A Life Untold

Ranting while I’m Raving; Technology News and Views

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Archive for the ‘news’ Category

Unlimited Data Plan in Canada

Posted by titusferguson on February 12, 2008

This is a bit of a summary of the current state of data plans in Canada. Occaisionally I see people getting excited about unlimited data plans. I hope this post will put to rest some of the confusion.

Many sites like Apple Insider is reporting , IntoMobile and TalkiPhone are reporting that Rogers Canada has announced an unlimited data plan in Canada; the $20 a month Communication pack, they seem to think that this removed a barrier to releasing the iPhone in Canada. But lets take a closer look at what this plan offers and if that is even the case.

Rogers in fact has two “unlimited data” plans; the $20 Communicate Value Pack, and the $7 Unlimited On-Device Mobile Browsing Plan They are basically the same plan, for $13 dollars more though you get text and video messages, voicemail and call display.

What does Rogers mean by unlimited mobile browsing though.? If you read the fine print you’ll see this: “Important: This plan includes unlimited on-device mobile browsing only. Plan is available on select phones only (PDAs such as Blackberry or Windows Mobile devices, PC cards and non-Rogers certified devices are not eligible). Data usage incurred on ineligible devices, incurred while tethering (using device as wireless modem for laptop) or incurred using non-Rogers (3rd party) applications downloaded to your device will be subject to pay-per-use charges of 5 cents/KB.”

What does that mean? It means that if you use a non-rogers browser (like safari) you pay the per-use rate. It also means that all you have is unlimited WAP data. Translation: crappy web browsing, not what the iPhone was intended for.

It’s interesting that Rogers goes out of their way to put this disclaimer in: “3rd party applications are applications like Yahoo! Go or Google Maps. These are non-Rogers applications which can be downloaded to the device and incur data charges at a rate of 5¢/KB.”

So what does this mean for the iPhone. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. You do not get any added features on your hacked iPhone in Canada if you add this plan. In case you didn’t get that. This announcement does not mean that we will be getting the iPhone anytime soon. We Are No Closer to Getting the iPhone in Canada.

Shame on Rogers for continuing to screw their customers over. I hope that people read all the fine print closely before getting excited and adding this feature. I’m worried that when next months bill comes some people are going to be in for a shock.

Finally, I wish that American sites, like Apple Insider, who have no understanding of the issues would stop reporting on “developments” like this. Its getting annoying, please stop. Sites like ArsTechnica have understood that “unlimted” doesn’t mean unlimited, and I thank them for that.

Posted in apple, internet, iPhone, news, wireless | 3 Comments »

Yahoo to Reject Microsofts Buyout Bid

Posted by titusferguson on February 9, 2008

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I don’t usually blog on the weekend. I like to have a few days off appreciate the internet without having to think of a blog worthy opinion on the news. But this recent article is bringing me out of that.

Yahoo board set to rebuff Microsoft bid: report

The most interesting of their reasons? “Yahoo Inc’s board believes Microsoft Corp’s unsolicited bid of $44.6 billion to acquire Yahoo “massively undervalues” the company” Yahoo is unlikely to take any offer under $40 per share. That would place their perceived value at over $143 billion dollars.

I think what Yahoo wants is to set the price so high so as to scare any prospective buyers away. The huge outcry on the internet when Microsoft made their offer proved that people don’t want this deal to happen. Yahoo wants to keep potential customers happy, obviously. If they do they can continue to make money without Microsoft’s help.

Interestingly, Yahoo doesn’t rule out a partnership with Google. “Yahoo has considered an alternate tie-up with Web search leader Google Inc to maintain its independence

Posted in ideas, internet, microsoft, news, technology, yahoo | Leave a Comment »

Audible, Apple, and Amazon

Posted by titusferguson on February 1, 2008

It was announced yesterday that Amazon is going to acquire Audible.com for $300 million.

I wonder how this will effect the relationship between Audible and iTunes. They have always had a strong relationship,  and Audible purchases are synced seamlessly into iTunes and onto iPods.

Since Apple and Amazon are competitors in the music market, I don’t see how they will want to cooperate the spoken book market. TUAW thinks that there must have been provisions made for Apple in the deal. I’m not so sure Amazon would want to do that. I think that Amazon wants to move into the web based  music store market. Now they have DRM free, cheaper-than-iTunes, music, as well as audiobooks, they could really threaten Apple’s dominance. Their plan might be to cut off Apple’s access to all their audiobook subscribers and force them into their service.

Posted in apple, internet, iPod, iTunes, news, software, technology | 1 Comment »

Apple: At Least a Year Ahead of the Competition

Posted by titusferguson on January 9, 2008

Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports over in Fortune’s Apple Blog that Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray believes Apple is ahead of their competition in many design areas. His observations come as he walked the floor of CES, this week in Las Vegas.

He writes; “While Apple was not at the show, the company’s impact is felt at CES.” He points to three main areas: hardware design, touchscreen devices and ecosystem connectivity.

Munster sums up with: “We expect Apple’s Macworld announcements (1/15) to set the bar for CES ‘09 — in other words, we see Apple as effectively one year ahead of its competition.”

Apple already turned heads this week when they announced, ahead of Macworld, and during CES, the release of new Mac Pros, featuring 8 core processors.

Posted in apple, CES, Macworld, news, technology | Leave a Comment »

Flickr to Authenticate OpenID – CES Announcement?

Posted by titusferguson on January 8, 2008

Rumors abound that Yahoo! will make a major announcement about OpenID today at CES. It looks like at the very least you’ll be able to use your Flickr user page URL to log in anywhere that supports OpenID login. The code is live, view source of any user page and search for OpenID and you’ll find it.

The service, however, is not usable yet….

read more | digg story

Posted in CES, flickr, internet, news, technology | Leave a Comment »

Apparent iPod Touch Keyboard Flaw

Posted by titusferguson on October 3, 2007

Is the iPod touch not as awesome as everyone thought it was going to be?

Its come to my attention that there is a conflict between the iPod touch’s keyboard and podcasts. When playing a podcast and then logging onto the internet bringing the keyboard up causes the iPod to immediately pause the playing podcast.

Obviously not a benefit, it just remains to be seen how soon it’ll be fixed.

Thanks to Bill Deys for pointing this out at the London Geek Dinner

Posted in internet, iTunes, Music, news, technology | 2 Comments »

A bit of an update

Posted by titusferguson on September 18, 2007

Again, sorry for the long hiatus between posts. For some reason though, WordPress has really slowed down and that made it impossible to update using my dialup internet connection. Good news though, ‘highspeed” is coming tomorrow.

Work has also kept me busy, I just don’t have the energy to spend hours online after work. Posting suffers as a result.

That brings me to a request. What, dear readers, do you consider to be the most important web sites you visit in one day. For technology, blogs, and regular news? I’m looking for some advice to I can get my fix without wasting lots of time.

Posted in internet, life, news, technology, work | 3 Comments »

Virginia Tech Shooting

Posted by titusferguson on April 17, 2007

There is so much you could write about this latest school shooting. Gun control no doubt will receive renewed interested as a result. But I want to focus on another issue.

Dr. Charles W. Steger, the president of Virginia Tech, defended the school’s decision not to evacuate the  campus after the earlier shooting at the dorm. One reason, among many, he gave was that thousands of people were already on campus by this point and it would have been difficult to inform them all and get the school shut down.

My reaction to that? You’re crazy! Notifying the student body would have been as simple as announcing the school was closed via email and any PA system, as well as sending administration staff out to inform  students personally. Classes could also have been canceled by sending emails.

As soon as a few of the students knew what was going on and why it was closed word would have spread like wildfire. We’re talking about late-teens early twenties students. the most plugged in generation of all time. Instantly word would have gone out through text-messages, instant messages, facebook and even phone calls. Informing a few would have informed everyone.

The bomb threats from the previous week and the shootings at the dorm should have set off warning bells. Even if the events were not linked, precaution would have been warranted. Evacuating the school may not have completely prevented the tragedy, but it would have reduced its scope. Its a shame the right decision was not made.

Posted in news, school, shooting, virginia tech | Leave a Comment »

This recent news story grabbed my attention on Dig…

Posted by titusferguson on March 31, 2007

This recent news story grabbed my attention on Digg:

Husband Shoots Wife’s Lover: She’s Charged, He’s Not

Wow, seems shocking! Once you read the story you find out that apparently the man returned home to find his wife in a robe and underwear and a man sitting in a truck outside her house. The wife claimed she was raped and so the husband shot at the man, killing him. One small problem, she wasn’t raped and the man her husband shot was her lover.

The man was exonerated because he was lawfully allowed to protect his wife. On the other hand the wife was indicted and faces 20 years in prison for lying about the rape.

Next time this woman will probably have a better excuse to being caught cheating then claiming she was raped.

Posted in digg, humor, humour, news | Leave a Comment »