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Pope Francis I – Relax

Is it just me, or did everyone else think this when they heard the announcement of Pope Francis I [^] this morning?

Pope Frankie Says Relax T-Shirt

Pope Frankie Says Relax T-Shirt

More on Tablets

I posted recently about a wanting a tablet. A big part of this want is so that I can be connected to the ‘net anywhere. From sitting on the sofa at home to standing in the middle of a paddock. That means being either hooked into a WiFi signal at home or out-and-about by 3G – just what a tablet is designed for. Simple!

In the meantime I have trudged around the major electronic retailers, in no particular ordAndroid Not Available Googleer. And I found that they are all the same; JB Hifi, Harvey Norman, OfficeWorks, The Good Guys … . They all have one thing in common. Their 3G tablets, especially iPads and usually Galaxy Tab 10.1s all connect to the ‘net, either through their WiFi network or a Mobile network (3G). That is if the screen saver isn’t password locked!

But the WiFi models are different. Hitting the browser icon doesn’t bring up a nice white Google page, it gives you a blank screen with a little green android “Web Page Not Available” 🙁 . Is this so that everyone realises that these models don’t have “the internet” on them? Come on guys, people don’t just buy a tablet to play Angry Birds, or do they? Will the staff connect them to the network for ‘serious‘ buyers I wonder – and would they know how?

I hope that this isn’t a cynical attempt to sell more of the 3G models. After all they do cost $200 more than the base WiFi version. After all a wireless 3G Hotspot cost a darn sight less than $200.

Australian Tablet Plans

I’ve looked at tablets, and I’m not too worried about the Android and Apple choice. The key thing is that it just has to work and keep on working. Basically I want a mobile data connection wherever I am. For the most part that’s in metropolitan Melbourne, most likely at home or at work.

Galaxy Tab 10.1iPad2Motorola Xoom

But the thing is I have questions, and I haven’t been able to find answers. None of the Australian mobile phone comparison sites cover tablets. Surely the concept is no different to mobile phones, just without the phone bit and anyway almost no-one uses a smart phone as a phone!

Is there anywhere that can tell me what is the best tablet plan in Australia?
Is it better to get a tablet (a GalaxyTab 10.1, an iPad or a Xoom) on plan from one of the mobile phone companies?
Does it work out cheaper to buy a 3G tablet outright and get a data plan / sim from your preferred company?
What about getting a WiFi tablet and using the saving to buy a wireless 3G hotspot?

Does anyone know? Or have I found a hole in the mobile phone comparison sites?

A Technical View of the Filter

Gizmodo has a look at the proposed compulsory Australian Internet Filter [^] proposed by the Federal Government. The article has a look at how filtering systems work – either by IP address, domain name or specific pages. The story is a good primer on the mechanics of web filtering, and interestingly it includes a brief description of how these filters can be easily by-passed.

fight the filter

All of this without even discussing the ramifications of the black-list being secret. Tied to this is the fact that there are already falsely blocked sites [^] on the list without a process being in place for a review.

One Gizmodo commenter points out that the education sector has plenty of experience in filtering, with little success,  but no-one from that area has been consulted. The education sector is one group with a high degree of control over physical security, the ability to lockdown the operating system and access rights, and a supposedly “inexperienced” user-base up against trained professionals. How can the Government hope to improve on this set of circumstances?

With an election pending and the obvious technical difficulties the filter has been deferred [^] for a year.

Liddle Fact No.220

Spring Valley juice bottles have a Liddle Fact [^] under the lid.

Liddle Fact No 220

Number 220 is “Penguins can convert salt water into fresh water”. It’s the only one so far that has made me stop and think. Does this mean that we should be making desalination plants out of penguins?

Korimco Penguin Russ Penguin Bear

And yes, penguins do drink salt water [^] and excrete the excess salt out through special glands.