My window to the world

Halo 3 New Zealand launch

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 25-Sep-2007 09:07

A couple of weeks ago I posted a cryptic message about the Halo 3 launch here in New Zealand. And now it's all revealed...

The "vast and mysterious alien object to land at QEII Square, Auckland." is a huge 1-tonne block of ice in Queen Elizabeth Square, containing 50 discs frozen within the ice. 
This gigantic ice cube is there until 10am today (run!) and you can 'play' the Halo 3 Ice Block Buster and try to free the discs as the ice melts, aided by hot water pistols. Prizes to be won include Samsung 40" LCD TVs, Xbox 360 games consoles and Halo 3 games.

Gamers Nicole Sinclair and Ryan Marsden, both 19, were the first people in the world to receive a copy of the game at the worldwide premiere launch event held in Auckland. Stores across the country also opened their doors at midnight to meet demand from gamers.

Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 available for beta testers

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 25-Sep-2007 08:37

Today Microsoft has made the Microsoft Windows Vista SP1 (Service Pack)  available for select private beta testers on Connect. Those "chosen ones" received an e-mail confirmation a couple of weeks ago indicating they were accepted as beta testers for this release - so if you have not received such e-mail then you will most likely not see the download options.

The Windows Vista Team blog has some additional information on this release, including the announcement of new performance and reliability packages that may be released before SP1 ships:

We also released today five reliability packages via for testing by selected  members of the community.  These packages consist of numerous improvements to Windows Vista based on user feedback, and while they will also ultimately be part of SP1, we’re working to make them available before the final version of SP1 is released so that your Windows Vista experience is the best

A more detailed account is from the Windows Experience Blog and you will get information on some changes related to speed and search:

The most common way the user will get SP1 will be through Windows Update. That is how I installed SP1 on the HP tx1000. Before getting to the SP1, a series of 3 prerequisites had to be installed first (It was 3 for me since I'm running Windows Vista Ultimate, but users who aren't running Ultimate or Enterprise will only have 2 to install since BitLocker is not included in the other Windows Vista SKUs).  I talked to Product Manager David Zipkin who explained what these prerequisites are for. The first prerequisite includes updates to the servicing stack. The second prerequisite is an update for BitLocker-capable PCs (Windows Vista Enterprise and Windows Vista Ultimate) to ensure proper servicing of Bitlocker. And the third and final prerequisite includes some updates to Windows, necessary to install and uninstall the service pack.

I am now downloading Windows Vista SP1 from connect - both x86 and x64 version, a total of 6.8 GB, which should take another couple of hours.

HTC Titan first impressions and Palm Treo 700wx giveaway

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 24-Sep-2007 11:21

I got a courier parcel this morning bringing a brand new Telecom New Zealand HTC Titan for review and play.

Though the review is coming up later, I have to say the HTC Titan is a refresh from the square screen on the Plam Treo 700wx, and the much larger keyboard is not something to complain about. Oh, and built-in Wi-Fi!

A full review will be coming up next on Geekzone. For the time being, why don't you go and enter the draw for your chance to win the Palm Treo 700wx I have here?

Geekzone Weekly Chat is back

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 23-Sep-2007 19:24

We have an IRC channel (#geekzone on and most of the time you will see some conversations going on - at any time.

Based on requests from our users we decided to bring back the Geekzone Weekly Chat, an "official" time to meet. This is every Tuesday 8pm (New Zealand time).

If you don't have an IRC client, just visit the Geekzone Chat page to be automatically connected to the #geekzone channel.

So put down in your calendars and join us for a chat. If you work for one of the operators you are also welcome...

Google sued for Crimes Against Humanity

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 22-Sep-2007 09:35

Incredible how Americans sue for anything - and everything. Frivoulous lawsuits are everywhere. Even a judge, one who should know better, sued a dry cleaner for US$65 million because of a pair of pants. Of course he lost the case - and his job.

This one though is really something to laugh about. It's obvious that it has no merits and it's obvious Google will win. But hey, the dumb people need to overload the system, right?

Parts of the suit (pdf and full case):

1 The plaintiff Dylan Stephen Jayne Prose a Citizen of the County of Pike, State of Pennsylvania... wishes to file a complaint under 42 v.s.c. 1983 denial of civil and constitutional rights.

2. The defendant is Google Internet Search Engine.

3.STATEMENT OF CLAIM: Dylan Stephen Jayne, plaintiff, has a Social Security Number that when the Social Security Number is turned upside down in its entierty (sic) it is a scrambled code that does spell the name Google.

3. The UNITED STATES JUSTICE DEPARTMENT is heading the investigation into allegations of crimes against humanity all or in par on plaintiff of this complaint against Founders of Google Search Engine on the Internet.

4. Plaintiff's safe is in jeopardy.

11. Plaintiff DEMANDS $5,000,000,000 in damages from the defendant(s) if Founders of the Internet Search Engine Google.

12. Plaintiff is a UNITED STATES CITIZEN.

13. Plaintiff and defendant(s) have a responsibility to fight the War on Terrorism.

14. Plaintiff's Constitutional Right to Privacy is being violated.

15. Plaintiff discovered this Code of Plaintiff's Social Security Number on 9.16.07 September 16, 2007.

16. Plaintiff and defendant(s) could be subject to detainment by The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA for suspition (sic) and/or assisting in Terrorism or Affiliating with Terrorist Organizations.

Now, where is that "I see dumb people" t-shirt?

Back from the Microsoft Parners Conference

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 21-Sep-2007 18:52

This week I attended the Microsoft Partner Conference (ConnectionNZ) in Auckland. Mind you I am no partner, but I was invited to speak about Windows Mobile 6 in one of the sessions, thus being granted access to the conference grounds and sessions.

Great work from Microsoft New Zealand organising the first of its partners' conference in the country. The Day One keynote with Michael Moore was really good. Michael is a former Prime Minister and previously a Director-General of the World Trade Organisation.

On Day One I attended the "Co-opetition and Interoperability" session (Brett Roberts) and spoke at "Everything You Need, Everywhere You Go - Welcome to Windows Mobile 6". After drinks I managed to catch a ride with a Geekzone reader to the Wireless and Broadband Forum monthly meeting. Antonios was in Auckland that day, so we ended up meeting for dinner.

On Day Two Rod Drury did a good job speaking about partnership and how Microsoft helped him and his team get his startups off the ground - including AfterMail and lately Xero.

I then managed to attend another two sessions ("How Innovation Drives Revenues" and "Event Marketing for your Business").

At lunch time I met Paul Brislen, External Communications Manager with Vodafone New Zealand, and then had just enough time to rush to the airport.

Leaving that afternoon means I missed the black tie dinner at the Auckland Museum (picture courtesy of Microsoft), where Provoke and Xero won Partner Solution of the Year and Software Solution of the Year respectively. Other winners include Axon, Kinetics, IGA Systems, Intergen, Auldhouse, Integral, Koorb.

Halo 3 Wallpapers and ringtone for Windows Mobile

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 21-Sep-2007 14:09

Microsoft has made available the Halo 3 theme to be used as a ringtone for Windows Mobile devices, plus a set of four images to be used as background for your Pocket PC or Smartphone.

Visit the Halo 3 Ringtone and Wallpaper page to register and download the content.

Windows Mobile team seeking suggestions

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 20-Sep-2007 19:53

If you have a suggestion for a new feature or something you think should be fixed enhanced, head on to this new Windows Mobile Suggestion Box forum.

My first experience with broadband that's a joke in New Zealand hotels

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 18-Sep-2007 19:52

A few weeks ago I attended the Wellington Karajoz Great Blend, organised by Russell Brown of Public Address fame. The guest speaker was Mr Brown, a Singaporean blogger and podcaster who was insulted that his Wellington hotel limited his broadband access at 50 MB/day.

I've never come across this in New Zealand hotels ... until today.

I am here at SkyCity Grand Auckland, a five star hotel at $245 a night that charges $35/day for in-room broadband - with a 50 MB limit!

Everything over 50 MB is charged at $0.10 per megabyte.

This is a joke. I have stayed in hotels around the world and have never found such a limit...

I started my laptop, connected to my Exchange Server, downloaded my RSS feeds and I am already clocking 20 MB - in about 15 minutes.

How can anyone do business at 50 MB a day?

Ponoko starts at TechCrunch40

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 18-Sep-2007 11:50

This is really good news for a New Zealand company: Ponoko has launched today during the TechCrunch40 event.

It's a really cool concept, and Dave ten Have explained a bit to me during the Kiwi Foo Camp back in February 2007. We actually ended up sharing a motel room on that unconference (this is probably my only claim to fame now that he's a big startup).

Ponoko is the first personal manufacturing platform. Using their website, people can invent and design new products, then have them made to order, or sell their designs to others.

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:

Find more about Business Transformation | Enterprise Content Management | Customer Relationship Management

Social networks presence

View Mauricio Freitas's profile on LinkedIn

My Blog by tags...

State of Browsers...
Viral Marketing...
Web Performance Optimization...
Windows Phone...

Other recent posts in my blog

Google crawling Geekzone HTTPS...
Geekzone gone full HTTPS...
Microsoft Ignite New Zealand, ...
If the headlines indicate the ...
Geekzone data analytics with P...
State of browsers Geekzone Mar...
2Cheap Cars discussion...
Now with more fibre...
Unlimited is not unlimited: Vo...
How bad is Vodafone cable at t...

New posts on Geekzone