Buy in bulk and save – AT&T and Verizon offer big savings through family plans

It finally happened, the telecom’s have given up their silly (and greedy) attempts to charge us through the roof for voice and text messages. All you have to do is switch over to their new family plans. It’s the new buy in bulk Costco business model.

A few weeks ago, Verizon released their Share Everything Plan, and now AT&T has answered back with the Mobile Share Plan (T-Mobile too).

Both marginalize making phone calls and sending text messages. Allowing you to send unlimited of both while switching the focus to data plans, where they have established tiers to charge you per gigabyte.

On a side note, it appears that both companies want to put the screws on individual plans. Most of which are still at $100/person while the family plan rate is $50-70/person. Even more so now that they removed the 5 device limit on the plans; now with a 10 device limit allowing even greater bulk savings.

One reason for this big family-push is possibly a strategy to prevent defections, after all it is much harder to move to another company when that also means leaving your family.

But does the new plan save any money?

For my family, no, unless we can pull in more family members.

 

The Breakdown

My family is on AT&T and currently has four out of six family members on one plan. The current cost for the four of us is $240.00/mo. We have one extra feature, unlimited messaging, for $30/mo. This ends up costing each of us $60/mo.

The break down:

Phone #1 (primary line)

  • Family Talk, 700 minutes – $60
  • Text messaging unlimited – $30
  • Unlimited data – $30
  • Total = $120

Phones #2, #3, #4

  • Family Talk, 700 minutes – $10
  • Unlimited data – $30
  • Total = $40 (x3)

 

Under AT&T’s new plan, our total cost would be – $260 and that breaks down to $65/mo per person.

  • 6GB – $90
  • Smartphone – $35 x 4 = $140
  • Unlimited talk/text – $30

 

Which means we won’t be making the change…unless we add another phone to our plan. With five phones our total cost would be $295 and that would cost $59/mo per person.

  • 6GB – $90
  • Smartphone – $35 x 5 = $175
  • Unlimited talk/text – $30

 

And, in case you’re wondering if we add that sixth line the cost person would go down to $55/mo.

Maybe it’s time to wrangle together the whole family under one plan.

 

Continue reading Buy in bulk and save – AT&T and Verizon offer big savings through family plans

Apple, Amazon, & Microsoft build data centers around dirty energy

The current explosion in cloud computing offered by major IT companies is driving significant new demand for dirty energy like coal and nuclear power, according to a new report from Greenpeace International.

The report, “How Clean is Your Cloud?” shows a growing split within the tech industry between companies that are taking steps to power their clouds with clean energy, like Google, Yahoo and Facebook, and companies like Apple, Amazon and Microsoft who lag behind by choosing to build their growing fleets of data centres to be powered by coal and nuclear energy.

“When people around the world share their music or photos on the cloud, they want to know that the cloud is powered by clean, safe energy,” said Gary Cook, Greenpeace International Senior Policy Analyst. “Yet highly innovative and profitable companies like Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft are building data centres powered by coal and acting like their customers won’t know or won’t care.”

The report research found that if the cloud were a country its electricity demand would currently rank 5th in the world, and is expected to triple by 2020.

“While many IT companies have made great strides in efficiency, that’s only half the picture – they need to make sure their energy comes from clean sources,” said Gary Cook, Greenpeace International Senior Policy Analyst.

Companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook are beginning to lead the sector down a clean energy pathway through innovations in energy efficiency, prioritising renewable energy access when siting their data centres, and demanding better energy options from utilities and government decision-makers.

 

keep readingApple, Amazon, & Microsoft choose dirty energy

Get 5GB of Dropbox space free – participate in beta testing for automatic camera uploads

To get the free space, download the latest build, plug-in your smartphone/camera, and upload all you can.

During this beta period, we are also offering additional free space to test automatic uploading of photos and videos. For every 500MB of photos and videos automatically uploaded, you’ll receive another 500MB space bonus, up to 4.5GB total. [Update: To clarify, you can get up to 5GB of free space with this feature, if you count the initial 500MB space for the first photo import].

1.3.12

  • 500MB of free space on first photo import
  • Cleanup UI in Windows non admin installation.
  • Fix infinite restart of Dropbox when database was corrupted.
  • Fix import error on iPhone with lots and lots of photos.
  • Better Handling of out of quota issues on first photo import.
  • Other small fixes

1.3 Features

  • Importing of photos from cameras, phones, and SD cards.
  • Batch upload/download of files.

 

Get started – Dropbox Forums