iPhone 3G Sluggishness: It’s the Network!

By  |  Monday, August 25, 2008 at 1:08 pm

Until July, I used an AT&T Tilt 3G phone, and found that performance was often disappointing. Today, I own an Apple iPhone 3G, and find that performance is often disappointing. Coincidence? Nope!

Real Data on iPhone Reception
Wired.com polled its iPhone 3G-using readers on their 3G reception, and has published the interesting results. Much of it confirms stuff that I kind of suspected, which is comforting: Problems with 3G data speed appear to have as much to do with the network in use as the phone itself, and if you use an iPhone 3G in a crowded metropolitan area, you’re competing with a higher number of other 3G phone users and therefore may find Internet speed to be particularly sluggish. If you own an iPhone 3G, you can interpret the survey results as good or bad news. On one hand. some of the issues that folks are experiencing with the phone are probably just as likely to happen with other 3G phones. On the other hand, there’s nothing that Apple can do to deal with spotty 3G deployment or congested networks.
Read more at: Wired Gadget Lab

Worst Western
Scotland’s Daily Herald has an alarming story on what it’s calling the biggest cyberheist ever–the apparent theft of information on eight million customers of the Best Western hotel chain by an Indian hacker, who also sold instructions on how to access the data via a network operated by the Russian mafia. The article says that the Indian hacker managed to plant a Trojan on a computer used by a booking agent; when the agent logged in, the hacker swiped the login info. It’s a little vague on distinguishing between what has happened and what might happen–it speculates that someone might use future booking info to rob travelers when they’re on vacation–but it sounds like the attack involved only information on hotels in Europe. Sorry, Europeans!

I’m Feeling Peckish
Valleywag is reporting that Google is cutting back on the endless quantities of free food that are a major benefit of working at the world’s biggest search company. Its first story said that Google was doing away with free dinners; Valleywag later amended this to say that dinner service is only being discontinued at some facilities where non-engineers work. Snacks, however, apparently face cutbacks, as does something called the Tea Trolley. I’ve eaten Google food, and it’s the best cafeteria grub I’ve ever had anywhere; as a mere user of the company’s services, I’m feeling concerned that if employees are slightly less well fed it may somehow result in a less satisfying user experience for us users. Maybe I’ll head over there with a Tea Trolley myself.
Read more at: Valleywag

Biden Their Time
Barack Obama told his supporters who signed up for SMS alerts that they’d be the first to know who he picked as his running mate. How very cutting edge! Except…word leaked on Saturday before the alert went out, and folks who consume the old-school media known as TV news got the word on Joe Biden first. As a journalist who likes scoops, I’m pleased. Side note: As with a number of breaking stories in recent months, I learned abut the Biden pick via Twitter, which prompted me to turn on the TV and learn more from MSNBC.
Read more at: GigaOM

One Fast Fox
Mozilla has announced that Firefox 3.1 will have a completely rewritten version of the browser’s JavaScript engine, which it says is seven times faster than the version in Firefox 3.0. The idea is to make Firefox into the best possible home for browser-based applications such as Google Docs–they make heavy use of JavaScript, and faster JavaScript should mean snappier, more desktop-like performance. It’s always dangerous to get too excited about speed benchmarks published by the developers of unreleased products, but this still sounds like good news and yet another reason to use Firefox. Version 3.1 may appear later this year.
Read more at: CNET, PC Magazine

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