My window to the world


The PDA is back!

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-Jul-2008 10:13

Todd Ogasawara wrote something interesting about the value of a phone less device and I will expand:


1996: No one wants to type on the tiny keyboards on Windows CE Handheld PCs.

1997: Everyone wants a tiny keyboard (RIM).
2002: Everyone wants a smartphone with an operating system and user-installable applications.

2004: Everybody wants a phone and no one wants a PDA.

2007-2008: Apple decided that a physical QWERTY keyboard really wasn't needed after all. They also decided that user installable applications were not important (as of 2007).


Todd goes on to say he wants to be connected but not all the time - so instead he's got an Apple iPod touch, which allows him to browse the Internet and check his e-mail when he wants, and not when things are pushed.

Come to think of it, the Apple iPod touch is the same old PDA back in action...



TelstraClear says it is all fixed

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 16-Jul-2008 22:55

TelstraClear sent a letter to their customers:


You have been receiving a credit for your broadband service over the past few months whilst we upgraded our network.

Our network upgrade is now complete with services now returned to normal. We will be removing your broadband credit from the 1st August 2008.


And this is a chart on my connection speeds from the isposure service, provided by Epitiro:



This is supposed to be a 10 Mbps connection. Ironically the lowest point in the chart is exactly the same day TestraClear says everything is working fine again. FAIL.



We need a new OS. Let's call it Consumer OS...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 16-Jul-2008 09:34

This is something I have been thinking about for some time now.

For starters, let's be clear, Microsoft Windows Vista works. I am not saying it works well, but it works.

There are the odd faults of course. Some have been fixed with a much expected Windows Vista Service Pack 1. Most are still related to device drivers (and almost 30% alone caused by NVIDIA software).

And of course the inevitable comparison with Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 - itself fast and quite solid.

But for consumers Windows Vista is just not there yet.

There are lots of things I don't like in the software. I won't list here everything - the fact it takes so long to start, why sleep won't simply work (device drivers again), or why does it need to keep the HDD activity constant even with the "search indexer" off (because really the search is not as good as promised and who but a geek goes to Microsoft's website looking for another indexer and search solution?).

There are three things that I think need quickly to be fixed: enterprise focus, device driver conflicts and multiple versions of the same OS.

Will Windows 7 fix these problems? From reading Paul Thurrottt's Windows 7 FAQ I doubt it:


Microsoft has publicly committed to only one feature for Windows 7--pervasive multi-touch and the company is currently still deciding what this next Windows release will look like. We do know a few other things about Windows 7, however: It will include a new version of Windows Explorer that is being built by the same team that designed the Ribbon user interface in Office 2007. It will likely include some form of the "Hypervisor" (Windows Virtualization) technologies that will ship shortly after Windows Server 2008. It will also likely include the WinFS (Windows Future Storage) technologies, though they won't be packaged or branded as WinFS. Microsoft says it might also make a subscription-based version of the OS available to consumers, but that's still in flux.


Multi-touch? Is that it? Seriously, after the Apple iPhone, everything must have multi-touch? Nothing better to do? Nothing actually original?

Microsoft Windows Vista must to go the way of the enterprise. Leave it for the corporate bodies.

Microsoft needs to work on a consumer operating system. One that doesn't join a domain. One that doesn't have IIS code in it. One that will actually do what consumers want.

"You can always use Windows Vista Home Basic" I hear you saying...

But I am looking for an operating system that is friendly and fool proof. Easy to use and feature rich. Not feature rich as in "this will let you run a FTP server" but as in "this is secure without having to run memory hungry slow third party security software".

Let's call it "Consumer OS".

"Consumer OS" should let users do what they want. Not what associations want. If you want to record a TV program to watch it later, so be it. If you want to share a user-generated file so be it. It should have solid synchronisation capabilities built-in. Something such as Live Mesh, but that works out of the box.

The "Consumer OS" is not the copyright police. It frees up people to use their content. Content want to be available. Make those codecs available - I am sick of waiting for Windows Vista Media Center to support the H.264 DVB-T broadcast (and the rumours are now that it won't, even though early betas seem to have it kind of working).

"Consumer OS" would run only on certain basic hardware - listed on a website. The basic hardware would be motherboard, video and networking devices. "Consumer OS" would have to make sure requests and responses to these devices would always be reliable, not cause exceptions - if any exception is caught them make sure things get into a defined range and a specific application stops, but never show a blue screen and crashes the entire system.

"Consumer OS" won't be a geeks paradise. It will be a family's paradise.

Is this too much to ask for?



Godzone Geeks Guild on WoW

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 14-Jul-2008 18:23

Some of our Geekzone users banded together and created the Godzone Geeks Guild. You can ask one of the officers to join the guild - preferably if you are a Geekzone user (they will know).

All discussions (plans, instructions, help) are being posted to the Godzone Geeks Guild forum.



Digital Future Now - Auckland

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 14-Jul-2008 06:00

I will be attending the Digital Future Now, happening in Auckland, 13th August 2008.

I will also be participating in one of the roundtables. "How online communities can boost the bottom line", and I will be discussing this topic with Hayden Sinclair, (CEO, Jimungo) and Russell Brown (Founder, Public Address)

The American Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand is promoting Digital Future Now, a full day event with a keynote by Hon. David Cunliffe, Minister for Communications and Information Technology, on "Digital Future Strategy for business – achieving real productivity outcomes".

Full agenda is here, and includes topics such as digital identity, intellectual property law, social networking for businesses, mobile marketing and a roundtable about New Zealand's digital strategy.



 



Gen-i ICT Radar 2008

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 12-Jul-2008 14:07

This Monday, 14th August I will be attending the Gen-i ICT Radar 08, at the InterContinental Hotel here in Wellington.


Radar is an all day event for Gen-i clients focusing on IT topics that are hot right now and those in the near future – or as they say in the invitation "things to keep on the ‘radar’".  

Gen-i and partners Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, HP, IBM, Novell and Websense will showcase the latest ICT trends and how they address key business issues. 

These are the keynotes:
- Business trends including Sustainability Challenges, Rod Oram
- Eco Computing, Ecology and Economy, Sun Microsystems
- Business Continuity Management, Ian Clark, Gen-i
- Improving delivery and governance of ICT with ITIL v3, Trevor Hardy, Gen-i

People attending will also have access to 14 trade stands on display during the day.

Buy the way, while at this - I noticed they have a RSS feed for all their latest news, but it's password protected. Fix it please?



Vodafone you lost your chance to get the message across

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Jul-2008 10:24

In the last two days we had over 100,000 reads in all iPhone discussions on Geekzone. We have been seeing about 100% more traffic than normal to our forums.

Our server survived the 10am rush, while the Vodafone servers crashed hard one minute after Vodafone published the iPhone plans on their site, being inactive for hours.

But Vodafone did not come to the party.

Vodafone could have planned for someone to answer questions on Geekzone. We had 100,000 reads in discussions going more than 30 pages long and not a single word from Vodafone.

Then Kursten Shalfoon, Vodafone NZ GM Products and Services, posted a new discussion with some questions regarding the Vodafone NZ iPhone pricing plans are answered, but advised no one would have time to come around to answer any additional questions.

Bad job done there, overall.



Thanks for nothing Vodafone

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Jul-2008 10:03

Enough said.



Vodafone answers some questions on the new iPhone pricing

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 9-Jul-2008 16:16

Just a heads up if you don't follow the Geekzone forums - Kursten Shalfoon, Vodafone NZ GM Products and Services, has posted a new discussion where some questions regarding the Vodafone NZ iPhone pricing plans are answered.



Vodafone on Campbell Live: priceless

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-Jul-2008 19:11

Vodafone's Mark Rushworth was today on Campbell Live trying to justify its prices... What a bad work there! When confronted with the fact that New Zealanders are being asked to pay more for this phone than any other country, Vodafone could only come up with

"They have not launched yet" (even though prices are online)
"This phone changes everything, people can connect to the Internet" (even though other devices already do it on their network)
"It costs a lot of money to bring that data down to New Zealand" (even though the data is already there for all the other devices in the network)

Mark even says that it costs a lot to "bring that data down to New Zealand". He forgets to mention most ISPs offer 1 GB for one dollar - but Vodafone is obviously very different. Forget they are providing mobile data. It couldn't cost more than 50 times the fixed line data. Or could it?

Link to 3 News website with the interview is now live.

You will certainly laugh on Vodafone's attempt to justify this joke.

Truth is... You can buy the phone outright, no discounts and use with your choice of plans. It's there in the Vodafone site.

But Vodafone wanted to "hype" and announced the "iPhone from $199". When they finally disclosed the "$199 is with a $250 monthly two year contract" then people got all mad.

Vodafone is getting a lot of attention. More people want to know what's this iPhone. Vodafone says "it connects to the Internet", forgetting the Nokia N95 already in their network has been doing this for months. Some old Windows Mobile devices have been connecting for three or four years.

But they want the hype... And people will buy. Some will be smart and buy full price and get out of a $ 6000 contract. Others will simply sign up for the low allowance contract and won't fully explore the device.

Customers lose, Vodafone wins. Making a fool of themselves to sell. Great move.



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.

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