Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Never Donate Via SMS

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

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 ( 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.

Apple needs more innovation

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

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.

iPhone 5 possible price

Friday, August 31st, 2012

I was reading an article published in The Times regarding the new 4G network and it mentioned that phones that are 4G enabled are most likely going to be 50% more expensive than the same phone without 4G. Could this mean that the new iPhone is around £750? If so will they produce a non-4G version which will retail for the same amount as the 4s does now? I also hope they get the 4G right unlike with the current iPad (version 3) which is 4G, but only available in the states. I am looking forward to the new iPhone 5, but I do hope they do not overprice it.

iPhone 5 – Will it be 3D?

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

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.  

Advice on how to report software bugs

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

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.

iPad Point of Sale

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Currently the company I work for is developing an iPad application for point of sale. I have noticed various other companies developing such apps but how good is an iPad as a POS solution? I can see quite a few pros and cons. To read my full article click here.

Google Instant vs Google Traditional

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Google has launched a new type of search site called instant, which brings up search results as the user types. After logging onto my Google account I had a quick play with the new search. My first impression was why, I like Google search because it is simple and quick and easy to use, this at first did not seem to do much apart from displaying results without having to click on ‘Search’ or using the ‘Enter’ key. Google sell this feature as it will save you 2-5 seconds per search, I think you must be a very busy person to think ‘Great this will save me loads of time, which I can do something else with’. At the moment I still like the traditional search and there is an option to use this. I cannot see myself using this new instant search on my PC, however I can see how this development might be more useful on mobile devices.

Warning: Do not swat flies with an iPad

Friday, July 30th, 2010

I have recently heard that Apple has had a lawsuit filed against them after users reported they cannot use the iPad in direct sunlight as it overheats and switches off and that Apple claim the iPad is like reading a regular book. The iPad automatically switches off to protect itself when it gets too hot, I think this is a good feature of the iPad. Although Apple claim the iPad is like reading a book there are obvious differences because it is an electronic device. Users of the iPad should not need to be warned that although Apple claim using the iPad is like reading a book it is not a book or magazine and should not be used in the same way.

New Biometric Passport

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

I recently needed to renew my passport, I thought this process would take weeks but I went into the post office on the Saturday and received my new passport on the following Thursday. I can remember years ago this process could take four weeks, so they must have improved the system dramatically to reduce the time to days. I did get the post office to check the form for any mistakes which cost a bit extra. Also they always return your old passport which you use to have to request and if I remember rightly cost more money. My new passport is a biometric passport which means it has a microchip built into it to help prevent identity fraud and forgery. This new passport also will give me access to automated immigration at airports which have the facility, I am hoping this means I can use the new iris scanner. Overall the process of renewing my passport is much quicker than expected and hopefully will speed up the passport control process when arriving at my destination.

Budget Calculator 2010

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

We have just had the budget and I wanted to know where I could find a budget calculator that would tell me whether I was better off or worst off. When searching google for this I found the links were from old budgets and cannot find one for the last budget. This raises an issue with the search engines indexing pages that are no longer relevant, why would I want to enter my details into the budget 2007 calculator which appears high up in the list. I think the search engines need to be able to look at pages and reduce the page rank if they contain details that are no longer relevant. I will continue to search for a site or a free application that can do what I require.

iPhone iOS 4

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

I have just installed the new iOS 4 on my iPhone 3GS and not much has changed. The first change I noticed was there is now a background image when browsing your apps, this can be changed in the settings. They have added a nice feature called ‘Folders’ and like the name suggests this allows you to put apps into folders, which is useful if you have loads of apps that you want to group together. The camera now has a 5x digital zoom which is OK, but the Gorillacam app is still better. They have added the ability for Multitasking, this allows apps that have been developed for iOS4 to switch between each other instantly. I think this feature should have only been allowed for iOS4 apps because it does not with current apps and when you select the app that has already been open it does not run from where you left it but restarts the app. Also to close the app down you have to double press the main button to display the multitasking panel and then hold you finger over the app you want to close which causes the wobble and then select the negative icon to close the app. Overall not much has changed which could be a good thing, I like the folders option but dislike the multitasking.

Banner advertising does not work

Friday, May 28th, 2010

RicRac Banner

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 iPad prices in the UK

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

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.

Top 5 Free iPhone Apps

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010


Below is a list of my top 5 free iPhones apps. I have chosen my top 5 from which apps I use the most, enjoy to use and the ones I think have been designed the best. I can imagine this list will change from month to month, but at the time of writing this these are the apps I would recommend. 

  1. Sky News – This app works well even when there is no wireless or 3G network.
  2. Right Move – Quick app which works well on 3G, intuitive, easy to use with few faults.
  3. Facebook – Works similar to web site with all the features I need.
  4. Gorillacam – Improves the basic iPhone camera with features like zoom, self-timer, anti-shake and a spirit level for level shots.
  5. The Trainline – Useful app if you use trains, work similar to the web site.

Paypal 0 Balance

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

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.