One of the joys of traveling is getting the new best phone before all of your work mates.
So I’ve been looking for a Blackberry 8800 or Curve. They are around but the stores I’ve been too have not had stock. Talking to the local phone expert he says that RIM is now locking all phones for carriers. So I have to wait until Vodafone NZ brings in the 8800. Groan. That does not appeal to my need for instant gratification.
But a quick google locates http://www.unlock8800.com, where you can pay to get phones unlocked.
Does anyone know how far the 8800 and Curve are from availability in NZ? Should I go through the unlocking saga? What does it all mean?Zuned
Played with a Zune today. It’s Microsoft’s iPod Competitor.
Just a quick look, but loved the big screen. Interface, Design and buttons were very clean. Dunno if it was better or worse than an iPod but it seemed pretty nice.3G A-List Awards
I’m a judge in the Telecom sponsored 3G A-List Awards: Honouring Mobility at Work
Entries close on 26 February 2007. So plenty of time to get those entries in.
Here’s the Press Release …
Vodem. Emperor. Clothes
A-List Award Showcases Kiwi Innovators
Press Release by Telecom New Zealand at 1:23 pm, 28 Nov 2006
New Zealand application developers will have the chance to showcase their work on the world stage with the launch of the 3G A-List awards.
The 3G A-List awards have been established to recognise the best examples of New Zealand organisations using CDMA 3G wireless technology to improve efficiency and deliver real business benefit. The winning solution will be entered into the U.S. 3G A-List awards where it will compete against the world’s best mobility solutions.
First placegetter will also be featured on the Lucent stand at a major international wireless conference in the U.S. where the U.S. A-List awards will be announced. The stand will feature video and print case studies to help promote the winning solution to attendees at the event.
The New Zealand 3G A-List awards are being sponsored by Telecom New Zealand, Lucent Technologies and Qualcomm. Paul Treacy, Telecom’s Partner Ecosystem Manager says the awards are an opportunity for New Zealand developers to tap into potential global markets.
“The growth of CDMA 3G technology, particularly in the U.S., means there are fantastic opportunities for kiwi solution providers. New Zealand has a pool of some of the most talented application developers anywhere in the world and the idea behind the A-List awards is to help bring their talent to those global markets.”
Lucent New Zealand General Manager, Jonathan van Smit, said the awards were an investment in the New Zealand software development industry. “It’s a further opportunity for us to assist in building links between New Zealand researchers and developers and the rest of the world. We’re looking forward to helping put some wonderful examples of kiwi innovation on the world stage.”
The 3G A-List awards are open to any New Zealand business, government agency or not-for-profit organisation that has already deployed CDMA 3G solutions that display true business benefit.
The awards will be judged by:
* Rod Drury: 2006 NZX Hi-Tech Entrepreneur of the Year
* Mike Iandolo: Lucent Technologies’ Network Solutions Group
* Rob Hart: Qualcomm
* Prashant Belwalkar: NZTE
* Stephen Crombie: Telecom
The entries will be judged against the following criteria; exemplary innovation and creativity, overall business impact, and quantifiable return on investment.
Entries close in February 2007 and the winners will be announced in mid-March 2007. Interested developers and organisations can find more information and a nomination form at www.3galist.co.nz
Ironically the greatly anticipated Intel Mac version of the software required to use a Vodem on a MacBook was posted today.
Ironically because just this afternoon, Pinty from Telecom dropped off a USB Minimax. Minimax runs on Telecom’s EVDO 3G network.
Over the past week I’ve tried to use a Vodem in customer demos (running on a colleagues Windows PC). It sucked. I’m not sure what’s happening technically but it seems to go to sleep and take a while to wake up. I’ve lost confidence in using a Vodem for technical demo’s. Won’t do it.
In contrast, the MiniMax seems to connect quickly and seems to stay up.
So back to Telecom for Data and Vodafone for Voice. I only went for the Vodem because it looks so damn good. Apple Cool. I just wanted it to work.
The data guys at Telecom are really firing. Roaming works great in Australia and they seem to have their network humming.
The retail stores don’t understand the advantage they have though. Try asking an assistant in a Telecom store what a MiniMax is.Mac to Blackberry
The Bounty has been claimed for the project to allow a Mac to connect over Bluetooth to the Blackberry 8700 series.
Lots of ‘broken things‘.Origami PC
I had my first play with an Origami (ultra mobile PC) device today.
I was quite impressed especially with the handwriting recognition. Couldn’t fault that. The device was running Vista, which was probably too heavy for a mobile device. It took a while to get going.
The devices themselves are too thick and too heavy, but you can see the technology is getting there. One with a keypad on the back like this key board game controller would be cool. I worked quite well as presentation device but I couldn’t think of a scenario in which I would use it.
I think one of two things have to happen.
1. Its connected to a mothership so that you can work on your normal machine but can just grab and go this device if you need it. Great for meetings and flying. The software is not yet there for that scenario.
2. That it becomes powerful enough to be your primary machine and you plug it into a screen and keyboard at your desk. This is probably more likely.
A very mobile device for the masses doesn’t need the heavy Vista OS. It really needs an instant on, RAM based model, like CE. Perhaps the answer to some of Microsoft’s current issues is to gas up Windows Mobile to be rich enough for the very mobile Web/Email/Word/Excel/PowerPoint scenario.
So cool to look at, nice step on the way to nirvana, but I’ll be surprised if they sell even one.Vodafone 3G cards don’t work with Intel Macs
And of course they don’t tell you that in the ads or even in the vodafone shop.
Grrrrrr! My pretty white plastic device is therefore currently useless.
Intel software due in November (?!?). Vodafone, that completely sucks.
Update: So my very nice Vodafone rep called to say that, his manager said, I had two options
1. Bring everything back and they would zero it out (and I walk over the road to Telecom)
2. Put the connection on hold and that will cost me $10. That’s right. They didn’t provide software that works on the new macs and want to charge me to hold the connection I’ve signed up for. Too funny.Vodafone NZ Buys ISP iHug
Wow! The NZ Telecoms landscape just changed again. Here is the release …
Vodafone And Ihug Writing New History
Press Release by Paul Budde Communications at 8:14 pm, 09 Oct 2006
This is a very significant development as it clearly goes beyond the strategy Vodafone has pursued so far; which is to built partnership with fixed based operators in order to get a better foothold in the market.
It vindicates a position we have held for many years that mobile only infrastructure doesn’t make sense. If you are an infrastructure operator you need to be able to make the choice about what would be the best possible infrastructure you can use for certain services and applications.
By being a mobile operator only you limit yourself to only be able to deliver those services and applications in one particular format.
What of course has helped the situation is that new 4G technologies, which are around the corner, are going to see a seamless operation between various infrastructure platforms. Depending on where the user is and what access device the user is using at that time a service or applications will be delivered in the most appropriate format for that purpose.
The future of fixed and mobile is both in broadband so it make sense that the company moves into that direction. Ihug is clear leader in that field and has proven to be able to come up with innovative offerings, I think that in this respect the two companies will also culturally have a good fit.
What exactly the future will look for the combined companies will depend on future developments and the innovations the two companies can come up with. It certainly is still very much a blank sheet of paper and through this innovative cooperation this unique combination could also start writing some new telco history here. I am sure that all eyes of the larger Vodafone organisation will be on New Zealand to follow what the outcome of the merger will be.
Well that is certainly interesting.Interim BlackBerry experience and life without Exchange
As I’m between Enterprise servers it’s been interesting to see how the BlackBerry works in ‘interim’ mode and life without Exchange
When I was removed from the corporate BES server my BlackBerry 8700 was server side refreshed as a new Vodafone branded device. Contacts, Calendar all wiped (as you would expect).
I was confused why there was no Browser any more. Checking the BB forums, as all data goes through RIM, no BES relationship = No Data. Not even the Browser icon. Interesting. Quite different from a standard IP enabled mobile.
With no data, there’s no way to get my Gmail on the BB.
I’m syncing my BB against GMail hosted calendar, using Apple iCal and AddressBook and PocketMac for Blackberry (sync tool free from RIM). I like iCal, especially the multiple Calendars. Gmail and iCal seem to work great together.
I’ve mentioned this before: Apple should try to make iCal, AddressBook and Mail.app great Exchange clients. Stepping out of Outlook for a while shows you lots of ways it could be better.
I actually tried using a mail client over my hosted Gmail account (Mail.app). Downloading sucked. I can’t believe it but I actually liked the web client better. Email, you would think, is a naturally fat client application though, with its rich editors. There seems to be a great opportunity for a hybrid - that provides the benefits of Hosted Email with a Client. The current alternatives are poles apart, so something that was smarter at when it downloaded and how much it stored. Something more cache focussed, web serviced, a bit like how Blog editors like Ecto work. (Send me stock if someone runs with that idea please.)
None of the productivity software providers appear to have stood back and actually interaction designed how people work. We have to cobble together our own solutions, always compromising.
A professional user has multiple identities. iCal gets close by integrating all your Calendars into a single view and then allowing them all to sync to your mobile. I still want the enterprise group scheduling of Outlook\Exchange but it would be great if I could also unify\separate (you know what I mean) my mail experience.
Still lots and lots of broken things.XtraMSN, is the end nigh?
Juha reports Xtra and Microsoft’s long standing relationship looks like it’s nearing its end.
This would be quite a big change as Xtra and MSN have been going for 5 years or so and really has been there from the start of mainstream internet in NZ. Which ever new partner is selected will change the landscape here significantly.
As Juha points out, Microsoft/MSN/Live is free to date, who do they go out with?
I’ll be following this with interest.One handed design
Finally it looks like the Windows Mobile team (and Palm) have noticed why the BlackBerry works …
… Palm OS and Windows Mobile will be redesigned from the ground up to make one-handed use as easy as possible.