## 22 January 2008

### Data is the New Long Distance

I just finished a two year Verizon Wireless contract. They frantically called me, informed me my contract was up, and walked me through a month-to-month agreement. The only change was that their "Mobile Web" feature went from $5/monthly to free. Free! Sweet! Then I listened to the big long details where the customer service rep informed me they didn't debit my airtime minutes for the usage. Charges now run$1.99/megabyte for Mobile Web usage unless you spend $15+ monthly on an all-you-can-eat option. That straw, the allure of SIM cards, and the fact that Verizon has the lousiest, P.O.S. software on their phones (contact me if you're interested in a rant) made me switch to at&t yesterday. I paid attention to at&t's data charges— either$15+ monthly for a smörgåsbord or $0.01/kilobyte. Similarly crazy in price. An example of the sheer monstrosity of it all: • Assume you didn't pay the$180+ annually these companies want for unlimited data plans
• Assume you bought a 2 gigabyte microSD card for your phone.
• Assume you filled up your microSD card
All of these seem reasonable. After all, you're already paying hundred of dollars annually to be able to use the phone you've purchased. For 2 gigabytes/2,048 megabytes/2,097,152 kilobytes of a la carte data:
• Verizon would charge you $4,075.52 to fill a 2 gigabyte microSD card at$1.99/megabyte.
• at&t would charge you $20,971.52 to fill a 2 gigabyte microSD card at$0.01/kilobyte.

The wireless carriers may rationalize this ridiculousness by saying that they can better forecast data network needs when customers buy unlimited plans. But then again, how much forecasting information do you get on "unlimited" plans?

## 07 January 2008

### Vacation Shorts

A small collection of short videos taken while on vacation with Michelle. When happy or hyperactive, she can be hilarious to watch.

#### Give Me Spinning

Taken shortly after New Year's while visiting a friend in Santa Cruz, we stopped at a park. It was raining, windy, and getting nastier. Straight from the car, Michelle took off frolicking:

#### Eating Donuts in College Station

Taken while on a Nutcracker Bon-Bon audition trip to College Station, TX, we stopped at a donut shop one morning. Notice the 2 and a 1/2 step donut eating maneuver, and the huge grin she gets once the bite is safely performed: