Feb 26 2009

Jason Roe Versus Ryanair

Category: Aviation,InternetTeknovis @ 20:36

Last weekend I read an article by web developer Jason Roe in which he described his discovery that under certain circumstances the Ryanair web site would revert the cost of flights to 0.00€. The full article is Ryanair no credit card fee + 0.00 flight bug.

I did not think that the discovery was in any way special, because it is relatively easy to replicate situations like this on many web sites. I would not even call it a bug, because it only occurs when the web site is being used in an abnormal way. I do not think that Jason Roe was trying to imply this either.

However, the tone of the responses that were posted by some of Ryanair’s staff are astonishing! For example, the first Ryanair response is:

you’re an idiot and a liar!! fact is!
you’ve opened one session then another and requested a page meant for a different session, you are so stupid you dont even know how you did it! you dont get a free flight, there is no dynamic data to render which is prob why you got 0.00. what self respecting developer uses a crappy CMS such as word press anyway AND puts they’re mobile ph number online, i suppose even a prank call is better than nothing on a lonely sat evening!!

I cannot understand what motivated this! Why did Ryanair not respond with the same explanation but in a pleasant manner? To make the responses even less understandable, I do not think that Ryanair develops this software itself!

I should also add that I have had many experiences with Ryanair before, and this is the first time I have ever seen such negative behaviour. So I am not a Ryanair basher :o

Surprisingly, this story has gained enough momentum that it was covered by The Irish Times today in Ryanair turns on blogger who found website glitch. Indeed, it is currently the most read story on the web site! I particularly like the quote by the Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara:

Lunatic bloggers can have the blogosphere all to themselves as our people are far too busy driving down the cost of air travel.

It seems to me that if the Ryanair employees had abided by this in the beginning then there never would have been a problem!


RTE covered this story, and included an interview with Jason Roe, on the main national television news!

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Feb 24 2009

Humorous Java Exceptions

Category: Humour,Software DevelopmentTeknovis @ 20:46

A friend sent me a link to a list of humorous Explanations of common Java exceptions today. Enjoy!

Of course, you need to be familiar with Java to appreciate this humour ;)


Feb 17 2009

Winmail.dat Online Conversion

Category: SoftwareTeknovis @ 22:18

Today I got an email with no body and a winmail.dat attachment from somebody. The reason that the email was in this format is because the sender used Outlook. This really annoys me, because I use a variety of email clients, and none of them can use this format! Grrr… For more information about this file format see Transport Neutral Encapsulation Format.

Anyway, today I found a really nice web site for converting these files into the original files. It is very easy to use, and it produced my converted files instantly! The web site is Winmaildat.com Enjoy!


Feb 16 2009

Italian Criminals Start Using Skype

Category: SecurityTeknovis @ 23:14

Italian criminals are increasingly using Skype to make their business phone calls. They are not choosing Skype for the free PC-to-PC calls, or the video conferencing facilities :P They are choosing it for the security that it offers them compared to conventional phone systems (land line or mobile)!

I have no doubt that this is frustrating the authorities. However, I am a strong believer in privacy, and I would be appalled if I discovered that Skype was colluding with authorities to circumvent its security.

More details about this can be read in Italy police warn of Skype threat.

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Feb 12 2009

Location Based Email Signatures

Category: Location Based ServicesTeknovis @ 23:09

Earlier this week Google announced a new Gmail feature that lets you append your location to your email signature. This is in addition to the launch of Google Latitude last week. It seems that Google is trying to integrate location information into all of its applications!

Is anybody worried about the privacy implications of this? Not yet, but I am sure it is only a matter of time until some incident causes controversy!

Fore more details about this see New in Labs: Add your location to your signature.


Feb 11 2009

European 112 Day

Category: TelecomsTeknovis @ 23:36

While I was on the ComReg web site I also noticed that ComReg are trying to increase awareness of E112. Apparently, today is European 112 Day!

For more information about this see ComReg says public should be aware of the phone number 112 for emergency services in the EU.

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Feb 11 2009

Irish ICT Residential Survey

Category: Internet,Mobile Computing,TelecomsTeknovis @ 23:28

The Irish Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) published a report earlier this week covering the attitudes of Irish residential customers to ICT. The report is very easy to read, and it contains many interesting findings. My favourite findings are:

  • 79% have Eircom as their fixed line supplier
  • The average monthly fixed line spend is 48.04€
  • The average monthly mobile spend has decreased from 45.64€ to 41.64€
  • Vodafone‘s share continues to decline, O2‘s share has seen a marginal increase, Meteor’s share continues to grow, and Three‘s share remains relatively unchanged.
  • 56% own either a PC or laptop, and 11% own both
  • There has been a continued increase in Internet usage, and penetration now stands at 64%
  • 43% think that speed is the most important factor when using the Internet
  • 50% of home broadband users do not know their contracted downloaded speed
  • 44% have heard of VoIP, 35% of these have used it, and72% of these people use Skype
  • 82% believe that technology has improved their lives
  • Technology is used for entertainment purposes by 36% for more than 20 hours per week

The full report can be downloaded from ComReg Residential ICT Services Survey Q4 2008.

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Feb 10 2009

Twitter Revenue Generation

Category: BusinessTeknovis @ 21:19

Although I still have not found time to start using Twitter, it still fascinates me! It amazes me that there is so much hype around it, and yet it is based on a really simple idea that does not really have any significant technology behind it.

Perhaps the most impressive thing about Twitter is the amount of money that the company has raised, especially since Twitter does not seem to have a business model that involves revenue! It reminds me of the dot-com days when investors concerned themselves with numbers of visitors rather than revenues ;)

However, this might change very soon! According to an article that I read today, Twitter is considering charging companies who use it. However, the exact details of the charging model are not clear yet. For more details about this see Twitter To Start Charging Companies For Having An Account?.


Feb 09 2009

Irish Companies involved in the GSM Association

Category: Standards,TelecomsTeknovis @ 18:26

I am going to continue my series on Irish companies (and organisations) that are involved in standards organisations, and today I am going to focus on the GSM Association. This is appropriate timing for doing this, because the GSMA Mobile World Congress is happening soon in Barcelona. I have never attended this, but I would like to ;)

The GSM Association has several types of membership, and these are described in Types of Membership. I am going to focus on the Associate Membership type, and the members with this type of membership are listed in Associate Members.

The Irish companies that are currently members are:

The non-Irish companies that have technical operations in Ireland that are currently members are:

As always, it is sometimes difficult to tell what sort of a presence some of these companies have in Ireland.

There are also a number of Irish companies that are working in the same area as the GSM Association, but these companies are not listed as members. Enterprise Ireland supports these companies, and it rents a large stand at the GSMA Mobile World Congress which these companies can use. More details about this can be read on the 3GSM Ireland web site. The Irish companies that Enterprise Ireland is, or was, supporting that are not listed as members are:

I am really surprised, and impressed, with the number of companies in these lists!

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Feb 07 2009

Google Latitude

Category: Location Based ServicesTeknovis @ 22:20

This week Google launched a new version of Google Maps for Mobile that enables users to share their location information with their friends. So basically it realises a FriendFinder LBS! This is something that I worked on before, but neither the technology nor the market were ready at that time :(

The new software is known as Latitude, and there are both desktop and mobile versions. The privacy features seem fairly basic, so I am sure that it is only a matter of time until there is some controversial security breach!

I will try and install and review Latitude here soon! In the mean time, you can read more details about it in Google will tell your mates where you are, and you can download it from Introducing Google Latitude.

However, Latitude has been dismissed by Irish company Locle for not being social enough! Locle has an application that enables users to locate their friends. However, its application is intended to be significantly more social because it will integrate seamlessly with both Facebook and Twitter. For more details about this see Competitor to Google Latitude pitches to Facebook and Twitter.

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