So maybe Verizon is starting to finally come around and figure out it needs to offer some compelling new smartphones? I hate the “cool new products will be available in only [6 months | 12 months | 2 years | etc.]” game, but I’m really crossing my fingers that by the end of the year we might finally have some new choices. In my sites:
I’d really like something running Android, but if the BB offers a solid choice I think I’d consider that, too. Hopefully enough of these will drop by the end of the year?
Anyone remember 92.1 The Edge from back in the 90s? How did I miss that it was back, now at 94.1? A welcome addition to the Lansing-area FM scene, finally there’s something other than classic rock, old heavy rock with some occasional newer rock, light rock, and country. Since I can’t get WGRD from Grand Rapids, and they killed off ‘KLQ, there’s finally something that plays the alt-rock hits from high school and college mixed with new alt-rock stuff as well.
I’ve been listening to it for the past week now. It’s mostly good…I’ve heard a lot of old groups that I loved that I haven’t heard in a long time. Garbage, Smashing Pumpkins, Our Lady Peace, Live, and songs from groups that I’d never heard before, or completely forgotten. One slight annoyance is that there does seem to be a lot of repetition. I got the same thing when I listened to a streaming radio station all day; after a couple of days the playlists would start to repeat and I’d get bored with it. The new Edge has a lot of variety, but there have been times where I’ll hear something on the way to work, and then hear the same one on the way home that night.
Either way, it’ll have to suffice until I manage to replace the stereo in my car, right?
I know, it’s blasphemy. Screw it. I’ve been disappointed in the last 2-3 episodes. The final season started off strong, reminiscent of the early seasons. Funny, slapstick at times, but also poignant.
Now? Partial cast episodes. I realize the cast is expensive. But tough, it’s the last season, cough up the dough and write real episodes. Lately, they’ve been too emotional and touchy-feely. This is the crap that made Season 6 awful at times. And then the Interns. I’m aware of the rumored plans for an “interns” spinoff, or even worse – keeping the series name with a completely new cast. Ack! Don’t get me wrong – I actually *like* the interns. “Joe” is hilarious, and I’m bummed they got rid of the “zwa” guy. But they can’t carry the show, especially if half the regular cast is gone.
At this point, they might as well have had the series finale after episode 4, and started off the new series then. Psssh.
Two reboots and 10-15 minutes later, I’m running the newly dropped Internet Explorer 8 final release, upgraded from RC1. As far as my experience goes, it feels a lot snappier than IE7, but still a lot slower than Firefox or Chrome. I still won’t use it unless I have to, but at least I finally have a non-beta or release-candidate browser on my work PC.
Does it really cost close to 200 bucks a month for a two-cellphone household that does more than talk these days?
I was reviewing our Verizon plan this weekend and came to this conclusion. It’s one of those things that I tuck in the back of my mind and try not to think about – I get the emails confirming my card has been charged each month, but when I look into why it’s costing us just under the century mark for basic phone service, I get frustrated.
What brought this on is Verizon’s current Blackberry Buy One Get One Free sale. I have a pending New Every 2 discount deal, Jen has been wanting a new phone, and I’ve been wanting to try out a smartphone. (side note: I’ve really been wanting to wait for an Android phone on Verizon….that doesn’t seem to be happening too fast, though :-/ ). This seemed like an opportunity to at least look into.
Our current plan is a nationwide family plan. The base plan is $70/month with 1000 minutes between the two lines. The 2nd line is $10/month, for a grand total of ~$80/month to start. We have no messaging plan; we only have a few text or picture messages a month. Paying for them a la carte is cheaper than adding on Verizon’s messaging plan. After fees, taxes, and misc texts our monthly costs are between $90-$95 each month.
That’s where the fun began. OK, so I can get a Blackberry at a discounted rate, and get a second one of equal or lesser value for free. Sweet. But each of those require a BlackBerry plan at $30/month…so if we both get one that’s gonna be $60/month more total. And that’s with our current plan, with no extra texting alottments either. Well maybe there’s some better plans out there, right?
Nope. Their current family plans start at (for the same price we’re paying) 300 fewer minutes per month. There’s no cost savings for two lines for us to bump up to the next tier, either. What about individual lines instead of the family plan? They start at $40/month for 450 minutes, or $60/month for 900 minutes. Two 450-minute plans would still be $80/month, plus it would possibly cut it close during some months. PLUS, all of those still require the $30/month BlackBerry plan for any BB device. Of course, there are dedicated BlackBerry voice/data plans, too. No family options, only individual lines. $80/450 minutes and $100/900 minutes respectively. None of these include an actual text messaging plan, either, which looks to run $10-$20 or so.
In conclusion, it seems that if you want minimum minutes, basic texting, and minimum data usage you’re looking at pretty close to $100/month for each phone in your household. Cutting out the texting trims that back a little, but not a ton. Lats time I looked at other carriers, their plans were roughly the same, and frankly Verizon is hands-down the best coverage in the area. Despite the couple of holes we manage to find in the boondocks, it’s supported much better than AT&T (which would be the next biggest) in the areas I use.
Is this really the price of modern connectivity?
and why you should, too.
This has been bouncing around the hopper for awhile, but thought it somewhat appropriate given today’s MacWorld announcement that iTunes Music Store would finally be dropping it’s Digital Rights Management on music.
For the past few months I have been getting my online music from Amazon. Their MP3 store offers most everything I’ve looked for – and the stuff I couldn’t find was pretty obscure.
At Amazon, I don’t have to download and install software to see what they have to offer. Everything is web based. I can’t install iTunes on Ubuntu, and don’t want to install it on Windows. Why should I have to install software to see if they’ve got that one song I’m trying to find?
At Amazon, each track is $.99 or less; many I’ve purchased have been 89 cents. I’ve always received a high quality MP3 file that I can copy or burn or convert to anywhere or anything I want.
But I think the coolest thing is the used CD selection also available through Amazon sellers. The MP3 store may offer an entire album for somewhere between 8 and 10 bucks. But if I’m looking for a used CD, I can get the actual CD shipped for less than $3, and so far they’ve been great quality. It’ll arrive in a few days, and I can rip it to whatever I want. This has been great for collecting music that isn’t brand new.
In addition, the Amazon MP3 downloader says it will automatically add new tracks to iTunes for you. So Apple’s finally eventually going to offer music files you can copy and do with what you want, and let you pay extra to convert your existing ones? Yay? Why bother?
Last night I signed up for Twitter. Not that I have any real intention in using it – mostly I was bored and signed up because of a couple of articles I’ve read recently on using the service as an IT tool or as a commercial tool intrigued me.
What I’ve found strange/interesting is almost immediately I have 6 “followers”, random people that I don’t know and as far as I know don’t have a connection to. And I haven’t written a single word yet. After signing up I started following a couple of users off the top of my head, but is this normal?
I must say, this intrigues me. I’m a sucker for anything with Tim Burton’s name on it, and the Apple trailer RSS feed says the sound track is Danny Elfman. 2009 looks like it’s shaping up to be good!
Can an ass covet?
I’m aware of the über-expensive Herman Miller Aeron chairs, and have read lots of reviews by people who swear by them for office comfort. But justifying spending a thousand bucks on a chair, heck even $400-500 used, seems crazy. Now they’ve got the Embody chair, and I want. Of course, it ups the ante at $1600!
Daaaaaaaaamnnnn. But it looks so awesome – and if it made the work day more comfortable, then why not? If you think about it, I spend probably 8 to 9 hours of the day in a desk chair. A $50 OfficeMax chair that we probably tried to find the cheapest deal on.
It’s a sad state of affairs that we spend the majority of our days either in bed, or in an office chair. The rest is likely split between a car and/or a couch. We’ll invest in a good bed, probably even a comfortable couch at some point. Why do we ignore the office environment, heck even the automobile environment (what do they have out there for ergonomic comfortable car seats)? Is this overpriced marketing, or are we vastly underspending on needed work environment benefits?
I think I either need to find a rich startup, start a rich startup, or find some crazy coupons.