Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Nokia Smart Phone Users Beware - Charged for calls and texts to 00491773628803

We are a Nokia phone house, have been using these phones all my life but just noticed that on 2 contracts here we are been charged on a daily basis the exact same time every day (give or take a minute) .25c for text and calls to 00491773628803. Now I am going to do a bit of research on this number to see if its a premium rate number and if so the the carriers are liable for at least refunding part of the cost (up to 50% depending on which country and operator you are using). If this is the case then there is trouble ahead, mainly for Nokia. But it turns out that this is a service that is embedded in the MyNokia service and it automatically calls or texts the number, another one is 00491771787772 both are German numbers. I do not remember any notice about this in subscription services on MyNokia website, and I will be checking into this much more on Friday 2nd when they are back online for live support and will keep you posted but I wonder how many other Nokia Smart Phone users are having this problem and how much it is costing them.

In some of the posts some users noticed that this charge was every day and in some cases several times a day, but most were a few times a week. The conservative estimate is that there are over 800,000 Nokia Smart Phone users subscribed to MyNokia in Europe and if the average is around .20c and the average is 4 times per week you do the math (ok I did it, its €2,784,000 per month been taken from customers).

I will hopefully be getting a new phone in early January and I can tell you this it will not be a Nokia!

If I get any more updates then I will post it here on what you can do to solve the issue.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

I love the internet and where it can bring you.

When I first got connected over (gulp!) 11 years ago (yes it did exist back in the stone age) most people had no idea what it was, back then there were only a few million pages. God I could have surfed it in an afternoon >:¬}.
Now with billions of pages there is not enough in a lifetime. I know between my blog and the websites my company creates (have to do a new one for it) at FBI we are adding at least a hundred pages a day between all the clients and their CMS (content management systems).

But the old fashioned browsing still can't beat finding new and cool sites. I am trying to spend atleast a few hours a week just browsing to see what I can find, cool sites, interesting items, or whatever. What I like, I will now StumbleUpon Page, it or Digg it. But the great thing is sometimes in Blogs or sites you read you find an interesting post, comment or link an want to find out some more. A few days a go I was reading (love the blog) As she says herself she is... Just a Girl in short shorts talking about whatever Observations and commentary by a post-modern neo-feminist libertarian cyberpunk on society, culture, politics and whatever. But from there she brought me to AdSense Tracker - A blog about blogging, the blogosphere, Web 2.0 and anything else I decide to write about.. Both of these sites are now my daily reading (well when they post something at least). AdSense Tracker because she has some excellent hints, tips advice and links to other relevant sites on blogging, and promotions and you know that she is not writing these posts with a prior agenda to earn money from clicks, downloading ebooks or whatever (while I am on the subject click on of the links and earn me some money but subscribe to my feed first

But in reading her blog and a few others I have increased visits here 100% in the last week, and I know if I had more time I would be able to do so much more (maybe Christmas 2018 I will get the time). But I noticed an interesting site from Adsense Tracker called Fechr where they promise decent free traffic over 24 hours. Now I will take a look at this and see what happens, an update this post if there is anything interesting in the traffic. Hope so though, for me and for them, cause it then proves their business model.. hell if it works for me it must work for many other more deserving sites >:¬}

Where the Internet has been and where is it going, part one.

I have been involved as a user and as a creator of Internet (in its modern form) services since 1996. Over the last 11 years I have seen many advancements in the technologies used, services and applications. So I thought I would share some of them here.

I have used Voip services since 1996, yes believe it or not it has been around that long and a little bit longer. Back then in the dark ages I used to use Net2phone, Freetel (not to sure if this is still around, link is to an archive site) PowWow (brilliant, again link to archive site), Net Meeting and a few others. These I ran with windows 95 on a 28k modem to 36k modem and when duplex modems came out I was flying! The quality of these services back then were not too bad, (except two people talking at once was a problem). But then everyone loved to listen to me anyway >:¬}. The only paid for service then was Net2phone and it allowed me to call any number, whilst the others were P2P. Things have the appearance that they have come along by leaps and bounds. But remembering back to those halcyon days to be honest the technology was just as good, and the features on the software was so much better.

Actually with Net2phone I was hired by Cablelink in Dublin(more about CableLink and this in Wikipedia in the late 90's to turn them into an ISP and we provided cable broadband services to almost 30% of the network in Dublin during a commerical trial. We dialed the New York speaking clock over the Internet much to the amazement of the assembled press, at the press launch.

I will go more into the history of IM's in a later post, when with PowWow you would be able to whiteboard, type and talk conference call to several people and then take over the browser of the person you were talking to and bring them surfing with you... loved it, bloody VC's and their dotcom created craze ended this and so many other amazing app's long before their time. With the feeding frenzy for money.

Ok, Search has stayed fairly static for the last 8 or nine years since the advent of Google, when they came along and kicked everyone's asses into Orbit. When they came out I used to use Meta Crawler as this searched the search engines. Before that it was AltaVista (link again is to the archive). Back then Alta Vista was the Google of its day because all Yahoo was a listings directory and it took MONTHS to get listed. You could never really find what you were looking for with these guys, but then in 1998 along came Google (take a look at how Google looked back in October 1998). I remember then I used to be able to email a human in there can get my sites listed quickly it was great, hell he even answered back! But now we have some new and exciting new entrants into the world of search, there is over 100 new search companies all viewing to be the next big thing, with Governments all over the world funding some of them (Japan, China, Russia, France, Germany etc.,).

But for now Google is still king, but here is a few new ones that I have played with and to be honest I like a lot. The next killer app they think that is coming is Visual Search and here are the main entrants into that market.

This one works by showing you the results on the right and related keywords on the left a bit like the way Tags work now, so for the NewBe's out there who only know Web 2.0 then they will feel at home with this. Now at the moment they are more of a display results rather than a search engine as they are using Yahoo's search but like all new entrants it is only a matter of time. But it is worth using mainly for the related "Tags" on the left you may just find what your looking for faster and easier then in Google.

This is another visual search, I first came across this in 2002 and I loved it but it was a bit clunky. But now its a slick piece of work and an excellent piece of searching and visual technology.

This reminds me of MetaCrawler of old, this was the meta search engine's search engine. In that it would search a number of different search engines and directories at once. Now with so many conflicting search results coming up it is handy to be able to click a tab and see the results of another search engine.

This is a standard search site but I must admit I have found pages in here that dropped off from Google, which for been No.1 is not good. What made Google great years ago is now I think their major downfall (more later).

I also did a simple search for the key words (not in quotes) Alex Gogan Morgan Llywelyn in the above engines plus two more and the results were:
    1. Google - Not Found
    2. Yahoo - Found
    3. Gigablast - Not Found
    4. Quintura - Found (but uses Yahoo so
    5. Zuula - Found
    6. Kartoo - Found
This is actually very bad for Google because here is the page with the term Alex Gogan Morgan Llywelyn. Ok I realise that this post is going to get spidered and then Google will list it eventually, but they have not for a few years now.

OK it was a vanity search but I am a vain and modest person, but did it to prove a point with Google, that over the next year or so, if Google don't get their act together in search again I think they will be in trouble. Maybe that is why they want to buy a wireless license in the states and also with Android mobile OS control the handsets. If they control free wireless, free mobile OS then they control the access so this could be their future money maker. But they still need search as they killed off the competition in less then a year when they were much more intrenched. Who's to say that Gigablast, or Kartoo or one of the others come along written by to shaggy haired guys/gals and take them out.

One more point of mention there is another interesting piece of software that you might like to try. I have played with it now for awhile and I LOVE IT, its called Space Time with 3D search. It really is something to download and play with as it is an amazing piece of kit.

Some screen shots
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