Saturday, 26 July 2014

Quickflix vs Google Play Movies and TV

I am a Quickflix subscriber. I pay $10 a month and get access to a library of movies and TV shows. I install the Quickflix app on my Android phone and cast it to my television using the chrome cast, which you can purchase from Dick Smith or JB Hi Fi for $50.

I think Quickflix is great. I am watching the Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire. I am watching early episodes. That gets to the main problem with Quickflix. The library of movies and TV shows is not very comprehensive and you mainly have to watch old movies and TV shows if you don't want to pay extra. Most content cost extra money on top of your support subscription.

I also have Google Play Movies and TV on my phone and I can also cast to my TV via Chromecast with it. I have noticed that Google has many features that Quickflix does not, mainly the ability to remember at which point of a movie you were at, the ability to download video to your device so you can watch it offline, and the ability to purchase content in HD. Google Play is simply a more polished and better product. However, Google Play does not have a $10 per month subscription. It is all pay per view. There are many shows on Quickflix that are free with the subscription that cost about $40 per season on Google Play.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.quickflix.lib

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Why Didn't Elliot Rodgers See a Prostitute?

As many know, Elliot Rodgers was a young male who went on a killing spree because he was not able to get a girlfriend. On the day of his killing spree, he released a 140-page manifesto titled My Twisted Life.

An interesting question has been submitted. If he wanted sex so much, why didn't Elliot Rodgers buy the services of a prostitute?

Here’s the thing. Rodger did have “sexual options.” Sex workers in San Diego, not far from where Rodger lived, participate in a market that generated some $97 million dollars in 2007 alone. Had he been willing to make a day trip to Nevada, only a five-to-six-hour drive from Santa Barbara, Rodger could have paid for sex quite legally. Bracketing the immensely complicated question of how sex work should be considered as a legal matter (for a compendium of excellent articles on sex workers and the sex trade, try this Slate Long Form Collection),  and stressing that I believe that sex workers, like all other workers and human beings, deserve respect and legal protection, the question arises: if Rodger, a self-professed virgin who had “never even kissed a girl,” was so incredibly driven by the need to have sex, and if our society, for better and for worse, makes it possible for men to purchase sexual encounters, then why didn’t he pay for it?
When I read My Twisted Life, I couldn't help but feel sorry for Elliot. I think the answer is that you go to a prostitute for sex, but prostitutes are not substitutes for girlfriends. You cannot hire a prostitute to watch a movie with you. There is also a social problem with hiring a prostitute. If you hire a prostitute, it is a secret transaction due to social stigma. It is something you do to satiate your sexual desires, but Rodgers talks often about his desire to have a hot blonde by his side to make his father proud or to show others that he was superior. Having a girlfriend then is a public statement of your worth, much like driving a nice car or wearing nice clothing is.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Ripped Off by PayPal Exchange Rate

I just purchased an eBook online from America. I needed to use American dollars and I had Australian dollars. I decided to use PayPal because I had just installed it on my phone and set up an account. I went through the motions, purchased the book, and then afterwards realized that PayPal charged an exchange rate of 0.90 when a simple Google search revealed the exchange rate to be 0.94. PayPal ripped me off! I will see if I can change PayPal setting so that it charges my credit card in US dollars and supposedly the rate charged by the card is not so bad, but if this turns out to be too hard then I will just uninstall PayPal and in rage will never use it again. Credit card is already quite safe anyway. PayPal charges absolutely outrageous fees. Not only are their foreign exchange rates a rip off but supposedly if you transfer money to a friend who also has PayPal, you must pay a 2.3% fee. What a rip off! Bank transfers are free. If you don't feel comfortable giving away your bank account number (research what happened to Jeremy Clarkson when he gave out his bank account number on TV) then bitcoin fees are less than 1%.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Problems with the Narrative Clip so Far

I have always wanted to get the Narrative Clip, which is a small 5MP camera that you clip on to your clothes. The clip takes a photo every 30 seconds. This allows you to live your life without worrying about taking photos. It is annoying going on a holiday and pointing and shooting using a DSLR or smartphone at the same time. It is better to simply enjoy your holiday.

However, so far, based on reviews I have been reading and videos I have been watching, I will be holding off on getting the Narrative Clip mainly because I do not like the idea of plugging it into your computer to upload photos. To make matters worse, you must have Windows installed on your computer to upload photos from the Narrative Clip. Given I use Ubuntu, it means I wouldn't be able to upload photos, which completely ruins the product. It would be better if the clip has in-built wifi that can automatically upload photos to Facebook, Google+, or some other service, which is currently what happens on a smartphone. Furthermore, although not essential, it would be nice if the clip had qi wireless charging so you can just place the phone on a charging mat overnight, although USB is not a problem.

I am also concerned with the Narrative website saying I need to pay money every month for a subcription to Narrative's apps. I was hoping that once I plug the Narrative to the computer I can just access the photos and upload them to whatever storage I want, e.g. a hard drive or cloud storage, but hopefully this Narrative app is not compulsory.

The Narrative Clip is really a simply device. It is effectively a camera. The ideal lifelogging device would be an Android clip that you can pair to a smartphone. Once you pair the clip to your Android smartphone, you can install apps onto the clip, e.g. an app that takes photos every 30 seconds and then automatically uploads to the internet whenever wifi is detected. Give this device is effectively an Android smartphone without a touchscreen or a high-end CPU, in theory this clip device should be cheap given the standard budget Android smartphone, the Moto G, costs about $250. The clip should be about $100 to $150 or even less.


Thursday, 13 February 2014

Relax, Life Ain't That Bad

I don’t know what I can really say now. My life has been fine. I feeling like, after going through the holiday period, everything is turning back to normal, and I am starting to really enjoy and love my job. I think what I have found is that my satisfaction at a job is mainly dependent on who I work with. My previous job was bad because the people I worked with were bad people. But things have changed now. I am in a completely different team doing different work. The people I work with now are competent and kind. I feel so happy to go to work that I don’t even feel any desire to go on a holiday. In fact, it is not just my work that I am happy with. I am happy with just about all aspects of my life now. I have a girlfriend and certainly the novelty and excitement of having a girlfriend has suddenly worn off, but I don’t mind having a girlfriend, and I don’t mind if she dumps me either, so either way I am covered. I am totally hedged! I think my experience with the girlfriend constantly complaining and putting expectation on you is an annoyance I’d rather not have. I’d be perfectly happy living a single life.
I have made it a goal in my thirties now to man up and stand up for myself. I need to have confidence in my decisions and my ability to manage my own life. I think the way my life is at the moment is fine and I don’t want to change anything. I am also now willing to defend my life to the death. I feel like I need to do this because the life I live is very different to the life everyone else thinks I should live.
I am thirty now. I live with my parents when most people think I should move out. Most people tell me that I should move out in order to gain independence, learn how to cook, get a girlfriend, and not be a burden. 
If I needed to, I could simply leave the family home right now and rent a house by myself. I earn enough to live by myself. I have spoken to my mother and have told her that if she wants to I am happy to move out. But she practically begged me to stay at home and argued that I would save money rather than waste it on bills, rent, council rates, and so forth. This counters the argument that I am a burden on my parents. My mother wants me to stay with her and I certainly do not mind being with her because I can save on rent, bills, and council rates. It’s a win-win situation. Because I do have my own job, I am not dependent on her. I could rent my own place and I don’t imagine cooking is difficult. 
The cooking issue, in my opinion, is stupid. People always argue that I need to move out so that I can learn how to cook. I could easily just learn how to cook at home right now but I choose not to because I could not be bothered and because I don’t need to. Many people argue that eating out is expensive and so it is necessary to learn how to cook. People usually give me this argument while I am eating out with them! My counterargument is that I don’t eat out all the time. I do go home and eat food that my mother or grandmother have prepared. Furthermore, I am able to save 90% of my income. Can they beat that? If not, who are they to give me advice on living frugal. Sure I eat out, but I don’t pay rent, mortgage interest, banking fees, credit card fees, car loan, day care costs, phone plan costs, etc. Don’t lecture me on frugality! I only really eat out during lunch at work and not only does it provide me with food but it also spares me from having to cook at home and bring in food during my commute that can turn rotten and stale and stink up the office. When I take a break at work, I feel I need to get out of the office to clear my mind and eating out and getting coffee helps me with that. Eating out is also social because I invite friends to eat with me. Most of the time I spend with my friends is during lunch at work. People who criticize me for eating out or not cooking usually do so while we are eating out and I just think to myself, if you don’t want to eat out then fine, let’s stop eating out. I will stop eating out with you.
Another argument people make is that I need to move out because I need to get a girlfriend and because girls don’t like men who live with their parents. Firstly, I currently live with my mother and I currently have a girlfriend, so that hypothesis is dead. Furthermore, even if girls don’t like men who live with their parents, I consider that to be a problem with women, not a problem with me. As I said earlier, I can survive just fine with or without a girlfriend. Back on the topic of independence, I believe I am totally independent. I am not dependent on female intimacy. If the girlfriend dumps me, I don’t care. No female can lure me to get me to do what she wants. I hate it when women think they are powerful just because they are female. They think they can lure men to do whatever they want. Most women are not even that attractive and their attractiveness diminishes fast. I am also mostly asexual and do not care about female attempts to trap men into the web of marriage.
Back to the topic of independence. I have been told to move out of home to be more independent, but I am currently very independent. Like I said, I can move out of home right now and rent a place of my own. Cooking, cleaning, and ironing is not hard. I can easily learn through Google and YouTube. Some people laugh at this idea without giving me a solid explanation why there is anything wrong with it. I am so independent that not only am I independent of my parents but I am also independent of my employer. If I wanted to, I could retire from my job right now and live in Southeast Asia. As the retirecheap.asia website says, retiring in SE Asia allows you to live a champagne lifestyle on a beer budget. I am very happy to fly over and just retire at the age of thirty but I do like my job and I feel like maybe I can make a difference here, so I work for fun, I suppose, and if things go wrong (e.g. I get fired) then I always have Asia in the backpocket as a safety net. I am not like the average person. I have no debt. I have small expenses. I love my lifestyle. I can afford to eat out. Other people, on the other hand, have mountains of debt. They have car loans, credit card loans, mortgage, house and contents insurance, childcare fees, and private school fees. These people must work at their jobs for another 30 to 40 years just so they can clear their debts and finally retire at the ripe old age of 65.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Amaysim Round Up to Nearest MB

As much as possible, I try to avoid debt. This means that I buy a car outright with cash rather than get a car loan. With phones, I never go on a phone plan where there is an obligation for me to pay e.g. $60 per month. Rather, I buy a phone outright and get a pre-paid SIM card.

Although I do make some phone calls and texts, the amounts are negligible. I tend to use only mobile data, so when I shop around I look for the cheapest possible pre-paid mobile data. Currently in Australia, this seems to be Amaysim. For $100, they provide you with 10GB of data for one year. However, there is a catch.

Rather than billing customers according to kilobyte, Amaysim bills customers according to megabyte. For example, if you send an email or Facebook message, you will use about 4KB of data. Companies that charge you according to kilobyte will bill you for 4KB of data. However, Amaysim rounds this up to 1MB (about 1000KB) and charges you for that. This practice has been exposed in this Sydney Morning Herald article: Telcos take a byte out of pre-paid mobile deals.

SMH summarises the charging practices of telcos below:

Vodafone - Will charge in 1 kilobyte increments from February 13 on all pre-paid plans. Was proposing 1 megabyte increments across all plans before it about-faced.
Telstra -
Charges in 1 kilobyte increments on most pre-paid plans but does charge in 1 megabyte increments on its "Simplicity" plan.
Optus -
Charges in 1 kilobyte increments on 1 pre-paid plan and 1 megabyte increments on 2.
Virgin Mobile -
Charges in 60 kilobyte increments on all pre-paid plans.
Red Bull Mobile -
Charges in 250 kilobyte increments on all pre-paid plans.
Woolworths Mobile -
Charges in 1 megabyte increments on all pre-paid plans.
Boost -
Charges in 1 megabyte increments on all pre-paid plans.
Crazy Johns -
Charges in 10 kilobyte increments on all pre-paid plans.
Amaysim -
Charges in 1 megabyte increments on all pre-paid plans.
Kogan Mobile -
Charges in 1 megabyte increments on all pre-paid plans.


All this makes it difficult to compare among different providers because you are not comparing the same products and therefore you cannot compare by price.

Even though Amaysim rounds up to the nearest megabyte, the other providers seem to charge much more than Amaysim and even for pre-paid they charge fixed amounts per month. I will stick to Amaysim for now, paying $100 for 10GB and try to limit my data usage to 800MB per month, even though they round up.


Friday, 29 November 2013

My lying family

URL: Louise's father was a cheating scoundrel who had two other families. So why does she blame it all on her mother?

I've read the article above and it reminds me of my father who is now on his third wife. My father was away all the time when I was little, and it wasn't until I was older that I found out what was happening. 

Most people were surprised that I didn't seem to care about the lies, deception, cheating, adultery, and so forth. I didn't get angry or lash out at anyone, but deep down I am extremely angry. I will never forgive and I haven't forgotten about it many years on.

I can hate my father all I want for what he has done but the reality is that what is done is what is done, and all I can do now is just disrespect him and never follow any of his commands. Rather than be a loyal son, I just do what I want and expect him to follow me, not the other way around. I will never help or support him or take care of him when he is old. In fact, everything is already set. His new wife will need to take care of him as he gets older, as will his new children (my half-siblings). I don't really need to think about my father. He has a lot on his plate with his new children. They are a handful.

My mother is alone now, and I have become her de-facto husband, which I resent because I feel like it is my right to be my own person. My mother is my mother, not my wife. My mother is my dad's second wife. I don't know if my father cheated on his first wife with my mother and I have no idea whether my mother knew that my father was cheating on her with his third wife. In a way I feel it is her fault for not being suspicious enough of her husband or lover, and I don't feel like it's fair for me to suffer as a result of her lack of due diligence.

I have changed my attitude now. If people around me are liars who try to control me, there is no humour in my conversations. I don't smile. I am serious, and I tell them that they are to follow my commands or else I will hurt them, and if they try to push me or control me, I will push them, and I will hurt them if they push me too hard, and I am prepared to die to defend my boundaries.