Starbucks ditches T-Mobile for AT&T

Ubiquitous caffeine conglomerate Starbucks has ended its Wi-Fi partnership with T-Mobile in favor of one with AT&T.

Under the earlier plan with T-Mobile, Starbucks customers needed a paid subscription to access the in-store Wi-Fi service, and T-Mobile HotSpot subscribers will continue to have access to Starbucks Wi-Fi thanks to an agreement between AT&T and T-Mobile. But the new AT&T plan allows all customers 2 free hours per day, with a $3.99 fee for additional 2-hour chunks of time. Monthly subscriptions will cost $19.99 and will enable access to other AT&T … Read more

Cell phone carriers are wretched relics of the old guard

In a move that some have called "groundbreaking" and I have called "a disgusting attempt at trying to look cool", Verizon Wireless has announced that it will be opening its network to "any apps and any device...that meets a minimum technical standard."

What a waste of valuable editorial space. Why is this even news? Does anyone actually believe that Verizon Wireless has become the cell phone industry's latest (or is it first?) good guy? I certainly don't.

One of the more laughable parts of this story is Verizon's insistence on its new service becoming the haven "small device manufacturers and developers" have been waiting for. For some reason, I can't quite grasp why this is true.

In order to get your device or app on the Verizon service, you'll need to send it to the newly created $20 million test lab Verizon has set up and the company will need to approve it for use on its network. Also, it'll need to meet certain technical standards, which could mean it simply needs to light up and make noise, or it could mean it'll need to fly to Mars if it's not made by a well known firm.

To make matters worse, Verizon has yet to announce how it will accomplish this newly devised system and if you've been keeping score, this company that's trying so hard to be "open" has yet to join Google's Android Open Handset Alliance. That seems a bit odd, doesn't it?

But I digress. The real story here is not that Verizon Wireless has announced something without any real details, the real story is the fact that Verizon exemplifies everything that's wrong with the cell phone industry -- it's a place where common sense is thrown out the window and customer loyalty and respect have never existed.… Read more