BlogUpdates from Paul Spain
In February I gave the opening keynote at the Asia Pacific Podcast Conference with a talk about the Future of Podcasting. As organiser of the event it was great to be able to also share my views and interact with our guests from around New Zealand, Australia and the United States – including the Podcast Answerman Cliff Ravenscraft and broadcasters Kaitlyn Sawrey (ABC – Sydney), Megan Whelan (Radio NZ – Wellington), Jono Hutchison (TV3/Mediaworks) and Hugh Sundae (General Manager – 95bFM).
NZ Tech Podcast 211: North Korean Internet KO’d, NZ Broadband speeds ramp up, Tasman Global Access Cable
To wrap up 2014 we discuss a strong increase in New Zealand’s broadband speeds, the Tasman Global Access Cable to link NZ and Australia from Spark/Vodafone/Telstra in mid-2016, Symantec security predictions for 2015, new tablet keyboards from Logitech, Sky TV’s Neon video-on-demand and Oculus new acquisition amongst other topics.
Get the Podcast here:
- Download or Listen to Episode 211 directly
- Listen Episode 211 on Soundcloud
- Subscribe and listen via iTunes
- RSS Feed
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.
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. The UberNZ promo code currently puts up to $25 credit into new accounts – click through for $25 Uber credit code (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch)
The code UberNZ not only gives you up to $25 credit but also puts 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?
Update July 2015: Uber Christchurch is about to launch.
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.
- The Paul Henry Show – TV3: Facebook experiment criticised
- NZ Tech Podcast 186: Google IO, 2degrees 4G LTE launch, Govts $65m towards the Hawaiki undersea cable
- Larry Williams Drive – Newstalk ZB: Google’s ‘right to be forgotten’
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.
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.
Get the Podcast here:
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.
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