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Understanding Speedtest

Alternative title: Why you can’t actually use your cell phone’s data plan. There’s one great misunderstanding that most people have about speedtest: that your download speed isn’t controlled by your upload speed. Consider the speedtest shown in the photo. Looks…

I loved Google Fi So I Let It Go

I tried Google Fi. I really wanted it to work. The idea of just having a simple, straightforward plan was appealing. What I found was that it was expensive and worked very poorly on an iPhone. It was not a…

The Moth and the Candle and 5G

If I could describe the mindset of telephone companies it would be the story of the moth and the candle. In May, AT&T announced with great fanfare that it is back to being a telephone company again: AT&T to refocus…

Old is New Again

One of the popular trends in cables is braided nylon. They not only look good, but they wear exceptionally well. Unlike plastic coated cables they don’t crack, rarely fray, glide easily, and tend not to kink. They also feel nice…

Learning by Shipping (AirTag Edition)

Apple AirTags are remarkable tracking devices. You can put one of these half-dollar sized disks into a package, or hang it on your pet’s collar, or stick it to anything you desire to track. (Think: grandkids at Disneyland.) I’ve been…

Standalone 5G

Cellular 5G is confusing and conflicting. But there are a few points that I think are worth explaining, clearly. T-Mobile has been advertising that they are building a “Standalone 5G” network. This terms means nothing to most of us, but…

Switching to T-Mobile from Verizon

I was a Verizon mobile customer for decades. I’ve had a cell phone for 35 years now (not many can say that) and I have always wanted (and was willing to pay for) the best service. And, for a long…

We Need More Short Numbers

We used to have 8 precious easy-to-remember numbers: 411 for directory assistance 211 for long distance assistance 611 for telephone repair 911 for emergencies. When we added 311 for government, 511 for road information, and because everybody needs to call…

How to Pick a Cellular Plan

Shopping for a cellular plan is perhaps the most confusing thing you will ever shop for. It’s as fun as eating cardboard and less informative then buying a refrigerator. But there are some very simple rules to follow to get…

Try 5G LTE Today

Tired of your battery running down? Tired of constantly dropped calls? Want better coverage, especially in outlying areas? If you are having these problems… Consider “5G LTE”. Go to your carrier settings on your phone. Turn OFF 5G and choose…

How to Stop SPAM Calling

I don’t know why we make SPAM calling so easy. I offered one suggestion on how to stop it here. It must be that decisions are being made by politicians/managers (same thing) who don’t really solve problems. We don’t need…

T-Mobile Tracking Changes

If you are a T-Mobile customer, you need to act fast. They are changing their privacy policy … to be more like the others. Starting April 26th, T-Mobile will begin monitoring which websites you visit, and can view and analyze…

T-Mobile Customers Seeing Magenta

T-Mobile is rapidly transforming into a big, bad customer exploiting carrier. It’s customers should be seeing red, er, magenta. John Legere transformed T-Mobile from a broken-down carrier with a dysfunctional network into the un-carrier. His brilliant transformation strategy was simple:…

The History of the Dial Pad

The history of the Touch-Tone dial is remarkably complicated and fascinating. Today we all know the 12 button dial with 123 at the top and * and # in the bottom left and right. (Why aren’t there emojis for Touch-Tone…

Bell Divestiture & Un-Divestiture

What this diagram says to me is that AT&T got it completely wrong in the way they divested themselves in 1983. The fact that it smashed apart and then all came back together is evidence of that. It is important…

Widespread Internet Outrages hit Northeast US

People should be outraged by this. The Internet was designed to be robust, self healing, unstoppable. It was designed so if one route blocked traffic would get rerouted around the blockage. That was the most fundamental design principle. The Internet…

US Carriers Should Invent Great Service

Here’s an idea for US Cellular companies: Offer customers full access to all networks for truly great service. There is no longer any technical reason why your phone cannot access and roam to all towers on all companies. Since all…

UnCarrier is Uncool

T-Mobile is no longer the un-carrier. John Legere the inspired rule-breaking maverick executive that led T-Mobile from being a broken down jalopy to the industry leading cellular company is gone. The suit-and-tie folks are now fully back in charge and…

How to de-Fi your iPhone

I have a new iPhone 12 Pro Max. The main selling feature for me was the dual-SIM capability. I travel internationally a lot (Or, I did before we went into mass-hysteria mode.) So having my main SIM and a local…

Thoughts on iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 7 Plus

I upgraded my five year old iPhone 7 Plus for a new iPhone 12 Pro Max. I got a $1,500 model with maximum RAM. It is genuinely surprising how little the iPhone has changed in five years. Here are my…