Posts Tagged "phone"

AT&T Data Plan Pricing Changes

Death Star

When AT&T announced they were taking away the $30 per month unlimited data plan in favor of tiered, capped plans. The internet’s knee-jerk reaction, of course, was that of complete and utter outrage. To me, the world wasn’t coming to an end, but I was annoyed to hear that they were taking away the unlimited data plan completely. That seemed to be backwards thinking, I thought, the way things are going with the world going mobile.

I checked our bills for Chesney’s iPhone from January on, and found out–shockingly–that her usage was under 200 MB, ranging from 64 MB to 143 MB at the most. Chesney, like me, uses her phone all the time and rarely makes calls, so I suppose most of that is while connected to wifi. So I’m happy to say that the change in AT&T’s pricing scheme will allow us to move down to the 200 MB/month plan and save us $15 every month!

We’ll lose the unlimited plan forever, but hey, if we’re well-below the lowest tier cap, we can always go up a tier and still be saving $5/month. Also I do think as time goes on, these caps will be changed to reflect the amounts of data users consume.

Now AT&T needs to follow up with cheaper voice plans. We’re paying the cheapest $40/month plan for minutes that we rarely ever use and never even come close to the cap. I would love to pay less for voice and more for data.

Just as an addendum, I looked at my corp account iPhone usage, and it was a little higher than my wife’s, but not by much, and still under the 200 MB/mo cap. I guess I don’t use that much data either.

Google Voice Fluid Icon

I just got my Google Voice invite today, and have started using it. Here’s to hoping that it’ll stop the telemarketing calls…

I couldn’t find an icon for use with Fluid to create an app for Google Voice (at least one that is based on the Google Voice icon), so I made on myself.

Google Voice Fluid Icon

Enjoy!

The Great Communications Blackout of 2009

iPhone has NO SERVICE
Photo by dbrulz123 via Flickr

Yesterday, something like 50,000 people in the south bay lost their cell service AND land line phone service. If they were DSL subscribers, there goes the internet too. Unfortunately, we fell in this category. Our house was without phones and internet until 5pm. I was at work all day in San Jose, and if Chesney or I had some kind of emergency, there was really no way to get a hold of each other (or the police!) unless we got in the car and drove.

And this wasn’t just residential – businesses, too were without phones and internet. I know that OfficeMax in Santa Cruz was effectively unable to open their store until later that evening because all communication with the store databases was down. OfficeMax in the whole region estimate they lost $14k in sales that day. Some other stores did not even open at all. Banks and ATMs were also offline.

Early that morning, we were half-joking that it was probably a new terrorist cyber-attack. Later when the news came out that it was, in fact, sabotage, we find out that we weren’t that far off!

Jack is Awesome
Yeah, Jack saves the President again.

Feeling a little vulnerable? To me, it all seems a little too easy. Sure, it was 10 feet underground, under a man-hole cover, and you had to have some expertise to cut those lines, but it still seems like for not too much effort, you can knock out communications to a huge area. It’s kind of like how all too easy it was for those terrorists to take over the White House in this season’s 24. Well maybe not that easy.

This begs the question: are we as a society today a little too wired? I love the computer/internet age and all improvements in the quality of life that we live – I owe my whole livelihood as a web developer to it – but times like these make me want to go out and buy a battery-powered radio, walkie-talkies, and stash money under my mattress.

Read about the whole incident on SFGate and Mercury.