So if we take the claim of "carbon and/or carbon based material" to the extreme as many patent hoarders do all the time, does this mean that if this patent is granted that all carbon based credit cards are covered? This is a problem for one main reason: most (if not all) plastics contain some carbon.
Lets take a typical credit card. Its made of laminated pvc (polyvinyl chloride). This plastic is made entirely of carbon, hydrogen and chlorine molecules (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyvinyl_chloride). To a lawyer it sounds a lot like the plastic is a carbon based material and would be covered by this patent.
This could end in several ways: 1) ThinkTank Holdings sues MasterCard and Discover for patent infringement on their regular cards; 2) ThinkTank Holdings sues anyone who has ever made any kind of material that has any carbon in it (this would include just about any kind of consumer and industrial material out there, including diamonds, graphite, gasoline, methane, steel, etc, etc, etc); 3) ThinkTank Holdings just licenses the patent to Visa and calls it a day. You can draw your own conclusions, but I don't think option 3 is going to be very popular.
I agree the data plan is WAY too expensive, but the network quality is good. The speed of the CDMA network is outstanding and is comparable to a wifi connection. And yes, I have done a few tests.... My roommate has a G1 and we are able to open websites at the same speed when he's on our home wifi and I'm on my Storm.
I've been a Verizon Wireless customer for about 2 years. Previously I had some Motorolla phone that was hugely locked down. I couldnt even download java apps. Recently I got the Blackberry Storm and I have been pleasantly surprised how open (in comparison to the previous phone) it is. I am able to download any java/blackberry app out on the internet and use the built-in GPS with the Blackberry Maps application (not just the Verizon branded one). On top of that, RIM is promising a true application store sometime in March similar to what Apple and Google have. The Storm might be the exception to the rule, but its a step forward in the right direction. Perhaps they'll see customer feedback or good sales and will change their other phones around too.
The same copying has been done by a whole lot of other artists when they used the chord progression from Pachabel's Cannon in D. This youtube video does a great job summarizing it and providing a few laughs too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdxkVQy7QLM