* Posts by jonmorris

19 posts • joined 1 Feb 2011

'Fake 5G' feud falters as Sprint, AT&T settle suit over 'misleading' label

jonmorris

Re: I'm sorry but

I'm holding out for 5G Plaid +.

Ofcom to probe Three and Vodafone over network throttling

jonmorris

Re: Perhap they kick Three

Three has targeted VPNs for some time and there have long been discussions on forums, with private mails sent around, to let users know what ones work and get around the throttling that Three always argued didn't exist.

For me, the fact that Three is still 3G only when roaming has stopped me using Three compared to either EE or Vodafone. The difference, especially as throughout Europe there's a good chance the 4G network will have better coverage, and certainly a lot more capacity (especially if a lot of 3G spectrum has been refarmed to 4G), is huge.

I can tether with either EE or Vodafone too, and Vodafone has no roaming limit in any given month. EE and Three does.

I haven't mentioned O2 but isn't O2 also restricted to 3G only? And I assume no tethering either?

Feel at Home (and 3LikeHome before it) was good when the other networks treated people roaming as cash cows, but the EU changed all that. Now Three's offering is only good if you go outside the EU and the other network still charge high rates for, but that still doesn't make Three good. 3G only, throttling, no tethering... It might be better than nothing, but only just.

jonmorris

I'm quite glad something is being done, eventually, even though I wrote a post on my 'Sort it out Three: using data abroad feels nothing like at home!' blog post some years ago. Three told me that people on holiday didn't need to have full speed data (they only want to Tweet or use Facebook it seems), and as long as people were posting their texts showing how much money they 'saved' on their last trip, everyone seemed happy.

For this, I do at least feel vindicated, even if it shows how slow things operate in this industry.

Three did of course magically remove all throttling the same day that the EU roaming rules changed. They always claimed the poor service was down to the foreign network, and constantly attempted to deny they had any throttling (they always allowed speed tests to run at full speed - funny that) so wasn't it great that in the space of minutes all those bad networks fixed the issues! Yet, shock, if you go to non-EU destinations with Feel at Home, the throttling still exists. Funny that.

I am surprised about Vodafone and think the whole 'zero rated data' nonsense is where the problems are, and will be, going forward. We don't need to don a tin foil hat to know in time there will be likely become a requirement to buy add-on packs for certain data access, as against merely getting it unmetered if you pay more.

If you have a standard tariff and roam, you get full speed, 4G, data access and the service is excellent. If you have a 60GB plan, you can use all 60GB - tether if you want. Vodafone needs to be commended for this, and probably offers the best service for heavy users.

EE supposedly throttles on non-Max plans (and now you can't get Max plans SIM-only anymore) so won't Ofcom be looking into them too?

You have to hand it to the operators though. They're starting with the zero-rated data so they'll get most consumers on side. We may know what's likely to happen, but Joe Public won't see it. And if there's no 'public interest' then chances are Ofcom will drag its heels on this as it usually does.

UK's EE scores network reliability clean sweep, rival dwarves fume

jonmorris

Re: Nothing Squared

Well, Three does have a handful of 800MHz sites around the UK that covers huge areas.

As long as you have the right phone, bought from Three, or another phone that supports 4G Calling via the inTouch app (not many, and certainly no dual SIM phones for some reason), and you aren't in an area where the network decides you're better off on 3G even with not enough signal to send or receive any data, then you'll maybe find that Three will surprise you.

I'm amazed that after a big fuss over 'Super Voice', Three has in fact done so little to get it working properly. At some point it must be set above 3G, and I believe this MIGHT be happening - at least on test in some areas.

I've forced my phone to 4G only, which pretty much kills voice most of the time, and found 800 pretty good.

The problem for Three is that EE has even more 800MHz sites coming on soon, so any chance it has to get back into the game will be short lived.

Smartwatches: I hate to say ‘I told you so’. But I told you so.

jonmorris

This is exactly why I like my Pebble watch. For most of the time I forget/don't care it's a smartwatch and just it to tell the time, but with a choice of watch faces that I can change like themes on a phone or wallpapers on a desktop. Change for change's sake.

But it's great I can get simple notifications that save me pulling my phone out to see if that alert was an email reply I've been waiting for, or just another cat photo posted on Facebook.

Yes, a Pebble can run apps but I rarely do. I do like it warning me that I've had too little sleep, but as yet it hasn't succeeded in getting me to go to bed early. The Health features are improving all the time, and the best thing is the 10 day battery life.

For me, all the other smartwatches are exactly what Andrew says - trying to be too damn clever. If that email I've been waiting for arrives, I'll go to my phone to read it and respond. I don't want to try replying on a tiny on-screen keyboard, drawing characters one by one, or talking to it when outdoors. That's why I bought a smartphone.

I don't want to play games or anything else. My needs are incredibly modest and I think Google, Apple, Samsung and others have all gone down the wrong road.

Naturally this is just my opinion, but I can see why smartwatches haven't gone mainstream. Even Pebble hasn't gone mainstream.

We're mostly tech nerds and know we don't really need a smartwatch, but have one anyway. Anyone else will simply know they don't need one - and not get one.

Reduced roaming charges, net neutrality come into force in EU

jonmorris

Three Feel (a bit like) at Home (where you have a bad signal)

What do these rules mean for Three, which openly admits to throttling services like video streaming - and claims that Feel at Home is a proposition for holiday makers? Three said recently that it might consider offering unrestricted data at a higher cost? Would that get around the rules?

Anyone on Three can run the nPerf benchmark app (Android and iOS) and see if streaming works, and I bet it won't.

What we all really need is an SD card for our cars. Thanks, SanDisk

jonmorris

I've got a dash cam and the card has corrupted a couple of times (it's not SanDisk mind, and was one that came with it) so I can see a market for more heavy duty cards for devices that could be vital for providing evidence.

And I can see some people might pay extra for such peace of mind, even if existing cards would work as well in 99% of situations. Heck, people pay a premium for loads of things when safety is mentioned. If this gives SanDisk a few extra quid to further card development for all then it's no bad thing.

jonmorris

Re: Car interior temps

I doubt they've got the technology to produce a card able to cope with all the conditions you can find in Slough!

TalkTalk: Hackers may have nicked personal, banking info on 4 million Brits

jonmorris

Re: They can TalkTalk

I'm off. I was quite forgiving the first time around, despite having the scam calls and feeling angry for those people who might fall victim to them (and TalkTalk not having told me or anyone else by email, or by post, to be on our guard).

Now it has gone beyond that. I have a moral duty to boycott them, but admittedly I won't go until I seek out a good alternative. I'm not going to be further inconvenienced because of them. Rest assured though, in a month or two I won't be a customer of theirs.

jonmorris

Re: What about ex-customers?

She'll have been no doubt briefed on how to act, and to play the open and honest, nothing to hide, hey I;m a victim too line. I think it's good she's spoken to the media (this time) but I think she's misjudged the anger - and saying she's a victim too won't get her or the company any sympathy when it's the THIRD time it's happened (at least).

jonmorris

Re: What about ex-customers?

Yes they will - people got the scam 'PC hack' calls even when they'd left ages ago.

And even current customers, like me, aren't getting contacted.

As it's the third time, I have NO sympathy at all now. And Dido Harding saying she's a TT customer and has been a victim too just makes me even more angry. I mean, if she had something to lose then shouldn't she have been making sure the defences were rock solid. Or robust? That's a word she's been using, which is laughable.

I mean, what's left to protect now?

BONEHEAD FANBOIS encamp outside Apple Stores

jonmorris

Re: not a Delivery?

Experience has shown that a large number of people in the queue are buying to immediately sell for a profit, and we now see that many are paid to be in the queue - and managed by people who are ready to get them out of the country and sold in markets where the iPhone/iPad is yet to go on sale.

It will be the same in Regent Street and Covent Garden etc this year, and for the last few releases as least you can walk further along Oxford Street and into a Curry's to buy one without any queues or fuss (well, bar being asked about the extended warranty). I am talking more about the iPad, but assume there will be stock of the iPhone in other places without the need to queue.

But if you do queue up, when the doors open you're treated like a God. Loads of people bowing down to you, clapping and making you feel so special as you hand over your credit card, get given a box and quickly booted out the exit.

Stupid as the whole thing is, I'll never forget when Nokia had its store over the road and launched a phone on the same day and there was not only no queue, but the shop didn't even open on time. Can't even remember what phone it was, but I vaguely recall it being the N97.

Have PIXmania. In fact, have £59m with it too, Dixons tell German VCs

jonmorris

I'd have given it a go for just £50m

I like these business arrangements, but wish I'd known about it.

For just £50m, I'd have gladly taken on the company and done my best to turn it around. First I'd make sure to make myself the boss and pay myself a modest salary, and then get my friends and family to help out (all on modest salaries too - certainly no more than six figures).

We'd then all try our best at running the company for a few months before realising it was harder than we expected (well, if Dixons couldn't do it how could we?), claim a few expenses, sell off some stock cheap to another business and let it fold.

Of course, the above was a joke as it's in no way how any other business would do things when given a wad of cash to rescue a business!

Three axes data-roaming fees in SEVEN countries

jonmorris

For every £5 top up, you get 150MB of data too, so that 321 PAYG tariff is even better if you do smaller top ups (unless I'm missing something).

jonmorris

It seems Three hasn't perhaps pointed out that the deal, much like 3LikeHome that existed a few years back, uses other Three networks only. And there aren't that many of them.

I expect that to offer this deal on other operators, they'd need to do special deals and I bet the others are quite happy to wait until the very last second to give up this extra money, before the EU hopefully moves to axe EU-wide roaming charges at all.

T-Mobile UK punters break for freedom in inflation-busting bill row

jonmorris

Re: Mobile contracts = Fail

I'd suggest that unless an operator is doing a ridiculously good deal on a handset, ALWAYS go for the SIM-only route. Now you have an unbranded, unlocked phone that you can do what you like with (if that means selling in six months to swap for the next big thing, so be it).

Now you can play operators against each other, and go for the rolling contract. If you're about to be done over, port your number elsewhere and start over - and keep doing so. You then get to benefit from the tariffs offered to new subscribers (before they try and stitch them up with price rises or changing the terms) and off you go again.

I can see why people might be too lazy to do this, but signing a 24 month contract is crazy. Back in the day, I sold mobile phones myself and people were asked to sign for 12 months only. I believe all operators are still required to sell 12 month contracts, but they don't make them obvious - and many websites would lead you to believe they don't exist or aren't available on every phone (and even when you do find them, they try and make them totally uncompetitive anyway). So, once again, DON'T GO FOR A CONTRACT and none of these problems will apply to you and no network will be able to get one over you, as YOU now have control.

Why I love Microsoft’s vapourware tablet

jonmorris

I actually thought that Microsoft rushed this event because it was about to be upstaged by someone else in the coming weeks.

It's quite a clever offering and has got the tech world talking, simply because it's something else to write about that isn't iOS, Android etc, but as it isn't out for some time.

Microsoft is taking a big risk. With the geeks like us soon forgetting about it, a lot of hard work will have been potentially wasted by the time it does come out - if indeed it does.

Sure, it now means that Microsoft can claim to have been first (and the cover/keyboard idea is something I bet Apple wishes it had done) but Joe Public probably don't know sod all about Windows 8 as there is no advertising of the OS yet, let alone the Surface.

I think it was announced too far in advance and for no real gain (other than to keep us Brits up late following the event, and to annoy hardware makers that now see Microsoft as a threat to their own business), which is why I return to my previous assumption that Microsoft felt they had to show the Surface at short notice for another reason we'll come to realise in the near future.

I wonder if someone like Samsung had come up with something like this for its new tablet with a iPad 3-style resolution? Or maybe Google has something like this for one of its new Nexus tablets (or maybe the two are one and the same!)?

TomTom axes 10% of workforce

jonmorris

TomTom for iPhone is fantastic.. but I think that they either failed to notice that other platform called Android, or they've got some deal with Apple that prevents them from making an app for anything else.

That means TomTom is not only losing a huge chunk of revenue, but also allowing the competition to become more known in the Android space. I am not sure they can recover for this unless they hurry up, or at least make a statement that an app for Android (even Windows Phone) is coming.

They did suggest an app back in May this year I believe, but it then went quiet. Very quiet. TomTom seems like a company that has failed to do anything significant this year - unless you see value in Tweeting people where you're going and when you think you might get there.

Orange blames switch for data problems

jonmorris

Orange in London (and beyond)

I have to suggest that the 'recent' problems on Orange probably are unrelated to the pending merger, as London (In particular the City of London to Holborn) has been a problem for going on for two years.

Orange has advised us to disable 3G, which does work. Otherwise you have no data at all (can't even ping any IP address), incoming calls bouncing to voicemail, outgoing calls coming back network busy and texts that arrive in the morning after the network constantly increases the retry time to deliver.

All in all, a shambles - and a problem that could really mess up the network merger. At best, it fixes the problem, at worst it means T-Mobile/Three customers will have the same problems.

I am not an engineer, but I can see that when my phone registers on an HSPA enabled cell, data works. If it only shows 3G, it won't. Yet, aren't nearly all 3G cells HSPA enabled? If so, there must be some problem with it authenticating properly, so if you stay on 3G it won't work at all.

Don't expect a detailed explanation from Orange though. Gone are the days where you could phone up with a problem and speak to an engineer direct at Bristol who would really know the workings inside and out of the network.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021