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Framing Facebook: It’s not about technology
Posted on 14-May-2018 16:02 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Put aside for one moment the recent headlines. Forget about Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg facing politicians in Washington. And park everything you’ve heard about Cambridge Analytica. There are problems with the way most media organisations report Facebook. It’s something no-one ever talks about. The first problem is that media organisations are not disinterested external observers. […]Framing Facebook: It’s not about technology

Apple, Android, phones and productivity
Posted on 5-May-2018 16:57 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

People get exciting about phone features. Productivity is more important yet often overlooked. My work involves looking at a lot of new phones. Most are premium Android phones. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen one that I couldn’t recommend. Within limits they are all good. The last was the Huawei P20 Pro. It could […]Apple, Android, phones and productivity

Huawei P20 Pro review: Best Android phone, best camera
Posted on 4-May-2018 11:12 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

The Huawei P20 Pro is 2018’s top Android phone by a healthy margin. You won’t find a better combination of camera, hardware, performance and value for money. Anyone who has watched the razor market will recognise what’s going on with phones. First phone makers added a single camera to handsets. Then it was two; one […]Huawei P20 Pro review: Best Android phone, best camera

2018 iPad: More iPad, fewer dollars
Posted on 30-Apr-2018 19:13 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Apple’s sixth generation 2018 iPad is a bargain. In New Zealand it costs NZ$540. For many people it is all the computer they will ever need. Sure, there will be people who consider it dull next to the swept-up iPad Pro. It doesn’t have as many features Yet it does one important thing that, until […]2018 iPad: More iPad, fewer dollars

How Google can seize Microsoft Office crown
Posted on 14-Apr-2018 11:08 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

As Microsoft refocuses to chase enterprise cloud opportunities, Google has an opportunity to lead the productivity software market. It has taken a decade, but now G-Suite can challenge Office. Almost every office worker of my generation spent years working with Microsoft software. For a while Windows was, in effect, a monopoly. Any other operating system […]How Google can seize Microsoft Office crown

Windows no longer Microsoft’s main focus
Posted on 13-Mar-2018 07:47 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Since taking over as Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella has remade the company. What was a PC giant is now a cloud and enterprise computing giant. And that has implications for Windows. Microsoft’s latest financials underline the change. In the three months to December 2017 the company’s revenue was almost US$29 billion. Of that, what Microsoft […]Windows no longer Microsoft’s main focus

Why phone makers are obsessed with cameras
Posted on 11-Mar-2018 12:25 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Every recent high-end phone launch has focused, sorry about that, on the device’s camera. Likewise, phone promotion or marketing always pushes cameras to the fore. Samsung launched the Galaxy S9 in Auckland last month. The company invited journalists to an open plan restaurant. There, Samsung invited journalists to photograph the chef preparing food. The menu […]Why phone makers are obsessed with cameras

Shipments tumble as NZ phone upgrades slow
Posted on 2-Mar-2018 11:48 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

IDC says New Zealand phone shipments dropped 14.5 percent in unit terms during 2017. This is the first year-on-year decline reported in this country. A total of 1.60 million phones shipped in 2017 compared with 1.87 million in 2016. A phone shipment is not the same as a sale. Shipments count the number of phones […]Shipments tumble as NZ phone upgrades slow

Oppo R11s: high-end Android, budget price
Posted on 27-Feb-2018 16:27 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Oppo released the R11s, a low-cost Android phone about three months after Apple’s iPhone X emerged. On the surface, the R11s resembles the iPhone X., so that’s quite an achievement. There’s no question what inspired Oppo’s engineers. The R11s has a similar physical design and a software overlay that makes Android look like Apple’s iOS. […]Oppo R11s: high-end Android, budget price

Time to take Apple’s iPad Pro seriously
Posted on 12-Feb-2018 16:54 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

CEO Satya Nadella has turned Microsoft around. It is relevant again. Things didn’t look that way when he took over the company. His switch of focus to the cloud was timely and has been a huge success. Much of what he says and does is sensible. Much, but not everything. In November, Nadella made a […]Time to take Apple’s iPad Pro seriously

Dragon Professional for Mac V6: Near perfect dictation
Posted on 9-Feb-2018 08:26 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

You have to hand it to Nuance. The latest Dragon Professional voice recognition software is impressive. So is its business model. Dragon’s software is expensive by today’s standards. A single user licence for Dragon Professional version 6 costs US$300. You can buy a PC for less. Keep in mind both Apple and Microsoft include voice […]Dragon Professional for Mac V6: Near perfect dictation

Slingshot offers unlimited gigabit fibre for under a ton
Posted on 25-Jan-2018 13:51 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

It is an aggressive price move from Slingshot. The company has thrown down the gauntlet to larger service providers who already complain about margins. Offering the cheapest option is vital in a market like New Zealand where consumers tend to buy on price more than any other criteria. Spark charges $40 more for a service […]Slingshot offers unlimited gigabit fibre for under a ton

Spark doubles down on wireless broadband
Posted on 24-Jan-2018 15:44 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

For over a year Spark has pushed fixed wireless broadband as an alternative to fixed-line internet. Spark sells fixed wireless products using its own label and its cut-price Skinny brand. From a customer point of view the two services are identical. Skinny is cheaper. The cheapest plan is NZ$40 a month. At NZ$85 Spark’s own-brand […]Spark doubles down on wireless broadband

New Zealand hits peak broadband data
Posted on 18-Jan-2018 12:21 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Chorus’ network hit its 2017 peak at 9.25pm on December 10. The broadband network was delivering 1.328 Terabits per second. We once measured large amounts of data in terms of books or towers of compact discs between here and the moon. This time Chorus says the peak was the same as 260,000 HD video streams […]New Zealand hits peak broadband data

Nova 2i: Value, not excitement from Huawei
Posted on 17-Jan-2018 09:02 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

You don’t need to spend the thick end of NZ$2000 to get a decent phone. The NZ$500 Huawei Nova 2i gives you three-quarters of a modern high-end phone for a quarter of the price. Huawei offers powerful high-end phones. Unlike its rivals it also offers credible choices for those of us who don’t want, or […]Nova 2i: Value, not excitement from Huawei

Less news in Facebook News Feed revamp
Posted on 15-Jan-2018 13:15 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Facebook will drop traditional news stories from the News Feed clean up his company’s act. Mark Zuckerberg says the goal is to clean up the social network making it a force for good. The move is overdue. While there are many things wrong with Facebook, matters came to a head when unfriendly forces meddled in […]Less news in Facebook News Feed revamp

Why New Zealand needs a chief technology officer
Posted on 6-Jan-2018 13:59 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Politicians are rarely good with technology. Nothing illustrates this better than the 2011 parliamentary debate over the Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act. A lot of nonsense was spoken at the time. The NBR described the debate as loopy. That was kind. It was obvious the MPs had no idea what they were talking about. […]Why New Zealand needs a chief technology officer

Mobile market competition issues ComCom should watch
Posted on 18-Dec-2017 10:52 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

A Commerce Commission investigation into mobile market competition is underway. The carriers think they’ve seen enough regulation, with some justification. And yet there are areas where New Zealand’s mobile market does not work as well as it might. Spark managing director Simon Moutter has a point when he says New Zealand’s mobile market is competitive. […] Mobile market competition issues ComCom should watch

Stuff Pix media strategy a new direction
Posted on 7-Dec-2017 09:37 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Stuff Fibre says it is to offer Stuff Pix, a movie streaming service, from early next year. It takes the company in a new direction, one that hasn’t been tried before in New Zealand. While getting into content is a natural move for an ISP part-owned by Fairfax, the largest regional media company, Stuff Pix […]Stuff Pix media strategy a new direction

European regulator wants to rein in tech
Posted on 5-Dec-2017 10:10 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Margrethe Vestager, the European commissioner for competition, says the government has to move fast to ensure that tech does not subvert society. Presumably, she means the European government. “…as it becomes clearer how those companies were used to manipulate the 2016 U.S. elections, Vestager feels validated in her distrust of Silicon Valley’s power…” The quotes come […]European regulator wants to rein in tech

Sky TV fights piracy battle that’s already been won
Posted on 1-Dec-2017 13:02 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Sky TV launched legal action in a bid to force ISPs to block access to streaming and video download websites. As you’d expect, the move didn’t go down well with the industry. At least two ISPs say they will fight Sky in court. Sky sent notice that it will seek court orders for Spark, Vodafone, […]Sky TV fights piracy battle that’s already been won

Fixing MacBook Pro: Apple’s to-do list
Posted on 29-Nov-2017 09:47 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Marco Arment has a number of suggestions for Apple in Fixing the MacBook Pro. Arment’s post runs down a list of the things that are wrong with the 2016 MacBook Pros and offers suggestions for putting them right. It covers four areas, but the main one and the problem that bothers me personally is the new […]Fixing MacBook Pro: Apple’s to-do list

iA Writer 5: When you want words without fuss
Posted on 27-Nov-2017 19:21 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Is iA Writer a text editor? Or is it a minimal word processor? The software is both and neither at the same time. It’s an elegant stripped down writing tool that’s perfect for 2018. iA Writer starts from the premise that some writers focus on their words, not how they look on a page. There […]  iA Writer 5: When you want words without fuss

Phone prices rising as users move upmarket
Posted on 24-Nov-2017 17:16 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

People are paying more for phones. After years of falling prices, market research firm GfK reports the average price of a phone climbed seven percent in the last year. The number of phones sold worldwide climbed three percent during the year. Sales fell in North America and Western Europe. GfK works with actual sales data […]Phone prices rising as users move upmarket

Talking net neutrality on RNZ Nine-to-Noon
Posted on 24-Nov-2017 12:11 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

I talk on Radio New Zealand National Nine-to-noon programme with Katherine Ryan about the US government moves to scrap net neutrality rules. It’s available as a 20-minute audio stream or download.  This has been on the cards since the US election a year ago. It’s a move the telecommunications giants pushed for, no-one else is […]Talking net neutrality on RNZ Nine-to-Noon


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