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Vodafone vodem giveaway

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Oct-2006 11:42

Nice. I just read in The Geekzoner (Tony Hughes) that we will have a Vodafone vodem to giveaway during tonight's Geekzone Weekly Chat (10 October 2006).

Vodafone vodem

You can find more about the vodem in my "unpacking the Vodafone vodem" review. You can use it to connect to Vodafone New Zealand's new HSDPA network for fast mobile internet connection on your laptop or desktop.

The Weekly Geekzone Chat happens every Tuesday from 8pm. We have an IRC Java client available here, but you can use any other IRC client. The Geekzone IRC channel is always live, with people talking there almost at any time of the day - and keen to discuss anything tech related - or not.

Thanks Tony for organising this, arranging the vodem and being overall a great moderator (as in great and large).




Vodafone New Zealand and IHUG

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Oct-2006 09:32

A Vodafone conference call has just started, and Russell Stanners is right now providing more information about the Vodafone New Zealand and ihug deal.

As reported before (here, here and here), Vodafone has bought New Zealand ISP ihug for NZ$41 million.

Rusell confirms the business will be run as two different brands. Immediate market impact will be the offering of mobility within the ihug portfolio.

Vodafone is preparing to offer the whole spectrum of communications, from mobile voice, moble data and for the heavy users the landline option.

No new bundles were announced yet. Of course lots of references to unbundling (no pun intended) and waiting for the Commerce Commision decisions. In short, nothing new.

Russell pointed out that this is not a new type of deal for Vodafone. He cited the example of FastWeb, an Italian ISP who provides Vodafone Italy with broadband bundles. This is from the press release a few weeks back:

Vodafone Italy and Fastweb, Italy's leading alternative broadband provider, have today announced in Milan a joint initiative which will enable Vodafone Italy to offer its customers broadband internet access. The service, to be branded Vodafone Casa Fastweb, will be launched shortly.

Vodafone Italy customers buying Vodafone Casa Fastweb will be able to use their normal Vodafone services on their mobiles, make mobile voice calls to fixed line phones at fixed rates whilst at home and have access to Fastweb's broadband network, which covers approximately half the population of Italy at speeds of up to 20Mbps.


In the UK Vodafone has signed an agreement with BT Wholesale to provide its customers in the UK with Vodafone-branded consumer fixed-line broadband services. This partnership enables Vodafone's customers to benefit from bundled packages of mobile and broadband services in the entire UK.

Vodafone Germany offers a complete mobile solution for the single-number based on user's home area, called Vodafone at Home. It's not clear yet if Vodafone New Zealand would be offering a similar solution but incorporating the ADSL offerings from ihug.

Vodafone Germany is introducing a new fixed service based on cellular technology, providing voice and data for home users. The Vodafone At Home Mobile service costs €20 per month and includes 1000 minutes of talk time. Users can designate their At Home Zone, and any calls placed from the user's mobile phone while inside this area will be discounted from the included minutes.

The allowance include calls to other Vodafone mobile phone or landlines within Germany. When applying for this plan the user will also receive a standard fixed network number to allow friends and family to place calls without extra cost.

When placing calls outside the At Home Zone users will be charged at standard per minute rates. Users can freely move between zones and the call will be charged based on where the user was when placing the call.

The At Home Zone can be located within a radius of up to 2 kilometres around the registered At Home address. This means that At Home customers can make mobile calls in the garden, in the café or anywhere in this area.


This could be a sensible way to go, with a solution similar to Orange Unique Phone. In that solution Orange mobile users roam freely at home with a mobile phone connected to the broadband connection wirelessly over Wi-Fi, and over to the mobile network when out and about.





Vodafone New Zealand buys IHUG

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 9-Oct-2006 18:52

Not many details yet, but I just got an email about this: Vodafone New Zealand will hold a conference call tomorrow (10 October 2006) to explain in more details the communication sent to the ASX (Australian Stock Exchange) about the purchase of New Zealand ISP IHUG.




Vodafone Merlin XU870 Express Card in the house

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 9-Oct-2006 16:45

I have just unpacked the Vodafone Mobile Connect HSDPA/3G/EDGE/GPRS ExpressCard. This is the Vodafone branded Merlin XU870 HSDPA 7.2Mbps card. Yes, that's right - 7.2Mbps.

Vodafone HSDPA XU870 ExpressCard

The Merlin XU870 HSDPA 7.2 ExpressCard offers the flexibility of both HSDPA and UMTS in tri-band 2100/1900/850 MHz and in quad-band EDGE/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900 MHz capability.  The XU870 ExpressCard provides high-speed connectivity to HSDPA networks with data speeds up to 3.6 Mbps and ultimately 7.2 Mbps, with a software upgrade. It has an integrated antenna system design that incorporates an external flip antenna, maximizing data speed performance and allows for stronger network signal reception.


Of course we only have 3.6Mbps and 1.8Mbps HSDPA here in New Zealand, but Vodafone promised an upgrade to 7.2Mbps for 2007. Let's just wait and see!

In the meantime, I will take this card to the mall where I tested the AirCard 850 and the vodem before, to compare speeds.

UPDATE: You should check my XU870 speed test...



IBM Forum 06: what I am attending

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-Oct-2006 19:19

As posted here before I will be attending the IBM Forum 06, here in Wellington on the 9 October. I will be around all day, but here are the sessions that caught my interest and you are most likely to see me attending:

8.30amIntroduction & KeynoteIntro by Katrina Troughton (Managing Director, IBM New Zealand). Keynote by David Skilling (Chief Executive, New Zealand Institute)Keynote will focus on the challenges and opportunities to achieving a much stronger New Zealand - and how New Zealand leaders should respond.
9.45amThe Global Innovation OutlookSteve Bonnici (Managing Director, Urgent Couriers) who attended a GIO series in New Delhi.At GIO 2.0, IBM brought together 248 thought leaders from 33 countries, representing 178 organisations, at five locations across four continents to discuss key emerging trends, challenges and opportunities in business and society. Hear what these conferences uncovered about the future of your World, from one of New Zealand's participants.
10.30amThe evolution of digital communitiesRizwan Khaliq, Global Business Executive for IBM’s Digital Communities initiative.The exploding growth of wireless access and the convergence of wireless voice, data and video are transforming the operations of local governments.   Local and regional government agencies can leverage this new technology--and the solutions provided by it--to not only improve existing services but to also launch social and public safety services never before capable.  Discover how major cities worldwide are deploying applications and community services over wireless broadband networks to help promote social, economic and educational development. 
11.30amSecurity in the digital age - in the public and private sectors, and in the communityManeesh Tripathi  (Service Product Line Executive Global Technology Services, IBM Asia Pacific)The digital age has fundamentally changed the meaning of security. Identity, authenticity, intrusion, theft, refutability, surveillance - all take on new meanings and bring new complications. To businesses, to individuals, and to society. Maneesh will talk about the social and economical (as well as technical) implications of security violations and identity fraud, the blurring lines between information and physical security (i.e. someone stealing a swipe card and then using it to break into a building), new threats created by our increasingly mobile environment, and also highlight some more sophisticated nature security breaches, which he says are increasingly originated by organised crime.
1.45pmCanterbury District Health Board (CDHB) improves patient safety with wireless voice communicationsPaul Gee (Emergency Physician, CDHB), Barb Nelson and Tracey Williams (Senior Nurses, Voicera Team, CDHB)Effective communication between Christchurch Emergency Department's 150 employees was a huge challenge - putting significant pressure on nursing and medical staff. A voice-activated, wireless communication system has helped doctors locate the medical skills they need, improving work-flow and efficiency, decreasing delays and speeding delivery of care.
3.30pmUnified Communications - Driving the Customer ExperienceRoy Newbury (Manager, Unified Communications, Cisco Asia Pacific) and Alan Register (Enterprise Account Manager, Cisco New Zealand)True innovation through converged communications improves agility and responsiveness to new challenges and opportunities. It unifies all of an organisation’s communications solutions, devices, resources, and aligns with business processes to make interaction with customers, partners, vendors, and employees smarter, more personal, and more effective.  Learn how these innovations have become today's reality.  
4.15pmSametime 7.5, the future of real-time collaborationChris Sparshott (Software Specialist, IBM NZ) and Kathy Staples (System Engineer,  IBM Australia)Instant Messaging, integrated audio-web conferencing, location awareness, social networking, integration with Microsoft® Outlook/Office and mobile devices, open standards-based for ease of integration - Lotus Sametime 7.5 is the future of real-time collaboration.




Microsoft Windows Vista RC2 Build 5744-16384 available now

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-Oct-2006 10:30

Time to do it again: a new Microsoft Windows Vista build is available on Connect now. I am currently downloading it (should be done in a few hours):

Microsoft Windows Vista Beta build


Apparently Windows Vista (v5744-16384) for X86 and X64 (English) is the last build available for testing (but don't quote me on this). You should use your current product keys when installing this software.

Microsfot Platforms and Services Co-President Jim Allchin has just posted a special announcement letter of Windows Vista RC2 to Microsoft Connect for the Windows Vista Technical Beta Testers:

People asked for it, and here it is, Windows Vista RC2! We wanted you to be the first to get these bits; next week they’ll be available to a broader set of customers via MSDN and TechNet.

All your great feedback has helped us focus on nothing but bug fixes over the past month since RC 1 — each and every day. There are thousands of quality improvements since Windows Vista RC1. You’ll probably notice improvements in performance, application compatibility, as well as fit and finish work. We will continue improving quality until RTM. If you are an ISV, please use this build (certainly at least RC1 or later) to get certified. Visit www.innovateonvista.com for more information on logo certification.

You are integral to this creation and refinement process. We are just around the corner from RTM and shipping this great product to the world. This will be the last build made available prior to RTM, so please keep the feedback coming so we can hit the finish line. Thanks for your help in finishing the job!

Jim



The downloads are:

- vista_5744.16384.061003-1945_x86fre_client-LRMCFRE_EN_DVD.iso, 2,552.57 MB
- vista_5744.16384.061003-1945_x64fre_client-LRMCxFRE_EN_DVD.iso, 3,609.21 MB

Also found out that they now have drivers for the Microsoft Fingerprint scanner. Nice! I have one of those and couldn't make it work under Windows Vista. It's a rebadged Digital Persona device. Very handy (no pun intended).



Palm Treo 750v coming to Australia through Telstra?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Oct-2006 12:54

This just in: Telstra has switched on their HSDPA network. The first HSDPA-enabled Windows Mobile device available through them is the i-mate JASJAM:

i-mate JASJAM

But down in its press release, Telstra also promised a device from Palm joining the network next month. I know Vodafone New Zealand is launching the Treo 750v 1st November. I wonder if Vodafone Australia will be behind Telstra on this one?

Palm Treo 750v



Clearification: A Rare Condition

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Oct-2006 11:19

Hmmm. Interesting. Funny. Intriguing. It's all that - and more. Or less. This is a series of short episodes, where this guy narrates things like he was Jerry Macguire. The whole site's got some strange weird thing going on. Check it out: clearification.com. And this is the first episode (1 of 7):
I am subscribing to the RSS feed, just to find out what's the story all about (obviously something to do with Microsoft Windows Vista, but we really need to watch the whole series). You can download episodes, embed, download wallpapers, and the soundtrack. The thoughts part of the site is, well... deep.



Wikipedia on your Pocket: 7val

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-Oct-2006 10:49

There is another wikipedia for mobile devices, at http://wikipedia.7val.com, found through Micro Persuasion. I've seen some Wikipedia content in mobile devices, but other projects were taken down due to traffic and other problems. Let's see if this project stays up.

It looks great on a Windows Mobile Pocket PC:







Playing with OPML: Grazr

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-Oct-2006 22:16

This is very interesting: an on-line OPML browser with RSS feed presentation. I am talking about Grazr:
It is very cool. You can enter an URL pointing to an OPML, RSS or even a website address and if there's a feed declaration on the page Grzr will show it here. Think of publishing - documents, manuals, etc. Or simply using as a new feature on your site.



freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
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 freitasm@geekzone.co.nz. 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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