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johnsu01

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More proof that nobody reads the terms of service [15 Jun 2006|02:20am]

From a press release about some new VOIP software for the Motorola Q:

Lasater explains the value proposition for the consumer, "The cost conscious consumer can now pay a flat fee of $50 per month to Verizon for unlimited EVDO access, or $25 per month to Sprint and use PeerMe from their cell phone to talk to anyone anywhere in the world for an unlimited amount of time. Unlimited data plans of high speed broadband wireless combined with Windows Mobile 5 has completely changed the landscape for the consumer."

You could do this... except it would be violating your EVDO Terms of Service. I can't believe they would put that in a press release, when the following text is in bold in the ToS.

Unlimited NationalAccess/BroadbandAccess services cannot be used (1) for uploading, downloading or streaming of movies, music or games, (2) with server devices or with host computer applications, including, but not limited to, Web camera posts or broadcasts, automatic data feeds, Voice over IP (VoIP), automated machine-to-machine connections, or peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, or (3) as a substitute or backup for private lines or dedicated data connections.

(And it costs at least $59, not $50, and that's only if you have a voice plan as well, which diminishes the savings of having VOIP.)

Moral of the story is, don't use EVDO.

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IOGEAR Bluetooth shenanigans [15 Jun 2006|04:12am]

So this troublesome shopping experience is still bothering me. Though I finally did get the items I expected to get, it turns out that they don't work the way I expected them to work.

Because — if you can believe this — I was expecting something labeled as Bluetooth to work with, you know, other Bluetooth devices.

Turns out that the IOGEAR Bluetooth audio transmitter only works with IOGEAR Bluetooth headphones. I don't understand how they can call it Bluetooth. There is a process that your product has to go through in order to be able to use that trademark. After an annoying call to IOGEAR that confirmed that the transmitter required their headphones, I sent a letter to the Bluetooth SIG, which runs the qualification process.

I was under the impression that to have the Bluetooth name and symbol, a device had to have a certain level of interoperability with other Bluetooth devices.

IOGEAR is selling an A2DP audio transmitter (GBMA201) that only works with their own headphones. I have confirmed this by speaking to their technical support, and also by trying to discover the transmitter with easily a half-dozen different bluetooth devices (cell phone, laptop, different brand of bluetooth headphones, etc.). The transmitter is not discoverable, so there is no way to pair any other bluetooth device with it.

Is this a violation of the rules regarding Bluetooth branding? Thanks for your time.

Today I received their reply, which concluded with:

The Bluetooth Qualification program verifies that the product is qualified against the Bluetooth Specification. It does not test each product against other products. Ideally, if a product is qualified against the Specification, it should work with other products.

Manufacturers should not make their product only work with only their products. As such, I have turned this issue over to our Bluetooth Qualification Administrator. He can further investigate this issue with IOGEAR.

So, maybe things are looking up.

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