Unless something has changed in the last year that I've been living abroad, you can go to some of the big auto parts stores. Murray's and Autozone I've personally done this at. Go in there and slap down a $75 deposit on your credit card and they will loan you an OBDII sensor for free. Return the sensor and you'll get your deposit back.
Simple as that. I've done it on a couple occasions. Like I said it may have changed or you may not have either of those that I know for sure do it in your neighborhood, but for those that do it works out great.
It's essentially dead. It died in Chicago (even though there's still rumblings to restart it)for a couple reasons. The first was that the investment required by the ISP to provide it did not yield enough of a profit. Second, as usual once the aldermen and the mayor and their cronies start putting all kinds of external demands on it nobody wants to touch it. Then add that you're in Ameritech/AT&T's backyard who can pay enough to make any politician take notice and you want to give away their territory for free?
There's miles and miles and miles of unused fiber all over the city and county all "owned" by different organizations and suborganization and each holding on to it. The problem is the only way to get them to work together would be with some form of regional authority to manage the infrastructure but as soon as they would try to do that the Bell's would jump in and pay off some politicians to convince them that it's in the City/County/State's best interest to just keep paying them to use their services.
I'm sure this is the case in most metropolitan areas. Giving stuff away is un-American you damn socialists!
I'm not suprised it's number one now either.
I don't think it caught on until they started the iPhone for Everyone campaign. (0 Yen for the 8GB) Oh and you need to have established credit in Japan. I had to pay mine up front and then they refund a little every month.
Living in Japan and walking around with my iPhone I find that many Japanese I run into want to check out my iPhone. They'll play with it for a while and tell me they want one. Usually they're waiting to get out of the current contract.
A couple other things that slowed the adoption:
1) Softbank is not known as the best provider. People complain about their customer service quite often. The coverage isn't exactly the best either. It is more the new kid on the block here.
2) The way the phone charges work, your cell phone plan only counts towards calling people on the same network. With Softbank not having the largest market share this keeps a lot of Japanese loyal to their provider because that's what their friends have. If you call AU or a land line, you incur charges over and above your plan. At least you don't pay usually for incoming calls. But if you want to call your friends who don't have an iPhone, you're going to pay so keep it brief.
3) Before they introduced the packet rate discount your bill could be well over $100. That's close to the base rate I had with my iPhone in the states but the Japanese are used to paying a lot less.
4) Emoji! Definitely it lacking originally was a big drawback. See the above charges for using your actual phone and you'll see why they spend a lot of time texting and Emoji are a big part of that.
Now on the plus side:
1) The majority of Japanese do not have home computers. This country is a deadzone for Wi-fi and most of their Internet browsing and other activities is done on their phones. My wife has one of the fancy phones here with TV and all and the web browser sucks compared with an iPhone and Safari. Many of them are looking forward to being able to surf the web with something decent.
2)Games. Many hours on the train everyone is glued to their phones or PSP's playing away. If you combine the gaming of the PSP with Internet and phone the marriage is made for the commutes.
3)As mentioned above, the GS came out just as the marketing push really started taking hold.
Hehe... I like the comment about not caring about the voice control. The Japanese cover their mouths when they speak in public so as not to disturb others around them. I really don't see them embracing voice commands...
btw... just in case anyone thinks about bringing a foreign iPhone over, Softbank in June started cracking down on "foreign" iPhones on their network. Even though you buy the packet discount and all the iPhone packages, Softbank will charge you per packet. I unlocked my old AT&T iPhone 3G for my wife to use because she wasn't happy with the "gadget filled" phone she originally got from Softbank. Well it worked fine for the first couple months, then out of the blue we got a bill for $1600 and another for $400. This has happened to a number of other people as well. They eventually refunded much of it with the promise that we wouldn't do it again.
Unix as well...
How else can you be trained so thoroughly to ignore evidence right before eyes? It's the thing science fiction writers have dreamt about and the Catholic church has perfected in their indoctrination rituals. So complete is the brainwashing that people are willing to hand over their very last penny to an elected official wearing custom made Italian shoes, a pointy hat and living in a great white palace.
`Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous,' he told the meeting. `If a man really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way to do it would be start his own religion.'
- L. Ron Hubbard
"But I have always thought there might be a lot of cash in starting a new religion...".
- George Orwell
What do you do when you're at the top of your market share and can't innovate to come up with something else and you've bought up every home market vendor?
Crash in on a new commodity market with an overpriced product; while maybe considered a caddilac, sell it at Mercedes prices.
All the while Juniper's chomping at your heals in your traditional space with a rock solid product and chipping away.
Daley wouldn't trust his employees to watch the cameras. They're too busy watching the clock!
Actually. OEMC uses software technology to identify "suspicious" activity or people on their camera system to reduce the number of people who need to watch it. It basically looks for people who walk back and forth in front of the camera too many times (maybe a hooker or drug dealer). Or you can do search parameters on suspect descriptions. Obviously not a perfect science but it works well enough that Daley and OEMC are willing to spend as much money in a time of hundred million dollar deficits.
Anyways, the police will tell you it's pretty much just forced the criminals to move away from the cameras to do there business. That is why he needs to put them on every corner.
btw... This program is actually mostly your homeland security grant money at work. OEMC is the only department that can go after those grants and they do like gang-busters.
Daley has pretty much lost control over the City. He has admitted as much in the audio tied to the clockwatchers comment where he says the City doesn't know how to run facilities like the airports, skyway, and parking meters. Yet he forgets that he appoints the commissioners who run the departments each in their own empires.
And yes. Cameras, just like police are reactive measures. They can only respond to crimes.
Unfortunately, the only proactive solution is allowing guns back in the City. Daley's gun ban hasn't worked out so well. The crime rate has really been dropping since then and nobody ever gets shot in the City. He's already said he's going to waste as many tax payer dollars as it takes to fight the supreme court until his last breath.
"All the people are so happy now, their heads are caving in. I'm glad they are a snowman with protective rubber skin" -- They Might Be Giants