Three, that’s my magic number, errrr well ish…

I recently moved network carrier from O2 to Three and I must say the results are not what I was expecting.

The 2 year iPhone4 tariff on O2 was £35 per month, I paid an additional £220 for the 32Gb device. This equates to a price tag of £1060, with 1000 talk minutes, unlimited texts and 500Mb per month. Pretty normal.

I moved because the O2 data network was always so busy and using it for much else other that app connectivity, Tube apps updating line status and email was a frustrating a dull experience. It would show a connection and operate slower than a 2400 bps modem. (I am that old)

The grass is always greener as you know, so I checked out the SIM only tariffs on all networks to compare the price. Three simply blow the doors of any deals I could find anywhere by a considerable margin.

In my mind, now I come to think about it, cost was top of my list, then voice/texts and lastly data as 500 had been enough up to now, but that was mainly because it was so terrible to use!

So after 15 years of O2’ness I walked on out, they had a go at keeping me with a deal that came nowhere near Three, but good on em for trying, and I got my mobile equivalent of a coat, my PAC and went on my way.

15 minutes later I arrive at the Thee store on the Strand, London. Quick look and chat, helpful staff. Not being totally convinced about Three I take a rolling 30day contract for £25 SIM only.

£25 per month gets you,

  • 2000 talk minutes any network
  • 5000 Three to Three talk minutes
  • Unlimited Texts
  • Unlimited Internet usage, with no AUP
  • Tethering Included
  • Yes no AUP, the salesman said you can stream BBC iplayer all day and night for ever and a day if you so choose!

    On paper what a deal and I took my SIM and went off H-A-P-P-Y!

    (more…)

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    RIM shares increase by 18%

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    After posting better than expected quarterly losses RIM’s shares jumped by 18%, good news and they have $2.2b in cash, so it’s still a sound business.

    RIM shipped 7.4 million smartphones and 130,000 Playbooks. Reasonable smartphone sales, the Playbook, even at a bargain price is just not shifting.

    With RIM’s future bet firmly on BB10 they need this to be successful to guarantee the Canadian giants future.

    Apple are believed to have shipped around 30 million iPhones in Q1 2012 so it highlights the inroads that have been made in RIM’s once backyard. It’s reported sales of iPhone could hit 50 million in the last quarter of the year.

    It’s also reported that around 55% of smartphone sales are running Android with 37% from the Apple stable. (Source:Nielsen)

    Apple iPhone Sales

    BBC Report

    Source:BBC,Fox News, CNNMoney

    Autonomous Vehicles

    With the state of California recently approving driverless cars, jumping in your car to go somewhere and not having to do anything is a step closer, assuming the technology works and is infallible, it ought to be safer to.

    Some of us more senior members of the community will remember the introduction of driverless trains, the DLR for example, at the time (1987) it was unthinkable that no one was driving, now it’s just accepted. No sickness, pension or compassionate leave to worry about, just the odd reboot 🙂

    Google recently announced within 5 years they will have autonomous vehicles available. A great added benefit being access to transport for blind or disabled people who currently cannot drive, these guys could own and operate a car, got to be a good thing. Also mentioned in many articles is the extra space available as parking could be much more dense, or even stacked automatically.

    These systems employ a mixture of sensors to detect and confirm speed, location, proximity to other vehicles etc by using Radar, GPS, Wheel encoders and Lasers coupled with of course detailed maps, accurate to within a couple of meters. Using all this data they can successfully and safely navigate a route and deal with the usual obstacles and scenarios that crop up on the roads.

    The system has been developed to yield to pedestrians for example but to be more aggressive at intersections and junctions, so as to not be out smarted by those around it, edging forward is an example of being more aggressive, unlike the human equivalent of sticking ones fingers up and yelling obscenities out of the window.

    The subject of shared vehicles is then a real possibility, after all you do not actually need to own one, just virtually flag one down in the app and jump in, the most efficient one stopping for you and inconveniencing the other passengers the least based on the optimum route.

    Next time your in California look out for license plates with the infinity symbol and a red background, this denotes driverless.

    For those Tomorrow’s World fans this is one step closer to flying cars.

    View the keynote and more info

    Source:spectrum.ieee.org, Google, YouTube

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    The battle of the Mobile OS’s

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    The Redmond death grip of operating system dominance is ending…iOS and Android are already challenging this, the tide is turning, especially as we see more and more “Mobile First Developments” all the time.

    Other challengers being RIM and Symbian by sheer quantity are not looking good, as reported last week RIM Smartphone share was at 12%, a far cry from 2008 when it was at 45%!
    RIM shares have shed nearly 50% this year alone. Symbian is in decline but is predicted to level off up to 2015 (source:Gartner and IDC)

    Microsoft Windows Phone8 looks like it could end up in third place behind iOS and Android, but not if RIM can help it, but you will have to wait till early next year for BB10 which is to long, and could end up costing them dearly.

    Another interesting point is that people become locked into their eco-system, paying just a few pounds for an app is great but with 100’s we are buying it can get pricey, voting with ones feet and jumping from Apple to Microsoft for example will 1. Undoubtedly, mean you lose access to some apps totally and 2. Buying them all again? Ouch!

    As usual in the turbulent mobile world no one really knows, we can just pontificate and wait for the next fad!

    Dealing with information overload!

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    A familiar sight and one that needs sorting, we must get better at dealing with this distraction.

    Of course some office culture is more email oriented than others but on the whole most knowledge workers I come across have email overload, simply put, we are addicted to email.

    It’s thought that each email we reply to generates another 1.5-2 emails in return, so spending a weekend tidying your inbox may be making it worse, also it could be that we are doing to much and struggling with our workload, and therefore the email is due to this. A different underlying problem, if you had less on, less people would be chasing you, and you would receive less email.

    There are loads of hints and tips out there to deal the issue some drastic and others try to address the underlying behaviour, the problem is that we all need to do it not just those looking for a solution, or reading this!

    Remember when you got your first Blackberry and you were in the minority? You could answer an email in a stolen moment of Drivel TV and the person who emailed you would receive the reply the next day, that Blackberry gave you an advantage! Then that person got a Blackberry, when you replied they would immediately reply with another question, or point of clarification, and eventually the Blackberry compounded the problem.

    I’ve started flagging email for reply and literally leaving the rest, that way my flagged email is in effect my inbox, it’s a bit of a help, not the paradigm shift we need though.

    Here’s a good article I came across while reading more on this, makes some good suggestions.

    Coping with email overload

    If you have a good idea on how to deal with this phenomenon drop me an email 🙂

    Can I scan your pass please?

    Sure go ahead, and while you’re at it fill my mailbox with spam pedalling this weeks software product I really don’t need….

    Conference ID’s are a pain, the constant scanning for your details, making sure you don’t lose it and having to goto the website to download the slides.

    This year the UK Security Conference 44CON had a go at solving this, at their recent conference they handed out USB Flash Memory silicon bracelets, that’s silicon on the inside and on the outside.

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    Mind you being a bunch of security geeks they don’t want you to know who they are, so the visible name tag aspect is missing at this get-together!

    Fear not 44CON and all other conferences there is an idea that’ll solve it, period.
    It’s a bit pricey but you get what you pay for!

    Or as Ramsay would say, Managing ID and Information at Conferences? Done.

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    More on the 44CON group

    Day 2 at the Gartner Portal, Content and Collaboration Summit #GartnerPCC

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    Day 2 here at the Westminster Bridge Park Plaza, an enjoyable day listening to Gartner folks recount tales of how Corporates are doing it wrong and what needs to change.

    Today’s keynote, Becoming a Social Organisation – Mark McDonald, a great speaker.

    Lots of great anecdotes about how organisations stop collaboration by implementing tools and sitting back expecting people to collaborate, we can all relate to implementing tools and wondering why nobody is using them, right?

    Here is your very expensive enterprise collaboration platform people, go collaborate….tumbleweed

    Coca-Cola spent over a million $ to become the most liked brand on Facebook, knocking Starbucks from the top spot, and shifted no more drinks in the process! StarBucks posted on Facebook “Coca-Cola thinks you like them more than Starbucks” within 2 weeks Starbucks were back on top. They spent $0 and sold more coffee!

    Create a Person to Person Architecture, not an IT Architecture

    Enable Support networks via peers, they can help each other, it’s cheap and very effective.

    (more…)

    Day1 at the Gartner Portal, Content and Collaboration Summit #GartnerPCC

    Nikos Drakos opened the conference talking about the Nexus of Forces, Social, Mobile, Cloud and Information

    Next up for the keynote was Chris Howard with Always On: Anything, Anytime, Everyone

    The industrialisation of IT is not a threat to Enterprise IT, use this to offload some of the tasks to allow smart people to focus on new ways on adding value to our businesses.

    Our CIO’s have stuff on their minds….

  • Increasing Enterprise Growth
  • Delivering Business Solutions, not IT Solutions
  • Analytics and BI
  • Mobile Technologies and Cloud Computing
  • Customer Experience
  • Humans are wired to be social and IT has done a great job of making it almost impossible for the users to be social, we need to map the collaboration solutions to the human habits.

    (more…)

    Yahoo! bins Blackberry

    Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer today announced that the company will move away from Blackberry, opting to allow their employees to choose a device from a list of the latest coolest gadgets on the block.
    They call it Smart Fun and it’s aimed at allowing their employees to experience what Yahoo! customers enjoy when using the latest devices, so rather than BYO it’s more like CYO, choose your own.

    This is a public blow to Waterloo based RIM and could further damage their credibility, BB10 needs to get a move on if it is to be their saviour.

    Here’s the internal announcement

    We have a very exciting update to share with you today – we are announcing Yahoo! Smart Phones, Smart Fun! As of today, Yahoo is moving off of blackberries as our corporate phones and on to smartphones in 22 countries. A few weeks ago, we said that we would look into smartphone penetration rates globally and take those rates into account when deciding on corporate phones. Ideally, we’d like our employees to have devices similar to our users, so we can think and work as the majority of our users do.

    Moving forward, we’ll offer you a choice of devices as well as provide monthly plans for the data and phone.

    The smartphone choices that we are including in the program are:
    * Apple iPhone 5
    * Android:
    – Samsung Galaxy S3
    – HTC One X
    – HTC EVO 4G LTE
    * Windows Phone 8:
    – Nokia Lumia 920

    We’re getting started right away and taking orders starting now

    HTC to launch a Phablet called the Incredible X

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    HTC are rumoured to be launching their own Phablet in the near future, that’s a cross between a tablet and a phone in case you were wondering.

    To compete with the Samsung Note and the LG Intuition, this device is rumoured to have a 480 pixels per inch (ppi) 5′ HD display. That may sound rather dull, but considering the iPhone Retina display has 326 ppi isn’t that even more pixels the human eye cannot see?

    With HTC hosting an event on the 19th, it’s going to be a busy week as Nokia and Microsoft are also “showing and telling” on the same day.

    So with LG, HTC and Nokia hosting events on Wednesday, the same day as Apple begins to allow iOS6 downloads, and Amazon showcasing tech on Thursday what a week for mobile!

    HTC Phablet