O'Grady's PowerPage » AT&T

Apple, HBO in talks to bring HBO Now service to Apple TV

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Date: Thursday, March 5th, 2015, 07:26
Category: News, Software

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HBO could enter the partnership it wants with Apple.

HBO is in talks with Apple to make Apple TV one of the launch partners for its highly anticipated streaming service when it debuts next month. HBO and streaming partner Major League Baseball Advanced Media are working to have the standalone service, called “HBO Now,” ready to launch in April in conjunction with the premiere of the fifth season of “Game of Thrones,” according to sources familiar with their plans.

When it launches, consumers will be able to subscribe to HBO Now directly from HBO for the first time, rather than through a cable, satellite or telco TV distributor such as Comcast or Verizon. The retail price is expected to be US$15 a month when purchased directly from HBO, or about what consumers pay when they order HBO through their cable, satellite or telco provider.

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New legislation requires U.S. wireless carriers to unlock out-of-contract phones

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Date: Thursday, February 12th, 2015, 04:52
Category: iPhone, Legal, News

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This could come in handy.

America’s top wireless providers can no longer refuse to unlock devices for customers who have paid financing plans in full or completed their contract term under a new set of industry rules — agreed to over one year ago — which went into effect yesterday.

As part of the pact, wireless carriers AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon, and will notify active customers whose devices are eligible for unlocking. Those who have purchased a used, carrier-locked device can also have those unlocked for a “reasonable fee.”

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Verizon allows for partial removal of UIDH “perma-cookie”, leaves some elements behind

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Date: Monday, February 2nd, 2015, 08:42
Category: iPhone, News, wireless

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This is the kind of thing that makes you wish your wireless carrier was humanoid, anthropomorphic and had a face you could punch at your leisure.

Despite criticisms and public outcry, Verizon isn’t giving up on its UIDH “perma-cookie” advertising program—but the company will give subscribers a larger say in the matter. Verizon customers will soon have the ability to opt-out of the UIDH program.

“We have begun working to expand the opt-out to include the identifier referred to as the UIDH, and expect that to be available soon,” a Verizon spokesperson said via email. The company did not provide a specific date for when the opt-out program would be available.

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Apple begins selling unlocked iPhone 6, 6 Plus units

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Date: Tuesday, January 6th, 2015, 11:23
Category: iPhone, News

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It’s not cheap, but it’s unlocked and nifty.

Per AppleInsider, the Apple Store has begun selling unlocked, SIM-free iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus models at unsubsidized prices, offering customers the ability to purchase without a T-Mobile SIM card.

In the U.S., customers have been able to buy an unlocked iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus from day one, but it would ship with a T-Mobile SIM card inserted. Starting Tuesday, the Apple Store began offering a SIM-free option starting at the same US$649 price for the entry-level 16-gigabyte iPhone 6.

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Apple drops ship time for iPhone 6, 6 Plus handsets to one day, Retina 5K iMac back in stock

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Date: Friday, December 19th, 2014, 09:35
Category: iMac, iPhone, News, retail

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Apple is catching up with demand and you might be able to snag an iPhone 6, 6 Plus or Retina 5K iMac for Christmas.

Per AppleInsider, Apple appears to be catching up with demand for its latest devices as the Online Apple Store on Thursday shows one-day ship times for most iPhone 6 Plus storage configurations, 1 to 3 days for iPhone 6 and immediate availability for the Retina 5K iMac.

Apple’s online storefront has been updated to reflect iPhone 6 Plus shipping estimates of one day for 16GB and 64GB models in all three colors and major U.S. wireless carriers AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. Ship-by times for iPhone 6 models in the same capacities also dropped to 1 to 3 days.

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Sprint launches new promotion, offers to halve the wireless bills of customers switching from AT&T and Verizon

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Date: Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014, 09:20
Category: News, retail, wireless

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Sometimes competition is a good thing.

Per Re/code, Sprint unveiled an aggressive new price promotion Tuesday that it claims will halve the bills of customers who defect from AT&T and Verizon in the latest salvo of an increasingly bitter price war.

Under the terms of the deal, which kicks off Friday, a customer can bring a current AT&T or Verizon bill to a Sprint store and store representatives will set up a new plan that is half of the service portion of that bill (the cost of calls, texting and data). In addition to that service cost, though, customers have to buy an unsubsidized device, either up front, through installments or using one of Sprint’s new leasing plans.

Sprint will also pay up to US$350 in early termination fees or remaining device-installment payments, though customers must turn in their existing devices.

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Verizon Wireless adopts harsher early termination fees, draws criticism

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Date: Monday, November 17th, 2014, 11:07
Category: News, wireless

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Well, this should give you another reason to dislike Verizon.

Per Macworld and Droid Life, wireless carrier Verizon recently changed the terms of its customer agreement to state that the carrier will not discount its early termination fee (ETF) until the eighth month of service.

In other words, if you signed up for a new iPhone with Verizon in December, you wouldn’t see a reduction in your ETF until at least July. Verizon previously discounted its ETF by $10 every month beginning with the first month of service.

The new terms only apply to new customers that sign up for service on or after Friday, November 14th. Under the new terms, your ETF would reduce by “US$10 per month in months 8–18, US$20 per month in months 19–23, and US$60 in the final month of your contract term.”

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AT&T ceases “permacookie” tracking program for the time being, Verizon still enacting its own version

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Date: Monday, November 17th, 2014, 04:45
Category: iPhone, News, privacy, wireless

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There are consequences for when a wireless carrier installs something that apparently tracks its user base a little too closely with no convenient means of removal.

Per Macworld and ProPublica, wireless carriers Verizon and AT&T have been caught up in a privacy firestorm over their use of so-called “permacookies,” a method of tracking what their users do while browsing the Web with the intent of sharing that data with advertisers. Verizon’s permacookie program lives on, but AT&T has ceased the practice.

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AT&T admits to testing “unique tracker” on smartphones, offers opt-out option

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, October 30th, 2014, 11:55
Category: iPhone, News, security, wireless

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This isn’t the best news.

According to Forbes, wireless carriers Verizon and AT&T have ceded that they’re tagging their customers with unique codes that are visible to third parties, making smartphone users far easier to track on the Web than they’ve ever been before, targeted advertising being that much easier to create as a result of this. After the findings by researchers, AT&T admitted it’s “testing” a new way of tracking its customers for ad display purposes.

“There’s nothing ready to announce,” said AT&T spokesperson Mark Siegel. “We’re still testing.”

But that means, yes, AT&T customers are being tagged by AT&T in a way that’s visible to the websites they visit, but AT&T says it’s building in what it considers to be a privacy-protective measure: the unique code for each user will change every 24 hours. Siegel says this is happening now, but Kenneth White, one of the researchers who discovered the tracking, says that is “categorically untrue,” saying he found three identifying codes being sent by AT&T that were persistent.

“AT&T does not currently have a mobile Relevant Advertising program. We are considering such a program, and any program we would offer would maintain our fundamental commitment to customer privacy,” read a statement from AT&T. “For instance, we are testing a numeric code that changes every 24 hours on mobile devices to use in programs where we serve ads to the mobile device. This daily rotation on the numeric code would help protect the privacy of our customers. Customers also could opt out of any future AT&T program that might use this numeric code.”

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AT&T confirms Apple SIM card lock, says customers will need to buy new SIM card to change carriers

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Date: Monday, October 27th, 2014, 10:11
Category: Hardware, iPad, News, wireless

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There may be increased competition and good deals to be had in the wireless markets, but the major carriers will still try to lock you in…

Per Re/code, wireless carrier AT&T has apparently taken advantage in the change to the SIM card found in the new iPad, which apparently allows customers to designate which wireless carrier they’d like to use it with, by essentially locking its customers in to the service, requiring the customer to purchase an entirely new SIM card to change their provider.

AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel confirmed to Re/code that customers who use the Apple SIM on AT&T will need another SIM card to switch carriers, but stressed that the device itself remains unlocked.

“With us you can change carriers with this iPad any time you want,” he said. “It is an unlocked device. … All [you] have to do is switch out the SIM in the device so it works on another carrier.”

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