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The TechDay Weekender - Feb 19th 2011

19 Feb 11

Welcome to another TechDay Weekender, where we try and fill in any gaps you might have about what’s been happening in the news this week.

While your Monday probably started off a bit slow, while you waited for the coffee to kick in and blow the weekend cobwebs away, ours started with a helicopter ride to Bethells Beach where Vodafone demonstrated its new Sure Link device that can boost your 3G coverage from 0 to 5 bars at the flick of a switch.

While we were there, Vodafone CEO Russell Stanners told us that Vodafone's existing network is actually a 4G network.

Skype made a few ripples in the wi-fi water, via a deal with Tomizone to offer internet access to its consumer and business users via its wi-fi hotspots. All you need is a connection to a Skype Access compatible hotspot and the latest version of Skype for Mac or Windows. And some Skype calling credit.

Proving that getting your credit card details stolen online, through no fault of your own, is a very real threat, Lush (the cosmetics shop you can always smell before you can see) was forced into pulling down its New Zealand website after being hacked.

Over in tech world, Research In Motion revealed plans to release two additional BlackBerry 4G PlayBook models in the second quarter to support LTE and HSPA+ high speed wide area wireless networks.

Google made advances on websites that offer shallow or low-quality content this week with an experimental Chrome extension that allows you to block specific sites from your web search results.

HTC went and unveiled two new phones that feature a dedicated Facebook button for one-touch access to the social network. The Facebook button is context-aware, “gently pulsing with light whenever there is an opportunity to share content or updates through Facebook”. Soon we’ll all be born with Facebook bellybuttons.

Sony stuck its tongue out at Apple's mighty iTunes this week by launching the snappily titled music streaming service - Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity - in New Zealand. It'll be interesting to see if Sony properly squares up further on down the line.

Setting a famished cat amongst the pigeons was Crown Fibre Holdings sending word that it had prioritised Vector (alongside for Telecom) for UFB negotiations in Auckland. Don’t get too excited though, Vector says it could have the job done in eight years.

The week’s biggest feather-ruffler though has to go to the US supermarket tabloid rag, The National Enquirer, who published images of a “skeletal” Steve Jobs, saying the Apple boss is stricken with pancreatic cancer and may have just six weeks to live.

Our thoughts are with you Steve.

New app conducts background checks on potential tenants
Landlords and house owners need to obtain a tenant’s full name, date of birth, email address, and mobile number in order to conduct the search. And most importantly, they have to get the tenant’s permission first.
GirlBoss wins 2018 YES Emerging Alumni of the Year Award
The people have spoken – GirlBoss CEO and founder Alexia Hilbertidou has been crowned this year’s Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Emerging Alumni of the Year.
IDC: Standalone VR headset shipments grow 428.6% in 3Q18
The VR headset market returned to growth in 3Q18 after four consecutive quarters of decline and now makes up 97% of the combined market.
Meet Rentbot, the chatbot that can help with tenancy law
If you find yourself in a tricky situation  - or if you just want to understand your rights as a landlord or tenant, you can now turn to a chatbot for help.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) finally releases on PS4
PUBG on PS4 feels like it’s still in Early Access as the graphics look horribly outdated and the game runs poorly too. 
How AI can fundamentally change the business landscape
“This is an extremely interesting if not pivotal time to discuss how AI is being deployed and leveraged, both in business and at home.”
CERT NZ highlights rise of unauthorised access incidents
“In one case, the attacker gained access and tracked the business’s emails for at least six months. They gathered extensive knowledge of the business’s billing cycles."
Report finds GCSB in compliance with NZ rights
The Inspector-General has given the GCSB its compliance tick of approval for the fourth year in a row.