This gave me an excellent opportunity to realise something: New Zealand lawmakers should worry less about the anti-smacking bill (hey, it's already illegal to smack someone!) and look at all those mad, stupid, dumb drivers who are behind the steering wheel and sending SMS at the same time, while driving.
I counted many cases of people talking on their mobile phones while driving, but worst of all is to see someone that is looking down to their laps because they are writing a SMS, instead of having the eyes up and on the road ahead.
One of the people I saw yesterday looked like sleeping, because the eyes were looking down... He was at the same time slowing down because there were two cars in front of him... And a red light. I saw at least three people doing the same, in two blocks.
I wonder how many car crashes we have in the heavy morning or evening traffic, thanks to idiots who can't take the time to put their mobile phones away.
The New Zealand Police should worry less about someone doing 10 KM/h over the limit on an empty highway, and pay attention to those idiots in heavy traffic. Oh, and perhaps also look at stupid people who don't stop on STOP and don't indicate either. I think those are more dangerous things than the speed on the open road.
And since we touched the anti-smacking bill... As I said, it's already illegal to use more than reasonable force when disciplining children. This new bill is there to prevent those child abusive parents to use the "reasonable force" defence. But clearly this is already covered. Worst, it will make even moving a children to a timeout place an offence. What's next? Timeout corners will be illegal because some MP will deem those a form of torture?
And that's fair enough, because Windows Mobile devices will only synchronise with Microsoft Outlook or Microsoft Exchange Servers.
It seems the Microsoft Mobile and Embedded Division is again giving too much power to the OEM/ODM... I just found through Experience Mobility that HP has decided to skip the Microsoft Outlook from the product CD, forcing users who purchase their HP iPaq to have to go out of their way and also buy Microsoft Outlook, separately:
Microsoft Outlook is not provided on the HP iPAQ Getting Started CD and must be purchased separately from Microsoft. Customers can go to office.microsoft.com and follow the on-screen instructions to purchase the available version of Microsoft Outlook.
This move is really strange. It looks like coming from a newbie product manager who never dealt with Windows Mobile before and thought that Microsoft Outlook was just a freebie, not a requirement.
Is this a cost reduction decision? Or simply HP making all it's in their power to annoy consumers? Don't they realise this will increase support costs? Are we going to see an equivalent reduction in price of these devices?
My first Pocket PC was a HP iPaq h3970. The second (and one of the best Pocket PC ever!) was the HP iPaq h4150. Since then I played with two other devices and briefly touched their new Windows Mobile Smartphone (not the best thing in the Smartphone world, I have to say).
I completely lost contact with HP in the last two years. The New Zealand subsidiary is not really into the Windows Mobile space and e-mails go unanswered, promises do not turn into reality...
Guest speakers include:
- Craig Nevill-Manning (PhD from Waikato) founded Google's first remote engineering center, located in midtown Manhattan, where he is an Engineering Director.
- Nigel Scott, member of the triple Oscar winning sound editing team at Park Road Post.
- Tyrone McAuley is Co-founder/Co-Owner and Technical Director at Sidhe Interactive,
- Prof Ian Foster, Director of the Computation Institute at Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago, where he is also the Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor of Computer Science.
The central goal of NZCSRSC is to foster a lasting community between research students in New Zealand and is being organised by Computer Science students from the University of Waikato. Participants include students graduating in Computer Science, from nine New Zealand universities.
The conference includes student presentations, invited talks, workshops, social events, even a Suits n' Geeks evening!
More information on the official website. for the NZCSRSC... Thanks Craig Anslow for the tip!
Upon visiting a page on AOL Money news the user is automatically redirected to another domain outside the AOL network. This domain will try to load a "scanner" using those pesky messages "You computer is at risk".
The guys insist, and even if you click CANCEL or the [X] button a few times the site still tries to load their "software".
Spyware Sucks has a complete report, including screenshots taken during the whole thing. They go to such extent as to disable the CANCEL button, leaving the user no other option than to click OK or close the browser entirely!
Once again, installing spyware or any other software requires user consent. If you click OK then that's not much that an OS can do. You must pay attention to the messages and not click OK or INSTALL or RUN for anything that pops up out of the blue.
But the post is not about this new feature. It's about the Playstation 3 launch. I read somewhere that in Australia camera crews went to some places to capture the excitment of this launch, but were greeted by about fourty people, not enough to create a great picture as expected.
In London, though, things were nicer according to the BBC. Everyone in line got a free Sony Bravia 46" HDTV and a taxi home. Yes, way to go!
I didn't hear much about Sony New Zealand doing anything really. I only noticed a few boxes at the door in our local EB. By the number of boxes stacked there, and looking at the price, I am not sure they are flying out like hot cakes.
Back to the Xbox 360 front, the Playstation 3 was launched in New Zealand exactly one year (to the date) after the local Xbox 360 launch. To celebrate, the Xbox 360 PR company sent out to some influencers (yay!) a mysterious green box wrapped in "Xbox 360" tape. I opened it to find a mini chocolate cake with the Xbox 360 logo and one candle.
But still, I was surprised today when I stopped at my local mall's McDonalds to get a coke (regular, no ice please, but who cares? Not the cashier, who sometimes brings with ice anyway) and noticed that, at last, they have replaced the PC running Windows 95 with a new Dell machine running Windows XP.
Then, walking back to the carpark I've noticed through a window that the local ANZ branch is still running Windows 2000 Professional on their desktops.
The large projects are getting even larger as time goes by...
The dull and dimly lit Australian Pavilion, funded primarily by the Victorian State Government, was squeezed into 81 square metres of floor space in the corner of one of CeBIT's massive exhibit halls. It was dwarfed by New Zealand's 200-square-metre, federally funded installation next door.
Most of the 30 Australian companies represented at the national pavilion were disappointed at being "out-blinged" by the Kiwis.
Jaques Blandin, president of Firmware Technologies, [agreed.] "There's a severe lack of funds in Australia for technology and I don't think the Federal Government really knows what's going on," he said.
The exhibitors praised the Victorian Government for subsidising the installation. Space on the stand cost about $10,000 for non-Victorian exhibitors and less for Victorians, Next was told.
According to The Age, the New Zealand Government also had immigration officers at the installation to attract German IT workers.
Way to go!
Meet the Man With the Fastest Internet Speed in the Country
ROSEVILLE, Calif., March 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- To the amazement of those watching, Jim Husman zipped around his computer like a Cheetah on the Serengeti as he completely dominated a Quake 3 video game versus other online gamers. The remarkable part was that he did this while simultaneously streaming a high definition movie trailer of Batman Begins, listening to an online radio music stream, checking his e-mail and uploading a massive graphic design file to one of his clients.
How was he able to do this? Husman was the first person to sign up for the fastest residential Internet speed in the country -- SureWest Communications' (NASDAQ: SURW) Internet product of up to 50 megabits per second (Mbps) of synchronous hyper-speed. Launched in December 2006 over SureWest's fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) platform, which reaches nearly 100,000 marketable homes in the greater Sacramento, CA region, it is the only service in the United States that delivers 50 Mbps of residential Internet speed both uploading and downloading.
SureWest is able to offer this unmatched Internet speed by delivering 100 Mbps of bi-directional bandwidth to each customer's home on its FTTP platform, leaving room to bundle video and voice services as well. With over 190,000 total marketable homes over its combined copper and fiber Broadband networks, SureWest can offer the 50-meg product to 52 percent of its Broadband service territory.
Great stuff! And it is 50 Mbps DOWN and UP... While I can't complain about my (now really small) 10 Mbps/2Mbps cable service from TelstraClear, I can only hear the people on Telecom's ADSL service crying...
I really hope TelstraClear comes with a 25 Mbps offering soon... Tomorrow is not soon enough now!
Users can access the shows in two ways: by streaming the content (which is always free), or downloading the content (which attracts a cost).
Downloaded content is paid for with PlayPoints, which can be purchased in batches of $10, $20, $50 or $100. A 30 minute programme will cost 4 PlayPoints, or about $2. When you register you get 20 bonus PlayPoints (the site says 10 bonus PlayPoints but my experience was different).
The file played on Windows Vista and WMP 11 with no problems at all. The quality was really good even on full screen, and with no artifacts I could see.
To be fair, all streaming shows are free though.
The website is quite nice, and they are going to make some money with advertising I see... Not a problem seeing that somehow they need to pay for the free streaming. But they could put a bit of effort and make that welcome e-mail better looking.
All in all, a great initiative. A shame Telecom New Zealand's plans for IPTV haven't come true yet, even after a couple of years of work on their part. And I do hope the Internet infrastructure in this country is well looked after, because this kind of service will no doubt stress the networks even more...
UPDATE: There is a good discussion about TVNZ On Demand on Geekzone.
If you haven't followed, ReadyBoost works on my laptop (AMD Turion 64 x2) but for no apparent reason (and not logged) ReadyBoost stops working. It could be the card, so I am replacing it to test. If not, then I will have a larger fast new card for my Nikon D50 DSLR.
UPDATE: Doom... The new card fails, like the Transcend I used previously. It could either be the laptop (strange, since it's Windows Vista Premium Ready) or the operating system. I bet it is the operating system.