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Comment: Re:Voicemail evolution (Score 1) 231

by swillden (#48666989) Attached to: The Slow Death of Voice Mail

At work, my extension is tied into my email. When someone leaves me a message, it's sent as a wav file to my email, and I can listen to it from my mobile device.

Where I work (Google), telephone calls are all but dead and voicemail is completely dead. Pretty much everyone lists their personal mobile number as their phone number in the directory (or a Google Voice number that forwards to their mobile), because getting business calls at home or whatever is a non-issue because no one makes phone calls for business. Communication is via e-mail (for formal communications, messages that don't seek quick response, or group distribution), instant message (for short, timely discussions) or face to face/video conference (Google Hangout). Some groups, especially SREs (Site Reliability Engineers -- sysadmins, more or less), also use IRC, mostly because it stays up when other stuff breaks.

Further, the etiquette is that nearly all non-email communication starts with an instant message. This is true even if the other party is sitting right next to you, unless you can tell by looking that they aren't deeply focused on something. There are only two times a phone is used, one rare, the other extraordinarily rare, and in neither case would voicemail even be useful.

The rare case is for a (generally informal) meeting when one party for some reason doesn't have access to Hangouts. The extraordinarily rare case is when something is on fire and someone's attention is needed at 2 AM Sunday morning. The latter has never happened to me, though I have called a couple of colleagues. Even then, a phone call is an unusual step; normally you wake people up via the pager system (whose messages are delivered via various means, sometimes including automated phone calls) and proceed to communicate via IM or VC.

It's not just Google, either. Prior to Google I worked at IBM which where communication similarly revolved primarily around IM and e-mail, though meetings were primarily via teleconference, not video conference.

From what I can see, voice is generally declining, and voicemail is leading the charge.

Comment: Re:What I'd like to see (Score 1) 324

Maybe call the timelines with names appropriate for them, or at least non-racist terms. I'd hate for them to settle on something as stupid as "Star Trek White" and "Star Trek Black".

Wait, are you asking for a grim and gritty reboot of "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield"?

Comment: Re: I briefly considered CatGenie... (Score 1) 188

by dfenstrate (#48666217) Attached to: An Automated Cat Litter Box With DRM
Well, sometimes your aunt offers you a free cat, and you're like, hey, why not, it's free! and it's still a kitten and it's cute and your girlfriend/later wife loves it. Then the cat runs around maniacally and you're like hey, that cat needs a friend. So you get another cat! It's a feral little barn kitten that came with fleas and ear mites, but it was 'free' too, and it does it's job of making the first cat behave better. So you keep feeding it.
Then your sister in law says, hey, I've got this stray dog I can't keep because of my MS. But I love it and I want her to go to a good home. So then you get a dog, too, because you like your sister in law and don't mind dogs.
So, there you are, two cats and a dog later. And they're good friends and good pets, and no internet crank is going to make you see the error of your ways, because the pets are furry and happy to see you.
What was I saying? Oh, yeah, Merry Christmas!

"When the going gets tough, the tough get empirical." -- Jon Carroll