Mobile phone companies are crap

After posting about the iPhone yesterday, I thought I should mention that figuring out what service was best for me was a real pain. It should have been easy, but it wasn’t. Because I had unusual plans — buying a Pay & Go phone and then switching to a 1-month rolling contract — I rang O2 twice before buying anything. I wanted to make sure that Visual Voicemail, unlimited wifi and tethering would work on a non-iPhone contract, and was assured that they would be. After getting the phone, I found that Visual Voicemail didn’t work, and called O2, assuming it was a configuration problem… but no. They said Visual Voicemail and tethering are unavailable on anything other than an iPhone contract, which is not what they said before. I suggested some possible solutions to this: Could you turn on these features without using an iPhone contract? Answer: No. Apparently ...(Read More)

Getting the new iPhone 3GS

Phew.  I feel tired just having written the title. I recently got the new iPhone 3GS. I wasn’t convinced by previous iPhones but this one, and the release of OS3, seemed to fix a lot of the problems with old models — copy & paste, video, HSDPA — as well as being thoroughly good-looking. The one thing I don’t want ever again is an 18-month contract. I think they’re nuts. 18 months of lock-in in a sphere of technology where improvements seem to appear every 6 or 8 months just isn’t sensible, especially in a fiercely competetive market for service providers: I guarantee there’ll be much better tariffs available for new customers in a year than there are now. So, I wanted to get hold of the phone without the contract. The obvious way to do it is to buy the phone on Pay & Go and then take out ...(Read More)

Do we need identity cards, and soon?

We need to be able to authenticate ourselves online. The Government’s Identity Card scheme is in part an attempt to do this, and it’s really bad, but we do need some sort of system that offers more than traditional proofs of identity.

Introspection, courtesy of last.fm

One of the best things about the web is the way it tells you stuff you may not have noticed. My last.fm page is rather instructive. Apparently, this is what I’ve been listening to for the last 7 days: Which looks about right. They’re all great musicians. Incidentally: last.fm is great. I’m a latecomer but a convert nonetheless. Compared to this, the radio is a pretty crap way to discover new music.