On the Vodafone help site
BlackBerry models running software version 22.214.171.124 or later already support the new DST rules and will be fine as they are.
The BlackBerry 8310 is also already compliant with the new DST rules.
I have a brand new Curve 8310 running v126.96.36.199. The time is out by an hour. If I make changes all my appointments might be out.
Very, very sloppy Vodafone.On a world stage
I’ve been really proud to follow two excellent companies from Wellington start their global journey over the past few weeks.
I’m involved with PlanHQ and been enjoying getting the daily reports back from Tim. He’s just presented at the prestigious DEMO conference and I think done us all proud.
I’ve been watching Tim mature over the last six months as a technology leader and this high pressure 6 minute presentation on the global stage is world class. Tim and the PlanHQ team having been working hard in New Zealand with several hundred early customers getting the product ready for a full international launch. They mapped out a strategy to get global exposure and completely nailed it.
Great coverage on the influential Techcrunch and ZDNet.
Ponoko is another great Wellington example, making the TechCrunch 40.
These are companies funded with small amounts of investment and sweat equity from talented and passionate founders. This is so repeatable. Tim and Dave5 are the next generation of New Zealand software entrepreneurs and it will be fun to watch them succeed with their ventures.They wouldn’t be that dumb
No idea why Voda decided to announce they won’t support the iPhone
Perhaps it’s to cool down people getting a jump at Parallel Imported.
But voda won’t be that dumb. Seeing the reaction to the iPod Touch at the boys L’affare table this morning and with the team at work (who are queuing up to play - I’m hearing lots of ooo’s and ahh’s from the room next door) voda are not - not going to have the iPhone.
Once a couple of voda exec’s walk around San Fran or London later this year they will be all over it.Â With Telecom going GSM next year competition for the device will be intense. But consumers will find a way to make it work on both networks.Â So I hope that both the networks have techies working on visual voice mail.
Oh, and I have been hassling CafeNet on ‘no keying’ authentication. Not sure they get it yet so make it known in the comments.Touch Down
It is the sh#t.
Already I have all my photo’s on it and my music.Â I’ve already bored people to death with photo’s of my kids.
Slightly smaller than an iPhone, it is a wireless tablet.
The game now shifts to hotspot authentication.Â In the Koru Lounge it took me 3 goes to try to type in wD5FLDxxx as a password (thsi is what you see when typing … ***********) before giving up and pulling out my laptop.
Without a doubt this is the coolest bit of kit I’ve had in while. It’s small enough that I think I might even be able to use it while in an AirNZ domestic seat.Open Source Awards finalists
Shaping up to be a good night on the 17th of October for the New Zealand Open Source Awards.
Open Source Ambassador: Lynne Pope, Waikato Linux Users Group, Peter Harrison
Open Source Contributor: Michael Koziarski, Chris Cormack, Graeme Williams, Matthew Cruickshank
Open Source Software Project: New Zealand Open GPS, Koha, Gerris Flow Solver, Weka
Open Source Use in Government: State Services Commission (E- government Unit), Electoral Enrolment Centre, PHARMAC (Schedule Team), Ministry of Social Development (Applications Development Team)
Open Source Use in Business: Zenbu, Plan HQ, New Zealand Post/Red Hat, Zoomin, Silverstripe
Open Source Use in Education: New Zealand Summer of Code, New Zealand Open Source Virtual Learning Environment, Hagley College of Computing, Eduforge
Open Source Use for Community Organisations: Vet Learn, Citizen Click/ Egressive, Aotearoa Independent Media Centre, Julian Priest (Consume/WSF II)
Open Source for Creativity: Select Parks, Upstage, Stray Cinema, War Art Online (Archives New Zealand), NZHistory.Net, Access Radio
Congratulations to the finalists, there are some very cool innovation stories in these companies.The national business case for Broadband
The New Zealand Institute has just published a draft of their latest report.
As mentioned I’ve been involved with this and believe it is an important document for a number of reasons.
- It readily determines national economic benefits of over $2.7b annually
- For the first time that I’ve heard, it makes the point that high speed access - to connect New Zealand to the rest of the world from key locations - is more important than broad penetration across the whole country.
- It points out there is a significant cost of inaction
Congratulations to the New Zealand Institute team on pulling this together and doing the heavy lifting required to move the debate forward.
My own thoughts have evolved publishing my paper ‘Securing our Digital Trade Routes‘ in February. My purpose was to start a discussion on whether there was a business case for the people of NZ owning the base infrastructure - because no company could build a business case to do it.
As I’ve learned more and listened to the debate, my position has evolved to break the argument into two steps.
- I believe that Infrastructure investment is a completely different business model to retail telecommunications services. Ideally the market itself would separate. Infrastructure investment should provide a safe and low yielding return - this type of investment product is even more so in demand as the ‘flight to quality’ occurs following the fallout of the finance companies. Retail telecommunications suit share market funding where companies can quickly raise funds and compete with innovative services and marketing. I truly believe that everyone wins under this separation, especially the existing carriers.
- Once separated, the decision of whether the state should invest at the infrastructure level becomes less emotional. I believe they should invest for a number of reasons.
- It is a good safe investment
- There is a lack of significant sized local investments they could make with the significant kiwi saver money that is accumulating
- A broadband infrastructure investment has substantial national economic benefits in addition to the return on capital
- It can drive the Internet in New Zealand to a cost plus, rather than revenue maximizing, model
The timing of this report is excellent considering the upcoming Digital Strategy 2.0 conference in late November.
David Cunliffe has a press conference at 9:00 on separation. Be interesting to see which way it will go.Google ‘Unity’ Pacific Cable
Just noticed this …
This post from Cringely has been locked in the back of my head since November 05.
So why buy-up all that fiber, then?
The probable answer lies in one of Google’s underground parking garages in Mountain View. There, in a secret area off-limits even to regular GoogleFolk, is a shipping container. But it isn’t just any shipping container. This shipping container is a prototype data center. Google hired a pair of very bright industrial designers to figure out how to cram the greatest number of CPUs, the most storage, memory and power support into a 20- or 40-foot box. We’re talking about 5000 Opteron processors and 3.5 petabytes of disk storage that can be dropped-off overnight by a tractor-trailer rig. The idea is to plant one of these puppies anywhere Google owns access to fiber, basically turning the entire Internet into a giant processing and storage grid.
While Google could put these containers anywhere, it makes the most sense to place them at Internet peering points, of which there are about 300 worldwide.
Hmmmmm. Interesting.Partner Awards
We managed to win a couple of awards last night.
Congratulations to Provoke who won the other premier award as well as the other winners.Home Server
At the ConnectioNZ marketplace DaveR from Microsoft showed me the new Home Server product.
It’s a NAS box, headless and provides a centralized storage model for your house.
What impressed me was how great this works with a feature in Windows I really, really miss in the Mac world.Â Not sure if it’s still called ‘briefcase’ or ‘offline folders’ but essentially you can assign a local folder to be an offline folder, which means that data is stored on your local disk.Â Whether you are on or off the network you access that folder tree. Whenever you connect to your network Windows silently keeps the local folder and a network folder in sync.
It’s like a do nothing back upÂ and you always have confidence that your documents are backed up.
Under a Mac you seem to need a thrid party tool like ChronSync, but this works on schedule rather than a network connect and I don’t complete trust what it does.
Combining ‘offline folders’ with ‘Home Server’ is really cool because you can load photos music and video locally and when on the road - as soon as you connect it’s sync’d to the home server and available from any device on the network.
This is a very broken thing in the Mac world where your photo’s, iTunes and docs are on your local PC and it’s really hard to centralize them. The Mac network is more peer to peer.Â You load photos onto your laptop and that sync’s to the AppleTV, to your iPods etc. Wifey’s photos are on her machine and mine are on mine. Broken.
I like seeing enterprise technology simplified to solve consumer scenarios in the home.
I hope Leopard improves this for Mac users (I haven’t seen anything around this yet).
Great opportunity for a local ISV to write a Home Server to ISP trickle/diff back up service so the Home Server can be backing up changes silently off site as it has bandwidth.Â Though imagine what that terrabyte of kids photos and HD birthday party moviesÂ does to your data cap (sigh).Connectionz
Was delighted to present at the Microsoft ConnectioNZ conference this morning.
I’ve been working with Microsoft now for 16 years (started when I was 10 alright) and it was the first opportunity I’ve had to actually talk about how that partnership has helped me throughout my career and to thank Microsoft.
Looking back it’s scary to think how many new jobs we’ve created through that relationship. It’s easily over 300.
Love or hate Microsoft you have to acknowledge how good they are at partnering.
Hopefully something useful from my discussion was how to partner effectively with Microsoft.Â Here are some tips.
- Understand what the Microsoft individuals you are working with are goaled on. If you’re synced up with that your in good shape.
- Normally the individuals goals are in sync with the MS corporate goals.Â Ask what they are.Â Then you can line up your messaging and themes and the magic starts to happen.
- You need to build a relationship.Â Get to know the people you are working with.
- Look for ways that you can add value
Simple stuff I know but someone at MS today pointed out that many of the relationships they have feel more like the traditional vendor/customer relationship than a partnership.Curved
When I arrived back at my desk yesterday I was delighted to find a courier box with my much anticipated BlackBerry Curve (8310).
It’s been a long wait but at least Vodafone NZ delivered the very latest model. The 8310 has only just come out in Europe and includes a GPS. The 8310 also has a camera. It differs from the 8800 which has wifi, 3G and no camera.
The 8310 is much thinner than the 8700. The keys are smaller but seem to work OK.
The updated software and nipple (a change from the excellent scroll wheel) feels a bit fiddly. There are more buttons which means you have to think a bit more.
Bottom line, it’s an amazing device especially with the GPS but does feel a bit gimmicky. If you already have an 8700 I wouldn’t rush to upgrade. The 8700 is a good, solid, enterprise grade, phone/email combo with the best keyboard yet and is definitely easier to use.
There is more to learn on the 8310. It doesn’t feel as pure and simple as earlier BlackBerry devices. I’m not sure it’s the ideal first BlackBerry.
If you feel physically ill at not having the absolute latest device (as I do) then there are plenty more things to play with but I don’t think it’s necessarily a must buy.Daily Savings Time on OSX
BruceH just flicked me a note on Daily Savings Time in New Zealand. This will affect most New Zealand Mac users.
As you’ll know New Zealand is doing daylight savings a few
weeks sooner than usual, on Sep 30th. Apple hasn’t yet updated OSX to
handle the new date despite knowing about it since the beginning of the
year. Friends of mine have submitted bug reports to Apple and had
them closed as duplicates of the first one, right back at the
beginning of the year.
The developer previews of Leopard (OSX 10.5) are correct, and so are
the developer previews of the OSX 10.4.11 update (three so far, the
first on July 30th), but everyone running 10.4.10 or older (which is
everyone who isn’t in the developer program) will not get NZDT on the
30th as they should.
Maybe Apple will release 10.4.11 before the end of the month, but
unless it’s REAL soon people with once-weekly automatic updates won’t
get it in time.
Our local group of Mac developers here in Wellington have got together
the necessary information and made a program people can download and
run to get the right settings.
Thanks Bruce.Mozilla invest in mail
The people behind FireFox have launched a new start up focussed on email.
There are many broken things.Â Email, the most popular application on the Internet, is the most broken of all. The main vendors control the mail clients and servers - locked into a long release cycle.
I’ve always thought doing email right would be fertile ground.
Also Yahoo buys Zimbra for $350m. There is still big ‘R&D by acquisition’ opportunities here. The prize is too valuable for the big boys to let someone else in.
Who would have thought. Email, still an interesting space.iMovie ‘08
I had a bit of play with the new iMovie 08 today. It’s complete different from the last iMovie. Apple brought the technology and has taken a bit of flack.
I’ve done little with movies before and found I quite like it. I had a quick walk through the tutorials, and within 15 minutes I had video playing on my AppleTV. My little boy loved that.
You soon discover that movies chew disk. iMovie allows you to save ‘Movie Events’ (your raw tape) to an attached Firewire disk. I found this a bit strange as I have a USB disk attached to my Airport which can’t be used, but a bit more research and I understand that it needs to be directly attached Firewire to be usable.
So I think this is how my home network topology is playing out.
The big USB drive attached to AirPort Extreme is primarily a back up drive. Each Mac pushes its User Directory down to it each night.
I’ll have a separate FireWire disk, just for movies. That drive will live at home and I can change that between machines. I will also back its contents up to the USB Drive.
Of course it would be great to in turn back that drive up over the Internet somewhere on a trickle/diff basis. Maybe Amazon S3. More research required. I also want to work out how to manage iPhoto and iTunes between each Mac and the Server.Dave5 at TechCrunch
Wellingtons own Dave Ten Have of Ponoko live at the prestigious TechCrunch event in SanFran earlier today.
You can follow their progress at http://blog.ponoko.com/
Go Ponoko!Tap, if you have iPhone
Is the iPhone a significant device? After a couple of days in Silicon Valley - I think so.
Firstly, they are everywhere. The table next to us at breakfast in the hotel, at Buck’s, in the car, at the beach, at dinner. In a large country they are a personal information tool. If you want to find a shop, a gas station, parking, what band is playing whatever - the iPhone comes out. And it works.
But what really hit me was how the iPhone plays a part in conversations. When you look around the cafe’s the iPhones are out. Initially the iPhone was the subject of conversation, how to use it, what doesn’t work well, what they could do better but then it changes to ‘have you seen …’, ‘what do you think of ..’, ‘here are some photos …’
The iPhone extends the conversation and what amazed me was - it is social. You pass it around, show video, email links between each other. It creates an immediacy of sharing information and tips.
I also noticed that iPhone behavior changes once you move from the carrier network to wifi. Almost everywhere we stopped there was free wifi. As soon as the iPhone user had free wifi then the iPhone was out and being used in conversation.
Many companies have fully embraced the iPhone. Facebook have developed an iPhone specific interface. I’m not a Facebook user but some of the younger guys were right into it and surfing new photos from friends and just catching up whenever they got a connection.
The YouTube videos are excellent quality and a great way to see information. We spent a lot of downtime passing videos around.
It is a great consumer device, but the lack of enterprise email means that it’s not there for me yet. I still want the BlackBerry Curve. The iPod Touch, however makes a lot of sense. They are quite a bit thinner than the iPhone. They are for sale now but the shops run out as soon as they come in. I’ll try again tomorrow to get one.
The iPod Touch is not so much an iPod but a wireless, palm sized, personal information tool.
For this to work in New Zealand we need wifi ubiquity. Cafes will be choosen for wifi availability. Networks will be choosen for price and ease of authentication. I hope CafeNet get into it as if it becomes easy to connect then I think we’ll see a big change in usage.
The iPhone/Touch really feels like a breakthrough device that puts the internet in your pocket.
There are so many opportunities. If you have an online strategy, I think you need to think about the iPhone/Touch.
I think it’s a game changer.F1 behind the scenes
When you’re traveling you often miss out on news stories, especially from home.Â It’s also interesting see what is big news in each country. In the UK it was all about the tragic McCann’s story and the bizarre focus back on the parents.
One story that I’d been hearing little bits about was the F1 issue with McLarenÂ fined $100m and thrown out of the constructors champs. F1 is not my favorite form of motorsport, but the money spent and the politics of it is fascinating.
There has been a growing trend for online newspapers to have blogs. Tracking back over an issue the blogs can provide better insights into the story. I found this commentary of what was going on behind the scenes of F1 fascinatingly raw.Andy goes to Dell
NZ tech hero Andy Lark has taken up a huge role at Dell - VP of Global Marketing & Communications.
Those that know Andy really appreciate how much time he freely gives to NZ tech companies.
Congratulations Andy.New bank rec
We were pretty excited with our first bank reconciliation screen but with great feedback we found we could go further and save our customers even more time in their day.
We also added a number of new ‘no touch’ bank feeds. I’m really excited by this as it starts to demonstrate that SaaS is more than just moving old applications online but provides all sorts of new opportunities when business is connected.Beating the streets in the UK
After a quick (4 days, 3 nights) in London, itâ€™s hard not to get excited about the UK. This is the 4th company Iâ€™ve pounded the streets for. I did my OE in the USA and only started coming up here 10-12 years ago. In the last 2 years I think I’ve been up 7 times. Each time you learn a bit more about how things work, your networks are better, youâ€™re better resourced and itâ€™s just easier.
For NZ software companies especially I really recommend the UK. The usual reasons are good cultural fit, that the New Zealand mafia is everywhere and always keen to help good companies, itâ€™s a massive market, yet itâ€™s very easy to get around.
More specifically there are some exciting things going on here. I had the morning with Microsoft out at TVP. There is a definite buzz around SaaS and this year seems to be a tech boom. Anecdotally they believe the UK is well ahead of other markets with SaaS adoption. That seems to be backed up with IDC recently upping industry forecasts.
Not my primary space these days, but as Iâ€™ve mentioned before I think a great opportunity for NZ software companies is Enterprise SaaS. It is red hot in the UK right now with multi million GBP funding happening at the concept level.
The carriers here are becoming sophisticated in the application space with big investments in their partner ecosystems. NZ could learn a whole lot here. The UK Telcoâ€™s seem to be the ones setting the pace with a lot of other carriers monitoring their programmes.
Just spending another few days in the UK fills you with opportunities and alters your perspective. I really recommend that other NZ companies get on a plane and make it happen. And there is plenty of help to tap you in. NZTE and especially the UK Beachheads team are very well placed to give you ideas, make introductions and validate strategy. For some reason the pipeline of NZ software companies is pretty thin. Where are you all?
Saw the new iPod Nano. Ridiculously, magically, small. The screen is amazing. BlackBerry 8800’s and Curve’s are the phone of choice on the trains. Other trinkets for the traveling man that caught my eye included the new StarWalker Blue, which is just about to be launched (apparently there is a Charlie Chapman collectorâ€™s model due soon). Also spotted the big boy sized Navitimer World for the first time and that’s making a case to leap onto my wrist.
Just landed at LAX for the ’sports’ leg of the journey.