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Google opens door to New Zealand smart home
Posted on 1-Nov-2017 11:24 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Nest, the smart thermostat maker Google acquired in 2014, is the world’s best-known home automation brand. The company is now selling its smart home products and services in New Zealand. Smart home technology has been slow to take off around the world. It gets the attention from technology fetishests, but, despite years of hype and […] Google opens door to New Zealand smart home

Building a resilient Wellington
Posted on 30-Oct-2017 13:29 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Building a resilient Wellington by bill bennett (NZ Herald) After the earthquake, the priorities of the city changed overnight. Wellington is part of the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities project. It’s an ambitious project that aims to help cities prepare for challenges such as earthquakes or floods then bounce back fast when they happen. It’s […] Building a resilient Wellington

TDL shows flat telecommunications growth
Posted on 27-Oct-2017 10:53 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

This week the Commerce Commission published its draft numbers for the $50 million Telecommunications Development Levy. In a way the TDL acts as a report card on the shifting fortunes of the main telecommunications companies. The levy is, in effect, an extra and, somewhat discriminatory, tax on telecommunications companies imposed by the outgoing National government. […] TDL shows flat telecommunications growth

Vocus New Zealand on the block as Aussies bail
Posted on 23-Oct-2017 17:06 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Vocus is preparing its New Zealand assets, which include mobile, broadband, and energy offerings, for sale by June 2018, while also exploring the sale of its ‘non-core Australian assets’ including datacentres. Source: Vocus to sell New Zealand assets | ZDNet The Australian parent is in trouble. As is so often the case, the people at […] Vocus New Zealand on the block as Aussies bail

Vodafone TV — television in the cloud
Posted on 17-Oct-2017 19:29 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

You need a fast fibre connection to use the new-look Vodafone TV. Less than 100Mbps won’t cut it. That means a UFB connection or Vodafone’s own FibreX alternative. You also need a Vodafone broadband account. The service is company exclusive. CEO Russell Stanners says he hopes customers who like the look of Vodafone TV will […] Vodafone TV — television in the cloud

Nokia 8 review: Classy midrange pure Android phone
Posted on 16-Oct-2017 07:27 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

A decade ago Nokia accounted for almost half the mobile phones in use. Within a handful of years it was irrelevant. Today Nokia is back. Sort of. A little-known Finnish company called HMD Global has the name rights. HMD sells four Nokia models; the Nokia 3, 5, 6 and 8. Not much imagination went into […] Nokia 8 review: Classy midrange pure Android phone

Why carriers might want to embrace Commerce Commission study, MVNOs
Posted on 13-Oct-2017 09:42 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Earlier this year Communications Minister Simon Bridges wrote to the Commerce Commission asking it to investigate competition in the mobile market. Last Friday the Commerce Commission confirmed the study will go ahead. The Commerce Commission says study aims to “better understand how mobile markets are developing and performing, particularly around the competitive landscape and any […] Why carriers might want to embrace Commerce Commission study, MNVOs

Notes on Nokia’s phone comeback
Posted on 10-Oct-2017 10:06 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

There’s a Nokia 8 phone vibrating on the desk in front of me. Soon I’ll write a potted review of my experience with the phone. For now, let’s tease you with this: My first impressions are favourable. Nokia’s new phones use Android. It makes sense. The phone operating system is popular. Android runs on about […] Notes on Nokia’s phone comeback

The latest mobile phones in perspective
Posted on 9-Oct-2017 18:34 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

This year’s premium phones are better equipped and more powerful than most PCs. They also tend to be more expensive. Phones have been pocketable personal computers for four or five years now. For most of that time their productive capacity has been on a par with desktops and laptops. While there was no dramatic gear […] The latest mobile phones in perspective

Review: Acronis True Image 2018 — serious backup
Posted on 8-Oct-2017 11:22 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Acronis True Image promises to store all your data so you can recover it in a hurry. The company’s marketing says the process is complete and easy. You are give a choice of storing data to a local drive, in the cloud or both. Acronis also says it has high levels of security. None of […] Review: Acronis True Image 2018 — serious backup

Less fone, more tech as Vodafone gets brand make-over
Posted on 6-Oct-2017 08:16 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Vodafone has a new version of its speech-mark logo and a new slogan: ‘The Future is Exciting. Ready?’ The bright red colour stays. Although there will be less of it. From today the white on red will become red on white. The changes are all part of a global brand make-over. According to the company the […] Less fone, more tech as Vodafone gets brand make-over

The Cloud is Getting Darker
Posted on 5-Oct-2017 20:47 Articles, Security, by Symantec

We are living in a cloud generation powered by a fundamental shift in the way enterprises, employees and customers use technology. The traditional corporate security perimeter is being transformed by the dominance of hybrid IT infrastructure, growth in personally owned devices, ubiquitous high-speed internet and cloud-based computing platforms. 

If Vodafone dropping mail worries you, you’re doing online wrong
Posted on 11-Sep-2017 13:54 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

At the New Zealand Herald, Holly Ryan writes Vodafone axes email services – NZ Herald Customers with a Vodafone email address will have to switch at the end of November, when the telco plans to axe its email services after 20 years. Email addresses affected include its Clear and Paradise services. Vodafone had about 200,000 […] If Vodafone dropping mail worries you, you’re doing online wrong

Norton Wi-Fi Privacy — Easy, flawed VPN
Posted on 11-Sep-2017 09:48 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Last year Symantec released an iOS version of Norton Wi-Fi Privacy. It’s a solid app that shields an iPhone or iPad against everyday risks with public Wi-Fi hotspots1. This year Norton has expanded the product in two ways. First, it now comes in PCs and Macs versions as well as iOS and Android. Second, you […] Norton Wi-Fi Privacy — Easy, flawed VPN

Kiwibank wastes $90 million on software – Reseller News
Posted on 1-Sep-2017 13:45 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

At Reseller News, Rob O’Neill writes: Kiwibank has booked a $90 million impairment in its software assets and flagged a major change in its SAP core banking roilout. “Although the strategic review has not yet concluded, a potential change to how we build the core ‘back end’ IT system (CoreMod) to match the demands of […] Kiwibank wastes $90 million on software – Reseller News

Government broadband investment fills the gaps
Posted on 31-Aug-2017 12:53 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

The money earmarked for more broadband may or may not have been an election bribe. Either way is it a sound infrastructure investment. — Bill Bennett (@billbennettnz) August 30, 2017 Cynics were quick to label the government’s generous broadband funding announcement as pork barrel politics. There’s something in that. New Zealand is, after all, in […] Government broadband investment fills the gaps

Duck Duck Go versus Google juggernaut
Posted on 28-Aug-2017 20:55 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

For the last month Duck Duck Go has been my default search engine on my computers, tablets and phone. It’s not the first time I’ve tried this experiment. Unlike other search engines Duck Duck Go doesn’t track your searches. You’ll see advertising based on your search terms, but they don’t relate back to earlier searches. Nor are […] Duck Duck Go versus Google juggernaut

Samsung Galaxy Note 8 launch
Posted on 25-Aug-2017 13:14 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Last year’s Galaxy Note 7 looked like a winner. My review described it as the best Android phone. Then we learnt about battery explosions and burning phones. Yesterday Samsung unveiled this year’s model. The company’s Auckland launch was a tired affair set in a grim industrial bunker. After drinks the crowd was made to stand […] Samsung Galaxy Note 8 launch

Sky TV boss blames pirates, evidence says otherwise
Posted on 24-Aug-2017 17:29 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Writing at Newsroom.co.nz, Mark Jennings covers a weak financial result from Sky TV. He quotes boss John Fellet: “Piracy has become our biggest competitor. “The big problem is the increasing ease by which pirated content is accessible. “Devices preloaded with piracy software enable users to access pirated content stored on servers overseas, from the comfort […] Sky TV boss blames pirates, evidence says otherwise

How Oppo shakes New Zealand’s phone market
Posted on 22-Aug-2017 18:32 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Earlier today Oppo showed New Zealand media the R11 phone. We could talk about the 20 megapixel camera and features. Instead, let’s save time and get straight to the point: this is a NZ$770 premium Android phone. That’s right. It costs a whisker over half the NZ$1500 price of a Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus. Or, less […] How Oppo shakes New Zealand’s phone market

Public Wi-Fi plus cloud file sharing
Posted on 18-Aug-2017 11:20 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Ben Kepes writes about an infosec panic: Bitglass, a company that is all about protecting organizational data, wanted to see the impacts of widespread use of public wi-fi, alongside the use of unsanctioned file sharing solutions… …Bitglass’ threat research team tested two real-world scenarios—public wi-fi use and sharing of data from within a cloud app. […] Public Wi-Fi plus cloud file sharing « The Diversity Blog 

Fact-checking Southern Cross Next cable is fastest to USA
Posted on 17-Aug-2017 13:57 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Southern Cross says its recent seabed survey found a faster route for the Southern Cross Next cable project connecting Auckland and Sydney to Los Angeles. The route means laying cable in waters off the Wallis and Fortuna Islands. This should pay off by cutting latency; that’s the time taken for data to travel across the […] Fact-checking Southern Cross Next cable is fastest to USA

Thurrott says Microsoft Surface is dead last for reliability
Posted on 16-Aug-2017 15:19 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Consumer Reports has pulled its recommendations for Microsoft’s Surface products, citing an industry-worst failure rate. Source: Consumer Reports: Microsoft Surface is Dead Last for Reliability – Thurrott.com Reliability is one of the hardest things to cover off when reviewing hardware. It’s no accident that Apple, which sits at the top of the reliability league table […] Thurrott says Microsoft Surface is dead last for reliability

LibreOffice 5.4 works better with Microsoft Office files
Posted on 16-Aug-2017 13:32 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

With version 5.4 The Document Foundation has made the free, open source LibreOffice 5.4 more compatible with Microsoft Office1. If you like your productivity software to come as a big, sprawling, all-encompassing suite, you can buy an annual Microsoft Office subscription. Or, you could get the power of Office without paying a penny. LibreOffice is […] LibreOffice 5.4 works better with Microsoft Office files

Spark adds Cambridge, Turangi to 4.5G network
Posted on 10-Aug-2017 17:55 Articles, Bill Bennett, by Bill Bennett

Spark press release: Spark announced today that Cambridge and Turangi have become the latest towns capable of getting the fastest mobile data speeds in the country, as 4.5G is switched on in the two Waikato locations. The launch of 4.5G in Cambridge and Turangi follows other single-tower deployments covering limited areas in the Christchurch CBD, […] Spark adds Cambridge, Turangi to 4.5G network


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