Google search results are becoming less useful. Have you noticed?
I started thinking about this last fall, when I noticed that most of the Google alerts coming into my mailbox led to spam sites – sites with no real content other than random snippets vacuumed up from around the web and surrounded by advertising.
Then I started to notice search results that included a lot of fluff – sites listed high in the search results with lots of advertising but no real content. At first it was just a small irritation, but I started to recognize the seeds of a real problem. […] continued
You probably saw the news that Verizon will begin selling a version of the iPhone that will run on its network starting February 10. We’re very conscious of Verizon’s business plans in the North Bay, since AT&T’s presence up here is feeble at best and Sprint and T-Mobile are non-starters. I’ll give you just a few extra bits of information.
The Consumer Electronics Show is keeping gadget freaks happy in Las Vegas this week. I can’t begin to tell you anything in depth – it is a frenzied scene, with close to a hundred thousand people looking at devices from literally thousands of exhibitors. Only a tiny handful of the items displayed will ever be important enough to come to your attention. Trying to guess which ones those will be is an exercise best left to the young.
Here are quick notes of things that have caught my eye – literally just a few items to give you the flavor.
Verizon has introduced a new service that anyone with an Android phone should set up right away. It significantly enhances the security of the phone and adds some important features to make the phone easier to use. Oh, and it’s likely to be free for most of you.
Doesn’t sound like the Verizon that we know and tolerate, does it? This appears to be a genuinely good thing. I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt.
Verizon Mobile Recovery is an app installed on the phone that allows you to do five things if the phone is lost or stolen, all by logging in at the Mobile Recovery web site:
Skype is best known for its program that runs on a computer to call other Skype users for free anywhere in the world, but Skype is able to do several other things now – things you’ll recognize from what I’ve been writing about Google Voice.
Skype is built on the same technology to carry your voice over an Internet data connection for as much of the journey as possible. A Skype call to another Skype user travels over the Internet the whole way. […] continued
If you’ve been following along, you understand the tension between new services like Google Voice and Skype that move your voice from place to place, and the telcos and cell phone carriers that feel threatened by that technology. That’s why today’s story about mobile phones involves so many circuitous paths – paths which will twist and turn rapidly in the next year or two.
As you read, let me reiterate an important point to keep in mind. According to the promotional materials, using Google Voice is free for calls anywhere in the US and Canada, and very inexpensive for international calls. […] continued
Now things get really interesting.
Well, they do to me, anyway. I’m odd.
This is at best wildly simplified, and at worst completely inaccurate, but pay attention anyway – you’ll need to know this to understand a lot of headlines in the next few years.
Look at the wall plate where the phone is plugged in your office. There are two cables, right? One for the phone, one for the computer. That’s important.
Until recently, when you talked on the phone, your voice would travel along copper wires and fiber cables that connected to equipment run by big telephone companies, on circuits that were walled off – there were completely separate paths for voice traffic and Internet data traffic. […] continued
Previously: Understanding Google Voice
All of this started because I don’t have a reliable cell phone signal at my home office west of Sebastopol. Verizon coverage is erratic and the area has no coverage at all from AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile.
If I could, I’d use my cell phone as a single point of contact. Many of you already do that. Google Voice has little to offer you in that case, other than some cool voicemail tricks.
I need to be able to take calls on whatever phone is close to hand that works, and my cell phone doesn’t always work. […] continued
Google Voice is a free service that gives you a phone number.
When you dial my phone number, (707) 703-1601, you’re dialing a Google Voice number. Thanks to the Google Voice service, at the same moment my office phone rings, my cell phone rings, and Skype starts bonging on my computer.
When I call you, you see my Google Voice number as the Caller ID, regardless of what phone I use. When I send you a text message, you are surprised, because I don’t send text messages. But if I did, it would appear to come from the same number.
You don’t know any of the numbers assigned to my phones – all you see is the Google Voice number. […] continued
Google made a simple but profound change to the way that search results are delivered to you from the Google search page. It changes the world in a small but significant way.
You will now get two things while you type:
It’s absolutely remarkable. It will change the way you do your searches: either you’ll adjust what you’re typing on the fly, or you’ll see the search you really want listed on the dropdown list of possibilities and choose it without ever finishing what you were typing. […] continued