Tech News and Opinions (by Paul Spain)

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, 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)...

Office 365 beta

, posted: 19-Apr-2011 21:28

After a few months of limited access, Microsoft have opened up the Office 365 beta on a global basis. Office 365 is the successor to Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite (BPOS), Office Live Small Business, and Live@edu.Office 365 is a cloud offering delivering a bundle of the latest versions of Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Lync, and Microsoft Office via the Internet. And as I reported last year, Microsoft have dramatically reduced pricing on their cloud offering (read the entire post)...

NZ Tech Podcast: Kindle, iPad, Sony vs Geohotz, Windows Home Server + more

, posted: 14-Apr-2011 15:45

This week (Episode 6) was a busy one on the NZ Tech Podcast. We featured topics including the Amazon Kindle and other e-reading options, iPad Apps, upcoming Android and Windows Tablets from Acer, Windows Home Server 2011, Sony vs Geohotz and digital cameras and video. Paul Spain and Bradley Borrows were this week joined in the studio by Jason Hosking - a photographer for Getty Images (amongst others). Jason weighed in our discussion of new ways of consuming content (such as a magazines) using t (read the entire post)...

Windows Phone 'Mango' update

, posted: 14-Apr-2011 05:24

Today Microsoft have for the first time publicly shared indepth information of the large scale update to Windows Phone 7 expected to be available globally in the September-November timeframe. News features cover just about every area of the platform.Highlights include: New App Hub features and designs Multitasking Speed improvements Many new apps coming - including Skype, Kik messaging, Spotify, Qantas Internet Explorer 9 - with hardware acceleration and HTML5 Marketplace to expand from (read the entire post)...

NZ Tech Podcast: Episode 5

, posted: 8-Apr-2011 18:16

A few dramas popped up this week and it seemed like last weeks claim that the NZ Tech Podcast was now a weekly show wouldn't be true. Fortunately things came together and am I pleased to present episode 5.

This week the featured topics include the new Sony Xperia Play, 'Windows 8′ leaks, Freeview expansion, iSky, recent security/hacking issues, Android Music 3, Amazon Cloud Drive, the Imagine Cup and upcoming live chat during the Podcast. I will provide an update so (read the entire post)...