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Touch Voicemail iPhone app makes smartphones smarter
Posted on 17-Sep-2014 12:35Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Modern cellphones are smart, but that’s not what it feels like when it comes to voicemail. Until now the only way to get at missed incoming messages is to call your phone network’s voicemail service, wade through clumsy prompts and listen to messages one-by-one. Vodafone, Spark and 2degrees all say they have visual voicemail apps on […] Comments (Comments)

Microsoft Azure: Cloud for the rest of us
Posted on 15-Sep-2014 09:32Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Cloud computing is great. Yet anything beyond Dropbox, OneDrive or iCloud can be daunting for those of us who aren’t IT professionals. While Amazon is the market leader at selling cloud services to business, you couldn’t describe setting up a server or a website on Amazon’s AWS EC2 as easy. On the other hand, there’s nothing scary […] Comments (Comments)

Apple Pay: mobile payments you will use
Posted on 14-Sep-2014 15:38Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

In Apple Pay, the first mobile payments solution that you’ll actually use Owen Williams writes: Android fans seem annoyed by the notion that Apple has NFC now, claiming that they’ve had it for years. The only difference is Android’s had it for years and still failed to get anywhere with it thanks to a mess of standards […] Comments (Comments)

It’s not just journalists — for better or worse, design plays a key role in how we get our news
Posted on 13-Sep-2014 13:22Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Originally posted on Gigaom:
Among its other disruptive influences, the rise of the web has caused journalism to become detached from the physical objects it used to be embedded in, whether that was a newspaper, magazine or book. Information flows over us like a river now, instead of being chopped up and frozen in time.… Comments (Comments)

New Zealand’s affordable broadband
Posted on 13-Sep-2014 12:43Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

A short report from Jon Brewer at Telco2 provides some much-needed perspective on New Zealand broadband prices. The ITU-UNESCO Broadband Commission for Digital Development worries that broadband is unaffordable when the cost of a service is more than five percent of household income. Brewer measures how New Zealand stacks up against this benchmark. Our story […] Comments (Comments)

Big iPhone 6 good for business users
Posted on 13-Sep-2014 09:18Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Not everyone loves having a large phone in their pocket. One of the beauties of older iPhones is most people can use them one-handed. On the other hand, there are plenty of compensations from moving to a 4.7 inch or 5.5 inch screen with the iPhone 6 models. They should make business users more productive: […] Comments (Comments)

Another cable won’t lower NZ internet costs
Posted on 11-Sep-2014 16:38Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

There is a good reason to build another submarine cable linking New Zealand to the world. Cheaper internet is not that reason. A press release from the Internet Party suggests a second international cable would bring down prices. The release quotes Internet Party leader Laila Harré: If prices for international Internet traffic don’t come down, New […] Comments (Comments)

Apple’s New 64 Bit A8 Chip: What You Need to Know
Posted on 11-Sep-2014 14:46Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Originally posted on For the Love of Tech:
By Rich W Woods Apple announced the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus today which use the new 64 bit A8 chip. Of course this is no surprise. Predicting an A8 is like predicting that baseball will start in April. The A8 processor uses 2 billion transistors.… Comments (Comments)

Apple Watch: All fun and games until someone loses an eye
Posted on 11-Sep-2014 12:29Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Seen from afar Apple’s Watch looks better than any other attempt at creating a smart watch. It has a sharp design and a solid feature set. If I wanted a smart watch this would be it. But I don’t want a smart watch. At least not at the moment. That could change when I get […] Comments (Comments)

Apple’s modest New Zealand iPhone 6 mark-up
Posted on 11-Sep-2014 11:46Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

From September 26 New Zealanders will able to buy a 16 GB Apple iPhone 6 for $999. That’s what it costs to buy the phone outright. The US headline prices quoted in Apple’s launch presentation were for people buying phones on mobile plans. The US price for a non-plan 16GB iPhone 6 is US$649. Converting that […] Comments (Comments)

Microsoft’s cloud first, mobile first challenge
Posted on 10-Sep-2014 11:50Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Microsoft shows a refreshing ability to reinvent itself. On his first day in the job incoming CEO Satya Nadella told employees: “Our job is to ensure that Microsoft thrives in a mobile and cloud-first world.” Those words, slightly rearranged as cloud first, mobile first have been repeated many times since. Microsoft used them as a slogan when […] Comments (Comments)

A challenge of smartphones, a desperation of smart watches
Posted on 5-Sep-2014 19:31Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Everyone has heard of a school of fish. Most people know there’s also murder of crows. To my knowledge, there’s no collective noun for smartphones. Judging by this week’s activity, days before Apple takes the wrap off the next iPhones, we can talk of a challenge of smartphones. I counted new models from Sony, Huawei, Motorola, Lenovo, Microsoft […] Comments (Comments)

See you at ITx conference
Posted on 4-Sep-2014 19:07Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Last year’s IITP conference was a eye-opener with many great speakers. This year the conference has expanded to become ITx, it won’t be New Zealand’s biggest technology conference, Microsoft’s Tech Ed is larger, but it is the most wide ranging vendor independent event. I’ll be there along with my MacBook catching the keynotes and other sessions. I […] Comments (Comments)

NZ broadband beats Australia again
Posted on 4-Sep-2014 16:02Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

More evidence that New Zealand's broadband is accelerating past Australia's network. Local web performance measuring company TrueNet compared the speed of downloading Australian and New Zealand websites from PCs in Australia and New Zealand. Comments (Comments)

Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Note Edge
Posted on 4-Sep-2014 11:28Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Samsung has something to prove. The company sells more smartphones than anyone else. It is the only Android hardware maker that matters. But it doesn’t have Apple’s brand power. Samsung isn’t cool. That’s why Samsung took pains getting its latest message out one week before Apple’s carpet-bomb publicity for it iPhone launch. Samsung has two new […] Comments (Comments)

A better plan for 2degrees
Posted on 4-Sep-2014 09:18Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

A story in the NBR says Indonesia’s PT Telekomunikasi may invest in 2degrees. It then reports Australian telecommunications analyst Paul Budde says it’s only a matter of time before Spark buys 2degrees. Budde is negative about 2degrees. He says: Five years on and to a certain extent it is a bit of a wonder that the company still […] Comments (Comments)

Byword: A Mac writing tool focusing on words
Posted on 1-Sep-2014 14:54Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Byword is the ideal Mac writing tool if you just want to focus on words. There are versions for OS X (US$12.99 in the Mac app store) and iOS (US$4.99 in the iTunes app store). This review looks at the Mac version. The key to Byword and the reason I say it is ideal for […] Comments (Comments)

Addressing high growth companies’ skills gap
Posted on 31-Aug-2014 16:51Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

This week I chaired an interactive panel discussion on the skills challenge facing New Zealand technology companies. It’s part of Massey University’s ecentre cloud series. Here’s how the discussion played out on Twitter. The link is to Storify which apparently can’t be embedded in WordPress.  Addressing high growth companies’ skills gap.Filed under: Work Tagged: careers Comments (Comments)

Journalism is doing just fine, thanks — it’s mass-media business models that are ailing
Posted on 30-Aug-2014 19:47Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Originally posted on Gigaom:
Is the internet destroying journalism? In a piece at Salon, writer Andrew Leonard argues that it is — primarily because “the economics of news gathering in the Internet age suck,” as he puts it. And it’s easy to see why someone would be drawn to that point of view, given the… Comments (Comments)

Server sales tick up, more to come
Posted on 30-Aug-2014 17:05Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Server revenues climbed 2.5 percent in the past year according to IDC’s quarterly worldwide server tracker. In the second quarter of 2014 sales totalled US$12.6 billion. Unit shipments grew 1.2 percent to 2.2 million. The standout segment was mid-range systems which saw 11.5 percent growth. IDC puts the surge down to technology refresh cycles. Volume […] Comments (Comments)

Apple, Microsoft — two tablet visions
Posted on 30-Aug-2014 14:58Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

When Steve Jobs took the wraps off Apple’s first iPad, he showed an entirely new class of device. The iPad was neither a new type of PC nor was it just a giant smartphone. It opened new territory. Apple sold the original iPad as a personal digital media consumption device. It stuck with that approach […] Comments (Comments)

NZ$400 Surface 2 a bargain for Office fans
Posted on 30-Aug-2014 10:46Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Microsoft’s swanky new Surface Pro 3 went on sale in New Zealand earlier this week. It’s a lovely device, but not cheap. Prices start at NZ$1200. For one-third of that you can buy a 32GB Surface 2 at Noel Leeming until September 7. Is it worth considering? At NZ$400 the Surface 2 is good value. Whether […] Comments (Comments)

Addressing the skills gap for high growth companies
Posted on 25-Aug-2014 19:01Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Tomorrow night I’m chairing an interactive panel discussion on the skills challenge facing New Zealand technology companies. It’s part of Massey University’s ecentre cloud series.  The session starts at 5:30 at the Sir Neil Waters Building, Massey University Albany. Innovative companies depend on talented knowledge workers. They are in short supply everywhere, New Zealand is no different […] Comments (Comments)

Hack Miramar: Your suburb needs you
Posted on 23-Aug-2014 14:12Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Ian Apperley wants geeks living in Wellington’s Eastern Suburbs to work on problems like traffic, consultation and free internet access at Hack Miramar. It’s a smart suburb project, which Apperley says is a mini version of a smart city. He says: The weekend doesn’t have to be exclusive to technology ideas, for example, teams could focus […] Comments (Comments)

E-books harder for comprehension
Posted on 23-Aug-2014 13:34Tags News, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Five years ago I wrote why people read less online than with print: People spend less time reading online news than reading printed newspapers because reading a screen is more mentally and physically taxing. I’ve no hard and fast evidence to offer. This is just my observation. It would make a great research project for […] Comments (Comments)


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