Tech News and Opinions (by Paul Spain)


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)...



New iMac models launch – incl Quad-core CPU, HD camera, Thunderbolt

, posted: 4-May-2011 09:42

Apple have launched a new generation of iMac desktop computers today. Each of these new generation iMac systems feature a quad-core Intel Sandy Bridge Core i5 or Core i7 CPU and the associated chip set.Alongside the faster CPU is the addition of faster graphics courtesy of the AMD Radeon HD (6750M, 6770M or 6970M), 720p HD webcam, Thunderbolt (aka Light Peak) 10GB/s connectivity and an SDXC slot (also supports SD and SDHC cards). Apple advise the CPUs deliver up to 1.7x faster performance than i (read the entire post)...



Sony announces restoration of PlayStation Network with free downloads and service

, posted: 2-May-2011 10:26



Sony have made an announcement that the PlayStation Network and Qriocity services will soon start being turned back on on a region by region basis. According to Sony in some regions the network will be turned on sometime this week (Sony have confirmed this timing applies to many regions including NZ). This follows an incident in mid-April where the service was hacked and then taken offline to minimise any further intrusions into the networks.

Sony advise that they have inv (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)...



NZ Tech Podcast: CIA, Kindle, Skype, Telecom NZ, Xbox 360

, posted: 25-Apr-2011 08:09



The latest episode of the NZ Tech Podcast is packed full of news and updates on Microsoft MIX 11 conference, Amazon Kindle, Skype Security problems, Telecom NZ $12m fine and network outage, Windows Phone 7 Mango, Xbox 360, CIA vs PokerStars.com, Internet Explorer 10 and more.

With a large amount of Microsoft related content we invited Nathan Mercer back to the studio (he was a guest 2 weeks prior). He joined usual hosts Paul Spain and Brad Borrows, with Skip Parker handlin (read the entire post)...



BlackBerry PlayBook hits the shelves

, posted: 19-Apr-2011 23:45

Research in Motion (RIM) have launched the BlackBerry PlayBook in the United States and Canada today starting at US$499 / CA$499 for the 16gb model. Availability in other markets such as New Zealand, Australia and United Kingdom have yet to be confirmed. Initially available in 16gb (US$499), 32gb (US$599) or 64gb (US$699) models with WiFi connectivity, more models are expected in the coming months. Naturally many potential buyers may wait for the 3G edition to be released before making a purcha (read the entire post)...