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What 3G was supposed to be (part III) or Intel new Ultra Mobile PC vision

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 14-Apr-2007 09:00

You might remember a couple of posts here (Part I and Part II) in this blog with marketing movies used by mobile and infrastructure manufacturers (Nokia, Ericsson, British Telecom) from around 2000 and 2001, when those companies were trying to sell the idea of an ultra mobile future, based on 3G mobile data technologies, PDAs and smartphones. You should see those movies to compare with Intel's vision of the ultra mobile future below. Intel seems to be set to bring this future to us, well, in the future. According to Josh Bancroft at TinyScreenfuls, Intel will show its idea of a 2nd generation of Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC) devices during the IDF in Beijing, next week. This is what Intel thinks the ultra mobile future could be:
What is really interesting is that this movie doesn't show anything more than what mobile manufacturers were proposing several years ago. Just the technology now has evolved to a point where this could be closer. But not too close. Remember when the first UMPC waves came out on the Internet, and people were promised US$500 devices with great battery life? We wound up getting US$2000 devices with poor battery life instead... By the way, if you watch my other posts (in special Part II) you will see the scenario is almost exactly the same.



Windows Mobile 6 Product Reference Guide

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 13-Apr-2007 10:50

If you are planning to deploy Windows Mobile devices in your organisation, or jut curious about the technology changes in the latest Windows Mobile 6 release, then download the Windows Mobile 6 Product Reference Guide (pdf).

The document lists all enhancements added to this new version. You will be surprised to find lots of interesting things in there. Go have a read.

Found through Jason Langridge's blog.




Trade Me eight years

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 13-Apr-2007 10:05

Last night my wife and I had the opportunity to attend the Trade Me 8th Anniversary party. The event was held at the Paramount Cinemas here in Wellington, and we were all treated to drinks, finger food, good music and a movie (including free jaffas).

The movie was the New Zealand made Black Sheep, a tale of horror and comedy, about some genetically modified sheep spreading terror in a New Zealand farm. Strange? You bet. But with some good New Zealand humour in that...

We had the chance to quickly chat with Trade Me's Rowan Simpson, who introduced us to Wayne Campbell, Managing Director of VIANET International, the company working with Trade Me to help the auction website enter the tourism space. Wayne and his business partner Vaughan explained a lot of the Trade Me deal, but nothing that isn't publicly available yet.

It is going to be interesting... Trade Me dominates the New Zealand Internet with almost 60% of the entire Internet traffic in this country, and they have virtually no competitors in auction, online car sales and now entering the online tourism space, the top area of interest for kiwis buying goods and services on-line.





When companies don't participate in conversations, or why Vodafone is locked out of Geekzone today

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 12-Apr-2007 12:36

If you are inside Vodafone New Zealand's network today you will notice your access to Geekzone has been blocked.

So, how it happens that a large mobile operator such as Vodafone is locked out of the largest technology website in New Zealand?

Easy... Trolls. It seems some people inside that organisation don't understand criticism, and instead of engaging in a conversation decide that using a computer to anonymously post a comment calling someone "retard" is fine.

No, it's not fine. It's the corporate image that's hurt. You think you are anonymous, but now the entire organisation has an image problem.

Vodafone New Zealand has two ways of fixing things... One is bad, another is good:

1.Teach people inside the organisation to respect other people's opinions, and that what you say in public reflect on peoples' perception of the company, or

2.Tell everyone inside the company to never access Geekzone again, hurting the company's image even more, as one that's not interested in engaging with customers.

It sure shows that some people inside the organisation couldn't be smart enough to think of the consequences of trolling?

People love branding, but every one inside an organisation is part of the branding. And this is not the first time the Vodafone proxy server was blocked. The first time it was a surprise and I didn't know it was the company's main Internet access. But this time it wasn't a surprise.

UPDATE: Access has now been restored.



Xbox 360 Autumn Update: chat device, IM and more.

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 12-Apr-2007 12:21

I've just got hold of a couple of pictures of the new Xbox 360 chat device and the Windows Live Messenger on Xbox 360. It looks really nice from here, even though I am not a keen console gamer (I prefer the PC-based games).

The cool stuff about this new feature is that gamers will be able to connect to other Windows Live Messenger users, regardless of those friends being connected from other Xbox 360 console, a PC or a Windows Mobile device. The chat feature allows up to six people to be added to a conversation.

The service will be available from 7 May 2007, with the Xbox Autumn Update (hey it's Autumn in the south). Users with Gold and Silve membership will be able to access the service, and it include video, voice and text chat.



After receiving the pictures I asked for the official press release, and I found out more features coming soon:


• A richer Achievement notification pop-up will showcase the name of the unlocked Achievement and the gamerscore value without needing to leave the game to check the Achievements list.
• Enhanced family settings features for Xbox LIVE communications enable different defaults for video chat and voice chat.
• A new Xbox LIVE Marketplace blade lets Xbox LIVE members access the content they seek from one place on Xbox LIVE.
• Updates to Xbox LIVE Arcade allow owners to quickly see which Xbox LIVE Arcade games their friends are playing and join in the fun. Xbox LIVE members can also compare progress of leaderboard scores and Achievements directly with all friends on their friends list. Expanded ‘Tell a Friend’ capabilities make it easier than ever to boast about Achievements and high scores.
• A new option in Auto Downloads provides faster access to the entire collection of free, trial-version Xbox LIVE Arcade games.
• New progressive download controls provide easy access to optimal viewing options by letting people fast-forward, rewind, pause and resume as their video is downloaded from Xbox LIVE Marketplace.
• Extension of the background download functionality will allow owners to set their Xbox 360 console to turn off automatically after downloads are complete.


The chat device should be in the stores soon.




Vodafone: World of Geeks

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Apr-2007 09:12

Found this Vodafone advert through izzatz and thought it was appropriate here:



Norton 360 giveaway

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Apr-2007 14:34

If you are interested in a free copy of Symantec's new Norton 360, head on to Geekzone and enter the competition.

We have three copies of Symantec Norton 360 to give away - and you can install each copy in up to three PCs - complete security for all your Windows-based computers at home.






New Zealand cheapest mobile data in the world?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Apr-2007 11:48

If you look at the following chart found through this post it looks like:


The original post talks about the costs of mobile data in Canada, and who to contact about this. I am just posting the image here because it shows how we compare with other countries.

It is an interesting chart, and the author lists links to the mobile operators to support these prices. I just hope Vodafone and Telecom don't come together saying "See, we offer great prices", instead of "See, we can do better"...

Note that this chart lists Vodafone New Zealand only, but Telecom New Zealand offers similar data plan.



ReadyBoost and SD cards:

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-Apr-2007 13:26

You might be aware of my previous posts about Windows Vista ReadyBoost working inconsistently on my Acer laptop. It seems to work fine with a USB memory key, but I tried two different brands of high speed SD cards with the internal SD card reader and both stop working after a while.

Just now I found this KB article about "Availability of the Windows Vista Secure Digital (SD) hotfix rollup package".


The following issues are fixed in this hotfix package. These issues have not been previously documented in a Microsoft Knowledge Base article.

• When you try to remove an SD card driver or when you try to disable it, a Windows Vista-based computer stops responding. When this problem occurs, you receive a Stop error message that resembles the following: Stop 0x000000C4 (0x00000062,parameter2,parameter3,parameter4)

• When you insert an SD card into a card reader on a Windows Vista-based computer, Windows Vista does not detect the SD card. This issue occurs if the following conditions are true: 

The SD card does not support 1.8 volts. Typically, most SD cards use 3.3 volts. 
The SD host controller uses 1.8 volts.
 
• When you insert an SD card into the card reader on a Toshiba M500 portable computer that is running Windows Vista, Windows Vista does not detect the SD card. This issue occurs because of a timing issue with the SD host controller.

• When you copy more than 4 gigabytes (GB) of files to a Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) card, some files are corrupted. You do not experience this issue if you copy less than 4 GB of files to the SDHC card. This problem occurs because the Windows Vista SD driver does not correctly process more than 4 GB of addressing.

• An SD card stops responding after a Windows Vista-based computer resumes from sleep (S3) or from hibernation (S4) two times. For example, you experience this issue after you follow these steps:

1. You put the computer to sleep or into hibernation.
2. You start the computer from sleep or from hibernation.
3. You copy files to the SD card or from the SD card.
4. You put the computer to sleep or into hibernation
5. You start the computer from sleep or from hibernation.
 
• You try to use the Safely Remove Hardware feature to remove an SD card from a Windows Vista-based computer while the card is being used. As expected, the card is not removed from the computer because the card is being used. However, when you try to access the SD card, you receive the following error message: SD media cannot be accessed. Media is not accessible, access denied

• On a Toshiba M500 portable computer that is running Windows Vista, you use Device Manager to disable the "Bluetooth RFBUS from Toshiba" driver. However, when you re-enable the driver, Device Manager stops responding.




I am installing the hotfix now and will test it through the week to see if it really solves the problem.






Free SMS from your Windows desktop and Google homepage

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Apr-2007 10:14

I have just received a press release of an interesting service providing SMS from your desktop in the form of Windows Vista Gadget, Google Homepage Gadget, Yahoo Widget andd even Apple Widget. I am talking about the CallWave SMS product.


I have it now installed in my Windows Vista Sidebar. What it does is allows you to send unlimited SMS to the U.S. and Canada, and during this test phase up to five SMS to other countries, per day.

The press release says you can receive replies, but I couldn't find anywhere in the account to configure this:


For mobile phone users who also use the web each day, the CallWave Free Text Messaging gadget (also known as a widget) delivers invaluable ease and efficiency making the PC a natural companion to the mobile phone. It allows users to send text messages to virtually anyone, anywhere, right from their desktop whether their handset is nearby or not. During the beta, subscribers can send unlimited text messages from the United States and Canada.

The Google Desktop enables consumers to create their own personal homepage on Google. Gadgets can be added from the add stuff link. The CallWave Free Text Messaging gadget can be found in the Communication section or by simply typing in CallWave in the search field. With the gadget running on the Google Desktop, users can view a list of contacts and select who to text.

Replies to the message can be routed to either the subscribers handset or email, depending on their personal settings. Subscribers will eventually be given access to their messages stored in a permanent, searchable archive, accessible from a personal web page.

To get the Google Desktop Gadget, go to www.callwave.com/widgets or Google http://www.google.com/ig/directory?synd=open&num=24&url= http://www.callwave.com/widgets/googletextmessage.aspx



Anyway, the press release is all about the Google Desktop, but if you go to the linked widgets page you will find the other gadgets. There is also a Google Homepage gadget, and you can find it directly on your Google Personalised page instead of using these links.

CallWave also has a gadget you can embed in your website or blog.

An alternative is the Free Gizmo SMS website... It promises to send free SMS around the world, unlimited... But none of the test SMS I sent to my mobile phone ever arrived. So I will stick with the CallWave service for now.






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.

Subscribe now to my blog RSS feed or the Geekzone RSS feed.

If you want to contact me, please use this page or email me freitasm@geekzone.co.nz. Note this email is not for technical support. I don't give technical support. You can use our Geekzone Forums for community discussions on technical issues.

Here's is my full disclosure post.

A couple of blog posts you should read:

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