End User mobile apps

Google location incorrect since moving home?

Google location incorrect – what’s that all about?

So recently I’ve moved house and it’s been bugging me that my Google Now / Location keeps syncing me back to my old home address (I’m using a Samsung S4 for what its worth but this applies to all modern Android devices and possibly IOS if using google Maps).  I find Google Now pretty useful because it tells me in the morning how long / far to my first meeting or any increased traffic levels on the roads before I set off.  This sort of data is useful but only if it knows where you are right?

Example here is it showing my estimated time to home from work, normal traffic levels for this time of night which is a good 🙂

Business mobile apps

Boring TV & better things to do – @CamCardIntSig

What’s the most boring TV programme you have ever watched? It was probably on a Saturday night. Seems to be traditional to have boring TV on a Saturday night. I’d say it was pretty boring most other nights too but don’t let me put ideas in your head; thoughts.

You do have to ask yourself if the your most boring TV programme was that boring why did you watch it? You could have switched off and done something useful. I’ve just scanned in a hundred or so business cards using an App called CamCard. I bought the paid version for £1.90. It’s useful.

I’m gradually working my way through a thousand or so business cards I had tossed into a desk drawer over the years. Lots of them will now be out of date, especially those of sales people. I discard the obviously incorrect ones but scan everything else in. You never know when they will come in handy. Google contacts will probably provide me with updated data on people anyway. If you suddenly start getting emails from me you will now know why. Don’t worry there will be a fully functional unsubscribe button.

I’m checking out CRM and accounting packages this coming week. I want them all to hook up with Google Contacts. They also need APIs for interfacing with other platforms – MailChimp for example and WordPress, obvs. Not that I’m expecting to be doing many mass mailers though I can envisage a weekly digest of blog posts plus a bit of unique mail only content – for the busy executive who hasn’t got the few seconds to spare in the week to scan through a short blog post.

Ve shall see.

PS there is a TV in the breakout area down the corridor from my office. During the day people sit there watching daytime TV. Some people really need a life.

More TV related stuff:

Sony 4K Ultra HD TV

TV detector vans – the truth

BBC piles pressure on ISPS with Internet TV

Engineer mobile apps

Use of memory on phone by Applications #connectedlife

available_ramactive_apps_smallavailable_ram2_smallWas flicking through the apps on my droid this morning in bed, as you do, and I noticed that I was running low on available RAM, again as you do. I was down to something like 16%. Blimey I thought. Wonder what’s using all that memory up?

So I looked and saw that I had 11 Applications running even though I wasn’t using most of them. Now I didn’t notice that this slowed my phone down but taking it to the extreme it could have done.

I took some screenshots to illustrate how using Apps uses memory. The Apps screenshot is an approximate simulation as I already killed the ones when I originally looked.

Stopping the Apps releases a load of memory. You can see the available memory grow from 16% to 43%.

All obvious stuff but interesting to see in action nevertheless.

Just for interest I uploaded these screenshots from my droid to Google Drive when I was at home.

In the railway station waiting room I used my Chromebook to access via my EE 4G MiFi to size them and convert to jpg for use in the blog. They were still in Drive at this time.

As the train moved out of the station and with diminishing cellular signal I moved the pics from Drive to the media folder on

This process wasn’t heavy on cellular bandwidth as I was moving stuff from one cloud to another (more on the “other” cloud in due course).

It was all a bit of a race against time knowing that the precious resource of connectivity was going to dwindle and vanish.

Now as I head through the wilderness of Lincolnshire towards Nottinghamshire, London and notional civilisation I am forced to continue editing this post locally.

I’ll only need a tiny bit of bandwidth to finally publish it, in theory, because the heavy shifting has been done.

The only other thing to note is that I’m stretching this post out a bit because the photos are fairly tall and therefore use a fair bit of real estate.

I could have shrunk them a bit but then I find it difficult to read the text don’t you? 🙂

That’s all folks. Stay safe but make your life an exciting one.

#connectedlife 🙂

End User mobile apps

Facebook intrusion continues #privacy #sms #calendar

facebook_screenshotNormally when a droid asks me to let an App have permission to access specific functions on the phone I just blindly accept.

This was the subject of a Twitter conversation before Christmas. Some people said they declined. We were particularly discussing Facebook which I naturally distrust.

I woke up this morning to an offer of an App upgrade from Facebook.   The first thing that jumped out of the page (screen) at me was the fact that they, actually it feels as if Mark Zuckerberg himself is involved, wanted access to my sms messages.

This was a step too far even though I’m sure I must have given this permission to other Apps. No doubt Google has it.

You only have to look at the list of permissions being asked for to get suspicious.

I like the idea that I have a tool that integrates all my media and connectivity. is trying to head that way for businesses. I can see how might want to integrate with the communities hosted on various 3rd party platforms. It’s a way of getting a lot of information about the people that you interact with and for a business that is valuable.

The trouble is that I don’t trust Facebook. Facebook’s approach seems to be tell everyone everything by default and maybe rein back in from there.  I feel this even though it may not be true.

I don’t have the same level of distrust of other platforms. Google I think

Business ecommerce mobile apps

The O2 Wallet is dead, long live Zapp – mobile payment App

The O2 wallet is dead. It disappointed from the start. I put a tenner in to have a play and found that I couldn’t use my phone to pay for anything. It had a mobile app but all that did was provide a web interface for the phone. It wasn’t a contactless payment tool. To use it seemed just as elaborate as my normal internet banking service, so not particularly easy then.

It might have been an article on the BBC about a new contactless payment system, Zapp, that made me think of the O2 Wallet again. When the O2 Wallet was launched I thought I would be a trailblazer (I’m sure I wrote a post about it at the time but am blowed if I can find it). I would be able to use my phone to pay for things. I signed up and downloaded the android app. Good start.

I started small by sticking ten quid in my newly opened account. The tenner sat in the account for I know not how long (actually must have been 18 months because that’s how long O2 is saying the project lasted). I found it impossible to spend that cash, like I said.

I was disappointed but hey, it was an experiment that cost a tenner. Though it did occasionally drift into mind I forgot about the O2 Wallet. I pretty much wrote off the tenner.

Last night I logged in to my O2 Wallet account. The miracle was that I could remember my password. I was greeted with the message shown in the pic.

Following the instructions I withdrew my £10. Put it back into my bank account. Lost out on 18 months of current account interest at 0.75% but who cares (as he rolls another cigarette in a fifty pound note)(not really, I don’t smoke).

I noted with bemusement a message saying that the service was free at the moment but that charges would be introduced in future.

O2 will be closing my account in March. I will uninstall the app today.

The O2 Wallet is dead. May Zapp succeed where O2 did not. I hope it does. I have on occssion nipped out to the shops and left my wallet at home but I rarely forget my phone.

I hope Zapp is easy whilst remaining secure because it is the future of payment systems.

That’s all. Written in bed on my droid.

Footnote. I just uninstalled the O2 Wallet app and looked for Zapp in the play store. No sign of it!!! Hmm. Not a great start.

End User mobile apps

Death of the clock radio? #tuneinradio


A few weeks ago our expensive DAB clock radio died. It never worked  particularly well at low volumes which is what we need when lying in bed but it was useful in being able to easily tune into lots of different DAB channels.

We replaced it with the FM clock radio from our son Tom’s room. Tom no longer lives at home and he doesn’t need it. The only problem with Tom’s radio is that whilst it works find you have to manually tune it with the dial on the side of the radio.

So this morning, which is Sunday morning, we are lying in bed listening to the radio when, of course it being Sunday, the Sunday service came on (Radio4). This is always the cue to switch off.

At the same time @mrstevenallen who is a radio presenter and comedian I engage with occasionally on Twitter mentioned that he was on air on 107.5 fm somewhere in deepest Essex . I tried clicking on the links he provided to listen in but none of them seem to work very well on my android. The TuneIn radio app, however, worked a treat so in I listened.

I mentioned to Steve that I was listening and even got a mention myself on the radio (yay fame at last).

After listening for a few minutes I decided to move on – the music was not really to my taste. Instead of faffing around manually with the bedside radio i just tried a few channels  in the “recent” list on TuneIn radio. I hopped around a couple avoiding the inevitable religious content and settled on radio 3.

The clock radio will die off. With TuneIn radio on my phone  providing many more channels at the click of a thumb why should I bother? When I eventually get up the radio will just follow me, using the phone whereas before TuneIn radio I would have had separate radios in the bathroom the kitchen etc etc etc.

The only value the clock radio now provides me is a large digital display showing the time. Being nearly blind I can just about make this out through blurry eyes on the neon display first thing in the morning.

I can’t imagine our kids, who all have android phones, going out and buying a clock radio when they leave home.

Another household appliance destined for a museum display cabinet?

Time go get up.

PS this post was mostly dictated using the wordpress app for android.

End User mobile apps

Samsung Hub – does anyone use it?

samsungappsLast night I was settling in for the evening when my phone asked me if I wanted to update Samsung Hub. I said “oh alright then” and accepted the update.

Then I thought “Samsung Hub?? I’ve never used it!”. Looking at it it’s just another shop. Thinking about it I did notice Samsung Hub when setting up a new Samsung Galaxy (I’m on my umpteenth inc replacements for faulty USB ports, “water damage” and other miscellaeneous manufacturing faults.

At the time I discounted it – I don’t need any more sources of apps or means of spending money online. In fact I’m happy to be proved wrong but I doubt that Samsung Hub offers anything that other online stores have.

So why use it?

Answers on a metaphoric postcard, magic carpet or any other means of entering into a discussion on this most unimportant of subjects.

PS I note from the screenshot it wasn’t last night it was 05.21 am. Must have been asleep – I do these things on autopilot. Bit worrying innit?

Apps End User mobile apps mobile connectivity phones Weekend

Lost phone phound

I normally keep my phone overnight on my bedside table – muted for obvious social reasons. It stems back to the days when I was at the top of the escalation ladder for network issues. Nowadays it’s there for a bit of surreptitious tweeting before Mrs Davies wakes up.

Well I woke up this morning and my phone it wasn’t there, oh no (sung to a blues tune). Yes I woke up this morning and like I said my phone it wasn’t there, oh no. I went downstairs and looked all around the house but still I couldn’t find that darned Samsung Galaxy S4 phone. Oh no.

At this point my imagination started to take hold. Did I leave it at the jazz gig last night? In the taxi? I rang it several times but no joy.

Fortunately technology comes to the rescue these days. I  logged on to my Samsung account and clicked “find my phone”. It was somewhere in our house. Hmm. Location info could be wrong though. I looked at the phone logs. Nobody had pinched it and was using it to call Senegal (random exotic destination that is probably expensive to call).

Then I rang the phone from the Samsung account. This overrides any volume settings on the phone. Wandering around the house I began to hear the faint strains of a Samsung Galaxy S4. It was calling to me. I’m here Tref, here I am.

I found my phone under my pillow, oh yea (followed by a riff on a Fender Stratocaster and a nifty bit of drumming to finish off.

Fat lady sings.


Apps End User mobile apps

Test dictated blog post

Just using the word press plugins for android to see if I can dictate a blog post . I am not making any manual modifications to this post other than blok delete if the spelling is wildly adrift . It would be quite useful if I could work out how to do a carriage return for a space .  other than that it is quite usable . I am lying on the city watching the news at 10 . !?, not bad I dictated does .  return return should work for a new paragraph but it doesn’t seem too. New line new paragraph return return this is almost poetry but it certainly isn’t doing a carriage return. I find that if I speak clearly it recognises what I’m saying for better. It’s obvious really. Now I’m going to try speaking welsh. 213 boob size. I’m not gonna tell you what that was meant to be. If you speak welsh you might be able to work it out. Of course 1 of the problems with this dictation is the teacher annoyed everybody else in the room. Especially my wife who is trying to listen to the news. Better go. Check out baby.

End User mobile apps storage backup & dr

Photo backup to #NAS box solved #SweetHome Android

Photo backup to ReadyNas problem solved.

You may have been following my attempts to back up my photos from my Samsung Galaxy S4 Android to my NAS box. This has become an issue since starting to play with the Samsung Chromebook which doesn’t recognise the phone when it’s plugged in via USB.

I tried a few methods including downloading from the Dropbox folder to the Chromebook and then dragging the folder into the relevant share on the NAS. This is very inelegant and you end up with a zipped file.

The answer was an app. I tried a number of them including Netgear’s own ReadyNAS Remote which doesn’t generally get good reviews. I got ReadyNAS Remote one to work but found that I could only upload single files manually which wasn’t going to be good enough. No response from the ReadyNAS forum on that one either. I also tried Airdroid with no success.

I got excited with “Upload 2 NAS Lite” last night when it appeared to be successfully uploading the files. However it was very slow and I left it running overnight. This morning the app told me it had finished but there were no files to be found on the NAS box. Looking at the forum for this app I can see others having the same problem with no apparent resolution. Using Upload 2 NAS Lite looked as if it was going to be a complicated job so I looked elsewhere.

Lying in bed this morning I then came across “Sweet Home“. This one worked like a dream and did the job far more quickly than Upload 2 NAS Lite. The User Interface was also by far the easiest to use. I am a happy chap. I am actually going to buy the pro version it is that good. Very easy to use.

The only thing left to nail is the fact that I usually backup to both the ReadyNAS and a separate 2TB palm drive that I keep in my desk. I’ll have to see if the Chromebook can see that drive and then look at backing up from the NAS box. The alternative is to have two separate NAS boxes which is somewhat industrial strength and over the top for my personal needs or to run with only using Google+ and the NAS.

Ve shall see…

Apps broadband chromebook End User mobile apps

Photo xfer from Samsung Galaxy S4 to NAS backup via Chromebook

Backup to NAS better than cloud when using slow broadband.

Photos get backed up from my Samsung Galaxy S4 to Google+ and via my Microsoft powered laptop to a separate local NAS box. This doesn’t work for the Samsung Chromebook as the laptop doesn’t recognise the presence of the phone when I plug it in. Also in any one month the photo storage requirement can easily exceed the storage available on the Chromebook – it’s a machine for the cloud.

As it happens when I got my S4 I also got 50GB of Dropbox space free for two years and the photos from the phone have been happily backing up to Dropbox. Why not if it is free? Of course this means that the internet bandwidth I use for backing up the pics has effectively doubled (ish – Google+ doesn’t upload the full size I don’t think).

Last night I downloaded September’s photos from Dropbox to my Chromebook. Dropbox zips the files so it isn’t ideal but it did mean that they were available on the Chromebook for me to drag into the upload box of the NAS box (Netgear ReadyNAS 2TB). Looks as if it has worked though the zipped file on the NAS is only 640MB compared with 1.6GB on Drive so will have to check the contents are all there. I don’t really want to zip the pics anyway. I want them easily accessible. I have plenty of storage space.

This is a bit of a long winded way of backing up locally. There has to be a simpler way of doing it. Also like I said before it also assumes you have enough free storage space on the Chromebook.

The one thing I’ve noticed during this phase of tyre kicking is that you really know when you’re connection is offline, even if it is only for a few seconds. Either my WiFi is not rock solid, which is believable or the FTTC connection is not rock solid, which is also believable.  I don’t think I’ll be totally happy until I get FTTP.

I just had to reboot the Chromebook because it totally lost the WiFi hookup and there appeared to be no way of reconnecting it via the settings page.

Apps Business Cloud mobile apps storage backup & dr

When automatic backups work

bread_smallI’ve been having some problems with the “Gallery” app on my Samsung Galaxy S4. Actually I wasn’t sure whether it was the app or the hardware that was giving me the problem. Sometimes a photo would come out as a 1GB file (ish) and sometimes when copying files from the phone to the PC the process would stall and I’d get “file format not recognised” or some simlar message.

The problem happened to me again last week and it prompted me to change the SD card to rule out that as the cause. In the process of doing so I lost a few photos I had taken that morning. Not a big deal really though this problem did result in the loss of some photos and videos I took of the kids on the first day of the Ashes series at Trent Bridge so it was something worth sorting out.

Yesterday we had a family day out at Skegness and last night I noted that the pics I had taken had been automatically uploaded to Google+. Cool. I went on Google+ to share the photos with the wider family. To my very pleasant surprise the photos I’d taken the other morning but had lost were on Google+.

That’s what I call a result.  The loaf of bread, if you’re wondering, is one of the lost photos. It was baked by my very talented wife Anne and didn’t last very long at all:).

Note that the instant upload function on Google+ works far better since I got my fast FTTC connection. The upload is the difference. I don’t know whether that photo would have uploaded quickly enough with my old ADSL connection.

Business mobile apps

Apps and SMBs – a Microsoft experiment with Joshfire

A few weeks ago I wrote a slightly disparaging post in response to a mailshot I had received from Microsoft. The tone of the post was why has Microsoft sent me an email that turned out to disappoint. Had they got their marketing totally wrong?  A business that spends a huge amount of money on marketing?

Later that day I got an email from Ally Wickham at Microsoft. She introduced herself as a Senior Audience Marketing Manager at Microsoft and the orchestrator of the email campaign. I called Ally and we had a good chat about what she had been trying to achieve which was to understand where apps are going in business, particularly small business. I felt this to be an interesting enough and valid subject and offered her the opportunity of writing a guest post. Seemed fair.

Here’s the post:

Apps Business mobile apps spam

Slightly disappointing email from Microsoft :) #joshfire

Just had a slightly disappointing junk email from Microsoft. I don’t normally bother opening this “legitimate spam” that pushes a company’s products but the subject line for this one was “Proud partners of the 2013 British & Irish Lions tour to Australia”.

You might guess where my thinking was here. Maybe it was a free draw for a trip to Australia for the Lions Tour. I’m in I thought, clicked and downloaded the pictures. The disappointment came when I read the following:

“Your First Windows 8 app in minutes

Joshfire is an online tool that Microsoft have partnered with to enable you to create a free and simpler than ever Windows 8 app for your business. Simply select a template, then add your existing sources of online content – Flickr for photos, YouTube for videos, blogs, social feeds and so on.

Even better, for the next 6 weeks Joshfire is free. And what’s more, if you’re one of the first 250 to create an app with Joshfire, we will give you a lovely Microsoft British & Irish Lions commemorative toy. ”

Am I alone in thinking that the Microsoft marketing is somewhat off the mark here? A there can’t be that many people developing apps for Windows 8 and B is a lovely commemorative toy the right incentive?

Well as I write this I’m changing my tune from contemptuous disappointment to idle nay vague curiosity so that I can see what it’s all about. After all I do have a Windows 8 PC and a Nokia Lumia 920 Windows 8 phone. I just clicked on the “Create your first Windows 8 app” link. Oops. Got the following screen:

joshfireMy vague curiosity changed back to a disinterested disappointment. No lovely commemorative toy for me eh? Also ah well! I will make it on another Lions tour some day. I went to South Africa on the last one with the Commons and Lords Rugby Club. Had a great time.

Ciao baby.

Apps End User mobile apps phones

Nokia Lumia 920, Windows 8 compared to the Samsung Galaxy S3 when using social media

 windows phone 8 screenshotsMy next observation on my play with the Lumia 920 relates to the user interface. It’s a very smooth phone for moving around mechanically. A swipe of the finger take you to another relevant screen – more so than the S3 which feels as if you have to return to the main screen more often.

I use Tweetdeck on the GalaxyS3. Since using the Lumia 920 I’ve grown to realise the things that are particularly good about Tweetdeck.

Tweetdeck lets me easily move between my stream, mentions and DMs and when I read a tweet it shows the conversation trail.

The Nokia Lumia 920 is organised differently and I’ve not found it easy to remember my way around. The tweet stream is shown in “People” but my own tweets and mentions are shown in “Me” which is a completely different tile. I can’t therefore flick easily between them as I can with Tweetdeck.

Tweetdeck doesn’t seem to be supported on Windows 8 yet.

The same me/people split seems to apply for Facebook. The concept is good but the reality is that I personally want to look at all my Twitter stuff in one place and all Facebook in another. Ok so I can just use Twitter directly using the browser. I sometimes have to do this even when I am using Tweetdeck – Tweetdeck doesn’t let me easily see who is following me & who I am following.

Perhaps where I am getting to is that everyone has their own preference for UI and the Lumia 920 / Windows 8 is being constantly relegated to second choice whilst I have the Galaxy S3 as an option.

I’m not giving up though. The Office suite is more important for work that is all this social media stuff and that may be where the Lumia 920 finds it’s niche. It’s probably not where Microsoft and Nokia want it to be though. More in good time…

Apps Engineer mobile apps mobile connectivity

AA wots goin on ere then? On Board Diagnostics – OBD

AA vanIOBD system used by the AA had occasion to call the AA this morning. I was out at the crack of before dawn to take in my usual swim on the way to work when knock me down with a thirty pound sledgehammer the car wouldn’t start. Never had a problem before but hey, stuff happens…

I called the AA at 7.40 am and was promised a van in my front drive at 8.40. Ok cool. I had my usual Weetabix with banana and before I knew it an sms came in on my Samsung Galaxy S3 telling me the AA man would arrive at 08.10. Very good. Impressivo.

OBD connectionFollowing breakfast I moved into the front room to keep an eye out for the van and at just before 08.40 it drove past. I must get the house number on the gatepost fixed. Walking out to the drive I saw the van drive past the other way – I definitely must get that number fixed !:)

At the third pass I flagged the van down and it pulled into the drive. Yay.

Fortunately the car didn’t start as soon as the AA man tried it. I had this irrational worry that once he got there there wouldn’t be anythingOBD crypton AA wrong with it. Out came his diagnostic kit and he set to work. Now this is really the point of this post. The AA man plugged a connector into a socket just below the steering column that I didn’t know was there, got his ruggedized tablet out and ran some tests.

Trying the engine again the car started straight away! Blimey!!

The AA man (I should have asked his name – it may be on the docket which is in the car but I can’t be bothered to go out and get it) showed me that there were no error codes and thatOBD toughbook basically there was nothing wrong with the car/engine. He suspects it was a low fuel pressure or at least a temperamental fuel pressure sensor. If the on board computer doesn’t think there is enough fuel pressure it won’t let the car start. The car deciding to start was nothing to do with the plugging in of the OBD kit. It is now ok again.

The worry of course is that this might happen again. I didn’t want to keep thrashing the battery to start the car in case it ran it flat (fwiw) and itwon’t really be any different another time though there is a scenario where if the car isn’t going to start it doesn’t matter what the state of the battery is..

The information obtainable via the OBD interface was impressive. I could in real time see the changes to the fuel pressure as I pressed my foot on the accelerator. I’m sure there must be a market for an application that streams data from the engine management system to a cloud based data base that would allow me to observe the trends related to what is happening with my car engine. It might help me to spot problems before they happen and mean I’m less likely to miss my swim in the morning.

This is a machine to machine big data job with a mobile data SIM connected to the engine management system. It would be very simple to add a tracking function to this as well.

This may be available but I’ve not seen it. Car tracking systems seem to be more about recovering stolen vehicles and spying on your truck drivers to make sure they aren’t slacking than anything related to anticipating problems with the car. In itself this is fine but more could be done.

You could use the same SIM for in car internet browsing whilst on the go. Not for the driver but maybe for the kids use with an iPad to keep them entertained on a journey.

Anyway that’s my threppence halfpennyworth. The car is fine now Praise Be!

Apps Cloud End User mobile apps

Windows8 Windows8 Windows8 Windows8 short review

Trefor DaviesHad my first play with Windows 8 yesterday. I now have two family members with the OS and it is going to be unavoidable. There have been some really scathing reviews and this prompted me to take a look myself. I’m not, btw, going to link to any reviews. A search for Windows8 reviews comes up with, wait for it, 1,120,000,000 results!

Because Windows8 is designed particularly for use with a touch screen I took mine home from the office so that we could see it in its best light. With the billions of people giving Windows8 free publicity there is no need to go into any huge detail.

I liked the User Interface although our feeling was that it was definitely better with a touch screen than without.

I noted the ability to use the PC in either online or offline mode. Good I thought. Then I realised that I would have to sign up for a Microsoft account. Hold on a minute!  Then I thought (I’ve clearly been thinking a lot lately) hey, I’ve got a Google account because I use their services, I have a Samsung account because I use their phones. There is no harm in having a Microsoft account if I am using their kit. Having a Microsoft account will let me synch my settings across all my Microsoft devices (current standing count = 1).

This becomes particularly important as to me the business ecosystem looks increasingly likely to be moving to a fight between Microsoft and Google with Apple playing only a peripheral boutique role, just like it always used to be.

For me to say that the world’s biggest company is not going to have much presence on the business desktop sounds somewhat precocious. When you think about it Apples’ phenomenal growth is centred around iPad and iPhone and not their desktop devices.

Aside from in their traditional media luvvy market and the type of geek community that reads this blog an Apple desktop product is not something that the IT department would normally support. For one thing a Mac is a lot more expensive than a laptop/PC using Micrsosoft software (however much we like to whinge about how expensive that software is).

In fact if I’m going to get the best out of Windows8 I really need to be using it at the desktop and on mobile so watch this space. 2013 is shaping up to be the most interesting yet on the technology front. #techtyrekickersrus

PS If you’re wondering about the title of this post I just thought it sounded good – rolls off the tongue.

Cloud End User mobile apps

Delighted shepherds and Clerkenwell Screws!

The great thing about mobile phone cameras is that they give you the opportunity to take spur of the moment photos when you see something nice or fun or interesting. Often I am not quick enough “on the draw”. Yesterday I saw a shop called Clerkenwell Screws Ltd. What a great name I thought. I envisaged a tweet saying “need a screw in Clerkenwell?” with the photo attached. I was on a bus en route to a customer meeting but couldn’t get through my phone security quickly enough (ie tap in my pin number) before we had moved on.

Probably a good job I didn’t get the camera out in time really.

So this afternoon my office filled with a marvelous light and I stood up to look at the sky. What a wonderful sky. I got the camera out and captured the moment – the sun didn’t move as quickly as the bus (though there wasn’t much in it!) The camera technology doesn’t really do the sight justice but I leave you to decide for yourself. The photo is entitled “Clouds over Newark at dusk in November” by Trefor Davies.

Wonderful sky at dusk over Newark

Btw you can check out Clerkenwell Screws here. I don’t think they have a website.

Red sky at night shepherd’s delight. That’s all folks…

Apps End User google mobile apps

plot lost with sat nav plotted route?

Timico logo on fleeceI’ve been driving around the country a fair bit recently although by and large it is still easier to catch the train. I’ve even been using the Google Navigation on my Galaxy S3 so I must be visiting places I’ve never been before.

The funny thing is I’ve found that when I’m in the car I have started talking to the sat nav person. When he says “turn left now” I say ok got that thanks!!! I even do it when I’m not on my own in the car!!! Am I losing the plot or is this normal behaviour? My friends need to tell me though I’m not sure there is a cure.

When I’m out and about I also usually wear a Timico polo shirt or fleece. I’ve found that staff at the coffee counter think I’m driving a truck. I quite like this. The romantic notion of the freedom of the road.

When I were a lad I hitchhiked from Greece to London. One lorry gave me a lift the whole way. I was very lucky. He even got me signed on the ferry as a co driver. The guy behind the desk was very suspicious & didn’t believe him. I had a goatee beard, a collarless shirt and wore a leather hat. I still got onboard and even had a free driver’s meal. Happy days.

That’s all folks.

Apps End User mobile apps

phone storage capacity – miscellaneous musings after the Diamond Jubilee weekend

I must be trying to look cool - in adversity - I was having a good time at the Diamond Jubilee street partyYou may have noticed I have a tendency to stick photos in blog posts. I like to think it adds a bit of colour, enhancing the reader’s experience 🙂 I take most of them using my Galaxy S2. I always have it with me whereas it is a pain to carry the camera around. The camera does take better pics in the main, user skill level permitting.

I always seem to have 11GBytes or so free space on my phone and never get anywhere near to filling it up. My camera uses up its battery before filling up the memory. This would probably also be the case with the phone but I husband the power levels on that device – it’s mission critical.

After the weekend I transferred 1.4GB of photos and videos to my laptop – the total space used on the laptop by vids and pics as 167GB!

storage used for photos and videos over past 11 years I could still fit all the music on my hard drive onto the phone and still leave room for photos. I have 10.5GB worth of music though I hardly ever listen to most of it (I really do need to change my play list but I like Pink Floyd, Donna Summer, Bronski Beat and Joe Jackson 🙂 .

The size of the photo and video storage space is going to grow far more quickly than that I use for music which is pretty static – it’s an age thing. The chart on the right shows the growth in storage used for video and photos on my hard drive over the past 11 years. the last column is 2012 which has 7 months to go & we haven’t hit the summer holidays yet.

I store these pics in a variety of places. The question is how much is it worth to me to store them all online. 100GB is $199 pa on Dropbox. Microsoft SkyDrive is £32 per 100Gigs. Google Cloud storage is $12 a month ($144 pa) for 100GB but you also have to pay $0.12 per GB data xfer costs (from USA and EMEA – $0.21 from APAC) to access what you have stored (uploading seems to be free).  I guess that’s ok – thats only $12 to retrieve the whole lot.

Assuming I want to store all my photos on Google that would cost me twenty bucks a month (y’all) – roughly fourteen quid. I’m a heavy user but whatever the right number is for you this is probably going to be a cost we will all have to factor into our monthly household budgets in future.

That’s all folks…

Apps End User mobile apps

Time is money

In the interest of research and proper use of the technology I followed the hashtag #londonriots. On Tweetdeck that hashtag stream is moving so quickly as to be not of any use. My own stream has, at a guess, 70% of tweets relating to the riots.

This is of course the complete other extreme to my offline experiences on holiday. People are clearly mesmerized by the whole situation. I can understand it – I was in Austin Texas during 9/11 and it was difficult to do anything other than watch events unfold on the TV. Today they combine TV and Twitter.

It does underline the way our lives have changed. This is an addiction to data. We take onboard so much information it is impossible to know what to do with it. In fact most of it is discarded which underlines the total waste of the time spent gathering it in the first place.

I could apply the same logic to photos. Last week on holiday I took 849 photos consuming 2.3GB disk space. That’s more than the 1.54GB (2,177 photos) as much as I took in the whole of 2003.  Year to date in 2011 I have taken 9,985 photos using 49.9GB of disk space and there is still almost half the year to go. Ok this does now include videos and the photos are of higher quality than in 2003 but it is still a big change and very representative of the information overload in our society.

The point is how to manage all this data and how to apportion the right amount of time to it. I still don’t have the answer but it is somewhere in between how I got on on holiday in Mull and the start of this week with all the online reporting of #londonriots. What I do know is that whoever cracks the problem, if there is a solution, is going to make a lot of money out of it.

Apps End User mobile apps

1001 things to do with an iPad – #266 – The Shield

1001 things to do with an iPad - the self defence shield

Ever been attacked by a passer by when walking along minding your own business? It’s a growing problem.

Well our friends at Apple have this nuisance licked and those unwanted attackers will soon be a thing of the past.

Just take your iPad with you and use it as you are strolling in town.  If you are accosted the iPad swiftly turns into a shield and can be used to fend off blows.

This new application works in tandem with any of the millions of existing Apple Store apps – 100% Guaranteed iPad certified1.

Now available free of charge with the purchase of any new iPad.

1Due to the litigious nature of the United States unless the user has completed Apple approved iPad defence training this warranty does not apply in areas of the world that come under USA legal juristriction  (including but not exclusive to certain parts of Iraq and Afghanistan).

To see previous iPad post click here.

Apps End User mobile apps

1001 things to do with an iPad – #573 – the beermat

the versatility of modern technology explored - the iPad

The simpler the invention the bigger the impact. Think about the wheel and it’s revolutionary effect on our society. Well the iPad is no different – it has found a million uses in our technologically driven  world.

Use  #573 – the beermat or beer tray. Surf to your favourite websites whilst finding a safe and stable home for your beer.

The iPad: simplicity itself.

Vital statistics:
Pub: The Victoria, Union Road, Lincoln
Beer: Timothy Taylors Landlord

Apps End User mobile apps

Useful applications for Kindle eBooks Number 203 – lunch

This latest in the series of useful applications for portable devices is engineering lunch ordering widget for the Kindle eBook reader.

Take time out from reading the latest Cisco router manual to order lunch online and follow it’s progress.  In this case a Dominos Pizza. Select from cheese and pineapple, mega meat with 3 x additional chillies or the simple ” ………..” (too hot to get any words out).

Follow the progress of your order in real time by simply flicking back to the browser page whilst you carry on studying your favourite IOS. 

Apps Business mobile apps

Oracle to buy Sun

It sounds a bit sci fi really doesn’t it?  “Oracle to buy Sun”.  This is today’s big news in the IT industry.  Big in that it involves $7.4 Billion in cash.  Also big in that it brings together two heavy hitting names  in a marriage that I believe will create a single company where the sum will indeed be greater than the parts. 

As someone who has been part of three successful company acquisitions in recent years, although not quite on the same scale as Oracle, I can identify with their CEO Larry Ellison 🙂

If you are in the IT industry you will understand the dynamics that the combination of the components of Oracle and Sun will bring to the party. Oracle will now own a complete stack, right up from physical hardware through operating systems, programming languages and applications. Its products will become more competitive as these components become optimised to work with each other.

Looking at it on a personal level Timico uses a range of products from both vendors. Oracle databases power our VoIP platform together with Sun hardware. Our storage product, KeVault, uses Sun’s Java language. Sun’s mysql database powers half the ISP industry (the other half uses postgresql).

Hopefully the acquisition will not constrain the feature development of products such as mysql. Certainly Oracle will see Java as a prize and I can’t imagine Larry Ellison would sideline “Open Office” considering his long standing “rivalry” with Bill Gates.  We do live in interesting times.