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A Question for Sprint Mobile Bashers February 28, 2008

Posted by Fast Follower in Sprint.

Will $99.99 for unlimited everything make you think differently about Sprint?  There are reports suggesting this is what Sprint will do.

PS3 for Blue-ray DVD February 26, 2008

Posted by Fast Follower in Blue-ray, Playstation 3, PS3.

I’m finishing off a part of my home that will contain a video-audio entertainment area (a projector for video and large screen viewing, an HD Directv DVR, a receiver for handling all of the video and audio processing, etc).  My initial choice for a DVD player was to purchase a Blue-ray DVD (now that HD DVD is dead or dying).  Today, I decided to forgo a normal Blue-ray player and get Playstation 3 instead.  It plays Blue-ray DVDs (and regular DVDs) along with being a great gaming machine.  Am I missing something here?  Doesn’t this seem like a good choice?  I’m sure PTIers will let me know.

Apple and AT&T are Extending Their Relevance February 12, 2008

Posted by Fast Follower in Apple, AT&T, iPhone, iTouch, macbook, Starbucks.
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Do any of you use wifi access at the local coffee shop – like at a Starbucks?  I usually don’t.  But every time I enter a Starbucks I see people on their laptops presumably using the web as well.  According to Silicon Alley, it seems like AT&T has convinced Starbucks to kick out T-Mobile as their wifi provider.  What may seem like a “so what” announcement really begins to extend Apple’s iPhone, iTouch, and Macbook appeal as well as cement AT&T as the wireless provider of choice.  Check out the reasoning in this Silicon Alley post.

Loving a Camera February 11, 2008

Posted by Fast Follower in Aperture, Nikon D200, Photoshop Elements.
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This is why I love my Nikon D200 digital slr camera. With it (and Photoshop Elements and Aperture on my Macbook Pro), I can capture photos like this.  UPDATE: TI recently asked me how I create this black & white effect.  Here’s a post on SpotMeterSports where there’s a video description of this technique.

And like this…

How Do You Explain This…? February 10, 2008

Posted by Fast Follower in Apple, Blackberry, iPhone, Microsoft, Motorola, Research in Motion, RIM.

A headline from Info World:

“Apple beats Microsoft, Motorola in Q4 phone sales

Research in Motion had the largest share of the converged-device market in the United States in Q4, followed by the iPhone and Windows Mobile devices”

Directv On Demand February 7, 2008

Posted by Fast Follower in Apple TV, beta, Directv, Directv On Demand, DirectvOnDemand, dtv, hr20, video on demand, VideoOnDemand, vod.

I just connected my HD Directv DRV to my home network using a powerline adapter.  The reason I did this was to try out the beta version of Directv On Demand.   If given a choice, I would rather download the latest DVD release of American Gangster directly on my DVR as opposed to going to Blockbuster to get it or ordering it from Netflix – again, if given an equal choice.  Presently, there’s decent content to download from On Demand (including movies like the newest Bourne Supremacy movie or content like 3 minute to 9 minute golf tips which are free).  I realize Apple TV is re-launching their new service.  This On Demand product could give it a run for it’s money for Directv users (at least those with the HD DVR during this beta period)

Fear, Hope, and Love with Electronic Gadgets and the Companies who Make Them February 5, 2008

Posted by Fast Follower in Apple, Blackberry, Dell, Directv, iPhone, iPod, Mac, Marketing, Microsoft, Quicken, Sprint, Verizon.

I wish I could take credit for this theory about why we as consumers engage with companies and their products. But I can’t. This comes from Seth Godin on his blog. It makes me think about many of the posts and comments on PTI about the electronic gadgets and services we all use. After reading Godin’s post, how many of the devices and the device makers fall into the Fear, Hope, and Love categories for PTIers?

What about Apple? Or iPod? Or iMac? Or iPhone? What about PPC-6700? What about Microsoft? Or Windows? Or Office? What about Sprint? What about Verizon?  What about Playstation? What about XBox? What about Slingbox? What about Blackberry? What about Directv? What about Quicken?  What about Dell?

Is there something missing from the 3 categories (fear, hope, love)? Interestingly, many of our posts are about complaints concerning the gadgets or services we use. Might there be another category called “Necessity” for why we buy and use certain gadgets (or continue to use certain gadgets and services while we face constant problems)?

Is This the iPhone Killer? January 31, 2008

Posted by Fast Follower in Garmin, iPhone.
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Probably not.  But check it out on Silicon Alley Insider.  It’s from Garmin (the navigation equipment company) and it has some things the iPhone does not.  Garmin calls it the Nuvifone.  And it supposedly will be available later this year.

I’ve yet to step up to an iPhone.  I use a company purchased Blackberry.  I just can’t see myself using two devices.  However, when the iPhone switches to the high speed AT&T network and I’m able to do things like mobile slingbox with it to catch programming on my DVR (or Apple TV if I decide to get it), I just might be persuaded to go with an iPhone some day.

Online Services for Quicken 2005 and older….DISCONTINUED??? Is this a scam???? January 23, 2008

Posted by Tell it like it TI is! in Financial software, Quicken, Quicken 2005, Quicken online services, Quicken upgrade.

By now PTIers you all know that I am a real skeptic, always questioning every move that the big Companies make.  Always questioning their motives. Always trying to uncover the underlying scam!  Today, while paying bills on Quicken, I got an interesting message alert.  The message indicates that after April 30th, my version of Quicken (2005 Premiere) will no longer work with online services including electronic bill payment and statement downloads!!!!  The only way to resolve the issue is to upgrade to the 2008 version.   I have been a Quicken user since the early 90s and I never been FORCED to upgrade.   Since the 2005 purchase, I really have no functional reason to upgrade.  Quicken is performing every function that I need it for.

Let me hear from you PTIers is this a scam or is Quicken really making services better??  Maybe they have found a sure fire method to generate sales!  Which is it? Let me know.   How would you feel if GM called you up and told you that your car would no longer work after a certain date and told you the only solution was to purchase a new car?  What about your cell phone?  What about some other household appliance?  Would you accept this?  Why should we accept this with Quicken???  I bought a product with certain expectations, no mention that the services would be discontinued or stop working after a certain date.   Is this ethical?  How often will Quicken be allowed to change the format? Every other year?  Every year? Every month?  Why aren’t they compelled to keep their loyalest customers satisfied? 

Bottomline, I don’t buy it.  I wasn’t complaining about the functionality.  I didn’t ask Quicken to change anything.  So when sales get low, change the format and screw the folks that are currently using your product.   Well, since I am in the market for new financial software, let me know what I should change to!!!  Come on PTIers let me hear from you!

Just telling it like it is!!!

The Consumer Electronics Show – CES January 4, 2008

Posted by Fast Follower in CES, Consumer Electronics Show.

Hey TI, I hear you’re going out to Vegas to attend CES next week.  Don’t forget to provide some PTI updates about what you’re seeing at the show.  We want facts and opinion (although many times your opinion leaves a lot to be desired).  I guess beggars can’t be choosy.

Are Mac People Just Different than PC People? December 19, 2007

Posted by Fast Follower in Mac, PC.

That’s a question that’s been asked over on Silicon Alley Insider.  What led to the question is a study which shows that Mac people buy more music from iTunes than PC people.  The simple explanation (and probably correct explanation) is since iTunes comes pre-loaded on Macs, it’s just easier to start buying music on preinstalled iTunes using a Mac.  However, the post ends with the fundamental question asked: Are Mac owners different than the PC owners?  Well, are they?

Will Sprint Fix Customer Service December 18, 2007

Posted by Fast Follower in Sprint, Sprint Customer Service.
1 comment so far

We’ve pounded Sprint here at PTI for some time now about their terrible customer service.  And they’ve deserved every smack.  But, they’ve got a new CEO now.  Over on Silicon Alley Insider they give the new chief some advice about how to fix the company.  The first thing they suggest is to stop losing customers.  And the best way to do that is to fix customer service.  Because we all know it stinks.

Cellphone Replacement Insurance… Benefit or Scam?? December 17, 2007

Posted by Tell it like it TI is! in cellphone damage, cellphone replacement insurance, refurbished replacement, replacement cellphone, sprint insurance.

Well PTIers it was bound to happen!  I was getting undressed, and my PPC 6700 fell off my belt clip and went crashing to the floor!  Disaster, right?  Well, not exactly.   Since I got the phone last year, I have been paying $7/month for replacement/loss insurance.  So I called the replacement center for Sprint, told them what happened and they were more than happy to take my $50 deductible and tell me that I would be receiving a brand new “refurbished” PPC 6700.   She even said that she would express ship it to me for an additioanl $15 bucks!  Now that’s service…right??  If it is such a great plan, why do I feel so wierd about it?

After hanging up the phone, I started thinking about this.   I got the phone last year September.  I have been paying $7 per month for insurance.   My math tells me that amounts to $98 bucks. Add on the $50 deductible and the $15 shipping cost, and I am out of pocket $163 bucks!   So I am paying $163 bucks for a refurbished phone that is not even in production anymore.  I guess one could say that I am ahead of the game, cause I could have been out a whole lot more if I had to buy the new HTC Mogul for more than $163 dollars… right?

Just wanted to see how PTIers feel about cellphone insurance.  How long do you pay before it becomes a bad deal?  Are there any strategies (i.e. maybe purchase insurance for the first 12 months for a new phone and then cancel after some break point)?   

 Not sure why I am feeling strange about this, but I am just telling it like it is!!!!  Sorta like the old tune from New Edition…. 

If it isn’t love, why do I feel this way? 

By the way, while I am waiting for my refurbished PPC 6700, I got Sprint to activate my first Treo!!!  Check it out, it actually is bringing back a lot of memories and it works great!!!

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Verizon to Open Itself to All Handsets November 27, 2007

Posted by Fast Follower in Sprint, Verizon, wireless carriers.
1 comment so far

Now we’re talking about something!  It looks like Google is already having an impact on some of the mobile service providers. Check out this piece about Verizon opening its service to all handsets next year.  If this occurs, will this be the beginning of a change in the business models of the the wireless carriers like Verizon?

TI – You’ve been predicting the carriers’ demise (mostly Sprint).  But maybe those that try to change could have a new birth.  We’ll see.

Are you listening  Do you hear that Sprint? Do something good for your consumer for a change.

Should You Wait on the Blackberry iPhone? November 24, 2007

Posted by Fast Follower in Blackberry, iPhone, mogul.
1 comment so far

Well…not really a Blackberry iPhone.  But there are reports that RIM (the maker of Blackberry) is developing a device for 2008 to compete with the iPhone.  Read about it here.

TI, it might make you pause before you jump on that Mogul 6800 device