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Microsoft Office User Group (Wellington): meeting 24 May

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 20-May-2006 14:51

Steve Schappel has just e-mailed us with the meeting announcement for the local Microsoft Office User Group. Pizza and drinks will be provided, along with some great information.

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 24 May 2006, 6:00-7:30pm, at the Microsoft New Zealand offices (Level 12, 157 Lambton Quay, Wellington).

The first speaker is Ryan Duguid, Microsoft Technical Specialist, who will talk about Microsoft Office InfoPath. The software is a Windows-based application for creating rich, dynamic forms that teams and organisations can use to gather, share, and reuse XML based information. This session will cover the basics of InfoPath forms and look at advances in InfoPath 2007 that support the gathering data from email forms and browser forms.

Steve will drive the next topic. He is a Microsoft Access MVP, and will tell us where does Microsoft Access fit in? A brief discussion from the point of view of the user/developer, with some real-world example scenarios of where Access has found a niche.

Check for more infomation on

Star Wars: what's going on in Coruscant, by Robot Chicken

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 19-May-2006 11:44

This is simply great stuff, if you like the Star Wars series:

.mobi TLD registration dates

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 18-May-2006 13:31

If you hold a trademark, and belong to one of the following mobile industry organisations, then make sure to register the [trademark].mobi during the "sunrise registrations" period: AMTA, CTIA, CWTA, GSMA, MMA, MEF, NZWF and RCA.

Yes, that NZWF is the New Zealand Wireless Data Forum. All members (as of last week) are in a list sent to the TLD manager and will be allowed to register trademarked names with the new mobile TLD (top level domain). The sunrise registration period is from 22 - 29 May 2006.

After this other trademark owners will be able to start registering .mobi domains during the 12 June through 21 August period.

A Land Rush period starts 28 August. That's when a premium list of names will be available to the highest bidder.

And, finally, after 14 September, open registrations begin.

BBC Interviews wrong Guy...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 18-May-2006 12:24

This is hilarious. A BBC reporter was supposed to interview one Guy Kewney on some technology issues (the Apple vs Apple lawsuit in the UK), but when they called "Guy" to the studio, the wrong one showed up. Look at his face when she starts asking some questions... BBC recognised the error and posted about this, later:
Guy Goma, a graduate from the Congo, appeared on the news channel in place of an IT expert after a mix-up. But Mr Goma, who was wrongly identified in the press as a taxi driver, was really at the BBC for a job interview. Mr Goma said his appearance was "very stressful" and wondered why the questions were not related to the data support cleanser job he applied for.
I imagine this could be really stressful for Mr. Guy Goma, but I think he did well with his answers. Probably better than some "experts" would. What really surprises me is this happening on BBC. Can't we trust any news source anymore?

Verisign Personal Identity Provider

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 18-May-2006 11:03

Found the Verisign Personal Identity Provider through the Scripting News blog. Can anyone tell me how is this service different from having a MSN Passport, er, Live account?

You're invited to visit and try out a beta version of an identity service we've provided. It's called the VeriSign Personal Identity Provider (“PIP” for short), and you can find it at The VeriSign PIP is designed to provide a “home base” for users who want use OpenID applications. Users who register with the VeriSign PIP get an OpenID – a URL they can use to login and authenticate at sites that accept OpenID. In addition, the VeriSign PIP lets you store profile information, and control how, when and with whom that information can be shared.

This is coming from the same company who just announced the purchase of GeoTrust, bought mQube and runs part of the Internet infrastructure (including DNS servers and even the whole Australian stuff). Some stuff to think about, right?

Now, I don't have a problem with the company offering a diversified portfolio, and I even use Verisign's Personal Certificates for e-mail.

I am just wondering why Microsoft Hailstorm caused so much "revolt"? Ok, I agree with this article where it lists trust and reliability as tenets of such a service, but lots of privacy advocates were raising their voices then, but I don't read much about Verisign, or even Google Accounts.

[Microsoft Backs Down, Privacy and Security Risks Bury Hailstorm.] Microsoft has abandoned its Hailstorm or "My Services" platform because of privacy and security risks inherent in centralized storage of personal information. EPIC, along with fifteen leading consumer organizations, sent a series of complaints to the Federal Trade Commission in July and August 2001 detailing the privacy risks in the Microsoft Hailstorm system. For more information, see the EPIC Sign Out of Passport Page. (Apr. 11)

Google offers a set of API and services (e-mail, calendar, credit card payments, personal websites, databases, blog tools) all under a single account.

How are Google Accounts and Verisign PIP different from MSN Passport?

Anyway, I will read more about this, even use the service to see exactly what's the story...

UPDATE: I've created an account, and a couple of interesting features: you can create profiles to share different bits of information with different sites, and you have access to a log showing which sites asked for your information including date and IP address. I tried a login to Livejournal, and it worked, but it's not different than MSN Passport (except of course with the additional Profile features and an option to allow access to your profile for a single login, until a certain date or forever).

Virtual Project: Web-based project management

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-May-2006 21:04

I was just having a look around I received an e-mail from Ben Fellows about this service which, believe it or not, is free (for now).

The software is completely web-based, and allows clients to create projects, manage resources, tasks, extract reports and more - including e-mail notification when new tasks are added to your to-do list and delegation so other users can login and work on your project. Just look at the screenshot below for an idea:

The software allows project management on-line, from virtually anywhere. It seems to have been developed in ASP.

Currently in Beta, and it looks very interesting. Ben is looking for some interested investors.

Access Netfront 3.3 Beta for Windows Mobile is out

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-May-2006 18:29

The best web browser for Windows Mobile is now compatible with Windows Mobile 5.0. Access Netfront 3.3 is available as a trial (limited to 45 days) and the full version should be out by the end of May.

This browser is really nice. It supports Javascript, Java, Macromedia Flash, and a lot of other functions, including tabbed browsing.

Highly recommended if you are into browsing on your Windows Mobile device.

Managing Multi OS (Windows XP and Windows Vista) Boot: VistaBootPRO

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-May-2006 09:19

Microsoft Windows Vista introduces a new way of managing booting multiple OS platforms on a single computer. While Microsoft Windows XP (and earlier versions) relied on a file called BOOT.INI, Microsoft Windows Vista introduces the BCD registry concept.

The problem is that editing the BCD through BCDEDIT.EXE is a pain: it's a command line utility and with plenty of switches and options.

To help make life easier on this matter, the guys at Pro-networks released a small program called VistaBootPro, that brings a GUI to this program.

It runs on Windows Vista and Windows XP Pro (in which case you must have .Net Framework 2.0 installed).

Windows Vista Defrag: dumbed-down interface

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 16-May-2006 19:05

This is what you see on Windows Vista Ultimate (build 5381) when you start the Disk Defragmentation utility:

Like it or not, Windows Vista Ultimate or not, this is all you get. There's no progress bar, no indication of elapsed time, or remaining time. There's no information on how fragmented the disc is, what files are fragmented, or options to exclude some files from the defragmentation process. 

I want to be in control, I want to know what and why and most importantly how long it will take to do it.

Please, at least bring back the Windows XP interface, or give me more information. I just want a progress indicator!

In the meantime, I've found Diskeeper to be a great solution.

UPDATE: Diskeeper has just released Diskeeper 2009... Recommended!

I am not going to Microsoft Australia MEDC 2006

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 15-May-2006 21:10

I was quite happy I could be attending both the I Microsoft Australia MEDC 2006 (Mobile and Embedded Developers Conference) in Melbourne and the Windows Vista Lab happening in Singapore, 26 - 27 May 2006.

But the airline companies don't want it to happen like this. I was planning to fly from Wellington to Melbourne on 24 May, attend the MEDC 2006 25 May, flying to Singapore 26 May at 1am. My fligh back would be on 28 May, Singapore to Wellington with a stop in Auckland.

But Air New Zealand can't issue tickets from Melbourne to Singapore, even though these are on a Star Alliance airline partner, Singapore Airlines. Their suggestion was to purchase Wellington to Melbourne one-way on Air New Zealand, Melbourne to Singapore one-way on Singapore Airlines, and Singapore to Wellington one-way on Air New Zealand. Yeah, right...

The total cost for this would be 100% over my budget for the air part of this trip.

A cheaper option would be to get a return ticket Wellington to Melbourne, and a return ticket from Melbourne to Singapore. It would add a stop in Melbourne on the way back though plus the accommodation costs there.

I think I will have to leave the MEDC 2006 out of my plans this year. Shame...

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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.

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