Study Confirms Many of Us Go Online for No Reason

In something that could only have come from the Department of Stating the Bleedin’ Obvious, the Sydney Morning Herald on December 2nd, 2011 ran an article with the title, Study confirms many of us go online for no reason.

For anyone who needed official word, a new study confirms that many of us – and the majority of young adults – go online for no good reason at all.

The report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that on any given day, 53 percent of 18 to 29 year-olds go online just to have fun or pass time.

Read more:

Well duh!

Of course, no longer being a young adult, I do go online for very good reasons, reasons such as research into uniforms of various combatants in the Napoleonic and American Civil Wars; historical information from that mine of misinformation, wikipedia; online banking; paying my mother’s bills; and reading the classics.

I must agree with the Pew Research Center though, especially as I have four children under the age of 29 and they seem to spend an inordinate amount of time online for no good reason.

Now, where did I put my password to Farmville?

Technology Technology

I had the annual bonus money to spend this weekend. It’s actually a cost reimbursement where we are able to spend money on some technology, travel, medical and such and then claim back against company expenses.

I chose technology. After putting on 100,000 frequent flyer miles in six months this year, travel was not really an option. I was thinking about getting a new camera as my old digital SLR died about a year ago. I settled on an iPad2 as I was used to my eBook reader and this seemed like the next natural progression. What I do like is that for short periods of writing, such as for a blog entry, it is a useful tool. Reading on it is neat too.

Hmm, any more bonuses this year? I still need a new camera 😆


I finally got tired of Thomo’s Hole being hijacked by Webring. I’d joined Webring about 10 years ago I guess and used it as a means of driving traffic to Thomo’s Hole. I belonged to a number of rings like Wargamer’s; Military History; and so on. However, it had got to the point that generally 25% of the time I would log into Thomo’s Hole, I would be redirected to the Webring. In itself, that would not have been such an issue if a single click of the back button would take me back but it didn’t. So farewell.

Now to return to putting together the Early WW2 Russian army I’ve had sitting on the painting queue for a while – yes, another bright shiny object!

Apple’s Poor Customer Service

So, I went to purchase an iTunes Gift Card and send it to number one son for his birthday. I am in Singapore and he is in Canberra so dropping one round was not really an option. I know, I’ll purchase and email. I went through all the steps (and I should add that I have a valid Apple account), clicked the last step and the following window popped up!

image Thank you very much Apple – what a big fail! Still, I can ensure next time it won’t happen because there won’t be a next time! I guess the loss of one customer won’t hurt you but I don’t care, it makes me feel good to know I won’t purchased from iTunes store again.

Stupid Validations – Virgin Broadband – Oz

I went to register and activate my Virgin Broadband service today. Many of you will know that my nickname is Thomo the Lost – that is, “thomo” with a single “m”.


I was asked to register a user name that was to be included in yet one more email address for me (why can’t I just use my own bloody email address that I have had for 10 years now and that Virgin already has from my mobile service?).

I went to register variations of “thomo the lost” only to be told each time that the “email address is not available”.

I checked “thommo” and was told that was used, so I tried “thomo54” (no prizes for guessing what the “54” was).

I received the “email address not available”. When I changed it to “thommo54” it all went through.

So now Virgin, you have insulted me. You have prevented me using a nickname I have used for 10 years because it appears as though the problem is the name has the string “homo” in the middle of it. Virgin Broadband is using the same validation tools as Facebook is (where I was similarly prevented from using “thomo”).

Hello people, this is 2011. We have ways and means of determining if “naughty words” are being used in someone’s userid without having to be so bloody simplistic.

How did it end I hear you ask? I used “thommo54” and was told that the backend apparently had a problem that the technicians were looking at (seriously – and after banning “thomo54” as a userid). I was told to please try again later. I did, and guess what – Virgin then told me “Sorry, your service has already been activated. Please contact support if you feel this is an error.?

So, my user experience with Virgin Broadband after one whole hour of involvement – poor. Starting to wonder whether I should just move my mobile service now!

Galaxy S Froyo Upgrade Fails Again

imageWell, I tried it again. I had a new PC with no drivers installed and even did a reset to factory settings on the phone. Plugged the USB cable in and the result was the same as before, I was unable to have all the devices loaded. This sounds very much like I have a problem with the phone itself.

Oh well, off to Virgin tomorrow to see how the warranty works.

Fast Internet in Singapore … StarHub not!

So, Singapore. Modern progressive city with all the features one needs in a modern city … except a fast Internet connection.

The hotel I am staying at provided me with a StarHub USB Key modem. When I plugged it in the first time, it kicked my Internet connection up at HSDPA speeds. Then, two days ago, it kicked them up at WCDMA speeds and dropped back to GPRS speed. Since then, it has mostly been at GPRS speeds.

Ask me to recommend a wireless Internet Service in Singapore and I can guarantee that the words “StarHub” are not likely to escape my lips. Off to look for an alternative and some long term rental accommodation this afternoon.

Oh, and to show I am not making it up:

Samsung GalaxyS Froyo Upgrade Part 1

I am having a love-hate relationship with my Samsung GalaxyS Android phone. On the surface, there are one or two small issues but by far the biggest annoyance has been trying to upgrade the operating system on the phone from Android 2.1 to Android 2.2 (froyo).

So, the other day I received a marketing email from Samsung which pointed me to a Samsung Australia webpage that gave the following information.

image Yep – if you enlarge this you’ll see that Samsung Australia invites me to upgrade to Android 2.2 and nicely even provides a link to do that. The link actually carries you through to another Samsung webpage at which highlights the GalaxyS phone and permits a link for “Software Upgrades” to be clicked.

Read on and see how successful Thomo was, in this, part one of the tale.

Continue reading

Electronic Hoarding

We used Google’s GMail service here at coldieDOTnet to look after la famiglia. All the family (well, all except one) has an account on coldieDOTnet and as such we have lots of space – so much space that I gave up deleting message from my email account several years ago. I just store them all and use Google’s quite efficient search engine to find the conversation I am looking for.

My coldieDOTnet account looks something like:

image This tells me that I almost have 7.5GB of storage for old emails and that I am keeping way too many of them anyway. Still, there have been a couple of times this year when I have gone back to reference emails sent two or three years ago.

I also have a second email account at Google. This is a standard GMail account and is the one I use for most of my wargaming based activities. In the newsgroups and discussion groups I belong to I use this address to receive mail and to continue discussions and mostly this is all hobby related stuff. I was pleased therefore to see that Google has given me a full 7.5GB of storage on that email account. The downside – well, look at the image below:

image Yep – more mail stored here – much more mail.

It is indicative of today though – there is no need currently to cleanup old emails to reduce space. The storage out there in the cloud is large, cheap (in GMail’s case free) and the tools are available to search back through old messages to find what you are looking for. Why delete old messages therefore.

It’s the same in our social networks. Our tweets back to year dot are still out there in the Twitterverse. Our Facebook status updates over the last years are there for all to see if they can be bothered to keep clicking the “older” link. Our failed Social experiments at Live Journal, MySpace, Orkut and such are still there – usually because inertia keeps us too lazy to be bothered going out to kill off the accounts.

Before electrons moved in the mysterious ways of PC’s, iPhones and iPads we would periodically do housekeeping. Maybe it was springtime and we would go through the house from one end to the other, cleaning up, taking out old things we didn’t need or want anymore, selling them off through garage sales or taking old copies of pulp fiction to the second-hand bookstore – returning with another collection of second hand books that we just must read.

Nowadays there is no compulsion to do this. An external SD card in our eBook reader and we never need delete a book ever again – heck, the basic Kindle can store 3,500 books so who even needs that sort of expansion.

An external 320 GB hard drive and we can store more music than we can listen to in a year.

We’ve lost the need to tidy up. When we let newspapers build up in the kitchen, or old clothes in the wardrobe or boxes of old books and magazines in the garage we are accused of being hoarders.

When we do it electronically,  when we become electronic hoarders, all that happens is that someone makes some space available for us out there in the cloud somewhere … and we are then able to hoard some more.

Perhaps the time has come for us to actually start some meaningful electronic tidying up of our electronic hoards. Let’s clear our memory cards and hard disks, tidy up the electronic hoard and enjoy the clear crisp mornings of Spring. Now … where do I start with this Google Mail.