Archive for October 2016

Things You Don’t Have To Deal With In The Suburbs #242

Modern country life… at 1:13 AM.


Surprise! iPhone 7 Cannot Do What a 20 Year Old Cell Phone Can Do

This story originally appeared in Wow! Magazine.

As a techie I should have known better than purchase the iPhone 7 on the Verizon Wireless network the day it was released. But I’d run my old Android unit  into the ground with 3 years of heavy use, and the fact that iPhones hold their value better than other phones plus Verizon’s offer to pay $400 for an old iPhone 5 I had hanging around convinced me to make the switch as soon as Apple released their latest sexy beast into the wild.

The phone is sleek and sexy, but after a month of usage in the US and Europe I’d noticed something odd: It avoided connecting to the cell network, and when it did it always took the lowest possible connection. Living in a rural area I’ve learned where the service drop offs were, but leaving the house the iPhone 7 would glide along in my car showing “No Service” or “1x” where past phones pulled in 3g or even 4g/LTE signals. I’d turn off cellular service by switching to Airplane Mode than switch back and bam! I’d have a blazing fast LTE connection – until I was out of range of that tower. Then when my signal was switched towers the service would drop completely or revert to the crawling “1x”. In essence the brand new digital iPhone 7 was failing to do something 20 year old analog cell phones could do: maintain a stable connection between cell towers. It’s fine if you reset your connection and don’t move – like pretending your cell phone is a landline – but if you are traveling any distance be prepared for dropped calls and data connections.

This morning I checked the Internet and discovered I wasn’t the only one suffering from this problem. MacRumors reports, “Affected customers are seeing their LTE connectivity cut out at regular intervals, leaving them stuck with 3G/1X speeds or no signal at all. This can cause calls to disconnect when VoLTE (voice over LTE – the Apple equivalent of VOIP) is in use in addition to interrupting data usage… There appears to be no clear fix for the issue, and customers have been complaining of being routed between Apple and Verizon with neither company offering a solution.”

I called Verizon Wireless and spoke to a tech today. He said that Verizon was aware of the problem and working with Apple to resolve it, but since I was 3 weeks outside of my 2 weeks contract “cooling off period” I was stuck with the phone for the next 2 years.

So those of you considering switching to Apple’s shiny new toy might want to wait to see how this issue shakes out. There are worse options out there. On a recent flight I took the stewardess told all Samsung Galaxy and Note owners to turn off their phones for the duration of the flight due to their propensity to burst into flame.

The Razor Turns 15 Years Old Today

Happy Birthday.

Some fun facts:

  1. Number of posts? 2,685

  2. Number of Instalanches: 2

  3. Busiest day? January 14,2014 with 1,238 views. Not an Instalanch BTW.

  4. What was all the fuss about? A Haunted Place.

  5. Most commented post? Gerbils at 1 Month.

  6. Number of comments about gerbils? 784

  7. What was the biggest challenge about talking about gerbils? Consoling owners whose gerbils died.

  8. Systems used to support TheRazor? HTML webpages created from scratch in Dreamweaver 3. Nuke PHP. WordPress.

  9. 3 Favorite posts? Visiting the Funeral Home. Rorschach Test for the Left. In the Belly of the Swan.

  10. Best prediction: Feb 6, 2008:
    But Hillary doesn’t see things that way. I think she sees the White House as hers by right. She did all the right things: becoming senator from New York. Putting up with Al Gore’s wooden campaigning. She kept her promise to New Yorkers by staying out of the race in ‘04 all the while knowing that she could have easily picked off Kerry and possibly even Bush. Afterwards she built up a warchest, shaking hands with all the right people – or so she thought. Regardless, she’s the epitome of the strong post-Women’s Rights era woman. The job is hers by right – and her sisters at NOW agree. But it’s not. People have come to realize that a world without Clintons can be almost as refreshing as a world without Bushes. And Hillary doesn’t belong in this world.

  11. Worst prediction: March 19, 2003:
    Things to look forward to: – A Free Iraq – The phrase “our allies the Iraqis” or “our friends in Baghdad” (useful to fill the gap once taken by the French)

  12. Whose voice do I miss most in the political Blogosphere? Steven Den Beste’s.

  13. Features I wish were more popular: Hell’s Newsstand and Photoshop Phun.

  14. Inspiration to start blogging? 9-11 and Harlan Ellison’s work, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream.

  15. First short story I ever wrote? About Jimmy Carter living inside a peanut written at age 9.