The 404 Digest for Episode 781 AT&T in talks to purchase T-Mobile--what's this got to do with me? AT&T puts the boot on unauthorized iPhone tethering. Rebecca Black signals the end of days. Giving in to the Super Moon's cry for attention. Sprint adds Google Voice service for customers. Episode 781 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Maggie Reardon wrote a post today on her Signal Strength blog about AT&T beginning to crack down on customers using the iPhone's tethering capabilities without paying for the service. Apparently the company has begun sending out e-mails and text messages to the offending customers inviting them to sign up with its tethering plan--$45/month for what it calls a "DataPro" 4GB service.
I haven't used this feature at all yet on my iPhone and I probably never will at $45 a month. But this story also brings up the old "Unlimited Data" plan argument. I think I was grandfathered in with an Unlimited Data plan (which frustratingly doesn't include texts for no reason I can understand accept that AT&T is nickel-and-diming us to death), but as you can see, my "unlimited" plan has very clear limits when it comes to tethering (and texting!). I don't know about you, but last I checked, unlimited meant without limits. Also, if the connection is going through my iPhone to my laptop, how is that any different than simply using the same connection on my iPhone without a laptop? It's the same connection, right? If not, is it really a $45-per-month difference? Somehow I doubt it.
Anyway, I just thought I would (vent) put it out there and see what readers think about the new tethering features, the pricing, and the highly limited "unlimited data" plans. Let me know what you think in the comments.
This week's apps include a unique background image collection app, and a combination first-person shooter and role-playing game that's set on Europa, the ice-covered moon of Jupiter.… Read more
What a confusing week it's been for iPhone rumors. On Monday, a report by The Independent said that Apple was holding off on bringing near-field communication (NFC) technology to the next version of the iPhone, and then a story posted last night by Forbes claims that the effort is still on track.
The source on that newer report is said to be "an entrepreneur who is working on a top-secret NFC product," who has a buddy working at Apple. That's compared to The Independent's multiple sources on the matter, which were "several of the … Read more
The 404 Digest for Episode 780Scott Stein sits in for Wilson. Jeff feeds trolls in his Nintendo 3DS blog post. Check out the 3DS review in its 4,000-plus word entirety. TL;DR? The gist: 3.5/5 stars for impressive 3D experience with a weaker-than-usual launch lineup and inactivated online features. Check out this bamboo iPad 2 case by Grove! Video voice mail by Luke from Austin.
Record your own video voice mail on YouTube and send the link to the404(at)cnet(dot)com or leave an audio voice mail by calling 1-866-404-CNET (2638).
Have a great weekend, everyone!Episode 780 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Led by such companies as Powermat, inductive charging has been around for a few years. In case you don't know what we're talking about, the idea behind inductive charging is to relieve you of the burden of connecting your phone (or another device) to a charging cable that has to be plugged into a wall outlet. Instead, you simply rest your phone on a special pad, and--presto!--the battery starts charging.
Best not to pay much mind to the supply chain hysterics that dragged Apple shares to their third worst trading low yesterday. While the March 11 catastrophe in Japan will undoubtedly have some effect on Apple's component supplies as partners--like Toshiba, which manufactures about 40 percent of the world's flash memory, and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical, which produces a resin used in iPhone and iPad circuit boards--work to get their plants back up and running, Apple is likely in a better position than most to handle any constraints that might arise.
As Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster reminds us … Read more
A probe into a prototype iPhone 4 purchased by a gadget blog is nearing its end, with investigators expected to report their findings soon.
Stephen Wagstaffe, district attorney for the county of San Mateo, Calif., told CNET today that "the investigation is ongoing" and he expects it could conclude as early as next month. Investigators are close to finishing their interviews and will present him with their findings, he said.
The investigation began early last year when Robert Gray Powell, a 28-year-old Apple computer engineer, left an unmarked prototype iPhone in a German beer garden in Redwood City, … Read more
Zachery Bir, on his Urbanape blog, explains how he used an iPhone 4 with the new Personal Hotspot feature in iOS 4.3 to add GPS to his Wi-Fi-only iPad. A tweet from Bir earlier in the day caused some skepticism when he posted:
From a technological standpoint, I must admit I was a bit skeptical as well. When deciding on which iPad 2 to get, I debated many of the same pros and cons as other customers wondering if the $130 upgrade to enable 3G on an iPad was worth the money.
Ultimately, I decided to put the extra money toward more storage and I settled on a black, 32Gb, Wi-Fi-only iPad 2. Upon seeing a post from Daring Fireball's John Gruber about Bir's findings, I feel as though my decision may well be completely justified. … Read more
Just as I--and many of you--suspected, the viral video claiming to demonstrate how to hack into the huge video monitors in New York's Times Square was a fake.
The video shows two people: one filming and holding an iPhone with a "video transmitter" plugged into the headphone jack, and the other with a "video repeater" that appears to hijack any screen it comes near, forcing it to display the video feed from the phone. Toward the end of the video, the repeater is attached to a helium balloon, and floated up in front of the Times Square monitor, which also acquiesces to the "hack."
As it turns out, there's more of a backstory to the video than its DIY aesthetic would seem to indicate. The faux hack was actually part of a subtle viral marketing campaign for the movie "Limitless." The only nod to the film comes in the moments before the Times Square screen is taken over--the movie trailer is playing on the screen before it's replaced with the iPhone feed.
While many people called the hoax, we didn't get it totally right. I and most others assumed the screen manipulation was the result of video post-production. In fact, Michael Krivicka of Thinkmodo, the marketing agency behind the video, says the apparent video hijack really did play on the Times Square screen.
"We basically rented the screens on Times Square," Krivicka told InformationWeek. "We had our own footage play on there, which had sync points that were looping every 60 seconds. So we basically synced up the footage on our iPhone and made it look, with rehearsed timing, like it's being hacked into. It was really simple."… Read more
The 404 Digest for Episode 779We reveal the viral marketing company behind the Times Square video hack. Natali Morris brings an interesting question from the New Yorker about the secret of boyhood friendships. Check out Molly Wood's listing for a white 64GB Apple iPad 2 signed by the SXSW@CNET crew--all proceeds go to the Red Cross for the Japanese tsunami relief efforts! Video Voicemails from Emily in Toronto, Daniel in Colorado, and Rich from Cleveland--thanks, guys! Kodak Deal of the Day: Vizio RazorLED 32-inch 1080p LED LCD HDTV with Wi-Fi with free shipping for $449.99. Episode 779 Subscribe in iTunes (audio) | Subscribe in iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more