Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Nokia goes to bed

with Microsoft

Rupert Neate, London
February 13, 2011

NOKIA, the world’s largest mobile phone maker, has given up on creating its own smartphone software to challenge Apple and Google.

The Finnish mobile giant has instead adopted Microsoft’s Windows Phone as the basis for its next generation of phones in one of the biggest shake-ups in Nokia’s 145-year history.

Stephen Elop, Nokia’s new chief executive, said the companies had formed a ”broad strategic alliance” to take on Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android operating system. Until now, Nokia’s phones have run on its own software platforms.

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The announcement of the deal in London came after Mr Elop warned that Nokia risked being consumed by ”burning flames” unless it embraced ”radical change”.

Nokia, which dominated the mobile phone industry in the ’90s and early 2000s, has failed to keep pace with Apple and Google in the smartphone market.

Mr Elop, who joined Nokia from Microsoft last year, said the partnership meant the mobile market was now a ”three-horse race”.

It will be about a year before the new phones hit the market. Other changes loom, with Mr Elop saying there would be a ”substantial reduction” to Nokia’s 60,000 employee headcount

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Friday, January 21st, 2011

iPhone’s first Killer sex app:

Body Heat wireless vibrator

orchestration (NSFW)

iPhone's first Killer sex app: Body Heat wireless vibrator orchestration (NSFW)

iPhone’s first Killer sex app: Body Heat wireless vibrator orchestration (NSFW)

Let’s talk for a minute about the female orgasm. For a lucky minority of women, these exist in abundance, ready to be plucked ripe off a well-fruited vine at a moment’s notice. If you’re one of these girls, you can stop reading now and get back to washing your hair with that herbal goop that makes you bellow like Meg Ryan. If you’re at the other end of the scale, where orgasm is a fleeting, furtive animal that must be hunted with patience and skill, then this device might be up your alley … so to speak.

Let’s talk female orgasms

The range of female orgasmicicity (to coin a phrase) is probably quite similar to that of males – except that in the ladies’ case, you’re actually lucky if you’re on the premature side of things, whereas for the fellas it leads to a whole lot of apologies, flowers and new kitchens.

But it’s probably even more frustrating being a woman on the other end of the scale than a man who’s a bit “touch and go” – there’s a lot of girls around that need a “perfect storm” situation to ring their bell. Right time of the month, no stress, no contact with Jill in Accounting for at least three days, kids asleep, perfect soundtrack, clean sheets, patchouli in the oil burner and a partridge in a pear tree – or else it’s just not going to happen.

Even then, when the mood is set perfectly, the physical stimulation has to be absolutely spot-on, or some poor lasses will drift back off into thinking about school lunches and the opportunity will be gone for good.

Thank heavens for technology.

Touching on the fascinating history of the vibrator

The first mechanical vibrators were used in the 1870s, as a therapeutic treatment for “female hysteria” – in what must be the greatest plan ever devised to get women to declare themselves hysterical.

These clockwork contraptions replaced and improved upon a sort of water cannon device – the principles of which will be familiar to any lady that has discovered a detachable shower head.

The advent of home electricity brought with it the ability to use these magical tools in the privacy of our own homes – and indeed, if Wikipedia is to be believed, womens’ priorities were fairly clear; home vibrator kits hit the market some 9 years before the vacuum cleaner.

Modern day pleasure machines

These days, of course, it’s perfectly acceptable for the modern woman to have a well-stocked drawer full of complex machinery by the bedside (although some take it too far – I’m looking at you Deb, and your box of diesel-powered horrors!). And if the adult entertainment expo in Vegas taught us anything, it’s that one size does not fit all in this game.

The sheer variety of shapes, sizes and mechanical aptitudes displayed by today’s vibrators are enough to make any man without a prehensile penis feel sorely inadequate.

The lesson here is that girls have very specific needs and tastes in this respect – and the device we’re looking at here adds an unprecedented degree of precise control to the game that might just tip it over into “killer app” territory.

Your average vibrator has either an on/off switch, a power level control knob, or some selection of bizarre pre-programmed patterns that must have got serious results from a focus group back in the day. Boy, would that session have been fun.

OhMiBod and the Body Heat app: total control

The OhMiBod vibrator (which we’ve covered before) can be set up to pulse and vibrate in response to a music track – but when you pair it wirelessly with the Body Heat app running on an iPad or iPhone, you’re suddenly the conductor of your own multi-touch orchestra of pleasure.

Move your finger up the screen to increase the speed of vibration, and move it to the right to increase the intensity, or amplitude of vibration with pinpoint precision. Bottom left of the screen gives you a gentle tickle, top right leaves you an Einstein hairdo and makes your teeth whiter.

Lift your finger off, and it keeps the current levels going – and if you use two finger multitouch, you can create more complex patterns that oscillate between points on the grid.

Shaking the phone vigorously will stop the device completely – I’m not sure that was the wisest choice. If I’ve learned one thing in my years, it’s that when the shaking starts, you KEEP GOING AT ALL COSTS.

Either way, it puts a whole lot of control in the hands of women who really need it, and the interface itself is nice and touchy-feely in its own right, very feminine and girly.

So it seems for once that an iPhone or iPad might actually help cause some sexual activity rather than what usually happens at my place, where the missus and I each lie there playing Angry Birds until we forget why our birds were angry in the first place and go to sleep.

Triple your battery budgets, ladies, Roboc*ck is on his way. The wireless OhMiBod vibrator will set you back US$130, and the Body Heat app a further US$3.99 from the Apple App Store.

See the Body Heat app in use in the video below … no, sorry, it’s not that kind of video.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Friday, January 21st, 2011


How Vodafone dealers

bend the rules

posing as customers

Asher Moses

January 21, 2011 – 12:41PM

Vodafone customers vent their frustration

Vodafone customers give their verdict on connection problems and the standard of service.

    A Vodafone dealer’s staff have been caught posing as customers to cancel the customers’ original accounts in order to sign them up for new contracts with higher commissions.

    The staff members of Communications Direct Pty Ltd have also breached privacy by forwarding detailed customer call records outside the company.

    Evidence seen by this website, including internal emails, shows managers at the dealer initiated and encouraged some of the behaviour. They are still employed with the company, which remains a Vodafone agent despite Vodafone saying in a statement that it had rectified the issues and took “all allegations of unethical business practices extremely seriously”.

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    The Privacy Commissioner is already investigating Vodafone over the security of its customers’ information and said yesterday that the new information provided by this website would be included in its investigation.

    The privacy investigation comes after just under 20,000 customers signed on to a class action lawsuit targeting Vodafone over network issues that caused poor reception, dropped calls and delayed voicemail and SMS.

    The email documents, sent over the first half of last year, show that staff at Comms Direct, which acts as an agent for Vodafone, had top-tier access to the database containing personal details and call records of all of Vodafone’s customers. These sensitive details, contained in a system provided by software maker Siebel, could be accessed by Comms Direct call centre staff without customers giving their permission.

    Comms Direct’s managers instructed staff to use the system to search for customers who were approaching the end of their contracts with Vodafone and to offer to re-sign them with a better deal.

    “Take a look at the spend and usage. See if we can offer a better deal and then close them,” one wrote in an email.

    This method was used to acquire customers from other Vodafone dealers, who may not have the same level of access to Vodafone’s customer database. It was referred to internally as “Siebel farming” and the email evidence includes complaints to Comms Direct from dealers who lost customers as a result of the practice.

    “Other dealers would say we built up the relationship, they fell into our database, you took advantage of the system and accessed it and stole our customers – internally there’s lots of issues that way,” said a former Comms Direct staff member, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    The dealer earns more commission from connecting new accounts than upgrading existing ones, so managers encouraged staff to call Vodafone customer care, pretend to be the customer, and ask that the original service be disconnected, sources said.

    The dealer could then sign them up as a new connection, with individual sales staff receiving double the normal commission ($50 instead of $25).

    However, in some cases, Vodafone has failed to disconnect the old accounts and customers were unwittingly left with multiple accounts and multiple charges.

    “Anyone who does a wireless broadband sale to a male customer needs to take ownership of calling customer service to have the old wireless broadband disconnected,” a manager wrote in an email to staff in March last year, adding that by doing so they would earn an additional $25 commission.

    “If it is a woman customer that you are making a sale to, this will be still classed as a new connection as the operations team can disconnect these girls over the phone.”

    Comms Direct’s website says it is “Vodafone’s largest premium partner”.

    This website has also seen evidence that on several occasions last year at least one Comms Direct staff member accessed the unbilled call history of a man and forwarded the details on to a private Hotmail account.

    Other internal Comms Direct emails suggest the dealer engaged in “SIM stacking”, whereby extra mobile numbers are added to a business customer’s account without their knowledge. This helps dealers earn more commissions and hit their monthly connection targets, a source said.

    In one email, a customer emailed a manager to ask why they were given 11 phone numbers when they needed only one. The manager replied that “the rest are spare”.

    Vodafone Hutchison Australia, Comms Direct and the NSW Police have been provided with the documentary evidence containing the above allegations.

    NSW Police said it had assigned an officer to examine the allegations, while Comms Direct said it was drafting a response but this had not arrived at the time of publication.

    Vodafone refused to respond to the individual allegations but said it had “already taken action to address” the issues and some sales staff at Communications Direct who were involved in the activities no longer worked there.

    Vodafone said it had also restricted access to its systems “to prevent this type of unauthorised business practice”.

    “VHA takes all allegations of unethical business practices extremely seriously and as a direct result of issues raised by VHA, a number of staff from Communications Direct had their employment terminated last year,” a spokesman said.

    However, the top managers who were revealed in the email documents to have condoned some of the activities are all still employed at the company.

    “If a blind eye is turned to this kind of chicanery where does it end and who takes responsibility? Does Vodafone just wash its hands and say well it’s the dealer’s responsibility?” said Christopher Zinn, spokesman for consumer group Choice.

    “When consumers go to a shop and it says Vodafone on the outside, they are not necessarily cognisant of the difference between what is a Vodafone store and what is a Vodafone dealer store.”

    This month it was revealed that the personal details of millions of Vodafone customers, including their names, home addresses, driver’s licence numbers and credit card details, had been available on the internet. They could be accessed using generic login details that unscrupulous dealers reportedly gave or sold to people, including criminals.

    Vodafone said it had implemented a number of security measures to prevent similar security breaches in future. It would not detail what these were, but, in an email sent to dealers on Wednesday, Vodafone said it would now require each dealer to provide a static IP address for their internet connection in order to access the customer database.

    This would allow Vodafone to track which stores are accessing particular pieces of information and ensure that they only accessed the database from the store itself.

    However, Elissa Freeman, policy director for the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network, said the step came “after the horse has bolted”.

    “ACCAN is concerned that it may in fact not be possible for Vodafone to trace back and uncover which customers have had their privacy breached, by whom, and what information has been passed on to who, for what purpose,” she said.

    “If this is the case then Vodafone needs to be upfront and inform all its customers directly, in writing, without delay.”

    Vodafone claims it has invested over $550 million in its network since June 2009 and will spend a similar amount over the course of this year.

    It says performance has already improved but a significant number of customers have already jumped ship to competing telcos. Many complained that it took in excess of two hours to reach Vodafone’s customer care line and even then they were connected to people in overseas call centres who were not aware of the issues affecting Vodafone’s network.

    Vodafone this week gave dealers a question and answer sheet containing pre-written responses to many customer complaints. It can be found here.

    Adam Brimo, who created the site out of frustration at Vodafone’s network issues, has today sent a report to Australian regulators summarising the issues affecting the tens of thousands of Vodafone customers who used the site to register their complaints about the telco.

    The 27-page report can be found here.

    The telecommunications industry is self-regulated under the Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code. However, ACCAN said holes in the code meant that, even with the current Vodafone issues, the regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), would struggle to find a clear breach.

    And even if it did find a breach, the most it could do was order Vodafone to comply with the code.

    ACMA has been conducting an inquiry into customer service in the telco sector and its findings are due to be released in March.

    Do you know more?

    Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

    Monday, December 27th, 2010

    No jokes or paper crowns in

    iPhone’s Christmas crackers

    Marika Dobbin

    December 28, 2010

    India Thomas with her father's iPhone 4.India Thomas with her father’s broken iPhone 4. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones

    TWO new iPhones were accidentally broken in the Thomas household in just two days recently. Worth nearly $900 each, it was a financial blow the family of five did not need before Christmas.

    But new research shows the Thomases are not alone, with the latest model iPhones much more prone to cracked screens and accidental damage than their predecessors.

    Released in Australia in July, the iPhone 4’s glass front and back are 82 per cent more likely to crack than the single screen of the iPhone 3, according to research by SquareTrade Warranties.

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    The company analysed its warranty claims for more than 20,000 iPhone 4s and found that owners also reported 68 per cent more accidental damage than for iPhone 3s.

    About 15.5 per cent of iPhone 4 owners had an accident within months of buying their phone.

    ”The iPhone 4 appears to be significantly more likely to break than previous versions. The aluminosilicate glass seems to crack at least as often as the old glass, and there is now twice as much surface area to break,” the company said.

    Apple gave away free rubber bumper sleeves not long after releasing the iPhone 4 because of reception problems when it was gripped in a certain way.

    Repair shops also reported within days of the launch that the phone smashed too easily. Dropped iPhones are not covered by Apple under warranty.

    Steve Thomas, a Melbourne builder, said his touchscreen shattered when his daughter India, 6, dropped it on the road while taking photos. His wife Eve found hers had somehow cracked in her handbag the next day.

    ”I dropped my old iPhone heaps of times and that never happened,” Mr Thomas said.

    Apple has not followed other big handset manufacturers in extending warranties from one to two years in cases of 24-month phone contracts. It charges extra for an extended warranty.

    Apple Australia could not be reached for comment.

    Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha