Appletel and BBB

Mac Marines all over the world were BSODed[*] this week at the news of Apple going Intel shopping in 2006 for Mac processors.

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- Didn’t you know this about New Zealand?

- Birth of Appletel

- B0rk3d Business Broadband

Did you know this about New Zealand?

“New Zealand is located four thousand two hundred meters to the left of Bismoslavia.”

Birth of Appletel

Mac Marines all over the world were BSODed[*] this week at the news of Apple going Intel shopping in 2006 for Mac processors.

Although Apple’s computers are already laden with PC technology developed by Intel, having the last hardware difference, the Motorola/IBM PowerPC processors, go is hard to swallow for Mac users. After all, Apple has been banging the promotion drum for ages about how much faster the PowerPC is than Intel processors. Also, Intel is inextricably associated with Windows, which Mac users are viscerally incompatible with. Of course, IBM was the sugar daddy for Intel and Microsoft in the early days of the PC but let’s ignore that for now. The key thing for Apple is to get hold of low-power notebook processors, something IBM couldn’t deliver.

The switch to x86 processors may be necessary, but it could have been handled better. With such a large group of its customers having “Anything But Intel” tattooed on their foreheads, instead of doing the equivalent of serving Christmas ham in a mosque, Apple could’ve softened the blow by going with AMD CPUs and Nvidia chipsets. It didn’t, so I guess the forthcoming “Yonah” Pentium-M really is worth waiting for.

[*] Stands for “Blue Screen of Death”, or the infamously cryptic Windows system hang screen that usually indicates hardware problems.

- Apple wants a Pentium M, IBM wants an Xbox

- Apple confirms shift from PowerPC to Intel

- WWDC: What developers are saying

Mac coders are loving The Switch!

B0rk3d business broadband

Who needs broadband the most? The 85% of all NZ business: the small to medium-sized ones. Who are forced to pay outrageous amounts for residential broadband? Yep, businesses again.

Currently, Telecom dictates that a small business customer wanting DSL should pay several times more than a residential user for exactly the same service, without any further features and benefits added to it. Unless it’s a home business with a residential phone line, said customer cannot buy the cheaper broadband connection – a costly business voice line only runs costly business DSL, end of story. Doesn’t matter that it’s exactly the same network in both cases.

Some would argue that because businesses can write off the cost of broadband connection and get the GST back, it’s only fair that they should pay more initially. It’s not because it’s the same service, and jacking up the cost of doing business in order to swell the coffers of foreign-owned telcos isn’t in the national interest.

The high cost is bad enough, but what about the product itself? DSL works just fine as an SME connectivity solution, but not if it’s artificially constrained the way Telecom has done it with narrow upstream and network delay that can be up to one second in both directions. More so than residential customers, business ones need decent upstream speed because they want to send things – deliver work, documents, provide services – and not just “surf the inbox really fast”. Businesses would also like to share the connection within an office, something that won’t be fun with a 128kbit/s upstream, nor will Voice over IP.

Of course, you could just go with Xtra’s full-rate DSL plans, which provide around 600kbit/s upstream and 2-8Mbit/s downstream. They are eye-wateringly expensive though: 3GB for $309.78, 5GB for $475.78, all the way up to 30GB for $2,417.78, with excess data charges of 9 to 14.3c per MB depending on the plan.

It looks like Telecom is hoping to extend the same illogically high pricing to its “commercial proxy” Business UBS as well. The new 1 and 2Mbit/s Business UBS plans will be launched on July 8 together with Xtra’s new Business Jetstream ones, and Telecom’s set the wholesale charge to $97.20 and $172.70 plus GST per month.

This contrasts with the Commerce Commission’s adjusted initial pricing for the regulated Business UBS, at $28.88 plus GST per month. Just think about that difference for a while.

- Xtra Jetstream business plans

- Commerce Commission: TCL UBS amendment (PDF)

Friday randomness

Auntie Hairoiled says the new Xtra business DSL plans are pretty fast:

“The three-gigabyte plan, at 24 times the speed of dial-up - or roughly one megabyte a second…”

But that’s nothing compared to Telecom’s EV-DO network, which Stuff describes thusly:

“The network lets customers access the internet and download data at broadband speeds averaging more than 500 megabytes a second…”

Should this ever have gone to court?

- Hacker cleared over abuse message

This one should though, and the perpetrators must be exterminated! Exterminated! EXTERMINATED!

- Dalek 'kidnappers' demand Doctor

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