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The TechDay Weekender - May 28th 2011

28 May 2011

Well, we can't even begin to think of starting this TechDay Weekender out without talking about Telecom. The Government finally made its decision on where the remaining contracts would go and Christchurch ratepayer-owned Enable was a lucky winner along with Telecom, which took out ~69 percent of the contract. But that hardly meant the issue was done and dusted. Far from it. First off, the news that Telecom would have to spin off Chorus, its network arm, under the terms of the agreement, followed by a downgrading of the company's rating outlook to 'negative' by Moody's. Next came the criticism of the country's oldest telco. Our own Fibre Watch column called the carrier an 'unpopular' winner, while the Commerce Commission issued proceedings against Telecom for discrimination against other telcos. CallPlus quickly followed up that announcement with one of its own, stating that it would 'likely' seek damages should Telecom be penalised by the ComCom.

So overall - probably not Telecom's best week ever.

It almost seemed like Telecom was hogging the news for a while over the week, but other happenings did occur.

Wellington is going Wi-Fi for free in time for the Rugby World Cup - news that almost everyone greeted happily (though we're still waiting for the Auckland 'super' city to follow suit!).

Sony was hit with more hacking news, though not quite so widespread this time, when its Thai homepage was hacked to host a phishing scam.

Google and MasterCard jumped on the NFC bandwagon, signalling more big things in store with the new Wi-Fi/3G-free payment system.

A UK Twitter-scandal went viral and global when an unnamed footballer tried to use the legal system against the micro-blogging site to reveal names of the people who (ironically) revealed his name, though they were technically breaching a 'super injunction' which prevents media from reporting that the injunction exists, let alone what it's about.

In Mac-related news, we started out with the sad news of two deaths at the Chinese iPad factory that has already gained notoriety for its alleged inhumane treatment of workers. The deaths occurred as a result of an explosion at the factory. Things didn't get much better for Apple as news of a variant of the Mac Defender malware that installs without an admin password. At least the rumoured Apple cloud music streaming service seems healthy.

Gamers will be pleased that Duke Nukem Forever has finally 'gone gold' and is scheduled for release on 10 June with a playable demo on 3 June - just as long as it manages to live up to 15 years worth of hype... And for anyone who actually thought they were good at Tetris, watch the whole five minutes of this video - and you'll quickly be brought down to size. Or just watch it any way and get your head around the fact it actually happened.

Bits and bobs

Game review: Crackdown 3 launches on Xbox One and PC
Crackdown 3 is an average game that may have come out 10 years too late, writes Damian Seeto.
WhatsApp users warned to change voicemail PINs
Attackers are allegedly gaining access to users’ WhatsApp accounts by using the default voicemail PIN to access voice authentication codes.
50 million tonnes of e-waste: IT faces sustainability challenges
“Through This is IT, we want to help people better understand the problem of today’s linear “take, make, dispose” thinking around IT products and its effects like e-waste, pollution and climate change."
Vocus & Vodafone unbundle NZ's fibre network
“Unbundling fibre will provide retail service providers with a flexible future-proofed platform regardless of what tomorrow brings."
NZ Cricket ups data analytics game with Qrious
The Black Caps and White Ferns have implemented a data and analytics solution from Qrious to monitor and improve game strategy and player performance.
Gartner: Smartphone biometrics coming to the workplace
Gartner predicts increased adoption of mobile-centric biometric authentication and SaaS-delivered IAM.
Samsung & Trade Me offer AI-powered shopping
The smartphone camera & AI-powered tech, Trade Me says, is a ‘glimpse into the future of shopping’.
Neill Blomkamp's 'Conviction' is a prequel to BioWare's Anthem
You may remember Neill Blomkamp’s name from such films as District 9, Chappie, and Elysium. If you’ve seen any of those films, the short teaser trailer will seem somewhat familiar to you.