radio a thing of the past now

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Below the announcement from


Today we’re announcing an upcoming change to the way Radio works in some parts of the world. In the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, nothing will change.

In all other countries, listening to Radio will soon require a subscription of €3.00 per month. There will be a 30 track free trial, and we hope this will convince people to subscribe and keep listening to the radio. Everything else on (scrobbling, recommendations, charts, biographies, events, videos etc.) will remain free in all countries, like it is now.

Since we streamed our first track from back in 2002, we have focused on playing the right songs to the right people, compensating artists for playing their music, and being the best music site on the web. We appreciate the support we get from the 30 million people who use every month—double the number of people since this time last year. We work with over 280,000 labels and artists, many of whom we pay directly, and have built up the largest catalogue of any web radio platform: over 7 million tracks are available on Radio stations.

In order to keep providing the best radio service on the web, we need to ask our listeners from countries other than USA, UK and Germany to subscribe for €3.00 per month. In return you’ll get unlimited access to Radio, and a promise that we’ll be hard at work improving the service for years to come.

[From Radio Announcement]


This is sad. I will just use for listing what I’m listening to and have a look at my neighbours from time to time now. It was easier just to listen to “their” radio station, but alas, a thing of the past now…

Vox 3G service is still horrible

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I’m still very unhappy with the service from Vox here in Luxembourg. Their network coverage is not working properly. The data connection is very slow, whenever it’s EDGE, but also when you are between EDGE and 3G. Recently, whenever I’m covered by a Vox hotspot, I can’t connect to anything…
As for the phone network, it’s the same story: it is possible even in Luxembourg city itself to be in a spot where you have no service… Horrible, horrible, horrible.

URL redirects open scareware loophole at major sites

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So the spammers seems to have another possibility to infest Windows pcs:

URL redirect notifications are often meant to serve as security measures, but at least one malware blackhat is exploiting these services and redirecting site visitors from the website they think they are about to visit to a spyware-infested haven. That’s bad enough on its own, but the as-yet-unknown assailant has also used search engine optimizations to push the polluted redirectors higher in Google’s search rankings.
[From ArsTechnica – URL redirects open scareware loophole at major sites]

I see the potential for having problems when a PC user visits his friends’ MySpace, Facebook or similar pages, where there’s a high traffic volumen and he might not except to be in danger…

Once again, Mac users seems to have less reason to be concerned as any installation of whatsoever that modifies the system installation as such, is always confirmed by the user.

If and when you lose your iPhone

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James Duncan Davidson lists a few requests addressed to AT&T in case you lose your iPhone. His remarks are not only valid for AT&T, but for any provider selling the iPhone. Apple should listen in too.


Now that I’ve experienced the joy of losing my phone and dealing with telephony in a world without it, however temporary the experience may be, I’ve made a list of a few things that any self-respecting telephony site, such as the AT&T Wireless account portal, should have. After all, my iPhone is a slice of the future. The website gateway to my wireless account should at least catch up to what is possible in 2008…

[From AT&T Wireless Feature Requests]


I haven’t lost mine (yet) but I do hope that VoxMobile has an appropriate customer service in case it happens.

Some ways to use the iPhone during winter

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"dot" gloves

Have you considered what to do when you are out in the cold weather wearing your gloves and your iPhone rings? Well, Rob Griffiths has some good ideas :-):

The temperatures outside are dropping rapidly, and many of you will find your hands wrapped in thick gloves. And then suddenly, an important phone call drops in. Unless you’ve plugged in your earphones, or connected your Bluetooth headset to the iPhone, it will take quite a long time to get your hands free to slide the button to speak. So how to answer this important call quickly?

There are “alternative” ways to interact with your iPhone without having to uncover your fingers. For basic actions such as accepting a phone call or unlocking it to read a text message, you can use either your nose or, for some more precise gestures, your tongue. I know this isn’t the most elegant way to operate your beloved iPhone, but in some cases, it needs to be quick and dirty…

For those of you finding this disgusting, but still don’t want to run around with cold fingers, consider buying some fancy iPhone-enabled Dots Gloves.
[From Some ways to use the iPhone during winter]

Vox network coverage for the iPhone in Luxembourg

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I sent the following (12 Nov 2008) to Vox’s customer service because quite frankly, their network coverage is not in the same league as their prices:


Après avoir utilisé l’iPhone un peu plus qu’un mois, je me sens obligé de vous faire part de mon mécontentement de votre service.

La connexion data
D’abord, la connexion est souvent perdue même lorsqu’on se promène en pleine ville (Luxembourg).

Deuxièmement, la connexion, même à Luxembourg-ville, n’est souvent pas du tout 3 G. En dehors de la ville, je capte rarement la connexion en 3G.

Troisièmement, si je suis dans une voiture en dehors de la ville de Luxembourg, je n’arrive pas à voir une connexion data.

Connexion téléphonique
Ceci est le problème le plus grave. Au bureau (au Kirchberg), je ne suis plutôt pas joignable, car le signal est trop pauvre.

J’espère que vous allez procéder à une amélioration de ces défaillances rapidement, car le tarif mensuel ne correspond pas du tout au niveau de votre service.

Votre service clients
Pourriez-vous mettre la musique ou bien le silence après avoir signalé qu’aucun correspondant n’est disponible pour l’instant? En plus, il n’est pas normal de couper la connexion lorsqu’on est en attente…

Dans l’attente d’une amélioration rapide des points soulévés,”

Today (16 November 2008) I still haven’t received a reply.

Since sending the e-mail, I have also experienced dropped calls due to loss of connection with the network (no service displayed in the top left corner on iPhone).

Really sad, that Vox isn’t up to the task. And yes, the whole selective voicemail thing showed off by Jobs in the Macworld 2007 keynote is not installed on Vox’s servers either…

Vox’s clients are paying top dollar for a mediocre service…

[End of rant]

More Grocery IQ

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So now I’m testing the Grocery IQ application for iPhone that is designed with the US market in mind. This is the reason why, the developers haven’t released abroad for the time being as the database (130,000 items) of the groceries contains mostly American goods (you can search on both products names and brands).

A review with several screenshots is available at TUAW.

I must say that the application looks very nice and it is very intuitive in use. The products are listed under categories (aisles), and you can move these around to match the layout of your grocery store. Heck, you can even rename them to something else (like translate them to match the names of the aisles in your grocery store or something different). Many of the brand names doesn’t sound familiar :-) but the app also recognises the standard items on your shopping list like “milk”, “butter” and so on. Can you add your own items not in the database? No, but items you buy often or want to customise (because the specific brand of coffee or whatever is not in the database) can be added as favourites and are thus acting as your personal database of items.

I really don’t see a big problem in making the app available for sale to non US clients, as long as it is clearly indicated that the “helper” database is US “minded”. Over time, I would have my own “database” created if I added the items, I would want, as my favourites.

Here you can see that I have added a fruit “Jordbær” (Strawberry) and changed the name of the aisle to “Frugt & Grønt” (was Fruits & Vegetables):

Again I’m looking forward to seeing some competition from other developers, but GroceryIQ’s UI and ease of use will be very hard to beat!

PS! The application is of course a must-have app for the wives with an iPhone and husbands that don’t know their way around the grocery store, as the shopping lists can be emailed and thus printed for guidance…

And check the list of features at

Random observations