distract from that mission.
Do not introduce this!

Sincerely,
Daniel Burrowes
Blacktown NSW

Girlfriend Making the switch from Mac to PC - Part 1

So I was having a chat to my girlfriend last night regarding her buying a new laptop.

She is currently using a Apple MacBook (entry-level model) and is think about getting a new laptop in the next 6-months or so. Now about the time I got my Windows Home Server, I stopped using my Apple Mac Mini due to the fact my music was no longer on a external HDD that soon died which was connected to the Mac. I have since moved all my music to iTunes onto my Windows 7 laptop, and haven't looked back since. My Mac Mini, though still in great condition, is just now collecting dust.

Now talking with her she was first saying that she just likes the Mac interface, mainly because it looked better than Windows. However the last time she truly used Windows was her fathers running Windows XP. Alot has changed since then especially in the release of Windows 7.

Laptop design was another consideration point with her saying that the Macs look prettier. Granted they do have an excellent design and a PC maker has yet to match. However I did show her for the price that she was willing to spend on a Mac Book Pro, I showed her the HP ENVY series. She was slightly persuaded. The elegant look of the HP surprised her and the comparison from the Mac  to the HP surprised her more.

RAW image handling is another topic that Mac lovers like to brag about since that Mac supports them natively. However I soon linked her to a website allowing her to download codecs for native RAW image support for her specific camera. This no longer became an issue.

On her Mac she currently runs Boot Camp to run her games in Windows XP as her games (mainly The Sims) don't run in Mac. So she is convinced that getting a PC will save her this step.

I can see that many people will have a problem with me trying to convert her away from Mac. But I have tried switching to Mac and eventually swicthed back. Mainly because everything I use in daily life is Windows-based and one Mac just didn't make sence.

It will be an interesting time to see her weigh up the options for the two platforms and I will be reporting on this progress over the coming months.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sony removes Other OS feature

Famous to the Sony PlayStation 3 was the ability to install a Linux OS on to the device for extra functionality and further customization.

However, as of April 1st Sony will be releasing an update disabling the “Install Other OS” feature on all PS3, removing the ability to install the Linux OS to the system.

According to Sony this update is due to “security concerns” and user currently using the function will either be forced to update to the new firmware or remain on the old firmware and be unable to play the latest games or Blu-ray movies that require the latest firmware.

Source:
PlayStation Blog (
http://blog.us.playstation.com/2010/03/28/ps3-firmware-v3-21-update/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PSBlog+%28PlayStation.Blog%29)
IGN (http://au.ps3.ign.com/articles/108/1080373p1.html)

First post using Windows Live Writer

I have known about the various services and products that Microsoft have released under the Windows Live brand. Something I never realised was that you can publish to blogger using Windows Live Writer.

Designed as a simple blogging application, I am writing my review using it.

live writer
From the screenshot, you will be able to see on the right had side of the window is an array of tools allowing users to add multiple types of multimedia content. The most appealing feature for me was the easy ability to add watermarks to images. With a couple of clicks, the app had added a simple watermark.

Adding maps into your blog will be powered by Bing Maps. No surprise there.

The previewing tab is really cool in that it is smart enough to preview your blog post as though it is actually been published, in comparison to blogger where it just applies the formatting to the text.

Importantly, Windows Live Write supports Live blog, Sharepoint blog and other blogging services. As I start to use it more I am liking Microsoft and their efforts more and more these days.

If you want more information on Windows Live products, visit the website here –> http://download.live.com/

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Xbox 360 to accept USB storage

Microsoft will soon be releasing an update to the XBOX 360 that will allow gamers to connect any USB mass storage device and save data.

As of April 6th, USB thumbs drives and USB external HDD will can be configured to the XBOX 360 formating partitions to a maximum of 16GB. I find this a small amount of space, however two drives can be connected at any given point allowing for 32GB total space.

Source: Gizmodo

Sunday, March 7, 2010

QWERTY Keyboard on XBOX 360

Found an excellent video showing how to turn on a QWERTY keyboard for when writing messages to other gamers.

  1. Press the XBOX button your controller.
  2. Go to Settings tab > System settings
  3. Select Console Settings then Language
  4. Then Select "English (QWERTY Keyboard)"
You will now have a QWERTY.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

How to make Windows 7 Home the Ultimate OS

Microsoft guru Paul Thurrott has written an article list ways that you can turn the basic nature of Windows 7 Home Premium into a full functional OS.

Check it out here:
http://www.winsupersite.com/win7/home_to_pro_to_ultimate.asp

Original XBOX Live Games getting disconnected.

In a reent annoucement from Microsoft, from 15th of April 2010 XBOX Live players will no longer be able to play Xbox Original games on XBOX Live.

In a effort to "evolve" the online gaming service, Microsoft has stated they will be making changes to the service that render the old games (that are still somewhat popular with hardcore gamers) incompatible. In the below email from XBOX, the focus was on the Halo games while reassuring the gamers that the offline parts of the games will still be functional.

Selected XBOX Live players will be given rewards to the value of three-month free Gold membership and 400 MS points. But this won't be for everyone as not everyone will be affected.