Blackberry to finally allow VOIP calls over WiFi?

November 20, 2012 Leave a comment

One of the great frustrations I have with our Blackberry fleet is their inability to tap into our VOIP telephone system to make free calls over WiFi.

I was temporarily heartened therefore to see an article in ITPro this week that suggested RIM were about to finally do something useful and allow WiFi calls from their handsets!

Great, I thought, at last, a working VOIP app, or maybe even Skype, but no! On closer inspection, this great leap forward is no more than RIM offering voice calls over the Blackberry Messenger service (BBM).

Great for the BBMers, but as a business user, it still does nothing to bridge the gap between RIM and the competition and allow us to utilize their handsets in an integrated voice and data system.

On the plus side, at least next year, the rioters will be able to speak to each other for free when arranging their next target, but for me, RIM have aimed slightly wide of the mark, once again.

This month, I will be attempting to grow facial hair on my upper lip in support of Movember and Prostate Cancer UK. If my humble prose has inspired you to sponsor my efforts, please visit

Categories: Mobiles Tags: , , ,

Eeny, Meeny, Mini, Moe?

November 6, 2012 Leave a comment

I think Apple have rather missed a trick, by not including GSM phone connectivity in the new iPad Mini.

As the new device is designed to be more portable than the original iPad format, usable in one hand and fits nicely into a jacket pocket, it would have been a huge bonus to be able to make phone calls from it (without suffering the unpredictability of Skype or other VOIP services, that is).

OK, you’d probably want to use a headset, rather than look like a prat talking into a thing the size of a paperback book, but having the ability to easily make a phone call anywhere would have been a nice touch. As the Mini’s form factor is also much more suitable for in-car mounting, the lack of GSM looks like a big let down!

Presumably Apple don’t want to risk impacting on iPhone sales, but with GSM, the Mini could have created it’s own market from those of us who’d rather not cough up for both an iPhone and an iPad.

Damn it, now it looks like we’ll just have to buy all three!……

This month, I will be attempting to grow facial hair on my upper lip in support of Movember and Prostate Cancer UK. If my humble prose has inspired you to sponsor my efforts, please visit

Categories: Tablets Tags: , ,

What’s in a Name?

November 5, 2012 Leave a comment

I have to say I’ve been somewhat bemused by the change of name at Everything Everywhere, the company formed by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile.

It would seem that their Marketing Executive has decided that the original name was something of a mouthful and might be improved by abbreviating to the rather catchy ‘ E E ’, which clearly rolls off the tongue in a much more comfortable way!

I presume the company felt that there was a compelling reason for the change, perhaps to give themselves a URL that’s easier to type or to help promote a globally identifiable image. Unfortunately, the first image it conjured up for me, probably isn’t what they were aiming for!


This month, I will be attempting to grow facial hair on my upper lip in support of Movember and Prostate Cancer UK. If my humble prose has inspired you to sponsor my efforts, please visit

Categories: Mobiles Tags: , ,

Windows 888

November 2, 2012 Leave a comment

So, has anyone chosen to ignore their years of experience and taken the plunge to upgrade their business desktops to Windows 8 yet?… No, me neither!

According to ITPro, Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, recons that 4 million upgrades occurred over the opening weekend and that “tens of millions” of corporate copies have shipped! They may well have been “shipped”, but I suspect most of them will be sitting on the shelf for a while yet.

I’m just not convinced by the look and feel of Windows 8, it looks like a vending machine control panel or a device to enter your work preferences at the Job Centre! And it will probably be all those things, in time, as Microsoft no doubt intended, but because it’s SO different, it’s definitely not good for business!

I still have nightmares over the support chaos that ensued after they moved the ‘Print’ button in Office 2007 and I won’t be rushing into that mistake again! I think I’ll be sticking with the Start Menu in the bottom left for a while yet, anything else is just too much of a gamble!

This month, I will be attempting to grow facial hair on my upper lip in support of Movember and Prostate Cancer UK. If my humble prose has inspired you to sponsor my efforts, please visit

Categories: Windows Tags: , ,

A Close Shave!

October 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Dear Reader, I’m afraid the last month or so has been something of a difficult period at work, with almost every conceivable technological failure, conspiring to occur in regular sequence to keep me away from putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard, in this case).

I return to you today, however, refreshed and renewed, though I do not intend to tempt fate further, by choosing a highly technical subject on which to pour scorn. No, very much the opposite in fact, the object of my attention today is the humble Bic disposable razor.

BIC logo.svg

I found myself having to visit our Edinburgh office last week, to attend to an ailing server that was doing it’s level best to cough it’s final breath. I flew up there the night before, in order to get a nice early start, but, horror of horrors, the next morning, discovered that I had failed to pack my razor!

No problem, the local corner shop yielded up a packet of 5 Bic disposables for £2.99, problem solved.

Oh no, not by a long way, the problems were only just beginning! I first noticed the pain about halfway through the second stroke of the blade and the rivers of blood followed a few moments later. Within seconds and in true gothic horror, reminiscent of the ‘face wearing’ scene from Silence of the Lambs, this evil weapon of face destruction, had cut me to shreds!

Now, I cannot deny that I am no longer in the flush of youth and so have been managing to shave myself successfully for more years than I care to remember, without amputating any of my extremities, but these little sods came close! Consequently, the offending implement, along with it’s four companions and their packaging marked ‘Sensitive’, found their way directly into the bin!

Congratulations to Baron Marcel Bich, presumably a distant relative of the Marquis de Sade, for your contribution to men’s health, in the form of the disposable razor, a product that truly lives up to it’s name!


All this brings me neatly on to an ulterior motive for todays post. Despite my better judgement and medical advice, I have been coerced into participating in the Movember challenge to grow facial hair, on what remains of my upper lip, in aid of Prostate Cancer UK. If, therefore, my humble prose has inspired you to offer some form of sponsorship, any donation, no matter how small, would be more than welcome. You can visit my sponsorship page, and follow the ensuing hilarity, at


You’ll be glad to hear, by the way, that despite being weakened through severe blood loss and seeing pedestrians give me a wide berth in the street, I did manage to find my way to the office and repair the stricken server, leaving only minimal stains on the carpet.

Categories: Low Tech Tags: , ,

Possible delays to iPhone 5 production?

September 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Production at a factory in Taiyuan, China, supplying components for the new iPhone 5, has been halted after a mass brawl involving 2,000 workers and 5,000 Police!

Workers clear up glass from a security office near the entrance to the Foxconn plant

Apparently a ‘personal dispute’ between several employees escalated into a full scale riot! Unconfirmed video online shows crowds several hundred strong in the streets, overturned cars and smashed windows.

The company that owns the factory, Foxconn, have announced that it will be closed today, though two or three days of production may be lost, before it can reopen. Apple have not yet confirmed if the delay will affect supplies of the new iPhone.

It’s likely that the dispute was caused as a result of heavy handed security guards reportedly beating up one or more of the workers! I wonder if Apple will set the video to cutesy music and include it in their next TV ad?

Categories: Mobiles Tags: , ,

Sophos goes to rehab!

September 20, 2012 Leave a comment

No longer content with a diet of the occasional false positive, it seems that Sophos may have taken the ultimate path to self-destruction.

False positive

With the barely a hint of irony, last night’s update of the Sophos anti-virus system has managed to detect itself as a virus!!


Reassuringly, the response from Sophos has been that although there is no cure for this detection, the warnings would eventually stop, once the update had finished cleaning itself up.

I look forward to the day when all software is able to display this level of maturity and become self-aware of its own failings. Windows would shut itself down and refuse to restart and Adobe CS might decide it’s too expensive and give itself away for free on the internet!

Categories: Anti-Virus Tags: ,
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