My window to the world

Wellington Blogger Group meetup

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-Aug-2007 15:46

Yesterday I went to The Southern Cross (Abel Smith Street, Wellington) to meet other Wellington-based bloggers.

The meeting was the initiative of Stuart Maxwell, through a Facebook group called... Wellington Bloggers (which is open to join, no invitation needed).

Present there were Stuart Maxwell, Martha Craig, Brenda Leeuwenberg, Tom Ackroyd, David Farrar, Will de Cleene, Mike Gregg, Jo (sorry I don't have a link!) and Sandy Mamoli (if I forgot anyone, please post in the comments!).

We had eight people confirmed, seventeen "maybe", eighteen "sorry" and eight people who couldn't be bothered replying to the invitation.

It was a good night, knowing a bit more of people we get to read (almost) daily.

Just for some testing I also posted the event on a new New Zealand-based event website called Eventfinder.

Unlimited Potential Geeks, Gadgets and Games event

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 31-Jul-2007 11:17

The Unlimited Potential folks are again running their UP Geeks, Gadgets and Games event. This is where the region’s information and communications technology (ICT) providers meet like-minded individuals and showcase industry developments.

This year high profile industry players will also be sharing their tricks of the trade as headline speakers. Glynn Foster from Sun MicroSystems will talk about Project Indiana - a binary distribution of OpenSolaris, and Mario Wynands will talk about the latest accomplishments for New Zealand’s leading game development studio Sidhe Interactive.

Exhibitors this year are expected to be as exciting and progressive as ever. Returning exhibitor Vision Limited will be displaying their ergonomically designed gaming chair which is based on NASA space technology.

The event will be held at the Wellington Convention Centre on Wednesday 8 August from 4:30pm and is being run by ICT industry networking group Unlimited Potential.

Last year's was a good event, and I will show up there again - but not for long, since I have another meeting from 6pm across town.

Geeks, Gadgets and Games is free and open to the public. 

Scamming the scammed

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 26-Jun-2007 12:10

It looks like scamming by sending those "you won the lottery" or "your relative died in a plane crash" is not making that much money these days, so now the story is "you have been scammed, but we are here to repay you":




This is to bring to your notice that we are delegated from the UNITED NATIONS in Central Bank to pay 150  victims of scam $100,000 USD (One Hundred Thounsand
Dollars) each. You are listed and approved for this payment as one of the scammed victims to be paid this amount, get back to this office as soon as possible for the immediate payments of your $100,000 USD compensations funds.

On this faithful recommendations, want you to know that during the last U.N.
meetings held at Abuja, Nigeria, it was alarming  on the money lost by various individuals to the scams artists operating in syndicates all over the world today. In other to compensate victims, the UNITED NATIONS Body is now paying 150 victims $100,000 USD each in accordance with the UNITED NATIONS recommendations. Due to the corrupt and inefficient Banking Systems in Nigeria, the payments are to be paid by Central Bank Nigeria as corresponding paying bank under funding assistance by The Rabo Bank, based in  London UK. for funds remittance.

Benefactor of this compensation will have to be first cleared and recommended for payment by ECO BANK PLC.

According to the number of applicants at hand, 114 Beneficiaries has been paid, over a half of the victims are from the United States, we still have a pending of 36 compensations left to be paid. Your particulars was mentioned by one of the Syndicates who was arrested as one of their victims of the operations, you are hereby warned not to communicate or duplicate this message to him for any reason what so ever as the U.S. secret service is already on trace of the other criminals. So keep it secret till they are all apprehended.  Other victims who have not been contacted can submit their application as well for scrutiny and possible consideration.

You can receive your compensations payments via any of this options you Choose, DRAFT/CHEQUE PAYMENTS or DIRECT WIRE TRANSFER.

We shall feed you with further modalities as soon as we get response from you.

Send a copy of your response to official email:

Yours Faithfully,

Simply hilarious.

Auction snipers in New Zealand

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-Jun-2007 17:34

I didn't know about this until I saw a car on the streets around here, but there's a New Zealand company developing a "bid sniper" software called Snipeme.

"Auction sniping" is when users place bids in the last seconds of an auction, trying to buy the item, without revealing their intentions by placing bids early on the process.

It seems the software works with local on-line auction giant Trade Me and the American service eBay.

Actually, looking at their logo, even the colours are similar to Trade Me, so we know they are really after the local market for this kind of software. Have a peek:

I think the company might do well with the local New Zealand market, since I haven't seen similar software around. Of course trying to compete with other eBay auction sniper software is going to be tough: Google alone returns a million results for "auction snipe".

I have contacted Rowan Simpson, who's just left Trade Me, about this. He confirms that automated tools are not allowed and changes in the "auto extend" feature means that currently all auctions will automatically extend if there are bids in the last minutes - and this can not be turned off. This change alone makes any "sniper" tactics somehow innefective.

UPDATE: And this is the reply from Trade Me support, which surprisingly came during the weekend (I was actually expecting to receive a reply on a business day):

I have looked into this for you and can see that we do not support the use of third party software that interfaces with the website, due to corruptions that can occur.

If you aren't able to be at the computer when an auction is closing I would recommend setting up an auto bid.

If you have any further questions or if I can be of any further help please do not hesitate to contact me. Have a great weekend.

Google AdSense case study: Geekzone

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 30-May-2007 17:52

Back in February and March 2007 I was in the Google AdSense Roadshow panel, participating in events around New Zealand and Australia (Auckland, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne). Geekzone was the New Zealand presence between the panelists - and now we are also a case study on Google AdSense:

Very cool, thanks guys!

The BlackBerry helmet, perfect for Rod Drury?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 15-May-2007 14:38

Local entrepreneur Rod Drury should order one of these:
Found through Jason's blog...

Geekzone and Nielsen//NetRatings stats

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 18-Apr-2007 20:31

Back in September 2006 I decided to contract to the Nielsen//NetRatings service and track Geekzone data with Market Intelligence and Site Census.

As a result we get an overview of the on-line media industry in New Zealand, plus we get onto "the radar" for advertisers, press relation and players in the tech industry.

Every week Nielsen//NetRatings sends out a chart with the top ten sites in different categories, and this week Technology was again the focus. The last Technology chart was six months ago, just after we joined the service.

The great news is that Geekzone is still the top technology New Zealand site (Unique Browsers and Page Impressions). I sent a copy of the chart to some PR companies, telcos and other tech companies - some even replied to me with "I didn't know you guys have this reach".

So thanks to all the readers and contributors to Geekzone, its forums and blogs - you help make the site what it is.

I keep an eye on numbers because the service is available on-line 24/7 for publishers, but these charts are great snippets of information for the public.

But enough said. Looking at some of my ego feeds I found Neil Anderson's comments on this chart, comparing with the same one from six months ago. Neil is the former editor of the New Zealand Herald on-line and says:

If you’re on top of technology news in New Zealand, then you’re probably a frequent visitor to, the unflashy but highly credible site run by Mauricio Freitas from Wellington.

Geekzone offers its readers tech news and reviews, chats and discussion forums [don’t geeks love those!], plus blogs such as Juha Saarinen’s popular Techsploder.

The site is quite a success story too, with the latest Nielsen NetRatings showing the site drew almost 122,000 unique visitors last week [see first table above].

By comparison, the tech sections of the major newspaper-based websites [ and] each drew less than a third that number.

I dug out the corresponding chart from last November [see above], and you can see that Geekzone’s latest results are no fluke.

Neil, thank you for the kind words. It is really a great feeling to be able to do this job and I enjoy it - a lot.

The Power of Mobility

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 15-Apr-2007 09:41

One of the blogs I follow through my RSS feeds is Russ McGuire's The Law of Mobility. He collects snippets of information and lists these on a daily basis with links to interesting things, all related to mobility technologies, trends, and resources.

Russ is also director of corporate strategy for Sprint, responsible for developing the strategic vision and strategic framework for that telecommunications company. It shows he knows the business, right?

Now I've found out he's working on a book called The Power of Mobility, due September 2007:

This book’s value will be measured by how well it helps readers look forward, to envision the Power of Mobility in their business, and to implement the steps required to turn vision into reality. What in any business today is stationary that, if it were mobile, would create tremendous value for customers?  What steps must be taken to deliver that value and win customers' hearts and wallets? 

These questions and more will be addressed in the core of the book, The Seven Steps to the Power of Mobility.  This section will clearly define the specific thought processes and actions required for businesses determined to win in the new Mobility Age.  Additionally, the book closes with specific examples of how companies have successfully followed these seven steps to redefine the rules of competition in their industries.

Google to acquire DoubleClick

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 14-Apr-2007 10:01

Google has announced that it will be acquiring DoubleClick. This comes after lots of rumours that involved even Microsoft planning to buy DoubleClick, and Google trying to snatch the company before the Redmond giant could move into the big advertiser game...

Microsoft's own on-line advertising service called Microsoft AdCenter seems to never leave a closed beta, and it's only targeting U.S. market at the moment anyway.

Now it will be even harder for on-line advertising networks to catch up with Google's AdSense.

The official press release says Google is paying US$3.1 billion for DoubleClick Inc., a company with 1200 employees and interests in digital marketing technology and services.

The acquisition will combine DoubleClick’s expertise in ad management technology for media buyers and sellers with Google’s leading advertising platform and publisher monetization services.

The combination of Google and DoubleClick will offer superior tools for targeting, serving and analyzing online ads of all types, significantly benefiting customers and consumers:

For users, the combined company will deliver an improved experience on the web, by increasing the relevancy and the quality of the ads they see.

For online publishers, the combination provides access to new advertisers, which creates a powerful opportunity to monetize their inventory more efficiently.

For agencies and advertisers, Google and DoubleClick will provide an easy and efficient way to manage both search and display ads in one place. They will be able to optimize their ad spending across different online media using a common set of metrics.

DoubleClick is headquartered in New York, and counts 17 offices and development hubs and 15 data centers worldwide.

Interestingly in the last few days I've seem a few banner ads being served by Google AdSense, and the images were being hosted by Doubleclick. Was that an indication or was it always possible to do?

A complete FAQ is available (pdf) from Google.

The New Zealand on-line market under the microscope II

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-Apr-2007 14:35

This is just a follow up in my previous post The New Zealand on-line market under the microscope. I have received an update with an interesting image showing in what segment New Zealanders spend their money on-line:

I can see auction sites such as Trademe involved in #2, #5, #7, #8, #10... But with its move into the tourism segment I bet "Airline Tickets" will just go up and up...

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.

A couple of blog posts you should read:

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