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Media Musings Reviews Tech

3 / Skype Marketing Technique

I was recently contacted by Matt of 3mobilebuzz.com and offered the chance to trial a pair of 3 (the network) Skype
(the VoIP company) mobile phones (3skypephone.com) for a month. (No obligation to do anything, other than the mention of returning them after a month.)

I thought it was an interesting marketing ploy – it seems very generous, but is probably not actually particularly expensive to such large companies.
I also thought it seemed a little risky – how many people will return the phones? How many people will actually generate any hype, and will it be positive?

The first link above will show that the scheme has been going for some time already and world-wide – highlighting one of the benefits of calls made using VoIP (i.e. via the internet).
You can also see that they’re being fair with the selection of linked blog articles – some have negative points about the phone.

I’m not going to review the phone itself since many others have done that already, unless enough people leave comments here.

Categories
Code Tech Tips Web

JavaScript Bug – Modulo of small numbers

It seems that there is a problem with the modulo function, ‘%’, in JavaScript.

For example: 10 % 0.1 should equate to zero but comes out as 0.09999999999999945 probably due to some internal floating-point rounding errors.

Easy solution (a hack really): Multiply both numbers by 1000 before using the modulo function.

Categories
Rant

Why I might leave my bank: The NatWest Card Reader

Update, over 10 years later… I didn’t switch.

nwcardreader.jpgI have received in the post a Card Reader from NatWest.

They have designed this device to beef up the security around the (excellent btw) online banking.

The flaw? The fact that we will eventually have to take the damn thing everywhere you go. And the card of course.

The whole point of online banking is, afaiac, the fact that you can use it anywhere. Now we will only be able to use it IF we have the card reader with us, IF we have the card with us, and IF it actually works. And IF the battery isn’t dead.

I regularly use NWOLB at home and at work, so what do they suggest? “You could use someone else’s.” Well that’s just stupid.

Further issues:

  • I have two accounts with NatWest, both of which are accessible with the same login credentials. However, only one of those accounts has a card new enough to use this card reader. When will I therefore be forced to start using the card reader? I don’t know, but I expect that they will send me a new card (meaning my saved card details at various sites will have to be updated) and probably another card reader.
  • nwcardreaderpackaging.jpgThe amount of plastic, cardboard and paper used to send the card reader is shameful. From the outside in: Plastic postage bag, cardboard box, plastic tray, cardboard box (again), bubble-wrap, plastic bag.
  • It is my joint account which is ready for the card reader, but the other holder (the gf) wasn’t informed, and certainly wasn’t provided with a reader. She has also used NWOLB from work, so that’s four places we already use the service, i.e. three places we now won’t be able unless we carry this thing with us. Which we obviously can’t both do.

I am happy to pay the few extra pennies it would take to cover the fraud that this device might prevent.
I am happy to take the risk that it is my account that is compromised if they just abandon this daft device.

I am genuinely considering moving to another bank if this reader turns out to be compulsory.

Categories
Tech Tips Web

IE7 Tip – Reload

IE7 Tip - ReloadWhen IE7 was designed they took the peculiar decision to split the navigation buttons into three places (if you include the home button).

If you find yourself up in the top left wanting to reload, just click the drop-down button and select the current page (will be highlighted and have a tick-mark on the left), as shown in the picture.

Bizarrely and unfortunately, this only works if you’re not looking at the last page in your navigation history for this tab. This suggests that it’s only through poor programming logic that it works at all.

[tags]IE,IE7,Microsoft,tip,tips,browser,flaw,bug[/tags]

Categories
Tech Tips Web

Firefox Tip

I discovered yesterday that [tag]bookmarks[/tag] in [tag]Firefox[/tag] can have no name.

Seems pointless? Not if the sites have [tag]favicons[/tag]:

Firefox Bookmark Favicons

Space saving, so you can see more, hence fewer clicks.

The above are jazzle.co.uk, The Sketchup Components Collection, bit-tech, ebay, amazon, radiotimes.com and the default icon (for a site with no [tag]favicon[/tag]), but you knew that of course since you recognise the sites’ icons.