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Finally took the time to figure out how to store youtube videos on ipod touch and am really enjoying it.

Thanks to RealPlayer11 that comes with RealPlayer Downloader that downloads videos available in browser (including youtube videos).
However, the downloaded video will be in .flv format, which is not supported on ipod/iphone. So, I need a something that can convert .flv file into .mp4 file. A friend suggested an online converter to me but it took forever to convert a file (maybe just an individual case), so I gave it up.
And I found iSquint – a freeware that does that work perfectly well. The conversion is fast and there’s this microwave “ding" sound when conversion is finished. Somehow I really do enjoy that sharp “ding"!

Well, these are actually nothing new just that I didn’t bother to put videos on my ipod touch. But that night I suddenly wanted to put some videos of Philippe Jaroussky and Yo-yo Ma and many others on my ipod touch, and so I took the time to figure out how to do it. 

I know I can tap on that “youtube" icon on the ipod touch to watch youtube videos but 1) it needs internet connection; and 2) it takes time to download a video. I’d rather have them stored. Besides, some videos may be removed after some time due to whatever reason… having them stored is safer =P

用了香港寬頻多年,一直都頗滿意其服務,直至上周五,發現近三個月的月費比之前的多了三十多元,於是致電查詢,然後發現香港寬頻兩年之前送了一盤「年桔」來,三個月前開始收「年桔」的錢。
話說在與兩年多前與香港寬頻簽的合約中,送了廾四個月的網上硬碟BB Drive,這增值服務的免費期到三個月前完結。那個BB Drive就是那盤「年桔」,收取「年桔」費用的理由,是我沒有在合約完結前提出終止服務。
我當然力爭到底:既然合約已完結,也就是說我跟香港寬頻就有關付費或免費服務的承諾已完成,而合約只寫明在合約完結後,香港寬頻會以某價錢提供服務,而非本人同意在合約完結後以某價錢繼續使用該服務,則香港寬頻無權在未得本人同意下,向本人提供服務。
事實上,在與多名熱線員的多番對話中,他們也指出該增值服務現已不在合約期內,所以我可以在任何時候提出即時取消。既然並沒有服務合約,為何香港寬頻會提供服務?為何我要付錢?是否即使沒有合約,也要工作或出糧?公司與員工的合約完結後,員工是否可以繼續上班並要求支薪?
香港寬頻的此等行為,與黑社會新年「送」年桔無異:先送桔後強「屈」付款。
如果香港寬頻當初「好大隻蛤乸隨街跳」,送十個八個增值服務,如用家不在合約期滿前最少一個月,以書面通知香港寬頻取消該等增值服務,到合約期滿後,香港寬頻便可每月有數百以至無限的增值服務費袋袋平安?
最後,在經過多番與不同人的爭辯後,香港寬頻只同意,由於本人不了解合約條文,所以會退回兩個月的BB Drive月費,但首個月的港幣36元(準確金額是36.7x元),依然要收取,而香港寬頻會寄出取消服務表格予本人,本人要填妥表格並傳真或郵寄回香港寬頻作實。
由於已花了太多時間與香港寬頻周旋,我實在覺得再花時間與香港寬頻周旋,會比拿回首月月費更虧本,所以接受了此方案。不過,與此同時,我要求香港寬頻同時郵寄取消寬頻上網服務的表格給我,讓我提早交回,以免日後有同類事件發生。我今次的合約還有18個月,我決定在遠超過其合約規定之一個月期限前,提早18個月通知香港寬頻,到時到候停止提供服務。
香港網絡供應商數量不算很多,但消費者還是很有選擇空間的!18個月後,即使我未能在合約完結當天記起,導致有一天不可以上網,深信在第二天也可以找到另一家供應商!而經過此役,我相信我不會忘記我與香港寬頻的合約,將在2010年3月底到期。我已在iCal寫下,也在Google Calendar寫好,還在不同的to do list上標示好了:2010年3月中要找新的網絡供應商!到時候,我也會要求新的供應商,在寄上合約時要同時寄上取消服務申請表,即時填妥交回去。原因無他,不就是其實全港網絡供應商,都跟香港寬頻一樣,基本上都以「黑社會送年桔」的方式來對待用戶,都以「無賴」方式擬定和闡釋合約,從而窄取消費者的金錢。
所以,最徹底的做法,是立法禁止網絡供應商在合約完結後自動強行繼續提供服務並徵收費用。有人可能會覺得這樣做,有可能會在用家忘記合約期滿日子,而網絡供應商又不主動邀請續約時,會導致有一段時間沒有網絡服務,產生不便。不過,如果每當有供應商不主動邀請續約,用家便自動轉台,供應商自然會主動邀請續約,以免流失客戶,消費者利益亦自然會得到保障。
而在未有上述理想法例以前,謹此呼籲各位,尤其是香港寬頻的用戶,請立即致電你的網絡供應商,查詢所簽合約內,是否有其他現時為免費贈送的服務,並查詢有關服務的合約終止日,要求供應商即時寄上取消服務表格,填妥後立即傳真回去,以免到時有所損失。

I have these two little girls who take lessons together back to back in studio. I use the ipod touch to keep teaching notes so I always have it at the corner of the piano. We were having lesson the other day as usual and somehow the older sister saw my ipod and got curious with it. She pressed on the home button and unlocked it. There, she saw the BibleXpress icon (I keep it at the dock for easy access) and exclaimed, “Oh! You have Jesus in your iPod!"

She pressed on that small icon and that lead her to Genesis 7 of The Message version. (Great that it’s got The Message version in the app – easier English and the kids can understand it relatively more easily.) Then she began to ask questions about Noah. Since she could swipe to go to previous and next chapter, it really gave me a chance to tell the two little girls the Noah story, which lead to questions about who God is, why God doesn’t like bad guys, what will happen to the bad guys, hell, how to avoid going to hell, Jesus, and the whole salvation scheme. They’ve heard about Jesus but didn’t quite know who he really is and why he is related to us. Now they know. They’ve even learned how to pray. That lesson went overtime but the two girls were really excited to hear about God.
God does show Himself through all things – may it be big or small.

Didn’t take taxi yesterday and saved the money to buy this app from Appstore: Momo
Yes, Momo. A funny name but a useful app. It’s a note taking app that comes with a calendar that user can choose by dates on calendar to find notes. User may also search by tags or words. It also syncs with the web-Momo. Extremely useful for me – I just can’t really find what I want from a long list of notes. I use notes apps for taking teaching notes and jotting reminders and that sort. Getting old – can’t remember what I taught last week and begin to find it hard to “resume" teaching content… And then I have various kinds of notes to write. It’s really a very long list of notes.

The built-in NOTES is just really simple. I like the Steno pad look but it doesn’t have any categorization function.
I’ve tried YOUNOTE. It’s better as I can sort by “titles" but I need things to be sorted in different ways e.g. date, name, title, category… so on.
I’ve tried Iconic Notes. It’s nice that I can assign icon to each note so that I can find the note I want a bit easier. But when more notes are created… I get the same problem of not being able to find the icon I’m looking for. I’m kinda disabled in this.
All the above apps are free – that’s why I’ve tried them and am still keeping them. Just put them in pages at the back.

So, pros and cons for Momo:
Pros:
1) Sync with web momo (that works with Google mail/app) and the sync process is extremely smooth
2) May choose note by date from calendar
3) Tag system allows easy categorization and sorting
4) Password protection
5) Got an online user forum where users may post their suggestions. My experience is developers are quick in response. In fact, they’ve just completed one of the suggestions users have raised in the past few days.

Cons:
1) Arbitrary date/time not yet supported (available in web version though and the developers said that they’ve begun working on it already)
2) It’s not free – costs USD4.99 (I am cheap. I want freebies.)
3) It’s still very new – about 1-2 week old – so there’re still rooms for improvement but I do see a lot of potentials.
4) No landscape typing yet though developers said that they’re working on it. It’s not really a big deal for me – I have thin fingers.

I like this new dashboard on WP! I’ve always found the old look very hard to manage. I needed to make so many clicks to write/see what I want to write/see. Now it’s all in one yet the look is still clean!
WP crews, well done!

十二月 2008
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