I just figured out how to save a few bucks with AT&T and my iPhone: Step 1: if you haven’t yet done so, set up a Google Voice account at google.com/voice and tell it to forward calls to your cell phone. Step 2: if you don’t have an A-list in your phone plan, get one - it’s a list of numbers you can call that don’t count against your minutes. (I was given one when I threatened to cancel and move to Verizon. You may need to be out of your contract term for this to work.) Step 3: add your Google Voice phone number to your A-list. Step 4: install the new Google Voice app on your iPhone and launch it. Step 5: go to preferences and enable Click2Call. That’s it for setup. Next time you make a call, dial it from the Google Voice app. It will call your phone from your now-A-listed Google Voice number, you answer, then Google Voice calls your recipient’s number - the minutes are free. Time to reduce my plan.
This should work with any cell provider that has an A-list or equivalent. Also, it seems that this would work with a Droid.
[edit: It has come to my attention that to use a call-forwarding number in your a-list, as which Google Voice likely qualifies, is a violation of terms with some cell service providers. Proceed at your own risk: this article is in no way an endorsement of violating your terms with your cell provider, and could result in any manner of testiness with said provider.]
Often I find myself with a need to get some little snippet of information from my Mac to my iPhone. It could be a reminder I need to bring with me, or commonly, an address I need to get onto my phone as I head out the door. I could, of course, copy-paste the text to a note and sync the phone, but that’s a five-minute time suck. I could finger-type the info on the phone, but that’s also time-consuming, prone to errors, and — let’s face it — in the digital age, just a bit of an insult. Thus, I’m delighted to share a little trick I just figured out:
Copy the needed text. Open a web browser, and open your Google Voice account: google.com/voice. Click the Text button, enter your name, paste the text, and click Send. The text content appears on your phone in about a second. Total elapsed time on average: about 10 seconds. This works on any computer and any phone. And, with subtle modifications, you can push information the other direction as well. If you don’t have a Google Voice account, set one up - it’s valuable for more reasons than this.
If anyone knows of a better or faster method, please share.
In researching a presentation I’m giving on the current state and future of electronic publishing, I found an interesting article summarizing Forrester’s projections for the eBook. We’re turning a corner with respect to adoption, with over 11 million eBook consumers in the US predicted by 2013. I don’t own a Kindle or a Nook, and I don’t want to read a novel on my iPhone or on my computer. But the power and flexibility of the eBook reader is undeniable. I will keep reading my novels on paper, and I will also own an e-reader for research, for news, and for interacting with writers and fans of similar interest. What about you?
My good friend Kelly Peterson and I have launched a podcast to do one of our favorite things: find, play, share, and discuss good music. Not since the ’60s have we seen such an explosion of musical creativity. Fusions and gumbos, perversions and remixes, mash-ups of mambos and minimal house. Flavors are drawn from the deepest corners of the planet, of the thrift store record bin, of the software shelves. But too much of it isn’t accessible via mainstream channels: you have to dig. If you have an eclectic ear and love discovering music new, old, distant, or just possibly right from your backyard, give us a visit at Gentlemen, Scotch, And Song.
I cried after watching this for the first time - for the loss of a great person, Carl Sagan, and for empathy with his struggle - to convey a critical message to an audience he is not convinced to be listening. In the Cosmos series there is a reference to an unnamed planet which has substantial technology, including the ability to create nuclear bombs. He ranks the odds of survival of this planet over the next hundred years at 40%. Was he referring to Earth?
I recently took a trip to Lake Powell, and took a lot of photos. I’ve been studying post-processing techniques, mostly in Photoshop and Aperture, and it’s really rekindled my interest in photography. I’ve got three categories of photos posted:
When working on interactive art project Jellyfish 12,000, I thought a lot about possible display technologies for our 8′-diameter dome before we settled on the design we chose. One option that had a lot of appeal was a persistence of vision (POV) design: rather than 36 ribs containing 136 lights each, we could produce similar functionality by rotating one, two, three, or four such ribs, depending on the speed we could achieve, around the dome. Ultimately this design concept was abandoned for this implementation due to our sentimental concern for the life and limb of our passengers.