Why Bringing Your Own iPhone to Xfinity Mobile Might Be a Good Idea

Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile cellular service is now offering an in-store “Bring Your Own Device” option for owners of certain unlocked iPhone models.

Of course, that news will likely only mean something to those who have heard of the Comcast mobile plan. If you have no idea what Xfinity Mobile is, you’re probably not alone. Here’s everything you should know about the nascent cellular service.

What Is Xfinity Mobile?

Xfinity Mobile, basically, is a low-cost cellular plan that Comcast rolled out last year. It’s only available to people who already subscribe to the firm’s Xfinity mobile broadband service.

The service also has some unique characteristics (some of which we’ll get to later), including the fact that your device is automatically switched from cellular data to Xfinity Wi-Fi when hotspots are available.

Despite its quirks, the service has seen some surprising success in a market already dominated by juggernaut rivals. According to Bloomberg, Xfinity Mobile hit 200,000 subscribers in October 2017 — less than five months after it launched.

Xfinity Mobile Pros

  • Basically, if you’re already a subscriber to Comcast’s Xfinity broadband, the budget-friendly Xfinity mobile might be a decent option for you. As Comcast is the largest broadband and cable provider in the country, there are probably quite a few people reading this already subscribed to Xfinity.
  • Xfinity Mobile could also be an economical solution for those who just don’t use that much data. It offers a unique “Pay By the Gig” option, where each gigabyte of data is $ 12 and users are only charged for the gigs that they use. Also on the table is a $ 45-a-month unlimited plan (although it’s throttled after 20GB).
  • Xfinity Mobile also uses Verizon’s networks. And while the competition in terms of fastest internet speeds is usually neck-in-neck, Verizon does have some of the speediest in the country.

Xfinity Mobile Cons

  • The main catch is that you have to be a subscriber to Comcast’s Xfinity broadband. If you don’t use it, then Xfinity Mobile isn’t an option for you — and it’s probably not worth switching from your own broadband provider.
  • Similarly, for the most part, you can’t bring your own device to the network. As stated above, the company has recently offered an exception for certain unlocked iPhone devices. But any Android users or owners of carrier-locked iPhones are just out of luck. You either have to purchase or rent a device from Comcast.
  • Lastly, and this is important, if you’re already a Xfinity subscriber and you get Xfinity Mobile, you’ll have another reason to possibly deal with Comcast’s infamously bad customer service. Just something to keep in mind.

iDrop News

Belkin WeMo switches review: A good idea held back by connectivity and software issues

With a couple of months of use behind me, my feelings about the Belkin WeMo switches are just as conflicted now as they were when I unpacked these. On paper, the idea of a switch that you can plug anything in to make it smart is fantastic. In reality, I struggled to find many, if any honestly, devices I wanted to use the WeMo with. But that’s not even the meat of my issue with WeMo’s switches.

Read More

Belkin WeMo switches review: A good idea held back by connectivity and software issues was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

Android Police – Android News, Apps, Games, Phones, Tablets

Maybe private ‘Black Mirror’ messages weren’t a good idea, Netflix

'Tis the season for ominous, intrusive internet promotional campaigns. Netflix has spooked users on a Turkish equivalent to Reddit, Ekşi Sözlük, by sending them promotional direct messages meant to hype up the debut of Black Mirror's fourt…
Engadget RSS Feed

Elon Musk Loves the Idea of His Tesla Roadster Being the Falcon Heavy’s First Mars Payload

Launching a Roadster to Mars?

Elon Musk has once again taken to Twitter to excite and confuse space-enthusiasts and experts. Musk began by revealing details of the first Falcon Heavy launch, which is scheduled to take place next month, “from Apollo 11 pad at the Cape. Will have double thrust of next largest rocket.”

Soon after, Musk added that the Falcon Heavy’s “Payload will be my midnight cherry Tesla Roadster playing Space Oddity. Destination is Mars orbit.” For the uninitiated, “Space Oddity” is a classic song by the late David Bowie.

Musk has stated that there’s a non-zero chance of the Falcon Heavy exploding on its first flight. With that in mind, he’s publicly stated that he intended to stick the “silliest thing we can imagine” atop the craft ( and he did stick a secret wheel of cheese on Dragon’s first flight).

 

The internet wasn’t sure what to make of Musk’s tweet at first. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time in recent history he managed to get the media to cover something he’d intended as a joke. Though, this time around, several media outlets have asserted that SpaceX had confirmed the story.

However, a source familiar with the info was more hesitant in their endorsement when Futurism reached out for comment over the weekend, saying “the roadster payload is real.”

While it’s no surprise to see Musk talking up such a whimsical concept, attempting a stunt of that caliber would be something altogether different. The idea is an intriguing one — but we’ll believe it when we see it.

The post Elon Musk Loves the Idea of His Tesla Roadster Being the Falcon Heavy’s First Mars Payload appeared first on Futurism.

Futurism

Author Of “The Martian” Says Colonizing Mars Is a Bad Idea

Moon Before Mars

Novelist Andy Weir rose to prominence for his bestseller The Martian, which was subsequently adapted as a film starring Matt Damon. The writer is swapping Mars for the moon in his new book, Artemis, and he discussed the prospect of colonizing both bodies in an interview promoting its release.

“I wanted to write a story about the first human settlement somewhere other than Earth,” Weir told Business Insider. “And I just really think that’s going to be the moon. That’ll definitely be the first place that we colonize outside of Earth.”

The author downplays the idea of “leap-frogging” the moon and heading directly to Mars, even though he states that we’re likely to visit the planet within the next century. As far as a lunar station being our next step, it seems that the experts agree.

“I agree 100% with everything that he says,” Aaron Ridley, a professor in the University of Michigan’s Climate and Space Sciences and Engineer faculty, told Futurism. “Establishing a colony on Mars is incredibly technically challenging and expensive. Establishing a colony on the moon is less challenging and less expensive (by a long shot), but still will cost a huge amount of money.”

Amanda Hendrix, a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and co-author of Beyond Earth: Our Path to a New Home, told Futurism that a lunar station would be a good “stepping stone” to Mars, even if it’s not completely necessary.

“It makes sense to have a semi-permanent station on the moon (where humans don’t stay permanently due to radiation concerns but can relatively easily transfer back-and-forth to Earth) for launching to Mars or other places, and for doing science on and from the moon,” Hendrix wrote.

In Artemis, Weir explains away the impact of radiation by having the lunar colony housed inside aluminum bubbles. Hendrix said this could be effective if they’re thick enough, but wondered how desirable such living conditions would be.

In the Red

Weir argues that a Mars colony isn’t going to happen any time soon, if for no other reason than how expensive it would be, in addition to the fact that there’s no pressing need to head there.

“The reality is that there is no economic reason to colonize Mars. At all,” he said. This includes its capacity to serve as a new home for the human race, which Weir guaranteed would be more expensive and less effective than cleaning up our home planet.

“We are not going to go to the moon or Mars because of population pressure,” explained Ridley. “It is really because we have an innate desire to explore.”

The Race to Mars
Click to View Full Infographic

“For Mars the only plausible activity is scientific research in [government] bases,” Chris McKay of the NASA Ames Research Center told Futurism.

Mars isn’t likely to make a private space company a ton of money from tourism or mining operations, and it’s not going to solve overpopulation here on Earth. It does offer plenty of scope for scientific investigations — but it remains to be seen who will foot the bill to get us there in the name of research.

The post Author Of “The Martian” Says Colonizing Mars Is a Bad Idea appeared first on Futurism.

Futurism