Est. 2007

Archive for August, 2011|Monthly archive page

All Blacks Jersey Cheaper Overseas

In Life on August 8, 2011 at 10:09 pm

The higher pricing of jerseys in NZ has sparked some criticism in the media of late.

I am totally with those that decided to import theirs from overseas. Importing is a really good idea right now as our dollar is still pretty strong against the US dollar. You will get that instant saving right there if the rate is in our favor. I think it should teach Adidas that we live in a globalized world and you can’t try to charge different prices in different regions all the time.

I can understand the reason for doing so. It is basically to do with demand. Hardly anyone is going to buy an All Blacks jersey in the UK or other countries like that. The most All Blacks jerseys are going to be sold in New Zealand. New Zealanders are willing to pay that high price to get it.

There is a theory called prospect theory. The basic idea is that of framing the prospect. The media is publicizing it as if we are paying more, but it can equally be framed such that the price we are paying is the normal price and there is a discount for the other countries due to lower demand. If we framed it like a discount, it wouldn’t sound so bad. Let’s face it though, this publicity has to be good for us, retailers will lower prices at some point.

Here’s to media pressure!

DECT Cordless Phones

In Tech on August 8, 2011 at 8:49 pm

DECT Cordless phones are the standard. You see them everywhere don’t you just.

The key thing is to remember that the DECT spectrum is 1.8 to 1.9 GHZ depending on the country you are in. The US is in a slightly different spectrum. Anyway, this means the spectrum is dedicated, there is nothing else there but cordless phones. It pays to buy a DECT phone for a couple of reasons:

1. 2.4ghz and 5ghz is an open spectrum and there are wifi devices, bluetoothand microwaves operating at those frequencies. You will find it difficult to operate some of those devices. Take my example, I had Uniden phone and also a wifi hotspot Everytime the phone rang, the wifi would get cut off. It can be very annoying.

2. 1.9ghz will go through concrete walls better than the high ghz frequencies like 2.4 or 5. This is another bonus.

3. The handsets made by most companies are GAP compatible so they can be used with other brand base stations or the same brands added together even if you didn’t buy the multi handset version the first time around.

The 5ghz phones are only good for farms and open spaces where you need the reach of the phone to be long in an unobstructed space, not an obstructed one. DECT is the best for urban areas and will give best range where there are many walls compared to the 5ghz phones.

In terms of GAP phones, Panasonic and Siemens Gigaset are my favourites. I quite hate the Uniden phones for creating those 2.4 nd 5ghz phones in the first place.

You can easily pair any GAP handset to a base station by simply pressing the button on the base for long enough and then using the registration menu on a phone to seek out the base, entering in the PIN and syncing it up. I never knew this, until I read the manual for the phone and it was right at the back. I bought 2 one handset versions of a panasonic cordless and I thought I had to hook both up to the line separately and then answered calls displayed as missed calls on the other. I then registered the second phone to the first base and presto, It worked just like the 2 handset model now.

I hope this helps somebody out in deciding what to buy.

Switching ISPs in Auckland from Orcon to Vodafone

In Tech on August 8, 2011 at 8:35 pm

First post in a long time.

I recently switched ISPs in auckland and I thought I’d share my thought on this and perhaps give a bit of insight.

The nature of the residential connections is that most companies bundle voice services with data services, so the home phone is bundled with the internet. The only ways around this is to go for naked DSL or to go for wireless providers, which are few and far between. So far as wireless goes, there are the 3G connections from mobile phone providers. There is Woosh, NZWireless, Compass and Callplus have a WiMax system for Whangarei and Auckland city. I’m sure there are a few more regional providers, but that covers all the bases. In terms of fixed wired broadband, Telecom is probably the largest in residential services. It is good to note though that for Auckland at least Vodafone and Orcon are the ones with the unbundled networks at the exchanges. Compass has a few too and Telstra focusses on Wellington and Christchurch on its cable service. Pretty much most of the others piggyback on these networks. This is a good summary, but I’m sure I’m missing some other potential networks.

In recent times, telcos have been increasing the data caps for most users trying to hold on to customers. The recent changes have been sparked by Telecoms change to its bundled packages to 40GB and above. Vodafone struck back with 50% more data increasing their plans to 15GB and 45GB and the options of doubling that. Late last year, Vodafone took out competitive Naked DSL plans, which are probably the best in the market currently. The way they have done it is to offer discounts based on having an on account mobile phone plan. Let’s be honest, we all use our mobile phones enough that we already have our phones on a plan or employers put us on one. Plus mobile phone plans give better value because Vodafone is trying to be competitive in the market relative to the competitors; compared to landlines, which are not competitive compared to VOIP lines. Overall, you could save a lot if you go for a Vodafone naked DSL plan, cell phone plan and a VOIP line from 2Talk. Moving your Sky over to them could help as well, saving you on the MY SKY every month. This would be a triple play style service from Vodafone in an untraditional way. This is precisely what I have done. Orcon, on the other hand, have tried to reinvent themselves a bit with their Genius product. Basically, they are trying to lower the prices of the services they provide perceivably by lowering their costs and not using telecoms landlines, instead providing the phone line over the internet they can provide and likely over their own unbundled network most of the time. In the mean time, their service has not been good. They are so bogged down with the implementation of Genius that they have no time to respond to the calls of existing customers, wait times on the lines are pretty long, at times beyond half an hour. They have neglected their existing customers, sometimes by not offering them the same deals they offer new customers. They even removed unmetered TVNZ Ondemand when they moved to akamai servers. These guys were my previous ISP and I liked them for a long time. There was nothing that was particularly wrong with my service, except they were ripping me off for it. Telstra continues to be a good provider for those in their cable network. Telecom has again hot back with another round of plan upgrades and are doubling data or giving 20GB more. This I’m sure will sent another round of increases by the others, I hope at least.

The only way for the future is to hope that the Ultra fast broadband bill will mean that pricing becomes more competitive. The other way around is if the WiMax spectrum holders actually deploy something that can rival the wired networks. The talk of all-you-can-eat plans if for another day.

Overall, my switch from Orcon to Vodafone ran smoothly and only had an outage for a small period. Just one thing to remember is to give notice in advance by 300 days to Orcon if you are leaving them or they will continue to charge you.

I also think the modem that Vodafone give (HG 556a) is quite nice. The real value in it is when you take a look at Geekzone and find out how to unlock the VOIP capabilities and configure it correctly. It means that I no longer have 3 devices, but just 1. A lot of the cable mess goes away.The device is truly an all in one. It is a modem, router, wireless AP, VOIP ata, print and storage server and 3G router. There are some quirks for VOIP and I’ll outline them below:

Firstly, the message waiting indicator address for 2talk is <phonenumber@2talk.co.nz>. To get the indicator to work right, you have to have no messages in your new or old folder. When a new message arrives, the indicator comes on. To get rid of the indicator, you have to delete messages NOT transfer them. If you transfer them the indicator doesn’t turn off.

Secondly, you can reduce the inter-digit interval to lower the post dial delay. I tried to use a dial plan, but it didn’t work as expected.

It seems to support g 722, i don’t know why, but it does. I use G711a, but G726 is also a great codec if you want a good in between from G729 and G711 and it is typically used in DECT cordless phones, so it may not make much difference if using one.

Overall, that is my account of what is happening in the market and a why I switched and how to make best use of the Vodafone modem for VOIP.