Phil's blog

Mobile devices, collaboration, travel, food


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Written by Phil

September 1, 2012 at 16:00

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British Airways Graduate Jobs – IT graduate programme

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BA Graduate Scheme

Apply now for the British Airways IT Graduate programme!

On this 18-month programme, you’ll have placements with a cross-section of our IT teams and gain an overview of what we do. You’ll be given a solid grounding in the technologies and systems that keep everything running smoothly. You’ll also get involved in hands-on programming, coding, testing and design concepts, through to live implementation. Finally, you’ll work with our commercial clients to understand their business issues and identify innovative solutions that best meet their needs. You’ll be coached by mentors and have relevant training and developmental support, so you are far from alone whilst working on these projects.

Great opportunity to get involved in the Olympics as well 😉

Our Graduate Programmes start on Monday 23rd July 2012. Initially, you will be supporting our partnership with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in locations around London, before beginning your placements with the business in early September.

Written by Phil

February 7, 2012 at 08:48

Posted in BA, News

iTunes Match on iOS is not for me

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Have just been experimenting with iTunes Match on my iPhone 4. I’ve already subscribed to, and set up iTunes Match on my iMac and I am very happy with it. It matched the majority of my music into the Cloud and only around 1000/3945 tracks had to be uploaded.

Since then I’ve used it as an opportunity to clean up the library by removing duplicates (the Match process exposes them for you) as well as downloading the 256kbps versions of lower quality tracks. I like the feeling that it is all backed up for me, while letting me keep all of the files for myself if I want to move away from iTunes in the future.

I had reservations about enabling Match on my iPhone as I had heard from a few blogs that once enabled, it would remove all tracks. This ended up being the part that I really just didn’t agree with! But I went ahead with it anyway for curiosity’s sake.

Once Match is enabled on iOS, it starts downloading the names/artists/albums of all of your songs from Match and makes them available to you. If you want to listen to any of it, you tap it to play as usual, but now it downloads (over Wi-Fi or 3G) from Match. This isn’t such a problem if you’re at home or the office on a good Wi-Fi connection, but over 3G while out and about, it will be slow and costly if you run over your data bundle!

The worst situation is if you’re out of any network connectivity, which means you don’t have any music! Well apart from all of the music you’ve streamed previously as it is downloaded and saved locally in the background. Just not very good if you’re looking for a particular song on a plane that you haven’t listened to in a while…

After I enabled Match, I was looking for a way of downloading all of the songs at once, instead of one-by-one. I found that if you create a playlist of all your songs on the device, once you’ve swiped all the way to the bottom of that playlist, you can tap Download all songs. I did this and then realised after one song that my 32GB iPhone 4 doesn’t have enough storage for everything (I normally use the “Convert higher bit rate songs to 128kbps AAC” to fit it all on). So I scrambled to cancel the process by turning iTunes Match off, and off it has stayed.

The nice thing about the iPhone is that all of my music is there with me, instantaneously, no matter what connectivity situation I find myself to be in. So as nice as iTunes Match is on my iMac, it just doesn’t cut it for my mobile device.

Phil (currently syncing all of my music the old fashioned way)

Written by Phil

January 4, 2012 at 21:30

Posted in Mobile

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Why has “consumerisation” suddenly popped up as the buzzword for people using their personal equipment at work over the past year or so? Apart from senior staff who have been given Blackberrys for email access, lower level staff have been accessing their email, contacts and calendars using their personal phones for years now. This has been a small minority though for three main reasons:

Firstly most people bought their phones not expecting to be able to access any email, let alone work email. These devices were for making calls and sending text messages. Email was an afterthought.

Secondly, data connectivity on a phone has been expensive, so users are not willing to spend personal money for work purposes.

Thirdly, and I think most importantly, the user experience has been poor. Reading email on small screens where only 4 or 5 words fit across the screen is a lot of effort. Composing an email on a number pad using T9 predictive text or old school multitap takes a long time and is error prone. Immediate “push” email was impractical for battery life reasons. This is why Blackberry did so well, it was a device designed specifically for email.

So what has changed to dissolve away these issues? Whether you like it or not, Apple’s iPhone turned the smartphone industry on its head. User experience, not capability, was key.

Mail app on the iPhone

Email on the iPhone was front and centre. The Mail app was on the homescreen by default. Mail was one of the key apps that was being highlighted by Apple in their adverts along with Web browsing and things like Visual Voicemail.

Because the iPhone had such a focus on data heavy applications, the networks had to respond with data friendly tariffs. Packages with unlimited data built in became the norm (although this has since changed as the networks have adjusted to match usage patterns). This made it seem “free” for the user to surf the web and get push email. Companies used to pay for internet connectivity for their staff from home for business recovery or working from home reasons, no one does this anymore since most have unlimited broadband packages.

This all builds to create a user experience that makes it easy and attractive for the user to use their phones, and now tablets, at work. They’ve realised that working with their email, contacts and calendars on their new phones is easier and even more “fun”. This is why the numbers of users wanting to use their devices for both work and play has increased dramatically over the past few years. This is why consumerisation has become such a positive trend, and in my opinion, it is doing companies a favour. Users now want to use their own devices and data packages, therefore decreasing costs.

Written by Phil

April 3, 2011 at 14:58

Posted in Consumerisation, Mobile

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Why I am not worried about Japan’s nuclear reactors. (via Morgsatlarge – blogorific.)

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Massive and informative post. Everyone should read

**Update** I have to stop moderating the comments as my parents in law have come over to stay with us due to the fear of aftershocks, so I am sorry if that causes any inconvenience, or stifles any debate. I honestly didn’t expect this level of interest (its over 32,000 views as of 11:12pm Japan time) Just a few comments. I do not work for the nuclear industry. I am an English teacher, from Australia, living in Kawasaki, Japan. My friend Dr J. Oeh … Read More

via Morgsatlarge – blogorific.

Written by Phil

March 13, 2011 at 16:07

Posted in News

Blog warming party?

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I’ve successfully moved my domain to a new hosted WordPress blog. I’ll be reposting a couple of posts from the old one but I doubt anyone is going to miss the rest of them!

My aim, as always, is to write about what interests me; mobile devices, collaboration, travel and maybe a bit of web development!. Don’t expect massive posts, just things barely longer than a tweet!

Written by Phil

March 10, 2011 at 00:26

Posted in News

Trying to update the WordPress installat…

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Trying to update the WordPress installation on my server. Why does it always fail due to permissions EVERY TIME?!

Written by Phil

January 8, 2011 at 19:39

Posted in status