Three natural bed-fellows I guess, especially when it comes to African politicians, but surely I can't be the only person who thinks Liberia's ex-president Gyude Bryant is frankly, a bit pants.
The guy was president of an African nation, and the best he could half-inch was a million US dollars? Frankly, that's just pathetic, ruler of three million people and he can't embezzle enough to buy a nice family-sized house in the South of England...
That's a contentious point, I'm sure they think they're adding value, but many people are beginning to question what exactly the operator does to make life better, here are some examples:
To add some further context, my experience with Orange and their modifications to my Nokia 6680's firmware certainly have me wondering who all this added value to suppose to benefit. It certainly doesn't appear to be me, and it is my phone after all, my property.
Quick summary of Orange's anti-benefits in their firmware changes: I'm stuck with their ugly and unmodifiable home screen, which disables Nokia's active standby screen, said home screen gives me easy access to a selection of apps that I rarely use, hogs memory (a big issue on the 6680) and crashes from time to time. Also because I've got Orange's firmware Nokia's firmware update won't allow me to upgrade my phone to the latest generic firmware, instead I'm stuck with something a little elderly and buggy.
What else do Orange provide? Oh, an email service, wow that's really useful, it's not like I've not got an email address already. I've always wanted to have a memorable email address like firstname.lastname@example.org
Oh, and here's another thought, my 6680 was cheap, because I signed a one year contract, so the real price was spread over 12 monthly payments. Now, if this was some sort of real hire purchase or credit deal, my monthly bill would drop after I'd paid back the
loan subsidy, you can guess what happens with Orange can't you...
Now perhaps I'm being unfair to Orange, and they do have some hefty payments to make to the UK government to pay for their 3G licenses (another stealth tax on the UK public?), and none of the UK operators offer any better services (dare I say cartel?). But, it's really not a great situation for the consumer, and when you see initiatives such as a Vodafone specific version of S60 I can hardly get too excited.
Are lock-in, restricted functionality, and price-gouging the best they can offer?
So I've succumbed to the meme, and joined the Twittering masses. Like Matthew I'm probably the wrong generation, being ancient enough to be Nathan Barley's dad, and experienced enough to remember life before Web 0.0 (shudder).
- Restraint is a wonderful thing, it's too easy to think of Twitter as IM and fling open the kimono like a dirty mac.
- It's micro-blogging, innit? The whole post-a-phrase is not unlike Gustaf's observations category. Should I integrate my Twitterings onto this blog in a daily summary? The jury's out on that one for now.
- Multiple entry methods are good; web, im, sms, api, pick the ones you want to use.
- It's not very interactive, a few times I've wanted to directly reply to someone else's Twitterings on Twitter, and the direct reply documentation is a little hidden away. I wish I'd spotted that earlier.
- It's too easy to forget that a friend's Twittering is not public, in fact I don't know of an easy way to discern the intended visibility of a friend's comments. Beware.
- IM is Jabber/XMPP - hurrah, sanity! It also means Twitter doesn't suffer from the problems that IMified are suffering with MSN, dead-end locked-in IM systems, just say no.
- There's a few services that use Twitter a little like an aggregator, I'm unsure whether this is a good thing. Although any service that embraces bots has to be good, no?
- OpenID is conspicuous by its absence