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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Scoble: Why I Can’t Kick the iPhone Out of My Life

Robert Scoble, a total gadget geek, who hangs around with other gadget geeks, can’t get rid of his iPhone. In this post, he explains why. Scoble is a tech journalist among many other things, and has access to tons of other phones. He can either afford to have several phones on several different networks, or he gets review units paid for by other people. Many of the people Scoble runs with are in the same situation.

At one point, I used to listen to several tech podcasts and read several tech blogs. I found the people behind these are often more opinionated than political journalists and bloggers. I eventually drifted away from most of them due to time and bias issues. I got tired of the “Mac can do no wrong, Microsoft can do no right” attitude. And I didn’t want to spend the time to keep up anymore.

So Scoble runs with people who can afford (or are provided) four or more different phones at the same time. Most of these people had an iPhone the FIRST day it was out, and used it until everybody else caught up, then moved on to other phones. Now they’re using Android or whatever else is trendy.

I have an iPhone 3G. I’m content with it. It’s not a 3GS or a 4G, it’s a 3G. On iOS4, it’s slow and crashes a lot. But I still like it. I look forward to the day when I get an iPhone 4G. The iPhone isn’t as trendy as it once was, but I like it.

In the circles I run in, I notice an interesting trend. In Real Estate, at least here in south Jersey, I notice two prominent phones: the iPhone, and the BlackBerry curve. For some reason, most Realtors in this area seem to gravitate to those two models. I see other phones, but those two are the ones I see most people using.

As for me, I can’t say if I could kick the iPhone out of my life or not. I wouldn’t want to. I’m content with it.

Great Question: Where’s Our Rollover Data, AT&T?

When I write posts like “Rumors of the iPhone on Verizon annoy me”, I’m not saying that I don’t want to see the iPhone on other networks. I have little love for AT&T. For some reason, I think GSM is a better technology than CDMA, but I’m hard pressed to provide any objective evidence to support that opinion. I just like being able to switch phones by moving a little chip.

The only problem I have with those rumors is stated in my last post on the subject. Apple would be breaking a contract, and Verizon has left no evidence that they would allow the iPhone’s capabilities on it’s network. They turned it down in the first place.

I have no idea if Verizon has a better network than AT&T. At one point, I had Verizon phones issued by a company I worked for. I had a RAZR and 2 models of BlackBerries during the time I worked there. It didn’t seem like I had better reception. If anything, there were times I had to use my personal AT&T phone because I couldn’t get a decent connection on Verizon’s network.

I’ve always liked the concept of rollover minutes. I never use all the minutes I pay for, but I did pay for them, so why can’t I keep them? The Unofficial Apple Weblog now asks: where’s our rollover data?

Most people don’t use the full amount of data allowed. Why can’t we roll over a few gigs? I’ve always wondered why we can’t tether our phones up to our full allotment of data, except that the few telcos in existence have us over a barrel and can dictate whatever terms they want, since we have few options. I can’t take my iPhone to Cricket.

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.

Bezos: Kindle is “Buy Once, Read Everywhere”

I'm happy about this. One massive problem I've had with adopting eBooks, a technology that I'm really excited about, is a fear of "platform lock-in". 

Let me explain. Say you buy an eBook device. It doesn't matter which one. Kindle, iPad, Sony eReader, whatever. Now you can only buy books from a single provider. And if that provider goes out of business, or if your hardware becomes obsolete, you might lose access to your books.

I have an iPhone and a Barnes & Noble nook. I almost never use the nook. I've only gotten free books for it. It was a Christmas present (or an unmentionable solstice cultural observance present for those of you who go into seizures at the mention of Christmas). I'd hoped to be able to read pdf files on the nook, but most of them don't format properly which renders it nearly useless.

Any Barnes & Noble books I buy can be read on my PC and iPhone. But still, Amazon has a better inventory, and often better prices, so when I buy eBooks, I buy them from Amazon.

Also, Sony books can also be read on a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, etc. But still, Amazon has a better inventory with better prices.

I'm convinced that the hardware eBooks are read on is a secondary factor. What matters most is content. Who has the best content, at the best price, with the best way to avoid obsolescence? So far, in my observation, the winner is Amazon.

Which is why I was happy to see Jeff Bezos' (founder of Amazon) quote in this blog post. Despite providing their own hardware (Kindle), Amazon is still committed to delivering content (books) as far and wide as possible. Even though I have a competing device, most of my purchased content is for Kindle, which I read on my iPhone and computer.

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? 

eReader Race: iPad in the Lead, nook Ahead of Kindle

That was hard to keep straight. According to The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW), Barnes & Noble's nook is beating out Amazon's Kindle, but the iPad is outselling both. Well, good.

I have a nook. I don't have a Kindle or an iPad. I'd like them. I read Kindle books on my iPhone. 

In the grand scheme of things, I don't see any doubt that the iPad has the most elegant user interface (UI). It also has the most function. Not only can you read a book, you can write a blog post ABOUT the book on the same device. Technically, you can do that on an iPhone as well, but it'll be more challenging.

I would say as a runner up in elegance, nook comes in second, although I've never physically touched a Kindle. I've never seen one up close. I've seen plenty of pictures and unboxing videos of them, but never seen one in person. Nook is very streamlined and pleasing to the eye. It would be #1 if the iPad didn't exist.

But when it comes to any kind of eBook reader, content is king. I don't care how cool your iPad or nook is if you can't read anything on it. At the present time, Amazon is the king of content.

I've bought a few Kindle books. I haven't bought any books for nook yet. Both Amazon and B&N offer free eBooks. B&N's don't seem to update very often though. I got my nook on January 15. At the time, B&N offered 2 books for free in a Star Wars fiction series. I downloaded them. Amazon offers those two plus book 3, which has yet to show up on Barnes & Noble. I've seen very little change in Barnes & Noble's selection (at least their free selection). 

What my nook is good for is reading pdf files. I download a lot of free pdf documents and rarely get around to reading them. I haven't found a good (free) way to read pdf documents on my iPhone, and my netbook's battery life is pretty bad (2 hrs). So I put them on my nook. But for books, I typically use Amazon.

I would love to see a universal content. Then you could buy the reader that you want, and buy the content that you want, and join them together. I don't like the current model where the reader you choose will dictate the content you can buy. The latest software update for nook allows web browsing and playing chess. Whoopee! I'd rather be able to read my Kindle content on it.