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Comment: Re:It is a ripoff, indeed (Score 1) 273

by ByzantineAlex (#46446775) Attached to: WSJ: Americans' Phone Bills Are Going Up
No, I really meant 50MB. Yes, I know it's VERY little data, almost nothing, but I have specified that for data there are other options (plans). This is for talking only, with VERY occasional wireless access. But still... This is 7$. I don't really use mobile data, since I can find wifi pretty much anywhere in the city (stores, malls, coffee shops, restaurants, etc), so approx 7$ covers a month of phone usage. I would say it's reasonable. Now calculate the profits made at the American tariffs. On the other hand, yes, I know, the up-front investment on the infrastructure was huge at the scale of both Canada and US (Romania is only the size of Colorado) - but that investment should have been amortized by now, I assume.

Comment: It is a ripoff, indeed (Score 1) 273

by ByzantineAlex (#46444403) Attached to: WSJ: Americans' Phone Bills Are Going Up
In Romania (which is in Europe), 5 euro (almost 7 US$) brings you about 2500 in-the-network national SMS/minutes + 200 out-of-network or international SMS/minutes + 50MB of data. For other usages, like higher data consumption, there are other plans/promotions. There are occasional bonuses as well, like unlimited minutes during a certain time-frame (say, 21 days). Of course, they still make lots of money, let's not pity them. So the North-American prices (especially the Canadian ones) are pure theft. Been there, done that. I was paying about 40$/month for an extremely light usage.

Comment: Strange, when you think of it (Score 2) 318

by ByzantineAlex (#45079153) Attached to: The Ridiculous Tech Fees You're Still Paying
Meanwhile, in Romania, of all places, a provider (RDS) announced deployment of a new "pipe" (fiber-optic) that would allow (they say) up to 1 GB/sec down, all that for around 10..12 euro/mo, which is the cost of a one-person lunch in a mid-scale restaurant in town. I currently have about 40Mb/sec and pay 23 euro/mo for the whole package (internet, 70 channnels IPTV, and landline phone). In other words, if the situation is this bad in Australia, as per previous posts... it clearly is a huge money grab.

Comment: Bing is fine, except one thing... (Score 4, Interesting) 514

by ByzantineAlex (#30147682) Attached to: Bing Gains 10% Marketshare
  • So many people have such a blinding hate for everything Microsoft that they lose all semblance of moral and logical integrity. Therefore the argument becomes puerile, unfortunately, like many of the replies above.
  • Anyway, back to the subject: in my opinion Bing is quite good, and has some interesting qualities. Are they enough to make people leave their "google" comfort-zone ? No, not yet. There's nothing revolutionary enough. Anyway, I really wish them well - competition is always welcome.
  • Note. In my experience one area where Bing really fails badly at this time is searching for references to people. Search for instance for "bruce springsteen" (with quotes). How many hits you get ? In Google you get almost 11 mils. In Bing you get around 4.5 mils. In this case, of course, there's no difference (comparing two almost infinite numbers doesn't make sense - nobody will go past page 10 anyway), but searching for less well-known people will be something else - you'll get, say, 334 hits in Google, and 2 in Bing. Now that's a huge difference ! Some of the 334 hits in google were real hits. Search for instance for your own name, or for the names of your friends, not for "celebs". That's Bing's biggest downside right now, imho.

Comment: Re:Globalization (Score 1) 709

by ByzantineAlex (#29875823) Attached to: This Hallowe'en ...
I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future, for our children. :-))

Comment: I would rather have them simply work (Score 1) 220

by ByzantineAlex (#29145891) Attached to: Speculating On the Far Future of Cellphones
I would simply like a phone which works EVERYWHERE, like the satellite phones - but I hear that those companies are not with us anymore. I would like to be able to turn left or right on the street, to enter a building, or to go outside the city and still have reception. Is this too much to ask ? Whenever I'm at home, if I receive a call on the cell, I need to go on the balcony to be able to talk (but it could be inconvenient, rain, snow, and all, don't you think ?) and the house is not even made of reinforced concrete to form some kind of cage. So then if I receive a call late in the evening, in winter, I don't dress up to be able to go outside and take the call - I just take the number and call back from my landline. And I still have one year of my contract. A phone that simply works well and everywhere on this continent would be the greatest telecomm revolution.

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously. -- Booth Tarkington