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Welcome To Scoop TechLab - Christmas Comes Early At Scoop

Responsive Design Mockup

Welcome To Scoop TechLab - Christmas Comes Early At Scoop

An open letter to readers of Scoop and Scoop Techlab from Scoop Independent News publisher and editor Alastair Thompson

Dear Readers,

Scoop is unusually delighted today to launch Scoop TechLab - a new site dedicated to people centric technology reviews.

On Scoop TechLab we will be talking about technology - not in terms of gigabytes, milliamp hours or megapixels- but through talking about the stuff people do with the technology, and in the process we intend to learn whether it can make us better at what we do - as it is intended to do.

Gadgets have always been something of an obsession for me personally.

Scoop's first digital camera (purchased in 1998) took pictures onto floppy disk drives. We used this camera to take the first ever clandestine pictures of a Middle Earth movie set back when filming for the Fellowship of the Ring began.

Scoop now operates over a fibre optic circuit on Lambton Quay.

I use an Intel i7 Powererd Sony VAIO ultrabook (specced for gaming) running Windows 7 as a mobile office.

My current phone (and even more mobile office) has been an iPhone 5 till recently (today I will be moving to Windows Phone to fully immerse myself in a new eco-system and start writing about it).

As well as managing Scoop I am a news reporter and till recently I spent much of my day lugging around either a digital SLR (NIKON) or an iPad (2).

However these days a single up to date mobile phone seems to be able to do the work of all three devices - in the field - with ease. The Iphone5, and from the look if it the Nokia 920, are designed to do this.

For me the future of journalism forecast on the TV show Max Headroom in the 1980s is completely real and fits into a cigarette packet sized device.

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So when the opportunity was presented to me (by the marketing team at Telecom's Smartphonetwork) for Scoop to turn my love of gadgets into an new form of online publishing, I really did think all my Christmases had come at once :)

On November 23rd it certainly felt like Christmas when I went down to Telecom Place to pick up four shiny black pocket rockets - Nokia Lumia 920 Windows 8 phones . I promptly dispatched Emma Hart's ( @ghetsuhm ) to her in Christchurch via NZ Courier Post and the other two I delivered in person to friends and long time publisher colleagues Mikee Tucker( @loopcrew ) and Bill Bennett ( @BillBennettNZ ) . You can see pics shortly after the unwrapping in each of their reviews.

For the next few weeks us four, and another friend and fellow digital publisher Brenda Leewenberg@brenda09 ) will be test driving these and several other cutting edge mobile devices.

All five devices are leading devices in their class and pretty much brand new to the market.

Significantly they are being released alongside a giant leap forward for Microsoft in the form of Windows 8 - which is by far the biggest consumer market move made by the software giant this century.

The five Android and Windows Phone 8 based devicescome from the three leading challenger device manufacturers Nokia, Samsung and HTC.

Before I end this launch post I would like to thank all the people involved in the project and there have been quite a few over the past few months - check out the credits here.

Scoop TechLab is a bit of a big deal for Scoop as it is our first foray into something called Responsive Design (this is the web technology which makes Public Address work so nicely on mobile phones).

Scoop TechLab is built on - Silverstripe 3- a significant new release of an world leading open source software system which is used throughout the world but which was created - like Scoop - here in Wellington, New Zealand.

Silverstripe is roughly the same age as Scoop also which is also very cool and Scoop TechLab would most definitely not have been possible without the assistance of Sigurd Magnusson and the team there who call themselves the ScienceNinjas.

Over at Telecom New ZealandI would like to thank a large number of people also but will not list them until I first obtain their permission to do so.

I would however like to single out Richard Irvine - the guardian of the @telecomnz Twitter flame - and the members of the Online Response Team past and present (who help with the @telecomnz twitter comms channel and gather once a year to violently kill villagers in Warkworth with the Torkingtons).

As you will see the pages on TechLab have been designed to be consumed on mobile pages and shared via the mobile web.

So please do so.

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In summary: There is a delightful alignment between the technologies we will be reviewing in this first outing for the Scoop TechLab (Smartphones) - and Scoop's first use of a web publishing technology designed to make presenting content on these devices easy.

For a Geek like me this is very very cool.

Best Wishes for Christmas

Alastair Thompson

Scoop TechLab Editor.

ENDS

 

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