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Xero is going international

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 15-Aug-2008 20:02

Wellington-based Xero is going international, according to a release in the NZSX and a blog post. Xero is a listed company in the NZX and this is from the official announcement:

Xero wishes to advise that by early 2009 it will release a global version of its award-winning online accounting software.

Xero is choosing to disclose this part of its strategy now in order to openly respond to growing international sales enquiries.

Earlier this week Xero was named as one of the world's Top Ten Best Application User Interfaces of 2008 by Nielsen Norman Group, the US-based analysts and experts in software design.

'King of usability' and award judge Jakob Nielsen commented about Xero: "Making accounting fun? That's an award-winning design."

The award has led to a surge in interest from small businesses internationally asking when Xero will be available in countries outside its initial target markets of New Zealand, the UK and Australia.

Xero is a web-based accounting software-as-a-service platform. Sounds boring, but they managed to create an easy to use, good looking software that works for the company owner and for the accountant.

Microsoft lost the plot on Media Center...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 14-Aug-2008 15:20

We waited so long for Microsoft Fiji, er, TV Pack - to find out it may only be released to OEM and don't event have the HD h.264 support.

Then a few months ago I posted here how the Apple iTunes movie store would kill the media center - when it was released to UK, France and Canada.

And now Apple has announced the Apple iTunes movies for Australia and New Zealand.

Yes, for the first time I am downloading iTunes as we speak. I am going to install in our media center in the lounge.

The iTunes Store in Australia and New Zealand feature over 700 films for rent or purchase, with new release titles available for purchase on the same day as their DVD release, including favorites such as “National Treasure 2,” “Jumper,” “27 Dresses,” “Cloverfield,” “Vantage Point” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End.”

iTunes movies in New Zealand start at NZ$9.99 for catalog title purchases, NZ$17.99 for recent releases and NZ$24.99 for new releases. iTunes Movie Rentals are NZ$4.99 for library title rentals and NZ$6.99 for new releases, and high definition versions are priced at just one dollar more. Movie rentals can be previewed, purchased and watched on iPod classic, iPod nano with video, iPod touch, iPhone and on a widescreen TV with Apple TV.

Enough said. Microsoft lost the battle in the consumer entertainment media space.

Now we just need those New Zealand ISPs to stop selling plans with 10 GB cap and offer real stuff - let's start with 200 GB?

Attending the Intel Developer Forum (with video)

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 14-Aug-2008 10:31

I was invited by Intel to attend the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, 19th - 21st August 2008. I also received a list of sessions and people available for meetings and round tables - I am looking forward to meeting Anand Chandrasekher (below), Intel Ultra Mobility Group Senior Vice President, in a round table.
Other topics of interest are of course the technology showcase, anything about mobile computing, and the keynotes - Steve Wozniak will be the guest speaker on the 21st August.

IBM Forum 2008 in Wellington: a Twitter timeline

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 11-Aug-2008 17:28

Another SQL injection on the loose

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Aug-2008 20:09

From the Project X blog comes the alert about a new SQL injection attack spreading around. This is a local view on the problem, and that's what makes it more interesting:

A quick assessment of the NZ landscape shows that over a sample of 100 of the latest attack signatures (specifically looking at the result of the successful SQL Injection) indicates that there are 68 distinct infections over some 18 “NZ” sites…  all IIS5/6 sites.  Not good news for some and given that a couple of these sites are in NZ’s “top 100” and would service a not-so-insignificant number of unique browsers.
Note: I’ve performed this assessment out of the google cache so I’d expect that this would be somewhat worse, given SEO (in general) and the timing of google spider visits.

Plenty of details on the dedicated SANS page.

/n software discount code

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-Aug-2008 16:13

I usually don't post discount codes (not that I have many anyway, when I receive one I try to spread the love), but this one is good for developers: 20% off /n software Red Carpet subscription.

I use /n software on the Geekzone server for some IP stuff. The company has some cool piece of software and the subscription gives you access to all components for your development environment.

Of course if you buy I get an extra 3 month in my own subscription. So let's go for it. The promotion code to get your 20% off /n software Red Carpet subscription is "66275696471637D604765656B6A7F6E656E236F6E2E6A7".

Scary: your PC is protected, and it is not at the same time...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-Aug-2008 14:07

I am just reading over the Symantec Security Response page an interesting story about a new type of exploit.

Basically the attackers know of an ActiveX with a vulnerability and will try to first install it on your PC to them exploit it. But to make it "invisible" the attacker uses a "safe" ActiveX, such as the Access Snapshot ActiveX.

Why is it safe? Because it is a Microsoft developed and signed ActiveX, which in most cases will install silently on the victim's PC.

Once this "safe" ActiveX is installed, then the attacker can exploit the vulnerability.

So your PC is safe, but not so much. Read more in the Symantec Security Response page.

Cancel the Bubble FAIL alert: good response from all involved

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 8-Aug-2008 08:44

Well, look at this. I've posted yesterday about some problems with my Flickr PRO account (courtesy of the Premium Services offered by Telecom to its Xtra customers).

The response was great. First friends posted here and in the Geekzone forums about their own account status. I also got some of their status through Twitter.

It seemed it was a single incident - so your accounts should be safe.

I contacted Telecom Help Desk via e-mail and received a reply in less than 45 minutes - very good if you ask me. The answer wasn't quite what I expected though, so I had to contact Flickr directly.

At the same time someone in the Telecom team escalated the issue to the Yahoo! Flickr team.

Sometime this morning my account was reprovisioned with the correct PRO status, while some time later Tara from the Yahoo! Flickr team contacted me to say all was in working order. Tara even posted in our Geekzone forums to confirm this.

Seriously, when the account problem showed up I thought this would be a black hole - having to deal with a third party help desk, account issues, etc. But it all worked well, in a really fast way.

Overall great work from Telecom and the Yahoo! team - and in what I think it's great time.

Telecom... 850MHz WCDMA/HSDPA announcement coming?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-Aug-2008 14:55

Rumours are going around that Telecom New Zealand will announce tomorrow nationwide deployment of 850 MHz UMTS (WCDMA/HSDPA).

Telecom's original plans were for 850MHz GSM/EDGE in rural areas and 2100MHz WCDMA in the cities.

Let's see what is happening, tomorrow...

Prepare for another bubble FAIL: Yahoo!Xtra cancelling Flickr PRO status?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-Aug-2008 11:13

UPDATE: read the bottom for an update.

Arghhh. When are things going to look good for the Telecom Yahoo!Xtra team and their included premium services? Ive just posted this in our Geekzone forums and contacted Telecom - someone is looking into this now:

Hi freitasm_xtra,

Your Flickr Pro account expired on . You have 316 photos but you're now only seeing the last 200!

Perhaps you'd like to renew your Pro account?

You'll even get 3 months free for purchasing before 30 September 2008!

You can learn more here:

The Flickreenos

No date in the "expired on", and indeed my PRO status is gone. Another storm coming? Or is just my account?

I contacted the Telecom support and received a response, which is obviously not good enough. I don't think I should be contacting Flickr since this is a Telecom service:

I am sorry to hear about your Flickr Pro account has been cancelled. Unfortunately we do not support the Flickr here, I would need to refer your to the help section within There is a "contact us" option on this page that maybe your best option.

I can confirm that your Xtra account is all active and can see no reason why you shouldn't have a valid Flickr account.

UPDATE: After talking to someone at Telecom New Zealand the case was escalated to Yahoo! in the U.S. It looks like there aren't any other cases of accounts being cancelled so let's see how it goes - waiting for my account to be reinstated.

UPDATE: The Flickr team at some point reprovisioned the account and it is all fine again. Also their team member Tara posted in the forums to confirm this was ok.

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!

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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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