Globul BG

Recently Candice and I went on vacation to Bulgaria. When there, I picked up a few prepaid sim cards so as to be able to use some of my devices without incurring expensive roaming charges.
Globul was the network which made the process of purchasing the SIMs the easiest, and the rates were in my view very reasonable. For Lev 9.90 (£3.98 / $6.42) I purchased a prepaid data only SIM with a 2GB data allowance. Even though the SIM was meant for data only devices (tablets, laptops, mifi etc) it worked fine in my OnePlus One, so I was able to engage in the usual social networking and play Ingress too.

If you plan on visiting Bulgaria and need a SIM, check out Globul and consider their network, I personally recommend them. The Globul network is also available in English :

Ovivo Mobile shuts down

Ovivo Mobile, the UK MVNO has just shut down. The Ovivo website is giving the announcement and their customers the option to get their PAC code.
The operator's unique offering was the £0 a month sim card (250 minutes, 250 texts and 500mb data) funded by mobile advertising.

Here is the announcement from the Ovivo website:

Dear OVIVO Customers,
We are very sad to announce that for reasons beyond our control, OVIVO Mobile is closing down on the evening of Wednesday 19th March 2014.
We'd like to thank each and every one of you for your support and friendship over the last two years.
To keep your OVIVO number, just fill out this form, and we’ll send you your PAC code.

PAC code request form

To request a PAC code please complete the form below. There is no need to request a PAC code if you do not wish to keep your number. We will arrange for your PAC code to arrive as quickly as possible but there is a high demand for this service.

I'm quite annoyed. Just last week I purchased a SIM card from Ovivo for £20. The SIM card was delivered today and can't be activated.
Not happening. Not happy.
If you too are an annoyed Ovivo customer, feel free to vent your anger and frustration in the comment section below.

Goodbye Virgin Media Mobile

Today I'm getting a PAC code from Virgin Media Mobile and transferring my number to another network provider. The reason for this is the changes Virgin Media Mobile made to their Pay As You Go Big Data & Texts tariff and the reduction of the data allowance on the tariff.
The "Unlimited" data allowance with every £10 topup is gone, replaced  by a 1GB data limit. This isn't enough on the device I use that number in, as I stream podcasts while on the go to it.

I'll be switching to Three UK who offer 300 minutes, 3000 texts and All You Can Eat Data for £15 per month. It is slightly more expensive but I have had good experience with Three UK with my contract SIM cards and their data service in Edinburgh is excellent.
Hello again!
So long Virgin Media Mobile. I hope to see you change your tariffs again. If the changes are good I might be back, but for now I'm off to Three.

As usual, feel free to leave comments and/or questions below. 

Posterous Shutting Down On April 30th

The Posterous blogging platform will be shutting down on April 30th 2013. Since being acquired (or acqu-hired) by Twitter in March 2012, there have been few feature updates to the service.
On February 15th 2013 Sachin Agarwal, founder and CEO of Posterous, published a page linked to from the landing page with the announcement and instructions on how to export data from the service. The announcement itself follows.

Posterous will turn off on April 30
Posterous launched in 2008. Our mission was to make it easier to share photos and connect with your social networks. Since joining Twitter almost one year ago, we’ve been able to continue that journey, building features to help you discover and share what’s happening in the world – on an even larger scale.
On April 30th, we will turn off and our mobile apps in order to focus 100% of our efforts on Twitter. This means that as of April 30, Posterous Spaces will no longer be available either to view or to edit.

Right now and over the next couple months until April 30th, you can download all of your Posterous Spaces including your photos, videos, and documents. 

Here are the steps:

Go to
Click to request a backup of your Space by clicking “Request Backup” next to your Space name.
When your backup is ready, you'll receive an email.
Return to to download a .zip file.
If you want to move your site to another service, WordPress and Squarespace offer importers that can move all of your content over to either service. Just remember: you need to back up your Spaces by April 30.

We’d like to thank the millions of Posterous users who have supported us on our incredible journey. We hope to provide you with as easy a transition as possible, and look forward to seeing you on Twitter. Thank you.

Sachin Agarwal
Founder and CEO
So there goes another social media service. Tumblr seems to have won this section of the market, and definitely seems to have more traction.

As usual, feel free to leave comments and/or questions below. Here's a link to my practically unused Posterous space too. 

EE's UK 4G tariffs leak: :-0

I've been toying with the idea of switching my personal mobile phone contract to EE, the first UK 4G provider, since I discovered that Edinburgh will be covered from launch. This morning while reading The Verge I saw the table of the leaked tariffs and ended up making an impression of OMG cat.
I was making an impression of this cat.
The tariffs seem to be extortionate  but then if you think about it as well as limited amount of data you do get unlimited calls and unlimited texts. Here's the table of the tariffs, as compiled by the clever Ben Kersey from The Verge.
EE's 24 month tariffs at launch, courtesy of The Verge.
Well, that was an inertial dampener on my rush to be a 4G early adopter... I think I'll wait until there is more competition on the 4G market before switching, especially because for less than half the entry level tariff on EE I can get All You can Eat Data from Three UK.

As usual, feel free to leave comments and/or questions below. If you are of Orange or Magenta persuasion, feel free to troll in the comments section below, I'll just ignore you.

When In Egypt: Don't Get Ripped Off!

I've just got back from a vacation in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt. I'm writing this blog post as a bit of advice for people travelling to Egypt who want to use their smartphone and/or keep in touch with friends and family via the internet.

While on holiday I took my HTC Desire Android smartphone with me. The plan was to use the device to navigate (using Google Maps Navigation) and translate (using Google Translate) my way to an easier less stressful holiday. I also used GMail (for Google Mail), Seesmic (for Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz and Identica) and Picplz (to share snaps taken with the HTC Desire's excellent camera).

All these wonderful applications and services require a working data connection, and for that I was going to need a local SIM card so as to avoid horrendous roaming charges from my UK operator 3 UK. Bear in mind that you will need a GSM/UMTS device with no sim-lock to use an Egyptian sim card. After internet research before arriving in Egypt and then choosing in a local shop, I decided to go with a Vodafone Egypt Holiday SIM card. Vodafone Egypt offers the Holiday prepay SIM card for travellers visiting Egypt. As well as competitive rates for local and international calls this SIM card and plan offer relatively cheap data rates at 1 Egyptian Pound per MB of data.
A summary of the Vodafone Holiday tariff.
The Vodafone Holiday SIM card should cost 20 Egyptian Pounds (with 5 Egyptian Pounds worth of credit included) and you can buy credit top up cards in denominations of 10-15-20-50-100 Egyptian Pounds. When buying the credit from a Vodafone store you should pay face value for the top up cards. If buying your credit from another store (not a Vodafone one) it is fair to pay 10%-20% extra for the top up card. As usual in Egypt you will have to haggle with the shop keeper to attain that price.

All in all my Vodafone SIM card did me well while I was in Sharm El Sheik. I only had to top up 50 Egyptian pounds worth of credit during my week there (at the time of writing £5 UK). This was mainly used outside the hotel grounds, because I used the HTC Desire with WiFi on while in the Hotel.

At the time of writing this post the exchange rate of the Egyptian Pound to the UK Pound Sterling is 0.1 so every UK Pound gives you approximately 10 Egyptian Pounds.

Feel free to leave comments/questions.