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Archive for the ‘BYOD’ Category

14-Feb-13 Version wars!

In Blog, BYOD, Consumerisation, Personal, Technology on February 13, 2013 at 11:10 pm

This year could see yet another mighty battle in the consumerisation version battle ground, as Apple, Google and Microsoft try to generate more demand for their products.

The first major event of the year could be the K release of Android, which is code named Key Lime Pie. According to the rumours on the web, this could be aimed for a release around May.

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Google are certainly not holding back in their releases, as the paint is still drying on Jelly Bean (4.2). Although it’s difficult to assess what the new key features will be, it would be great if a built in video application was delivered and also you could sync between different makes of devices. Both of these would open up better integration to trouble the Apple world!

Later this year, IOS7 is expected. Although a number of folk think a major redesign of the operating system is due, it is unlikely to be this year, as it would make sense for them to deliver a major redesign with a new device.

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Is there is one feature I’d like to see, its the concept of multiple profiles on one device, as certainly our tablet device is used by multiple folk and it would make a custom experience for everyone. Unlikely to happen I suspect, as Apple still see these as very personal devices.

Of course, the other major fix has to be the map functionality. Although bringing back Google is unlikely, a solution for TomTom needs urgent fixing!

The final platform is Windows. Bizarrely it is rumoured that there could be a release around the summer called Windows Blue. It is not clear whether this is a service pack (Microsoft don’t seem to want to do these any more), a feature pack or something completely different.

Its difficult to say what might be in this release, even if it is true, but one view is that it would go a stage further to standardising the Windows platform across tablet, mobile and desktop devices. Watch this space…

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11-Feb-13 Ring main streaming!

In Blog, BYOD, Consumerisation, Personal, Technology on February 11, 2013 at 7:08 am

As I touched on in my blog a few days ago, I have been very impressed by these devices that can extend your network at home by using your existing electrical sockets (and ring main).

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Unfortunately most people don’t have the luxury of Ethernet (PC) cabling in your home meaning that it can be very challenging to extend the wireless or physical reach of your network. Especially if that smart TV is in a remote room of the house, where the wireless signal is poor, as in my case, or you want to connect up another computer or even a printer.

The Powerline adaptors can overcome these issues and are not only simple to setup (plug and play), you can be make these work with your budget, as they come in a variety of speeds from a number of providers.

Amazon search for providers.

I went for the 200mbps ones, as more than sufficient considering my broadband, like most people, is limited to below 100mbps.

There is just one key point to note. These devices require the sockets being used to be on the same ring main. Naively this is something I found out the other day, as my kitchen and its sockets were part of an extension and therefore on a different fuse board! Unfortunately it took me over an hour to realise this!

I have to say that I was surprised at the quality; especially considering the noise I would have expected to be omitted from the power cabling.

These devices have no additional limitation to the ring main issue that I have found so far. If you need more sockets in one room, just simply buy more adaptors or use a mini hub.

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06-Feb-13 Technology does work!

In Blog, BYOD, Consumerisation, Technology on February 6, 2013 at 7:41 am

After my fun and games with my smart TV on Monday, last night was all about overcoming this technology challenge.

Although one of the issues was the digital coverage in my kitchen, this was less of a concern, as at least standard television viewing could be used. The biggest issue was the wireless connectivity to my broadband router, which meant the smart TV applications kept buffering. Added to this, the built in web browser just kept updating when being run.

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The web browser issue was quickly overcome. For this application, smart TV provides a reinstall option which I took.

On to the buffering. Well for some time, I’ve had doubts about the positioning of our wireless router. It was moved by the engineer when BT fitted the new fibre connection for Infinity, as it needed to be next their unit in the hallway, so using my Power line Ethernet adaptors, I moved the wireless router to a different room and bingo, all of a sudden, reception across all our wireless devices was much better and no more buffering on the TV. Yippee!

I have to say these Power line adapters are fantastic extending your Ethernet wiring through your electrical plug sockets by simply plugging and playing!

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As I was on a role, I decided that I would attempt an update of my phone to the new Windows mobile 7.8 version. Although this has now been officially released by Nokia and gradually being rolled out, there is a method to force the update, which I read on the Internet yesterday.

Although dubious, I gave it a go, and much to my surprise, the updates started working; exactly as outlined in the forums I had read.

As I write my blog, I am now using the new tethering (mobile hot spot) feature and I’ve already had a play with the new mobile 8 customisations. Happy days….

04-Feb-13 TV is smarter than me!

In Blog, BYOD, Consumerisation, Technology on February 4, 2013 at 9:33 am

I’ve just made my latest investment in computer technology. Before you ask, its not another Apple or Google device, but this time a product from Samsung; a 22″ smart TV device.

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Now I’ve already made a previous investment in a smart TV from Samsung, but I have to say that this one has some fantastic features built in!

Yes, it has all the normal things I’d expect smart TV’s to now have (BBC iPlayer, YouTube etc), but I was impressed that it has wireless capability now built in, as well as being Skype ready (if you add a camera).

Well I was impressed until I started setting it up!

The first problem I experienced was the digital reception. Now we hardly live in the back end of beyond, so I was startled that the reception in our kitchen would be that bad. After all, if I was on the roof, I’d be able to see Crystal Palace in the distance!

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After all the neatness of a wall mounted LED, it is now accompanied by the biggest indoor aerial I could find to get digital coverage! Surely there has to be a better way to fix this?

The second problem I experienced was the wireless speed. This was noticeable when playing BBC iPlayer by the constant buffering (as you will know from a previous blog, my BT broadband connection was upgraded a few months ago to Infinity).

As any techie would do, I referred to the manual for any obvious settings that were wrong and then the web site for any latest patches, but everything appears correct and up to date.

As I write my blog, the TV is doing an update after attempting to load the built in web browser. A fix that the Samsung web site suggested. This update has now been running for over an hour! Is digital really the future?

24-Jan-13 All the gear. No idea!

In Blog, BYOD, Personal, Sports on January 24, 2013 at 6:59 am

As can be inferred from the title, I was planning to play football in some new training gear I decided to invest in tonight. Thankfully the new trainers, training top, shorts et all arrived today, and although I love the saying (came out of our Mexico holiday earlier this year), I’m rather hoping that my game was OK (well. OK’ish).

During the game, I ran a modest 1.15 miles. I love using MapMyrun to do this; it must get so confused tracking my GPS positioning on that small pitch! After I did some additional warm down running to take my total for day 24 to 3.15.

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My stats according to MapMyRun:
Day 24 –  3.15 miles
Janathon to date – 74.68 miles
Miles per day to hit 100 – 3.61 miles

Me and a number of my colleagues at SThree are doing Janathon for orphaned children through SOS Children’s Villages. Our goal is to try and raise £1,000 through our own and others donations.

On the SThree careers web site is a great video that explains a bit more about what SThree is doing for this worthy charity.

http://bcove.me/32th45bo

13-Dec-12 Google to your hearts content!

In Blog, BYOD, Consumerisation, Personal, Technology on December 13, 2012 at 7:20 am

A number of folk have asked me of late what I think of my Google Nexus 7″ tablet that I’ve now had for a few months and specifically using an Android platform.

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I have to say that I have been very impressed. Especially as I had become very familiar with using my Apple iPad and I thought it might be a bit of a tough transition.

Without being a marketing ad for Google, I thought I would highlight two built in features that make Android and specifically the Nexus stand out from the Apple range (at the moment).

The Swype keyboard for Android replaces pecking at letters with gliding your fingers over them. Swype automatically interprets your gesture and figures out the word you meant to type.

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Although I think a great gesture, I will add the caveat that my daughter gave up on this feature, as she could still type faster using the more traditional entry method!

The second stand out benefit for me is the sharing feature.

When you are looking at content in Android, a web page, a blog post, a picture, a video, a venue in foursquare, a tweet, etc, etc, you simply hit the share button and all the apps that are installed on the phone that can take an object like that show up.

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Great for easily posting your blog or interesting tweet to multiple places!

My seasonal tip. The Google Nexus 7″ is going for £159 at the moment. A nice addition to the Christmas list!

22-Jun-12

In Blog, BYOD, Consumerisation, Euro 2012, Football, Technology on June 22, 2012 at 5:57 am

Portugal became the first country to make the Euro 2012 finals last night at the expense of Czech Republic. They have a good pedigree in this tournament, as they have made the semi-finals on 3 previous occasions (1984, 2000 and 2004), winning one of these to make the final in 2004.

In 2004, they were hosts, but they were upset by Greece (losing 1-0). Greece’s triumph was unexpected considering that they had only qualified for two other major tournaments, Euro 1980 and the 1994 FIFA World Cup, and their victory in the opening match was their first in a major tournament.

As it’s the weekend, here’s a poser for all those people who like football trivia. Something happened for the first time in a major football tournament when Greece and Portugal met in the final. What was it?

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Watching last night’s game has certainly put me in the mood for Sunday’s big clash with Italy. This youtube video I came across last night on Twitter is a brilliant summary of England’s group stage journey.

Twitter made the news itself yesterday when the social media web site was offline for a couple of hours. The report on the BBC web site gave very little away, but I would hate to be the IT Manager (or Director) trying to explain themselves today!

With a nice link in to service, it’s certainly been a successful few weeks at work with some very successful product launches. I thought it an appropiate time to provide an update.

If you recall from my previous blogs, we launched Good for the Enterprise several months ago. For those not familiar, this is Blackberry email, calendar, contacts and browser on any consumerisation device except a Blackberry!

The initial launch was a huge success and within weeks we had over 800 users. I’m pleased to say that today we nearly have a 1000 users registered and the service is still proving as popular. With the proliferation of smart phones in the consumer world and the development of new features for the IOS, Android and Windows mobile devices, we can only expect this to increase over the coming months.

Another product we finally launched after a long delay was Symantec Enterprise Vault. This went live last Monday and, as of today, we have archived 3.5 million email and 116gb of associated storage! Although this may seem minimal at this stage for a business that is email heavy, this is an amazing statistic after only 5 days of conservative archive settings. Certainly all of our users appear to be enjoying their new found freedom of no space limitations on their mailboxes.

The best part about both of the services we have delivered is that they are fully automated and completely self service, which is our aim for all new services we launch over the coming months.

So the weekend is here and a busy one ahead with our annual family and friends baseball event scheduled for Sunday and the big game in the evening.
Good luck to all those teams still involved, but especially special luck to England. Have a good one.

20-Jun-12

In Blog, BYOD, Consumerisation, Euro 2012, Technology on June 19, 2012 at 10:57 pm

So Rooney got his own back on me last night and scored his first goal at a major championship in 8 years! I take back everything I have said over the last few days, because without being brilliant, his goal was absolutely critical!

The big surprise was France getting beat. Can they bounce back and do everyone a favour and knock out the Spanish? Let’s hope so!

It was interesting yesterday that it was reported that UK canals are to be Google routes in the future making some route options more scenic. Let’s hope that they don’t misdirect you like some TomTom routes or you could have an early bath!

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After my blog section on Microsoft’s prototype Surface device (their entry in the tablet market), there was another interesting blog in Computer Weekly, which highlights how consumerisation has shifted the balance of power from the corporate IT decision maker to the consumer and how Microsoft are hoping that this might shift the balance back!

Personally I cannot see this happening unless the power of the brand in the consumer space shifts from Apple to Microsoft. Do you have a view?

This article from Communications Mobility claims that young workers view BYOD as a right and not a privilege. Hmm. What are this Generation Y like?

19-Jun-12

In Blog, BYOD, Consumerisation, Euro 2012, Olympics, Technology on June 19, 2012 at 6:24 am

For a moment last night, it looked like Spain might get dumped out of Euro 2012, but then they found that precious goal! When the chips are down, just like Germany the previous night, they seem to deliver. Over to Rooney now….

Xavi Hernández of Spain made 136 passes against Ireland in their previous game with only 9 of these going astray! This broke the previous record of Ronald Koeman, who mustered 117 against Denmark in 1992.

This is an amazing stat considering the team made 810 passes! Ireland actually made only 198 passes, but as it’s unclear how many of these were successful, it could be that he made more successful passes than the whole team!

London Transport announced a new addition to its network yesterday, which was the opening of the Thames cable car between the O2 arena and the ExCel exhibition centre on 28th June. The new 1.1km river crossing will carry up to 2,500 people per hour, the equivalent of 30 bus loads, between Greenwich Peninsula and the Royal Docks in a journey time of 5 minutes. Wonder who will be the first O2 reveller to be air sick on their journey home considering the 90ft view from the ground?

Microsoft announced their entry in to the tablet market yesterday with their Surface prototype device, which will be launched with Windows 8 this year. Clearly with their dual investment in Samsung slates, Microsoft are pinning a lot on the new operating system and it’s going to be interesting to see if they compete with Apple and Android devices. What I am not sure about is the larger screen estate they seem to have adopted over the traditional Apple iPad screen size. Although I can see the value in doing this, I am not sure the added weight and tablet size will be a winner with everyone?

According to a report I came across yesterday, mobile users own an average of 3 connected devices, whilst 18% people own 5 or more and 41% of people use their personal mobile device for business purposes. This final number is staggering and just continues to confirm that Bring Your Own Device is not a choice of businesses, as staff are already doing it!

One of my earliest memories of mobile computing devices was the Psion organiser, which a colleague at my last company (over 14 years ago) used to cherish and go on about all the time.

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Yesterday Motorola purchased Psion for £130m bringing to an end the company that pioneered mobile computing in the 80’s and 90’s when the other fashionable item was Stock, Aitkin and Waterman tunes (hmm. Maybe not)! Its the end of an era, but maybe they will be saying the same about Microsoft in another 20 or 30 years?

To close, good luck to England tonight. Fingers and everything else crossed…

14-Jun-12

In Blog, BYOD, Consumerisation, Euro 2012, Football, Technology on June 14, 2012 at 6:49 am

Yesterday I came across an interesting Forrester mobile trends presentation, which highlighted the importance of having a clear mobile strategy.

It’s interesting how the mobile space is evolving so quickly and the impact that the adoption of technologies like 4G and HTML 5 will have in this field.

Related to this, I was at an IDC consumerisation event yesterday, which covered the normal BYOD topic and a number of current MDM (mobile device management) technologies that can support this trend.

It’s bizarre that so many MDM vendors talk about the wonders of BYOD and then explain how their products lock down these personal devices! In my view, the security should be at the application layer, which is why I still see our investment in Good Technology being a shrewd one.

The big football news last night was Germany effectively knocking the Dutch out of Euro 2012. How wrong you can be, as it was the fact that Harry Rednapp has been booted out by Spurs!

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How must Harry feel this morning after probably providing Spurs their most successful couple of seasons in the last 50 years!

Looking at Twitter, the opinion from the fans seem mixed. Personally I think Harry has been brilliant and you cannot argue with the progress he has made there in a short time, albeit I know it all went wrong in the last few weeks of the season.

Considering Harry’s illustrious career, I wonder where his next job will be? My money is on West Ham because I cannot see big Sam lasting that long? Any thoughts anyone?

After the IDC event yesterday, we had our quarterly IT town hall meeting. This is our periodic chance to get our staff all in one room to celebrate achievements (people and team awards) and provide a brief on our high level priorities.

As ever it was extremely well attended and and it was great to see some individuals get recognised for their day to day activities.

If there was one thing I am not sure worked, it was having someone Video Conference in to the session. It’s strange how you forget they are there (oops. Are they still on line now?). I wonder what techniques other businesses and people use to make sure these are more inclusive for the person at the other end?

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