• NZ GovTech - Microsoft New Zealand Government Affairs Blog

    Building a wealthier nation through innovation

    Microsoft is passionate about the success of New Zealand businesses on the world stage. From Windows, to Xbox, to the cloud, many Kiwi innovators build on Microsoft technology. When these innovators succeed, we succeed. We do our best to help, with inspiration , expertise , offshore scale , and special deals for start-ups . Innovators also need clear, predictable laws that let them choose for themselves the business model that’s the “best fit”, and prepares them for success on the world stage.

    In March 2010, a new provision was inserted in the Patents Bill which will take away choice from the technology sector and diverge from international norms and the laws of New Zealand's export markets. The scope and effect to the provision, clause 15(3A), is so ambiguous that a seven page explanatory document published by the Ministry of Economic Development was unable to clarify how the provision will be applied.

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  • NZ GovTech - Microsoft New Zealand Government Affairs Blog

    Māori language packs for Windows and Office

    Every year since 1975, New Zealand has marked Māori Language Week, te wiki o te reo Māori. This is a time for all New Zealanders to celebrate te reo Māori (the Māori language) and to use more Māori phrases in everyday life.

    Te reo Māori is a unique part of New Zealand culture and one of our three official languages. To mark Māori Language week this year (4 – 10 July), Microsoft New Zealand announced the availability of complimentary Māori language packs for Windows 7 and Office 2010.

    The translation builds on the work of the Maori Language Commission and the University of Waikato in previous interpretations for Microsoft XP and Vista, and offers a wider vocabulary and greater accuracy, particularly when it comes to new words describing new innovations and technology. “We found that certain Māori words used in relation to technology didn’t always capture the true spirit of the English word, so we’ve developed and adapted words that are becoming increasing adopted,” says Wareko Te Āngina, an independent translator who worked as moderator on the project.

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  • NZ GovTech - Microsoft New Zealand Government Affairs Blog

    Take Control of Your Privacy

    1 to 7 May 2011 is Privacy Awareness Week. It’s a great time to take a few moments to look at simple things we can all do to look out for our own personal privacy in our day to day computing.

    Your privacy matters, and if you want to stay in control, there may even be some new tricks to learn.

    The simplest way to control your information is to be careful about how and when you give it out. The focus of this article is on some simple steps you can take as a home user to control the information you do choose to share.

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  • NZ GovTech - Microsoft New Zealand Government Affairs Blog

    Enhancing privacy choices on the Internet

    As we browse the internet, we read, search, and click. This online behaviour has commercial value, so it is observed, recorded and linked across multiple websites to build behavioural profiles. There are usually no obvious visible signs of this tracking on the websites we visit, although the advertising, maps and other content we see on websites is often provided by organisations other than the website operator and what we see may be based on a behavioural profile. Many people find it useful that websites are automatically tailored to them, but others may prefer not to have their activities on the web tracked in this way.

    One study found a commonly used website that has more than 200 tracking technologies from other organisations being used to track behaviour on that site. If you'd like to have a look for yourself at some of the tracking that is going on behind the scenes, load a favourite website and then have look at the "Webpage privacy policy" section in your web browser (under the View menu in Internet Explorer). Depending on the site you loaded, you may well see a number of elements have been loaded in the background from other websites.

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  • NZ GovTech - Microsoft New Zealand Government Affairs Blog

    New copyright law and your internet connection - steps to take

    The Copyright Act has recently been amended to give copyright holders a new option to advise an internet account holder that the account is being used for copyright infringement.

    Copyright holders usually cannot tell who the account holder is, so the notices are sent to internet service providers and then forwarded to the internet account holders. If multiple infringements from the same internet account are detected, it could lead (after a number of warnings and a weighing of the evidence) to a penalty from the Copyright Tribunal.

    The new law is intended to keep pace with technology by providing a more practical way for creators to discourage copying of their music, movies, books and software on “file sharing” networks without permission or payment for their work. However, the new law does mean that an internet account holder now has a level of responsibility not only for their own internet use, but also for everyone else who uses the internet connection. That means a new level of accountability for what family members, flatmates and staff do online.

    Before we suggest some practical steps for internet account holders, it is useful to understand the basics of peer to peer file sharing, which is the primary focus of the new law.

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  • NZ GovTech - Microsoft New Zealand Government Affairs Blog

    Keeping Safe Online

    New Zealand’s first Cyber-Security Awareness Week is on now. It's been organised by NetSafe and the Government, with support from businesses including Microsoft and MSN New Zealand Ltd. It’s a time for everyone to work together to help all Kiwis be safer online.

    Unfortunately, criminals are using the Internet to scam and cheat thousands of Kiwis each year. But a little bit of knowledge can do a lot to protect you.

    Online safety matters

    Crime has gone online, so we need to be smart about what the criminals are doing. Malicious software and fraudulent websites have become widespread tools of crime. They are used to get sensitive information from people – things like credit card details, passwords, and business secrets.

    Once criminals have this information, they will use it for their own purposes, to try to make money at your expense. Or they might try to get at your friends and family, or your employer. Malware can also give criminals control of people’s computers. Usually people whose computers have been infected don’t even realise their computers could be rented out by underground networks to spread spam and scams to new victims.

    So, what are some of the top tips to help people stay safer online?

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  • NZ GovTech - Microsoft New Zealand Government Affairs Blog

    With compliments from Microsoft

    Microsoft offers a number of services free of charge to help people live and work a little smarter. Here’s a quick overview of technology to make life a little simpler and more fun.

    More than a million Kiwis use at least one of these services. There are probably at least a million more who might like to. We hope you’ll find something that will surprise and delight you.

    To make it easier to find what you're interested in, we’ve used the following themes:

    • Reach for the cloud
    • Get creative
    • Make your Office more social
    • Get technical
    • Spark new ventures and support charity

     

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  • NZ GovTech - Microsoft New Zealand Government Affairs Blog

    Learning for our future

    Children enjoy learning, and today’s ‘digital natives’ use technology to consume more information at a faster pace than ever before. This aptitude makes for an exciting future, but to make the most of our investments in the next generation we must be mindful of the hurdles on the course.

    How should we prepare young people for life and work in this new environment? It is not about any given device or a specific curriculum.  Although both will play a role, there needs to be a wider debate about the education strategy that will guide these choices.

    Certainly, technology can help to bring quality education to everyone. It can foster communication and collaboration among students, teachers, parents, academics and employers. This way, children have unprecedented opportunities to level the playing field, to explore, mentor one another, and be valued contributors to their communities. This requires digital literacy, which encompasses not just technical skills and understanding, but also a consciousness of online safety and cyber citizenship. And to make it work, we must improve the economic and operational efficiencies of education systems.

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  • NZ GovTech - Microsoft New Zealand Government Affairs Blog

    Trustworthy Computing and Cloud Services

    Malicious attempts to infiltrate computer infrastructure have become more frequent and more sophisticated. When these attacks succeed, the consequences for the victims can be serious. Confidential information and personal information are at risk.

    In this environment, we hear that security is often the number one consideration for organisations when considering the future of their technology infrastructure. Security is a valid concern, and we encourage organisations to consider their options carefully.

    A relatively new option that has come to the fore is cloud computing. Business and government organisations can save time and money with cloud services, and they give professionals, small businesses, schools and charities unprecedented access to leading edge technology that would previously have required dedicated in-house resources that were simply beyond their means.

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  • NZ GovTech - Microsoft New Zealand Government Affairs Blog

    Sharing Knowledge at TechEd 2011 in Auckland

    This week we were thrilled to host 2,000 Kiwi professionals who work with cutting edge technology to attend three days of deep technical training at the Microsoft TechEd 2011 conference in Auckland.
     
    Since we started running the event 1996, our goal has been to work with a community of experts to offer a world class event right here in New Zealand. We hope it will help these professionals keep their skills current in the rapidly changing world of technology.

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