US Federal Government Budget and the Idiots in Charge

I came across the below on Twitter this morning and thought it was fantastic.  This really puts in to perspective how ridiculous our elected members of Congress who are supposed to represent the people have become.

Before you view what I found I wanted to discuss 2 things that have been in the news the past 2 weeks but may not have made the main stream news. We have seen 2 examples of companies supporting or implementing policy that their customers did not agree with.  Both company received massive negative consumer backlash and reversed their decisions.  You can read about GoDaddy and SOPA here and the Verizon $2 to pay your bill convenience fee here.   In November 2010 the Democratic party received a huge defeat and the Republican party took over the House.  In the year since then I don’t think anything significant has been completed with each side blaming the other while lining all of their pockets with a great salary, retirement, health care benefits and lobbyist dollars.  The above 2 examples people voted by taking their business and dollars someplace else or spreading the word and letting the company know you don’t agree.  Within 2 weeks both company’s reverted their stance to meet the needs of the customers they support.  We have the same power with our Representatives in our local, state and federal level.  We can vote with our phone calls, letters, faxes and e-mails to your representatives offices and vote them in or out in November 2012.

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iPhone 4s Plan Comparison between AT&T, Sprint and Verizon

iPhone 4sWith the Apple iPhone 4s announcement Sprint was added as the 3rd carrier in the US for the iPhone.  If you have read my previous post you know I have had major issues with AT&T and their service in the Atlanta area.  I am still under a contract until the end of the year but I decided to check out the current plans from AT&T, Sprint and Verizon to see how they compare for the iPhone 4s with 2 of the devices on a family plan or shared plan.

At first glance it would appear that AT&T and Verizon are the best deal as they have the lowest starting point on price. (these are for family/shared plans with 2 iphone devices).  I will run down each provider on what they provide for the price.

AT&T$69.99 base price for 700 Minutes and $30 to add unlimited text messaging and any to any mobile minutes.  They now have a limit on data so I selected the 2 GB data package as we average a little under 1 GB per month currently as we use wifi a lot.  For the 2 GB package it is another $25 for the first phone and $25 more for the 2nd phone.  AT&T doesn’t charge a $9.99 fee for the 2nd phone now on the family plan and with the 9% tax it comes to $163.49 per month.

$80.00 base price and 700 Minutes and $9.99 to add unlimited text messaging but no any to any mobile minutes.  They also have a limit on data so I selected the 2 GB data package as we average a little under 1 GB per month currently as we use wifi a lot.  For the 2 GB package it is another $30 for the first phone and $30 more for the 2nd phone.  Verizon also charges a $9.99 fee for the 2nd phone now on the family plan and with the 9% tax it comes to $174.38 per month the highest of the 3 carriers.

$129.99 base price for 1500 Minutes but no charge to add unlimited text messaging and any to any mobile minutes.  They do not have a data limit and I would probably not have to worry about switching to wifi so often if I wasn’t worried about going over a limit.  For the unlimited data on a smart phone the charge is $10 for the first device and $10 for the second.  Sprint doesn’t charge an additional fee for the 2nd phone and with the 9% tax it comes to $163.49 per month tieing AT&T on pricing.

iPhone 4s Plan ComparisonsI used 9% to represent all of the additional taxes and government fees as that is approximately what I pay each month now.  If anyone has an actual formula to use to generate these fees please let me know.

Corporate and Student discounts
Where this now gets more interesting is the corporate and student discounts.  What I have found is that AT&T and Verizon typically offer 10%-15% off the monthly price which isn’t bad.  Sprint I have found discounts from 15%-26% depending on your employer or school.

AT&T has the Business Direct website that you can check to see if your company or school is eligible and what the discount is.

Verizon has a Verizon Wireless Discount Program website to check your comapny or school.

I have not found a Sprint site but I would recommend calling customer service or your company’s HR/Benefits department or your School on wireless discounts.

Adding a 25% discount to the sprint plan can be a big cost savings as well as additional minutes and data.  Coverage is the next area of concern but that is a person by person decision on where you use your device to know what is the best for you.  I think I may be giving Sprint a try as the service can’t get worse for me and I will get a lot more for the money.



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Did Richt drive the play calling vs South Carolina?

The game vs South Carolina offensive play calling was completely different than any game I remember Bobo calling. I had thoughts of the play calling of Mark Richt and started to wonder if he was calling the plays or had a come to Jesus meeting with Mike Bobo. Did Richt finally have enough? Did the draw vs Boise St on 3rd and 18 break the final straw and finally have Richt see the light? Whatever has happened I thought Saturday was a very positive sign against South Carolina for the offense.

For the defense Lattimore is one of the best if not beat running back in college. He had some good outside runs but up the middle I would say we played pretty well. The pitches to the outside are troubling but if the coaches can improve after South Carolina like they did after Boise St I feel good on the potential that the season could become.

We should win the next 2 against Coastal Carolina and Ole Miss. That will get us even going to Miss St back at home. I think we win by 14 points in that game. We then have a stretch of 3 away games (Jacksonville neutral site game but it’s in Florida). We should beat Vandy but with UGA games these days you have to not overlook anyone and Vandy is 2-0 for the first time since the 70s! I think we will win 7 or 8 games this year. The games I am marking as Loses that could change that are UT, UF, GT and Auburn.


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Is AT&T Purposely Degrading Wireless Service to Win Approval of a Merger?!?

AT&TI live in Atlanta, Georgia and have been an AT&T wireless customer at various times over the past 15 years back to the days when it was Bellsouth Mobility through AT&T Wireless and then Cingular and now AT&T again.  Over the past 3 months I have noticed a significant decrease in the quality of service in the Atlanta area on multiple devices all over the city and suburbs.  I used to be able to make and receive calls without issue and would rarely have a dropped call but now I can’t make calls 25% of the time without trying to dial out more than once and calls drop or just end all the time.  The data will be slow or have many disconnects when trying to load web pages or e-mail.  This is all occurring with 4 or 5 bars of 3G coverage and at home now I sometimes have 1 or 2 bars.

Recently I was so annoyed with the service I decided to call support so I could become more annoyed.  After holding for about 20 minutes I speak to a level 1 support person I would guess is in the India call center who goes through all of the normal steps.  Turn off your phone for 30 seconds, power it back on, try to make a call, check the iOS version blah, blah, blah.  I go through all the steps explaining that I work in the technology field and have already done all of these steps and the issues occur on multiple devices so I didn’t drop my phone in the toilet to cause these problems.  I finally make it through the gauntlet of questions and checks and they transfer me to level 2 support which sounds to be back in the United States.  I believe I have made some progress.  They ask me to run some more checks, they check the towers in my area and say I have outstanding upgraded service where I am which is obviously not the case or I wouldn’t be calling I tell her.  I am placed on hold and she comes back and asks me to change my phone to Edge only.  I do this and the data works now but is very very slow as one would expect but I am able to make calls out without issue which is progress.  She files a report with their local team to check the towers in the area to hopefully improve the service.

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Video of the UGA vs Boise St Dawg Walk

Here is a partial video of the Dawg Walk from Saturday outside the Georgia Dome.

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SEC Football Recruiting Final Ranking 2001-2011

Here is an interesting comparison of recruiting of the top teams in the SEC over the past 10 years from  Notice UGA is the most consistent being in the top 10 every year except 2.

2011 5 12 6 7 13 1 18
2010 15 2 6 4 9 5 24
2009 6 11 2 19 10 1 12
2008 7 3 11 20 35 1 22
2007 9 1 4 7 3 10 6
2006 4 2 7 10 23 11 24
2005 10 15 22 14 4 18 23
2004 6 7 2 21 11 Not Ranked 35
2003 6 2 1 11 18 49 8
2002 3 20 15 6 2 30 11
AVG Last 10 Years 7.10 7.50 7.60 11.90 12.80 14.00 18.30
AVG Last 5 Years 8.40 5.80 5.80 11.40 14.00 3.60 16.40


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