Friday, January 02, 2009

The things you learn ...

I made two interesting discoveries over Christmas.

First. I hadn't heard of Dialwise until New Year's Eve. I have no idea how long they've been around, but that I can call America (or Canada or Taiwan or just about anywhere) for the price of a local call using my house phone was big news to me. I don't understand how Dialwise makes any money out of this and I haven't seen my phone bill yet, but I did try out the service yesterday and it works just fine. Quality and ease of connection were unchanged as far as I could tell.

Second. Now, I would never do this myself because I'm sure it's dodgy from a legal perspective, but the fact that every DVD player has a "secret" menu where you can change your player's region code was unknown to me. I overheard two guys talking about this on the train and (it seems) you can change your DVD player and allow it to play movies bought in America (or anywhere else) as well as those you buy locally. All you have to do (apparently) is google your DVD player and the "secret" menu will be revealed.

Maybe everyone already knows this, but I found it interesting, although merely in academic sort of way.