Xbox 360 is not Region Free and I Hate That


I’m about to buy an Xbox 360 (Amazon affiliate link). I live in Spain but travel frequently to the US, so I decided to buy it there because they are cheaper. I thought I only would need a new power adapter to make it work in Spain. After all, it’s a modern product full of technology and it should not have problems jumping over a small ocean.


Before ordering I did some research and it turns out that most consoles are not region free. The nasty thing is that they are not because the manufacturers have decided to make them that way consciously. They have worked more to prevent me from buying one in a continent and using it in another one! There are chips for this! If I buy my Xbox360 in the US it would not work on all TVs, it would only play games bought in the US, I would need new power adapters (of course!) and I could have problems with warranty and support if something breaks…

Some time ago some devices were not region free because different technologies in each continent made it impossible to make them work everywhere. VCRs were an example. In Europe we had PAL for TVs and in the US they had NTSC. Both systems had different number of lines, so manufacturers needed to produce a device per continent. Only high end VCRs were able to work everywhere. Today the technology to surpass this issue is cheap. And it would be cheaper for manufacturers to make only one version than to make several. But they don’t because they prefer to be able to maintain different prices and policies everywhere. Consumer is harmed because Microsoft and others decide so.

In a world that is smaller each day, with people moving around all the time, products should be region free whenever possible, not the other way.

Posted: November 22nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Internet and Technology | Tags: , , , | 12,360 Comments »

Duracell Instant USB Charger is the Best Blackberry Accesory I’ve Ever Bought


I use a Blackberry Bold. And I love it. With it I can be really productive, not only when I’m on the move. However I have a serious problem with it, its battery doesn’t live long enough. With my intensive use I need to recharge during the day or it won’t make it to the evening. That’s not terrible when I’m not traveling, I can do it in the office, the car or with my laptop. But when I’m away I don’t always have my car, and the battery in my laptop is also a treasure I want to save.

Enter Duracell Instant USB Charger (Amazon affiliate link)

It’s not something new. There have been external batteries for years. But this one is:

  • Cheap: 24.99$ in Amazon
  • Light: 4.2 ounces (120 grams)
  • Universal: it can charge any device that can be charged with an USB cable (my Blackberry, but also iPhones, iPods, cameras…)

Now I always have one in my bag. And it has saved me many times.

Posted: November 13th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Internet and Technology | Tags: , , , | 13,087 Comments »

Kowloon Walled City


I’ve just learnt about Kowloon Walled City. It’s a really interesting part of Hong Kong’s history. It was a part of the island disputed between the British and the Chinese, but really ruled by organized crime most of the time. It became one of the places with the highest population density in the world (almost 2 million per sq km). And it was demolished in the early nineties. You should check the wikipedia entry to know more.

Posted: September 30th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Travel and Places | Tags: , | 14,765 Comments »

Hulu Now Detects my Anonymous Proxy… I Need a New One!


Hulu now detects if I’m outside the US when I’m using my anonymous proxy (Hotspot Shield). I guess a need a new one. Any ideas?

Posted: September 20th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Internet and Technology | Tags: , | 14,534 Comments »

Honor System based library in Cambridge, MA

You gotta love this! It’s in Brattle St with Farwell Pl, Cambridge, MA. It’s been open for three years.

 The only bad thing is that the book I wanted (Religion for Dummies) didn’t have a price tag and I had to buy another one I liked less (I just needed to buy something and be part of it!).

Posted: September 13th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Travel and Places | Tags: , , | 14,709 Comments »