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.
In the meantime, some astute readers noticed that the following ad has three errors. Try finding them:
Found the errors? Here is the list:
1. The computer shown is a MacBook Pro (Intel-based Apple Mac), the vodem doesn't work with these;
2. the vodem is connected to the firewire port, when it should be connected to the USB port;
3. the cord connecting the vodem to the computer is a standard phone cord.
For a close up image of these ports, check this detail picture of a MacBook Pro and a PowerBook G4 on Flickr.
When I visited the Adobe site to install Flash, I came across their ADOBE SOFTWARE END USER LICENSE AGREEMENT [sic]:
1. "Authorized Operating Systems" means the desktop and standard-laptop versions of the following operating systems:
1. Microsoft Windows operating systems (including desktop and standard-laptop PC versions of Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME, XP Home, XP Professional, and XP Tablet PC Edition, but specifically excluding Windows XP Embedded, Windows XP Media Center Edition, and successors);
2. Macintosh operating systems;
3. Linux operating systems, but specifically excluding any embedded version of Linux; and
4. Solaris operating systems.
2. "Adobe" means Adobe Systems Incorporated and its licensors, if any.
3. "Software" means only the Macromedia® Flash® Player, Macromedia® Shockwave® Player, or Macromedia® Authorware® Player and third party software programs, in each case, supplied by Adobe therewith, and corresponding documentation, associated media, printed materials, and online or electronic documentation, and all updates or upgrades of the above that are provided to you.
For the avoidance of doubt, no embedded or device versions of the above operating systems, or any other operating systems, are included as Authorized Operating Systems.
How interesting. Windows XP Media Center is not allowed to run Flash? Is everyone breaking the EULA? Or is there another version for this specific OS?
What about Windows Vista? I am running Windows Vista Ultimate, which incorporates Windows XP Media Center Edition functionality. I am in breach of this EULA?
The only thing holding me back on going 100% Windows Vista on my desktop was the compatibility with some devices I have here. For example the Bluetake Bluetooth USB adapter, Microsoft Fingerprint Reader, the Microsoft VX-6000 Webcam, the Disc Stakka. All those either work with the current software or I am now able to download drivers and use on Windows Vista, so why not go for it?
I was also talking my time to test some other software I deem "essential" for my work: LogMeIn, GoToMyPC, WebDrive, and Hamachi. I have now tested all these and they work flawlessly on Windows Vista RC1.
I also tested the Windows Mobile Device Center Beta 3 (screenshot below) and managed to connect my Pocket PCs, again without problems.
Since I still have another machine running Windows XP 2 Service Pack (I can't update that machine just yet), I am going to rebuild my desktop with Windows Vista RC2. If anything needs Windows XP explicitly I can always use the other machine as a backup for the odd application.
I am also doing this because now is the time that more and more peripherals are coming with Windows Vista drivers. I have already received some that will need testing and there is no sense in testing these on Windows XP. So this is the right time to do this migration.
This coming week I am taking a day off just to install the new OS and the essential applications.
About 10.7% of our population are connected via DSL technologies, 0.5% use cable, and 0.6% use other technologies (satellite, cellular data).
These numbers put New Zealand in position #22 between Portugal and the Czech Republic.
The broadband (in % of population) uptake in this country, has been like this: 0.7% (2001), 1.6% (2002), 2.6% (2003), 4.7% (2004) and 8.1% (2005).
Go read all other numbers in the link.
The custom alerts (such as the one from Geekzone you subscribe to receive alerts on your MSN or mobile phone when a new article goes up on the main site) are now listed on Windows Live Alerts:
I've decided to do a new blog post for this update because I wanted it to have the same exposure as my original post.
Private Joe Bowers, the definition of "average American", is selected by the Pentagon to be the guinea pig for a top-secret hibernation program. Forgotten, he awakes 500 years in the future. He discovers a society so incredibly dumbed-down that he's easily the most intelligent person alive.