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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


UPDATE: 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?

Travelbug has got competition: Expedia enters the New Zealand travel market

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 18-Oct-2007 12:39

The New Zealand on-line travel market is just getting hotter now: Expedia has opened its local website...

On-line travel is the largest e-commerce segment in New Zealand, according to Nielsen//NetRatings.

This will be big competition for Travelbug, Air New Zealand and QANTAS.

New hot: Mobile Media company (mobile operator for the rest of us)

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 17-Oct-2007 08:19

Rant of the day: companies that create new names for old stuff.

It happens a lot in Nokia's press releases. For instance the company calls its Nokia N95 a "multimedia computer", and call I it a "smartphone".

Mobile operator 3 cals itself a "mobile media company", I call it a... "mobile operator" (ok, North Americans can call it a "carrier").

This is an interesting shift. Until a few years ago telcos would sometimes have an ISP (Internet Service Provider) such as Telecom New Zealand's Xtra, but they would distance themselves from that business. They wouldn't want to mix the core voice network with their data network - if not for fear of the unknown business model, at least for FUD security reasons.

These days is the other way around. Every ISP and cowboy want to be the telco, jumping in the VoIP (Voice over IP) wagon. The problem with this is that I can't see some ISPs putting the value of voice network integrity as highly as a traditional telco model would. And therefore the quality of service can be impacted.

There are exception of course In my personal experience and after talking to some of their people, WorldxChange VFX seems to run their voice business as a traditional telco model - the company operate their voice network in a way to maintain the integrity of the service, by keeping SIP configuration locked down, only allowing certified devices to connect to their network, etc.

Back to the mobile segment, mobile operators are acting as the new ISPs. They started it a few years ago with data packet services (GPRS) offering access to their walled garden and have all the good reasons now with 3G data access speeds.

Mobile operators tend to not provide all the services an ISP would. For example e-mail addresses. But is this bad in these days of hosted e-mail accounts? No, probably not at all. But you will have a hard time trying to find a NNTP server provided by a mobile operator - even probably to find anyone within a mobile operator that knows what NNTP is - damn, even traditional ISPs are ditching NNTP servers these day, a shame.

I wonder if sometime in the future governments will try to force mobile operators to "unbundle the wireless loop" and allow third party ISPs to provide data services over the mobile operators' networks.

Probably not, if mobile operators move to a complete VoIP platform and proclaim themselves "media company" or "ISP".

What started as a rant about naming, ended up covering three of four subjects... Talk about train of thought...

Where to this month? Next round of conferences...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 15-Oct-2007 17:20

October and November are going to be busy months for me. It will start late in this month when I am planning to fly to Auckland and pay a visit to the hosting provider where Geekzone is co-located, for some on-site work. The plan is to upgrade the server from Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition to Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition, upgrade the Microsoft SQL Server 2000 to Microsoft SQL Server 2005 and then finally (depending on some last tests) upgrade the server to Windows Server 2008 RC0 as part of an early adopter programme.

I am planning to time my trip to Auckland so that I can then attend Telecom New Zealand's 1st November official announcement of its new mobile handset business, the Okta Mobile brand I posted about before on Geekzone.

Following this, on 7 - 8 November 2007, I will be speaking at the TUANZ Business Internet and Awards 2007 in Wellington. You can catch me in two sessions: one about user-generated content and social media, and then a panel discussion on corporate blogging.

At the end of November I will be heading to Amsterdam to attend the Mobius conference. It will be my first time attending the Mobius - thanks for the invitation and for the nomination (you know who you are):

Mobius is an invitation-only community of the world's most influential technology pundits and online writers. The collective insights, opinions and influence of Mobius drives market trends, industry buzz and the buying behavior of people worldwide.

Some of the sessions are under NDA, but not all, and if it goes like previous meetings you will see most of the content being blogged about.

Microsoft Corp invited me to Mobius, and offered me the option to pay for my trip, which I accepted.

freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
New Zealand

I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

I'm 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 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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