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What 3G was supposed to be (part II)?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Aug-2006 11:16

Ok, this is the second of a few videos I found in my media collection, about 3G. I didn't post this with yesterday's entry (see "What 3G was supposed to be?") because YouTube decided to be slow. Anyway, this is what BT thought 3G could be in a near future. Again, when? Not with UMTS/WCDMA. Not with the current crop of mobile devices. But hey...

What 3G was supposed to be?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-Aug-2006 18:09

Looking through some of my old media files I found a few short movies, prepared for marketing purposes obviously, showing what 3G would be.

We all know it didn't happen like this. WCDMA (UMTS) is here and it can't penetrate buildings due to the 2100MHz band used, and maximun speed is only 384Kbps (albeit average speeds are lower than this).

CDMA EV-DO is a bit better in terms of speed and coverage, but alas it is only available in South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, and Americas (North, Central, South).

But don't worry. Everyone is now waiting for the next wave. HSDPA and CDMA EV-DO Rev. A promise even more speed. But will it be bright like these ads?

This is what Ericsson thought (and announced) 3G would be? Certainly not with the first UMTS release, and not with the devices we have around: See "What 3G was supposed to be (part II)?" for another movie

Why you should not believe everything you read on Wikipedia

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-Aug-2006 11:37

Here's a good take on why we should not believe everything we find on Wikipedia. This is from one of the The Colbert Report (Wikipedia: Wikiality, The Colbert Report) episodes: Reality is, we shouldn't.

Massey University's Marine Design

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-Aug-2006 10:53

That's pretty slick: the Massey University College of Creative Arts will offer a glimpse on their marine craft design for visitors to the Boat and Fishing Show at Mystery Creek 11 – 13 August 2006.

Four personal water craft from the fourth annual Yamaha Design Challenge will be a part of the show. The aim of each craft is the same, to carry a single passenger through a series of straight line and circuit races at speed, but the boats look completely different from each other an anything else on the market.

Overall winner Spypedo (below) is a wave-piercing displacement catamaran that takes a minimalist approach at just 69kg including the 8hp Yamaha outboard. 

Other boars, like the Xplora and CSX also offer a multihull design, while Chopper should be popular with visitors with a design based on a waterbourne chopper-style motorcycle.

Very nice and geeky!

Update your laptops if you have USB 2.0 devices

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-Aug-2006 10:05

This is just in! Microsoft has released a patch for laptops running Windows XP Service Pack 2 to fix a problem with short battery life when a USB 2.0 device is used.

I am applying this now. May not be the case, but I am a bit sick of the 2.5 hours battery life on my Toshiba M205 Tablet PC.

The patch is available here.

Good luck.

New Zealand is actually a good place to do business

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 1-Aug-2006 22:24

I am just reading one of Guy Kawasaki's blog posts ("Doing business in 2006"):

Doing Business in 2006: Creating Jobs is the third in a series of annual reports investigating the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. New quantitative indicators on business regulations and their enforcement can be compared across 155 countries—from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe—and over time...The indicators are used to analyze economic outcomes and identify what reforms have worked, where, and why.

These are the top thirty economies based on the ease of doing business:

1 New Zealand
2 Singapore
3 United States
4 Canada
5 Norway
6 Australia
7 Hong Kong, China
8 Denmark
9 United Kingdom
10 Japan

Great stuff. I just hope people realise not everything in the world is "cheaper, faster broadband", but less bureaucracy helps too. At least we are doing well here.

New Zealand in the map: Windows Live Local

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 1-Aug-2006 16:00

There are quite a few map sites for New Zealand, if you are interested... A few here (probably not a complete list):


While not New Zealand only, Google Maps also lists Godzone's addresses and maps. And I don't know if I should count smaps and zoomin as separate things, since both come from the same roots, at

Of those, I like Zoomin better because I can use it to insert a map snippet into a blog post (see our entry with venue directions for Geekzone 2006).

There is even a PDA-friendly New Zealand map, available on This is so far the only PDA-friendly site here. Wises used to work on Pocket PCs, but they've changed something there and it's now broken.

But the big news is that Microsoft's Windows Live Local has been updated, and now the service includes New Zealand. But not only this, it also provide driving directions. While not the first one to offer this service (Wises does it as well), it's the first one to use AJAX technologies to do so, and also throwing satellite images for a kick (although not yet at street level).

Below is a screen capture of driving directions and sample map:

And below is a map:

UPDATE: Oh, I found a problem: where the instructions say (3) turn right (South), you can't actually do it, because the ramp is only going North and there's no way to turn right. No access at all. Hmmm. Bugger that. If we turn left instead it will be another 2.5 Km before a return is possible. More work to do here, Microsoft Live team. Better get an updated set of map data.

Zune Thoughts...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 1-Aug-2006 14:35

by now everyone on this planet, and some of our aliens visitors know what Zune is. If you do not know yet, check the link or just wait a few more days to get lots of coverage on a new site coming soon: Zune Thoughts.

Yes, this is another one of the "Thoughts Media" sites, created by fellow Microsoft MVP Mobile Devices, Jason Dunn...

I have a few Windows Live QnA Beta invites available: ask and you shall receive

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 28-Jul-2006 17:11

As the subject says, I have a few Windows Live QnA Beta invites available.

This new Microsoft service allows you to ask questions and have other members of the community to answer those.

How do you know the answers are good? The community can vote for answers and people get points. People with more points are more "trusted" and more likely to provide a good answer. Interesting community system.

If you want an invite, please post in the comments with your MSN Passort e-mail (the service only works with Passport accounts, so please don't ask if you don't have one).

There is no need to make your e-mail public, don't post it in the comment. I will send an invitation to the e-mail address you use for confirmation.

When my invites finish I will close comments.

Too much PC (no, not Personal Computers) in our lives

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 28-Jul-2006 13:08

This is another non-technology post... I found this through (sometimes NSFW) which I think is hilarious most of the times (the summaries).

Cover of breastfeeding magazine shows baby nursing on a *gasp* bare breast. American Talibanarity ensues: "A breast is a breast - it's a sexual thing." In other news, a hundred simulated murders will be on network TV tonight.

Yes, that's right. Fark linked to a story on "'Breast' Cover Gets Mixed Reaction" which reports on a cover picture published on babytalk, a magazine for mothers. OMG! We are the 21st century folks. Just for your information, this is the "offensive" magazine cover:

And these are some of the comments:

"I shredded it," said Gayle Ash, of Belton, Texas, in a telephone interview. "A breast is a breast — it's a sexual thing. He didn't need to see that."

"I'm totally supportive of it — I just don't like the flashing," she says. "I don't want my son or husband to accidentally see a breast they didn't want to see."

Now, what is interesting here is that  the complaints came from a poll of more than 4,000 readers, a quarter of responses to the cover were negative, calling the photo — a baby and part of a woman's breast, in profile — inappropriate. Yes, these are the mothers, for goodness sake...

At the same time there is a move to help mothers feed their babies:

There have been other measures to promote breast-feeding: in December, for example, Massachusetts banned hospitals from giving new mothers gift bags with free infant formula, a practice opponents said swayed some women away from nursing.

Most states now have laws guaranteeing the right to breast-feed where one chooses, and when a store or restaurant employee denies a woman that right, it has often resulted in public protests known as "nurse-ins": at a Starbucks in Miami, at Victoria's Secret stores in Racine, Wis. and Boston, and, last year, outside ABC headquarters in New York, when Barbara Walters made comments on "The View" seen by some women to denigrate breast-feeding in public.

Well done for these states guaranteeing breast feeding!

We have a baby here and New Zealand must be a lot different to the USA in this sense. We have no problems with Isabella and mum doing what they have to do. Actually a few cafes we frequent have some very comfortable seats or sofas for mums and babies.

Fark is right...

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 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.

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.

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