All 16 entries tagged Phones

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March 23, 2008

Imagine: being always on

I came across an interesting prediction whilst researching for a presentation: according to the Nokia Siemens Networks, by 2015 there should be 5 billion people 'always on'. This is a pretty amazing feat that will happen. Simply put, 5 billion people will have permenant access to the communications infrastructures (telephone and internet). This will be achieved by manufacturers selling low-entry mobile phones for $10 and networks expanding to the remotest of places, making it affordable and available to a wider audience and communities that used to be cut off from civilisation.

Along with the relentless move to 'always on' mobile connectivity, the greeting my phone (shown below) gave me a few weeks ago might become a common occurance! :S

Leave Me Alone

You have a missed call, Unread SMS, MMS and email... argh!


February 11, 2008

I. want. one.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X1

Just when I thought deciding between the Asus EEEEEEEEE PC and the HTC TyTN II (aka O2 xDA Stellar aka T-Mobile mDA Vario III) was difficult enough, there's now another one to add to the mix. I want that shiny thing pictured above. Looks like SEM have done the wise thing and dumped the rubbish Symbian OS and are installing Windows Mobile instead. Copying the HTC angle-sliding screen design, should be a hit. The only problem is its only got HSDPA but no wi-fi (according to the spec sheet) (update: it does have wifi!). It will probably out at the end of the year - hopefully when I'll have some money to afford one!

More Info on the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1


February 07, 2008

Internet first, voice second

I have notice a huge flaw with my phone. Supposedly, the best thing about 3G is that you can be on the internet and have a phone call at the same time. Unlike 2.5G GPRS which is like a V.92 dial-up in terms of low bandwidth and (lack of) connection permenancy - you can't receive calls when you're actively on the internet.

On my SEM K800i I find that even with 3G good reception, I get awful call quality, because it can't handle a switch-circuit voice call and data at the same time. It keeps dropping a lot of downstream switched-circuit voice data - and I can't hear a damn thing. This means I have had to stop using push email (which maintains a permenant internet connection to the email server). I have no idea whether this limitation is due to the phone itself or UMTS technology. Has anyone else experienced this problem?


October 12, 2007

Web 'n' Walk

This year I did something really different: I did not upgrade my phone! Seeing that the SEM K800i has served pretty well I decided what I really wanted was a web tariff more than a new phone. Enter T-Mobile's web 'n' walk. I'm on the basic plan which means I get 1GB per month. I am only allowed to use http and email and only on my phone (no IM, no connecting to computers - unless you upgrade to web 'n' walk plus). It turns out my normal use is about 35MB per month. Its really hard to use any more than that on a phone.

I do the odd bit of web browsing during breakfast etc, and the phone is generally set to retrieve emails regularly. I can use push email which means I get my emails viagra spam as instantaneous as I would get a text, but it eats up the battery monstrously because its permenantly connected to the mail server. A 5min check interval does do the job just as well and saves a bit more battery power. I personally think that emails shouldn't come that quickly. They should be every 15mins, but there's no option between 5 and 30mins on the K800i.

The Nokias (such as the N90 I borrowed) allowed you to set email checking to be only active during certain hours (e.g. 07:00-23:00). Useful, because I really read emails when I'm asleep.

I managed to get the 12 month contract on a wonderful 10 months free deal, which means it really is a steal. I can upgrade to web 'n' walk plus (3GB) tariff to use as internet access on my PC when (not if) university resnet screws up. Its a nice backup to have. Problem is, UMTS 3G is actually a bit sluggish. Max download speed is 384kbps and ping times on T-Mobile are 130ms. Speed is fine for phone browsing, but if you're doing more, you'll need a phone or datacard that supports HSDPA (1.8/3.6/7.2 Mbps).  Currently got my eye on a K850i. Tempting...

More to come next month when we laugh at Chris for buying an iPhone...


May 15, 2007

Just in case you didn't know

Writing about web page http://www.o2.co.uk/video

If you've got an O2 contract and a 3G phone. You can use your free voice minute credits to make free video calls until 27th September 2007.

Ever wondered what video calling is actually like? 

Last time I video called Ivan (who was in a bar) it took me 3 minutes to work out his location because of the poor pixellated image and because the background noise coming through the speakerphone made conversation impossible. Sign language and visual aids were useful though. Another time we had a bit of fun using the video phones as a rear view mirror for his car, when we were bored and stuck in traffic. He planted his W880 in the steering wheel and I popped my K800 on the parcel shelf.

But generally no one I know ever answers video calls because they are self-concious. Ooo don't forget to put makeup on before answering the phone...


April 15, 2007

RF Damage to the Environment

Writing about web page http://news.independent.co.uk/environment/wildlife/article2449968.ece

Rob showed me the article above. So not only are we radiating our body parts, we’re also killing off some ecological systems! We’re destroying pollination cos the bumble bees’ own GPS-equivalent navigations are being distracted by our GPRS. Result? Reduced harvest. What I’m wondering is, which specific frequencies do bees run on?

Does this mean the best way to cope with being ‘attacked’ by a bee, is to whip out your mobile make a ringing sound then pass it to the bee and say “Its for you”?

“But 3G mainly covers metropolitan areas. I believe bees are more rural and they don’t currently benefit from 3G connections.”


March 04, 2007

First Law of Phone Dynamics

Nathaniel says:
how would I receive the text?
John says:
if i send enough remember nathaniels first law of phone dynamics “spam wakes up dead phones”


February 28, 2007

And that's why you shouldn't buy Symbian Phones

Chris Payne’s Sony Ericsson W950 decided to munch up his Inbox yesterday. Its a very nice phone, I would have got one myself if I had the option. But he lost all the MMS and SMS’s he had in it. Fortunately there was nothing too important in it. Purssell has always been saying that you should avoid a phone that has Symbian at all costs, and predicting that problems would eventually arise – and he always gets to say “I told you so!” So I researched into Symbian OS’s history – trying to source the problem. Turns out it has a horrible genetic makeup:

  • Symbian is used by a few manufacturers – its CPU efficient and it often breaks.
  • Symbian is a decendent of Psion EPOC
  • Psion EPOC has some genes from the Sinclair Spectrum

Ew.

And Sachit says his Nokia N73 crashes often. This is currently the only phone that ‘3’ provide Skype for. With the W950 port coming soon. To be honest, I think that Symbian is almost at the stage of being very stable. Its weird to think that Microsoft Mobile is actually more reliable!

Purssell has now got HSDPA on his phone. Which now means he gets the internet at 1.8Mbps. That’s as fast as most people’s home broadband. Shocking. He had it downloading TV during most of the lectures at 110kB/s.


January 30, 2007

How to deal with nuisance calls

I've been getting a lot of dropped calls from a witheld number about 3-5 times a day. Rings once, puts the phone down. Today it pissed me off because the first call was at 6.15am, (and the last one last night was 12.10am). Which makes me assume its someone in the CET zone.

Well there are ways of tackling this:

  1. leave the phone on autoanswer to make sure they had to pay for the call. Eventually they'll get bored and lose enough credit/money they'll stop.

  2. Another option is to set up a call screener. This is an option readily available on Sony Ericssons (I have not found it in any Nokias). Basically, goto Settings>Calls Tab>Manage Calls>Accept Calls.
    Choose "only from list" callers can call me. And add your address book people to your list. This will mean whenever someone who is not on your safe list is calling, they will be sent the busy tone. If you've got voicemail activated, then they will get your voicemail (this is preferable as the call then costs them money as the voicemail system has picked up).

  3. The last option is to ignore the call. On your current (or a new profile), set the phone to not ring nor vibrate. Then go to your phone book. Put everyone in a call group. Then set that call group its own ringtone. Then when someone you know calls, the phone will ring and when someone you don't know calls, the only the screen will flash.


Hopefully with these methods will help. If it fails, just call the network.


December 15, 2006

Porting Numbers

Just got off the phone to Virgin Mobile, who said that number porting is not available during the christmas period. Moral of the story? Don’t buy phones in December / early-January – as you’ll run into trouble when you want to take the number back next year.


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