Archive for September 2, 2010

Gmail is a pretty good phone

Posted in Finds, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

So yesterday, I’m minding my own business, checking my email, when Gmail decides to point out a new menu option labeled “Call Phone“.  If you missed it, it’s listed under the Chat menu on the left hand side of the screen.

I didn’t have the time, or a mic, so I just logged the incident in the recesses of my mind and went about my business.  But tonight, I was using my netbook which coincidentally has a mic built in…

So I hit the link.  It makes you install a browser plugin, and restart your browser, but then … oh, then you have a full on telephone built into your computer – without any need for an external application.  The thing runs straight through the regular Gmail interface.

And it really works.  Well.

Apparently, it will do video chat too – but I’ve only tried it with actual telephones, so I don’t know how well that works.

And the best part? Free calling to Canada and the US in 2010.  It wasn’t explicit, but I’m betting that means it will cost something in 2011.  But who cares? It’s free now, and totally awesome!

The homeless man had what?

Posted in Finds, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

I don’t know anything about what it is like in Portland Oregon, much less the Beaverton suburb of it. But they must have a very different kind of homelessness problem there.

I’m not surprised that a homeless guy would call 911 from a hot tub that he had trespassed in.  Nor am I surprised that he would refer to himself as the “Sheriff of Washington” and ask for a towel, hot chocolate and a hug.

No, I’m surprised because he reportedly made the call using his own cellphone.  What kind of world do we live in when a man can’t afford a home but he can be reached by phone 24 hour/day anyway?  And don’t even get me started on homeless people with pets.

We all have priorities… some of us just refuse to prioritize them.