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Small Windows Phone 7 update coming

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 22-Feb-2011 06:54

Microsoft will be releasing a small Windows Phone 7 update on 22nd February. This is to prepare the handsets to receive the first actual OS update coming later.

This update is just to prepare the device to receive the first large OS update coming in March.

Users will receive a message in their handset to advise an update is available.

The update comes in two parts: Zune Desktop and Windows Phone update.

First you need to make sure Zune is up to date. You can do this via Windows Update or manually by installing this update http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=209174.  After the update Zune Desktop will be version 4.7.1404.0.

To update the handset itself, start Zune Desktop, plug in the Windows Mobile and wait for the update to come down and install.

The mobile device update will come in waves, so it may not show up for you just now, but in a few hours or days. Devices will receive a push notification when the update is available.

Some links:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsphone/en-us/howto/wp7/basics/phone-updates.aspx
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2484484
@WinPhoneSupport on Twitter



Telecom and Vodafone discontinue services to Funmobile

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 18-Feb-2011 11:34

I found out today that both Telecom New Zealand (1) and Vodafone New Zealand (2) have discontinued their services to Funmobile, a company that provides customers with "entertainment" Premium SMS services.

Premium SMS services are those short codes used to either subscribe to a service, enter a competition, provide feedback, etc.

Funmobile is just one of the services offering "entertainment" over SMS. In theory the interested users visit a website, enters their mobile number, and receives a SMS asking for a reply to confirm the subscription. If you want to stop receiving these Premium SMS you can reply "STOP" to their number.

The "entertainment" can be anything really, such as mobile ringtones, horoscopes, etc. They are recurring, sometimes multiple SMS a week, with prices varying from a few cents each, up to a few dollars. This sure drains some people's account very quickly.

On account customers can see where their money is going to, but prepay customers don't have a bill with detailed description of charges, so most of the times they only see their balance going away every week...

Some people should know better, read the small fineprint, etc.

But then there are those who got involved without knowing, or understanding what was going on. For example people who authorised third party Facebook applications to access their profile when participating of a promotion, or people who got caught by scammers running sites that pretend to be YouTube offering a competition.

I heard some cases of people who bought brand new prepaid SIM cards, and their numbers were already subscribed to these services. Obviously the previous owner got sick of the charges, got a new number, and let the old one lapse. The operators just put the recycled number back in the pool and someone got unlucky.

Regardless, it's something for years people have been posting on Geekzone. While it's all well and legal for mobile operators to put the blame on customers (who should know better), things happen. We know some people won't read the fineprint. And that's where these "entertainment services" make their money. And it's not moral.

I posted about this back in August 2009, asking operators to stop doing business with this companies. It took only a year and half, but now they have done the right thing.

Good job. The mobile operators provide a good service in New Zealand, but they should go beyond the technical side of things, and make sure their infrastructure is not used to take money out of their customers' accounts.Here are some posts about this scam:

Text Message Scam

Rogue SMS Subscription Services and Vodafone

YouTube ripped me off



Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 on Technet, MSDN now

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-Feb-2011 11:03

I have just downloaded Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 from MSDN. It should also be available on Technet.

The download is a 1.75GB ISO file, containing the installer, and the Service Pack .exe files for 32 bit, 64 bit and Itanium 64 bit.

Installation on my HP DV6 laptop (5.5 Windows Experience Index), from a USB key, went on for about 45 minutes, with a couple of reboots.

You can install it even if you have Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate in your system.



Another server, another 9,000 credit card numbers in the wild

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 16-Feb-2011 09:19

From story on Stuff, Lush has its server compromised...


As many as 9000 New Zealanders may have had their credit card and personal details stolen after the Lush cosmetics website was hacked.

The company has urged its online customers in New Zealand and Australia to contact their banks to discuss cancelling their credit cards.


The article makes it sound like they stored credit card details in the same DB or same server.  Not clear if that's the case, but that would be a big lack of security.


As well as credit card details, the database contained customers' names, addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth.


Sure, everything a scammer needs, in a single place.


Lush was contacting customers by email to inform them of the hacking and was not aware of any whose cards had been used fraudulently.

Of course they are not aware. Unless they monitor the underworld, credit card transactions on the other side of the world, and other things. They would only know if a customer complained, and customers wouldn't know how they information leaked, until now.


Its British website was hacked last month and some customers there reported their cards had been fraudulently used.
Mr Lincoln said he did not know whether the hackers were specifically targeting Lush or the type of software it was using."

It happened before to another server on the same company, but nothing was changed in that month?

It sounds like the Hell Pizza episode, when their site was accessed here in New Zealand, but the Australian one, based on the same application, was still running... Back then it took the company months before admitting to the breach. Lucky it was just email addresses, not credit card. But people receiving the spam weren't happy.



TUANZ CEO says Vodafone rural coverage is not optimal

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-Feb-2011 08:54

We all knew it would happen. Just like that, after moving from being Vodafone Head of Communications to TUANZ CEO, Paul Brislen changed sides and declared:


"Let's look at that baggage - Vodafone's coverage in the rural sector has always been less than optimal. The company says it covers 97% of where New Zealanders live work and play - but that's people, not geography and in rural and remote areas you can leave the township and immediately lose coverage."

Now this is nothing new, and we all knew it. The discussion about "people" and "geography" is a long one. And it's not only on Vodafone, but Telecom as well. With all the economic implications.

Obviously this all comes hot after the government announced the Telecom and Vodafone joint submission won the bid for the rural broadband initiative. One that will see broadband to rural areas with the help of mobile technology. This is from the original release from November 2010:

... to provide fibre to 97 percent of rural schools and a minimum 5Mbps broadband service to 80 percent of rural households within six years. It also aims to provide priority users with access to fibre-based broadband services.

The proposed solution announced today will meet the requirements of the scheme through the extension of Telecom's existing fibre infrastructure to key rural points of presence, including schools and hospitals, and an expanded Vodafone wireless infrastructure that harnesses the power of this fibre to deliver high speed broadband services wirelessly.

It will bring rural broadband users greater choice in terms of providers and technologies, both fixed and wireless.

The proposal extends Telecom's fast broadband (10Mbps+) rollout to 92 percent of the country, bringing city-grade fixed broadband to even more rural users.
At the heart of the proposal is the principle of open access. Both fibre and wireless components will be available on an equivalent basis to access seekers and wholesale customers, allowing any party to offer a retail service over the new infrastructure. This means that rural customers will have not only faster data services but also a much wider choice of technologies and suppliers for these services.

Telecom will be responsible for building fibre to schools and hospitals, cell sites and rural exchanges and cabinets.

Vodafone will be responsible for the design and build of open access tower infrastructure that Vodafone and Telecom XT will co-locate their mobile services on, as indeed could any other wireless service provider who wishes to do so.

Both Telecom and Vodafone will also be making additional investments in their networks in the areas covered by the RBI scheme to offer broadband services to their customers.

As for Paul, he's doing it right. His job at Vodafone was to say what the company wanted out there. So when people complained about rural coverage and he defended the company line. As TUANZ CEO he's on the opposite side. And perhaps, for knowing so well what goes inside a telco, he's the right person to be doing it.



Hotmail Sucks rap

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-Feb-2011 08:32

Someone decided to send an open letter to Microsoft and its Hotmail team (I wonder when someone will do the same for Google and its Gmail team):
 



Bing got served

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-Feb-2011 08:16

The Colbert Report tells us all about the Google vs Bing debacle:



Internet traffic in Egypt drops

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 31-Jan-2011 17:14

An interesting chart from Arbor Networks showing the drop in Internet traffic to and from Egypt on 27th January 2011. At 5:20pm EST the Egyptian government started blocking communications traffic. The chart is based on data from 80 Internet providers from around the world using Arbor Networks Atlas technology:



The Southern Cross Cable in a frame

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 26-Jan-2011 14:05

What's the Southern Cross Cable? It's a submarine cable linking New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and the U.S. (Hawaii and mainland). It's owned by Telecom New Zealand (50%), SingTel (40%) and Verizon Business (10%).

Here is a framed picture I got today in the mail:



Of course it doesn't look like that at all... But you get the idea.
 



The IBM Centennial video

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 24-Jan-2011 10:35

This short documentary is worth thirty minutes of your time. Lots of insights from people who worked in one of the most iconic technology company ever, IBM.

The IBM Centennial video video shows people who participated in the shaping of the company, and the shaping of our future.



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.

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