Category: Business

Dual Network Handsets

Indian handset maker Spice Mobile has introduced two new mobiles, both of which can handle dual connections: GSM + CDMA for the D-88, and GSM + GSM for the D-80. It’s not clear if they take two SIMs or handle the second virtually, or even if it’s just an extension of the clunky dual-SIM addons you’ve been able to get for years, but it’s a major step forward either way simply because it comes as part of the package. It’s just a pity they decided to rip off or licence already dated Moto designs and not come up with a new design to go with it.

Spice Mobiles

Of course Nokia, Motorola or any of the other handset makers could have done this years ago, but they like to pick and choose where they innovate, and where they help the networks retain their cosy little cartels.

Open Letter to Acer

Prompted by this idiocy.

From: Adam Beecher
Subject: “no demand for [linux] in the UK”

Dear Acer,

At some point in the next year I will be buying a laptop, and given’s Ubuntu’s progress on the desktop, it’ll likely be preloaded with Linux.

If you don’t have one, I can’t buy one from you. And with your company’s attitude, I might not buy anything from you.

Do yourself a favour, start talking to your customers instead of reporters, and fire your marketers. They haven’t a clue.

Neither do your HR people. Give them Cluetrain. Give everyone Cluetrain.

Adam Beecher

Otto For Sale

Otto is looking for a good home! *sob*

Click the pic for the Carzone listing.


Italian parliament to go with SuSE

Great news for open source. Bizarre that the Italians went with a German distro though, and the French went with a South African one instead of Mandrakiva!

The Inquirer: The IT department of the Italian parliament today presented plans to begin migrating some 3500 desktop PCs, including those of its 630 MPs, away from Windows to SuSE Linux starting this September. The Camera dei deputati will also run SuSE on all of its two hundred servers.

This makes it the second and largest parliament in Europe to choose open sauce. The French parliament, with 577 seats, voted last year to have open sauce installed on all of its 1145 PCs. France decided on Ubuntu this February and the migration in the Parliament should be underway.

FIC/OpenMoko Neo v1 July 9, v2 October

I’ve been watching this phone like a hawk for some time, because it’s open standards across the board; i.e. both the software and hardware are – generally speaking – open.

This might not solve the horrendous problems mobile power users have to deal with overnight – proprietary connectors, proprietary synchronisation, etc – but in time it might just provoke the Symbians and the Nokias of this world to pull their heads out of their asses and realise that, really, proprietary is a dirty word; and that there’s plenty of money to be made out of compatibility. And, you know, happy customers.

There was always a slight worry that this might be another Optimus Maximus, but it looks now like that might not be the case, as the developers tell us that 400 first generation handsets are ready to ship in China, and another 600 are on the way. The price seems a bit cheeky at $300, and we don’t have much of a spec to go on, but remember this is a SIM-free Linux-based phone. The possibilities are endless.

That’s the first generation phone though, the next generation is slated for October and that currently has a price tag of €450. Ok, it’ll have 802.11b/g WiFi and upgraded hardware, but there’s no mention of a 3G radio – the 1st gen is 2.5G – and again, we still don’t know what the final OS will look like. I’m not sure I’m going to want to lash out that kind of money, after just spending a hefty whack of dosh on a Treo 680.

Hopefully they’ll spot this nasty hole in their spec before the 2nd gen handset is finalised, and I’ll be watching OpenMoko’s YouTube channel for a half-decent video of the handset in the meantime. Hopefully it’ll be pornographic enough for me to be naughty and actually buy one. And hopefully, fingers crossed, it won’t be another Sharp Zaurus.


Glastonbury Was Shit

It’s rained every year I’ve been there, including the torrential rain and thunderstorms two years ago, but it was just too much this year. There were hours when it didn’t rain, in fact we had a full half day when it was really quite nice; but the mud had zero chance to harden so even when the weather wasn’t too bad, it was a major slog getting anywhere.

On top of that we plonked our tent on top of what became a puddle and while that shouldn’t have bee a problem, the youngfella didn’t take care of it like he was told, so we ended up getting a big soggy. Luckily Sista brought a spare, but even that leaked a little bit so we weren’t madly miffed when Stena texted to say that the Express was cancelled and could we make our way to Fishguard, pronto.

And let’s be honest, the line-up wasn’t great either. The Killers were good but way, way too quiet; and although we thought that was the wind, apparently it wasn’t, they really were quiet for some reason. The Manics were good fun, but I spent a good half an hour of it trudging through mud trying to get to a toilet. Shirley Bassey was fun, as were the Marley Brothers, but it wasn’t… Glastonbury, you know?

So no Glastonbury for me next year, I’m taking a fallow year to see if Sista’s theory that I’m a jinx is true. If it’s not, I’ll go back the year after. With a camper. It’s a cop-out, but I get to bring as many clothes as I want. And it’s dry.

We saw lots of interesting things over the weekend – notably the Browne-Clayton Column, which so intrigued us we had to go back to Wexford to figure out – but the things we saw most of were Nolan Transport lorries. We knew we were going the right way on the road to Rosslare because there they were; ditto Fishguard on the way back.

You know the ones: white tractor with Movin’ On on the sunscreen, red trailer with in massive letters on the curtain. You thought you were seeing the same one over and over again, right? No. See the key facts on their website: 420 tractors, 900 trailers. They’re no Eddie Stobart, but by god they’re not far off.

Well done to the lads and lasses in Nolans for building such and impressive fleet!

Google AdSense Optimisation Muppetry

Google offered to optimise one of my sites a few days ago, for the second time. The first time my revenues took a dive so I was naturally sceptical, but they’re sinking all by themselves now anyway, so I said I’d give it a shot. The attached is a screenshot of the very first suggestion in their optimisation list. I haven’t included a thumbnail because you really need to see the full size image to appreciate the sheer stupidity of it. I can only imagine what my users would think or do if I tried to implement this idiocy.

I despair of what Google is becoming, I really do. In the past month I’ve had to threaten them with the Data Protection Act several times over multiple implicit refusals to delete an AdWords account; I’ve had a very frustrating conversation with them over a leak of someone else’s private data to my email account, that demonstrates carelessness and ignorance about privacy; and now they throw this shit at me. I’m thinking maybe it’s time to start dumping Gmail, Calendar, etc. They’re hardly leading the field in anything but search anymore anyway. is a National Consumer Agency website I came across in a review on Are all these new agencies and websites a precursor to a new era of customer-oriented business in Ireland? I’m not seeing it. Sure, companies say they’re more customer-focused, but in my opinion this is only happening because their services are getting worse. And the customer focus is pretty shoddy anyway, CS departments that talk the talk but can’t walk the walk. An ineffective CS department is worse than not having one at all. Ask UTV, who have the worst on the planet.

Bugbear of the week is An Post, who’ve lost mail sent to both my business and home addresses, and don’t seem to be able to correct the problem. Two parcels in the last two weeks to my home address, a vehicle licencing certificate and a cheque to my business address. That’s just the stuff I’ve spotted myself.


A clever city council. Bizarre.

Boing Boing, Evening Times: “The city council of Glasgow is fighting illegal handbills with science: they’re paying city workers to go around and stick “cancelled” stickers on all the illegal gig posters put up around town.”