Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Free Professional Critic from the Shackles of Monopoly

Reader, saints be praised! The federal government is finally starting to get concerned over cell phone exclusivity. That's just fancy talk for the conundrum folks are in when they balance the lure of the iphone with the epic suck of AT+T coverage, to name a recent and high profile example.

The exclusivity doesn't make much sense when compared to other industries. PG&E will let the electricity flow no matter what kind of lighting I buy, even the cheapo Ikea lamps. The cable company will take your money no matter what brand of TV you have. You get the point.

I've had AT+T wireless for almost five years on the sadly misguided advice of someone who said the service was great! It is alas, terrible. I drop calls all the time, reliably, in the same places in San Francisco, which is a puny seven square miles. My work cell phone through Verizon never drops calls.

But then I went and bought an iphone which I love and continued my deal with the devil for two more years, dropping calls in these same places, but paying a lot more for the pleasure. What can I say? The iphone rulez.

You can check out known cell dead zones here.

And apropos of nothing, a video of polar bear Knut back when he was a stinkin' adorable little cub and his keeper, who has since died, sadly. That is redonkulous cute, reader.


jdub said...

With the caveat that I cannot even program my VCR or figure out our Wii (although my 6 year old can use the Wii without assistance) I remember seeing that there was a reasonably easy hack that would allow folks to use the iPhone with another network. I could be (and likely am) mistaken, but have you googled for that or are you not a hacker-type?

And "reasonably easy hack" could mean "reasonably easy for someone with an advanced degree in welding and computer science who has spent 3-5 years in a minimum security facility for computer crimes." So don't hold me to it.

Professional Critic said...

Ha! Yes, you can unlock the iphone if you know what you're doing (which I don't) but you could also end up with a non functioning unit, aka "a brick."

Anonymous said...

although i am against monopolies b/c they are downright un-American, I still have never had a problem with my at&t service. just fyi...

Professional Critic said...

That's very fortunate, Anon! Service does seem to vary depending on where you live and travel, so consider yourself lucky.