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Getting ready to move to Bali in several weeks

My wife just landed a job as Sales Channel Manager with one of the IT company here in Bali so we (my wife and I and the two kids) are all moving to Sanur, Bali in the next couple weeks. My current job (awesome job with Guidance) allows me to telecommute to do whatever I need to do; so as long as there are phone and Internet connection, I can pretty much do my job anywhere I want (don’t you love technology). The caveat is the “as long as there is internet connection” statement is not as easy as you think compare to what we have in the United States. I just blogged on my technology blog, blog.icube.us, an hour ago about the challenge that I have to face to get prepare for this move. At the end of the day, these are all my digital devices and gadgets that I will carry with me(for now):

  • EVDO Rev A high speed USB modem with service provided by SMART telecom
  • My faithful Sony TZ and Mac Book Pro
  • Apple iPad and iPhone touch, complete with the VGA adapter kit and camera connector kit
  • Canon Rebel and Canon SX200 IS
  • Stowaway bluetooth keyboard and Logitech Anywhere MX wireless mouse
  • Skype for all international call need (this is lifesafer) + USB Logitech headset
  • Nokia 2700 classic with Indosat Mentari – for my backup international calling (4 cents per minutes calling to US)
  • MIFI Huawei E5830 with unlimited HSDPA service provided by Telkom Flash Unlimited (good enough for travel day-to-day, backup for internet connection)
  • Blackberry Bold 2 with service provided by Three – my third backup for international calling ($15 per month for 1000 minutes call)
  • HP all-in-one ethernet connected scanner / printer
  • Airport Express (thanks to Ticean)
  • M-audio Axiom 49 and The Snowball USB mic for my garage band
  • A bag full of cable, hub, ac adapters
  • Sony PSP and Nintendo DS 🙂

Quite a list huh? hahaha. I think I am all set for the move. I hope the EVDO connection stays stable. All I need now is 2 more things to purchase: WIFI router to share Internet connection from the EVDO usb modem and a huge 1.5 TB hard drive (I am out of hard drive space everywhere .. arr .. including my iPad 🙂 )

Filed under: Digital Life

Mobile plans – choices and a la carte are good for customers

The more I think about it, it is amazing to see how many varieties are offered here in Indonesia for the mobile plan choices. From CDMA to GSM, post-paid and pre-paid, 3G or non 3G, you name it, they have it all. And it is very common here in this country that customers to have more than one mobile devices and more that one services. For each choices and carriers, it has each own strength and weaknesses as far as the service offering goes. Secondly, it allows the customers to take advantage on so many different offers and promotions that each choices has.

In the last couple weeks, due to my plan of relocation from Surabaya to Bali, I was on the hunt for the most cost effective and reliable way to make a lot of phone calls back to the United States. With the choices, I explore from trying to take advantage of the high speed but metered 3G network for using Skype or simply choosing the right long distance plan for the calls. I choose to keep my mobile selection pre-paid. That way there will be no contract and I can switch to any carriers and plans at any time. One carrier offers up to 1000 minutes call to US for merely $15 per month. Another carrier gives me better phone clarity at 3 cents per minute rate (or approximately $3 per hour. I decide to take both options to compliment my day-to-day Skype call via my home DSL line.

We don’t see this kind of varieties and choices in the US. The pre-paid plans offered in the US are so expensive that it doesn’t compete at all to the ones that force you to the long term 2 years contract. This makes the mobile business less competitive in my opinion. The market is no longer has the liberty to choose the best plan and switch to a better plan easily as it becomes available.

Another good example, with the Blackberry services, here in Indonesia, the carriers are very creative. They pretty much have options for just about every variation of BB service that you can think of. you need just BBM and no email, you can have that. You want BBM and Facebook only (Facebook is very popular here), you got it. You pay only a fraction of the normal price for this sub-set selection. This way, the carriers Blackberry plan is able to penetrate to almost any type of users and makes the Blackberry devices to be the number one devices of must-have for everybody.

The same with the data plan. They give you options such as, you want high speed with capped monthly bandwidth or you want unlimited bandwidth but the speed will be reduce after a certain amount of bandwidth usage. You can have daily plan, monthly plan, pay-per-use plan. This is all I think good for us, the customers.

All of these are good for the mobile retail businesses too. This keep the businesses more flu I’d and not static or stagnant. The structure encourages people to keep hunting for bargains, better plans, better services, better offers. Not like in the US, where the carrier store controls the market.

Too bad all these choices here is not backed up with a quality service. That is just due to lack of quality technology infrastructure to begin with.

Well I hope the rest of the worlds adopt more and more choices like this and not the behemoth monopoly service like those we found in the US. With these choices, they make the global communication for travelers and world-mobile-user like me be able to work anywhere I want. That’s what we call a TRUE mobile.

Filed under: Digital Life

why aren’t these scam artist punished?

As I browsing the Internet today and reading articles about iPad, one of the prominent ads is from MyPadMedia. The ad claims that the site will allow you to download unlimited eBook to your iPad in one good price.  Of course, it is too good to be true and if you click and follow to the site, you will see they even put a lot false advertising within their site (i.e. false testimonial, false service description, etc)

I am curious and Google the word “MyPadMedia” to see if anybody writes about the scam – here’s the URL – http://www.geardiary.com/2010/06/02/mypadmedia-the-truth-the-whole-truth-and-nothing-but-the-truth/

Of course the company (MyPadMedia) basically try to hide their scam practice from legal using the “hidden message” within the term of service page that most people won’t read.   But it is clearly said in their term of service (here I quote) : “myPadMedia.com does not provide a direct database for downloading. myPadMedia.com provides members with the necessary software, tutorials & unlimited technical support for their downloading needs.”

I saw this kind of practices several time on different websites (from download music, download video, etc).  The same scam, the same method. The site will try to get people to pay one-time membership (typically around $50) and they basically only deliver to you a free knowledge that you can obtain by any search engine.  I don’t mind that they sell the “knowledge” at that price (it’s free country, you can sell anything at any price you want).  So the service itself is not a scam. However, I think somebody needs to stop their malpractices by doing “false advertising” on their site that leads customer to believe something that they don’t really offer.

Well I hope somebody will find this article when searching the word “myPadMedia” and hope this article can save people from spending a useless “$50”.   Well lesson learn always, when thing is “too good to be true”, it is truely “too good to be true”.

Filed under: Digital Life

This blog vs. Twitter

One of the problem with Twitter is sometime I do need way more than 200+ words to dump what I have in mind. This micro blog layout is perfect!

Filed under: Digital Life, Technology and Social Media

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