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Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 7, Android’s new champion
Posted on 28-Aug-2016 14:08Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Packs every feature you might want in a phone and then some. Samsung Galaxy Note 7 at a glance For: All the features: camera, display, design, virtual reality. Against: Expensive. TouchWiz. Maybe: You’ll love the stylus or ignore it. Likewise iris scanner. Battery life. Verdict: Android’s deserving champion… for now. Price: NZ$1600 If you spend […] Comments (Comments)

What reviewers mean when they say best ever
Posted on 25-Aug-2016 12:42Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Technology publications and daily newspapers are full of gushing Samsung Galaxy Note 7 reviews. Samsung deserves much of the praise. It’s an impressive phone. Expect a review here in the next few days. Where reviewers give stars, the Galaxy Note 7 either gets five or 4.5. When they give a percent the scores are often […] Comments (Comments)

Review: Dell Inspiron 13 5000
Posted on 24-Aug-2016 14:13Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Dell sent a sample computer with a non-working trackpad. This meant we couldn’t do a full review. Here’s what we learned about the machine before it went back for repair. At a glance For: Laptop, can work as a tablet. Keyboard. Against: Heavy for a tablet. Some missing drivers. Touchpad on review model didn’t work. […] Comments (Comments)

Class of 2016: The best ultraportables
Posted on 23-Aug-2016 07:20Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

There has never been a better time to buy an ultraportable computer. PC makers may face falling sales, but they haven’t stopped building great laptops. For years the laptop market was stagnant, with lacklustre me-too designs and unappetising performance. That’s changed. The challenge from phones and tablets has spurred a new wave of innovation. In […] Comments (Comments)

More gigacities coming as fibrecos ready October launch
Posted on 22-Aug-2016 11:00Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Enable Networks, Northpower Fibre and Ultrafast Fibre plan to launch gigabit wholesale broadband services in October. They say they will offer download speeds of 1Gbps with uploads running at 500Mbps. Meanwhile Spark New Zealand says it is already testing Enable’s gigabit services in Christchurch. The company had previously asked wholesale fibre companies to roll out […] Comments (Comments)

Skinny Broadband sweetens fixed wireless internet deal
Posted on 22-Aug-2016 08:07Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Skinny Broadband has dropped the cost of a fixed wireless internet connection. From today it costs 20 percent less. The price is $52 a month for 100GB of data. If you don’t need the highest download speeds and lots of data it is a great alternative to fixed line internet. See an in-depth review of […] Comments (Comments)

Review: Huawei P9, premium phone at a sharp price
Posted on 21-Aug-2016 10:47Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Huawei’s latest flagship phone scores on build quality, camera and fingerprint scanner. At a glance For: Design, high-quality build, camera, USB-C. Against: Android skin Maybe: Battery life, screen resolution Verdict: A top-notch Android at a competitive price. Price: NZ$1100.   IDC says Huawei New Zealand phone sales jumped after the May launch of its flagship […] Comments (Comments)

Trustpower misleads with untrusty broadband ads
Posted on 19-Aug-2016 16:30Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Trustpower’s $49 unlimited broadband offer always looked too good to be true. It turns out, it was too good to be true. At BusinessDesk Paul McBeth reports Trustpower to plead guilty over misleading broadband offer.  He writes: Trustpower intends to plead guilty to charges claiming the electricity generator and retailer mislead customers over the market and sale of a bundled power and broadband offer. The Commerce […] Comments (Comments)

Hybrid sales still need kickstart
Posted on 19-Aug-2016 12:24Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Apple knocked the laptop business sideways when the first iPad appeared in 2010. It is a stripped-down computer with a touch-screen, sound and wireless connections. But there is no keyboard. It does many, but not all, the things laptops do. The iPad is easy to use and portable. You can use one to browse the internet, write […] Comments (Comments)

Why consumer PC sales will never rebound
Posted on 18-Aug-2016 11:09Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Personal computer sales peaked in 2011. In that year businesses and consumers bought around 360 million personal computers. IDC puts the number at 352 million. Gartner says it was 365 million. Consumer PC sales were about half the total. It has been downhill ever since. At some point PC sales will stabilise. We’re not there […] Comments (Comments)

NZ phone market 2016Q2 — Apple stumbles, Huawei leaps
Posted on 17-Aug-2016 16:12Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Four brands dominate 2016 phone sales in New Zealand. Chayse Gorton, IDC associate market analyst, says Samsung, Apple, Vodafone and Huawei make up 87 percent of the market. That’s almost nine out of every ten phones sold here. Samsung remains New Zealand’s top phone brand by a clear margin. Its market share edged up in the […] Comments (Comments)

ComCom investigates backhaul competition
Posted on 17-Aug-2016 09:55Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

In one sense the Commerce Commission’s move to investigate backhaul comes at a time when the sector has never been more competitive. Yet that’s not how everyone see things. There are issues that may need resolving by a regulator. Although few everyday users hear of it, backhaul is vital part of the telecommunications network. It […] Comments (Comments)

NZ firefighter breathing-mask radio a world first
Posted on 16-Aug-2016 16:36Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

A new two-way radio design developed by Motorola Solutions and the New Zealand Fire Service is believed to be a world first. The radio’s microphone built into firefighter breathing apparatus. Each radio also has a push-to-talk button positioned centrally on the body.This means firefighters can operate it through thick rubber gloves with a clenched fist or fingers. […] Comments (Comments)

Datacom surges to a billion
Posted on 15-Aug-2016 11:25Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Pushing into the Australian market paid dividends for privately owned Datacom. The Wellington-based technology company reported 13 percent revenue growth to a shade over NZ$1 billion. It is the first New Zealand technology company to pass the billion dollar milestone. In comparison profits were small. The group after tax profit was NZ$27 million, up 12 […] Comments (Comments)

New Zealand looks overseas for tech skills
Posted on 13-Aug-2016 15:52Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Overseas readers wanted to know how New Zealand is filling its tech industry vacancies. Here is my story published earlier this year in London-based Computer Weekly.  Wellington is as far as you can fly from Heathrow before you start coming back. New Zealand’s capital is almost 19,000km and at least 24 hours away. The city […] Comments (Comments)

Main data theft threat is inside, overlooked
Posted on 12-Aug-2016 07:28Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Despite companies spending billions to protect systems from external threats, data theft continues to climb. Businesses often fail to address the underlying problem: most online crime involves an insider. Although in most cases that insider is an unwitting accomplice. The latest Ponemon Institute study shows companies are struggling to protect information from theft and other […] Comments (Comments)

Long-reach VDSL2 has potential for rural NZ broadband
Posted on 11-Aug-2016 10:54Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Communications Day reports BT is testing a long-reach version of VDSL2 in rural areas. The story first appeared at ISP Review. Long-reach VDSL2 could be ideal for those parts of New Zealand falling between the urban UFB fibre-based network and the fixed wireless broadband delivered by Rural Broadband Initiative towers. At the moment the government […] Comments (Comments)

Marine survey as Hawaiki cable build nears
Posted on 10-Aug-2016 10:22Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

A submarine cable is just talk until the ships start moving. Hawaiki expects the trans-Pacific cable will be delivered by mid–2018. Hawaiki Submarine Cable says its marine route survey has started. The company is working with partner TE SubCom to investigate the route for a new trans-Pacific cable connecting Australia and New Zealand to the United […] Comments (Comments)

Struggling Fairfax enters low-margin broadband market
Posted on 9-Aug-2016 21:27Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

A struggling media company moves into another unprofitable market. At Business Day Fairfax journalist Tom Pullar-Strecker writes Stuff to enter the broadband market with Stuff Fibre. It’s a clumsy headline, but a safe bet managers would not allow the sub-editor to write a better one. He says: “Stuff is entering the broadband market, launching an internet […] Comments (Comments)

Consider government open source, don’t mandate it
Posted on 9-Aug-2016 07:15Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Act Party leader David Seymour wants the New Zealand government to consider open source software. In Act calls on government to support open source software at the NBR, he says the government needs to take a new approach when buying software procurement. It can save the taxpayer large sums of money. Seymour tells the NBR: […] Comments (Comments)

Apple’s ageing Mac line-up reflects bigger picture
Posted on 8-Aug-2016 10:41Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Apart from the 2016 MacBook, Apple’s entire Mac line is overdue for a refresh. Sam Byford at The Verge caused a stir last week writing; “Apple should stop selling four-year-old computers“. MacBook aside, Apple’s August 2016 catalogue is the same as it was a year ago. It is more than a year since any other […] Comments (Comments)

Review: LibreOffice 5.2 — solid, unpolished alternative
Posted on 6-Aug-2016 13:38Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

The free, open source alternative to Microsoft Office gets the job done. Yet there are compromises. At a glance For: Free. Open source. Feature rich. Runs on old hardware. Can open most document formats. Against: Not as polished as paid-for alternatives. Lacks cloud integration. Inconsistent user interface. Maybe: Comes with graphics app, equation editor and […] Comments (Comments)

New Zealand companies didn’t win government tenders back in the day either
Posted on 4-Aug-2016 16:22Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

“Why don’t New Zealand companies win government tenders?” asks Ian Apperley at the IITP Techblog. He writes about the institutional bias government departments and agencies have when it comes to buying technology. More often than not they’ll choose an overseas supplier when there are perfectly good and better value alternatives available here in New Zealand. […] Comments (Comments)

What hasn’t been said about MYOB buying Greentree
Posted on 3-Aug-2016 19:17Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Australian accounting software company MYOB bought Greentree for NZ$25.5 million now and will pay another $3 million if the owners meet unspecified targets. It’s the latest move by what was until recently the regional leader in small business accounting software. Over the last five years Xero has hammered MYOB by offering a clean,  online, subscription-based alternative to […] Comments (Comments)

Thoughts on iPad-only the new desktop Linux
Posted on 3-Aug-2016 08:08Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

“You like the iPad because it’s simple. But if you’re using the iPad as your primary computer, you may just like it because it’s a challenge.” Watts Martin hits a nerve writing iPad-only is the new desktop Linux. Martin says people who use only iPads for their computing do it because it’s a challenge. He […] Comments (Comments)

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