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Tech Talk Radio Show 24 of 2009
Transmission date: June 15, 2009

pod 2 hour full show
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Ep 24: Apple WWDC wrap, Mark Mayer joins us to discus aviation, in particular Airbus and the A330 Air France disaster, Microsoft to sell Windows 7 into the EU without IE, and what's this strange Twitter Y2K style bug?

June 15, 2009

The trials and tribulations of technology in transit can be quite daunting for the uninitiated, or even the experienced for that matter. Last week I drove a couple of hundred kilometers down the Victorian coast line to the small holiday village of Inverloch. Not that the destination is relevant – it could have been any town in Australia, outside one of the main Central Business Districts.

Mobile communications is divided into two distinct components these days, mobile telephony and mobile data. If you’re rich enough to be connected to Telstra, Australia’s incumbent telecommunications provider, then chances are, you won’t have much to worry about. But if you’re consumer savvy and conscience of the drain on the hip pocket, then chances are, you’re with a different provider – even still, you may have two different providers, one for your mobile telephony and another for your mobile broadband.

Since the launch of handsets (smart phones) such as Apples iPhone, the Blackberry and Nokia’s E71, data has become more of a necessity than ever before. After all, why invest in these smart phones, which have been designed and built to deliver a vast range of internet services to the consumer on the go, if you aren’t going to use what’s on offer.

Before the smart phone hit the market, telcos saw data over the mobile phone network as a bit of a cash cow. But in the past year or so, pricing for mobile data is becoming comparable to that of voice. Even the Telstra “Rock of Gibraltar” has budged ever so slightly in the last 12 months on mobile broadband pricing. But beware the roaming display on your mobile phone, because this is where mobile data can become extremely expensive.
Mobile data can be charged anywhere from 50 cents to several dollars per Mb when you choose to use internet services on your mobile when roaming onto another carriers network.

Now on the face of it, it doesn’t sound too bad, but if you leave your handset on, with applications like Google Maps, Skype,or Fring, then you may be in for some bill shock, especially if your away from your home location for a while. Other processes that run on your smart phone such as email clients can also eat away at your mobile data plan, so the trick to traveling is turn off what you don’t need, or at least change the settings to manual. That way, you know when and how much your using.

One final piece of advice, as mobile broadband gets faster, unless you have substantial allocation of moble broadband, never leave you laptop unattended with you mobile broadband card connected. I did on the weekend to find a substantial swag of my allocation consumed by a fairly sizable windows update.

Just as well my account anniversary was only two days away.

Also on the show this week:

  • Former Qantas pilot and aviation guru Mark Mayer joins us live in the studio
  • Adam looks at mobile VOIP
  • Microsoft to sell Windows 7 in Europe with no browser at all, and
  • Apples WWDC has concluded and what have we learnt?