Petition for lane filtering in Australia

Some people that ride motorcycles may not understand what lane filtering is, however it is a great safety tool for all those that do ride motorcycles and can help to ease congestion on the roads.

As of July 1, lane filtering for motorcycles will be legal in NSW. Shane Lennard, chairman for the Australian Motorcycle Council says that he will be working on making it become a national law.

In the meantime Motorbike Writer has created a petition for the government to introduce this Australia wide.

SIGN THE PETITION

When the law is introduced, only fully-licensed (not learners or provisional) riders will be (legally) allowed to ride through slow or stationary traffic at intersections, below 30km/h. Riders wont be able to filter in school zones, break-down lanes, beside kerbs, or next to buses and trucks.

There is currently no law that says you cannot lane filter, however you could be fined for other laws such as failure to stay in your lane, passing on the left or dangerous operation of a vehicle. NSW will be creating a new law which will ban riders from filtering through traffic at more than 30km/h.

I personally would like to see this law introduced Australia wide just like in Japan, Asia and Europe where lane filtering is encouraged to avoid gridlock, and legal. Some states in the USA it is also legal.

Even if you don’t ride a motorcycle, please sign the petition so those of us that do can filter legally and safely Australia wide.

Telstra Bundle Deal

It’s back once again, like the previous Family and Friends deal Telstra had going, you can get up to $20 per month off your fixed services, which is a saving of up to $480. If you’re interested in getting a new service with these savings, feel free to contact me so I can put in a referral for you. The offer expires on May 12, so get in quick!

The $20 Bundle Discount Offer provides a $20 discount on the monthly charge of eligible Telstra Bundles, Telstra Entertainment bundles, T-Bundle BizEssentials and DOT (Digital Office Technology) plans. The offer is available to customers connecting a new Fixed Broadband service as part of a Bundle. Eligible customers will be offered a $20 discount off their Consumer or Business Bundle plan’s monthly charge, for every month they remain on that plan, for 24 months.

To comply with Telstra’s 3Rs Policy, I am both a Telstra Customer and a Telstra Employee. I AM NOT authorised to represent Telstra on this blog. For an official response, try twitter.com/telstra.

Xperia Z1 DK31 Magnetic Charging Dock from MobileZap

So the guys over at MobileZap hooked me up with a product that I was always interested in, which I never ended up purchasing. That is the magnetic charging dock made by Sony for the Xperia Z1.

Xperia Z1 Charging Dock

Xperia Z1 Charging Dock

Now this dock is pretty awesome. The phone fits into the cradle snugly and has a decent viewing angle. The actual dock does come with an extra cradle adapter for if you happen to use a case on your Z1. If you’re thinking of getting a case you should check out all of the ones available over at MobileZap. To change the cradle you can just pop out the current one and swap it over to the wider one.

Xperia Z1 Dock

Xperia Z1 Dock

My Xperia Z1 is running Cyanogenmod 11; this is my phone sitting in the dock charging using BasicDreams / PhotoTable. It randomly throws pictures on the screen and rotates through them from whichever albums you choose. However if you wanted to simply display a clock, you could do that too.

It’s seamless placing the phone into the dock and you here the “click” of the magnets connecting. When placed in the dock the screen automatically rotates to landscape view; a nice touch.

Technology: The demise of the English language?

If you are one of the (few) people left who prefer the use of proper grammar and spelling, I thank you. You are not alone.

Technology can usually make things simpler for us. In most ways it does, but at what cost? Are we actually becoming dumber from technology?

You just have to take a look at certain things (well one major thing), that which is known as Facebook. You see it all the time; people using improper language. Not only people my age, younger people too (usually to more of an extent). Now imagine in 10 years what the English will be like.

People that know me would agree that I am somewhat of a troll* when it comes to correcting spelling mistakes online, in which I would agree. Especially when it comes to the younger generation who don’t understand that the letter “I” is a capital letter or maybe they don’t care. Is it really that hard?

Chell and I were having a chat with a mate a few weeks ago about how the younger generation are using the internet, and losing sight of what the English language is. Thinking about this today and seeing a couple of posts on Facebook made me ponder writing this post.

I’m not sure if there are many people who appreciate the English language or grammar for that fact. Maybe (most) people are just becoming complacent with where the English language is travelling and feel that it has already become a lost cause? I don’t know.

What do you think?

*Troll (Internet), an internet term for a person who, through willful action, attempts to disrupt a community or garner attention and controversy through provocative messages.

Throttle Cable Zip Tie Mod – CBR250R

I wanted to have WOT (wide open throttle) on my CBR250R with less “twist of the wrist”. After looking around, I noticed other people with Ninja’s have done it, but not much information for the CBR250R, so I decided to do it.

The purpose of this mod is to allow you to acheive wide open throttle via a larger diameter throttle tube without having to twist your wrist as far.

Stuff you will need

  1. Zip tie (I used one I had laying around)
  2. Superglue or other strong bonding agent
  3. Screwdriver (use proper size)
  4. Sandpaper
  5. Alchohol wipes / cleaner

How to do it

  1. Cut a zip tie 3 inches in length, then what I did was bend it into a “C” shape and heated it with a lighter, then ran some cold water over it to maintain the shape.
  2. Remove the throttle cable housing, you will have two screws on this, then remove the throttle cable and return cable.
  3. What I did then was clean the plastic, and then scuffed it lightly with some sandpaper.
  4. I then used superglue along the rough size of the zip tie and glued it down onto the throttle tube in the center (where the cables run).
  5. I then re-attatched the throttle and return cable, and re-assembled the throttle housing, then screwed it back together.
  6. I checked to make sure the throttle operated smoothly and “snapped” back and didn’t get any binding.

I now have around about an inch / quarter turn to get WOT.

Robox Bluetooth Speaker with Hands-Free from MobileZap

The guys over at MobileZap sent me this cool little bluetooth speaker. Now what I like about it is that it’s loud and clear and it’s also the iconic Android, which as you can probably tell by some of the posts on my blog, I am a bit of a fan of Android related products. However my Son has taken it and uses it when he watches cartoons on the tablet because he likes the little robot too.

Robot Speaker

Robot Speaker

When I opened the parcel I was a little upset to see one of the antennas broken off, however I did quickly fix that with some superglue and it was as good as new. I can’t really put that down as a fault with the product, more so just the postman. The robot itself has an on/off button, a usb charging port, a speaker at the bottom and I believe the left eye is the microphone for when you take calls.

Robot Speaker

Robot Speaker

Now you push the head down to play and pause music or to answer and end a phone call, if you hold it down for 3 seconds when you receive a call, you can reject it. If you happen to be on a call, you can also hold down it’s head for 3 seconds and it will transfer the call to your phone, or back to the robot.

Robot Speaker

Robot Speaker

You turn it’s head to the left to lower the volume, or right to increase the volume. The little ring around it’s neck is the LED. Battery life on this thing will get you up to 6 hours of talk time or music playback, and 300 hours of standby which is quite decent for having such a small battery at 270mAh.

If you’re after any kind of accessories for your devices, even if it’s for Apple products or mobile phones, I would highly recommend MobileZap. They have always been professional and friendly with all my interactions with them.

Plugfones – Motorcyclist (and other) earphones + discount code

I’ve always tried different kinds of earphones (Sony, TDK, Apple, and others) but they never seem to “stay” in my ears. I wanted a pair that I could use whilst riding my motorcycle, but unfortunately I could never find them. Instead I just used generic foam style (noise cancelling) ear plugs you can get at any hardware store (to help with wind noise, road noise, exhaust noise) and to save my eardrums basically.

Plugfones Yellow

Plugfones Yellow

So I came across this wonderful product which solves both (and stays in my ears!), also being noise cancelling I can have my music turned down low, so I am not harming my eardrums with loud music whilst riding due to lowering all other noise. It’s basically a win-win situation!

You can have a look at the Plugfones website as they have different colours and types (silicone or foam), I chose yellow silicone ones due to no need to “roll” them before putting them in, and for the low maintenance (don’t have to worry about them wearing out), however they do have packets of 5 replacement foam buds you can buy too.

If you ride a motorcycle, or work in a loud environment where you need hearing protection but want to listen to music, I would highly recommend trying them. If you purchase them, you can use the discount code earplugsthatsing to get 10% off your order too!

The Paradox of Our Age

I saw this post getting around Facebook saying that George Carlin wrote this piece, however George Carlin very emphatically denied this piece and he referred to as “a sappy load of shit,” and posted his comments about being associated with this essay on his own web site.

However, the true author is Dr. Bob Moorehead, former pastor of Seattle’s Overlake Christian Church. I however find this piece a great read, emotionally and empathetically and makes me think about a lot of things.

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings, but shorter tempers; wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints.

We spend more, but have less; we buy more, but enjoy it less.

We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time;

We have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry too quickly, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too seldom, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.

We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life; we’ve added years to life, not life to years.

We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor.

We’ve conquered outer space, but not inner space.

We’ve done larger things, but not better things.

We’ve cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.

We’ve split the atom, but not our prejudice.

We write more, but learn less.

We plan more, but accomplish less.

We’ve learned to rush, but not to wait.

We build more computers to hold more information to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, and short character; steep profits, and shallow relationships.

These are the times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure, but less fun; more kinds of food, but less nutrition.

These are days of two incomes, but more divorce; of fancier houses, but broken homes.

These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throw-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer to quiet, to kill.

It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stockroom; a time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Let me know what you think.

Premium Xperia Z1 Case from MobileZap

Shoutout to the guys at MobileZap for the case I received for my Xperia Z1, thanks! I reviewed a similar case when I had the Xperia Z, except this one comes with slots for your cards and it works great! I no longer carry my wallet around with me, I have my licence and keycard in the case, which is all I need. Simplicity at it’s finest.

Just like the previous case, it has access to all the ports, again with the bottom section cut out to enable you to slide the phone out. The inside is lined with the felt just like the earlier case I had for my Z except this one fits the Z1 just as snug.

Xperia Z1 Case

Xperia Z1 Case

This time I opted for the “carbon” style instead of the plain black. It looks and feels great. It has an embossed “Made for XPERIA” on the back in fine print down the bottom which was a nice touch. I’ve not even glanced at another case for my phone(s) since I’ve tried this pouch out. It’s simple to put the phone in, and get it out, and just drop it in my pocket. It doesn’t “stick” to my pocket like some of the TPU / silicone ones I’ve tried.

Just like my previous review on this case, simply put: buy it. You won’t be disappointed. The stitching has held up for quite awhile, the card holders have not stretched and everything still fits nice and snug. However if it isn’t your cup of tea, you can check out all the other cases that MobileZap have for the Xperia Z1 too over on their cases page, their options are endless and you’re sure to find one that you like.

iPhone 5S Case from MobileZap

I was hooked up with an iPhone 5S case from the guys over at MobileZap for Chell. If you need any type of cases or accessories for your iPhone 5S then definitely check them out, they are always friendly, happy to help, and have fast shipping times.

iPhone 5S Case

iPhone 5S Case

The case that Chell got was the usual flip style leather case that doubles as a stand for landscape viewing. It holds the phone in nice and tight similar to the previous HTC One case. When you close the front of the case, it has two magnetic clips to hold it together. It also has access to all the ports for the iPhone 5S too, which is a must these days for cases.

iPhone 5S Case

iPhone 5S Case

Like most of the flip style cases it also has two slots for credit cards e.t.c. but the bonus is it has a pouch the length of the case, kind of like a wallet so you could put notes, receipts e.t.c. in there too. It’s a nice addition to the usual card holders.

One of the issues with this case though, and I am unsure whether it is with every case or not, but the magnetic strip on the front part of the case came out. Upon closer inspection it seems that it wasn’t actually sewn in like on the back of the case. Minor mishap and hopefully it was just a once-off. If anyone else happened to purchase this case, I wouldn’t mind if you could pop in a comment to let me know if you had the same issue.

Broken Tab

Broken Tab

Other than that, the case itself is great, protective and stylish (if you like owls), so I cannot fault that at all. It’s all you want in a case to protect your phone.

Broken Case

Broken Case