Tech News and Opinions (by Paul Spain)

Blackberry Storm launches in Australia and NZ

, posted: 21-Nov-2008 17:40

Vodafone are launching the Blackberry Storm in Australia and New Zealand on Monday, 1 December (though some stores may have stock a day or two prior).

Aiming to ensure that the price is not too dissimilar to that of the iPhone, the touch screen Blackberry Storm will be selling in New Zealand for NZ$999 incl GST. This is some $200 cheaper than the $1199 Blackberry Bold.

Update, Mon 1 Dec: I've been advised that shipments have been delayed and the Blackberry Storm has not arr (read the entire post)...

Windows Server 2008 R2 (or should it be called Windows Server 2009?)

, posted: 29-Oct-2008 09:17

It appears as though Microsoft have really moved into top gear with their product development over the past couple of years and now we can expect more regular updates than during the mid-2000's.

The R2 release of Windows Server 2008 is a case in point. Less than a year after the release of Windows Server 2008 and a bunch of important new features are being touted for this update. Some of these include: - Direct Access (SSL VPN for accessing files much like Exchange RPC over HTTPS)- Br (read the entire post)...

Windows 7 and Office 14 (aka Office 2009/Office 2010)

, posted: 29-Oct-2008 08:51

Microsoft have started showing off Windows 7 and it's various new features at their Professional Developers conference. They've also provided details of next release of Office and how it will be accessible via a browser.

Some of the best things about Windows 7 include:
- Performance improvements: including faster boot times, and installation time of 10-15 mins
- Improved UAC: Not just the option of on or off - you set the levels (and it doesn't take over your entire screen)< (read the entire post)...

Microsoft launches System Center Virtual Machine Maanger (SCVMM)

, posted: 22-Oct-2008 06:34

Microsoft have completed and launched their newest virtualisation product - Virtual Machine Manager 2008. VMM 2008 is part of Microsoft's effort to generate revenue from Virtualisation. In contract with the standalone Hyper-V product and the Windows Hyper-V role which cost nothing and close to nothing, VMM 2008 will sell for a recommended price of US$1,304 (license and 2 years software assurance).

Virtual Machine Manager 2008 provides management of three virtualization products - Micr (read the entire post)...

Hardware and Software prices to rise 10-20% in NZ and Australia

, posted: 19-Oct-2008 09:28

Due to the drop in value of both Australian Dollar (AUD) and the New Zealand Dollar (NZD) versus the US Dollar (USD) it is anticipated that the price of many products will rise in coming weeks by as much as 20%.

Rates today are as follows:
1 NZD = 0.61 USD
1 AUD = 0.69 USD

The last week has already seen Apple release new MacBooks in the region at prices higher than previous editions - something that's virtually unheard of. IBM and HP have also announced price rise (read the entire post)...

Apple releases new MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and 24'' Display

, posted: 15-Oct-2008 07:39

Apple have launched their new aluminimum MacBooks and new MacBook Pros with faster graphics capabilities. In addition new a LED backlit 24" monitor was released by Apple.

The new aluminimum MacBooks have dropped in weight to weigh in at just over 2kg. They include a multi-touch trackpad and 13.3" LED backlit screen and are available in 2.0ghz and 2.4ghz configurations operating with faster DDR3 memory. Prices for the new Macbooks have risen in New Zealand and Australia compared to pri (read the entire post)...

Blackberry Bold 9000 shipping, Blackberry Storm 9500 not far off

, posted: 14-Oct-2008 14:45

I noticed yesterday that the Blackberry Bold (pictured) is now available in NZ, Australia, UK and probably other markets too. This release is slightly ahead of schedule for this new handset which features Wifi, GPS, Quad-band GSM, Tri-band HSDPA and a few other nifty features.

Details here from Vodafone NZ:

Apparently the touchscreen Blackberry Storm 9500 (pictured at bottom on page) is nearly here t (read the entire post)...

Silverlight 2.0 released (updated)

, posted: 14-Oct-2008 07:39

Microsoft have finished off their Silverlight 2.0 browser plug-in and made it available for download along with related developer components such as 'Silverlight Toolkit' which includes dozens of Silverlight controls which are licensed as open source.

Surprising for many is that Silverlight already reaches an audience of 1 in 4 consumers, and in some countries it's understood that about 50% of computers already have Silverlight installed. Recently Microsoft signed a deal with Hewlett (read the entire post)...

Developers, now I need your help

, posted: 9-Oct-2008 00:33

Well, the time has come for one of our talented team members to move onwards to the next step in their career. So we have an opening at Gorilla Technology and Cloud Labs. Details below - if you know anyone who might suit this role please pass the info on.

Junior-Intermediate Microsoft .Net Developer
Gorilla Technology / Cloud Labs - Auckland

Full-time position available in young, exciting and dynamic organisation that is planning for growth in the coming year. Our gro (read the entire post)...

And the winner is... (updated)

, posted: 9-Oct-2008 00:26

My experiment with crowd sourcing a new logo for Cloud Labs is over. It was clearly a success and the winner has been announced. Here it is, with respect to the designer Shtap, and the dozens of others who participated.

Update: Based on comments of my blog readers it appears there is another logo being used by a local company that has some similarities to this one and they also have similarities with their name, so we're evaluating options to modify the logo accordingly.
(read the entire post)...