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Review: 9.7-inch iPad Pro Smart Keyboard Cover
Posted on 1-May-2016 14:05Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Apple’s NZ$280 Smart Keyboard Cover doesn’t turn the 9.7-inch iPad Pro into a laptop. It does something more useful. At the launch Apple said its 9.7-inch iPad Pro is a PC replacement.. That’s debatable. People spend a lot of time typing on PCs so that claim doesn’t start to stack up until you add a keyboard. […] Comments (Comments)

Here’s one reason PC sales won’t recover
Posted on 28-Apr-2016 12:45Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

The Wall Street Journal reports that desktop internet use is falling. The amount of time people spend accessing the Internet from desktop devices is showing signs of decline, according to online measurement specialist comScore. Data from the research company indicate overall time spent online in the U.S. from desktop devices—which include laptop computers—has fallen for […] Comments (Comments)

Reviewing technology products: Science and anecdotes
Posted on 26-Apr-2016 09:00Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Tech product reviews take many forms. Some are scientific. Others are anecdotal.  Scientific reviews involve research, prising the back from things, taking them apart and dropping them on hard surfaces. Listening to noises. Measuring everything. Running battery life tests. You come away from these tests with numbers. Often many numbers. Maybe you’ve heard of data […] Comments (Comments)

Doing one thing at a time works wonders
Posted on 25-Apr-2016 14:00Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Tony Schwartz, at the Harvard Business Review, says dividing attention between tasks is dangerous. He says digital devices with always-on connections train us to split attention between tasks without ever focusing on one. Schwartz says this hurts productivity increasing the time to finish a task by 25 percent. In The magic of doing one thing at a time he recommends […] Comments (Comments)

Sony Extra Bass SRS-XB3 review
Posted on 21-Apr-2016 09:10Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

If you want to rock the house you need a big, heavy sub-woofer that moves a lot of air. The bad news is, car sound systems apart, it is hard to take big sub-woofers with you. That’s where you might want to turn to Sony’s $300 SRS-XB3 speakers. They are portable, battery-powered, Bluetooth speakers capable […] Comments (Comments)

Writing on iPad Pro: A field guide
Posted on 18-Apr-2016 17:45Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Apple says the iPad Pro is more powerful than most laptops. It is more portable. That should make it ideal for journalists and others who need to write while on the move. How does the writing experience compare with PCs and is the software up to the job? The sensible way to answer those questions […] Comments (Comments)

New cables may revive overseas interest in New Zealand data centres
Posted on 15-Apr-2016 16:11Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

New Zealand hasn’t been able to capitalise on being a low-cost, green home for data centres. Until now. Tasman Global Access and Hawaiki could change that. At The Register, Simon Sharwood sums it up: New Zealand’s South Island, for example, is blessed with low ambient temperatures and lots of hydro power. A bit barn in […] Comments (Comments)

Falling PC sales: From bad to worse
Posted on 14-Apr-2016 11:54Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Global PC sales were down 9.6 percent year-on-year during the first quarter of 2016 according to Gartner. Total sales for the quarter were a shade under 65 million. This was the first quarter with less than 65 million units sold since 2007. In contrast, sales in the same quarter of 2013 were a little over […] Comments (Comments)

NZ Tech Podcast 278: Hawaiki, self-driving cars, Microsoft Build
Posted on 13-Apr-2016 11:09Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

I join Paul Spain (@paulspain) and Craig Young (TUANZ) on the NZ Tech Podcast to talk about Microsoft Build 2016, Hawaiki submarine cable, Pentagon hacking, wearable sensors coming to hospitals, Spark fixed wireless broadband, Huawei’s growth, Tesla 3 and taking a self-driving car over Auckland’s Harbour Bridge. The NZ Tech Podcast episode produced with the support of Gorilla Technology. Get […] Comments (Comments)

Xero woos small business with Microsoft Outlook link
Posted on 13-Apr-2016 07:15Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

One of the advantages of cloud apps like Xero is that it is easy to link them. You do none of the hard work, that’s all handled for you. Best of all, you don’t need to buy fresh software or download and install patches. Xero founder Rod Drury has hinted in the past that this […] Comments (Comments)

Media should unfriend Facebook
Posted on 12-Apr-2016 13:29Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Scientists say a meteor hit the earth 66 million years ago and wiped out most dinosaurs. Journalists know how they felt. A meteor crashed into our world in the 1990s. The internet’s effect wasn’t immediate. Now, two decades on, most of my former colleagues work in other industries. The media companies that employed us have […] Comments (Comments)

A week with the 9.7-inch iPad Pro
Posted on 10-Apr-2016 15:24Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Apple’s latest iPad Pro packs the internals of the 13-inch model in the same space as the 9.7-inch iPad Air. Prices start at NZ$1050. The 9.7-inch iPad Air is more expensive than many laptops, but then Apple says it’s more powerful. After a week of using it as my main, but not only, computer, it’s […] Comments (Comments)

What Hawaiki cable green light means for New Zealand
Posted on 8-Apr-2016 07:30Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Odd email appears in journalists’ inboxes on April 1. Here’s one: Please find attached a media release from Hawaiki announcing the coming into force of the Hawaiki cable. Please also note that despite the date, this is not an April Fools’ joke – it is for real. Hawaiki: Australia to Hawaii via New Zealand If […] Comments (Comments)

Spark opens second fixed wireless broadband front
Posted on 5-Apr-2016 08:34Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Three months after Spark subsidiary Skinny opened its fixed wireless broadband service, the parent company is getting in on the act. Yesterday Spark launched Home Wireless Broadband. There are three plans: $80 a month buys 40GB of data and free local calling. $90 boosts the data cap to 80GB. $85 buys the same 80GB but […] Comments (Comments)

An Apple iPhone SE review written using the phone
Posted on 3-Apr-2016 09:40Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

You know how, as an adult, you visit the place you grew up and everything seems smaller than it did at the time? That’s what the iPhone SE feels like after 18 months with bigger iPhones. There is no better way of getting to grips with a device than using it to write about the […] Comments (Comments)

How New Zealanders get raw deal from international media
Posted on 31-Mar-2016 07:12Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

When Apple’s iOS 9 landed, a new Newstand folder appeared on the first screen. Inside were four options: The New York Times, Businessweek, the Australian and the New Yorker. Whatever their merits, none is a natural choice for New Zealand readers. It’s the latest example of how international media doesn’t think for one moment about […] Comments (Comments)

Spark winner as NZ mobile spectrum ownership shifts
Posted on 29-Mar-2016 09:26Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Two years ago Vodafone owned more mobile spectrum than any other carrier. While it still owns the most spectrum, Vodafone’s lead is slipping. It may yet fall further. We’re seeing a land rush as carriers prepare for the next generation of mobile data services and Spark is grabbing more territory than anyone else. One feature […] Comments (Comments)

The second iPad Pro
Posted on 28-Mar-2016 11:24Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Apple’s pitch says you can dump your existing PCs and get an iPad Pro instead. “…It is the ultimate upgrade for existing iPad users and replacement for PC users.” — Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing This is true: up to a point. There are still things that work best with a […] Comments (Comments)

Spark spectrum buy tilts broadband power balance
Posted on 25-Mar-2016 14:12Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

On Thursday the Commerce Commission gave Spark permission to buy 70 MHz of the 2300 MHz band from Craig Wireless and Whoosh. That’s a lot of bandwidth. It changes the balance of power in mobile spectrum holdings. It could change the broader economics of broadband in New Zealand. More fixed wireless broadband Spark says it […] Comments (Comments)

NZ fixed broadband speeds falling behind global pace as mobile strengthens
Posted on 23-Mar-2016 13:23Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

According to the latest Akamai State of the Internet report New Zealand ranks number seven in the world for average peak mobile speed. In the fourth quarter of 2015, Akamai clocked NZ mobile broadband at a respectable 75.4 Mbps. That’s a long way behind Australia, which takes the top slot with its blistering153.3 Mbps average […] Comments (Comments)

NZ, US Apple iPhone SE, iPad Pro prices compared
Posted on 23-Mar-2016 10:09Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

New Zealand consumers often pay more than their overseas counterparts for hardware. In recent years Apple has done a better job than most rivals when it comes to reducing the gap between New Zealand and US prices. How do the Apple iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro measure up? There are two iPhone SE models. […] Comments (Comments)

Subdued reaction to Apple iPhone SE launch
Posted on 22-Mar-2016 17:19Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Subdued reaction to Apple iPhone SE launch Twitter was underwhelmed by Apple’s launch event. There wasn’t the usual hoopla from Apple’s cheer leaders. Nor were there as many gushing, excited editorials as we’ve become used to. In part this is because the four-inch iPhone SE is not aimed at Apple fanatics. Nor would it appeal […] Comments (Comments)

This will be the year of 4.5G
Posted on 22-Mar-2016 07:15Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Fourth-generation cellular technology, better known as 4G, is still relatively young in New Zealand. It is less than two years since 2degrees began rolling out its 4G network. Spark, then Telecom, and Vodafone started earlier, but the bulk of their networks are not much older. We’re lucky. There are parts of the world that have […] Comments (Comments)

Fixing Apple, Google, Facebook tax
Posted on 18-Mar-2016 16:24Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Writing at the New Zealand Herald Matt Nippert says Top multinationals pay almost no tax in New Zealand. A major Herald investigation has found the 20 multinational companies most aggressive in shifting profits out of New Zealand overall paid virtually no income tax, despite recording nearly $10 billion in annual sales to Kiwi consumers. The analysis of financial […] Comments (Comments)

Let’s fix date to close copper network
Posted on 18-Mar-2016 15:12Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Portugal Telecom says it will start closing copper switches next year. By 2020 the nation’s copper network will be history. The telco says being fibre-only will help it sell services in a competitive telecommunications market. Analyst Benoit Felten notes removing copper means Portugal Telecom will no longer have the cost overheads of running two networks […] Comments (Comments)


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