Skip to main content

Family Tech: There are other ways to communicate over the internet aside from email - March 11, 2016

Ray Tomlinson died March 5 at the age of 74. Tomlinson invented email back in 1971 while working for a Boston company that helped develop ARPANET, the precursor to the internet. 

Email has been both a boon and a curse. While we love the ease and speed of communicating, we also have to constantly battle spam. Be careful of emails delivering harmful malware as attachments and greetings from Nigerian princes and other cons. 

The blessing and fault of email is that anyone can contact us through it if they know our email address. 

There has arisen a multitude of communication tools where we first have to approve or like someone, before they can communicate with us. That makes for cleaner communications. 

So now when I want to communicate with someone, I have to figure out their preferred contact app. For example, I know a young professional woman who responds just fine to email, but responds even quicker to a Facebook Messenger message. 

With Facebook Messenger, the message pops up on her phone’s screen instantly and makes a sound. If she’s free and my message is compelling, I get a response quickly. I in turn see it quickly and we can thus have a brief conversation and get the issue resolved in minutes instead of a day. 

With Facebook Messenger and the others, a person has to ask to be your friend before they can send you a message. This makes spam, phishing and emails trying to con you are all but eliminated. 

With Facebook Messenger you can also place phone calls. The calls do not eat into your minutes because the calls are carried entirely over the internet using VOIP or Voice Over Internet Protocol. So if you are on your home Wifi and the person you are calling is also on the internet, no one’s phone minutes are being consumed. 

Read the rest at www.FamilyTechOnline.com


Like our Facebook Page to keep on Family Tech.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Recording your own notes with Google Voice

Note :   April 2016:  Frankly I don't know if this works anymore.  It is 7 years old.

I stopped using this when Google Now became useful on my phone, and I could dictate reminders using it.



I found a way a while ago to use Google Voice to record a personal note, transcribe it, and email it to me. A recent Lifehacker post "Five Things We'd Like to See in Google Voice" lists that need as their #5 request, so I realized what I'd figured out is not common knowledge.

In GV's Contacts, create a Group "Special Transcription"

To avoid listening to my standard voice mail when I call, I recorded a short voice mail greeting for this group simply saying "Record note now"

I added a contact with my own cell phone number as the only number, and made it the sole member of this group.

In GV's phone settings, I edited the settings for my cell phone. In the section "Direct access to voicemail when calling your Google number from this phone?" I se…

Planning for a post Evernote era - Part 1

The Evernote world is aflutter this week after Tech Crunch said that following the departure of several key high level people, Evernote might be in a "death spiral".

While I hope that does not happen, even if they do survive, we should all plan for their demise.  No app and no company is forever.  Indeed, for every piece of software we use, we should ask ourselves, "Is any of the data managed by this program something I would need if this program no longer was being updated?"  And in the case of software like Evernote, if its back end servers were turned off forever.

If the data is required, we need to figure out how to get the data out of the program, and readable without the program. One should actually ask and answer the question before they begin using a new piece of software and loading our precious data into it.

I'll be writing more about this topic and Evernote. For now, know that even if Evernote shut off its servers tomorrow, your data remains in your…

Google could let any developer make the next Evernote

After trying loads of Task apps over the years, I have settled for now on a combination of Taskary and Google Tasks.  What they have in common is they both use Google Tasks to save the tasks.

If a new task app catches my eye tomorrow, it likely will not receive room on my phone or desktop unless it too uses Google Tasks to store its tasks.  That way I do not need to re-enter my tasks for the new app.

This is possible because Google has an API for Google Tasks.  An API or Application Programming Interface lets an app send tasks to Google, and get tasks from them.

Google has a huge collection of APIs into their services.  I just wish they had one more.

I wish for an API for a note taking application.  They may or may not let it be part of Google Keep.  Even if they did not have an app themselves using the API, it would be nice to have an API any programmer could use to develop their own image of what a note taking app looks like.

The data would count against your Google storage. With th…