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The Palm Treo 500v is near

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 30-Oct-2007 17:18

This morning I had coffee with Olivier Rozay, Palm Country Manager Australia & New Zealand. He was showing the Palm Treo 500v, released last month in the UK and Australia - and soon to be available from Vodafone New Zealand.

I am told Vodafone is introducing this device tonight to their partners, with retail availability sometime in November.

The Treo 500v is the first Palm device running Windows Mobile 6 Standard, previously known as "Windows Mobile for Smartphone". This means you won't find a touch screen on this device, but it does have a nice keyboard, and thank goodness a LCD bigger (240 x 320 pixels landscape) and better than the previous square LCD (240 x 240 pixels) used on the Treo Windows Mobile Pocket PC devices.

It will come with 256 MB with 150 MB available for user, support for Bluetooth 2.0 EDR (including A2DP stereo) and 3G (2100 MHz). No HSDPA but I agree the market segment this device will appeal to may not notice much difference.

The device features integration with Vodafone live!, the first Windows Mobile device that actually allows this. The price will be right for the market segment it's aiming for, those not so early adopter who want a phone that is a bit smarter than feature phones, or the not so high end requirements of a small business - it still connected to Exchange Server and supports Microsoft Direct Push.

Its "carrousel" user interface is an overlay over the standard Windows Mobile homescreen. It allows you to scroll left - right to find groups of related applications, and up and down to select a specific program. It's really easy to use and quite pretty.

When I first saw the Treo 500v I really thought this could be the first Windows Mobile Smartphone that would make me sway from the Pocket PC land.

Something interesting: this device is manufactured by ASUS, not HTC.

I asked about the not yet released Windows Mobile 6 upgrade for the Treo 750v and Olivier tells me it's still pending some bug fixes found when tested on the local network.



Microsoft Unified Communications Launch

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-Oct-2007 17:34

This is really cool: Microsoft is running an event in Auckland for the Unified Communications Launch. It's a shame this is happening in Auckland, so I won't be going there for this one (my travel budget is kind of limited), but if you have any interest in this topic I suggest you attend it.

The full day event starts with a keynote by Microsoft GM Unified Communications Kim Akers.

Full agenda and registration link for this launch here.



What's going on at Woosh? We will (hopefully) find out today

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-Oct-2007 10:28

Over the last month (October 2007) I have been reading lots of complaints in the Geekzone forums about Woosh services.

Originally a "wireless" ISP providing users with Internet access through WCDMA TDD-based technology, they moved into the wireline DSL broadband some time ago, when they bought Quicksilver Internet, an established, but small, ISP.

Anyway, back to the problem on hand, it seems Woosh have been providing less than stellar services for their users on unlimited plans. This seems to be affecting people on an old plan providing unlimited traffic.

It sounds like the old "unleashed" problem we saw happening at Xtra that generated so many discussions, and at the end a publick apology from Telecom New zealand. To refresh your memory, the Xtra plan had no caps, but they were heavily shaping traffic. Unfortunately their implementation was so wrong that they were actually slowing down any and all traffic on those "unleashed" plans.

Some of the Woosh users now are thinking the ISP started doing the same, but only for the "unlimited" plans.

Today I received an e-mail from Woosh's Retention Manager Tracy Facer, and we arranged a conference call for 4pm... Stay tunned as we find out more on what's going on.

As soon as I have their comments I will update this post and post a reply in the ongoing discussion.

UPDATE: I have posted the results of our conference call in the discussion.



Speaking at BarCamp Auckland 2007

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-Oct-2007 08:48

I posted the BarCamp Auckland 2007 on EventFinder. I was invited to attend and speak at the gathering, which is happening in Auckland, 15th December 2007:


We want NZ designers and developers to find working on the web fun again and to want to learn and expand their understanding of the accessible, semantic, standards based and social web.


Lots of more details on the BarCamp Auckland 2007 webpage - including registration form.

The event is free, but limited to 175 people so make sure you register now.

And by the way, EventFinder is a cool site listing gigs and other events around the country. You can link to friends and organise your plans on attending the events, review, comment, etc... Really cool site.



No free wi-fi for your customers

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-Oct-2007 08:38

Of course this is a different situation from what we see in New Zealand, where spaces are not as constrained as in the U.S. (except for Auckland), and those strip mals are not common here, but it's interesting to see lease and let contracts with "technology" clauses, as pointed out by James Kendrick:


I found it strange that they don't offer WiFi so in a recent email exchange with the owner I asked why they don't offer WiFi of any kind.  His answer really surprised me as it would never occur to me that such a situation could exist.  He admitted that providing free WiFi for customers is now very cheap and something that he'd like to do but he can't.  See, his shop is in a very small local strip center with limited parking and his landlord prohibits the offering of WiFi of any kind as it encourages patrons to stay longer than usual and tie up parking spaces.  It's actually in his lease that he can't offer WiFi as it is important to have rapid turnover for the parking spaces for the center.  This totally surprised me and made me realize that it's tough to be a small businessman in such a competitive field so next time you visit such a shop don't jump on the owner, they may not have a choice to forego the WiFi.



Now, we don't have free wi-fi in New Zealand cafes (we actually have free wi-fi at Esquires Coffee Houses courtesy of Tomizone), but in the main business areas it's common to find commercial wi-fi hotspots. However I never thought landlords had so much control on what people can offer in terms of technology.

I agree though with one of the comments on JK's blog about people staying too long when free wi-fi is available. It makes it harder for other patrons to actually enjoy a coffee because someone is hogging a table to download music while paying for a glass of soda...

What do you think? IS free wi-fi something you would like to see in cafes?



Interviewed at TUANZ

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 24-Oct-2007 18:30

If you want to find out more about Geekzone and myself, check the TUANZ blog for an interview where I answer some questions about community and corporate blogging. Worth the read (even though I am biased).

TUANZ is the Telecommunications Users Association of New Zealand.



YouTube New Zealand

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 24-Oct-2007 11:48

Yes, the YouTube event happening in a couple of houst (I posted about it yesterday) seems to be the official announcement of a New Zealand YouTube channel.

Some are looking for the wrong URL. The right one is http://nz.youtube.com.

Enjoy...

UPDATE: http://www.youtube.co.nz seems to be live too now.



YouTube New Zealand?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 23-Oct-2007 08:08

I don't know what's going on yet, but the folks at Google sent me an invitation to a YouTube event in Auckland, tomorrow (24 October 2007).

I won't be able to make it, but I will post on Geekzone what it is all about later - when I found out!



Looking for jobs? Check our Geekzone Jobs forum

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 21-Oct-2007 18:03

The Geekzone Jobs forum is getting some traffic - and postings. I've just noticed a position with the New Zealand Police being advertised (Tivoli knowledge required).

This is also our first "sponsored forum" - thanks to the IT Maniacs, an IT recruitment firm.

If you have a job position feel free to post - it's free. If you are looking for jobs, just contact the people posting for more information.



Canonical please make an Ubuntu virtual machine available

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 19-Oct-2007 10:43

I can't be bothered with Ubuntu anymore. They have just released Ubuntu 7.10 and there I go downloading the CD ISO to try on a virtual machine - again same problem their install doesn't support the virtual machine graphics - all very well explained here on how to install Ubuntu 6.10 on virtual PC... But I just can't be bothered thinkering.

Perhaps they should create a virtual machine image and make it available for download as well?

Since I am not in the mood of hacking things that should be easy for mom and pop to use, and since I don't want to repartition my hard drive to try a software that I may - or may not - like, then I will just forget about this silly thing.

Let the flamewar begin. Or even better you could suggest a distribution that actually runs on a virtual machine from the install?



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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