All posts by Brandon

CenturyLink Gigabit Internet Review (updated)

Google brought the concept of a consumer gigabit connection to the public’s attention when they announced (in 2011) and subsequently released their gigabit internet and TV service in Kansas City in late 2012.

Google’s goal seemed to be to “shame” other internet service providers (ISPs) into better service by showing that it can be done, or at least making consumers aware that it could be done, which would hopefully lead to those consumers putting pressure on other ISPs nationwide.

The effect on ISPs that were located where Google announced they would be offering gigabit service was visible. Connection speeds increased (though no where near what Google could offer) and promises were made that faster service would be available from companies besides Google. But has it had any effect on the rest of the nation?

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A little taste of the future CenturyLink Gigabit Internet review…

UPDATE: Read full review here

CenturyLink’s gigabit internet was installed yesterday and I have been deciding how I am going to go about reviewing how it impacts daily internet use.

Obviously, the first thing I did was perform a speed test at speedtest.net.

I noticed that different servers offered very different speeds. At this point in time, I think a gigabit connection cannot be accurately tested against most of the internet. Google supplies their own server in cooperation with speedtest.net in order to show near full gigabit speeds.

Update: New speed tests have shown that my connection is capable of 800mbps+ download and upload when hooked directly to the CenturyLink modem.

Anyway, here is one of the results I got. I will be doing a much more in-depth write-up in the very near future.

For now, let’s just say that the rest of the internet needs to catch up to me now.

AT&T will let you out of your contract early…if you switch to their “Next” plans

Starting today, if you are at least 6 months into your contract with AT&T, they will let you out of it if you switch to their “Next” plans.

The AT&T Next plans allow you to get a phone for free and pay it off in installments. They announced these plans last year, but they were never a very good deal since you would still be responsible for the normal monthly fee (which actually has a built in price for paying for your subsidized phones).

Recently, however, AT&T has made their “Mobile Share Value Plans” available for customers who are out of contract or on their Next plans.

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How SMS is being outclassed, and how you can ditch traditional texting

Texting, messaging, SMS. All names for arguably the most common way people keep in touch with each other nowadays.

Traditionally, carrier SMS (short message service) has been the dominant messaging platform for mobile users. It actually has a few benefits that more modern messaging services have yet to match:

  • Available to anyone with a mobile phone, even if it’s not a smartphone
  • Does not require a data plan (again, mostly beneficial to those without a smartphone)
  • Peace of mind—you can know that if you send a message to someone, they have the capabilities to receive it, and will (unless they specifically have SMS blocked through their carrier)

Those are pretty important advantages, but since consumers are flocking to smartphones en masse, the options have opened up and alternate services have come in to offer a better experience and more features.

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Motorola offers more wood backs for the Moto X on MotoMaker, lowers price

Motorola went a new direction late last year with the release of their latest flagship, the Moto X. They offered a service, called MotoMaker, that would allow you to customize the phone with a variety of color options for the back plate, buttons, and either a white or black front. The phone was then built, just for you, and shipped out to your home.

One of the most exciting announcements was that Motorola would offer the option of wooden backs, something that has, for the most part, never been seen from a mobile phone manufacturer. Unfortunately, the wood options were not available at launch.

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Google announces Moto G “Google Play Edition”

Today Google has added another device to their web store. The Moto G Google Play Edition.

The Moto G was released not long ago and has received praise for its budget price and great performance. It features a quad-core processor, 8 or 16GB of storage, 1GB of RAM and fully unlocked. It lacks 4G mobile data connection, but will run on HSPA+ 21mbps for AT&T or T-Mobile.

The 8GB model sells for $179, but you can double the storage to 16GB for only $20 more.

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Federal appeals court overrules important aspects of Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality, in a nutshell, is the idea that access to content on the internet should not be limited by the internet service providers. For example, access (and speed of access) to Netflix, or Hulu, or YouTube shall not be impeded by ISPs even if those services compete with services that the ISPs offer themselves; this is the case frequently as most common ISPs are cable companies who have their own TV and video services.

Today, a Federal appeals court, in the case of Verizon v. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has overruled several key aspects of the FCC’s Open Internet policy which contains regulations such as not prioritizing the connection speed of certain websites.

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iOS 7 “Untethered” Jailbreak available via Evasi0n 7

Evasi0n 7 has been out for a short time now and after a few updates it seems to be a safe way to jailbreak your iOS device.

All iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches running iOS 7.0 – 7.0.4 can be jailbroken with this tool.

As always, proceed with caution. Fortunately, comments around the web seem to indicate that the jailbreak is stable.

All said, it takes about 5 minutes and tools are available for both Windows and Mac systems.

Click here to go to the official site and grab the download.