All About Symbian - Nokia (S60) and Sony Ericsson (UIQ) smartphones unwrapped

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Old 12-02-2009, 12:10 PM
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It's Not Failure - It's Rebooting with Style

Congratulations to Kristian at the Nokia Beta Labs for the blog post this morning. Not for the failure of the Contacts on Ovi database (because we wouldn't want to cheer on that sort of thing), but for coming clean and laying out a full explanation online to the problem. One of the lessons of the modern web is that news travels very fast, and hedging explanations is never a good thing. Looks like The Cluetrain Manifesto is in full operation at Beta Labs.

Read on in the full article.

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Old 12-02-2009, 01:16 PM
Tzer2 Tzer2 is offline
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I think there's a real danger that online service companies are over-using the word "beta" to the point where the public doesn't know what it means any more.

Clearly "contacts on ovi" was a true beta, a budding project with very few staff where catastrophic failure was a possibility, and in itself the "beta" name should have warned users to be careful of relying on it too much.

But some services have been running for literally years, and have massive staff levels, yet they still use the word "beta".

Just checked my Gmail account and it STILL has "beta" in tiny letters under the logo... How long has Gmail been available, five years or something? That's just devaluing the word, making people insensitive to it.

What Nokia should have perhaps done was made the beta warning a bit stronger, emphasised that contacts was still being developed, and highlighted the possible risks. A lot of people don't mind taking risks as long as they're told about them beforehand. Otherwise people may assume that they're running a Gmail-style "beta", i.e. not really a beta in any meaningful sense.

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Old 12-02-2009, 05:01 PM
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I agree. I think it might be too late to reclaim the word, though. The logical next step is for entire phones to released with the beta tag. Wouldn't have been out of place on some recent ones either.

btw, what's with all the dodgy 'Buy an Indian bride' ads on the site just recently? Is someone trying to tell us something :-D

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Old 12-02-2009, 06:24 PM
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Note sure on the ad front - sometimes the default inventory serves up some strange content matching...

I think some times pre-release or early access might be better than beta. Beta has such a broad meaning thanks to the tendency of web companies to push out services as beta branded.
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Old 13-02-2009, 04:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tzer2 View Post
But some services have been running for literally years, and have massive staff levels, yet they still use the word "beta".

Just checked my Gmail account and it STILL has "beta" in tiny letters under the logo... How long has Gmail been available, five years or something? That's just devaluing the word, making people insensitive to it.
Everything in google is on beta. I dont remember seeing anything that was not beta in google.

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Old 13-02-2009, 02:50 PM
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Regardless of the "beta" status of the service - when you have real customers using something, you need to ensure that you can have a working backup more recent than 2 weeks ago.

This is a PR disaster for Nokia in my view and severely harms their reputation as a provider of web services. It makes them look like a bunch of amateurs, frankly.
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Old 13-02-2009, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
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Regardless of the "beta" status of the service - when you have real customers using something, you need to ensure that you can have a working backup more recent than 2 weeks ago.

This is a PR disaster for Nokia in my view and severely harms their reputation as a provider of web services. It makes them look like a bunch of amateurs, frankly.
Hotmail's lost user data, and has had user's accounts compromised (more than once). These incidents received wide coverage: Hotmail recovered and remains the most widely used email provider.

Target, the US shopping chain, had 40 million credit card accounts compromised. This also was widely reported. Target recovered.

Nokia, on the other hand, lost a relatively small amount of data (email addresses) for a relatively small number of users in an incident tha't received almost no publicity. They'll recover.

Not excusing what happened, just putting it in perspective.

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Old 13-02-2009, 06:38 PM
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I don't disagree with the thought that we take beta too much for granted. And the manner in which Beta Labs disclosed the issue is refreshing. But the real issue here, as far as I'm concerned, is that the most recent usable backup is from 23 Jan for an incident that took place on 11 Feb. The extent of lost data is totally unacceptable and unnecessary. I suspect there is more going on here than I know, but for a business endeavor that hopes to gain traction, failures of this type cannot be allowed to happen.

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