Panini World Cup stickers #GotGotNeed

Ok nice and simple… I need:

5,6,7,12,13,17,21,28,33,34,36,38,50,55,58,105,109,114,118,119,123,128,130,131,138,142,143,151,158,160,163,164,191,198,218,228,234,236,238,239,253,265,271,273,275,279,285,317,335,336,338,340,344,346,347,351,355,356,358,361,367,372,414,423,439,443,444,467,469,481,499,503,511,545,547,549,551,556,564,570,577,583,602,609,623,625,629,633,637 and 638

I have in the swap pile:

16,24,63,66,70,78,79,80,83,84,103,113,120,140,154,162,188,190,192,203,203,205,206,209,211,212,212,,215,215,216,217,220,220,221,224,226,227,231,232,242,243,243,243,245,246,246,257,259,281,286,322,323,326,326,326,326,327,327,330,332,332,333,333,363,364,374,376,377,381,382,390,392,396,399,400,415,415,416,419,419,421,424,429,431,433,442,452,462,462,476,483,484,488,490,509,510,514,514,516,518,522,523,530,531,532,533,534,535,537,540,540,542,542,544,554,576,611,611,634

What you got?

If it helps I’ve done some twitter swaps with @wiz52, @BigArby and some more to add who may also have ones to swap.

Just 140 to collect!

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My @SWFC mobile/tablet Calendar 2014/2015 season #SWFC

OK, another quick one for you SWFC fans out there. It’s here again with fixtures released this morning. Something to think about other than the World Cup!

If you were already subscribed to my calendar for the previous seasons, you need to do absolutely nothing 😀

We’ve stayed safe last season and following a takeover from The Land Of Fire crew we are hopefully well on the way to hit the Premiership in the next few years.

Kicking off on the sunny south coast with what looks like a challenging first month, I’ve updated my shared calendar again. Hosted on google calendars and available to you and your Android/Nokia/iPhone/pc/mac whatever device nice and simply and without cost. Woohoo! Again, if you were already subscribed to this calendar back when I made it for the 2011/2012 season, you need to do absolutely nothing 😀

This link will take your calendar program to fully list the fixtures and location of games, complete with times and location info, straight on to your device. The map and location functionality will also help if you are a super travelling fan for finding the ground allowing you a single click to load maps. 😉

If you have an iphone you can go to Start > Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add Account > Other > Add Subscribed Calendar and type in bit.ly/swfcmobcal. Job done.

For anything like if you are reading this on a PC you can probably just click the link http://bit.ly/swfcmobcal

and if that doesnt do it for your handset, the full iCal link is: https://www.google.com/calendar/ical/maj88mooe68j282qbr2au0kncc%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics

PHEW. Any questions, ask away

Up the Owls!

@itsnoel

My WordPress 2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog, amazing as it is I don’t think I’m blogging anywhere near as much as I could be but then I always said if it wasn’t of interest to others or not already covered by a million other bloggers, I should leave the Internet to fill itself. 🙂

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,400 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

#SWFC Mobile calendar for 2013/2014 season

OK, another quick one for you SWFC fans out there. If you were already subscribed to my calendar for the previous seasons, you need to do absolutely nothing 😀

We’ve made it to the last stop before we hit the Premiership and arrived for a new season in the Championship 2013/14.

Kicking off locally(ish) with what looks like a season defining first month, I’ve updated my shared calendar again. Hosted on google calendars and available to you and your Android/Nokia/iPhone/pc/mac whatever device nice and simply and without cost. Woohoo! Again, if you were already subscribed to this calendar for the 2011/2012 season, you need to do absolutely nothing 😀

This link will take your calendar program to fully list the fixtures and location of games, complete with times and location info, straight on to your device. The map and location functionality will also help if you are a super travelling fan for finding the ground allowing you a single click to load maps. 😉

If you have an iphone you can go to Start > Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add Account > Other > Add Subscribed Calendar and type in bit.ly/swfcmobcal. Job done.

For anything else you can probably just click the link http://bit.ly/swfcmobcal

Or alternatively, point your barcode scanner at

and if that doesnt do it for your handset, the full iCal link is: https://www.google.com/calendar/ical/maj88mooe68j282qbr2au0kncc%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics

Up the Owls!

Snow socks! Woohoo.

It’s weather like we have today (very windy and snowing) that always brings in the winter tyres conversations in motoring circles.  Personally, I fall in to the ‘we only have a couple of days where it’s bad enough to warrant changing the tyres’  band. That’s why I bought some AutoSock Snow socks instead.

No need to visit the tyre shop to change the tyres,  no need to take up a corner of the garage with the winter tyres throughout summer, just a simple bag with these new snow socks in them that fit in the boot whenever there may be a chance of the white stuff arriving.

So it comes to today, when I end up going out in the morning unexpectedly that I found myself having to use them for the first time. It’s started to snow and it’s cold. Sheffield, where I live, is a hilly city so within no time at all I’ll have to navigate one. And so does everyone else. End result: Chaos.

Traffic is there where there is normally none. Lines of red lights from the cars with their foot on the brake await me on every turn. So I double back and try a different route. This takes me to my first hill. There are 4x4s going around doing ok, but there is also a Jag with his/her foot flat to the floor and the rear wheels spinning like crazy as they try and make their way up the slight incline. That stops me. Once I try and start again, it’s not happening as I’m now fighting a battle uphill from a standing start on a slippy ungritted main road. I slide. There is no way I’m getting up the hill. So I halt the car in as safe a place as I can and get out to go to the boot knowing I have the kit to get me out of this. At this time, the car slides back a foot! That really wakes me up as I see the WTF look on my kid’s face!

Anyway, the snow socks are very easy to put on the wheels. My kit even came with the type of gloves you normally see farmers wearing as they birth a calf so I got to keep my hands and indeed arms clean from the dirty snow and sludge that had gathered in the wheel arch.

Check out the full arm gloves!

Check out the full arm gloves!

 

The socks go on the driving wheels so mine are on the front. The best advice I can give to putting on snow socks is this:  Turn the wheel out, put the socks on as much as possible, then turn the wheel in and continue to put over the rubber. The elastic of the sock pulls well behind the rubber (snow socks are custom size). You can’t fully put a snow sock on without moving the car, but the remainder of the sock you can’t fit on easily by rolling the car forward or back and it either sucks into place on the first rotation of the tyres or you simply pull over the gap.

Snow socks Saab 9-3

Snow socks Saab 9-3

If you have a RWD car then clearly you can’t do the wheel turning but but its the same principle outside of that. There is a very clear tread of where the sock should sit.

All in all this took me about 2 mins. I got back in the car and the difference is immediate. Where before my car was going nowhere, it pulled off without a hitch. W e sailed up the hill but soon met traffic again so stopped. When I put the hand break on, again the car slid backwards, but if I applied the foot break it didn’t as the breaking point moved from back to front. The rest of the drive was fine, no problems. People turned to look as I drove past their static cars safely and easily and the pedestrians I passed had a somewhat puzzled look on their faces as to what was on my tyres in this weather but its safe to say these are brilliant. There is no chance I will get stuck in snow unless its too deep for the entire car so that’s a nice thought to have about driving. What a result. Below is how they look once on the tyre.

Snow socks are available for all models of car and the AutoSock ones I purchased from the dealer. They are available from Vauxhall (and formerly Saab) but also easy to find online. You are looking at around £45 although at 18inches+ you pay a bit more. Beware as always, that its worthwhile buying at the right price, not the cheapest price.

A following note to when the snow leaves. These aren’t for normal driving. Once the snow has started to wear away, you need to take these off again. Don’t drive around at speeds thinking its just normal. Granted winter tyres are not just for snow but for the whole winter period which essentially here in the UK is all but the 1 week of summer and the 2 of snowy winter, so in that respect they are a better choice for some, but for me whipping these on and off  ‘as needed’ is just fine. The fit easily back into the original bag (which coincidentally is also good for kneeling on in the snow)

Bag in the bag, no worries

Bag in the bag, no worries

The AutoSock video is true to life.

You can find these guys on twitter @AutoSockUK and on Facebook

Recommended.

SWFC calendar for your mobile/tablet is ready to go!

OK, another quick one for you SWFC fans out there. If you were already subscribed to my calendar for the 2011/2012 season, you need to do absolutely nothing 😀

We’ve made it to stop one on our way to the Premiership hopefully and arrived for a new season in the Championship.

Kicking off locally(ish) with a game against Derby County, I’ve updated my shared calendar again this season. Hosted on google calendars and available to you and your Android/Nokia/iPhone/pc/mac whatever device nice and simply and without cost. Woohoo! Again, if you were already subscribed to this calendar for the 2011/2012 season, you need to do absolutely nothing 😀

This link will take your calendar program to fully list the fixtures and location of games, complete with times and location info, straight on to your device. The map and location functionality will also help if you are a super travelling fan for finding the ground allowing you a single click to load maps. 😉

If you have an iphone you can go to Start > Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add Account > Other > Add Subscribed Calendar and type in bit.ly/swfcmobcal. Job done.

For anything else you can probably just click the link http://bit.ly/2011swfc

Or alternatively, point your barcode scanner at

and if that doesnt do it for your handset, the full iCal link is: https://www.google.com/calendar/ical/maj88mooe68j282qbr2au0kncc%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics

Up the Owls!

NFC Sony Smart Tags and the Xperia S

In a the very first meet of the Sony Ericsson Test Lab, we were asked what we thought might be good for the future of mobile phones and I thought I’d chuck NFC in as a possible solid upcoming performer. It was something I first visited with Nokia.

Sony have now brought NFC to a somewhat physical form with Sony Smart Tags. The more I look at these tags, the better I think they could be…

However, from thinking about it with Nokia way back when, I know that for every tag in, you tend to need a tag out. Binary strikes again.

Check this video out:

In the video… he tags to go to bed. Cool and probably a way I’d set it up too. But in the morning, you’d need to edit your profile to get back to normal… will we find that very quickly our house/office/car looks like a Christmas tree decorated by kids?

My Llama profile manager at the moment pretty much does what a tag does, so is this nothing more than a bit of a gimmick? Thoughts?

To get round this problem, what perhaps might work better is having a tap in/out per tag… or on in the more physical form of the Sony buttons, split tags that are ‘double sided’, though not being a tag engineer I don’t know if there would be proximity issues with this method?

It will be the same for any manufacturers as far as I see, such as the LG Optimus with its NFC stickers (of which I would never be sticking on my stuff, especially my car!)

The superb looking Xperia S is the first Sony phone coming out soon in the UK with NFC built-in and 4 tags included but the tags aren’t limited to only being used by Xperias which could be good news for LG owners 😉 A set of 4 tags can be bought from the likes of Expansys for £11.99 (around $16). I guess we could be needing some new colours sharpish.

Sony Xperia S smart tags

Either way, development is moving on and Sony are picking the pace up in the mobile market.

That, can only be a good thing.

Does it cost to go from a SIM to a microSim? urm…. No.

A micro sim from 3UK

A micro sim from 3UK

Recently in our Sony Ericsson Test Lab, the question popped up about micro SIMs. This came about because of the release of the Sony Xperia S, a cracking new phone for 2012 under the Sony only brand, check out the Sony Xperia S Demo here:

Anyway, no-one really had a definitive answer as to, if you swapped to this new handset or indeed any of the other handsets which requires a microSIM, do you need to keep in mind a fee for a new SIM card too? Well, I thought I’d just ask so using social media I posted the following question:

@OrangeHelpers if a customer wants to go from sim to micro sim, do you charge them?

@O2 if a customer wants to go from sim to micro sim, do you charge them?

@ThreeUKSupport if a customer wants to go from Sim to micro sim, do you charge them?

Job done.

Then just 15mins later, first out the blocks was Orange… (kudos Jon @ Orange) he said;

@itsnoel Hi. There may be a charge involved. Best speak to Sales on 08000792000 to check ^Jon

so not exactly an answer but still, this was rapidly followed up by a twitter follower who had gone thru that exact process. They are a locked user but this was the message for Orange users

@itsnoel I’m on a sim only 1month contract, I asked for a microsim and they gave me one free of charge.

So good news for you Orange people.

Next up 10 mins later were the 3UK team who gave me this:

@itsnoel Hi there, No charge if you’re swapping from standard to microsim 🙂

Good stuff, especially as I’m on 3.

I’d forgotten to ask T-Mobile & Vodafone, (the latter because I knew they didn’t charge the former because I just forgot) but in the interests of a fair test, I asked them too (T-Mobile wasn’t asked until 1900hrs tho):

@VodafoneUK if a customer wants to go from Sim to micro sim, do you charge them? (as part of my twitter survey 😉

@tmobileuk if a customer wants to go from Sim to micro sim, do you charge them? (as part of my twitter survey 😉

Vodafone gave their response in just 4 mins… now that is no doubt way quicker than waiting in any of the customer service phone lines for sure! there answer again was its free…

@itsnoel Hi, no we wouldn’t charge. You would just need a new SIM 🙂 ^ CT

So, that just leaves @O2 tut tut. 😉 I’ve had a look on their website and you can request a free SIM in preparation for your new phone arriving. That is a normal sized SIM and a microSIM, you just pop it out when you come to needing it in your new phone. All round then, I think if you want a microSIM just get in touch with your service provider and you are good.

By the way, if you are wanting to go the other way, I’m sure its the same free process but just in case it isn’t, get a microSIM adapter for about £1.50. 🙂

If there’s anything you can add to this then please drop a comment.

Noel

there you go @Deanoson

EDIT>> realised I didn’t stick the T-Mobile answer on…. and if you are a T-Mobile person, it’s not good. The only company to charge for a microSIM 😦

@itsnoel Hi there, if you were to buy a Micro SIM it would cost £10 from a T-Mobile retail store. ^Barry

and this from a fellow testlabber…

I just contacted 02. Free and they transfer the number! Yay!

Sheraton Heathrow Starwood conversation completes

So, as you see from my last few posts, I had a less than satisfactory stay at the Sheraton Heathrow recently. In this day and age it is easy to make a complaint that is seen by many and I will always utilise any methods I can to talk to businesses who don’t meet expectations. How else are they to know if we don’t say anything?

Sheraton Heathrow Hotel

I have now had a phone call from Stephen (Rooms Division Manager) at Sheraton Heathrow. This is good because it’s shown me that they have taken the time on board to recognise my issues and to look to address them. He took the time to go over my comments and talk about each one individually. It wasn’t a case of ‘lets call this guest, chuck a free lunch at him and hope he goes away’ type conversation, but more a very specific talk about they reasons and understanding behind each point I’d made.

I was happy that things had been addressed this way for the conversation, given that some issues were completely out of his hands and were a corporate decision (such as the wifi setup) and others we’re completely on his plate (the musty old room smell). He also took control of the missing barman issue although thinking about it now, it could be the person he will talk to about it, that caused the issue in the first place (food and beverage manager) Anyway, point is… things have been concluded professionally and over the phone, when businesses now a days can so easily have a less human touch.

Time will now tell if there is another visit, if anything actually changes. Let’s hope so. And time for me to get some positives on this blog 😛

quick Starwood Update

Starwood_Logo

So after my small rant someone at @StarwoodBuzz picked up the previous blog post and we exchanged a few quick supportive DM’s:

Sorry to hear about your experience. We would like to follow up with management at the hotel. Can you DM us your stay information.

We are opening a file on this matter on your behalf. We will also follow up with the hotel to ensure your concerns are addressed.

(1/2) Hello, I’ve forwarded your comments to the hotel’s management to assist us in resolving this situation for you. Please allow

(2/2) us up to five days for a thorough internal investigation and for an appropriate response to be provided to you.

So, all positive stuff. The 5 days begins from around Sat 29th 1054hrs but clearly I hope they can action this simple problem a bit quickly, just so as I know its been picked up. Even though the twitter stream is following 27601 twitter users they have done far better in communicating that the facebook page which only has 30,979 likes, so well done Twitter team 😀

The facebook post went on before Twitter post and has had zero response 😦