Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Watch out unlocked Irish iPhone users on firmware 1.1.4, you might be leaking money

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

If you recently bought an iPhone or upgraded to 1.1.4 and are an o2 customer you might not realise that 1.1.4 has the settings for Edge built in and switched on. So basically you could unwittingly being forking out a fortune if you don’t have the 1Gig or 10Gig data option enabled on your account.

See, on a 1.1.4 firmware iPhone, you can’t get to the Edge settings under Settings/General/Network:

The solution is to install an app via called Boss Prefs which will allow you to disable Edge:

Comp Sci student looking for Summer Work Exp/Internship

Monday, March 10th, 2008

A friend of mine that’s doing Computer Science in UCC is looking for Summer work experience either in Cork or Dublin though he is happy to go elsewhere. Sam’s LinkedIn is here if you want to have a look. Give him a shout if you think you might know of a company looking for students. His email is fitzpatricksam ( AT )

Mobile Broadband in Ireland – Muck

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

Well we all knew that right? Anyway, Blacknight’s Speed Test have been logging speed tests for a long while now and have given me some raw data for the Mobile Broadband Providers. A complete and longwinded extensive explanation and full raw data is at the end of the post with a quicker summary here.
The gist of it is that speeds on all of these networks are terrible but Three performed the worst in terms of download speed and Quality of Service. Here’s a quick chart showing the results of people who believed they were on a 3mb broadband package, clicking on the image will give a larger table with more details. All speeds are in kb/s (that’s kilobits, not kilobytes; 8kb = 1kB) So really they should be expecting to see 3000 in download but many only get 300.

Mobile Broadband Speeds Ireland

Full explanatory note from Blacknight:
I have to attach a huge caveat to this data. I can’t comfortably say that the speed data has any claim of authority because there’s no way we can currently verify that the people using Irish ISP Test gave the correct speed for the plan they’re on. The data on Quality of Service, on the other hand, has a much better case for being authoritative, and in real terms, it’s the information you’re really interested in.

First, I have to make sure you’re able to interpret the data correctly. Three files are attached.

“qos.csv” reports the Quality of Service the mobile ISPs are giving per month.
Mobile Broadband Speeds Ireland

Quality of Service (QoS) is a measurement of how reliable the connection is and varies between 0% and 100%, the former being no service and the latter being perfect service. If a service provider is providing a good service, they should be hitting an average QoS of around 90% or more. As you can see, O2 give the best QoS, giving roughly 65% QoS on average. Vodafone follow closely behind, with Three trailing quite badly, though the trend is that they’re catching up, with their competitors as the QoS their customers are getting has risen consistently since September where it was below 25%, to close to 50% now.

Quality of Service can be thought of as a measurement of how close they’re hitting the speeds they advertise. A high QoS means that they’re approaching their advertised speeds, whereas one around 50%-60% compared to the kind of intermittent reception you get on your phone when you’re going through a tunnel. By way of example, we have an 8Mb/s line in our office. I just did a test on it and managed to get just over 6Mb/s out of it and the QoS reported was 85%, which means we’re getting close to the speed we ought to be getting at 100% QoS, and it matches the speed we’re getting pretty closely.

The second and third files, “stats-by-isp-speed.csv” and “stats-by-isp-speed-month.csv” break this down by ISP and speed, and again
by month. This data isn’t really as interesting or accurate, but here’s an explanation of what it means.

The ‘Speed Given’ column reports the speed in kb/s (that’s kilobits, not kilobytes; 8kb = 1kB) that the user reported. For instance, 56 is the same as an old 56k dial-up modem, 128 is roughly the same as an ISDN line, 1024 is roughly the same as a 1Meg DSL line, and so on. ‘Download Speed’ refers to how fast a data (such as a file, page of a website, image, video, &c.) can be downloaded and is, again, given in kb/s. ‘Upload Speed’ refers to how quickly something can be sent from your computer over your connection to somewhere else, such as sending an email, submitting a form on a website, putting a photo on Flickr, and so on. This number will always be less than the download one as people tend to download more than they upload and ISPs use this heuristic to share the connection in a way that’ll give the best experience for the customer. The when an ISP advertises a connection speed, they’re usually talking about the download speed.

You’ll notice that the upload and download columns come in pairs. The first one give the average speed the speed test got, and the second gives how much this speed varies between tests (the standard deviation). An average by itself is meaningless because it tells you nothing about how spread out thenumbers that were averaged out were, or if they cluster around the average. If you have a standard deviation that’s close to zero, then the numbers averaged are all close to the average, but the closer the standard deviation is totwice the average, the closer the data is to being completely chaotic.

So lets say that two ISPs provide a 1M data package, and all both their users manage to get an average of 500k and 650k. Now, lets say that the standard deviation for ISP-A’s customers from the average speed is about 50, but the standard deviation for ISP-B’s customer’s is 400. You’d want to go with ISP-A because even though you’re not getting a slower speed, you’re getting it far more consistently than ISP-B, where it’s pretty much pot luck whether you’ll get full speed or a trickle.

Again, the QoS columns are what you really want to be concentrating on in these datasets.

Big Pimpin’ Hosting

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

Yes, that is our very own Michele Neylon from Blacknight with some Playboy Models. I hope Blacknight doesn’t mind the hotlinking.

Michele Neylon is just short of a hat with a feather and he'd be Snoop Dogg

O2 earnings – Data is good. Postpay customers paying a fortune.

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

O2 Ireland also today issued its KPIs for the Q4 period, from 1 October 2007 to 31 December 2007.

  • * Service revenue for the 3 months to 31 December 2007 was €231 million, an increase of 3.7% on the same period last year.
  • * O2 Ireland’s customer base at the end of December 2007 was 1.646 million, its highest level to date. Customer numbers were up 0.9% compared to the same period last
  • year, with 22,000 net new postpay customers added in the quarter.

  • * Monthly average blended ARPU for the quarter was €45.7, down from €47.0 in Q3, but up from €45.0 in the same period last year.
  • * For the quarter, monthly average ARPU for postpay customers was €78.8, down from €84.9 in Q3, and down from €81.4 compared to the same period last year.
  • * For the quarter, monthly average ARPU for prepay customers was €29, down slightly from €29.2 in Q3, and down from €29.6 compared to the same period last year.
  • * Average monthly minutes of use increased by 2.5% year on year to 252, up from 246 in the same period last year, and up 0.8% from 250 in Q3.
  • * 400 million text messages were sent during the three-month period representing a 1.8% increase in text usage up from 393 million in Q3.
  • * O2 Broadband continued to perform well in the quarter, with subscriber numbers to date now standing at 41,000.
  • * Data revenue as a percentage of overall service revenue was 27.9% in Q4, up from 26.5% in Q3, and up from 22.1% in the same period last year.

o2 confirmed launch of iPhone in Ireland – March 14th

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

And now to wait for the details…

You are cordially invited to attend a media briefing with O2 Ireland Chief Executive, Danuta Gray, to launch the Apple iPhone in Ireland, exclusively on the O2 network. Danuta Gray will also discuss O2 Ireland’s Q4 Financial Results issued today.

WHEN: 11.15am, Thursday 28th February, 2008
WHERE: O2 Ireland HQ, 28 – 29 Sir John Rogersons Quay, Dublin 2
WHAT: Launch of the Apple iPhone exclusively on O2 Ireland’s network

Thanks to Brian

€399 for 8GB
€499 for 16GB
(In the States these are in dollars, bit of a difference there)

Monthly charge €45 €65 €100 Units
Anytime minutes included* 175 350 700 Mins
Texts included* 100 150 250 Texts
Data included** 1GB 1GB 1GB GB
Additional calls 20c 20c 20c Per min
Additional texts 10c 10c 10c Per texts
Voicemail*** 15c 15c 15c Per min

* Unused inclusive minutes and texts cannot be carried over to the following month
** Data use in excess of the 1GB allowance will be charged at 2c per MB excluding roaming
*** Visual voicemail is not currently supported.

All iPhone tariffs are subject to an 18 month agreement. It is a requirement that when purchasing iPhone that you pay your monthly bill by Bank Direct Debit or Credit Card Direct Debit.

To guarantee availability of iPhone, you can place a pre-order at any O2 Store between 28th February and 13th March. You will need to pay a deposit of €100, provide proof of identity and provide proof of residence.

Thoughts: No unlimited data. In fact even with the 100 quid a month package you still only get 1GB. Stingy! Pricing of handsets is too much when you can get them in the States for $399 and $499 dollars. Premium of 140%?

Further thoughts: If you have an unlocked iPhone you got say from the States or even from o2 could you put in an existing sim and add their 10Gb data package to it?

o2 Ireland is getting the iPhone. Will it be announced tomorrow?

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

Updated 2: Full details of iPhone in Ireland

Updated: “You are cordially invited to attend a media briefing with O2 Ireland Chief Executive, Danuta Gray, to launch the Apple iPhone in Ireland”. iPhone launching.

Just speculating. Two things.

First this press invite:

You are cordially invited to attend a media briefing with O2 Ireland Chief Executive, Danuta Gray, for the presentation of the company’s Q4 Financial Results, at 11.15am on Thursday 28th February, 2008, in O2 Ireland Headquarters, Sir John Rogersons Quay, Dublin 2.

Second. Via the Daithster:

Macworld reports that the most recent iPhone software update includes code for an Irish network (it is, of course, O2).

It’s going to be announced. It’s all about the when now.

iPhone for me, iPhone for you, and some one else too
Photo owned by Mountain/\Ash (cc)

Parlon’s construction crowd are now giving out about broadband

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

That’s cut 131, a few more to the 1000 mark:

Speaking in advance of ‘Construct IT Conference 2008’, Noelle O’Connell, Head of Training and Development at the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), stated that the unreliability of broadband services threatened to hold back IT innovations in the construction sector.

“ However, in the area of IT problems around the availability of reliable, high speed broadband services, particularly in certain parts of the country, continue to frustrate innovations.”

“This is a very straightforward example of the inefficiencies arising from broadband problems, yet it illustrates the sort of issues facing the sector.”

“Moving the tender process online is another innovation that is not possible without first class broadband infrastructure, particularly given the level of detail and technical supporting documentation associated with tenders for even the smallest projects. The same is true in other areas of construction.”

“Not every company experiences problems with broadband services. There are parts of the country, particularly larger urban areas, where a reliable service is available. However, a feature of the construction industry is its spread throughout every part of the country and it is impossible to introduce industry-wide initiatives and innovations if all the industry cannot avail of them”.

The Construct IT Conference 2008 looks at all aspects of IT and the construction industry and one of the speakers, Tom Parlon, Director General of the CIF, will point out that by embracing IT companies can make significant savings and improve efficiencies. Microsoft, the Data Protection Commissioner, 02, MoreSoft IT Group, Domus Newtworks and Google will also be represented.

Source: Direct press release.

Eamon Ryan v Shane Ross on Prime Time

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Audio is out of synch with the video, sorry. Watch Ryan’s bodylanguage. Audio is good quality.

With thanks to James Gallagher, you’ll also notice he’s joined Fianna Fáil:
Eamon Ryan Fianna Fail

Broadband lobby group – Barry wants one started

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

So Barry, frequent visitor to this blog has posted a thread on the old IrelandOffline forum looking for interested people who want to campaign to get the rest of the country broadband. I won’t be involved, just so we’re clear. Ive done my time and it’s about time that all those people who get on to me on an almost daily basis still and say “someone should do something” should themselves be that someone. So Barry is doing just that but he needs the help of others too. With the recent attitude from Lying Eamon Ryan, there is a definite need for some kind of lobby group and Shane Ross can’t be left to be the only person fighting for broadband, he needs others to row in too. So get over to IrelandOffline’s forum or if you don’t want to join (whyonearthnot?) leave a comment here and Barry can respond.

| Telephone Fiber Optic |
Photo owned by akaalias

As an example of the sheer bad attitude from Eamon Ryan and the Government, here’s a short clipping from the Sunday Times

John McElligott, the managing director of eBay in Ireland, has called on the minister to take a “quantum leap” by investing in NGNs, bringing Irish broadband speeds closer to the 100 megabits per second (Mbits/s) enjoyed in some countries. Irish download speeds for residential broadband users are a maximum of 12 Mbit/s. Most of the country operates on speeds of 1-2 Mbit/s. Ryan said McElligott was “right to be ambitious”, but questioned his thinking. “John runs eBay. When he starts running a construction company, he can advise me on digging holes to every home in the country,” Ryan said.

Cos Ryan clearly has a PhD in telecoms and broadband…