Why I’m (Rationalizing) Enduring AT&T

I’ve been complaining a lot lately about AT&T. I’m sorry. I tend to talk to my wife in the evenings while I’m sitting on my laptop and it’s easy to open Twitter and complain while I’m trying to reconnect the call. I guess I should stop. I’ve always had a problem when I get frustrated and have easy access to Twitter. You have no idea how hard it was not to rant on Twitter while I was working as a Realtor. I had other people’s businesses at stake, so I forced myself to keep my digital mouth shut.

I have no love for AT&T. I’ve endured them for a long time. I’ve been with “The New AT&T” since 2005, but before that I kept bouncing between Cingular and AT&T Wireless for 5 years prior to that as I’d leave one for the other only to be bought back by the one I left.

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My Comment On A Blog Post About Windows Phone 7

A colleague at work pointed out a blog post about Windows Phone 7. The writer of the post bought a new phone with Windows Phone 7 installed on it. He took it back within 4 hours and had to pay a restocking fee.

I would have simply left a comment on the blog post itself, but it’s hosted on InfoWorld, and I would have to register for an account. In a day and age when a 10 year old could easily code a site to allow me to log in with an existing account (like FaceBook, Twitter, or WordPress), InfoWorld, a site that apparently markets itself to IT professionals, requires me to create yet another account on their site. I’m tired of having to keep track of logins and passwords. I can’t tell you have many sites and blogs and forums I’ve had to create an account on just to leave a comment or view information and NEVER GO BACK AGAIN. I’m tired of it.

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Did Microsoft Actually Do Something Right?

After years of reading Lifehacker posts about tweaks to make Windows more like Mac OS X, here’s a post about a way to add some Windows functionality to Mac’s OS. Apparently, Windows 7’s Aero Peek is a coveted feature.

I like Aero Peek. If I ever get a Mac, I’ll install this program on it.

BlackBerry Blog: The First 5 Things I Do When I Get a New BlackBerry

It’s amazing how different the main smartphone platforms are. I came across a post on the BlackBerry Blog about the first 5 things the writer does when setting up a new BlackBerry.

I’m a dedicated iPhone user by this point. I’m not saying iPhone is the best out there, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s the best for me.

I almost laughed at the first thing this person does: Check to see if the device runs the latest software. When Christina and I got BlackJack II’s in 2008, they were running Windows Mobile 6.0. I learned that Windows Mobile 6.1 was out, so I spent most of that evening updating our new phones to the newest operating system.

I couldn’t even imagine Apple doing that. If you buy ANY iPhone from Apple, it will come out of the box with the newest version of the operating system. That makes me want to laugh at the other smartphone platforms. I’m pretty sure any new Mac comes with the latest software, although I don’t have much experience with buying new macs. I know I’ve never gotten a new Windows PC that didn’t have to download buttloads of updates right away. I’ve also never installed Linux without having to install tons of updates either.

That’s one of the things I like about the iPhone. I can get a new one, plug it into my laptop, and tell it to restore from my last backup. Then I have essentially the same phone without skipping a beat.

What It’s Like To Own An Apple Product

I came across this cartoon. I think it’s accurate enough.

Apple has got to be the only company on Earth to have a product that is barely 2 years old and still under warranty (my iPhone 3G), but is 2 generations behind and functionally obsolete.

Rumors About the iPhone on Verizon Annoy Me

Ever since the day the iPhone came out, tech blogs have been whining about how it should be released on Verizon. Every time a new iPhone or software update comes out, rumors start flying about how the iPhone will be on Verizon soon.

I want to reach through my screen and ask the tech bloggers or reporters if they remember 2 basic facts:

  1. Apple originally approached Verizon with the iPhone. Verizon would not bend it’s will far enough to allow the iPhone to be what it is on AT&T’s network.
  2. Apple has a 5 year contract with AT&T. Let’s see, the first iPhone came out in 2007.


That means the exclusive agreement will be over about in time for the end of the world. Unless you follow Harold Camping, in which case the world will end a few weeks before the iPhone 5 announcement…

None of the “iPhone on Verizon” rumors contain any statements like “AT&T is releasing Apple from it’s agreement” or “Verizon is relaxing it’s dictatorial grip on smartphone capabilities”. The last time I had a Verizon phone, I still couldn’t transfer ringtones to it over Bluetooth.

Most of these rumors operate on the assumption that the day after the iPhone came out, Verizon got on it’s knees in repentance to Steve Jobs and said “We are most sorry. We will allow you to do whatever you want on our network regardless of our existing policy. Have your way with us, oh great Steve.”

So today The Unofficial Apple Weblog ran its 48,031st rumor that a Verizon ready iPhone has been in existence at Apple, and is being developed alongside it’s cousin until the day it can be released.

My prediction? IF the iPhone EVER is released on Verizon, it will be after June of 2012. If it’s EVER released. Show me some evidence that Verizon will actually allow the iPhone to run at it’s AT&T capacity or better on their network, and I’ll believe it.

MobileMe May Soon Be Free?

This is interesting: according to TUAW, MobileMe might be free very soon. I took a 60 day trial of MobileMe last year, during October and November. It was decent, but other than the 20 GB of "cloud" storage, it didn't offer me anything Google didn't. At least, as a Windows user. I knew a couple of Mac users who got a lot out of it. 

I ended up cancelling the trial before it ran out. I figured I'd go back someday, if I buy a Mac.

Would you try MobileMe if it went free? 

iPhone OS 4 Multitasking

Here’s a video I came across featuring the multi-tasking in iPhone OS4.  It would be far more impressive if it showed more than Notes, Settings, and Clock.

And of course, it won’t work on my 3G. I’d have to jailbreak for that. Apple won’t support it.

So, What Do YOU Think of the iPad?

Today Apple announced the iPad,which has been referred to by fans as the Tablet for a while. I was getting sick of hearing about the Tablet. I was kind of hoping that it would turn out to be a figment of fans’ imaginations.

I watched the Gizmodo liveblog of the event this afternoon at work. I wasn’t interested in the Tablet, but I did want to know if the iPhone will see a software update anytime soon.

The name is cheesy. I saw Jason Dunn mention on Twitter that Apple must be moving into the feminine hygiene market now. I wanted to laugh, but there was too much activity around my cubicle again.

Through most of the event, I just couldn’t find anything to be impressed about. The iPad looks like an oversized iPhone. I already have an iPhone. But when they mentioned iWork, that got me interested. I do like the idea of being able to surf the Internet, check email, update Twitter, look at pictures, read books, and watch movies or listen to music on the go. That’s why I have an iPhone in the first place. I couldn’t make the intellectual leap as to why an iPhone that wouldn’t fit in my pocket would be a good idea.

Until I heard that you can actually work on the thing. I don’t do a lot of presentations. I’m hoping I can start doing some freelance writing soon, and the mobility and battery life are fairly attractive to me. It got me interested, anyway. I still think a MacBook Pro would be better for me.

As a technology blogger, I would be falling asleep at the switch if I didn’t offer a prediction. Here’s my prediction: this will be the last time Apple designs a product just because its fans and critics wouldn’t shut up about building a product.

That or it will be insanely successful and will revolutionize mobile computing.

Or a third option that I lack the imagination to see.

All I can say is I’m not that excited by it yet.

Fake Steve: Conference Call with Randall Stephenson at AT&T

Fake Steve nails it. Here is a post on the Fake Steve Jobs blog about a fictional conference call with Randall Stephenson of AT&T about how iPhone users are using too much bandwidth and AT&T wants to find a way to give them (us) an incentive to use less.

For those of you concerned about such things, the language is a little raw so be warned. Overall, I thought it was hilarious. I wish the real Steve Jobs would tell AT&T the same thing.

And now here we are. Right here in your own backyard, an American company creates a brilliant phone, and that company hands it to you, and gives you an exclusive deal to carry it — and all you guys can do is complain about how much people want to use it. You, Randall Stephenson, and your lazy stupid company — you are the problem. You are what’s wrong with this country.

UPDATE: It has come to my attention that Randall Stephenson is also a fictional personality. Sorry, though I've been an AT&T customer for years, I honestly never cared enough to find out who AT&T's executives are. Fictional executive aside, I'd still say Fake Steve (Dan Lyons) is dead on.