I had initiated a discussion on one of the OOMA forums a few weeks ago, about Femtocell (also called a microcell) technology when one of the participants mentioned that Magic Jack announced getting into this space (so much for that being a leading-edge idea on my part). Actually they are not new (just new to me) the image at left came from a post over on imcellular about the hurdles these devices must overcome but it could be that we are seeing the beginnings of another game-changer in the works. Femtocell Background A Femtocell is a small cell phone base station that mimics the cell tower that your cell phone connects to but which routes the calls through your internet connection. The Femtocell is designed for use in a home or small business and generally supports anywhere from 2 to 4 active cell phone connections. To date, Femtocells have been available solely through the carriers as an adjunct to their cellular phone networks and generally used to improve cell phone services in areas where cell phone service has been marginal at best. Read the rest of this entry »
Archive for June, 2010
There was an interesting article in the 6/25/2010 New York Times that “The F.C.C. is studying a measure similar to one enacted in Europe, in which cellphone users would be notified if they neared a certain limit on their bills.” (Note: I would normally put a link to the article but the NY Times seems to dislike this for some reason – their loss). Essentially folks get their phones stolen or in the case of the new smartphones run up huge data and phone charges by not understanding when (or how) they are being billed. Apparently this has happened enough in Europe that the EU has passed legislation that puts a ‘cap’ on a subscribers phone bill where the carriers have to notify the subscriber and or stop service once the bill has passed a subscriber determined maximum. Really?
It’s bad enough that the problem is created by the carriers in the first place obviously credit card companies have no problem cutting off cards on suspicious usage because they are the ones that are going to end up eating the loss if any. So why are the carriers getting a free pass here? It’s their problem if they can’t see that usage more than two or three times higher than ‘average’ (or $18000 phone in service charges instead of $260.00) for a subscriber warrants a phone call to the subscriber then let them eat the cost.
Consumers also share some blame here too – prepaid service is available for pretty much any phone- once your last dime has been spent you have no service until you put money in the kitty (which can be a 30 second phone call). Prepaid works for me, I switched about six months ago and in fact it ends up being cheaper since I no longer have a monthly fixed-price-use-it-or-not phone bill. I just add minutes when I need them and the minutes don’t expire for a year and I will never have an $18,000 phone bill no matter what happens to my phone.
This probably won’t help with this summer’s air conditioning bills but the Department of Energy has apparently come up with a new air conditioning system that promises to potentially cut air conditioning costs by as much as 90 percent.
The Science Daily article is at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100621071943.htm
Somebody over at the DOE took two known cooling techniques (desiccant and evaporation) and figured out how to combine them in a new technology called appropriately enough a DEVAP, that promises much lower costs (or greater efficiency for each dollar spent).
All I can say is that it’s about time. The government needs to show that this kind of research is not only viable but can have huge commercial value. Bringing this kind of technology to market can do more to providing more direct and indirect jobs than any number of big bank bailouts not to mention stimulating interest in science and engineering career possibilities.
When the email doesn’t go through
How email travels from your desktop in Brooklyn to your friend’s iPad in Toronto or even to your co-worker’s laptop, two cubicles away is not something that you probably spend too much time thinking about – unless you happen to be the system administrator or your in-box throws out a ‘undeliverable mail’ message.
I was wearing the ‘sysadmin’ hat for this particular company assignment and ended up learning something new while resolving an unusual undeliverable email problem.
……As is usual in these posts, the name of the various parties including the company names have been changed to protect guilty and innocent alike.
If you are a New York resident and looking for a job in New York these days you may have run across the Workforce New York site run out of the NYS Department of Labor. The Workforce New York locations actually have some excellent workshops and facilities for job hunters that are well worth taking advantage of, however, you need to be very careful when using their Smart 2010 job lead services. When you work with one of the counselors and provide a resume it gets entered into their SMART system to provide you (via email) with automated job matches that the system finds. It does not appear that Dept. of Labor or the SMART system, screens potential employers or job opportunities very well (if at all) and you may get taken in by some of the less than stellar sites out there.
The images on this post are from the New York Job Exchange Site, that you are directed to from one of the Smart 2010 job matches. In this example, an e-commerce manager position from a local company – not a bad match. If you click on the “APPLY NOW” job link you end up on another New York Job Exchange page.
If you were to look closely at the “access the website to apply” link before clicking, you will see that it leads to one of the sites with a less than stellar reputation for job seekers: TheLadders, or one of the dozen or so differently named sites that TheLadders uses when it doesn’t want to use the “Ladders” name. You can Google “theLadders” and “scam” to see a lot of other comments on the net about this outfit.
Next, look up the company on the New York Better Business Bureau site – it is not an accredited Better Business company (not a surprise) but the BBB still rates sites that come to its attention and theLadders is rated as a “B” due to the number of complaints against the company – not good!
So what’s wrong with this? Well for one thing the New York Job Exchange listing should be sending you to real employers that are looking to hire not to sign up pages for companies like the Ladders where you cannot directly apply to the job. You must sign up with the Ladders, give them your resume and hope that they will submit your application to the employer if it meets with their approval (again, so why is this job posted with the New York Job Exchange).
If you still think it’s a good idea to give them your resume then you might also want to carefully think about the ‘opportunity’ to join the Ladders at $30.00 per month or the ‘free resume review’ and subsequent pressure to pay for resume services (anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000) to fix your completely messed up excuse of a resume..
I am not sure why the New York Job Exchange/workforce New York is still working with this company – I have reported them for deceptive job postings before (and gotten what I guess is a standard NYS form letter response) but as long as New York Job Exchange keeps them on their site then prospective job seekers need to be careful even if the job lead comes from the NY Department of Labor.