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Comment: Re:Voicemail evolution (Score 1) 233

by swillden (#48674093) Attached to: The Slow Death of Voice Mail

You obviously don't work with customers.

I do, actually. Well, they're more partners than customers, since we give them our code and they sell it. But, yes, I have a lot of meetings with outside parties. We convince about half of them to join our Hangouts from their laptops, the others we add to the meeting via phone. Outside of meetings, we communicate entirely via e-mail. Voicemail is still irrelevant.

At IBM, my role was entirely customer-facing. Voicemail was still fairly rare, though teleconferences were the norm. Most communication was, again, via e-mail or face to face.

Comment: Re:Voicemail evolution (Score 1) 233

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:Does the job still get done? (Score 1) 677

by swillden (#48624819) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

I used the phrase "thinkers", not "elites". Those groups I "give credit" to are huge. I don't hesitate for a moment that there are members of those groups who have the intelligence at hand and the foresight to see where things are going and to prepare for them. Lumping everyone in those groups as either/or doesn't make sense.

Regardless, you still give them way, way too much credit.

Comment: Re:Does the job still get done? (Score 3, Insightful) 677

by swillden (#48619251) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

he "thinkers" in govt, business and academia know this. The increasing militarization of the police, the complete disregard for the Constitution, the NSA monitoring everything, etc is getting ready for this.

You give the elites credit for way, way too much foresight, organization and discipline.

Comment: Re:this is something Google does a bit better (Score 1) 600

by swillden (#48606955) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

There is a place in the Dalles, Oregon where Google maps will try to make you take a left through a guard rail and off a 30ft tall retaining wall. To be fair the street does continue down there.

Have you submitted a correction?

If not, please post a link to the location, so I can.

Comment: Re:A step too far? (Score 1) 191

by swillden (#48604543) Attached to: Spanish Media Group Wants Gov't Help To Keep Google News In Spain

By what realistic measure did AEDE expect Google to pay, when it outright stated that it'd shut down in Germany before paying? Did they expect Spain to be different?

Basically, yes, they thought that Spain would be different.

I think their assumption was that the Germans were a bunch of savages squatting in the ruins of a civilization that could safely be ignored, but that SPAIN! was still the center of civilized culture in the world, and therefore the rules were different.

I think they thought that Spain would be different because surely Google couldn't refuse to show snippets for all Spanish publishers. They assumed the German ruling didn't have the same clout because obviously many publishers would opt out.

Alternatively, I've seen it suggested that the Spanish knew exactly what would happen, and it's what they wanted. Or, more precisely, it's what the big, influential publishers wanted, because their size allows them to attract more visitors directly to their home pages, at the expense of smaller publishers. Another Slashdot poster claimed that it was political horse trading between big news organizations who are pro-government and the government to shut out smaller (and anti-government) news organizations, with an understanding that if the change hurt the big orgs too badly, the government would funnel cash to them to prop them up.

I don't know anything about Spanish politics, but those possibilities seem believable, and perhaps more believable than that Spanish lawmakers didn't believe Google would just shut down Google News in Spain.

Comment: Re:A step too far? (Score 1) 191

by swillden (#48596857) Attached to: Spanish Media Group Wants Gov't Help To Keep Google News In Spain

Spanish legislation went further than the German ones - The German court decision merely gave the right to charge, but per the article the Spanish one mandated charging.

Keep in mind that wasn't an accidental difference. In Germany, the publishers that opted out of the scheme (and kept their presence in Google News) benefited from absence of those who didn't opt out, which created a motive for all publishers to opt out in a sort of tragedy of the commons situation. The Spanish lawmakers wanted to prevent that.

Comment: Re:Similar to Affirmative Action - a white man (Score 1) 307

And the other half of this is that students who not only have the pre-requisites but have already learned the course material should be able to test out. Perhaps required to test out, because cocky young know-it-alls can be distracting, and perhaps intimidating, to the rest of the class.

Comment: Re:I'm not complaining (Score 1) 75

by swillden (#48590835) Attached to: Google Earth API Will Be Retired On December 12, 2015

That's fine for APIs that require registration. But I use the Calendar API. It doesn't require registration, and like many people I was caught out on the hop on November 17th when the v2 API was shut down. Like I said I'm not complaining. The v3 API is superior, but I would like to know if there is simple notification system available.

Well, in that case I think the best answer is to pay attention. I mean, the v2 API deprecation was announced at least three years prior to the shutdown. I don't know exactly when, but there are mailing list posts from 2011 telling people that v1 and v2 were deprecated and v3 should be used.

Comment: Re:Learning through repetition (Score 1) 515

by swillden (#48586293) Attached to: Once Again, Baltimore Police Arrest a Person For Recording Them

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.ale.openwatch

That plus a phone is not quite the dedicated device you're looking for, but it could be pretty close.

It streams low-quality video to a server in real-time, as well as storing high-quality video locally. Another thing it should do (don't know if it does, but it's open source; I may see if I can add this feature) is that when you activate it, it should lock your phone automatically. You could still be forced to unlock and disable it, but they couldn't do it themselves, and their intimidating you to do it would be on the livestreamed record. Or they could smash it or remove the battery (if your phone has a removable battery); there a purpose-built device would have a big advantage. And I'd think it would support BT external mics and cameras just fine.

Whom computers would destroy, they must first drive mad.

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