iPhone Personal Hotspot Troubles

The AT&T iPhone “personal hotspot” just doesn’t work with our iPhones.
The other day I wrote about my new Nexus 7 pad. It’s wonderful.
For travel with the pad I need wireless. So I switched my iPhone’s AT&T plan over to the one that lets you use it as a “personal hotspot.” This makes the phone into a device that receives cellular data and acts as a wireless router to which you can connect your computer and other devices.
It worked for about a day. Then it stopped working. I went to the Apple Store, they couldn’t figure it out and gave me a new phone — which also wouldn’t work. At the store we called AT&T to get things started on their end. So the next day I spend about 4 hours on the phone trying everything, and they gave up and “escalated” it.
(My wife’s iPhone 4s worked, mine is an iPhone 5 — she hasn’t updated the OS to the one with the terrible maps.)
About a week later AT&T said they had it fixed. And it appeared to work — for a while. Now it only works once in a while, maybe 20% of the time. And the thing is, now hers only works about 20% of the time as well.
SOMEtimes I can trigger the hotspot to work by plugging my iPhone into my computer with the cable, which makes it work over USB and for some reason some of the time that turns on the wireless hotspot so the Nexus 7 sees it… But only sometimes.

Update – I bought Nexus 7, Cant Recommend Highly Enough, Apple Is Over

m4s0n501

The other day I wrote about almost buying an iPad Mini but the price and lack of GPS stopped me. I Came THIS Close To Buying iPad Mini!,

I went looking around today. I went to Stanford Mall, where there are Sony, Microsoft and Apple stores. I almost bought an iPad mini, but Apple talked me out of it.
… It costs too much, but I would have bought one one the spot anyway. But then I found out it doesn’t have a GPS in it. To get one with a GPS you have to pay another $130 to get the cell-enabled device. …
Apple. This is the company that charges $30 for a 5-cent cord. So, no sale. Android devices have GPS, and I have a wireless hotspot on my phone so I do not need a pad with cell service in it.

So I finally bought the Nexus 7 and I just couldn’t be more impressed, especially with the new Android 4.2 OS upgrade. You can customize the OS to work the way you work, etc…
Between this and Windows 8 I feel like Apple is over, they have been leapfrogged. I’ll probably get a Windows or Andriod phone next, too.
The hardware is good but their pricing ruins it. I mean, we’re looking to replace a 15″ Macbook Pro and I go to the Apple store and it starts at $1800 but that’s with a slow 5200 RPM drive, and the lowest-available upgrade — $10 to $20 when ordering PCs — is $150. 512GB solid state is another $1,000, when PCs come with hybrid drives now and you can just buy a 512SSD for less than half that. Antiglare screen is another $100, etc. etc.
The “Retina Display” model runs from $2200 to $2800 before you add anything. ($3750 with more ram and a big flash drive. I don’t think you can pay that much for any PC laptop anywhere.)

I Came THIS Close To Buying iPad Mini!

I went looking around today. I went to Stanford Mall, where there are Sony, Microsoft and Apple stores. I almost bought an iPad mini, but Apple talked me out of it.
At the mall I went through the Sony store mostly to get from the parking lot, but then saw the new Vaio Duo, which is a touchpad and computer. (This is what the new Windows 8 enables, and I love it.) My next computer will be something like this, a full computer with a touch-screen of some sort, maybe one of these tablets with a keyboard rather than a computer with a touch-screen.
Then I went to the Apple store to see the iPad mini. This is like the perfect tablet! The size and feel are just right. After playing with one I picked up an iPad, and it was this big heavy thing. I need something to read with, and instead of buying a new Kindle, figured I get some kind of tablet, this is just perfect for this.
It costs too much, but I would have bought one one the spot anyway. But then I found out it doesn’t have a GPS in it. To get one with a GPS you have to pay another $130 to get the cell-enabled device. Apple wanted to both save themselves a quarter, and force people to buy the higher-priced device. I need this for use in the car, when we travel my wife likes to be the map person, this would have been perfect.
Apple. This is the company that charges $30 for a 5-cent cord. So, no sale. Android devices have GPS, and I have a wireless hotspot on my phone so I do not need a pad with cell service in it.
Then I stopped at the Microsoft store. The new Surface is beautiful. I might have bought one except I had just been holding that iPad Mini… It’s a bit early for the Surface, but it going to stomp Apple when there are enough models out there and the prices are down. And all the new touch-screen ultrabooks, etc. Just wow!
As I wrote earlier,

Apple is an aggressively predatory company. (Oh, and there is no excuse for not making things in the USA, and no excuse for their aggressive tax avoidance schemes which deny the American public good schools, etc. Apple is an aggressively unpatriotic company.)

By aggressively predatory, I meant preying on their customers. Screw that, tired of it. No matter how nice the iPad Mini is, like everything else from Apple they charge too much, (and avoid paying their taxes, and use slaves instead of paying reasonable wages, etc.) and this greed is going to catch up and hurt them.

I Upgraded To Windows 8 And Love It

First, the excuses… We have Macs and PCs at home. I mostly use a PC laptop for legacy reasons. (Had to migrate from Mac to PC a long time ago for work, now everything is on the PC… Oh, and Macs cost 2-3 times as much for the same thing, and Apple just rips you off with no mercy. They overcharge for everything, even simple $2 connector cords can be $30. Apple is an aggressively predatory company.) (Oh, and there is no excuse for not making things in the USA, and no excuse for their aggressive tax avoidance schemes which deny the American public good schools, etc. Apple is an aggressively unpatriotic company.)
So anyway, I upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 8, and I love it. I “get” it. I feel like I have been freed from the PC in the ways that the Mac made me feel that I was free to just work instead of dealing with the computer and its setting all the time.
Before you upgrade, you need to understand some things. It is not what you expect, and it is too early for most of you to do it.
Windows 8 is not really an “upgrade” to the Windows you know and understand, it is an entirely different paradigm. It will feel like you need to learn everything from scratch. Maybe, maybe not but after you have learned how to use Windows 8 it is much better. It makes the computer easy to use and gets the system out of your way.
It is going to take a while for enough people to learn Windows 8, and for the ecosystem of apps (it heavily follows an app design, like a smartphone) and programs that integrate all of Windows 8’s features. So most people should just wait. Also installation can have quirks that only computer-literate people can overcome at this point. So wait.
But it’s great.
And by the way, I know a few things about computers and operating systems.
Update – here’s what’s missing in Windows 8: a clock. On most screens you don’t see the time, the way you did on older versions of Windows. Maybe there’s a setting or something but not having the time visible screws me up.

Here Is Why Google Doesn’t Work Anymore

Impersonal Google Search Results Are Few And Far Between, DuckDuckGo Says | TPM Idea Lab

You are what you search. That’s definitely the case on Google, where any search query turns up a personalized set of results based upon your prior Google search history data, even if you’re completely logged out of your Google account.

They had the best product and they just had to fuck with it. Too clever by half.
For one thing, now when I search for something I have to sort through a hundred news stories about exactly the same thing…
They have figured out how to better sell ads. Like Facebook, YOU ARE NOT THE CUSTOMER, YOU ARE THE PRODUCT. The advertiser is the customer.
Update – I have switched to DuckDuckGo and am getting good results so far…

Apple Wants YOU To Fix Their Maps

The new Maps app in iOS6 is just terrible. Embarrassing. It is just corporate greed — they dropped Google so they could get ad dollars for themselves — while making the customer experience worse for us. (Another example, the smaller connector. Yes, they needed a new connector, no they do not need to charge us $30 for a little adapter — $40 for one with a little wire! That is just squeezing the customer, nothing else, just corporate greed.)
Here is how YOU are supposed to help Apple fix their maps, so they can make ad dollars instead of Google: How to add a location or report a problem in iOS 6 Maps.
They call this “crowdsourcing” but really it is having the crowd work for free and then harvesting the returns for themselves.
Hey, here’s an idea: give the people who help fix the maps some of the hundreds of millions that will be made selling $30-$40 adapters!
This has really turned me off from Apple products. Coming on the heels of the stories about how the slaves in China are treated, this really does undo the positive feelings I had about the brand.
Looking seriously at Android phones, tablets, maybe even Windows 8. (Well – talk about negative brands and corporate greed, though… Microsoft?)
P.S. Apple Maps uses Yelp for info about businesses. That’s the company that allegedly shakes down business owners along the lines of: you pay us, people see good reviews but if you don’t pay us, people see bad reviews. Talk about negative brand associations, wow.

Advertising Facebook For Free?

Why do so many websites advertise Facebook for free? When you see a “Connect with us on Facebook” or “Like us on Facebook” widget, that is a free advertisement. Facebook does have competitors, and these websites are just helping Facebook dominate and a few people get rich — for free.
Facebook should be paying people to put these on their websites. Twitter, too.