During the last year I've seen people moving here from other places in the country (Chris Auld, Tim Haines, Nic Wise) or from overseas (Nick Randolph), create new companies and sell it to big corporations (Rod Drury's AfterMail, Sam Morgan's Trademe), run startups in stealth mode (Peter Smith) or write about web technologies.
Write about web technologies? Richard MacManus, the guy behind ReadWriteWeb.com, is based here in the region. And he' posted an interesting short article about Silicon Welly, a nickname for Wellington in this age of high tech development.
Check it out. He even commented about Geekzone 2006.
The Vodafone Voice Panel is a group of Vodafone customers. Panel members have the opportunity to share their opinions about, or their experiences with, Vodafone.
For each survey that you complete, you will be entered into the draw for that specific surveys prize. Prizes include mobile handsets, mobile accessories, cash, or air minutes.
You may be invited to attend focus groups or other special events.
You can propose topics for future surveys that are of interest to you.
I don't know how long this has been running, but it's an interesting initiative.
If you visit Geekzone a lot you probably read about our Geekzone RSS feeds before. If not, go on, read the article. I also recommend you read How to explain RSS the Oprah way, a very easy-to-read article explaining RSS feeds.
Back to Internet Explorer 7, then... One of the new features on this browser is the built-in RSS feed client. It's very easy to use, and you can start using RSS feeds without a specific program (the so called feed readers). Internet Explorer 7 will do everything for you. Here's is how...
Most websites these days have a feature called feed discovery. It means that a web browser will automatically identify what RSS feeds are associated with that specific website. On Internet Explorer this is done through an orange icon in the toolbar. When a RSS feed is identified you will see a start on the top right corner of the icon, like this one:
Click the arrow next to this icon and you will see a list of feeds on that website:
Things to mention here:
- enter a text in the box on the top right side and a filter will apply to that RSS feed, showing only the feeds with that word or text;
- change the order the feed entries are shown, by selecting Date or Title;
- filter the RSS feed entries by category, by clicking on any of the categories present on the list.
If you like the content of the feed, you can Subscribe to it by clicking Subscribe to this feed. This will give you a dialog to add this RSS feed to a list that will be quickly accessible through Internet Explorer 7:
Once you have added one or more feeds to your watching list, you can keep an eye on new and update stories by looking at the Favorites Center, in the Feeds list. You access the Favorites Center by clicking the big yellow star on the left of the tabs on Internet Explorer 7:
Because some feeds are not frequently updated you can right-click each one and change their properties, fine-tuning the system, saving your bandwidth and getting the right mix of information:
Easy? Now that you have a collection of RSS feeds, you just need to keep an eye on their content, and when you see something interesting just click on the headline and your browser will open the page corresponding to that content.
What's more interesting here though is that Internet Explorer 7 uses the same RSS repository used by new programs coming out soon, such as Microsoft Outlook 2007 and Windows Live Mail Desktop. This means that RSS feeds you subscribe through Internet Explorer 7 are automatically available through those other programs. Neat, right?
Now go on, subscribe to some RSS feeds and be more efficient when collecting your daily dosis of information. Just that you know, I currently have about 300 feeds in my collection.
Quite a number, isn't it? Currently I am on my all time low number of subscribed feeds, at 309. This number was up to 600 a few months back, but I have been trimming the subscriptions, removing stuff that is no longer interesting, or feeds that have not been updated in the last few months.
What about you? Do you subscribe to RSS feeds, or rather to visit each of your favourite sites, every day?
I just got a press release from Palm annoucing the launch of its Palm Treo 700wx Windows Mobile device in Canada, through Bell Canada. This is just a few hours before our local announcement.
The Treo 700wx provides the same great world-class Treo experience and ease of use that customers expect, as well as the following key features:
Additional Treo 700wx Features and Benefits
Let's see when this device is available here in New Zealand. I didn't get any other information from Palm, Telecom or Microsoft about this device, so I am still waiting for some data to work with.
Next, visit the Spyware Sucks blog and read the post IE7 Gold has gone live. You will find a very good list of things to do before, during and after the install of this update.
Remember, you don't have to install it now, but it will be pushed to all Windows PCs through Windows Update sometime soon. Companies will be able to disable the automatic update, check with your IT departments.
I haven't seen the whole thing working yet, but it looks like you can nominate a friend and have a quiz invitation sent to his/her mobile via SMS. Your BestMate then visits the site to enter the answers.
You are then in the draw to win a $10,000 trip for two to one of the following destinations: New York, Paris, Rio De Janeiro or the Maldives. The promotion closes 12 November 2006:
So, if you receive a SMS inviting you to go the site and answer the quiz, it's not a hoax!
Anyway, talking to Craig Pringle today during my weekly geek coffee meeting at Astoria, he asked if I was interested on a 2GB SD card for use with ReadyBoost. I was surprised, because I thought this new Windows Vista feature only worked with USB memory key devices. But nope, from RC1 ReadyBoost is also available for some SD cards providing you have an internal memory card reader (sorry, no external card reader option).
Seeing that it just happens that my desktop does have an internal card reader I decided to go for it, and order a 2GB SD card.
Of course I had to try it as soon as possible, even before the new SD card arrived. So I just got home after the meetings and inserted a 1GB SD card (133x) into the drive - and it automatically detected the card and offered the option to turn on ReadyBoost. Nice!
I will be using this 1GB SD card until the other big one arrives.
You can read all about this feature in the ReadyBoost FAQ.
This morning they called me back with an update, and here's the real deal:
The link with Volantis will provide a consistent format for the way content is presented on mobile products, it also stops new code needing to be written for different devices as it is already configured. It also allows us to better manage and support Java applications and future services – whatever they may be.
• Consistent format for presentation across all mobile products
• Improved device (handset layer) adaptation layer, implementation of handsets is now managed via configuration as apposed to code changes
• Caching is enabled closer to the customer which has resulted in pages are presenting more quickly to the customer
• Improved graphical content via a number of sources
It was launched on September 19.
So there you go. All you folks using Telecom New Zealand WAP services should not notice a difference, but the guys at Telecom will certainly have an easier life pushing those updates and content to your handset. I know because a few years back I participated in a project/demo with Volantis software in combination with ATG content management to deliver content over 3G to handsets - that was before 3G was launched down under.
I have just received a press release from Volantis, a U.S.-based company that specialises in delivering content to mobile devices, pointing out that Telecom New Zealand contracted their software and expertise to develop and deliver a Next-Generation Mobile site. The enhanced Xtra Mobile Services platform according to the release includes a selection of unique content for mobile devices.
The company supplied the New Zealand-based operator with its "Intelligent Content Adaptation solution, providing applications, tools and platforms that help delivering optimized services to mobile devices. Volantis extensive experience of serving content providers, mobile network operators, and enterprises, along with its standards leadership, enable a unique position for Volantis to create innovative technology for the Mobile Information Age that is more useful and more useable than the PC Internet of today."
I have just tried visiting mobile.msn.com and instead of reaching the local Xtra Mobile site I was redirected to the U.S. site - which I always expected to happen but wasn't the case in the last few months. And trying to reach the Xtra Mobile site manually just redirecs to the Xtra Games site, for now.
Perhaps the redirection is down until the new site comes alive? At the moment there is no information from the press contacts at Telecom New Zealand, but I expect to hear from them tomorrow about what exactly is being announced here.
By the way, Xtra PDA is a PDA-friendly website, perfect for use with Windows Mobile devices and other small screen devices.
UPDATE: The Xtra Mobile site is back again, no longer redirecting to Xtra Games.
Side note: In the last few weeks we've seen lots of rumours of Telecom parting ways with Microsoft in respect of the local XtraMSN partnership. We even heard of a possible association with Google. Which may or may not be the case.