Sep 28

Haha, very funny.

No really, very funny.

How is it so hard to believe that I have an 3G iPhone? Well, it’s not so hard – you just have to think about it.

However, there is a couple of funny stories about my when I tried to acquire my iPhone 3G – but that story is far too epic to post here so I might leave it for now.

So, why Telstra? Their coverage is indeed, second to none. I went with Telstra as I knew I was always going to have coverage (unless I ventured into the 2% of Australia that isn’t covered by their excellent NextG network), and unlike some Optus users, I wasn’t going to have massive headaches with 3G/GSM coverage in capital cities, for instance.

Sure, I’m in total agreement of the fact that I do pay a little more than I would if I went with Optus or any other carrier – but seriously, in Tasmania it’s probably worth it. How much more I do pay isn’t as much as people think it is. No, I don’t have to sell my firstborn son/kidneys/any body parts to pay for my iPhone.

However, if you take a look at Google, you’ll find that there are multitudes of forum-ites (forum-goers?) who are complaining that the government shouldn’t have sold Telstra off as a whole company as it did – as now that non-government owned Telstra has complete monopoly of the telecommunications network in Australia, leading to the fact that shiping data from Melbourne to Hobart costs SIX TIMES more than it does than from Melbourne to the US. I blame Telstra.

The iPhone itself is awesome. Sure, over time the novelty will wear off, but for the moment, it’s by far the best phone I’ve ever owned. The App Store totally makes it so much better.

Worst things about it so far are battery life – I’m a light user and I find I have to charge the battery every couple of days. With my old phone I could go a full week without charge.
No Bluetooth file transfers from phone-to-phone, or from computer-to-phone, or vice versa. Which sucks. It has bluetooth, but it’s crippled – apparently, it lacks the OBEX protocol which phones require for file transfers.

To borrow a phrase from Now We Are Talking (ironically, the Telstra telecommunications blog), “iPhone, therefore I am.”

If you visit freshbytes and it isn’t here, I’ve probably got some sort of C&D from Telstra themselves for ripping off their blog post title. Oops.

Comments below.

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , , ,

Jul 13

No, you can’t have an iPhone 3G.

Why? Because Telstra in Tassie don’t have any more in stock; they only received something like 200 of these units, and they sold out sometime on Saturday afternoon.

No really, why can’t I have an iPhone on a different carrier? Well, because you can’t get Optus 3G reception in Tassie, as demonstrated by the following picture:

…does anyone else see my problem?! So even though Optus offer the best data plans out of all the three carriers who are selling the iPhone 3G, I can’t go with them because their 3G coverage in Tassie is non-existent.

So, dear reader, I find myself in a precarious position:

  1. Go with Telstra’s $30/month plan, which gives me: 22 minutes of calls, 2.5MB of data (yeah, 2.5 MEGABYTES of data, on a 3G phone), and on top of that, I have to pay $399 upfront for my iPhone! To be fair, I do get free Wi-Fi at all Telstra’s Wi-Fi hotspots which equates to pretty much any Maccas, and some places in town…
  2. Buy iPhone 3G outright for $847 (16GB) and just use it with my current pre-paid SIM. I won’t have any data this way, but at least I’ll have 1c text to all Telstra mobiles!
  3. Buy iPhone 3G outright for $847 (16GB) and upgrade my current SIM to NextG pre-paid. Data costs are completely ridiculous, far more than the equivalent Optus ($14.95 for 200MB compared to $59 for 200MB with Telstra) or Vodafone data packs, but I’ll have the best coverage…

Choices, choices. I hate it how being Tassie makes us disadvantaged though lack of technology. When a telecommunications has no 3G coverage in an Australian state, that’s just not on. Intelligent Island? Give me a break. Mark my works, while Telstra has the monopoly that it has over the telecommunications industry like it has currently, Tassie will continue to remain the most un-intelligent island. For example, it currently costs Internode (an Internet Service Provider) SIX times as much to ship data (through Basslink) from Melbourne to Tassie than it does for them to ship data from Melbourne to New York. Again, corporate Telstra screws the small guy.

Telstra really is the epitome of a bloated telecommunications company. The things they do well – coverage – are more than offset by the things they do badly – price, service, value for money.

But enough of Telstra and their corporate monopoly. Now, how about we talk about something else not-funny? Something, say like the so-not-funny Year 12 funny photo? Picture after the jump – click on the link, if you don’t know what “after the jump” means. :D

Here at freshbytes, I personally respect Facebook over MySpace any of the day, as I’ve outlined previously. So it’s not a big surprise, then, that we have built, brick by brick, the Freshbytes Wall. It’s that little piece of ajax-love in the top right hand corner of every page, that sweet widget that allows you to post your comments about the site, do shout-outs, and all that kind of funky stuff. You can additionally view all the comments on the Freshbytes Wall page, where you can also add comments – and they’ll show up on the Freshbytes Wall (and consequently, on every page)! Cool, huh?

Speaking of freshbytes, the Freshbytes Forums are looking a little unloved. Why not register today? You’ll be able to chat with us supergeeks over teh interwebs, and discuss anything that comes to mind…

Radi8: We had the St Vinnies Ball this friday, and it was actually really good! Besides yours truly not making any effort what-so-ever to dress up, there were people there that looked fantastic in their St. Vinnies clothes, and then there was Adam… :P But really, it was a fun-filled night with the Life Dancers dancing to Greased Lightning, the Macarena, and many other great hits. It was excellent to see a few faces that I hadn’t seen before/had never seen before – I hope you continue to come to Radi8. There was one thing that was pretty amusing, though, and it was that with the exception of <8 people, the whole crowd was exclusively Calvin. I mean, really! Where are all you other teens going? Maybe to CrossEyed Youth?

Anyways, as we Calvin-ers in Years 11 & 12 prep for mid-years, I encourage to tell one person about freshbytes, provided they don’t already know about it.

freshbytes – the freshest bytes on the web, MUCH more than random zeroes and ones!

One last thing, before you get too bored: The Radi8 Digital Scavenger Hunt video for the week! This week, it’s Dean T, Paul C, Emily L, Blair T, Simon J and Danny T in a fun-filled adventure where they sing in Kingston Town, scale tall buildings, do the leap-frog in Franklin Square, and where boys try on girl’s dresses… Enjoy!

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

May 27

As the apparent Australian release of the 3G iPhone draws near, I’d thought I’d take this opportunity to talk about it…and some other things ;)

So as you all know, I’m sure – I’m a huge fan of Apple’s products. I love what they do, how they do it, and the general look and feel of all things Apple. There is no doubt in my mind that I’ll be getting a 3G iPhone when they land in Ostraya (that’s Australia, folks) and that I’ll probably be putting it on Telstra.

Hate them or love them, you can’t refute the fact that Telstra have the largest 3G network in Australia, with plans to increase coverage in the next couple of years. If I were in any other city than Tasmania, I’d be with Three (on pure coolness of name alone, if nothing else) or one of the other providers. But, I live in Tasmania, and for pure coverage, Telstra wins hands down. Add to that the fact that Telstra are going to have the fastest iPhone in the world (disputed – apparently the chip in the iPhone doesn’t support 42mbps) at 42mbps by Christmas 2008, and you have a winner. Besides, all my friends are on Telstra, and 1c text is great :P

Ah, it should be so awesome when it actually does come out in Australia. I’m salivating over it already…

Now for the message part of this post (oh yeah, you knew there was going to be one, didn’t you?!)…

Still iPhone related, but a couple of weeks ago I had a dream about the new 3G iPhone (sad, I know, but just goes to show how much getting one means to me – it’s like the holy grail of Apple products). Anyway, in this dream of mine, someone came up to me and said that they had a new iPhone. Obviously, I got really excited, walked into the room where the new iPhones were being handed out like candy to children, and proceeded to clamour around the immensely lucky people that had already managed to receive the holy grail. As I watched the expressions on their faces at the joy of new tech, I slowly realised that something was wrong. The iPhone was great, yeah, but the design – shocking! Think late 80’s hand-held games consoles – big, chunky, two-handed things that had tiny, black and white screens, and used semi-joystick things to play the games on them – one of which was basketball related, I’m sure. I didn’t realise that Apple would never have made such a hideous product – I was just blown away by the fact that it was an Apple product – the holy grail of Apple products.

I think that’s how a lot of people are going about their business these days. They’re so wrapped up in the product that they’re buying that it doesn’t occur to them that what they’re getting isn’t the real deal (aka it’s a fake), but it doesn’t matter because hey, it’s an Apple product! They blindly follow the crowd, thinking that just because everyone else has one, they need one, or two. Now, this make work in the favour of any successful business (not all businesses, though) but in the long term, all that happens is that people end up with an item they didn’t necessarily need. Don’t get me wrong, I think the iPhone is a great product – the pinnacle of digital convergence, if you like – but those that are buying iPhones for the hell of it, or to look cool – don’t. Put your money towards something more worthwhile, like a gift for your significant other, or a donation to charity. Say no to the man!

So I guess the message of the day is: If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

Benny, out. Comments below.

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , , , ,