Posts Tagged ‘AT&T’


Questions for Steve Jobs Regarding the New iPad

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

  1. You’re offering the iPad in two flavors, one with 3G and the other with WiFi only, each in a variety of memory sizes. I have an iPhone, so I already pay for an unlimited data plan. I’m wondering, will I be able to tether my iPhone to my iPad and thus only need to buy the WiFi iPad? Just when will tethering be made available for American customers? If I lived in some third world country that allows for tethering, would your answer be different? Will European customers be able to just tether their iPhone to their WiFi iPad?
  2. So I noticed that you’ll be selling books in ePub format. According to Wikipedia at least, there’s a method of enabling DRM on ePub files, but it’s optional. Are you planning on enabling DRM on the books you sell? After your previous essay decrying DRM, I would think you’d be loathe to introduce it to this new medium. After all, it took a herculean effort to convince the record labels to ditch DRM. Where do book publishers stand on this? Has your position changed at all?
  3. So the iPhone/iPad OS doesn’t have a file manager, which is fine in the iPhone, but I’m unsure if it’s fine on the iPad. For example, say I downloaded a video legally over bit torrent that is encoded as a wmv (example here). Will I be able to move that video onto my iPad to watch it? Will alternative video players such as the VLC player or the Mplayer be available to decode videos that Quicktime cannot, at least not natively? And will I be able to load files into the ebook reader that weren’t purchased from Apple? Say, classic works that are in the public domain?

It’s sad. I’ve wanted a netbook type of thing for a while now, and have been waiting for the ARM netbooks to come out. And now Apple seems to have made some really cool hardware that’s super fast (although it’s missing a camera for video chat, which I really want), but it’s unclear if the software is open enough to warrant buying it. I suppose the answers to my questions will become clear enough over time, and perhaps my concerns will be alleviated when Apple changes carriers (this should be a great opportunity for T-Mobile to poach iPhone subscribers). In the meantime, I think I’m gonna hold off on making a purchase.


YouTube On The iPhone

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Like many people I suspect, I wind up finding most of the YouTube videos I watch by means of blogs. Typically, these videos are embedded into these blogs. Even more typically, I come across these blogs by means of Google Reader. And given that YouTube is blocked at work, I more typically have to watch these videos on my iPhone.

To reiterate the progression, it’s iPhone : Google Reader : Blog : YouTube.

So far so good. Whenever I would click on a YouTube link within Google Reader, it would take me to the YouTube app, where I would watch the video.

However, starting today, it no longer does that.

Google appears to have made two changes to their reader application, both questionable. The first one is that when you click through from Reader to go to a blog, it strips the blog down to just the basic blog entry and comments. No background, template, ads or anything. This is ok I suppose in that it makes the page load faster under AT&T’s craptacular so-called 3G network. But it’s still inappropriate for them to redirect from the page I think I’m going to to instead view a stripped down version of said page.

The second thing they do is redirect you from YouTube to a “Mobile YouTube” site, which the iPhone apparently doesn’t recognize. This means that I literally get a web page from YouTube ( telling me that I can’t display the video I’m trying to access. This is unacceptable. Google needs to fix this pronto, or I’m exporting my OPML file and switching to another newsreader.

If anyone else is experiencing similar problems, please let me know.


SMS Spam

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

So AT&T cleverly charges $5/mo to get 200 SMS messages on your iPhone. So who do I talk to to get a refund for the following unsolicited message?

Hi, fcu86 invites u 2 mobile chat on DELETED. Join them by going to on your phone. Download & try for free

The message arrived from the nonsense number 008801719917137. Any ideas?

Frankly, some amount of SMS Spam will always get through. But is it necessary for me to pay for it? or to have to jump through hoops to get a credit back?



Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

So when I first got my iPhone 3G, the 3G service worked well all times of the day. Then it only would work in the morning, but would stop working in the afternoon. I’d be connected, but get no data from it. But the phone would work fine if I switched to Edge. Then, 3G stopped working entirely, and I had to switch to EDGE 100% of the time. Now, even EGDE service yields no data. It would appear that AT&T has way oversold their network, and are not remotely equipped to handle the data requests of the iPhones they’ve sold.

Is anyone else out there experiencing this? Who do we talk to to get a rebate on our crappy AT&T service?

UPDATE: So after spending nearly 1/2 hour on the phone with AT&T and going through various phone menus to get to someone who can handle a data problem, they tell me that there is in fact a service outage. So I tell the woman I would like a rebate. She replies, “But I’m from Apple, not AT&T. I can’t do that for you. Would you like me to transfer you to AT&T?”

“Yes,” I reply.

I’m unceremoniously dumped into the beginning of the phone menu again, unsure of where to navigate myself to get to someone who both knows there’s an outage and can give me a credit for it. What utter douchebags.



Monday, July 14th, 2008

So as you may have gathered from my previous post, I have procured an iPhone 3G. It’s pretty cool, and I’ve downloaded a few applications and bought a mahjong game too. But there are some things that are missing.

First up is a flight tracker. I assumed that something similar to the widget available for the mac would have been built for the iPhone, probably by Apple. This would have been handy in picking up my wife at the airport. Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist. There did appear to be one application doing flight tracking and much more for an astounding price of $60. British Airways has one that only tracks British Airways flights (naturally). And Travelocity had an application that enabled you to look up flights, but didn’t give you tracking capabilities. This is an oversight that somebody needs to correct. Ideally, it would connect in with gate information too so you could navigate your way around an airport and know where to go to catch your connecting flights.

The AIM application is nice I suppose, but like mail and SMS, it doesn’t let you operate the program lengthwise. Typing heavy applications should all enable you to use them lengthwise because it’s so much easier to type lengthwise. Also, the AIM application insists on informing you when you’re signed in at multiple locations, which for me is almost all the time. That makes it not much more than an irritant. AOL should dispense with that ASAP. Frankly, I wish they’d just make Adium for the iPhone.

I’ve spoken about voice dialing before. Walt Mossberg points us to an application that performs voice dialing locally. Apple ought to do something official about it, either by building their own app or using my suggestion.

Mossberg also points out an application that does movie listings. I downloaded one called Box Office that looks good and purportedly lets you buy tickets too. I haven’t tested that out. Mossberg suggests another program called movies. It seems to me that movies and flight tracking are common enough things that Apple should have built apps for them right out of the box.

And does OpenTable (online restaurant reservations) have an application? If not they should.

I’m sure I’ll have more to say as time goes on. Overall I’m very happy with my purchase.

ONE MORE THING: AT&T’s coverage is spotty at best. I live in an area that according to the AT&T map has 3G coverage in what they depict as their second highest signal strength. But I only get one bar at home. It’s adequate, and in the few conversations I’ve had on it thus far I haven’t lost a call. But on the bus ride to Harvard this morning, I passed through areas where I only got Edge service, when it should have been 3G.


700 MHz Auction Results

Friday, March 21st, 2008

Looks like Verizon and AT&S walked away with the bulk of it. Google got nothing.

Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon and Vodafone (NYSE: VOD) Group, won the highly sought-after nationwide “C” block of licenses. AT&T won 227 licenses from among the B block of regional licenses. Frontier Wireless gained airwaves in the E block of the auction, covering almost all of the United States.

Google (NSDQ: GOOG), which had pushed for opening up at least some of the spectrum over the initial resistance of Verizon and AT&T, did not garner any licenses in the auction.

More here. More detailed analysis at Ars Technica.