Went to the NYC Motor Show yesterday. Some very nice cars. I was impressed at how good the US cars looked this year. I think that they have convinced me to at least consider an American car the next time I buy one.
Anyway, the article seems to be the typical attention grabbing headline regarding the iPhone. I assume that CNN gets ALOT of traffic (and add dollars) when they have iPhone articles. I know I do – when I post something about the iPhone on this blog, the number of hits rises DRAMATICALLY!! I will update this post if the hits actually do rise in a significant fashion.
So, the article is saying that most people like the AT&T service, even though the media makes it sound like AT&T is just terrible. Whether AT&T is terrible or not, is not what I am writing this post about, but rather the photo at the top of the article. The happy iPhone user in this image is not using AT&T. He is using Softbank. It is very clear from the credits and from the image itself that the user is not using AT&T and is located in Japan. Softbank is the sole service provider of the iPhone in Japan — just like AT&T is in the USA. As I have traveled to Japan many times, and I have rented a Softbank sim card for my iphone 3G, I can attest that Softbank does indeed offer better service in Japan than I am used to in New York City.
I find it odd that CNN couldn’t find an image of an American user with the AT&T logo to use in such an article. What’t up with that? It really doesn’t support the gist of the article at all – for reference, I am linking to the image here:
In the course of the last 2 weeks, I have been testing out the AT&T 3g microcell to see if it would improve my cellular service in Brooklyn, NY. After 2 weeks, I have to say that I am generally pleased withe the device. Here are some of the pluses:
1. It generally “just works”
2. Aki and my iphones switch to the microcell almost immediately when we come home (as they should)
3. The voice service is VASTLY improved, and I have not dropped a call since I had the microcell.
Now for the negatives:
1. On day one, the microcell connected at first and worked great. It immediately proceeded to lose its GPS signal (which is required for the device to work) and took hours to reconnect again. This has not happened since day one, but I am always wondering why it happened at all….
2. AT&T is seriously saying that the data usage over the microcell counts against your phone’s data plan. This is insane, evil and is the definition of double dipping (especially if AT&T is your ISP).
3. Because of the problems on day one, I tried out a new router. That was a complete fiasco, and the router was returned IMMEDIATELY. The thing is, I the microcell is kind of picky about routers and firmwares. This could lead to future problems and compatibility issues. I am, for example, unable to get the microcell to work with any router I have except my Linksys WRT54-GL. This router has been a workhorse, but it is lacking many of the advanced features of modern routers, and I don’t like having to run an N access point in my house as well as the G just to have coverage. I can not pinpoint the problem here, but it has to do with the devices talking to each other.
In summary and closing, I have to say that I am happy with the microcell, and would recommend it to others who have problems with connectivity on their AT&T phones. However, here is an interesting anecdote to think about before you decide to drop the $150 on the microcell. My friend Serge got the new 4th generation iPhone the other day and came over to my house for a few beers over the weekend. We looked at his phone and he had 5 bars in my house!! He was not connected to the microcell, but rather to the AT&T local tower. He had no problems making calls either. I am happy that the new phone works better, and would think about updating, however, this is really shifting my blame from 100% on AT&t’s shoulders over to Apple’s. If the new phone works, and the old one doesn’t is it really AT&T who is at fault?
One of my absolute favorite things to do on the weekend is walk through Chinatown and look for tasty things to eat. There are alot of dumpling places that I like, but as for a bakery, the absolute best, in my opinion, is Double Crispy.
They have a fine selection of baked goods, including the typical Chinese hot-dog buns and corn and mayo buns, but they also have really fine fish and chicken cutlet sandwiches. The fish and chicken are not on the same sandwich….
Double Crispy Bakery also has a nice selection of steamed buns. My favorite is the BBQ Pork Steamed bun, but vegetable is a close second.
The store is quite clean and there is ample seating. The prices are unbeatable for the quality of the buns.
One of my favorite places to eat in New York is East Village. The food is good and its cheap. I am also a big fan of ramen noodles — not instant ones (I like those too) but rather the good ones you get at Japanese restaurants. A good place to try Ramen — Japanese Style — is at Rai Rai Ken. It is a little place with only a bar to eat at, but that is all it needs. They have a menu with a variety of different asian foods, but I would recommend sticking with the specialties of the house — Ramen Noodles, Gyoza, and Beer.
I am particularly fond of the miso ramen. The soup is tasty and the toasted garlic its topped with really adds something to the flavor and texture of the soup. The noodles are prepared semi-al dente, close to how ramen should be. The gyoza are some of the best around. Rai Rai Ken uses gyoza with thin skins and pan fries them so they are nice and crispy on the outside. Beers offered are the typical Japanese selection minus the fantastic Yebisu (what is up with the prices of Yebisu by the way?!?!)
Anyway, I took some pictures with my cell phone and they are below. The resolution isnt the best, but you can get an idea of the type of place it is. Rai Rai Ken is definitely worth checking out.
One of my absolute favorite things to eat in China Town is the Vietnamese sandwich from A Chau Deli on Mulberry Street. It is really just a tiny little stand with very very little room to eat. I think two skinny people might be able to sit down and eat, but it would be hard for anyone else to order while they were eating.
This, however, does not matter, because A Chau Deli is all about the food — and the price. For $3.50 you get a choice of 4 or 5 different types of sandwiches, Vietnamese style on a French Baguette. My favorite is the meatball with jalapeños.
The toppings are really what make the sandwich stand out.The pickled carrots and daikon are just fantastic and go perfectly with the meatballs and the spiciness of the jalapeño.
I am ready to eat one of these bad boys right now, too bad they are only open till 7PM.Oh well, lunch time tomorrow will have to do…
This weekend Aki and I decided to goto see “The Dark Night”. Before the movie, we wanted to grab a bite to eat. After a bit of discussion, we setteled on trying the burger at a local joint called Purity Diner on 7th Ave in Park Slope. We have been to Purity a number of times for weekend brunch, but never for lunch or dinner. I am quite fond of their eggs benedict, so I wanted to try something else on the traditional diner menu.
I ordered a delux burger which came with lettuce, tomatoes, fries and a dill pickle. I also asked for a side of raw onion which I was gladly provided. Aki decided on the mushroom – sauteed onion burger delux. It was basically the same but had sauteed mushrooms and onions. We recived our food very quickly and it did not disappoint.
We also ordered a couple of beers with our burgers which came out quickly and icy cold. This was good to know as Purity is open 24 hours a day and cold beer late ate night isn’t always that easy to find in Park Slope.
After eating, we headed off to see the movie. Much to our dismay, the line at the theatre was around a block long, so we decided to work off our Burgers with a little walk around Prospect Park and some window shopping down 7th Avenue on the way home.