Another Telstra Rip-Off

So Telstra (the major Telco here in Australia) get all fired up about their new service. It is called the “Next G Network”. Basically offering WiFi where-ever you go.

The only upshot as far as I can tell with this is that you can take your Internet connection with you. That is they supply you with a “mobile card” that you install your Laptop and you can be connected while you travel, as opposed to find some unsecured WiFi network somewhere. If you mainly or only use the Internet at home then this is a rip off of staggering proportions.

So there is on offer two plans and yes they are locked for 12 months. The first plan called “G Fast” offers 256 kbps and 128 kbps upload. There is a 200MB option or one GIG, and that is per month… The cost… $49.95AU and $79.95AU respectively. First up the speed is poor even for WiFi and second you would not want it to be going any quicker as you are charged 30 cents per MB once you go over your quota! So that too slow for you and a bit restrictive? Well we are geeks and we need speed right?

Well maybe the “Super G Fast” is for you. There is only one speed here and that is 550 kbps to 1.5 mbps download (average) with an upload speed “bursting to 384 kbps. This plan is offered in two options; by the hour or by the volume. 10 hours or 20 at a cost of $29.95AU and $49.95AU respectively. The volumes offered are 400MB, 1GIG and 3GIG. Costing, $79.95AU, 109.95AU and 199.95AU respectively… Oh and I forgot that there is a one off fee of $299AU for the wireless card.Is it just me or does this seem like there is something wrong?

Pays to read the fine print where some of this information was taken:

1. The G Fast plans will have a download speed up to 256kbps and an upload speed of up to 128kbps. These speeds are a theoretical maximum. Actual speeds will be slower. The Super G Fast plans will have an average download speed of 550kbps to 1.5Mbps and an upload speed bursting to 384kbps. Speeds may vary due to congestion, distance from the cell, local conditions, hardware, software and other factors.
2. Usage means monthly combined upload and download data transfer. 1 Gigabyte = 1000 Megabytes.

[Added Emphasis]

This country is going bloody mad. Anyone that thinks this is any type of good deal could be in for a shock. Especially when you consider that Google is delivering free wireless access to the whole town of Mountain View where they are based and they want to do it elsewhere! Not to mention the fact that this type of thing has been available in the US for about the last 6 years.

Sure I don’t have the ability to have access no matter where I am. But if I wanted WiFi at home, the addition of a Wireless modem would be all it would take and that would be for less than 200 bucks! So taking the mobility part of the equation out. I have a connection here at home that is 1.5 mbps download and 256 kpbs up. No that isn’t break neck speed but it is the fastest available here in Cairns, Australia at the time of writing this. I pay a quarter of the cost above and I have 10 GIG to play with!

I am no maths genius and I may be wrong here but this whole thing seems very, very steep. The sad thing is that this will be the only high speed Internet option available to some isolated communities here in Australia. What choice does that leave them? I certainly hope we are rescued from these crazy times by someone, some company or at least the Australian public waking up to themselves and realizing that there are other options other than Telstra. Force the competition and start giving yourselves the choice at competitive prices and stop complaining.

No thanks Telstra I will have my restricted mobility.

Odeo Email Issues?

Odeo LogoI think that there might be a problem with Odeo’s email notification. I was actually told by someone yesterday that they had sent The Global Geek Podcast an audio message via Odeo. The message was from our CEO Cameron Reilly so it was important that we got it. More importantly it is important that we get audio messages from the listeners.

I don’t visit our Odeo Inbox on a regular basis, I rely on the email notification to let me know there is a message waiting. I have not checked the RSS feed for a few days. I have been busy doing other things and I only regard the RSS feed as a backup to the email notification.

I am still waiting for the email notification for the Odeo inbox from a message that was left two days ago. I am starting to think that the email notification is busted or at least has malfunctioned in some way.

Before you think that the email settings are wrong or that my spam filter has canned it, think again. I have checked the settings in my account at Odeo and all is correct there. In addition to that it is not only me that gets an email notification that a message has been left. My, co-host also gets a notification as well. We have a pretty cool email setup where we have multiple recipients for a single address by default. So Sebastian is still waiting for an email as well.

Odeo Respond, Download Link Returns!

As posted yesterday it appeared Odeo had decreased it's functionality of the "send me an Odeo message" by not allowing users to download the mp3 of the left message. Well there has been a great response from Odeo with emails and even a blog comment. All is restored in the Odeo universe.

Odeo Download LinkBiz Stone who works for Odeo left a comment on the Rail yesterday that indicated that the omission of the Download link on the web page was a bug and implied that they were unaware of the problem until I had blogged about it. So great I found a bug! The emails that were recieved were also prompt and promised a resolution. The action by Odeo to resolve the issue has been excellent. When I logged onto my inbox this afternoon, the download link is now present and accounted for. Everyone breath a sigh of relief. I am yet to see if the enclosure in the RSS feed from the "inbox" has been fixed as well but I am assuming that it has.

I commend Odeo staff on their excellent response time and the fact that they responded at all. They could have easily just resolved the problem and pretended that it did not happen. Great work Odeo, we still love you 😉 (In a nice blokey type of way…).

In fact I am not really sure how Biz found my humble blog, and if he is reading this then I wouldn't mind knowing. The other thing that I was curious about was if the staffers at Odeo patrol the BlogOsphere looking for tags and posts regarding Odeo, to see what people are saying and suggesting. I know that one suggestion that I made in the past was implemented, so that was cool.

Thanks Odeo keep up the good work.

RSS Calender; Great Idea!

I stumbled upon this while reading my RSS feeds today and I think it is a great idea.

The site is RSSCalendar, not sure if it sort of coincides with the release of Google’s calender effort but it seems ironic. Basically from what I can gather registered users create a calendar then create entries that are updated to others via RSS. It does this by you creating a unique RSS feed to the calendar that you set up when you create a calendar.

I think this is a great idea as a way of sharing what you are doing with family or friends. The other application would be working with a small group on a business project for a limited time, as calendar’s can be daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. Updates will be sent to everybody subscribed to the feed in real time.

The only thing that I was thinking might be a concern is the fact that anyone would know what you were up to if they were subscribed to your feed. I am not sure if the option to password protect the feed is available but if it isn’t it should be. Because I am thinking if you post that you are out of the country on a certain week, I wonder if all your electrical appliances will still be there when you get home? In addition a group might not want the whole world to know what they are working on. I don’t know how easy it is to search for RSS feeds but I would not imagine it to be too hard. So the assumption that others would not know the feed address because you didn’t give it out is not in my opinion safe-guard enough.

Apart from that it looks like it has promise. Have a look. It is still in Beta but then again what isn’t these days.

Blogcasting with Odeo

As you all know I have a comment button where you can leave an audio comment for me to hear later. Well I had some time today so I did a bit of poking around the Odeo site today and I found some cool stuff.

One of the things I found was that you can log into Odeo and record some audio. After you have recorded your audio and then go to your profile. You will see down the bottom listed are “Your Podcasts”. If you click on the recording that you made you will see the details of the recording that you made. Notice the RSS next to the “Audio in this Podcast”? This RSS feed is for the audio that you recorded. Each time that you record some audio the RSS feed is updated and people are notified of the addition in their reader. If they have a reader that is capable of downloading enclosures they can download the audio you recorded & listen to it!

My RSS feed for Odeo is: (put that in your RSS reader).

The implication of this is that if you hate typing but want to blog, or if you want an easy quick way to communicate; then why not Blogcast? I think that this opens up opportunities for disabled people as well. I recorded some stuff and listened to it and I must say that the audio quality is excellent.

The other great advantage to it is that there are no downloads necessary, no knowledge of enclosures and how they work is necessary, no knowledge of podcasting is necessary. If you have a microphone and can talk you can blogcast. Essentially Podcasting is what you are doing! I think this is an application of Web2.0 at it’s best.

The Odeo site has put together some great fun tools to play around with. You can subscribe to Podcasts. Listen to podcasts. Make recordings. And start a blogcast.

By the way you can subscribe to my Blogcast if you like but I am a man of the written word and it won’t be long until the Podcast is up and running.