iChat at 75mph

Even though I’m probably coming across as a giddy little kid or some geek, think about the ramifications of this kind of access to high resolution communications.

Somewhere near Atlanta, GA — as we sped along at 75mph — my wife called my daughter on her cell phone from her office. So I fired up iChat and requested a video chat with her since, like yesterday, I was connected to Verizon Wireless via my Treo on my laptop. Not only did it connect, but we talked for several minutes. You can see the video quality which is incredibly good.

Again, I’m on the Interstate highway system where wireless coverage is usually pretty good and it drops off dramatically the further you migrate from these major arteries. However, unless you’re completely aware of the continued build-out of wireless network footprints and the continued acceleration in speed of them, you might not bother to embrace technologies like these or even try ’em out to see if they might be of any benefit to you. Some day we’ll all have rich, robust visual communications technologies like this at our fingertips and the wireless internet will be so seamless and so ubiquitous it’ll seem like the air we breathe.

Then wait to see what Internet-centric applications appear!

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  1. Lenny on February 28, 2007 at 7:48 am

    That’s pretty neat! Especially over bluetooth. I am impressed. I thought Verizon would have blocked the AIM/iChat ports, since instant messaging is a violation of their TOS:
    From http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/store/controller?item=planFirst&action=viewPlanDetail&catId=409

    “The Unlimited Data Plans and Features MAY NOT be used for any other purpose. Examples of prohibited uses include, without limitation, the following: (i) continuous uploading, downloading or streaming of audio or video programming or games; (ii) server devices or host computer applications, including, but not limited to, Web camera posts or broadcasts, automatic data feeds, automated machine–to–machine connections or peer–to–peer (P2P) file sharing; or (iii) as a substitute or backup for private lines or dedicated data connections. This means, by way of example only, that checking email, surfing the Internet, downloading legally acquired songs, and/or visiting corporate intranets is permitted, but downloading movies using P2P file sharing services and/or redirecting television signals for viewing on laptops is prohibited. A person engaged in prohibited uses, continuously for one hour, could typically use 100 to 200 MBs, or, if engaged in prohibited uses for 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, could use more than 5 GBs in a month.

    Perhaps they only selectively enforce this for those who abuse. It’s a shame because these uses are what the typical user would use. I would love to have VZW to use with my slingbox or iChat, but I wonder if they would cancel my account with continued use of such things.”

  2. Steve Borsch on February 28, 2007 at 8:11 am

    Thanks Lenny…for pointing out I’m a criminal! 😉

    It’s been so long since I read the ToS but should’ve realized that any bandwidth hog-like consumption activities are verboten. I don’t have any issue with most of the above with one exception: those areas that make no logical sense other than that Verizon makes money from the category.

    Case in point: IM is simple (thus why I use Toccer on my Palm Treo) and is useful for those times that I need to interact with someone at their desk via AIM. Of course, this negates their making $.15 on an SMS (yeah…the price is going up from a dime).

    Another is video and audio which negates them selling their own streaming services. NEITHER are ones I’d do anyway.

    Actually, I hope they’d find this post and use it as evidence to give me the boot early from their service and then I could switch to Cingular and the iPhone in June.

  3. Bob Pappas on February 28, 2007 at 8:53 am

    Someone in California had a terrible car crash while driving and using his laptop. He, unfortunately died, but the laptop was still running when the highway patrol arrived on the scene.

    Be careful out there!

    -Bob Pappas

  4. Lenny on February 28, 2007 at 10:21 am

    Ha ha! Actually, I have known of other people who have used AOL IM over VZW with no problems. Nobody would ever pay to IM using a Mac anyway. Furthermore, the Broadband Access card for Mac/PC really does not negate their VCast service since that is only available on the phones. I would hope that all of these providers would update their acceptable use policies.

    I bet they don’t watch the actual protocols, rather the amount of bandwidth used. That’s where they may pull the TOS card out.

    I have not read Cingular’s TOS, because 1)they STILL don’t have an ExpressCard modem and 2)their wireless data speed is much slower than I would expect. I bet their TOS is the same.

  5. deejay on June 26, 2007 at 9:28 am

    I was wondering what your settings are on ichat because I have been trying to do the same thing, but it has unfortunately not allowed me to. Thanks for your help.

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.