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IT, mobility, wireless and handheld news


Opera launches new mobile browser: Opera Touch

Wed, 25 Apr 2018 01:45:00 PDT

Opera Touch is designed to be used on the move, with just one hand. It also makes the mobile and desktop web browsing experiences into one.

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TCF and Telcos Toughen Up on Scam Callers

Sun, 22 Apr 2018 14:39:00 PDT

Following recent reports of scam calling activity, the NZ Telecommunications Forum (TCF) has today released a draft Scam Calling Prevention Code for public consultation, formalising a range of processes in place for the telco industry to deal with instances of scam callers.(image)

Amazon launches the International Shopping Experience in the Amazon Shopping App

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 13:38:00 PDT

Customers across the globe have the ability to browse and ship over 45 million products to their country through the International Shopping experience.(image)

Spark New Zealand and TVNZ to bring coverage of Rugby World Cup 2019

Sun, 15 Apr 2018 11:55:00 PDT

New Zealanders will be able to view all RWC2019 matches live or on-demand via Spark streaming over their broadband or mobile connection. The tournament will be offered on a pay to watch basis, with packages to include a tournament pass and passes for individual matches - service not restrict to Spark customers.(image)

How Google can seize Microsoft Office crown

Fri, 13 Apr 2018 16:08:00 PDT

As Microsoft refocuses to chase enterprise cloud opportunities, Google has an opportunity to lead the productivity software market. It has taken a decade, but now G-Suite can challenge Office. Almost every office worker of my generation spent years working with Microsoft software. For a while Windows was, in effect, a monopoly. Any other operating system […]How Google can seize Microsoft Office crown(image)

How back office transformation drives IRD efficiency

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 02:15:00 PDT

With the Inland Revenue Department undergoing a massive systems upgrade, transformation of the back office is among the central raisons d'etre.(image)

iPod laws in a smartphone world: will we ever get copyright right?

Thu, 12 Apr 2018 02:13:00 PDT

Innovation-unfriendly laws prevail as A/NZ lawmakers struggle to keep pace with technology.(image)

Lightbox service using big data and analytics to learn more about customers

Sun, 08 Apr 2018 17:11:00 PDT

Kiwi streaming TV service Lightbox has been using sophisticated data and analytics to gain a deeper understanding of its customers, and says as a result, its offering is more competitive against global content providers than ever before.(image)

111 mobile caller location extended to iOS

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 18:50:00 PDT

ECLI service provides emergency services with the probable location of a caller when they dial 111 from a mobile phone, enabling emergency services to respond more quickly.

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Huawei announces the HUAWEI P20 series

Wed, 28 Mar 2018 16:41:00 PDT

The HUAWEI P20 Pro features the world's first Leica triple camera and devices include unprecedented AI advances, combining technology and art to bring to life a groundbreaking smartphone experience.

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Symantec Internet Security Threat Report shows increased endpoint technology risks

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 23:29:00 PDT

Annual threat report from Symantec reveals one in ten targeted attack groups use malware designed to disrupt.(image)

Spark switches on long-range IoT network across New Zealand

Sun, 25 Mar 2018 23:22:00 PDT

New Zealand organisations wanting to jump on board the internet of things (IoT) now have a new network to plug into.(image)

Stuff Pix enters streaming video market

Tue, 20 Mar 2018 14:18:00 PDT

nnounced in December last year, Stuff Fibre's venture into pay-per-view movie streaming service, Stuff Pix, launches to the public today.(image)

Edgerouter 4 Review

Thu, 15 Mar 2018 15:22:00 PDT

The Edgerouter 4 is an enterprise grade router with insane performance at a consumer friendly price.(image)

Windows no longer Microsoft�s main focus

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 12:47:00 PDT

Since taking over as Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella has remade the company. What was a PC giant is now a cloud and enterprise computing giant. And that has implications for Windows. Microsoft's latest financials underline the change. In the three months to December 2017 the company's revenue was almost US$29 billion. Of that, what Microsoft [...]Windows no longer Microsoft's main focus(image)

Cora VTOL: Autonomous Electric Sky Taxi from Zephyr Airworks/Kitty Hawk (Disruption Playbook)

Thu, 05 Apr 2018 03:02:00 PDT

From my new series Disruption Playbook comes an interview with the CEO of Zephyr Airworks, Fred Reid. Zephyr Airworks (and parent company Kitty Hawk) are being funded by Google co-founder Larry Page and have been secretly hard at work on Cora –... (more in the full post)(image)

Ready to be an IT Support Engineer at Gorilla?

Tue, 27 Mar 2018 22:15:00 PDT

Gorilla Technology is looking for an IT Support Engineer who is keen and enthusiastic to join the team. If you both learn technical things very quickly and have strong people skills this could be the role for you. There is much to Gorilla's special s... (more in the full post)(image)

Startup nCube launches nCube Smart Home platform

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 18:31:00 PST

London, 8 January 2018 – UK-based smart home technology company nCube is today pleased to announce the launch of its modular smart home hub platform as well as a new range of branded smart home devices at CES 2018. The new modular design comprises of the new and improved nCube Base, the nCube Security module, the nCube Storage module and the nCube Voice module, all available for purchase in February 2018. Following months of research, planning and lengthy discussions with customers, telecommunication companies, energy providers, insurers and retailers, nCube have identified the demand for a smart home hub with numerous capabilities including mobile network connection (back-up in the event of home network failure), battery back-up, at- home camera footage recording, voice control such as Alexa and the continued ability to support many wireless protocols. With customer opinions split on having voice controls in the home, privacy being the main concern, the new nCube modular home hub is a great solution. Staying with the original award-winning blue square box design, the three new optional modules can be stacked magnetically in any order by simply placing one on top of the other. Power supply and connectivity is all provided through the stacking design. The nCube Base is a full redesign on the existing nCube hub which is no longer Raspberry Pi based, but has a fully customised board embedding Z-Wave, Zigbee, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The base can support both Wi-Fi connection to the home network and simultaneously allow Wi-Fi smart home devices to connect to the nCube base. No longer will smart home users require a myriad of different smart home apps to use for each product as the nCube base helps to integrate the different devices together for a one App home automation system that works effortlessly. The ability to connect to the home network via Wi-Fi is a very popular feature and the ability to allow Wi-Fi smart home devices to connect to nCube means the new base also acts as a firewall for all connected smart home devices. The base even includes 4 LAN ports so LAN connected smart home devices can be directly connected too. The nCube Security module provides mobile network back-up and battery back-up for approximately 12 hours. This means the whole nCube platform continues to function in the event of either or both a power failure and internet connection failure and is therefore more advanced than many other DIY smart home solutions from a security perspective. The storage layer provides 1Tb SSD storage for home security camera footage recording for consumers that are wary of cloud storage. Optionally, the user may opt-in on an ad hoc basis to cloud storage accessing recordings when a security incident has occurred. The voice layer provides voice control such as the existing Alexa integration. With all modules being optional, the consumer can choose exactly what they want from their smart home hub instead of being forced into accepting voice for example. The development of local storage, battery and internet back-up and the continued ability for the nCube hub to run entirely local (no logic runs on the nCube cloud) demonstrates nCube’s continued commitment and leadership in privacy and security in the smart home industry. Combining usability with an eye-catching design, nCube has a strong focus on getting devices to work together with the below benefits: Advanced security: learning user lifestyle habits for peace of mind so the home looks lived in whilst occupants are away Harmonised wak[...]

Tractive announces two brand-new GPS tracking devices for cats and dogs

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 09:44:00 PST

LAS VEGAS, January 9th, 2018 – Tractive announces two brand-new GPS tracking devices for cats and dogs at CES to strengthen their lead in the pet tech market. Europe's leading GPS pet tracking company, Tractive, has announced a pair of exciting new devices today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the biggest show of its kind. The Tractive GPS Cat and Tractive GPS Dog have a bold, new design and the feature-packed trackers have not only been optimized to fit the needs of both nimble cats and active dogs in two unique form factors, but they have also been designed to greatly enhance the pet owners' experience as well. Key FeaturesNew features such as activity tracking and Quick-Switch batteries, provide both users and pets with a unique experience, one in which no cat or dog ever has to be without an active Tractive tracker. Detailed activity level monitoring and precision GPS location tracking can now be provided nearly anywhere in the world with essentially zero downtime. "The decision to make two distinct devices with unique strengths was made based on our great user feedback and active community." said CEO Michael Hurnaus, "and by doing this, we've allowed our engineers to explore and implement great features that specifically fit the individual needs of cat or dog owners, all while maintaining its durability and waterproofness." Additional features will be disclosed closer to the products release and will revolve around Tractive's IoT and smart home integration with services such as Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa. Tractive GPS Cat's Integrated Collar DesignThe integrated smart collar in the Tractive GPS Cat allows the tracker technology to be distributed across a wider area, reducing the load and impedance of a bulky tracking device, something important for small and nimble cats. An emergency break-away system has also been built into the collar and will release from the neck of the cat if, for example, it were to get stuck on a fence. Once enough force is applied the cat will be able to break free and the user can easily retrieve the active collar using the companion app. The Tractive GPS Cat is designed and optimized for cats, but would naturally fit small dogs or similar animals. Tractive GPS Dog's Quick-Clip DesignThe new clipping mechanism allows for easier and faster mounting of a Tractive tracker while increasing its reliability. The Quick-Clip attachment allows the device to fit nearly any collar and to detach at the press of a button. The tracker mount will remain on the collar comfortably while the tracker is charged or set aside providing a simple and secure user experience. It's slender design makes it ideal for a wide variety of dog sizes, and while the Tractive GPS Dog is designed and optimized for dogs, it would naturally fit large cats or other similar animals with a collar. Availability & Release Tractive GPS Cat will be released to consumers in next few months, beginning with a European rollout, and Tractive GPS Dog will be released later this year. Pricing has yet to be determined, but will be similar to that of their current line-up. About TractiveTractive was founded in 2012 in Pasching, Austria by a group of paw-ssionate entrepreneurs looking to create a safer environment for the millions of pets in the world. Tractive’s mission is to strengthen the bond between pets and their owners by leveraging technology to ensure a healthier, longer and safer life together. Tractive specializes in the development of pet tech, wearables and apps. In addition to Tractive GPS, Tracti[...]

Crucial launches next gen MX500 SSD

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 08:39:00 PST

CES, LAS VEGAS – JANUARY 10, 2018 - Crucial, a leading global brand of memory and storage upgrades, has launched the Crucial® MX500 SSD. The new drive features second generation Micron® 3D NAND technology and is 45 times more energy efficient than a typical hard drive.4 Available in capacities up to 2TB[2]2 in the 2.5-inch form factor and up to 1TB in the M.2 form factor, the MX500 has sequential reads/writes up to 560/510 MB/s and random reads/writes up to 95K/90K IOPS. 1   “This next generation MX500 SSD features a stackable 64-layer, 256-gigabit component. Micron’s floating gate NAND is designed with CMOS Under the Array (CUA), which allows us to minimise the footprint of the die. At 59 square millimeters, it’s among the world’s smallest 256-gigabit die,” said Jon Tanguy, Crucial Senior SSD Product Engineer. “Our engineering team has incorporated this leading-edge NAND technology in an SSD that includes all the advanced features Crucial customers have come to expect to keep their data safe.”   Crucial also directly addresses two of the scariest issues for first-time SSD buyers: moving files and installation. Upgrading from a traditional hard drive is easy with the MX500 thanks to the data migration and cloning software included with each drive. And the Crucial SSD Install Guide helps new installers with directions for every step of the process.   “We’re excited about our next generation of SSD drives and the near-instant performance and lasting reliability that comes with them,” said Jonathan Weech, Crucial Senior SSD Product Manager. “Users can rest assured that their data, family videos, travel photos, music, and other important documents are stored safely on the MX500.” The MX500 advanced features include: Dynamic Write Acceleration for faster saves and file transfers. Hardware-based encryption to keep personal files and confidential data secure. Integrated Power Loss Immunity to avoid unintended data loss when the power unexpectedly goes out. Exclusive Data Defense to prevent files from becoming corrupted and unusable. Redundant Array of Independent NAND to protect data at the component level. Crucial SSDs have been established, proven, and tested for over seven generations of drives. The MX500 is backed by a five-year limited warranty and supported by the Crucial® Storage Executive software tool for easy drive maintenance. The 2.5-inch version of the MX500 is available for immediate purchase at or through our global channel partners, while the MX500 M.2 version will be available in Q1’18. For more information about the whole Crucial SSD portfolio, visit[...]

Sony CES announcements

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 01:11:00 PST

Sony have announced a number of new products at CES this year. I had the opportunity to look around their stand at their press conference and check out many of their new products as well as some very cool new pre release Xperia headphones. In the TV space Sony have announced new OLED and LCD models featuring their new X1 Extreme processing chip. In 2017 Sony entered the OLED market (along with Panasonic) using OLED panels manufactured by LG but with their own processing chip and user interface. Many believe (and I�m one of them) that the quality of the picture on the Sony TVs exceeded that of the LG TVs. LG have played catch up this year, but Sony have also made significant improvements. Their new A8F series OLED TVs will hit the NZ market with 55� and 65� TVs on offer. These will be joined by the new X9000F series LCD panels which also feature the same X1 Extreme processing chip. Both ranges support Dolby Vision HDR but do lack the new HDR10+ standard. Like the 2017 models they are running Android TV with Google Assistant integration. Audio quality of the new OLED models is stunning with the upgraded acoustic surface design.       In the headphone space Sony announced a number of new products including the world�s first Bluetooth noise cancelling sport headphones. The WF-SP700N is a true wireless product, and WI-SP600N is cabled. I had the opportunity to listen to the WF-SP7000N and was very impressed by these. Google Assistant is fully supported.       Also on display was a protype Xperia Ear headphone that was also pretty awesome. There is no word yet on a launch date for these but they are something I�d love to own. As an open ear style headphone they didn�t actually sit in the ear canal so allowed ambient outside noise and easily allowed a conversation while playing music. They had gesture support allowing you to change tracks by moving your head, and touch controls on the headphone itself. Like pretty much every audio product on display here Google Assistant support was also included.     Sony also announced new Xperia phones at CES � which is a big deal as Sony have really struggled in the US market in recent years. The new Xperia  XA2 and XA2 Ulta have been launched and both will be sold in the NZ market. Both are mid range handsets with the XA2 featuring a 5.2� screen and the XA2 Ultra featuring a larger 6� screen. Both feature a new slimmer bezel design than existing Xperia handsets and a new fingerprint reader on the back of the phone. Sony have traditionally had their fingerprint reader on the power button (and as a Xperia user it�s something I really love) but due to patent issues have had to disable the fingerprint reader in phones sold in the US market. Moving the fingerprint reader allows solves the issue. The phone also features a wide angle front camera for selfies.     Also on display was Aibo - Sony�s robotic dog. After a hiatus it�s made it�s way back to life and was very impressive to see. At this stage it�ll only be available in the Japanese market.   [...]

LG announce new 2018 TVs

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 14:06:00 PST



LG have today announced their new 2018 range of OLED and LCD TVs.

Rather than any major advancements with their OLED panels (it�s hard to improve on something that�s already amazing!) LG have this year focussed on improvements to picture quality with their new Alpha9 processor to improve post processing, and by delivering better sound, AI, and voice control. Despite OLED being the best TV technology available right now, in 2017 both Sony and Panasonic both released OLED TVs using LG OLED panels that many people that delivered better picture quality than the LG TVs.

LG have announced new W8, E8, C8 and B8 panels that are similar form factors to 2017�s W7, E7, C7 and B7 panels. In the LCD space their new models feature greatly improved picture quality and better viewing angles. New LCD models feature the new Alpha7 processor and Full Array Local Dimming which delivers significant on previous edge lit panels.

All new models are 4K Cinema HDR compatible and include Dolby Vision, Advanced HDR by Technicolor, HLG and HDR10 as well as HDR10+

LG have also announced their entry into the AI space with their ThinQ protocol which enables all new LG devices to communicate with each other. The new model TVs are all voice compatible and include Google Assistant meaning you can control devices from the TV and also control the TV from other Google Assistant devices.


Jabra releases new Elite series headphones

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 10:29:00 PST

    CES, Las Vegas, 8 January 2018 � Jabra is starting the year by introducing the Elite franchise, a family of headphones and earbuds engineered for superior sound to provide the best combined voice and music experience. Jabra�s research shows that the daily usage of headphones by frequent users focuses on calls (58% of users each day), music (53%) and voice control (35%). The Elite franchise is engineered to meet the needs of these users looking not only for outstanding music quality, but also for strong voice capability, whether they�re making calls or increasingly using voice assistants such as Alexa, Siri or Google Now. With the Elite family of products, headphone users no longer have to make a choice between great music headphones or a headset designed for voice and calls, now they can have both with whichever Elite product they choose. At CES, Jabra is showcasing three new products; Elite 45e, Elite 65t and Elite Active 65t. The Jabra Elite Sport, the best-selling, most technically advanced true wireless sports earbuds*, set the standard for the Elite product suite by incorporating leading audio technology, and the new family members follow this direction. Drawing on the GN Group�s long-standing audio, headset and hearing aid expertise, each new Elite product contains unique microphone configurations to ensure users will always be heard, whether you�re speaking to Alexa or your family and whether you�re indoors or out on the street. In addition, the companion Jabra Sound+ app allows you to personalise your music to the sound that suits you. In addition to the best-in-class voice and music experience, the new Elite products also come with the security of a two-year warranty against dust and water ingress (two years for the Elite Active 65t also including sweat ingress). While users will experience the great voice and music experience that Elite products offer, they will also be able to choose the wearing style that suits them best. The Elite family includes true wireless and soft neckband variants with the suffix letter signifying the styles clearly using �e� for earbud and �t� for true wireless. Alexa integration For those who prefer using voice commands, the new products allow voice support for all major voice services, now including Amazon Alexa on-the-go. Jabra will be among the first movers to enable this mobile feature, providing customers with access to Alexa directly from the earbuds. With Alexa, you can ask to play music, hear the news, check weather, control smart home devices, and much more. Elite 65t delivers a 4-microphone array and superior sound. While delivering a market-leading voice and music experience and durability, each of the Elite products Jabra is presenting at this year�s CES also has its own specific features: Elite 45e: Engineered for the best voice and music experience. The Elite 45e is for users who want the best combined voice and music experience in a headset with a discreet design and a great fit. This soft neckband (with memory wire) headset has a lightweight form factor and a unique box microphone solution that delivers the clearest voice communication on any stereo wireless headphone. Elite 65t: Engineered for the best true wireless voice and music experience. The Elite 65t is a third generation true wireless earbud aimed at those who want the best voice and music experience without wires. It is engineered to ensure a stable wireless[...]

Wi-Fi Alliance announces WPA3

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 10:22:00 PST

  Wi-Fi Alliance have this morning announced the official release of the new WPA3 WiFi security standard here at CES. WPA3 is the next generation WiFi security protocol replacing WPA2 which is now over 10 years old. The most significant improvements are all about security � brute force attacks (trying to repeatedly guess passwords) will now trigger security measures and block a device. Security on open public WiFi networks also receives a significant boost with a new encryption layer meaning every user on an open public network will have their traffic encrypted, unlike current open networks where no security exists and all traffic can be intercepted. The first WiFi equipment with WPA3 support will be announced at CES 2018, and vendors will begin to ship hardware supporting this standard in 2018. Some existing WiFi capable hardware will be able to be upgraded to support the new standard, but in most cases new hardware will be required.   ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------   Las Vegas, NV � January 8, 2018 � Wi-Fi Alliance� introduces enhancements and new features for Wi-Fi Protected Access�, the essential family of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED� security technologies for more than a decade. Wi-Fi Alliance is launching configuration, authentication, and encryption enhancements across its portfolio to ensure Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices continue to implement state of the art security protections. WPA2� provides reliable security used in billions of Wi-Fi� devices every day, and will continue to be deployed in Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices for the foreseeable future. Wi-Fi Alliance will continue enhancing WPA2 to ensure it delivers strong security protections to Wi-Fi users as the security landscape evolves. Advanced Wi-Fi applications will rely on WPA2 with Protected Management Frames, broadly adopted in the current generation of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices, to maintain the resiliency of mission-critical networks. New testing enhancements will also reduce the potential for vulnerabilities due to network misconfiguration, and further safeguard managed networks with centralized authentication services. Building on the widespread adoption and success of WPA2, Wi-Fi Alliance will also deliver a suite of features to simplify Wi-Fi security configuration for users and service providers, while enhancing Wi-Fi network security protections. Four new capabilities for personal and enterprise Wi-Fi networks will emerge in 2018 as part of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WPA3�. Two of the features will deliver robust protections even when users choose passwords that fall short of typical complexity recommendations, and will simplify the process of configuring security for devices that have limited or no display interface. Another feature will strengthen user privacy in open networks through individualized data encryption. Finally, a 192-bit security suite, aligned with the Commercial National Security Algorithm (CNSA) Suite from the Committee on National Security Systems, will further protect Wi-Fi networks with higher security requirements such as government, defense, and industrial. �Security is a foundation of Wi-Fi Alliance certification programs, and we are excited to introduce new features to the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED family of security solutions,� said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. �The W[...]

Welcome to the CES 2018 blog

Wed, 03 Jan 2018 20:09:00 PST

Welcome to the official Geekzone blog for CES 2018.

We're currently both on our way to Las Vegas for CES 2018. While we're there we will attempt to minimise the partying and bring you daily updates of the latest in technology from the show floor and press conferences. Along with the latest in technology from all the big companies we're also keen to catch up with any New Zealand companies that may be at CES.

If anybody has seen anything cool they'd like us to check out feel free to get in touch and we'll see what we can do!


Home Tech Review: Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Purifier

Wed, 20 Dec 2017 13:04:00 PST

At home, my family purchased our first Dyson product (a vacuum cleaner) in 2016 and had no complaints – so when Dyson offered to send another product in my direction my wife, Selina, suggested we should try it. So we set about trying it - with ... (more in the full post)(image)

Will Huawei become #1 in Smartphones? - NZ Tech Podcast 365

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 04:19:00 PST

Direct from Shenzhen, China – journalists Tristram Clayton (NZ Herald) and Scott Bartley (NBR contributor) joined host Paul Spain to discuss the past, present and future of China's most well known tech company - Huawei. Topics include a disuccs... (more in the full post)(image)

Cloud Computing:The Pros and Cons - is it right for your business?

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 17:16:00 PDT

You may recall the nursery rhyme - 'Rain, Rain, Go Away'. Well some people don't just dislike rain - they also dislike cloud computing too. Does it make sense or are these people actually causing harm to their organisations? I'll give you the rundown... (more in the full post)(image)

Some people love LinkedIn and manage to gain significant earnings from it- could you use it better?

Thu, 05 Oct 2017 21:39:00 PDT

LinkedIn is the social network for professionals - are you one of those who could benefit from using it more? Paul Spain shares how some basic activity on LinkedIn helped generate a significant amount of earnings for his small business. Included are ... (more in the full post)(image)

Video: Apple's iPhone X, iPhone 8, Watch 3 and TV 4K: innovative? or just 'me too' products?

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 04:47:00 PDT

It's fair to say that much of what Apple announced isn't ground breaking on its own - a watch with an embedded cellular connection - a phone with wireless charging. These technologies have been around for years. But Apple approach things a little dif... (more in the full post)(image)