MVNOs? (aka ditch your expensive mobile contract)

Disclaimer: This is not a hate post on Verizon though I’ll vent a bit along those lines, and this is not an ad for PagePlus though I describe their services.

I just recently found out about mobile virtual network operators from Christopher, a tech friend of mine from PA. We were talking mobile contracts and he mentioned I might want to check out PagePlus Cellular (wikipedia). Immediately I was impressed with their 1200min/300txt/100M monthly plan for $30. At that time I was paying roughly $45 a month per line for my wife and I via Verizon. Word on the street about PagePlus is they use Verizon’s wireless infrastructure so service coverage should be very similar (enter the MVNO).

Pros/cons as I see it are you give up subsidized phones (very nice) and Verizon’s customer service (pretty good in my experience) for no contracts (very nice) and saving on the monthly bill (my main reason). PagePlus also has a decent user’s forum.

So far so good for me anyway. I switched about a month and a half ago and hardly noticed any difference aside from the email MMS gateway switching form to ( SMS gateway still works).

I guess we’ll see when I have to buy my first un-subsidized phone…

How To Become A Hacker

I ran across this in my web travels the other day and was quite fascinated:

How To Become A Hacker

It’s a document maintained by Eric S Raymonds “an American computer programmer, author and open source software advocate” (src). It is certainly the most comprehensive and  academic treatment of the topic I’ve ever run across! While I approve of his interpretation of  a ‘hacker’ in the white-hat hack-the-world sense I think he minimizes the treatment of the security focused folks.

Eric also maintains the Jargon File ( which is also rather educational :).