My window to the world

Adobe shows Flash Player on Android handset

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 25-Jun-2009 16:25

I've just uploaded this video showing a Flash Player demo on an Android handset:

Offset your iPhone or iPod

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 25-Jun-2009 09:37

A kiwi initiative, AcornHQ allows people to offset the environmental impact of their gadgetry - in this case the focus is on iPhone and iPod devices.

One of the guys from Ponoko decided to create this website where people can donate to plant trees in the New Zealand South Island, to offset the carbon emissions from iPod and iPhone devices. They also have tips and tricks on how to use these devices efficiently from an energy point of view.

The site developer, John Lewis, explains more about this venture on his blog:

At the very core the idea was to promote more environmentally responsible gadget ownership. To start with this means we provide an easy way for people to offset the carbon associated with their iPod or iPhone.

We all love our iPods and iPhones but they do have a very real cost to the environment. Carbon is emitted when your iPod is manufactured, when your iPod is transported from the factory to you, and when you use power to recharge your iPod. How that power is generated to recharge your iPod also has a huge impact.

So you come to AcornHq and join a tree by purchasing a leaf, for US$3.50. Once all the leaves on that tree have been taken, we plant a tree in the South Island to offset those iPods. Trees being most excellent at extracting and absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide.

You can get a widget and put in your blog so you and others can see your tree grow.

The browser is less important - what you do is more important

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 20-Jun-2009 10:17

Every few weeks I receive a few emails that are clearly intended to one of the large telcos in New Zealand. Topics range from "I've asked something from your customer service but nothing happened" to "I want to pay my account number #, using my credit card number #" (yes, people just send their credit card numbers to me!).

I have a theory about this. It's likely that a lot of people have Google (or any other search enghine) as their home page and never heard of "Address bar". Instead they enter "Vodafone" or "Telecom" into the search field on their home page, hit enter and click on the first name (or one of the top) in the results page.

Last week Google went around in New York city asking "What's a browser". This would explain what I have just told you:

Another thing to note is that not knowing exactly what is a browser is not something related to age. Lots of young people show there's no age distinction when it comes to tools and actions.

Also note that at 1:22 the guy says he's switched to Firefox - actually his friend came over and "erased all my other browsers and told me to use this now" and behind him there's a big billboard saying "I'm a PC"...

Power to change: the environmental impact of computing

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 9-Jun-2009 18:34

Earlier this week I posted about HP's Power to Change campaign in our Geekzone news section. This morning (5am!) a group of bloggers attended a conference call with the HP team in the U.S. responsible for this campaign and a communications channel was open that allows us to provide feedback to the team.

One of the initiatives of this campaign is a Adobe AIR-based (read: platform independent) widget that can run while you are logged in and will monitor your PC usage in terms of hours. You can then send daily feedback in terms of how many hours your PC is running every day - and in return the widget shows some update statistics in terms of environmental impact of changes, including the amount of energy saved and carbon emissions reduced.

A 2004 study for example shows that 64% of business desktop users and 24% of laptop users do not switch off their PCs at the end of the days.

HP employees are involved in this program using intranet to distribute information, updating country websites to reflect the program, distributing stickers, internal videos, and more. HP is also running a Power to Change blog.

So what's in here for us?

First I invite you to download the Power to Change widget.

Then check some of these resources:

• Main resource page on HP environmental initiatives:
• Energy tips for computing:
• Environmental videos:

And last post here what you or your company are doing to change the way you use computing to reduce the environmental impact. Things like distributing internal information, asking employees to turn off their PCs when leaving the office, using virtual environments to run multiple servers, going through technology refreshes replacing old equipments with modern version, etc.

You can also post suggestions here (or in our forum discussion). Everything you post here I am happy to relay back to HP.

So, what are you doing?

Have a Telecom voucher? Check Vodafone...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Jun-2009 10:33

I just saw a Google Ad on Geekzone telling readers that Vodafone New Zealand is honouring Telecom's XT Network vouchers (conditions apply of course):

Got a Telecom voucher for $299? The Vodafone Online Shop is happy to accept these when you switch to Vodafone and sign up for a 24 month Talker or TXTer plan. We'll give you $299 off the standard RRP price of any mobile (excluding the iPhone). Naturally, some terms and conditions apply, see below for details.

More details on Vodafone XT Voucher page.

Telecommunications Summit 2009

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-Jun-2009 10:57

Just got an invitation to attend the Telecommunication Summit, in Auckland 23rd and 24th June 2009.

Looking forward to meeting some of you there.

Advertising on line is more effective than cinema?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-Jun-2009 09:57

Last weekend we decided to go see a movie. The movie was scheduled for 2:30pm, but the theatre was closed for cleaning until 2:35pm...

We started walking in to take our seats - we were the first couple in - and the pre-roll ads were... rolling already. Cadbury Eyebrows was just at its last ten seconds or so...

The cinema had to show the ads, even if no one was there to actually watch them.

And that made me think how companies still put money into some advertisers that don't give a damn to their contractual obligations - like this cinema screening an at to no one in particular, but still counting the "impression".

Some still wonder why advertising money is flowing from newspapers, cinema and TV to on-line, where ad delivery and responses can be measured with ease. It just makes more sense.

Vodafone 3G Guy competition: what's wrong with this picture?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 25-May-2009 09:37

Vodafone is running the Find 3G Guy competition to promote their 3G services - there's only one thing that doesn't quite work well here: 3G Guy is using a Dell Inspiron Mini 9 with built-in 3G, which currently only works on Vodafone 3G when used in the main centres. Have you stopped to think a bit why is he visiting only Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin?

The problem is Vodafone's mix of WCDMA 2100 MHz in the main centres and WCDMA 900 MHz elsewhere doesn't go well with the main prize. The Dell Inspiron Mini 9 is listed on Vodafone's own website as "2100 MHz WCDMA" (it's actually 850/2100MHz) meaning it won't work on 3G outside the main cities.

Yes you got it right: when taking in account 3G coverage the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 Vodafone is giving away would work better on a competitor's WCDMA 850 MHz network than on Vodafone's own.

This is the same embarrasing situation they currently have with their Apple iPhone 3G offer.

I know more and more devices will be coming out with 900/2100 MHz WCDMA. But reality is Vodafone can't just replace their current 900MHz GSM gear with 900 MHz WCDMA gear without impacting coverage for their customers still using 2G handsets - which I would think are still in the millions now.

When it comes to 3G wars, the advantage is on Telecom's XT Network side for now. They were able to deploy a completely new WCDMA 850 MHz network that won't conflict with their existing CDMA 800 MHz service - and with the same coverage, something Vodafone can't match on a single network.

People will be able to move to the new network as they wish and there's a clear target for that - 2012. And there are devices out there working on this band already (thanks to Telstra in Australia and AT&T Wireless in the U.S. who deployed this type of network nationwide creating the market).

The rumours are that a new Dell with a 900/2100 MHz card is in the works and should be out soon. Like the Apple iPhone rumours we have to wait and see. Meanwhile some link love to the Vodafone 3G Guy and the ripoff site 3G Guy Goes Rural.

Update: It seems some people didn't like Vodafone asking for their followers to spam Twitter to be in to win a notebook.

My third mobile data XT Network experience: USB goodness

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 21-May-2009 18:04

So far I posted about my first and second mobile data experience on the Telecom New Zealand's new XT network. After the official media launch I was handed a Sierra Wireless 885 USB modem, which I have now tested too...

I've swapped my XT Network SIM card from my handset to the Sierra Wireless 885 USB Modem. No CD in the box - the software is automatically installed from the USB device, which can also be used as a media card reader. The software announced a firmware update was available and I let it do the update.

No problems at installing on Windows 7 RC 64 bit - so I guess it should work well with all other previous versions of Windows - and Mac OS X software is on the USB memory too...

After this I clocked the performance on this device. So here is the user interface and the speed test results:

My second mobile data XT Network experience: blowing away

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 19-May-2009 16:11

A week ago I've got one of the test SIM cards to use on Telecom New Zealand's XT Network and reported my first mobile data speed experience on the new network - limited by the device I had at hand (the AT&T Pantech Matrix Pro).

I have now received an Acer F900 Windows Mobile Professional (touchscreen), swapped the SIM card, and got 100% faster mobile data traffic:

The XT Network is shapping up to be a good thing...

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.

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