Glitzy conferences a world away

(This is the Online column, written for The Southland Times)

There  was so much buzz going on this week with the Apple Worldwide Developers’ Conference (that’s WWDC to all us cool kids) that I’m surprised I’ve even managed to focus long enough to write this.

Yes, that was sarcasm kiddies. Not sarcasm aimed at Apple, just conferences in general.

Oh sure, you get all the announcements of what’s going to be hitting the shelves in the near-ish future and a sneak peek into the inner workings of the brains behind all the new techy stuff, but I find it hard to get excited about any of this stuff until it has a concrete sale date for us down here in the southern hemisphere and a decent idea of how much these technological marvels will set us back.

Now, back to the WWDC.

I guess the biggest news from the WWDC (oh, I feel so hip with my trendy use of initials, if only I could make a pronounceable word out of it, but every time I try it sounds like a surprised porn star  but I digress) was the iPhone 4.

American consumers will be able to get their paws on the newer, sexier iPhone 4 on June 24 for a starting price of US$199 (NZ$299) on a two-year contract.

For us Kiwis, Vodafone says it will be released in ”the coming months” and we don’t know a price yet. See, it makes it kind of hard to  get excited about the arrival of the beast, doesn’t it?

Microsoft has also been conferencing, kicking off its group of conferences known as TechEd, which are held in various locations around the world.

One of the interesting wee announcements to come out of that is that a public beta of Windows 7 Service Pack 1 should be out next month, with the official release later  this year.

And finally, a rant: Telecom says new customers can join its XT mobile network risk-free for 30 days. How kind, but what if the network falls over after 31 days? Or when you’re in the middle of an emergency call? Or about to call Telecom’s helpdesk to ask why your broadband’s so slow?

Yes, once again, that was sarcasm.

I’ve been feeling pretty smug about my decision not to change any of our family phones to the new network when it launched, even when the nice Telecom chicky-babe extolled the virtues of all its whizz-bangery and the pretty, sparkly phones that I could buy.

No, I stuck with the old beastie because I don’t trust ultra-new technology and I don’t believe in spending ridiculous amounts of money on pretty, sparkly phones. I’d rather spend my cash on CDs, Leonard Cohen concert tickets and handbags.

Here’s a thought Telecom: how about having enough faith in your mobile network to promise us a system that works or you can quit any time, not just the first 30 days?


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