What a great big fuss!

11 June, 2010

I watched with interest as the news broke yesterday afternoon that O2 was to stop offering unlimited data to smartphone users, like AT&T has done in the US.

“This can’t be fair”, “I know people who only stick with O2 because the data is unlimited!” and so it went on.

No any more - it's for your own good!

The fact of the matter is that the mobile networks all struggle to keep up with the ludicrous volumes of data downloaded through mobile connections in the UK (mostly tethered to a laptop at home I have no doubt).  The BBC report I read said that 3% of O2’s customers are using 36% of the network’s data capacity! Capacity which you’ll probably know is borrowed from the voice traffic on the same network.  If you’ve ever wondered why mobile calls are harder to place and receive look no further than the nearest iPhone.

I use an iPhone for voice and data when I’m away from the office and warmly welcome actions which make the service better for the vast majority of users.

On the flip side the appetite for unlimited fully-mobile data at screaming-data-rates is a good sign for the industry. It will be satisfied when the networks are enhanced with the best that the next generation technology developers can provide, and it will probably give us a living for years to come.


Who invited them?

15 January, 2010

I got an invoice from iTunes this morning in my in-box for a bunch of Russian related applications I didn’t want or order.

So slick your Russian granny can use it.

It will be interesting to see how well the system deals with, what on the face of it, what appears to be a good old fashioned data processing failure.

On the day 50,000 Vodafone iPhones hit the UK system, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if something somewhere went a little bit wrong for one new Apple convert, and for me of course.

The way I see it I’m fairly safe, I can keep a secret and my details are secure on Apple’s service, my credit card provider isn’t phased – the software iTunes spat out somewhere in my name on someone else’s computer, is all DRM protected – so presumably there’s someone with a non-functioning copy of iGO my way GPS navigation and SolvoEd Deluxe English-Russian dictionary on their nice new iPhone, and right now they are giving Vodafone what for.

That’s how it’s supposed to work, that’s the up-side of DRM and secure web services right?

What’s that… you’ll believe it when you see it?

Maybe I’ll let you know – anyway welcome-aboard Vodafone types!

Sense at last

23 December, 2009

It is good to end the year on a topic that regulars will know is close to my heart – social networking.

Lily Allen gave me that warm Christmassy glow when I read that she has dumped all her Facebooking and Tweeting in favour of normal face to face communication. “So I put my BlackBerry, my laptop, my iPod in a box and that’s the end. I won’t use email, I play records on vinyl, I don’t blog. I’ve got more time, more privacy. We’ve ended up in this world of unreal communications and I don”t want that. I want real life back,” she has said.

The burning question is how many of the rest of us could actually join her in this radical move? I am a great believer in the phone call rather than email, especially  in personal situations, but there are times when only the latter will suffice – contacting Charles Arthur for instance.

It is really annoying when you are with someone who spends their whole time checking their iPhone/Blackberry – but it does give you the chance to just sneak a glance at yours!

So, in a social networking way may I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a great 2010 – I would call you all personally but I don’t have your number. (Click here for our special Christmas message http://www.eml.com/xmas_2009.htm )

Why I ‘oughta

2 October, 2009

I’m generally a pretty relaxed, chilled out person. Hopefully most of my friends and colleagues would agree and I’m fairly confident they would. However one thing that really does wind me up is when technology doesn’t work for no apparent reason. Not sure why this annoys me so much but it really does. When my BlackBerry Storm went through a phase of repeatedly calling the emergency services I wasn’t exactly delighted. Particularly so when they started ringing me back to check I was ok.

Thankfully it went off for repair and works fine now. It even answers calls, happy days.
However I’m a lot better than this guy who was so mad with his iPhone that he wanted to shoot it. And then showed the Apple shop employee the gun he was planning on shooting it with. Clever.

Unsurprisingly this didn’t go down well with the shop or the Police, but I can see where he’s coming from. And more to the point who doesn’t enjoy the over the top destruction of technology from time to time?


Moving on…

12 June, 2009

So the recession’s over this week and everything’s better. If only it were that simple.

I’ve certainly heard more positives than negatives in the last couple of weeks, the semiconductor industry seems to have shaken itself back in to action, traction has returned even if it’s a little patchy and impressive levels of R&D and collaboration were evident at IMEC’s symposium in Brussels last week, we’re entering the summer season with an air of – dare I say it – optimism?

Sun shone on IMEC's forum last week

Sun shone on IMEC's forum last week

The interest in the hardware that everyone expects to drive semiconductor developments is still there too – without a doubt. Whether people have the money to pay for the hardware is another matter. The fuss that Apple’s 3G S generated was truly incredible this week, we’re either desperate or very sad, I haven’t decided which.

What gave me most hope was the piece on ITProPortal about the 5 features missing from iPhone 3G S – the good thing here is we’ll never be truly satisfied will we, I still find the basic 3G pretty impressive, and yes the 3.0 software update will be welcome but come-on guys give Apple a break! Actually no, keep it up – give the semiconductor business something to keep striving for

I am in love with my iPhone

18 May, 2009

V90347I’ve been away for a week and returned to just 23 emails in my inbox, an all time low.  And how did I achieve such an amazing feat?  With my iPhone, of course.

I was in a very low-tech cottage in the middle of nowhere, in fact all the nos.  No television reception, no phone, no mobile reception in the house, no broadband/wireless connection.  Communication with the outside world = nil points.

However, a step or two outside with my ‘trusty’ iPhone in hand and the world of information was my oyster.  Each morning while walking the dog I would turn on and bin or file all emails that I did not need to action (“biscuits on table” etc).  I didn’t get involved in any communication with anyone but knew that I would not be greeted by a full inbox on my return.

I could also check the weather for walkers, read the news headlines and then retreated into a world of wonderful isolation.

It is just a shame that my son did not find the Ordnance Survey application before he left home – might have saved a few wrong turns on the mountains.

Pocket search

8 May, 2009

Time to Blog again, really?  Well today I’m pleased to say that due to a genuine sustained interest in our combined Twitter experiences I’ve spent nearly £$€2 of my hard-earned cash on a Twitter client for the trusty iPhone. Boy is that money well spent!

Follow the white rabbit...

Follow the white rabbit...

This week you may have spotted that search and Twitter became very popular all of a sudden, probably because of the rather rapidly rising noise level on the service [hesitating to call it a phenomenon here], making it tough to spot worthwhile Tweets, unless of course you have the sort of brain what’s-his-face on The Matrix used to interpret the screen of jumbled numbers and glyphs at its machine-code core.

We’re actually finding Twitter a really useful listening tool at the moment, having a half decent set of search terms in my pocket is proving rather illuminating, it’s a scarily quick way of keeping involved, assuming you have a clue what you are looking for.

Now here’s one for the pub tonight – imagine having to explain to your mum, what a mobile Twitter client is doing when it carries out a search for you and returns a list of matching Tweets – in 140 characters or less.