My window to the world

MSN Soapbox invitations available

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 25-Oct-2006 19:08

If you have visited the MSN Soapbox site and are curious to know what's behind the signin button, wait no more!

MSN Soapbox

I have 10 invitations for the MSN Soapbox beta program. If you want to join the fun, leave a comment here. Make sure to use a valid Live ID (Passport account) as your e-mail when posting the comment. No need to post the e-mail, just use it in the appropriate field in the comment section below.

Developers test your applications with Windows Vista, it is coming!

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 24-Oct-2006 11:04

Since I've installed Microsoft Windows Vista RC2 on my desktop, completely replacing Windows XP Pro, I have had good and bad moments.

I can say that the majority of bad moments came courtesy of developers, who are not working to have their software updated to run under the new Windows Vista model.

Windows Vista

Before I continue, I will go straight to self-proclaimed "pundits" and "zealots": yes, there are changes in the way the software is supposed to work under Windows Vista. No, don't blame Microsoft. Remember, Apple does it all the time. Mac OS 9 versus Mac OS X. Even Mac OS 10.2 versus Mac OS 10.4. Or PowerPC versus Intel.

Now that we have this clear, let's go back to the topic. Windows Vista Beta has been around for a while now. It's almost being launched. Some say it will be announced in Canada no later than 23 November. Still some companies rather cry than fix their products.

One company I contact via e-mail replied with "We haven't installed Windows Vista to test our product yet". Another company told me when asked about their software conflicting with UAC "It should be something we can work out when Microsoft signs off on the OS and ships it to the public in a non-beta format".

As for Windows Vista faults, I have been doing my part as a beta tester, and reported whatever I find. And I do get feedback on my posts. And I've seen fixes and changes due to user input and requests.

The OS is almost here. Are you ready?

Windows Vista ReadyBoost with a Nikon D50 digital camera

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 24-Oct-2006 10:05

Do you remember my previous post about using my internal SD card reader with a high-speed SD card as a ReadyBoost for my Windows Vista desktop?

Today I plugged in my Nikon D50 digital SLR camera to my desktop running Windows Vista, and it showed the dialog to select what action to take. As usual the options to see images, open folder were there, but the last "General option" was a surprise:

Nikon D50 as Windows Vista ReadyBoost

Yes, Windows Vista recognised the (also high speed) SD card in use with this camera and offered to use it as a ReadyBoost device. Neat.

Dress up your Vodafone vodem

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 24-Oct-2006 10:00

Have you received your Unlimited magazine yet? Inserted in the current issue (November 2006) you will find a gift to Vodafone vodem users:

Dress up your Vodafone vodem

This is a set of stickers to dress up your vodem. Check it out. I will apply to my vodem soon.

The Silicon Welly

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 21-Oct-2006 11:44

A lot of talk is going on about our capital city, Wellington (New Zealand) and its relationship with the technology folks establish here - or moving here.

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, 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.

Give your voice to Vodafone Voice

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 20-Oct-2006 18:07

A lot of people join the Geekzone forums to voice their opinion on matters related to all sorts of geek topics. I just found that there is another way to let your voice out if you are a Vodafone New Zealand customer: Vodafone Voice.

Vodafone Voice

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.

Internet Explorer 7 and RSS feeds

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 20-Oct-2006 13:54

With Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 for Windows XP just released, and soon to be pushed to everyone running Windows Update automatically, I thought it would be good to write a quick tutorial on RSS feed management under this new software.

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:

Simply click any of these titles and Internet Explorer will show the RSS feed content, formatted for you (click to see a larger image):

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.

How many RSS feeds do you read?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 20-Oct-2006 13:26

I keep saying that my job is reading, more than writing. Some people don't believe me, so this is a screenshot that says it all... Check the number of articles read on my aggregator (NewsGator Enterprise Server) in the last 11 months:

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?

Palm Treo 700wx EV-DO launches in Canada

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 19-Oct-2006 13:39

I was wrong in my comments before. I thought the Telecom New Zealand, Palm and Microsoft announcement of the new Palm Treo 700wx on CDMA EV-DO would be the first one outside the U.S.

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:
  • Support for Email on the Go: Windows Mobile Messaging and Security Feature Pack (MSFP), which includes Direct Push Technology, native S/MIME support, certificate-based authentication to all Exchange data, and remote and local device wipe, is available out-of-the-box giving smartphone users fast, automatic wireless updates of their email, calendar items, contacts and tasks. The Treo 700wx smartphone also supports Good Mobile Messaging and Good Mobile Defense for robust security and fleet management, giving users support for web-enabled enterprise systems, including sales force automation (SFA), customer relationship management (CRM) and corporate intranets.
  • Built-in Dial-up Networking (DUN) Capabilities: Treo 700wx smartphone users can take advantage of broadbandlike download speeds on their laptop computers by using the new smartphone as a wireless modem via USB technology. This out-of-the-box functionality offers an alternative to Wi-Fi, enabling users to access a high-speed connection in coffee shops, airports or hotels.

Additional Treo 700wx Features and Benefits

  • Device Users Guide -- customers can view the full Users Guide (located in the Quick Tour and My Treo sections) right from their device, providing convenient access to tips, troubleshooting techniques and how-to instructions;
  • 1.3-megapixel camera to shoot crisp, clear digital images and videos;
  • 64MB RAM for program execution;
  • Integrated Bluetooth(R) 1.2 wireless technology for communicating with compatible headsets, car kits, computers and printers equipped with Bluetooth technology;
  • Removable battery and non-volatile memory;
  • Expansion-card slot (SD, SDIO, and MultiMediaCard compatible); and
  • 240x240 transflective (TFT) screen

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.

Installing Microsoft Internet Explorer 7: best practices

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 19-Oct-2006 13:18

If you are about to download the new Microsoft Internet Explorer 7, it's best to follow some good advice.
Installing Internet Explorer 7
First and most important! Be aware of phishing scams. Microsoft is not sending an e-mail with links. The official Internet Explorer 7 download is hosted by Microsoft and you should download only from there. If you receive an e-mail with a link, delete it!

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.

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'm the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums. Also worth visiting is TravelTalk NZ, a community for travelers!

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 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:

Social networks presence

View Mauricio Freitas's profile on LinkedIn

My Blog by tags...

State of Browsers...
Viral Marketing...
Web Performance Optimization...
Windows Phone...

Other recent posts in my blog

Microsoft Ignite New Zealand, ...
If the headlines indicate the ...
Geekzone data analytics with P...
State of browsers Geekzone Mar...
2Cheap Cars discussion...
Now with more fibre...
Unlimited is not unlimited: Vo...
How bad is Vodafone cable at t...
Frustrated with Microsoft Fami...
State of browsers Geekzone Mar...

New posts on Geekzone