sims posts on CNET


The Netherlands paves the way for carrier-free SIM cards

Imagine it: a world where a SIM card is fully integrated with your device; no need to swap it out when you change carriers or travel overseas. In fact, SIM cards could be easily built into any number of devices, vastly expanding the Internet of Things. This would also end carrier-locked devices, allowing customers true freedom of choice: Any device could be used with any carrier the user chooses.

In most of the world, carrier-free SIM cards are illegal. However, the Netherlands has just become the first country to allow them. A change in the Telecommunications Act means that residents … Read more

Rejoice! SimCity's offline mode has landed

The long-awaited offline mode for Maxis' city-building game SimCity is rolling out Tuesday around the world. Maxis began the rollout at 6 a.m. PT and the developer warned players that some servers will be unavailable for the first few hours.

Of course, you'll need an Internet connection to download the offline mode, included with Update 10, but after your download is done you can play offline to your heart's content.

SimCity's offline mode is entirely optional. Access to multiplayer, SimCity World, and Online Save Games is entirely unaffected by the arrival of the offline mode. In addition, all of your previously downloaded content is available in single-player and multiplayer. … Read more

Hallelujah! SimCity finally gets an offline mode

SimCity will finally be able to go offline.

Patrick Buechner, general manager of Maxis Emeryville, confirmed in a blog post on Monday that the developer was working on a mode that doesn't require an Internet connection, which will come in the next update to the city-building game.

An offline mode has been the single most requested feature from SimCity fans, many of whom have been annoyed by the need for a persistent connection, and the server errors and hiccups that come from such a setup.… Read more

CNET's Tech Turkeys of 2013

Ah, 2013. The year Microsoft continued to be, well, Microsoft, everyone tried to get their mobile on, and Samsung tried to show the world that it's going to be king of wearable tech.

Yup, there were gaffes. There always are. We also saw the launch product for a now-failing platform (and failing company), and the company that wanted to the entire planet to phone Home. And who can forget our nation's Capitol: A stream of leaks that showed the world that, yes, Uncle Sam is watching every click you make, not to mention those of foreign dignitaries. And … Read more

Unlocked, SIM-free iPhone 5S now sold through Apple

People who like their phones unlocked and SIM-free can now pick up an iPhone 5S in that state directly through Apple.

Available via Apple's online store, the new unlocked iPhone 5S requires a GSM-compatible SIM, which means it'll work on AT&T and T-Mobile but not on Sprint or Verizon. It also means buyers will have to pick up a SIM from their carrier of choice.

With no carrier subsidy, the phone sells at full retail -- $649 for the 16GB model, $749 for the 32GB edition, and $849 for the 64GB version. An unlocked iPhone 5S … Read more

The unlocked Verykool Black Pearl is a great value at $230

In any other company's smartphone lineup, the $230 unlocked Black Pearl would be the budget option. For San Diego-based manufacturer Verykool, it's the premium model.

At its price, the Black Pearl is a great value for what you get. It has a crisp screen, fast processor, dual-SIM capability, and a few software extras that make it more than just another budget Android handset.

The Black Pearl beats the Verykool Vortex in every way. Though it's the company's most expensive model, at $280, and has a water-resistant, rugged exterior, the Vortex is plagued by an out-of-date operating … Read more

T-Mobile says $10 fee for 'free' tablet data was a mistake

Apparently, there were strings attached to T-Mobile's "free" tablet data plan -- about $10 worth of string.

T-Mobile last week touted an offer to give all tablet users on its network 200 megabytes of data for free. You either had to buy a tablet through T-Mobile or bring a compatible one in. At the time of the announcement, which came a day after the iPad Air was unveiled, executives bragged that there "were no strings attached" to this offer.

But a check of T-Mobile's Web site showed that wasn't the case. If you … Read more

KnowRoaming SIM sticker slashes roaming fees abroad

International phone-roaming fees can be enough to make you never want to step outside your own home. Sure, you can pick up a local SIM card everywhere you go, but that's an inconvenience. KnowRoaming's new SIM card sticker lets you connect to local networks without having to do a thing.

KnowRoaming is opening up preorders Monday for the $35 sticker. The device attaches to your regular SIM card using a small applicator that comes with it to help with proper placement. You then download the KnowRoaming app and let it automatically hook up with local networks as you go gallivanting about the world.… Read more

Red Cross ready to heal hurt SimCities

Earthquakes, tornadoes, and meteor strikes can decimate a SimCity, but a newly released Red Cross add-on can make the healing process a bit easier.

The charitable add-on costs $9.99 (80 percent of purchase proceeds go to Red Cross programs in 10 countries) and enables city builders to place a Red Cross relief center, tents, and vehicles in their town when needed. … Read more