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Author Topic: Do Not Unlock your smart phone
TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted January 26, 2013 05:44      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This snuck in under the radar.

DO NOT UNLOCK YOUR SMART PHONE.

L.A. Times

PCWorld

Hows that for a good day.

Oh how we love the DMCA!

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted January 26, 2013 07:18      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
NOw that I read futher into this, allowing companies to lock smartphones makes sense*. What they are forbidding here, is that people exit out of agreements they made. ( contracts).

When you buy a smarphone and sign up for a contract, part of the cost of that smartphone is coming out of your monthly bill. Basically, you bought that phone on credit. And you should pay back that thing you bought on credit. Unlocking your locked smartphone is basically just telling your creditor(the cell phone company), you know what, I found out that it is cheaper not to pay back my loan I took out from you, I just want to pay my newly incurred charges and I can do that easier at anouther cell phone service provider.


*as long as you are allowed to buy the phone in an unlocked version.

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-Assif Mandvi

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted January 26, 2013 08:00      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Here's the rub, my wife has an Android bought out right, used the S network, it is now illegal to change the phone to any other network. This was never a contract phone. So is she libel if she puts this phone on the N network?

ABC News

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If it don't glow it ain't Ham Radio

Posts: 5421 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted January 26, 2013 12:44      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
Here's the rub, my wife has an Android bought out right, used the S network, it is now illegal to change the phone to any other network. This was never a contract phone. So is she libel if she puts this phone on the N network?

ABC News

if the phone was bought without a contract, then it isn't locked to begin with.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted January 26, 2013 18:42      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ashitaka wrote:
if the phone was bought without a contract, then it isn't locked to begin with.

You underestimate the greed of cell phone companies in the US. There are carriers who sell phones without a contract which are, none the less, locked. There are also carriers who will not allow you to use your own unlocked phone on their network. Virgin Mobile is an example of both. All phones they sell in the US are locked and they won't provide service for phones they don't sell.

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted January 27, 2013 06:40      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't know what disappoints me more about that grumpy.

The fact that the company does that or the fact that they have customers.

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"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted January 27, 2013 10:09      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
ASH. At one time here in the states there was a cellular company that was truly customer driven, good rural coverage, good customer care. Alas they were bought out by one of the for mega-profit companies. The first company was the only one to really come up here to North Eastern Mi. and attempt to cover the rough terrain here, they did a good job, and had many customers. Then the take over company tried to renegotiate the leased tower contracts that company "A" had. The tower owners rebelled and this area went from first rate to abysmal coverage. We do not have the level of coverage that we had, this has been going on
for over five years.

The burn phone companies Trax, Net10 and others provide the best service now. However that coverage is no where near what was available before. Land lines here have not been upgraded in forty years, Cable TV not out here in this neck of the woods.

So out here the cellular companies dictate the rules, not enough viable competition to make the carriers take care of their customers.

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If it don't glow it ain't Ham Radio

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted January 27, 2013 10:34      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The thing is, the locked phones and plans are often significantly cheaper than the competition.

You can buy a low-end Android smart phone from Virgin Mobile for $50 or an iPhone for $350 and a plan for $35-$55 a month with no obligation to continue. The other providers give you a 'free' phone, but you'll pay $85 and up for the service plan and you're locked in for two years. The 'free' iPhone and $85 plan costs $2040 over two years. Virgin Mobile's iPhone offering only costs $1670 over two years. If you moved to another provider after two years, you could buy a new, unlocked iPhone with the amount you saved and still have $20 left over.

If someone is happy with Virgin Mobile's service, isn't traveling internationally and is going to stay with them for two or more years, it makes financial sense to buy the locked phone.

I'm a Virgin Mobile customer, incidentally, which is why I'm using them as an example. They do screw you over in some ways, but those ways don't matter to me. I would have pay more money for no no benefit if I moved to different provider that allowed unlocked phones. In fact, I have a $100 android phone and the $35/month plan, so my two year total is only $940. The extra $1100 in my bank account would be quite enough to keep me from being sad about not being able to use the phone with another provider (except I bought it years ago, so I can still unlock it legally if I wish).

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted January 27, 2013 11:25      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Steen: Curious question - did you port a # over to Virgin Mobile?

I think they look awfully attractive, largely for the reasons you cited above, but I've been hesitant, as I'd have the same # for ages and would quite like to keep it. I know they've /said/ it works, but I'd love to hear it from someone who's gone through it. Additionally, I'm interested in whether any reassurances have been given that it's possible to keep the # if one chooses to leave Virgin Mobile. (Prepaid plans just don't seem conducive to stability.)

I haven't gotten around to doing all the research to make the jump, but I'm feeling quite tempted to do so - my plan isn't insane, and I'm out of contract, but I think Virgin Mobile's plans are some of the best on the market (for the $).

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted January 27, 2013 12:15      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Number portability law, How the carriers think it is supposed to work. I and the Mrs had numbers that were assigned by the company that was bought out. We had had those numbers for over Eight years so we wanted to keep them. The buy out company just ported then to our new phones, no Problem. Then we went with Boost Iden phones. Boost fought me about porting these numbers, my reply I keep these numbers or I do not buy your service. They gave in. Iden was shut down so we had to use Boost CDMA phones, Very few towers even fewer than Iden. I ended up going with Net ten on CDMA-V the Mrs Net ten GSM. No matter where we are one of us will have service.

Android phones are a joke if you travel, they are always resetting to the new tower exchanges and dropping calls during the reset.

The dumber the phone the better it works.

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If it don't glow it ain't Ham Radio

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted January 27, 2013 12:55      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Speak for yourself, good sir. I've had at least half a dozen Android phones that I've rooted unlocked over the years, and they've all be phenomenal for service, and switching towers, and maintaining data connections for multiple states/provinces at a time.
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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted January 27, 2013 13:15      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
via /.
http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/unlocking-your-new-smartphone-is-now-illegal-what-you-need-to-know/

Apart from 'the principle of it,' I'm not sure it's that big of a deal. People who buy phones on contract should know what they're getting into - that's why it's a contract. Contracts are designed to screw people in highly specified manners; if you don't like it, don't get a phone on contract.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted January 27, 2013 13:25      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Then you have not driven M-46 in Michigan, three different androids, three different carriers. At no time were two of them able to place a call.

Call customer service and get a reply, "that must be a fringe area."


I wish Alltell was still in business.

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If it don't glow it ain't Ham Radio

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted January 27, 2013 18:22      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
dragonman97 wrote:
Steen: Curious question - did you port a # over to Virgin Mobile?

When I first went to Virgin Mobile, I did keep my number. The transfer went smoothly and I had no problems with it. Legally, they have to do it in one business day. In my case, it took about 30 minutes.

Additionally, I'm interested in whether any reassurances have been given that it's possible to keep the # if one chooses to leave Virgin Mobile. (Prepaid plans just don't seem conducive to stability.)

They're legally required to let you take your number. If they argue, The FCC has a handy page you can reference and it also explains how to file a complaint.

I haven't gotten around to doing all the research to make the jump, but I'm feeling quite tempted to do so

I went through that. Originally I had a phone through AT&T and I was happy with the service quality and coverage, but it was too expensive and I rarely talk on the phone so it seemed like a huge waste of money. I bought a cheap $20 intro phone and a $20 top up card at Best Buy to try out Virgin Mobile's service. After my trial month, I decided I was happy with the quality and coverage, so I let the phone expire, then transferred my number and activated the phone as if it were an entirely new account.

If you have some money to spare, it looks like you can get an intro phone (not a smart phone) for $12 and a $20/month plan, so you could try their service for $32 and donate the phone if you don't like it.

I'll also toss in my two cents about Android phones and disconnections; I haven't had any problems except when I'm up in the mountains (where I expect problems because mountains tend to cell phone signals very effectively). Otherwise, I've never had problems with dropped calls and I have a cheap, low-end smart phone (the LG Optimus V).

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macmcseboy

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Icon 1 posted January 27, 2013 19:43      Profile for macmcseboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My 5cents, as we no longer mint pennies here in Canada...

If you buy a phone at full pop from ANY carrier in Canada, without a contract, it is FULLY locked to that carrier.

The only way to get it unlocked is through alternate means. Some carriers require that you subscribe to at least 6months service before they will allow it to be unlocked for a fee. That fee can range from 50$ to 160$. We do not have any laws to prevent that. As you know carriers buy the phones from the manufacturers locked to their network, and in some cases feature crippled.

The only unlocked phones one can acquire in Canada is direct from manufacturer, specifically Apple and Google. I have yet to see Samsung, Nokia, or any other manufacturer have an unlocked option in Canada.

In North America we are slighted by contracts and "free" handsets... in Europe it is very different. You have the option of buy a fully unlocked device at full pop, even from a carrier outlet.... or you can get a subsidized fixed term contract.

I am waiting for the day when when the general populace "wakes up" and realizes what the true costs are... Call me a cynic, but this how it is in North America... where we dumb down the populace.

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted January 28, 2013 14:35      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What I found mindboggling was during my last visit to the US in mid January, my phone died. A Galaxy Nexus. Still under warranty, and will be sent in for repair, but I needed another phone NOW as it's my GPS, and my connection to the world.

The Galaxy Nexus when it was pulled from Google to make room for the Nexus 4 was going for $249. I walked into T-Mobile. To get one LOCKED to their network, and inevitably loaded with all kinds of t-mobile shit I'd have to wipe off they wanted $599! That is completely mental.

I found one on craigslist instead.

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted January 28, 2013 18:02      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by macmcseboy:



In North America we are slighted by contracts and "free" handsets... in Europe it is very different. You have the option of buy a fully unlocked device at full pop, even from a carrier outlet.... or you can get a subsidized fixed term contract.

Exactly! I retract my previous stements on how this law is ok. F the american carriers

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-Assif Mandvi

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted January 29, 2013 05:52      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
All laws, in the USA, even consumer protection laws are tilted towards the business, because the Congress is on the take, business profits above all else, damn the consumer and the citizens, business must make obscene profits. That said how about this smart phone.


Motorola

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted February 01, 2013 08:36      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Booty dialing Cats

Back story, TheMrsMoman has a smart phone, nearly impossible to booty dial. I have and use "A Dumb Phone" not even a camera.

Back to our cats, the younger one was playing on the kitchen counter this play included my phone. Well the Mrs and myself could not resist calling the dumb phone, set for vibrate and a morse code ringer. Baby the younger cat went straight up. Twenty minutes later she knocked the phone off the counter and pressed send, this phone auto dials the last caller. The wife's phone started ringing, because we were both not near our phones it went to voice-mail. Recording our laughing at the cats ability to use our phones.

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If it don't glow it ain't Ham Radio

Posts: 5421 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 01, 2013 19:19      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Steen: Thank you very much for your reply.

That FCC page is *awesome* - probably one of the clearly gov't pages I've seen in quite some time.

Though I love my relic of a phone, it's probably getting to be time to get a little more modern and to tell Big Red to take a hike. I've had my eye on Virgin Mobile for awhile now - I think this might be the year I get a new phone. [Smile]

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted February 05, 2013 13:03      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wow, I just took a look at that FCC page for fun and it is indeed surprisingly straightforward and helpful.
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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted February 10, 2013 11:38      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm digging this thread back up specifically to add one more 'con' to Virgin Mobile: From what I can tell, they never, ever update the Android system software on the phones they sell. Not really a problem if you're going to root the phone the day you get it, but it could be an issue for some users.

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Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2013 14:15      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
GAH NECROPOST WTF DUDE?!?!

Oh, wait, it's only been 5 days since the last comment. Proceed.

Not updating Android for existing phones is probably one way they keep their costs down. And a great way to make sure security holes stay open in the wild.

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Ugh!

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted February 11, 2013 22:46      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ugh, MightyClub:
GAH NECROPOST WTF DUDE?!?!

Oh, wait, it's only been 5 days since the last comment. Proceed.

Not updating Android for existing phones is probably one way they keep their costs down. And a great way to make sure security holes stay open in the wild.

FWIW, tell that to Sprint. My work phone is running 2.3.6. This most assuredly colors my views of Android, which might be significantly more awesome than that which I use every day. I routinely want to throw this slab of plastic against a wall - it shipped with 2.3.4 and a few months ago, 2.3.5 & 2.3.6 (over a year old) became available.

My latest peeve - you can't save an MMS picture to SD.

Question for Android fans: Is the wording for Silent Mode sane in 4.x?
I don't know if this was introduced in the unbranded upgrade to of 2.3.6 or was always there, but I loathe the toggle from/to Silent Mode. The words "Silent mode" are always visible in large print, and below them, the words toggle to "Sound is ON" or "Sound is OFF." Every other system I've used makes my brain expect the text to read/mean "Silent mode is ON" (sound is _off_). The icon at left means little to me in this context as I expect this to just be an icon. (BTW, I'm referring to the first button that appears when you press & hold the wake/sleep button.) The only thing that is reasonably reliable is the little icon at the top of the screen, but it's not the easiest thing to spot. I always get burned by this when I go into a meeting and have to stare at it for a few seconds to figure out if it's right, and invariably leave my phone on silent afterwards due to the hassle.

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There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted February 12, 2013 13:30      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I checked and version 2.2.1 behaves the same way. I usually turn silent mode on/off using the slide to unlock screen which has much friendlier icons.

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