Tag Archives: technology

iPhone 4 Hunt

Unicorns discuss elusive iPhone4

First off let me preface this with, yes I know it’s just a phone. It doesn’t cure the sick, end world hunger or walk on water (but I’m sure it would skip really well across a lake before it sunk).

My iPhone 4 hunt began on launch day (July 30th here in Canada). I was at my local Rogers branch an hour and a half before they opened and 4th in line, it’s not like I slept out overnight or something crazy. Once the store opened, I discovered that they only had the 16GB model I left. Sorry I’m picky. Little did I know that my Rogers store only had three in stock and the first guy in line bought two of them.

I then went on vacation for a week and a half with the family and told myself I’ll just get one when I get back. Not the best plan.

Upon my return I discovered that Rogers had no stock and had not received any since launch. Also Rogers affiliates now had waiting lists of well over 100 people. The Rogers owned and operated stores were on a first come first serve basis.

Currently I am on ten waiting list from one end of the South Shore of Montreal to the other and call the other nine locations without waiting lists on a regular basis. Still no luck.

I have come close twice. The first time was two weeks ago when a Rogers Plus store had one in stock but couldn’t hold it for me till I finish work. By quitting time it was long gone. The second was much more annoying.

What follows is the post that was not approved on Rogers Redboard post regarding the iPhone4 launch.

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Ok here’s my horror story of the day.
I find a place with a 32gb iphone 4 in stock (actually they had a few in stock) waited in line for 45mins and then am told that they can’t do upgrades, just new account?!?!?! Even though I am out of contract.
So with the 17 combined years of service with Rogers between my cell and my wife’s you have to be a NEW client to get a phone!?!?!

So I called Rogers to complain about it. They said that they were sorry and understood & apologized for my emotional torment. They were sold out but would you like a Rocket stick? No thank you. So that rep transferred me to another rep in another department and he again said that they were sorry and understood & apologized for my emotional torment, but they could give me a 3gs 8gb. If I wanted a 3gs I could have picked one up in the last 6 months with no lines. I wanted the iphone 4 model.
He told me that the affiliate store was unable to do hardware upgrades.

So my problem is which affiliate stores can do upgrades and how many of the stores I am no a waiting list are going to be allowed to actually sell me one when my name does come up?
The only reason that store even had any left was that they only do new clients. They suggested that I cancel my account and get a new one.
This totally ruins my friday, thanks Rogers 😦
Worst. launch. ever. 😦

Now just so you don’t think I’m completely a whiny baby, I can understand that it really wasn’t pertinent to the thread and they might not want some bitchy post spreading FUD on their official site. On the other hand there are lots of posts about people talking about canceling their service and saying a lot worse stuff then I did. Of course I went on and did a bunch of pissy (and I thought hilarious) twitter updates expressing my frustration here, here and here.

A common point of frustration for Rogers clients comes from the fact that we can not buy it online from Rogers and wait for a delivery (like you can from Bell). Rogers has said on their RedBoard that “We hoped to avoid a situation where we took orders without being able to guarantee when we’d deliver devices.” That’s a fair point but either way Rogers is going to have people calling them about stock in stores or when their iPhone is going to ship. Not excepting online orders places the task of dealing with their clients on the stores and not Rogers customer service and undoubtedly is a cost saving measure. For example Planète Mobile head office told me the reason that their stores were not answering the phone for two weeks was because they were simply swamped with calls about the iPhone 4.

My main fear about missing out on the iPhone4 is the limited time offer (till September 30th) of a 6GB data plan for $30. While still expensive for me, it’s better than their usual $25 for 500mb plan. If I wasn’t on this deadline, I would be happy to wait till December to find one. With the limited stock Rogers is receiving it might actually take that long. I have not personally heard of a location getting more than 8 iPhones a week.

If I pass the deadline and still no iPhone 4, the next iPod Touch if having similar features to current iPhone will probably replace my gen one iPod Touch (who’s wifi has failed) and save me $30 a month for at least two years. Hello iPhone 6! At which point I’ll have been out of contract with Rogers for two and a half years.

So until I get one I’m just going to let it go and stop calling stores about stock. I have enough stress in my life already without worrying about getting a new expensive phone made out of glass with an also expensive monthly plan.

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Facebook Tip: Block Applications

If Moses had access to Facebook one of the plagues upon Eygpt would have most assuredly have been application notices in your news feed.

I made the off hand status update of blocking Facebook applications (200 and counting) the other day and understandably some people were wondering how such a feat was accomplished. What I think most people do is just  (myself in the past) have just unfriended (it's a real word) people to cut out the spaming of news feeds. Remeber block applications not friends.

Here are the step by step instructions.

  1. Your friends spam your news feed with applications.
  2. You click the HIDE button on the right of the notice.

  3. You can hide either all news feed notices from that person (without removing them as a friend) or hiding the particular application.

  4. The application has been hidden from your news feed.

That's one way to increase the usability of Facebook.

I'd love to know if you have you found any tips or tricks that makes Facebook more useful, like not playing Farmville. Leave a comment with your favorite Facebook tip below.

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gdgt Sticker

I've been listing to the excellent tech gadget podcast gdgt for sometime now and they have just launched the corresponding site last week. Why don't you follow me on gdgt?


N-e-who, you could sign up for a sticker and guess what came today in the mail, strait from New York city!
The downside to netbooks is that there isn't that much room for stickers.

I was greatly surprised that I could even get a sticker. When I got the GMail stickers I had to send a money order to cover the postage, which in retrospect seems weird since Google makes billions of dollars a year.

Thanks gdgt!

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Get Green, Save & Reduce E-Waste

Earth Day is April 22nd and BestBuy has a tie-in promotion that might save you some money.

You can get a rebate on certain consumer electronics if you bring in a corresponding old gadget (in working order). Get money off on a Blu-Ray player when you bring in a DVD or VHS player. The savings are not stellar but it might cover the taxes.

I took advantage of the Earth Day promotion and bought a Canon A1000IS to replace my beloved intermittent failure Canon A550 Powershot.

Not much has changed between my old A550 and the new A1000IS, think evolution not revolution.

With just a weekend's use there are some features that I already like.

  • Smaller form factor
  • larger LCD on the back
  • Eye candy like cross dissolves between photos in preview mode.
  • A face detect feature that will follow your subjects face.
  • Tells you what megapixel the photos sizes are in the menu.

It will take me some time getting used to the buttons as they are flush with the camera body as opposed to being raised as the A550. And it's just so small.

Over all this promotion is a good incentive to get people more responsible with their e-waste all be it with a carrot. BestBuy and FutureShop have been recycling old and broken consumer electronics for years. If they only promoted this year round and not just around Earth Day to cash in on going green.  

The cynic in my can't help but think that this may contribute to e-waste as people will cycle out their products before end of life. When these products die or are replaced will people recycle them properly? 

If you want to recycle your gadgets check out the Consumer Electronics Association's site My Green Electronics for a list of recyclers near you and Earth Day tips how to be green all year long.

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And On The Thrid Revision…

After all this time there will finnally be cut and paste on the iPhone / iPod Touch 3.0 Software release.

All kidding aside, cut & paste while a basic need that users have been begging for (myself included) there are other features that will be included in the summer release.

  • In App Purchases will let you buy more levels in games or add ons for applications for example. Hopefully it just won't be used to micro payment us to death.
  • Landscape mode is now available in mail for typing. Not a killer point for me, but some people are dying for this.

  • Push Notification Service. Apple can push information to your applications like AIM or hopefully FaceBook so you don't have to load said application to be updated on messages received. It's not background processes but it's better than nothing. Hopefully they will deliver on this feature, unlike last years promise of push notification that never materialized .
  • The Maps application can now be integrated into other applications and developers can (with their own maps) enable turn by turn directions using the GPS.
  • Peer to Peer Connectivity will let people play head to head games or share information in applications.
  • Accessories will connect to the 30 pin connector or by Bluetooth  and communicate with your iPhone / iPod Touch. First generation iPod Touch owners are out of luck since we do not have Bluetooth. Some very cool possiblites here and I can also see some very expensive hardware as well.

  • iPod Library Access allows you to better control your music when inside a game or application.

Up to now I've payed $30 for software upgrades to my iPod Touch (while they have been free for iPhone owners) and it looks like I'll be spending another $9.99 when version 3.0 is released and I'm fine with that I really am.

Even paying $40 is still less than one month of service with Rogers for the iPhone and I would have payed at least $1350 over the past 15 months I've had my Touch.

That doesn't mean I wouldn't want to have an iPhone if someone was willing to pay for it.

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GMail Stickers Are Here

Due to mailing my self addressed envelop so close to the deadline and the usual while supplies last line, I was worried that I might have missed out on getting some GMail stickers. So I'm really happy they arrived.

Also having to get a $4 international reply coupon these free stickers started to get expensive.

As you can see I got the unicorn sticker (of course).

Having got EEEBuntu running on my EEE PC (more to come on that) I had to put the GMail logo on the lid.

 

I had every intention to put on the GMail keyboard shortcut stickers but unfortunately they don't come in netbook size.

Thanks GMail for the stickers.

Now I'll have to get some more stickers for my EEE PC.

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Almost A Great MacBook Deal At BestBuy

I noticed an error at Bestbuy during my latest visit regarding their Mid-Winter flyer.

In the print add they advertised the new MacBook at the incredible price of $1149.99 (usually $1399.99). You know it's the new MacBook since it says 160GB.

Yet in store it's the refresh of the old MacBook design for sale.

This doesn't affect me since I just don't have the money to buy a MacBook (new or old). I did find it an interesting mistake on BestBuy's part.

I wonder how many people thought that they were going to get a deal besides that couple yesterday afternoon? Were they able to get the sale price on the new MacBook?

But you can save 99¢ if you buy the new MacBook directly from Apple.

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C|Net the New TechTV?

In 2004 TechTV was bought by Comcast and within six months we saw a great technology network retooled for the Jackass generation. Those of us wanting more followed former TechTV talent to TWIT & Rervision3 to name a few.

One such destination has been CNET. They produce more original content than most networks, let alone technology content. Just check out CNet TV and you'll that CNet is a top of the line technology resource.

When CBS acquired CNET earlier this year, it finally seemed as the major networks had taken notice of the importance of top tier technology reporting. Unlike what they usually pass off as tech segments.

But six months later, CBS Interactive (in which CNet is included) is laying off almost 300 employees and probably safe to say there will be more down the road. One can not help but think that this might be to the detriment of CNet.

I hope we do not see history repeat itself.

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The Future Is Now: Watermill

Canadian company Element Four has developed the Watermill that condenses fresh clean drinking water out of thin air; too bad it costs $1,200.

Even thought they have strayed from the tried and true traditional design of moisture vaporators, the Watermill could literately be a life saver for people in remote locations cut off from fresh water or the water cooler of tomorrows kitchen. Just to be on the safe side you better add this to your emergency disaster kit.

When the Watermill takes off it will really be a boom to the droid resale market since what we'll all really need is a droid that understands the binary language of moisture vaporators.

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