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Vodafone vs Telecom: what Twitter remembers

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-May-2009 22:16

We all know about Vodafone moving an action against Telecom claiming some of Telecom's new equipment is causing some interference with the existing Vodafone network. This has been on the news, blogs, forums around.

There's a long discussion on Geekzone about this, with mostly "opinions" since people in the know are not talking - smart move since the matter is now before courts.

But twenty days before the action was publicised, I posted something on Twitter about this "interference". Here is the sequence (click the names for the original tweets):

@freitasm (2:50 PM Apr 11th): "I heard that @telecomnz new 850MHz equipment is interfering with @vodafonenz 900MHz frequencies"

@vodafonenz (3:10 PM Apr 11th): "@freitasm not that I've heard. How could it? Like 99FM interfering with 104FM isn't it?"

@freitasm (3:51 PM Apr 11th): "@vodafonenz yes something ike that. Bad filters I hear...."

@nealrich (4:59 PM Apr 11th): "@freitasm like @vodafonenz there are a number of us who would like to know more"

@vodafonenz (5:07 PM Apr 11th): "@freitasm well I've heard nothing like that I"m afraid... who did you hear that from?"

About 20 days before the news about this action came out both sides denied anything about interference. Of course this doesn't prove they didn't know - and doesn't prove they did know.

But it was already a rumour back then, which means if it's really an interference, then someone else knew it was happening. Since this is out in the open on Twitter I think I can publish it here to refresh some people's memories...

The hearing dates for this case will be set Monday 4th May. I am really looking forward to seeing the results of this. Interesting times.

Windows Vista Service Pack 2 and Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 available now

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-May-2009 10:25

With so many stories about the Windows 7 Release Candidate going around right now, it's easy to miss this one: Microsoft has released Windows Vista Service Pack 2 and Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2 for download on MSDN and Technet.

The download is a 1.4GB file called en_fr_de_ja_es_windows_vista_sp_and_windows_server_2008_sp2_x86_x64_ia64_dvd_342431.iso that works for both Windows client and server configurations, both 32 bit and 64 bit.

Of course if you are only using Windows Vista it pays to wait for this update to be offered via Windows Update, when it will probably be a lot smaller and targeted at your specific configuration.

Vodafone moves against Telecom new XT Mobile Network

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 1-May-2009 17:24

As posted in our forums:

Vodafone in court to defend customers

Vodafone has received a number of media enquiries relating to legal proceedings over network-related issues.

Vodafone can confirm that it has begun legal proceedings following a significant rise in the number of customer complaints relating to interference on its network.

These complaints led to testing which showed serious interference to Vodafone’s network caused by Telecom’s network, which is still under construction.

Because the matter is now before the Court, Vodafone will not be making any further comment until after the matter is resolved.

This is Telecom's answer:


Telecom New Zealand said today Vodafone had threatened legal proceedings over the launch of Telecom’s new XT mobile network.

“This is a piece of aggressive behaviour that betrays Vodafone’s insecurities about competition from Telecom’s new XT mobile network, just 13 days away from launch,” said Telecom chief executive Paul Reynolds.

“Telecom will vigorously resist the request for an injunction, and we remain on target to bring world-class 3G mobile services to New Zealanders from 6.30pm on 13 May.”

Telecom’s compliance with the terms of its licences was recently confirmed by the Ministry for Economic Development, as part of its investigation into interference issues between the WCDMA technology used by Telecom, and the GSM technology used by Vodafone and NZ Communications.

Following a series of test measurements and analysis…Telecom’s WCDMA transmitters meet the emission limits specified on spectrum licences issued pursuant to Telecom’s management rights. (From MED letter, 9 April)

Dr Reynolds said, on the information received so far, Vodafone’s technical problems with coverage and other issues were substantially of its own making, and not the responsibility of Telecom New Zealand.

“They are now reaping the cost of this and other poor technical decisions, and attempting to lay them at the feet of Telecom, just a few days out from the launch of our XT network.

“This timing is curious to say the least, and observers will draw their own conclusions.

“Telecom’s engineers have already been working with their counterparts at Vodafone, for several weeks now, to resolve these issues and this process has been working well.  We are disappointed that Vodafone has taken such extreme steps over an issue that can be resolved in a more constructive way – and most New Zealanders will be too.

“The XT network launch on 13 May will be a great day for New Zealand mobile customers, whereas today will only be seen as a sign of desperation by a global telecommunications giant,” said Paul Reynolds.

Windows 7 RC Wallpapers

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 1-May-2009 01:00

I have been playing with Windows 7 Release Candidate and before I write a more complete post with all the new stuff, here is a series of screenshots of the new wallpapers supplied.

These wallpapers are arranged in Themes. Themes can have more than one wallpaper and you can select to rotate between these images on a set timer.

They are trully beautiful images and it's probably the first time I enjoy using the default wallpapers provided by Microsoft.





The truth about Microsoft Pink

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-Apr-2009 21:34

Today we saw lots of rumours around regarding smartphones. In one Verizon would be working with Apple to create an "iPhone lite". In another Verizon would also be working with Microsoft to create an "iPhone killer", dubber Pink.

So what's the truth? I got some information directly from one of the sources within, and basically he says Microsoft is not going into the phone hardware business.

Because of that Microsoft is not building a Zune-specific phone.

The company is actually deepening relationships with hardware partners - I was given a long list of reasons, but it comes down to creating better performing phones that are competitively priced, feature rich, easy-to-use and lustworthy.

There's a lot being done, starting with the upcoming availability of Windows Mobile 6.5 software that will enable OEM partners to build more compelling devices.

But for the moment, Microsoft is not creating a phone.

Telecom Big Year

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-Apr-2009 13:52

With all the work done to deliver a new mobile network on time, conform to separation undertakings, and all else, I guess Telecom New Zealand wanted to thank their people... I found this video on YouTube today:

Microsoft Office 2007 SP2 available on Windows Update

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-Apr-2009 05:39

As the subject says - use Windows Update to find and download the Microsoft Office 2007 Service Pack 2... Some good improvements in Outlook performance, plus all other updates.

Here is a list of changes for this version:

Changes that impact desktop applications

· Service Pack 2 adds the ability to open, edit and save documents in version 1.1 of the OpenDocument Format for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. These applications now let users save, open, and edit files as OpenDocument Text (*.odt), OpenDocument Spreadsheet (*.ods), and OpenDocument Presentations (*.odp).

· The 2007 Microsoft Office Service Pack 2 is the first service pack to support uninstall of client updates through the Microsoft Service Pack Uninstall Tool for the 2007 Microsoft Office Suite as well as via Windows Installer command line. The Service Pack Uninstall Tool will be available as a separate download.

· Save As PDF/XPS support has been built into the SP2 of these Office applications. Users no longer have to download the add-in separately.

· When many graphic objects are present performance has been improved.

· In many scenarios, expect increased print fidelity of graphical objects.

· Improved interoperability using standard DrawingML markup to describe the visual properties of the SmartArt graphic.

The 2007 Office Suite SP2 has been tested and is supported for Internet Explorer 8. Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 SP2, Windows 7 and Windows Server R2 will all be supported upon their release.

· The ability to export reports to Excel has been added.

· Fixes for issues with the import data wizards, report printing and previewing, macros, Excel integration, and date filters.

· Updates to Access Developer Extensions are now included in SP2.

· The charting mechanism has improved robustness and targeted performance improvements.

· A chart object model has been added to Word and PowerPoint.

· Improved printing of graphical content, especially on PCL printers.

· Improved form tools.

· Synchronization reliability has been improved.

· Increased compatibility between InfoPath forms and other Microsoft products, such as Groove and Outlook.

· SharePoint synchronization has been improved which helps reduce the load on SharePoint servers and produce fewer errors.

· Performance in startup, shutdown, view rendering, and folder switch has been improved.

· Calendar updates, search, and RSS are more reliable.

· The object model has been improved.

· Resaving of files is faster.

· Several printer-specific problems have been fixed.

· The Microsoft Office Excel Chart Object Model has been more fully integrated.

· The scheduling engine, Active Cache, and Gantt charts all have improvements.

· There is additional reliability with earlier versions of the .mpp format.

· Fixes have been made in the following areas: print preview, compatibility with Internet Explorer 8, e-mail on Windows Vista, and saving to the Content library. 

· Improved compatibility with other Microsoft products in several key scenarios, such as inserting Visio drawings as linked objects in PowerPoint or Word, exporting reports to Excel, and saving drawings as Web pages for browsing in Internet Explorer 8.

· Fidelity of PDF and XPS output has been enhanced.

· Fuller integration of the Microsoft Office Excel Chart Object Model.

There are also changes to server products in the making.

You are invited to attend the Microsoft Imagine Cup finals in Auckland

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 27-Apr-2009 14:52

Imagine Cup is a competition which encourages students to use technology to transform great ideas into real world solutions every year. Student teams from around New Zealand have come up with solutions to the world’s toughest problems.

This year the final New Zealand event is open to all students and industry professionals. The event is being held at The University of Auckland Business School. Join the event and find out which team will be the ultimate winner and represent New Zealand in the world wide finals in Cairo, Egypt.

For the first time ever, watch the finalists present and demonstrate their unique solution to a panel of influential industry judges live and decide for yourself who should take out the title of Imagine Cup 2009 NZ. Register your place at the finals now and get the chance to win prizes including one of three XBOX 360 consoles at the finals. Everyone is welcome!

What:   Microsoft Imagine Cup 2009 National Finals
Where:  The University of Auckland Business School
When:   Wednesday 29th April 2009, Kicking off at 6:30 P.M.
Register Here:

Telecom XT Network launch date confirmed: 13th May 2009

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 27-Apr-2009 09:30

According to Telecom's presence on Twitter the launch date for the XT Network is 13th May 2009 - ahead of schedule.

Telecom New Zealand's new network is based on WCDMA 850MHz, the same frequency used by Telstra in Australia and AT&T in the U.S. This ensures high level of compatibility for roaming customers.

As usual, discussion on Geekzone.

Noteboek by Evelien Lohbeck is virtual reality at extreme

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 27-Apr-2009 09:12

Noteboek (English title: Notebook) is an animated clip of Dutch artist Evelien Lohbeck. More of her video clips on Vimeo...

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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