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  • App review: Clear for iPhone

    Every getting-things-done tool I’ve ever used has had me spend more time creating lists, charts, and tasks than actually doing the things I set out to do.

  • Review: The new iPad

    Every year like clockwork Apple releases the next generation of its mobile devices, and every year the world’s most valuable tech company receives fanfare from consumers and press alike. In some years the devices deserve the adulation, adding killer features which competitors spend the next year trying to emulate, while other years’ offerings are far less whizz-bang and merely see a refinement in hardware and software.

  • Updated: Reynolds calls for independent XT network review

    Telecom CEO Paul Reynolds has commissioned an independent review of the company's XT mobile network after further outages today
    “I am angry at the recent outages that have affected parts of the network, including one this morning,” Reynolds said.
    “I apologise to our customers who have been inconvenienced, but also recognise that words are not enough. That’s why we are taking rapid action and I am determined to be up front and open with our loyal XT customers on this."
    Reynolds says usage of XT has grown very rapidly, but that is no excuse for the ongoing service issues.
    “XT is built as a world-class network but clearly it should not have had these problems.
     “With our technology and operations partner Alcatel-Lucent, we have already been working on capacity and design improvements to protect customers.
     “I have today commissioned an urgent and independent review to ensure we have taken all reasonable steps to assure customer experience."
    He says users can expect to see a much improved performance as design improvements are implemented.
    Telecom's new network was out for some users south of Taupo for much of the day today. It went down around 11am and was "restored" at 4.30 pm after Telecom said services would be back at 1pm. However, online comments indicated some users were still without service at 5pm.
    Ernie Newman, the boss of user group TUANZ said ongoing outages of the XT network were creating a "huge credibility problem" for Telecom.
    Today, mobile challenger 2degrees used its Facebook page to inform users its network was just fine. When one online commenter accused the company of "slagging off" the competition, 2degrees responded:
    "Hey Warren - certainly not 'slagging off the competition'. The XT network outage is affecting our customers when they call and text their friends on XT. Rather than leaving them in the dark and assuming that there is something wrong at our end, we've let them know exactly what is happening. We've also heard that Telecom hope their XT network will be up and running soon. We'll let our customers know when that happens as well."
    One commenter on the Facebook group,"Emily Lawrence", responded, however: "Yup i'm on XT And am sick of it! But i need internet and texting plans before i leave xt!!!"
    Blogger Lance Wiggs wrote of the last XT outage, in December, that as we become more dependent on mobile devices for voice and data it’s "incredible that a company like Telecom can fail in this way".
    "Their response will be telling. A quote such as this: 'Customers’ ability to contact emergency services during the outage had not been affected, Ms Murphy said' is simply wrong.
    "I am one of the increasing number of people with no home phone, and while I do have Skype as a backup I can say that my ability to call 111 from home is affected. Meanwhile we cannot just ignore any 111 call requirements for those that are not at home.
    At that time, Telecom offered users three days credit as compensation for the outage. No mention has been made so far of compensation for users put out by todays troubles.

  • Review: BlackBerry Storm bridges business and lifestyle

    The new BlackBerry 9530, or Storm, has the familiar fingertip navigation and flick-to-scroll gesture common to most widescreen phones. Apart from that, the Storm is very much its own device, unmistakably a BlackBerry in its strong messaging, connectivity, and extensibility, but carried to a new level of usability by a touchscreen display and a redesigned GUI.