T-Mobile CEO Confirms Unlimited Data Plan Has Restrictions

T-Mobile’s CEO, John Legere has made a very direct announcement accusing some customers of flagrantly abusing the networking infrastructure. The controversy surrounds T-Mobile’s “unlimited” 4G LTE data plan which costs $80 per month and includes 7GB of tethering before network traffic management occurs. According to Legere, there are 3000 customers using up to 2TB of data per month and concluded that users have been:

“..stealing data so blatantly and extremely that it is ridiculous.”

“I’m not sure what they are doing with it – stealing wireless access for their entire business, powering a small cloud service, providing broadband to a small city, mining for bitcoin.”

Supposedly, the people in question are bypassing the 7GB tethering limit by using an LTE network to download content on their phone via a browser. In reality, the proportion using 2TB of data or more is only 0.01%. Therefore, this public damnation of such a small sector of T-Mobile’s consumer base seems rather foolish and not a brilliant idea from a PR perspective. On the other hand, at least the company is being transparent and clearly defining what constitutes fair use.

Technically, the term unlimited refers to an uncapped plan but many network providers utilize a fair usage policy in the small print. Personally, I feel these companies have to make the terms explicitly clear and perhaps change the wording from unlimited. This is because, the wording could constitute as false advertising and you cannot expect customers to inspect the small print. Perhaps T-Mobile feels this small percentage is affecting their profit margins and wants to set out a clear strategy for the future when it comes to acceptable data usage.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information.

Facebook Wants to Roll Out Their Own Music App

Since Apple released the iOS 8.4 update along with their Apple Music feature, we saw a lot of users taking an interest in it. Reports say that iOS 8.4 now has an adoption rate of over 40% and the number keeps rising. And since Apple has settled with the royalty rates paid to the people in the music industry, things are just looking up for their service.

Facebook looks like it took a big interest in this success and seems to have put its smartphone manufacturing plans on hold. Sources say that Facebook is now looking to either acquire or built their own music service from scratch. Music Ally tells that sources talking off the record say Facebook is using an aggressive monetization approach and a lot of intellectual property acquisitions.

The sources also say that Facebook might have the service, or at least a rough version of it, ready in a few months, but an actual commercial app should be ready by next year. If the latter provides to be true, we might see an even bigger competitor in the music streaming market. So we have Apple taking away a lot of customers as of late, and then Facebook seems to make a move and try to take a big chunk of the market too. The reasonable question to ask is, what will Spotify do? Will it come with something radical, or will it radically die out?

Thank you VR-Zone for providing us with this information

New Lawsuit Hints at Apple Trying to Get Into the Auto Industry

There have been rumours that Apple is thinking about taking a bite out of the auto industry soon. A newly filed lawsuit might confirm Apple’s intention, having A123 Systems, the company that makes car batteries for the big name auto makers, sue the Cupertino giant for trying to steal their employees.

Analysts in the industry have discussed what Apple might have in the works and the lawsuit now slowly confirms their findings. Apple has made $13 billion and $18 billion in the last two quarters and that’s about the sum spent by all automakers combines for four months of research and development.

However, the analysts state that electric cars are too expensive for just one owner. This means that we might be looking at a future where electric autonomous cars are shared between people and come at a monthly subscription, kind of like Uber if you think about it. This will drop the cost of charging the cars and having them running around 24h a day. If you think about it, it’s not all that bad. We might even cut down on parking space problems in highly dense populated areas for instance.

All in all, if the above tends to be more cost efficient, this means Tesla Motors should start changing its business plan too. Though Tesla does offer a lot of classy electric cars for owners using the same model as traditional car dealerships, the cost for maintaining and charging such a model still proves a big drawback for it to reach a wide consumer market. But are shared electric autonomous vehicles really the future?

Thank you Sci-Tech Today for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of TechnoBuffalo

Paradox Plans to Tackle Cities: Skylines Piracy by Making the Game Even Better

Forget draconian DRM or annoying online registrations, Paradox thinks that it can prevent piracy of its new game, the SimCity-inspired Cities: Skylines, by making it at good as it can possibly be.

Shams Jorjani, Vice President of Acquisition at Paradox, revealed on Twitter, after bemoaning the 16% piracy Cities: Skylines was subject to after two days of release, that the company plans to make legal purchase through Steam the more desirable option by offering free updates and DLC:

Jorjani then took a swipe at DRM, reaffirming Paradox’s view that the more convenient you make game delivery and access, the more customers you will appeal to.

So, making the best game you can and making it easy to install and play is appealing to customers. Who knew?

Source: VG24/7

Battle of the Bottom End – Sprint Offers 1GB Data for $20

Mobile data is becoming a necessity in this day and age, most phones require data for simple things such as Facebook messaging, checking emails or even utilizing the GPS function of your device – it only makes sense that providers should go to war over offering the best options to their ‘beloved’ consumers.

However, we were quite surprised to see many carriers these days offering such low data quantity plans – how far will Verizon’s 500MB or AT&T’s 300MB really get you? About five medium length YouTube video’s is the answer.

In comes Sprint, the hero we deserve. They’ve just announced their new low-end family data plan which includes 1GB of data for $20 per month, doubling the offerings of Verizon’s measly 500MB and AT&T’s 300MB plan. I understand we’ve been fairly negative here and maybe 300MB of data is plenty enough for your 50 year old step dad, but no-one likes over use charges and it makes sense in this day and age that a ‘sufficient’ amount of data shouldn’t be too hard to come by. Even Australia’s Amaysim offers 4GB data plans with included calls and text messaging for $40.

This announcement is said to be part of Sprint’s “double-the-data” promotion that targets irregular phone users and families just looking for a cheap and easy connection. In recent times, AT&T and Sprint have been in a war over the high rated plans, with AT&T doubling their data allowance and Sprint doubling theirs again in return – but the battle has now switched to the bottom end.

There has been no word of a fight back by AT&T and Verizon, but we’re interested to see how things progress.

Do you utilize one of these plans for yourself or a family member? For those who use higher quantities of data it’s not always easy to understand why a person would only want 300mb-1gb, but is your grandpa really expected to be scrolling through Instagram pictures all day? But on the other hand, how hard is it really to offer a simple 1- 2 GB plan without sending yourself bankrupt?

Image courtesy of Phandroid

Free iPhone 6 and Trade-In by Verizon

Verizon is straight into the new iPhone market, offering up a potential deal to customers wishing to have the latest Apple technology.

On Tuesday, they announced a new deal offering a 16GB iPhone 6 to users – the catch being that you must trade in your old phone and renew your existing contract for another two years. Doing the math we’ve learned that overall this is going to save you around $199, taking into account all costs and comparing them to the original purchase price of the phone.

They’ve obviously got some competition however, with Sprint offering the new phone on their $50 unlimited data plan, alongside T-Mobile putting up a claim that they will match any other companies trade-in deals and provide consumers with $50 credit on-top.

Missed the Apple iPhone 6 releases? Deactivated your Facebook due to the plethora of incoming posts about peoples sudden ‘expert’ opinions, but still want to know the full information? We’ve covered it too, and you can check it out if you wish.

If you’re keen on a trade-in with Verizon, they’ve said that they will accept the iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5C and 5S – no Nokia 3310’s this time sorry guys.

Image courtesy of TechAdvisor

Apples iWatch Rumored to Debut at $400

The hype for Apple’s new wearable device is ramping up. We previously reported on Apples update of their Health Kit policy and competitors such as Samsung preparing new devices in preparation for another large Apple release.

Recode has just reported that Apple executives are currently discussing the release price for the iWatch:

“Apple executives have discussed charging around $400 for the company’s new wearable device.

Pricing has yet to be finalized for the forthcoming product, which is expected to begin shipping next year. Sources say consumers should expect a range of prices for different models including lower priced versions.”

It’s unknown when exactly the product pricing will be officially released, there is a possibility we’ll get a sneak peak on September the 9th at an Apple press conference, although this conference is set for iPhone discussion.

Tim Cook, Apple Chief Executive spoke last year about smartwatch competition at the D: All Things Digital Conference. He was quoted saying “There are lots of gadgets in this space right now, but there’s nothing great out there,” and “But none of them are going to convince a kid that hasn’t worn glasses or a band to wear one … There are a lot of problems to solve in this space. … It’s ripe for exploration. I think there will be tons of companies playing in this space.”

Watch this space.

Image courtesy of MacRumors

British Government Want to Build a ‘Super Database’ To Help Run the Country

Even with all its power, the UK government has admitted that it’s at a point where simple tasks, such as sharing information or data between two different departments, has become a burden. This is mostly due to the fact that there are a wide range of databases controlled by each government department.

However, the cabinet’s data sharing policy team came up with a plan back in April that would have all departments link all of their databases. This means that local authorities, emergency services, schools and even government departments would merge their databases into a single ‘super database’.

The resulting database then said to be able to handle huge amounts of data and provide more accurate information. Other benefits that might follow are said to include a saving of up to £37 billion in error, dump and fraud.

Another beneficial outcome from all of this is the government’s ability to understand a person’s life and help him with their money problems. For example, if an individual is in debt to various departments, the payment can then be structured and manageable on a low-income.

To be noted is that the policy is still just a proposal and the government is now looking for the people’s opinion in order to find out if they support the plan or not.

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Engadget