Vending Machine-less Lounge:: Panther: AirPort Extreme Loss of Reception
I decided to let the Apple Geniuses take a look at my Powerbook to solve this AirPort card issue. Since I was going on a two week business trip, I backed up all my data to a backup Powerbook G4. I know not many of you have this luxury, but I definitely didn't want to lose any of my precious data… and I needed a computer to work on.
I took my PB to my local Apple Store. The Apple Genius helping me figured it was a hardware problem somewhere on the main assembly, so we had it sent to Apple's repair center in Houston. Within 5 working days, the PB was returned (even AirBorned to my work address for FREE) to me repaired. The repair sheet sited:
603-2188 Q16 INVRTR WIRE HARNESS ASSY
Voila! AirPort Extreme has full reception! Also the Apple Genius recommended that I prepare a external FireWire drive to boot off from for future diagnostic/backup purposes.
Vending Machine-less Lounge:: Number Portability Fee
As many of you have already noticed on your phone bills, local phone companies have been adding a “Number Portability Fee” or “Universal Service Fee”. Phone companies say that the funds from these fees will help pay for services used to keep your phone numbers even if you change carriers.
As reported earlier on CeliaMania News, the FCC has now approved the rules for consumers to switch carriers from home phones to cell phones and keep their numbers. CNN's Money magazine reports that this rule will take effect from Nov. 24, only two weeks from today.
But the truth about the “fees” charged to you is that local phone companies will use the funds to cover for their losses. They are worried that the popular move towards mobile services will be exasterbated by this new FCC ruling. I personally think this method of charging customers is wrong.
1) Local phone companies charge this fee even if the line is data-only. I'll never switch my T1 line to a mobile phone.
2) Local phone companies charge this fee for a number portability service you may never use. I already have a cell phone with a number I like.
If local phone companies are afraid of competition, they should build a small network of cell arrays – and rent it out to the mobile carriers. America is big, there's enough space for all these phone companies to survive.