We Are The 5%


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Josh IRL actually got a stern warning from AT&T that his “unlimited” data usage was approaching it’s lim… utmost boundary. I find this kind of shit infuriating. The trend among data service providers (cell, internet, tv, etc) is to give the customer a reasonable deal in exchange for a reasonable level of service UNTIL the service is widely adopted, at which point they reduce features and raise fees. I’m in a situation where I can NEVER alter my AT&T plan up or down in any direction because I am also grandfathered into unlimited data and a calling plan that was phased out years ago, and which has no comparable equivalent in terms of features/price. I guess It’s good to know that the grandfathered “unlimited” data plan I’ve been clinging onto so tenaciously is really only a “5GB or we get cranky” plan. That said, their current 5GB plan costs nearly twice what my “unlimited” plan does.

Still, I have no idea how Josh uses nearly 4GB of cell data a month. I use my phone almost constantly and I have never even reached 500mb in a month. I suspect there are secret gay data shenanigans afoot to which I am not privy.

UPDATE: Looks like Josh is not alone.
UPDATE 2: More info from Consumerist. Apparently the cap for “unlimited” is actually 2gb.

COMMENTERS: Once I needed a screencap of Superman II for photo reference on a comic that I couldn’t find online. The only person I knew with the movie was Josh, so I had him video chat with me while pointing his laptop at his TV as I took screenshots. Keep in mind this was 2007 or 2008, before we were all connected to the MotherGrid and had instant access to all information instantaneously. Have you ever constructed such a Rube Goldberg machine in a time of need? 

You can now purchase a super high quality 11×17″ print of any HE comic by clicking the “Buy A Print” button between the “Previous” and “Next” buttons in the navigation menu. If you don’t see it, try refreshing your browser cache.

Get HijiNKS ENSUE Comic Prints!

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  1. In order to provide sound effects for a D&D game I once put a dictaphone up to my PC's speakers while it was playing bits from a Doctor Who audio book (for creepy music and random squelchy noises) and Heroes on BBC iPlayer (for the Sylar theme; the villan was a mindflayer).

    In order to produce a reverb effect on the villan's voice for certain preplanned lines, I recorded my own voice beforehand, then played it back while speaking. I did this the first time with quotes from HP Lovecraft while stareing into one player's eyes, and was told never ever to do it again without provideing brown pants.

    • That beats me all to hell trying to run a Star Trek: RPG session with the CDs of special effects cued up on a stereo system.

  2. That's just ridiculous. Who in their right mind would watch porn in HD? Porno cosmetic technology has not advanced to the point where they can cover up all those sores, rashes, and warts in 1080p.

    • Ahhh, but the video chatting reduces the HD to watchable levels. If he started with non-HD then the resulting video feed would just be various colored blobs bouncing around on each other.

      • Pfft… like that's not *someone*'s fetish…

        Oh, I get it. It's like how they had to start with a giant Wonka Bar so that it would be normal sized after being transmitted through people's TVs!

  3. i once face-timed with my friends computer which he aimed at his tv which was video chatting with my friend who was in afghanistan, who was on a satellite based internet connection in the middle of a desert…..do i win moneys for my brilliant tech aged macgyver-ness?

  4. "Blah Blah Dr. Who" is mostly what I hear when my 12 year old talks to his friends on x-box live. Also, is there a "Bearded Porn" category on Netfix?

  5. Last season, I was streaming an episode of Fringe online, and right at the very end the video cut out on me. I couldn't get it to work again, nor could I find a version that worked on any non-Fox websites. So I IMed my friend in Canada, who happened to have the episode saved on DVR, and had her Skype me with the webcam turned toward the TV. Totally worth it.

  6. I had a look at mine, and I've used almost 1.5 in VZW (cycle ends 2/19.) I don't even tether.
    So I guess I'm part of that gay data thing. 😉 Ahh, tumblr and craigslist. Otherwise, it's email and apps.

  7. I'm grandfathered into Verizon's unlimited plan and therefore can never leave them. I'm on a family plan with an old roommate and my sister for calling. We share 700 minutes and have never come close to going over because none of us call anyone. So I'm basically paying the same as I pay for internet at home to have it on my phone so I can check facebook all day. There's something so wrong with that but I can't let go of that unlimited!! My unlimited plan costs as much as their lowest tier data plan.

    There are days that I just want to go back to having a rotary phone at home but then what will happen if I get lost somewhere or I need to know the score of the game?!!

    • Did you get the "customer care" call from them trying to save you money last year by trying to get you off the unlimited plan onto one that was cheaper with less data/talky time?
      Took me about a minute to catch on to what they were doing, because I was sitting in front of my PC and pulled up my bill and looked at my account, and said no thanks.
      Of course, now they own me as far as a customer; I'll never get an unlimited data plan at the price I have it now…even if I get cyberware implants.

      • I did not. Were they really doing that? Oy vey, I feel for the dumb people who fell for it.

        I'm in for life as well. Their stupid data is costing me the same as my cable internet at home!

  8. I had to design a movie poster for an assignment back in college and couldn't manage to get my hands on a DVD of the movie for a decent screenshot, so I ended up setting up a tripod in front of the TV and taking a photo of it while I had a VHS copy paused.

  9. I suspect that you're right about gay data shenanigans — I'm over half a gig this month even though Skyrim has kept meat home (and, therefore, not using my data connection) more nights than not; normally, I'm closer yo 3-5 GB/month, and I'm sure that would be higher if VZ had 4G out here…

  10. Why would you invoke the bot fly??? Now that image has returned to the forefront of my brain! It looks like a miniature Sarlacc that's been turned inside-out! And it was living in that guy's head! ::vomits forever::

  11. You've reminded me how there is still no consistently easy way to send large files to people.

    Person 1: Just e-mail me that file.
    Person 2: My e-mail server won't allow attachments over 10 MB.
    P1: Put it on a flash drive and bring it to me.
    P2: You live across the country.
    P1: Upload it to one of those upload sites, assuming you know one that hasn't been shut down.
    P2: My work firewall blocks all of those.
    P1: Um, seed a torrent with the file?
    P2: I don't know what those words even mean. I can burn it onto a DVD and send it via post office I guess?

    • If Skype has a limit on file sizes I haven't bumped into it yet. I used it a while ago to send a 173 meg file. Took a while, but it got there without any issues.

    • I am shamed, because that's how I'm sending multigigabite HD footage to my editor for the moment…

      I'm nervous about seeding right now, with all the DOOM raining down on file sharing sites lately.

    • Thats where having your own server comes in handy. Whever I have a file over 4 mb i just upload it to my box and send them the link.

    • I initially didn't check the hover-over text, and so your comment confused me hugely when I first read it.

      I also heard all of the lines in the comic in Christopher Lloyd's voice.

  12. Josh's data use this month is 'sort of' iTunes Match's fault.
    1) Josh has LOTS of music he listens to
    2) iTunes match 'wipes' the music from your phone and puts lovely little pointers to your music in the cloud
    3) Josh has a 40 minute commute to work, music always on, never listens to the same track
    4) So… for over 60-80 minutes a day, he's streaming music from the cloud to his phone to his truck.
    5) Given his spanking from AT&T, he's now moving much of the music back to his phone via WiFi at our house. He sets it up at night and lets it download on the nightstand charger

    • Wha… why? Why does that do that? Why is there a program that works that way?

      That set-up sounds like the insanely huge shafts and moving force-fields in the climax of The Phantom Menace.

    • So make Uncle Non-Apple Fan understand…he's "bought" the music from iTunes, but he previously hasn't been able to "physically" keep it on his phone because they beam it back into the luminiferous ether, so he has to re-acquire it again?

      I agree with other posters; in what world does that make sense? Wait, I get it…in the "AT&T will collude with Apple/iTunes to cost you more money" world.
      Sorry, I'm steeped in corporate evil all day, but I have a cold right now, and I think the cold meds are protecting me from the evil.

  13. This was more for the novelty of it, than out of necessity: when I got my Wii, and got it hooked up to my home network, I was frustrated by the inability to stream music and video from my desktop to my Wii, the way I could to my laptop. After some searching, I found an online streaming server that would let me install their client on my PC, then point my Wii browser to their site, where I could access my media and stream it in all its low-res, buffery goodness.

    Thing was, my desktop PC is right next to my TV. And is connected to it. So, while I could easily just set the input to PC and watch video that way, I found a way to send content from my PC, over the internet, and back to the Wii which was two feet away. I love living in the first world.

  14. I've also gotten the "Yeah we said unlimited but we didn't really mean it" call. Yes my data usage was a tad excessive. Yes, I had roommates that were also using data excessively. That's why we paid for the frakking unlimited plan. For that matter that was why I was using their no-name shit connection that cut out intermittently every couple minutes making even basic videostreaming a chore and gaming impossible and flatout disappeared for three or four hours a day instead of the big name companies who didn't offer an unlimited plan.

    • It's like how Comcast touts their service is unlimited when it has a 250 gb cap, then if you ask them about it they say unlimited means you always have access to the service…well gee, thanks, you mean you don't shut the internet off outside of business hours? How kind

      • Ooh, I haven't heard that one before. That's just downright devious douchebaggery. Comcast doesn't offer internet in my province I don't think.

        My favorite part was when the ISP told us they had friends in Hollywood that they could call up and have me investigated for Piracy. What a weird way to even execute that bluff. "The only way you could be using that much bandwidth is through criminal pursuits. I'm gonna report you to my buddy the bigshot director".

  15. We literally got "removed" from the AT&T network for "over-using the data plan whilst in another network range." They were complaining that when we were out of town (which is 95% of the time for my husband, and we had told them this would be the case when we signed up in the first place) and using our phones, we were using other networks too much. So they cancelled our contracts and forced us to put our iPhones on Verizon I think, back when people were trying to hack their iPhones to do exactly that. It was fairly convenient, I suppose, because my husband ended up selling his phone shortly thereafter to get the new one, and wasn't held down by the AT&T contract. But they ARE pretty nasty about the data usage.

    • You can't hack an AT&T iPhone to work on Verizon. AT&T phones only have the hardware to "talk" to GSM networks, and Verizon phones only have the hardware to talk to Verizon's CDMA network (GSM and CDMA are the two most common types of cellular data formats, and they are incompatible). Future iPhones may have fancy hardware that can be reprogrammed to work on multiple networks, but current models don't.

  16. This was why I went with Sprint when I decided to join the 21st century and get a smart phone. So far it's worked great. Though, I do just use my home's wireless rather than 3/4G 95% of the time since I work from home. But even if I don't come close to using an excessive amount of data, I like knowing that in theory, I can.

  17. I feel like such an (insert really old comment describing someone not up to date here). I understand the issues you guys are talking about…. mostly. But when I want to use my computer, I go to my computer. When I use my phone it is usually to call someone on the telephone.

  18. I remember, in the 90's, splitting my cable into two, one of the cables would go to the TV, the other one to a VCR, then from the VCR I took the signal, trough a cable/antenna adapter, to a portable black and white tv set (portable as in small cathode tube TV that required six D batteries).
    This I did to be able to watch the TV on mute, while listening to the sound trough headphones plugged onto the portable set. Why not just plug the headphones to the TV?, because I wanted to be able to watch TV from bed. Why the VCR?, because the portable TV set had only 13 channels (yes, that old), so I would use the VCR as the channel tuner for the cable.
    It was ridiculous, unnecessary, and I only used the set up for about two days, but it made me feel awesome.

    • And I thought I was awesome when I connected a cheap DVD player and a set of basic computer speakers (with a subwoofer) to a cheap projector to make my own home theatre setup. It actually worked pretty well; even though the sound was coming out near where I was sitting and the picture was across the room, my brain seemed to trick me into thinking the sound was out in front.

  19. in order to grab footage from HACKERS in college i had to hook my laptop with my dvd running through a Vcr wich was then attached to a device hooked to a mac desk top via a special adapter

    to recap DVD>Macbook>VCR>adaptor>Mac desktop

  20. Honest to golly-golly, no PORR. Or tethering. But-

    1/ I do have TWO downloader Apps, iFiler and Downloads. They get USED to download stuff like OSX Combo Updates, XCode, iPhone/iPad firmwares, etc. Then just hook to iTunes and drag the files to the desktop.

    2/ A number of apps that use iCloud. Those 10-25 meg PDFs don't sync themselves, yo.

    3/ The iPhone4 has a 5MP camera. And I'm a fiend for Instagram / Camera+

    Not that you asked. -Leo

  21. When I was in either late elementary school or maybe junior high–something like 20-25 years ago, I had two clock radios that didn't work. One the tuner didn't work. The other the power didn't work. I wrapped the antenna wire from one around the body of the other and used the radio that wasn't even plugged in to tune the one that was. I'm still not sure how the hell that worked and I have 2 engineering degrees now. I'm pretty sure it has to do with electricity and magnitism being basically the same thing and magnets working when they are near each other even if they don't touch. If anybody can duplicate that one I'd love to know I didn't just dream the whole thing up (pretty sure I didn't).

  22. Me and a friend in high school were tired of passing head phones back and forth when we had a song we wanted to share, so we took an old pair of headphones, stripped the actual headphones off and found a speaker we could insert the wires into. sucked the AA batteries in the cd player dry within minutes but it was cool to show off our makeshift radio at school.

  23. I spent high school without a mobile music player of any kind, so I improvised to get through a summer job working as the Key Grip on a movie set. I had one of those tape voice recorders and I would record songs off of my Pandora stream. And then use the voice recorder and a head phone jack to listen to music at work the next day. The quality sucked, and my music was filled with random IM sounds, but it was free dammit!

    It felt stupid not having an MP3 player for all of high school. Mostly because I had one when I was in elementary school. Having a brother who did dumpster diving over at the Diamond Multimedia plant was freakin' awesome. If replacing the battery didn't fix the problem from an MP3 player someone sent in they simply threw it out and sent them a brand new one. Most of the problems could be fixed by swapping the boards between units. Which meant I had an MP3 player back in 98. Even if it held 20 songs and ran off of a single AA.

  24. About 12 years ago I bugged my own house phone. Suction cup mic on the ear piece, into the input jack of a tape recorder, recording, then headphones out so I could hear our conversation (really good sound in two ears). I had to set the phone receiver down on the table, and kind of lean down to talk at it.
    I was really proud of myself. Sometimes I think of trying to replicate it these days for incriminating evidence, like when an AT&T rep is trying to tell me some BS about unlimited data. Many states (incl Arizona) allow you to legally record a phone conversation as long as you are one of the parties in the conversation.

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