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Michael Gracie

Improving your iPhone’s indoor reception with Wi-Fi calling and some basic network trickery

No shot against AT&T here, but the reception in my home office sucks. It’s probably just the combination of zombie-proof glass, the custom kevlar/copper mesh in the walls, and the tin foil hat I wear, but I called the carrier about it anyway. They suggested I buy one of those mini cell site jobs for ninety bucks. Instead I spent several times that amount for a new phone because I heard it was capable of Wi-Fi calling i.e. using my internet connection to make and receive calls. Sure enough it seemed it was …

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Unfortunately, even after upgrading the network I still experienced warbled voices and dropped calls, meaning pineapple and broccoli pizza showing up at my neighbor’s door. Very bad.

However, all was not lost. With a little network trickery – mostly tinkering with IP addressing and port forwarding – I was able to get consistent Wi-Fi calling. Crystal clear with near zero drops, and my favorite Chinese takeout joint is again accepting my orders. Very good.

Note that the instruction that follow were done using a plain vanilla iPhone 6s and an Airport Extreme, but that doesn’t mean the general premise won’t work with a Samsung Galaxy and old Linksys gear. All is being provided in as layman-esque terms as possible for this reason; technical types providing commentary such as “you didn’t define NAT correctly” will be punished via intentional disregard. Further, everything that follows assumes you have Wi-Fi calling activated. If not, read the instructions here for getting it running.

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From “Early Adopter” To “Disposables” User

I used to buy the latest of everything technological. Whether it be desktop, laptop, PDA, or cell phone, I had it first. I’d get a new one, and give the old one to a family member or friend. Year after year. Then something strange happened. I gave up desktops, and found a decent laptop with all the features I needed. It hasn’t failed once in roughly a year, so I hold onto it (probably for at least another year or two). The cell phone on my desk has gone two years (my last record was three months). I don’t even have a PDA anymore, as my cell phone stores most important numbers, and my laptop is small enough to take with on all meetings and travels.

Why do I stick with these things now versus the constant churn in the past? Quality, and disposability.

I stick with products from Apple and Nokia for one, which are generally know for their quality. But I’ve also foregone whizbang newfangledness for the peace of mind that if I scratch it, drop it, break it, or lose it, I can pick up a new one with more features at a cheaper price, even weeks later. I don’t know if other “early adopters” are headed this route now, but if they are, it bodes well for commoditized products such as computers and consumer electronics, and maybe not so well for those on the cutting edge.

Next spam epidemic in your pocket

I am going a bit out on a limb here, mostly because readers know I am a dummy. I’ll bet that it won’t be long before cell phone spam takes over US wireless networks. My thinking is simple (easy for a simple mind):

Wireless carriers are already getting hit by spammy messages and calls. Second, people are use to entering their email address into all types of webforms, and that is not helping the spam fighting cause.

Now, the US has reached a hurdle that many other countries (mostly developing) hit a while back…more cellphone lines than landlines.

And with every ecommerce webform on the planet requiring a contact phone number for purchases, how long do you think it will take before those numbers are being sold to every Tom, Dick and Harry?
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He must be a spammer!

I read this post over at textually.org, and immediately assumed the kid must be spamming. Even if it is [more than] a bit inefficient, who the heck would pump out 8,000 text messages a month unless it was making them some money (or getting them “some action”)?

My second thought was I have turned into a crazed, hyper-obsessive, spammer-hunter. (Note to self: Stop It).

India Fighting Cell Phone Spam

The Indian economy is growing by leaps and bounds. Naturally, the expansion of consumer technology use follows, and cell phones are no exception. Unfortunately, marketing firms have been quick to jump on the bandwagon as well, and now subscribers are being pummeled with telemarketing calls and SMS spam.

India is now fighting back from the legislative front, and Spamroll has some suggestions for their cell phone subscribers that would make life a whole lot easier.
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