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Comment Ain't all it's cracked up to be (Score 1) 303

VZW has brought out their version of popular GSM phones before. What you get is a watered down, restricted version of the original. My first experience with that was when the Moto Razr came out. I still use my 1st gen razr for cheap international roaming. The one my wife got through VZW is about a notch up from a furniture store prop. At least with the VZW iPhone, that will mean no international roaming (ala Blackberry 8830 - despite it's disabled gps feature intended to "force" you to buy the VZW add-on), unlocking it will be difficult and ultimately pointless, and no simultaneous voice and data.

The WSJ reported that one major reason Apple did not partner with VZW on the iPhone in the beginning boiled down to control over applications. As far as I can tell, VZW is still wrapped around the axle of trying to profit off of proprietary content that is widely available and free elsewhere (if your phone supports it). Their voice and data networks simply rock, but their cobbled up, proprietary phone choices keep me away. Apple and AT&T aren't exactly known for their openness, but at least you get the full feature set.

As far as 3G 4G or 12G, who really cares anymore? None of the providers really can or are willing to deliver anything close to theoretical speeds. When they finally do upgrade, it takes them another year to refresh their phone offerings to really take advantage of any increase. Just take the marketing fluff, multiply by 0.2, and that's what you can expect.

Comment Re:I've heard of this before. (Score 1) 218

This has happened in the Atlanta, GA. area. Apparently a builder of cluster homes had oriented a few just the right way so that the sun would reflect and focus off the windows of one house and melt the vinyl siding on the adjacent one. There were about 4-5 homes like this in the subdivision IIRC. Big debate with the stupid builder doing many warranty repairs on the siding of house B but refusing to do anything with the windows on house A. What a maroon.

Comment Re:I know this is a silly question before I ask it (Score 1) 674

The ones that either must do international business or whose families are originally from elsewhere in the world do. The other 98% don't have a need to know another language and therefore do not.

I have travelled in Western Europe and South America but have not had the good fortune to stay long enough to really learn another language and be fluent. I grew up in the southwest USA and can get the gist of a conversation in Spanish but know just enough to get by when traveling. Barely functional with German and Portuguese - I was only in Germany a week and Brazil 3 weeks. I did manage to not go hungry and get the taxi driver to know where I needed to go and what time to pick me up. A weekend in France was a challenge, but I lived through that too.

The realities of day to day life put learning another language pretty low on my priority list. Not because I'm a snobby American, but just haven't got time for everything. One of these days I will though.

Comment Re:3G on new OS hitch free so far (Score 1) 702

The tethering works as advertised with decent speed. The only downside is not using the iPhone as a WAP (no JB). No big deal as I can share the connection with a PC if I need to. It adds a new ethernet interface both on OSX and Windows XP. The XP change required a restart. The only action taken was to turn the feature "on" in the phone preferences.

Comment 3G on new OS hitch free so far (Score 1) 702

I was able to get the update at about 13:30 EDT. The download took about a minute and the upgrade process took about an hour. It appears to do a full backup, wiping and reloading all data on the phone. I have a 16G model with about 11G in use. YMMV. Everything came back to life on completion. About the only minor nuisance was all apps using location services prompted again to allow it.

I went directly to configure the tethering feature and had to change to one of the new data plans. AT&T hasn't added the tethering package to the options list in the account management portal. So I had to call 611 to talk to a live person. About 30 seconds of options and I was connected to an agent that quickly made the requested changes. Once I've had a chance to set it up I'll probably do a follow up post.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 240

Well said. When you go gadget shopping, it's rare to find a perfect match to what you want. So you take a second choice by measuring your patience against the effort required to make it do what you want.

Amazing how many folks go buy stuff then whine about what it could, should, might can do but won't. That really sucks the joy out of what you just bought and doesn't do anything for you that you didn't know about in advance.

Comment It's not really free (Score 1) 157

The cost of delivering that "free wi-fi" at a hotel just gets baked into the room charge. So now you pay for wi-fi whether you use it or not. Quit kidding yourself that there's some sort of magical value there. That's not to say that economy hotels won't use it as a loss-leader to get your reservation. But I guarantee that free service is on a cost of doing business line on their balance sheet, which is at least offset by your room charge.

Besides that, wi-fi at hotels just sucks to begin with regardless of how you pay for it. Especially at hotels that host conferences. I pay for a 3G card out of my own pocket just so I can get my job done no matter what the wi-fi situation is at my destination. Seriously.. if being able to do your job somewhere isn't worth paying for dependable service (costs me around $40 a month), maybe you need to re-think how valuable your job is, or at least how important having internet service is. There's nothing more priceless than sitting in a conference with 100 other attendees and being the only person in the room with decent internet connection. What's amazing is how many people depend on wi-fi at hotels when it is notoriously bad.

Granted, I do most of my travel in North America so that works for me. On the rare occasion that I go to somewhere else in the world, I just make do without or pay the price for whatever is available. It's usually a short trip and goes on the expense report, and even then normally not every day since I'm usually at an office most times. If I leave North America on a personal trip, I really don't use internet service anyway.

Comment Re:Hehe (Score 1) 62

I'm guessing she disconnected. She clearly had just avoided the unpleasant thought that someone somewhere had to pay for that service that she has been using for free all that time. When it finally sunk in, it wasn't what she wanted to hear and just dropped the call.

What is truly a shame is that this is a sample of what a lot of people think - that if it's out there for the taking that it's ok to do so. I liked his comparison to justifying shoplifting at a grocery store. Then this one had the arrogance or ignorance to complain when her "free" service disappeared!

Comment Re:Bitter he's not at the party (Score 1) 671

My thoughts exactly. It's a big iPod Touch, or iPhone without the camera and data-only cell port. The functionality ought to be about the same. Not exactly, but that's why there's a features link on the Apple home page. Since it's not for sale yet, that features page will probably change in the coming weeks as well.

Thing is, everyone is so full of Apple hate that they can't process the new product. It's a pretty focused gadget that will appeal to a few and not appeal to many. If the thing doesn't fit into your use habits or brand preferences, don't buy one! I will probably check one out the next time I pass by the Apple store at the mall, but probably won't buy one or even make a special trip to the store to look one over. From what I've seen so far, it's a neat gadget that really doesn't do anything useful enough for me to spend the bucks and buy one.

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