Daily Archives: Thursday 03/07/2008

Vat Vas Vodacom Vhinking? Software & Sites 03 JUL 2008

Vodacom MeerkatYou’ve got to wonder just what in the world the tech boys at Vodacom central were thinking when they quietly updated their proxy through which all Vodacom mobile Internet subscribers are by default routed through last week. Obviously this was a decision pushed through by the big boys in marketing, because as any developer would tell you – messing with someone else’s network traffic and functionality is looking for bad publicity by the thousandfold.

For those of you who don’t know what I am referring to, last week Vodacom made a change to their proxy server for mobile data connections, which now reformats all incoming streams according the way in which they want it, and in the process injects a little self-righteous advertising by displaying big Vodafone Live red and black banners at the top and bottom of your now ‘Vodacom formatted’ screens.

Vodacom is pushing this new ‘technology’ as a user-friendly and convenient tool which makes browsing the Internet on your mobile phone so much easier now that everything is being automatically reformatted to best fit your phone’s screen – What Vodacom don’t admit to is that in the process they managed to disable most 3rd party web applications and services like Instant messaging, Online banking, YouTube and Twitter for example, which has resulted in a huge public backlash, at the forefront of which is of course SA’s rapidly growing and rather vocal blogging community.

The problem here is essentially that Vodacom have pushed an ‘alpha state’ technology straight onto its customer base without first properly testing the system, and secondly they are injecting some very underhanded advertising by means of their banner advert which is now appearing on the top of websites who would probably not have let them advertise there in the first place!

In any event, if you are a mobile system developer, the only way you can get around this is by directly contacting Vodacom and requesting that your site gets put on their ‘white list’ (as Ryan has already been forced to do for the products that he runs) which then effectively stops Vodacom’s proxy from processing requests to your sites.

And of course, if you are an actual end user suffering the effects of Vodacom’s insidious Telkom-like move, then the best option to get around this problem is to remove Vodacom’s proxy setting from your phone completely by following these steps on your phones’ menu:

1) Go to ‘Tools’
2) Go to ‘Settings’
3) Go to ‘Connection’
4) Go to ‘Access points’
5) Open the Vodacom access point (it is often named ‘Internet.GPRS’)
6) Go to ‘Options > Advanced Settings’
7) Remove the Proxy server address

That should then nip the problem right in the bud. If it doesn’t, then it might be time to start making use of the nifty little Opera Mini browser at last.

Nemo Located! General Nonsense 03 JUL 2008

Tuesday night I discovered that C is in fact one of those girls who when pregnant, is going to ask you to go out in the middle of the night to buy toffee crunch ice-cream that is only available in one shop in the area, and that shop is probably already closed. Surprisingly enough, I also learnt that I happen to be the guy that WILL go out and look for said toffee crunch ice-cream in the middle of the night at the behest of his woman.

Okay, so maybe Chantelle isn’t pregnant, but she is down and out with flu, which is probably roughly the same thing anyway, and at 19:45 it hit her that she really, really wanted to watch Finding Nemo of all things that evening. Already in my comfy clothes and settled down for the evening, I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the prospect of embarking on the search for little Nemo, but without too much grumbling I was up and out of the door, leaving a sniffing C behind on the couch, contently beaming to herself as she reached for yet another tissue.

NemoWould you believe that one of the most popular kids’ movies of all time is no longer in stock at any of the Gordon’s Bay video stores? (I would know, I checked!) So after a rather fruitless search I ended up back at home with only a packet of Niknaks and some wine gums to show for my efforts and hopefully soothe her inevitable disappointment. (As it was, luckily we found something else sitting on the PC to entertain us, but it just wasn’t the same as a good dose of ‘whale talk’ would have been). Sucky. :(

Anyway, yesterday I though I would grab some of those ever elusive brownie points and sneaked out around lunch time to the mall, fighting back hordes of ankle-biters and young whippersnappers who seem to overrun the mall during school holidays, in order to find the missing Nemo.

And what would you know – incredibly the first store that I walked into had a big basket right out front, in fact the first thing you see, filled to the brim with all the Disney Pixar movies! Which would explain why our DVD collection has now finally been kicked off, starting out with Finding Nemo and The Incredibles of all things! :)

(Not that we ended up watching any of those last night though – the brilliantly funny and well executed Kung Fu Panda was too loud a call to ignore!)