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500,000 replies in forums and the winners...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-Aug-2011 12:24

When I started Geekzone a few years ago I didn't think I was going to meet so many good people around here.

With time and the help of an entire community, in special our volunteer moderators, Geekzone managed to capture a good audience in New Zealand and overseas. Numbers continue to go up, and discussions in our forums continue to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every month. Those visitors come mainly from New Zealand, but also from U.S., Canada, Australia, the UK and smaller numbers from other countries.

I managed to make new friendships that span the globe. People who I've met over the years in our pizza evenings, coffee meetings and conferences everywhere.

When I saw we were approaching 500,000 replies in our forums, I contacted some of the local telco/tech companies and passed the hat around, asking for some prizes to distribute. The response was really good as you can see below

I intentionally did not announce there would be prizes, because we wanted some genuine post to win. Also we decided to give some "consolation" prizes to people who got close to 500,000 but not quite. So here are the winners and prize list!
To all three winners congratulations, and to everyone else thank you from the team for making Geekzone a great place.



Old UPS out, new UPS in: Eaton

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 26-Jul-2011 20:19

In the last two months a couple of my Belkin UPS (800VA and 1200VA) died. More likely the battery needed replacement anyway. But couldn't come in worst time - with all the power cuts in Wellington due to heating requirements because of the extreme cold, our desktops here at the Geekzone Home Office had a bouncy night...

So www.upspower.co.nz  decided to let me try a couple of their UPS. One small Eaton 3S UPS and the rack mounted/tower Eaton 5PX 1500.

While the Eaton 3S was easy - plug to the wall and plug the couple of devices to it, the Eaton 5PX is a different beast altogether. First it comes in a 35 Kg box. The box comes with sliders and feet, so you chose rack mounted or tower form factor. It's a bit noisy because of a fast fan. But it packs a punch. Just look at the LCD pictures for the up time lower in the post:

















Will be using these for a while here and see how they perform...



Atlantis space shuttle: thanks for all the fish!

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 21-Jul-2011 22:06

Amazing infrared shot of Atlantis (NASA Space Shuttle) after its last landing just few minutes ago:

And a side shot:

Well done Challenger, Endeavour, Discovery and Atlantis. Well done to the crew and control. Amazing to have seen the first flight, and to have seen the last one, over 29 years of space exploration.



Scope of New Zealand copyright law changes limited to P2P file sharing

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 21-Jul-2011 11:59

Sharing a release received from InternetNZ today:

InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) has obtained clarification from the Ministry of Economic Development (MED) that the intention of the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2011 is to cover copyright infringement by online file sharing using peer-to-peer protocols only.

The new notices and penalty regime introduced by these amendments is not intended to cover video/music streaming websites or online file lockers.

InternetNZ Chief Executive Vikram Kumar says, "What this means is that watching videos on YouTube or via blinkx, streaming music from Grooveshark, and downloading from online file lockers like MediaFire and 4shared will not be subject to the changes introduced by the amendments to the law coming into force on 1 September 2011. MED's confirmation addresses some of the questions that arose when we were looking at the law changes in detail".

"It keeps the scope of the changes narrowly focussed on copyright infringements by online file sharing via peer-to-peer networks and applications. This will be welcomed by many people. However, despite the intentions behind the law, the definitive interpretation will come from decisions made by the Copyright Tribunal and Courts if this aspect of the law is ever tested."

"Streaming websites and online file lockers typically provide copyright owners with a more direct means of enforcing their rights.

Generally, this is achieved by copyright owners providing a notice directly to the website that infringing content is appearing on the site and needs to be removed. For example, YouTube has tools like Content ID and a Copyright Verification Tool that enable copyright owners to easily identify, control, and even remove their content from the site."

"This clarification doesn't mean that copyright infringements by means other than peer-to-peer applications and networks aren't covered by the Copyright Act. The Internet Service Providers' liability provisions inserted by the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act 2008 of general infringement (92B), storing infringing material (92C), and caching (92E) still continue. Rights owners can continue to seek enforcement through the Courts. However, they can't use the new streamlined provisions of sections 122A to 122U for alleged infringements relating to Internet Service Providers' storage and caching of infringing content."

"This is a good time to emphasise that peer-to-peer technologies aren't in themselves bad. Quite the contrary. These technologies provide significant advantages for many legitimate uses, such as eliminating the single point of failure typical of client-server systems and distributing computing resources. For example, peer-to-peer technologies are extensively used by popular services like Facebook, Skype and Twitter as well as for efficient data distribution in scientific research and Linux distributions. So blocking peer-to-peer protocols rather than focussing on copyright infringement in response to the law changes is a bad response."

Explanatory note

"Streaming" is a technique for transferring data so that it can be processed as a steady and continuous stream. This allows a person to start watching online, say a video or TV show, without waiting to get the whole file. Typically, streaming is used in a one-to-many situation. "Peer-to-peer" on the other hand is a distributed architecture where peers are both consumers and suppliers. People can connect directly with other people and is therefore used in a many-to-many situation.

Examples of peer-to-peer protocols include Gnutella and BitTorrent.

Popular peer-to-peer software includes uTorrent, BitComet, FrostWire, Ares, LimeRunner, and Vuze.

Online file lockers are ways for storing and sharing a wide variety of files online. Examples of online file lockers include MediaFire and 4shared.



How Leica lenses are made

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 13-Jul-2011 11:58

A brilliant video showing the technology behind the manufacture of Leica lenses. It explains why lenses are still so expensive:



The (no) joy of FedEx logistics

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 13-Jul-2011 10:31

A friend sent me a box via FedEx. She's in Hawaii, where FedEx must have a hub. I think so because every time I track a FedEx parcel coming to New Zealand it goes through Honolulu before landing in Auckland.

When she sent me this parcel from her home state I thought "great, this will be even faster than other parcels coming from one of the other continental states". Just look at the picture, and  you will see how wrong I was:

FedEx logistics crazy routes...

Yep, from Hawaii, to two different locations in California, then back to Hawaii before coming to New Zealand. What a waste of time there. I guess it will not make it to the estimated delivery date, FedEx?



The HP Discover Blog Index

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 14-Jun-2011 16:00

HP invited a group of bloggers (including myself) to attend the HP Discover 2011 conference in Las Vegas. The infrastructure provided was incredible: accommodation, transport, special blogger lounge on the exhibition floor, communications, gatherings, reserved seats to all keynotes (including power and ethernet connections), plus the opportunity to meet many HP and partners' executives at the lounge during "coffee talks" available to our group only.

The number of posts still coming out of the group is quite large. So I decided to put together a "link blog". The DiscoveringHP is a meta blog listing all posts I could find, coming from this group, plus a blogroll where you can find your way to their blogs' main pages.

I understand some are still working on other posts, and I will update the DiscoveringHP blog with more links as they become available. I will also try and keep it alive during the upcoming HP Discover 2011 event in Vienna (Austria) - the European version of HP Discover.



Mobile documentaries at Te Papa

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 14-Jun-2011 15:59

This Thursday, 16 June 2011, Te Papa is hosting a one-off screening of a selection of creative works made for mobile phones, using mobile phones, by Laurent Antonczak and Max Schleser.
 

Thursday 16 June 2011
Soundings Theatre, Level 2
Te Papa
6.30pm-8.30pm
Free entry
 
Laurent will be presenting music videos designed for small screens, including New Day Interactive, a kinetic music video that responds to user's mobile phone movements, and Hamster Squaredance, an interactive music video that uses embedded QR codes (Quick Response barcodes that can be read by mobile phones).
 
Max will be showing two mobile-mentaries (mobile documentaries) made using mobile phones; Max with a Keitai, a film shot entirely on two mobile phones in Japan in 2006, and Ekaterinburg, a short mobile-mentary about the Heartbeat Festival in the Russian city of Ekaterinburg.
 
Both Laurent and Max will be present at the screenings to discuss their work, and will also be running a digital media workshop focusing on mobile film production at Massey University during the weekend following the Te Papa event (17th - 19th June).

More details here.



Back in New Zealand

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 13-Jun-2011 08:09

I am back in New Zealand (but not home yet)... What a journey. Thanks to Air New Zealand and not so much to United Airlines - big fail from them.



Windows Phone Mango: it will change the way you communicate

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-May-2011 09:26

This week I met a Microsoft New Zealand person who gave me a Windows Phone Mango demo... Lots of new features, but a picture (movie) is worth a thousand words:



Seriously, the integrated inbox (which allows you to select which inboxes are part of the integrated view, and allows you multiple integrated views) and the contacts groups are beyond anything you've seen in any other smartphone platform. Contacts allow you to see all communications with contacts - email, IM, social networks, etc.

And on communications, you can start a conversation via IM, and if the contact goes offline it will automatically send the next message via SMS, or via Facebook IM, or whatever is available. And you see all in a single thread, single application.

Best of all, Windows Phone Mango will be available for existing Windows Phone hardware.



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.

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 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.

Here's is my full disclosure post.

If you'd like to help me keep Geekzone going, please use this Geekzone Amazon affiliate link when placing any orders on Amazon.



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