Posts Tagged ‘never’
In today’s edition of “U.S. wireless carriers are dicks”, we’re going to look at the latest in how carriers and the CTIA are protecting valuable revenue streams by blocking features that would curb smartphone theft.
Over 1.6 million U.S. consumers had a smartphone stolen in 2012. One in three thefts within the U.S. involved a mobile gadget. Speaking to CBS This Morning today, San Francisco’s Attorney General stated that 50% of their robberies and thefts involved a smartphone. It’s an epidemic and wireless carriers are dismissing the solution.
According to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, officials from in New York, San Francisco, London and Philadelphia called on the wireless industry to present a solution. Samsung did just that earlier this year for its own devices, but the five largest U.S. wireless carriers denied it their customers.
According to emails obtained by CBS, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular, all decided to not include the feature in the Samsung handsets sold by each carrier. Meanwhile, the CTIA, the trade association for wireless carriers, helped the FCC and certain police departments create online databases for stolen phones.
In theory, this list – compiled for, managed by, and unique to each wireless carrier – would prevent stolen smartphones from being reactivated. But it doesn’t protect against data theft, and is largely useless if the phone is shipped out of the country. A kill switch is needed and placed in the hands of smartphone owners.
Samsung and Apple both moved to implement a kill switch within their devices earlier this year. Apple had more luck than Samsung. Since a staggering majority of Samsung smartphones sold in the U.S. run Android, wireless carriers are able to modify the software before selling the device to consumers. U.S. carriers simply removed the kill switch.
Apple’s solution is not perfect but is a big step forward. The Find My iPhone application allows consumers to locate and remotely wipe phones. Then, new with iOS 7, the original owner’s credentials have to be entered before the phone can be reactivated – even after the phone was completely reset. Meanwhile, Google offers a similar feature baked into Android, including the ability to remotely locate and wipe a stolen phone. But once the device is remotely erased, it can be reactivated under a new account.
It’s unclear exactly why wireless carriers denied thoughtful security features to their customers, but preserving profit is main theory. Each carrier offers insurance for stolen phones. And what’s a person supposed to do when their phone is stolen? Walk around unfettered like it’s 1995? No, they go get a new phone at either the full price, sign a new contact to get the phone at a discount, or pay the deductible on that insurance plan.
It’s too early to tell if the CTIA’s national database will curb smartphone thefts. Logic seems to dictate that it won’t, though. The thieves will just sell them overseas, out of reach of the CTIA’s databases and the wireless carriers they represent. Think selling internationally is hard? Replace Craigslist with eBay in that illicit workflow and voilà – thieves are good to go once more.
The wireless industry as a whole needs to let go and put more power in the hands of the owners. Give owners a native kill switch, a software solution baked into the core of the phone, which upon activation, would completely brick the phone if it gets stolen.
The auto industry was once plagued by stolen radios. The problem was solved when car manufacturers took a hard stance and made it so a stolen radio would not work outside of the original car. But don’t expect the wireless industry to take such a hard-line. An car owner with a broken window missing radio does not go out and buy an expensive new car. They buy a new window and radio.
We’ve been waiting a long time for the AMD chip known as Kaveri, but at least now we have a date for its availability: January 14th. We also know that the flagship desktop part for FM2+ socket motherboards will be called the A10-7850K, that it’ll use four Steamroller CPU cores clocked at 3.7GHz, and …
The green message has never been stronger. It’s something that we all play a part in, even more so as lovers of technology. What can we do, as consumers, to make sure that we minimize the impact we make on the environment? Greener energy is an obvious choice, but there’s also the issue of conflict …
Huawei issues definitive statement about espionage fears: ‘we have never been asked to provide access to our technology’
Would Huawei spy for the Chinese government? That’s a question that cost the telecom equipment provider plenty of money last year. After the US government said the company posed a national security risk, Huawei was forced to take its networking business elsewhere. Huawei has repeatedly denied the charges, but today it’s issuing perhaps the most definitive denial yet. The company says it has never even been asked to spy on anyone.
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So many lonely songs. Won’t you help them?
Spotify celebrated its fifth anniversary this week and, to celebrate, released an infographic highlighting some of the finer moments of the streaming music services career. But for all the impressive facts, one tidbit, buried in the post and confirmed by the Radio and Internet Newsletter, stands out among the rest: roughly 20 percent of Spotify’s song catalog — four million songs — haven't been played a single time.
Now, that may sound high but if you've ever been hunting through the backwaters of Spotify's music catalog, this makes a bit of sense. While top tracks get promotion through the site's Discover tab and featured playlists, the service also hosts millions of peculiar sound effects, meditation tracks, instructional tapes, and songs from obscure, user-submitted artists.
Recent reports have suggested that Microsoft is planning to return to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in a big way in 2014, after it decided to pull out of the keynote and show floor in 2013. “Microsoft is officially back in the International CES,” Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association, told BBC News in an interview this week. “They are taking out significant space in meeting rooms – it’s actually a larger presence than I believe they have ever had.” However, Microsoft is downplaying its 2014 plans, noting that it will simply have rooms booked like it did last year.
“We remain good partners with CEA, and as we did last year [January 2013] have reserved a substantial set of rooms for meetings with partners,”…
It might be hard to believe, but earlier this year Metallica’s debut album Kill ‘Em All turned 30. Since its early days, the group has evolved from a collection of thrash-metal misfits into one of the biggest bands in the world, continuing to command sold-out venues while many of its genre brethren are left simply playing festivals or reunion tours. The group’s latest project is Metallica: Through The Never.
Directed by Nimród Antal (Vacancy, Predators), the 3D IMAX film combines concert footage with a narrative storyline, following one of the band’s roadies as he travels through an urban hellscape of riot police and nightmare imagery. We had the opportunity to speak with Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammett about the making…
Twitter’s outrage cycle doesn’t reflect the reality of American capitalism. For better or for worse, customers don’t mind if brands behave like people. Even on 9/11.
Yesterday afternoon, AT&T, on the 12th anniversary of 9/11, AT&T posted the above image on its social media accounts. On Twitter, the backlash was immediate and harsh. AT&T quickly deleted then apologized for the tweet; today, it issued a more formal apology from the company’s CEO.
I piled onto AT&T's post, as did what felt like the entirety of my Twitter feed. I doubt many of the people objecting to the ad were genuinely offended by it, but they also weren't wrong about its tastelessness: This phone-themed 9/11 remembrance, posted by a phone company, was tacky.
But what came next was different. The media, fueled by Twitter, piled onto every brand that so much as posted a #neverforget hashtag. And many, many did. Sports teams, toilet paper brands, casinos. Some were more tactful than others but that didn't really matter — these were corporations, with bald agendas, trafficking in sympathy and tragedy of a particularly visceral type. All were scolded, some caved. By this morning, Twitter was celebrating. Taste and propriety had been restored:
It was satisfying, and the idea that Twitter mobilized to prevent the monetization of grieving is an appealing one. But that’s not really what happened, and it doesn't reflect a much more powerful reality, one that corporations are keenly aware of: Americans don't mind when brands act like humans.
Set aside the philosophical strangeness of accepting that a toilet paper logo or diaper conglomerate can express sorrow, and look at history: The success of branded expressions of grief or condolence or happiness depends completely on details of execution — on minor adjustments in tone. It's a matter of estimating taste, but the public has accepted that good taste is possible, and enough, in such situations.
Twitter's collective freakout is sign of movement towards the further acceptance of online brand personification, not away from it. It's the sound of loud but ultimately impotent resistance. Looking at the responses to branded 9/11 posts on Facebook, which is a more powerful determiner of marketing strategy than Twitter for most companies, it would be fair to assume that next week's marketing and advertising check-in meetings will be positive ones. We got a lot of likes. Great engagement on that 9/11 post. Poor AT&T! Anyway, let's be careful and do something bigger next year!
Absent the runaway Twitter outrage, this probably would have been the case at AT&T HQ, too: Before it was deleted, AT&T's Facebook post had amassed over 5,000 likes. Someone might have gotten a raise out of it.
Twitter is good at concentrating, amplifying and sometimes containing criticism. It also counts among its power users the naturally skeptical and professionally critical. It provides a framework for content to go viral despite itself, and to be magnified with intent (as opposed to Facebook's larger, more powerful, contextless style of virality).
But most internet users, or at least Facebook users, seem to judge it with pre-internet standards of propriety. Companies, or brands, can talk about tragedy if they do it the right way, and the rules are familiar, borrowed from print and TV: It's ok to promote your brand, but not a product. No humor. Don't talk about yourself too much.
I mean, look at these responses (which are representative, not cherry-picked):
Question by jerbear1011: Can i order a Droid from Verizon on my contract renewal, then never activate it?
Since I have 2 phone lines, I am eligible for 2 phone upgrades. I ordered the Droid for my primary number, and would like to order a similar phone for my second line. Then I would just never activate the 2nd phone. I would pay the monthly $ 29.99 data plan necessary to use the droid for the primary line – but not on the 2nd line. And have an extra droid around to use as a gift or sell. Does this work?
Answer by Incredi Tees
I actually work for Verizon. If you buy any data phone such as a droid , fascinate or blackberry, you must add the data line. Starting 1 year and 6 months ago, Verizon will no longer sell any data phone with the out data plan attached. The system won’t let the agent process the order.
The reason for this is actually 3 fold:
1. You are receiving a data phone so you have to add data.
2. Verizon is liekly going to give you a rebate to give you the phone at a discount, the manufacturer pays for this in return Verizon picks up the monthly data plan and so its a win for verizon and the manufacturer.
3. if they don’t force data on you, you can sell the phone and will have used the rebate without the data plan being added.
I know its probably not what you want to hear, but wanted to give you correct information.
Add your own answer in the comments!