Bills Bills Bills

Americans Are Paying Through the Nose for Smartphones

A smartphone. (Wikipedia)

Americans’ smartphone bills are looking pretty onerous these days. How bad has it gotten? According to the Wall Street Journal, people are cutting back on dinners out and other such vices in order to sustain their ravenous Netflixing of Homeland episodes while waiting at the dentist’s office. And with carriers pushing back on unlimited data plans, matters are only getting worse. Read More

Unfortunate

Maybe We’ll Stop Complaining About Bad Cell Service, Since People Are Dying

(flickr.com/kalleboo)

Complaining about your underwhelming number of bars is something of a national sport at this point. We’re all paying through the nose for these data plans; how come there’s that one patch of zero coverage in the living room?

Well, carriers have actually been working to fix that. There were 5,000 cell sites around the country in 1990; there are now 280,000. But it seems the rush has a dark side. ProPublica and Frontline have teamed up for an investigation into fatalities among the climbers (often subcontractors) who work on these towers, and sobering is really the only word to describe to describe their findings. Between 2003 and 2011, half of the hundred people who died on communications towers were climbers working on cell sites.  Read More