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Google street view car gets busted by the police 

The driver of a Google Steet View car got more than they bargained for when they ran into the New South Police force in Australia. We are not sure what offence was committed (if any) but it joins a long list of interesting images captured from the top of Google's automobiles. 



It actually costs more to buy an iPhone 5s on a plan today than buying it outright

A new iPhone launch is a bit like the circus coming to town. There is wonder and amazement along with a little chaos and confusion. One area of chaos might be found in the pricing of the models about to be superseded. Take the iPhone 5s for instance. It is still the most advanced Apple phone you can purchase today. Why anyone would purchase one right now when in 7 days time they have the opportunity to get ahold of the new larger iPhone 6 or 6 Plus may be a fair question. But lets look at the options should you want to do just that.

Vodafone Australia

Right now Vodafone Australia will provide an iPhone 5s 32gb model on a 2 year plan for $84 per month ($70 plan + $14 phone payment per month). The truth about this pricing is that the $70 plan is the same as the $50 plan available to anyone that has their own phone - you are actually being charged an extra $20 to subsidise the phone. This subsidy is enough to cover less expensive brands and models, but if you want one with higher storage you have to pay a little extra. In the case of an Apple iPhone 5s 32gb, that is $14 extra per month.

So 24 months x $34 = $816. You can buy the same phone from Apple for $799. You are $17 worse off.

Interestingly if you choose the 16gb iPhone 5s from Vodafone on a 2 year plan you are a mile in front. That phone on a 2 year contract is free on the $70 plan. So in effect you are paying $20 per month x 24 months for the phone - $480 where the same phone outright from Apple is $749. That means Vodafone are subsidizing your phone to the tune of $269.

To be fair to Vodafone, two points need to be made. 1. Optus do a similar thing with their plans. The $60 2 year plan is similar to the $45 month to month plan - you pay an extra $15 per month to help the phone subsidy but Optus throw in an extra 500mb of data to help distance the plans. 2 - These plans are subject to change with the new iPhone 6 about to be released.

Good luck to all about to upgrade.


The Apple iPhone 5 battery replacement experience

So it seems that those members of my family that have been constantly complaining that their iPhone battery levels drop 20 percent in a few minutes are not crazy after all. And to think that I have been blaming their use of Snapchat or Facebook all this time.

Apple recently acknowledged that a select number of their iPhone 5's manufactured between September 2012 and January 2013 may have battery issues. The first step to find out if your iPhone has a faulty battery is to enter your phone's serial number on the Apple website.

Our Experience

In our family we have 4 iPhone 5's and of these, 2 were eligible. Both were 32gb models, one white and one black. Both were bought from Apple in the first 3 days of models launch. An appointment via the Genius Bar and were were booked in for 2 separate times over last weekend.

The Repair

After getting caught in traffic we arrived about 5 minutes late of our booking time. The polite concierge said they normally allow 8 minutes grace but after that you are out of luck - you need to make a new appointment. We just scraped in. An Apple employee soon arrived and asked some general questions about the phone. As this first appointment was for my daughter, she had a slightly sticky power button and was hoping that it would be an exchange. She was asked if she had backed up her phone (she had) and her phone was then tested on the spot to see how the battery was performing. This is an important point. Other iPhone owners that have a serial number that is part of the program have reported that after testing, they are told their battery does NOT need replacing. Not what you want to hear if you think you have issues.

Back to our experience - We are told that the battery needs replacing and to come back in an our to pickup the phone. One hour later we return and she gets the same phone back. Battery level is at 30 percent. She is told to let it run down to zero before she recharges it, and then to recharge it to 100 percent. We leave the store with the only sign that the phone looks different is some small air bubbles under her screen protector? She is delighted that it takes 8 hours to run the phone down from 30 percent to zero. After an overnight charge, the phone runs all day going from 100 percent down to 62 percent. She says that she would have had to charge it twice normally. Smiles all round.

The second visit was for my wife. Things were much that same as the day before but this time the Apple Genius told my wife her battery was "running at 50 percent performance". She is told to come back in 2 hours and upon her return, also receives her own phone back with the battery level at 39 percent. No evidence anything has changed on the phone. She is also told about letting the phone's battery die before fully charging it. 

It takes about 9 hours for it to go flat. An overnight charge and it only drops 55 percent after an entire day's use. Bigger smiles all around. The only casuality in all of this is 1 husband/father. The self-proclaimed tech expert's reputation took an 50 percent hit for blaming battery issues on the user and/or poor choice of apps. Thanks Apple!



These AA batteries are over 30 years old and are still going strong

Batteries are quite amazing if you stop and think about it. Little cylinders of power that allow people to do everything from controlling a television set, to create artificial light in the darkest of places. In days gone by, they were also widely used to power pocket calculators.

Still going strong after 30+ years

One such model is the Casio College FX-100. This scientific calculator was used in the 1980's by students all over the world and its descendents are still used today. I had a FX-100, as did my wife. When my wife showed me her FX-100, the other day, she pointed out that she still had the original batteries that came with the device over 30 years ago. Still powering strong with no signs of leakage.




These 2 planes almost collided at Barcelona Airport


The last thing any pilot wants to see when about to touchdown is another aircraft blocking his path. So. try and image the increased tension for the pilots of this Utair Boeing 767 as it was about to land on runway 02 at Barcelona Airport on July 5, 2014. An Argentinas Airbus A340 was runway 02 and the Russian pilots had not option but to perform a "go around".

Thankfully the 767 landed safely on its next attempt.




Why are we surprised that the bees in this video work together


The video below shows how one honey bee comes to the rescue of another one that is trapped in a spiders web. This seems amazing, but consider the facts. Hundreds of honey bees work together all the time defending a hive, collecting honey, caring for larva etc. I mean is it really that surprising that one bee will help a fellow hive worker out when things get a bit sticky.

You decide for yourself.



Watch this parachute save this light plane from a bad crash

The Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) is an interesting concept. If your plane gets into trouble, just pull the rip-cord and a parachute comes out and lowers the plane safely to the ground. Well last weekend over the picturesque Blue Mountains of NSW a Cirrus aircraft equiped with CAPS got into difficulties (the engine stopped!) and the pilot hit the button and the plane and his three passengers were lowered to the ground. All concerned walked away.


If the results were not so serious, I would speculate that it almost looks like an advertisement for the product. Now if they could just build a parachute big enough for an Airbus A380.





The US Navy can melt a boat from nearly a mile away

Lockheed Martin has just shown what its 10-kilowatt laser high-powered laser can do to a soft sided boat. The system, called ADAM, can disable a boat in seconds from 1 mile away. Perfect for stopping pirates and insurgent attacks.
Sure, one round from a 5-inch gun can take out a boat a lot quicker, but there will not be many survivors left to interrogate.