While it is easy to get caught up in the hype for a new smartphone, you don't need to upgrade with each new model. Especially as these devices can get expensive. The latest iPhone announcement is a great example of updates many won't find necessary. It's probably appropriate to wait about 3-4 years before upgrading your phone. It's also better for the environment to not throw out all those old electronic parts so frequently, though there's at least a decent market for used phones these days.
The New York Times recently posted an interesting article about a new company that has started called BillFixers, which acts as your agent to cut your cable and phone bills. It gives tips for getting lower bills, and a lot of these things can be easily done yourself:
Tella wants to know if she can change her ringtones from her regular landline phone. Leo says that she could do it with a mobile phone, but for landlines, it's built into the phone. She can change the duration or frequency of rings, but not the ring itself.
Chavy wants to know when the Apple Watch will come to Spain. Leo says there could be logistical reasons for it not coming to Spain yet. He could go across the border into France and buy it. Chavy's worried about updates, though. Leo says that would have to do with carriers of his phone, not the watch itself. Warranty may be an issue, perhaps. But Leo doesn't think so.
Catherine got lured to a new phone company to save money and now she's lost her internet service. She was promised that Verizon would maintain her Internet even though she changed services. Leo says that Verizon owns the copper wire, but since she's no longer using their service, she can't have access to the internet. She would have to use whatever DSL that the other phone company offers. Leo says it sounds like she was bamboozled by a promise they had no intention to keep, so Leo advises going back to Verizon.
Ruth is thinking of bundling all her services. Leo says it's easy, but it's not necessarily a better deal. Leo doesn't like them in general, although there are advantages. But one of the downsides is that they rely on voiceover IP for their phone service and if your internet goes down, so does your phone, and your TV. If the power goes out, you have no phone. Phone service has it's own power, and Leo says it's worth having it for emergencies. But you do end up with a better set top box. But if that's not floating your boat, there's really no advantage to it other than convenience.
Damian is 10 and has an iPhone 4S, but the battery dies in about 3 hours. Leo says that's largely because Damian plays with it a lot. He also noticed that the phone crashes after overheating. Could there be something wrong with it? Leo says there probably is. He advises taking it to the Apple Store. They'll replace it if it's still under warranty. To preserve the battery life, he should turn down the brightness, turn off bluetooth, and check email manually.
Darryl is trying to get his parents off of their bundled services, and is wondering if DSL is adequate enough for services like Skype or Vonage for phone service. DSL Extreme can certainly handle this, but Darryl would want to look into something faster than the basic $12.95/month service. One issue with all DSL is that you have to be within a couple of kilometers of the central office. In more rural, distant areas it may not even be possible to get DSL at all, but DSL Extreme would be able to tell him. (Disclaimer: DSL Extreme is a sponsor of the radio show).
First she should make sure the filters they gave her are put on the phone line and not the DSL line. Leo thinks it's an issue with AT&T because the DSL tech tried connecting directly to the AT&T line outside of the house. The problem is that AT&T doesn't have much incentive to help her make this work because she's using DSL Extreme instead of them for internet.
What she wants is "bare DSL" or "naked DSL", but it's not up to the internet provider (in her case DSL Extreme), it's up to the phone company. Her phone company has its own internet service that DSL Extreme is competing with, and the phone company owns the lines that DSL Extreme uses. The only reason the phone company allow this is because the FCC requires them to. The phone companies really aren't going to like the idea of not making any money off of Julie at all, and most likely will fight it.