Posts Tagged ‘broadband’

Google maintains its tradition of April Fool’s Day hoaxes

April 1, 2010

Google never fails to disappoint when announcing products or services, real or fake, since April Fool's Day, 2000, and maintains its tradition of April Fool's Day hoaxes by renaming the company, "Topeka", in April 2010.Google never fails to disappoint when announcing new products or services, real or fake, since April Fool’s Day, 2000, except in 2001.

Google never fails to disappoint when announcing products or services, real or fake, since April Fool's Day, 2000, and maintains its tradition of April Fool's Day hoaxes by renaming the company, "Topeka".On April 1, 2010, users of Google found that the search engine company changed its logo to “Topeka”, alluding to Topeka, Kansas, one of the communities in the United States vying for Google’s “ultra high-speed” broadband network known as Google Fiber.  The search engine’s blog discusses the similarities between the growth of the company and the state capital of Kansas, as well as the ramifications of the abrupt name change with its services and products.  As acknowledgment to its verbification, the blog also discusses the proper usage of “Topeka”.

Google has had a tradition of announcing new services on April 1, leading many to believe that every release would be fake, such as Google MentalPlex in 2000, Pigeon Rank in 2002, and Google Copernicus Center, which offered engineering positions at their lunar hosting and research center on the Moon, in 2004.  However, Google also announced Gmail, a free, advertising-supported webmail service.  Gmail’s storage capacity of 1 GB, unheard of at a time when webmail offered free storage from 2 to 4MB, led people to believe that Gmail was a hoax, but the service, albeit invitation-only, later proved legitimate.

Read about all of the April Fool’s Day hoaxes that Google has taken part of for nearly a decade here.  The carefully crafted humor reflects Google’s employees and the company’s business culture at each release.  What April Fool’s Day hoaxes will Google come up with in the future?  We shall wait and see.

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Francis M. Unson

MagicJack: How to Call Internationally for Free

March 22, 2010

Why didn’t I call this blog,

“MagicJack: How to Make International Calls for Free”?

I consider making an international call the following: picking up the phone, dialing 011, and then the rest of the phone number.  I have some bad news: it is nigh impossible to make free international calls this way, with any telephone device.

If you want to call your friends or family overseas for free, using a MagicJack can help you make calling internationally for free.However, there is a way to call internationally for free.  For example, if you’ve called customer service of, say, your cable or credit card company, some of those calls reached India, the Philippines, or even Argentina.  Even though your call to customer service started with a toll-free 800 number, the call to the call centers in different countries were, no doubt, international.

How do you call internationally for free?  First, a list of items you need:

  • MagicJack
  • Computer
  • Internet Connection, preferably high-speed or broadband
  • A regular phone

Here are the instructions for account setup:

  1. Purchase a MagicJack.  They are available in many places such as department stores, office supply stores, and even gas station mini marts.  Trust me, I saw the MagicJack being sold side-by-side with cigarettes at 7-11.  They retail between US$20-$40 but are worth the initial investment.
  2. Turn on your computer.  Install the MagicJack in an open USB port.  The device will connect to the company’s main server, download additional files and begin setup.  Do not install the regular phone into the MagicJack at this time.
  3. If you are so inclined during setup, you may choose to register a second MagicJack, opt to start with a five-year contract immediately for additional savings, or order vanity phone numbers.  For the sake of these instructions, decline these offers.  You will also be offered pre-paid minutes for international calls.  Decline this offer.
  4. When choosing a phone number, provide your city, state, and area code.  A phone number will be assigned and will become the phone number local to your area.
  5. Once setup is complete, plug the phone into the MagicJack.  Incoming calls test: Call the new phone number from your landline or cell phone.  Outgoing calls test: Call your landline or cell phone from the phone connected to the MagicJack.
  6. This is the most important stepMail the MagicJack and phone to your friend or family member overseas.  All they have to do is connect the MagicJack to a USB port in their computer.  Once the software is installed, they can make their own calls back home using the log in information you provided during setup, and all calls will appear local.

The MagicJack can save you a lot of money, especially if you call friends or relatives in different countries very frequently.  You must setup MagicJack correctly, however, so that you and your friends and relatives can call and receive calls internationally for free.  The MagicJack may even provide you with new ways to connect with parts of the world where the cost of telecommunications is very high.  Calling internationally for free with the MagicJack couldn’t be more simple.

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Francis M. Unson