FryUP: Obfuscation, complication and liquidation: Those beckoning olive groves

Top Stories: - Obfuscation, complication and liquidation - Those beckoning olive groves

Top Stories:

- Obfuscation, complication and liquidation

- Those beckoning olive groves

- Obfuscation, complication and liquidation

Could all that secrecy have been because there was actually nothing to show? When fixed wireless provider Freedom Vnet launched in October of 2001, journalists were bemused at the reluctance of company execs Evan Read, Glenn Johnstone and David Nicholson to reveal anything about the company’s technology. They just wanted us to rush out there and tell the world they existed. After suffering multiple utterances of the phrase “we can’t talk about that” and requests to preview copy at a face-to-face meeting, Computerworld’s David Watson declined to fulfill their marketing wishes and decided not to write anything. Less than a year later Freedom Vnet has gone into voluntary liquidation.

The company was pushing a complex community access network marketing model in which communities would own and manage wireless internet networks, financed from monthly subscriptions. It claimed to have access to proprietary antenna technology developed for the United States military, which was an advance on other 802.11b wireless technology.

Five members of its management team left in April and claim they have lost more than $600,000 in investment capital and unpaid salaries. One, Roger Herbert, describes the company structure as ridiculously complex and suiting only Read. TelstraClear axed Freedom Vnet’s internet access in May.

Meanwhile, the defectors have started Rural Networks, which is trying to create wireless networks through commercial joint ventures with local authorities.

Freedom latest casualty in list of startup failures

Savoy closes the door on e-investments

High tech secrecy on system

Those beckoning olive groves

After three months at the new HP, Barry Hastings the former HP New Zealand managing director, is quitting the company.

When Compaq and HP merged, Compaq New Zealand head Russell Hewitt was made boss of the new company while Hastings got the job of head of the personal systems and imaging and print groups. The avuncular Hastings, who had worked at HP for 10 years, says he is making a lifestyle choice for personal reasons - and it’s not a bad lifestyle, played out among olive groves and grapevines on Waiheke Island. But whether anyone is convinced is another question.

Speaking of comings and goings – who should show up on the board of troubled IT Capital? It’s Maurice Bryham’s former PC Direct partner Sharon Hunter, back in the country after eight months in Israel with husband UN peacekeeper husband Tenby Powell. Hunter, who has featured in numerous women’s mags articles about what it’s like to be beautiful, rich, successful, brainy, business-savvy, well-groomed etc, etc, co-founded PC Direct with Bryham back in 1989.

Hastings resigns from HP

ITC appoints Sharon Hunter to the board

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