My window to the world


Do you want news? You cannot handle the news!

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 16-Feb-2008 10:33

Citizen journalism anyone? CNN has released ireport.com with the tag "Unedited. Unfiltered. News".

Go on. I know you want to read worldwide reports from citizens. Just read these ones from their front page or related news:

- Unexpected level of demand leaves birdfeeder empty
- Thursday lunch report
- My roomate has been stealing my stuff
- Breaking News Ketchup

With this level of "journalism" I rather keep getting my news from FARK.



Norton Online Living Report: digital lifestyle habits

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 14-Feb-2008 12:39

Today I got some information from Symantec and their upcoming Norton Online Living Report (NOLR) study and I thought it would be interesting to share here.

The report is the result of a study on the digital lifestyle habits of adults and children around the globe. It focuses on how people worldwide are conducting personal interactions and connecting emotionally online.

One of the interesting findings from the worldwide study is that parents’ perception of what their children are doing online does not reflect the reality of what their children are doing. For example, in the U.S. parents believe that 6% of their children have been approached online by a stranger, yet 16% of children in the U.S. report they have been approached by a stranger online.

Another interesting point is that about half of adults, and slightly fewer children, have made friends online – and, of those, many (about 60 to 80%) have translated these online friendships to their offline world. 

Here is a snapshot of findings from the Norton Online Living Report:


Norton Online Living Report, Vol. 1, Key Findings

Communicating:
 
•       Many online adults spend at least one hour per month sending text messages from their mobile phones
•       41% of U.S. online adults (constantly, frequently or sometimes) and 46% of U.S. online kids use the Internet to download or watch movies
o       A whopping 97% of Chinese online adults and 96% of Chinese online kids do the same

Socialising:

•       Nearly half of online adults in the U.S. have made friends online, of those users, approximately 60-80% have translated these online friendship to their offline world
•       About half of online adults in the U.S. prefer their online friendships the same amount or more than their offline friendships
•       As many as 4 in 10 (10-44% varying by country) online adults around the world feel confident socialising with strangers online
•       As many as 88% of online children in China have made friends online; nearly three-quarters (74%) of online children in Brazil report the same

Living:

•       Online gaming is enormously popular, with nearly three-quarters (74%) of online adults in the U.S. and more than 9 in 10 (96%) online children in the U.S. playing games
o       Nearly all adults and children online in China (95% and 99%, respectively) play online games
•       China and Brazil lead the countries surveyed in downloading music
o       97% of adults and 98% of children in China download music
o       88% of adults and 89% of children in Brazil download music 
•       About two-thirds (66%) of online adults, and 7 in 10 (70%) online children in the U.S. visit video sharing web sites

Informing:

•       Most online adults spend at least one hour per month both reading news from online sites/blogs
•       More than 9 in 10 online children in the U.S. (94%), Germany (93%), France (93%) and China (93%) research via the internet

Buying:

•       Almost all online users report shopping online at least sometimes
o       Global users have a high degree of confidence making purchases online
•       Nearly half of users in China feel confident sharing personal information; only 5% of online users in Japan feel confident sharing personal information

Banking:
•       Personal finance falls behind commerce as a standard internet activity, but the majority of global online users have handled some of their most basic financial transactions online
o       About 4 in 5 online adults bank or pay bills online at least sometimes
o       China has the highest number of users who bank or pay bills online with nearly 9 in 10 (87%), the U.S. has nearly 8 in 10 (79%) users

Exploring:
•       The majority of online adults (85%) and children (52%) have been a victim of some level of cyber attack (from minor spam emails to major hack attempts) and express concern about online safety
•       More than 8 in 10 online adults are not confident using the internet without security software
•       More than a third (34%) of users in the U.S. have shared credit card information—the highest number globally—while just a little more than 1 in 10 (13%) users in Brazil divulge this information
•       The majority of adult users worldwide have installed security software but few go beyond basic steps, such as changing passwords frequently and surfing only on trusted sites
•       More than a third of adults in all countries visit adult or pornographic web sites, with more than half in Brazil and China doing so

Protecting:
•       While the majority of parents recognise online threats to their children, most underestimate the prevalence of these threats and far fewer are taking actionable steps, such as setting parental controls
•       Many parents and children talk openly about what children are doing online, which perhaps results in their overconfidence that their children are being protected online
•       Most parents believe the internet is not as safe for children as for adults and most children believe the internet is not as safe for themselves as for adults
•       The U.S. and Australia have the highest number of parents who believe the internet is not as safe for children as it is for adults
•       Parents underestimate how often their children are approached by strangers online and encounter cyber pranks, with the U.S., UK and France having the highest number of unaware parents
o       U.S. parents believe that 6% of their children have been approached online by a stranger, yet 16% of children in the U.S. report they have been approached by a stranger online


The Norton Online Living Report survey was conducted online in eight countries (U.S., UK, Australia, Germany, France, Brazil, China, and Japan) by Harris Interactive on behalf of Symantec between 12 November and 17 December 2007 among 4,687 adults 18 years of age and older and 2,717 children aged 8 to 17 years old who spend one or more hours online each month. 



The irony on a BlackBerry outage

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 12-Feb-2008 19:03

Apparently another BlackBerry outage affected North American customers again. The irony is the ad placed in the page where the outage was being reported:



Joining the Hire Things Advisory Board

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 12-Feb-2008 12:17

Just as a disclosure, I was invited - and accepted it - to join the Advisory Board of Hire Things. This is coming after years of watching a friend, Peter Torr Smith, creating the company and the service from the ground up, from concept to delivery.

The company wants to grow bigger and stronger, and for that they invited three people so far to be part of this board, with one or two other seats to be filled soon.

As an Advisory Board member I am not an employee, neither have authority within the company. The role is just what the name says - a panel of experts that advise the company management with their knowledge in different sectors.

It is a part time position with probably one or two meetings every month, but it's going to be great to be more involved in this business - an on-line business.



Microsoft Windows Vista Service Pack 1: available now

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 12-Feb-2008 05:00

Microsoft has slightly changed its plans on how Windows Vista SP1 will reach users. Instead of a "March release", the company has decided to rethink the way users will have access to this release, so here is the new timetable:

- Beta testers: NOW!
- Volume license: English release now, other languages to follow
- MSDN and TechNet subscribers: sometime mid February
- Download center and Windows Update: sometime from mid March

To start with, if you are planning installing this update, then you should read the list of Hotfixes and Updates in Windows Vista Service Pack 1.

I have downloaded and installed Windows Vista SP1 from Connect (I was involved in the original beta testing).



It wasn't without bumps though.

First I tried the Windows Update method, which requires a special installer downloaded from Connect. It didn't quite like my laptop and wouldn't install. Initially I thought it could be something related to drivers.

As you may know, Microsoft will perform a slow release because some device drivers, the little programs that control your peripherals, aren't working that well with this version. The idea of this slow release to end users is to make sure all PCs are updated with new drivers and then have SP1 installed automatically.

But I knew this shouldn't be a problem on my laptop, which is a "Windows Vista Premium Ready" Acer machine.

So I tried the standalone installer. The update was uneventful - start it and forget it. I did not have to do anythinng and after a couple of reboots the system was updated.

I immediately completed a manual backup to my Windows Home Server, and also created a new restore point "After SP1".

Windows Vista SP1 RTM is available on Connect for download in two flavours - standalone installer and ISO images. These are the files details:

- Windows6.0-KB936330-X86-wave0.exe (434.50 MB)
- Windows6.0-KB936330-X64-wave0.exe  (726.5 MB)
- 6001.18000.080118-1840_iso_client_sp_wave0-FRMCSP0_DVD.iso (1,161.72 MB)

Although I had Windows Vista SP1 RC1 installed on this laptop on a previous build, I am still testing the SP1 RTM. So far so good and I am enjoying this "refresh".

I can confirm then it works fine on an Acer Ferrari 5000 laptop and also on my Apple Mac mini-based Media Center (booting Windows Vista through Bootcamp).

Now to check the odd stuff that wasn't quite right before.



Attending the 2008 Summer Road Trip - Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Feb-2008 20:11

Cool, it is time for the Wellington IT professional crowd to get into the "2008 Summer Roadtrip".

This tour is coming to Wellington this 13 February, at the Paramount Cinema and will bring the latest information on Microsoft's new IT Pro software - includingWindows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008.

Chris Auld and Jeremy Boyd, and Darryl Burling are touring the country (yes, driving all the way) showing off all the stuff in Windows Server (Virtualisation, IIS, etc), SQL Server (File Stream, Spatial data types & queries, etc) and Visual Studio (LINQ, CSS designers, etc). 

In each location they will be joined by a local speaker.

When you register you enter the draw to win one of two server hardware, Windows Home Server software and more. And you get another entry in the draw if you invite a friend.

These are the remaining dates (click for more information on each event):

  • Wellington – Feb 13
  • Nelson – Feb 14
  • Christchurch – Feb 15
  • Dunedin – Feb 18
  • Invercargill - Feb 19

    I am attending the Wellington meeting this week. I hear about 400 people are registered - so make an effort to show up - look for me there!




  • Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 Windows Mobile pictures and video

    By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Feb-2008 09:55

    Sony Ericsson has announced the XPERIA X1 Windows Mobile-based devices. Interesting news, since the company is a long time supporter of Symbian UIQ.

    Very exciting news too because we all know how popular the Sony Ericsson handsets are and how well made they are.

    The XPERIA X1 comes with GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA - and look at this user interface (video from Sony Ericsson, uploaded by Engadget):




    Below are some pictures of this new device:














    Windows Vista SP1 RC2 = RTM bits

    By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-Feb-2008 09:21

    If you are planning the deployment of Windows Vista Service Pack 1 in your organisation or at home, here is a tip I got from a conference call with the Windows Vista team in Redmond: the last Windows Vista SP1 RC2 (build 1800) released to beta testers contains the same bits as the Windows Vista SP1 RTM announced a couple of days ago.

    It means that for all of you out there planning compatibility tests, migration, etc you can safely use the RC2 as a base platform for testing.





    Ojo videophone: can you see me now?

    By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-Feb-2008 16:41

    If you are one of the people who bought an Ojo videophone from Telecom New Zealand (announced down here back in November 2006) then start worrying.

    It seems Worldgate is in the path to bankruptcy:


    Accordingly, on January 30, 2008, the Company shut down its operations as a first step to winding down its business, which will occur if the Company is not able to secure payment of the monies believed to be owed and/or new financing. The Company continues to explore potential financing opportunities and is also pursuing legal recourse against the customer. Thus, bankruptcy may be coming shortly, which would be another black eye for the VoIP industry...



    And just minutes ago I read on Engadget that the service has gone dark.

    Is anyone here in New Zealand still using the Ojo through Telecom New Zealand?



    Finding Chuck Norris

    By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-Feb-2008 16:29

    I just got this on an e-mail, worth trying:

    1. Open Google

    2. Type "find chuck norris"

    3.Click on "I'm feeling lucky"

    Enjoy...



    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.

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    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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