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Tackling data sovereignty
Posted on 4-Mar-2015 09:59Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

From a story I wrote for TechTarget’s Storage ANZ eZine: Storage is a popular and fast-growing cloud service in Australia, but it comes with its challenges, not least local laws and latency Download the February ANZ Storage Management e-zine. There is a form to fill in, but that’ll give you access to a lot more […] Comments (Comments)

Google tweaks Google+ mix as Photos, Streams break away
Posted on 4-Mar-2015 09:09Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Google will pull the Photos and Streams components from Google+ and set them up as two new products. What else? Comments (Comments)

How (and why) New Zealand bucks worldwide PC sales trend
Posted on 3-Mar-2015 15:01Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

New Zealand PC sales surged in 2014. IDC’s Asia/Pacific Quarterly PC Tracker unit reports sales grew almost 16 percent during the year. That total zoomed past IDC’s already bullish forecast. New Zealanders snapped up 774,400 units in 2014. We purchased 218,000 units in the fourth quarter alone. Comments (Comments)

Closing the copper network
Posted on 2-Mar-2015 19:51Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

A year ago I posted When should we rip out the copper network? It’s too early to name a date today, but following this discussion on Linkedin, I predicted: As the law stands today, a street has copper even if only one house uses it. The price is regulated by the Commerce Commission and I guess […] Comments (Comments)

Samsung Galaxy S6: It all hinges on price
Posted on 2-Mar-2015 09:32Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Typically Samsung Galaxy phones appear on sale with iPhone-like price tags, but unlike with Apple phones, they decline over time. Comments (Comments)

Broadband as part of the bigger infrastructure picture
Posted on 24-Feb-2015 16:43Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Broadband rarely gets discussed in the wider context of national infrastructure. Yet the government-sponsored Ultrafast Broadband project and the Rural Broadband Initiative are just two of a series of major infrastructure projects transforming New Zealand cities. To engineers there are two types of infrastructure. Vertical infrastructure means buildings while horizontal infrastructure means roads, railways, cycle […] Comments (Comments)

BlackBerry Classic: Steampunk smartphone
Posted on 23-Feb-2015 11:51Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

BlackBerry Classic takes the company’s designs back to a time when the brand was still a name to conjure with. It arrived in New Zealand last week. New Zealanders can buy the BlackBerry Classic from Vodafone for NZ$650. Externally the BlackBerry Classic looks like the 2011 Bold 9900 series — arguably BlackBerry’s last successful phone. […] Comments (Comments)

Satya Nadella was the right choice for Microsoft CEO
Posted on 22-Feb-2015 16:02Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

It’s one year since Microsoft appointed Satya Nadella as its third CEO. He was clearly the right person for the job. Things are not perfect at Microsoft, but Nadella has done a great job of reinventing the company and making it relevant again. Some of his achievements: Made Microsoft a player in the booming iOS with first […] Comments (Comments)

New Zealand a digital evolution stand-out
Posted on 20-Feb-2015 14:17Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

New Zealand gets a reassuring thumbs up from the Digital Evolution Index. The index, created by the Fletcher School at Tufts University, ranks 50 countries on four measures to assess their overall readiness for the digital economy. The academics look at Demand, Supply, Institutional Environment and Innovation to reach an overall figure. In raw numbers New Zealand […] Comments (Comments)

Questions as Vocus lifts Southern Cross capacity
Posted on 20-Feb-2015 08:42Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

In a press release Vocus says it aims to lift its Southern Cross capacity by 10 times. Sydney-based Vocus entered into an agreement to buy extra capacity on the undersea link between New Zealand, Australia and the US over a six-year period, beginning from December this year, it said in a statement. When fully-allocated that will increase […] Comments (Comments)

Catalyst offer competitive open source cloud in New Zealand
Posted on 19-Feb-2015 14:31Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

New Zealand open-source champion Catalyst has taken on the multinationals launching a locally-hosted automated cloud service. The Catalyst Cloud service uses OpenStack, a free, open-source set of tools. It was built using low-cost commodity hardware. Catalyst Cloud was officially opened this morning by Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce. See Catalyst Cloud Formally Launched for the company’s own description. […] Comments (Comments)

Me-too Dick Smith sees NZ sales fall
Posted on 18-Feb-2015 09:22Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Dick Smith Holdings blames market competition and weak consumer sentiment for poor New Zealand sales. Businessdesk reports the result in Dick Smith’s NZ 1H sales fall in competitive market. There’s another possible reason for the drop in business and it isn’t something businesses like to talk about. Dick Smith’s Australian business saw sales rise 12 percent […] Comments (Comments)

JBL OnBeat Micro: iPhone speaker review
Posted on 17-Feb-2015 15:52Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

JBL’s OnBeat Micro, NZ$120, is a black pint-size iPhone or iPod speaker dock with a Lightning connector. It measures 50 by 190 by 150 mm and about 360g. That makes it small enough to sit on a bookshelf, kitchen bench or a window sill. You might consider using the OnBeat Micro on a bedside cabinet. […] Comments (Comments)

HP Stream 11: A laptop for under NZ$400
Posted on 14-Feb-2015 01:42Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

HP’s Stream 11 laptop shows Microsoft’s reply to Chromebooks and other low-cost non-Windows PCs. The computer’s features are not as important as the headline price. You can buy an HP Stream 11 laptop for under NZ$400. Allowing for taxes and conversion that’s a lot more than the US$200 it sells for in the United States. Even […] Comments (Comments)

Fishy numbers claim NZ entry-level broadband among most expensive
Posted on 12-Feb-2015 16:20Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

CommsDay reports on claims New Zealanders pay one of the world’s highest prices for entry-level residential broadband. In its survey for the fourth quarter of 2014, UK-based market researchers Point Topic ranked New Zealand at 77 out of 85 surveyed countries. Australia ranks at 76. Point Topic says it tracked 2,674 residential broadband services from […] Comments (Comments)

Trans-Tasman cable gets regulatory green light
Posted on 9-Feb-2015 21:38Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

When Spark, Vodafone and Telstra announced plans to lay a NZ$90 million submarine cable under the Tasman Tom Pullar-Strecker reported for Stuff on a potential regulatory hurdle. Today the Commerce Commission confirmed it had looked at plans for the Trans-Global Access project and said there are no competition issues at this stage. It went on […] Comments (Comments)

Samsung sets smartphone come-back launch date
Posted on 5-Feb-2015 13:23Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

At the NBR Chris Keall reports Samsung has sent notice of a product launch for March 2. He says there is an assumption the company will take the wraps of its Galaxy S6 smartphone. Geekzone’s Mauricio Freitas also has an invitation. Samsung has not invited me. That’s not as bad as it sounds. The last two […] Comments (Comments)

Unlimited fibre broadband plans compared
Posted on 4-Feb-2015 10:10Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Suddenly unlimited fibre plans are everywhere. They are more affordable than you might expect. Prices start from as little as $75. You’ll be hard pressed to spend twice that amount for even the fastest residential plan. Unlimited data makes sense for both consumers and service providers. For consumers it means no longer worrying about download caps. […] Comments (Comments)

NZ Tech Podcast 214: Windows 10 — Google, Apple, Microsoft security — Spark and Vodafone
Posted on 29-Jan-2015 07:17Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

 I’m back on the NZ Tech Podcast with Paul Spain (@paulspain) and Nathan Mercer. We talk security wars between Google, Apple and Microsoft, changes at Spark and Vodafone including Chris Quin stepping down as CEO of Spark Home, Mobile, Business. We also discuss Cloudflare NZ, Protools free and spent more than half the podcast talking with Nathan Mercer […] Comments (Comments)

Take Control of Apple Pages
Posted on 23-Jan-2015 14:49Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

If you find Apple Pages 5 puzzling or you want to get more out of the software Michael E. Cohen’s US$20 Take Control of Pages is a good starting point. The 266 ebook is published by TidBits Publishing (ISBN: 9781615424320). On one level Cohen has written a comprehensive user manual for the software. The user […] Comments (Comments)

Credit where credit is due on NZ tech regulation
Posted on 22-Jan-2015 12:50Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

From Andrew Cushen at InternetNZ writing in Flexibility of regulation for technology.: …the government moving relatively quickly to respond to technical innovation in a sensible, considered matter, and that seeks to accommodate that innovation rather than stifle it. …I hope that when we continue to talk to the government about challenges that regulation creates for […] Comments (Comments)

Looming customer service cuts at Vodafone
Posted on 20-Jan-2015 11:08Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

The New Zealand Herald reports Vodafone plans to trim staff numbers across the board and cut the customer service department by up to 100 jobs.. The proposal, outlined in an internal document obtained by the Herald, is part of a restructuring expected to bring 200 to 250 job cuts. Vodafone says the average revenue per customer […] Comments (Comments)

Fast broadband: How does New Zealand shape up internationally?
Posted on 20-Jan-2015 08:08Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

New Zealand is behind the international pack when it comes to broadband speeds. The table shows the challenge ahead of the network builders: Chorus. Ultrafast Fibre, Northpower and Enable Networks. We have long way to go before we match the world leaders. At the time of the last Akamai report, third quarter 2014, New Zealand ranked 44 […] Comments (Comments)

Uber: The lost opportunity
Posted on 19-Jan-2015 13:16Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

At Whatisitwellington Ian Apperley says the fuss over Uber operating in New Zealand is a fight between dinosaurs and exciting new business models: The War on Uber in New Zealand: Dinosaur business models meet new tech. He writes: … the Taxi Federation would be better working on new technologies for its members rather than engaging in […] Comments (Comments)

Trolling, dumb-arsed headline questions
Posted on 17-Jan-2015 12:40Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

I’m not one for new year resolutions, but IF I had one it would be to not write trolling, dumb-arsed questions in headlines — Bill Bennett (@billbennettnz) January 16, 2015 …and I’m sure if you dig hard enough you can find a few old ones with my byline on them. In my defence, back in […] Comments (Comments)

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