Move over giganews here comes astraweb and half of my next iPad !

For many years now I’ve used Giganews‘s excellent but some-what expensive service as my usenet (newsgroups) provider. Recently I’ve been open for change, especially the kind of change that saves me money. The latest thing to get me going was looking into some VPN service that looks interesting and costs $5 a month, so that got me thinking abut how much I’m currently spending on online services, and the most expensive service is Giganews. Plus, a friend at work said he was using a different – cheaper provider called Astraweb and that he was very happy with them. Astraweb is a well-known provider that I’ve heard about for years, so I finally decided to try them out and I’m very glad I did !

Astraweb has two pricing systems: unlimited subscription plans and pay-by-download plans

Unlimited Subscription plans

  • All plans have unlimited quotas.
  • Plans are either limited to 10mbit speed or not limited at all.
  • 20 connections.
  • Cost: $10/m with 10mbit speed or $20/3m.
  • Cost: $15/m with no speed limit or $39/3m.

 

Pay-by-download

  • Pay for a download allowance that has no time limit.
  • No recurring payments.
  • 50 connections.
  • Variety of download packages: 25gb / 180gb / 1,000gb
  • Costs for packages above: $10 / $25 / $50
  • Bandwidth per dollar: 2.5gb / 7.2gb / 20gb !

 

Although I’m a pretty heavy usenet user and as such would usually look for the unlimited subscription plan, I was actually drawn to the 1,000gb (1Tera) download package worth $50. After checking my Giganews account I discovered that it took me around 9months to reach 1,000gb last year. That means that if you divide $50 by 9months – it comes down to about $5.5 per month. Currently I’m paying Giganews $25 a month so that’s a huge difference which translates to about $240 a year – half of my next iPad :-)

What I recommend to anyone who wants to check astraweb out for themselves before making the switch is goto their account and suspend it for a period of time while you check out the competition (I suspended mine for 2 months). If you see that it works well for you, just go back to Giganews to cancel your account completely.

 

Astraweb Miscellaneous

  • 1413 days retention.
  • Accept PayPal and credit cards.
  • Have both US & EU servers.
  • Supports SSL connections.
  • Normal Ports: 119, 23, 1818, 8080
  • SSL Ports: 443, 563

 

Process

  1. Suspend Giganews account.
  2. Buy astraweb 1,000gb plan for $50 using a simple PayPal payment.
  3. Sabnzbd (usenet client) – configured one server to astraweb’s european server and left the other on Giganews, then I disabled the old Giganews server and enabled the new Astraweb server.
  4. Tested download – got my full 15mbit with a 25 connections setup.
  5. Re-enabled Giganews server and at the end of the month, after the giganews suspension kicks in, I’ll re-enable the new astraweb server, and later on I’ll probably cancel Giganews all together.

Happy savings and happy hunting !

 

Instagram Tips and Tricks

Gezer:

For those of you already using instagram here is a very nice and simple article with instagram tips & tricks. For those not using instagram yet, it’s time to join the instagram train ! ALL ABOARD !

Originally posted on her new leaf:

I am still obsessed with Instagram – are you? I think it’s a great way to capture small, every-day moments that you might otherwise forget. I love looking back over my photos and remembering when I took them! Here are a few tips for how to make your Instagrams shine.

Use your phone’s camera app to take your photo, then import into Instagram. The built-in camera app has way more capability than the Instagram camera, including zoom, focus, and exposure.

Bonus tip – ever had a photo turn out poorly because your subject was backlit and appeared too dark? On the iPhone, touch and hold your finger on your subject to lock the focus and exposure.

When you bring your photos in from the camera app, you will have the ability to zoom in on your subject – use it! Cut out anything unimportant in the background and showcase the…

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Kickstarter does it again !

Gezer:

Kickstarter has done it again ! For those of you who don’t know kickstarter let me give you a brief explanation – kickstarter allows you to advertise a product/project you wish to create and raise money to that goal from kickstarters online community. You set a time & money goal and hope for the best. Contributors may pledge you money just for the fun of it or in exchange for a promise to receive the final product, so it’s like the ultimate preorder. Every once in a while something amazing happens there and a new great product is born… this is one of those cases.

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

After asking for $100,000 on Kickstarter to create a few thousand “Pebble smart watch” devices, Alerta has now raised well over $3 million over a month before their stated goal, adding $1 million to their already goal-shattering total as Jordan Crook reported just last week. Pebble raised its first $1 million in the first 28 hours on the site.

The Pebble is a slim, water resistant, scratch resistant, watch with an e-paper display. This display means it has a 7 day battery life (charged via USB) and is also easily visible in daylight just like a Kindle display. LCD displays would eat up way more power, so the e-paper aspect to this is very much part of this very clever take on a smart watch.

Connecting via Bluetooth to the phone, the Pebble interfaces with the phone via a iOS or Android app. Alerts can be customised for…

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iPad 3rd gen coming soon !

Gezer:

To everyone waiting for the new iPad to make Aliya, here it comes – April 27 !
Btw, I’ve had mine for a month, as I was one of the first to order, and have to tell you that the retina display on the iPad is a true breakthrough that fully delivers.

Originally posted on Gigaom:

On its third turn doing a global iPad roll out, Apple(s AAPL) seems to have its supply chain humming along nicely this year. The new iPad, which is already for sale in 35 countries as of today, will be showing up on shelves in 12 new countries this Friday, Apple announced Monday. And by the following Friday, it’ll arrive in nine more countries, for a total of 56 in about six weeks.

The fast roll out stands in contrast to 2011, when the iPad had hit just 39 countries in about five weeks. Besides the fact that Foxconn, Apple’s chief contract manufacturer was struggling to hire enough people to get iPads put together and out the door, there were also supply chain constraints for much of the global electronics industry last spring as a result of the Japan earthquake.

Though Apple’s website shows new orders still take about one…

View original 86 more words

Celebrities Facebook & Email accounts hacked

According to a story published on Ynet today, hackers of survivor Israel production computers, have allegedly hacked into celebrities personal Email & Facebook accounts. It seemed that during investigation of their prior misdoings, police investigators found traces of this illegal activity, and have issued warnings to scores of public personas to change their passwords and contact the police for further information.

If those personas were using a password manager, such as “LastPass“, they could have probably avoided this horrific invasion of their privacy. This is yet another example of the dangers users face when they get into the bad habit of using the same password for different systems. Learning your password from one system gives hackers the opportunity to hack into your other systems.

Recently I’ve written a post about using a password manager to avoid these sort of attacks. If you haven’t read it, I recommend you do so, and pass it along to your friends and family before the same thing happens to them.