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Talk about target shooting and be fired

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-May-2007 11:26

Paranoids of the world, unite! First, target a boy for writing an essay. Then suspend a boy for creating a Counter Strike map. Next fire an IT professional for talking about target shooting, just because, well, just because the co-workers are paranoid about anything and everything, thanks to the media and the current state of affairs.

Oh, and make sure the guy is also accused of terrorism for drawing a comic reporting the incident. And plenty of links on Slashdot.

When are these people coming to their sense? I mean, classifying people on hearsay? Are we going back to the Middle Ages?






Windows Vista and Microsoft SQL 2005: saga continues

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-May-2007 19:46

A few days ago I posted on how hard it is to install (and uninstall) Microsoft's own SQL 2005 on Windows Vista.

I need the SQL Server Management Studio so I can manage some of my databases. I do not have any Windows XP machine anymore and I must use this.

Of course it warns of problems with Windows Vista just before the installation, but the warning dialog also tells me to install Micorsoft SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 and all will be ok.

After a few days I managed to actually remove the previous failed install and have the correct things installed. But when I tried to apply the Service Pack 2, that's what I get:

That's right: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 failed to install exactly on the component I need most.

Incredible. Both Microsoft's flagship products in their categories won't work with each other. When are they going to learn, if ever? Are these products still in beta?

Closer to going out and getting that Apple Mac.







Don't activate your copy of Windows yet - read this first

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-May-2007 11:45

Scammers all over are making it harder for common people to identify social engineering tricks... Look at the latest phishing scam associated with a trojan for Windows... According to the Symantec Security Response Weblog:


Recently we came across an interesting Trojan sample, detected by Symantec as Trojan.Kardphisher. The Trojan is not very technical - it's really just another classic social-engineering attack. What makes it interesting is that the author has obviously taken great pains to make it appear legitimate.



How legitimate? Look at the screenshot:


The trojan runs on startup and pretend to be a Windows Activation dialog. Note how it asks for name, address, credit card number, expiry date and even ATM PIN!

So, beware. Windows Activation does not ask for this information. Also it offers the option to activate over the phone. If you are in doubt and the machine has been activated before, run an anti-virus!



Fairfax: stop your shonky telemarketer practices

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-May-2007 11:04

A few months back I attended a seminar here in Wellington. Fairfax, the owner of local newspaper Dominion Post plus local IDG titles such as PC World and Computerworld, were giving away a free three month subscription to The Independent Financial Review.

I got one. I received the newspaper for three months and decided it wasn't something I was reading from cover to cover.

So, when it came the time to renew the subscription (or actually subscribe to it since those three months were free) I got a phone call from someone in the subscription department asking if I wanted to change to a paid subscription. I replied, very clearly, that I wasn't interested.

Today I got a Tax Invoice/Statement in the mail, charging me $165.60 for a new subscription. And that's with a 50% savings!

I clearly said I DON'T WANT IT. Don't send me unwanted invoices. It smells like those domain name scams where people receive fake invoices for a domain name they don't own.

Is it hard to understand I DON'T WANT IT, Fairfax?

And no, I won't even link to their publications in this post. They don't deserve Google juice.

UPDATE: I've received an explanation for this and wrote about it.



FlashThemes on Palm Treo Windows Mobile

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-May-2007 22:04

I've installed FlashThemes in two of my Pocket PCs to try it and see what it's all about. Shame the screen size on Palm Treo devices is so small (240 x 240 pixels) because more space would make this really cool. FlashThemes uses Flash to insert animated backgrounds into your Today screen. Note that you can't have this running in the entire background, but only on the space reserved for the plug-in. In the following recording I've disabled all Today plug-ins just to capture the animation in full screen:
Neat? You bet. Also, note I am running Flash Player 6, not the Flash Player 7. I think it's a requirement, and this version works on Windows Mobile 5 anyway. And, yes, the Vodafone NZ signal here is appaling when compared with the Telecom NZ, as you can see in the video.



Do Not Call Me!

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-May-2007 20:30

When will New Zealand get a Do Not Call Register? There is a Do Not Call Register in the U.S. and now a Do Not Call Register in Australia. When are we going to have it here?

If you don't know, this is a list of numbers that are not to be called by telemarketers.

Do you think this is needed here in New Zealand? How many times a week do you have a call from someone trying to sell a phone share scam, or trying to make you change ISPs, or trying to sell you life insurance?




Sonopia: the virtual MVNO

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-May-2007 19:51

Around the world we read about Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO), companies that provide a mobile service to its customers but does not have an allocation of spectrum.

One example of MVNO is Virgin Mobile UK, launched back in 1999 and with over 4 million customers in the UK alone.


We are now seeing a new approach coming out. Like those Affinity Credit Cards, an association, company or group can create a virtual MVNO through a new service called Sonopia.

Once you create your virtual MVNO you then proceed to create plans and select what mobile phones will be available from your "company".

You can then promote this through a web site, or any other means. And like the Affinity Credit Cards, your association, company or group will receive a percentage of the revenue.

The service is provided by Verizon Wireless in the U.S., and all handsets are CDMA (of course, since Verizon uses this standard).

It looks like an interesting idea - and I have registered myself to see how it worked, but being outside the U.S. I can't actually create the group, etc. I mean I can - but the forms all request State and ZIP Code, so obviously I am out.

Sonopia's CEO is Juha Christensen, ex-Symbian, ex-Microsoft, ex-Action Engine, ex-Macromedia. Juha co-founded the Symbian Ltd, the joint venture between Nokia, Ericsson, Sony-Ericsson, Matsushita, Samsung, Siemens, and Psion responsible by the Symbian OS now in use in million of mobile ghones. At Microsoft he was the VP for Mobile Devices Marketing Group.

Today I received an e-mail from Sonopia inviting some of the early Sonopians for dinner in San Francisco, to discuss the service and provide suggestions. It's a shame I won't be there though. I would be interested to find out more about this idea - and perhaps even suggest they allow us, aliens, to create our virtual MVNOs as well.

Do you think this would work here in New Zealand where we had two dominant players in the mobile market and knowing the mobile rates are ones of the highest in the OECD?






The mini MEDC NZ is happening in Christchurch

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-May-2007 19:40

Darryl has just announced we will have a mini MEDC here in New Zealand. For some of us not lucky enough to go to the nearest MEDC (Sydney, Australia) Microsoft will bring two of their Mobile and Embedded guys to New Zealand for a session.

So it's not the full MEDC, but we will have two "insiders" presenting during the event:

Mike Hall (Senior Technical Product Manager Windows Embedded)
Derek Snyder (Product Manager Windows Mobile)

If you develop solutions for the Embedded or Mobile market place then join the crowd for the first Microsoft Windows Embedded & Windows Mobile Seminar to be held in Christchurch.

This seminar will show you how to get the most from the latest Windows Embedded & Windows Mobile updates to get maximum advantage for your business. This includes information on the latest platforms & updates: Windows Mobile 6, Windows Embedded CE 6.0, Windows Embedded XP SP2 Feature Pack 2007. Also development updates, futures and roadmap information.

The mini MEDC will be on Thursday 17 May 2007, 4pm till 8pm at the Christchurch Convention Centre, Meeting Room 3 (Level 1).







I am going to the Convergence Oceania 2007... Meet me there

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-May-2007 10:21

Next week (8 May) is the Convergence Oceania 2007, at Te Papa here in Wellington. I will be there the whole day (or better part of it), and I am also attending the Positively Wellington cocktail afterwards.


Running at the same time as the exhibition there's a series of discussions:


8.45 - 9.00am David Cunliffe - Conference Opening

9.00 - 9.45am Andrew Seybold
The big picture: Where the industry is today and where it is headed

10.00 - 11.00am MORNING PANEL (Sponsored by Kordia)
Content is King to drive broadband usage- so what is NZ doing?
Damien Toman (Gen-i),Jeremy Hope (Ericsson), Maurice Stilwell (NZTE), Hyperfactory, Susie Stone (Kordia), Mantosh Malhotra (Qualcomm)

11.15 - 12.00pm Mike Iandolo - Alcatel Lucent - International Speaker
Wireless Public Safety Today and in the future

12.15 - 12.45pm Damien Toman - Gen-i
Discussion around wireless, broadband and convergence for business - with Michael Gregg

1.00 - 1.20pm Darian Bird - IDC
Wimax around the world: Where do we fit in?

1.30 - 2.15pm Wireless & Broadband PANEL (Sponsored by Telecom)
Wimax and Wifi - what do these technologies mean to you?
Martyn Levy (RoamAD), Steve Simms (Tomizone), Mike Landolo (Alcatel-Lucent), Telecom, Darian Bird (IDC)

2.30 - 3.15pm Mantosh Malhotra - Qualcomm - International Speaker
Next Evolution of Wireless Applications

3.30 - 4.15pm Steve Roberts - Kordia
The Beauties of Datacasting

4.30 - 5.30pm FINAL PANEL (Sponsored by Citylink and Cafe Net)
Wellington Wireless Broadband Wonderland - Myth or Reality
Rod Drury, Jamie Baddeley (InternetNZ), David Cunliffe, Duncan Turnbull (Citylink), Andrew Seybold



I hear Telecom New Zealand will at last unveil their CDMA EV-DO Rev A USB modem device at that event.



Microsoft and mobile advertising: ScreenTonic

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-May-2007 22:47

I just saw this in my RSS feeds, but the page is not up at Microsoft PressPass yet:


Microsoft Acquires Mobile Advertising Pioneer ScreenTonic

ScreenTonic’s mobile ad serving and management expertise increase advertiser opportunity across Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions


Interesting to see more details when the press release actually comes out.

UPDATE: Some details emerged, but not much.



freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

I work for Intergen and I'm also the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums.

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