Category Archives: News Stories

Steve Jobs Has Died – Goodbye To A Visionary Master

Steve Jobs, 56, died peacefully this morning at his home in California surrounded by family and friends. Although the man has died, the Jobs legacy will live on in his products for years to come.

I am most definitely not an ‘Apple Fanboy’ by any account but I appreciate the work he has done for the industry and also the world. The technology landscape would look quite different today if it weren’t for Steve’s vision and passion for computers and technology. Some are now asking how Apple will fare in the coming years without a leader such as Steve. I personally think they’ll be fine.

Steve named Tim Cook as new CEO in late August of this year as part of a well documented succession plan at Apple and Tim is a highly capable individual who I’m sure will do a great job as CEO. Tim Cook was chief of operations at Apple before being named CEO and has been with apple for 14 years now so he already has a good knowledge of the company, and in fact he took over as interim CEO while Steve was away ill in 2010. However, What will happen when Apple’s current product pipeline dries up? Where will the new ideas for products come from? So many ideas came from Steve so will be interesting to see where the new ideas come from and what they might be. Steve left Apple in the best shape it’s ever been in and for a company that hinges itself on ideas and innovation to loose its innovative leader, Apple should be able to weather this storm better than most.

Rest in peace Steve Jobs, you were truly a guiding light. You set out to change the world when you started Apple, and…I think you succeeded.

One Step Closer To An R18+ Video Game Rating In Australia

Last week the minister for justice Brendan O’Connor released a draft of guidelines that would accompany the introduction of an R18+ rating for video games in Australia.

With a classification system in Australia that does not have an R18+ rating for video games is ridiculous and stupid. We’ve had an R18+ rating for film and television in this country ever since the Office for Film & Literature Classification (OFLC) created the system but video games have been left behind all this time. Granted there is an argument that video games have not made such an impact on society as they have over the last 10-15 years and the need for an R18+ rating has not been raised before and I understand that, but at least between the last 5-10 years we’ve seen video games grow and the level of adult content grow with it. The question I’d like to ask is “Why should we treat video games differently?”.

As an adult living in Australia, currently I have the right to view R18 films whenever I like. I have the freedoms and rights to see what I want and consume that type of media with its adult content as I want, why can’t I do the same with video games? People say it’s because video games offer a level of interactivity that film simply does not. I understand where you’re coming from but its not as if I’d go around killing people or anything in real life after playing Grand Theft Auto.

Because Australia has not had an R18+ rating for video games, we have missed out on some really amazing games, more recently Mortal Kombat was released and banned in Australia, we’ve received watered down versions of Grand Theft Auto 4 and Left 4 Dead 2 just to name a few others.

So far as I’m writing this, I’ve started to think that perhaps I’m a little biased and my rants here are a little one sided. Fair enough, but I don’t hear too many arguments from people disputing the need for an R18+ rating for video games, do you? It’s kind of like saying would you object to legislation that would cure cancer or end world hunger? We need an R18 rating for video games not just to please fellow adults like myself, but we need this rating to better manage the types of content our children can get their hands on and to classify media in Australia in a more detail. There can be no blanket “one rating to rule them all” strategy because as it has been with video games this is all we’ve effectively had.

As an adult, I should have the same freedoms offered to me to consume adult material in video games just as I have the right to do so with film and television. I’m glad the Australian government are taking steps to catch up with the rest of the world on this issue. It will allow adults just as myself to better make decisions to restrict the type of content children consume, while at the same time not prohibiting the rest of us from watching (and playing) whatever we choose.

I’m really looking forward to an introduction of an R18+ rating for video games in Australia, it has been neglected and absent for far too long.

Michael – Share Your Memories


If you’re a big Michael Jackson fan but don’t know how to show your appreciation and support? Worry no more. Head on over to Michael’s official site and you can leave your thoughts and share your memories of Michael Jackson that have made the biggest impact in your life.

There have been so many responses and comments posted already, 362,966 to be exact (as of 30/06/09). It just makes you realize how many people really loved and admired MJ.

Reserve Bank Cuts Interest Rates (Again)

THE Reserve Bank has cut interest rates to 3 per cent, giving homeowners a boost as Australia’s jobs outlook deteriorates.

The move takes the official cash rate to the lowest point since 1960. But there’s no guarantee the cut will be passed on to homeowners by the nation’s big banks. Source:

It’s really quite amazing how far the interest rate has come, to it’s lowest point in over 50 years! That’s a big deal. It’s a big deal for home owners also. If you locked your mortgage interest rate in this time last year, I feel sorry for you. If you locked it in last year you’ll be paying over $500 a month more than if you locked in your interest rate on your mortgage now.

I wonder if it will get any lower than what it is now?

New Australian High-Speed Broadband Network

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced today that the Australian government would go ahead and build the countries largest high-speed broadband network providing speeds of up to 100mbit to 90% of the country. Many commentators and industry figures saw the decision as bringing an end to Telstra’s monopoly of telecommunications infrastructure.

The big deal is that the Australian government will be the largest stakeholder in the network owning 51% of it, the remaining 49% will be owned by basically anyone who wants a piece of the action. The government will make available bonds to the public/private sector and even to private residents (similarly to what Telstra did about 10 years ago).

By 2011, most Australian’s will already have access to a 100 megabit per second connection via a variety of technologies, while the Government will only be one year into the (network) rollout Source: Duncan Riley

This new broadband network is due to be rolled out across Tasmania this year but the rest of the country won’t have access to the network until it is completed in 2017 (est. 7-8yrs).

That’s a long wait, but it should give us a lot of flexibility to increase speeds quite easily once better technology comes along (and by 2017 that will probably be the case) and will shoot Australia into the top 10 nations in the world with one of the fastest (and largest) broadband networks.

$900 Bonus On Its Way

Cash payments of up to $900 will begin flowing to 8.7 million taxpayers on Monday following the High Court’s dismissal of a challenge to their legality by an Armidale law lecturer.

Bryan Pape, also a barrister and states-rights champion, took on the might of the Commonwealth and lost.

The court has ruled that the Tax Bonus for Working Australians Act passed by Federal Parliament in February is valid under the constitution.

Can’t wait to get that extra money from Monday, will definitely come in handy. Hopefully I get it next week!

Sydney CBD Blackout Sparks Anti-Terrorism Debate

Yesterday the Sydney CBD was hit with widespread power outages after 4 power cables that service much of the CBD and northern suburbs was damaged.

AN emergency loudspeaker system could have been used during a blackout in Sydney’s CBD, but police decided against it.

Deputy New South Wales Police Commissioner Dave Owens says the system, which is the main communication tool for any city centre emergency, draws power from five electricity sub-stations, not all of which were affected by yesterday’s power outage. Source:

It’s pretty amazing that an advanced warning system that is supposed to aid citizens in the event of a blackout (among other things that could be effected by a terrorist attack) actually runs on mains electricity with no backup power source.

This will definitely need to be fixed up if we are planning on using this system in the future, the crap thing is terrorists around the world will know how vulnerable Sydney actually is at the moment. Hopefully all these news stories of this vulnerability doesn’t leave us open to an impending attack!

Earth Hour A Huge Success!

Billions of people right around the world took part in one of the biggest support efforts for our planet last night. It was called “Earth Hour” and the idea behind it was for everybody around the world to turn off their lights for 60 minutes (1 hr) from between 8:30pm – 9:30pm to save energy and raise awareness for our environment’s sustainability.

More than 370 cities around the world observed Earth Hour and as you can see from some of the photos below, it looks like a difference quite possibly had been made:

earthhr_paris earthhr_syd earthhr_syd2


I personally took part in Earth Hour this year myself. I turned out all the lights in the house. I didn’t watch any TV for that hour, but I did listen to music on my iPod (batteries) and used my laptop computer on battery power also. A small difference, but that was the idea behind Earth Hour. If everybody made a small contribution just like that, then each would add up to something quite big.

I saw a few houses in my street do the same thing, but most perhaps didn’t even know it was happening!

Next year we’ll have to aim for more people to join in…after all, it’s only the future of the planet at stake! Every small bit counts.