Exciting news: Google Voice is now available to everyone. I was a Grand Central user since 2007 – before Google bought the company and turned the service into Google Voice. While I never switched to using Google Voice as my primary phone number, I still use the service extensively as my voicemail service.
Google Voice is fantastic for voicemail, since it transcribes your voicemails, allows you to forward those messages via email, allows you to set up different greetings for different people. If you want to learn more (and I suggest you do!) check out the Google Voice feature page, or watch the introduction video below.
This quote by Ron Paul seem so obvious to me.
We need a system in America where patients pay cash for basic services, and carry insurance only for serious illnesses and accidents. “Health maintenance” is the responsibility of each of us individually. We cannot continue to collectivize the costs of healthcare and expect things to get better.
This is the only way to keep costs down. Yes, costs would come down in a free-market system. Consumers would benefit enormously, unlike with the current legislation (which is a gravy train for the insurance industry).
I suggest you read the rest of the article, End the Mandate.
Jerry Seinfeld shares a simple yet very powerful way to be consistent, as recounted by Brad Isaac,
He said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day. But his advice was better than that. He had a gem of a leverage technique he used on himself and you can use it to motivate yourself — even when you don’t feel like it.
He then revealed a unique calendar system he was using to pressure himself to write.
Here’s how it worked.
He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker.
He said for each day toat I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day. “After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job next is to not break the chain.”
“Don’t break the chain.” He said again for emphasis.
Now there’s an iPhone application that lets you do exactly that — Streaks.
Streaks allows you to set up multiple calendars to track whatever task you want to continuously maintain, such as exercising, writing to your blog, professional development, etc. The settings allow you to specify the frequency of the task (every day, every three days, weekly, etc.) as well as what days you want to skip.
Using the app is as simple as selecting a particular calendar and marking the day with the red x. To move to the next calendar, you simply swipe the screen up (which is a bit counter-intuitive at first).
The app shows your longest streak of your primary calendar as a icon badge, and you can also get more detailed statistics on streaks for each calendar.
I think this is a great app to help with those “slight edge” activities that are important to do, but easy to skip. Of course, you’ll have to get into the habit of launching the app on a daily basis for this to work, but it still might be easier and more convenient than having a wall calendar.
In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.
– Robert Heinlein
I just upgraded WalterReade.net to WordPress 3.0. There wasn’t a whole lot that got my attention in this new release. But, the ability to create custom post types will definitely be helpful as I expand the content on the site.
Gmail has added new functionality that inserts an interactive map into any email you receive that includes an address.
You need to enable this feature from the “Labs” page of Gmail (the green beaker in the upper right of the page).
Once you have it enabled, you’ll get a expandable link at the bottom of your email that includes maps for each address contained in the email.
You can expand the map within your email or open into a new window as a full-fledged google map.
Note: I picked up this tip from my all-time favorite podcast, “This Week In Google.”
I love Google Wave. No doubt, it will take some time to catch on. If you grew up with the e-mail paradigm, chances are you’ll struggle with Wave. It’s a whole different way to think about communication.
I often use Wave to create documents I know will build over time. An example would be a reference document for SEO best practices I come across. Certainly, Wave would be more effective if I were using it collaboratively to build these types of documents. Unfortunately, it’s currently a lonely world for Wave users.
While researching ways to embed a Wave into a WordPress blog (which I won’t be doing in the near future), I stumbled across MicroWave. It is a tiny, mobile-friendly Google Wave client. It allows you to quickly and easily access your Wave information on your smartphone, which can really come in handy.
If you Wave, you’ll surely find it useful.
I played Carcassonne once . . . quite a number of years ago. I remember liking it. And I think I even purchased the board game, which is probably buried at the bottom of a closet.
I was thrilled to see that the game is now available as an iPhone app. Now there is a much greater chance I’ll actually get the play the game again.
UPDATE: I’m hooked.