Giving up on phone contracts

by @edent | # # # | 2 comments | Read ~252 times.
Table showing my mobile usage. 5 minutes, 4 texts, 1 MB.

Another weird economic casualty of COVID19. I’m not wearing out my socks and shoes. I cancelled my train season ticket. And now, I’m giving up my mobile contract. For a decade, I worked in the mobile industry – and always had an unlimited SIM card. Rejoining the real world, some years ago, was a bit…

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Whose bug is it anyway?

by @edent | # # # # | 12 comments | Read ~4,181 times.
A 404 error message on a website.

I found a curious little bug and I’m interested in who you think should take responsibility for it. My mobile network provider sent me this message: I clicked on the link, and got this error message from their website: The error is caused by the trailing full-stop. Remove the full-stop and the page loads. There…

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User Experience – don’t send me a bill before I’ve used your service

by @edent | # # # | 4 comments | Read ~159 times.
A screen with annoying password requirements.

Long time readers will know I used to work in the mobile industry. I used to blog about all the crappy things that customers experienced. Well, I’m back, with a doozey! I decided to sign a new contract with Virgin Mobile. After a brief chat with customer services, I agreed a contract for two new…

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Adding SIP calls to Android – for free!

by @edent | # # # # # # | 7 comments | Read ~260 times.
Config setting screen.

SIP is a stupid acronym. It’s basically a standard way of making phone calls over the Internet. This means you can make and receive phone calls over WiFi. Here’s how I got it working – for free – on Android. By the end of this tutorial you will be able to: Receive calls to a…

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Symbian Won

by @edent | # # # # # | 8 comments | Read ~39,987 times.
Network access. Ask every time, disallow, ask first time?

I was working in the mobile phone industry just as smartphones were taking off. I saw the Palm Pilot rise and fall. I witnessed NEC and Sagem and a host of companies launch smartphones and then disappear. But the greatest tragedy of them all was Nokia and their Symbian Operating System. (Actually, Symbian’s ownership and…

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Doesn’t everyone have unlimited data?

by @edent | # # # # # | 4 comments
A graph showing pre-pay usage is gradually declining.

One of the (many many many) things our team worked on this week finally went live: You can now access most NHS services from your mobile, with no data charges.In awe of the team who pulled this together very quickly. https://t.co/ogLzCc8z97 — Terence Eden (@edent) March 18, 2020 All the UK’s major mobile networks have…

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Boring Is Beautiful

by @edent | # # # | Read ~194 times.

I have a lot of smarthome gadgets – but my favourite is the Tado° Thermostat. I think it might be the most boring gadget I’ve ever used – and that’s why I love it! We spend far too much time staring at our screens. We obsessively tend to our digital gardens and rarely spend the…

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Responsible Disclosure: SVG injection in Three.co.uk

by @edent | # # # # # # | 4 comments | Read ~475 times.
The website has a circle drawn on it.

Here’s a quick write-up of a minor XSS (Cross Site Scripting) vulnerability on the website of Three.co.uk – one of the UK’s mobile providers. A brief recap… Most websites have a search function. If you search for something which cannot be found, the site will often say “No results found for XYZ.” If we can…

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The Usability of Unboxing

by @edent | # # # # # | Read ~307 times.
Home Signal Box.

I review a lot of tech kit. It is amazing just how bad the consumer experience is when you have a brand-new box in your hands. It can be as simple as difficult to open packaging, to the existential horror of a poorly translated manual. The first time a customer holds your product in their…

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Building an ersatz scanning table

by @edent | # # | Read ~216 times.
A tripod hooked on a tub.

I found a bunch of my old school-books that I wanted to digitally capture. I do have a flatbed scanner, but most of my 1980s workbooks were far too large for it. So I decided to build a cheap scanning table. Ingredients Old Phone Tripod – £8. White table Selfie-stick button! – £2 The Bluetooth…

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