|Update [a little later in] September 2010|
Check out this info regarding networking a laptop/netbook thru Android 2.2. Looks like in the case of "emergency" one can actually use Mobile 3G Networking without going into poverty at the alter of Verizon. I do rather enjoy reading about "illegal" vs. "unethical" regarding Terms & Conditions. Some people...:-)
|Update September 2010|
As if by magic, I awoke my fancyfone on or about the morning of August 31 & was greeted by a screen offering me a system update if I would only plug the phone into the charger since my battery life was insufficient to support the download. I plugged it in, told it to update, & took my morning shower. After my shower [etc.] the phone was ready to use again, with Android 2.2. A quick look showed settings for Mobile 3G Networking. Well, some of the bloggers were wrong.
A few days later, I had time to set up my 3G hotspot & try it with my netbook. When I selected 3G Mobile Hotspot Settings I was greeted by some nonsense about needing something from Verizon. I figured, "No, I got everything I need." I proceeded with the setup, fired up my netbook, found my phone's access point available, & connected. I initiated a "ping" & nothing. I started Firefox & clicked on Google & nothing...at least for awhile, then some stupid Verizon web page came up telling me I need to pay them more money to use my phone as a 3G hotspot.
Ok, this is the kind of bullshit I've come to expect from Verizon. Here I am already paying them for Internet access with my phone, now they want me to pay twice. What's that about? Whether I bring a web page to my phone's browser, or bring it to my netbook's browser, it's the same web page, only on the netbook it is easier to see & the netbook's keyboard is a more accurate typing facility. What the hell?
As usual, Verizon proves themselves yet again a bunch of self-serving morons. They are basically the same kind of people who brought us sub-prime mortgage lending. I think I'd rather go buy a used car - it's the same kind of experience. Arghhhhhhh!!!
My friend happily uses tether with his T-Mobile Android phone. Apparently T-Mobile tells him "they don't support it" but they don't stop him, either. If only T-Mobile had coverage where I need it.
|Update August 2010|
After a couple of months of using my HTC Incredible, which I call my fancyfone, I'm much happier than I was. Thanks to Google & Android it is a much more customizable & useful device than I perceived any former Verizon phone. It does much more of what I want without making me dependent on Verizon & their corporate self-serving nature.
My current bitch is that allegedly the HTC Incredible Android 2.2 update is ready. Okay...so why, then, does neither verizonwireless.com nor htc.com include information about this upgrade? For some of us, this info is eagerly anticipated for the useful connectivity improvements it should bring; at least to us techie's. Maybe the far larger facebook/twitter crowd is much more important than us & they don't give a hoot! Oh well...
I have weathered my first fancyfone collapse - the contact list sync threw a hissy-fit & kept the processor going continuously for a couple of days before I got it under control. I first noticed the battery life had shortened significantly plus an 800mAh charger couldn't charge it. I attached it's original 1000mAh charger & it charged up but not quickly, & with a full charge it only lasted a few hours. Plus it seemed warmer than I remembered it being.
After spelunking thru the various info screens on it, I noticed the
PPP data flow was nearly continuous. I ultimately ended up at
Menu -> Settings -> Accounts & Sync
& discovered this error message
Sync is currently experiencing problems. It will be back shortly.
was cycling quickly & apparently indefinitely.
After doing a bit o' goggling I ran into this page
which describes an issue with battery life. I also stumbled onto this web page
which included similar suggestions.
I went to
Menu -> Settings > Applications > Manage applications
& tapped on
Google sync almost immediately re-sync'd contacts & things seem to have quieted down since then - cooler phone, no error message, back to normal [for my use] battery life.
Like a lot of other forum posts the "echeng" one recommend not using "Backup Assistant" & also suggested keeping sync activities to a minimum - no facebook etc. Works for me.
|Update June 2010|
Ok, things are better now, muchas gracias to Google for Android. I have a HTC Incredible cellphone & while I did create an otherwise unneeded gmail account, it is working much as I'd like. I am looking into http://gcaldaemon.sourceforge.net/ as an alternative to having all my data live in the so-called "cloud". As long as Brin & Page are influences at Google I'm willing to believe their corporate philosophy has a chance of holding. Otherwise I'm really cynical about corporate management - I've seen too many failures of ethics & principles to be more than an optimistic cynic - hope for the best but don't be surprised by the worst.
The Big BP Oil Rig Explosion & Oil "Spill" of 2010 is of course a shining example of corporate running things on the cheap & screw who gets hurt. Especially considering the CEO who chose to attend a yacht race around the Isle of Wight - perhaps he & his wealthy friends should have re-located the race to the site of the oil rig. But I digress...
Oh, & of course, more to the point, there is yet another link on slashdot.org that reads:
...David Pogue at the NYTimes, who learned from a Verizon customer service representative that the company has implemented a policy of punishing employees who suggest certain service blocks to customers looking to avoid unwanted or accidental fees. According to the representative, offering (for example) a web access block or premium SMS block without the customer asking for it can now lead to a reprimand or outright termination. The CSRs have also been directed to avoid issuing credits for such charges. "Essentially, we are to upsell customers on the $9.99 25mb/month or $29.99 unlimited packages for customers. Customers are not to be credited for charges unless they ask for the credit. And in cases such as data or premium SMS, where the occurrences may have gone months without the consumer noticing, only an initial credit can be issued."Here's a link to the original story:
Pogue @ New York Times - Is Verizon Wireless Making It Harder to Avoid Charges?
Then there is my little love-hate with the Apple of Steve Jobs. Apple cracks the mold with the iPhone, then excludes its use to an even easier to hate cellphone co. & surrounds the phone with a jailbreak-necessary paywall castle moat that brings the word "nazi" to mind.
Let the digressions continue...:-)
|The Older Rant|
I hate cellphone companies.
& I'm not the only one - check out Free My Phone.
They are the epitome of what US Corporations wish to become: big enough to be a de-facto monopoly, meaning they do not have to listen to their clientele, especially those that exhibit 4 more synapses than a salamander.
If I don't like it, go somewhere else, you suggest?
First, you sound like a Republican, the kind which fully accepts socialized [i.e. federally funded] military not to mention federal bail-outs of insurance mega-corps, banks, & US car manufacturers. But somehow single-payer health care for everyone is the worst thing in the world.
Oh yeah, I know who you are...
Ok, show me a major cellphone company that does business any differently. To be fair, de-facto monopolies rule the petroleum industry, aircraft industry, drug industry, & parts of the food industry - why should I pick on the poor little cellphone companies? Competition eliminating mergers are taking place every month, it's the American way. Verizon wants to absorb Alltel - hey, why not, competition won't suffer, not one bit.
I won't believe that for a heartbeat...
But, I digress...
Here's a few things I want in my cellphone:
Verizon has blocked this feature in every cellphone I have owned, & I know of no major carrier that's different. Yes, I have hacked my cellphones to unblock certain features blocked by Verizon, but my Motorola Razr V3m still doesn't let me manipulate its contact list.
iPhone does it, why don't any of the others?
I never use all my monthly minutes - my web access should be charged against those.
A colleague recently returned from Europe tells me he accessed the web for about 1.40 per day, & only on the days he wanted to! His choice, not a flat fee whether he used it or not.
Fee for service, what a novel idea...
Why cannot/will not Verizon et.al. accommodate me?
I'll tell you - because Verizon already knows AT&T won't, Sprint won't, T-Mobile won't,...in all probability it's a CEO handshake kind of deal, you know - "I won't if you won't nudge nudge wink wink..."
Here are some links to interesting reading:
Pogue @ New York Times - The Irksome Cellphone Industry
Pogue @ New York Times - 'Take Back the Beep' Campaign
Pogue @ New York Times - The Cellphone Industry Strikes Back
Verizon Strikes Back - including 'The Letter'
About 'The Letter': not one of Pogue's points are addressed. It's a propaganda piece. I'll bet dollars to donuts what's-his-toes didn't write it himself, either. & why wasn't the letter written to Pogue, or to letters-to-the-editor? Why was it written to Pogue's publisher? Is this some kind of thinly veiled way of trying to get Pogue fired? Kill the messenger?
I think so...
Andy Kessler @ Wall Street Journal - Why AT&T Killed Google Voice (on the iPhone)