I live in an area that has a Time Warner Cable/AT&T duopoly. The fastest speed TWC offers is 50Mb for $100/month. AT&T offers 24Mb, if you're lucky (i.e. live next to one of their VRADs and have clean copper). AT&T saying they can offer 1Gb is laughable.
I use Straight Talk, which is part of Tracfone, who is owned by America Movil (their owner Carlos Slim is the richest person in the world). I bought their AT&T SIM, popped it into my iPhone 4S, set up the data APN and I was using AT&T's network without dealing with AT&T's customer service, bills or contracts. I pay $45 a month, which gets me unlimited talk, text and data (some people say their data is capped at 2GB, but I haven't had a problem). It's cheaper if you buy it 3, 6 or 12 months at time. If you own your phone outright, prepaid is the way to go.
Not to mention the enormous subsidies that the carriers pay Apple to get the iPhone and that Apple gets a cut of the monthly subscription charge. It's a double-edged sword. Verizon gets more customers, but they pay through the nose if the customer chooses an iPhone. Also, Verizon had to bulk up their EVDO coverage, which cost millions if not billions, for the iPhone as they saw what happened to AT&T when the iPhone was released.
I recently canceled Sprint and paid the ETF to do so. That's after having Sprint for nearly 10 years. I got an iPhone 4S with Straight Talk ( MVNO that uses AT&T's network). Why? Because I wanted a data service that works. With Sprint, I was frequently on 1X. Even when I was on 3G, the speeds were crap. Sprint bit off more than they can chew with the iPhone. WiMax was a bust. Nextel customers are leaving in droves and their Network Vision plan may well be the final nail in the coffin.
Here in the states, both Virgin Mobile and Straight Talk have unlimited data included in their plans.
Buy a prepaid phone. The up front cost of the phone is more expensive, but the service plans are cheaper. Also, no contract. There are even decent Android phone available on prepaid providers, for example, the Motorola Triumph on Virgin Mobile or LG Optimus Q on Straight Talk.
I consider Internet access a utility like electricity or water service. If a community doesn't have broadband Internet access, they will be left behind. They will be unable to fully participate in society. If a private utility is unwilling or unable to provide a community with broadband Internet, the community should have to right to step up and do it themselves. If that scares the private utilities, good. It should. If a private utility wants to get and keep customers in an area where there is community broadband, then provide value for money and don't treat customers as cash machines. If you look at communities where there is competition for broadband Internet access, prices go down and speeds go up. Look at Verizon FiOS vs. Comcast or Time Warner vs. AT&T U-Verse. When a utility knows they have a monopoly, they have no incentive to upgrade infrastructure and will just sit back and milk the consumers, because they can. I can currently get 6Mb DSL for $40 or 10Mb Cable for $54.95. I chose DSL because it is less expensive. Some people don't have that choice or even an option for broadband. What are they supposed to do?
The blame for California's energy "crisis" in 2000 lies with one company - Enron. There are recorded conversations between Enron and the power plants where Enron asks the power plants to shut down for "maintenance" to reduce supply, thus driving up the price. Enron traders were recorded laughing at California's misery and mocking them for having to pay high prices. Once price caps were instituted, the energy "crisis" ended. California's deregulation was a joke to Enron who made billions at the expense of California residents. Watch "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room".
Did the local cable or phone company propose this bill? "When you have no other choice in broadband or telephone service, you'll pay what we say."
I'm using a stereo Bluetooth headset while on my laptop using 802.11g. I'm hearing the music clear as a bell and my internet surfing is going unimpeded.
tekgoblin (1675894) writes "First we had issues with the iPhone 4 and its reception related to they way it was held. Now there are many users reporting a problem with the proximity sensor on the phone during a call. I have actually had the same issues with my new iPhone 4 as well. The problem occurs during a call when the phone is up against your ear, the sensor is supposed to turn off the screen. But users are reporting that the screen is staying lit thus causing accidental input."
Link to Original Source
Link to Original Source
mmmscience writes "In 2009, a series of small earthquakes shook the region of L'Aquila, Italy. Seismologists investigated the tremors, but concluded that there was no direct indication of a big quake on the horizon. Less than a month later, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake killed more than 300 people. Now, the chief prosecutor of L'Aquila is looking to charge the scientists with gross negligent manslaughter for not predicting the quake."
An anonymous reader writes "The sci-fi movie Splice seems to have scared the Ohio's State Senator Steve Buehrer. The Ohio Senate has passed Sen. Buehrer's bill banning 'the creation, transportation, or receipt of a human-animal hybrid, the transfer of a nonhuman embryo into a human womb, and the transfer of a human embryo into a nonhuman womb.' So much for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."
kreide33 writes "Key/Value storage systems are gaining in popularity, much because of features such as easy scalability and automatic replication. However, there are several to choose from and performance is an important deciding factor. This article compares the performance of two of the most well-known projects, Cassandra and Voldemort, using several different mixes of access types, and compares both throughput and latency."
I recently stayed in a Marriott that charged $12.95 a day (noon-to-noon) for Internet and long distance calling. I took my Pre, fired up Mobile Hotspot and went 'FU' to the hotel. In these days of free ubiquitous Internet, it is offensive that any place charges for Internet access, whether it be wired or wireless.