Go to gaol for music

Go to gaol, directly to gaol. Do not pass go you crazy pirate.

A working paper is apparently before parliament to legalize search and seizure of MP3 players and laptop computers, something in line with moves currently in place in the US. Why are they looking for? Terrorist information? Child porn? Something else which threatens national security, nope… music.

The paper apparently says that if you have too many songs on your MP3 player or laptop your device may be held and you may be charged.

I gotta say that sucks, I have a lot of music and most of it is paid for. But I grant that not all of it is, but I don’t want t go to prison for it. Together David and I own over 80GB of music. Ever since I was 17 a lot of my money has gone into music, A LOT. But can I prove that I own what is on my iPod, probably not, it would be very difficult. I guess less people will be travelling. High ticket prices are the least of your trouble when you have to consider the price you might pay for having too much music.

Banks Want To Be Your Brother

Your Big Brother that is. Apparently there are more bad debt in Australia than ever before and the banks and the other financial lenders are saying they could avoid this if they could have more access to our finanical information such as all information about our bank accounts, spending habits in the form of credit card, phone bills and other utility bills where credit checks are required.

As a former user and worker of many financial instititions and having a sister who worked for a doubious credit provider I can say that they make their own beds and should now have to sleep in it.

Over the past decade and a half we have been innundated with the buy now pay later push and the pay later usually entails the need to pay an exhorbidant interest rate, putting people under pressure to pay it back.

Banks don’t supply loans for amounts smaller than $5,000 instead supply credit cards which become continued liabilities that people don’t ever repay.

Banks are also increasing interest rates on home loans outside of the Australian Reserve Bank’s rate changes, to off-set debt incurred overseas from bad investments.

This will start under this “we’re protecting the economy” and turn into a marketing boon for those who have access to the information, using all good efficient ways of promotion, so that each and every audio/visual rental company will get its client. When really all they need to do is stop stupid lending.

There are ads running right now on TV from “Motor Finance Wizard” apparently he says “YES” even if your self-employed, no credit before and even if you have bad-credit. There is also Radio Rentals running TV ads for rental agreements, which are credit-based, with “No Credit Checks.”

It’s rediculous that our government continues to legislate to protect business at the detriment of its people. And to tell us that it is no more than they already have in the UK and US is not a reason to do it. Didn’t their mothers ever ask them, “If Toby jumped off the Sydney Harbour Bridge would you do it too?”

See more at Telling banks all about you on The Age’s website.

Put Your iPhone Down!

My iPhone's Home Screen - 1
My iPhone’s Home Screen – 1, originally uploaded by tyroga.

I can’t do it, I just can’t. I love it and I find so many reasons to use it for both business and fun.

I have been following the Midas Letter Technology Stock for news on when the iPhone will be released and fortunately we got our iPhones on the day of release, we didn’t queue for hours, we got lucky buy finding a queue with stupid people it in.

Here’s what happened.

The day before release David was home ringing every place he could think of to try and pre-order the phones. Something that wasn’t supposed to be available. But everywhere he rang they had already sold out of their phones with pre-bookings. By the end of the day he was flustered and annoyed that we wouldn’t be getting iPhones and more so annoyed that we had passed up paying the holding fee of $100 with Optus, even though it didn’t guarantee a phone. Somewhat dejected we were resolved with the notion that we wouldn’t be getting the phone.

Then David had the Friday off, making up for some serious weekend work he had been doing of late so he was going to drop me off at work and then go and try as hard as he might to find us iPhones. Yes we are sucker early adopters of Apple technology, but I do like to point out that we are also purists and had held off for the entire first year that the iPhone 1 was out, not importing one because then we would have to hack it to get it to work here and in doing so crippling some of its features.

We woke up early and headed into the city. As we go there at 6am and I don’t start work till 8 we thought we could both take a look around and see what was happening.

David already had his mind made up about which Vodarfone store we would be wait for, all the stores he had called the previous day were Optus stores, because they had the best deal. Vodafone however were not taking pre-orders and were operating under a first come first served basis.

On the way from where we parked to the Vodafone store, we passed an Optus World with a queue of about 20 people out the front. Remembering that deposit holders were gong to get served first, followed by the people in the line already so we didn’t even both stopping.

We went to the Vodafone store at the bottom of the mall in Melbourne. There was a woman out the front changing the signage and before we said anything she greeted us with a somewhat curt “we’re not open”. We were a little taken-aback by her rudeness but David still asked, “when are you opening” to which she replied “8 o’clock”.

As it was 6.05 am i figured we had time to go on up to Telstra’s new T-Life store at the top of the mall which opened at 6am for this occaision to see their bad turn out due to shocking iPhone pricing plans. We started to walk up when David decided he’d go back and wait at the other store, just in case others came along and started to queue.

I was AMAZED when I got to the top of the mall. There was a queue of easily 400 people outside of the T-Life store and thought the windows I could see the people they had already let in. These people were mad. Telstra has a crap plan that was going to cost them a small fortune over the 24 months they have the phone for.

While still gaping at the crowd I turned around to see if anyone else had seen my stunned, horrified face and noticed a small queue of people outside of a Vodafone store right across the road.

Now if you know me, you know there is no way I would ever talk to strangers. Never, but on this occaision I jsut had to. I walked over to the 6 guys standing outside the Vodafone store and together we had a laugh about the stupid people in the Telstra queue. When the guys told me that the store they were in front of opened at 7 I called David, it was 6.20 and I told him I was going to join the queue and he should come up. He declined saying that if they only had a few phones the guys in front of me would get them and then we would have none.

Agreeing with his logic I went on chatting with the guys and waited.

At 6.30 an angel appeared in the form of Michelle. Michelle works at the Crazy Johns store next door the the Vodafone store, and it turns out she had already been out to talk to the guys in the queue a few times before I arrived. She had returned to tell them (and at this time me too) that she had received approval from her manager to open early. They weren’t due to open until 7am but she was going to open now.

When she said, “I have iPhones to sell, who wants to come with me” I gestured to the guys in the queue before me to go ahead, being courteous I figured they were here before me. Then for the second time today I was stunned and amazed. All six of them decided they would remain and open for Vodafone to open.

Having my chance I jumped and said “surely I will come with you, can I get two?”, to which Michelle replied “I think I can do that”. Walking to the door of Crazy Johns one of the other guys decided to join us. So by 6.30am we were inside the store, out of the cold and I had two 16GB iPhones in front of me. I called David and told him to come on up, which he did.

Turned out we still couldn’t process our orders until just after 7am, Crazy Johns is connected to the same network as the Vodafone store next door and they had to wait until Vodafone switched on their computers. But at least we were nice an warm.

So that’s the story of how we got our iPhones, without really having to wait in a queue for very long. 10 minutes tops standing in the cold.

That’s Wicked

Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the WestI can’t believe that it has taken me so long to write about Wicked. It was awesome. But I’ve had such a busy time of late I haven’t even thought about blogging.

But here I am. And now for Wicked.

We first heard about Wicked while watching Ugly Betty, there was an episode that had quite a bit of product placement in it and now I can never claim that product placement doesn’t work. It certainly did in this case.

David download the soundtrack right after we finished watching the downloaded episode of Ugly Betty. We paid for the soundtrack. At first I was thinking David was mad spending money on something we had only heard snippets of. Surely we’d download it without paying first, try it out and buy it if we like it. That’s what we usually do.

But we loved it, so it was money well spent. The music was awesome, the storyline and the different way to view the “Wicked” Witch of the West was a brilliant idea. There and then we said if the stage show comes to Australia we’d go.

It wasn’t long after that there was an announcement that Wicked was coming to Australia… we joined the mailling list immediately.

We then bought our tickets when they became available to mail list memebers early. We bought them back in February and had  a very long wait until July 9th.

We went with Nikki and Ben and their attendence was not guaranteed because of the birth of their lovely kids Amalie and Elliot. Thankfully Nikki’s Mum and Dad babysat the twins while we had a night out.

We started our night out at The Yak Bar and Food, on the corner of Russell St and Flinders Ln in Melbourne. The food was awesome, our waiter was cute and jovial which added to the all round good vibe the place.

Next we headed round the corner to the Regent Theatre where Wicked is playing. The street are bathed in green light from the street lights which have been gelled green for Wicked.

A program purchased, a Wicked mug purchased, an over-priced “Ozmapolitain” in my hand and we went into the theater to enjoy a joyous, funny show.

I love it, the sets and costumes were amazing. The cast was smaller than I expected and the show was more comedic than I believed it was going to be and it was thoroughly enjoyable.

I think David’s parents are coming down later this year, and with luck we’ll be heading off to Wicked again. And maybe we can get my mum and sister to come down to and see it.

If you get a chance, see it.

My First Shoot

From my First Shoot
From my First Shoot, originally uploaded by tyroga.

OMG to say that today was a great day for me would be a massive understatement.

All the photographers were out at other shoots and poor Tim was sick and went home early so I was fortunate to get the call up to cover a press conference at the AFL, where I was able to learn that “technologie pour assemblĂ©es d’actionnaires efficaces” means “technology for effective shareholders’ meetings” in French.

It was for the Under 18’s Championships and a lead up to their grand final which takes place on Wednesday at Telstra Dome.

I was nervous as hell. I had hoped that my first time out would be with one of the other photographers. So I could get a feel for what I’m allowed to do, where I’m allowed to go and what I’m allowed to say (read as ‘make the players do’) . But there you go, first day out, in the deep end I think I did all right.

Everyone who saw the photos seemed happy with them and while there are currently only seven online, there will be a few more tomorrow.

So there it is, I present a shot above from my first official AFL photo shoot. But not my last.

I’ll be heading out to a game this weekend (not sure which one). So be prepared to see my name there a little more.

I’m incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity and thank my employer and the people I work with who knew I could do this and let me.

You won’t see any of my AFL work in the Flickr feed because they actually belong to work and the AFL. So head on over to www.slatterymedia.com.au/images to see what we’re up to.