Archive for the 'Computers' Category

My New Blog!

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

I have created a new blog here: My Robot and Other Stuff

iPad without ebooks

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

We are now officially living in the future as Apple have finally released a tablet. The name made many people cringe, as it kind of sounds like something that belongs inside women’s underwear when it is that time of the month.

Anyway, it looks fantastic and I’m sure it will be a success. Everybody will want to use the iPad to read ebooks. Ebooks are not available on iTunes instead you need to download the iBooks application and buy ebooks through that. Alternatively you could still buy ebooks online from Fictionwise or somewhere like that. This is a minor irritation compared to the fact that due to geographical restrictions the vast majority of ebooks aren’t available in Australia.

I want my ebook

According to the Fictionwise website ebooks are not available in Australia due to the way the book publishing industry works. The publishing industry has always worked on the idea that the rights of books could be sold to publishers according to geographical region. This idea is basically incompatible with the idea of the Internet, but these contracts still apply to ebooks. Publishers are legally obliged to make sure their ebooks adhere to these contracts.

The result is different publishers produce the same titles in different countries and each individual publisher needs to release ebooks in the different countries before they can become available.

Even if a company wants to sell all ebooks to Australians they can’t. That is correct: I can’t buy ebooks because I’m Australian.

Legally that is

This forces many e-book fans to download ebooks illegally using filesharing networks. I personally do not feel comfortable doing this and would much rather be able to buy ebooks legally.

There is also the choice of buying them illegally by using a foreign friend’s credit card or using IP masking techniques.

Why me?

The inability to buy ebooks is an irritation for most people, but there are many people who can’t physically read a book. Someone with muscular dystrophy such as myself can have great difficulty holding a book and turning the pages. With an ebook all you need do is press a button or click a mouse. There are mechanical page turners available, but they are very expensive and don’t work so well. I am also not a fan of audio books as it tends to go in one ear and out the other and what about people who can’t hear.

E-book crusade

I am hoping that the release of the iPad will increase the number of Australians wanting to read ebooks and this will force the hand of publishers to be more ebook friendly.

I also plan on finding out as much as I can about the reasons why ebooks are not available in Australia and to fight for the rights of Australians to read ebooks.

Bloody Telstra

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

I have become increasingly frustrated over the past few weeks as my Internet keeps cutting out. I have Big Pond cable broadband with a Motorola SBG 900 modem – one of those black surfboard type modems. Our SBG is completely fucked you cannot even log onto it sometimes. All the lights are meant to be solid, but instead they blink crazily.

Anyway I ordered a new modem. It was supposed to arrive on Friday, Tuesday at the latest. It is Tuesday and the fucking thing hasn’t arrived. It bloody better arrive Wednesday.

New Computer and Other Stuff

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

I haven’t been able to blog for the past week because I’ve been busy setting up my new computer. The excitement of getting a beast of a computer is sort of ruined by the pain of installing all the software, getting all the drivers working and setting the preferences so the computer is just right.

Here is my new computer:

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Intel Core i7-870 CPU
Antec 900 Advanced Gaming Case
4 GB of RAM (needs more, 16 GB maybe)
NVIDIA GTX 295 graphics card
Seagate 1.3 terabyte HDD

A very nice machine.

One good thing about setting up my new computer is it forced me to go through the my documents folder to find what I wanted to keep and wanted to throw away. I have got into the habit of writing comments I leave on other blogs in Word before I submit them. In this way I don’t lose the comment when I accidentally hold down backspace or the cat decides to jump onto the keyboard, but it also allows me to keep a record of comments. Look at these few gems I dug up. I don’t know the blogs I left them on and I don’t know when I left them.

In this one I was obviously having a discussion about the health system with a bunch of libertarians. They believe in a user pays system and that the government should but out on any kind of regulation at all.

Ra, SB, Yobbo,

I have spoken to many people who have lived in the US. Their number-one complaint is the nonexistent public health system. You really want to live in a country where you have a car accident then have many operations to get put back together then receive a $50,000 bill?

You’re a moronic, uncaring fool if you want the same for us.

Yeah I know you’d rather the money spent on public health care went back into your pocket. I don’t know how greedy people like you sleep at night.

I know for a fact that I wouldn’t be alive today if it wasn’t for our public health system. If you don’t like the way things work in Australia go live somewhere else. We happen to be a caring nation. Deal with it.

Can we still be considered caring with Kevin Rudd’s refugee policy?

This next one is from when I made the mistake of leaving a comment on an ultra-right-wing site. As I found out they don’t like having their views challenged.

“…site for leftoid scumbags or pretentious wannabe intellectuals to strut their pathetic wares.”

The problem for someone like me who visits a site like this is that none of you want to engage in a legitimate discussion. What happens to so many people who have firm views is they engage in personal attacks, instead of defending their views using reason. How can you hope to convince anybody of your beliefs if you are unable to defend them without verbal violence.

Of course all of you are entitled to your opinions and I would fight for your right to have them even though I disagree with them. I believe that opinions should have a firm foundation if they are to mean anything. This means a lot of discussion a lot of thought and argument.

I would really love you guys to make me think. Tell me what is actually wrong with what I have said and why.

See you, I probably won’t be back.

I seem to be really good at getting into fights on my blog. I dared to write a post about the protests in Tibet just before the Chinese Olympics in 2008 and a Chinese person by the name of Yun really didn’t like what I had to say. This started a very heated discussion in this post that just degenerated into pointless insults. I agreed to disagree, but this wasn’t enough for Yun and he started to spam my site with copyrighted material supporting his views. I was forced to ban him.

Yun, you are setting a marvelous example to the rest of the world of the quality of people in China. In case you can’t realize, I’m being sarcastic.

This is my favourite quote of yours, I feel it demonstrates your true character: “I will lay back and enjoy more of the terrorists masterpieces in the years to come. And I will have no sympathy for you westerners at all. YOU GUYS WELL DESERVE IT!” In Mao’s day, they would line someone like you (a nationalist) up next to a mass grave and stick a bullet in the back of your head (see, I can be nasty too).

I hope to hear more from you in the future.

I am a bit ashamed about my reaction. Suggesting that someone deserves a bullet in the back of the head is not a worthy thing for anyone to say. I find it very scary that there are people around with views such as his.

Attention MacBook Users!

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

The “Allow Bluetooth devices to wake this computer setting” on MacBooks, under certain conditions, could destroy your laptop as Brian X. Chen from Gadget Lab discovered.

I always knew Apple was evil!