Unlike many other cell phone companies that have several calling plans, Alltel Wireless offers only three plans. The Total Freedom Plan is ideal for those who travel extensively on business and need to keep in touch with clients and the home office, as well as family. It provides coast to coast coverage within the United States with no long distance or roaming charges.
You can get between 200 and 3000 anytime minutes, 1000 night and weekend minutes and 1000 mobile to mobile home minutes. The cost for this Alltel plan ranges between $39.99 and $299.99 a month depending on the amount of anytime minutes you choose. The cost per minute for calls over your plan minutes is between $.40 and $.20, again depending on the level of anytime minutes chosen.
Alltel relies on its National Freedom Plan to provide subscribers in most medium to large cities with coverage. However subscribers in smaller cities and rural areas or making calls to these places may incur unexpected charges. The benefit, however, is more anytime minutes in the same price range as in the Total Freedom Plan. For instance the National Freedom Plan gives 450 minutes for $39.95, while “Total Freedom” gives only 200 for the same amount.
The “Greater Freedom” plan is Alltel’s offering to the casual user who doesn’t do a lot of traveling or who is considering replacing their standard home phone with an Alltel cell phone. For under $30.00 a month you can get 300 anytime minutes. At $39.99 a month you get 700 anytime minutes, 1000 night and weekend minutes and 1000 mobile to mobile home minutes. Alltel’s mobile to mobile home minutes refers to calls placed from one Alltel cell phone to another Alltel user.
Alltel cell phone plans all offer the same basic features such as voice mail, caller ID, 3-way calling, call waiting, call forwarding and 411 information. Be cautious about these features, some of them are not covered by all levels of the plans and these charges can add up quickly. Recent research by Consumer Reports show that these seemingly minor add ons can add significant charges to your monthly bill. You need to make sure you know what your coverage area is, what is considered roaming and what the charges for these services are.
If you go prepared, know what type of service you need, make sure you understand all of the features you want and the associated charges, you will be sure to get an Alltel plan that is right for you. Alltel’s corporate philosophy is that simplicity or ease of understanding, means sales. This has allowed them to become and remain a viable contender in the confusing world of cell phone carriers.
With approximately 12 million customers and an estimated 8 billion dollars in annual revenues, Alltel has fine tuned their calling plans to insure that they are easy to understand. This simplicity has been a strong catalyst for the sales and longevity of this company.
Phones offered by Alltel are among the best on the market. Alltel cell phones are made by Nokia, Kyocera, and Audiovox. They have one of the largest selections of cell phones available today. You can get all the new “bells and whistles.” Do you want web access while on the road? Alltel can provide you with a phone that has that capability. Interested in voice dialing? They can give you that. You can also get speaker phones, color displays, stock reports, picture phones, cell phones that can be used as walkie talkies, advanced graphics and a collection of Alltel ring tones including hip hop, country, classical, movie theme songs, and fight songs. Before signing any cell phone contract you should investigate the available plans thoroughly to make sure that the Alltel cell phone plan you choose will suit your needs.
Satellite radio has been a godsend to people in remote locations, or even just those who travel long distances. In the past while on a long car trip, every hour or so you’d have to start fiddling with the radio, as the station you were listening to turned to static after up to an hour of fading in and out. Then just as you’d find a new one, it, too would go to static, and so it would go on. Now with the advent of satellite radio, that static and fiddling will be a thing of the past.
Conventional radio signals can only travel 30 or 40 miles from their source, so the further away you travel from the radio transmitter, the fainter and weaker these traditional signals will become. Satellite radio waves travel from space – 22,000 miles away, yet you will be able to travel across the country without having to change radio stations and quite possibly without having to endure endless commercials about things that you are not really interested in.
Cars, with satellite radios, have been coming for many years now. But as the service takes off many more drivers will be making use of the new technology and be grateful for the flexibility it provides. At present there are only three space-based radio broadcasters, but many more are in the pipeline, as the Federal Communications Commission sanctioned a sum of $80 million to give licenses to companies to make use of the specified radio band for digital satellite radio transmission.
These three different satellite companies have done research and development in different areas and this has led to the offering of different services by them. No doubt the VHS Vs Beta type of battle would continue to intensify in the time to come as the technology progresses. Only time and sponsorship would decide who the winner of this battle would be. But whatever happens, it would only be good news for travelers as more and more companies are waiting to join this exciting field.
Two of the companies, XM Radio and Worldspace, already have an agreement with each other to share new technological developments and to continue to work together to create further innovations in this expanding field. This can only be good for consumers, particularly those who frequent remote locations on a regular basis.
The ringtone industry is striking a popular cord with the teenage market. This group, mostly 13 to 24-year-olds, likes to purchase their favorite tune or sound without paying the high price for a CD. This segment isn’t afraid to drop lots of discretionary income to download monophonic or polyphonic sounds, which makes the ringtone industry very happy.
According to RealityTVWorld.com, today’s teens are willing to substitute cell phone minutes for the latest ringtone. This behavior places this age group in the largest population of ringtone purchasers. Since over 40% of cell phone users fall into this group and have disposable income, the ringtone industry is making the most of this opportunity. The market is so large among this young population that, according to a study by Wireless World Forum, young people are spending eight times more on mobile phones than music. Currently, trends in the U.K. show that the ringtone market holds 10% of the total music market. This population’s buying power is equally impressive in the United States where teenagers spend nearly as much on ringtones as on text messaging. The sale of ringtones worldwide adds up to $3.5 billion, according to IT Facts online (itfacts.biz).
Naturally, the music industry isn’t highly thrilled about this shift in sales from the more expensive CD to much less expensive ringtones – even though the publisher or songwriter of the music or tone is entitles to royalties. Still, a ringtone royalty isn’t quite as high of a percentage as a CD royalty. Some future analysts of this market are predicting that the mobile phone and ringtone industry are going to dip even farther into the music industry by giving mobile phones technology similar to iPods.
The third and latest XBOX/PS2 keyboard & mouse adapter to hit the market is the Max Shooter. Before this adapter was released there was a good chance that the guy destroying you in Halo 2 was using a regular XBOX controller and not one of the previously released keyboard & mouse adapters. Enter Max Shooter stage right. Now you should be afraid, very afraid, as the Max Shooter basically turns the console FPS into a PC FPS with all the accuracy that that entails. After spending a good few days playing Halo 2, Socom II, and Unreal Championship 2 there is little doubt that FPS games were mostly made to be played with a mouse and keyboard.
What’s In The Package
The Max Shooter, both the XBOX and PS2 versions, come in a small package that holds the actual hardware and an instruction manual. The adapter only accepts PS/2 compatible keyboards and mice so if you have USB peripherals you’ll need to get an adapter or head over to the old used PC shop and pickup an old keyboard and mouse combo.
The actual adapter is small in size and doesn’t hog any serious amount of extra space. The XBOX version features an extra slot on the backside of the adapter for a memory card to plug in.
The Max Shooter, both for XBOX and PS2, is packed with a wide array of functionality which can be accessed by using certain keyboard key combinations listed in the manual. It is fully programmable and also comes with game presets for many titles. The XBOX and PS2 presets are listed below.
XBOX Game Presets
Medal of Honor: Frontline
The Chronicles of Riddick
James Bond 007: Nightfire
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
PS2 Game Presets
Medal of Honor: Frontline
Time Splitters 2
James Bond 007: Nightfire
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3
Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
If your favorite shooter isn’t listed above, the Max Shooter also has three programmable controller setups to fill your needs. The variables that can be adjusted include key assignment, deadzone adjustment, mouse speed, and mouse inversion. Most seasoned gamers know about all these terms but might not be familiar with the deadzone. The manual describes the deadzone as the zone within an axis range that is interpreted as being at rest.
Along with the game presets, the factory default preset automatically assigns keys in the following way.
The selection of game presets and programming for custom games is all very straightforward, if not time consuming, and is well explained within the manual.
All these features are great but what really matters is how it holds up in the games. So without further ado let us jump in to our first game.
My first experience with the Max Shooter and Halo 2 was less than stellar, but that was completely my fault. Like most gamers I know I jumped in head first without reading a single page of the instruction manual which was a really bad move. The factory default setup is pretty much only suited for menu navigation.
So I popped open the manual and found out about the presets, sadly no Halo 2, and decided to try out the Halo 1 preset so I could get a quick start. Everything worked ok but it wasn’t better than the XBOX controller I had become so accustomed to. In fact, it was much worse. The mouse sensitivity was horrible and the keys were mapped semi-incorrectly. But again this was my entire fault and I dove back into the manual to see how to fix my problems.
An hour and a half later I had finished tweaking one of the user programmable presets included in the Max Shooter and things were starting to feel much much better. The mouse responded close to what I would expect from a PC FPS and the keys were all mapped to my liking, but I was still sprawled out on the floor in an awkward position. I wasn’t quite in FPS bliss.
Another thirty minutes later I had a table setup with the TV, mouse, and keyboard in the regular PC positions and things were feeling even better. The Halo 2 bots didn’t know what hit them, but the mouse movement was still a bit off. Then I noticed in the manual that this is one of the biggest issues that needs to be resolved when setting up the Max Shooter and that I should max out the sensitivity settings within the game for optimal “PC Like” results. So I did that and it proved to be the one tweak that turned Halo 2 into my first PC FPS on a console. The controls are that good.
I finally decided my setup was ready for prime time and I headed online to face the masses. I must note that my ranking in Halo 2 was quite low before I got the Max Shooter and that the PC FPS setup has always been better for me than any console controller. So with that said, I jumped into an online match and low and behold I got my rear end handed to me like always, but it was just the first match so I pushed on.
I changed my weapon setup from what I usually used to what I thought would be great for accuracy based shots and wow did that make a difference. Now all I use is the Battle Rifle. Four hours later I emerged with a better ranking and an awesome kill to death ratio. My hit rate and shooting speed went way up with my new found accuracy and the competition was destroyed because of it.
Once the Max Shooter is tweaked to a gamers liking, it is an incredibly deadly controller for Halo 2. But Halo 2 is just one of the FPS games out there so lets see how it holds up with the others.Unreal Championship 2
I confess this is my favorite all time XBOX game, so I was extremely excited to see how it would hold up with a mouse and keyboard. I once again tried out a preset which didn’t hold up so well and then went on to create my own setup. Once the setup was done I headed online for a FPS shocker.
I used the same mentality I had in Halo 2; go for the accuracy based weapons. I loaded up the sniper rifle, headed to a dark corner, and started sniping. My TV echoed “Headshot” many times before the match was over, but that was mostly because no one ever found me. The next match was much different.
The rest of the matches I played online with the Max Shooter were populated with very good players. They would find me sniping and then destroy me. It seems the problem with Unreal Championship 2 is that it was designed to only be a console FPS. Much of the gameplay really relies on the button configuration on the controller. Thus I couldn’t bounce around the walls, dodge, and reflect as well as I could with the controller. This could be because I have spent so much time with the controller that I couldn’t break my habits, but I believe this is one case where the Max Shooter isn’t superior.
So one game is completely changed by the adapter and one is built too much around a standard controller to benefit from it. Next up is the PS2 and Socom II; let’s see how the PS2 version of Max Shooter fairs.
Once again I connected the keyboard and mouse to the adapter, plugged it into the PS2, and immediately got a good connection. I surfed through the menus with ease and entered an online game. This time around there is a preset available for the actual game I’m playing. I loaded up the preset and was pleasantly surprised to find the preset layout to be perfect for Socom gameplay.
It felt good and worked just as well as it did in Halo 2. I don’t play a lot of Socom but I found myself playing quite a bit in this setup as I could never get into using the PS2 controller for FPS gameplay.
With the large amount of customization, the ease of use, and the low price this adapter is really worth every penny. If you really want an advantage in games like Halo 2 or just want to try a new controller setup I would definitely recommend picking the Max Shooter.
Plug and Play
Customization and presets
Lack of new title presets
Overall Score: 9.5
Purchasing a luxury watch that is a good investment.
Many people consider luxury watches an extravagance. To them it makes little sense to spend thousands of dollars on a Rolex or a Cartier, when there are essential payments to be made. The same is true about cars. They say why spend 90,000 dollars on a brand new sports car when a sedan or a station wagon in 9,000 dollars would do just as well. After all, they both have four wheels, an engine, a steering wheel and a gas pedal and they take you where you have to go.
However, luxury watches are different! They serve many purposes. They are precision instruments that are fine-tuned for perfect accuracy, and give you the right time all the time. That’s their purpose, no doubt. But luxury watches adorn the stylish and fashionable wardrobe. It’s a matter of style. Some people feel naked without a belt, others feel absolutely desolate and deserted without their luxury watches. And it is not about time only. Even if they are surrounded by scores of digital clocks, cell phones, microwaves and other time-telling devices they are ill at ease without their luxury watch.
Aside from their functionality and sharp looks, luxury watches also confer a sense of status on their wearers. A stunning Rolex or Breitling can denote great taste and class every bit as much as a Jaguar or Mercedes. In fact, with the premier foreign car manufacturers diluting their brands with 30,000-dollar versions of their classic autos, one could argue that some luxury watches are a greater status symbol than some high-end vehicles.
To buy a luxury watch you need a discerning eye. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, and only a true connoisseur can tell the difference. They have a flair for style and quality. They choose their watches with as much care as they would choose a home to live in. They compare brands, quality and prices. They consider various factors such as mechanisms, escapements, complications, dials and many more aesthetic factors like watch bands and bezels. They enjoy looking at various brands as much as they love buying the watch that’s close to their heart.
So if you want to add some style to your life, think of buying a luxury watch. For one thing, it’s easier to carry around than a luxury car!
Your probably thinking, free? nothing is free right?
Wrong! This brings us to the idea of Satellite TV which i’m sure you know about through the dishes you see at your neighbour’s house or while your driving to the mall. Dishes have just about come up everywhere. Yesterday i was in a remote town where it’s difficult to locate a store unless you drive 20 miles into the city. However, i was surprised to see a satellite dish. They are just everywhere.
So why do you need a satellite dish?
Often we get bored with the same programmes that are offered to us as viewers through TV. When your watching tv and you want to see something new, you find out that you’ve seen it already. The re-runs on all shows has gotten so boring that we want something new. This is where satellite tv comes into play.
What will satellite tv bring to me that i dont have already?
The question you want to ask really is what doesn’t satellite tv have. TV gets boring after a while, we all know that. But often we like to relax and watch a good movie or something interesting. Thats why you need satellite TV. Having satellite TV installed in your home will mean that you can watch channels covering movies, sport, documentaries, adult and everything else you can name. Not only will you be able to watch channels in every language but you will be able to watch channels from every country in the world.
The Short Message Service (SMS), more commonly known as text messaging, is currently the most used mobile phone service. Frantic wrist action is enjoyed everywhere, even to the point of etiquette, as consumers are spotted texting in restaurants and bars, at weddings and in meetings. The semi-anonymity of text’ seems key to its popularity, as it provides a comfortable amount of distance, but allows almost instant communication. The world of SMS is expanding so rapidly that many people are of the opinion that text will overtake talk as the preferred form of communication. It could be argued that a great percentage of people find “text” easier and perhaps less embarrassing to articulate their thoughts. Many intimate confessions have been communicated by text, including the recent escapades of Paris Hilton and Charlotte Church.
Research suggests that introverts prefer texting as they have the opportunity to think about what to say, removing the pressure of articulating an instance response. Some people also find text a useful time-saving medium by removing the opportunity for small-talk. With text, mobile users can get straight to the point, much appreciated by people who simply do not enjoy talking on the phone.
Text opportunities are endless. The Live 8 ticket lottery was a very high profile use of text. Over 26 million people took part in the text messaging campaign this month to support the work of Live 8. Throughout the concerts, viewers were urged to send a text message consisting of their names in order to strengthen the message sent to the world leaders. As text is such a convenient option, many believe that this campaign was more successful than a “phone in” campaign would have been. The appeal posed little challenge for the public viewers, who sitting in the comfort of their own homes, could easily reach for their mobile phone and interact with the Live 8 campaign. Furthermore, the lucky concert attendees were encouraged to send a quick text in between dancing to the live acts. As this took very little effort the response rate to the text appeal was phenomenal.
There are many companies keen to exploit entertainment products and packages through mobile phones. The media industry, particularly radio and reality TV shows, is continuing to cash in on this popular method of communication by engaging viewers to text in and express their opinion. Hit TV shows, such as Big Brother, Pop Idol and Celebrity Love Island, are inundated with texts from the public wishing to save their favourite person. Other media companies promote text as a convenient way to enter competitions. Text messages ease the tedious routine of entering a competition via a phone call, where engaged lines and automated instructions are inevitable, they are also faster and less hassle than snail mail and often more cost-effective.
Entertainment isn’t the only industry to exploit SMS. According to textually.org, the top 10 uses for SMS in the US include:
1) Alerting mobile technicians to system errors
2) Alerting mobile execs to urgent voice messages
3) Confirming with mobile sales personnel that a faxed order was received
4) Informing travellers of delays and changes
5) Enabling contract workers to receive and accept project offers
6) Keeping stock traders up to date on urgent stock activity
7) Reminding data services subscribers about daily updates
8) Alerting doctors to urgent patient situations
9) Letting mobile sales teams input daily sales figures into corporate database
10) Sending mobile sales reps reminders of appointments and other schedule details
A more advanced form of text messaging, dubbed the XHIBIT, involves witnesses in criminal court cases automatically receiving a text when they are due to appear in court. Many have favoured this easy method, claiming it effectively reduces the time witnesses of crime have to spend waiting around in court. This is also in place to support the police force, who claim that less time is wasted in the court through this technology. Research suggests that XHIBIT text could save 80,000 police days every year.
Additionally, text provides an additional medium for support services. Examples include encouraging messages for those trying to give up smoking and messages of advice for those suffering from anxiety problems. Furthermore, some people rely on receiving texts with the latest news, such as stock quotes and weather updates.
With the digital and communications market expanding so rapidly, research suggests that text will continue to see many improvements and will consequently become a more fundamental part of our everyday lives.