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  • BMW says annual $80 CarPlay fee needed for ongoing testing & development

    Seems like a BS charge.. like the universal tax you pay for having a phone line in your home.. nobody can explain exactly what the surcharge is for, but it needs to be paid.. hahaha.. wow.

    The USF surcharge is mandated by law and goes into funds administered by USAC (federally) and the states (locally). Rural telcos apply to USAC and/or their state public utilities entity for support from those funds. The amounts given are based on a number of factors, such as annual income, subscriber base, the costs involved in supporting the network and its subscribers, how rural/distant the network is (the more average distance you have between subscribers, the more expensive the plant is to maintain) and how much has been invested into the plant to keep it up-to-date.

    See for more information.

  • Apple predicted to launch a 5G MacBook Pro in 2020

    The time and frequency multiplexing nature of cellular technologies means they can handle traffic congestion and loading better than WiFi's carrier sense design. This would really shine when using your laptop in hotels, stadiums, conference centers, airports, and college or corporate campuses where the carriers typically have one or more in-building DAS already. While the carriers have been pushing WiFi offload for years, I can see that trend reversing when more mmWave POPs are deployed.

    I also see hotels and conference halls being much less inclined to pay for bandwidth and mess with WiFi infrastructure when they could invite a carrier to come and do it all, or contract it to an ISP aggregator of sorts (which also happens nowadays).

    As LTE-A and 5G become more ubiquitous, the carriers will be more of a threat to cable and DSL operators in homes and small businesses. All the money you pay to your current ISP could go towards a whole-home wireless bundle: 4 phones, 2 tablets, two computers, and a router, all with unlimited data for $100-200, as compared with $120 for 4 wireless lines plus $40-$60 for slow DSL, $60-$90 for mediocre cable, or $99-$199 (or more) for faster cable and fiber.

    I'm frequently doing video broadcasts in a building where CenturyLink DSL maxes out at 700K upload and AT&T and Verizon (LTE) are barely 1Mbps in either direction. Fortunately, I get 45+ down and 25+ up with T-Mobile, and I'm able to reliably live stream an HD H.264 feed out at 1.5-2Mbps for 8 hours straight. I certainly look forward to the carriers putting their money where their mouth is and seriously beating out the lazy telcos who sit on their 15-year old ADSL2+ tech.  (Heck, it doesn't even meet the FCC's standards for broadband, let alone high-speed broadband.)
  • How to use your iPad as a display in macOS Catalina with Sidecar [u]

    i would like to know if anybody has had luck with the 2015 MBP's. The article speculates they are the lower end of the cutoff, but I suspect the 2016 is.

    I personally have not had it work with my 2015 (purchased when the 2016's had already come out). Sidecar does not show up in System Preferences, and when you spotlight search for "Sidecar," it says the pane isn't available  because you might not have connected the device (iPad?) yet.

    However, it did "just work" with a 2017 iMac and iMac Pro.  Both of the latter show my 1st gen and 3rd gen 12.9 iPad Pro's once everything was signed into iCloud.