When I was young directory assistance was free, a human, and very good. I used it a lot and maybe folks like me are why Ma Bell dumped it.
But there is a good reason to keep information flow free and apparently Google agrees with me. What they have done now is created a robotic voice 411 service for businesses and it is free, call 1-800-GOOG-411
I’ve only begun to try it but it looks like a keeper to me.
I *HATE* cell phone companies. The whole Reagan revolution meant the downfall of customer service and cell phones debut in the same period led the way in customer NO-service.
A major part of the NO-service was the inclusion of terrible contracts for long time periods with exorbitantly high cancellation fees. So along comes this site, CellSwapper, which tries to mate folks trying to leave a contract with others looking to get into one.
There are many reasons to change services, poor coverage, poor sound, etc. can mean you want to change but if you are stuck, this just may be the way to go.
Have a look. Here’s hoping you don’t find it necessary, but most likely… well, good luck.
I just came across this today and I am really thrilled!
I posted recently about Virtual Networking (VNC) and a one to one ability to operate a remote machine over the Internet with Crossloop.com but this is more for presentations or collaboration but would be great for support as well.
Installing it means downloading some Java and registering an e-mail address to identify you and that’s pretty much it. It requires a relatively new Windows or Mac operating system, I have not had success running it on my Ubuntu Linux machine I believe because it doesn’t use the most up to date Java but it could be something else.
Once running you get a chat window for communicating and a phone number listing if you want to conference call though it would be a long distance call for most folks.
The program seemed quite well made to me, it runs much as GoToMeeting.com does but without some of the bells and whistles they give for their $50/month service. Yugma.com is flat out *FREE* for up to 10 connections and just $10/month to go up to 20 users and added features of taking control of a remote computer and having hard disk storage online for folks. The free version does allow passing the presenter abilities around among those connected.
All in all this is a GREAT find and I hope their business goes far.
From my PC Users Group to the church meetings I attend I am always looking for good “cheap” meeting software so that folks can attend online as well as in person.
The best I have found is GoToMeeting.com but it’s not cheap and for non-profit groups it’s over the top.
Newer on the scene is Vyew.com 2.0 which, at least while it’s still beta is free.
To make use of all of its features requires a simple registration the visitors to your meetings are not required to join the site.
Unlike the GoToMeeting.com service Vyew is less involved with computer sharing, although it is now able to do so in a limited way, but it is great for collaborating on documents, file sharing, presentation design and the like.
First this is from Google’s new “Captioned” videos they have available. I am listing this one because it is a relatively short show, but you can also see full programs and movies more than an hour long now at Google and hitting the “CC” button now lets you have closed captioning with it.
This show is a dive into a Fractal. If you aren’t a mathematician it may not sound like anything interesting but if you read up on what fractals are and how they were “discovered” this show is like a jump into infinity. Well worth the experience.
From the author:
No matter how deep you go, there’s always more. This movie took quite a few days to calculate.In 1993, when i first made a poster of the
image i call “blue oyster spiral,” which is a zoom at about the 100
Billion X magnification level inside the Mandelbrot Fractal, it took 34
computers 3 days to render it. today, the same poster can be rendered
on one typical PC in just a few hours.
Backups, I’m guessing at least 80% of us are not backed up at all and a good part of the rest would find they lost ‘something’ if they had a hard disk crash right now.
I happened across this service and just started using them to see what I thought. So far, I’m impressed, and for the price, (2gigs free, 5gigs for $20/year and 10gigs for $30/year) it’s probably the best secure offer going for small users.
It requires Windows XP using NTFS drive format, it doesn’t work with 32bit FAT systems. I can’t use it on my wife’s Win2000 system or the Ubuntu Linux box.
It won’t look across my LAN system. (Thought I could take care of my wife that way.) It only works with local hard drives.
The install went very easily and it scans your drives and offers common groups of files to backup or you can select on your own. It will sit in the background and encrypt groups of files and upload them during your choice of times of system non-use times.
I’m impressed. Years ago there was a service called XDrive that had a free offering but it has gone to pay only and costs $10/month for 5gigs.
If you are interested in trying it they have a referral offering so use this link to signup and you’ll be helping me. 🙂