myDigitalLife Blogs

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Nov 15
2011

Hello, Skyrim! Goodbye, social lifeā€¦

Posted by Jas in Untagged 

Jas

So I purchased the pre-order of Skyrim (to get the fancy cloth map bonus content) that arrived on Friday. After a troublesome install, whereby I had to scour the Internet searching for answers, and eventually discovered you had to call Steam using the –install command line argument. 

Nov 10
2011

A Return to Social Networking?

Posted by Jas in Untagged 

Jas

So Google+ is now available to the world, and yet I still feel no compulsion to join “the fastest growing social network”. Sadly, I’m starting to dislike the whole movement that Google is taking: trying to make the Web more social. I’m slowly getting to the point where I feel I might be better off disassociating myself from all their services, and finding alternatives (and there are many alternatives available, and while they’re not always free, they are on the cheap – like web hosting for email and your own Diaspora seed).

Nov 02
2011

iPad or iFad?

Posted by Jas in Tech , Siri , iPhone 4S , iPhone , ipad , gadgets , fun , Apple

Jas

I’ve always really thought of most Apple products as something I would never really want to get involved with, what with their release cycles, and that they only add very small amounts of functionality between these releases (iPhone 3 and iPhone 3G, for example).

Jun 24
2011

NWN Forum Server Hacked

Posted by Jas in software , Security , Hacking

Jas

At 08:37 this morning, I received the following email (hyperlinks taken out of course - wouldn't want someone else changing my own password!) - although perhaps this is more cautionary than anything else; they do state the passwords were encrypted after all (yet perhaps more of a worry, since Graphics Processing Units (GPU's) seem to be fairly good at brute forcing passwords these days).

Apr 13
2011

Broadband - what we pay for?

Posted by Jas in Telkom , ripped off , internet , Computing , Broadband

Jas

I was reading this article on TechCentral titled: Telkom: 'we're not expensive' and thought I would do my own little investigation into the price of broadband overseas...

Apr 08
2011

Powerless - the saga continues

Posted by Jas in waste , substation , smarter planet , instant messaging , electicity

Jas

Apr 06
2011

The rise of the anywhere photographer

Posted by Jas in photography , phones , Mobility , internet , anywhere photographer

Jas

Jan 26
2011

FlySAA FAIL

Posted by Jas in Untagged 

Jas

So I've been trying to book a ticket through to Pietermaritzburg in Feb, and I know SAA is the only airline (Via the Airlink Express?) that flies directly there.

Jan 25
2011

Frustrated finding a [mobile] contract

Posted by Jas in web design , Web 2.0 , Web , Vodacom , UI , SEO , MTN , mobile , Contract , Cell C , bad web design

Jas

So I'm trying to go onto a contract through Vodacom, but I just can't seem to find anything that I really want to find out. Not from their Website, not from other company websites... And I am not the kind of person that feels he should have to waste his time going into a store in order to find out this kind of information (not with the Internet at my command!) I know I want to go for a BlackBerry Torch, and I know I want a contract that includes the "free" Internet that has helped popularise the BlackBerry-line of phones.

However, looking at the Vodacom Website (an abomination of the Web if you ask me - they seem to be going backwards in their design and ability to give out information - requiring you to click through pages and pages of utter waft where they could clearly have presented all the information on a single page), they don't provide a pure distinction between the different packages that you get with BlackBerry. Heck, all I could really find was info about the Talk 100 (S) - but on another site (Elite Mobile) they talk about the BlackBerry Talk 100 Bis (The Bis meaning? Business Internet Solution? Clarify please! I had to find out the acronym on MTN's website - yes Vodacom, you lead me directly to your competition from your crappy website because you can't fathom that you might actually need to explain things to your prospective clients).

I'm starting to wonder if it's even worth my time?

For instance, have a look at this page: http://www.vodacom.co.za/vodacom/Deals/Cellphones/All+Cellphones/38,BlackBerry+9800+-+Talk+120+S

They have a pic of the phone; they have a hyperlink leading to the phone specifications... But why not provide all that info on the same page? Hello! This is the Internet 101! It makes Vodacom's Web team look like its being run by a bunch of monkeys who have no idea about the Web itself, let alone how to construct information in a clear, concise manner! Don't just show me a picture of the phone (I would use Google Image search if I really wanted to see it), give me details about the package, about what I get in the package (there's not even a hyperlink to it - so now I have to spend my time searching their anal retentive website that is dysfunctional at the best of times just to find out that it doesn't really tell me about the "free" Internet that I want from the phone contract!), what I don't get... Is it really that difficult, Vodacom?

I would seriously enjoy getting feedback from Vodacom about their ridiculous Website. Who's in charge in controlling the content, and why the hell are they still hired by the company? It clearly doesn't provide a very good "front" for the company... Hello! We're in the era of Web 2.0 - not designs that belonged in the 90's... Information at your finger tips? More like endless reams of absolute $#*% that leads you in circles (yes you dim wits, you are getting such good "ratings" on your web count from me because I can't find anything on your site). Grrr... It frustrates me to the point where I actually want to go out and scream at somebody (and I'm not an agressive man!).

You would think, that in this day and age of the Internet and web technologies around, that these companies would introduce, you know, a way of customising your package completely. By customise, I mean select your package, your free minutes, your SMS bundle, your data bundle - configuring the entire package to your liking. Since it’s all controlled by computer(s) anyways, the whole recording of the package information and implementing it from the billing perspective should be fairly trivial. Perhaps I should patent the idea - while I'm throwing it out there, freely, for you to implement yourself...

Well, enough of my rant! I'm going to head outside for a breath of fresh air, and hope that by the time I get back to my machine, I will be a little less irked!

Jan 10
2011

What's missing from the Samsung Wave...

Posted by Jas in technology , software , Social Networking , Smartphone , Samsung Wave , rant , mobile phone , hardware , firmware , data access

Jas

So I’ve had the Samsung Wave (S8500) for the better part of a year, and I will admit I do still love the phone. But after a year, I’m quite discouraged by its App store – and I really, really think they could have owned the market (or at least broken into the market) somewhat better if they had introduced a free data bundle plan – ala Research In Motion (BlackBerry users). Smart phones, on average, seem quite chatty in nature, and while I haven’t found the Wave to be over chatty, if you’re using your social networks often, I can see how it would raise the bar for data downloads.

The App store, which has been open for around a year, still lacks a lot of social networking integration, and the Samsung Wave’s internal social networking apps don’t appear to have been updated since I received the phone (and might have been updated in the firmware update - but read more about that below). There hasn’t been much adoption from third parties, and there’s nothing in terms of geolocation-based apps ala FourSquare etc. (or I just haven’t seen them on the App store?).

More alarming, although perhaps because I received the phone from the Samsung Bada developer conference last year, is that I’m unable to update the firmware of the Bada operating system up to 1.2 through the Samsung Kies suite – basically the software you install to access your phone from your computer. It always complains there are no updates available – and I really don’t want to go through the whole process of manually attempting to update the firmware without the use of Kies in case something goes wrong.

Kies in itself is a whole other ball game, and I have no idea why Samsung thought it would be “hip and cool” to provide another “desktop” in which to access my phone’s information. Even worse, the way it wants to install new components at every step of the way, for simple things like viewing your SMS’s or even your contacts – surely you should be able to access your own propriatory resources without having to install additional codecs and interfaces… in your own application suite?! It just doesn’t make sense! I often wonder what these developers were thinking when they wrote the software (although more often than not, it’s not the developer’s fault but rather management’s fault)…

Somehow I think Samsung needs to step up it’s game here.  If I recall from their developer network, all apps that make use of data are required for that data to come from Samsung’s servers (so you have a kind of proxy between them) – which when you think about it, is the same model that RIM uses. So you think that providing free data bundles would be fairly trivial?

Then again, I am using the mobile through a pay-as-you-go service, so I don’t know if it would make much more of a difference…

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