How Much Does AT&T/U-verse Cost?

So I heard that AT&T is going to start putting monthly usage caps on it’s Internet users (which is me), so it got me thinking about how much I actually pay for AT&T services…

I have AT&T fiber to my house (actual fiber to the premise), so I use U-verse for TV and Internet in my house, so it’s break this down (I’m not including any on-time costs or fees/taxes)…

I pay $138/month for TV (includes set top box rentals). I only watch MAYBE 8 hours of TV per month, but it’s nice to have it when you actually want to watch it. So I pay AT&T $17.25/hour to watch TV.

Cell Phone
I pay $159.99/month for 2 cell phones. Last month I used 17 minutes (which is actually more than normal). So I pay AT&T $9.41/minute for cell phone service. Oh yeah, I also paid them $125 for a MicroCell because their service is so crappy.

I pay $55/month for Internet because I can only get 18Mbit to my house (remember… I have AT&T fiber straight into my house). I’d like to pay for the $65/month plan to give me 24Mbit, but you know… it’s hard to get more bandwidth out of fiber I guess. I really wish Verizon would buy AT&T’s fiber to my house so I could get FiOS (they offer 150Mbit down/35Mbit up already and I heard they are testing 1Gbit up/down). Meanwhile I’ll be stuck at DSL speeds with my fiber. Sweet.

Mobile Internet
Now if I want a 3G connected iPad, that would be another $25/month (and I would rarely use it… so probably would be about $25/hour).

If I want tethering enabled on one of my phones, that’s another $20… even though I already pay for an unlimited data plan on that phone. lol

It would be nice if I could just pay $10/hour to use whatever I want… TV, cell phone, cell phone tethering, iPad connectivity, etc.

Government Economics or Ponzi Scheme?

Here’s an interesting exercise… Let’s take the first two paragraphs from Wikipedia about a Ponzi scheme…

Ponzi Scheme (from Wikipedia)

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investment operation that pays returns to separate investors, not from any actual profit earned by the organization, but from their own money or money paid by subsequent investors. The Ponzi scheme usually entices new investors by offering returns other investments cannot guarantee, in the form of short-term returns that are either abnormally high or unusually consistent. The perpetuation of the returns that a Ponzi scheme advertises and pays requires an ever-increasing flow of money from investors to keep the scheme going.

The system is destined to collapse because the earnings, if any, are less than the payments to investors. The system eventually will collapse under its own weight.

Now let’s swap a couple words here…

US Budget

The US government budget is an operation that pays for [medicare, social security, pensions and funds wars] on behalf of it’s citizens, not from any actual income “earned” through taxes (or any other method), but from money paid by subsequent taxes. The US budget usually entices new citizens by offering services that other taxes cannot guarantee. The perpetuation of the liabilities that the US budget advertises and pays requires an ever-increasing flow of money from citizens to keep the scheme going.

The system is destined to collapse because the income, if any, are less than the expenses. The US budget/economy eventually will collapse under its own weight.

Maybe Steve Jobs Was Right About Flash?

I was building a website for Digital Point Ads, and for what I wanted it to do, I figured Flash would be the way to go. So it was built, and worked fine in Flash.

The problem is that I’m an anal perfectionist and the Flash object was eating 80-90% of a computer’s CPU when being viewed… and me being me, I couldn’t just be okay with that.

…so I rebuilt it with CSS3/HTML5/jQuery. It turned out much nicer in my opinion, only uses about 1% of the resources that Flash needed and as an unintentional bonus, it works on things like iPad and phones/computers without Flash support.

I’m not anti-Flash (as I said, I *wanted* to do the site with Flash), but I AM anti-inefficient. There are still some things you can’t do with HTML5 that you can do with Flash, but those things are becoming fewer and fewer it seems.