Tech News and Opinions (by Paul Spain)

Apple co-founder: humans to be like dogs as machines take over the world

, posted: 4-Jun-2011 14:33

Looking for a laugh? In the technology industry there is one person whose antics often generate such a response - even when he's not trying to. At an Australian business event Friday afternoon, Steve Wozniak (Apple co-founder alongside Steve Jobs) suggested that humans would "become the pets, the dogs of the house." Wozniak was speaking to over 2000 business professionals at the Australian Chambers Business Congress on Australia's Gold Coast. 'The Woz' (as Steve Wozniak is often affectionately k (read the entire post)...

Windows 8 shown on video–the iPad killer?

, posted: 2-Jun-2011 12:26

At the D9 Conference in NYC today Microsoft's Stephen Sinofsky demonstrated the next generation of Windows (currently code-named "Windows 8") for the first time in public.

It appears that Windows 8 take a fresh approach to Windows - incorporating the best of Tablets, Phones and full blown PCs today - and merging those elements into a new experience. The concept is that Windows 8 systems can be anything from a small touch only device through to devices with large screen and a keyboard (read the entire post)...

Windows Phone Mango detailed–new handsets coming

, posted: 25-May-2011 03:56

Over the weekend I published some details on Windows Phone NZ of what it was anticipated Microsoft would include in the next release of Windows Phone - currently code named 'Mango'. Much of that information is now official and I can confirm most of the predictions were accurate - however some parts of Mango have been shown in more detail than seen previously and there is a little lack of clarity around some potential features. In addition to new features Microsoft have announced that all exist (read the entire post)...

NZ Tech Podcast: A real phone scam, iPhone 5, Google IO, Google Chrome, LG Optimus 2x

, posted: 20-May-2011 00:27

This week in Episode 11 the NZ Tech Podcast team talk about Scams (of the computer and telephone type) and how to avoid them - and we hear a real scammer in action. Other highlights of this show include coverage of Google IO Conference, Google's Chrome Operating System, iPhone 5, LG Optimus 2x from 2degrees, GoogleBook and Microsoft buying Skype amongst other topics. You can follow @NZTechPodcast on Twitter, subscribe to hear the NZ Tech Podcast on iTunes or find out more at (read the entire post)...

NZ Tech Podcast: Episode 10

, posted: 12-May-2011 20:22

In the 10th episode of the NZ Tech Podcast (and the first to be longer than 1 hour) we spent time chatting with Paul Brislen of TUANZ - with a focus on the impact of changes to Mobile Terminates Rates in NZ. And we touched on the costs associated with mobile data usage when roaming internationally. Other highlights in this episode included Microsoft's purchase of Skype, Bluetooth car audio/calling solutions, home cinema and hot prices on big screen HD TVs, Samsung Galaxy S II, 2degrees mobile h (read the entire post)...

Confirmed: Skype to be sold to Microsoft for US$8.5+ billion

, posted: 10-May-2011 16:12

Update: Rumours have been confirmed - Skype will be bought by Microsoft for $8.5 billion (subject to regulatory approval)

Reports have come in today today (via the Wall Street Journal and GigaOm) that Microsoft is close to finalising a deal to buy Skype for between US$7-$8 billion. Nothing has been confirmed yet by Microsoft or Skype.

It's an interesting move as eBay purchased Skype in 2005 for $2.6 billion however struggled to make it as profitable as an invest (read the entire post)...

NZ Tech Podcast: MTR, XBMC/Apple TV, Sony, Ubuntu, Hulu, Firefox vs Chrome

, posted: 6-May-2011 11:08

On Tuesday night we recorded and streamed live episode 9 of the NZ Tech Podcast. For the second week in a row we successfully tested a live audio stream running in support of a live chat session - hosted by Geekzone. If you'd like to join in put a recurring appointment in your diary for 6pm each Tuesday evening to visit the Geekzone chat (where we share a link to the live stream at the start of the broadcast). The NZ Tech Podcast covered a lot this week - highlights included the following topic (read the entire post)...

NZ Mobile Termination Rate announcement (updated)

, posted: 5-May-2011 10:20

News has just come in that the Commerce Commission (New Zealand) have formally announced changes to mobile termination rates. This alters the wholesale rates for landline to mobile calling, and mobile to mobile calling, and also SMS message (Text message) rates.Current wholesale mobile calling rates are above 15c/minute on average - that will change to less than 4c/minute by April 2012 for all carriers (and reducing further in 2013 and 2014). This cut of more than 2/3 has been expected for some (read the entire post)...

NZ Tech Podcast: Live chat/stream, Netflix, free groceries, network outages, royal wedding

, posted: 1-May-2011 22:41

For the eighth episode of the NZ Tech Podcast we trialled a live audio stream running in support of a live chat session - hosted by Geekzone. It went well and we will continue this again for the next episode. We hope you'll participate. The Geekzone chat run is running 24/7 via at this location. At about 6pm each Tuesday when we record the NZ Tech Podcast we'll be linking into the chat session in order to extend the value of the podcast by drawing on the knowledge and experience of those in the (read the entire post)...

World's biggest security breach as 77 million users data stolen from Sony PlayStation Network and Qriocity service?

, posted: 27-Apr-2011 18:38

In what may be the biggest ever publicly disclosed hacking incident - Sony's PlayStation Network and Qriocity service has been broken into. It seems possible that the network could be down for weeks (if not months) if Sony are are to fully address the concerns of their global customer base.

Media indicates that personal data of some 77 million users has been compromised - including passwords - and most likely also credit card details too. Sony have give details via their US Play (read the entire post)...