Wind(the)swine Flu video hour
Enough already with the Swine Flu. Or, would you like to buy my EeePC? Maybe you have heard the new Depeche Mode?
Don’t Roam on Verizon, either
You might remember this from back in December about roaming internationally with AT&T. I do believe my official comment was unless you are made of money.
Turns out, the same is true of Verizon Wireless.
Thought I’d give them a ring to find out exactly what they would charge me to use my phone in the UK next month. I knew it would be bad, but it’s actually worse. I certainly hope you are sitting down.
If I were to call VZW, get the unlock code for my SIM so that it would work on the GSM networks available in the UK and then make or receive a phone call, I would be happily charged $1.29 per minute for that call. Sure that’s steep, but then I asked about data charges.
Holy crap. And, for good measure, holy crap!
$.02 per kilobyte. that’s 2 pennies for 1/1024th of a megabyte. I’ll save you the headache from doing the math by telling you that it comes to a little more than $20.00 per MB! Are you fucking kidding me? $20?!?!
Am I to believe that the largest cellular carrier in the United States, who, from what I understand, is pretty tight with Vodaphone, can’t work a better deal? No, I don’t think so. I think they VZW, much like the rest of the cellular providers, are a bunch of greedy bastards that like to take advantage of their idiot customers that don’t know any better any chance they get.
I’m still waiting for that point in history where humanity rises up against the evil that is known as the cellular phone industry and starts to demand fair pricing, good coverage and good service, not just a fancy handset. And, if anyone could point me in the direction to get on the mailing list for that memo, it would be greatly appreciated.
I had some time last week, so I loaded the Canon up on the tripod and shot about 1/2 hour worth of footage.
Here is the best 2:00.
Song is Time of Day by the Clintons. Click through for full 720p version (or watch it full screen here).
New w(t)f video hour coming soon too!
iPod as an iPhone
There is a very good chance that I will be going to England over Memorial day weekend, for those of you that haven’t heard. MINI United 2009 is coming up and they have asked us to head on over and cover it for WRR and Motoringfile. Should be fun!
I have a couple of issues before heading over the pond however. One of them is communication. Verizon, while selling me this fine Blackberry World phone (even has a SIM card), wants to charge me an exorbitant amount of money to use that feature of my phone. I could go the Pre-paid SIM route, but getting the unlock codes for my phone is a serious pain in the ass (so I have read) and isn’t always successful.
Looking around a bit last night, and playing with teh lad’s iPod Touch, I had a lightbulb moment. No, a lightbulb didn’t actually appear, but you know what I mean. Look at the photo above and think on that for a minute.
Yes, it’s a microphone for the iPod Touch. Yes, it works with Skype on the iPod Touch. In fact, there is a whole bunch of them over at Touchmic.com. They work with current and previous generation iPTs.
Ok, it’s not an ATP, but it would work for me as long as I had WiFi, which I am pretty sure I will.
Has anyone used one of these mics, or any microphone, on the iPod Touch?
A Tale of 3 Storms
Drama added for effect. Did it work? I’m guessing not, so let’s just get on with the story.
About 2 weeks ago my Blackberry Storm went caput. Well, not 100%, but the speaker and microphone quit working. Problematic to say the least, especially since it is the only device I have for voice communication. Prior to this happening, I was perfectly satisfied with the Storm, after I made a few updates and changes to the device based on information I gleaned from Crackberry.com and a few others.
Ok, phone caput. New one is sent and it works fine, kinda. While the microphone works, it sounds like I’m talking with a mouth full of marbles. Not the greatest. So, another call to 611, the tech agrees the call quality is poor and sends another phone.
That is sitting in the box on my desk.
Upon receiving phone numba 2, I decided that I would wait for Verizon to push out an update for this device, instead of downloading it from the intartubes again, thinking that it might have been a bad build or something that broke my phone. So, I have been running software that was released on or about December 8th of last year. And it sucks.
It’s version .75 of the Storm software and, if I’m honest, it’s horrible. Almost worse than v.65 that originally came with the phone. It’s completely unusable with this version. The buttons don’t press correctly, the accelerometer is painfully slow to adjust and doing almost anything causes the phone to stop responding for about 30 seconds before it starts going again. Not good, not good at all.
Finally, after spending the day staring into the 100+ degree ball of fire in the sky and having my phone not work the way it should 1 more time, in a fit of rage, I contacted support. But, I was nice. No, really, I was.
I asked if there was an update coming this week. He said no. I then asked if it was possible for me to exchange this device for something else. He explained a few things about that too. When he finished, he asked if he could make a suggestion and explain something.
me: Sure, go ahead
Tech: blah blah blah blah we don’t ask what version software you are running when you call blah blah blah blah.
So, in a very roundabout way, without telling me it was ok to upgrade the software on my phone, he told me to update the damned software on my phone!
Which I will be doing tonight with the unit that is in the box before I even activate it.
Follow along at Twitter and Facebook for the blow by blow, as it happens!