Later I was told that this update wasn't going to be released, pending a Windows Mobile 6 update that would include it.
Today is three months since Palm announced its intention to release Windows Mobile 6 OS for the Treo 750 (the non-Vodafone branded version of the device), but nothing has happened since then. Interesting to note that Palm launched the Treo 750 with HSDPA already enabled, unlike Vodafone.
Seeing that Vodafone New Zealand's Windows Mobile partner i-mate is not being very active (the new Advantage series won't be released until later in the year), and HTC is not active at all in New Zealand, it means we are not seeing any new exciting smart devices coming out with this OS.
The most exciting launch this year seems to be the Nokia N95, and it runs on Symbian OS, not Windows Mobile. Discussions in our Geekzone Forums have been really good. Check paradoxsm's blog for interesting comments, thoughts and some hacks (how to disable the red light on N95 for example).
A month or so ago I received a Sony Ericsson M600i for review (thanks Sony Ericsson), but I have to say it didn't excite me much. Something strange about its design and keyboard. I actually have to send it back this week, to be fair.
I have heard rumours Telecom New Zealand will release the PPC-6800 (HTC Mogul) here in New Zealand. I also heard that they were told not to talk to me about this device - as if I ever leaked anything before. But if they don't trust, well, their problem.
I received my second Vodafone bill for the period after the pit stop and with it came a surprise:
But then I found out Vodafone do not have a record of my payment, even five days after the payment was made.
When I called them last week I was told there was no record of my payment and the CSR asked me for my bank account number so someone in the accounts team can look for this transaction. It's really strange, because I shouldn't need to provide this information - I mean, a simple query on their database surely would show a payment of $140.48 on that specific date, with my Vodafone account number in the reference code field, without the need of such personal information.
At the time the CSR also "added a note to the account, so people know there's a payment in process and don't cut if off".
Now it is Monday morning and I can see the payment finaly made through, although with the wrong date (23 June) instead of the correct payment date. Also the payment only showed up today in their on-line system, but with a date after the actual payment was made. I hope the system is a bit smarter this time and don't put me in the "defaults" list.
I am not alone complaining about problems with Vodafone's new system.
What is really annoying is their message just on top of my incorrect "overdue notice":
Good news! We've completed the upgrade of our systems. Vodafone balance, billing and account services are now back to normal.
This chart shows how many vulnerabilities were reported for some OS in the market, in the same period (six months after launch):
The full report, with links and explanations is available as a pdf.
As usual I also try to bring balance by posting about my good experiences... As my latest encounter with Belkin's Customer Service.
About a year ago I purchased a Belkin 800VA Universal UPS. Great product, works as advertised and I was so happy that I decided to purchase a second unit - the Belkin 1200VA Universal UPS. The idea was to be able to connect all the remaining equipment in the home office - the Apple iMac, a LAN switch, the router, and the cordless phones connected to my SPA 2102 VoIP gateway to those two UPS.
By chance the old Belkin 800VA faulted just a couple of hours after I've placed my order on-line for the second larger unit! So I had to run my whole office from the mains for a day, until I got the 1200VA unit. But in the meantime I contacted Belkin support to ask how to proceed with the older UPS, now dead as a dodo...
And here comes the good thing: after a few e-mails (very quick replies!) Belkin arranged to have a replacement unit sent - and it has just arrived, exactly a week after my first e-mail was sent. There was no confusion on what, how, where - and I now have to simply post the faulty unit back.
That's right, Belkin first solved my problem, then worried about having the faulty unit back.
Now, if some of the telcos in Australia and New Zealand could learn customer services from these guys...
If things are going the way Airbus wants, soon people will be able to send and receive voice calls and SMS on board of aeroplanes.
This is so wrong... Can you imagine if you just happens to sit next to someone shouting instructions to their managers, or participating on a conference call, or simply having a few "beep" every time someone sends or receive a SMS?
People trying to sleep with all that background noise is already bad. It's gonna get worse. We will soon see "Non Smoking, Non Mobile Phones" flights being announced...
It is going to be hell on air.
Microsoft has partnered with local recording company LOOP to present a multimedia time capsule of creative culture.
Loop Select 008: Rare Vision is a CD/DVD/book box set featuring cutting edge up-and-coming local and international music acts, thoughtfuls short films, motion graphics, stencial art, graphic design and photos.
Just post a comment here and next Wednesday (27 June) I will draw a name from the list.
Well, we don't even know if Fake Steve Jobs is based in the U.S. anyway...
Here is a bit of Alex Kac's open letter to warez sites:
Myself and a band of software devs here have found a *very* large pirate warez site which I will not link to. They have cracks for almost everything imaginable. They have our software on there with download ratios in the TENS of THOUSANDS. In many cases I find more downloads of our software on the warez site than I see on our own download servers. I've calculated that even if we only lost 10% of those downloads that could have been sales its a pretty major hit.
The fact is that companies like ours and most other WinMobile devs operate on a shoestring budget. Most of our software sells at a break-even point, some at a loss until it breaks even 2-4 years after introduction. For the amount of money I've "lost" I could have *easily* created a Pocket Informant for Desktop or BlackBerry or heck other major applications or improvements. I could have hired an extremely high paid developer for a year or two averagely paid ones. For a company that has only 3 full time developers that's a fairly major loss.
The fact is that piracy hurts those who pirate. They want our software obviously. Some just use it for a "test", but we offer a two week trial and with a bit of work you can probably get 2-3 months free usage of our products a year. And we don't sell for a large amount of money. Just wait and you can usually get our software for a steal - without actually stealing. I don't think paying $9.95 is such a huge issue if you need an app like VoiceMinder. Its barely a lunch and drink. But the reason piracy hurts those who pirate is because they are like vampires slowly killing the company that they are sucking the applications off of.
Who here would care if there was never a VoiceMinder, FlexWallet, FlexMail, or Pocket Informant upgrade again? I have personally had fleeting thoughts of selling WebIS or just closing it down because even as this market has grown the software market has not and while I'm not naive enough to think its *all* about piracy, I know that it just makes me depressed. And no, we're not closing down and yes there will be major upgrades of everything. And yes, piracy has been part of the software business from the very beginning but that doesn't mean I can't ask you to stop.
And therein lies my plea to you. If you actually use our software please pay for it. When you don't you personally are contributing to the financial downfall of a bunch of people who are working hard to make good quality software for you. If you don't want to think of piracy as theft, think of it as stiffing us. Would you stiff the waiter of a tip? How about the guy who built your house? How about the plumber or the electrician? Or the Taxi cab driver? And yes, software does cost money to make. I pay electric bills, Microsoft dues, travel expenses to meet with MS devs, trade shows, advertising, not to mention salaries. So if you wouldn't stiff the waiter at your favorite restaurant his 15% (or 10% if you're money concious) tip, why stiff us the few bucks we ask?
WebIS has always been extremely liberal in our licensing as well. We don't use activation (we've thought about it), we don't lock our license to your username, we don't do anything to make licensing hard. We let you run our software on as many devices that you personally use and we use the honor system. Heck, we even make 2-3 versions of our software in most cases and let you pay for one and get them all.
This is an important issue. A lot of people hack their creations and distribute for free. Others create their applications and sell them because it's their way to pay for things in life. Try to undersdant this.
The platform is based on some known and new technologies, including the updated IPTV framework called Microsoft Mediaroom, Microsoft Windows Mobile, Microsoft Solution for Enhanced VoIP Services, Microsoft Solution for Hosted Messaging and Collaboration, Hosted Microsoft Dynamics for CRM solution, Microsoft Solution for Managed PC, Microsoft Connected Services Framework and Microsoft Connected Services Sandbox.
What caught my attention was the "Microsoft Solution for Managed PC". I never heard of that one before, and just reading the name I had an idea of what would be coming: a way for IPSs to provide a connection with hardware they could manage.
And sure enough, this is what I read on the official Microsoft Solution for Managed PC page:
Many communications solutions provide state-of-the-art hardware at subsidized prices linked to monthly service contracts. Now, Microsoft brings the same strategy to broadband service providers. The Microsoft Solution for Managed PC allows broadband service providers to deliver a compelling new offering: a state-of-the-art computer packaged with broadband service, PC health and security software at a completely new, more affordable price point.With the Microsoft Solution for Managed PC, broadband service providers can increase revenue, gain market share, and even create new, deeper relationships with their customers by streamlining problem resolution. What’s more, the affordability of the Managed PC solution means that service providers can reach more consumers and small businesses than ever before and the flexibility of the solution allows them to address specific sub-segments with targeted offerings.
It sounds good, right? But it seems that for you or your company to get just the right PC for your needs, you would have to subject its management to a third party.
This would be akin to having your PC as an appliance (which it is), pretty much like those cable TV set top boxes, or those satellite boxes. With not much freedom of choice:
The Managed PC comes complete with security protection that provides an all-in-one PC care solution featuring firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing, back-up capabilities, and parental controls to further simplify PC ownership for first-time users. With the Solution for Managed PC (SMPC) security products, service providers can improve the user experience for both consumer and small business customers by automatically scanning the Managed PC for common network, printing, or communication malfunctions, reducing the expense and inconvenience of computer downtime.
This should surely reduce the number of people affected by phishing scams, trojan software and botnets. But do you trust your ISP to decide what's better for you or your needs? What about those cases where some security software deleted entire e-mail repositories, or made PCs a paper weight?
Can you imagine if all the users on an ISP go down at the same time?
Not much "Personal" left in the Computer (PC) it seens. Welcome to the Nanny Internet.