Response from Vodafone

Posted by Sofia in gadget, sofia
26 May, 2009

In my previous blog post I describe my v bad initial experience with Vodafone and my love for the G2 (HTC Magic). Well, Tom from Vodafone’s Web Relations Team reached out and posted this comment:

Hi Sofia,

I’m sorry to see the start of your experience with Vodafone and the Magic hasn’t been the best, but I’m here to fix that! I work for the Vodafone Web Relations Team and we’ll be happy to sort this for you.

OK, so your account issues with commitment length and insurance sound fixed, but I’d love to double check just to make sure. You’ve got my email address so just pop your mobile number and a link to this blog over to me, and I’ll be in touch as soon as possible to double check those things and make sure they’re right.

Moving onto your three questions towards the end of your blog, firstly, your Unlimited Mobile Internet bundle has a fair usage policy of 500MB, but if you go over that mark you won’t be charged, not unless you frequently exceed it. As per the terms and conditions in that case, we’d ask you to moderate your usage or remove the service rather than suddenly charging you.
Better still though, if you’re connected to a WiFi access point then your Magic will automatically prioritise that connection, meaning you won’t be using any data through us.

As for your second question, go to menu > more > select text – Then drag your finger across the text you want to copy. It’s then automatically copied to the clipboard.

Last one, it’s not a standard function of the handset, but just look for an app called “Tone Picker” and hey presto, as if by Magic (sorry) you’ll be able to choose your own tones 😀

Best Wishes


Web Relations Team

Vodafone UK

The comment about fair usages is interesting and very good to know. It is a bit of shame that this is not being mentioned by anyone else (like store staff or on phone with Customer Service). I have this feeling that Vodafone has not properly co-ordinated this release of the G2 and most staff does not seem to understand that the G2 is a internet devise that happens to do calls as well.

I emailed back with my details and what my plan was when I signed up. The day after I received from Tom’s colleague Mat where he confirms that I am on right plan, insurance was off and he expresses his disappointment that this was my start with Vodafone.

I appreciate this response very much. It was quick, to the point and confirmed that things were sorted. It does not take away that my buzz was killed but this certainly softened the impact. The Vodafone Web Relation team did their job perfect and this is how the response should be. Things goes wrong but it how a person or a company response to it that is crucial.

I have one wish – more will probably come later one – that Vodafone should have a system where the customers can set up alerts. I would love to receive a txt when I am approaching my upper limit for data usages. Me personally, I am not so worried about the 600 minutes, unlimited txt bit – I am data girl instead.

If you want to get hold of Tom or Mat you can reach them on or on Twitter

19 May, 2009

I am reading in DN that the plaintiffs in the #spectrial are suing the site The Pirate Bay yet again at the Lower Court.

Below is a short summary of this article;

This time it is to shut down The Pirate Bay site. The record companies Universal, EMI, Sony och Warner are looking for the Court to issue a fine if people behind The Pirate Bay continue to make copyright material available on their site. This is also aimed the The Pirate Bay’s ISP, Black Internet AB.

In this new lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim that The Pirate Bay is an ‘infringement service’ and it is possible to find several music albums that these companies own the copyright to. The plaintiffs have been able to down 476 music albums via The Pirate Bay. The plaintiff demand that the 4 men behind The Pirate Bay should ensure that it is impossible for internet users to download any of their copyrighted material on the site. They also demands that the Court should forbid the ISP Black Internet AB to provide internet service to these kind of ‘infringement service’.

The plaintiffs are asking for the Court to have the fine issued immediately before the Court gives their decision and without Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde or Black Internet AB to be given the opportunity to answer to these claims – basically this fine should start asap before this case has been heard.

The plaintiffs lawyer is Peter Danowsky.

17 May, 2009

There are two sections, Vodafone and the phone itself.

Vodafone killed my buzz 🙁 I got my phone on Thursday but I could not fully use it as my number didn’t get transferred until Friday. When I spoke to Vf’s customer service on Thursday, I asked is there anything I have to do tomorrow and the reply was no. On Friday I was rather busy and I kept checking my phone but it only said “No Service”. At the end of the day, I had the time to call them and I was told to remove the battery & SIM card and put it back it. I could not help think that this is a bit of 80s advise to give but after that I was connected to Vodafone’s network.

Then there is the matter of correcting the error the Vodafone’s sales guy did. He put me on a 24 month plan when I wanted the 18 month plan. He had said that he would put a note on my account and I should talk to Vf customer service once the phone was activated. The person I spoke with on Thursday said this automatically correct itself once the phone was activated. Not believing a word of this, I double checked on Friday and after speaking to 3 different people before this was corrected. I hope as I was told my first bill will arrive after 5-6 weeks. This sales guy also pushed for an insurance that is free for the first month and after that it is £6.99/month and with a £25 excess limit. I am not at all interested in this which I said. He said that I could call back within 14 days and have it removed, which I will. However considering that actual bill wont arrive after 5-6 weeks I think this is a rather dirty move by Vodafone.

Today, I made a quick call to Vodafone, there are still problems with my plan. Unlimited data has not been attached to the my account. Vodafone really SUCKS! They are completely incompetent to understand this phone, the plan and how it should work together.

G2 is bundle of joy 🙂 I am so pleased with the phone. It has been easy to navigate around the different menus and settings. I should put in a small disclaimer that I have little patience when things don’t work as they should and the whole ‘working around’ the problem is not always the best way.

The screen resolution is great and the touch screen is responsive. Now that I have used the G2 and I’d to have another go on the iphone – compare them. It is slightly ironic the G2 only comes in white too.

It is possible two set up two different email accounts on the phone which one does not necessary have to a gmail account. A good feature and a step closer to the Blackberry model.

G2 HTC Magic

In Settings, I think there is enough flexibility to set things up as I like it. I like to have vibration on while I type. There are choices to have alerts to have sound when you are getting new notifications. The notification tab is great too, and easy accessible. It is only to pull it down from the top line where the clock etc is to see what the latest notification.

G2 HTC MagicG2 HTC Magic

Market where all the apps are also very easy to navigate and download. I started with getting these apps, Barcode scanner, Twidroid, Skype – straightforward. Twitroid is great especially since on Twitter’s mobile site there are no functions to quickly reply & DM peeps.
Another app that I love is Wikitude AR Travel guide. It will take your GPS location (or any location your choose to type in) and tell you what stores, pubs & restaurant is around you. It will tell you how far way from where you are. I remember telling Mircosoft developer at the launch party of their Virtual earth that they should build a version that takes your mobile phone location and let you search what around you. My comment did not have any merit when him – ah well as this industry work, if you don’t do it someone else will – and probably better too.

G2 HTC MagicG2 HTC Magic

Google Maps & GPS was my No 1 on my wishlist and that works super smooth which is much appreciated it. Me and direction does not always work that well together but with this, problem solved!

I even made a call on the #G2 and the sounds was crisp & clear.

So far, the battery seems to last about 1,5-2 days.

There are a few things that is hovering around ‘only’ good mark. One is of course that the ringtones are pretty bland however I believe this is done on purpose so we all should buy the better ones. Another thing is a design error of the keyboard layout, the delete button is just above the enter button. Ahem, this is going to lead to some unfinished tweets & SMS. It is the same design on G1 too.

I still have a few things I am need to work out how it works;

* With Vodafone unlimited dataplan, which has a fair usage on 500meg/month, I’d like to make sure that data firstly goes via the wifi and then through Vf network.
* Not quite worked out how to copy text in the browser and then paste it somewhere else.
* To set my own ringtone with a fie that I transferred over

So far my data usage is 544.17kb (yesterday pm reading) – and was told by Vf that the charge was 42 pence. I didn’t not have any unlimited data plan attached to my account. I should not have to deal with this! To be continue 🙁

Update: Vodafone response.

Why Part 1? Well I am not that big of tease – it is because my G2 has not been activated, my number gets transferred tomorrow and then I can fully use the G2. That was such a disappointment not to be able to try it all out! I was very happy & hyped until that moment. This is how far as I got – for all the photos, check out my Flickr account.

Box arrives – and there IT is !! 🙂

 G2 UnboxingG2 Unboxing

Speedily putting in the SIM card and battery and start charging:

G2 UnboxingG2 Unboxing

Hello there Vodafone & Android – please to see you

G2 UnboxingG2 UnboxingG2 Unboxing

The screen is crisp & clear and I am starting to follow the instructions

G2 UnboxingG2 Unboxing

Easy to type, got my name right first time around. This was my main worry with not a qwerty-keyboard

G2 UnboxingG2 Unboxing

Time to login to my gmail account but since my Vodafone account is not active until tomorrow this failed 🙁

G2 UnboxingG2 Unboxing

Google wants to have all my location data? UNTICKED! Loves how the 24 hour format is pre-ticked – I am a huge fan of the metric system and are hoping for a world domination for it.

G2 UnboxingG2 Unboxing

Main menu and Apps menu:

G2 UnboxingG2 Unboxing

8 May, 2009

Gadgets are fun and I am not sure one can have too many – well I am far away from my limit anyways.

Currently, Chumby is my favourite and I set mine up yesterday. It is real easy to use, my slight problem that I had lost the login info for the the website so I had to re-activate it again.

In short, Chumby connected with via wifi and has a touch screen, 2 speakers, 2 USB plugs and plays all sort of different widgets. It is built on open source software and hardware.

Chumby's Control panelBack of Chumby

For me, it is mainly an entertaining gadget that I have in the kitchen. Snapshorts of all sort of different info that I can customise myself. It is possible to change for how long each widget is displayed. This is done via my account on their website.  At the moment there are 1,165 different widgets to choose from. But it comes very useful when I need to check what the weather will be like before leaving the flat.

My Chumby widgetsF1 Chumby widget

It is now possible to check my twitter and tweet via the Chumby too. Always a good thing to be accessible to twitter for any company & product out there

Twitter Chumby widgetTwitter Chumby widget

And I just remembered I should add this too. If you are adding your Picasa pics to the Chumby and take the ‘Link to this album’ then double check that you have got in that link and not as that will not work on the Chumby widget.

And again here is a great clip with Dave Mathews talking about the Chumby at the 2009 CES.

The Swedish Radio is reporting that the Judge, Tomas Norström, in The Pirate Bay case is getting accused of being biased in another case.

This is a summary for the English reading peeps.

DN is reporting that the company Wheels Spare Parts had to pay damages of SEK668,000 / USD84,000 for selling hubs caps that was similar to BMW. Same as the Pirate Bay trial, the Judge and the plaintiff’s lawyer Henrik Wistam were members in the same copyright organisations without this being disclosed at this trial. The organisations are Svenska föreningen för upphovsrätt (SFU) and Svenska föreningen för industriellt rättsskydd (SFIR).

The Judge declines to comment on this.

26 Apr, 2009

I need to make up my mind on what phone to get. This is my wish list (more or less in priority)

1. GPS with Google Maps
2. QWERTY keyboard – I don’t particular want ‘get use’ to screen keyboards.
3. Unlimited data plan and not too expensive plan.
4. Do my emails, Twitter, IMs from the phone
5. Good camera that does video too
6. I need be happy with it for the next 18 months.

I don’t want an iPhone. Even though it is a groundbreaking product but I am not interested in having one – mainly due to point 2 and that I am not an Apple fan. I had my eyes on the G2 however after finding out it does not have a QWERTY keyboard, back to square 1 again. Someone at GeeknRolla mentioned that the Nokia’s N97 might be released soon and that looks like a sweet phone. Question is when it is due & how much will the plan be?

Point 3 rules out a Blackberry since they have rather expensive plans unless there is a good deal out there.

I have tried the G1 and I liked it but in general I hold some reservation of the first generation of any product.

While writing this, I am missing the reason why companies will not publish the release date of their products. Their reason is … …? It can’t be that customer should do an informed decision.

And in the mean time until I make up my mind, I am missing not having a smart phone

The unanimous verdict in #spectrial is that all four are collectively found guilty. The Court went on the Prosecutors line.

According to the Judge who gave a press conference after the verdict had been released, the four Frederik Neij (tiamo), Gottfrid Svartholm Varg (anakata), Peter Sunde (brokep) and Carl Lundström have worked as a team, they know that material that was copyrighted when it went through The Pirate Bay tracker. This is why they were found guilty to have assisted in copyright infringement.

The Court decided the crime was severe and handed out a one year prison sentence and damages of 30 million SEK / USD 3,5 million. This level of damages are almost never seen in the Swedish Court system as they want to keep the damages down.

The Judge said that they used a conservative view when calculating the damages. The Court agreed and used the same method presented by the Plaintiffs for the Nordic Movie Companies and dismissed the US Movie companies method as too uncertain.

The Judge also said that The Pirate Bay was a commercial enterprise. Since Finance is my background, I found it very frightening that the Court has gone on the Prosecutors word of this as absolutely no evidence were presented. No bank statement of the The Pirate Bay, no company accounts, no tax returns. The main piece was a signed agreement that was not executed upon and personal bank statements. This surely must be overthrown in the higher Courts.

We have to see this verdict as a trial run for the major Court cases. Learn where things went wrong and how to clarify the facts better. It is all about making our case understood by the higher Court. What we take for granted, they have not got understanding of. We need to improve our arguments to ensure that it gets received correctly by the members of the Courts.

The Judge also said the Court only focus was on the case presented and took not into any consideration of the principals implications that is attached to this verdict. I have to agree with this point as it is not the lower Courts purpose to set precedent, that should only come from the High Court.

Another point that the Judge said – that I can not understand – bit torrent technology is not illegal but was illegal used at The Pirate Bay. I am pretty certain that is what he said but if anyone else could add with more information, I would be grateful!

Judge also said that the main crime had been committed by the users of The Pirate Bay. If this is the case, then why are not they on trial. Surely the main crime should be a priority rather then to look at the ‘assisting’ parties.

16 Apr, 2009

Tomorrow, Friday 17 April, comes the first verdict of the #spectrial

As I wrote before, this is the first result for the marathon ahead and this verdict will not matter as much as the last one. Having said that, I still want the Not Guilty verdict so very much. There are several bit torrent / IPRED cases pending and waiting for the verdict of this trial – even though these cases are not necessarily the same as #spectrial . I think a Not Guilty verdict will show the other Courts and Prosecutors where this should tilt and cause less hassle for other citizens in the EU.

The verdict is due 11am Swedish time – 10am UK time. I will be on twitter and write on this blog as information start pouring in.

G20 stimuli

Posted by Sofia in economics
2 Apr, 2009

Today an commitment of another stimuli of $1,100,000,000,000 will be introduced to the world economy from the G20 leaders.

This better be co-ordinated with the previous announced stimulus from the different countries. That would be a monumental task but funds are in short supply and every dollar needs to allocated efficiently. The funds need to going to the right place otherwise, it will deepened the crises.

I’d also like to see accountability and openness to where the previous stimuli has been spent with the information of the desired effect and then later on with the actual effect. Anything that can be salvage out this situation needs to be done as this crises comes with a huge negative impact of so many people and companies.

During the G20 protests there were signs with ‘Capitalism is not working’. I’d like to point out that neither did Socialism or Communism. One of the roots of the problem, in my view, is the issue with management in banks.

The management’s power are too strong and does not have an effective counterbalance. It should be the shareholders that keeps the management at bay but they are not involved into the day-to-day activities. Shareholdes are mainly pension funds – who has no experience to review and control management – and small shareholders. Both of these parties main focused on the return of their investment and not what is for greater good of the society.

The management of the banks have proven that they can not control themselves. They have failed themselves, the companies, the employees and society in whole – in short everybody. This is an area where the Regulator needs to make clear new rules. Any new financial products developed needs to be run by the Regulator in similar fashion when a new drug is being introduced to the market. This is needed to avoid any new sub-prime products produced where the actual risk was carefully made difficult to be calculated.

Old ways needs to come to an end. One major issue with the credit crunch problem is that the banks do not trust each other as they can not calculate the risks of lending out funds. All full discloser of that risk and bad debts are needed by all financial institutions. The risk are there and they will not disappear so it is better to deal with the issue then prolong any uncertainty. For the financial institutions that the worst cases then here where the help needs to be injected and salvage what can be saved. However, there will be no 100% success rate.

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