This week's reaction to Internode's NBN broadband prices veered from "shock" to cautious approval and, well, a bit of both. While $189.95 (the most expensive NBN plan announced by Internode this week) is a huge amount for many home users to pay each month, the plans starting at $59.95 are actually the same as equivalent Internode naked plans that you'd get over copper telephone lines today. And while today's ADSL seems a lot cheaper, keep in mind that you need to factor in that highly irritating line rental charge. Once copper lines get replaced with fibre, the plan is that you won't be paying a separate rental fee (well, unless you really just want voice). The Opposition's Malcolm Turnbull remains unimpressed with the whole project, claiming the Coalition could deliver the network faster, and cheaper too. If only he'd spoken to Internode customer Paul Gosney, who's apparently loved the idea of having fibre Internet so much, he chose the coastal town of Minnamurra for his "sea change".
It's either about protecting kids from extreme violence in games. Or the other way around. Either way, the news is that Australia is likely to get an R18+ rating for adult video games. Gamers have dreamt of this ever since Grand Theft Auto 3 left a bad taste in the mouth of censors. There's a chance we'll see this in place before the end of the year, according to some reports. You've always got this to tide you over legally in the meantime.
Mac users taking valium, having lie down
And why not, any self respecting Mac aficionado should be drained after all the excitement this week. First off: a new version of the operating system. Not only that, one that you download, and it costs $31.99. Sure some people are reporting some teething issues (we've heard about certain non-working external drives, for example), but a few teething issues are a small price to pay for 250 new features, right? Like full screen programs and auto-saving documents, for example. Also this week: new MacBook Airs, which replace the entry level MacBooks. Our verdict? The Air is now a great alternative to a Pro, if you want something light. Next on the list: a $699 Mac Mini with Lion, discrete graphics and new CPU. Then there's the pièce de résistance: a 27in display that not only looks like an iMac, it has a price that some might mistake for a computer too ($1199). And those living in western Sydney can now complete the experience with a visit tomorrow (Saturday July 23) with a visit to the newly opened Apple Store in Westfield Penrith. And if you've done all of the above and think that's living the Apple lifestyle, you could be this guy.
HP launching touchpad next week
If you've been holding off on joining the tablet craze, add the HP Touchpad to your shortlist. We're heading to a media unveiling of the device in Australia next week, so chances are it will be going on sale sometime soon. Should you care? Well, the Touchpad's main selling point is it doesn’t run Android or Apple's iOS, which is fine if HP has come up with a slick, friendly unterface, but a potential mess if it hasn't. Android devices took several generations to reach a point where the major kinks were ironed out. The TouchPad's WebOS (which isn't new, by the way), has things like wireless printing, VPN, and smartphone integration. While all this has us wondering how far the evolution of tablets has to go, it's nothing when you look at this. Two screens? Why not.
Nokia most trusted brand
Finally, we're not sure what to make of this report about the "most trusted brands" in Australia. Only one technology brand made it to the top 10: Nokia. Considering that Nokia's revenue from phone sales has fallen 25% in the last quarter, it's a small ray of good news, even if it was only a survey of 1,200 people. Nokia is still putting out some interesting phones, like this one. And while the iPhone 5 is rumoured, Windows Phone 7 is looking better by the month.