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It's unfortunate spammers (and telemarketers - voice spammers)are allowed to invade the privacy of our homes. These are the inevitable negative forces of positive intended technologies. I myself have been able to eliminate at least 90 percent (or more) of all telemarketing calls to my home phone as follows: 1. I use a BYOD VoIP provider(s) that allow me to create and customize incoming call rules (at no extra cost). 2. My customization allows me to block All Anonymous callers. If someone wants to talk to me, their caller-id can't be blocked. 3. I can block specific incoming caller-id's. So, if a telemarketer (or someone who consistently calls me by mistake, or hang-ups), I enter them into my customizable caller-id block list (no extra cost). 4. If I don't recognize an incoming caller-id, I just don't usually answer it... if they really want to talk to me, they can leave a voice mail, and I'll call them back. 5. I also have blocked all night-time calls between the hours of 9:00 PM and 6:00 AM. This way I'm not waken-up in the middle of the night by wrong number calls or prank calls (or drunks in bars miss-dialing). This too, I can do myself at no extra cost. It's sad the telco's and mobile services don't give the average Joe more control over their incoming calls (without charging an arm and a leg for it).
I think Skype has out-grown their ability to keep up with the growth of their infrastructure. I recently commented on Andy Abramson's blog that "Skype is becoming little more than a distant memory... for me". I've stopped using Skype since their release of version 5.x, as it seems to be a bit of a disaster (at least it has been for me). Luckily, I have other options at hand, and don't feel the need to look back... You are right - the least they could do is... a little more communications (on all fronts). Jeff -
The Skype client has not worked for me since version 5.x came out. Nothing but crashes on both my desktop (WinXP sp3) and laptop (Vista) PC's. There seems to be plenty of others out there with similar problems: I've given up on using Skype (I rarely use it, anymore). Perhaps I will try it again in future, once I buy new PC's. (only to see if it works as a test) It's a pity, though... I started using Skype way back before most people knew what VoIP was and Skype was giving free calls to PSTN landline and mobile numbers.... just like Google Voice and GChat are doing now. There are plenty of other options to fill the gap. Between various BYOD SIP VoIP providers and Google Voice/Chat, Skype is becoming little more than a distant memory... for me. Jeff -
Andy, I do agree with your point. (My previous rambling-on may have blurred that a bit.) Cheers from Alberta, Canada Jeff -
This topic could certainly spur a bit of debate over "what is a telephone?". But, I think we all know exactly what a "telephone" is. So, I guess the real question is over what do we call it (no pun here) when we "talk" to someone "remotely" via some kind of electronics apparatus? It used to be we only had one choice of the device we used - a Telephone. For me that started back in the 1950's and remained essentially unchanged until the 1980's. But, back then there was another option for me, too - it was called Ham Radio. I talked to people all over the world, for free, via radio waves, or "wireless" (kind of like a cell phone now days... kind-of, but not exactly. I think we actually called it: "Radio Telephony". Now, if someone said: Call Me, I would probably call them via "analog PSTN landline telephone". But, if I were talking to a Amateur Radio Operator (Ham), and if he/she said "Call Me", I would assume he meant via "Radio Telephone". That is unless we were already conversing using "Morse Code" (of which I copied up to 20-wpm). In this case, I guess I would be "calling" via Radio Telegraph (guess this doesn't count as a Voice call... but it is a Call :) Flash-forward 30 years... The methods we have for making "voice calls" now days is more than I can count on both hands (and perhaps my toes too :). And, because there are now so many "methods" by which we can make a voice call now.... I don't think anyone cares "how" we call them (especially my Mother :), just as long as we do call them. I think "how we call" only matters when media compatibility is an issue. We're certainly in a period of voice communications media transition... and not quite sure what to call it when we're talking to someone. (Like, when someone says..."What are you doing"... Uh..I'm on the telephone...No, I mean on my ATA.. wait, sorry, I'm on my 3CXPhone Softphone... Ok, I'm just on a call...talking to someone...) Jeff -
I would like to see Google Voice implement iNum +883 call routing as an alternative to the removal of Gizmo5 as a viable GVoice call forwarding medium. iNum call routing makes good sense, as most reputable VoIP carriers are now supporting iNum +883 and iNum SIP URI routing (most for free). If GVoice replaced the Gizmo5 call forwarding drop-down option with iNum routing, I could still receive my GVoice calls on my ATA's and IP-Phones like I did with Gizmo5. Routing calls via iNum costs Google nothing, or at least next to nothing. The Voxbone iNum Initiative currently gives away iNums for free to participating carriers and routes iNum calls over their network for free. This would be very easy for Google Voice and Google Chat to implement. If Google only gives us the option to forward GVoice calls to PSTN and Mobile numbers, we gain very little in the way of reducing overall costs as consumers. Jeff -
For a long time now, I've used GrandCentral and then Google Voice to forward my GVoice calls to my Gizmo5 accounts, which in turn forwarded to my VoIP provider URI where I could pick up my calls on my ATA or IP-Phone. I guess the day to say GoodBy Gizmo5 is finally here. This doesn't leave any viable options for receiving my GV calls on SIP devices (for free) any more. I always knew that free would never last forever... (we all get lured into the "free" marketing trap...) And, come the end of 2011, even GV calls will no longer be free (now that they have built up a viable user base built upon the free service premise...) So, now I suppose Google Talk will be the next to die like Gizmo5? I think I'm seeing the signs of a GTalk slow death already. For example, GTalk (and Gizmo5) used to route calls to iNum's. Now that Gizmo5 is virtually dead, no more free iNum calls thrugh that route. While GTalk used to reliably route calls to iNum SIP URI's, I'm now seeing the green lights on my iNum contacts dimming and going grey (not available). And, my GTalk is not allowing any more new iNum contacts - they just stay in "Invited" mode at infinitum. Unfortunately, Google Voice and Google Chat do not route iNum calls like GTalk does (or should I say did). I think my enthusiasm for G-Telephony is starting to dwindle... Jeff -
Good to see that GV is extending the free calling period through 2011. I'm glad to see Google is keeping up the pressure on the telco and mobile service providers by providing us with alternate long-distance calling options. Inevitably, GV will have to start charging money, as did Skype (remember the old days when Skype calls to PSTN landlines were also free?) I'm all for free calling for as long as Google is willing to provide that option. I've been using GV since the early days of GrandCentral beta. It's a great service. I just wish they would offer numbers here in Canada too. But, I'm fortunate that I have a GV number in Charlotte, NC and am able to receive free calls from family down there. By having incoming calls to my GV number forwarded to my Gizmo5 account and then having Gizmo5 forward to my SIP VoIP provider, it's a free call all the way. Now, I'm just wondering what Google's plans are for Gizmo5 and SIP connections to GV... Regards, Jeff -
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Dec 21, 2010