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Sunday, June 15 2008

iPhone 3G Economics

Steve Jobs announced that the iPhone 3G would be "Twice as fast. Half the price".

Ever since Om Malik's interview with AT&T's Ralph de la Vega, people have been noticing and commenting on the fact that this ignores the mandatory 2-year AT&T contract, and in fact iPhone 3Gs will generally cost more, thanks to the higher monthly fees.

Unfortunately, Amy doesn't want my original $400 iPhone -- perhaps a friend who can't justify the 3G charges will buy it for $100.

The $300 16gb iPhone 3G will be worth the money for me -- I spend a significant amount of time each day waiting for pages to load, and still take a Treo 650 & Bluetooth GPS unit on driving trips. But I'm disappointed in Apple for choosing a clearly misleading catchphrase for a product which doesn't need deceit and customer confusion to sell well.

I don't use SMS much, but I do sometimes, and I don't want to worry about the astronomical per-message costs, so I like the $5/month flat rate plan. And I certainly want the $30/month unlimited 3G data plan.

Fortunately, I'm now able to drop back from the 900-minute/month plan I upgraded to, down to the base 450-minute/month plan, which will save $20/month, and nicely offset the additional $15/month for unlimited 3G & 200 SMS.

Now that AppleCare has failed me, and the iPhone isn't as much of a hardware investment, and I don't walk outdoors across campus (drops on carpet are much less destructive than on asphalt or concrete outside), I've decided not to purchase AppleCare or a case for my new iPhone (my 11-month-old plastic incase protector is falling apart, and kept the iPhone from fitting in any dock). I like the idea of leaving the iPhone charging in its dock overnight, rather than lying on a night table.

So with the new iPhone, I'll save $70 on a 2-year AppleCare contract and $30 for the case. This is enough to pay for MobileMe service. Hopefully it will be solid, as opposed to the current .Mac service, based on the unreliable iSync.

I wonder how much turn-by-turn GPS with spoken directions will cost on the iPhone. I know TomTom and Garmin are quite interested, and Google Maps can do real-time driving GPS without spoken directions -- I don't know what the iPhone options will be, though.

I have a couple large questions. First, how well will MobileMe work? Second, how much will turn-by-turn GPS with spoken directions cost? Hardware GPS units are in the several-hundred-dollar range, while Google offers free or cheap GPS with directions but no speech. I'm looking forward to seeing what is available using the iPhone SDK.

I'll have a much faster iPhone (and probably OpenSSH -- hooray!), and next time an attractive upgrade rolls around, I won't have $500 invested in the previous generation.


To sum up, I'll save $20/m on extra minutes, and pay an additional $15/m on 3G data & SMS. I'll save $100 on protection, and pay $100/year on MobileMe. If things don't change over the next 2 years, I'll end up paying $40 more, which isn't bad, but also isn't "Half the price."

Monday, June 9 2008

This Must Be 2008 -- Blogs Are Everywhere!

When Amy mentioned to Joyce (of Scarce) that she now has a blog, Joyce was amazed and impressed at how cutting-edge Amy is. There's definitely a geographical factor here, because at my picnic earlier the same day, we figured out that of the 6 adults and Julia present (all Brooklynites), every single one of us has a blog.

Devjani's is firewalled. Julia's Journal runs on hand-crafted HTML rather than blogging software, but that's because it dates back to mid-2002; I will move it over at some point. Sharon has two. In addition to Extra Pep, I edit Securosis.

Monday, May 26 2008

Razor and CYA Idiocy

We got a Razor for Amy and me, so we can scoot with Julia. It's fun, but apparently for robust kids, as the handlebars are too low for a grownup, but it's rated up to 180 pounds. The handlebars bug me, though. They have a label which reads:

Caution: this moves when used. Exercise caution & common sense when riding.

Sunday, May 4 2008

People Suck: Flower Thief

1:39pm: 3 flowering plants On Friday Amy bought a bunch of flowers. On Saturday she planted them outside our apartment. On Sunday we went to J. J. Byrne Park (to be re-renamed back to "Washington Park" in the near future) with Julia and Lynne. We left at 1:39, and I took some pictures of Amy's handiwork.
3:59pm: Theft -- 2 stolen When we returned at 3:59, we were shocked to see that someone had dug up and stolen two of the dahlias.
To the DISGUSTING HUMAN BEING who stole my PLANTED FLOWERS, get a life!!! To the disgusting human being who stole my planted flowers, get a life!!!