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Month: October 2012

Quest for LTE

Did you remember that Ron Perlman was in Quest for Fire? Me either, but he was. This post is not about cavemen, though. It is a note on an AT&T LTE provisioning problem in the interests of helping other people get the problem solved.

I upgraded from my iPhone 4 to a spiffy new iPhone 5 on AT&T. It was great except LTE wasn’t working; I just got 4G and nothing better. The first week I had it, I went to Austin and Las Vegas which kept me a bit too busy to bug AT&T. I did call AT&T tech support from Vegas a couple of times, but neither time was very successful. (Do not foist me off on Apple, dude! Uncool.) My research said that a number of things could be wrong: my sim card might not be provisioned for LTE; I might not be on an LTE data plan; or the sim card itself could be hosed.

In all these cases except the broken sim card, it’s reportedly possible to get a phone support person who can fix it. I believe this is true because ultimately it was a phone support guy who solved the problem, but none of the ones I talked to in Vegas were clued in. So I finally went down to the AT&T store in Palo Alto today and chatted with this awesome guy named Chris Dubon. He swapped out my sim card and double-checked my data plan with no luck. I offered to hit the Apple Store, since at this point I was suspecting hardware, but he was all “nope, let’s eliminate anything we can eliminate before you leave.”

So he called tech support and they said “hm, we don’t see that sim as provisioned for LTE.” He swapped in another one, and they reset the whole profile. Bam: LTE.

The key thing here is not to go bug your AT&T guys with the magic words I’m not even sure I got right; what I’m saying is just hit the AT&T store directly and let them be smart about fixing the problem. They can pull out a replacement sim card on the spot, they’ll get through to the right tech support people, and so on. It took like 45 minutes but it was time well spent.

Cerebus Digital

The first two issues of High Society showed up on Comixology this week. The first one was free, so I bought it. It’s really gorgeous: high-def, quality scans for the most part. There are one or two pages where the white on black text fills in a bit much, but given the unfortunate house fire which destroyed a bunch of the negatives recently, I am not unhappy about that.

It’s gorgeous and funny and an amazing achievement and this is even before Gerhard came on board. Plus there are 30 or so pages of notebooks and historical stuff at the end. Issue two is only 99 cents, which is a bargain — at the rate of a couple of issues a week, I would have no financial qualms about buying all the Cerebus this way.

Then I happened to read this stuff about his current negotiations with Fantagraphics. So. Plus the misogyny.

Like any number of others, I will spend some vague amount of time wrestling with the problem of great art created by someone not so great, with very not great messages embedded therein.

First of the Last

After a really jam-packed first episode of Last Resort, I wound up with a multitude of questions filed into two slots.

First: is the plot in any way believable? You have to buy into the captain of a nuclear sub refusing orders, plus he’s gotta have enough charisma to make his crew more or less stick with him. Also there’s a huge conspiracy in the background. Said conspiracy does some pretty outrageous things even if the Reagan quote at the beginning is taken as good foreign policy. What I’m saying here is that I’m not entirely certain that we’re watching actual humans making sane decisions.

Second, though: is the situation as presented at all stable? And the trick here is that I don’t think it is, but I also don’t think Shawn Ryan necessarily thinks it is. If I’m looking for a showrunner who’s willing to mess with the status quo in a big bad way on his shows, I’m looking for Jeff Pinkner and J. H. Wyman of Fringe. But Shawn Ryan is my number two choice; The Shield went all in on actions with consequences, and Terriers had no qualms about major alterations to the show’s world.

That’s the hook for me. If Last Resort digs into the consequences of all the messed up things that happened in the first episode, it’s gonna be awesome and I will forgive the implausibilities. We’ll see.