The new iPhone GS: tethering and the cover of the "New Yorker"...

NewYorker:iPhone (Tim) Until this past week, I'd never owned a smartphone. David's been using them for years but I always said I didn't need one since I take my laptop everywhere. Then, my two-year-old cellphone neared death and, realizing an iPhone would only cost me about $50-100 more than any other cell phone I'd buy, and that having an iPhone would only add $10 to my monthly AT&T bill, I got an iPhone 3GS.

For four or five years, I've been tethering my laptops to my cell phone using a bluetooth connection that worked well and only cost $20 per month for unlimited data. They always told me it wasn't an official setup, but my local Cingular/AT&T store was helpful and I loved it. E-mail was fast but browsing could be slow. It was about the speed of an old 56k dial-up connection, for those of you who remember those. But it always worked.

When traveling by car, I got in the habit of buying our hotel room on Priceline as the evening progressed and we knew where we'd be when we wanted to go to sleep. One time in Pittsburgh, we bought our room at 10:55 PM and were in bed within the hour.

All this to say, I was loath (quick now, and without looking it up, what's the difference between loathe, loath, and loth?) to give up tethering in order to make the switch to an iPhone. Then Joseph told me an easy tethering solution was available for the new GS, and I bit...

He was right; tethering doesn't require me to jailbreak my phone and it's about as easy as easy can get--much easier than the method I had to use to set up tethering on my old Sony Ericsson. Now, when I need to type, I can pull out my laptop. But for everything else, the iPhone is much more convenient. And for those of you who haven't joined the smartphone masses, yet, I do mean everything else!

Being color blind, I'm not painter. But did you know the cover of the latest New Yorker is a painting done on an iPhone? It took the painter about an hour. Here's a video of his work.

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Translation of this post for right-brained readers:

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, whoa! way cool artwork!

>Then Joseph told me an easy tethering solution was available for the new GS, and I bit...

At this time tethering and MMS are not supported by AT&T with the data plan that comes with the iPhone 3G/3GS. Any tethering scheme, whether on a jailbroken iPhone or not, may violate the terms of agreement for your current plan.

I'm now paying $30 a month for unlimited data, and until I purchased the iPhone last week I was paying $20 a month for unlimited data. The idea that AT&T would object to my doing the same thing with my iPhone I have been doing with my earlier Sony Ericssons for five years or so, particularly when I'm now paying an additional $10 per month, is laughable. Possible, yes--but laughable.

Laughable or not, the current $30 data plan does not cover tethering. The expectation is that AT&T will have an additional $$$ add-on for those folks who desire such a feature.

If you read the fine print in the current agreement, you'll see that AT&T can pull the plug on your "unlimited" data plan if they think you are using it in ways not authorized, e.g., tethering another device.

Yes, and for the past five years they (or Cingular) could have pulled the plug on my earlier tethering plan, also. The folks in the store would tell me it wasn't really legit, and then they'd tell me about it and help me set it up. And each month they'd take $20 extra for my use of it.

Fact is, I pay them and they provide the service. Then, and now.

The iPhone is very nice, Tim. So nice, it actually got me to buy an Apple product. The only one I now (or ever) will own. :)

I am guessing that tethering means using your iPhone as a mobile broadband connection for your laptop.

When I go to my favorite Mexican restaurant, they serve me water with a slice of lemon. I sometimes add a packet of the pink stuff, and make a sort of poorman's lemonade. I have thus changed the functionality and utility of the water to my benefit. While some might say depriving the restaurant of revenue from the purchase of the real drink, the pink stuff is at the table for use at will, and so one might say that the restaurant is complicit in my lemonade factory scheme. This is all fraught with moral peril. Can anyone give me some advice?

On another note, I found an unlocked wifi signal that allows me to surf faster than dialup at home. Some might say that using it is stealing. I prefer to use the word pirating, because it suggests thoughts of the actor Johnny Depp and that Disneyland ride; pirating is so much cuter than stealing. So, is it stealing or not? BTW, in order to return to my previous state of piousness, I moved my computer out of free wifi range and back to dialup.

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