Tag Archives: att

Do Stormtroopers Listen to Music?

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What kind of music do you listen to? Well, that’s what was asked of the stormtrooper, so… here’s the answer, as recorded live – with questions being taken from Twitter.

This is a great question. Like all people, Stormtroopers have eclectic taste. I happen to love my Pandora stream and 8-bit music. It’s difficult to get a signal when you have to deal with another Empire in terms of your data plan. You want to talk about evil Empires… AT&T is the best of the best at that.

Every Stormtrooper has something different that they like to listen to, just as you humans do. We’re really not that different, after all.

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AT&T Billing Problems

This is a guest post written by community member Bradley Wind. I have not edited any part of the original email, other than for spelling or grammatical corrections.

Hey Chris…

I have enjoyed your work for years and finally have a reason to contact you.

Not sure if you’ve been following this issue already or not, so forgive me if it’s old news to you (I know this has been an issue since at least June 2010). I’m hoping possibly you have some better answers than what I’ve received already.

In July, my wife and I finally switched over to an iPhone with the release of 4… yes, even with all the negative death grip news surrounding its release. We started receiving notices that our 200MB data plans were at 75% and 90% about a week ago. This stunned us as we barely use the data on our phones except to check email and use a few small apps.

I’m nearly always on a WiFi network when I’m using my phone so my data minutes should not be getting used up much… ditto for my wife. When I checked my acct to see what could be the culprit, I noticed there was phantom data being sent from our phones in the wee hours of the morning and middle of the night… when we’re both asleep. I called and got a cs rep on the phone in billing, who kept me on hold several times while she consulted her manager.

Meanwhile, I started Googling the problem.

I found several sites almost immediately and when the cs rep couldn’t give me answers I asked to speak directly with the manager, who couldnt give me answers and so gave me to a tech service rep. Sorry if this is too much info but in any case I was googling and reading while on hold and transferring all that time… and found a few interesting links:

You’ll notice – especially on the 46 page thread of the Apple forum – that no one has gotten any straight-forward response.

There is, however, a LOT of denial, finger-pointing and general run-around happening.

That was exactly my response from Michelle Pounders (tech rep from ATT – third person I spoke with during the 1hr30min call).

Well, at least she was honest and said they haven’t pinpointed it exactly yet. She said they’d need a task manager hired to review all the items for why it is happening and they don’t have one. Who knows if she is well informed or not.

All she said was that I’d need to rule out all the applications I have on my phone but no answer for the fact that I update my applications via iTunes and what kind of application is SENDING out 50mb files (or more, as others have experienced on their phones).

So, by now, several months after this has been reported, you’d think they’d have a clear idea as to what is doing this exactly. Of course not!

She said she was aware of the links I quoted from and had read them. This only confuses me more and makes me think people at ATT don’t really know what’s happening – or care.

Michelle said that it’s like trying to figure out when a CPU of a computer is being over taxed and you need to find out what software is doing it.

I said I understand that. What I don’t understand is why ATT & Apple haven’t figured this out enough to send out a report to all customer service reps (and OWNERS!) with a clear reason for what is happening or how to prevent it.

She said I needed to turn off as many apps as I could and then test each one. I said I have 2 daughters under the age of 3 at home, a full time job, barely any downtime as it is, and definitely no time to test applications as she’s suggesting. If she’d read the forum posts at the Apple and ATT site, she’d see others had done the testing. If this were a case of an app causing the issues, they should be able to answer which ones specifically were causing the problem by now.

Originally, I was concerned our phones had been hacked because the data wasn’t being received by our phones – it is being SENT in the middle of the night – huge files. Again… I run WiFI at home. Why is my phone specifically not using my home/office WiFi for these huge files? Well, because the phone is asleep like I am at those hours.

If it’s some kind of aggregation of usage from throughout the day, why are they charging it at night in one lump sum when most people/phones would be in sleep mode?

Why wouldn’t it just get billed when it’s actually used? More concerning and puzzling: why is being billed at all, since I use the phone over a WiFi connection and NOT their 3G one? How can I possibly track what my actual usage was when I couldn’t even tell when I used it (that is, if that’s the real reason large files are being sent from my phone in the middle of the night…)

I offered to send her (Michelle) the links like I have to you but she wasn’t interested. She claimed to be aware of them. I also made sure they documented my call so that if I get some kind of overage fee, I’ll be able to say that I called and was not given reason, nor could I find out on my ATT.com Data Usage Details what my actual usage is/was.

I thought someone like you might have better info to provide or be able to use your blog to pressure someone to get on it. Thanks!

A Letter from AT&T

Mike Maxwell, Vice President and General Manager for AT&T (Pacific Northwest & Alaska) took time out of his busy day to send me a nice form letter:

I am writing to thank you for choosing AT&T for your wireless service, and to update you on exciting plans we have to make your wireless experience even better.

You already know that AT&T covers 97% of all Americans. And as an AT&T customer, you have access to the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network; a mobile broadband network that allows you to talk and browse the web at the same time; and seamless access to over 20,000 AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots – more than any other U.S. wireless provider.

But you may not know the extent of our plans to improve your experience. In 2010 alone, we plan to invest between $18 and $19 billion in our wireless and wireline networks across the country. In fact, we’ve invested more in our networks over the last three years than any of our U.S. competitors. We’ve already upgraded our cell sites to enable faster mobile broadband speeds when paired with expanded backhaul, and we plan a similar upgrade at the end of the year that will enable even faster speeds.

We’re not stopping there. We are also adding thousands of new cell sites, expanding mobile broadband coverage to millions of customers, installing enhanced fiber backhaul, and increasing the capacity of our data network. Not only do these enhancements provide a better experience today, but they also enable a seamless migration to our next generation of mobile broadband – LTE.

What this means to you is simple: better coverage where it matters most, and fast access to information on the go.

Uh huh. All I want to know is when I can stop telling people I’m using an iPhone before it’s had the chance to end the call prematurely?

That Which Smells Like a Rose

Over on our questions and answers community, ageekmom asked everyone what their favorite scent or smell is. This may seem like something completely wacky for me to write about, but I cannot help but have a million things running through my head as I read the answers given thus far. I found myself agreeing with several of them, only to remember I’m supposed to choose ONE thing as a favorite. In a world with so many amazing foods, perfumes, flowers and coffees, how the hell am I supposed to choose just one?

Think about the things you smell every day without even thinking about them. Perhaps the smell of a freshly-washed baby makes you sigh contentedly. Perhaps you enjoy the smell of meat sizzling on a grill. Which outdoor scents work to restore your sense of calm? Can you even narrow it down to just one favorite smell?

The software found in our download center isn’t of the scratch ‘n’ sniff variety. However, you WILL find just about any titles you can think of – at the lowest prices.

I'm Not in Love – an Android vs iPhone Song

Imei has decided it’s time to make a change and begin using the iPhone 4 in her daily life. Following is the post she wrote to explain her choice.

You’ve probably heard me as “the voice of reason” when it comes to Android vs. iPhone. I believe Android gives iPhone a run for its money by producing creativity in open source apps, and competition to the run-away favorite. But my year as the n00b of Social Media is coming to an end, and I need a seamless user experience I can take to the bank as my businesses take off. Chris Pirillo told me last year to wait for the next iPhone. Well, I’ve waited. And it’s time (I’m expecting a free bumper, though).

Using Looptastic HD on the iPad, a Bose speaker, my Yamaha 0RS-700 keyboard for percussion, a microphone and a portable speaker, I can get some live sound in my library/office! If you want to learn more about Looptastic, take a look at my other video about using Looptastic HD to become your own iPad DJ. The mix you hear on this video took only two minutes for me to find and create. By setting the bpm’s, I can sync that to any other looping program — it just so happens to be my keyboard. Once I add a six-channel mixer to the apps, you can add harmonies and other melody lines, or layer in another song.

I want to thank T-mobile for six years of great service. I really like T-mobile as a company. I just wasn’t satisfied with the battery life, the forced closing of the My Touch nearly every hour (with very few apps), and the slow response. The camera quality is also poor quality even compared to the iPhone 3GS. But I am looking forward to the next Android phones to keep all phone companies and dev’s staying sharp and creating the best products ever!

All of the music and lyrics in this video were created by Imei herself.

Have you made any type of major change in provider service? What prompted the decision?

Samsung Galaxy S Initial Impressions

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Samsung Mobile. All opinions are 100% mine.

The Samsung Galaxy S will be available soon in the AT&T network. I’ve been able to play with it for the past week or so. Despite moderate usage, I haven’t had to charge it since first turning it on. The battery astounded me, to be quite honest. I’ve been pretty happy with this phone. Despite a few negative remarks I’ve seen elsewhere about this phone, this is the best Android device I’ve tried to date. This will definitely be my default Android phone from now on.

It is extremely lightweight. It feels good in the hand, and the screen is large and gorgeous. The screen is super SUPER bright and vibrant. It’s so bright, in fact, that I had to turn the brightness down. The touch screen is extremely responsive. This means that the processor is fast, and everything is speedy out of the box. I feel this is quality hardware on a quality operating system.

In terms of resolution and capabilities, the camera on the Galaxy S is fantastic where HD video is concerned. If you didn’t already notice, I had uploaded a video review of an iPhone screen protector that I wasn’t happy with. That video was shot using this Galaxy S phone. For some reason, in a low-quality setting, I tend to get these “bars” on the video. I’m not sure if you detect that, but I did through the viewfinder. This is some small lines that appear in videos and photos. I’m not sure if this is a hardware or software issue, though. Hopefully Samsung will look into it.

This phone is running the TouchWiz interface, which is nice for helping you to quickly connect up your social networks. The out-of-the-box experience is honestly very good. For instance, swiping the screen in any direction will automatically open up the lock screen. Hello! That, my friends, is what intuitive is all about.

This is a fantastic Android device, no doubt about it… especially when it will only cost you $200 with a new contract. What I like beyond the price and screen is that Samsung paid attention to what a user might actually want when they turn their phone on for the first time. They added some very popular apps right into the phone, including Layer. Layer is so good that it will get a future video all of its own.

More than anything that impressed me, when I launched the Apps application, I saw a few of these default apps. Normally, apps pushed through a manufacturer’s site or service kind of suck, to put it bluntly. However, I was pretty impressed with many of the ones that I found within Samsung.

Again, my summary is that this is the best Android device I’ve used to date. There are a few negatives, but in my opinion they do not detract from the overall performance of the phone. Yes, there is a replaceable battery. However, in order to get the back of the phone off to GET to said battery you’ll need long fingernails or some type of very thin tool to pry it open.

As Apple pointed out, many other phones lose signal when using a “death grip.” It’s honestly not just the iPhone 4 that does this. The same thing happens with the Galaxy S, as shown in a video on YouTube.

Just about anything you would want in an Android device can be found in the Galaxy S. Are you thinking of grabbing one for yourself?

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Is There a Better Way to Protect the iPhone Screen?

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I went out yesterday and purchased an AT&T branded screen protector for my iPhone 4. In less than twenty-four hours, it is already smudged and messed up quite a lot. The packaging claims that it is “anti-fingerprint.” You can clearly see in this video (shot with the new Samsung Galaxy S) that there are, indeed, fingerprints everywhere.

I am very careful and particular about my gadgets. I take excellent care of them, and use caution as much as possible. This phone did nothing other than be used in normal fashions, sit in my pocket or charge on the bedside table. Why, then, are there so many obvious scuff marks? That, to me, is just ludicrous.

I don’t recommend wasting your money on this particular screen protection. I’d rather my iPhone go naked than use something like this.

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AT&T Blames Alcatel-Lucent for Service Slowness

Several reports circulated the web yesterday with people from cities across the United States experiencing slowness on the AT&T network. Many blogs trumpeted headlines claiming that AT&T had begun capping upload speeds. People were disgruntled to find that it was taking “forever” to send an email or photo on the network. However, the communications giant released a statement today which points the finger directly at software created by Alcatel-Lucent.

Alcatel-Lucent is working on a software update that will fix the defect, which it estimates affects less than 2 percent of its wireless customers. The company isn’t releasing a timeline for the software update and declined to say which areas of the U.S. were affected. However, the issues have been reported from New York City to Chicago and beyond.

Have you been having issues with your AT&T upload speeds?

You don’t have to worry about phone speeds when you log onto our software center to see what’s new.

Motorola Backflip is Android for Social Media Simplicity

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If you want to sign up for a new AT&T plan right now, you can receive the new Motorola Backflip phone for just a penny. Why would you want to do that, though? Well, thankfully I was sent one of these awesome little phones to review. If you’re a social media fanatic, I think you’re going to like what Motorola has in store for you.

What makes this phone so good? It’s all about the integration – up front – of your social accounts. When I turned on the device for the first time, I was prompted to connect my various accounts. Once you’re logged in with your credentials, your account information and updates will be seamlessly pulled into the phone.

Out of the box, it really is a pretty good device compared to a lot of phones that are out there today. It’s built on the Android operating system, which will make some of you very happy. The phone has a physical backlit keyboard and supports WiFi. There are 350 minutes of talk time and 315 hours of standby time. It’s pre-loaded with assisted GPS.

You can change wallpapers and add folders. The keyboard is a bit bigger than many devices, which I know is important to some people. The touch screen isn’t extremely responsive, but you can flip it over to control it with buttons. Usint that button on the back is kind of wild, and very unique.

It’s super simple to connect all of your social accounts. To me, that’s what it’s all about: making it easy and fast to get – and keep – you connected.

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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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