Tag Archives: 3g

Rover 4G Wireless Internet Problem

Yesterday, my new Rover 4G Wireless Internet “puck” arrived in the mail. I could use the Rover Puck last night (for a very brief while) just fine. Suddenly, and without warning, it turned non-functional – despite a 100% perfect admin status page.

I was grateful to be able to give ‘er a go with their 48-hour unlimited trial – but if the following experience is indicative of the shitty service I can expect from Rover in the future, I’m returning the unit immediately and withdrawing all future recommendations. Then again, I discovered it’s running on “CLEAR” – which, I’ve long attested, is one of the worst companies to deal with in the consumer electronics / wireless Internet / WiMax space.

I’m not surprised that my Rover experience has been just as nasty. Check out this joke of a tech support session – with the rep, at one point, referring to the hardware as “wifis.” Seriously.

NOTE: I did move lines for readability / clarity. It would have been easier to follow in real-time – but, as you know, Internet chats (even with one person) can become disjointed quickly.

Hello Chris. Please wait while we find a ROVER specialist to help you.

You have been connected to Patricia Everest.

Patricia Everest: Hi, Thank you for chatting with Rover. I’d be happy to help you.

Patricia Everest: What is the Mac ID# to the device?

Chris: [redacted]

Patricia Everest: You will need to go to the user interface and check on the signal strength

Chris: 100%

Chris: Everything checks out.

Chris: I can get to the local admin interface.

Chris: I have an IP as assigned by the connection…

Chris: But… nothing else.

Patricia Everest: what is your ip address you are getting?

Chris: Which – client or the puck?

Chris: Client IP is

Chris: DNS is… which is odd, but that’s what it’s showing.

Patricia Everest: that is the wrong ip, it should end with a number other than 1. please check
your connections

Chris: Puck IP is

Patricia Everest: i need the ip for your wifi on your puck

Chris: You’re asking one question with four possible answers.

Chris: i can email you a screen shot of what I see.

Patricia Everest: i need the ip address on your computer, you are giving me more information than i did not ask for. all i need is the ip address from your wifi connection

Chris: I’m not going to argue with you, but you said “I need the IP for your wifi on the puck” – and that’s the info I gave you. If you’re asking for AN IP address assigned to a connected system, one would be

Patricia Everest: you have given me three ip address starting with 192.168

Chris: And the Puck IP, too – scroll up. “Chris: Puck IP is”

Patricia Everest: I’m sorry you are having problems understanding me, i will try to be more clearer. when you are connected to the wifi, what ip address do you get. it should start with 192.168

Chris: You said “I need the IP address on your computer” – and I have two connected systems. One (again) is showing as the IP, and the other is showing “”

Chris: ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Patricia Everest: are you connected to two wifis at the same time?

Chris: …that’s impossible.

Chris: They’re not “wifis,” they’re access points. And no, I have two different systems connected to the Puck.

Patricia Everest: it is not possible if you have two wifi adapters. you should only get 1 ip address


Patricia Everest: you can have upto 8 devices connected

Chris: Yes, I know.

Chris: I’m trying to troubleshoot, eliminating the possibility of this being a problem with ONE system.

Patricia Everest: I appologize that you are having problems connecting. lets try something else. where do you get your ip address

Chris: Admin Status page

Patricia Everest: what happens when you try to browse. do you get an error message, and what do you see?

Chris: timeouts

Patricia Everest: have you tried to connect with another computer?

Chris: are you kidding me?

Patricia Everest: no

Chris: scroll up

Patricia Everest: i don’t understand why you want me to scroll up

Chris: I’ve told you, nothing short of twice, that I have two systems connected to the puck.

Chris: They’re exhibiting the same problem.

Patricia Everest: sorry, you also said you cannot connect more than 1

Chris: No, I didn’t.

Chris: I was correcting your error, in that you can’t connect to two access points from one antenna at the same time.

Patricia Everest: have you tried to ping?

Chris: Yep. “Unknown Host”

Patricia Everest: you have a valid ip address. have you tried resetting the puck?

Patricia Everest: are you still there?

Chris: I can’t even factory reset

Chris: i can’t get a connection

Chris: even after sticking a paper clip in the pinhole…

Patricia Everest: can I have your address please?

Chris: [redacted]

Patricia Everest: It seems that we are having some issues in WA with our signal. Our techs are working to solve the problem and should be working in a few hours

Chris: so my “free trial” was uselss?

Patricia Everest: no, you still have time to use, you will only miss a few hours

Chris: few hours? It was problematic last night.

Patricia Everest: when did you setup your account?

Chris: last night.

Chris: it seemingly worked fine. then an hour later, it didn’t.

Patricia Everest: I’m sorry it is not working now. I will submit another issue so our techs can escalate and fix the problem with the system.

Chris: Thank you.

Patricia Everest: it should be working in a few hours, is there anything else i can help you with?

Chris: no

3G vs 4G Speed Tests

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Please post a video response demonstrating how your speeds measure up against mine. Your mileage may vary!

From where I sit in this home office, however, I’m not so sure I see a clear difference between Sprint’s 4G network and AT&T’s 3G network – at least, from these two devices today. That may change with network upgrades, of course.

If anything, most of my off-camera tests showed Sprint’s 4G network had better download speeds, worse upload speeds, and higher latency. Much like there’s a megapixel myth with digital cameras, there may be a “G” myth soon enough…

What are your thoughts? Is there a viable difference between the two types of network? Do we really see increased speeds?

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Do You Share Too Much Online?

With the events this week on Twitter surrounding the unfortunate death of a Florida toddler, one cannot help but wonder how much social media is too much. This story has garnered national attention, due to the thousands of tweets flying back and forth between two separate “camps”. One camp – those who are friends of the woman whose son drowned – are rabid in their defense of her. Those on the other side of the issue – who feel that her social activities contributed to her possibly not watching her child – are just as rabid in their opposition. It’s enough to make your head spin, attempting to keep up with everything going on.

I am not going to take any “sides” in this issue, as I feel that’s an absurd thing to do. I don’t know the woman in question, and my heart breaks for her for the loss of her son. However, I can’t help but speak out about the social media aspect. There are times when people turn to it a little TOO much, as well as times when it is used in a completely counter-productive way. As I said in a video earlier… if you have nothing nice to say, keep your mouth shut! Yes, it’s okay for you to question something, or to speak your mind. But do so in a productive and nice way. You don’t have to turn nasty or threatening to get your point across.

In my mind, too much social media comes in to play when it dominates your life, and when you rely on it instead of your own family or friends. Yes, online friends are very real, and sometimes even “closer” than your “real-life” ones. However, using social media as your entire outlet and life is not a healthy thing. Make sure that you have activities and hobbies away from your computer. Take the time to reconnect with family or neighbors whom you have lost touch with. Don’t rely solely on the Internet to get comfort and support. That’s my take on it, anyway. What do you think?

This isn’t the only story being talked – or written – about online today, you know. Our community has been busy talking about everything from hardware to Twitter to BumpTop! I hope you’ve taken the time to read some of it today!

The blog posts aren’t the only happening thing going on! We have several new – and updated! – pieces of software in our downloads center, just waiting for you to check them out!

Are all iPhone Problems Apple’s Fault – or AT&T’s?

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My wife loves to remind me of the day that the iPhone was released. I had come up with a list of reasons why I would not get an iPhone. Thankfully, I have one now. I admit it… I’m an addict. It has its shortcomings, yes. But I still absolutely love it. I wanted to share this top five list with all of you that was sent in my Lamb0. It’s different from any iPhone top five I’ve done before. He feels that Apple isn’t the only one to blame for the shortcomings of the iPhone… he places much blame on AT&T, as well.

  • MMS – Almost every Verizon customer can send short video and picture messages. MMS would be an easy thing to implement as an App.
  • Tethering – Blackberry’s can do it. But, AT&T wants you to pick up a $60 addition to your bill. They want a portion of the tether, too. NetShare was an App out for a few days. It was taken down because AT&T doesn’t want it on the phone.
  • Banned Apps – Podcaster was banned recently. It downloaded a Podcast to the iPhone without having to be tied to WiFi. Podcasts are data-intensive, and AT&T doesn’t want that much going through their network.
  • Video – Why can’t I just record videos and save them on the phone? Emailing them would increase data use, again.
  • More Data – With every news article I read, it’s based on Apps that deal with data. The trend I notice is that with each App, it uses high amounts of data. People may feel they have an unlimited data package from AT&T. However, it’s not the same. More data could be pushed through if more data-intensive Apps were allowed.

He feels that Apple has treated him very well, and makes him happy. He’s not happy with AT&T at all. He feels that they do nothing but attempt to hold their customers back, and not give them the freedom to choose and use what they want.

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The Good Side of iPhone 2.0

Like anyone else who tunes into my live streaming life, Mr. Staggs knows that I am addicted to my iPhone. He personally has an iPod Touch, using the new 2.0 operating system software. During his transition to 2.0, he has come across some highs and lows that many people would not notice. He sent in his list of top three ‘good’ features, and the top three ‘bad’ ones, as well.

Good Features

  1. Screen Capture I love having this!
  2. YouTube Integration in Safari There’s nothing better than logging onto your website and seeing a link that will take me directly to the YouTube app for any given link… instead of seeing the blue box with question marks.
  3. Video Play inside of Music app In the old iPhone operating system, all that would play is audio when listening to a podcast. Now, the video plays, and allows you to watch it upright or sideways.

Bad Features

  1. Freezing! When apps are downloaded directly to the iPod Touch, many of them tend to freeze, or be extremely sluggish.
  2. Please Hold As you have mentioned before, the reboots are slower with this new 2.0. It stinks when you’re out with friends trying to show off your new iPhone or Apps… and have to spend ten minutes rebooting the daggone thing. (YES, that’s an exaggeration!)
  3. Still Waiting for Flash Yes, there are so many things that could be on the list. However, I. Want. FLASH!!!

What are your thoughts? What’s on your “good” list of new 2.0 features, and what’s on the “bad” side for you?

What is 3G?

The Media is clueless on what 3G means. Some news reporters claim that “the three-gigabyte iPhone” was released. Some report that it’s the 3rd Generation iPhone. Ugh. I asked people over at Friendfeed just what exactly they think 3G means. The answers are interesting, for sure.

To be honest, I don’t even know what 3G means. 3Ghz band? – Aaron Brazell

Aaron- it stands for ‘Go wait in line while a Get a burrito because we’re going to be here all night. Goodnight…’what? they’re sold out?’ Greeeeat. – Ryan

That’s 4G! 🙂 – Aaron Brazell

I’ll take a guess – 3G refers to the iPhone using the 3G or 3rd generation high-speed mobile phone data network? – Tad Donaghe

Yuck. I’ve seen this, too. Luckily our reporter didn’t even get into it, but I made sure I looked at her copy before the story was released. It’s not just the media though — lots of buyers are saying ridiculous things. Like, they’re buying this version of the iPhone because the OS is more of an open platform than the previous model. Ehhhh. I cut that quote, along with a quote about "speedier cell phone service." No, the phone service is not faster. – Kevin Hessel

iPhone 3G doesn’t mean 3G. – Chris Qie

I heard a Canadian reporter call it a G3 iPhone. Nice try lady, but you’re about three processor brands too late. 😉 – Cecily Walker

LOL @ 3rd Gen iPhone! Had that same discussion with the three iPhone users in my office. They swore this was the third gen phone, thus 3G. Ugh… – JA Castillo

So what DOES it mean already?!?! – Lisa L. Seifert

Gee, you mean ordinary non-technical people get confused by the mobile industry’s vast array of acronyms, and don’t even bother to try to comprehend? You don’t say? Seriously, you can say 3rd generation high-speed mobil phone data network but now try to explain what THAT means to someone who doesn’t really care. – Jason Wehmhoener

its the mobile phone standard/technology between 2g & 4g – mike dunn

G is for generation The original iPhone used the 2G GSM standard, but, because it took advantage of some updated standards for data, it was called a 2.5G phone. GSM and other 2G standards like CDMA are all digital, as distinguished from the first gen analog phones. 3G (of which there are a few competing standards) offers faster data transmission than the the fastest 2.5G data standardsstandards, and in theory can support higher quality voice too. 4G will be faster still. WiMax is sort of a 4g preview. – Erik S

People tend to lose interest when they hear an acronym explained with more acronyms. What’s the difference between GSM and CDMA? What makes 2.5G different from those? Why are there so many different incompatible standards? (I follow this stuff and have answers to these questions, but most people are just irritated by the whole mess) – Jason Wehmhoener

@Jason, (a) Not caring doesn’t excuse a journalist’s obligation to get the facts right, (b) a journalist’s job is to cut through the mumbo jumbo to make it understandable, (c) one would hope the reporter covering such an event is either a biz or tech reporter and they DO understand it. If that’s not possible, it doesn’t negate a and b, (d) they can avoid the issue and just call it faster because the average *reader* of an iPhone story as a news story (rather than as a tech story) probably doesn’t care – Kevin Hessel

Kevin I want to agree with you but the mobile phone technology space is fragmented beyond reason. I don’t expect a reporter on a culture beat to get it. – Jason Wehmhoener

Most people are clueless about 3G — they don’t care about the things we think they do. – Mitch Ratcliffe

The main stream media is generally clueless about tech. It never ceases to amaze me how lazy some reporters are. If they did just 5 minutes of research before writing or reporting on a story they would be 100% more informed and not look like idiots. Even here in silicon valley we still have reporters that fit this MO. – Jeff P. Henderson

1 – Who would want a 3 gb iPhone and 2 – All most people know about 3G is that its faster than whatever was on the 1st gen iPhone (EDGE). – Ethan

Well, they are THE media.. What do you expect? They are not geeks, like us. =) – Winston Teo

That’s almost as funny as their use of the word ‘hacker’ – Rob Fuller via twhirl

OHH…and i thought 3G stands for three grams. – Nir Ben Yona via twhirl

And they tell that old media are very careful about fact checking. As a blogger I at least have a habit to google everything I’m not 100% sure about. I have a feeling they are connected at least. – Svetlana Gladkova via twhirl

The reporter on the culture beat who isn’t sure talks to either the tech colunist or looks it up. That’s his or her JOB. – Cyndy

@Jules- wow, that has to be the worst. – Jake (aka Jawee)

Are this people even human? – Jim Williams

Here’s a wikipedia entry for 3G: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3…imabonehead

What does 3G mean to you? I don’t want to see more of Wiki’s answers, nor something lifted from Apple’s website. What do you truly think?

How do You Test Mobile Broadband Speeds?

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What tool do you use to benchmark your Internet connection speed? If you’re on a desktop, I know many of you use SpeedTest. But what about your mobile web experience? If you’re on an Edge connection, are you getting true Edge speeds? What about if you’re on a 3G connection, or even wifi?

iNetwork Test began with the creation of a basic iPhone web application that inferentially measured the speed of the network the device was connected to. The interest in the application was overwhelming with over half a million results collected to date. The need for reliable, easy to use mobile network testing solutions is one that will continue to grow as more mobile devices infiltrate the marketplace and newer, faster networks come online.

iNetwork Test is developing a suite of solutions for a variety of platforms starting with the iPhone and Android platforms. These tests are more reliable providing a true speed measurement at the lowest possible level of the stack as allowed by the various software development kits.

This service is free. Simply click “start test”, and a few seconds later it gives you results. It will ask you how you’re connected to the Internet, and gives you a more detailed answer based on your connection type. If there’s a question on whether or not you’re getting the speeds you are supposed to, this service will help. Doing one-offs isn’t really the best idea, because it won’t give you a good representation of your average speeds. Run the test at different times during the day. Try to keep as many variables the same as possible, also.

Also on the site, you can view other people’s connection speed results. Are people in your locale getting the same kinds of speeds as you? If not, you’ll know there could be a problem with your service that may needs to be addressed.

To my knowledge, this service is the only one that works for testing out your 3G and even Edge speeds. Maybe you know of something else? If you do, let me know about it, and I’ll be happy to check it out.


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Why I Hate Salespeople: AT&T Pisses Me Off

Yesterday, I was hoping to find an iPhone 3G (duh). I drove past the local AT&T store a few times and always found quite a line. Decided I’d wait until it died down before going in. “Surely,” I thought. “The Apple Stores would be 100x as busy on a day like today.”

I came back to the AT&T store at 2pm, finding no line at all. The madness must’ve subsided. I traipsed in, thinking there’d still be a few people waiting inside. I was approached by a clerk almost immediately, and I asked the inevitable question. “We’re out, but I can put your name on a list and we’ll order one for you!”

“Nah,” I said. “I’m going to check to see if the Apple Stores have ’em first.” I should have stopped right there, walked out to my car, and drove away. Instead, I decided to listen to the commission-driven jacka$$ and his presumptive logic.

“By now, all of the stores around town have likely sold out as well.” He had an awkward look on his face, as if he was showing genuine empathy. Unfortunately, his statement seemed plausible enough for me to stop the search and just put my name on the list. I decided to put down the money for two iPhone 3G units (one for me and one for Ponzi), thus cutting off any possibility of getting the phone elsewhere. You can’t cancel this order, my friends. That’s AT&T’s policy, which I do fully understand.

It was my fault for listening to a salesperson. It was my fault for not trusting my own instinct. It was my fault for not looking elsewhere. But why wouldn’t that guy have called around for me, if he was really trying to provide customer service? Why wouldn’t he have suggested I look elsewhere, knowing that I’d have to use AT&T with the iPhone, anyway? Why would I, as a long-standing AT&T customer… nevermind.

Long story short, as of 9pm last night, several local Apple stores still reported having 16g iPhones in stock. I could’ve had one yesterday, or I certainly could have had one today. Instead, I have to wait for an *INDETERMINABLE* amount of time for AT&T to get the phone shipped out to one specific store. That could be a week, that could be two weeks, that could be a month, that could be two months – that could be as long as it takes, and I can’t back out of the deal.

So, here I am… really pissed off at AT&T’s idea of customer service, and REALLY pissed off at myself.

Is the iPhone 3G Worth Buying?

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I don’t think I’ll be standing in line for the release of the iPhone 3G, although I will be getting one. I do access the Internet frequently from my first gen iPhone, and here in Seattle we have the 3G Network. It will be worth it for me to have one. But overall, for the majority of people, is it worth shelling out money to upgrade?

I will likely be getting the 16GB version of the new Apple iPhone 3G. The one I have now is only an 8GB. I’ve never run out of space, but I like knowing that I have more than enough. Knowing there are going to be tons of new apps in the App Store, many of those free, I know I’ll be maxing myself out downloading them.

I have a top five reason list as to why you shouldn’t “trade up” for the new iPhone 3G. This isn’t my list, it was sent to my by community member Pat. Let’s take a look at why Pat feels you should save your money. His reasons are valid points, but are very lengthy, so I’m going to paraphrase them.

  1. The iPhone 2.0 operating system will work perfectly on the first gen iPhone. There aren’t many extra features in the newest version. You’ll get a standard headphone jack, the 3G processor, and the GPS. For those who do already need some type of GPS on their iPhone, the first generation has a feature using cell towers and wi-fi hotspots to pinpoint your location. If you don’t need GPS and you’re not in an area that is 3G capable… then you don’t really want a new iPhone.
  2. If you already spent quite a lot of money on one of the new iPhones, why would you spend more to buy a phone with just a slight upgrade? Apple could drop the price in the near future. The iPhone 3G is just a slight upgrade, so you may want to hold out until Apple releases a phone with a much larger difference. $200 for something that could possibly be faster and has a newer design isn’t that much. But, it’s just not something you need to spend money on.
  3. iPhones have strict contracts that cannot be canceled easily. If you are already under contract with AT&T for an iPhone, you are stuck with your contract for two years. Your only option to upgrade to the iPhone 3G is to get yourself a new number. It remains to be seen whether AT&T or Apple will allow us to change the current generation iPhone and use it as just an iPod, or not. If I buy the 3G, what can I do with this old model? Or will I just have to have it sit on a shelf? I will likely turn mine into some cold, hard cash.
  4. The new iPhone contract is more expensive than the old one. You may be paying for features you won’t even use. Since you cannot cancel your contract, you’ll be paying for two at the same time. You will not only have to go through the trouble of adjusting to a new phone number, you’ll also have new fees as well. While the new iPhone hardware is cheaper, the service contract is more expensive. Home users will be paying $10.00 per month more, while business users will pay an additional $25.00 a month. The reason why Apple had to lower the price of the hardware is due to the rising cost of the service.
  5. If you’re not in an area that doesn’t have 3G capability, then you won’t be taking advantage of the 3G features. What is the point then? AT&Ts 3G networks are only found in the most populated areas. If you live in the suburbs or a smaller town, you may never be able to use them. AT&T is still working on expanding the 3G network, but it will likely take quite awhile to make it out of large cities.

Yes, the hardware is going to be faster. But in my mind, the best reason to upgrade to the new 3G is the GPS. Do your homework, weigh everything out carefully. Then, make your decision as to what is best for you.

What do you think? Is the iPhone 3G over-hyped? Is it a welcome addition to your pocket?


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