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AustinTX
Austin Texass
I love websites where everything is so wrong that it's funny. dilbert. Rotten.com. boners.com. somethingawful. Fon turns me on the same way. skype/yahoo/gmail/aim: elfonblog. gizmoproject: therealelfonblog
Recent Activity
I used Google Voice with Gizmo extensively, for years, until Google bought up Gizmo and.... shut them down. I'm at a loss to understand what they gained by acquiring them and then eliminating them. They were openly partnered, not hostile competitors. You can still find "Gizmo" listed as a choice of extension type in Google Voice's settings page. Perhaps they're making these dick moves to avoid the regulation that a full telephone provider requires? The web client is no substitute; requiring a mad scramble to get your headset on and switch to the Gmail page to click the answer button. Google Voice sound quality has been top notch for me, even with AT&T's detestable "Pro" DSL service (we get only 2.24 of our 3Mbit/sec speed, and we're less than 6K' from the central office). I only get about 2 dropped calls a year, and I make and get calls almost every day. While I can't connect directly to a Gizmo Project now, I still use my unlocked ATAs and land line phones. I'm hosting my own Asterisk-based PBX as a virtual machine, using a Google Voice web client emulator. Delay is usually imperceptible. The authors of the PBX package are a bunch of self-congratulating chuckleheads, but I've managed to resolve most of the issues they suggested were non-existent. I too, am worried that Google's stagnation with GV means they want to shutter it, but I would be willing to become a paying customer if they made that a reasonable option. I strongly urge them to offer a SIP interface so I can continue using my collection of ATAs. Yes, I have heard of the Obi110 and other solutions, but what a hassle and expense that would be, when I have 4 perfectly good dual-line SIP ATAs. SIP is not a dead standard, and my existing hardware need not go to waste. If GV disappoints me, I can just get a couple of the cheapest SIP trunks available, and emulate all of GC/GV's features right here in my desk-side server.
Toggle Commented Oct 31, 2011 on GoogleVoice's Next Moves? at VoIP Watch
I hope this soft client is just a SIP client. I would rather register my ATAs directly to Google than give up my 4-line desk phone for a softphone.
Toggle Commented Apr 8, 2010 on Here Comes VoiceMo at VoIP Watch
Wasn't there already a conflict between CallVantage and Vonage? It's like Ma Bell is asking for a lawsuit. Or perhaps they even hope to lure Vonage into a fight, just to damage them.
Toggle Commented Apr 1, 2010 on The Return of CallVantage??? at VoIP Watch
I guess they all want to be GC reincarnated, because GC is amazing, but GC is also very poorly organized, and all these new services want to demonstrate how much better another approach works. My main beef with GC is how there are tons of awesome features that are hidden until you enable another feature that doesn't, by itself, sound interesting, and there are little floating dropdown menus that appear in unmarked hotspots when you right-click, etc. All "web too point oh-oh-oh". It's a terrible paradigm for exhibiting what your company's software can do. I much prefer a hierarchical administration screen with disabled features greyed out... that way I can at least notice them and investigate how to turn them on.
Unfortunately, all they're actually promising is unlimited ONLINE TIME. I'd bet my next paycheck that they have data caps. The "up to" transfer speeds look good though. As long as the data caps aren't too draconian (though any caps are draconian), $40/mo sounds pretty good. Do you suppose they could strip out the unnecessary 32GB of flash and the 8GB MicroSD slot and sell a $40 USB modem instead of a $100 one? For a flat $40 for the modem, and $40/mo for the contract-free service, i'd join this service yesterday! :)
AT&T appears to want the government to protect them from anyone who replaces their services piecemeal, and to establish that anyone who challenges them should be forced to offer a comprehensive selection as well. That is a ridiculously high bar to reach, and requires a lot of money, influence and opportunity which companies like AT&T could easily squelch. Without this obviously anti-capitalist protection for their business plan, AT&T will lose business to competitors who provide comparable services more cheaply... exactly the way our market system should work. What the heck is it with corporations today? Any time their business is no longer as profitable as they desire, they would rather warp the fabric of our justice system, than to evolve their business plan! Apparently, it's far easier for them to bribe a congressman. My hope is that the reason the FCC responded to this issue is because they saw it was a trivial issue they could slap down quickly.
Toggle Commented Oct 10, 2009 on A Waste Of Money, Time and Words at VoIP Watch
I'll take totally free outgoing calls and deal with the "uncertainty" of "change" on my own terms, thanks. Some people think throwing money at things is always the way to deal with them, and some companies will break things and then demand money to fix them again. Though it would be nice to just lift the handset and dial a number, all I have to do is continue to use GV's web interface to make free outgoing calls. It seems to me that all Google has to do is implement their own SIP servers. Why not? They have to carry 100% of the voice traffic at some stage, even when they hand it off to Gizmo5's network.