Business, Innovation & Tech Blog

Updates from Paul Spain

Artificial Intelligence: Assistants of the Future, Today

I’m not a robot, but I am interested in where robotics, technology, Artificial Intelligence, autonomous cars are going to take us into the future.

My Thoughts

When I look back at when I launched my first podcast, six or seven years ago, there were varying things that helped me get out to an audience but ultimately, it was Apple’s algorithm that really took me to Number 1 on the iTunes charts in New Zealand.

So, how is this technology going to impact us in the future and help our contents spread out to an audience? Well, AI is the key piece here. Right now, most of you will have a smart phone in your pocket that has an AI assistant on it.

Now, we can utilize that to help us play content, consume content to do a range of things. We might have that also, with earphones or the Apple earPods, some sort of in-home speaker system that we can talk to. And we can ask it to play us the news, we can ask it to answer simple questions. But where we’re at now is fairly rudimentary compared to the place that we’re going to.

We’re going to a place to where we will expect our AI assistants to do more than just answer questions and do specific things. Yes, we’re heading to an AI future where our Artificial Intelligence assistant will know where we are, what we want to do, and that AI assistant will look after us like a real assistant in some regards.

So, in the future, when I jump into my autonomous vehicle to commute to work or get from work to home. In that situation, my AI assistant will know me well enough to know what information I want to consume that might be a little video of the news highlights related to technology and podcasting for the last 24 hours.

It might be reminding me of appointments I have today, key emails, maybe some favorite podcast content. But also it would know that I want its smarts to figure out what is the best content available right now that’s pinpointed directly at me that it rates as really good and I want that slotted into the mix when I’m on that commute when I’m on that journey. So, when I get out of the car, I’m educated for the day, I’ve enjoyed some really great new content all because the AI had the smarts to figure that out.

Will AI replace you and me as content creators? Well, I don’t think so. The AI will help in various ways.

I think that the way that we as people communicate, the authenticity, the realness that we bring, there’s something special that individuals bring to the table, that’s not going to happen anytime soon by an AI.

So, when we jump into our autonomous vehicles, we will be mostly listening I think the human-created content. That’s the key there.

Don’t be fearful of the AI systems and of the autonomous cars that may allow us to watch more content when we’re on the go.

The ubiquitous internet that will let us watch content so we maybe will pivot towards a bit more video than audio but be aware of that.

So, my tips are, be aware of these changes that are coming through. Create the best content you’ve ever created. Make sure you think about, “can video be part of the mix?” Because video will get more and more ubiquitous, we’ve seen this. But focus on creating something that people want to listen to. Create the best content of your life and you will find that will find a place.

We are not having to compete with robots. I am not a robot. I am Paul Spain. Thank you very much for listening. Hope you enjoyed this. If you’d like to talk to me further, look forward to connecting with you here during Podcast Movement 2017.

Passwords and You: How to create and manage your credentials safely and securely

Hey, folks! Passwords for many people are the bane of their lives. What an annoyance! I don’t know how you do it remembering passwords, but I’m not so good. So, let’s talk about how you can make your life easier but also stay safe from cybersecurity and hacking issues that are becoming commonplace in our day to day lives.

My Thoughts

Wouldn’t it be good if we could just completely do away with passwords?

Well, we’re part-way there right now, certainly with a lot of the newest smartphones, you can use biometric authentication. Whether it’s a fingerprint reader, whether it’s something that does some sort of an eye scan. But these technologies are becoming more common on our laptops, who’ve certainly got fingerprint readers, facial recognition coming through on products like Microsoft Surface.

So, the technology is improving but passwords have gone away. So, what am I going to recommend?

Well, for your passwords, the old recommendations having jumbled letters and numbers and characters and maybe a password of about eight characters long, let’s leave that behind.

A better option for a password is one that you can remember. So, unless you can remember a jumbled-up password, then think of this.

Think of passphrase, so a phrase, a number of words you could join together. It’s quite a good approach for a password.

Now, there is no set-rule of what is the best technique for a password because as soon as somebody sets a rule, then people are looking to break that particular technique. But one type of thing that could work is to have a password of a number of words, ideally random words that aren’t sort of predictable, like the lyrics of a song.

Avoid that of words that would normally go together so they’re quite random, very hard for a computer to go in and to guess your password even if it tries a million times, it’s not going to do that if you’ve used a number of disassociated words.

For me, I would tend to add in some extra elements in addition to how many words I utilise. Whether it’s a mix of numbers or something else that I remember that can go together with that password.

For having different passwords on different sites, you’ve probably heard this advice: “Don’t use the same one password in multiple places that leaves you at risk.” And the reason being, is a lot of websites get hacked, there’s a lot of compromise and if somebody guesses one password, you don’t want them to have access to absolutely everything or if they get your password through a website that was hacked and linked to your password, you don’t want them to have that carte blanche access.

So, what do you do in that case? How do you keep all your passwords different? That’s where a password manager comes in that can remember all the passwords for you. They could be as complex as you like.

If you’re very paranoid about certain sites like your core account for business access, maybe it’s internet banking, all sorts of ones.

Well, a small number of passwords you probably can remember up there, particularly if you come up with a technique to remember them and there are a whole range of those.

On my website, you’ll see some more recommendations on passwords but I do recommend considering one of these tools for storing your common passwords.

If you want to sort of write both sides and not leave it all in your head but use a tool to remember it, what you can do is store maybe, half or portion of a password in repository that is safe, not in a bit of paper on your desk or stuck to your monitor or under your keyboard, those don’t work so well. But if you do want to do that, go ahead but leave part of it in your head.

So, if somebody does get that, they don’t have the whole up.

Hey, that’s it for me. If you want to see those password tips, go to and you can find some insights there. You can follow my updates, Hey, I’ll be back with my next video, next week. See you, then.

Facebook Watch: Taking on Netflix, Youtube and Pay TV

So, Facebook have just announced their newest product, Facebook Watch. No, I’m not really talking about one of these. Facebook are not launching a smartwatch, I’m talking about Facebook’s new video-streaming service. So, what’s this all about? Are they taking on TV stations, Netflix, Youtube? Could this be your chance to make your millions by producing content and streaming it through Facebook Watch? Or, do you think Facebook’s ulterior motive is to get you to spend even more time on Facebook?

My Thoughts

So, Facebook launched in 2004, quite a small social network, focused on universities in the U.S. They grew very quickly, right now they have over two billion active users.

Every month, every day more than a billion people log into Facebook and the very large majority of those are accessing Facebook from a mobile device. Well, what’s Facebook’s next plan to capitalise on that?

Well, that’s all about Facebook Watch. They’re hoping, this is the thing that’s going to increase their earnings and have a big impact on other players on the online space.

So, they’re definitely gunning after Youtube, and they would very much like to have an impact on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon video, traditional pay TV providers too. So, that’s what they’re working on.

How is it going to work? Well, you will have a watch icon come up on Facebook.

For now, this is just limited to certain Facebook users in the U.S but very soon, it’s going to spread across U.S, across the world, everybody will have access.

Now, the opportunities here are pretty interesting. For those who create content, create good videos, and one who actually create series, TV-like series, well, there’s going to be some interesting opportunities here from an earning perspective because Facebook will be putting adverts in the middle of these programs.

So, a little bit like traditional TV. We don’t know yet whether they will have some variations on a model where you could pay to get rid of the ads, certainly no suggestion of that at this stage.

Well, what will be interesting though, I think, for advertising on Facebook Watch, of course, is that Facebook knows so much about you, that I would expect that they can deliver much more pinpointed advertising, therefore, advertising that isn’t so annoying because it’s actually, somewhat relevant to you.

So, let’s hope they get that piece right and let’s wait and see how it works out. But at this stage, if you’re into video content-creation, you want to watch the space.

If you like watching content, then, this is going to be another thing where Facebook try and take up your time. It’s not that they’ve taken enough of it.

Alright, that’s it for me this week. You can catch me here on Facebook, of course, each week with my weekly videos and at

Can Tesla Model 3 and Elon Musk change the world?

So, this last week, Elon Musk and his team at Tesla unveiled the first Model 3. Now, what stands out about the Model 3 of course is, this is the world’s first semi-autonomous vehicle that is mass market. It’s also maybe more importantly, an electric vehicle. This is really set to stir things up. So, is Elon Musk the next Steve Jobs? Or is he going to be a whole lot more? Of course, he has big ambitions in terms of changing the world’s reliance on fossil fuels and even ambitions to go to Mars.

My Thoughts

So, who is this Elon Musk?

Well, born in 1971, moved to North America in 1989 and it wasn’t too long before he founder that became PayPal, and ultimately solved for 1.5 billion dollars.

He’s got a history of doing fairly well. Since then, of course, he’s launched a number of other businesses and they’ve generally been incredibly successful.

So, let’s look at each of those. What are these companies?

SpaceX, a ground-breaking company, working out how to recycle rockets and they’ve been quite successful in doing so, recovering these used rockets that in the past, every space launched has needed new equipment other than the few exceptions such as the space shuttle. Well, SpaceX has changed that.

They’ve also got some ambitious plans going to the moon in 2018 with a flyby and then future plans for going to Mars.

What else? Well, there’s Neurolink which is a company that’s working on a brain-computer interface. Hooking up brains to technology and well, hopefully, this isn’t something that goes too far down the matrix track but very interesting all at the same to see what’s coming there.

And then there’s Solar City. Solar City has moved in and is now part of Tesla, a company that’s been very successful in building solar cells and of course, hooking these up to Tesla batteries in recent times.

So, Elon Musk is someone who is really going places, ground-breaking things in the past, and no doubt in his future. And then, of course, there’s the boring company.

No, I’m not talking about a company that’s dull and boring. I’m talking about a company that is drilling underneath cities. So, they’ve already started in Los Angeles to try to make a quicker route to the airport.

The next thing for the boring company is a hyperloop. A high-speed transportation system between New York and Washington DC.

So, their risks on getting on-board with Elon Musk’s visions? Well, sometimes he certainly sets deadlines that seem a little lofty and he doesn’t always manage to have his teams deliver on those deadlines.

But in general, he seems to be getting there and innovating, delivering some incredible technology, some really incredible results that are quite different from what others in the market are doing.

I think you can have a fair degree of confidence in many of the things that Elon is talking about. And certainly, when it comes to the new Tesla Model 3, I think there’s a lot to like here.

What are the standout things about Tesla’s Model 3? Well, for me, it’s that, it is a semi-autonomous vehicle that is going to be updated overtime to become fully autonomous for those that ordered that option.

Comes in it is starting price of US 35,000 dollars and it’s really been mentioned that there are some 500,000 initial orders or people who have puts deposits down now. Some, 60,000 of those cancelled those orders and it is going to take some time to deliver these initial vehicles.

There are people that, for instance, say, in countries like UK, Australasia, India, and so on where their right-hand drive vehicles aren’t going to be shipping until at least 2019.

So, a little bit of a delay there and a delay for other people ‘coz it’s going to take some time to ramp up the manufacturing, of course, the Model 3 isn’t an all-electric vehicle, 220, or 350-kilometer range on the base models are pretty capable.

Overall, I think this is an exciting vehicle. I think it’s going to spur on a change. This move away from traditional combustion engine vehicles to the more environmentally-friendly electric vehicles.

Certainly, more environmentally-friendly in some markets such as New Zealand, where most source of the electricity is generated from renewable means today.

The other thing that stands out for me is that all of Tesla’s vehicles get continuous software updates, so most car manufacturers will make a car and sell it and they’ll come up with some new software, some new changes, most of those innovations go into the next models. You have to sell, get rid of your older model to take advantage.

Tesla will take advantage of a different approach and they’re continuing to do software updates for older vehicles. So, very positive.

So, I think Elon Musk, look, he’s doing some great things for us and for the planet, very exciting things ahead. But let’s watch the space and let’s see just how well he does.

Thanks for joining me, I’m Paul Spain. You can follow my future updates at

Can AI save lives by helping to find Cancer and other illnesses earlier?

Today, we’ve heard about 1492, the secret Skunkworks Lab from Amazon. What’s this all about? Well, it seems that’s like Amazon is investing heavily in the future of healthcare through Artificial Intelligence and Cloud data storage. So, are they the first? No, they’re certainly not. We’ve got Google, IBM, Microsoft among other players working in their space. They’re trying to solve the big issues like cancer. So, are we going to live forever? What is this technology going to do for us?

My Thoughts

So, we know that Amazon has been developing all sorts of technology over the years. They now a half-trillion-dollar business.

Their founder Jeff Bezos, was today, actually, highlighted as briefly being the world’s richest man. This is a company with a leader that is not fearful of trying new things, dominating new spaces.

The healthcare areas with something like three trillion dollars annually, so, from their perspective it’s worth investing into. There have been lots of developments in the space, though.

Microsoft, some months ago, talk publicly about their developments trying to solve cancer through accessing masses of patient records, putting all this information together, trying to deliver results that can’t be delivered by individual doctors. And that’s one of the possibilities of this technology.

Google will be working here through their acquisition of deep mind. They’ll be working with one of the largest hospitals in the world, in the UK, with their analysing data that are collected when they’re testing people’s eyes.

Now, by utilising Artificial Intelligence technology, they expect to see a big reduction in the number of people that are impacted with blindness through age-related macular degeneration.

So, Artificial Intelligence technology can really deliver some great stuff. In terms of us living forever, well, I’m not too sure about that one but we certainly will see continuous improvement going forward.
Amazon are also within their developments that appears, looking at how to store patient records and that information.

Once that stuff is stored centrally, it makes it makes it easier for you to get access to it when you’re travelling, when you’re in different locations, if you change who is your primary doctor then that should benefit you.

Yes, there’s some risks around security of information that we’ll need to think about. Cyber-security, what will a big company like Amazon do with our data.

Looking back a few years, we heard about target in the U.S who looked at individual shopping habits and in one case was able to pick that a teenager was pregnant before she even knew about it based on the thing she was buying.

So, data can do some incredible things when, the sort of technology is applied. So there, we got great things ahead in the space. A very, very interesting area to watch.

My recommendations for you? Keep a track on what’s happening, encourage your healthcare professionals to be utilising technology, maybe they can provide you with your personal healthcare records, digitally share those with you.

There really are lots of possibilities. Try out things like a health tracker or fitness tracker, so, you get used to collecting your own information. See how that can encourage you to be healthier.

For businesses that are in the healthcare space, whether they’re doctors, medical specialists and so on, well you should make sure you keep at the forefront of technology to deliver the best results for your patients and make sure you keep secure from that cyber-security perspective.

Hey, that’s it for me this week. Look, I can’t give you an answer right now with the technology and Artificial Intelligence is going to help you live forever but look, we’re hitting on the right track. You can get more from me on my updates

The two faces of Social Media: It’s changing how we interact and not always in a good way

Let’s talk about Facebook and other forms of social media. Look how good they are for keeping in touch. Friends, families, especially when people are travelling but so many users. And great is you don’t have to spend all those hours on the phone like we used to be. When you have issues, nowadays, you can do most of that online. And of course, businesses love social media for connecting with people too. But is there a dark side? Is there an underbelly to social media? Well, we’ve heard recently, people are getting hit with fines for what they post to social media. So, can you get in trouble? Should you be worried? What about online addictions? How should we address these matters?

My Thoughts

So, we definitely have some issues with social media. Very easy to fall into negative or bad practices with social media.

Maybe sharing stuff that really isn’t so positive or getting tied up in, when you got lots of likes. Lots of shares and re-shares, tweets and re-tweets.

And of course, there’s that temptation to share information that maybe isn’t quite right, isn’t quite accurate.

Recently, we heard of an individual in the UK, who, across boarders from the US was fined over a quarter of a million dollars for doing what they thought were doing anonymously which was sharing a terror threat against an airline that were maybe disgruntled with and of course, they weren’t going to carry this out.

But ultimately, it’s going to put them in a pretty difficult spot with such a big fine. In New Zealand, there was a case, around a million dollars was in question.

Now, this was settled out of court but one of the results of it was that we now believe, that people could be held liable for just simply liking a Facebook post.

A Facebook post maybe that’s libelers are wrong. So, we need to be really cautious around what we do online.

And then we have businesses that are spending huge amounts of money to protect their reputations online, to promote themselves online and sometimes shoving junk down our throats, quite frankly.

So, what should we do? Well for individuals, I think it’s really important within our homes, within our families, we think about how do we get the best out of social media, and how do we leave the negative side effects behind?

Some families, that means putting in place some formal constraints about where and when devices and gadgets and social media are getting used, where they don’t get used. In some homes, that means no devices at the dinner table, in bedrooms and you know, certain times only for doing the social media.

And then there’s thinking about what do you post online and you know, I guess my thought there is I would encourage positive use of social media.

Think of a social media interaction just like an interaction with an individual in person. Bring your best to the table.

Bring something positive and uplifting. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

We see way too much where people are being bullied and hurt online from horrible comments. That’s just not needed.

Now, for businesses, what should you be doing? Well, think of how you can help, how you can serve your customers.

What can you share that’s going to help them? Put that before your thoughts about how you promote and sell. Serve your customers through social media first and foremost. If you get that right, then the sales, they will come.

Hey, that’s it for me this week. I’m Paul Spain. You can find my updates –

AI (Artificial Intelligence): Who’s doing it, and how can you take advantage of it?

Artificial Intelligence or AI. It’s a term that we hear actually, a lot today. Particularly in reference to new things that are merging or coming through, like autonomous vehicles. But what is it? What’s it all about and why have Microsoft, Google, and even Obama, being in the news, about recently?

My Thoughts

So, it’s just been in the news, that there’s fake footage of Obama.

This was generated, using Artificial Intelligence technology that took his real voice, took some footage of him and then adjusted that footage to say what was said in the recording.

Obama: Symbolizes some progress at least within the small confines of the legal community….

But this could’ve just easily been somebody faking him, his voice and then, by putting his lips, and motions and movements to those words. So, Artificial Intelligence is very powerful.

Microsoft has just announced that their Microsoft Research Division is putting one-tenth of their staff to focus on artificial intelligence. This is a massive area for the future. And we looked at who the companies are, that is, really, heavily investing in this.

It’s Facebook, it’s Google, it’s IBM, it’s Microsoft. Really, the big technology players are investing heavily in this. What’s exciting though, is that their investments don’t lock everyday individuals and businesses out because most of them are making those advances available.

So, anybody can draw on their technologies. So, we have some exciting things ahead. What sort of things can you expect?

Well, autonomous cars are already mentioned. They’re very much reliant on this Artificial Intelligence technology.

We are already starting to see now personalized tutors. So, these are tutors that would be smarter than an individual person to gauge where you are and how you are progressing with your learning.

That’s coming through right now, from a company here in New Zealand, where I’m based. So, really, there is a huge amount of development where you see, of course, things like facial recognition.

Right now, we now utilize something like Siri on your smartphone or the competitive products from Google, Microsoft, Amazon.

Well, these are using Artificial Intelligence on their background, to figure out what you’re saying and to understand that even if there’s another noise or if you’ve got an unusual accent.

All of that is being dealt with by Artificial Intelligence and the reason that this is moving forward so quickly right now is because of the massive increasing computing power.

If we look back just a few years, we have an absolute fraction of the amount of processing power that we have today that continues to grow at a somewhat exponential rate.

So, we can expect to see Artificial Intelligence just become a normal, everyday thing over the next few years ahead. And some of those things, well, we’re already used to living with right now.

So, what’s next? What do you need to be prepared for? Well, my suggestion is to keep a lookout on what is happening in Artificial Intelligence.

If you’re an individual, then play around with those things like the little assistant that’s on your smartphone. Get a feel for how Artificial Intelligence can work to help you.

I personally use that technology when I’m in my car and I’m driving, so that I can be safe but still communicating with people, have messages read to me and I transcribe messages back to them. And I’ve been using that technology for five years or so, so very helpful.

In businesses, well, there are lots of opportunities. And businesses should be looking to tap into the power of the leaders in that space.

Tap into what IBM, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and so on are doing and be inspired by watching what the top players are doing, how people are invading and think about how could this apply to your organization.

Hey, thanks for joining me. This has been Paul Spain. You can track me down for further updates –

Amazon vs Retail – what does their supermarket purchase mean?

Amazon has announced that they are buying Whole Foods Market. Now, Whole Foods is one of the biggest supermarket chains in the U.S. Now, Amazon, is huge. They are a behemoth. They’re worth nearly half a trillion U.S. dollars. So, this move is certainly something that shakes up the retail world especially those that are running supermarkets around the world. In fact, stock prices, some of these are already plummeting. So, what does this mean for you? As a consumer, or somebody in business?

My Thoughts

Let’s look back. Last year, Amazon showed off a new concept in retail where you would walk into a store, just scan your phone and then grab whatever you wanted off the store shelves and walk out again. No cashier, no checkout.

AmazonGo is the name of the first version of this concept. And it’s something that sounds quite transformative in terms of retail. We, of course, know that Amazon will be working on lots of other things to change the buying experience for consumers.

For instance, you have the ability of Amazon to ship goods for free, some things delivered within one hour. Groceries, books, electronics, all sorts of products.

So, they’re really are stirring things up. Add in the sorts of technologies that they’ve been experimenting with and using a new practical basis for a number of years like robotics, drones, of course, comes into that experimental feel for them.

They’re really leading the charge in terms of change in the area of retail, both in the U.S and around the world. Leading to massive disruption over the years.

Uniquely, Amazon tend to be quite comfortable to operate without making a profit. So, this is another thing, obviously scares some other retailers who are already dealing with thin margins, finding it hard to make a profit, competing to a company that doesn’t seem too interested in making profits.

What’s happening now is, this is a thirteen-billion-dollar acquisition for Amazon, not too much money for them to have acquired Whole Food in the scheme of it. What it means is that, we will see probably an acceleration of what Amazon have been doing in terms of trying to turn the retail world upside-down within a direct online selling.

This really put’s them squarely into people’s neighborhood, certainly in the U.S where people will see those stores.

Now, we don’t know exactly what they’re going to do and of course, in the past, Amazon have taken some different approaches.

Zappos, purchased quite a number of years ago, they’ve let that operate fairly independently from the Amazon as their peer on. So, there’s no guarantee on what they’re going to do, but I think certainly, there will be a number of organizations that are feeling a little bit uneasy.

So, what’s my recommendation for you? Well, as an individual, I think, look, it’s important that we keep an eye on what’s going on out there.

We utilize the best of technology that’s coming through. Don’t be scared about the changes that are taking place.

Sure, if you’re working in the supermarket and the retail world, well, think about how you can add more value on what you do so that you’re a valuable player regardless of what happens in terms of disruption to that industry so that you’re super valuable wherever you’re working and will be valuable in another industry too. So, that’s important.

If you’re not working in that space, well, you get to kind of watch and enjoy the ride of wave where the technology is taking us. If you’re in business, well, if you’re in the retail space, then you want to do what I recommend for all businesses just to stay in the forefront of technology, utilizing what’s happening, know what’s coming, what changes are happening in your industry and work on how you can differentiate your business, how can you deliver something that’s unique and better and really serves your customers in a fantastic way.

If you’re doing that, you minimize what the impact is of these big, global players as they start coming in and try to eat your lunch which is not something you probably want.

Alright, well, that’s it for me this week. So, thank you for joining me on the video. You can of course follow me on social media and you can find my updates by registering at

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Apple’s new HomePod, Macs and iPad Pro – are they for you?

So, this week in San Jose, California, Apple have been holding their worldwide Developer’s Conference. Lots and lots of announcements, the highlights are around new Apple Mac’s refreshers with the iPad Pro and also, the HomePod.

My Thoughts

So, it’s clear to say that some Mac fans’ been losing a bit of faith in Apple because a lot of the Macs just hadn’t been refreshed for a long time.

Well, this week, Apple’s gone a long way to putting that right. We’ve seen a refresh with the iMac and with all of the MacBooks to a degree at least. So, that’s certainly going to help.

We’ve also had announcements around the upcoming iMac Pro, an incredibly powerful new Mac that will start at 5,000 USD.

So, this is really focused on the professional market but it’s great to see Apple committed to those professionals again.

Also coming through in the future is the new Mac Pro, also, very much a professional end product. We’ve got a refresh with the iPad Pro and the software changes there.

They’re going to make the iPad Pro, I think, a whole lot more useful for those that are wanting to ditch their Mac, ditch their laptop and actually just operate from a tablet so this is great news.

The other thing that Apple have announced, it’s still someway off, it’s going to be December before it launches but it’s the HomePod.

Now, the HomePod, I guess competes with things like the Sonos, speakers, that people have around their homes and also with other speaker-assistant products such as the Amazon Echo launching at 350 USD in December in three countries.

This is looking pretty interesting, Apple certainly bringing the unique take to this space.

So, what does it all mean for you? Well, I think for individuals, who are using a Mac, and you’ve been waiting for that refresh, now might be the right time.

Unfortunately, we haven’t seen any refresh on the Mac Mini so that’s one that’s being left out and only a very minor update to the MacBook Air so that’s not a product I would recommend anyone buying at the moment. But if you need to refresh what you’ve got, have a look at what’s available.

Now, there’s all sorts of benefits of keeping your technology up-to-date and you know, organizations are making sure they get great outcomes with technology.

They want their staff to be productive, and they people want to enjoy what they’re working on and certainly don’t want interruptions from old, failing technology.

So, lots of benefits for keeping up-to-date and in terms of the new speaker from Apple, well, that’s a pretty interesting one. I’m looking forward to getting hands-on it but that’s still a way off. If you can’t wait, well, go out and get something that serves your needs now.

Hey, that’s it for me this week. Thank you very much for joining me. You can keep up-to-date with my videos, newsletters by visiting – Alright, I’ll see you again for my video, this time, next week.

Intel Compute Card

Guess what we have? The next thing in computing has just arrived from Intel, it is the compute card. We used to have big computers, smaller computers, varying sizes but this takes this down a notch further, to a little credit card-sized computer, 5 millimeters thick.

My Thoughts

So we’ve got used to having a whole range of computers available to us and since the A.D’s, the personal computers’ been pretty common.

The Mac, it is very popular devices in varying forms, laptops, tablets and of course smartphones.

They’re in just about every pocket and the most recent smartphones from Microsoft and from Samsung if carried, a sort of a PC type capability where you can plug them into a screen, a keyboard and, and mouse which has been interesting. But you couldn’t run all your, traditional software and it just really didn’t have the full computing power of a standard PC.

Well, that’s changed, the compute card from Intel puts an Intel I-7 chip onto this credit-card sized computer.
Now, you might be wondering, “What can I do with a credit-card sized computer?”

Well, it’s got no screen, doesn’t have any of that. What you do is it will plug into a screen and then the future I can imagine, plugged into a laptop that doesn’t have its own power, plug into a tablet.

So, that’s really what this is about but imagine a next wave will be much like those smartphones that can link into a full-blown computer but then taking it the next level where you would just keep it in your pocket and it would wirelessly connect to whatever computing device.

Maybe you walk up to a wall with a projector and it connects to that, so you will be able to have that full computing power, full-blown computer but it just disappears into the device you’ll carry, smartphone or whatever the next great innovation is that we carry with us.

That’s where we’re hitting, and we’re here today with the launch of this compute card.

So, what does it mean for us? Well, what I recommend is, don’t wait for the next wave of technology, always be keeping current.

The benefit of that for you is if you’re on something a little bit older, it’s going to be holding you back. So jumping on board with what’s current right now will probably help you out in your business, in whatever you’re doing on a computer, so don’t be left behind.

Of course, be thinking about what this next wave of innovation might enable you to do and there’s probably some great benefits that we will see in time.

Well folks, thanks very much for joining me. Now, I am here every week with an update on technology, so don’t miss out on those updates. Join me by following here or go to – and you can sign up for my regular email updates. Alright, thanks! Catch you later.

Future Tech Changes – Get Positioned Accordingly

Last Thursday, I was privileged to have the opportunity to keynote at CBAFF, a conference communicating with those in the customs broking and freight forwarding industry, so let’s dive in and look at some of those things that I discussed that are actually relevant to all of us about where technology is taking our lives.

My Thoughts

So where are we ten years ago, smartphones were unusual, not many people have them but now they’re just the norm. So, what do the next few years ahead of us hold?

Well, autonomous vehicles’ one thing right now used in a few places, they used to truck things around in the mining industry in Western Australia. We see them do it millions of miles around the world and test companies like Waymo, Uber, Ford and so on.

These companies are out on the roads with their vehicles but still unusual, in five years won’t be uncommon for us to be seeing and maneuvering around within autonomous vehicles as it will be for the trucking industry and for the freight industry.

The Internet, well we get a pretty reasonable internet in a lot of the parts of the world at the moment, other parts, not so much. Well, that’s all changing. We’re seeing governments rolling out really fast internet through mobile networks, fibre optics.

We have companies like Alphabet and SpaceX who are working on new ways to deliver the internet everywhere so the internet will become much more accessible right across our population, much lower costs, faster.

So, they’ve changed it, what else? Well, we’ve really got all sorts of changes that are going to flip things on its head.

Things like artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, the blockchain, there are all sorts of pieces that will change our worlds and be looking ahead ten years, it’s going to be dramatically different for all of us in our workplaces and our normal day-to-day lives.

What does that mean for you? Well, as individuals, we need to embrace the technologies and work out how we make sure we’re positioned both ourselves, our families, our children.

How do we make sure that in the next ten years that we’re in a good place that we don’t see the technology changes displacing our work and leaving us stuck?

What else, well, businesses, they’re going to have to deal with some interesting challenges, as well governments because there will be some employment that will disappear but there are all sorts of new opportunities, there will be new jobs, but employers and organizations need to be thinking around, “how do we embrace these new technologies to ensure that our organizations are still around and the years to come that they’re not displaced, they’re not bumped out?”

So, important now within your own organization to make sure you’re thinking five, ten years out, what should the organization look like, and when you establish that strategy, realize that you just can’t sit on a strategy.

Now, organizations need to keep adjusting, updating and reworking what they do because the disruption will be continuous.

So, there are good possibilities ahead, it’s just a matter of making sure that we position ourselves, governments will have some challenges ahead, but I think those that are forward-thinking will navigate this well and will have great results.

Well, that’s it for me this week. You can catch my updates, and of course you can follow me on social media. Alright, thanks!

UberEats Auckland NZ Review (and up to $20 promo code)

Tip: Just want a discount on UberEats? Get up to $20 discount with Ubereats NZ promo code: eats-ubernz

In 2016 I had a chance to try our Uber Eats before it launched in New Zealand – whilst I was in Canada and the USA. Needless to say UberEats was a really easy to use method of ordering food for delivery. Now it has launched in Auckland so I tried it out by putting in an order for my team at Gorilla Technology in central Auckland.


My video review of UberEats Auckland New Zealand


In short UberEats has the following benefits:

  • Easy ordering from the UberEats app
  • UberEats is linked to your existing Uber account so they already have your payment details and address if you use Uber today
  • There is a good selection of local eateries – including Pizza, Thai, Indian and Mexican food – amongst others
  • The app provides an estimated arrival time of the food, and shows where your delivery is once it leaves the restaurant
  • With so many drivers to draw on, many UberEats orders arrive in 25-40 minutes from an order being placed
  • Prices are reasonable being the same as takeaway prices plus a $5.99 delivery fee

What’s not to like? Well, Uber have been in the media recently for a number of mistakes with some promoting users to delete the Uber app. To start with UberEats in NZ is limited to just Central Auckland. Also, I was told be one local restaurant that Uber take 35% of the transaction and they said that is too much to leave them with any profit. With such a good variety of local eateries offering food via UberEats it seems some restaurants and takeaways disagree and seem able to make it work.

How do you try UberEats? Just install the iPhone or Android app – then use my discount code: eats-ubernz

The code above not only gives you a discount, but I get a discount too on my next order. So, if UberEats sounds like the method you’d like to use for you next meal, give it a try.

So what’s next in the world of Uber? It seems likely they’ll offer a formal courier deliver service of sorts. Though today many people already use Uber to move packages around for them. In terms of competition, word has it that competitor Lyft could be launching soon Internationally with New Zealand on their radar.

Tesla Model S arrives in New Zealand

Today Tesla have arrived in New Zealand, delivering eight Telsa Model S vehicles to customers at their official launch event in Auckland.

The initial Telsa retail store and service centre opens mid 2017 at 501 Karangahape Road, Auckland.

The Supercharger Network build starts in Hamilton with Superchargers at Turangi and Sanson also expected this year with Auckland and the South Island to be launched in the future.  In addition, over 100 ‘Destination Chargers’ are planned up and down New Zealand at locations such as locations resorts, hotels, shopping centres and public parking complexes.

Lots more details on the next NZ Tech Podcast episode.

Attached video is my first look at the Tesla Model S today.


Paul Spain discusses end of 3D TV producion

Paul Spain chatted with TV3’s Newshub about the demise of 3D Television. It was supposed to hail a new era for home entertainment, but the last two remaining major TV manufacturers have discontinued making 3D Televisions. LG and Sony followed Samsung by dumping production due to a lack of demand.

For more – visit TV3’s Newshub

Microsoft Build – Windows 10 now installed on 270+ million PCs


This morning Microsoft Build kicks off in San Francisco at 8.30am (4.30am NZ time). I’m in San Francisco and will be sharing some of my impressions here on my blog.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella started his keynote asking many questions – such as whether technology helps our hinders our values, whether technology is helping or hindering privacy. And he answered those questions positively highlighting Microsofts mission to “Empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more”.

“We live in a mobile first and cloud first world” states Satya – it’s about the mobility of people across all their devices. Cloud is a new form of computing that enables this mobility.”

Nadella highlighted numbers – such as Microsoft Azure Active Directory being used by over 5-million businesses and Windows 10 now being installed on over 270-million users.

Terry Myerson showed off numerous improvements in ‘inking’ (drawing and writing on a tablet with a stylus) that are coming with the upcoming ‘Anniversary Update’ coming to Windows 10 as a free update in Winter (Summer in the US). Demonstrations should improved inking in Word, PowerPoint, Adobe Illustrator.

Other areas that have so far attracted attention:

  • Linux components such as the Bash shell is coming to Windows 10 (via Ubuntu) – and more shells coming soon
  • A converter to bring existing Windows applications and their installers to world of Universal Windows apps
  • The Universal Windows Platform means developers writing games can have the same code run on both Windows and Xbox One
  • Developers can convert their retail Xbox to a dev machine so they can test and run Universal Windows apps they are developing on their Xbox
  • Cortana and background music are amongst features coming to Xbox One in the upcoming Anniversary Update
  • Bots are becoming the new apps – and chat bots like the new browser
  • Cortana is the personal digital assist that is focussed on the user – not about a device – so it will work any device (Windows, iOS, Android)
  • The Windows 10 Anniversary Update improves Cortana – for instance developers can produce proactive ’Experts for Cortana’
  • Skype now has 300-million users and over 3-billions minutes of calls per month – and integration with external services and bots is now coming up – including integrations with Cortana, Slack, video text transcription (using the tech from Skype Translator), and things such as automated proactive suggestions (offer to add an event you’ve discussed into your calendar, offer to book you a hotel for a trip and automating the process, and offer to connect you with a close friend in a city you’re visiting).
  • Skype video bots will be coming with the new Skype Bot Software Developers Kit (SDK)
  • Skype for Hololens has been announced
  • Microsoft is launching ‘Cortana Intelligence Suite’ – a bot framework offering cognitives services and machine learning – to integrate with Cortana, Skype, Slack, Line
  • Microsoft has announced the Microsoft Bot framework – setup to integrate with integrate with systems such as Slack and Skype – and with Node.js or C#
  • Microsoft are making Cognitive Services available to developers – for instance advanced image recognition and voice recognition capabilities

(This blog will update – please refresh for further updates and also follow me on Twitter: @paulspain)

Speaking Dates

In February I gave the opening keynote at the Asia Pacific Podcast Conference with a talk about the Future of Podcasting. As organiser of the event it was great to be able to also share my views and interact with our guests from around New Zealand, Australia and the United States – including the Podcast Answerman Cliff Ravenscraft and broadcasters Kaitlyn Sawrey (ABC – Sydney), Megan Whelan (Radio NZ – Wellington), Jono Hutchison (TV3/Mediaworks) and Hugh Sundae (General Manager – 95bFM).

Coming up March 4 I’ll be at the Media Tech Pacific Conference hosting the closing panel discussion, and 11 April I keynote the Tech Soup New Zealand Conference in Auckland.

You can also hear me every week on NZ Tech Podcast and Radio Live’s ‘Your Technology’ with Karyn Hay. And of course you’ll regularly find me commentating on tech and business topics on TV and radio.


Boxing Day Sales 2014 – Tech Specials

It’s become a bit of tradition here to build a list of Boxing Day consumer tech specials each year. Here’s some of the best of Boxing Day 2014. Be sure to listen in to the NZ Tech Podcast to catch our opinions on some of tech below and keep up-to-date with what’s happening in the technology world.

Laptops, Tablets

– Acer Aspire 15″ Intel DualCore Celeron (Atom) laptop – The Warehouse – $279 (limited qty)
– HP 14″ Intel DualCore Celeron (Atom) laptop bundle  – Noel Leeming – $349 (instore only – limited quantity)
– Apple MacBook Pro (also iMac) – Dick Smith – 10% across the range
– Samsung Galaxy Lite 7.0 8GB Wi-Fi – Dick Smith – $129
– Nextbook 7″ Android 4.4 Tablet – The Warehouse – $79



– Galaxy S5 (Vodafone, 2degrees, Spark) – Harvey Norman – $692
– ZTE/Skinny V811 Android 4.4 DualCore Smartphone (locked to Skinny Network, $30 to unlock)– Noel Leeming – $34.99 (online/instore – limited quantity)
– Lumia 530 Windows Smartphone (locked to Vodafone Network, $30 to unlock) – Harvey Norman – $65 (instore only – limited quantity)
– LG G3 – Harvey Norman – $688
– Vodafone Smart4 Android Smartphone – The Warehouse – $35
– Huawei Ascend Y600 5″ Smartphone w/ 5MP camera (2degrees) – The Warehouse – $149


Gaming Consoles

– PlayStation 4 500GB, Little Big Planet 3 Console Bundle – Noel Leeming – $499 (instore only – limited quantity)
– PlayStation 4 500GB, Driveclub Console Bundle – The Warehouse – $499 (online/instore limited quantity)
– Xbox 360 4GB – The Warehouse – $148


– Panasonic 48″ UltraHD 4K 3D Smart TV – Harvey Norman – $1088 (online/instore – limited quantity, but raincheck available)
– LG 55″ Ultra HD 4K Smart LED-LCD TV- Harvey Norman – $1497 (online/instore)
– Sony 55″ UltraHD 4K Smart TV – Noel Leeming – $1499 (instore only – limited quantity)
– LG 42″ UltraHD 4K Smart TV – Noel Leeming – $849 (instore only – limited quantity)
– Sony 40″ FullHD Smart TV – The Warehouse – $489
– Veon 50″ Full HD TV – The Warehouse – $500


– Canon Pixma MG2960 Multifunction Colour Printer – Noel Leeming – $25 (instore only – limited quantity)
– LexarJumpDrive S50 8GB USB Flashdrive – Noel Leeming – $1.49 (instore only – limited quantity)
– Garmin Vivofit – Harvey Norman – $77
– Logitech UE Boom  – Harvey Norman – $188
– Breville Nespresso ‘U’ Espresso Machine – Harvey Norman – $123 after cash back (pay $198)
– Sony 7.2 AV Receive STRDH750 – JB Hi-Fi – $291
– Dyson DC37C Origin Barrel Vacuum – JB Hi-Fi – $498


Wonder how this year’s Boxing Day specials compare with 2013 and 2012? See below:

2013 Box Day Tech Specials

Laptops, Hybrids, Tablets:
– Acer Aspire 11.6″ Notebook V5-132 – The Warehouse – $389
– Toshiba Satellite C50D/A00L Notebook – Dick Smith – $423 (sold out)
– HP 14″ AMD Laptop – The Warehouse – $449
– HP 14″ Laptop – Harvey Norman – $397
– Acer 15.6″ Intel Celeron Laptop – Noel Leeming – $478
– HP 15.6″ Intel i5 Laptop – Noel Leeming – $589
– Microsoft Surface RT 64GB Tablet With Touch Cover (Black) – JB Hi-Fi – $569
– Microsoft Surface RT 32GB Tablet – Harvey Norman – $297
– Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1″ – Noel Leeming – $399
– Apple MacBook Air 11″ – Harvey Norman – $1148

– Samsung Galaxy S4 Blue – Harvey Norman – $686
– Samsung Galaxy S3 – Harvey Norman – $386
– Nokia Lumia 520 (Windows Phone 8) – Harvey Norman – $122
– Samsung Ativ S (Windows Phone 8) – Warehouse Stationery – $349
– LG/Google Nexus 5 – Warehouse Stationery – $649

Gaming Consoles:
– Xbox 360 E 4GB – The Warehouse – $188
– PlayStation 3 Super Slim 12GB Console – Noel Leeming $149

– Samsung 60″ Full HD Plasma – Dick Smith – $1299
– Panasonic 50″ Full HD LED – Noel Leeming – $699
– Samsung 32″ Full HD – Noel Leeming – $299
– Veon 32″ Full HD  LED – The Warehouse – $249
– Veon 58″ Full HD LED – The Warehouse – $999

– Sony STR-DH740 7.2 Surround Sound Receiver – JB Hi-Fi – $296
– Logitech/Ultimate Ears Boom (Bluebooth Speaker) – Noel Leeming – $210
– Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones – Noel Leeming – $35
– Garmin 42LM GPS 4.3″ screen (lifetime maps) – The Good Guys – $79

2012 Box Day Tech Specials

– Apple MacBook Pro 13″ – Harvey Norman – $1578 (usually $1899)
– HP Pavilion 14-B006AU – Harvey Norman – $348

– Samsung Galaxy SIII – Bond and Bond – $679.20
– iPhone 4S – Bond and Bond – $849 (actually not a special, price dropped recently)
– Nokia Lumia 920 (with Windows Phone 8) – Warehouse Stationery – $799
– LG/Google Nexus 4 – Bond and Bond – $639.20
– HTC Windows Phone 8S  – Warehouse Stationery – $399.20

Gaming Consoles:
– Xbox 4GB Kinect Bundle w/ 2 games – The Warehouse – $245 (stock left only in stores)
– Xbox 4GB Kinect Bundle w/ 3 games – JB Hi Fi – $249
– PlayStation 3 Super Slim 12GB Console – The Warehouse $225

– LG 60″ Full HD Plasma – Harvey Norman – $1293
– Vivo 40″ Full HD LCD – Dick Smith – $399
– Samsung 50″ 6000 series Full HD LCD – Dick Smith – $1249

– Canon EOS1100D Twin Lens Kit – Dick Smith- $598
– Samsung 14 megapixel, 5 x optical zoom – JB Hi Fi – $47
– Fujifilm 14 megapixel, 24 x optical zoom – JB Hi Fi – $247
– Olympus TG-320 underwater/shockproof 14 megapixel – Harvey Norman – $165

– LG Blu-ray Player – Harvey Norman – $66
– 40L Haier Bar Fridge – Harvey Norman – $99
– D-Link, Cisco, Belkin, Logitech – Harvey Norman – 40% off

NZ Tech Podcast 211: North Korean Internet KO’d, NZ Broadband speeds ramp up, Tasman Global Access Cable

NZ Tech Podcast 1400x1400

To wrap up 2014 we discuss a strong increase in New Zealand’s broadband speeds, the Tasman Global Access Cable to link NZ and Australia from Spark/Vodafone/Telstra in mid-2016, Symantec security predictions for 2015, new tablet keyboards from Logitech, Sky TV’s Neon video-on-demand and Oculus new acquisition amongst other topics.

This episode of NZ Tech Podcast was hosted by Paul Spain (@paulspain) with guests Ross McDougall and Wal Reid. Supported by Vector Communications and published by NZ’s Podcast network – Podcasts NZ.

Get the Podcast here:

You can keep current with our latest NZ Tech Podcast updates via Twitter @NZTechPodcast, the website and facebook page.