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David Poland

By David Poland

Going To Cannes 2014: An Internet Access Story

So… I know this is all too Jeff Wellsian… but I also know that a lot of people wrestle with this… and I feel like I found a very happy solution for the first time after wrestling with it for years.

After years of using old phones that can be unlocked by ATT and mi-fis and whatever, I finally figured out something that works with both my AT&T 10g group data plan and my travel needs without costing a fortune.

It started with an investment. I paid full price for an iPhone 5s. Ironically, this became a more attractive option as AT&T implemented two new programs. First, the new $0 down plan turns out to be one of the most expensive ways to buy a phone. Second, with a push to get people onto the 10g data package, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to have phones from multiple carriers, as reducing from the 10g package to a smaller data package ends up costing money (unless you are going to have fewer phones/tablets). And AT&T is actually competitive on pricing with everyone else in this 10g offering.

Those two things taken into account, the $850 for an unlocked phone that works on AT&T (and on T-Mobile) is not really that much more expensive than the subsidized phone options.

And here is the real kicker. T-Mobile offers a worldwide unlimited data and text plan for $80 a month, including up to 5g of tethering worldwide. And it is a month-to-month plan.

So here is my gambit… buy the new phone… put it on my AT&T plan… sell my old iPhone 5, which returns about $200 against the cost of my new phone (bringing the difference in cost to a locked under-contract AT&T phone to just $200)… then get a month on T-Mobile for just $80, as needed, and go. No phone changing. No insane bill at the end of a two week trip. 20 cents a minute for talk, which is okay by me, but could be improved upon somewhat with other methods, if you so choose. And as a friend pointed out, I could just audio call from Facetime (with iPhone users) or Skype audio with pretty much anyone and not pay extra for phone calls at all.

When I get back to the states, I pop out the T-Mobile sim card, pop in the AT&T, cancel or suspend my T-Mobile plan… and I’m done.

No more messing around. No more changing to another phone. No more crazy bills. Next time I need it (hello, TIFF), pop in the T-Mobile sim and ramp it up for that month.

This is how much of the world has done this for the last decade or so.

Ironically, I was telling this story to a friend in Amsterdam and he told me that his new iPhone 5s is his first under-contract phone ever… because for the first time, in The Netherlands, there is a deal that makes it significantly cheaper to have a phone under contract. Go figure. We finally get some freedom over here and they get more tied up where they have been free for years.

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14 Responses to “Going To Cannes 2014: An Internet Access Story”

  1. Joe Leydon says:

    David: If you describe something as Jeff Wellsian, you can no longer say you don’t read Jeff Wells.

  2. The Pope says:

    Ain’t necessarily so, Joe. At Cannes last year while standing in line for a press conference, I overheard Mr. Welles giving a classic rant about internet connection etc. You don’t need to read him to hear either first or second hand about his preferred topics. I don’t read Welles any more (I left when he posted photos of Nazi memorabilia), but my ear is close enough to the ground to know where his blogging currently resides.

  3. Wells to The Pope: I never posted photos of Nazi memorabilia. I once wrote while in Berlin couple if years that I was looking to find an underground seller of Nazi memorabilia (for which I was roasted alive by the politically correct Stalinists) but I never posted any photos, mostly because I never bought anything. I did post photos from an old 1970s National Lampoon piece called”Nazi Regalia for Gracious Living” but that was a parody thing. Perhaps you didn’t realize that.

  4. David Poland says:

    Joe – I read Jeffrey and was friends with Jeffrey for a long time. I haven’t read him in 8 years now. I wish him well, but I won’t participate in his drama.

    Has it changed?

    I still hear about Wells drama from people. It seems to always involve bad internet connections. This obviously reduces Jeff’s work down to too narrow a thing… comical but unfair. But when I start writing about being excited about the ease of something internet, I think of it being Jeffrey-like, just as I would think about AICN if referring to a comic book movie… and while I don’t avoid AICN, I haven’t read it much in a few years either.

  5. Godwin says:

    Of course that link to a search of Wells’ blog doesn’t showcase the article he deleted, which used to live here:

    Fortunately, someone took a screenshot of the article (which did indeed include photos of Nazi memorabilia), so it has been preserved for posterity.

  6. The photos are from that National Lampoon parody piece, you moron! God!

  7. greg says:

    Need we say more what a piece of work Wells is

    Why any studio would let this guy in I have no idea..

  8. leahnz says:

    wtf is wrong with me? every time i see some ‘jeff wells’ thing here i go read his blog/skim the comments and then deeply regret it (tho it seems many of his commenters can’t stand him, i can’t imagine why, what a fucking sociopath… and it would appear there’s an overlap of commenters from here and there, which is creepy somehow). and no doubt i’ll just do it again next time, so maybe i have latent masochistic tendencies

  9. Joe Leydon says:

    BTW: There’s actually a long tradition of critics complaining about trying to file digitally from Cannes. If you check out Roger Ebert’s Two Weeks in the Midday Sun (1987), you’ll read where Roger tried to school me in how to make my Radio Shack laptop work during the festival.

  10. Breedlove says:

    leahnz, Wells on his worst day is a million times more interesting than you and a zillion times better writer than you. Sorry, but true.

  11. leahnz says:

    hey good to know breedlove… i will now carry on not giving the slightest shit what you think of me or my ‘writing’ in a blog comments forum compared to Jeffery Wells (whoever he is because i haven’t the faintest idea, apart from looking at his blog i think 3 times now and occasionally reading here about some ‘feud’ he and DP have had or have — but i take it you’re one of his sycophants so bravo to you and your questionable mental health). also fwiw i’m in the process of turning a short film i made with a friend a while back into a feature and getting paid to write it, so i’m not hugely concerned about my lack of writing ability as compared to blogger Jeffery Wells, so up your nose with a rubber hose, really

  12. Joe Leydon says:

    Leah: Thou art beautiful in thy wrath.

  13. Breedlove says:

    Sycophant’s a bit strong, but the man has provided me with many hours of entertainment. So you don’t know who he is, been to his blog 3 times, but still call him a sociopath. And you spend 18 hours a day on a blog but act like the term “blogger” is an insult. OK.

    Anyway….A. Good luck with the film, sounds very cool, sincerely, and B. I challenge you to read Wells’ blog for 2 weeks and tell me you were not entertained.

  14. leahnz says:

    ha i didn’t even put conditioner on my wrath today joe, so it’s not even its smooth, supple best (no i’m super chill atm, dozing in the sun on a rare day off)

    i’m pretty sure i’ll regret this but what the hell, i’m a bit of a fuck up, so: breedlove, honestly, if you think i’m on this blog 18 hrs a day because i make a couple comments here a few times a week/now and then or sometimes in spurts when i happen to be off the clock and online indulging my ill-advised fetishes (like today), then you’re quite mistaken. maybe you’re projecting and YOU’RE on a blog 18 hrs a day. i wish i could be that lazy but i gotta make some swag to feed the troops.

    (and deux, i’d rather stick a cattle prod up my bum than read the Wells’ blog for 2 weeks — each time i’ve read stuff there it makes me throw up in my mouth a little. see, now i’m going to have to go back there for this example…

    wait wtf? when i read this post by DP some days ago and went to ‘H E’ like a moron i’m certain i read a post/comments wherein the delightful Jeffery Wells explained how 15 yr old boys have plenty of smarts and know exactly what they’re getting into when they get drugged and raped at Hollywood parties etc (to note: i have a son who’s 15 and i’m around the teen boy species a lot, and i know for a fact they are dumber than sacks of hair) but i can’t find it now to link here… how weird. has it been deleted, or maybe i’m going blind, can’t seem to see it. oh well anyway, if this sort of deeply disturbing musing from someone who is clearly a fucking asshole is your idea of entertainment, well… i don’t know, i feel kind of sorry for you i guess. but no thanks man, i like to not have to shower after i read my blogs!)

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

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I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

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