Computerworld has just reported … Microsoft joins ACP Media with msn.co.nz
So Telecom (Xtra) goes with Yahoo. Microsoft goes with a collection of magazines, TV3 and Seek.
I was thinking Microsoft might go with TVNZ (wrong). So TVNZ and Fairfax are sitting out there.
Like the proposed Telecom Directory sale I don’t understand the Telecom strategy of breaking New Zealand’s main Internet franchise. With all players scores reset to zero, the question now becomes who will be the winner of New Zealand Internet chukka 2.Lightware
It was great to spend 3+ hours diving deep into topics such as Funding, Marketing, IP, Organisational Design, that first sale etc.
We had a huge turnout in Christchurch at over 30 people. I love that they actually make real things down there!
And they seem to have the basis for a Hi-Tech Lighting cluster. I was generously given two very cool bits of light related swag. (I love swag!)
Simon at 2CLight.com has a really slick solar powered baseball cap with inbuilt LED lighting. Now that sounds incredibly geeky but they are actually quite cool.
The caps have a really slick molded plastic peak that houses the liteweight solar panel, dual LED’s and multi-function switch. It’s a clever bit of design, engineering and packaging.
Give your geek one these for Christmas or even better get a few made up for Trade Shows. Some New Zealand New Thinking branded ones would be great for CeBit next month.
Another possible member of a Cantabrian Lighting Cluster is Mike at Exelite. They have an electro-luminescent light that can be seen from a distance of over 600 metres.
“The illumination created by Exelite is radio frequency generated light rather than conventional incandescent light so the generated spectrum beam is visible in its original form through fog, smoke, and rain.” I didn’t know I needed that before - but I do now.
Coming from the virtual software space it was cool to see a number of companies making really neat hardware (or even Lightware in these two examples).Gmail Mobile
Nice little update to Gmail client for Mobile Devices.
Point your mobile browser to http://m.google.com/a
Works for hosted domains, has attachment viewing, background downloads. Working great on BB8700.Wellington 2.0 progress
Thanks to many, many people it was exciting to see the council has put Broadband on the local government agenda.
It was good to read Murray Milner’s comments.
Former Telecom chief technology officer Murray Milner said the proposal’s plan to allow telecommunications companies to access a network the council installed was a positive move.
“If it is about facilitating others, that is pretty positive and realistic,” he said.
The council have put out a Broadband report for discussion in March.
The council is really starting to understand that Broadband is competitive advantage to a city and should be treated like other council services, just like roads and water.Fun project?
A couple of years ago SamD from the HB gave me a working coffee table spacies machine.
It needs a refurb but I just haven’t got the time. Anyone want to do a winter project? Pull it apart, get the chrome redone, repaint etc. Shoot me an note if you’re keen.Scarce or Abundant
RichardH sent me a great article on the need for dramatically more network capacity with a quote (the essence of) that I’m heard a lot in the last few months …
“They [Telco executives] want to manage the Internet as a scarce resource,” … “Internet executives want to manage it as an abundant resource. It’s a basic philosophical difference.”
New Zealand is creative and imaginative. We have an Internet bottleneck that stops us from playing to our strengths. It is difficult for us to unlock our many 1000’s of creative types onto the world stage when our access to the world is over a very thin, very expensive toll road (with poor on-ramps). Digital strategies, the knowledge economy, exporting bits, are just fantasy without resolving this issue. This article points out that it’s going to get worse as our crumbling network performance is choked with video.
I’m as ‘to the right’ as the come, but it seems clear that the market has failed. It seems logically flawed that we would contract out the provision of the base level infrastructure we need to connect our businesses to the world to companies that are scored on their ability to deliver returns to shareholders.Securing our Digital Trade Routes
After spending time with many New Zealand Internet thought leaders at Foo Camp early in February I started to think about what we could do to really connect New Zealand digitally to the world. I want to see a step change improvement in my lifetime.
I believe there is a growing case for the people of New Zealand to own the physical fibre connections between our cities and the connection to the rest of the world. I believe everyone, including carriers, win under this model.
The following paper is a discussion document. I welcome your comments.
(Last updated 28 February 2007)
Thank you to those that cast an eye over the document and offered suggestions.New Thinking Week
NZTE is running a full week program of events for New Thinking week, March 12-16
This will be fantastic networking opportunity so get in and register for a few events.Vancouver, oh yeah
AirNZ is looking at going Direct to Vancouver. That would rock!
Having easy access to Canada may make a lot of sense for a North American entry strategy for many businesses. Getting to the UK should be easier, and of course - quick access to Whistler.
It is amazing how your perspective changes with a direct flight.If I was in charge
Drove out of Wellington twice in the last two nights.
There was a 20 minute delay at Mana, because the T2 lanes weren’t operating. 2 cars were parked.
It took 90 minutes to get up to Otaki, where there was a large southbound queue. How much money have they spent ? It’s no faster now than it was 10 years ago.
If I was the boss, this is what I’d do:
- Make Mana four lanes all of the time. No car parks. Scrap the T2. The residents must expect it. Twenty people hold up tens of thousands every day.
- Drag some dirt off the hill between Pukerua Bay and Paekakiriki, and dump it on the rocks to make that stretch of road 4 lanes. They could make some fantastic sections up there to help meet some costs. Create a big flat subdivision above the road. I hope its not resource consents that are holding that up. It’s not like its a great stretch of beach.
It just scares me that if we ever we had to leave Wellington in a hurry, you just couldn’t.Straight Lines
I don’t know why I like Silverchairs new song Straight Lines. It might be seeing a bunch of young kids grow up over music video’s.
I also don’t understand how the video can be on YouTube and yet not be on iTunes where I could pay to download it.Cringely on why the hard drive in the iTV
I look forward to each Cringely Post. This one is a ripper …
Offline Webmail POC
The business case for Apple is downright amazing. Lowering network costs by 99 percent will enable the company to add to its portfolio the equivalent of half a Time Warner. Apple becomes a cable company without trucks or network costs. It becomes a whole bunch of cable networks with an instant audience the exact size of the iTunes registered user base, which is frigging enormous. Add $40 billion to market cap, no waiting.
Following on from the Firefox 3 discussion, Adam emailed me a screen cast proof of concept of an offline web application …$54 milliiiion dollars
The Ministry of Social Development is buying a client Management System for $54m dollars
I would have thought that Government would have learned the lesson on big software projects before. Nothing costs $54m dollars. We can fly to the moon for $54m dollars.
At a developer charge out rate of $150 per hour and working 2000 hours per year that is 180 man years of software.
Software does not need to be that big.
Get 5-10 people on it for a year. Done.
How about taking the 10% contingency (5.4m) and letting one of our outstanding local development companies like Intergen have a go in parallel and see who implements first. We might even create a product that we can export.
Government procurement can be used to create an industry.
$54 million. Nuts.Rakon goes acquiring
Exciting to see a New Zealand technology company on the acquisition trail and leveraging it being a listed company to quickly raise cash.
Auckland-based Rakon Ltd, has entered an unconditional agreement to buy the Frequency Control Products (FCP) business of Britain’s C-MAC MicroTechnology for US$37 ($54.9) million.
The acquisition is to be funded by a $60 million equity placement …
This will be an interesting case study that should stimulate our local industry.Marketing is broken
Yestreday morning Synergy celebrated their name change to Fronde with an excellent debate at TePapa on whether IT people should run the country.
TradeMe wasn’t about technology, Sam’s insight was that marketing was broken. Rather than wasting lots of money on big billboards and TV ads (’it’s shopping on the internet’!) he instead decided to focus on building a really great product, which people like to use and tell their friends about.
That really resonated with me. In the web world there are a lot of ways to get your message out that seem much more natural than a big spend advertising model.NZSA Dinner in Auckland next Tuesday
Probably the best regular tech networking get together in the country is the Software New Zealand dinner.
I’m the entertainment for this months event.
You can register here. Come along. Great venue, good fun.
13 February 2007 5.30pm
Romfords - Romford Room (the room at the front of the building)
Tamaki Yacht Club
30 Tamaki Drive, Mission Bay
It is widely speculated that Telecom will soon move its corporate head office to Auckland.
Chairman Wayne Boyd said yesterday he expected the CEO to work in the country’s largest city. He shied away from saying the head office would also move north from Wellington, but once the CEO moves the head office is sure to follow.
Telecom is a hub of an expenditure ecosystem. Moving the Head Office is a very big deal for Wellington. Ironically, it’s often been suggested that Telecom has held such a move over Wellington City Council to ensure that they council doesn’t get too innovative on the communications front. More than a few people have emailed me today saying this maybe a nightmare situation for the Mayor.
But I think it’s actually great timing. It rams home the need to think about communications infrastructure at the local body infrastructure level. Just like roads, water and waste. Having great communications links is competitive advantage for a City. Wellingtons culture and spirit are seeing innovation grow everywhere. We need to attract and retain new types of businesses.
This lighting bolt may be just the catalyst for action.Parallels Coherence Mode
One of the few drawbacks of using a Mac in a Corporate environment is access to corporate email. Exchange.
Microsoft do not do Outlook for that Mac instead they have an ugly cousin, Entourage. One of the worst Mac applications ever. It bites. It’s not even a MAPI client.
The dream would be to be able to run Outlook as a Mac app.
You *as near as dammit* can!
The new beta of Parallels allow you to run in Coherence mode. Outlook appears in its own window. In fact you can have any Windows app now in OSX. It is like magic.
Even better you can ctrl-Q Parallels and it saves state and unloads. You can load Outlook in the doc. Clicking on Outlook brings back the Parallels state and loads Outlook. Unbelievable.
I didn’t get this working at first. What was non obvious is you need to load the Parallel tools.
Mac + Parallels + Office 2007 seems like all upside to me.More on Yellow Pages discussion
Interesting comments from Telecom CFO (possible soon to be CEO) on the Directories sale … Bosses stand united on Yellow Pages sale
However, Telecom had reached a point where it had decided it was better off operating with a partner in the search and communications business.
I think we’re seeing positioning of a sell down, rather than an outright sale.
I agree with the need to partner. But who is the best partner?
Is the Telecom (BigCo) + [Yahoo (HugeCo) | Google (EnormousCo) | ...]
Telecom (BigCo) + (Small NZ Mapping Provider) + (Small Mobile Commerce) + (Small Web Advertising expert)
Big + Big = Hard
Big + Small + Small + Small = Innovation
Why does Telecom not just acquire some of the NZ Tech companies operating in this space and drive the platform forward? The world class talent and vision is here and cheap. Working with a huge US company will just continue the death march. Didn’t they learn that with the EDS/Microsoft relationship they just exited?