Tech News and Opinions (by Paul Spain)

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)...

Final NZ Ultra-Fast Broadband partners announcements

, posted: 24-May-2011 10:27

This morning Crown Fibre Holdings and the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Hon Steven Joyce, has released the following information regarding the selection of Telecom NZ and Enable Networks as the remaining key partners selected for the rollout of fibre based broadband Internet connectivity across New Zealand. Crown Fibre Holdings (CFH) has welcomed the announcement by Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Hon Steven Joyce that two companies are to deploy (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)...

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)...