Archive for July 2009
My friend Christina Stork just posted this meme thing on her Facebook. What a goof!
Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Pass it on to 15 people you like and include me. You can’t use the artist I used. Try not to repeat a song title. It’s a lot harder than you think! Repost as “my life according to (artist name)”
- WTH? Just noticed I have a bunch of followers that Twitter didn’t notify me about. Spammers to block, and actual friends to follow back. #
- I’m in a deep techno depression what with the FDA e-cig smear campaign, plus Apple pulling support for Google Voice. The future is not now. #
- Before the App Store we’d download iPhone apps from the net and install them ourselves. Can’t we still do that, or am I remembering wrong? #
- Apple just pulled GV Mobile off the app store, and they rejected the Google Voice app for “duplicating functionality” in iPhone. ::mad:: #
Google Voice is a fantastic (and free!) new service that you really ought to try if you can get your hands on an invite. Hard to explain, but it’s a universal number that you use to route your phone calls & text messages to whichever phone you happen to be using at that moment. If you have multiple phones, you can have calls routed to your work phone during the day and to your home or cellphone after hours. You can ring any or all your phones at once, and whichever one you pick up is the one that gets the call. If you’re hiking on the Appalachian trail and out of cellular range, route your number to the landline in your cabin. You can make lists of your contacts and send different people to different phones… work contacts to work, friends to your cellphone? You can record different greetings — say, a short one for friends and a longer “I can’t come to the phone right now” type message for unknown callers. (I made special personalized greetings for my mom and my dad.) You can block callers or send certain people straight to voicemail every time. All your voicemails and text messages are archived on the web for you, and the best part? Everything can be transcribed into text… and if you like, the transcription can be rocketed off to you via direct SMS and/or e-mail. Sometimes the transcription can be comically off, but it seems to work well enough to give you a general idea of what the caller’s going on about without having to actually listen to the message. There are a lot more features; it’s a very deep service with a bit of a learning curve, but it’s well worth the bit of extra effort you’ll need to become a true GV ninja.
Google Voice is currently in beta with some sort of waiting list for invites; I was lucky in that I had an old account with Grand Central, which later got bought by Google, spiffed up and turned into the current service. Everybody on Grand Central got the option to turn their account into a Google Voice one, so that’s what I did. I wasn’t crazy about the number GC had originally given me but I was able to pay a one-time fee of ten bucks to get a new & more memorable one in the area code of my choosing. So now, no matter where I move off to, no matter where I’m staying or what phone I happen to be close to, I can always get my calls routed to the best place. I can give out one number that’ll (in theory) follow me around for the rest of my life… knock on wood that those years be many.
More reading if you’re interested…
- New York Times: State of the Art – Unify the Phone Numbers and All Else Follows
- Lifehacker: A First Look at Google Voice
- Lifehacker: How to Ease Your Transition to Google Voice
- Lifehacker: How to SMS with Google Voice from Any Mobile Phone
- Google forums: The Power of 406
- Sean Kovacs: GV Mobile app for iPhone
- Nerd Vittles: Nerd Nirvana: Free Google Voice Calling Returns to Asterisk
- In the unlikely event that you were wondering why I’m not tweeting as much as usual, it’s because I’m blogging again. Trying to, at least. #