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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-22-2010, 04:12 AM
Larry
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Default Is Tracphone's Straight Talk on Verizon?

I've been doing a little research on Tracphone's "Straight Talk", their
brand of per month prepaid like Pageplus sells. Looks like Tracphone
just separated the per minute from per month by using two webpages,
unlike Pageplus.

The data usage on it looks like a honey deal....until you read the fine
print on a popup window overlaid over the plan:


"STRAIGHT TALK UNLIMITED TALK AND TEXT PLAN FEATURES INTENDED USE:
Straight Talk Unlimited talk and text plans may ONLY be used with a
Straight Talk handset for the following purposes: (i) Person to Person
Voice Calls (ii) Text and Picture Messaging (iii) Internet browsing
through the Straight Talk Mobile Web Portal and (iv) Authorized Content
Downloads from the Straight Talk Mobile Web Store. The Straight Talk
Unlimited talk, text and data plans MAY NOT be used for any other
purpose. Examples of prohibited uses include, without limitation, the
following: (i) continuous mobile to mobile or mobile to landline voice
calls; (ii) automated text or picture messaging to another mobile device
or e-mail address(s); (iii) uploading, downloading or streaming of audio
or video programming or games; (iv) server devices or host computer
applications, including, but not limited to, Web camera posts or
broadcasts, automatic data feeds, automated machine-to-machine
connections or peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing; or (v) as a substitute
or backup for private lines or dedicated data connections. This means,
by way of example only, that checking email, surfing the Internet,
downloading legally acquired songs, and/or visiting corporate intranets
is permitted, but downloading movies using P2P file sharing services
and/or redirecting television signals for viewing on laptops is
prohibited. A person engaged in prohibited uses may have his/her service
terminated without a refund.
The Straight Talk unlimited talk and text plan is for individual use
only and not for resale. Specifically, Straight Talk Unlimited services
are provided solely for live dialogue between, and initiated by, two
individuals for personal use and as otherwise described in this policy.
Unlimited voice services may not be used for any other purposes,
including, but not limited to, conference calling, monitoring services,
data transmissions, transmission of broadcasts, transmission of recorded
material, interconnection to other networks, telemarketing, autodialed
calls, other commercial uses, or other connections that do not consist
of uninterrupted live dialogue between two individuals. Straight Talk
reserves the right to protect the Carrier’s network from harm, which may
impact legitimate voice and data services. Straight Talk reserves the
right to limit throughput or amount of data transferred, and to deny or
terminate Service, without notice, to anyone Straight Talk believes is
using the Straight Talk Unlimited talk, text and data plan in any manner
prohibited above or whose usage, in Straight Talk’s sole opinion,
adversely impacts the Carrier’s network or service levels. We will
presume you are engaging in a prohibited use, in violation of these
terms and conditions, if you are placing an abnormally high numbers of
calls, or repeatedly placing calls of unusually long duration (as
compared to other customers on the same service plans), or if your talk,
text or data usage is harmful or disruptive to the Carrier’s network or
services. If we determine, at our sole discretion, that you are using an
unlimited service in violation of the Straight Talk Terms and Conditions
of Service, or in any other manner that we deem to be unreasonable or
excessive, then we may terminate individual calls or data connections
or, after providing notice to you, terminate your service, decline to
renew your services, or offer you a different service plan with no
unlimited usage components.

Straight Talk Unlimited talk, text and data plan Features cannot be
used: (1) for access to the Internet, intranets, or other data networks
except as the device’s native applications and capabilities permit, or
(2) for any applications that tether your device to laptops or personal
computers other than for the use of Wireless Synch.
IN ADDITION TO THE DISCLAIMERS SET FORTH IN THE AGREEMENT, YOU
ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE USE OF THE STRAIGHT TALK MOBILE WEB SERVICES IS AT
YOUR SOLE RISK. THE SERVICE IS PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" AND "AS
AVAILABLE" BASIS WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. STRAIGHT TALK MAKES NO
WARRANTY THAT THE STRAIGHT TALK MOBILE WEB SERVICES WILL (i) MEET YOUR
REQUIREMENTS, (ii) ALLOW ACCESS TO ALL THIRD PARTY SITES, OR (iii) BE
UNINTERRUPTED, TIMELY, SECURE OR ERROR FREE. NO ADVICE OR INFORMATION
OBTAINED FROM ANY OTHER SOURCE SHALL CREATE ANY WARRANTY NOT EXPRESSLY
STATED IN THE AGREEMENT OR THE STRAIGHT TALK MOBILE WEB SERVICES TERMS
OF USE.
You are responsible for all activities undertaken by you using the
Straight Talk Mobile Web Services, including without limitation, the use
of email. You shall not use, nor permit others to use, the Straight
Talk Mobile Web Services in a manner or for a purpose contrary to this
Agreement."

The key text in all this gibberish appears to be:

"(iii) Internet browsing through the Straight Talk Mobile Web Portal and
(iv) Authorized Content Downloads from the Straight Talk Mobile Web
Store. The Straight Talk Unlimited talk, text and data plans MAY NOT be
used for any other purpose."

Does anyone actually have Straight Talk up and running that can answer
some questions? What's their "web portal"? I this a restrictive nanny
server somewhere that prohibits UNLIMITED DATA USAGE that's advertised,
in violation of several state and federal laws about truth in
advertising? Or, is this "web portal" a restrictive browser on the
phones they sell for the same effect? Are you allowed to connect your
own phone to their system like Pageplus, without them screwing around
with the firmware installed? If so, what happens if you Bluetooth or
USB tether your laptop to this "unlimited data service" phone you
connected to, in violation of their legal gibberish? Do they really
enforce it or only after you've used some vague, unpublished LIMIT, like
Verizon used to do on their "unlimited" ********, which wasn't unlimited
as it was 5GB/month? If anyone has first hand info on Straight Talk's
data capabilities, share the info with us, please and tell us how it
really works.

If it works through a "web portal" as the real information buried in the
TOS infers, it certainly isn't worth $45/month just to have a phone and
look at nannied web browser WAP-like stripped pages.

Straight Talk certainly ISN'T "Unlimited Data" by any stretch of the
imagination. FTC really out to put a stop to this ****.


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-22-2010, 07:18 AM
Dennis Ferguson
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Is Tracphone's Straight Talk on Verizon?

On 2010-01-22, Larry <noone@home.com> wrote:
> as it was 5GB/month? If anyone has first hand info on Straight Talk's
> data capabilities, share the info with us, please and tell us how it
> really works.


If you don't find anything else you might look here:

http://r810finesse.com/

You must use a Straight Talk phone with the service and they only
sell one EVDO phone, the one the guy above is reviewing, so whatever
that phone will do is all the service will do. The phone does
render full html since one of the videos shows the reviewer downloading
the (400+ k web page above. Won't actually play the youtube videos,
though (which all shocks me a little, actually, since my nearly-dumbphone
Nokia 6700c both renders the web page faster and plays the videos).

> Straight Talk certainly ISN'T "Unlimited Data" by any stretch of the
> imagination. FTC really out to put a stop to this ****.


If you want to be picky it isn't really "unlimited" voice, either,
since they reserve the right to cut you off if they think you use
too much of it (to be fair, the PagePlus terms do as well). I think,
though, it is better to judge them on what they actually do rather
than what their service terms say they could do.

Dennis Ferguson

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 01-22-2010, 02:57 PM
SMS
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Is Tracphone's Straight Talk on Verizon?

Dennis Ferguson wrote:

> If you want to be picky it isn't really "unlimited" voice, either,
> since they reserve the right to cut you off if they think you use
> too much of it (to be fair, the PagePlus terms do as well). I think,
> though, it is better to judge them on what they actually do rather
> than what their service terms say they could do.


What they really worry about is streaming. They don't want people
streaming audio or video for hours at a time. You'll start to see
similar restrictions on other carrier's "unlimited" since this sort of
thing is what's responsible for what's happened to AT&T's 3G network.

Ironically, there's companies out there whose business model (or at
least part of the model) depends on the ability of smart phone users to
use "unlimited" data to stream copious quantities of audio or video.
Companies like Pandora and Slingbox fall into that category. Why pay
$15/month for satellite radio if you already have 3G phone service since
Pandora is $3/month (well there are reasons, like satellite radio works
everywhere while 3G service is limited, especially outside urban areas,
especially on AT&T)?

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 01-22-2010, 04:59 PM
Todd Allcock
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Is Tracphone's Straight Talk on Verizon?


"SMS" <scharf.steven@geemail.com> wrote in message
news:4b59bcbd$0$1596$742ec2ed@news.sonic.net...
> Dennis Ferguson wrote:
>
>> If you want to be picky it isn't really "unlimited" voice, either,
>> since they reserve the right to cut you off if they think you use
>> too much of it (to be fair, the PagePlus terms do as well). I think,
>> though, it is better to judge them on what they actually do rather
>> than what their service terms say they could do.

>
> What they really worry about is streaming. They don't want people
> streaming audio or video for hours at a time. You'll start to see similar
> restrictions on other carrier's "unlimited" since this sort of thing is
> what's responsible for what's happened to AT&T's 3G network.



I don't think that's the issue. Intelligent network management can handle
those things by prioritizing use (e.g. voice calls take precedence, newer
data connection sessions preferred over old, etc.)

What they're worried about is cost. StraightTalk, like PagePlus, like all
MVNOs, buy voice and data at wholesale. They don't buy "unlimited" lines of
service from Verizon or AT&T any more than salad bar restaurants buy
"unlimited lettuce" from their vendors. Offering unlimited service is a
calculated risk, based on average use.

So, by offering unlimited data, it's in Straight Talk's best interest to
make that data awkward and limited in practice. By forcing customers to use
the specially-crippled Straight Talk phones with no streaming capability,
(and no email clients apparently), WAP/XHTML browsers, and no ability to add
other applications, users would have to work pretty hard to rack up any
significant data use- a buffet restaurant full of lousy food, where "all you
care to eat" is far less than all you could eat!


> Ironically, there's companies out there whose business model (or at least
> part of the model) depends on the ability of smart phone users to use
> "unlimited" data to stream copious quantities of audio or video. Companies
> like Pandora and Slingbox fall into that category. Why pay $15/month for
> satellite radio if you already have 3G phone service since Pandora is
> $3/month (well there are reasons, like satellite radio works everywhere
> while 3G service is limited, especially outside urban areas, especially on
> AT&T)?


Pandora works pretty well over EDGE on a mobile phone. The Pandora Mobile
clients stream a lower bitrate than the desktop version, so as long as you
stream it on a phone, (as opposed to a tethered laptop,) 3G shouldn't be
necessary.

Forgetting Pandora, there are plenty of low-bitrate streaming stations and
services out there. The Tuned.mobi gives a great list of streaming stations
usable on many smartphones and PDAs, along with their bitrates to aid
selection depending on what type of connection you're on.



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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 01-22-2010, 09:00 PM
Larry
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Is Tracphone's Straight Talk on Verizon?

Dennis Ferguson <dcferguson@pacbell.net> wrote in
news:slrnhlik9m.dr.dcferguson@akit-ferguson.com:

> http://r810finesse.com/
>
> You must use a Straight Talk phone with the service and they only
> sell one EVDO phone, the one the guy above is reviewing, so whatever
> that phone will do is all the service will do. The phone does
> render full html since one of the videos shows the reviewer downloading
> the (400+ k web page above. Won't actually play the youtube videos,
> though (which all shocks me a little, actually, since my nearly-dumbphone
> Nokia 6700c both renders the web page faster and plays the videos).
>


If that's on Verizon, it's the slowest I've ever seen Verizon run. It
looks more like ATT Edge, slower than mud.

"Unlimited" is in no danger of using 5GB a month on the crap Access browser
that tells the big websites to download about what WAP used to with a logo
graphic and no flash, pictures, graphics. That's fine on a tiny screen
phone toy like Finesse, I suppose, but this isn't internet. Internet is
playing videos, radios, TV, FLASH, YouTube, streaming, not just looking at
the simplest of near-WAP websites with a logo and some text. $45/month it
ain't.....

Even though Cricket is slowing up like molasses in cold weather with a
600Kbps cap, now, Cricket's aircard plugged into a netbook is a much better
deal, with or without Skype for the phone calls. It's still not worth
$40/month, $480/year, I determined, and dumped 'em. Their "unlimited"
didn't restrict internet access, however, if you were willing to wait while
YouTube loaded like a snail, balking and start/stopping as the DL was
slower than the Flash video was playing. I never figured that out, but it
looks like if you connect the aircard to YouTube, your speed drops to
100Kbps. It does in Charleston....and stays 100-150Kbps for some period
after a YouTube access.

What use Straight Talk data is, only connecting through their hobbled-up
phones, is pretty useless. No tethering to a real computer keeps data
usage to smartphone LIMITED.


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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 01-22-2010, 09:10 PM
Larry
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Is Tracphone's Straight Talk on Verizon?

SMS <scharf.steven@geemail.com> wrote in news:4b59bcbd$0$1596
$742ec2ed@news.sonic.net:

> Ironically, there's companies out there whose business model (or at
> least part of the model) depends on the ability of smart phone users to
> use "unlimited" data to stream copious quantities of audio or video.
> Companies like Pandora and Slingbox fall into that category. Why pay
> $15/month for satellite radio if you already have 3G phone service since
> Pandora is $3/month (well there are reasons, like satellite radio works
> everywhere while 3G service is limited, especially outside urban areas,
> especially on AT&T)?
>
>


There so much irony on sellphones, I had to build a 10:1 irony attenuator
for mine to save the needle from banging the stop.

Pandora is irony, too, as why should you pay $3/mo for Pandora when there
are 13,000 Shoutcast, Xiph, and all the other free radio and video servers
to listen to, without the commercialized ad crapware. The kids on
Shoutcast have first class radio operations for anyone who likes music,
nearly any genre. This works great as long as the public can keep them
open, politically, against the RIAA's continuous attack.

Unfortunately, for the cellular customers, these phones and their codecs
are specifically created to PREVENT connections to FLASH, OGG, FLAC,
Realmedia, WMA/WMV, many of the streamers use. Shoutcast stations will
play in MP3 ONLY IF the mp3 player in the phones supports streaming, which
most do NOT.

Everybody wants to SELL you bandwidth.....just as long as you can be
discouraged or prevented from actually USING bandwidth.....

FTC needs to get in there and do a little "net neutrality" asskicking. We
have a law that's simply not enforced on sellphone companies.....who ARE
ISPs....




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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 01-22-2010, 09:24 PM
Larry
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Is Tracphone's Straight Talk on Verizon?

"Todd Allcock" <elecconnec@AnoOspamL.com> wrote in news:YPk6n.2363$U83.501
@newsfe10.iad:

> Tuned.mobi


Thanks, Todd! What a great website....er, ah, once you fake the browser to
a PDA so it will list all the stations that are PDA only.

About 55% of them won't play on most phones because they are WMA streams,
but there's plenty of stations to play on all the phones....another irony
for those paying for Pandora monthly....why??

I'm tuned into WFAN NYC's 64Kbps aacplus stereo stream as I type this.

What a great resource. Thanks, again!

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  #8 (permalink)  
Old 01-23-2010, 06:56 AM
Todd Allcock
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Is Tracphone's Straight Talk on Verizon?

At 22 Jan 2010 21:24:08 +0000 Larry wrote:

> > Tuned.mobi

>
> Thanks, Todd! What a great website....er, ah, once you fake the
> browser to a PDA so it will list all the stations that are PDA only.



Those PDA-only links are generally for stations whose streams are browser-
embedded or flash-based and inaccessible from mobiles. The guys who run
Tuned.mobi do a nice job convincing stations to cough up the direct links
for mobile use, and in return they hide them from "real" browsers .


> About 55% of them won't play on most phones because they are WMA streams,



> but there's plenty of stations to play on all the phones....



Tuned.mobi has been around a long time- they started when PDAs came in
two flavors; Palm OS and Pocket PC (Windows Mobile) which explains the
high concentration of WMA streams. They have a page up with suggestions
of what software to use on those platforms to access more of the streams.

> another irony
> for those paying for Pandora monthly....why??



Not all of us pay for Pandora- they have a free version limited to 100
hours a month (IIRC- I've never used enough to get cut off.)


> I'm tuned into WFAN NYC's 64Kbps aacplus stereo stream as I type this.
>
> What a great resource. Thanks, again!



I'm sorry I never pointed it out sooner- I've had it bookmarked on every
WinMo PDA I've owned since 2002 or '03!

Sadly, the station I hit from it most often these days is Radio Disney!
I have two daughters that love that over-produced pop crap, and Denver's
RD affiliate is a low-power AM station!

I like to tune into the college stations I use to listen to and see what
"the kids" are listening to these days. When the "oldies" they play are
the hits of my college years, I realize I'm getting old!

In my 20s I used to joke that there were two fool-proof tests to
determine you were getting old: when you thought the radio a car came
with was "good enough," and when you didn't immediately change stations
when a Neal Diamond song came on the radio.

I remebered that today when I found myself humming along with "Brother
Love's Traveling Salvation Show" playing over the factory radio in my
minivan!



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  #9 (permalink)  
Old 01-23-2010, 08:11 AM
Larry
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Is Tracphone's Straight Talk on Verizon?

Todd Allcock <elecconnec@AnoOspamL.com> wrote in news:z4x6n.11$Fm7.0
@newsfe16.iad:

> Sadly, the station I hit from it most often these days is Radio Disney!
> I have two daughters that love that over-produced pop crap, and Denver's
> RD affiliate is a low-power AM station!
>
>


Best Buy recently had a sale on:
http://www.engadget.com/2009/07/17/i...able-hd-radio-
hands-on-and-impressions/
for $39.95, $10 off. I never owned a Ubiquity HD digital radio before, so
figured I'd try it. Powerful FM stations are not far away from me in
tablet-flat coastal SC, so the headphone cord used as an FM antenna works
ok. Noone should buy it if you're more than 10 miles from the 100KW
blowtorch you want to listen to. FM radios STILL need a good antenna to
work long distances, especially DIGITAL FM radios.

I get 17 stations on 10 FM frequencies, mostly Clear Channel owned. The
sound fed to a pair of Sennheiser MX350 earbuds, which are VERY LOUD, about
twice as loud, on any source is superb! It will also drive my Sennheiser
HD570 big headset in the computer shack. HD2 is worth the price, here.
Behind Rush Limburger hate radio is a fine Jazz station on HD2 I like.
There's no AM band in it so I can't get AM stereo at night from the 50KW
Class 1 stations transmitting it.

So tiny, with the Sennheiser ear buds fitting under my helmet, it's a great
radio for my motorcycle cruising around. USB recharges even from the
MotoROKR sellphone charger cords or any USB source....

Sorry the RD isn't on FM or this would be a great gift for the kids as it's
made really nice and is quite rugged. Are you sure RD isn't on someone's
HD2 on the FM band in Denver? Some combo stations are running the AM
programming on HD2 of their sister FM stations.




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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 12-20-2011, 06:18 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 0
Default

They actually use AT&T..... don't ask me how I know I just do!
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