My window to the world


Some tips for the Telecom broadband support outsource to Manila

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Jul-2007 07:45

Lance has posted ten tips for Telecom's outsourcing to Manila and these are the highlights in my view:


Sixth, pay those operators well so that you get high quality staff and so that turnover is low. If you are seeking to squeeze on prices then you’ll have predictable results.

Seventh: Invest a fortune in expertise into the systems that the operators will use. Don’t use the guys Ferrit used to build the systems.

Tenth: Make your sucky sucky broadband work properly so that we don’t have to call in the first place, and we are happier if we do have to.



Go read the full list over Lance's blog. Oh, yes, you reader from Telecom can read it too...



The Apple iPhone, IMAP and Exchange ActiveSync

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Jul-2007 07:34

Just before the Apple iPhone launch there were rumours that Apple would announce a license deal with Microsoft, to enable the Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) on its new device, making it more "interesting" for corporate types.

Of course, as we all know, this didn't happen (the announcement), but it doesn't mean the iPhone can't already work with Exchange Servers, through the IMAP protocol.

The Exchange Server team has posted a comparison on their blog, showing the differences and simillarities between the experience provided by EAS and IMAP.

If your company is interested in deploying iPhones for their work force (yes, I know some IT departments have already been asked for it) then you should read that blog entry.




Social networks widget and gadgets?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Jul-2007 07:07

Continuing my previous post about the social networks I'm using... At the moment I am on LinkedIn, which I joined years ago. I am also on Facebook, which I joined a few weeks back. And then Twitter and Pownce. A friend has invited me to Jaiku, which I haven't joined yet but might now, to try some of its features.

All those have something in common: e-mail overload. Pownce send me an e-mail for every action, and I really think it should provide a private RSS feed.

Facebook does provide a RSS feed, but only for status, not for all the other activities (and believe me, Facebook seems to be the busiest one I've seen around).

Twitter provides a RSS feed, but not LinkedIn.

In terms of inviting friends  LinkedIn is the easiest one, providing an Outlook Add-In to help you keep on top of your contacts based on your Outlook contents. It also has an Internet Explorer Helper that will load your Outlook contacts and allow you to select which ones to invite to your network. Facebook allows you to import a .CSV file exported from your Outlook, so it's not that bad either.

Of course all those have different targets: Twitter, Jaiku and Pownce are for micro bloggers, with Pownce placing some effort into the Instant Messaging and File Sharing things, including a nifty Pownce Client based on Adobe's AIR. It's an akpha still, but I would love to see it being tucked away in the System Tray on a Windows PC, not taking space on my desktop or taskbar. Twitter even shows up with a Twitter Gadget for Windows Vista.

LinkedIn is a professional network, and I try not to invite personal friends to my connections, unless they also happen to work with me in some relation. And I see Facebook being really the big "social" network tool, with emphasis on "social", not "business".

I would also like to see a Facebook Gadget for Windows Vista Sidebar and for Mac Dashboard. At least with the stream of updates from friends and with a way to set my own status, plus all the mesages that would overload my e-mail.

As for e-mail overload, I have rules in my Outlook that will automatically move those messages to other folders, so they don't clutter my Inbox and I can deal with them in my own time.





Fring is a somewhat decent VoIP and IM for Windows Mobile

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Jul-2007 14:03

I've installed Fring on my Palm Treo 750v (WCDMA, Vodafone New Zealand) - and even though it is not listed it also works well on my Treo 700wx (CDMA EVDO, Telecom New Zealand).

In shor this is an IM and VoIP client. It works with Skype, MSN Messenger, Twitter, GoogleTalk and SIP services, all logged in at the same time. The only problem here is that you don't have a way to logoff from each service individually.

Installation is very easy: you enter your mobile number in their website, and you will receive a SMS with a download link. No need for cables, or a PC - simply download over the air.

The Services Configuration is a bit strange, but I guess you only really need to change those things when adding or removing a service, really. SIP works ok, with a bit of delay on WCDMA, which I was expecting really.

It also works well with Skype, which is great, since the original Skype client will simply crash on my Palm Treo devices.

I had a problem with my password, which had a "+" somewhere in it and was ok with the original software, but stopped working after an update. There's no login at Fring, so I submitted a support ticket, and the good folks at Fring changed my password after proper credentials were established.

I also just realised the Fring account is your phone number plus user name, so I now need the password reset for my second device (the Treo 700wx).

This is the first SIP client that works on my Palm Treo devices. The X-Lite software is great on Pocket PCs, but it doesn't like the 240 x 240 pixels square screen on the Palm handhelds.

The software runs on Windows Mobile and Symbian devices.





Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 coming soon

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Jul-2007 08:46

There are lots of rumours around the Internet about an upcoming Windows Vista Sevice Pack 1. I can only say that it will be welcome - there are lots of small things that could work much better on Windows Vista - including some ReadyBoost problems, SD card support, slow shutdown and other minor annoyances.

Mary Jo Foley lists on her blog fixes we could expect to see:


* Performance tweaks lessening the amount of time it takes to copy files and shut down Vista machines (Yeah, I know Microsoft said Viista shutdown speed wasn’t an issue. Guess users weren’t so crazy, after all.)
* Improved transfer performance and decreased CPU utilization via support for SD Advanced Direct Memory Access (DMA)
* Support for ExFat, the Windows file format for flash memory storage and other consumer devices
* Improvements to BitLocker Drive Encryption to allow not just encryption of the whole Vista volume, but also locally created data volumes
* The ability to boot Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) on an x64 machine
* Improved success rate for firewalled MeetingSpace and Remote Assistance connections






No RSS feeds on Pownce?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Jul-2007 08:33

Very strange... There are no private RSS feeds on Pownce? It's almost useless if I am pestered with those e-mail notifications every now and then.

I just want a RSS feed so I can check things on my own time, without being overloaded with e-mails.

Also, their client (based on Adobe's AIR) won't minimise to the system tray - it's either open or living in the taskbar. I don't need clutter in the taskbar!

UPDATE: I am also using Facebook. I have to say they have very different approaches, but they are the same in one thing: e-mail overload! I don't want e-mails, I want a RSS feed. I want to manage my time, not hand it to the site owners.

UPDATE: And Facebook is ahead because they have a mobile website, which works really well from my Pocket PC Phone...








Pownce invites available

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 9-Jul-2007 17:03

I have six invites to Pownce now. If you want one, please leave a comment - don't post your e-mail publicly in the comment, to prevent spam - I will see it in the moderation page.

UPDATE: I have now given all the invites I had, plus some invites offered by friends. I will reopen comments here when more invites are available.



Joost pixelation

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-Jul-2007 18:34

I have been using Joost for a while. If there's something that prevents me of enjoying it is the horrible pixelation.

I think the company needs to think again about the quality of the content delivered. I've seen better results on competitor Babelgum.

What are your experiences with these services?



At Superhappydevhouse Aotearoa

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-Jul-2007 10:30

The Superhappydevhouse Aotearoa is on now. I got here early to start plugging power cables, help set up the bar tab and other admin tasks.

It's 10:30am now and about 30 people are here now, laptops, gadgets, coders, designers and more...  Everyone got free Internet thanks to Cafenet.

Look for pictures at Flickr (tag shdhnz).

Again, thanks to our sponsors Actrix, Cafenet, Google, Microsoft, Mindscape.



Cisco launches VoIP solution, the iPhone in Wellington, a hummer limo and more

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Jul-2007 16:51

Today I attended the Ingran Micro Showcase in Wellington. I was invited by Cisco to attend the show, and they sent a Hummer Limo to collect me at home, which included the "on the road" drinks of course.

The show had the presence of all big IT names in the industry, but I spent a lot of the time with Cisco - because I was actually interested in their new product, a VoIP solution for companies up to ten employees, which is quite a large market, and because I finally met the WorldxChange GM Busines Development & Marketing, Mike Purchase.

If you haven't read my previous blog post, WorldxChange is the provider I've selected to port my landline to a VoIP solution. This is the first time I met him, although we have exchanged e-mails before. It was good to hear about their plans for the near future, ideas for when naked DSL is available in New Zealand, scalability of their platform and more.

On the show floor I met Mike Gregg (Amplify, Wellingtonista), Director at Clemenger BBDO and we soon had the presence of Steve Simms, Tomizone CEO, who was showing off his Apple iPhone. And yes, the user interface experience is as good as people say it is. But more on this later.

Here are some pictures (sorry for the low quality, I didn't have my DSLR on me today):















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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