Recently I donated to the Shelter charity via SMS, after doing this I keep on getting phone calls from 02076197597, after doing some research it appears the phone calls are from a company called Listen (www.listenuk.org) and they do this spam phone calling for various well known charities like Unicef and NSPCC, this also means that these charities are wasting donated money employing this company. My advice is never SMS donations to any company as they might just use a spam company like Listen.
Archive for the ‘Business’ Category
Early last year Apple’s share price was over $644 a share making it the worlds most valuable company, since then the share price has fallen 24% in the last 3 months and looks like it might continue without something happening. I imagine the death of the founder and visionary Steve Jobs caused uncertainty in future products and slightly disappointing release of the iPhone 5 could have caused the shares to fall. Recently they released the iPad mini and the great looking iMac, but I don’t think these are innovative enough to increase sales as much as necessary for shares to increase back to the highs of last year. Another factor that could have effected the share price was that Apples competitors are now producing products that match and in some cases surpass Apples, for example the Google Nexus 7. I imagine Apple are trying very hard to think of the next big thing that will put them clearly back on top.
The new Apple iPhone 5 is planned to be launched on 13th September (I’ve read) and there is a lot of articles and comments on the NET about what new features it will have. I think to keep up with Apple’s competitors it needs to have some nice new features and cannot rely on just it’s a bit quicker and the camera has more megapixels. So what could Apple do to make the new iPhone WOW the public? One thought is that the phone could be 3D, this would not be new to mobile phones because the HTC Evo 3D phone currently is a glasses-free 3D phone, but if Apple could include this it would at least compete with HTC.
I have just published an article Top Free Software, this contains my top favorite freeware software applications. These include software for developers and regular PC users.
Dropbox is an online file storage, sync and sharing service, which I have now been using for 3 months. I use this service for backing up certain documents and sharing work related files between my work PC, laptop and home PC. I have found it very useful when writing documents at work and then finishing then documents at home without having to copy the file onto a memory stick. It is also useful for backing up important documents, but is not really a solution for backing up photos because the free capacity is 2GB, it is possible to purchase more capacity at a subscription cost. Overall this is a service I thought I would not use that much, but after 3 months I find myself using it all the time and would recommend it.
Apple has recently removed the Wikileaks app from its app store. Clearly it was OK at some point to pass Apple’s strict guidelines, however according to the developer of the app there are 2 reasons why Apple has removed the app from iTunes. The first reason states “Any app that is defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited, or likely to place the targeted individual or group in harms way will be rejected”. And the second is “Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users”. How can an app like Wikileaks get through the guidelines to start with then Apple later decide the remove it. The second guideline regarding the legality of apps and regions, I would like to know how and if Apple manage to block apps from regions, for example encryption is outlawed in certain countries, but searching on the app store I can find many apps that advertise encryption. I think it might be a case of following other companies, but Apple need to look at their guidelines and the apps they allow to sell (which they make money from), which in my view from the outside do not conform to these guidelines.
As a software developer I get reports of issues with the software, sometimes the user can be very helpful and will guide me through the steps to reproduce the error or bug. Recently I have dealt with users who don’t want to know and just say that a ‘System Error’ occured and are unable to report the problem correctly. I have decided to produce a document that gives some advice to software users and how they should report issues they have. Click here to view the document.
I recently started using a great web site called Pivotal Tracker which is a free agile project management site that lets you setup projects to manage. I’ve only just started using it with only some knowledge of agile project management and I am finding it very useful. At the moment I have setup various projects including web site projects for RicRac and BarMirror. I believe this tool will also be useful for software development allowing other users to access the project from anywhere in the world.
The UK government has released an interesting document on the cost of it’s web sites for 2009 – 2010 (http://coi.gov.uk/websitemetricsdata/websitemetrics2009-10.pdf), it shows how much each of the sites costs and also the number of hits. One site was the BusinessLink site which cost £35m in non staff costs and £788k in staff costs, this does not include OGD’s (whatever they are) or agencies (which I imagine would increase the cost a lot more). This web site does however get over 1 million hits a month so it does seem to be doing a job, but it does seem very expensive. The government web site for UK trade and investment cost almost £4m and gets 28k hits and month and so far has had 400k hits, this means that it has cost the UK taxpayer £10 per hit. Hopefully now the Labour idiots are out the new government will look at these web sites and decide which ones are cost effective and which ones just need scrapping.
Recently I have tried banner advertising to try to attract more visitors to my site. I opened an account with a company called adlink via my host, this gave me 1000 impressions a month and I could view the stats. I was not expecting much and thought I would get about 10 hits a month. The last time any stats had been recorded was January, this means I have not had 1 hit on the site for 4 months from this banner, thats 4000 impressions and nothing. The most I got in a month was 4, but for some reason no one clicks on banner adverts anymore. Maybe people have just got use to them and have started ignoring them. Anyway I intend to cancel my contract, because banner adverts just do not work.
Apple has announced what the prices will be for the iPad in the UK, as expected they are overpriced compared to the US prices. The price for the basic model will be £429 (£337 in US) and £699 for the top of the range model (£561 in US). The company I work for is currently developing software for the iPad and I have had a quick play with a model we got from the US, it is a nice piece of kit, however it does lack what I would call some basic features like USB ports and a web cam which are features on most cheaper netbooks. The screen works the same as the iPhone and is great to use, I can imagine I would need to keep cleaning it though. Because apple has overpriced the iPad for the UK and the first models released (28th May) lack the features of my netbook and macbook, I will be sticking with my netbook for the time being.
On the main RicRac web site is the option to make a donation, this is an attempt to cover some of the costs of running the web site. Last year I received a donation from a user of the stopwatch application, the donation was small but very welcome, paypal sent me a confirmation of the transaction and I logged on and could see my Paypal account was in credit with that amount. A couple of weeks ago I thought I would transfer this amount, but when I logged on the account balance was 0. I then contacted Paypal and reported possible fraud, they said that no transactions have taken place on my account for the past 2 years. At first I thought it might be due to me changing my password, paypal told me to try any other email addresses I might have used, but all my other addresses did not have a login and the donation paypal web page tells me which email account it is. I then sent the confirmation information I had received from paypal to them, they responded by saying I should ring them, but did not give me a number to ring them on. When I replied asking for the number they said that there was no telephone number and I should forward the emails to another paypal email address for them to have a look. I am still waiting to see what happens, but my confidence at the moment in paypal is the same as my balance.