3G coverage a crock…

this useful link shows the coverage pages from the major mobile data providers and I continue to be amazed that they can say they provide coverage. Even just trying out 3G coverage in Belfast is disastrous. (note: some links have moved so just search around a little).

Orange, my constant companion and thorn in my side, claims 3G coverage all over Belfast. Which is why the majority of the time I’m connecting using GSM internet and getting a whopping 3K a second or something. The little 3G coverage indicator on the phone is constantly available right until I actually start to connect and then it drops out and with it goes my speed.

This is why 3G isn’t going to the answer. This is why we need someone to provide metro-WiFi in Belfast.

Worse…we ain’t even got decent 3G coverage and they’re all talking about 4G now. It’s all a smokescreen in my opinion so they don’t have to actually finish deployment of anything.

— Annoyed mobile internet user

More on iPhone versus IT

David Morgenstern quotes Gartner Research Vice President Steve Kleynhans in saying that:

to these new customers, the current IT experience “stands for the inhibitor of technology,” Kleynhans said. He observed that there is a basic conflict growing between the pushing clients and the IT traffic cops.

and really the rest of the article reads like a rehash of my rebuttal from last week.

Am I in the wrong job? I guess I should either be an eWeek columnist or a Vice President for Gartner Research.

And the iPhone itself. Having watched the guided tour I’m more than convinced I’m going to need one. Email is my lifeblood and I hate Blackberry email passionately. Morgansterns article claims that iPhone only having support for POP/IMAP is inelegant. Bollocks to that – requiring proprietary MAPI or other closed API services is inelegant. I want my email on my phone. I want it on my iPhone. I want to be able to roll my own webmail site using Squirrelmail or something like it.

As for the apps – I don’t give a monkeys really. I’d kill for SSH access and I’d love for it to have secure AFP as well but I’d cope if it could handle WebDAV – and arguably it can considering it has Safari. We’re going for a ubiquitous network coverage model here and sure, the technology and the deployment are a little behind the times but that’s going to come eventually.  

I want all these things because at this moment I’m stuck behind an incredibly restrictive firewall and I want to be able to check mail and surf my personal sites during breaks. I want to be able to grab files off my home or office servers when stuck behind this firewall. Having a wireless data connection other than WiFi is just what the doctor ordered. Maybe they should built it into the Mac (though linking my Sony Ericsson K800i to my Mac was simplicity itself for the use of the GPRS network).

The release this week of the iPhone just adds fuel to my desire to see it here in the UK. I’m continuing to count the minutes. And by the time it gets here, it’s going to be a much more mature product.

iPhone is not secure. Get over it.

A surprisingly good article on eWeek is harshly critical of the iPhone mostly because of security issues though, they admit, Information Technology experts have a logn way to go before they can point an accusatory finger.

The net is abuzz with discussion about whether the iPhone will mix with enterprise IT departments.

It doesn’t matter really.

Today I ws in a big corporate building and saw lots of gadgets. Mobiles with cameras, USB connections for data and charging, smartphones, MP3 players (all iPods oddly) and PDA gadgets. And none of them were “officially supported”.

Back in my heady corporate IT days, it was possible for our desktop support people to say to managers and senior managers a hearty “No” when they asked for data syncing or software for their Windows CE or Palm devices.

Entirely different story when you get to Directors and Vice Presidents.

In my experience, corporate IT stands for “Inhibiting Technology” rather than “Information Technology”. I had a light-hearted debate at an awards ceremony with a high ranking IT bod in InvestNI whose policy was to limit and prevent the spread of gadgets in the organisation.

But one thing is true, if the users want it, they’ll get them anyway. And not sync them with their corporate desktops and end up perhaps carrying two devices. One of which they use and one of which they just carry.

IT should spend as much time worrying about:

“insecure wireless access points, tape backups disappearing, wrapping your newspapers in customers’ personal financial information, and stolen laptops.”

For my part, I want one. I’m going to get one. And damn any IT guy who thinks he can tell me what to do.

Loonies the lot of them

Paddysvalley is the story of an economic invasion force consisting of a van-load of itinerent immigrant workers (who call themselves entrepreneurs).

Some of the names involved are clever buggers so they must be onto something smart (apart from Joe who’s on the list twice. Duh.).


If you’ve been to Silicon Valley or know someone who might be able to help these poor Irishmen in their quest to improve the state of inward capital investment in Ireland then it would be really cool to make your mark and help out with the Paddy’s Valley To Do List

I’ve seen the odd IP from InvestNI and Momentum surf by this blog. It would be rather spiffing if some of you chaps could maybe assist – even with some names and/advice.

That’s what it’s all about after all.

BarCamp Belfast: 30th June 2007: QUB

I grabbed this from Tom Raftery’s social media? blog.

BarCamp Belfast is taking place in Queens University Belfast on Saturday June 30th.

Sign up on the wiki now if you are going to attend.

Here’s the wiki link. I’ve never been to any sort of BarCamp so I’m not sure what to expect really. I’m also not sure I want to present anything considering where I’ll be day to day. But I’ve asked the planner about what being a sponsor entails and we can take it from there. I’d like to useful on the day.

It’s not about the features, Stupid.

Ars Technica took a look at the recent Safari Public Beta for Windows and came up with this gem:

Even if the final release is more polished and completely bug-free, it still won’t be as powerful or feature-loaded as Opera or Firefox.

No, it won’t be as feature-complete but that’s by design, you pillock.

Since when were FEATURES the most important thing?

Junk DNA ain’t junk…

An international research consortium today published a set of papers that promise to reshape our understanding of how the human genome functions. The findings challenge the traditional view of our genetic blueprint as a tidy collection of independent genes, pointing instead to a complex network in which genes, along with regulatory elements and other types of DNA sequences that do not code for proteins, interact in overlapping ways not yet fully understood.


During my degree, it used to really irritate me that geneticists used the term “junk” to describe these non-protein-coding regions. To me, junk means rubbish, stuff we don’t need, eBay-able. I believed that these regions were important, that they couldn’t be more than just the detritus of thousands of years of evolution.

Now of course, I’d have called it a hash in terms of how it seemed to us to be a jumble. A hash is a term also used for encryption as well as for food (as in a mix of things).

Now of course, the junk is now useful. Perhaps even essential.


The concept of non-evil Stepmom was recently investigated by my daughter.

MEGGAN: Daddy, who is your girlfriend?
ME: I don’t have one, sweetie.
MEGGAN: Can I be your girlfriend?
ME: Nope. You’re my daughter. That’s a hundred times more special.
MEGGAN: yay (hugs me)
MEGGAN: Daddy.
ME: Yes, sweetie.
MEGGAN: Would you marry Jill?
ME: No. She’s your childminder. And I don’t like her.
MEGGAN: Neither do I.
ME: So why should I marry her?
MEGGAN: She would be an evil Stepmother.
ME: Do you want an evil Stepmother?
ME: I know a couple of girls I’d like to marry.
MEGGAN: Do you like to kiss them
ME: *laughs* I’ve never kissed them. I just like them. They’re nice.
MEGGAN: But they can’t be a Stepmother.
ME: Why not?
MEGGAN: because they’re GOOD…
ME: Oh. Okay. Yes. Makes perfect sense.

Winding down…

I’m counting down the days I still have to work here in my own company.

From the 18th, I’ll be a cog in a massive corporate machine. I’m currently copying my data from my work-owned superfast MacBook to my own 2+ year old PowerBook. Not for any other reason than the MacBook might be better deployed to one of the other guys here. I’ll still have a shexy intel iMac to play with.

Changing bank mandates and signatories so the guys can cope without me has been the only work I’ve been doing during the last month with a few exceptions. I’m here simply as backup. And so far it’s been working well.

I’m not not nervous. But I think everything is going to be okay.