Two Hours to buy an iPhone

That is just too long.  I called ahead, made sure that the local Apple Store had the phone my wife wanted in stock.  We get there, on a Wednesday night, and have to wait for a blue shirt to free up.  When one of the blue shirts finally does free up, he manages to get the new iPhone assigned to my number (I have a gen one iPhone and see no reason to upgrade), instead of my wife’s number.

Of course, they can’t fix the problem there, so we have to hike to the AT&T store, wait twenty more minutes for someone there to free up, and then another 45+ minutes for the AT&T rep to reset my account back to the way it was.  That should have taken five minutes, tops!

Instead, it was a major operation.  The AT&T rep had to program a new sim card for my phone!  Then the obnoxious process of having to register my iphone through iTunes once again.

So over half of my time was wasted because Apple screwed up my AT&T account, and I still don’t have the iPhone I came there to buy for my wife.

I understand that AT&T wants to make sure it makes its money back on the iPhones it is paying part of the cost on, but they have gone to new lengths to make the process difficult and un-consumer friendly for those of us who are actually trying to buy the Apple iPhone legally.

I’ve been a customer of AT&T Mobile (as they are now calling themselves) for over a decade.  I have five numbers on my account.  Never before have I run into a case where I was trying to sign up for a more expensive service plan and AT&T refused to take my money.

Until last night.  AT&T’s ovewheleming desire to make sure they squeeze every penny out of the iPhone rates means that they are putting the screws to long time loyal customers like myself.

The only bright point was that someone at the Apple Store finally figured out what customer service was. I managed to get the iPhone for my wife, with it actually assigned to her number, after just over two hours.

I’ll talk about the anti-consumer changes AT&T made to the rate plans later.  That’s a big reason I’m sticking with first gen iPhone.

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The Digg/Google rumors

MIT Tech Review is now covering this story.  Kevin Rose was on the lastest episode of TWiT and talked about it.

He said the company policy was not to comment on such rumors and then went on to say it was not the kind of deal that Digg was looking for at this time.

I wonder if all of his board is as immune to massive amounts of google bucks as he appears to be.

Mobile blogging

I am writing this post on my iPhone using the new WordPress app.

For this to be a serious tool, a portable Bluetooth keyboard is needed. Too bad Apple doesn’t even support their own Bluetooth keyboard.

Why no decent camera app

One of the glaring exceptions in the Apple iTunes application store is a decent camera app.

There are several “jailbreak” phone apps that add good functionality to the extremely basic camera software on the iPhone.  Adding functionality to the camera is something that iPhone users would pay money for.  Price it under $10, preferably under $5, and it would move.

The camera on the iPhone is the equivalent of an old Instamatic film camera.  Not a modern one, you  can get better pictures from a modern cardboard disposable.

It is not that bad, but getting a decent picture out it is a challenge.  Like most photography, it is all about the lighting. Just don’t expect to blow that picture up to a poster.

Don’t fly without a pair!

I picked up a pair of Bose Quiet Comfort 2 headphones on the recommendation of my friend Vic. In the interest of full disclosure, Vic is an employee of Bose in their product development group.

First off, these are really good headphones. I never liked ear buds for either the comfort (or lack there or) or the sound quality (or lack there of) These headphones will remind you what music is supposed to sound like. They might even cause you to go back and re-encode some of your music for better quality.

Recently I flew across the US and back. Over ten hours in noisy aircraft, including a small turboprop plane. These headphones really cut out the loud white noise that exists in passenger aircraft. These are over the ear headphones, as opposed to on the ear headphones, like the Quiet Comfort 3 headphones. For traveling, I prefer the over the ear because they are less likely to move off my ears as my head moves while I am sleeping on a plane.

New Search Engine

I’ve been using searchme.com lately and I find it to be a useful way to do quick searches.

The slick thing about it is that it displays the webpages in your search results.  People are primarly visual creatures.  If you are looking for a page you once saw, you are more likely to recognize it by seeing it than by a line or two of text.

This is a search engine geared toward people, not other computers, which makes it pretty cool.

Mini-Reactors in the works.

Good news for those concerned with American Energy independence!

Plans for smaller nuclear reactors, which can be US built, have been submitted to the NRC for approval.

These small plants, which produce no greenhouse gases, are designed to produce 45-megawatts of power with a very small footprint. The unit is less than 70 feet long and the containment vessel is only 14 feet in diameter.

These can be easily placed in remote areas that currently use diesel generators and would be useful in more urban areas, such as California and the Northeast, to reduce dependence on plants that burn coal, oil and natural gas.