My window to the world


Hello world of magic, and reality distortion...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 22-Sep-2010 10:02

When the Apple iPad was launched, users were thrilled to find out their iPhone apps would run on the iPad, no changes required. In the odd case an application would not scale and would appear on the screen inside a frame, in its original size. And people were fine with that.

Enters the failed marketing at Samsung. Their Android-base Galaxy Tab have the same thing happening:

"If you download Android Market apps to the Galaxy Tab, you will find that many of those applications are fully scalable," a Samsung spokeswoman said via e-mail in response to an inquiry from Computerworld. "Those applications that are not scalable are framed in the display at 800-by-400 [pixel] resolution." The full 7-in. screen offers a larger 1024-by-600 pixel resolution.

Samsung obviously don't have the same magical powers and reality distortion field controls, so Computerworld declares it a problem, and Samsung can't get out of it:

"The problem appears to be limited to apps downloaded from the Android Market. The spokeswoman said that Samsung did work with Google on the Galaxy Tab to make certain that Google's "entire suite of mobile services, including Google Maps, are fully scalable to fit the Galaxy Tab's 7-in. screen at 1024-by-600 resolution."

Read the article and you will see that nowhere Samsung says it's a fault or problem, only the way it works. Computerworld makes it a problem, and a big one at that.

So, let's make it clear: if it's on an Apple product, it's a feature. On anything else, it's a problem.

And no, I am not blaming Apple. I am blaming the person writing that article.



The Intel Bass Jump

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 18-Sep-2010 07:45

It seems Intel engineers have too much time to compete between them too... As did the Romanians trying to recreate the iconic Intel sound with the "Intel Bass Jump": Bass Jump focuses on the promotion of the Intel brand, rather than a processor product, to show the brand in a new and creative light. It follows in the footsteps of last year’s Cannonbells viral, which saw Intel staff being fired from five cannon at giant wind chimes, to create the Intel audio signature You can see the full version of this at Intel Bass Jump page.



Is the Windows Phone 7 Revolution coming soon enough?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-Sep-2010 16:06

This was an ad Microsoft pushed before a VIP screening of Lawrence of Arabia in London:



Companies offering IT help for firms affected by the Christchurch earthquake

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Sep-2010 14:56

Keep Calm and Carry On A few technology providers and individuals are offering to help companies affected by the Christchurch earthquake (September 2010). If you need any help with IT (infrastructure, servers, email, etc) here is a list of companies willing to help you:

Amanzi (HP hardware at cost and managed monitoring service)

Catalyst IT (office and server space in Wellington)

Chris Claridge (office space in Christchurch)

Gorilla Technology (IT in general, infrastructure)

Esri (GIS assistance to government agencies and private organisations in response to disasters)

Memia (Google Apps and email setup)

Responsive IT (Microsoft Server, Small Business Server)

Snap (Internet connectivity)

Unleash Data Centre (server colocation)

VendHQ (free web-based Point of Sale for three months)

Wave Adept (Google Apps and email setup)

Where's My Server (server virtualisation)

A more complex situation is for those using Microsoft software and services. The Microsoft New Zealand issued a statement today clarifying:

. For consumers (typically with 1 or 2 standalone PCs) experiencing software issues related to Microsoft products, as they restart their PCs, or have to reload software on new PCs, please call our support line for free Telephone based support on 0800 800 004.

. For small businesses affected by the earthquake (typically with 1 or more PCs and Servers, and not actively managed by a Microsoft Customer or Partner Account Manager), Microsoft is making available Telephone based service incident support calls free of charge by calling 0800 800 004.

. In addition to the above, Microsoft Managed Partners and Enterprise Managed Customers (defined as the Customers and Partners that have Microsoft Account Manager) also have the ability to receive free priority telephone based technical support subject to availability.

Microsoft is also making available to affected Microsoft Managed Partners and Enterprise Managed Customers, on a case-by-case basis, access to assistance and advice from our Consulting and Premier Support personnel, and access to Microsoft Online Services (Microsoft Cloud based Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, Office Communications Online and Office Live Meeting) for situations where their infrastructure is damaged to the point where they require an alternative messaging & collaboration suite on a temporary basis until such times as they can rebuild. 

If your company relies on its IT infrastructure being in place to continue to operate, and you are having problems, contact one of these companies.

Make sure you visit the Civil Defence website for up to date information. The Department of Labour also issued some advice to employers and employees affected but this earthquake.



Datacom is our new home

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-Sep-2010 15:20

For the last seven years we have been hosting Geekzone with Auckland-based ISP and hosting provider ICONZ, but since our two year contract was coming to an end it would be only good business practice to investigate alternatives in terms of cost, bandwidth, location.

And with that in mind, a few weeks ago we started talking to some colocation providers. We had very few requirements - we are not the largest online publisher in New Zealand, but Geekzone does sit regularly on the top 50 New Zealand-based websites in unique visitors, according to Nielsen.

According to our analytics data, 75% of our New Zealand visitors come from Auckland, with the majority of these using Telecom New Zealand, followed by (in order) Callplus/Slingshot, Orcon, WorldxChange, Vodafone and TelstraClear.

Since site speed is something that I consider one of the most important things for a good user experience, it made sense to us to consider Auckland-based service providers, with good Internet access and peering.

Also, when deciding location we had to consider that while New Zealand readers make up 70% of our page views, in absolute number of users it's only 40% - so we still needed to be located somewhere with good international connectivity, close to the submarine cables leaving the country.

Of course we also considered physical security access, power source, etc.

We managed to get into a great conversation with Datacom, through an introduction from Ben Gracewood. After considering services, infrastructure and prices I think we managed to agree on a deal that will allow us to continue running Geekzone with more "space" to grow, thanks to the savings we will be making.

After we have the server up and runnng, me and Nate (one of our moderators who helped me move the gear) were given a tour of the Datacom Orbit Data Centre. What an impressive building.

You will see this new box at the bottom of all our pages in the main site:



These logos represent the companies or services that help Geekzone run as fast as possible, serving more than 600,000 unique visits every month. Huge thanks to Datacom, RedJungle, Aptimize, HP ProLiant DL servers and Microsoft SQL Server. Also thanks to ICONZ, whose skilled technical people helped us grow to where we are today.



PriceSpy app for Android now out

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-Sep-2010 08:16

Just a heads up that PriceSpy has officially announced their Android app supporting New Zealand. Here's a screenshot:



With this app you can:

• Check the best prices for a product.
• Check PriceSpy user reviews for a product.
• See stores selling a certain product laid out on Google maps.
• Get directions to stores selling a product.

It should complement the PriceSpy website nicely...



Windows Live Mesh comes back full cycle

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 28-Aug-2010 11:35

Incredible how Microsoft is still struggling to get product names right. After buying FolderShare and turning it into Windows Live Mesh the company changed its name to Windows Live Sync, just to rename it again today to Windows Live Mesh.

Ok, you get an increase from 2GB to 5GB storage for synced files, but come on... Enough of "Windows Live..." products. Foldershare worked fine as a name, thanks.

Drop Windows Live and go back to the roots. Hotmail, Foldershare will work just as well, without the "Windows Live..." bits.

While at it why not "BlogWriter" instead of "Windows Live Writer", and just "MovieMaker" instead of "Windows Live MovieMaker". And perhaps get out of "Windows Phone 7" and use something like "myPhone". Microsoft already have the MyPhone service anyway.

(Note I didn't check for any trademarks, so these might be taken anyway).



Google Apps ate her emails...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 26-Aug-2010 11:04

Although I use Microsoft BPOS myself (after realising the fail in Google mobile sync technologies last year), my relatives' small business have their email hosted with Google Apps Premiere.

The reason we used Google apps Premiere for their email is that we could use the Google Apps Outlook Sync for Microsoft Outlook. After all we don't want to impact their small organsation, and keep things running as before, right? For them that meant keep using Microsoft Outlook and Google Apps Outlook Sync for Microsoft Outlook indeed provided for that.

All was going well for the first year, I say. Quick and easy. But then they decided to go on a travel and instead of taking their large laptop, they decided on a HP Mini. Installed  Outlook and Google Apps Outlook Sync for Microsoft Outlook on that and off they went.

Last weekend we all went to Napier for a sad family event. They took the HP Mini with them. On Saturday evening we started the laptop, opened Microsoft Outlook, to be told by Google Apps Outlook Sync for Microsoft Outlook that it needed to re-sync.

Now, the options were re-sync, or overwrite the contents on the laptop. And over mobile data "overwrite the contents on the laptop" seemed overkill. We are talking about a gigabyte or so over mobile, which is not exactly cheap.

So we opted for re-sync. And it worked for about an hour on that...

On Monday, she found out all emails from May through July were gone from the main laptop. They were also gone from the Google Apps Mail web-based application.

May was the last time the HP Mini was used, and since then only their large laptop. Last weekend "re-sync" seems to have assumed any missing emails were not actually "missing" but "deleted" and proceeded to remove from the server. They are not even in the Deleted folder. They are gone. Three full months of emails gone. Like that...

It seems Google doesn't quite work well when synchronising two devices and the same account in the cloud.

Someone is not happy, which makes me unhappy. And someone is being advised to move to a hosted Exchange solution, possibly the same Microsoft BPOS I use now.

Google, this was the second strike.



Windows Phone 7 ties online gaming and mobile (Halo fans apply below)

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-Aug-2010 15:40

After neglecting the online gaming community for so long, the Microsoft mobile folks are at least working on a killer proposition: get those online gamers into mobile.

They are talking about 25 million active Xbox LIVE users who will have access, through Windows Phone 7 to a lot of the features they are used to while playing PC games and consoles: avatars, achievements, gamerscore, etc.

This is a list of game available at launch:

. "3D Brick Breaker Revolution" (Digital Chocolate)
. "Age of Zombies" (Halfbrick)
. "Armor Valley" (Prot?g? Games)
. "Asphalt 5" (Gameloft)
. "Assassins Creed" (Gameloft)
. "Bejeweled LIVE" (PopCap)
. "Bloons TD" (Digital Goldfish)
. "Brain Challenge" (Gameloft)
. "Bubble Town 2" (i-Play)
. "Butterfly" (Press Start Studio)
. "CarneyVale Showtime" (MGS)
. "Castlevania" (Konami)
. "Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst" (MGS)
. "De Blob Revolution" (THQ)
. "Deal or No Deal 2010" (i-Play)
. "Earthworm Jim" (Gameloft)
. "Fast & Furious 7" (i-Play)
. "Fight Game Rivals" (Rough Cookie)
. "Finger Physics" (Mobliss Inc.)
. "Flight Control" (Namco Bandai)
. "Flowerz" (Carbonated Games)
. "Frogger" (Konami)
. "Fruit Ninja" (Halfbrick)
. "Game Chest-Board" (MGS)
. "Game Chest-Card" (MGS)
. "Game Chest-Logic" (MGS)
. "Game Chest-Solitaire" (MGS)
. "GeoDefense" (Critical Thought)
. "Ghostscape" (Psionic)
. "Glow Artisan" (Powerhead Games)
. "Glyder 2" (Glu Mobile)
. "Guitar Hero 5" (Glu Mobile)
. "Halo Waypoint" (MGS)
. "Hexic Rush" (Carbonated Games)
. "I Dig It" (InMotion)
. "iBlast Moki" (Godzilab)
. "ilomilo" (MGS)
. "Implode XL" (IUGO)
. "Iquarium" (Infinite Dreams)
. "Jet Car Stunts" (True Axis)
. "Let's Golf 2" (Gameloft)
. "Little Wheel" (One click dog)
. "Loondon" (Flip N Tale)
. "Max and the Magic Marker" (PressPlay)
. "Mini Squadron" (Supermono Limited)
. "More Brain Exercise" (Namco Bandai)
. "O.M.G." (Arkedo)
. "Puzzle Quest 2" (Namco Bandai)
. "Real Soccer 2" (Gameloft)
. "The Revenants" (Chaotic Moon)
. "Rise of Glory" (Revo Solutions)
. "Rocket Riot" (Codeglue)
. "Splinter Cell Conviction" (Gameloft)
. "Star Wars: Battle for Hoth" (THQ)
. "Star Wars: Cantina" (THQ)
. "The Harvest" (MGS)
. "The Oregon Trail" (Gameloft)
. "Tower Bloxx NY" (Digital Chocolate)
. "Twin Blades" (Press Start Studio)
. "UNO" (Gameloft)
. "Women's Murder Club: Death in Scarlet" (i-Play)
. "Zombie Attack!" (IUGO)
. "Zombies!!!!" (Babaroga)

Since I didn't have enough space in our news page, here are some screenshots showing what you can expect to see on your Windows Phone 7 when it gets to the market (hopefully we will not be too far behind here in New Zealand):

Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Games Hub

Microsoft Windows Phone 7 Halo Base

Microsoft Windows Phone 7 The Harvest

Microsoft Windows Phone 7 The Harvest Prelude



Das Tub

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 12-Aug-2010 13:43

If you have seen Das Boot (or not), here is a spoof created by students at the Media Design School in Auckland, called Das Tub.

I received an invite for their launch event, but you can watch it online now...



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.

A couple of blog posts you should read:

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