I wonder why is that? Is that people are not interested in development for this platform, is the last Thursday of the month a not so good day for these meetings, or something else?
Anyway, this time we moved the meeting from the traditional Microsoft office location to Unisys. Thanks to John Cleveland who arranged with Unisys to host and supply us with the traditional drinks and pizza.
First to talk was Nick Randolph (Microsoft MVP .Net CF and general good guy), who is living in Wellington for six months because of a consulting gig. He's from Australia, and is coming along to my weekly Wednesday coffee meetings at Astoria as well. He showed interest in participating in our user group, so nothing better than making him talk!
His session was about some development stuff related to data storage, connectivity options and management, SMS notification, user interface design. He also showed some code and did a demo involving replication between SQL 2005 and a mobile database. Cool stuff.
I then did a quick run of the new Archer Field PC, running Windows Mobile 5.0... This is a very interesting rugged Pocket PC, and I managed to keep it here for an extra week, just to show it during the user group meeting. You can find more about it through Lat37 (New Zealand) or through the manufacturer, Juniper Systems.
The first five people to arrive each got a Culminis T-Shirt. We also had a copy of Microsoft Voice Command to give away, a copy Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition, a couple of copies of Caveman for Pocket PC.
See you in the next meeting!
The whole day I tried to connect to Wi-Fi networks almost everywhere - unfortunately it seems only Telstra Hotspots are available on Starbucks, Queen Victoria Building and some othe places. I couldn't connect to the Telstra Hotspot with my Tablet PC running Windows Vista.
While my Pocket PC had no problems at all, Windows Vista never got a valid IP address, in 5 different hotspots I tried - including the airport.
So I tried Optus here, and it worked. So I can be led to believe Telstra has something really wrong on their network, and Windows Vista doesn't like it.
also I spent until midnight removing Microsoft Office 2007 Beta 2 from this Tablet PC and installed Microsoft Office 2003. And all that work going on, even though I had to be at the airport at 4am!
The reason I removed Microsoft Office 2007 Beta 2 is because I need Outlook working! Outlook 2007 (Beta 1 and Beta 2) could only connect to my Exchange Server from within my home network. Anywhere else (GPRS, CDMA, Wi-Fi providers) and it would simply stall and not connect.
I removed this beta, installed Outlook 2003 and guess what? It worked fine straight away. No problems at all.
This proves the problem is not on my Exchange Server, not on my firewall, but on this Outlook 2007. The bad thing is that I raised this as a bug twice and it was closed twice with no resolution.
Some say the MSFP is the Blackberry killer. Some say it may be Crossbow. Perhaps this page about Crossbow actually tells us what it is?
If you want to read the rumours, then Google is your friend.
Thanks to riki, fellow Microsoft MVP for the tip. He authors some interesting software for Windows Mobile Smartphone (such as Theme Changer and AbstractStart).
Found through Goobers, through ZoomBlast.
The discussion will highlight how Intel's Core microarchitecture translates into a complete overhaul of PC usage models and how these innovations will mean lower power and thermal burdens in server data centres and increased productivity across client and server platforms.
My flight leaves Wellington at 6am (NZ time) and arrives in Sydney 7:45am (local time). Since the even is not due until 12pm, I will have a couple of spare hours available.
If you are in Sydney and want to meet for brunch please contact me and let's see if we can arrange something. I will be heading to The Rocks for lunch, so anything around that area or Darling Harbour should be ok.
If you have nice gadgets even better ;-)
According to the flyer:
Unlimited Potential has invited inventors, suppliers and commentators to give us the skinny on what’s up, what’s breaking internationally and in our own back yard. We also have some local and global vendors to showcase the latest gadgets, games and home media solutions. You’ll have a great opportunity to view, experience and interact with their latest gadgets.
The 5th July is shaping up to be one whopping great big geeky networking fest and the Unlimited Potential committee is very excited to be bringing some awesome speakers and exhibitors who are passionate about their technology for your networking pleasure.
When: Wednesday 5th July, 2006
Time: 4.30 for 5.30 start
Where: Renoulf Foyer, Wellington Convention Centre
Other speakers on this event are:
Dr Kate McGrath from The McDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology. Kate will shed some light on what our academics have been up to in the Nanotechnology space around New Zealand.
Jay Templeton from Mabode, in association with Microsoft, is ready to wow us with the latest technologies for working and playing with Digital Media. We also look forward to Mabode showing off some of the latest Digital Home technology in the exhibition area.
Dan Milward from Instinct Entertainment who create online and mobile phone games is going to talk about their work on teaching Chinese people how to familiarise themselves with English using gaming. Helping people make connections they may not have in a traditional learning space.
Humphrey Wikeepa is the Manager of Software Development at Te Papa and will be talking about the technology challenges faced in creating Mobile Exhibition Guides using the likes of PDA’s and also discussion other options explored at the International Conference “Museums on the Web 2006” last month.
We are delighted to have David Oliver from The Apple Computer Division of Renaissance Limited back at an UP event to show and tell on what’s hot & new from Apple. The Apple event in June 2005 was a stand-out, so don’t miss the opportunity and they may even let you have a play with their new tools and gadgets. Apple are also giving away an iPod Nano!
Dave Merral from Orb, in association with Telecom. Orb brings the highest quality technology and telecommunication solutions from around the world and is providing some insight into the latest cool gadgets such as the plug and play Logitech video calling solution or the Bluetooth laser keyboards.
Exhibitors include Mabode, Microsoft, JonnyNet, Parkside Publishers, Enhance Lighting, Centruflow, Orb, Telecom, NZ Wireless Café Net, Instinct Entertainment, Apple Computer Division of Renaissance Ltd, Vodafone and Canon
It looks interesting... You have to register to attend.
I wonder why not conduct the same study with the local (New Zealand) market. After all I would guess the majority number of passengers are departing from good old New Zealand? And almost all flights from New Zealand are long haul flights (except to Eastern Australia and a few Pacific Islands).
And if the idea is to "make our flights a positive part of the entire vacation experience", may I suggest (of course my unasked for suggestions):
- Board on time: not five minutes before the departure time, which leads us to...
- Depart on-time: not five minutes late, not ten minutes late, but on time.
- Serve something better than water and a cookie in short flights, in special the ones departing early in the morning for people who will work the whole day in another city and then fly back. A nice breakfast would be good.
- Add a few inches to the space in the main cabin (see my comment below).
I have been flying Air New Zealand on long haul flghts and can't complain of the in-flight service. The people are nice and seem experienced. The few times I had to book flights over the phone (to use my Air New Zealand Air Dollars) the people on the other side of the line were really good and arranged everything well (better than some travel agents).
I've used the new Business Class a few times with their nice flat bed pictured below (not in bed mode of course), enjoyed the Premier Economy with a bit more space than Economy, and have used Economy.
I can't understand the Economy seats. The most unconfortable seats I've ever seen! C'mon, the flights are always 1/3 empty, so why not use the space for the better of everyone? This doesn't need a study and would increase the satisfaction of everyone on vacation...
By the way, the Air New Zealand website says Premier Economy offers AC power, but I couldn't find where to plug my laptop (it works fine on Business of course). So either this need to be fixed on the site, or on the seat.
This is the full press release:
Air New Zealand has teamed with a group of former NASA scientists at Alertness Solutions to conduct the most intensive study of travelers to date. Using methodology previously used to study only astronauts and pilots, the airline is breaking new ground in examining what they have termed the "Vacation Gap," the knowledge gap that exists regarding what happens to leisure travelers before, during and after their vacations.
The Vacation Gap study is a two-phase project. The results of the first phase, an in-depth national online survey, measure consumer perceptions of the vacation process and will compare it to the data from the second phase -- an intricate in-flight study of travelers. The findings from both phases will be used to examine a wide range of vacation and travel related questions, as well as guide the airline on future enhancements designed to maximize the vacation experience.
"By studying the Vacation Gap, Air New Zealand is continuing its efforts to make our flights a positive part of the entire vacation experience," said Gus Gilmore, vice president of Air New Zealand - The Americas. "Air New Zealand will use the results of our study to identify and explore new ways to accelerate the vacation mindset and extend it for travelers once they return. By the time we've completed this study, no one will know more than we do about the vacationer's mindset, inside and out."
The national online survey of 1,200 Americans was conducted in April and included 46 questions about work and stress, the vacation experience and the mental and emotional transitions people make between work/home and vacation modes. Among the findings, more than half (51 percent) would be willing to reduce benefits, daily breaks, pay or holiday time off to get more annual vacation time.
In addition, the survey has revealed an increasing paradox between America's stress levels and the genuine need for rest and vacation, and a significant gap between the desire for a vacation and actually taking one. Nearly 70 percent of those surveyed believe doctors should be able to write prescriptions for vacations and more than half feel that extended time off results in as much as a 25 percent increase in work productivity.
The second phase of Air New Zealand's Vacation Gap project uses scientific monitoring devices to measure brain, eye, muscle, and heart rate activity of 10 passengers flying from the U.S. to New Zealand in April and May. In addition to undergoing intensive in-flight monitoring, vacation travelers also collected data as they transitioned from home to vacation and back home again using a wrist actigraph to collect 24-hour activity levels and quantify sleep, a PDA to collect objective performance of travelers, a daily diary for reporting activities, mood, stress, relaxation and more.
Additional highlights from the consumer survey include:
The American Leisure Paradox
-- Respondents worked about nine to 10 hours a day, and almost half rated their stress levels as "moderate" to "extreme."
-- Other than time or money, 30 percent of respondents cited family commitments, 20 percent cited workload concerns and 11 percent cited guilt about leaving work as the biggest obstacles to taking vacations.
Transitioning to and from the Vacation Mindset
-- More than half (59 percent) feel like they're on vacation before they even arrive at the destination and 66 percent say they do not work while they are on vacation.
-- However, the survey suggests the vacation mindset fades quickly after Americans return. More than half (57 percent) begin to feel like they were never on vacation within the first three days back, returning to their normal stress levels and routines with exercise, sleep, work, diet and social activity.
The Benefits of Vacation
-- The majority of people surveyed acknowledged that vacations have both physiological and psychological health benefits. When asked what they thought would happen if they took two weeks off of work at a time, nearly 40 percent said they thought they would "return relaxed and refreshed."
-- Respondents also agreed that after a vacation, they feel more energized, happy and have a higher ability to communicate with others and concentrate, as well as see up to a 25 percent increase in happiness at work and productivity and decrease in stress.
Men vs. Women
-- During the planning process, the week before and day of departure and on the plane, men rated their levels of relaxation up to 16 percent higher than women.
-- Do women work harder than men? According to the survey, it would seem so. On average, women have taken three fewer days of vacation in the past year than men (female average = 25.0 days vs. male average = 27.9 days). Additionally, the majority of women rated their current stress levels as "moderate" (41 percent), while most men rated theirs as "normal" (36 percent).
Under 50 vs. Over 50
-- When responses were broken down by age, there was a significant difference of opinion on whether doctors should be able to write prescriptions for vacations, as well as their perceived benefits. Seventy-three percent of people under the age of 50 felt doctors should have the authority compared to only 59 percent of people over 50.
The results of "Phase 2" of the study are currently being analyzed and will be released this summer.
The whole thing started when a Geekzone forum member pointed to a Telecom NZ Apache Pocket PC auction going on Trademe, using images taken from our on-line review. What really ticked me off is that the seller was showing one screenshot of an Incoming Call announcement dialog, with my photograph, name and the word "Geekzone".
Clearly there's reason to believe this image came from our site. I mean, just look at the second picture and you will see my name, company and photograph.
So I asked the seller to remove the images. And this was the reply:
Hi, do you mean the brown ones? Or the blue ones? I am a member of Geekzone. Sure, if it offends you that I've used photos publicly placed on geek zone which specify no copyright I can respect your wish to remove them despite any evidence to support this. Let me know which ones. :o)
"Photos publicly placed" on a website doesn't mean no copyright. All pages on Geekzone have a copyright and trademark (Geekzone is a registered trademark) notice that covers the whole content. And then continue with "despite any evidence to support this"?
I asked this person to remove all pictures, but of course the pictures were still there a couple of days after...
I tried contacting Trademe to have this listing removed. The only way is through e-mail, and it can take up to "48 hours". And guess what? No reply at all from Trademe.
I then used the "Community Watch: report this listing" feature, which I believed would be an emergency hotline link to someone on Trademe that could take actions in case of illegal use of someone else's property. What a joke. Besides not having a confirmation that my request was received, and not having a reply from Trademe (again), nothing was done.
So, should I get a Cease and Desist letter sent to Trademe? Are they simply ignoring anyone that could be between the company and the auction's success fee?
I met a few people involved with Trademe before, and I believe they probably don't have anything to do with the current state of affairs on that company. They're good people.
UPDATE 1: A friend commented to me something about everyone using someone else's images on the Internet. I agree, it's really hard to control. But my main rant here is on Trademe not taking action after being notified. I hope this clarifies a bit my stance.
UPDATE 2: Would it be different if the auction had a link to the original review? Yes, of course. But the seller did not offer to update the auction and the service does not offer a way to easily link to other sites.
UPDATE 3: Something I just thought: perhaps Trademe is in need of an ombudsman?
FINAL UPDATE: Just checked the auction and the images, plus the Q&A with the seller are gone. Some think this could be turned into an opportunity to drive people to Geekzone to look at the review - and this is my point on Update 2. It must be easier for Trademe to allow people to link to reviews or articles about the goods on sale there.
According to the press release (I don't know why the Technology beat got the burger PR in it):
"[This] new $100 Tri-Beef Burger, the Rolls Royce of burgers that combines the most expensive and decadent cuts of beef from three continents. Unveiled at a special media briefing and tasting event at the restaurant's newly opened location at the Boca Raton Resort & Club, the Old Homestead Tri-Beef Burger "tops" the restaurant's 2002 trademarked Kobe burger with a more decadent version.
Created to be what Old Homestead owners Greg and Marc Sherry refer to as the "Beluga Caviar of Sandwiches and Romeo & Juliet of Food," the hearty 20 oz. Tri-Beef Burger consists of the highest grade of corn-fed American Prime Beef, Japanese Wagyu aka Kobe from soybean-nourished, beer-fed, sake bathed and hand-massaged cattle, and Argentinean beef from cattle that roam and graze on the South American Pompas.
Hmmm. Only "[The new burger will be] served exclusively at Old Homestead's Boca Raton location", but available for mail order.