bye-bye land line telephone

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On Sat, 14 May 2016 08:57:03 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

I have been through several hurricanes here in Florida. Internet is the first thing to go. Power failures will take that out, even if it is not bad where you are. Anything up on a pole is going to go early too so power is at risk. Cell phones are going to be spotty and cable TV is worse. Phone infrastructure is buried in my area and I have never lost my POTS phone and my DBS satellite comes back as soon as the sky clears. Broadcast TV was still there in the storm.
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On 5/14/2016 12:18 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Thanks for the real world report. I've kept my POTS line for the power cuts that happen now and again. I suspect the cell phone would go down after a while, as the backup batteries discharge. Well, same for POTS, but some time later. During the 2003 ice storm, I was without power four days. Cell and POTS kept working.
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On 5/14/2016 9:18 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

+1
I've *never* (in my lifetime) had a "phone outage" (have lost power, water, and natural gas, but never phone).
Had a problem with a line once that I traced to a length of quad that had fallen onto the top of the furnace (and, eventually, degraded the insulation enough to cause a partial short).
Here (below grade services), had a problem that interfered with DSL (but not voice) that was probably a result of moisture infiltration in the cable (the linesman just moved us over to a "better" pair).
Watched a city worker once drive the post for a street sign THROUGH the cable feed for the neighborhood (with a pneumatic hammer). I suppose he could just as easily have caught the phone, instead -- but I think it is buried deeper (CATV is really "cheap", IME, when it comes to installation)
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On Sat, 14 May 2016 14:00:32 -0700, Don Y

Century link is trying to delay a full FiOS installation here so they went through and tuned up all the copper. I get a solid 10mb on my DSL and that seems to be fast enough for anything I am doing. I think they have a way of doubling up on the pairs and getting me 20meg but I am not willing to spend more. My "central office" actually a fiber hub, is right up the road.
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On 5/14/2016 5:52 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

We dumped CenturyLink when they wanted to up our rate to $60/month. "No thanks. It's not *worth* $60/month to us!"
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On Sat, 14 May 2016 18:30:34 -0700, Don Y

My total bill is over $200 but most of it is the bundled satellite. With the bundle they say the "phone" is only $11 plus about the same in taxes. The DSL is about $40.
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On 5/14/2016 7:01 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

They wanted $60 for the DSL (actually, 58, I think) -- before taxes and fees.
Our current "communications" bill is just about $60 -- one cell phone, land line and internet (no CATV/dish)
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On Sat, 14 May 2016 20:22:02 -0700, Don Y

The dish is the real killer on my bill but my wife wants it. I have been looking at just buying HBO, Show etc as a stream but by the time I get them all, I may be back where I started. They all seem to have one show she just needs to see. I could live with broadcast, Netflix and maybe Hulu or something.
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On 5/14/2016 8:29 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

A friend is a Netflix junkie -- many movies each week.
We tend not to have time for movies. Daylight hours we try to be outside "doing things" (chores, hiking, etc.). Nighttime hours I spend working; SWMBO paints (hobby).
The TV sees most of its use as "companionship"; we bring home ~10 movies each week from the local library and let them play while we're "doing other things" -- tuning in just "in passing".
E.g., tonight I'll watch most of _John from Cincinnati_. Having already seen the entire series, it is more important for me to *hear* the dialogue -- to uncover things that slipped by me previously.
Last week, I "watched" the first season of Pinky & The Brain. No need to *see* the shtick, again -- the humor lies in the dialogue! (*Narf*)
Tomorrow, I'll re"watch" _The Matrix_ for similar hints.
After that, start on _SOAP_.
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On Sat, 14 May 2016 20:54:26 -0700, Don Y

I listen to TV more than watch it, hence my RF headset. I prefer PBS stuff because there are no commercials. If I want to hear a history channel show, I go to Netflix for them. This thing has enough range so I can be working anywhere in the yard and in my shop in the garage. I do have a transmitter on the roof of the screen cage tho, with a very good ground plane. I use that out in the yard and when I am walking the dog.
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On 5/14/2016 9:41 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I don't wear a headset unless I'm in the office (would disturb SWMBO's sleep if I didn't). So, when in the living room or den, I am free to use the TV "as is".
As I enjoy REwatching things, I know which scenes I will want to "drop everything" and sit in front of the tube to watch. E.g., very little of The Matrix needs to be seen -- once you've already seen it. There's no particular visual that is "exciting". Likewise, in P&tB, you can easily imagine what is on the screen as each line is being spoken ("Pinky, are you pondering what I'm pondering?")
OTOH, there are many scenes in SOAP that I'll *rush* to the TV in order to catch -- because facial expressions and other antics are an inherent part of the humor.
E.g., when Burt tries to demonstrate his invisibility to Mary while bathing with her. Or, when he later *actually* disappears while she is watching him (in the diner, after he has been abducted by the aliens, escaped and is now being recaptured). Or, Peter's introduction to the Campbells & Tates...
And, as it's all recorded video, there's nothing to prevent me from pausing a show and returning to it later -- or the next day.

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On 05/14/2016 11:41 PM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:
[snip]

I'm like that too. Most of my TV "watching" is while doing other things.

There are "pledge breaks" that really are long, boring commercials.

I guess you got a good one. I have a RF headset that claims 300 foot range, but is excessively noisy above 25-30 feet.
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On 5/15/2016 11:02 AM, Mark Lloyd wrote:

I have to find a "respectable" BT stereo headset with microphone (and "acoustically transparent" earpieces). But, BT only targets that ~30 ft range!
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wrote:

This one works pretty good. I have 2 transmitters, one in the house and one on the roof of my screen cage. Between them I get pretty close to that 300'
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I pay about $70 a month for Comcast cable (internet only).
VOIP phone service from another provider is about $20 a month.
I think Netflix costs me about $25 a month now (DVD and Streaming plans).
Tracfone cell phones cost us under $10 a month per phone (three phones).
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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On 05/15/2016 11:43 AM, HerHusband wrote:
[snip]

My first cell phone was a Tracfone. Unfortunately, It used AT&T wireless which works here only if I go out in the back yard and stand on one foot while holding it over the oleander plant, and then it works occasionally. Verizon and Sprint do work fine here. I never had a T-mobile phone, so don't know about it.
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On Sun, 15 May 2016 16:43:53 -0000 (UTC), HerHusband

So you are paying $90 for a house phone and internet. I think mine actually comes out less than that but it is hard to tell when they bundle stuff. If you believe the top line I pay $11 for phone and $35 for DSL but I am not sure how many of those taxes and fees go where. Just deducting satellite gets me down to about $70 so that number is probably close.
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Comcast cable internet is crazy expensive, but I don't have any other options for broadband internet.

All I get from Comcast now is internet service. They do have a VOIP phone service I could bundle with it, but it still costs more than I can get through other providers.
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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On 5/15/2016 9:43 AM, HerHusband wrote:

So, you could put an extra kilobuck or more in the bank each year if you started reading books! :>
I'd be scared to see what that comes out to over a lifetime! :< (retire at 45?)
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Ahh... 45. I remember 45... Sort of. Well, not really at all. :)
If I had saved all the money I've wasted repetitively on little things (soft drinks, bottles of wine, dinners out, travel, etc.) I would be a wealthy man.
Still, it's better to enjoy life as it comes. I plan for retirement, but could easily die tomorrow. Make the most of every day... I'll never be 45 again.
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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