3 Comments

Summary:

On this week’s audio podcast: Hands on with the Acer W510, a Atom-based Windows 8 tablet, plus thoughts on the legality of cell phone unlocking. Plus, Nokia has a new music subscription service that sounds great.

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MoTR 288 is 57 minutes long and is a 34.5 MB file in MP3 format.

CLICK HERE to download the file and listen directly.


HOSTS: Matthew Miller (Seattle) and Kevin C. Tofel (Philadelphia)

TOPICS:

  • First thoughts of the Acer W510 Windows 8 tablet / dock. Build quality, specs, performance, usage.
  • Unlocking your phone is now illegal, although a carrier can still do it for you. Good, bad or just silly?
  • Galaxy Note 8.0: looks legit and interesting; particularly because of the speaker at the top. A small tablet with voice, perhaps.
  • Nokia Drive+ comes to other Windows Phones. Does this help Microsoft or Nokia?
  • Nokia announces Nokia Music+ subscription service for Lumia owners
  • Vine for iOS, Twitter video service
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  1. I have worked at small cell phone shops in several different cities. the whole online tech bloging community is pretty out of touch with unlocked phones.it is very unusual for a customer of a major carrier to get a phone unlocked. unlocking is mostly about people buying inexpensive(but new high end) used phones form ebay, craigslist, pawn shops, other second hand shops, etc. mostly these people would have no access to at&t or t-,mobile to get an official unlock. the phones are probably 70 % exported(sent back home by immigrant Americans) the other 30% are used on cheap prepaid carriers like simple mobile, ultra, net10, etc.t-mobile phone are in very short supply on the second hand market but the best rate plans use T-Mobile’s network so most people get used at&t phones and unlock, also sprint and Verizon world phones can often hacked to work on us gsm bands. but again these people have official access to the original carrier and there only choice is a third party unlock.

    I also have wondered how the unlock sites operate, as I have considered starting my own. I have even reached out to some site operators for insight. they work in many way but three main ones.

    1. reverse engineering algorithms. this is mostly for phones several years old

    2. bulk purchases from carriers. I have been told that with the right contact at at&t or some overseas carriers a $50,000 – $100,00 pre payment can buy you official access to a certain number of unlock codes. I assume sites using this method will continue to be legal since the carrier is giving permission by selling the codes. I have been told at&t will deny such a service exists unless you come with the right references.

    3. this is perhaps the most common method. codes are sold by middle men to the services, I believe in many(most) cases these codes come from rough employee’s of the carriers and/or phone manufactures who take a chance looking up codes while they are at work for a profit.

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  2. one other way some unlock services may work is by social engineering at&t customer support possibly using false identities stolen out of customer databases of ‘preferred’ long term customers whom at&t willy happily unlock any phone.

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  3. I wonder if the DMCA considers CDMA flashing to be unlocking?

    that would make most cricket and metroPCS stores criminal enterprises

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