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Throttle That Unlimited Data – Do We Have a Problem?

Posted on 18 June 2015 by GranTorinoGuy

ATT is to get struck with a $100 million fine from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) due to throttling data on their unlimited plans and not proper conveying the information to their customers. What many are reporting as a deception on ATT’s part is more of a serious issue that many companies are doing. The thing is, is it a problem with the users and do they know what is going on with this so-called throttling of data on unlimited 4G LTE plans.

Communications and data infrastructures are the largest they have ever been. Technology is ruling the world and those of us who take our data availability and frequency of that data for granted may be in for a shocker. Believe it or not, but the data systems that provide services to your devices are probably not robust enough to provide an unlimited data service to everyone signed up all at the same time. Basically, if everyone accessing data was to sign on and start streaming a high-definition movie all at the same time, something will eventually crash on the data provider’s end.

With the companies like ATT knowing what will happen if their systems are taxed to the brink of crashing, they have cleverly put in measures to throttle data to supposedly provide everyone data services without interruption. This means that when someone is considered by ATT to be using too much “unlimited” data, the flow of that data is slowed down to make way for others on the service to avoid interruptions or conflicts due to the systems not being able to handle the load.

Many critics and consumers of unlimited plans have lashed out against such practices by these gargantuan companies. The FCC too has heard these complaints and are looking to start cracking down on the practices – mostly due to the companies not properly disclosing that they will be throttling data transfer for their unlimited services.

Fine print has been a messy case when it comes to consumers attempting to get what they want or think that they deserve. Rightfully so, an unlimited data plan should be just that, unlimited. In the scheme of what companies like ATT are seeing, unlimited data may resemble something else when you dig deep into the fine print and interpret it in a specific way – a way that ATT wants you to see so they don’t get slapped on the hands by the FCC.

Not only is ATT being scrutinized from these practices, but Sprint is taking a proactive measure and is putting a stop to their data throttling adhering to new Net neutrality rules.

What do you say? If you are on an unlimited data plan have you ever experienced or noticed data throttling. Do you think it is right for them to do such a thing? Should companies like ATT properly disclosed this information and would you have been happy with them saying so up front before you plop down your hefty monthly fee for your “unlimited” services?

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Going Green? Mobile Phone Reads Pollution Levels!

Posted on 12 May 2010 by GranTorinoGuy

This phone does everything other mobiles do and more… It has the ability to read pollution levels!

These prototype mobile phones read pollution levels with built-in air quality sensors.

These prototype mobile phones read pollution levels with built-in air quality sensors.

Researchers at Intel Labs in Berkeley, California, have created a prototype of a mobile phone that takes in air and produces pollution measurements of the area.

The air-quality phone developed by Woodruff and Alan Mainwaring is a bit big and clunky with big holes to let air in. And the sensors that pick up carbon monoxide, ozone and nitrogen oxide aren’t small enough to let the phone fit in most pockets. But the developers say this will definitely change in the near future.

The researchers also hope that one day everyone who carries a phone will be a mobile air quality monitor. This as an alternative to the 4,000 stationary monitors used by the US Environmental Protection Agency and state partners.

It’s “citizen science” taken to a whole new level. The pollution readings would be useful for several reasons, said Allison Woodruff, a research scientist at Intel. First, they would give regulators an idea of where air quality trouble spots are that government monitors are missing. She says the areas have significant distances between them that millions of walking monitors could easily fill.

The moving air sensors also would enable a new level of social science, she said. If you wanted to learn more about asthma, for instance, you could look at the air quality experienced by asthma sufferers and see if that had any impact.

Currently, such evaluations aren’t really possible, Woodruff says. The measurements would be tied to a person’s GPS location to create a real-time map of air quality readings. That info could be available to everyone on an application or a website, the researchers say.

Woodruff says the phone will soon be equipped with light sensors that tells it to stop taking and uploading measurements while inside a pocket. Air quality sensors are getting better and smaller and they are confident the kinks will get worked out, and that this idea will make the air healthier.

Woodruff and Mainwaring hope their pollution-tracking phone will soon become a reality.

What do you think about this new device. Let us know your thoughts by commenting below:

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