After the meeting I headed to the What's UP 2007 event in the same building.
The event was very informal with five bloggers, myself included, making predictions for 2007. The bloggers were:
- David Farrar, Kiwiblog
- Hamish MacEwan, local visionary
- Mauricio Freitas, Geekzone
- Philip Fierlinger, turntable technologist
- Tom Beard, Wellurbanite and Wellingtonista's Web-Writing-Wellingtonian of the Year
And guess what? Against stiff competition I won the audience vote to receive the "Unlimited Potential's Visionary of the Year for 2007" award.
So what exactly did I predict? Here's my list:
- Telecom New Zealand CEO Theresa Gattung will leave the company by May 2007, opening the way for a takeover;
- Econet Wireless will not deliver a new cellular network in 2007, and may actually fold;
- Microsoft's new operating System Windows Vista will be used by end users, but enterprise will not widely adopt the new OS until 2008;
- MSM wants to have the same status as blogs, and bloggers will get together in networks and become more like MSM;
- Queen Elizabeth II, By the Grace of God, Queen of New Zealand and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith will abdicate (read more about New Zealand monarchy).
During the event we had the chance to present our predictions and explain how we got to those conclusions. Of course you should take these in the light hearted way they were meant - an entertaining evening with some good yarn in between.
The What's UP 2007 was promoted by Unlimited Potential, a community connecting young IT professionals, based in Wellington, New Zealand.
UPDATE: The event was covered by Ken Lewiss for m-net.
I hope you are not driving from Philadelphia to North Brunswick while following driving directions from Google Maps, or you will get lost:
Go, on try it now...
I found out about this on Nigel Parker's blog, but in summary the Dick Smith Electronics PowerHouse, 5 Ronwood Avenue, Manukau City store will open at midnight, Tuesday 30th January, but you can probably join the queue before then, to chat with other early adopters (and grab a hot chocolate if the evening is cold?).
Apparently this is not the first time this kind of thing has happened, and it was the same when Windows 95 was launched.
... The Warehouse teams up with Vodafone
The company where everyone gets a bargain is set to offer even better service to its customers, thanks to a new 550-connection Wireless Office deal with Vodafone. By using Vodafone New Zealand to mobilise its business, The Warehouse will significantly reduce its overall telecommunication costs. At the same time, customer service can be further improved thanks to staff being contactable first time every time.
The four-year Wireless Office deal, signed in January 2006, follows an in-depth 45-day mobility pilot and covers both The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery. Vodafone won the account in a hotly-contested RFP, involving an independent consultant and a 10-month evaluation process.
The Warehouse CIO Owen McCall says duplicated infrastructure such as fixed lines and desk phones, and an oversupply of extensions, was costing The Warehouse a substantial amount of money. “Vodafone has worked really closely with us to understand what mobile solutions will help us improve customer service, improve internal communication and pass on even greater deals to our customers.
“During the mobility trial we ran prior to choosing Vodafone, we identified that mobilising our staff could save us money, purely in time saved, as well as improving efficiency and productivity by providing the right information at the right time and in the right place to our staff.”
Vodafone’s Wireless Office call plan securely connects The Warehouse’s existing internal phone system to its mobiles at low rates. This means it can ditch surplus landlines, and staff can be reached first time – no matter where they are. The Warehouse’s 550 connections includes 60 3G Vodafone Mobile Connect cards and 30 Windows-based i-mate handheld business devices, as well as more than 200 3G mobiles, to ensure staff are equipped with the tool that best suits their working style.
Thanks to Wireless Office, The Warehouse staff are able to talk much more, which facilitates improved internal communications, at lower cost to the company. The number of calls made within the Warehouse network has more than doubled from 18 to 40%, while the average bill cost has steadily decreased, going down 16% in the quarter to June 30. All this while the average user is speaking 15 minutes more a month!
Seamless global roaming is also a huge plus for The Warehouse. “We have buyers based internationally and in New Zealand. For our staff to secure the best deals for our customers, they need to be contactable 24/7. With Vodafone, our staff can travel the world and concentrate on doing their jobs – without having to worry whether the technology will work,” says McCall.
Very interesting. Creating virtual locations for their workers, access to on-line resources, extending communications to wherever they are. I know there are some success stories in this area, but not many get out for the public to read about.
Let's just wait for Number Portability to be in full effect in New Zealand from April 2007 to see things changing rapidly. This, with initiatives such as Vodafone At Home will change the telecommunications landscape in this country. If you don't know, Vodafone's At Home service allows customers to have a local calling area prefix that is routed to their cellular handsets within a specified area around their registered residence. Local calls will be free for customers, but outside the At Home area, normal mobile rates apply.
That's all I can say for now. But prepare your digital video cameras, and check how to upload videos (30 seconds will do) to MSN Soapbox, Google Video or YouTube.
If you want an invite for MSN Soapbox, I still have three available. Just ping me on freitasm @ geekzone.co.nz with a valid Passport or Live Id e-mail address...
So, yes, it's a "wow" for myself, but the public campaign is going strong now. The Windows Vista Team Blog has put together a Windows Vista bus tour, visiting a number of cities and towns in the U.S. East Coast, but the official launch starts in New York, with the presence of Bill Gates in a special event.
Microsoft New Zealand has sent an invitation to some people to visit The Digital Home. Nothing very clear yet, but people attending the event will meet in a hotel in the Wellington CBD, and board a bus to take us to a home where Windows Vista, Xbox 360 and other stuff is running the show. We will see different situations including home use, home office, entertainment and more. All this with breakfast.
I've checked and people attending will be allowed to take pictures, so I will bring those and post in the news section on Geekzone after the event.
The only thing I can't complain is I've never seen anyone wearing my dress ;-)
But really, when I started working there sixteen years before I left, it was policy that any flight longer than five hours should be taken in business class. This covered pretty much coast to coast in the U.S., up and down in Brazil, or any flight from Brazil to the U.S. or European operations.
By the time I moved to New Zealand, the company changed the policy to force everyone to fly coach, on the cheapest available fare (making sometimes impossible to even get an upgrade from our own air points).
I remember once having to fly more than seventeen hours on coach, just to arrive on the other side with a message waiting for me at the hotel, asking to urgently join the project manager on an internal meeting. I couldn't join the meeting because of the time to cross town from the hotel to the offices and because I couldn't move outside the hotel so tired I was of that long flight. Never mind because I found out later the meeting wasn't even urgent, and was just to introduce me to other people in the team. More of a project manager's self importance declaration really. I am glad I took that time to sleep and go over a fifteen time zone difference...
All Dilbert comics and products are (C) Scott Adams and I do not claim it. Click the picture to visit the official website.
This time I am giving awat a Microsoft Habu gaming mouse. This mouse rocks, and it's really a good addition to any gamer's arsenal of secret weapons...
To be in to win a Microsoft Habu you just need to post a reply on this discussion in our forums... Good luck!
You can purchase a pack of "rip CD" services, with prices between US$1.49 and US$1.99 per disc. Riptopia will send you a UPS (sorry only available in the U.S.) pack and a spindle to hold your discs. After a few days you receive the discs back with mp3 versions of your digital media. They even throw in a free external HDD if you have a collection of more than 300 CDs.
Standard Service is ideal for iPods and wireless transmission of music with digital music libraries in form of MP3 192 kbps. The Premium Service is ideal for high-end media centers/music servers and returns digital music libraries in the form of MP3 320, WMA Lossless, FLAC.
They won't rip DVDs or home made copies - only originals.
How's that for lazy rip?