Daniel Eran Dilger
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Tech: Hot & Cool 1 – Dealing with poor cellular service: from AT&T 3G MicroCell to WiEx Zboost XY-510

Daniel Eran Dilger & KharaCara

On our search to find the hottest and coolest stuff in the tech world, we investigate AT&T’s terrible service for US iPhone users, the 3G MicroCell you can’t get in AT&T’s worst service markets of New York and San Francisco, and a product from Wi-Ex called the Zboost XY-510.

AppleInsider | Video First Look: WiEx zBoost XY-510 cellular booster
Related articles:

AT&T’s 3G MicroCell to patch iPhone dead zones
AT&T 3G MicroCell to cost $150, require no monthly fees
AT&T fails to deploy iPhone Tethering and 3G MicroCell in 2009

Amazon Affiliate Link
: Wi-Ex Zboost XY-510

Say hi if you’re headed to SXSW in Austin, Texas — we’ll be there! Subscribe on YouTube and leave your comments.

  • enzos


  • http://berendschotanus.com Berend Schotanus

    You guys are getting wild!

    It’s great to see just all the fun you are having doing this. Go on, you will end up delivering a professional show. But for the moment it is just so nice that it is *not* professional but obvious homebrew with all those little edges and signs of authenticity. Keep on experimenting and have the guts to make your next mistake.

  • wings

    Waiting for http://www.roughlydrafted.xxx website to launch.

  • walter

    If you’re going to keep making movies, you should consider replacing the embedded YouTube with HTML5 embedded H.264 video. That makes it more convenient for viewers and saves our batteries.

  • airmanchairman

    Daniel (that’s said in your Mom’s slightly disapproving voice)…

    Really !!


    Nice new fun dimension to your ever-informative blog…

  • Per

    I look forward to the inevitable Apple vs. HTC lawsuit video.

  • http://ObamaPacman.com ObamaPacman

    That’s great! Love the humor.

  • ShabbaRanks

    Any idea why we don’t get this problem in the UK?

  • ShabbaRanks

    Oh, and which one’s hot and which one’s cool?

  • http://bkpfd.org qka


    If you can’t embed the H.264 like Walter suggests (and I understand why you want YouTube to do the heavy hosting), at least consider putting a direct link to the YouTube page by the embedded YouTube video on your RD page. That way we can vote with our clicks for HTML5. And yes, you can right click in the embedded YT video to go to the YT page, but having a direct link would be more convenient for the audience.)


  • Ludor

    This was fucking great. You and Khara make a very good team. I’d like a little more cusswords, but I understand if circumstances don’t permit it. Also, I’m a bit creeped out by that alien artifact on the hill.

  • Ludor

    ShabbaRanks: “Any idea why we don’t get this problem in the UK?”

    Because something went very wrong when the telephone system in the US was established. I can’t be trusted, but I think it was related to how Edison completely screwed Tesla over. Just like Microsoft screwed Apple in the nineties.

  • Dmitri

    Great! I especially liked Daniel’s fall after drinking the roofie. Nice touch.

  • bigbadrobbo

    Let me add my 10c about the YouTube videos. I read all your articles on my iPhone and when I try and watch your videos on my WiFi they only play about 1/3 then lock up. This seems to be a common problem with YouTube, so I just watch them on my 3G. Unfortunately for us in New Zealand, data is expensive. I pay $30 per month for 200MB, so as you can understand I’d rather be watching good quality H.264 than jaggy 3G downgraded expensive clips.

  • gus2000

    1. Dan, did you censor the upskirt shot on the ladder, or did PrudeTube do that for you?
    2. I would avoid waving an antenna around on the roof when thunder is clearly audible. Fried Blogger is tasty, but terse.
    3. Now we all know where you live! Your apartment is on the hill. Next to the cell tower.
    4. AT&T says they’ll be ready for the deluge of iPhone hipsters at SXSW this time, according to the Austin local paper.
    5. I’ll buy a round if you can find me on 6th Street. I’ll be the cool guy, with the iPhone.

  • got nate?

    You need a lapel mic or 2 or something because the sound mix was very poor in this video. KarhaCara could be heard fine, but Daniel was VERY soft. If I found myself turning it up to hear what Daniel was saying and then blasted by KarhaCara when she said something. I couldn’t take more than a minute of it.

  • Bryon

    I loved the two-handed reporting style – that gave this video a very engaging presentation. Well done! I could still do without the crude humor; some of us here are family men.

  • WSharp

    You guys crack me up.
    I live on Cape Cod where AT&T service is excellent.

  • http://themacadvocate.com TheMacAdvocate

    “Our” apartment.
    Good on you, Daniel. Good on you.

  • marian_

    I see that KharaCara is a recurring presence on RDM.
    Is she your girlfriend?

  • http://auralbytes.wordpress.com/ E. Wetzell

    Love the video. It adds a great texture and bit of variety to the site. Regarding the audio thing, lav mics are one option, but for quick (and cheap) I would suggest just hitting the mix with some dynamics processing in the post. Normalize the audio track and you’ll be in great shape.

    Keep up the good work!

  • http://motorizedmount.com Alan

    I live in a dead zone for all carriers, have been with AT&T, Verizon, and now Sprint. Go about 200 feet in either direction and it is fine, but for some reason inside my house reception sucks. I called up Sprint last year and they sent me a femtocell device called Airave for free. They also waved the monthly fee of $4.99. I now get 100% bar strength anywhere in my home and yard. I decide to get the add-on service for this device which gives me unlimited calling for an extra $10 without using my anytime minutes. Femtocells are really great. Hopefully AT&T will give them for free to customers with poor reception and waive any fees like Sprint does for their customers.

  • Aframe

    Dan, I have long been a reader of your website. I enjoy and appreciate your insight and understanding on technology in general and Apple products in particular, a field where sensationalism, click-baiting, repeating tittle-tattle and plain ignorance is too prevalent. Your ability to check facts and understand strategies is sadly all too rare.

    Your reports convey your distinct personality, but they are never about your personal life. Except that, for reasons I don’t understand, my earliest recollection of your articles concerns an earlier motorbike accident in Southeast Asia.

    You haven’t written about, for example, setting up a computer for your uncle or your wife, the way other bloggers often do, although you did mention not having children when commenting about some product’s child-friendliness. That’s fine with me, I read your articles for their technical insight, not the personal touch. Since you are based in San Francisco, it has crossed my mind that there is a greater statistical likelihood that you are gay.

    That was until recently, in fact you managed 9 out of 10 “iPad myths” all by yourself. But then, suddenly, you have a co-star. An attractive and outgoing personality who has almost taken over your videos.

    Khara Cara is apparently a “Philipina-Jew”, a category of person I never even imagined to exist, let alone in numbers large enough to have their own website , according to which “Khara Cara already has a man, maraming salamat, a Hudyo one at that, who has inspired her to complete the formal process of giyur, besides a wealth of ongoing material for her blossoming stand-up career”.

    Who could that Hudyo man be? According to Khara, Daniel Eran Dilger is her “Business Manager”, but the two also seem to share the same house, together with another woman and someone who makes films of them fooling around.

    To be honest, I always assumed that the name Daniel Eran Dilger indicated Irish ancestry, Daniel as in “Oh Danny Boy” etc. Whatever, I am sure all of your readers would wish you luck with your future personal life. What we do not want is getting confused between the technical details of a repeater antenna system and the mechanics of pushing a cute ass through your rooflight.

    Could you possibly find a way to separate the two?

  • shadash


    Since we all know AT&T is horrible, could you address two things:

    1. Is the fabled move to Verizon dependent on LTE? I have heard in numerous places that Apple does not want to make 2 phones, but my understanding is that LTE won’t be rolled out fully (to replace CDMA for example) for years. So if Apple was waiting to be able to make one phone to run on AT&T and Verizon, we would be looking at 2013-2014, not 2011, as some people have speculated. Do you agree, and does this make it more or less likely that we will get an iPhone on Verizon sooner rather than later?

    2. How does sticking with AT&T affect Apple’s ability to compete with Android and now apparently Microsoft, who have or will release phones almost as usable as the iPhone, but on a network that actually works? Instead of the “good enough” problem that Apple had in the 1990s versus Windows, I fear that by sticking with AT&T competitors with “good enough” phones on a superior network will surpass Apple. I for one have been an iPhone owner since 2007, but am seriously considering switching when my contract is up this summer. I have paid thousands of dollars to AT&T over the last nearly 3 years, and am tired of the spotty, sub par service.

    Take care,

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  • zaphod4269

    lucky bastard :)