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AT&T to Launch New Unlimited Data Plan

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Following in the footsteps of T-Mobile and Verizon, AT&T today announced plans to debut a new unlimited data plan that's available to all of its postpaid customers. The unlimited plan will be available starting tomorrow.

AT&T previously offered an unlimited data plan, but it was limited to customers who were also DirecTV or U-Verse customers.

According to AT&T, the new plan will provide unlimited talk, text, and data on four lines for $180, which is more expensive than T-Mobile's ONE data plan for four customers and on par with Verizon's pricing, also at $180 for four lines. A single line is priced at $100.


AT&T is including unlimited calls from the U.S. to Canada and Mexico and unlimited texts to more than 120 countries around the world. Customers are also able to talk, text, and use data in Canada and Mexico with no roaming charges.
"We're offering unlimited entertainment on the nation's best data network where and when you want to enjoy more of what you love," said David Christopher, Chief Marketing Officer of the AT&T Entertainment Group.
AT&T's $180 price point is after a $40 credit for the fourth smartphone line, which will start after two billing periods. Prior to then, customers will need to pay $220 per month for the plan.

The company's fine print says that AT&T "may slow speeds" during periods of network congestion for customers who consume more than 22GB of data, which is not a surprise as T-Mobile and Verizon's plans contain similar caveats. The unlimited plan also includes the Stream Saver feature, which downgrades video to 480p. Stream Saver is enabled by default, but can be turned off online.

With AT&T now offering an unlimited plan for all of its customers, all of the major carriers in the United States have unlimited data plans available, which is impressive because for the last several years, carriers like AT&T and Verizon have been heavily focused on eliminating their unlimited customers.

Sprint and T-Mobile have offered unlimited data plans since August, and T-Mobile's growing popularity and regular feature additions at an affordable price appears to have inspired AT&T and Verizon to re-adopt unlimited plans.

Verizon announced its unlimited plan earlier this week with inclusions like 10GB of tethering data and HD video streaming, spurring T-Mobile to implement similar changes. With T-Mobile's new tethering offerings and higher-quality video streaming, it continues to offer the best value at $70 per month for a single subscriber (Verizon's plan is $80). Sprint's plan is priced at $55 per month, but its coverage can't compete with T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T, and AT&T's plan is the most expensive of the four at $100 for a single line.

Tag: AT&T

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trekkie
327 days ago
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makes my bill $50 more expensive since the iPads are no longer $10 a month with this plan. we have four phones and two iPads on the account. lame.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
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Here’s How You Understand “Repeal and Replace Obamacare”

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Universal Health Care is most fundamentally a license to live unhealthy with most associated costs being passed off to nameless and anonymous others and not born by yourself or by those with the means to influence you, relieving you of shame, as well. — little ‘ol me

I must say that all this waffling over the pre-existing conditions aspect of the “repeal and replace” debate is utter nonsense.

That is not insurance. A priori.

It would be exactly like being able to buy car “insurance” only after you cause an accident. That is literally, and in every respect, how fucking boneheaded and dishonest this whole load of crap is. Indeed, with that single provision, might as well just have federal single-payer and everyone gets to queue up, undergo triage, and wait just like all those Euro Fucktards are content to do—except the rich ones who fly to America for a procedure.

At least that would save untold billions in admin and the medical billing business make-work scam. Billions on advertising, too—all of which are paid by customers. You’d just know to go to that very ugly building, hat in hand, and stand in line with all the other peons.

If you must deal with pre-existing conditions, then it needs to be something entirely outside the insurance market and indeed, ought to be absolutely bare bones care, such that people who choose to be a Free Rider and not buy insurance, understand that they aren’t going to get Johns Hopkins, but a fully just CubaCare.

…There’s more, here and here. Art de Vany fans might want to click.

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trekkie
352 days ago
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Except buying car insurance after a wreck isn't a death sentence.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
kazriko
352 days ago
That would possibly be a good case for universal major medical coverage. Of course, the AMA car insurance plans would cover things like oil changes and replacement headlights, which make it so expensive that people can barely afford it, then you say that the people who have older cars with more expensive maintenance issues can't be charged any more than those who have new cars, then you force people to pay for it even if they don't need which drives the price up. I think I've tortured that metaphor enough though. ;)
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My Electoral Prediction, 2016

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Here is the map I think is going to happen on Tuesday night, the one that carries Hillary Clinton to electoral victory and Donald Trump into heaving fits of frothing denial. I think it’s a realistic map (I also made pessimistic and optimistic maps, which I will show you a bit later), although I’m happy to concede that at least a couple states here are teetering, and a couple could go red and at least one could go blue. But to be honest I would be surprised if it varies too much from this map.

As ever, it seems, the key to whether Clinton supporters can breathe early or settle in for a long, anxious night will be Florida. If Clinton wins Florida (as I expect she will), then it becomes virtually impossible for Trump to win the election. If Clinton loses Florida but wins North Carolina, once again Trump is in a very difficult position.

None of this is news, of course; despite constant Clinton supporter panic over the months, Clinton has always been in the lead and Trump has always been the underdog. There are rather more ways for Trump to lose than Clinton. Clinton in fact can lose Florida and North Carolina and even New Hampshire, and still win, as evidenced by this pessimistic version of a Clinton victory map:

This isn’t a very happy map for Clinton supporters, since it will leave the Trump supporters howling and possibly riotous on Wednesday, but 270 is what you need, and this map gives it. And again it also illustrates Trump’s bind: He’s got a hell of an uphill climb to victory.

Having now just given the Clinton supporters here angina with this worst case scenario map, here’s what I think is the most optimistic Clinton map, short of a stunning blowout repudiation of Trump and the GOP, which to be honest I don’t see happening:

In addition to moving Ohio and Arizona into the blue, this map also gives Utah to Evan McMullin, a thing I currently find unlikely but not impossible given the general LDS dissatisfaction with Trump. Clinton fans would love to have Trump and McMullin split Utah and have her go right up the middle for the win, but, folks, listen to me: It’s okay to settle here. A McMullin win still deprives Trump of electoral vote oxygen.

I’ll note that my own “realistic” map is more optimistic in terms of Clinton electoral votes than either FiveThirtyEight (which as of 8am this morning, has Clinton at 292.5) or the Princeton Election Consortium, which has her at 312. In both cases, however, it’s important to note that they both have Clinton taking the election. At this point in time, there is basically no reputable estimator or poll aggregator that doesn’t have Clinton ahead in the electoral vote count.

Can Trump win? If you take my “pessimistic” map and give him Colorado or Wisconsin, then he can win outright. If he wins neither but takes Nevada (which after this week’s surge in early voting seems unlikely to me, but 538 still has it leaning red), then it’s an electoral vote tie, and the election goes to the House of Representatives, which realistically means Trump wins. It’s possible Trump wins. It’s also unlikely.

I feel pretty confident Clinton’s going to take it, but if you’re a Clinton supporter and still feeling edgy, I’m okay with that, too. Get out there and vote, and take all your other Clinton-friendly (or at least Trump-unhappy) friends with you. And while you’re at it, remember to vote Democratic down ballot as well. As I’ve noted before, Trump’s not the only problem here.

Again: Don’t panic, but don’t take anything for granted. When Trump loses — and I’m pretty sure he will lose — he’ll whine and complain and stomp his feet and continue to suggest the vote is rigged. He’s already doing that, complaining that the perfectly legal policy of letting people already in line when a polling time passes actually cast their vote constitutes “rigging,” rather than ensuring citizens their ability to exercise their right of franchise. If the vote is close, you best believe Trump, his people and the GOP are going to work the refs. So better if Clinton wins walking away.

That being the case, you know what to do: Vote, and this year, vote Clinton.

(Maps made with Vox.com’s electoral map maker: Click here to make your own map.)


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trekkie
414 days ago
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kinda funny reading news way behind in time, boy was he wrong.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
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MacDailyNews: ‘Apple to Deliver iMessage to Android at WWDC’

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From whoever the hell it is who writes MacDailyNews:

Apple will announce that iMessage encrypted text messaging is coming to Android users at WWDC next Monday at WWDC 2016, according to a source familiar with the company’s thinking.

A lot of people are skeptical about this, but I’m not. It’s a little surprising if true, but remember that Apple is now boasting about its prowess as a services company. Messaging Message is a service. And it makes even more sense if, as rumored, there’s a payments component coming to iMessage.

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trekkie
560 days ago
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fun part about being behind on your news reading is coming across gems like this.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
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satadru
589 days ago
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iTools... .Mac... MobileMe... iCloud... amazing how amongst all this iMessage is the one cloud service Apple has managed to keep simple and NOT fuck up.. except for the fact that Apple's cloud outages remain a giant black box of "it'll be up when it's up."
New York, NY

Nest May Be The First Major Casualty Of Hollow 'Internet Of Things' Hype

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When the Nest smart thermostat was launched back in 2011, you may recall that it was met with an absolute torrent of gushing media adoration, most of it heralding the real arrival of the smart home. That was in part thanks to the fact the company was founded by Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, both ex-Apple engineers with some expertise in getting the media to fawn robotically over shiny kit. But a parade of high-profile PR failures have plagued the effort since, including several instances where botched firmware updates briefly bricked the device, leaving even the media's resident internet of things evangelists annoyed.

Under the hood it has become increasingly clear that the company was plagued by what some cooperating companies recently proclaimed was an overall "culture of arrogance", manifested in a reputation for blaming Nest's own problems on partner companies. And being acquired by Alphabet (Google) didn't seem to help matters. Despite expanding the company's employee count from 280 to 1200 and being provided a "virtually unlimited" budget, the same press that built Nest into an internet of things god based on a single pretty thermostat design has suddenly and comically realized that Nest hasn't actually done or produced much of anything:
"In return for all this investment, Nest delivered very little. The Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect smoke detector both existed before the Google acquisition, and both received minor upgrades under Google's (and later Alphabet's) wing. A year after buying Dropcam, Nest released the Nest Cam, which was basically a rebranded Dropcam. Two-and-a-half years under Google/Alphabet, a quadrupling of the employee headcount, and half-a-billion dollars in acquisitions yielded minor yearly updates and a rebranded device. That's all."
There's also the recent kerfuffle involving Nest acquiring smart home hub manufacturer Revolv in 2014, then effectively bricking a $300 device as of last month (again, without really providing anything to replace it with). Over the last year Nest also started leaking many top employees and there was a notably ugly and public feud with Dropcam co-founder and departing Nest employee Greg Duffy, who blamed Nest's dysfunction on Fadell's "tyrant bureaucrat" management style.

Now after six years leading Nest's frontal assault to nowhere, co-founder Tony Fadell announced last Friday in a blog post that he will be stepping down as CEO. The departing executive tries valiantly to claim it was just time to "leave the nest" (ba dum bum):
"Today though, my news is bittersweet: I have decided that the time is right to “leave the Nest.” While there is never a perfect time to transition, we’ve grown Nest to much more than a thermostat company. We’ve created a hardware + software + services ecosystem, which is still in the early growth stage and will continue to evolve to move further into the mainstream over the coming years.
Alphabet CEO Larry Page meanwhile issued a rosy statement of his own about this firing dressed up as a not firing:
"Under Tony’s leadership, Nest has catapulted the connected home into the mainstream, secured leadership positions for each of its products, and grown its revenue in excess of 50% year over year since they began shipping products. He’s a true visionary, and I look forward to continuing to work with him in his new role as advisor to Alphabet. I’m delighted that Marwan will be the new Nest CEO and am confident in his ability to deepen Nest’s partnerships, expand within enterprise channels, and bring Nest products to even more homes."
And while that's sweet and all, Fadell reportedly held an all hands Google meeting back in April after which he was pretty furiously mocked by Google employees, many of which wanted (and presumably still want) Fadell fired and Nest sold off. Google/Alphabet, meanwhile, appears to have gone full speed ahead on a variety of smart home projects that have nothing to do with Nest, including the company's Asus and TP-Link OnHub routers (which have baked in IOT functionality not fully enabled yet), and the more recently unveiled Google Home (Google's version of Amazon Echo).

Nest can certainly still turn things around whether it's sold or remains at Alphabet, and it should soon be clear just how big of a role Fadell's management style played in the company's gear grinding. But the media's manufacture and subsequent demolition of Nest is also part of a broader cautionary tale about the tech media's boundless adoration of style over substance (or, security, as "smart" tea kettles, refrigerators, TVs, and vehicles keep illustrating) when it comes to the internet of shiny things.

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trekkie
565 days ago
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would think this is more of an example of 'how to destroy a company' not 'IoT is doomed'
Wake Forest, North Carolina
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Can an “enfranchisement lottery” solve the problem of political ignorance?

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Ballot Box With Hand Voting
In a recent New York Times column, Notre Dame philosopher Gary Gutting describes the “enfranchisement lottery,” an interesting proposal for addressing the endemic problem of widespread voter ignorance. As Gutting explains, most voters make little or no effort to learn about politics and public policy because it is highly unlikely that a single vote will make any difference to electoral outcomes. They are “rationally ignorant.” The enfranchisement lottery is designed to overcome this problem:

At least one political philosopher has put forward the radical idea that we could ensure informed voters by employing an “enfranchisement lottery.” Such a lottery would restrict voting to a randomly chosen group of citizens who are provided unbiased in-depth information relevant to an election. We can think of this approach as a matter of modeling our voting on our jury system. We would never accept deciding important and highly publicized trials by a vote of the general public. We think only people fully informed of the facts and relevant arguments put forward in a trial should make such important judgments. Shouldn’t we be at least as careful in deciding who should be president?…

Why not, then, randomly choose, from the list of registered voters, a national jury that would meet for a week or two before the election? The jurors would be sequestered and listen to presentations from and debates among the candidates and their policy teams. The jury might also hear from and question experts on major policy issues. The result would be voters informed to a level most us can only hope to achieve. We would need a fairly large jury — perhaps several thousand — to properly represent the nation’s diverse views and interests. Televising the proceedings would help ensure transparency. Since the jury was randomly chosen, its vote would very likely represent the outcome of an election in which we were all well-informed voters.

The enfranchisement lottery is an interesting idea. But it has two major flaws. First, given the enormous size, scope, and complexity of modern government, it is unlikely that a week or two of discussions and presentations will be enough to inform the juror-voters about more than a small fraction of the issues on the political agenda. This is especially likely to be the case if the jurors will have to vote on a large number of different elections (the presidency, Congress, state and local races, ballot initiatives, and so on).

Second, whoever designs the jury deliberation process will have enormous opportunity and incentive to skew it in various ways. The designers will have to decide what issues are to be discussed, who gets to make presentations to the jurors, and what the rules of the discussion will be. Presumably, the enfranchisement lottery would have to be enacted by Congress (or by a state legislature, if used for state races). Whichever party has the majority at the time is likely to do all it can to bias the process in its favor. It’s highly unlikely that either the Democrats or the Republicans will be above such skullduggery – especially in an era of growing hostility between the parties and their hard-core supporters. A biased jury process could lead to even worse electoral decision-making than we currently have, where at least the voters aren’t all subject to thesame misinformation, which makes it harder for any one form of bias to skew the overall outcome.

The enfranchisement lottery is just one of a number of recent proposals to mitigate political ignorance by using jury-like mechanisms in which decisions are made by randomly selected groups of voters. I criticized such plans in greater detail in this article, and in Chapter 7 of the soon-to-be published new edition of my book Democracy and Political Ignorance (see also here). While many of these plans are clever and original, they all suffer from flaws similar to those of the enfranchisement lottery. Those in search of genuinely effective solutions to the problem of ignorance will likely have to look elsewhere .

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trekkie
608 days ago
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reminds me of that story by Asimov where an AI interviews a person and sets policy for the next four years based on how they answer.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
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