Every weekday, we attempt to answer one of the many reader questions we get sent in covering every imaginable topic. Here are the ten most popular from the past year.
Dear Lifehacker, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and had a recommended page which was by Census Australia. I started going through the comments to see what people were saying and was astonished to see multiple responses by the ABS talking about a $180 fine if we don’t complete the Census. Is this true? Can they really fine us for refusing to divulge every bit of information we have about ourselves? What are my legal rights here? Thanks, Mighty Pissed Off
Dear Lifehacker, since the beginning of February I have been subjected to multiple mobile network outages with Telstra which has left me unable to use the internet or make phone calls for hours at a time. This is clearly unacceptable. I want to take my business elsewhere but I’m halfway through a 24-month contract. Do I have legal ground to cancel my contract for shoddy service? Thanks, Fed Up Ted
Dear Lifehacker, I am desperately in need of some relationship advice. I am infatuated with a young lady who works at a fast food outlet I frequent. I am forty-one and have never had any kind of a relationship or even been on a date. I had viral encephalitis at 14 which pretty much destroyed my self esteem, but I’ve decided to stop procrastinating and get on with my life. I really want to ask her out, but it’s an extremely difficult situation because she is behind the counter or around other staff 99% of the time! What do you think I should do? Thanks, Worried Admirer
Dear Lifehacker, I’m an iPhone-loving mum who is looking to buy a desktop computer to store the bazillion photos I have of my kids. I’d like a machine that has longevity, reliability and one that’s fast for internet and email. Is a Mac going to be my best choice since the iPhone to Mac transfer is pretty simple or is spending the extra hundreds not worth it for me? I’m hopeless with technology, so any advice would be appreciated! Thanks, Lovely Luddite
Dear Lifehacker, The next season of Game Of Thrones kicks off this Monday and it’s one of my favourite shows. Unfortunately, I’ve had to cancel my $50 subscription to Foxtel due to financial difficulties. I know plenty of Australians watch the show for free by using sites like The Pirate Bay and Kickass Torrents. How likely am I to get fined if I do the same? And does buying the Blu-ray at a later date absolve me of wrongdoing? Thanks, Eye-Patch Contemplator
Dear Lifehacker, Like many fellow bargain hunters, I hit up the Dick Smith closing down sales over the weekend. While the deals weren’t as impressive as I was hoping, I did manage to pick up some new headphones for 40 per cent off. However, I’m now a bit worried about what will happen if they suddenly stop working — in a few weeks, there won’t be any Dick Smith stores to take them back to! Does the warranty still hold up? Thanks, Beats Fan
Dear Lifehacker, I am looking for a new laptop. After pricing up a few different options I’ve settled on either a MacBook Pro or a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (i5, 256gb). They are similar specs for a similar price. As much as I prefer OSX, I’m leaning towards the Surface because it doubles as a tablet. Am I making the right decision or should I stick with Apple?
Also, since the end of the financial year is coming up, is it worth waiting for a sale? I know Apple doesn’t often give out huge discounts on their products, but I am not sure about Microsoft. Am I likely to get an EOFY discount if I buy the Surface Pro? Thanks, LaptopBuyer
Dear Lifehacker, How can I watch Planet Earth 2 legally in Australia? I’ve been eagerly awaiting the second series ever since it was announced. The show is now playing on the BBC but doesn’t appear to be available locally. I refuse to watch low-quality snippets on the internet – it needs to be on my big screen telly in full HD! Do you know when/if it’s coming to the ABC? Thanks, Attenborough Disciple
Dear Lifehacker, As a long-time Ninty fan, I’ve been dying to get my hands on Nintendo’s new NES Classic Edition. 30 classic games packed into a plug-and-play console that (kind of) fits in your palm – what’s not to love? Unfortunately, it appears to be sold out everywhere! Do you know if new stock will be arriving in time for Christmas? And if not, is it okay to purchase from overseas? Thanks, Super Jumpman
Dear Lifehacker, I like to vote below the line for the senate and number all the boxes. This is so I can make sure certain candidates will never get my vote even with the shady preference deals going on. Last election I used Below The Line to plan my ballot in advance so that on the day, all I had to do was transcribe this onto the paper. However, this handy web app doesn’t appear to be available this election. Is there a similarly easy yet functional way to prepare? Thanks, Rick
Want to check out some more great reader questions? Check out our most popular Ask LH posts from 2015.
Title image remixed from an original by iStock.