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How Microsoft stumbled with touch-enabled Windows, then recovered
Posted on 31-Aug-2015 07:56Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Two years ago Microsoft was staring down the barrel of disaster. Today it looks stronger than it has in a decade. In April 2013 IDC research reported second quarter PC sales were 14 percent lower than the year earlier. The firm’s analysts had previously forecasted falling sales. They got that much right, but their earlier […] Comments (Comments)

Ultimate Ears bluetooth speaker: Roll with it
Posted on 25-Aug-2015 17:20Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

It hasn’t taken Logitech’s Ultimate Ears brand to carve out a niche as maker of stylish, rugged Bluetooth speakers. It helps that the speakers in the UE range look good and perform well yet sell at affordable prices. At the time of writing the most affordable model in the range for New Zealanders is the […] Comments (Comments)

NZ Tech Podcast 244: Samsung Note 5, Galaxy S6 Edge+; Morepork; TomTom Bandit; TPP
Posted on 24-Aug-2015 16:59Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

I’m back on the NZ Tech Podcast with Paul Spain (@paulspain) where we discuss experiences with the Samsung Note 5 & Galaxy S6 Edge+, Spark’s Morepork smart home security, TomTom Bandit, the TPP Agreement, the so-called Netflix tax and CodeBlue’s acquisition by Australia’s CSG. Get the Podcast here: Download or Listen to Episode 244 directly Subscribe and […] Comments (Comments)

What the Trans Pacific Partnership means New Zealand tech sector
Posted on 24-Aug-2015 14:32Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Writing on his organisation’s TechBlog, IITP chief executive Paul Matthews says after a meeting with New Zealand TTP negotiators he feels more positive about what the trade agreement means for our technology sector. Here are the edited highlights. The quotes are from Paul Matthews, the comments are from me: We’ve received absolute assurances that nothing […] Comments (Comments)

Ashley Madison: A wake up call
Posted on 24-Aug-2015 12:24Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

When criminals expose intimate data from an infidelity website everyone is affected. A month ago a group called Impact Team stole the user database and transaction history from Ashley Madison, a website that arranges liaisons for married people. Last week the group released the data online. It has names, addresses, personal details and sexual preferences […] Comments (Comments)

Business process automation fills people gap in Australia and New Zealand — Computer Weekly
Posted on 21-Aug-2015 16:26Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

For most organisations, business process automation (BPA) is about driving down costs. It does that by eliminating manual processes – a polite way of saying it replaces jobs and cuts the payroll. Although they seek the same cost and efficiency gains, companies in Australia and New Zealand turn to BPA for other reasons – it allows them […] Comments (Comments)

Ad-blocking trend highlights modern online publishing dilemma
Posted on 13-Aug-2015 10:02Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Publishers with unique, must-read material and a well-heeled audience can charge readers. They sell subscriptions and build paywalls showing hints of tempting stories that non-customers can’t read. Everyone else has to rely on advertising revenue or deliberately run online publishing at a loss. That’s where the problems start: online advertising doesn’t work well for most […] Comments (Comments)

Microsoft blew US$7.6 billion on Nokia overcoming Apple-envy
Posted on 6-Aug-2015 14:29Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Things got crazy towards the end of Steve Ballmer’s time as Microsoft CEO. One of his dumbest moves was buying Nokia. Some say the decision cost him his job. That wasn’t all. Last month Microsoft wrote down US$7.6 billion it spent buying Nokia. Until the acquisition, Google, Facebook, Amazon and, most of all, Apple dominated […] Comments (Comments)

IBM: New business lines falter as old ones die
Posted on 3-Aug-2015 16:18Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

IBM’s reinvention as a software and services business still serves as an object lesson in turning troubled technology companies around. It switched from dependence on mainframe and servers to selling software, services and outsourcing. At the time, the turnaround seemed miraculous. Now IBM needs to pull another rabbit from the hat. The technology market is […] Comments (Comments)

Apple News: I’m there
Posted on 1-Aug-2015 17:42Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Apple is working with publishers to add a new and fast-loading news app to iOS. The app, called Apple News, will show up on iPhone and iPad home pages when iOS 9 arrives later this year. Apple News pulls in news feeds from different publishers and displays them in a magazine-style format like Flipboard. Readers […] Comments (Comments)

How long should you keep a phone?
Posted on 20-Jul-2015 13:07Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Tempting new phones arrive every month. Phone makers upgrade their main models once a year. You could almost set your watch by Apple’s annual iPhone launch event. Samsung and other popular brands run to a similar schedule. Phone makers will tell you they expect customers to hang on to their devices for two years even if model […] Comments (Comments)

Huawei P8 launches with screen repair promise
Posted on 17-Jul-2015 08:57Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

If you’re the kind of person who drops phones, Huawei has the offer for you. The company promises a free screen repair service for customers buying the P8 phone. To qualify you have to register your phone with the company and the deal lasts for the 12 months from the time you purchase the phone. […] Comments (Comments)

NZ Tech Podcast 238: CarPlay, Android Auto hands on; Global Mode; Apple Music; Voyager
Posted on 14-Jul-2015 11:59Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

I join Paul Spain (@paulspain) and Seeby Woodhouse to try Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, discuss the demise of Global Mode, Apple Music and Beats 1 radio, Voyager’s new consumer Internet services, Hacking Team themselves getting hacked and Blackberry’s Android, Lumia 940, One Plus 2, Galaxy S6 Edge Plus. This NZ Tech Podcast hosted by Published by NZ’s Podcast […] Comments (Comments)

Phone woes drag Samsung down
Posted on 9-Jul-2015 07:13Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Samsung sees seventh straight profit decline says the Wall Street Journal as the world’s largest phone maker turns in another poor result. The report says sales of the latest Galaxy S6 phones were lower than expected. Although the company doesn’t break out quarterly results by division, the WSJ says the semiconductor business is booming and […] Comments (Comments)

Crapware still features on Windows devices
Posted on 8-Jul-2015 09:09Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Within minutes of starting the otherwise excellent Dell XPS there was a reminder of one of the worst aspects of new Windows computers: Crapware. The review machine came with a copy of MacAfee Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware. These programs aren’t necessarily crap. But when shovelled on otherwise pristine systems they qualify as grade A crapware. Because I […] Comments (Comments)

Dell XPS 13 review: 2015’s best Ultrabook
Posted on 6-Jul-2015 07:45Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Dell designed the XPS 13 as a premium Ultrabook to show off what it can do with the format. It does that with style. You won’t find a better Windows 8.1 clamshell laptop. This is the first Dell PC I’ve been excited about in a long time. For a while it looked as if traditional […] Comments (Comments)

Six of the best personal cloud storage plans — July 2015
Posted on 4-Jul-2015 08:30Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

There’s no shortage of good options for storing data in the cloud. Here is a list of the six best-known inexpensive services that consumers and small businesses can use with little specialist expertise. I’ve tried all of them myself and regularly use four of the services listed. All of them are free or inexpensive and […] Comments (Comments)

Meet the weekend ethical hackers
Posted on 2-Jul-2015 07:05Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Ethical hackers, a growing band of computer professionals, use their skills to work out of hours on projects benefitting society. Don Christie, founder and director of Wellington’s largest open source service and cloud computing service provider Catalyst, is happy if developers and other IT professionals working for the firm moonlight as hackers. Thanks to the media, hacker is […] Comments (Comments)

No Android phone is worth NZ$1000
Posted on 1-Jul-2015 12:51Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Although LG’s G4 is one of the best Android phones you can buy it isn’t likely to sell large numbers. At least not in New Zealand. That’s because at NZ$1200 it is too expensive. It doesn’t stack up well against the competition. LG’s problem is that the G4 is squeezed between Apple at the top of the […] Comments (Comments)

LG G4: One of the better Android flagship phones
Posted on 30-Jun-2015 07:07Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

LG’s latest flagship phone, the G4, will warm the heart of any long-term Android fan. It is one of the last remaining Android flagships to keep a removable back, memory expansion slot and replaceable battery. That combination once distinguished Androids from iPhones. If you miss those features, this is the phone for you. There may be […] Comments (Comments)

Rural broadband gets competitive reboot
Posted on 29-Jun-2015 06:45Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Competition and 4G technology could reboot New Zealand’s Rural Broadband Initiative. Spark will soon begin selling a fixed wireless broadband service to rural customers in direct competition with Vodafone. Spark’s fixed wireless broadband service will use 4G mobile technology and the recently acquired 700 MHz spectrum. The service is priced to go head-to-head with Vodafone’s […] Comments (Comments)

Global Mode: No winners, only losers
Posted on 26-Jun-2015 07:17Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

CallPlus backed down. From September it will stop providing Global Mode, a service allowing customers to hide their whereabouts so they can buy low-cost streaming video services direct from the US, UK or elsewhere. In return the big media companies halted legal action against CallPlus. Among other things they claimed Global Mode breached the Copyright Act […] Comments (Comments)

Huawei Talkband B2: not your everyday wearable
Posted on 25-Jun-2015 13:28Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Huawei’s Talkband B2 has little in common with smart watches other than a wrist strap. That’s obvious from the first moment you see the device. It does two things. First it is a fitness tracker. You can use it to check your sleep and exercise levels. Second, it pulls apart to become a detachable Bluetooth headset. […] Comments (Comments)

Farewell Randal Jackson
Posted on 25-Jun-2015 03:36Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

The photo shows the editors and publishers who worked with Randal Jackson over the last 30 years raising a glass to farewell the journalist. Last night I joined old friends and colleagues in raising a glass to the late Randal Jackson. It was the an appropriate send-off, something Randal would have enjoyed himself. Over the […] Comments (Comments)

UFB at halfway point — is everybody happy?
Posted on 23-Jun-2015 08:59Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Communications Minister Amy Adams says New Zealand’s government supported fibre network has hit the halfway point. In a press release the minister says: “The UFB build is going from strength-to-strength, with fibre being rolled out to communities up and down the country. The project continues to be on budget and well ahead of schedule”. There’s […] Comments (Comments)


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