Notwithstanding my rationalization the other day, you’ll certainly want to bring your camera. You might reasonably opt to leave your laptop home, though, because Internet access from hotels here is a comedy of errors. The most absurd moment came last night when I checked into a hotel in Christchurch. I bought an access card for the WiFi service for $10, scratched it to reveal the access code, and…it smudged completely! I could not believe it! This card has only one purpose in life — to reveal a string of hex digits — and it cannot even manage to do that. Incredible!
Right, this is another example that shows that all the talk about our broadband infrastructure is still in early stages. We talk about fiber to the premises and mesh wi-fi, but it seems people forget about business needs. What about wireless access at airports (fair enough, the Wellington airport now offers free wi-fi in the main area)? What about the Auckland airport, our gateway to the world?
And what about hotels? I've been to some hotels here in New Zealand and Internet access seems to be last thing they think off. My parents-in-law spent a week in Queenstown in a posh place, and they only had access to dial-up - incredibly stupid idea, seeing that people visiting New Zealand coming from overseas will not have dial-up accounts in this country.
About Jon's trip to Wellington (before going to the South Island), he was attending the GOVIS conference, a very exclusive forum for companies or individuals that:
- [They] are part of the New Zealand Defence Force
- [They] are the New Zealand Police Force
- [They] are the New Zealand Parliamentary Service
- [They] are the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service
- [They] are the New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau
- [They] are the Reserve Bank of New Zealand
- [They] are the Office of the Clerk
- [They] are the Parliamentary Counsel Office
- [They] are an Office of Parliament
If you want to know what Jon talked about during his keynote at GOVIS, check his post "Shared Navigation of online bureaucracies":
In my talk on Friday at the GOVIS (government information systems) conference in Wellington, I wasn’t the only one to suggest that web 2.0 attitudes will change the relationship between governments and citizens. That notion now seems to be pretty firmly established, and the question is not whether citizens will collaborate with their governments, but rather how.
Among other developments, I think we’ll soon see a refreshing new approach to the consumption of government services. A couple of weeks ago at Berkeley’s school of information I met Anna Kartavenko, one of Bob Glushko’s graduate students, She’s working on ways to make the byzantine California regulatory apparatus more accessible. If you’re starting a business in that state, it’s really hard to figure out which licenses you need to apply for, as well as how (and in what order) to apply for them.
I didn't even know this thing existed... Jon Udell now works for Microsoft. Gotta go and subscribe to his feed now.
This was an interesting discussion because it was timely. What if a person searching on you is not qualified to assess the value or quality of the information retrieved?
Andrew Feldmar, a Vancouver psychotherapist, was on his way to pick up a friend at the Seattle airport last summer when he ran into a little trouble at the border.
A guard typed Mr. Feldmar’s name into an Internet search engine, which revealed that he had written about using LSD in the 1960s in an interdisciplinary journal. Mr. Feldmar was turned back and is no longer welcome in the United States, where he has been active professionally and where both of his children live.
Mr. Feldmar, 66, has a distinguished résumé, no criminal record and a candid manner.
This is not the first time I read about border guards searching people's names on Google and deciding to turn the visitor away based on those results. But what if someone has been the victim of a Google Bomb?
Note to self: keyboards don't like coffee spills.
Off to get a replacement for my Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 6000. And I am really tempted to get a Logitech slim keyboard.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is pressing the U.S. Congress to enact a sweeping intellectual-property bill that would increase criminal penalties for copyright infringement, including "attempts" to commit piracy.
"To meet the global challenges of IP crime, our criminal laws must be kept updated," Gonzales said during a speech before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington on Monday.
The Bush administration is throwing its support behind a proposal called the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007, which is likely to receive the enthusiastic support of the movie and music industries, and would represent the most dramatic rewrite of copyright law since a 2005 measure dealing with prerelease piracy.
Here's our podcast on the topic.
The IPPA would, for instance:
* Criminalize "attempting" to infringe copyright. Federal law currently punishes not-for-profit copyright infringement with between 1 and 10 years in prison, but there has to be actual infringement that takes place. The IPPA would eliminate that requirement. (The Justice Department's summary of the legislation says: "It is a general tenet of the criminal law that those who attempt to commit a crime but do not complete it are as morally culpable as those who succeed in doing so.")
* Create a new crime of life imprisonment for using pirated software. Anyone using counterfeit products who "recklessly causes or attempts to cause death" can be imprisoned for life. During a conference call, Justice Department officials gave the example of a hospital using pirated software instead of paying for it.
* Permit more wiretaps for piracy investigations. Wiretaps would be authorized for investigations of Americans who are "attempting" to infringe copyrights.
* Add penalties for "intended" copyright crimes. Certain copyright crimes currently require someone to commit the "distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180-day period of at least 10 copies" valued at more than $2,500. The IPPA would insert a new prohibition: actions that were "intended to consist of" distribution.
I will stop here... It's too much bull stuff coming out of there. I mean, they have other pressing issues at the moment, such as a whole war going on, unemployement, internal medical aid and more. And they propose life for copyright infringement? Wholy... The values are distorted somehow somewhere...
How many more 419 scam e-mails will be landing in your inbox from now on?
In short it's a service that allows you to call a number from your mobile phone, dictate a task, reminder, contact details or appointment and have the information sent to your mobile as a SMS - and the SMS can also come as a vcal or vcard attachment so it's automatically entered on your phone's database. You also receive an e-mail with a wave file and your recording, for the records.
Just now I read that Jott has received some funding. Jott seems to be very similar to aangel, except that it doesn't seem to send the SMS, but it allows jotted messages to be sent to yourself, or to a group.
Aangel is just another example of mobile services that are developed outside the U.S. but are not known outside their original market.
I first noticed Jott on Scobble's "Killer app for cell phones: Jott" post.
By the way, I hear Aangel is in negotiations with Telecom New Zealand. They currently offer the service only to Vodafone customers, but they may extend access to the service to Telecom users as well. Stay tuned.
First some informaton on this beta. Players will have access to Halo 3 Multiplayer Beta from Wednesday 16 May 2007 5am PDT through 6 June 2007 11:59 PM PDT.
The Halo 3 Multiplayer Beta will only work on Xbox Live and only allows Matchmaking play. You will not be able to play any custom of offline games.
The following will be included in the Halo 3 Multiplayer Beta:
- Three new multiplayer maps: Snowbound, High Ground and Valhalla;
- New weapons sch as the Magnum M6G Pistol, Assault Rifle MA5C ICWS, Brute Spiker Type 25 Carbine, Spike Grenades, Spartan Laser WAV M6 GGNR, Machinegun Turret AIE 486H HMG and Missile Pods (you can see some of the guns in my previous post);
- The Mongoose M274 ULATV is a fast two-man ATM for transport across the battlefield and while it doesn't come with any weaponry the passenger is free to use any equipped weapons;
- Several new equipments such as the Bubble Shield, Portable Grav Lift, Trip Mine and Energy Drainer;
- Improved Matchmaking and Party System;
- After each multiplayer game players will be able to save a film of their last match and watch it locally or upload it. While this is limited to a first person real-time playback only during the beta, the final version will allow full control of the camera. The Save Film option can be played back on HD 1080p and Dolby Digital 5.1. A long game may use about 6 MB of space and Microsoft is making 25 MB available during the beta.
The download is about 900 MB and wll be available from the Marketplace if you have a beta code, or through the Downloads section when you insert the Crackdown game.
A new Party Up feature allows games to vote and party up at the end of each game, so they can continue to play as a single party in future games.
Below are some pictures I snapped during the session today:
I also managed to take a couple of pictures of the upcoming Halo 2 for Windows Vista:
All very exciting, but I am really waiting for Shadowrun for Windows Vista, which will allow PC gamers to interact and play against and with people online on Xbox Live.
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.