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Boost Mobile’s Unlimited Prepaid another good option for travelers

Boost Mobile‘s Unlimited by Boost service is another good option when traveling in the US so long as you plan to stay in one place for the majority of the trip. The cheapest phone available is about US$30. A GPS-enabled phone starts at US$50. Both come with $10 in calling credits. Add US$55 per month for Unlimited by Boost and you’ve got unlimited calling within a defined geographic area (a small per minute roaming charge applies for calls made outside the home calling area). On the next trip, bring back the phone and pay only US$15 to reactivate it. So unlimited calling for up to a month can be had for US$70-85. This includes US national long distance but not long distance to any foreign location (such as Canada). If you’re a Canadian roaming in the US, that translated into less than one hour of roaming fees payable to a Canadian home wireless carrier.

AT&T / Cingular’s GoPhone is a good option for travelers

Rather than paying high roaming fees, visitors to the US may benefit from purchasing a local prepaid phone. One option is Cingular/AT&T’s GoPhone. A US$100 prepaid card provides service for an entire year. Add another card before the year is up and the balance rolls over. From that perspective, the pricing is similar to that offered by TMobile in the US.
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Sponsored Advertising Invades IM

Although I prefer using multi-platform instant messaging clients such as Trillian, word has it that Microsoft will be included targeted sponsored ads in its new instant messaging client. Intial reports are that Microsoft plans to use demographic information about users who have signed up for MSN products such as Hotmail to target the ads more effectively. Such democraphic information can allow ads to be filtered based on characteristics such as gender, age and other general information about a user.

Hopefully Microsoft will stay away from targeting ads based on the instant messages being exchanged (text, or even voice for that matter!). I can just imagine: boy asks out girl, girl says no, out pops up an ad for an online dating site. Now that’s targeted advertising. I’ll be sticking with Trillian for now.

Importance of Reading License Agreements

Players of Blizzard Entertainment’s multi-player online videogame World of Warcraft may be getting more than they bargained for. Spyware. A hidden program called “Warden” scans gamers’ computers. The purpose of the warden is to verify compliance with the EULA and TOS., and to prevent cheating. However, many users may find it very objectionable to have a third program spying on their other processes. Blizzard Entertainment does give notice of what it is doing but how many people really read online agreements top to bottom. Also, the scope of what Blizzard Entertainment reserves the right to do is very broad.
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