August 2008


The Case of the Vanishing Starbucks Hotspots – SOLVED

Well, I finally learned why I could not see a T-Mobile SSID and connect to T-Mobile hotspots in local Starbucks locations. See my MobileAppsToday blog for the details. The short answer: Although T-Mobile hotspot tech support says their SSIDs are visible, they are, in fact, invisible. So, I had to manually create WiFi profiles for it on each of my devices. The tmobile SSID was visible as of last month (July).

Mobile Devices

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Testing ShoZu with an iPod touch


Hope this works

Posted by ShoZu


Everything above the line above this sentence was created and sent from the ShoZu photo and video web service that claims to add value by being able to post media from mobile devices to numerous other media web services and blogs. It half-worked posting a photo from my iPod touch to this blog. But, the image doesn’t display at all here. It worked ok with Flickr, however. Check my MobileAppsToday.com blog for more details on the showdown with ShoZu.

Apple
iPod
Mobile Devices
Mobile Phones
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Windows Mobile

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The Case of the Vanishing Starbucks Hotspots

I from home now. And, I’m too cheap (poor) to buy EVDO or HSDPA service for my notebooks since I can get WiFi service at most of the places I go to when running around. Or, so I thought… One of the places I depend on for broadband connectivity is Starbucks. It is air conditioned in the summer, dry (enclosed) in the winter, and I’m hooked on the blended lemonade and Vivanno there. However, I’ve been noticing more and more problems getting WiFi connectivity at Starbucks over the past few weeks. And, this week, the three Starbucks near my home all completely lost their WiFi as far as I can tell. I don’t see any SSID for either AT&T Wireless or T-Mobile. I spoke to employees at all three locations. Employees at two locations had not heard of any problems although they were aware of the changeover of equipment and management from T-Mobile to AT&T Wireless. The person at the third Starbucks had heard complaints from other customers about not getting WiFi there. I called T-Mobile Hotspot customer support after checking two Starbucks locations this afternoon. I carried two devices, an Acer Aspire One netbook and a T-Mobile Dash Windows Mobile smartphone, to test at both locations. Both devices saw SSIDs for various WiFi Access Points (WAPs). But, neither saw a T-Mobile or AT&T Wireless SSID. The T-Mobile HotSpot phone tech support person told me that the network status indicator he was looking at said all three hotspots were up. He suggested that I call the support number from the Starbucks location with the problem the next time I run into it. The T-Mobile US HotSpot support number is: 877.822.7768.

James Kendrick, of JkOnTheRun.com, note similar issues earlier this month in his blog item: Is Starbucks WiFi having problems? So, I know (a) I’m not the only one seeing this problem and (b) the problem is not localized to where I live.

Mobile Devices

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New Job; New Direction for this Blog


Post to my blog here have been light lately because I have a new job that is really a lot of fun 🙂

I’m the new (and first) Editor for JupiterMedia/MediaBistro’s…

MobileAppsToday.com

site that focuses on, you guessed it, applications for mobile devices. This blog is NOT going away though. I’m just going to change its focus and direction a bit. I’m going to talk a lot (all day long) about mobile apps at MobileAppsToday. So, head over there for that type of information. This blog will be where I talk about how I personally use my mobile gadgets to do my work. I don’t have a 9-to-5 schedule or physical office anymore. So, I’m working whenever I have a data connection. I just bought and received the new Acer Aspire One netbook. So, I’ll be talking about that here.

Stay tuned to both this blog and my new full-time job blog at MobileAppsToday.com! From now on, I’m talking mobile all-day all-week long.

Announcements

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ESPN for iPhone

Visiting mobile.espn.com on an iPhone redirects you to an iPhone specific site. The mobile web design world is definitely iPhone-centric these days.

Apple
iPod

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Back to Basics: Never Use Windows Mobile Messaging Automatic Email Settings

Google’s IMAP4 email service was so slow that it drained my Dash’s batteries 4% everytime it checked for mail. So, I removed it from the Dash’s Messaging (email) app last year. I decided it was time to check again. But, instead of the Dash, I decided to try using a TyTn (Windows Mobile 6 with a recent update from HTC) touch screen smartphone. Just for fun, I decided to say yes when asked by Messaging’s account setup if I wanted to have Windows Mobile to check if it knew how to configure the account automatically. I have never seen this thing actually find settings. So, I figured it would fail as usual and then move on to the manual configuration windows. I was shocked when Messaging reported it had found settings and had applied them to the account.

However, when I had Messaging try to get mail from Gmail, I knew right away that another miserable Windows Mobile failure was in progress. It was grabbing hundreds of email messages (or so it said) but not displaying anything. After spending many minutes going through this process (I had to grab a power supply so the TyTn wouldn’t power down or drain its batteries), absolutely nothing was in the inbox list despite the fact that I had mail as recently as a few minutes previous to starting the Messaging process. Why did this happen? Because Windows Mobile Messaging is clueless about Gmail’s IMAP4 service and configured it for POP3. Moreover, Windows Mobile Messaging’s POP3 interface is broken. It has been broken from the first day it rolled out of a Visual Studio on someone’s desk and remains broken today.

The moral to this story is NEVER NEVER NEVER bother to use Windows Mobile Messaging’s feature to auto configure and email account. It has never actually found anything for me until today. And, now that is has finally found something, it turns out it didn’t actually know how to configure the so-called “known” mail service correctly.

Back to Basics
Mobile Devices
Pocket PC/Phone Edition
Smartphone
Windows Mobile

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