Mar 26 2016

Mobile World Congress 2016

Category: Events,Mobile Computing,TelecomsTeknovis @ 7:19 pm

I have been threatening for ages to write-up some thoughts on Mobile World Congress, but at this stage I am writing less than I originally planed, and much later than originally planed! However, it is better late than never!

Mobile World Congress

Mobile World Congress

The major themes this year (based upon walking around) appeared to be:

  • Virtual Reality: This was probably the biggest new area, and there were many impressive demonstrations!
  • Phone Cameras: Lots of advancements here, and I think that the smart phone manufacturers are finding new ways to differentiate themselves (e.g., dual lenses, dual pixels)
  • Wearables: Nothing here really impressed me!
  • Connected Vehicles: Every large stand had some sort of vehicle present, although very few actually needed them present!
  • 5G: There was very little about 5G, which was a surprise to me!

Perhaps the show has peaked in technical terms, and it is becoming more focused on consumer products!

Some other non-technical thoughts that struck me were:

  • I did not see a single booth babe!
  • I think that there were less local university students than in previous years promoting products that they did not understand!
  • Local model makers probably did good business!
Mobile World Congress Models

Mobile World Congress Models

I live tweeted photos and thoughts during the event, and you can view these on my Twitter feed.

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Jul 01 2012

EU Patents

Category: Business,PatentsTeknovis @ 8:40 am

It looks like the EU leaders have finally agreed to proceed with a single EU patent, according to EU leaders agree to introduce a single european patent. You can read a brief overview of the torrid time EU patents have had in European Union patent.

I think that the idea of a single streamlined EU patent is brilliant! I think that it is vital for encouraging innovation and economic activity!

Unfortunately, I think that the politicians are going to dilute the idea to suit their own national interests. For example, I am already disappointed with the following aspects of it:

  • The court will be split between London, Paris, and Munich :( One court, in a single location, would be far better!
  • The official languages will be English, French, and German. It should be English only! Languages are important, and they are an integral part of our culture. However, patenting activity is not a cultural activity! One language facilitates communications (both within and outside the EU), and it reduces unnecessary costs.
  • It appears that Italy and Spain will remain outside of the EU patents. I would prefer if they were included, but ultimately I think that their self-exclusion will hurt themselves more than anybody else!

This really cannot happen soon enough!

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Nov 25 2011

Global Debt

Category: MoneyTeknovis @ 5:22 pm

A nice interactive graphic from the BBC showing who owes what to whom: Eurozone debt web: Who owes what to whom?

It feels a bit depressing for a Friday afternoon :(

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Oct 25 2011

A Visualization of United States Debt

Category: MoneyTeknovis @ 7:51 pm

Fascinating, if not somewhat scary, visualisations of the US national debt – A Visualization of United States Debt.

I bet it would make people from the PIGS countries feel a lot better if their debts were also shown to scale!

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Feb 03 2011

Location Aware Facebook

Category: Location Based ServicesTeknovis @ 6:10 pm

Facebook is becoming location aware on mobile devices in the EU (or at least in the UK, Germany, Italy, France, and Spain).

For more details see Facebook Deals Launches in Europe.

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Jun 18 2009

Mobile 2.0 Europe

Category: Mobile ComputingTeknovis @ 9:03 pm

Mobile 2.0 Europe started today in Barcelona. Both the Developer Day and the Speakers seem really interesting!

I wish that I was there!

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Feb 09 2009

Irish Companies involved in the GSM Association

Category: Standards,TelecomsTeknovis @ 6:26 pm

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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Jan 10 2009

Google Street View

Category: Location Based ServicesTeknovis @ 6:15 pm

I think that Google Maps is really powerful, and I love reading about, and viewing, some of its more interesting aspects (for example the high-resolution photos of a well in Chad).

I also think that Google Street View is a great extension to Google Maps, and the user interface (including Pegman) makes it really easy to use.

It is great to see that more cities in the EU are becoming available. The Spanish cities of Barcelona (or should this be the Catalan city), Madrid, Seville, and Valencia were recently added according to Spanish cities surrender to Street View. Google records the information using slightly modified cars, as seen in the Flickr group pool Google Street View Cars.

As Google Street View becomes more popular it is inevitable that people will be recorded doing unusual things. There were a few examples recently of unusual recordings that caught my attention. The system should automatically blur faces, but it does not always work.

I noticed while writing all of this there there is a new Google icon. It appears that I am not the only person who noticed this according to Google Gets A New Favicon, Again. It’s Uh.. Colorful.

For more information about Google Maps and Street View see the official Google Lat Long Blog.

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Jan 02 2009

Period Tracking Application for the iPhone

Category: iPhoneTeknovis @ 9:33 am

I read a very interesting article about a new period tracking application for the iPhone. The application is called I am a Man, and it enables the user to keep track of the periods of several women. Its main features are described as:

  • Trace your girlfriend’s periods
  • Set a master password for the whole program
  • Set personal passwords for every girl
  • Make calls by simply tapping on her name

Here is a sample screenshot:

I am a Man Application Screenshot (courtesy of VentureBeat)

I am a Man Application Screenshot (courtesy of VentureBeat)

For more details about this application see An iPhone app to track the menstrual cycle of your girlfriend(s). (Yes, you read that right).

I think that the application seems to be quite useful! My only negative comment is that the application title is a bit sexist, because it seems to be very focused on male users. Surely more females track periods than males!

Unsurprisingly, the application is getting a lot of negative attention. For example, Pat Phelan expresses his opinion in Farts and periods, Apple finally reaches the bottom of the barrel, and many of his Irish readers agree with him.

I understand why people have these negative opinions. Furthermore, I think that most of my Irish friends (both male and female) would have similar opinions.

However, I think that this application will be viewed differently by people from different cultures and backgrounds. For example, I know females who feel that information regarding their periods is not particularly private (of course they do not make a public announcement about it either). It is just not a big deal to them, and it is certainly not taboo. Indeed, some of these females already track their periods using their computers or mobile devices. Finally, it is not uncommon for them to know when their colleagues are having theirs.

So are these friends all exceptional? I do not know, but perhaps their attitudes are influenced by the fact that they come from Spain and Italy :o

I will try and convince some of my female friends to post their opinions of this application here :)

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Dec 12 2008

Google Zeitgeist 2008

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 7:33 pm

Google published the Zeitgeist 2008 earlier this week. This shows the most popular searches on Google during 2008.

The results are broken down into separate results for each country, which is probably more useful than the overall results. One of the interesting things that I noticed is that the term Google is in the top 10 in many countries! I do not know why people search for this using Google, but my guess is that these people are not searching directly on the Google webpage. For example, I have Firefox configured so that I can type my Google search terms directly into the address bar.

It is also very interesting to see that certain terms that are directly related to well known websites, such as YouTube, appear in all of the EU results. Yet nearly all of the EU results have terms that are specific to the country or language. I do not recognise a lot of these ones!

The most popular search terms in Ireland were:

  1. Bebo
  2. Youtube
  3. Hotmail
  4. Yahoo
  5. Google
  6. Games
  7. You tube
  8. News
  9. Map
  10. gmail

Unfortunately, none of these search terms relate to Irish websites :(

The fastest rising search terms in Ireland were:

  1. Facebook
  2. utube
  3. google maps
  4. Youtube
  5. Nasza klasa
  6. Wiki
  7. RTE
  8. Maps
  9. Irish Times
  10. Yahoo! mail

Perhaps the most interesting search term on this list is for the Polish social networking website Nasza-Klasa. (This is the most popular search term in Poland.)

There is also an interesting observation about the list of most popular politicians in Ireland in Politician Declan Ganley more popular than Bertie says Google.

More details about the popular search terms in Ireland can be read in “Sarah Palin” the most searched query on Google. Unfortunately, Ireland is not included in the Google Zeitgeist page, and I am unable to find the official source!

The results presented by Google have been filtered to remove terms related to adult searches. I recall hearing that pornography related searches are by far the most popular. However, it seems that Google did not get the filtering totally right this time for the UK results. The original list (see Palin beats Obama in Google’s ‘zeitgeist’ rankings or 2008 Year-End Zeitgeist Around the World until the mistake is noticed) contained the term cam4 under the Fastest Rising category. Let me say that cam4 is certainly not suitable for viewing in work :o For more about this see Ooops, Google Zeitgeist lists a porn site.

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