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Submission + - Mysterious resurrection of a "bricked" LG Leon Android on Metro PCS.

Bob_Who writes: I don't have an explanation, but here are the facts. My friend finds a LG Leon Metro PCS phone in Las Vegas, without a SIM card. He buys a SIM card, and uses the phone "pay as you go" for almost a year. No problems. He moves to another state, goes to the local Metro PCS store, gets a new local phone number, and pays for a month of service. No problems. Until I get involved... I notice he has managed to consume all of his data allowance in two days while he has established constant access to Wi-Fi for any data needs. Furthermore, this phone will process phone calls over the Wi-Fi, so there is no reason to swallow up 3 Gigs of data while playing games over Wi-Fi if the software is properly set. I suggest that he minimize any data and power sucking features or applications running in the background; generally helpful advice. There is a caveat apparently, with Android, to only make changes to the system "one at a time", or else there can be conflicts in the OS at reboot. This happens on rare, occasion and it happened to this phone. The system would reboot and load the desktop, and then scan the icons and display menus in rapid succession, and just repeat this crap over, and over, and over, in an infinite loop. After a forced shut down, this loop would repeat, ad nausea.

I Googled it and found nothing useful. So I resorted to some of the suggestions on similar posts that recommended a "hard reset" to factory defaults. This went well and as expected. A dialog appears to verify the registered user of the phone by asking for google account and passwords, which had been in place for nearly a year, but may have not been the original owner. The Metro PCS dialog accepts the information but asks for additional info: the original info used in Las Vegas. That info is entered and accepted but the dialog references the old phone number and wants to send a text to that old and now defunct phone number in order to proceed. We no longer have that number. So we realize we must go to a Metro PCS store, as suggested online in similar posts.

Here's the weird part — even though this verification dialog is focused on the phone screen, in the background the phone is fully functional. I can call the number with another phone, I can bring up a browser, connect to Wi-Fi, etc. So I look up the closest Metro PCS on Google in a browser on that phone, and we go there to get it fixed. The folks there can't fix it. They can sell you a phone. They suggest that we "Call Google" but don't offer a number, and I don't ask because they were more interested in just selling us a new phone. That's how they get paid, after all.... Next Metro PCS, same story: they fiddle with it, and then say to "call Google".

Next stop, the original Metro PCS where my buddy paid for a month and got the new SIM and local number... They give us the Google number. Good thing because I I'd feel really stupid calling Google's main switchboard with this crap. We call Google, and much to our surprise we get a phone bank in India. At least that's how is sounds. We are instructed to connect to a PC. After a few disconnects from my Cellular (iPhone, AT&T on a busy distant tower) we manage to install the LG bloatware and drivers and connect the phone to a PC. Everything is normal. But the phone bank support can't seem to accomplish anything more and then tells us to: "Throw out the phone, it will never work for you." and "Just throw it away and by a new phone" We are resolved to buy a phone from another crappy carrier...

Nevertheless, this phone does work: it still connects to Wi-Fi in the background behind the nag dialog, and so we keep hammering that dialog. It asks for email and password. And we keep feeding it the account email and password. Over and over again, from time to time, over the course of two days....

Voila! The phone works perfectly! I don't know why, but it works. The nagging dialog is gone, and everything isa normal!

The moral of the story: When customer service at three Metro PCS stores and on an off shore phone bank tell you to toss out a working phone (or any hardware) because they can't figure out how to operate buggy software, IGNORE THAT ADVICE. A working phone is more reliable than buggy Android. Even when it is supposed to be "bricked"....

At least, that was our experience, for what it's worth....

Submission + - Unlike US Polling, Slashdot Poll Favors Pense over Kaine 3 to 1... but Why? (slashdot.org)

Bob_Who writes: Why do so many people feel the that Mike Pence won the debate?

I do not believe that they do. I think that we are seeing a phenomenon in which these results in no way reflect reality. It would be interesting if there was a thorough analysis to understand if this is due to AstroTurf, the tendencies of red team and blue team players, or the actions of a few obsessive Trumpsters that know the end is near. We'll see on election day how the skewed results here in no way resemble reality. I'm more interested in understanding why that may be, exactly; there may be deeper insights as to why polls don't represent opinion nearly as much as they try to influence and distort it.

Perhaps, it tells the truth with lies and it tells lies with the truth. Either way, its bullshit, which ain't good for much, but fertilizer.

Come on Slashdot, any data you care to share on this hypothesis? I'd love to see something bloom that makes the stench worth tolerating.

Submission + - Sprint, Walmart launch Common Cents mobile (broadbandreports.com)

Bob_Who writes: As reported on BroadBandRreports, Sprint and Walmart launch Common Cents mobile. Can call it Common Cents or Boost or Virgin or Sprint, its still not as good a deal as you think. Prepay Common Cents cellular at .07 a minute / per text still boils down to $20/mo. bottom line, for some, since your minutes may expire monthly. Its half of the 39.99*/mo price point on my Sprint two year contract (*$46 or so, after surcharges & fees). We must, once again, buy another unnecessary cellphone to add to our collection of toxic land fill. The fact that my old Sprint phone can't be used on this SPRINT network is not only ludicrous, it should be a crime and as harshly dealt with as an oil spill.

No matter how you slice and dice it, cellular is and will always be a TOTAL RIP OFF because it is in the hands of a few corporate monsters who have claimed the bandwidth and have every intention of extorting every possible penny from the market until our dying day, or thereafter, if possible. Until we actually have competition in the market, or we rewrite the LAW we are paying too much.

Gouging the citizens for the benefit of the shareholders may be legal and ethical, but IMHO its immoral and uncivilized to screw the 'many' for the benefit of the 'few'.

Ultimately, we need to change all corporate commerce, or else "eat the rich" will be the new populous slogan.

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