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Mobile Trade Me live now

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 16-Jun-2008 14:15

Some of you asked for this and here it is... New Zealand's largest web site has now a mobile version: Trade Me Mobile is live now.

The mobile version provides users with the expected features, including watchlist, listed items, sold items.

You can view details for listings, including description, photos, the Q&A section - and you can place your bid right there too.

Just a couple of errors with the usual "We have been notified of this error" message appearing when you click the Home link though. Workload too much?

Now I can see mobile Internet taking off in New Zealand...

The next question is to the mobile operators: where is the really affordable mobile data plan for the rest of us?

3 News says goodbye to WMV, hello to Flash video

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 16-Jun-2008 10:28

For some time now we have been carrying links to 3 News video site in our Geekzone forums. It is a good deal for both of us: we list their latest technology video news and they link back to our Geekzone latest news from their technology pages.

This is what it looks like in our forums:

I haven't seen this in the mainstream media, but last week 3 News changed their site in many ways. First it moved from the old domain to the domain - a bit more descriptive of what it is about. This move leaves the domain for the TV business and is all news.

Also they have moved away from the Microsoft WMV format into a more widely accessible FLV format. I am sure this will help reaching a wider, more tech-savvy readership that prefer to use a browser other than Internet Explorer or even a non-Windows platform for their browsing habits.

The project took some time - I was notified of the changes a couple of months before it actually went live, and I was curious to see what would be coming out of that. It's a good result - clean and a much faster than the older domain.

It seems they have a partnership going with TelstraClear's new ClearNet portal - I can see ClearNet advertising on player and pre-roll media, and ClearNet has links and ads to 3 News (hey we are in good company then!).

I asked Siobhan McKenna, GM for Networks at MediaWorks New media division about this change and here is what she has to say:

The site includes  an emphasis on breaking news, much greater category depth, flash video and the ability for users to contribute news video, audio, stories and to comment on almost everything. TV3 has also made a substantial investment in its web architecture.  
As well as investing in infrastructure, MediaWorks has also boosted up its on-line editoral team, allowing then to take better advantage of the company's extensive media assets.
"Our editorial team now includes specialists in the areas of  Politics, Sport, Business Lifetstyle/ Health and Entertainment..When we add these specialists to the  award winning 3 News team, Radio Live , NZPA, as well  content from users I think we have an unrivalled offering. "
"Quality Video is always going to be our advantage over other websites and we are proud to say that we get breaking news video onto our site faster than anybody else" said McKenna.

Congratulations Sandi on joining TRUSTe

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 14-Jun-2008 14:27

One of my Australian friends, Sandi Hardmeier has joined TRUSTe as an Online Compliance Researcher.

I've met Sandi many times around the world - a couple of times in Seattle for the Microsoft MVP Summit, a couple of times in Las Vegas during the CES, in Singapore for a Microsoft Windows Vista Lab, and somewhere else I can't remember.

From the official press release:

Ms. Hardmeier is a recognized and widely sought after industry expert in the field of malware and malvertizing and their impact on consumer privacy and security. She will play a key role in TRUSTe’s development of improved network monitoring strategies while providing customers with expert insight and recommendations to combat existing and emerging Web threats such as spyware, computer viruses, and other types of malware.

“Sandi has been studying malware since 2000, and has watched its metamorphosis from simplistic, easy to remove adware into the sophisticated crime-motivated products we see today,” said Fran Maier, executive director of TRUSTe. “Sandi will help us build our expertise in the important intersection between online trust, privacy and security.”

Sandi has been a Microsoft Most Valued Professional (MVP) since 1999, specializing in Internet Explorer and Internet Security as it pertains to business and consumers. She also has an array of published work and is the author of (a Web site dedicated to teaching Internet users about the latest risks to their online safety and how to stay safe when surfing the Web); (dedicated to providing technical support to users of IE7 and IE8); and (dedicated to providing technical support to users of IE6 and earlier).

Well done Sandi! See you around...

Visiting AMD in Austin, TX

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 14-Jun-2008 09:03

Next week I will be visiting AMD offices in Austin, Texas. I am part of a small group of technology bloggers and journalists that will have access to some of their executives during the day.

I am opening a discussion on Geekzone asking for input on questions people would like to see answered by AMD.

You can post in our forums, as a comment here or just contact me in private.

Find out more now about the New Zealand Pavilion at CeBIT 2009

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 13-Jun-2008 17:04

The folks from the NZTE are working already on their plans to take some New Zealand technology companies to the CeBIT 2009 - they have done this in the previous years with some good results, so if you are thinking of launching into Europe or other international markets, here is your chance.

To start these plans, NZTE is running a road show in early July to provide more information and gauge interest in the event.

The dates are:

9th July 2008 - Christchurch
10th July 2008 - Wellington
11th July 2008 - Auckland

For more information contact Sarah Munn at the NZTE offices. The email address is first name.last

Get your GeekTrade account now

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Jun-2008 18:17

I have been talking to the folks behind GeekTrade - an on-line auction site that deals exclusively with technology products - on doing some work together.

The first steps are complete now - GeekTrade lists the latest Geekzone news in their front page, while we are now hosting a GeekTrade community forum for them.

They are also running a good promotion where new users get an initial credit of $5 - but if you are a registered Geekzone user then you get a double initial credit of $10. 

The Acer Ferrari 5000 eighteen months later

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Jun-2008 17:18

About eighteen months ago (December 2006) I received one of the famous Acer Ferrari 5000 notebooks sent out to bloggers and journalists for a Windows Vista review.

Back then it came with a "Windows Vista Premium Ready" sticker. This is a kind of late - but well deserved short review.

I am still happy with the hardware. In terms of performance it is a great desktop replacement machine, with a Windows Experience Index of 4.8. After eighteen months I now find a couple of problems:

- it runs really hot and if I push the graphics (playing Titan Quest for example) then it will shutdown automatically after a while. The only way around this is to have a fan blowing cold air directly on the notebook while gaming;

- in the last couple of weeks it failed to boot - it shows the POST and shutdowns. I think it could be because it was inside one of those carry-on notebook cases and could possibly have been shaken too much while rolling down the airport.

As for the software, I ran the original Windows Vista 64 bit for twelve months on this machine, but one day I scheduled a boot time CHKDSK and it never booted. So I decided to install Windows Vista 32 bit in early January 2008 because I was tired of the lack of 64 bit drivers.

And drivers takes me to the real problem with this machine: Acer must have the worst support for their products - even for a top of the class notebook with a hefty price tag as this one.

The only drivers available for this notebook are the ones orignally distributed by Acer back in December 2006. Since then Acer have not released any driver update - eighteen months! - which means a few problems:

- I can't reliably use the Secure Digital (SD) card slot for ReadyBoost because for some weird reason the SD reader "sleeps" after a while. I reported this problem to Acer through their contact page and - surprise! -  never received a reply

- I can't reliably hibernate or sleep this notebook because it will wake up at the most inappropriate times, such as while inside the backpack, causing heat problems. This again is a driver problem

- I couldn't run some games because Acer never released an updated ATI graphics driver - I had to use a special hack to force the installation of desktop graphics driver on this notebook.

It looks like the first PCs running Windows Vista could run it - but just. I have here in my home office a HP Tablet PC and even though with Windows Experience Index 3.0 it seems to perform much better - except for graphics of course.

I think only now we are seeing PCs and mobile computers that are powerful enough for Windows Vista. The Ferrari 5000 runs it ok, but Acer never released the much needed "refreshed" drivers for this machine...

What about Windows Vista? Have you noticed I didn't actually complain about it? The operating system works well. Granted I keep complaining of too much disc access, but with Outlook 2007 running all the time I think it's only fair to say this would be expected.

The main problem was drivers, and seriously this wasn't a Microsoft problem. One year on after its launch I see we finally have PCs that are actually good enough for Windows Vista.

Windows Home Server PP1 Beta open now

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Jun-2008 17:01

I have been part of the Windows Home Server Power Pack 1 private beta for a while, and I have to say it is solid. My Windows Home Server runs 24/7 for months without a reboot and it keeps our 2.5 TB of data safe.

Yes, it's a lot of data, but we have a few laptops and desktops around here, gigabytes of pictures and home videos and all duplicated for enhanced safety.

Power Pack 1 introduces a few new features and fixes, but most importantly it introduces a fix for a data corruption bug that could create problems if users were modifying files directly on the server shares.

The best new features? Support for PCs running Windows Vista x64, and backup of your Windows Hme Server shared folders.

Check the official Windows Home Server team blog for more information and how to get it.

You interview the CEOs...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 10-Jun-2008 10:04

This week and next we will be running some special interviews on Geekzone - you ask the questions!

I've managed to get some time from the CEOs of our largest New Zealand telcos and you will be able to post your questions in our forums. After a week I will lock the threads and forward those questions to each CEO.

To start the process this week we have two CEOs - Dr Allan Freeth, CEO TelstraClear and Scott Bartlett, CEO Orcon.

You can ask questions to Dr Allan Freeth in this thread and ask the questions to Scott Bartlett in this thread.

This is a great opportunity to have your questions posted directly to the big guys!

Media companies-sponsored politicians want to make P2P and region free DVDs illegal...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 7-Jun-2008 08:27

This is what happens when companies lobby the weak of mind... An international treat is being worked behind doors to make P2P illegal - even when used for distribution of material you legally own, and more.

Lots of information on WikiLeaks.

"Wikileaks points out that the U.S. politician behind ACTA is Howard Berman from California, a Democrat whose top four campaign contributors for 2006 were Time Warner ($21,000), News Corp ($15,000), Sony Corp of America ($14,000), and Walt Disney Co ($13,550)."

Is this being discussed in New Zealand? Is our government participating on this "work"?

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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