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Geekzone pizza evening

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 28-Mar-2008 08:53

In case you don't participate in the Geekzone forums, here is a tip: we are planning a Geekzone Pizza evening for the 16th April, here in Wellington.

Within minutes of posting it we got confirmation that some people managed to get some cheap flights to Wellington for those dates, thanks to Grabaseat.

We have a venue in mind, but it may change depending on the number of people who RSVP on the thread.

Once we have that confirmed I will post in the Geekzone Pizza evening discussion.

If you want to help this happen - YES WE ARE LOOKING FOR SPONSORS.

UPDATE: Our first sponsor is WorldxChange.

Touched by His Noodly Appendage...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-Mar-2008 23:45

Sunday afternoon, we drive into a car park and while my wife's parking the car I point out that the car in front us belongs to a Pastafarian...

A Flying Spagetthi Monster car emblem... I felt touched by His Noodly Appendage.

Have a great week ahead!

Pointui: new cool user interface for Windows Mobile devices

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 31-Dec-2007 08:09

Pointui looks like a cool new user interface for Windows Mobile devices, and it will be a free add-on software for your handheld!

The program will be released soon - just follow the countdown at There Is No Place Like Home - but if you want to see some action, check the Flickr and the YouTube pages with some images and footage.

Just about time too. I think we desperately need an update in the user interface. Spb Mobile Shell is good but still looks "old" fashion. I wonder how well this works with devices such as HTC Touch?

Geekzone and TV3 news listings

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-Nov-2007 09:26

This is some exciting news for us here: as of today our Geekzone news and reviews are being listed in the TV3 News Technology section.

Also great news for you reading the Geekzone news, reviews and forums sections since now you will find links to the most recent TV3 technology news videos in all our news and forums pages.

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?

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.

Some Geekzone Forums updates: jobs forum, sponsorship

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 27-Sep-2007 11:21

We have created an exciting add-on to our Geekzone Forums: the Jobs section, where IT recruitment companies are welcome to post "Wanted" announcements. IT recruiters can create their own Geekzone profile and post in the forums. There's no fee for this.

We also have just updated the software running our Geekzone Forums to allow for a "sponsorship" option:

We currently run banner advertising on our forum pages, but we understand some forums are really targeted at a select audience. So we are providing the opportunity for companies to advertise on a specific forum.

This means that even if we have a banner campaign running on the forum, the "This forum is sponsored by" space will always be filled with the sponsor's banner - currently it's filled with any banner advertising we have running.

We will see the first sponsor coming up soon in the Jobs section.

To give an indication of the audience, Geekzone is the largest Technology website in New Zealand in Total Unique Browsers (Nielsen//NetRatings Aug 2007) and the third largest Technology website in New Zealand in Local Unique Browsers (Nielsen//NetRatings Aug 2007).

If you want to sponsor one of the Geekzone Forums, please contact me directly.

New Zealand Broadband needs action now

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 26-Sep-2007 10:03

Defining a Broadband Aspiration (pdf link):

The New Zealand Institute has identified national economic benefits from broadband in the range of $2.7-4.4 billion per year with further upside potential possible.

Capturing many of these economic benefits increasingly requires high speeds and so New Zealand’s policy focus should shift from encouraging penetration to increasing the speed of the network. This means investing in a fibre network.

There is a significant cost to waiting. The longer that New Zealand waits, the more economic value it will forego and so New Zealand should approach the investment in fibre with urgency.

Also another read, Securing Our Digital Trade Routes.

Geekzone Weekly Chat is back

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 23-Sep-2007 19:24

We have an IRC channel (#geekzone on and most of the time you will see some conversations going on - at any time.

Based on requests from our users we decided to bring back the Geekzone Weekly Chat, an "official" time to meet. This is every Tuesday 8pm (New Zealand time).

If you don't have an IRC client, just visit the Geekzone Chat page to be automatically connected to the #geekzone channel.

So put down in your calendars and join us for a chat. If you work for one of the operators you are also welcome...

New Zealand Telecommunications Market Intelligence Report

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 21-Aug-2007 21:56

From a press release received today:

Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of New Zealand Telecommunications Market Intelligence Report to their offering.

Each extensive Market Intelligence Report includes the following sections: Economic, Social, Political, and Telecoms Indicators; key data presented in tabular form. Regulation; a summary/overview of the market and regulatory climate, followed by synopses of the regulator's powers and other competition or ministerial bodies to which it reports or with which it co-operates. A summary of the regulations in force, a list of differences in the types of available licences and a list of the licences issued. Market Indicators; the available data is presented in tabular form with commentary and graphics. Major Operators; contact data and company information, including ownership, background where relevant for pan-European carriers, licensed activities, scope of activities/services, recent major equipment contracts, summary of network status, references to major subsidiaries, joint ventures, and alliances. Major Manufacturers; contact data and company information including ownership, background where relevant, manufacturing & distribution activities, recent major equipment contracts, references to major subsidiaries, joint ventures, and alliances. Industry Associations; contact data and organisation information covering background where relevant, activities/objectives and references to members.

The New Zealand telecommunications market is arguably one of the most liberalised in the world, with no statutory or legal barriers to entry. Since 1989, any entity with at least 10 customers has been able to register as a network operator. However, there are still relatively few operators in the market and it seems that new entrants have found it very difficult, not to mention downright expensive, to establish network interconnection agreements with the incumbent, Telecom Corporation of New Zealand (TCNZ, or Telecom).

The most potent threat to TCNZ is TelstraClear, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Telstra of Australia. This company owns an extensive national fibre-optic backbone and has licences to build and operate wireless local loop (WLL) and local multipoint distribution service (LMDS) platforms that deliver services directly to customers, but with no legislation in place requiring the incumbent to open access to its local loop, TelstraClear has been unable to grow as fast as it might wish. The same situation now faces New Zealand's remaining new entrants and has had the effect of limiting the roll-out of new networks, including those based on broadband technologies. TelstraClear has also held licences for cellular and third-generation (3G) mobile telecommunications services, but has elected not to enter this market.

A review of the Telecommunications Act of 2001 was initiated in 2004, carried on through 2005, and culminated in the introduction to Parliament of the Telecommunications Amendment Bill in June 2006. The bill was designed to implement the Labour government's pledge to deliver faster, better broadband Internet access, as unveiled in a pre-budget telecommunications stock-take package in May.

In November 2006, a New Zealand government select committee recommended a number of changes aimed at breaking TCNZ's dominance of the telecommunications market. The committee was recommending TCNZ divide its operations into separate divisions in a bid to force the operator to give competitors equal access to its fixed lines, through the implementation of local loop unbundling. The proposed divisions are network access, wholesale and retail. There was speculation the committee would go further, recommending Telecom would have to sell the split-off operations. However, the committee report said operational separation should not include a requirement that the units be sold off as well. The bill was passed in December 2006, becoming the Telecommunications Amendment Act (No. 2) 2006.

Companies Mentioned In This Report Include:

-- TelstraClear
-- CLEAR Communications
-- TelstraSaturn
-- Walker Wireless
-- Econet Wireless
-- Vodafone
-- UnitedNetworks
-- Central and South Auckland and Counties Power
-- Vector Communications
-- Broadcast Communications Limited (BCL)
-- Transmission Holdings Limited (THL)
-- Television New Zealand (TVNZ)

Except for the bits listing "Econet Wireless" which doesn't exist anymore under this name, CLEAR Communications which doesn't exist anymore it sounds interesting (and BCL, according to Steve in the comments).

A shame Research and Markets don't provide reports for review so I can't really give any indication of the quality of this material.

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. Also worth visiting is TravelTalk NZ, a community for travelers!

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 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.

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