June 18, 2009

iPhone OS 3 Tethering, Rogers Canada

Finally, tethering on the iPhone.

After my woes with Rogers Customer Service earlier this week, asking about prices and availability, it seems that Rogers has cleared things up regarding the pricing for iPhone tethering. I quote:

Tethering is the use of your phone as a wireless modem to connect to the Internet from your computer. For a limited time, if you subscribe to a data plan which includes at least 1GB of data transmission between June 8, 2009 and December 31, 2009, and if you have a compatible device, you may use tethering as part of the volume of data included in your plan at no additional charge. Tethering cannot be used with data plans of less than 1GB

I am not looking forward to the end of that promotion as I'm sure Rogers will somehow figure out a way to gouge me out of more money.

OK. How to tether.

  1. Connect iPhone to Computer (I'm doing this for mac)
  2. If you haven't already, install OS 3 on your iPhone
  3. After the sync, on iPhone tap Settings -> General -> Network -> Internet Tethering
  4. Switch ON
  5. On your mac wait for the notice of new ethernet adaptor being found
  6. Open network preferences
  7. This may not apply to you, but to get the tethering to work I had to choose Advanced and then manually Renew my DHCP lease to contact the Rogers DNS and get on their network.
  8. Your iPhone will switch to the blue bar telling you you're online
  9. Don't forget to disable iPhone's tethering option when you're done so you don't burn through your data like crazy
iPhone 3G is limited to a 3.6 MBit/s downstream as it doesn't support HSDPA. (iPhone 3G S has HSDPA support and Rogers also supports the 7.6 MBit/s downstream)

The speed I got using Shaw's speedtest was 2.5 MBit/s down and 200 kbps up at ~8.30 pm.

If these speeds are consistent across Canada in 3G, I'm more than happy with this for emergency internet use.

June 16, 2009

Searching for Music

I'm flying home on Monday and have a total of 12 hours in the air and a good 6 in airports. That's alot of waiting and downtime.

I need some new music to keep me entertained during the trip.

On my list for the flight of new music for sure are:
  • Street Sweeper Social Club - Album released today, I'm twice through and I'm liking it alot sofar. It's Tom Morello's new project - thanks to that there's a lot of RATM influence on the album. Love it.
  • Mulatu Astatke - A recommendation by Ryan - Ethiopian Jazz, something I know nothing about, but really.. how bad can Jazz be? I'll find out :)
If you have any other recommendations for me, please leave them in the comments!

June 10, 2009

Oh Rogers, You're So Silly

As you may have heard Apple announced a few things during Monday's keynote at WWDC.

The most interesting for me is Snow Leopard, but that's for another post.

The announcement that also sparked my interest is the announcement that Rogers is on board for the OS 3.0 launch and ready to handle tethering and MMS, unlike AT&T.

So, my curiosity sparked and I called Rogers.

My first call was pleasant. I mentioned I had gotten a prerelease Gold Master for OS 3.0 and was wondering about tethering prices before I got dinged with a bill. The Rep, Dave, pleasantly told me that because I had a data plan that was over 1GB (6GB / $30 / m) my tethering wouldn't cost anything extra. As long as I stay under my 6GB limit.
Perfect! Makes sense - the answer I wanted. Boom - we're done.

Later that day I had some time and wanted to setup tethering. I tapped (in OS 3 GM) Settings -> General -> Network. Third option from the top: Set Up Internet Tethering. (Oddly enough this wasn't showing up for Cory on his 3G despite also being on the OS 3 GM). I got a popup advising me that tethering was not activated and I should contact Rogers.

Call 2 - this one threw me off completely. A rep who's name I didn't catch (but marked down the conversation reference number - they give those out now instead of agent codes it seems) told me a completely different story. I wanted to confirm what the first rep had told me about tethering being included in my plan.

This rep was unaware of tethering on iPhone at all and hadn't heard of OS 3. He also told me, without confirming any details with his senior, that tethering would be a promotion of 6 months and then I would be charged per tether detected. I was skeptical, but asked to be put through to the Technical Department to see if I could get my tethering activated. That rep told me that tethering on iPhone accounts was not to be activated until June 17th, when OS 3 officially launches. The rep honestly admitted he knew nothing about price plans and didn't want to speculate, but offered to transfer me back to Sales. I declined and hung up.

So started the emails. I wrote an email to Rogers customer service explaining I had gotten mixed results from two reps and wanted to clear up the simple question: Is tethering included in my 6GB / $30 / month data plan or if I would be charged if I tethered my phone.

The first email I got, confused me. Besides the usual "thanks for being our customer"-cheese here's the guts of the message:

At Rogers, we are offering 6 months of free tethering for any customer
with compatible Smart phone who has subscribed to 1GB or more data plan.
This is limited time offer of no additional fee for tethering this
promotion will end December 31 2009, at which point you will have the
option to subscribe to tethering plans.

Tethering data usage will come out of your existing data bucket.
Overage charges may apply if data usage exceeds amount included in your
data bucket.

The way I understand the above email is that there will be a 6 month promotion on tethering for customers that have a 1GB+ data plan. Ding - I qualify for that. It also reads that during this time no additional cost for tethering will be incurred. Once the promotion is over I have the option to subscribe to a tethering plan. *sigh* "That sounds like what the second guy was talking about", I thought.

I wrote back asking for clarification on the topic of "option" of tethering plans. I got the following response and am now back at square 1.

After reviewing the documentation concerning the $30 for 6GB data access plan, tethering is allowed (and will always be allowed on this plan) as it is not the same as our $10 Unlimited On-device Mobile Browsing plan which tethering is a pay per use charge. When you are tethering it will deduct the usage from the 6GB data pool. If you go over the 6GB per month allotment there is a charge of $0.05 for the first 60MB and $0.03 per MB thereafter up to a maximum of $100 minus your monthly data service plan cost therefore the maximum overage charge you could possibly incur would be $70.

This explanation makes sense and matches what the first rep was getting at.

My results are now 2 for "tethering is included in your data plan" and 2 for "it may/could/will be extra after 6 months".

What have your results been?

June 3, 2009

Music of the Week #2 & #3

Work, work, work - all I do is work lately. I've gotta slow down before I burnout (thanks Cory).

So here's (a bit late) Music of the Week #2 (ending May 24th) and #3 (ending May 31st)

#2 (ending May 24th)
  1. Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse
  2. Les Miserabl├ęs (Original London Cast)
  3. Foo Fighters
  4. Daft Punk
  5. Thornley
It was quite the listening week. Marli pointed me to an article on NPR about Danger Mouse "releasing" and album with Sparklehorse. Little did I know that this album would have such an effect on me. First off - this album is never going to be released due to a legal struggle with Danger Mouse and the record label EMI, which really is a shame, due to the intense energy this album brings across. The sheer effort put into the songs and the very well done collaborations on the album (include artists such as Julian Casablancas [The Strokes], James Mercer [The Shins] and, believe it or not, Iggy Pop and many, many more). Fav's include "Revenge (Flaming Lips)", "Star Eyes (I Can't Catch It)" and "The Man Who Played God". Hit up the NPR article for a listen in the standalone player.

I really have no idea why I suddenly started listening to Les Miserabl├ęs. The soundtrack is great for a musical and the story is a beautiful one. I believe the main cause for this impulse purchase and listen was listening to Susan Boyle.

Ah, the Foo Fighters, my roots. I think the Foo Fighters have been the the one band I've constantly listened to for the past 8 years! I can identify myself with so many songs and I have pin pointing which songs are my favourites. But I can definately tell you the songs that start many, many Genius playlists are "Best Of You" (In Your Honor - 2005), "Low" (One By One - 2002), "Generator" (There Is Nothing Left To Lose - 1999). Bah, who am I kidding my favourite Foo's song of all times is and will always be "Everlong" (The Colour and the Shape - 1997).

Daft Punk - this one's a doozey again. The album artist is in fact Daft Punk, but the album I am listening to is in fact a bootlegged remix album titled "Remix After All" and is a remix album of, you guessed it, "Human After All". For a bootlegged album the execution of the songs are amazing. The engineering is great, the songs keep their Daft Punk feel with some of great synth flares. Check out the blog entry for more info. 

I talked about Thornley in Music of the Week #0 a few weeks ago :).

#3 (ending May 31st)
  1. Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse
  2. Daft Punk
  3. Peter Fox
  4. Incubus
  5. Led Zeppelin
For more about the Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse collaberation album, read above in Music of the Week #2.

The same applies to Daft Punk. I am still quite attached to the "Remix After All" album - read above for more info.

Peter Fox. Still with the addicting album - gosh! I spoke about his "Stadtaffe" album in Music of the Week #0 and yes - it's still haunting me :).

Incubus - Spoke about them in Music of the Week #1.

Led Zeppelin. Really - what's left to say. Classic Rock. Robert Plant. Jimmy Page. What's not to love - really?!

Comments, suggestions?