• 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

    Next Generation Smartphone Services and Consumer Privacy

    The rapid uptake of the next generation of smartphone hardware is providing the platform for new and innovative services. A modern smartphone ships with a complex array of sensors that are capable of pinpointing the phone's location, tracking the rate at which it is moving, and taking high quality digital images of its environment.

    Deployment of these phones along with improvements in Internet connectivity and ready availability of cloud computing resources provide ingredients for a period of rapid innovation.

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  • NZ GovTech - Microsoft New Zealand Government Affairs Blog

    Helping charitable organisations with technology

    Working at both UNICEF and Microsoft over the last few years affords me a broad view of the social and economic opportunities information technology fosters in the hands of non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

    Many NGOs have already embraced technology to help improve their productivity and overcome the constant struggle to do more with less. Moreover, technology can be a disruptive force that opens exciting opportunities for NGOs to better achieve their missions and accelerate their impact in communities – including those traditionally difficult to reach.

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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

    Windows 7 achieves Common Criteria security certification

    Microsoft endeavours to help make the computing environment as secure as possible. Part of this commitment to security involves thorough testing against widely-recognized security certification requirements.

    We are pleased to advise that Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server 2008 SP2 32 & 64 bit Enterprise Edition (English) have passed the Common Criteria (CC) certification process and achieved Evaluation Assurance Level 4 with augmentation (EAL4+).

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  • 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

    OneBuzz Wins NZ Imagine Cup 2011

    Yesterday's Imagine Cup final held at the University of Auckland Business School proves the passion and enthusiasm that tertiary students acrosss the country have to solve the world's toughest problems with technology. Not only did they have inspired ideas, but many teams had already brought them to fruition through impressive working prototypes and real-world tests.

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  • NZ GovTech - Microsoft New Zealand Government Affairs Blog

    Fighting for a safer internet

    This time last week, a million computers infected with malicious software were sending an estimated at 50%-70% of all spam email worldwide at a rate of up to 3,000 spam emails per second. These infected computers made up a "botnet" called Rustock which has been operating for several years. Many of the emails were scams designed to cheat people out of their money by telling them they had won a fake lottery, or offering fake medications. 

    Last Thursday morning (NZ time), Microsoft led a take-down of the Rustock "botnet" by seizing dozens of computers that were controlling it. Immediately traffic from the "botnet" plummeted from thousands of spam emails per second to just single digits. The take-down was a decisive success.  

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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

    Aspiring to technology that adapts to your needs

    Software makes life easier and keeps us connected. But many people experience barriers to using technology. We all know that even a passing circumstance like loud music can make it that much harder to understand an important voicemail.

    When it’s not so easy to hear that voicemail, clever software might let us read it. When it’s not easy to see the screen, wouldn’t it be magical if a computer's electronic brain could increase the contrast? And if we prefer talking to our computer rather than pressing buttons, it's nice have a choice.

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