Bob Smith leaves Woosh

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 28-Jul-2006 15:00

Yet more dramas for the company.. Is this an attempt by the current owners (who you have to feel a bit sorry for continually bailing out a lame duck) to change the direction of the company with the purchase this week of a ADSL provider?



Bad webpage design

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 26-Jul-2006 11:31

I've got a Brother 1820C fax machine which has a dreaded "machine error 41 message"

http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/forums/inkjet/23050

Basically brother have built lots of faulty printers and faxes that bring this error up and a quick Google search shows this is a fairly large scale problem!

I've just tried to contact Brother NZ to see what they will do about it. Thanks but no thanks, I don't want to pay $1.99 per minute for an 0900 number.

Their other means of contact is a web form

http://www.brother.co.nz/public/support/helpdeskEnquiryForm.asp

This has to be the worst piece of web design anywhere. Only alphanumeric characters and numbers are permitted. This means you cannot use any non alphanumeric characters including simply full stops, commas or anything else that are common in English , . ' that is not an alphanumeric character. This resulted in me taking over 10 minutes submitting my enquiry until it would finally work since I tend to use punctuation in my writing and not try and write a letter in txt speak!



Permalink to Bad webpage design | Add a comment (2 comments) | Main Index


NZ Herald inaccuracies

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 25-Jul-2006 10:39

As a NZ Herald reader I am concerned about how quickly accurate reporting seems to have got in the way of a good story. Yet again today there are mistakes in an IT story, apparently Woosh now operate a WiMax network!

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=3&ObjectID=10392786

Come on guys, get your facts right..

Permalink to NZ Herald inaccuracies | Add a comment (3 comments) | Main Index


How long until this is pulled from YouTube?

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 24-Jul-2006 18:43

Make sure you watch the whole ad

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn57rgNEt-4



PS: I can't seem to get imbedded YouTube videos to work.. Can somebody let me know how to fix this? Pasting the embed by itself obviously doesn't work..




Bob Smith the used car salesman?

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 20-Jul-2006 09:57

Surely this has to be the quote of the day


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/category/story.cfm?c_id=93&objectid=10392084

(discussing TelstraClear's new 3G rollout)

"Woosh chief executive Bob Smith said he was comfortable with the capabilities of its network compared with the TelstraClear proposal"


Way to go... your crippled TDD-CDMA network is no match for a HSDPA/HSUPA enabled WCDMA network that will offer a truely mobile phone service and nationwide roaming. But if you feel your network is on par then good for you! :-)



Why do BP always increase petrol prices first?

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 18-Jul-2006 08:46

Hardly a geek topic today but I'm sure I'm not the only person out there who has observed the small fact that virtually every petrol price increase in the past 12 months has been lead by BP? How can a company have such a brain dead marketing policy that has now created this perception in the market place? Shell have very carefully positioned themselves as the exact opposite who have lead the way in reductions.

Don't get me wrong - I know petrol (probably) has to increase in price. This doesn't hide the fact however that out of out four main fuel companies BP is continually the first to increase prices. I'd suggest everybody boycott BP or at least make sure you make their staff very aware that you strongly dislike their current pricing strategy.



TCL cable users

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 15-Jul-2006 16:21

Any TCL cable users in Wgtn & Chch on older plans should be receiving by snailmail a letter detailing IP and plan changes that will take effect over the next month or so. I have known this was coming since before Xmas and it is to move the remaining users on old plans that are on an ancient Saturn billing system over to the new plans which are on the newer billing system.

TCL are automatically moving you to what they consider the most appropiate plan, however those who have been users for some time will know that national traffic is charged at 1/10th of the rate of international traffic on these old plans so for example on my old 5GB plan I use around 20GB of traffic per month - typically around 1.5GB - 2GB per month of national traffic (which equates to 15GB-20GB of total traffic) and the remainder of my 5GB is international traffic. Because TCL think peering is evil and no longer peer domestic traffic billing national traffic seperately can now be very difficult as you may end up leaving NZ and then coming back to view a NZ based site. Originally all traffic between cable modems was also zero rated so you could also xfer files or play games with a friend on cable for free however recent IP ranges have charged this as national traffic.

TCL want to move me to their HighSpeed 10GB plan. Their letter tells me "You'll be pleased to know that on this new plan you will no longer be charged for cable modem rental and you will benefit from 10GB of traffic, a speed increase and a reduced cost". Thanks but no thanks TCL. Moving me to the 10GB plan will give me 1/2 my current data usage which means I'll have to upgrade to the 20GB plan which costs more than I currently pay so I won't be saving anything.

There is also no mention at all that the national/international data split will be removed so this change is going to annoy a *lot* of people, especially those people who have purposely not upgraded because they would lose this.

So TCL, what compensation are you going to offer users who now have to pay more for the same service? You have the best residential high speed internet service in the country but changing the terms & conditions of accounts is not a way to make friends. At least when Vodafone removed my unlimited offpeak calling they paid me $500 compensation!



The Google Corporate Jet (aka Party Plane)

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 8-Jul-2006 10:58

So Larry & Sergey can't quite decide what beds to install in their corporate jet! :-)

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB115222788536400097-i72SXBBTMX_EPvtfDIn9uNjtiss_20070707.html?mod=blogs



Windows Genuine Advantage

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 4-Jul-2006 22:14

If you've been using XP over the last few months or following the news you're probably aware that MS deployed "trial" software called Windows Genuine Advantage in select countries which came as high priority windows update. This software checked your product ID and if it suspected you were running a pirated copy of XP displayed a nice logo on your log in srceen saying that your software may be counterfeit and a nag screen in your system tray. It also rang home to MS every time you rebooted your PC which was not disclosed by MS.

There have been numerous reports of this software causing incompatiblity issues and over the past couple of days there appears to have been a significant back down from MS as the anti WGA backlash started to gain momentum.

MS being sued over WGA Spyware
http://www.itnews.com.au/newsstory.aspx?CIaNID=34423

How to remove WGA from your system
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/921914


And this candid interview with Microsoft's chief privacy strategist who essentially says "we stuffed up"
http://www.arcon5.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=337

Permalink to Windows Genuine Advantage | Add a comment (2 comments) | Main Index


Telecom NZ dumping CDMA? ..Well at least according to NZ Herald

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 26-Jun-2006 15:11

Well the Herald would certainly want you to think that!

The Herald is going downhill big time, crap articles like this are further proof

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=5&ObjectID=10388122


How does Nokia stopping the manufacture of CDMA phones lead them to the conclusion that Telecom will have to dump CDMA? The fact Nokia make up such a small % of CDMA handset shipments is one of the reasons why they are focusing on GSM and WCDMA!

And the brainless journalist doesn't even realise that if Telecom where to move away from CDMA it to be to WCDMA and not GSM!



sbiddle's profile

Steve Biddle
Wellington
New Zealand


I'm an engineer who loves building solutions to solve problems.


I also love sharing my views and analysis of the tech world on this blog, along with the odd story about aviation and the travel industry.

My interests and skillset include:

*VoIP (Voice over IP). I work with various brands of hardware and PBX's on a daily basis
  -Asterisk (incl PiaF, FreePBX, Elastix)
  -Polycom
  -Cisco
  -Linksys
  -Patton
  -Zyxel
  -Snom
  -Sangoma
  -Audiocodes

*Telecommunications/Broadband
  -xDSL deployments
  -WiMAX
  -GSM/WCDMA
  -WiFi

*Structured cabling
  -Home/office cabling
  -Phone & Data

*Computer networking
  -Mikrotik hardware
  -WAN/LAN solutions

*Wireless solutions
  -Motel/Hotel hotspot deployments
  -Outdoor wireless deployments, both small and large scale
  -Temporary wireless deployments
   
*CCTV solutions
  -Analogue and IP

I'm an #avgeek who loves to travel the world (preferably in seat 1A) and stay in nice hotels.


+My views do no represent my employer. I'm sure they'll be happy to give their own if you ask them.


You can contact me here or by email at stevenbiddle@gmail.com

twitter.com/stevebiddle