Nick MacKechnie
#8 wire kinda guy.....

Trademe Spam – Unused credit in your Trade Me Account

Tuesday, 30 September 2008 22:34 by Nick MacKechnie

I received an email this morning highlighting to me that I was in credit on my trademe account.I’m not exactly sure why this urked me, however I guess it steams from the fact that I think I’m more and capable of deciding when/where Il spend my money, and this was the first time I’ve seen these ‘proactive emails’…. Maybe Credit Card companies should do the same… (I think not!) – Now to see if I can disable this annoying nag…

Nick

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New Version of Virtual Earth-3DVIA Arrives

Monday, 29 September 2008 21:34 by Nick MacKechnie

Recently the latest version of Microsoft Virtual Earth-3DVIA was announced. This software combines Microsoft’s mapping platform (Virtual Earth) with the 3D modeling and visualization platform provided by 3DVIA. The end result is a tool that lets you easily design and create 3D scenes of your own or make mashups using the content already posted online at 3DVIA.com, an online content creation community where users make and share their 3D models.  For making these mashups, the latest release of Microsoft Virtual Earth-3DVIA introduces a new “remix” feature. Now, instead of having to learn how to make 3D models yourself, you can just search 3DVIA.com for the models you need and then import those directly into your Virtual Earth projects. With these online models, you can build houses, buildings, or even your own neighborhood, if you so desire, among many other things.

To get you started with the new 3D remix functionality, there are interactive tutorials and videos that teach you how you can build a house in 5 minutes or less. The new version also includes an updated UI and navigation, both of which make the software easier to use.  If you want to start building your own 3D models for Virtual Earth, just download the application from http://maps.live.com/Help/en-us/VE3DVIADownload.htm.

Nick.

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Dance Festival, Liam being Invested @ Keas and Lachie gettn’ jiggy wif it

Friday, 26 September 2008 02:18 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

Yesterday was a busy day for the kids! Halswell School have been learning about dance and yesterday they put on a show for the parents. Vanessa and Lachie went to watch Liam perform, Lachie wasn’t too interested and found some nice dirt to play with outside.

Liam has been going to Keas now for quite a few weeks, and last night he was invested (it isn’t as painful as it sounds) – This basically means you join, say your promise and receive your scarf , woggle and shirt. In a few weeks time we’re off to his first camp at Kaikoura, where we’ll stay for a couple of nights, do whale watching, mini golf, have mass produced food, and the adults will probably enjoy a few ales – Quite looking forward to it!<a href="http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?vid=606b7e0a-88bd-4411-8b50-376f3f9d9c95" target="_new" title="Dance Festival @ Halswell School">Video: Dance Festival @ Halswell School</a>

Capture

Lachie attends Mainly music on Tuesday, so when the fun outside began, (It was the end of term party of Keas).. he decided to put on his dancing shoes…

<a href="http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?vid=d7be2ee2-f975-4d9b-8d08-708f8dc18769" target="_new" title="Jiggy!">Video: Jiggy!</a>

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Android walkthrough on T-Mobile G1

Wednesday, 24 September 2008 20:54 by Nick MacKechnie

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Google has just posted a few videos showing all the Google applications loaded on the T-Mobile G1. This includes Search, Maps, Gmail and Contacts, Calendar, Google Talk and You Tube all enabled via single sign-on. The fact that these are fully synchronized to the web negates the need for a desktop application. 

Have a look at the videos on Youtube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa605HfXggg

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Live TV To Your PC or Mobile Phone

Tuesday, 23 September 2008 21:24 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

You don’t have to have a Media Center PC to have access to TV on your PC. In addition to web sites like Hulu and Joost, there are desktop programs like Livestation and AnyTV which can bring TV shows right to your Windows desktop. Recently, the How-to-Geek featured another application which does the same.  It's called TVUPlayer and it lets you watch channels from all over the world.

If you’re running XP or Vista and have Media Player 9 or later installed, you can access TV programming, including live channels, right from your PC. I was surprised to see that the big channels like NBC, CBS, ABC, and FOX were supported. But what’s even cooler is that there’s a mobile version of this app which works on Windows Mobile 5, 6, or 6.1 phones (they recommend the Samsung i780, HTC Diamond, HTC Touch Cruise, and ATT Tilt). There’s a video of the mobile version on YouTube if you want to see this software in action.

So check out TVUPlayer -  download here: TVUPlayer For Windows

Nick.

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Microsoft Pro Photo Tools 2.0 Released

Monday, 22 September 2008 22:16 by Nick MacKechnie

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Microsoft Pro Photo Tools provides a set of tools for photographers allowing them to perform various tasks with their images—including RAW captures. The current version enables you to quickly geotag your photos, edit metadata, and organize your images by leveraging the power of Microsoft Live Local.

New features include:

  • Support for reading & writing XMP side car metadata enabling interoperability with Adobe products.

  • Viewing actual RAW images, in addition to thumbnails

  • Conversion of RAW files to JPEG, TIFF, and HD Photo using “As Shot” camera settings.

  • The ability to resize RAW images.

  • Support for 64-bit Windows

  • Support for geotagging international locales

  • Improved functionality for geotagging images.

More info: http://blogs.msdn.com/prophoto/archive/2008/09/17/new-version-of-pro-photo-tools-released.aspx

Download here: http://www.microsoft.com/prophoto/downloads/tools.aspx

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Current Windows Live Beta’s…

Monday, 22 September 2008 21:55 by Nick MacKechnie
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All your mail in one place

Manage your Hotmail, Gmail, and other e-mail accounts, plus your calendars and contacts, all in Windows Live Mail. And you can download it for free!

Chatting and e-mail

Messenger and Mail share a single contact list and work together. Plus, your calendar and multiple e-mail accounts are all in one place in Mail.

Messenger beta
Mail beta

Photos and movies

Use Photo Gallery and Movie Maker to edit and organize your digital images and movies, and then post them online or send them to friends.

Photo Gallery beta
Movie Maker beta

Blogging

With Windows Live Writer, blogging is a breeze. You can add photos and videos, format everything just so, and publish to most blogging services.

Writer beta

Browsing the web

With Toolbar, you can customize your browser and find anything, fast. And Family Safety helps you keep your kids safer online.

Toolbar beta
Family Safety beta

Nick.

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Hotel Broadband, Speights, Larnach Castle…

Saturday, 20 September 2008 01:15 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

I was down in Dunedin yesterday catching up with customers and attending the NZ Tertiary IT conference, which was held at the Dunedin Town Hall. I finished up for the day, headed to Speights Brewery to have a look about and take a trip down memory lane, before heading back to the hotel to catchup on emails before dinner.

 IMAGE_068 IMAGE_067

I flicked on the laptop, tried connect to the hotspot in the hotel, was re-directed to their intranet site to approve the spend and connect to the Internet. I was GOBSMACKED at the cost - NZ$50 for 12 hours for Internet – YEAH RIGHT!

Capture

So I decided to flag it, and Evan, Mike and I shot back to the Speight's Bar….

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(I’m pretty sure Evan was asking for 2 more please….)

Last night we hosted the dinner up at Larnach Castle. I haven’t been up there for a few years, the Barker family have done a fantastic job in restoring this iconic New Zealand building.

IMAGE_071

MikeyT had the bagpipes out, a haggis ceremony was performed before dinner, and the drinking and band continued into the early hours of the morning – Great trip, and good to meet a heap of people from the NZ Tertiary Sector.

Nick.

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Video Voicemail With Windows Live Video Messages

Friday, 19 September 2008 23:25 by Nick MacKechnie

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Recently, a new Windows Live site called Windows Live Video Messages was revealed. Here you can record and send personalized videos to your friends and family which they can access from anywhere they have an internet connection. The Video Messages website is set up very much like an email inbox, with folders for Received, Sent, and Unviewed messages. It will also display the counts of your unviewed messages and the total messages you have in your inbox.

The site will automatically import your Windows Live Messenger buddy lists, which is certainly a handy feature. You can use then use those buddy lists to create your “top 6 list,” which features your favourite contacts and is located in the left sidebar above the rest of your buddies.

The site itself is very simple to use – you just click the giant green plus sign to create a new video message. If the webcam is a Microsoft LifeCam (such as one of the two brand-new ones just released), it will be automatically detected. However, you can use your own webcam too. There are two different views for seeing your messages – an organized grid view and a more fun “scattered” view that displays the videos strewn across the web page. You get 2 GB of storage for saving messages and a recycle bin for clearing out older videos.

To use the site, you’ll need to be running Silverlight. It  requires an ActiveX plugin – So have fun!

Nick.

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NZ Broadband – National vs International

Tuesday, 16 September 2008 21:40 by Nick MacKechnie

Hi All,

I recently saw John Key and David Cunliffe present on how important broadband is to New Zealand in terms of growth, opportunity and the future of our economy. Labours view is pretty much centred around enabling access to the cabinets (Unbundling the local loop), while National have the desire to run fibre everywhere, as well as leveraging existing fibre where it makes sense etc.

While there is merit in both views, and maybe a combination of the both is where we should go, the question that keeps on buzzing around in my head is simple – So we can talk to each other at ‘fast’ speeds, so what? Sure there is a requirement for improved performance within New Zealand, however isn’t it more critical for us to be able to communicate at higher speeds to the rest of the world? We want to be seen as a safe, secure and cheap haven for organisations to build their data centres in. We want to provide opportunities for innovation and for New Zealand to be able compete effectively on a world stage - the reality is that the current cost of international bandwidth is too high and latency impacts on our performance.

Below is a link to information on how ISP’s in New Zealand are connected to local and international providers.

topmap 

Am I missing a piece of the puzzle, or aren’t we better off working with others and owning a decent share of our destiny by owning our ‘future roads’ ?

Nick.

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