Archive for the ‘att’ Tag

This Week in Antitrust Cases

With all the perks that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission gives to telecoms like Verizon and AT&T (some being in the gray areas of the law), it’s nice to see the F.C.C. put a stop to one that’s really anticompetitive.

The chairman announced this week that the F.C.C. is ending thousands of contracts giving a single cable company the rights to supply service to an entire apartment building, The New York Times reports. As an apartment resident, this is a major win for myself and for the consumer. Cable TV prices are beginning to needlessly skyrocket, and this measure should put a little more competition in the consumer sector.

In other antitrust news, Microsoft finally conceded defeat in its case in Europe. It will have to open the source code to some of its software.

iPod touch: No Maps? No Problem

If you live in a city or college campus you’re no stranger to wi-fi. It’s everywhere. You can find a free hotspot at many restaurants and many campuses offer students access virtually anywhere.

So if there’s virtually always an Internet access point available, why would you buy an iPhone and subscribe to AT&T’s pricey, anywhere-web-access EDGE service? An iPod touch with wi-fi can be a worthwhile, affordable alternative.

But for whatever reason iPod touch is missing a few key features of iPhone. Aside from the absence of the 2 megapixel camera and the baffling choice not to include Notes, there’s a solution for the rest.

It’s Safari to the rescue. So bookmark these web sites on your iPod touch, and your iPod can be just like the big boys’.

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One Step Closer to Web-based Skype

We’re not quite there yet, but it’s good to know that at least somebody’s working on that web-based Skype client that I’ve been pulling for. The German-based Shape Services, a company with experience developing Skype mobile applications, announced yesterday a web-based, iPhone-formatted version of itsĀ IM + for Skype, reports GigaOM.

Of course this means very little to most people because it doesn’t offer true Voice over IP yet — and honestly, who uses Skype to text chat anyway? The app, free in beta for a limited time, seems to accomplish voice chat by calling your phone number to connect you with the other party, meaning you’re still paying for the airtime.

If we see a Skype client with VoIP using wifi, it might actually make sense for me to buy the phone (without activating the AT&T service, of course). Then I’d get a lot more mileage out of that year’s subscription to SkypeOut.

Motorola’s Answer to the iPhone

I put together this 30-second iPhone parody video for YouTube. It pokes fun at some common cell phone features that are missing from Apple Inc.’s “Jesus-phone.”

The video focuses on three key features of my sub-$100 Motorola Krzr K1m: custom ring tones, instant messaging and a removable battery.

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Google Maps mash-up: Social Cell Coverage

Sure, you can get a service coverage map from the website or storefronts of any cellular providers. But how accurate are they? They don’t tell you that most people in a certain area can’t get service in their houses. Or that you can’t make calls on the subway.

The mash-up would be built on the Google Maps API, and allow anyone to submit a review of their mobile phone provider, marking a rating out of five, with notes like “no service in house.” Each point would be marked on the map, and ratings would be automatically averaged for a certain view area to see how a town’s coverage is overall.