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Posts Tagged ‘Ploy’

Throttling unlimited data plans is pointless, study finds

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

AT&T’s questionable policy with regard to unlimited smartphone data plan holders recently found its way back into the limelight following a new wave of subscriber complaints. The nation’s No.2 carrier no longer offers an unlimited data plan to smartphone users, though many subscribers on its network still have grandfathered plans that provide an unlimited amount of smartphone data each month. Subscribers who approach the top 5% of unlimited data users in a single billing period see their data speeds throttled, however, and countless users have found that AT&T is now beginning to throttle users after less than 2GB of data usage in a billing period. According to a new study, subscribers are right to be furious at AT&T because throttling does nothing to alleviate network bandwidth issues. Read on for more.

Wireless bill analysis firm Validas extracted data from more than 55,000 cell phone bills belonging to AT&T and Verizon Wireless subscribers from 2011, and the firm sought to determine whether or not data throttling is necessary. According to Validas’s findings, throttling may indeed simply be a ploy to push unlimited users into newer tiered plans.

“When we look at the top 5% of data users, there is virtually no difference in data consumption between those on unlimited and those on tiered plans—and yet the unlimited consumers are the ones at risk of getting their service turned off,” Validas wrote in its report. “So it’s curious that anyone would think the throttling here represents a serious effort at alleviating network bandwidth issues. After all, Sprint does seemingly fine maintaining non-throttled unlimited data for its customers.”

Verizon Wireless subscribers on unlimited smartphone data plans actually used less data on average than those with tiered plans according to Validas’s data. The opposite was the case at AT&T, however the difference was 0.78GB on average and median data usage varied by 0.53GB.

AT&T is not the only wireless carrier in the U.S. that throttles smartphone data speeds for unlimited data plan holders, of course. Verizon throttles the top 5% of unlimited data users and T-Mobile throttles its smartphone subscribers after 5GB of data usage in a single billing period. AT&T has drawn the most attention of late because it has been throttling unlimited data plan holders after less than 2GB of usage in many cases. AT&T offers a 3GB tiered plan for the same $30 per month that unlimited plan holders pay for 2GB of full-speed data or less, however the tiered plan offers 3GB of full-speed data.

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Microsoft sees global Kinect shortages

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

In case you haven’t been paying attention, Microsoft’s Kinect is the premier gift for gamers this holiday season. Microsoft sold over 2.5 million Kinect units in less than a month, and reception has been phenomenal around the world; to the point where several markets are seeing demand that outweighs supply. Preliminary reports suggested that Microsoft might be manufacturing shortages to build hype — an accusation that follows short supply of any popular tech toy — but Microsoft execs in the U.K. were willing to set the record straight. Neil Thompson, Microsoft’s general manager for Xbox U.K. and Ireland, confirmed to that the shortages are “absolutely not” a ploy.

“The choices you always have are: do we launch in November or do we wait until February, March when we could hit some bigger launch numbers but then we miss Christmas. It takes time to scale,” Thompson told “It’s absolutely not a strategy, we want to get the product into consumers hands as quickly as we can because we think it’s exciting, it’s innovative. We wanted to do that for Christmas and that’s what we’ve done. We’ve built a really strong supply and resupply chain over the coming weeks.”

Despite shortages, Microsoft expects to sell 5 million Kinect sensors in 2010.


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Musician Finds Minor Fame by Stalking Google Street View Car [Google]

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

When Nate Heagy heard that the Google Street View team was coming to his town, he quickly hatched a plan to promote his band: He would stalk out the Street View van until he managed to get his picture taken.

Like any good stalker, Heagy was pretty organized about the entire affair. He made a sign to keep in his car so that he was ready to go the instant any of the individuals he’d recruited to watch out for the Street View van called him. In the end though, it was Heagy himself who spotted the Fame-mobile as he was nibbling on his lunch and he quickly hopped into his car, sped after the van, and figured out where it should turn next so that he could set up his sign at the right corner.

Nutty or not, I guess Heagy’s plan worked since I couldn’t resist extending his 15 minutes of Internet fame after seeing that Google Street View snapshot of his. Heck, the whole ploy worked so well that I’m even throwing up his band’s music video:

[Fear Salesman via Neowin]

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China bans corporal punishment in internet rehab, UK and USA open up their own clinics

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

China’s, how to say this, unorthodox rehabilitation methods, which involve “beating and confinement” of internet addicts, have finally been fully outlawed. Following the death of one teenager due to the treatment he received at an addiction camp, the Chinese Health Ministry has come out with a statement to say corporal punishment and methods restricting personal freedom “are strictly forbidden.” In the meantime, the UK and USA are playing catch-up by opening up their own computer addiction camps, which have been described as residential internet detox clinics. Their genius ploy to get you off the web juice has been to go cold turkey and teach people to do chores as a distraction (really, chores and boredom are the cure and not the disease?). The British version even has a 12-step program, but we advise doing what we all did — if you find yourself spending most of your time on the internet, just become a full-time blogger.

Read – China bans tough treatment of young Web addicts
Read – Britain’s first computer rehab clinic opens
Read – Clinic for internet addicts opens in US

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China bans corporal punishment in internet rehab, UK and USA open up their own clinics originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 05 Nov 2009 05:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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