PLATFORMS: My Verizon MIFI 2200 experience

With tremendous trepidation, I purchased a used verizon mifi 2200 advertised as a refurb with no impact on the existing unlimited data Verizon contracts. My concerns were: (1) “Used car” syndrome; would it work? (2) Would the ESN swap screw up my unlimited data contract with Verizon? (3) Would it work? Period! (4) Would I wind up in finger pointing between me, Verizon, and any number of others?

I received it promptly and in relatively good order. The power cord looked like it had just be wadded up and thrown in the box. So I was regretting my decision after seeing that.

I gathered up everything and went to the Verizon store for the ordeal of the ESN swap. Everything done with Verizon is an ordeal. And, I was right. The swap was trivial. And I even got a piece of paper that says nothing changed but the ESN. I’ll frame that! Cause I still don’t believe it. Then, I went over to “technical support” to activate it. An HOUR later, it was still “unactivateable” with NO explanation why. Three “experts” later, the verdict was that it was defective and I should send it back to where I got it. (Despite that it was in a Verizon box and was a Verizon refurbishment.) They wanted to undo the ESN swap so I could use my old hardware. Something made me question the whole thing. They wiped out my VZACCESS software to put an older version on. So, I said leave everything and I’d get back to them.

Went home. Downloaded, installed, and fired up the LATEST version of VZACCESS. It griped that the MIFI2200 needed a firmware update. (They “did” that at the Verizon store.) So I did it again. It then needed an updated “national map”. (They “did” that at the Verizon store.) So I did that again. Then, it complained it needed to be “activated”. (They “did” that at the Verizon store.) So I did it again. Then, it said it needed to be power cycled. I did that.

Then it started working. I shut everything down and disconnected it. Brought everything backup and the MIFI2200 was “wifi-ing”. Connected various devices to it. And it kept working.

So, if you do get refurbished MIFI2200 and think it needs to being returned, then you know that it’s the Verizon support “help” that needs “return”.

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The MIFI2200 is NOTRECOMMENDED. The Verizon Wireless Broad Band (which I call VWBBIE) is NOTRECOMMENDED.

The MIFI2200 is fine and might be RECOMMENDED if it was attached to an unlimited 3G service and if activation wasn’t an ordeal.

The vendor 3GSTORE is RECOMMENDED because it was correct in the MIFI2200 offering.

The VWBBIE is NOT RECOMMENDED because of the network caps and the stiff charges for overage. Additionally, the network performance they sell is faster than an old 9600 baud modem, but not much. I was so frustrated with using it on a regular basis down at the shore that I bought the cable company’s triple play just to not have to use it.

This is definitely a “proceed at your own risk” type product.

Disclosure, I get nothing from nobody for this review.

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POLITICAL: USPS, an idea who’s time has past

Privatizing the U.S. Postal Service
by Tad DeHaven
November 2010

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Although the law says that postal employees should receive wages and benefits comparable to what they could earn in the private sector, the majority of economic studies examining the issue have concluded that a postal pay premium of 20%– 25% exists if just wages are counted and about 35% if the Service’s very generous benefits are also included. {33}

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The USPS is in a financial death spiral because of the myriad factors discussed. It faces a projected $238 billion in losses over the next 10 years under the status quo. To avoid a large and growing burden from being foisted on taxpayers in coming years, the USPS should be privatized and postal markets open for competition from FedEx, UPS, and upstart entrepreneurs.

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Policymakers resistant to reform often depict the USPS as a “national asset” that “binds the nation together.” But these days, it’s the Internet and our telecommunications networks that bind families and businesses together across the nation. It’s time to let go of the nostalgia for the USPS and bring America’s postal services into the 21st century with privatization, open competition, and entrepreneurial innovation.

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Of course, “Con”-gress gives itself free mail privileges. And, it is up to its “elbows” in local post office placement and such.

I can’t imagine what the free market will provide, but I’m sure it will.

Think about UPS and FEDEX released.

I’m sure they can do better.

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