AT&T to Begin Punishing Customers

Ernesto, TorrentFreak:

A set of leaked internal AT&T training documents obtained by TorrentFreak reveal that the Internet provider will start sending out anti-piracy warning notices to its subscribers on November 28. Customers whose accounts are repeatedly flagged for alleged copyright infringements will have their access to frequently visited websites blocked, until they complete an online copyright course. It’s expected that most other participating ISPs will start their versions of the anti-piracy plan on the same date.

Who exactly are their customers? These mega-congolmerates like NBC/Comcast need to be split up, and we need more competition in telecommunications.

Verizon iPhone 5 Comes Unlocked, AT&T Compatible

Jeff Benjamin of iDownloadBlog has discovered that the Verizon iPhone 5 is GSM unlocked out of the box, meaning you can use it on AT&T, T-Mobile, and just about any carrier in the world.

And before you ask, it's not an accident:

I did reach out to Verizon via phone, and they confirmed to me that the phone was unlocked, and that I could use it with another SIM, even though I’m under contract, and just signed on as a customer today.

Did hell freeze over? This is unprecedented. Verizon's doing everything right with the new iPhone. They are going to choke the remaining life out of AT&T's bloated blue corpse.

iPhone 5 Correction

In my earlier iPhone 5 post, I stated that the iPhone now has seperate CDMA and GSM models. I was mistaken. My information came from a Verge article by Dan Seifert, who seems to have been confused as well. Fortunately, the commenters pointed me in the right direction.

Reading the iPhone 5 specs, Apple very clearly states that the CDMA iPhone 5, which is compatible with Verizon and Sprint, is also GSM compatible.

Translation: If you buy a Verizon iPhone, you can use it anywhere in the world.

There are indeed two separate models, but the difference is in the LTE bands. Interestingly enough, the AT&T model uses an LTE band that can only be used in North America, while the Verizon model is fully functional anywhere in the world.

Simply put, Verizon is the way to go if you want an iPhone 5. Sprint if you're on a budget.

Quick Thoughts on the iPhone 5

Few surprises today. All the rumors were true, and most of the new features were pretty obvious. I won't bother covering all of that here, just a few highlights.

  • The New Dock Connector

It being called Lightning and touted as a Thunderbolt counterpart, you would think it would be compatible with Thunderbolt. Nope, USB 2 only. Not even USB 3.

And a single adapter costs $30? That's highway robbery, even by Apple's standards. I understand the reasons why a new connector was needed, but Apple should be softening the blow, not milking it for all it's worth.

  • CDMA and GSM Are Seperate Again

Edit: This is incorrect. Please see my correction.

One of the cool things about the 4S was that they managed to squeeze CDMA (Verizon, Sprint) and GSM (AT&T, the rest of the world) onto one chip, into one model. So you could buy a Verizon 4S, have them unlock it after 60 days, then use it anywhere in the world.

For some reason, the iPhone 5 has them seperate again, so make your choice. To make matters worse, AT&T's LTE chip will only work in the U.S., but Verizon's will work worldwide. Data only. Strange.

These first two complaints have left me seriously considering a $99 4S to replace my iPhone 4.

  • EarPods

By all accounts, the new earbuds fit and sound better. It's about time. I can't wait to try them. If they're good, I'll buy a second set for my MacBook.