My window to the world


New Telecom OKTA branded mobile handsets

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Oct-2007 12:37

Telecom New Zealand is launching Okta Mobile, its own brand of mobile handsets , and the first one is a clamshell Windows Mobile Smartphone called Okta Agent. Interesting device, at good price ($599 at launch).

Clever stuff - they are sourcing these from a variety of known manufacturers and creating their own branding.

According to the FAQs more handsets are coming, including some World Mode ones. It's not clear that all upcoming handsets are Windows Mobile, but I have the impression Okta will cover both feature and smart handsets.

The brand is not officially launched until 1st November when Telecom is planning to present this and the upcoming models to a media group gathering in Auckland. I am planning to be there to check these out.

One question though: like the HTC Titan, the Okta Agent is also coming with Windows Mobile 5. Why not Windows Mobile 6, which has been in the market aready for some time?



Free Wi-Fi with your coffee

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-Oct-2007 21:14

I found out other day that you can get one hour (or 60 MB) of free Wi-Fi when you purchase anything at some Esquires Coffee Houses around New Zealand.

The wireless Internet access is being provided by Tomizone. You just have to buy something at Esquires and ask for your One Hour Pass card with an access code. Connect to the Tomizone hotspot, enter the code and off you go...

Not all stores have this deal but to find out which ones you will be able to get your daily coffee with Wi-Fi, check the Esquires Store Locator and look for the Free Wi-Fi:



No, I don't know what are the penguins on those maps...




Geekzone Friends for Windows Mobile

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Oct-2007 19:29

A few months ago we launched the Geekzone Friends social network. It's a neat way of following your friends around Geekzone. Users have access to a page with links to the latest discussions friends got involved with, friends' activities, group messages, and personal messages.

You can also access a RSS feed with your own activities and private messages, and a second RSS feed with your friend's actions. Those are private feeds so only you know what your friends are doing around the site.

Now we have a Geekzone Friends for Windows Mobile, thanks to Kev Daly who developed this small Pocket PC client for us.

The program runs on Windows Mobile 5.0 (requires .Net Compact Framework 2.0) or Windows Mobile 6 (.Net Compact Framework is already part of the OS).

With this program on your Pocket PC you will be able to follow your Geekzone Friends around the site, reading messages they leave for you and checking what discussions they are replying to. And as we add new features, these will be automatically listed too.

If you want to create something similar for other platforms (Symbian, Palm OS), or a widget (Mac OS, Yahoo!, Google) then contact me so we can discuss how to access the platform.

If you are a Geekzone user, start making friends. Read all about this feature in our Geekzone Friends FAQ.



Reporting New Zealand spam

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Oct-2007 10:05

One morning (or any time of the day really), your junk e-mail folder (if you are lucky like me) or inbox (if you get all the spam there) shows a message that is clearly unsolicited, promoting a pyramid scheme, with a New Zealand address and phone number.


THE NZ MILLIONAIRES CLUB
HOW MUCH MONEY WOULD YOU LIKE TO RECEIVE EVERY DAY?
$100 DAILY  $500 DAILY?  $1000 DAILY?  LOTS MORE?

Well, NOW you can. The uniqueness of our daily and monthly Cash Flow System allows anyone to generate HUGE SUMS OF MONEY on a routine basis.

Not only that, as soon as you start receiving a specified amount of money ( by using our remarkable CASH FLOW SYSTEM ), the Club will introduce you to eye-popping investment practices that can make you very wealthy in a hurry!  Right this minute there are average folks with average intelligence gaining upwards of 100-200 PERCENT PROFITS within 5 to 45 days using these unique, but safe and formulated, investment methods.  Annualized profits of over 1000 PERCENT are commonplace.  And, very soon, you can be making these kinds of profits!
 
ACT NOW AND PICK UP YOUR PHONE . . . . . . TOMORROW MIGHT BE TOO LATE !!

To get a great deal and a preferred status on the NZ Millionaires Club Membership, Call the authorized promoter of the club for New Zealand NOW on 021 [number removed]

Suren
[Address removed]
Mount Wellington
Auckland
New Zealand


What a load of rubish. The first thing is that you are tempted to call the number and tell the person to go sell bananas. But this will not go anywhere, and you might even get problems later, if they get your phone number from the caller id, and so on.

But you can do better than this. The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs is the entity enforcing the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007.

What you have to do is to visit the New Zealand DIA Anti-Spam website and report the e-mail received.

Now this is only effective if the spam is originated in New Zealand or offering a New Zealand-base service or product.

Also make sure you know it is really "unsolicited". If you subscribe to an e-mail newsletter and after a few months don't want to receive it anymore this is not unsolicited. You can simply unsubscribe from the newsletter. By law all newsletters will have to present a way to remove your e-mail address from the mailing list.

If you are a business, the Department hosted a series of practical seminars nationwide in August and September 2007 (PowerPoint link), to ensure businesses know what the new requirements are under the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act. Check the PowerPoint presentation or consult with your law firm.



TelstraClear broadband service measured

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-Oct-2007 20:50

Do you remember TelstraClear sending out a release entitled "TelstraClear's DSL service stars as New Zealand's top broadband performer"?

There was a good discussion on Geekzone forums about the methodology used, and the location of these tests - all in the Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch CBD - impacting on results, making those not the "average kiwi broadband experience".

However, as explained by Antonios, Epitiro, the company performing the tests, requested a broadband connection like any other business would do, and got what they asked for. So no harm done, right?

But this survey was showing the business experience, not the average household broadband. Just today I received an e-mail from Epitiro, explaining some changes in the way they collect information, including a small client users can download to monitor their broadband connections, providing the company with real life information about the state of broadband in this country.

An excerpt from this e-mail:


• As from last week, we have added email round-trip time to our suite of tests. This adds an important extra dimension to the results we publish;

• We will shortly be adding P2P traffic measurement too. This will allow us to see which ISPs are shaping P2P traffic. Those results will be fascinating;

• By the end of 2007, we will have added eight more sites in the major cities, including sites in Hamilton and Dunedin for the first time;

• By the end of 2007, we will have launched a major campaign to encourage consumers to download our new measurement agent onto their PCs. This will provide us with a complete national coverage, with potentially thousands of measurement points nationwide. We'll be the first country in the world to have such a comprehensive system.

• This means that we will be able to measure the smaller ISPs, and provide regional performance breakdowns;

• With that service in place, we will also be able to track the performance of LLU v non-LLU exchanges.


Now this is going to be interesting! Measuring the P2P traffic and even e-mail?

Last week a friend sent me an e-mail from his Xtra account to my own hosted Exchange Server. He sent the e-mail at 4pm, and we met at 5:30pm. Even though he was just across the city, I only received the e-mail after our meeting - about 90 minutes to get the e-mail across!

Let's see these results...





Windows Live Messenger ad: which telco is this?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-Oct-2007 19:10

You have to watch to the end of the ad (in Spanish) to find out which mobile operator is promoting Windows Live Messenger:
Note that they are all using Symbian devices, not Windows Mobile...



Installing Windows Server 2008

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 4-Oct-2007 12:49

After talking to Darryl yesterday I decided to get onto the Windows Server 2008 wave and plan the upgrade of our Geekzone server to this new release, which we should do sometime later this month:


One software I use most on a daily basis is Virtual Server 2005. This is really cool - having a single box where I can run my test environments, betas, and other stuff. Just check how many virtual machines I have running here these days:




The Apple iPhone coming through Orcon to New Zealand?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-Oct-2007 08:15

Is it possible that New Zealand ISP Orcon is working to bring the Apple iPhone to the country? There are rumours going around about this possibility.

Back in May 2007 Orcon signed a wholesale agreement with Vodafone New Zealand to launch a GSM mobile service. Originally promised for October, this launch has been delayed.

The original agreement established Orcon as a wholesale operator, meaning they would be offering an Orcon branded set of products delivered over the existing Vodafone network infrastructure.

Then the Apple iPhone rumours started. I first heard on the streets. Then now I am reading in one of the Geekzone discussions:


So someone suggested something to me yesterday re an official iPhone release in NZ, and putting the various pieces of info together... it almost seems obvious who's going to officially bring the iPhone to NZ. Anyone care to speculate?


And in a subsequent reply:


It may explain TradeMe's hostile position towards iPhone listings (Orcon have "close" ties with them)

Maybe Vodafone's EDGE slip up wasn't really a slip up, but a sign of things to come?

Could explain Kordia's interest in mesh wifi.

Could explain Oron's (sic) delay in launching their cell operation.

Would be an excellent product to launch a cell operation with. Plenty of priceless free media exposure and hype.

If it's true, it'd be a cunning move I think.


The "Vodafone EDGE slip up" is a reference to a page on Vodafone New Zealand's website that incorrectly listed "EDGE" as part of their service sets. After the page was posted on Fossie's blog Vodafone quickly fixed it (almost too quickly, something like withing 30 minutes) and posted in our forums an explanation.

Officially Vodafone New Zealand only runs a GPRS/WCDMA/HSDPA network here, but I have seen occasions that my Palm Treo 750v showed an "E" signal (although it could be a bug in the software?).

The Kordia reference is to its new Kordia Metropolitan Wi-Fi service launched this month, with plans to cover the central locations in New Zealand's main cities.

And don't forget, Kordia bought Orcon a few months ago.

Why wouldn't Vodafone New Zealand launch the iPhone themselves? Perhaps because the Vodafone Group has passed this, leaving the iPhone for T-Mobile Germany, O2 UK, Orange? And because the Vodafone Music Store is the top on-line music store in the country, and wouldn't want to hurt its offering with Apple iTunes Music Store?

Does it make sense at all?



Forum moderation: lolcat

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-Oct-2007 20:23

One of the Geekzone moderators (Tony) created this lolcat for me:



Yes, some days we have our fair share or spam and trolls. But these posts usually don't last long on the database. A big thanks to all the moderators in our forums for their hard and continuous work!

Early November 2007 I will be meeting again with all moderators here in Wellington. We will be checking what changed on Geekzone this year since the last moderators' meetup, get new suggestions and see what's ahead of us for the site.



What Windows Live is not

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 1-Oct-2007 09:35

Today I was reading Presentation Zen, and found a link to an old post comparing Bill Gates and Steve Jobs keynote style. It's worth a read if you are involved in public speaking. The whole blog is worth it actually, including the new Learning from Bill Gates and Steve Jobs post.

Now back to my subject, there I found this picture:




Windows Live
Internet-based personal services to bring together your digital world


Going to live.com I found this definition:


Windows Live brings your online world together and helps you manage your social network.


Sounds good. But why the only services listed there are Search, Mail, Spaces, OneCare, Favorites (sic), MSN? Where are all the other Live services? Why aren't all these new exciting services listed?

Where are the links to Live LocalMaps, Skydrive, Messenger and dozens of other services? Since you're "bringing together", can't your guys just create an updated page with all the services linked from there? Or is it too hard even for Microsoft to keep track of what's being developed?

On another note, why Microsoft insists that browsers using English (New Zealand) shouldn't see the services that English (Australia) or English (US) see? Even when I try to post a feedback on a service I am using I get an error message saying that English (New Zealand) is not a supported language. How is the English (New Zealand) different from English (Australia) or English (United Kingdom) (sheep jokes aside)?

Microsoft, you should make sure Windows Live is bringing together digital content, not splicing it. You should stop doing this artficial "locale"-based language market separation thing that is not real.

Don't take me wrong, I use Live services - check geekzonemail.com for example (free e-mail accounts for anyone!) - but it is hard to find things and is even harder to explain to your parents what Live does.



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:

Social networks presence

View Mauricio Freitas's profile on LinkedIn


My Blog by tags...

Blog...
Entrepreneurship...
Media...
Personal...
Technology...
Viral Marketing...
Web Performance Optimization...
Windows...
Windows Phone...

Other recent posts in my blog

Trackers - How technology is h...
Geekzone is a ESET NetGuide We...
Windows Phone and Android apps...
Minister for Economic Developm...
Your NAS and the Bash vulnerab...
Going to Microsoft TechEd New ...
State of Browsers Geekzone Mar...
Free speech...
Testing the Kingston DataTrave...
Telecom enforces SSL email, us...

New posts on Geekzone