Thursday, October 21, 2004

Phones

Really. I honestly can't imagine what would possess a person to get a cell phone. I just finished looking at a cell phone for people to reach CubicleSoft and can't justify the cost. See, the cell phone is "free," but what you get suckered into is a 2 year agreement to sell your soul. Or at least your kidneys.

Okay, now let me make some sense of that paragraph. Basically, I need a way for someone to reach me whenever I turn the doggone thing on. I am not a cell phone fan. In fact, I find them highly annoying. So, naturally, I place little value on something I can pretty much do without. The only reason I would ever use one is if it was cheaper than a land line. In this case, the price I'm looking for is $10 to $15 per month. The first celluar company that offers a plan in this range with at least 600 minutes will own the industry overnight. Everyone else will continue charging $39.95 (just round it to $40 already - it makes check writing a lot simpler). Think this is realistic? Well, the next thing I am going to look at is VoIP (Voice over IP) - Internet phones, that is. Supposedly they are cheaper.

I think I have found the solution. Cell phones are annoyingly expensive. For those of us who wouldn't use them nearly enough to make them worth the cost, if you have Broadband or DSL, VoIP is far better. I found a really nifty solution here:

http://www.packet8.net/

Packet8 makes it simple and straight-forward - none of this "you only get 15 minutes on your phone" junk that cellular providers give you. A nice, flat fee is applied instead at a reasonable rate. The Internet maintains itself, so the providers overhead costs are nil. The only downside is when someone takes a backhoe to your Internet connection. Your neighborhood has other problems when that happens like a potentially extra-crispy, toasty backhoe operator that you should be more concerned over - technology is not nearly as important as caring about and caring for other people. Big deal if you lose the connection once in a while. That's what e-mail is for. E-mail systems will hold e-mail until the remote system comes back online.

So, what the phone industry needs to do is utilize the Internet to handle phone data. I don't care if you have infrastructure in place. According to Verizon's website, they are spending 4 BILLION this year on overhead. That, in my book, is 4 billion WASTED because the Internet infrastructure is in place and manages itself - and most major cities have Broadband/DSL lines. Actually, if someone at Google were to think about it, Google could actually leverage my idea for massively clustering their database by using an application that allows people to run their land line from their computers. In fact, Google could manage a whole new international phone system that doesn't rely on the old way of doing things and probably get away with it. They could have a "legacy" mode for those who still run on the old way of doing things, but we will be running out of phone numbers and area codes soon enough. Besides, numbers are hard to remember. I would much rather be able to add my friends and associates to my Favorites menu in IE. Just click on the person's name while browsing and start talking. Or a drop-down menu on the Google toolbar. The actual phone number isn't important, talking to the person is. People eventually memorize these things, but remembering a sequence of numbers is the equivalent of memorizing IP addresses on the Internet. It is far easier to remember a name than a bunch of numbers.

And as StrongBad says in Teen Girl Sqwad..."VoIP!"

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