Xero is accounting with web 2.0 technologies. Think of an on-line accounting package full of Ajax, flash charts, moving timelines, integration with banking systems and more technology goodness.
Rod Drury did a demo during the Kiwi Foo Camp and since then launched an open beta. I've joined the service which is aimed at small and medium business companies and individuals, with plans to launch in the UK pretty soon as well.
At the Kiwi Foo Camp we were also told about the new offline features coming in Mozilla 3.0 and that got Rod thinking about new future features for Xero.
Xero is another example of kiwi technical abilities, and was developed here in Wellington.
The beta officially opens 17 May, for people who bought the Crackdown game with the beta key. HALO3 beta will be available for download from Xbox LIVE.
This is the invitation I received:
This preview is only available on Monday 14 May so it will be a great opportunity for us to have a look at this. I will try to bring some pictures to the blog.
Please be reassured that customers will not be billed, via direct debit or otherwise, for the fault yesterday with the usage meter.
We are sending an e-mail out to all customers affected within the next 24 hours explaining the issue we had with the usage e-mail, reassuring them that they won't be billed for this and apologising for any inconvenience.
This is the official communication and I can only assume this is how it will happen.
The issue affected almost everyone using the cable modem service - there were cases of people going home to turn the modem off, fearing their connections were hacked and someone was using it to distribute software or download content over their wireless routers. A long discussion is evolving in our Geekzone forums.
People complain about not being able to cancel services, change account settings and more importantly, they complain about the apparent "preference" Vodafone gives to Prepay users when offering specials not available to On Account users.
Some time ago we published a Q&A with Vodafone New Zealand CEO Russell Stanners, but the answers did not clarify much on this aspect.
It seems Vodafone New Zealand is now changing their billing systems, and has declared a pit-stop. I haven't seem any advertising on TV, but they have a webpage with information on this transition. And you better be prepared: there are lots of things you won't be able to do during the transition period.
For example you won't be able get an accurate account balance. According to Vodafone New Zealand, you’ll still be able to access your account balance, bundle balance and data details but during the changeover period these will not be up to date.
This includes information you gather by calling their customer services, using SMS or even on-line. Their recommendation? check your account before 17 May and then monitor your usage during the changeover period. Mind you, call detail information (eg, Vodafone to Vodafone calls, off-peak and on-peak calling, etc.) will be unavailable during the changeover period.
So be careful there. Any dispute is going to be your word against their word. Not good, uh?
You also will be unable to change your existing Vodafone plan, or add/remove/change Add-Ons to your plan or talkZone group during a smaller period.
Vodafone says they are even unable to activate/deactivate roaming during this time.
But more importantly, new connections connections can be added to your account but there will be delays in doing this.
Still according to the site, there are some changes to your account that you won’t be able to make on-line via ‘Manage Your Account’ (MYA) during this period. After this time, there will be a 5-day turnaround period for some changes via MYA.
The periods covered are from 17 May throgh end of June... A long time and I expect to see even more disgruntled customers...
Make sure you read the information about this transition period.
Since each additional usage blocks are charged at $2.95, their stats page says I owe them about $23,280 in excess usage:
I posted in our Geekzone forums and found I am not alone... Currently I am waiting for someone to answer my call...
UPDATE: I've managed to talk to the TCL help desk and they are aware of this. The official word is that this will not be charged to people's accounts.
UPDATE: I have received an e-mail from TelstraClear clarifying the situation and explaining the next steps.
Summer of Code 2.0 is an internship programme that gives Computer Science and Engineering students the opportunity to work in cool Tech companies over the summer. Students will gain on the job experience, get paid and learn from the best minds in the business about their knowledge on cutting edge technologies such as:
- Working in a Start-up
- High Volume Databases
- Distributed Computing.
- Mobile Development
- Ruby on Rails
Last year Summer of Code 2.0 was the biggest employer of IT students in Wellington. And now it's back bigger and better in'07.
That's cool... We have lots of plans for Geekzone, and come Summer you too can be part of the work here. Check the Summer of Code 2.0 website for more information.
The cool thing is that some have already implemented other "toys" with this API, including a mobile friendly page to monitor your Trademe auctions, a Google Gadget to list Tade Me auctions in iGoogle, and a cool widget to list Trademe auctions in your blog (below).
Since we released our own Geekzone Gadget for Windows Vista (below) I've been thinking of exponsig the API XML, so here it goes:
http://gadget.geekzone.co.nz/gadget_index.asp is the main XML file, with a list of forums, timestamp. To list each forum's discussions you can use the forumID and retrieve the RSS for each forum for example http://gadget.geekzone.co.nz/geekzone_forums_rss.asp?forumid=48
I know someone is working on an Apple Mac OS Dashboard widget. Anyone else interested in creating a mobile friendly version and perhaps a widget for iGoogle?
I just ask one thing: don't hammer the XML with requests every second... A good start is a ten minute cycle.
His talk was an overview of current mobility trends and technologies, including the rise of WiMax, the new 2.5GHz spectrum, Qualcomm's mediaFLO mobile TV and more.
We were introduced before the main event, and spent the better part of half an hour talking about mobile technologies, mobility and other topics related, even sailing (really).
Andrew told me he's just started his own blog, and it's worth checking it if you are interested in anything related to mobile technologies.
He's here in Wellington for a week, and today's meeting was a follow up from yesterday's full day Convergence Oceania 2007, where he was the keynote speaker.
There are important differences between selecting phones as a business handheld and choosing a consumer device. Most consumers need only basic phone and messaging functionality; everything else is just frosting on the cake. Not so for business users. CIOs and their staff depend on smartphones to stay connected; in some cases, mobile devices keep their companies up and running. Depending on the organization, specific features beyond phone calls and e-mail are a necessary part of business.
Even when CIOs are willing to upgrade their architecture or buy new hardware, it pays to know the implications of launching a new device across the enterprise. Some devices don't support corporate e-mail services without specific mail servers. Some are designed to function with specific servers, so they work better with one than another.
If you're researching corporate smartphone deployment, the first thing you should do is assess the organization's needs, and thus create a sort of informal criteria for selecting a phone. Purchasing business phones without a clear idea of how the company will use them is like hosting a dinner party and offering only chopsticks as utensils, even though you're unsure if the main dish will be a porterhouse steak, fried chicken or sushi.
Second, assess your current IT architecture to identify the mail servers your organization uses (and the version thereof), as well as corporate mail clients, firewalls and other existing systems that may be affected by a smartphone deployment.
The comparison includes Research In Motion's BlackBerry Pearl 8100, Nokia's E62, Palm's Treo 750, and T-Mobile's Dash, through the eyes of four IT executives: Paul Roche, Network Services CIO; Stephen Ramsey, principal with Brulant; Hugh Scott, Direct Energy VP of IS; and Stacey Morrison, an aerospace industry deputy CIO.
So it's real world thing guys... And the results?
... if we had to vote with our own checkbooks for a business-class smartphone, the Treo 750 is our winner, with the Nokia E62 just a notch behind. Typing functionality, voice quality and Web features are arguably a smartphone's most important features. For us, what sets the Treo 750 apart from the others are its touch screen and stylus, high voice quality and 3G capabilities.