XBOX Live, I Don't Live There! Fail! [Rant]

I live in many contradictions. The biggest contadiction is probably being an open source software enthusisast and user while also being an Microsoft XBOX Live gamer and user. While I detest Microsoft Windows in its various incarnations on PCs, I love my XBOX 360 and gaming on it. As things stand at the moment, I'm luke warm in relation to Windows Phone 7 but more about that in another post.
I love my XBOX but...

Today I am writing this blog post because I'm annoyed at Microsoft for not letting me change my XBOX Live Gamertag (the account used to purchase content and play games online) from the original country setting (Italy - accidentally set in 2008) to my actual country setting (UK).
Until recently I hadn't been to bothered by the Italian XBOX Live account. My girlfriend was quite annoyed by this, because when movies/trailers/game demos were downloaded they were either dubbed into Italian or had Italian subtitles. Now I want to take advantage of XBOX Live and my XBOX to use all the newer cooler services available (in the UK) such as, the on demand TV and video services. Because my XBOX Live gamertag is set as Italian, I can't access these services. Now I'm annoyed.

I have a XBOX Live gamertag with almost 8000 points on it, 100 unused MS Points in the account and would like to carry on using my Todoleo gamertag without losing it. I definitely don't want to be paying for two concurrent XBOX Live subscriptions, I already hate myself inside for paying for one.
There is no way I can change the country setting to my XBOX Live gamertag, I have tried in many ways. This morning I called the XBOX Live customer service number listed on the website and got through to a customer service representative who very politely told me I couldn't change Todoleo from an Italian account to a UK one, and that the best solution would be to create a UK account. I then asked to take things further to make a complaint about this and was told it was not possible. I was however asked for my email address and told I would be sent a link to a form for feedback on the matter. About an hour after the call I still have not received the link.
It is absurd that in this day and age I can't change the account settings from one country to another. Why is this? Why can't Microsoft recognise the fact that people move around, change the country they live in? All that is happening is that people who do move and are inconvenienced are getting angry and probably less loyal to the services and products. I definitely am!
Anger and hatred are flowing through me at the moment, I feel the dark side of the Force coursing through my veins... I'm going to go and play some Star Wars The Force Unleashed to get over this. Offline.
As usual, feel free to leave comments and/or questions. Let me know if I should ditch my XBOX and opt for a Sony PS3 instead (or is that just as bad?)

Todoleo Tech Blog Now Available on Kindle

I'm proud to announce that the Todoleo Tech Blog is now available as a subscription on Amazon Kindle.
Todoleo Tech in the Kindle Store.
You will be able to download the blog and read it even when you are not wirelessly connected with your device.

To find it in the Kindle Store just search for the word "todoleo" and Todoleo Tech should be the one and only result.

The subscription has a free 14 day trial and is then £1.99 per month.

Don't fret! I won't be putting up a paywall! You will still be able to read the Todoleo Tech Blog for free here on

Picc0110's Photo Posts - Edinburgh Ferris Wheel

Picc0110 is a twenty-something year old recent University graduate who is doing very little with life at the moment. [His words, not mine...]

To fill some time he recently decided to invest in a Canon DSLR camera (Digital Single Lense Reflex) - and is having lots of fun with it.

Here's his first post on Todoleo Tech Blog about a fantastic picture he took in December 2010.

Edinburgh Ferris Wheel by Picc0110. All Rights Reserved
I took this photograph in December 2010 at the Edinburgh Christmas Fair. I am going to explain some of the simple techniques I used to receive the desired effects.

This is the equipment I used:
  • My camera is my pride and joy - it's an entry level Canon DSLR - EOS 450D
  • The lens I was using is a Canon 17-85mm USM lens - this lens is a middle of the road lens, I am convinced a more basic lens would've received the same desired effects.
  • I made use of a small compact Velbon tripod (CX-mini) I own which is easy to carry about when travelling lightly.
  • No SLR user should be without filters. My camera always has a 'HOYA HD Protector' which doesn't add any effect - it just protect my lens from scratches. For the shots I took above I also used a cheap ND filter - it cost a couple of UK pounds on eBay.

I shall begin by explaining the function of the ND8 filter - this filter is a dark tinted filter which makes the camera sensor see everything appear darker than it actually is to the human eye - similar to how we perceive things when we wear really dark tinted sunglasses. The benefit of having this effect on the camera is that we can keep the shutter of the camera open a lot longer without over-exposing the image - again think of yourself with those sunglasses - you can stare at a bright light longer without getting a headache.

The camera was set on “full manual mode”. This allows me to set my both my aperture and shutter speed. My aparture was turned down to f20.0 to create quite a long depth to the image - I needed the Ferris wheel to be in focus just as much as the foreground in front of it. My shutter speed is the other important part- it was set on 30 seconds - which is the longest it can be set on my camera without using a remote control. 30 second shutter speed simply implies that the lens is capturing the image for 30 seconds from the point I press the shutter release on the camera - this is how you create the light-trail in an image - as the ferris wheel, traffic and pedestrians are moving the camera sensor is recording their movement.

If it wasn't for the tripod allowing my camera to rest steadily there would have been a lot of blurriness. Imagine keeping the camera steady with your bare hands in Scottish weather in December for 30 seconds - simply impossible!

The ND filter allowed me to keep the shutter speed open for longer without blinding the camera with light, by doing so it allowed me to capture the ferris wheel’s rotation. If the shutter speed had been 10 seconds, for example, the ferris wheel would not have rotated as far and in turn would not have created the effect.
Edinburgh Ferris Wheel by Picc0110. All Rights Reserved
I hope the above information has been useful and educational, please do leave constructive comments, let us know what you think - and follow me on Flickr and Twitter.

Picc0110's Photo Posts

Picc0110 is a friend of mine and in future he will be writing posts on this blog about digital photography, cameras and web photo services.
A Self-Portrait of Picc0110
Picc0110 is a twenty-something year old recent University graduate who is doing very little with life at the moment. [His words, not mine...]

To fill some time he recently decided to invest in a Canon DSLR camera (Digital Single Lense Reflex) - and is having lots of fun with it. 

The majority of his photos are completely unedited - this is due to his lack of Photoshop or GIMP skills. As time goes by he will write a few posts about how he gets on, what he's doing with his camera and what new things he's learning.

Please feel free to post comments/questions either here or on his Flickr profile and let him know what you think.

Todoleo Tech Blog App

I have just submitted my first application for approval!

Some of you may expect me to have prepared an Android application, a Linux one or maybe even a WebOS one. If you know me, you can remain certain that the application was definitely not for Apple's iOS, but strangely it was for the Nokia Ovi Store. That's right, the Nokia Ovi Store!

I've submitted an application called Todoleo Tech Blog. Users of the application will be able to keep up to date with this blog on their Nokia handsets.

Please keep your fingers crossed for me, I'm hoping to have the Todoleo Tech Blog application approved by the end of the week.