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Simon Rockman

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Founder of What Mobile, creative experience director at Motorola and head of requirements at Sony Ericsson, Simon Rockman is a phone geek turned suit. He now runs Fuss Free Phones, a mobile phone service for older users.
Allows signals to reack those difficult places

Ericsson resurrects not-spot swatter

Mobile phone hardware firm Ericsson has relaunched its Radio Dot indoor mobile base station, aimed at networks which want to provide indoor coverage for major corporate clients. The radio dot uses CAT5/6/7 to link to the radio unit The radio dot uses CAT5/6/7 to link to the radio unit Radio Dot is a system of small antennas …
Simon Rockman, 30 Jun 2014
VW's e-Up is a small car

Gid E-Up? Vulture's claw presses pedal to metal on VW's 'leccy motor

After the driving the Citroen C-Zero, the Volkswagen e-Up! is a fantastically different experience. It shouldn’t be quite so much better, as the VW is cheaper (£19,704 as opposed to £21,216 – both prices including rebates) yet while the Citroen is clearly engineered to a price – albeit a typically electric twice the internal …
Simon Rockman, 25 Jun 2014

Mobile money firm Weve waves goodbye to David Sear

David Sear, the boss of mobile money joint venture Weve, has stood down, Mobile, Marketing Week and others have reported. The Weve platform is based around analytics as well as payments but works by enabling the wallet - which the operator or bank brings to the platform. Weve was originally positioned as a way for EE, …
Simon Rockman, 25 Jun 2014
The Microsoft phone which isn't

Microsoft is still touting Android smartphones – meet the new Nokia X2

Microsoft has revealed the Nokia X2: a dual-SIM version of the Android-powered Nokia X. The Nokia phone for people who want Android Not a Windows Phone ... the new Nokia X2 It runs Jellybean – Android version 4.3 – behind a Windows Phone 8-ish façade. It’s aimed at emerging markets, which prize dual-SIM handsets as price- …
Simon Rockman, 24 Jun 2014
Microsoft Surface 3

Microsoft gets the hang of funky devices: Xbox magic for enterprise

How did that happen? Microsoft has become a hardware company. There is now a range of devices, from phones to phablets to tablets and tablets that verge on laptops, being made by Microsoft. In truth Microsoft is a long-established hardware company but mice and keyboards don’t capture the imagination like devices that run …
Simon Rockman, 24 Jun 2014
A football might be big enough on a small screen, but golf?

Shift over, TV firms: LTE Broadcast will nuke current mobile telly tech

Telephone companies could supplant television companies as the source of goggle-box fodder, says mobile gear-maker Ericsson as it promotes the new mobile LTE Broadcast specification. Unlike traditional mobile phone communication, which is one-to-one, LTE Broadcast sends the same data to many people. It's a little like the SMS- …
Simon Rockman, 23 Jun 2014
VoLTE compatible: LG Revolution

EE in giant VoLTE-face as it tries voice calls over Wi-Fi... again

It may be third time lucky for EE with an attempt to route voice calls over Wi-Fi, as the company has announced it is working on another service which reduces the often prohibitive cost of rolling out coverage to places with few people and difficult terrain. The new service will allow customers to use an unmodified handset with …
Simon Rockman, 20 Jun 2014
Man in black suit wearing neon

The rise of the humans: How to outsmart the digital deluge

Dave Coplin Dave Coplin, speaking at Business Transformed A few days ago, I heard an interesting keynote speech. The speaker was Dave Coplin, who in times past could have been called an anthropologist. Dave’s job title is in fact "chief envisioning officer" at Microsoft UK. The speech took place at Business Transformed, a …
Simon Rockman, 17 Jun 2014
Porsche 918 Spyder

Vodafone buys into Internet of Stuff, sinks fangs into Cobra

Vodafone has announced that it is going to buy the Italian machine-to-machine company Cobra, which does a brisk business in stolen vehicle tracking. Cobra has done well out of the slip in Tracker’s market share and counts many of the major European car manufacturers – including Porsche – among its customers. The firm started …
Simon Rockman, 17 Jun 2014
Nokia Lumia 630 Windows Phone

Bring your own device – as long as it's Microsoft

Nokia Lumia 630 Windows Phone We attended a Microsoft conference in London earlier this month, along with 200 senior execs, to find out more about Windows Phone 8.1, the company’s big play to get customers to buy into its enterprise mobility story. At the same time we were treated to the UK debut of the Nokia Lumia 630, the …
Simon Rockman, 16 Jun 2014
The C-zero is more closely related to the Peugeit ion than the 2CV

How practical is an electric car in London?

If you revel in the independence a car gives you, then electric is not for you. The quoted range of 100 miles (161km) sounds fine, but that's a bit like a quoted ADSL speed. Your mileage may vary. The truth is that if and when the car goes flat, you are in deep doo-doo. Run out of petrol and you can walk to a petrol station, …
Simon Rockman, 16 Jun 2014
Amazon Android App Store

AT&T has Amazon 3D smartphone on lockdown – report

Pictures and specs of a new "3D" smartphone expected to be unveiled by Amazon on 18 June have already leaked online. And just this morning we see reports that giant US carrier AT&T has inked a deal to lock the phone to its network.* But what can we really expect? Judging by the unofficial snaps, the rumoured mobe looks like …
Simon Rockman, 16 Jun 2014
Elite: Dangerous

Live Chat: Elite brains David Braben OBE answers YOUR Qs

On 17 June at 2:30pm BST, legendary gaming dev David Braben – who just this weekend was made an OBE for the work he has done for Blighty's video game and computer industries – answered your questions on Elite, the Raspberry Pi and how software development has changed. Youtube Video Braben is famous as the co-author of Elite, …
Simon Rockman, 13 Jun 2014
The tablet comes with loads of subcriptions

S is for SMACKDOWN: Samsung takes Galaxy Tab slab war fruit-side

Samsung has raised the stakes in its assault against Apple's ever-popular iPad with its newest range of Galaxy fondleslabs, which are both bigger and have higher screen resolutions than those of its fruity rival. The new Galaxy Tab S comes in 8.4-inch and 10.5-inch configurations, both of which are the thickness of a current …
Simon Rockman, 13 Jun 2014
OK, so it looks like a box

Psst. We've got 400Gb/s Ethernet working - but don't tell anyone

Californian company Ixia has shown what it claims is the the world’s first functioning 400Gb/s Higher Speed Ethernet test rig, based on the IEEE P802.3bs protocol. The company says that this bandwidth is sufficient for 50,000 simultaneous high definition Netflix video streams. The 400GbE Jumpstart Test system provided wire rate …
Simon Rockman, 12 Jun 2014
The Form One printer upgraded

Frikkin' LASER BEAMS on its head: Formlabs announces Form 1+

In the world of 3D printers, the pricey Form 1 is the equivalent of a Mac in a PC-dominated realm. Owners of the original Form 1 printer are now being offered a $749 (€599) factory upgrade where the printer is taken back to base and has a new laser, peel motor, driver board and other components fitted. The vast majority of …
Simon Rockman, 11 Jun 2014

Egghead dragged over coals for mining Bitcoin on uni supercomputer

The US National Science Foundation has suspended a researcher for using two university computers to mine Bitcoins. In its biannual report [PDF] to the US Congress, the government agency revealed the misdoing and recommended action: The researcher misused over $150,000 in NSF-supported computer usage at two universities to …
Simon Rockman, 10 Jun 2014
Dancing telephone

Apple is KILLING OFF BONKING, cries mobe research dude

A new report by Juniper Research makes much less bullish predictions of NFC uptake than we’ve seen before – and the report’s author, Windsor Holden, blames Apple for snuffing out hopes of future pay-by-bonk and such wireless stuff. NFC is a contact-less system that transfers information via radio wave between phones, tablets, …
Simon Rockman, 10 Jun 2014
GCHQ as seen on Google Earth

Chrome OS leaks data to Google before switching on a VPN, says GCHQ

The sexy-named Communications Electronics Security Group (CESG) – the bit of GCHQ that helps Brits protect stuff from foreign spies (never mind Blighty's) – has issued fresh advice for securing BlackBerry OS 10, Android and Chrome OS 32. It also, handily, identifies "significant risks" in the operating systems. The guidelines …
Simon Rockman, 10 Jun 2014
C-zero

Silent, spacious and... well, insipid: Citroën's electric C-Zero car

French car manufacturer Citroën's logo represents the pioneering gear system designed by André Citroën. The company has a long history of innovation from the Traction Avant to the amazing DS – so is Citroën's C-Zero electric car similarly pioneering? A smart Hoxton cafe, not really an electricity showroom All that electricity …
Simon Rockman, 10 Jun 2014
Terminator postal worker

NeoPost: This is how you DON'T do PIN security

There is something very proper about the Royal Mail. It has the word “Royal” in it after all, reassuring users of the postal service's integrity. You particularly wouldn’t want anyone stealing postage, so a franking machine has to be super secure – which is perhaps why my shiny new machine from NeoPost needs three PINs. Setting …
Simon Rockman, 09 Jun 2014
Elon Charges a tesla S

Look inside ELON MUSK'S CAR! Tesla S wundervehicle has voom

The Model S isn’t the car Tesla wants to sell. At an event in London over the weekend when the company handed over the first right-hand drive to UK customers – including mummy-pr0n purveyor EL "50 Shades of Grey" James – SpaceX bigwig Elon Musk said the car was “more expensive than we would like”, and that he would like to thank …
Simon Rockman, 09 Jun 2014
management regulation2

Ofcom's campaign against termination rates continues

Regulator Ofcom is taking another step towards the elimination of mobile termination costs. The Mobile Termination Rate is the amount of money a company earns for handling an incoming call. As a result of a 2011 ruling, costs have dropped from around 4p a minute (ppm) to 0.8ppm - a stark contrast from the yuppie days of mobile …
Simon Rockman, 06 Jun 2014
Aston Martin DB5

Vodafone: SPOOKS are plugged DIRECTLY into our network

Vodafone has published a report detailing how cops, g-men and spies around the world tap into its systems – in some cases, directly hooking into phone networks without a warrant. The dossier covers the 29 countries in which the mobile telco operates, including joint-ventures in Australia, Kenya and Fiji. The document [PDF] …
Simon Rockman, 06 Jun 2014
Crystal ball via http://www.manoftaste.de/

Ericsson: There'll be over 9 BILLION mobe subscribers by 2019

Smartphones accounted for 65 per cent of the phones which sold in 2014 so far, and by 2016 the number of smartphones in use will overtake the number of basic feature phones. Of the 6.8 billion mobile phone connections in the world, 2.6 billion are mobile broadband. These stats come from the 6th Ericsson Mobility report. Every …
Simon Rockman, 04 Jun 2014
Broadcom

Broadcom: If no one buys our modem biz, we'll DITCH IT

Chipmaker Broadcom is moving out of the mobile modem business. The company has announced that if it can’t sell its cellular modem division, the operation will be shuttered. The news has been greeted with glee by financial types, who point to the $600m the company expects to save as a result of the move. The Broadcom share price …
Simon Rockman, 03 Jun 2014
BlackBerry Z3

OK, execs. You want Apple kit. And Windows Phone, too? Really?

A “circle of despair” is causing CIOs to abandon BlackBerry, it's reported. The head IT honchos of Blighty's union Unite, and the Formula 1 team and sports car producer Caterham, said the cost of the devices and issues with BlackBerry's mobe management tool, BES10, had been a contributory factors to the switch. The financial …
Simon Rockman, 02 Jun 2014

Google to plonk tentacles on 'unwired' world with $1bn launch of 180-satellite fleet

Google has embarked on an ambitious $1bn plan to launch 180 satellites to provide internet access to remote parts of the world, according to the Wall Street Journal. It seems the race is on to be the provider of choice for the enormous (and un-invoiced) emerging market, though who will advertise to it is yet to be revealed. …
Simon Rockman, 02 Jun 2014
Just what the world needs - another phone platform and ecosystem

Samsung in a TIZZY: OH PLEASE make apps for our Tizen Z mobe

Samsung has unveiled the Samsung Z, a quad-core Tizen OS smartphone that's fuelled the rumour mill for months. The mobe is powered by an operating system championed by the Linux Foundation. It will appeal to network operators that want to tout apps, and object to Google and Apple taking revenue from software sold through Google …
Simon Rockman, 02 Jun 2014

Crikey! Three can buy O2, EU regulator says

The European Commission has approved Telefonica’s sale of O2 in Ireland to mobile network operator Three, in a deal originally proposed in June. This makes the network the second largest in the country behind Vodafone, but, as ever in these deals, the Hutchison Whampoa-owned Three - which paid €850m for the network - claims …
Simon Rockman, 02 Jun 2014
channel_partners_deal_handshake

Softbank gobbles T-Mobile ... 1 year after AT&T tried it on – report

Network integration seems to be the order of the day with mergers rumoured between T-Mobile US Inc and mega US wireless carrier Sprint, and – across the seas – Orange France and Bouygues Telecom. Reuters is reporting that T-Mobile US owner Deutsche Telekom has agreed a deal to sell the network to Sprint’s owner, Softbank Corp of …
Simon Rockman, 30 May 2014
3D print head with mixing

ProDesk colour 3D printer's secret: It gives hot models great head

The botObjects ProDesk3D isn’t the world's first full-colour 3D printer – but at £3,299, it’s substantially the cheapest. As a fused deposition modelling printer, it uses six cartridges to output a full spectrum of colours. The development of 3D printers today is akin to the heady days of microcomputers in the early 1980s, with …
Simon Rockman, 29 May 2014
Micro SIM Card

Hey, we'll do 4G for £15, says O2 (just mind how you go on the 1GB limit)

O2 is touting a new low-cost, low-limit route to 4G mobile broadband, and slipped in a few price rises for good measure. It's still not quite as low as Three UK. Calls on O2 Pay & Go are now billed by the minute, rounding up to the nearest minute; so a call lasting 1min 21sec will now count as 2min. And O2 has dropped its …
Simon Rockman, 28 May 2014
Artist’s impression of deep blue planet HD 189733b

GSMA: There are more mobile connections than PEOPLE... but WHO'S HOGGING them all?

By the end of the year there will be more mobile phone connections than people on the planet, although they mostly belong to the richer part of the planet – a whopping half the world’s population doesn’t have connectivity. But at present, the system simply identifies accounts rather than their users. Research by the mobile …
Simon Rockman, 27 May 2014

Vodafone turns to EU, asks it to FORCE 'fair' fibre pricing

Vodafone needs to get high-speed handsets into the hands of consumers to effectively compete in the market. But the company also needs to worry about how to handle all that data – and it's hoping the European Commission will help it get its hands on some cheaper fibre. It is hoping the EU will introduce mandatory price …
Simon Rockman, 27 May 2014
The World according to Truphone

Truphone debuts 66-country flat rate roaming deal

Data plans of up to half a terabyte are on offer from Truphone, the mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) which targets businesses with lots of globe-trotting execs. Voice and data prices on the new Truphone tariffs are the same regardless of which of 66 countries you are in. They call this “Truphone World” and builds on the “ …
Simon Rockman, 23 May 2014
EE Eagle - more fun that  "I spy"

EE unleashes birds of prey onto unsuspecting customers

EE have released an Eagle, a Buzzard, a Kite and an Osprey. Sadly a Vulture is missing from the avian ensemble, but we can let that pass. These are devices rather than birds – the Eagle is a tablet and the other items are portable Wi-Fi hotspots. The 8-inch Eagle tablet runs Android on a 1.6GHz Balong V9R1 quad-core processor. …
Simon Rockman, 22 May 2014
Generic mast

EE boffin: 5G will be the LAST WORD in mobe tech – literally

Andy Sutton, principal network architect for UK mobile network EE and a visiting professor at the University of Salford, says 5G will be built around small cells and a heterogeneous network. According to the good prof, whose institution is working with EE on streaming 4K hi-def TV, there will be a level of meshing between small …
Simon Rockman, 21 May 2014
Vodafone UK booster brolly

Vodafone: Soz investors, we wrote down £6.6 BEELLION on Euro ops

Vodafone’s disappointing results pulled down the share price today after it announced a whopping £6.6bn writedown of its Europe operations. The impairment charges – which resulted in a group revenue slippage of 1.9 per cent from £43.8bn to £43.6bn – were due to competition and regulatory changes in Europe, said the telco. We …
Simon Rockman, 20 May 2014

So you reckon Nokia-wielding Microsoft can't beat off Apple?

Microsoft isn't used to being the underdog, but the company which owns the desktop is losing its grip on customers' wallets. While buying Nokia is an audacious move to redress that, to make it work Microsoft needs to understand some of Nokia's history. Of course, Microsoft has been the challenger before, with varying degrees of …
Simon Rockman, 17 May 2014

GCHQ grants security clearance to Samsung's Knox mobe security

The official containerisation solution for security on Samsung phones and tablets has passed muster with GCHQ. It’s now deemed safe enough for UK government employees to get a Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S3 S4 or Galaxy S5 all of which run the Korean firm's KNOX software. This is only to the OFFICIAL (PDF) level of security. This is …
Simon Rockman, 16 May 2014
 An officer of the U.S. Navy uses a sextant to determine his position.

Honey, the satnav app says you're to leave at 6am... Yup. I'll have that coffee off you

For all the cleverness of location-based services, which will tell you the best places to eat and sleep when you arrive somewhere strange, most people just do the same job and complete the same journey every day. The bread-and-butter for navigation app maker CoPilot GPS is providing routes to people who go to a lot of different …
Simon Rockman, 15 May 2014
Remember when all phones were like this?

Feature-phones aren't dead, Moto – oldsters still need them

Swedish phones-for-seniors company Doro has taken issue with the assertion that the days of the feature-phone are done, and has launched a new budget handset – with a keypad and no camera. This is in stark contrast to Motorola’s claim yesterday that the whole world wanted smartphones. The difference, however, is cognition. …
Simon Rockman, 14 May 2014
Better than a smartwatch

LG: Smartwatch? Pah! We'll measure your heart rate through your EARS

Fitness is the new fad among mobe-makers: first Samsung started to measure your heart rate through its smartwatches and now LG has announced headphones which do the same thing. The heartphones plug into a special module which interfaces to the LG Lifeband Touch or to a phone. The Lifeband Touch can then be Bluetoothed to a phone …
Simon Rockman, 14 May 2014
Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System footprint

Russia to suspend US GPS stations in tit-for-tat spat

Russia is about to shut down American GPS stations on Russian soil – not as a reaction to the Crimean crisis, but instead in response to Washington's failure to agree to host ground stations for the Russian GLONASS system. Russian deputy foreign minister Dmitry Rogozin said the suspension would take place beginning June 1, and …
Simon Rockman, 13 May 2014
Angry woman on mobile

We'd switch mobile networks, but we can't be bothered – survey

Inertia is a principle well-known in insurance and personal banking circles, but the mobile phone industry has always behaved as if subscriber loyalty were governed purely by discounts and phone upgrades. But new research by telecoms customer service provider WDS shows that apathy is just as important in mobile. A survey of 4, …
Simon Rockman, 13 May 2014
Parrot BeBop

BEAK DRONE: 1080p HD Wi-Fi quad-copter by Parrot takes to skies

French phone-accessories-maker-turned-drone-manufacturer Parrot has built a quad-copter with a super wide-angle lens and hi-def cam. Like its predecessor, the Parrot AR Drone, the new BeBop has a polystyrene foam shell that protects itself and whatever it collides into. Also, like the earlier version, you control the device by …
Simon Rockman, 12 May 2014
Google Loon balloon envelope

Hey, operators... 'member our edge-of-SPAAACE interwebs balloons? Help! - Google

Having failed to license spectrum around the globe, Google is now talking to mobile operators to make its Loon project work. Loon is Google’s attempt to provide internet connectivity in rural areas through, er, balloons sent up to the stratosphere. The revelation came in a presentation from Google X labs' Eric "Astro" Teller at …
Simon Rockman, 09 May 2014
NTT_docomo_car_trial_10Gbps

Ericsson puts 5G towel on Japanese deck-chair

We don’t know what exactly Ericsson might mean by "5G", since the next generation of mobile wireless internet technologies is still very much in the committee stage, but the Swedish firm is rolling out a trial in Yokosuka, Japan anyway. Ericsson will be conducting the tests together with Japanese mobile firm NTT DoCoMo, which …
Simon Rockman, 09 May 2014

Carphone Warehouse, Dixons embroiled in £3.7bn merger rumour

Sir Charles Dunstone once told your humble correspondent that he would never have more than 50 shops. Today his Carphone Warehouse empire has more 2,000 shops across Europe, and is rumoured to be about to add another 500 – through a merger with PC World and Currys owner Dixons. Discussions have been going on since February, we' …
Simon Rockman, 08 May 2014