Win Tickets to Mobile World Congress 2013 (MWC 2013)

Despite the fact that the last event seems like only a few months ago it’s nearly time again for Mobile World Congress, as usual there are a raft of competitions around offering tickets to lucky entrants so I thought I’d collate the ones I’ve come across here.

For anyone unfamiliar with MWC, it’s an annual coming together of the entire mobile industry from network operators (MNOs), manufacturers such as Samsung, LG, Nokia, HTC, software and services companies like Google, and a whole host of companies making apps, accessories, etc.  Having been once (see my MWC Impressions post), it’s quite an experience and well worth going if you can make it.

Anyway, on to the list – if you spot any I’ve missed please leave a comment and I’ll bump it up into the post.

It’s not always obvious when the open/closed dates are so I apologise if any of the above are no longer valid, please leave a comment if you find that to be the case and I’ll remove the link.


1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Ash - 20130124 at 22:57

Categories: Communication, Development, Events, Mobile Apps, Mobile Web   Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ofcom Mobile Phone Usage Report 2013: App & Web Highlights

Today Ofcom released a report covering mobile phone usage in the UK, the report is largely aimed at determining how Quality of Service relates to consumer behaviour and how poor coverage affects the customer experience.  The report covers voice, SMS, email, internet and video calling but I’m most interested in the mobile web and apps, so I’ll focus primarily on the Internet results.  The survey was conducted in November 2012 and sampled 2,136 adults aged 16 and over from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The report shows that only 44% of consumers use the internet via their mobile phone and of those, this seems quite low based on personal experience but that could be down to bias from working in the technology sector.  Of those people that use the Internet on their phone 50% do so more than five times per day (with 33% reporting 10+ times per day).  The implication being that there is a demographic relying on their mobile for everyday tasks, especially when coupled with the result that 71% of people saying that it is important for them to use the internet whilst outside.

Naturally there is a skew towards the younger end of the market with 86% of respondents between 16 and 34 that use the internet doing so on a daily basis.   Additionally whilst 7% of all users rated the ability to use the internet as the most important factor whilst thinking about their mobile operator this rose to 14% for the 16-35 age group and drops to 2% for the 55+ group.

Reliability is a problem for internet users with 47% being satisfied with their operator, this is poor compared to voice and SMS usage which received a 74% satisfaction rate.  Furthermore 34% of consumers reported having experienced no signal/reception (10% frequently) and an additional 15% reported an inability to use the mobile internet.

In terms of non-Internet usage there weren’t too many unexpected results, the only surprising outcome of the survey to me was that 12% of respondents have used video calling and 25% do so on a daily basis – making 3% of all people using video calling on a daily basis.   The full report (33 pages) can be found here: source.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Ash - 20130123 at 20:14

Categories: Development, Internet, Mobile Web   Tags: , , , ,

iOS Device and Version OS Support Matrix

During a project there always comes time to determine what the minimum version of iOS to support is for a given project, last night I stumbled across a handy infographic for checking which devices support which OS versions as well as some other handy feature related info.

 The iOS Support Matrix 2012 was created by Empirical Magic and Pencil Studio

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Ash - 20130122 at 10:23

Categories: Development, iPhone, Mobile Apps   Tags: , , , , , ,

Quick Tip: How to Take Snapshots of Data at Specified Intervals

A few weeks ago I was debugging something and needed to take snapshots of a table every five seconds, as a quick solution a colleague started running the following SQL and I thought I’d share it for anyone else stuck in a pinch…

WHILE (1=1)


	INSERT INTO tmp_snapshot
	SELECT field1,field2,field3
	FROM table1 WHERE field4 = 'value'

	WAITFOR DELAY '000:00:05'


Just change the time delay and the query and you’re off, of course you could be a lot cleverer with your WHILE conditions and rework this principle for loads of things.  I thought it worth posting as many database folk forget the power of the humble while loop!

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Ash - 20130118 at 18:41

Categories: DBA, Microsoft SQL Server   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Quick Fix: Invalid Parameter Number (WIS 10901) in BOXIR3.1

I encountered this error whilst testing a Stored Procedure Universe in BO XI R3.1, given that it says “Invalid Parameter Number” you would naturally assume that it was something relating to the stored procedure itself, passing parameters from the front-end to the DB in SQL, etc. but in my case it was a classic red herring error message.

The issue turned out to be permissions problem, the user executing the stored procedure did not have permissions to execute it.  After running the following SQL statement everything ran perfectly…

GRANT EXECUTE ON my_dwh.dbo.usp_do_something_useful TO PUBLIC 

… though bear in mind that you may not want to grant permissions to everyone (‘public’), I just use it as a simple example.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Ash - 20130117 at 16:12

Categories: Business Intelligence, Business Objects, Microsoft SQL Server   Tags: , , , , , ,

SQL Server Agent PowerShell Jobs Waiting for Worker Thread

My normal Data Warehouse load process runs daily in the early hours of the morning so I’m not used to sitting watching it – this morning however through lack of sleep I happened to be there and I noticed something odd: there seemed to be a queue.

What seemed to be happening is that two jobs would run simultaneously whilst other jobs sat showing a status of “Waiting for Worker Thread”.  After digging around I found that…

EXEC sp_configure;

… showed that the server was configured to automatically manage the max_worker_threads setting (value of 0), additionally…

SELECT max_workers_count FROM sys.dm_os_sys_info;

… showed that the value being used (based on the 32/64 bit status and number of cores) was indeed 512.  A quick check of…

SELECT COUNT(*) FROM sys.dm_os_threads;
SELECT COUNT(*) FROM sys.dm_os_workers;

… showed that the actual running values (54 & 46 respectively) were within expectations and nowhere near the 512 thread limit so what was happening?

Well, it turned out that whilst my jobs are a mix of OS admin tasks, legacy DTS jobs and SSIS packages most of them involve some form of PowerShell script to initialise them (usually moving files around, setting permissions, etc.).  The problem was down to an obscure setting that limits the max_worker_threads to just 2 for the PowerShell subsystem, the setting can be seen here:

SELECT subsystem,max_worker_threads
FROM msdb.dbo.syssubsystems;

In my case I just upped the running value to 40 (the same value set for CmdExec) and restarted SQL Server Agent:

UPDATE msdb.dbo.syssubsystems
SET max_worker_threads = 40
WHERE subsystem = ‘PowerShell’;

I’m yet to spot whether this has any other long term effect but things seem to be behaving fine, I will say that as part of my research I found other people saying that this setting did not persist through a restart on certain versions – I’m running 2008 R2 and that appears to be fine but it’s worth double-checking if you try this.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Ash - 20130114 at 09:50

Categories: Microsoft SQL Server   Tags: , , , , ,

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