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One man’s scandal is another man’s marketing angle

March 14th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Creative innovation, Marketing, Phone by admin

We all know how frustrated we can get with the lack of personalized service these days, even after paying for such services. Faster than Eliot Spitzer could say, “oops,” the Virgin Mobile Canada came out with a print ad that features the newly former NY governor, aka Client #9, musing as follows under a thought mumbling bubble: “I’m tired of being treated like a number…”

Ad reads: “At Virgin Mobile,” the ad goes on to say, “you’re more than just a number. When you call us we’ll treat you like a person, not a client. Whether you’re #9 or #900, you’ll get hooked up with somebody who’ll finally treat you just how you want to be treated.”

The print ad will run in two Toronto daily newspapers this week as part of the company’s “You call the shots” campaign.

Via [appscout]

Grandcentral –- mother of all phone services

Recently grandcentral.com (one phone number for life – humm… may be like social security number? Hu?) is came out of beta. After less than a year in beta condition, this service (it’s free so far) getting known to users who is looking an alternative number for home, to control/filter incoming calls. This service allows you to select your phone area code of your choice, pick the phone number that will stick to you as long as you want regardless of your existing or any future phone carriers you use. (free local US phone number from 47 states) Then connect your existing (and future) phone number to your grandcentral.com number so that all of your phone number will ring when that (grandcentral.com number) is called.

1. It offers centralized voice mail, verity of music while caller wait for you to pick up, including different customizable tunes)
2. you will get an email with the voicemail attached as a WAV file.
3. Personalize your voicemail greetings by caller or group.
4. Record calls on the fly and access recordings online
5. Receive voicemail notifications via email or SMS
6. Let people call you from a web page without showing your number
7. One number that rings different phones based on who’s calling
8. And More …

Greandcentral is offering tons of features (you won’t get this much even if you want to pay to your existing phone company.) See all these features here: http://www.grandcentral.com/howitworks/


The best of my knowledge, it is working as advertised. However, some of the linkedin users expressed few concerns regarding GrandCentral free phone number service:

1) You can only get one number at this time
2) Since the service is free, you feel some insecurity about your future use of the number
3) SMS “Text” messages don’t work through GrandCentral, I can’t give it as my “only” number. I have to say: use XYZ number for sending me text messages, and ABC number for calling me.
4) No voice recognition for prompts, so it’s impossible to use while driving and/or using a Bluetooth headset.

As a side note, GrandCentral is also helping those (who can’t afford a phone service) in need stay connected by offering individuals a local phone number and voicemail box for life through project CARE initiative, GrandCentral is providing, free of charge, a local phone number and voicemail box to members of the homeless community in San Francisco and hoping to extend this program nationwide as they build out this service.

How you can get your (free) telephone number? Reserve it here

Extra info for small business owner:

If you are looking for similar high quality, functionality rich telephony/VOIP PBX system for your business, ring central is the answer for you. Read more here: RingCentral Small Business Phone Service

Extra reading:

1. Chan, Wesley. Official Google Blog: All aboard. Google.

2. Pogue, David. One Number That Will Ring All Your Phones, The New York Times.

via [Ringcentral blog and linkedin.com/answers, mymoneyblog and Top 10 Telephone Tricks]

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Jaxtr is out of Beta, Free International Calls

February 26th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Digital home, HowTo, Phone, Skype, Tech/Biz News, VOIP, Voice Over IP (VOIP) by admin

Jaxtr was launched in March 2007 by Phillip Mobin and Touraj Parang with the operation to get voice to social networks and blogs. With the free jaxtr service, users can link their phones with their online network to hear from callers worldwide while keeping their existing phone numbers private. Jaxtr is claiming 10 million users worldwide in 50+ countries. Tonight jaxtr officially came out of beta and adapt the “1.0″ status!

Jaxr is a widget that users can put into their social networking sites or blogs. When someone has a jaxtr widget, it means you can call them in real-time. Jaxtr members assign a specific number to their widget.

When a caller sees that widget, they can click it and jaxtr will ask them for their own phone number. The caller’s phone will ring, and when the caller picks up, jaxtr will ring the recipient who originated the widget. If the recipient was not available, jaxtr will notify them that they have a voicemail that they can access by calling into their jaxtr service.

Things to note in the 1.0 jaxtr service:

• Free International and national calling and receive phone call to/from other Jaxtr member.
• Free International Text Messaging: You can now log into your jaxtr account and send text messages to your family & friends in over 30 countries for free
• Cafe Jaxtr Talk Network: It’s a social communications place; they have built a global network of users where any user calls to other user. Of course you have to set your privacy setting accordingly. For example, routes a call from unknown callers to your jaxtr digital voicemail box, so that only people you approve can call your phone through jaxtr. Users can list photos of themselves and interests at café jaxtr and things they like to talk about.

How to get started?
It’s simple! Sign-up to create your FREE jaxtr account, link your existing phones, and post your jaxtr link or Call-Me! widget to your favorite social network or blog.

The first time a friend uses your jaxtr link, they are connected to you for free through jaxtr’s automatic call-back feature. They also receive a local number which they can use to call you directly in the future, regardless of where you live in the world. Click here to see how jaxtr works!

In order for someone to call you, they must first use your jaxtr Call-Me widget. (Register here to get one) Send them your jaxtr link: e.g.: http://www.jaxtr.com/YOUR_SCREEN_NAME (like this) or direct them to your favorite social network or blog where you’ve posted your jaxtr widget. The jaxtr widget can be easily posted to popular sites such as Facebook, Orkut, MySpace, LinkedIn, Blogger, LiveJournal, Xanga, Flickr, Craigslist, eBay, and many others.

When using your jaxtr widget for the 1st time, jaxtr will automatically connect the caller to you through jaxtr’s Call-Back feature. Jaxtr will also provide them a special jaxtr number they can use in the future to reach you directly.

How to make it work for you?

1. After registering, link your regular phone(s) where you want to receive/make calls.
2. Invite your friends.
3. You are all set.
4. When you plan to call one of your friends, just create a number for them in your account. (Remember, you have to provide your number when it says, ‘Call me Free’, you don’t have to enter your friends’ phone number.)
5. Jaxtr will assign a number for your friend so that you can call them anytime you want for free. (Of course your cell phone or regular phone charges apply, depending on your cell phone plan)
6. Every month you get 100 free jax minutes. (Currently, they do not sale more minutes, even if you want to, may be in 2.0 version?)

Via [Jaxtr Blog]

Nuvifone: Garmin came out with iPhone like Nuviphone

Today in a surprise announcement in NY city, GARMIN (GRMN) came out the nuviphone. The phone seems to be packed with features. A full GSM Smartphone built with own operating system with GPS navigation system in its core including …

  • Google Local search
  • Garmin Online service like traffic, weather, fule price, hotel discounts ets
  • Nuvi like - big screen navigation
  • Email, IM, text and browsing
  • Camera, MP3 player, Video

No pricing and carrier of this phone yet but they are promising to deliver it in 3rd quarter of this year. It can make Garmin a little extra money to make up for
all that talk of losing market share to TomTom. However after announcement market doesn’t reflect much in stock price, in fact it went down by $1.50 as of today. I am sure competing with the iPhone will be hard. Not because the iPhone is so awesome (well may be not,) but because Apple has a cult-like following and evangelistic supporters. The last thing Garmin needs is to be on the receiving end of some kind of T.V. campaign like “Hi, I’m a Mac!…..Hi, I’m a Garmin!”

You may find all good functionality of NUVIPHONE in this video:

Nuvihphone promo video:

Here is some of its early pictures:

More pictures: here

via [Gizmod]

Wraps around phone - Polymer Vision’s Readius

December 14th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in Creative innovation, Digital home, Gadgets and toys, Phone by admin

Polymer Vision’s Readius, a unit of Philips Electronics, introduced the Readius handheld in 2005 and, in collaboration with mobile operator Telecom Italia Mobile, will soon launch the device commercially. Standard screen size of current cell phone is 2 inch but this phone triple its screen size for better picture and view ability. This phone comes with standard cell phone functions including Wi-Fi compatibility and a mini-USB port, the device also features a flexible black-and-white LED touch screen that rolls out 5 inches from the body of the phone. The Readius also serves as a PDA and e-book reader. This mobile phone prototype has a 5-inch display that wraps around the phone and has a battery life way beyond normal phones

The coolest factor about this phone is its battery consumption. LED screen consumes relatively little power; the Readius needs to be recharged only about once every 10 days on average. The device also includes 4GB of storage capacity.

Launch date and price of this phone is not disclosed.

54112.jpg54113.jpg54114.jpg

Via tech2.com

Tags: polymer vision future technology 3GSM
Video #1: 3GSM: Polymer Vision screens
Video #2: Polymer Vision Video of READIUS, more about its technology

Picasa mobile - redesigned and optimized exclusively for iPhones.

December 12th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in Apple, Google, Google Picasa, Phone, Software, Tech/Biz News, iPhone by admin

Today Google photo announced completely redesigned and optimized mobile version of Picasa Web Albums specifically for iPhones. In other words you can say it’s a roll out some of the bug fixes for IPhone. In today’s announcement, Google phrase iPhone overwhelmingly saying the best high-resolution screen that’s big, bright, and crisp, and a first-class web browser that supports complex web technologies like AJAX.

In addition Google says that it’s probably fair to say that Apple’s iPhone offers one of the best platforms for experiencing the mobile version of Picasa Web Albums. Some of the key features are…

  • pictures are proportioned to fit the iPhone’s screen dimensions
  • tweaked the key buttons so they’re easier to navigate with fingertips.
  • launched a new iPhone-only slideshow feature that automatically flips through favorite photo albums.

Via [Google Photo blog]

Get your FREE numbr for your craigslist advertisement

November 7th, 2007 | 2 Comments | Posted in Amusing Stuff, Creative innovation, DIY, Digital home, HowTo, Phone by admin

I often notice that when you give your phone number in any public listing you will get quick response to you advertisement. It also filter out junk interest and get quality interested buyers. This specially applies to advertisement where anyone can access/see your ads for free, like, craigslist. However its not safe to provide your real number on craigslist’s ad. At that time tool like numbr.com comes in a picture. It is an auto expiring phone number which will be routed to your original phone number without disclosing to caller. It is FREE anonymous phone numbers for online safety. It is great when you are out at a bar and want to give that hottie next to you your number!

numbr.com is based out of Silicon Valley, CA, USA, and is governed by state and federal telecommunication laws. numbr.com has been reported by over 500 experts and bloggers, has thousands of real users, and over 150,000 Google hits. I am using them a lot selling on various forums; thought you might like a good FREE tip.

As of today they support 23 US cities, block telemarketers and allows for parental controls. In addition this crazy thing lets you embed a link to your website allowing your blog or website readers to reach you without knowing your real phone number. It’s one of those things that I can’t really explain in full. Here is a little FAQ/Advantages from their site:

Anonymity
Talk without sharing your real number! Get a numbr in 23 cities in the US, and forward calls to any landline or mobile phone numbers
Disposable numbers
Set your numbr to expire in an hour, day, week or month. Additionally, you can expire your numbr before your opted limit. Say, if you sell your item in three days, why keep a numbr for a week?
24×7 Reachability
Inbound calls to your numbr will be forwarded to your first phone, and then to your second optional phone. If you are unavailable on both phone numbers, the caller can record a voice-mail, which will be sent to you on your e-mail. In all, you can be reachable on your numbr for all calls - unless you have chosen to block off certain numbers, or the caller was a known telemarketer
Call-to-get™ numbr
You don’t have to be on-line to get a numbr! In a bar and need one? Simply call: (415) 234-5678 and get a numbr! Share that number with anyone. Calls to your numbr will be forwarded to the number you used to call from .. so, make sure you call from your mobile :)

If you want to check this out, visit numbr.com, currently in beta. You can also get disposable number by calling (415) 234-5678.

via [here and http://www.inumbr.com/ ]

Short recap of the Apple’s new products

September 6th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in Apple, Phone, iPhone, ipod by admin

Here’s a short recap of the new products:

  • iPod Shuffle:
    • New colors
    • No increase in storage

  • iPod Nano:
    • Nick named on tech blogs as the “Fatty” because of its new form factor
    • Now plays video on a 2″ screen
    • CoverFlow and a new “enhanced” interface
    • New colors
    • No increase in storage

  • iPod Classic:
    • Essentially the iPod with Video
    • All metal instead of plastic
    • Huge amounts of storage with the new 160 GB model
    • CoverFlow and a new “enhanced” interface
  • iPod Touch:
    • Dubbed the iPhone without the phone (not quite)
    • Looks like the iPhone
    • Same interface as the iPhone
    • Huge 3.5″ screen
    • Meager storage amounts of 8 GB and 16 GB
    • Built-in WiFi
    • Built-in Safari web browser
    • Multi-touch interface
    • Wireless iTunes Music Store
    • Free WiFi with Starbucks partnership

  • iPhone:
    • Dubbed the iPod with a phone
    • See the iPod Touch features above
    • Phone capability (currently tethered to AT&T)
    • Speakers
    • Microphone
    • Bluetooth (hobbled only in mono)

NJ teen unlocks iPhone from AT&T network

August 24th, 2007 | 6 Comments | Posted in Apple, Mobile & Wireless, Phone, TGIF, Tech/Biz News, ebay, iPhone by admin

George Hotz of Glen Rock, N.J., spent his last summer before college figuring out how to “unlock” the iPhone, freeing it from being restricted to a single carrier, AT&T Inc. He explained freedom steps on his iphone unlocking blog. He also put this phone on sale on ebay, as of now bid is up 10,000 and still 6 more days to go.

However, I am sure, soon Mr. Hotz will get a sweet ;) letter from lawyer of Apple or ATT or both. But whatever he did is good. Freedom (of iphone) is good for everybody.

His story can be read here and here

Due to his unlocking of the iPhone, Mr. Hotz has received considerable attention in mainstream media. To date, his major network appearances and news coverage include interviews on the Today Show, CNN, NBC, CBS, G4, ABC CNBC, and articles in several magazines, newspapers, and websites, including Forbes, BBC and CNN and Technology Madness.com.
Mr. George Hotz, according to the Forbes article on his breaking of the iPhone Lock, hopes to go into neuroscience, and he is quoted calling it his famous line- “hacking the brain!” - via this

From his listing on ebay:

This phone is ready to work with any SIM card. I patched out activation, so you can just pop in the sim and go. This is the only iPhone on ebay right now that can claim that. The wires for the testpoint are taped to the battery inside the phone. They are easy to access after you open the phone. The modem already has the 3.14 firmware. Be aware that an update will reset this phone to being locked, but I left all the files required for unlocking on the phone. You will always be able to reunlock this phone. The soldering on the testpoint is very well done and epoxied in place.

I’m not just including the iPhone in the auction. You’ll get

  • The 4GB iPhone, signed by geohot, with no damage at all
  • The world first serial dock, the one the serial interface was discovered on
  • And the official unlock switch from the blog.

Soon, you will be able to buy unlocked iPhones everywhere, in fact probably before this auction ends. But this is the one that started it all. The one unlocked while the steps were posted live on the blog. This isn’t just an unlocked iPhone, this is a piece of history.

I’m starting the bidding at $540, the price of the phone+the level convertor.

Good luck Mr. George Hotz!

Additional resources:

http://iphonesimfree.com/ iphone sim free

http://www.myspace.com/geohot George Hotz

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Hotz George Hotz on wikipedia

Know your rights is it illegal to unlock my iphone

CNBC interview with George Hotz: (7 Min)

What is ‘Vonage Text’ Service?

April 26th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted in Creative innovation, Phone, Tech/Biz News, VOIP by admin

This is a new service from Vonage. On top od lots of other add on service they added new service called Vonage TEXT. It is a subscription based service. Here is some bullet points they listed on vonage.com website:

  • Save time - Read your voicemail
  • Search your voicemail messages
  • Convenient - No need to write down important messages. It’s already done for you.

“Being able to read voicemails while on the go has been a huge advantage for me, and I’m confident our customers will appreciate the newest innovative, time-saving feature to be offered by Vonage,” said Jeffrey Citron, Chairman, Chief Strategist and Interim CEO of Vonage. “I don’t have to write down important messages — it’s already been done — and I don’t have to strain to hear messages in crowded places like restaurants or airports.”

Vonage offer to their consumers the convenience of reading their voicemails anywhere, anytime they want, through Vonage Text, a service which automatically transcribes voicemails to text so customers can read them right from their e-mail.

The image “http://img.epinions.com/images/opti/35/a7/Vonage_Online_Service-resized200.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

I am not sure how accurate this would be as voice - to - text technology is still not in mature stage. I would love to hear some experience from you, if you happen to be a subscriber of this service. At the bottom of Press release, fine print is: “Vonage Text is brought to you by Vonage and Powered by SimulScribe.”

Via [blogs.zdnet.com] and [simulscribe]

Tag: VOIP Vonage