One of the coolest things I get to do these days as part of Tech Field Day is bring friends from all countries to the United States to meet with various companies. But too often, they find themselves isolated and unable to communicate because of our odd mobile phone network. Although prepaid SIM cards are more available these days, I'm having a tough time locating a data SIM … [Read more...] about Is there no such thing as a cheap, prepaid data SIM in the USA?
Every day, it seems there is a new lawsuit in the mobile phone industry. HTC, Motorola, Google, Microsoft, and especially Apple and Samsung are actively litigating their way through a thicket of patents. The same is increasingly happening in the rest of the IT industry. But is all this bloodshed really about innovation? Or is it, as one federal judge noted, simply a new form of … [Read more...] about Begun, the Patent Wars Have
If you've traveled much, you've probably run across “unlocked” mobile phones and devices. If you own an Android or iPhone smart phone, you probably also heard about “jailbreaking”. It seems like lots of people are confused about these two things, so I decided to write down a quick post explaining them. Carrier Locks and Unlocked Phones Most mobile phones in the United States, … [Read more...] about What’s the Difference Between a Jailbroken and an Unlocked Phone?
I am certainly not the first person to notice the peculiar “race to the bottom” that happens when products are commoditized. But it is been much in my thoughts recently as I observed the annual tragedy of holiday price wars. How can a company economically produce a DVD player, tablet computer, or even a string of Christmas lights at the prices we see today? Working conditions, … [Read more...] about The Downward Spiral: How Economic Pressure Turns Commodities to Junk
Verizon Wireless has a promotion running in November that doubles the data allowance for 4G phones. This is a great deal compared to competitors, and it comes with Verizon's excellent 4G LTE coverage and performance. But it only applies to smartphones, not MiFi "mobile broadband" devices, and the offer ends in December. Let's hope they offer similar promotions for 4G data … [Read more...] about Verizon Offers Double 4G Data (But Not For MiFi)