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Scary: satellite debris on path of airliner flying Santiago to Auckland

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-Mar-2007 09:17

According to this story, "flaming space junk narrowly misses jet". The Russians provided the wrong time of reentry, and threfore wrong location. The Auckland Oceanic Centre, in charge of that part of air space gave airlines the option of not flying, but since the time was wrong... You get it:

The pilot of a Lan Chile Airbus A340, which was travelling between Santiago, Chile, and Auckland, New Zealand, notified air traffic controllers at Auckland Oceanic Centre after seeing flaming space junk hurtling across the sky just five nautical miles in front of and behind his plane about 10pm last night.

"Auckland is talking to (an) Aerolineas Argentinas (pilot) who is travelling (in the) opposite direction at 10 degrees further south asking if they wish to turn back to Auckland.

"They have elected to carry on at the moment.

A spokesman for Airways New Zealand, which provides air navigation services across airspace known as the Auckland Flight Information Region, confirmed the incident this morning.

He said it occurred about 10 minutes after the Lan Chile flight had entered the Auckland Flight Information Region.

Airways New Zealand had been warned by Russian authorities almost two weeks ago that a satellite would be entering the earth's atmosphere sometime today between 10.30am and midday NZ time (6.30-8am WA time).

That is scary. But it also makes me think... With all the current paranoia, if a disaster happened because of this, wouldn't people be quick to start rumours?

BlackBox M14 Noise Cancellation headphones giveaway...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 27-Mar-2007 19:48

That's right: I got a pair of those incredibly cool BlackBox M14 Noise Cancellation headphones for review, and the manufacturers asked me to give those away instead of returning them.

Go ahead, read our review on Geekzone, and then enter the competition. It's open to everyone, in New Zealand or not.

Terrorized by war on terror

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 27-Mar-2007 19:06

The non-technology post of the day... A very interesting article by Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter:  "Terrorized by 'War on Terror'" (Washington Post).

It should be a lesson to all leaders. A must read to all lawmakers.

Unlocking the Vodafone 1210 Windows Mobile Smartphone

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 27-Mar-2007 17:29

I've previously posted about the Vodafone 1210 (VDA IV) being locked, which prevents users installing self signed certificates, important for individuals and organisations running Microsoft Exchange Server and their own CA (Certificate Authority) servers.

Since that post I wrote a Vodafone 1210 review and after that I received a few requests on instructions on how to unlock this smartphone.

For all of you who have been waiting for this, Vodafone was listening and they have just sent me a firmware upgrade developed by ASUS, allowing self signed certificates to be installed on this device.

The upgrade software currently does not work on Windows Vista, but it should be ok on Window XP.

Also, if you haven't read the review yet, Vodafone has posted a comment there, confirming an update for Windows Mobile 6 should be avaialble for this device mid-2007.

Good move guys!

FAQs you should read: Windows Mobile 6 and encrypting storage cards

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 27-Mar-2007 16:36

One of the most interesting features released with Windows Mobile 6 is the option to encrypt the contents of an external memory card. This is important if you have some content that you are working on but can't just leave "in the open".

Until now I had the impression that the encryption keys were stored on the device only, and if you hard reset it or had a problem you wouldn't be able to read the memory card on another device.

But reading this most interesting Windows Mobile Storage Card Encryption FAQ I found out that you can actually store the encryption keys device PIN on an Exchange Server.

Threats are not nice

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 27-Mar-2007 11:07

There's a reason why we do not like Internet trolls. But it is worst when anonymous comments turn into threats.

This shouldn't be happening. Kathy Sierra shouldn't be afraid.

A great blog, with good market, marketing, product placement comments. But it seems some jerk thinks the person behind it is just another target for his/hers threats.

Sad. I really hope she's got some good police officers investigating. Some clued in police officers. Go get the prick.

I wonder if the New Zealand Police is prepared to work on such cases. I read somewhere they have some technology guys around.

AOL is not moving fast enough to remove spyware from their ad network

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 27-Mar-2007 09:27

A few days ago I posted about a series of spyware ads being served by AOL. The story comes originally from Spywaresucks.

This kind of spyware/adware is the same one found in the Microsoft's MSN network a few weeks ago. But at least Microsoft moved quickly and withdraw the ads as soon as they were notified of this.

But it looks like AOL either doesn't believe in external reports, or doesn't care about the security of their network. AOL is stil serving infected ads.

When is AOL going to clean their ad network?

If discussion forums were like Star Trek

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 27-Mar-2007 08:51

We all know it's a fact that the longer a discussion on any forum, easier it will be to distance the discussion from the original subject, going off-topic. This happens saometimes in our Geekzone forums.

But today I read a funny Star Trek inspired sketch related to off-topic discussions in on-line forums:

Spock: Captain, the ship is about to enter a region of space noted for its intense Hyperbole Storms.

Kirk: Raise Tangent Shields. Ahead full, Mr. Sulu.

Spock: We are entering a Hyperbole Storm, Captain!

Kirk: How did it come up so quickly?

Sulu: Captain! Helm is sluggish! We are having trouble staying on topic!

Kirk: Scotty! Divert warp power to the Tangent Shields!

Spock: Tangent Shields failing!

Scotty: Cap'n! Mah engines cannae take much more of this!

McCoy: Sickbay to Bridge: Jim, we've got dozens of crewmen down here babbling incoherently! You've got to do something about it!

Kirk: We'll do what we can Doctor. Try to get them singing or something. Kirk out.

Spock: Captain, the only possible way out of this storm will involve a cold restart of the topic.

Kirk: Isn't that incredibly dangerous, Spock?

Spock: It is the only logical course for us to take, Captain.

The mainstream media dilemma

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 26-Mar-2007 17:55

Risking the ire of professional journalists, here is an interesting take on why newspapers' credibility (and consequent business) may be in decline. Blame it on "MSM disconnects", according to the Venture Chronicles:

There are two aspects to newspaper media that people in the newspaper business would rather not talk about. The first is that the quality of writing and original research for that matter in many of the top blogs is far superior to newspapers. For example, look at Powerline’s recent coverage of a mini-controversy brewed up by a local reporter over the investiture ceremony for U.S. Attorney Paulose in Minnesota and you will find a well written and well researched piece that thoroughly eviscerates the reporter who did the original story.

Interested in any coverage of important legal decisions, do you really need the NYTimes when the Volokh Conspiracy not only gets the facts right but gives you the perspective of a respected law professor as well? I’ve learned more about the Supreme Court and recent decisions from the SCOTUS Blog than I ever did from a newspaper.

Also note that many journalists are bloggers and the post ends with this:

It occured to me shortly after hitting post on this that I should add a comment about the fact that journalism isn’t itself flawed but rather the business of journalism as it currently exists. I have a great many friends who are writers by trade and they are an impressive lot with instincts and discipline that escape most bloggers, so the notion that everything is going citizen just doesn’t hold up. It’s more subtle than that, there is a fundamental distribution model shift coupled with an economic shift on top of a generational shift that is redefining how people get information.

UPDATE: I had a big rant here, but I was told it wasn't objective enough. And because of that I will leave only the links and excerpts from the blog I am linking to. Apparently criticism goes only one way...

The TelstraClear non-news of the day: Pegasus Town

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 26-Mar-2007 17:30

Today I've got three e-mails with a press release from TelstraClear. Interesting piece of non-news here, and here's why I think so:

Pegasus Town today announced TelstraClear has won an exclusive contract to install telecommunications services.

TelstraClear Chief Executive Dr Allan Freeth says Pegasus Town is an exciting, uniquely innovative concept that will benefit from the company’s triple-play services.

“We’ll deliver a unique InHome triple play TV, Internet and phone line package, working to future proof Pegasus Town homes, business and its community,” says Dr Freeth.

Ok, so there's a private suburban development who will benefit 5,000 residents (about 2,000 residencies) and TelstraClear will be the sole provider there. That limits the choices to the buyer, and we all know what happens when there's no competition, right?

Buit let's hope TelstraClear will deliver something fantastic, so let's keep reading:

Pegasus Town will get free local calling to Christchurch, a dedicated contact centre service and a unique phone number range. A one-off connection fee will provide customers with a broadband modem, TV set top box, boundary and premise cabling and a telephone line connection.

“Pegasus Town businesses will be broadband hungry, needing fast speeds to move large data and image files. With speeds of up to 10 mbps downstream and up to 2 mbps upstream, Pegasus Town will be a fast town. What’s more there’s capacity to increase speeds in the future,” says Infinity Investment Group Chief Executive Bob Robertson.

Oh. I think we should have a dedicated call centre for Wellington, and another one for Christchurch. This would reduce the 45 minute wait when we have to call TelstraClear to report a fault. But let's not be jealous.

And 10Mbps down/2Mbps up? Goodness sake, TelstraClear, I have 10Mbps/2Mbps here in Wellington and have had it for a couple of years already. I am waiting for 25 Mbps here and for a new development I would expect you guys to lay fiber to each one of the houses, and provide 50 Mbps fiber to the premises services

“Another part of the Pegasus Town concept, is its philosophy to live where you play. We didn’t want unsightly satellite dishes and streets being continuously dug up. TelstraClear’s solution fits with this vision,” he says.

So the developers want to micro manage like some towns in the U.S. where residents have to ask the council what colour they can paint their houses, and what style to build?

Sorry, TelstraClear. This is a non-news and you should not be proud of it. You should have really stepped up to the challenge and created the first real broadband heaven in New Zealand. Instead...

freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
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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If you want to contact me, please use this page or email me 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.

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