Category Archives: Mobiles

That T-Mobile story

The lead story today on the news is that employees of T-Mobile have been selling on customer information to a third party who are then using the information to try and get the customers to upgrade.

Now whilst I don’t have the full information, my first point will be DON’T PANIC.

The information these third parties want are your name, number, contract expiry date and possibly your address (although not essentially needed). Bank account and account security information shouldn’t have been passed on.

It’s the same scam that has been running for years. You get a call from your Network about a month before your contract expires. They offer you an upgrade, however for some reason you can’t keep your current mobile number.

What actually is happening is that a dealer is try to get to commission from the mobile phone companies for providing them with a new customer. They lie claiming to be from the mobile company you are on, hoping you won’t notice until it’s too late and a new contact has been signed.
The way the scam worked in the past was that when you signed a new contact your details were added to a Phone Book of mobiles. Companies would store the data, wait 11 months, then call you. As the first 5 digits belonged to each network you could tell who you needed to pretend to be calling from.
However since then several things have changed. Contracts are no longer 12 months, but instead 18, 24 or in some cases 36. At which point should the cold calls be made? Now numbers are ported around as people move between networks getting the best deal on each upgrade, it’s getting harder to tell which network to customer was on last.

I remember several years ago, a colleague at work received a call from Orange advising that his phone was available for upgrade. He asked them who they really were, the response was that they were calling from Orange, he asked them again and they repeated that they were from Orange. He called them liars (rather loudly) and asked why if they were from Orange would they be calling him 3 months in to his contract with Vodafone, of whom he is an employee. The call ended pretty quick.

Remember, networks are pretty lazy at getting you to upgrade. The more months you spend with them using your old mobile, the more money they can make as they don’t need to subsides a handset.
If you do ever receive one of these calls, never commit to upgrading. Ask for a name and a number to call back on after you have had a chance to shop around. If it was your real network when you call the customer services number on your bill and speaking to an adviser, there should be notes explaining what was offered. If there isn’t anything, then it’s going to be a third party (or a very lazy member of staff).
Of course if this third party is offering a great deal on an upgrade you might want to consider taking up the offer, but remember you are dealing with people who blatantly lied to you, and could do again.

My full time job is working for Vodafone, at no point have I ever passed on customers details, nor have I ever worked for any company “offering” upgrades. Everything I have written in this post is from my experiences of speaking to these companies when trying to be upgraded and do not reflect the views of my employees.

Ad free mobile browsing…

…or how to block adverts like AdBlockPlus does except on your Windows Mobile phone whilst using Opera Mobile.

Having used both AdBlock+ and Greasemonkey on Firefox, one of the things I noticed missing on Google Chrome was the ability to hide the adverts.
Chrome by default doesn’t support any plugins, so I went googling around for a solution and found AdSweep. Turns out that it is possible to have User Scripts in Chrome (the same thing really as Greasemonkey) and after some tweaks and a simple javascript file download the adverts were gone.
Then yesterday I noticed a post on about using a JavaScript hack to resize the text input box in Opera Mobile.
The trick was using User Javascript (again Greasemonkey), so I wondered if it was possible to use the AdSweep Opera js file on my phone.
The answer is yes 🙂

Simple steps to enabling:

  1. Download the Opera AdSweep.js file from (I suggest on a computer instead of your phone).
  2. Using which ever filemanager you prefer (I like Total Commander) create a userjs folder in your Opera directory. On my phone using Opera Mobile 9.7 it was \Program Files\Opera Mobile\profile
  3. Copy AdSweep.js from your computer in to your userjs folder on the phone.
  4. In Opera Mobile, type opera:config (no http) in the address bar.
  5. Under User Prefs you should find the following three options:
    • Always Load User Javascript: Tick
    • User Javascript: Tick
    • User Javascript File: \Program Files\Opera Mobile\profile\userjs\ (this is the location on my phone, make sure it matches the path you used above).

    Make sure you press Save at the end

  6. Close Opera (if you have Widgets running and even if you don’t you may prefer a soft reset).

Next time you open Opera you should find adverts start to disappear.

Phone Mast applications

When I was a councillor on Lincoln City a total of three applications for phone masts came in front of the Planning Committee.
Due to a prejudicial interest I never took part in the discussion however I was pleased to see that the councillors understood the laws around the applications. Two of the applications were accepted without much fuss.
The third was from O2 at the Birchwood shopping centre. It was a retrospective for a 13 metre poll with 3g aerials on top. They had already got consent (via appeal) for a 13 metre poll with 2g on top, but put up a 3g mast instead (only real difference was an extra 10cm in diameter of the bit at the top). It was felt by the committee that the overall shape of the structure was detrimental to the visual amenity of the area, however the planning inspectorate appeal again overturned the committee.
Continue reading Phone Mast applications

BBC iPlayer Streaming on the X1 (or even the Diamond or Touch Pro)

Edit: 11/12/2008 The BBC have annouced that the X1 is now supported, however it won’t run over Vodafone at the mo.

Since the BBC launched the iPlayer for the N96 I knew it wouldn’t be too long until it would be available for other phones. However I can’t wait, so spent today looking for methods in getting my X1 to stream the shows.
I managed to extract the RTSP stream of Buzzcocks and successfully got that working on my phone. My next step was to find a way that didn’t involve me using my PC opening a collection of random XML files in order, to then email a link to my phone.

Several hours of coding and I managed to strip out the opening the files on the PC to a simple web script, however I still needed the 8 letter/number code for the episode to be parsed to the page.
Then when looking at the BBC source I noticed something. They now support the Samsung I900 a Windows Mobile device.
The method for checking if your phone is a Samsung, a simple User-Agent check.

Knowing how to modify the User-Agent in Opera on my X1 I placed the code need to pass the check and BINGO my phone now loads the BBC page and plays the shows.

These are the steps for an X1i Vodafone UK Branded
Run Opera
In the address bar enter opera:config (no http://)
Scroll down to User Prefs and click
Scroll down to Custom User-Agent and at the end of the pre-filled text add sgh-i900
Scroll down some more and press Save. You will get a prompt which suggests you may need to reset the phone, but for this you don’t.

Now point your browser to and enjoy.

If on your phone the Custom User-Agent is blank, try visiting something like copying the User-Agent which your phone is currently displaying and then add sgh-i900 to the end.

WARNING: Please only use whilst on WIFI. I accept no responsibility for you running up HUGE bills due to large data downloads. Even if you have an “unlimited” add-on, check with your network for their Fair Usage (Vodafone’s is 500mb) as you can quickly exceed it watching TV on your mobile!

The quality isn’t exactly great on a WVGA screen as it’s been built for the Nokia N96. According to beebhack these are the specs.

Access Method: RTSP streaming
Video Codec: H.264
Video Resolution: 320 x 176
Video Bitrate: 128 kbps
Audio Codec: AAC
Audio Bitrate: 64 kbps
Overall Bitrate: 192 kbps

ps if you get a BBC 502 error, don’t worry. Looks like they are playing about with the site themselves. Just try again later.

iPlayer to allow downloads to mobile phones…

…sort of. The BBC have launched Sideloading in which you can now download programmes from the iPlayer in a lower res format to copy across to your phone or video playing handheld device.
The current restrictions are that your mobile must play DRM Windows Media files and that the downloads take place on a Windows PC.
This looks like another great bit of progress for the iPlayer project, just need to get myself a new phone which will play the files now.

Debrand your W960 / P1 for FREE (or your P990, M600, W950)

After my successful debrand your phone for about a £5 (33,618 hits, 104 comments) and then unbrand your mobile for free (11,680 hits, 161 comments) posts. I now bring you the easiest way to de-brand your phone for free.
No more looking for files in folders which are about 41 bytes, no more trying to get the to download the files, no more running SEUS fifteen times, just 8 simple steps.

But before I begin, here are the usual disclaimers:

WARNING doing this could brick your phone!

Whilst I have successfully converted several Vodafone W960i into unbranded ones, I can’t guarantee that the same will happen to you. If you’re not 100% confident then DON’T do it. All actions are taken at your own risk! Yada yada ya…
There seem to be some issues with the M600, please read the comments first and then judge for yourself if you want to go ahead!

The things you will need to successfully remove the network customisations from your phone are:

  1. Perform a back-up of your phone via the PC Suite (or however you prefer), as you are going to wipe all of the phones C drive.
  2. Run the Sony Ericsson Update Service (SEUS), click on the icons matching your phone, when prompted pull the battery out and put it back in, when prompted plug the cable into your phone whilst holding down C (this is either the letter C on the keyboard, the Cancel button or even the @ internet button). Once it’s found your phone it’ll will either prompt you to update the firmware or inform you that you have the latest. Either way, quit SEUS without doing anything else. (This will force your PC to find the drivers required for your phone)
  3. Run XS++, click on the SMARTPHONE CONNECT box, and press Connect. The box on the left will tell you what to do, but it’ll be similar to step 2.
    Click for Full Screen
  4. Once connected you now need to select the new CDA for your phone:
    W960 – CDA 162032/1
    P1 – CDA 162022/1
    P990 – CDA 162007/1
    M600 – CDA 162011/1
    W950 – CDA 162014/1
    and hit Run Script. (They all have GW1 in the script name, however you can choose any of the others, but I recommend the Generic World 1 scripts)
    Click for Full Screen
  5. You can now close XS++, I recommend that you don’t touch anything else in XS++!
  6. Now run SEUS again, this time do the update on your phone.
  7. Boot up your phone to the Sony Ericsson or Walkman startup screens. Goodbye Vodafone, Orange or o2 🙂
  8. Restore the backup of your phone

See wasn’t that easy.

As before, feel free to put questions in the comment box.

And if you feel like it you can always send a donation via PayPal 😉