Archive for telephone

Bell Canada is laughing at us all

Posted in Aggravations, Finds, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , on November 23, 2010 by Mitch Leuraner

Once again, the telecomunications gods have announced a raise in prices. As of January 2011, all of their ‘calling features’ will cost $2 more each month.

  • Caller ID and Voice Mail will cost $10.95,
  • Call Waiting will cost $8.95, and
  • Visual Call Waiting will cost $16.95!!

If you’re feeling a little deja vu, it’s because this is the second time this month that Bell has made a price increase annoucement – although last time they were stickin’ it to internet customers instead.

The incredible part is that these features cost the company nothing. Once the system is set up, which it has been for years, it is completely automated. Displaying caller ID information cannot possibly cost the company more today, than it did last year. And Bell is certainly not struggling to make a profit.

So why the increase?  Simple – people have come to rely on these features, and won’t give them up just for the sake of a few dollars each month.

And that is why Bell is laughing.

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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!