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Nov 2, 2010

UK Domestic Broadband: BT Infinity vs. VM Cable

First of all, I would recommend Virgin Media to anyone who can get it. BT has fantastic broadband coverage, however the old technology of copper wires means you get a watered down version of what your phone exchange can handle. This is of course if you live more than a stones throw away from the exchange. Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) with BT will help. With 40mb estimated being at least over 12mb when it actually arrives in the home/office, but it is still running the last mile or 2 via the copper line. Vigin Media (at great expense) run a fibre cable to the street, then coax cable to your house, so the line can handle as much as they can currently give us.

VM have just increased upload speed from 1.8mb to 5mb for free, with 50mb download soon to increase to 100mb for another £10 a month. Upload speed directly effects things like sending emails, uploading to websites, hosted solutions like our helpdesk, remote desktop and particularly useful when working with attachments on Outlook Web Access.

BT has fibre rolling out across east and south of Aylesbury, but Rabans Lane and most of the Industrial areas near Fairford Leys will suffer on with basic ADSL1 solutions as BT has had technical issues that side of town.  It is without question in BT’s best interest to focus their attentions at the home internet market, as they represent the same sort of monthly income, but unlike business clients, they can also cross sell them to phone and TV packages. How things have changed in 10 years!

Posted by Kieran Donnelly
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Nov 1, 2010

Google TV

Google TV looks like it is getting stone walled in the US, all the large networks are blocking the in built browser in the set top box to prohibit content being streamed via the internet. In the UK I had high hopes for Virgin Media getting on the band wagon, was certain that was why they sold channel rights to Sky a few months ago, but nope. They are in bed with TiVo and we will see great things from them in the near future.

I was so excited about Google TV, saw it as the ultimate media extender for the sitting room, streaming movies from PC, streaming content online, surfing the net from the comfort of a couch. Initial reviews form the US are not looking good for the kit either. TwiT saying it takes 45 minutes to install, and certain retailers offering installation services when selling it (which does not imply it is easy!)

Posted by Kieran Donnelly
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Oct 27, 2010

Virgin Media 100mb broadband has arrived

  • From 0.5Mb to an ultrafast 100Mb in just ten years
  • Over 12.7million homes to get new 100Mb service
  • Next-generation broadband nearly 20 times the average UK speed
  • Virgin Media rolls out UK’s fastest broadband with 100Mb
  • From 0.5Mb to an ultrafast 100Mb in just ten years
  • Over 12.7million homes to get new 100Mb service
  • Next-generation broadband nearly 20 times the average UK speed

http://pressoffice.virginmedia.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=205406&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1487663&highlight=

Posted by Kieran Donnelly
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Oct 27, 2010

Mobile VoiceMail in 2010

Recently I found a interesting thread about T-mobile charging for voicemail, and found I had fallen in to that very same trap, getting little tiny stealth charges every month. I was outraged, even though we are talking about less than £2 a month, paying £35 a month and would expect such a service to be free on any contract now days.

This encouraged me to seek out alternatives (purely on principle) to my T-mobile voicemail. Which I have to admit, as much of a muchness with other phone networks, takes too long to leave a message, takes even longer to retrieve them, and when you do, chances are you have to reply them a few times if it contained anything like a number or address.  I stumbled across a company called Hullomail, who offer a multitude of services I didn’t even think I wanted or needed, but I couldn’t live without them now!

Hullomail is compatible with iPhone, Android (works best on 2.2) and Blackberry, also works on any major phone network in the UK. You install a little app, and it then asks if you want to create a account with Hullomail takes seconds, works on all our major phone networks in the UK, and is free.

So here is how it works and why I am in love with it.

  • Shows a list of voicemails without listening to them
  • 1 Second hangups no longer force you to spend 40 seconds retrieving, just delete!
  • No more listening to a synthesised voice telling you which menu you are in, and how to listen or change settings
  • No cumbersome new and saved voicemails, all just displayed in date order
  • much more customisable, either just introduce your name, or a whole message.

Try it out, by searching for Hullomail in you app marketplace.

Posted by Kieran Donnelly
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Oct 24, 2010

Virgin Media offers ‘TV on the Go’ with the Nokia N8

Consuming video through our phones has been a selling point for a little while now, but in this country nobody has really ever hit the nail on the head. I mean really really accessible TV that you just flick through the channels on a lunch break, or waiting for someone at the pub, and have a quick flick through a show you missed. (ok that last one is a bit anti-social, lets pretend I didn’t say that!)

I think this is very interesting, little bit of net neutrality issue if this service is not available to other virgin media subscribers on compatible handsets. Or is that why it is only on n8, as it is a Symbian 3.0 phone, and they can say “oh gee sorry, we forgot iOS and Android, we had no idea you might want this service as well” (VM is a big company, someone is bound to speak like that, leave me alone)

http://pressoffice.virginmedia.com

Posted by Kieran Donnelly
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Oct 23, 2010

Android love

Today I had the pleasure of setting up a box full of HTC Desires and Samsung Apollos. Client is replacing his vehicle tracking system with a bunch of Google powered latitude phones. Have to tip my hat, the solution the clients booking system & capabilities of these phones is going to be awesome. Specially when you think of how much money is spent on vehicle tracking these days. Lot of fun watching 13 little icons around my office all being tracked, felt like something out of a movie!

The Samsung Apollo was surprisingly good for a budget alternative. I liked it, felt good in the hand, typing was easy on the touch screen and it made sense. Would be a nice first android phone for someone looking to spend less than £20 a month.

Speaking of contract costs, T-Mobile just reduced the HTC Desire monthly contract to £25 from £30 on standard domestic contracts(600 min, 500 text unlimited internet and flex boosters). This is to account for the HTC Desire HD that launched yesterday.

HTC Desire HD is pushing beyond the 4? screen and even less battery life. When is too big too big, and when is too little battery no longer practical? welcome your feedback.

Posted by Kieran Donnelly
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