Tag Archives: Verizon

2012-02-03

Not much happened today. I made a partial payment for a bill. I also made a call to someone to remind him of something. I had to reset my router again as well contact Verizon to get a replacement modem+router. I had a lot of birthday notices which was nice of the people that offered it. I tried to call Chris which wasn’t successful, so I will try again tomorrow.

I also came across some terrible news. Port Authority of Allegheny County is planning on eliminating or reducing routes throughout as well as increase rates. This is almost expected, however the problem is that they are planning on completely eliminating the Route 4 which is the only bus that runs through Troy Hill. If this takes effect, I will have to walk about a mile before I can take a bus to Downtown. Going somewhere will mean I will have to walk downhill, while returning home will mean I will have to walk uphill.

Continue reading 2012-02-03

2012 Predictions

So, the end of 2011 is almost here, and 2012 will soon be here. So, what do I think will happen in 2012? This is my predictions for 2012, and some will be ridiculous, but others may make sense. I will also divide my predictions into groups.

Pittsburgh Local

Port Authority to try to stay in the black will do things to upset many people. Bus fare will go up, and service will go down. In addition, the fare system will be streamlined to make it easier. All standard bus routes will be in 1 fare price rather than possibly two. This will increase the base fare to $2.75 (mid point between the two zone prices), and will keep transfers at $1 for a 3 hour period. Services will also drop. Bus routes now not offering Sunday/Holiday service will also loose Saturday service. Express, Rapid Buses, and Subways will have a 75¢ surcharge. In addition, there will be the use of a magnetic card/cash combination. The card will replace bus passes, and will eliminate transfers requiring the rider to use the card if they will want to have transfers. A card will be keyed to a particular person, and therefore provide for half fare transit for disabled which will also require a photo on the card.

Apple

Apple will release the iPhone 5. It will have a new shape, but I don’t see the screen going above 4”. Even with the license spectrum that T-Mobile has with AT&T, I don’t see it coming to T-Mobile, unless Apple produces an iPhone supporting all of the HSPA+ bands. Unless Sprint abandons WiMax (therefore pissing off current 4G phone owners), or Light Square comes in as a White Label LTE provider, Apple will not go to 4G. They will still stay with a 64GB max capacity.

Apple will release a Macbook Air 15” model, and drop prices on the other two models. I could see the 11” going to $800. The 11” will still lack a SD card reader – however the 13, and 15 inch models will have one. The Mac Book Pro will be dropped, and the iMacs will get a refresh. I can also see another virus hitting Apple Mac OS lines.

The iPod Shuffle – dropped. The iPod Nano – price reduced, and runs a minimal version of iOS. Don’t expect a robust app store compatibility. iPod Touch will be the flag ship, and the Classic will be changed to support SSD rather than a mechanical hard drive. This will drop prices in SSDs and make it more attractive to the end users. I could see SSD prices hitting $1/GB because of this.

Apple will release a television. This television will have integrated access to the iTunes Store, will have a cable card adapter and support for 4 simultaneous channels. It will have a camera for FaceTime, PiP, and a power button. The power button will be out of sight, and will rely on an iOS device as a remote control. Remote control will take the form of wifi, and LAN access with UID authentication for controlling individual TVs. They will come in 36”, 40” and 50” models, and will cost 75% more than a lower high end TV. It will be pretty, but will not sell.

Google

Google will continue to offer free GTalk calling services, and I could see them considering to going into SIP, however this may not seem to be likely. I will like to hope that they would have done something with the 2 year Gizmo Acquisition and at least offer +883 support. I could also see Google offering better URLs for their Google Plus Service, and with the increasing adoption of Android devices, this service will increase by default. I don’t see many people using the service though. Android 4.0 will be a success, but only for the devices that have it. Manufacturers and carriers will continue to drag their feet on updates, and one my only expect an upgrade to 1 platform even if there can be support. So all phone originally with 2.2 will not get 4.0.

In the end, Google will continue to have dominance, but will start to stagnant. Google will also most likely sell the Motorola acquisition they possessed but of course keep the patents to use to protect Android. As for the Android OS, it will start to off branch into other areas. It will be reasonable to see the OS running cars, homes, and little tiny Androids. Non Approved devices will still not get the Market, or other Google Integrated Services instead – companies will continue to offer their own store with paranoids like me not opting to use them. Instead, people will get the Amazon App Store – therefore will be a serious competitor to Google.

Internet

A major company will acquire its own TLD (example IBM acquires .ibm). GoDaddy will suffer in 2012 as many small consumers who knew of their support for SOPA will alienate consumers, and they will change close to the expiration dates. TelNIC will continue to not have a widespread adoption and will only be used by people who want a contact page, or knows the full potential.

There will be another major security issue that happens on the Internet. In addition, a US infrastructure system will be targeted via the Internet. I also see something coming into public light that accuses the United States having committed a cyber attack on an unfriendly country.

Verizon will make a deal with Comcast. They will take Comcast’s wireless spectrum, and offer the network to allow Comcast to offer a “Quad” Play package – adding mobile into their deals. However, Verizon will stagnant on expanding their FiOS markets, and eventually stop taking customers. Instead, they will recommend Comcast. Comcast’s prices will rise. Ala’ Cart Television will still be a consumer’s dream.

Netflix will face a serious competitor either in Amazon, or Apple. They will not offer DVD rentals, but offer streaming services for less than Netflix.

Microsoft

Windows 8 will integrate better with the gaming and mobile platform. The design will cater to those using those systems, and newbies, but will isolate the long time Windows 95+ users who have been familiar with the Start Menu and task bar. Microsoft will unify their OSes, and line ups. One might see Windows Game, Windows Mobile, Windows Home, and Windows Professional with the version starting at 8 for everything. Game will be the XBox platform on a new XBox system.

Technology

The rise of prices in mechanical hard drives will stagnant in the second quarter. About this time, I could see prices of SSDs dropping. They will be higher than the price of mechanical hard drives, but at $1 per GB which is what I will assume the price to be eventually will drop the prices to where it will be reasonable for most people. Thin notebooks will start having SSDs as an option. End of the year, I will suspect a low end PC to have a 120GB SSD (PC less than $500).

Tablets will take a center stage, and will try to replace PCs. In some people who are just using it to consume media, this will become an option. For people that create content, the tablet will serve secondary. Smart phones will rise with the major players being Android, and iOS. Windows Phone will stagnant at 15-20%, and RIM will fall to 10%. If they don’t have a game changing lineup of phones, they will declare bankruptcy or seek a buyer.

SIP will start to gain more attraction for people needing or wanting a home phone. One might even see a consumer grade cordless telephone that will connect into both an RJ11 and RJ45 jack. This will hit brick and mortar stores, and will carry an attraction niche such as cheap phone service. One company once keeping their SIP services behind walls (such as Vonage, or NetTalk) will open it up allowing people to not have to buy their router.

Wireless

Republic Wireless will go out of BETA and will have better integration with Google Voice. This might actually help convince Google Voice to accept +883 adoption. T-Mobile will declare bankruptcy, and Deutsche Telekom will simply just abandon them. Without the sufficient subscriber base, and the bankruptcy news, they will start to bleed customers. This will drive higher prices of current cellular plans. VMNOs such as Cricket, or Virgin Mobile will reap the benefits of T-Mobile’s wounds.

World – America

Canada will loose RIM to a bankruptcy, or company buyout as their market share in the mobile space drops below 10%. The United States will re-elect Barack Obama unless the majority of the population will blame him for another hit in the financial market. If this Ron Paul or Mitt Romney will be elected. Housing and Urban Development which provides financial assistance to low income families will offer a program for long term recipients to provide a similar home/condo to where they will provide for a 10 year assistance payment on a mortgage. This will only apply to recipients of 10+ years with no landlord complaints of non-payments.

No changes in other parts of America with the exception of Mexico. I could see a very public assassination of a government figure by the cartels. I also see a mass murder spilling over on the US side of the border. This will involve the US to go into Mexico on the blessing of the Mexican Government to either use Special Ops forces, or drones to strike cartel gangs.

World – Asia

Having seen that Capitalism has “failed”, the youth will seek to try to bring Communism back to Russia for hopes of jobs, and meeting the basic needs. Russian/US relations will falter, but there will not be a cold war attitude. The nuclear armistice will still allow the US to help Russia get find and dismantle their nuclear arsenal as agreed with.

Having lost their long time great leader, North Korea’s successor will flex its muscles by “test” launching flag ship nuclear ready ICBMs. There will also be rumors that South Korea will be invaded by North Korea. China will have to step in to try to make things better at least in regards to North Korea.

World – Middle East

Iraq since our departure in late 2011 will fall into a Civil War, and there will be concerns of Iraq splitting into two or even 3 separate countries. However, Iraq will remain 1 country. Talks between Palestine and Israel will be in the final stages, but Hamas must not be allowed in power. In addition, a successful cease fire will have to take place with both sides. Country lines will be mostly Israeli based, but some adjustments from there.

Confirmation that Iran has a nuclear weapons program will become apparent. The United States will still have a strong presence in Afghanistan, however there will be considerations of pulling out. Pakistan will tighten permissions to use their border in efforts to get more financial aide.

Soon Cutting Back – Phone

Soon, Andie will be leaving my phone account to her own. When this happens, I will be strongly looking at my phone plan, and see what can be cut back, and at what savings. Simply put, I rarely use my cell phone, and will probably only need about 500 minutes. However, I don’t like the thought of having to count minutes. So, in turn – I will need to make sure I will be able to receive calls even when I don’t need to use my cellular phone.

Now, I do have a landline which is cheaper to have it, than not have it (don’t know how, but hey what do I know). The problem is I don’t want people to deal with having to call my home then call my cell – or worse yet, call my cell to ask if I am home. Needless to say, I won’t want to use my home phone number often. So, what would I do?

Continue reading Soon Cutting Back – Phone

2011-12-10

Today, not much happened. Chris stopped down for about an hour, then I went to his place for Gage’s birthday. In addition, I brought him some paper for him since he likes to draw. I also brought Alexis a USB thumb drive, and Andie her mouse again. I also wrote a blog posting about why I dropped Netflix.

In the afternoon, a sales representative from Comcast tried to convince me to switch to their service citing they changed drastically from when I had them about a decade ago. I informed her of my problems, and I wouldn’t be comfortable in taking Comcast, especially considering I am satisfied with Verizon when comparing.

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2011-12-06

Today was a busy day. I had to leave about 8:45 this morning. While waiting on a bus, my upstairs neighbor informed me that Malak was barking heavily. It wouldn’t bother him much, but it causes his dogs to bark, and he works nights. Needless to say, this will be an issue that has to be addressed immediately. I went to Petsmart in East Liberty to acquire a Mesh Muzzle which should control his barking, and calm his “anxiety” which is the only thing I could think will cause that.

I went to East Liberty to replace my standard set top box with an DVR set top box. There was a promotion that allows me to get free rental for the next three months. After that, my bill will increase by $5. The only reason I considered a DVR is that I been missing shows I want to watch that will make the service worthwhile. However, this was not without problems.

Continue reading 2011-12-06

2011-11-10

Not much happened today. I was hoping to get grocery shopping done, but that didn’t happen. I did have to go to the local convenience store to get a loaf of bread which  cost twice as much, but it wouldn’t have been worth it to go to the store just for less than a week’s worth of food. I spent some time watching a little television, and playing with the dogs. I did call Verizon in decision to cancel the TV and phone, but found out I would have had to have a credit card to just have Internet Service rather than just being billed as I am now. This is not going to be a possibility.

I also went to the post office to check on my mail. I figured since I wasn’t able to get to the grocery store, I might as well went to the post office. The dogs actually were relatively behaved, although I had to go in a couple of times before I actually left to correct them. I left for the post office at about 8AM, and got back home about 9:30AM, so it wasn’t too much of a time issue. As for plans for tomorrow, I will hopefully make it to the grocery store, and get everything I will need. I will also be catching up on any Hulu shows. It will also seem as if Netflix will take an extra day to send my disc, so that will mean I will have to wait a little longer.

2011-10-29

Today was a bit of a quiet day. I called Verizon to remove phone service, but learned it would cost more money to have just two services than to have three. So, the only benefit I will see in removing services if I decide that television, and telephone is not worth the price, and go to Internet only. Otherwise, not much else went on. I did wanted to call another company, but simply forgot – so I will have to do that tomorrow if possible. I did spend some time working on a blog posting, but that was all.

As for plans for tomorrow, not much planned. A call, and a little personal work. I will also be feeding the dogs an egg with their morning meal, and will be doing some grooming for them.

2011-08-03

A bit happened today, although didn’t go anywhere. First, I had received a DVD from Netflix. I watched it, and Chris stopped by in the evening to give some money that he owed which will be deposited into the bank. I also adjusted my Netflix plan to DVD only so I omitted the $8 streaming charge. If I should run out of DVDs in my queue, I will move to the streaming only. I also reduced the eMusic plan – all partly due to the price over-hike with Verizon where my bill is almost double what it would otherwise be because I ordered TV, and Telephone. The $240 bill should go to about $120 next month. Keep in mind I pay my bills on time every time.

I also been getting Connection Failed when check for OS updates. It would seem as if T-Mobile is more likely to just blame LG than fix the problem. And it would seem virtually impossible to speak with anyone over the phone. In any event, as for plans for tomorrow – I will make a deposit to cover the bill, and then make a trip to the Waterworks Mall to pay the bill. While I am there, I should get some bread to hold over until I get my food benefits to help with food this month.

2011-06-23

Not much went on today. I didn’t get to go do laundry yet. I did stay home most of the time, and had a bit of pain. I checked Facebook a couple of times, and Twitter as well. I also wrote a review on my bundle package with Verizon. It is a good review, but could have some improvements. As for plans for tomorrow, I will have to go to the post office tomorrow. I will hopefully take care of some other things.

Verizon Fiber Optic Services

So, I decided to join 1990, and get premium television service along with my Internet. It also became about the same price to have a landline phone which has already helped. So, what exactly do I have, and what are the good and bad? Well that’s what this post is for. First, let’s find what I have. I have a 25/25MBPS Fiber Optic Line. Going to 15/5MBPS would have only saved $5/month. I also have 190 285 channels, although this isn’t as impressive as it sounds. In addition, I have telephone service with unlimited domestic calling, and incoming calls. So, here is what I think of everything.

Internet

The internet service in my opinion is the best value. Of course, you are speaking to someone who is not really big into television, but I will get to that later. I have a 25MBPS internet connection, and this is wonderful. According to the federal government, broadband starts at 5MBPS, and this will seem as if this is the first time in my life, I have actually hit that mark. Currently, not a lot of devices uses it. My PC uses it a lot of course. My home phone uses it for most calls. My cell phone uses it with wifi calling. However, keep in mind that I do not make nor receive many phone calls. I however probably could eat up about 1GB per day which is a big amount. The Internet service is well worth the cost, and may even be able to reduce my cellular phone plan when Andie moves off of my account.

Telephone

Telephone is the least needed service, however the price difference didn’t justify the removing of it. I have unlimited calling to anywhere in the US. I also have Caller ID, Anonymous Call Rejection, Simul-Ring, and Call forwarding. I can also control a few of the services via an Android app (will discuss later). However, the only thing truly impressive is the bundled price. Once all of the long term promotions end, it may not be worth keeping. There are a few reasons why. First, no matter how much I will beg and plea, I don’t see Verizon changing my CID to show my Google Voice number. This means that I will not likely ever use it as my primary line. At best, it would serve as a fail safe line (when SIP services is down). However, if someone calls my Google Voice number from home, or an N11 number – it will use the Verizon line. 611 for some reason will not work, although I know that the old style POTS supported 611. All telephone services run through the Fiber Optic line, even though it still connects with RJ11 jack.

Television

Television felt as if it was the most misleading. Why. At first, they noted that I can have 190 channels. However, this includes 16 local channels, 7 HD channels that are showing the same content as the 16 channels, 5 channels that are split channels (such as what would be 13.1 in OTA), about 15 local access / public / government channels that seem to almost never have anything on it – therefore useless. It also includes 45 audio music channels which I am sure anyone that has Comcast or Satellite will know these stations. There are 42 channels that have 2 stations (one standard definition, and another high definition). Like the local channels, this is counted as 2 channels. There are about 37 channels that are in standard definition only. So in reality, the 190 channels are actually less than 100. Let’s face it, if two stations have the exact same content on it, this should be counted as the same number of stations.

To make matters worse, channels you would expect to be included in the base package with 190 channels aren’t included. One example was the National Geographic channel. I would get Syfy (formally known as SciFi), however I didn’t find many other channels that would be worth the extra cost. This essentially forced me to upgrade which will give me almost “100” extra channels, but we see how Verizon counts these channels.

Hardware

There are two pieces of hardware that is required. The first is the router. It is a wifi-N router which is good. It has a non-functioning USB port which I wished Verizon would have activated it so I could use an external hard drive on it. It does support 4 LAN ports which is good. This means I can plug in computers, NAS, and of course my phone. This router is the center point of the FiOS, and seems to be used even for television service to some degree. If I want to use the TV remote app, it needs to use the FiOS router.

The other device is the cable box. This is the cheapest and most basic box set top box I have ever seen in my life. It has a power button on the front, but no display. At least old boxes would have 2 LED numbers with channels in the mid 80’s. Most will have the time and channel, but not this one. On the back is coaxial for older TVs, Analog, Composite, and HDMI. Since the HDMI port on my PC is out only, I had to pull the old 20” CRT television out. It seem to need to do a channel set, and Line, 2, and 3 were set. Channel 2 (what would be CBS) has no picture. 3 is the box, and Line is for the RCA for the DVD Player which is no good.

I was also given an RG6 cable, and HDMI which was good. The RG6 is for the current television while the HDMI should support new TVs. The installer was also kind enough to install a phone jack close the RG6 cable that comes into the apartment. This meant that I could keep the phone access point close to the router and the phone jack which was important to use it to full potential.

Software

Available on Android, and iOS platforms – Verizon offers a means to control the TV, and some of the phone settings from the cellular device, or PDA. Technically, I don’t even need to use the set top box remote nowadays, although it is still active. I could actually change a channel while in the back yard and have it affect the TV in the front room. The app seems half baked though – although serves as a good remote control. I just expected more such as show searching, or reading show info on the device rather than the relying on the TV.

The phone app is helpful if I forgot to turn call forwarding on or off, or if I wanted to turn on/off Do Not Disturb. It will also show a call log, and use the cellular phone’s contacts to give names. However, for the most part, this app has proven nearly useless to me. Again, I would have expected better. They offer Speed Dial, yet – I can’t seem to program that through this app. On a good note, I am able to see CID display show on the television. This is only good with Verizon phone services.

Price

Price is a big disappointment. The price is fair on paper, but as you may have noticed, I feel robbed on how they counted the channel line up. In addition, you are smacked with additional fees that should be included. Here is the cost for the service I currently have (with 285 channels).

  • $105 for the base service price with some price guarantee
  • $10 for wire maintenance (will fix basic jack issues)
  • $10 for the set top box (which should be included)
  • $15 for taxes and fees.

All of this will be an estimate of about $140 so the representative told me. Keep in mind that after you exclude the music channels, and double channels – you are looking about 125 channels rather than 285 channels. Internet only service is about $75 (including taxes). So in reality, it is a nominal fee extra for the extra services. However, I will be finding little justification for it if it rises dramatically. Because of the higher price, I will not be able to get a DVR any time soon (an extra $10), and I can forget the premium movie packages which will cost an extra $60 for the movies.

Justification of the price will include the removal of Clear Wireless ($30) which was the reason of setting Verizon FiOS to begin with. I am now able to use SIP which cost $60 per year, but will allow me to go to the cheapest voice plan with T-Mobile when Andie leaves my plan (which should happen soon). I also have 911 support, and since I now have television service, I can keep up with news, current events, and have no need to increase my Netflix service. In a matter of fact, if the time comes when my queue is reduced, I could actually go to the streaming only plan, and have something worthwhile. I will be reducing my eMusic subscription which will mean less songs per month, but will provide funds to the Verizon service.

Verdict

I am disappointed in the way they count channels. And with this severe factor where I am getting only half of what I would expect otherwise makes this a less of a value. This is especially true with the current 4:3 television, but in reality it’s not Verizon’s responsibility for giving me a 16:9 television. If there is no reasonable way to get a better TV (which I need any how for Television), I will get one when I can reduce the Fingerhut bill. So, for the price, it is still better than Verizon’s competitor here (Comcast). I seen Comcast’s services, and while Chris and Andie has more TV services, 1MBPS internet, and no POTS for $150 per month (or close to it) means I am getting more value for the money. It would be nice if Verizon did a little more ethical way of counting channels. At least you as the reader will know this ahead of time. It is better than Comcast, so therefore – the best choice if you can get FiOS service.