03/11/2007

LinkedIn going to Facebook

It's rumoured that LinkedIn is about to be snapped up by Facebook. The business networking market has dried up as Facebook dominates the social networking space, and LinkedIn is suffering.

A combined Facebook/LinkedIn would make a very powerful networking site, attracted business and youth markets. interesting times ahead.

30/10/2007

iPhone unleashed

An iPhone (8GB) arrived a week or so ago from the US, it's very pretty. Unfortunately a US iPhone is the UK is as useful as a slim shiny brick.

A friend unbricked it (using the commercial AnySIM package - not recommended for beginners, even though it's commercial, it's far from easy getting an iPhone into an unlocked state) and then installed the AppInstaller.

AppInstaller is a nice piece of software that manages 3rd party iPhone packages, it checks back with a repository and then pulls in whatever's required. It can also check for updated packages. At the moment any dependency checking is manual, but they're bound to fix it.

Then put all the settings in for the UK network, and it all worked. Seems there's quite a few E.D.G.E. cells around, though speeds are no where near 3G which is a shame.

The user interface is fantastic, especially the two fingered zoom and the rotating screen depending on the orientation of the phone.

It even works as a phone pretty well.

As an iPod it syncs with iTunes, but can sync all your contacts (from Address Book on Macs or Outlook on PCs), these are then all available through the phone itself. Though you can add address book entries, it doesn't seem to allow downloading vCards into the phone - which is a real shame.

Calendar entries are also synced.

Though it's a nice piece or ergnomic engineering, the total cost of ownership on an O2 contract is going to be off-putting.

Apple iLife/iWork '08 and Leopard

I recently upgraded my MacOS X 10.4(.11) PowerBook G4 with iLife '08 and iWork '08. Unfortunately Apple charge for these and OS upgrades don't always upgrade your original versions if you haven't upgraded.

Many of the changes are minor, but there are some big ones, there's now much tighter integration with .Mac (which requires a seperate subscription). iMovie doesn't upgrade unless you have a reasonably fast Mac (the G4 Powerbook didn't cut the mustard).

iWork '08 is a much more significant upgrade, there's a new application "Numbers" which is Apple's answer to Excel. It isn't there yet and it's not completely compatible, though supporting most of the basic features. It seems to be designed for marketing execs who like to produce all sorts of fancy graphs. Pages (the word processor) is also more suited to doing fancy sheets like flyers or greeting cards, though it will read MS Word (and other format) documents. Keynote (presentations) is a very sophisticated presentation tool in its own right, arguably it has more sophisticated animations and transitions that MS Powerpoint (and will happily read Powerpoint files too and export them). Apple use Keynote for all their public presentations and it's pretty slick, though Powerpoint users will have to go through a learning exercise to migrate.

Newbies (new users) will probably find all the iWork packages relatively easy to use if they haven't been sucked into using MS products already.

Briefly, Leopard (MacOS X 10.5.0) is a significant upgrade. There are some genuinely innovative features (however some bits look a lot like Vista). Coverflow can be used to scan for files (like iTunes artwork) but MacOS actually previews the content of the file while scanning and it supports a lot of formats, including Word, Excel, Powerpoint (or Keynote), Movies etc. If the 'space-bar' is hit while viewing a file, then then content of the document can be previewed (i.e. all the pages of a PDF or slides in a presentation seen). It isn't possible to actually edit the files unless you have the relevent package installed though.

Leopard can do the same thing across a network and scan both Windows PCs and other Macs (well public shares anyway). If a remote user is using iChat, then it can be used to send/receive files between users and remotely control the remote Mac (if the user allows it).

There are many low level enhancements and the OS is now truly 64bit (well almost). This should make things faster on 64 bit machines (G5's or newer Intel systems). There doesn't seem a noticable speed increase on the Powerbook G4, but a MacBook Pro did seem slightly more responsive.

Time machine is Apple's new back-up system. It can save a complete copy of the installed system on to a locally connected drive (internal on a MacPro, or externally on laptops via USB or Firewire), it will also save to an Xserve running Leopard server (in a workgroup situation). The drive needs to be significantly bigger than the drive that is backed-up as once the original data is saved, incremental back-ups are performed. It does this in a reasonably clever manner, so only changed files are saved, but looking at a back-up shows the complete directory structure as was on the disk at the time. Any file saved can easily be restored by just going back the time-line to before the delete occurred.

It's also possible to completely restore a Mac (say if the hard disk is replaced) as the OS now has a restore from Time Machine type option.

2 million copies of Leopard have been sold in the first weekend, which is pretty astounding feat for an operating system, older Macs will gain less of advantage than newer ones with 64bit CPUs and decent graphics systems.

N&S Admin Fees List 2007/08 | Ofcom

N&S Admin Fees List 2007/08 | Ofcom

Ofcom has published a list of Telecoms companies that pay admin fees to Ofcom, they are: -

Alternative Networks Plc
AT&T Global Network Services UK
Band X Ltd
Sky Subscriber Services Ltd
British Telecommunications Plc
Cable & Wireless Plc
Carphone Warehouse PLC
CityLink Telecommunications Ltd
Colt Telecom Group Ltd
Eckoh Technologies Plc
Eircom UK Ltd
Fibernet Ltd
France Telecom Network Services UK Ltd
Fujitsu Services Ltd
Gamma Telecommunications Ltd
Genesis Communications Ltd
Global Crossing (UK)
Globecast Northern Europe Ltd
Hutchison 3G UK Ltd
IDT Global Ltd
Intercity Mobile Communications Ltd
Interoute Communications Ltd
KDDI Europe Ltd
Kingston Communications Ltd
Level 3 Communications Ltd
MLL Telecom Ltd
National Grid Wireless Ltd
Net Services Plc
O2 UK Ltd
Opera Telecom Ltd
Orange Personal Communications Services Ltd
PageOne Communications Ltd
Pipex Communications Plc
Plusnet Plc
PNC Telecom Services Ltd
Primus Telecommunications Ltd
Reach Europe Ltd
Redstone Communications Ltd
RM Plc
Siemens Enterprise Communications Ltd
SingTel (Europe) Limited
Sprintlink UK Ltd
SSE Telecommunications Ltd
Stratos Global Holdings Ltd
Surf Telecoms Ltd
Telecom Direct Ltd
Telecom Italia UK Ltd
Telecom NZ (UK) Licenses Ltd
Telecom Plus Plc
Teleglobe International Ltd
TeliaSonera International Carrier UK Ltd
Tesco Stores Ltd
Thus plc
Tiscali UK Ltd
T-Mobile (UK) Ltd
Transcomm UK Ltd
Verizon UK Ltd (MCI)
Virgin Media Ltd
Vodafone Ltd
VTL (UK) Ltd
Zen Internet Ltd

Though Telecom License fees (as per the Telecommunications Act) were scrapped when the Communications Act came into force, bigger players and players that have "the code" (code powers as was, which allows them to dig - potentially without the landowners permission - by getting a court order) still have to pay fees.

As consolidation increases, the list will diminish.