Blog

Updates from Paul Spain

Uber is in Wellington – and its free for now

I wrote about San Francisco’s Uber arriving in Auckland back in March – and already the service has expanded to Wellington. Currently operating on a similar trial basis as Uber did ahead of it’s full Auckland launch – a stage which the company call’s “Uber Secret”.

There’s a difference however. Rather than just a credit Uber launched with in Auckland they’re offering up to two free rides per person each week until 21 September. If you can get one that is – because there are not many Uber cars on the road in Wellington just yet. When I’ve checked it’s been about 50/50 whether or not one is available. And so far not much chance of getting an Uber ride from the airport.

wp_ss_20140830_0004 1  wp_ss_20140831_0014  wp_ss_20140831_0005

And best not to expect a free ride to Palmerston North or similar – the free rides are limited to the Wellington metro area only. It’s worth noting that at signup or after installing the app you can use a promo code/voucher for free credit. This promo code currently puts $10 credit into new Wellington or Auckland Uber accounts: ubernz

The above code also puts $10 credit in my Uber account (thanks). With Auckland and Wellington now part of the Uber family, one has to wonder how far off a Christchurch Uber launch might be?

Topics I discussed on The Paul Henry Show, NZ Tech Podcast, Newstalk ZB

image  image image

This week was packed with a number exciting projects with the Gorilla Technology team and our clients. I also slotted in some media activities. That included my usual NZ Tech Podcast episode, along with a live interview on The Paul Henry Show with Rebecca Wright and an afternoon interview with Rachel Smalley on Newstalk ZB’s Larry Williams Drive show.

I start next week with a Monday morning (8.15am) chat on TV3’s breakfast news show ‘Firstline’ with Sacha McNeil and Michael Wilson. Tuesday sees another episode of the NZ Tech Podcast – in this case with digital innovator Mitch Olson.

Later in the month I’m speaking at Media Tech Pacific Conference in Auckland – an event for those involved in the Broadcasting, Cinema/TV Production, and Digital Media industries across New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. The title for my presentation is ‘Internet Trends’ which gives plenty of scope to talk about past, present and future changes in the industry and my take on where things are headed.

NZ Tech Podcast 183: Computex Special – plus Apple WWDC and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 hands on

NZ Tech Podcast 1400x1400

This week I report back from Asia’s largest tech event – Computex Taipei. Featuring the latest news from Intel, Asus, Ford and NZ’s own Power by Proxi. Added to that is a first hands on experience of the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 and an update on Apple WWDC.

This NZ Tech Podcast hosted by Paul Spain (@paulspain) with guests from Intel, Asus, Ford, Power by Proxi and Microsoft. Published by NZ’s Podcast specialists – Global Voice Media.

Get the Podcast here:

You can keep current with our latest NZ Tech Podcast updates via Twitter @NZTechPodcast, the NZTechPodcast.com website and facebook page.

San Francisco’s Uber is trialling in Auckland (and here’s how you get $10 of free rides)

San Francisco’s cool next-generation taxi service Uber has started trialling its service in Auckland late March. They call this start-up stage of their activities ‘Uber Secret’.

Uber was introduced to me in San Francisco by Steve Simms last year. At that stage I signed up but didn’t get time to try the service. However now Uber is in Auckland I’m already enjoying having a new way of getting about that’s smarter and more cost effective than traditional taxis.

20140320_082756000_iOS   20140320_082804000_iOS   20140320_082800000_iOS   20140320_073032000_iOS

Based around an app (or a mobile website that’s nearly identical to the app if you don’t use iOS or Android), Uber ensures a more refined experience than that of a typical taxi thanks to good use of technology:

  • Customers book a ride from an app that shows you where nearby vehicles are, how long it will take to pick you up, and an estimate of what the fare will be
  • When you’ve placed a booking you can see a photo of the driver who will collect you, the type of car that is coming (and it’s license plate number), a rating of the driver and a live map showing where the car is currently
  • The driver will pick you up from the GPS location of your phone – though you can adjust this if you want picking up at a slightly different location
  • You can have direct contact with the driver as the app provides an option to call or SMS the driver direct to their mobile. Handy for instance if you’re at a hard to find location, or if you need to check when they’ll arrive.
  • Upon reaching your destination, you don’t have to spend your time arranging payment – this happens automatically via the app
  • The app also emails you an invoice which includes a map of exactly where the driver took you. If you felt the drive didn’t take you the best route, you can alert Uber (and potentially obtain a credit).
  • After completion of the journey you can rate driver based on their politeness, safe driving skills and the route they took you, etc. And I believe the driver can rate you, the passenger.

Already launched in 33 countries globally, Uber has been growing quickly in the Asia-Pacific region with services in Australia, China, India, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Taiwan.

Initially there aren’t a large number of Uber vehicles on the road, but if you’d like to try the service now or once they’re in full service click through and get $20 $10 credit to try it out (I also get a $20 $10 credit if you sign up and take a ride). You can also enter this Uber Promo Code inside the app or on the Uber website: ubernz

Time to start an IT Support career? Or ready for a more senior IT role?

Gorilla-logo---yellow-background-Square

This year I’m expanding my team at Gorilla Technology and right now am looking to fill two roles in Auckland city:

  1. Senior Systems Engineer / Senior IT Support Engineer
  2. Entry Level IT Support

I’m particularly looking for people who both learn technical things very quickly and have great people skills.

If you’re just looking for ‘another job’ then this probably isn’t the role for you. At Gorilla we work differently from other companies and we’re looking for people who stand out.

  • There is much to Gorilla’s special sauce (we call it ‘The Gorilla Way’) that differentiates us. From an employee perspective you’ll benefit from:
    Being part of a tight knit and friendly team who work closely together – supporting and learning from each other while sharing knowledge and ideas
  • Working with the newest and best technologies available. As part of ‘The Gorilla Way’ we leverage fresh technology to make ourselves and our customers more successful. It’s not uncommon for us to be testing and reviewing the latest smartphones, tablets or laptops before the hit the market.
  • Huge growth potential – most people move ahead faster than the industry standard for career development whilst at Gorilla
  • Direct access to coaching and support from the owners of Gorilla Technology

At Gorilla though, we don’t believe in technology for technology’s sake – using it has to make business sense so we teach all our staff about business and communication so we can relate the technologies benefits to our clients and meet or exceed their expectations.

Skills that would be beneficial for you to bring to the table include:

  • Great people skills and an ability to communicate with people at all levels
  • Technical skills: Windows 7 – Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 – 2012 R2, Mac OS X, Exchange Server 2010-2013, Office 365, Google Apps, Amazon, Cisco, Firewalls

Attributes you must have:

  • Permit to work in NZ
  • Great spoken and written English
  • Ability to start promptly
  • Experience in the Auckland arena
  • A drivers licence and your own vehicle

To apply, please send a CV and covering letter to Paul Spain at: careersblog@gorillatechnology.com

NZ Tech Podcast: Hawaiki Cable, Vodafone UFB, Skinny’s $16/month plan, UE audio

nz-tech-podcast-600

Topics include Hawaiki Cable, Vodafone UFB, Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 launch, Vodafone soft launches UFB plans, new Alienware 14/17/18 gaming laptops, Skinny’s $16/month mobile plan, Ultimate Ears UE9000, UE Mobile Boombox, Logitech Z600, a cell signal booster for 2degrees customers, Office Mobile and an updated Air New Zealand mPass app.

This episode produced and hosted by Paul Spain (@paulspain) with guest Nate Dunn (@nate).

Get the Podcast here:

You can keep current with our latest NZ Tech Podcast updates via Twitter @NZTechPodcast, the NZTechPodcast.com website and facebook page.

Would you like to join the NZ Tech Podcast live? Most Tuesday evenings starting somewhere between 6pm-7pm we join with Geekzone for a live audio stream from the studio and a hosted chat room. Details here.