Wednesday, December 28, 2016

How to use an AT&T iPhone on T-Mobile's no-contract network

The shakeup is good for everyone, but if you own an AT&T iPhone and are ready to switch carriers, T-Mo's new bargain plans are looking you straight in the eye.
A $50 no-contract plan sounds too good to be true, but the company's formula is simple: instead of subsidizing a phone upfront and shifting the cost to the monthly fee, new customers will pay the full -- or in some cases, slightly discounted -- price of the phone and enjoy a lower monthly.
But if you already have an AT&T iPhone and you aren't locked into a contract, you can easily use that phone on T-Mobile's network. The process is simple, but requires a little setup, and for some, sacrifice.
Step 1: Read the fine print
Before you jump for joy, beware that using an AT&T iPhone on T-Mobile isn't always a positive experience. Yes, AT&T and T-Mo both use GSM (SIM cards), making them a good match, but a problem lies in the network.
Different networks run on different bands (like frequencies). While T-Mobile's 3G and HSPA+ networks currently run on the AWS 1700 bands, it's now moving those services to the 1900 spectrum band (which the current iPhone 5 uses). This T-Mobile site can tell you more, but you'll have to contact T-Mobile to find out if the network has been updated in your area.
If you find out that your area is not supported and you aren't in one of T-Mobile's new LTE cities (see below), you can still use your iPhone on T-Mobile's network to make calls and send messages, but it will run slower data speeds than you'd find on AT&T. In fact, those speeds may be so agonizingly slow that you might be willing to continue paying AT&T's premium until T-Mobile's network transition and LTE rollout gains more steam.
What about LTE and HSPA+? T-Mobile also said this week that it is launching its own 4G LTE network in seven cities. A current iPhone 5 will be able to use that network, but HSPA+ data speeds will top out at 21Mbps rather than 42Mbps.
Step 2: Unlock your iPhone
Once you get past the fine print, it's time to unlock your iPhone. (Without an unlock, an AT&T iPhone will reject a T-Mobile SIM card.)
According to this help article, AT&T will unlock iPhones for eligible customers in good standing. Meaning:
  • You own the phone, or can identify the person who owned it.
  • The phone hasn't been reported as lost or stolen.
  • You are no longer tied to a contract (either because of expiry, or you've paid the early-termination fee to cancel it).
  • Your account is in good standing, and you have no unpaid balances.
Finally, AT&T will grant no more than five unlocks per customer.
If you meet these requirements, you're eligible to request a phone unlock. Before you do, though, be sure to back up your iPhone in iTunes -- your phone will be completely erased during the unlocking process.
When the backup is complete, fill out this form to request the unlock.
Once you've been approved by AT&T, you'll be asked to sit tight during a "wait period" of up to seven days. In many cases, this wait period will be much shorter, but if you'd rather not take the chance, you can instead call AT&T directly and speak to a representative who may grant an unlock immediately.
If you're still subscribed to AT&T, do not cancel your contract yet, as you'll lose your phone number. Instead, wait until the very end, when your phone is up an running on T-Mobile (more on that in a bit).
Step 3: Visit T-Mobile and complete the setup
During the wait period, visit T-Mobile (online or in person) to sign up for a monthly, no-contract service plan. At this time, you'll need to request a SIM card for your iPhone. If you're still an AT&T subscriber, you'll also want to ask T-Mobile to transfer your AT&T phone number to the new SIM card.
For reference, the iPhone 5 uses a nano-SIM, iPhone 4/4S uses a micro-SIM, and all earlier models use a regular SIM card.
If the waiting period is over and you have your T-Mobile SIM card in-hand, you'll need to complete the unlocking process. Depending on how you approached the unlock (on the phone or through the Web), you'll be provided with the instructions to complete the process.
Once the unlock is complete, use iTunes to restore your iPhone from backup. At this point, you can cancel your AT&T service plan.
Step 4: Tweak a couple iPhone settings
The one side effect of switching carriers is that a little extra setup is required to get the Web and MMS (picture messaging) functioning again. Follow this help article on T-Mobile's site to restore these features.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

What Does Home Mean to You?

A warm bed that you can’t get out of in the morning, a tiny pink toothbrush in the bathroom, and the sound of my husband’s key in the door at the end of the day.
Dena Nilsen
Charlotte, North Carolina

My husband and I moved our family 10 times over a period of 22 years. Before we became nomads, we thought of home as where we had grown up. (Iowa for him, Delaware for me.) Now that we’re adults, home is wherever we gather with our family and friends. Houses get bought and sold; a home stays with you always.
Joel Melsha
Winter Garden, Florida

Anywhere my kids are.
Millie Ayala
Northport, New York

The sensation of peace on a cozy, rainy Sunday; the feeling of relief when you pull into the driveway after a long trip; a quiet kiss on the head of a baby asleep in my lap; and the warmth of my husband’s arms. Home has been many places for me over the years, but its comforts are defined by simple, blissful moments like these.
Sarah Bernard
Somersworth, New Hampshire

Home is a place you can feel comfortable cooking breakfast in your pajamas.
Danielle Halloran
Folsom, California

A clean, fresh, lemon-scented living room, open windows, plenty of sun and warmth everywhere, and my mother’s cheese pie baking in the oven.
Thei Zervaki
New York, New York

what means love

Love is a force of nature. However much we may want to, we can not command, demand, or take away love, any more than we can command the moon and the stars and the wind and the rain to come and go according to our whims. We may have some limited ability to change the weather, but we do so at the risk of upsetting an ecological balance we don't fully understand. Similarly, we can stage a seduction or mount a courtship, but the result is more likely to be infatuation, or two illusions dancing together, than love.
Love is bigger than you are. You can invite love, but you cannot dictate how, when, and where love expresses itself. You can choose to surrender to love, or not, but in the end love strikes like lightening, unpredictable and irrefutable. You can even find yourself loving people you don't like at all. Love does not come with conditions, stipulations, addenda, or codes. Like the sun, love radiates independently of our fears and desires.
Love is inherently free. It cannot be bought, sold, or traded. You cannot make someone love you, nor can you prevent it, for any amount of money. Love cannot be imprisoned nor can it be legislated. Love is not a substance, not a commodity, nor even a marketable power source. Love has no territory, no borders, no quantifiable mass or energy output.
One can buy sex partners and even marriage partners. Marriage is a matter for the law, for rules and courts and property rights. In the past, the marriage price, or dowry, and in the present, alimony and the pre-nuptial agreement, make it clear that marriage is all about contracts. But as we all know, marriages, whether arranged or not, may have little enough to do with love.
Sexual stimulation and gratification, whether by way of fingers, mouths, objects, fantasy play, whips and chains, or just plain intercourse, can certainly be bought and sold, not to mention used to sell other things. Whether sex should be for sale is another question entirely, but love itself can not be sold.
One can buy loyalty, companionship, attention, perhaps even compassion, but love itself cannot be bought. An orgasm can be bought, but love cannot. It comes, or not, by grace, of its own will and in its own timing, subject to no human's planning.
Love cannot be turned on as a reward. It cannot be turned off as a punishment. Only something else pretending to be love can be used as a lure, as a hook, for bait and switch, imitated, insinuated, but the real deal can never be delivered if it doesn't spring freely from the heart.
This doesn't mean that love allows destructive and abusive behaviors to go unchecked. Love speaks out for justice and protests when harm is being done. Love points out the consequences of hurting oneself or others. Love allows room for angergrief, or pain to be expressed and released. But love does not threaten to withhold itself if it doesn't get what it wants. Love does not say, directly or indirectly, "If you are a bad boy, Mommy won't love you any more." Love does not say, "Daddy's little girl doesn't do that." Love does not say, "If you want to be loved you must be nice, or do what I want, or never love anyone else, or promise you'll never leave me."
Love cares what becomes of you because love knows that we are all interconnected. Love is inherently compassionate and empathic. Love knows that the "other" is also oneself. This is the true nature of love and love itself can not be manipulated or restrained. Love honors the sovereignty of each soul. Love is its own law.
Excerpted from The Seven Natural Laws of Love, by Deborah Anapol and appears by permission of the publisher. This material is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. Please contact the author for permission to copy, distribute or reprint.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

What Is Love?

"Okay. Love is that feeling you get when you meet the right person."
Every hand went up. And I thought, Oy.
This is how many people approach a relationship. Consciously or unconsciously, they believe love is a sensation (based on physical and emotional attraction) that magically, spontaneously generates when Mr. or Ms. Right appears. And just as easily, it can spontaneously degenerate when the magic "just isn't there" anymore. You fall in love, and you can fall out of it.
The key word is passivity. Erich Fromm, in his famous treatise "The Art of Loving," noted the sad consequence of this misconception: "There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet, which fails so regularly, as love." (That was back in 1956 ― chances are he'd be even more pessimistic today.)
So what is love ― real, lasting love?
Love is the attachment that results from deeply appreciating another's goodness.