Category Archives: Technology

The Dirty Secret of Google Apps

Before you click that submit button to sign up for Google Apps for your domain, burn this into your brain right now:

If you ever think about letting your domain expire, this doesn’t destroy your Google Apps account. You must cancel this service as well.

Any future registrant of your domain, if they determine you had Google Apps – and it is a trivial process – all it takes is a couple of days and they will have full control of whatever information resided there – which includes Google Apps email archives, Google App Docs and more.

I don’t blame Google for this, this isn’t a hit piece on them and they shouldn’t be policing the expiration of domain names from Google Apps accounts.

It is no secret that I buy and sell domains. I’m not as active as I once was, but I still browse the drop lists for expired domains and actively search new domains with keywords of up-and-coming business/tech and terms in the news.

In the last 6 months alone, I’ve picked up 3 domains1 that I realized, after the fact, had Google Apps accounts configured. Between those 3 domains, and before I deleted the Google Apps accounts, I had access to 37 email accounts and their archives. A cursory look through a few of those accounts and assuming people lagged behind in changing the email address associated with their accounts, I could have likely found a way to access:

  • Cell Phone Accounts
  • LinkedIn Profiles
  • Facebook & Twitter Acccounts
  • Affiliate Network Accounts
  • An Ashley Madison Account (hmmm)2
  • Business Plans
  • Apple ID & iTunes Account
  • Hundreds of Contacts
  • And more, you get the idea

Like I said, I deleted the accounts associated with these domains. Mainly because I would hope someone would do the same for me, but also because there was some temptation to dig for some competitive information that I didn’t feel right doing. I removed the temptation and kept the ethical compass pointing north, mostly north.

Before you let any domain expire, audit its past usage and clean up the loose ends so they don’t come back to bite you.


1 Don’t ask, I’m not revealing which domains they were.
2 A married, and from what I gathered, a prominent business person in his city.

Kindle Fire Jailbreak


Amazon launched the Kindle Fire today. Who will be the first to have a Kindle Fire Jailbreak?

It is a pretty slick little tablet. I can totally see a world where it compliments my iPad. Thus, I preordered the Amazon Kindle Fire. I wonder how much attention it will get from the jailbreak community? At first glance, should be pretty straight-forward as an Android device.

Kindle Fire Jailbreak

Forward iPhone voicemail to Google Voice


For all the cool kids with both iPhones (or any GSM-based phone) and a Google Voice (previously GrandCentral) account, forward your unanswered calls to Google Voice to receive the voicemail and a transcript in your email account.

Step 1:
On you iPhone (or any GSM-based phone), pull up the keypad and type the following, substituting 1234567890 with your 10-digit Google Voice/GrandCentral account:
*61*1234567890#

Step 2:
Log in to your Google Voice account and turn on Do Not Disturb mode.

That’s it. All unanswered calls to your iPhone will instantly be dropped in to your Google Voice voicemail.

To restore your iPhone to the original visual voicemail settings, pull up the keypad and enter:
##61#

Your settings will be restored.

Cross-posted from http://www.sh2.com/blog/iphone-to-google-voice/


Sprint Kills Ambassador Program

Bummer. I looked forward to my free phones.

Greetings Ambassadors,

Thank you for your participation in the Sprint Ambassador program. We appreciate the candid feedback you have provided and are regularly using this information to offer our customers the best products and services available on the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network.

After careful consideration, Sprint has decided to discontinue our Sprint Ambassador program so that we may focus on other key initiatives for gathering customer feedback. As a thank you for your participation, the devices you have received through the program are yours to keep. However, the service on those handsets will be terminated on January 31, 2008.

If you would like to keep the existing phone number on your handset, you have the following options:

  • If you have an existing Sprint account in your name, you can simply go to Sprint retail store or call Sprint Customer Care at (888) 296-8806 to transfer the number over. You will need your phone number and account password to facilitate the transfer.
  • If you do not have a Sprint account and would like to open a new one, we invite you to visit a Sprint retail store for assistance and select from the many service plans that we offer.
  • If you would like to transfer your Ambassador phone number to another individual¬ís account, BOTH PARTIES will need to need to visit a Sprint retail store to ensure a smooth transition.
  • If you would like to move your Sprint Ambassador phone number over to another carrier, you will need to have the carrier you select call our Corporate Account team at (866) 657-6843. Typically, a consumer that wishes to port their number would just need their account number and password. Ambassadors are considered corporate customers and, as such, cannot make changes to their account without going through the Corporate Account team.

For the Sprint Store nearest you please visit www.sprint.com.

Again, to keep your current Ambassador phone number, you must act by 11:59 PM on January 30, 2008.

Once again, we truly appreciate your participation in the Ambassador program. If you have any additional questions, please send an email to AmbassadorProgram@sprint.com or you can reach Sprint’s Ambassador CARE team at (888) 296-8806.

Thank you!

I wouldn’t be surprised if part of the reason for the cancellation of the program was due to the mostly negative reviews of the Samsung Upstage II – one of the most unusable phones ever made.

My Fix for iPhone Battery Woes

My iPhone started draining the battery fairly quickly by most accounts of battery life, including going from a 100% full charge to the Red Battery Warning in 7 hours with absolutely no physical usage (during the overnight hours).

I tried two things (during the same time) so I’m not sure which was the actual fix but here goes:

1) Let the phone run down past the red battery warning up to the point where it shuts off and becomes unresponsive. Plug it in to charge for a few minutes then use the force reboot (hold down the menu button and sleep button until it resets) to get the phone operable again, then charge until full.

2) My original working hypothesis was that Safari wasn’t shutting down to a sleep state when leaving the browser and going back to the menu. My evidence was, that in my days of usage before getting to my 7 hour drain state, every time I went to Safari, my my.yahoo.com page was trying to refresh. I set up a bookmark for the address of about:blank to create an empty browser page and started loading that prior to returning to the main menu.

The result. I’m now on hour 18 of my latest charge and my battery icon is indicating I still have roughly a 75% charge with normal usage during those 18 hours.

Anyone out there who can help me test in an A/B fashion would be appreciated since my iPhone is apparently fixed.

I gots me one of them there iPhone thingies.

iPhone

Beautiful device (the 8GB version). Met and exceeded most of my expectations.

-Activation. For me, painless, less than 5 minutes. Too bad there are some fairly widespread issues out there, but with an estimated 500,000 units sold since 6pm ET, that equates to roughly one activation every 3 seconds. I’m really surprised there weren’t more issues.

-Needs cut/past functionality.

-Needs more ringtone options. The default selection are fun and whimsical, but including a few more that could be ‘sanitary’ enough for the workplace would have been nice. As it is, I’m using Marimba.

-EDGE isn’t as slow as I was anticipating based on some of the complaints prior to launch. It isn’t EVDO, but it isn’t a 56k modem either.

-On screen keyboard gets easier with practice. I can one finger hunt-n-peck pretty quick and my thumbing skills are improving.

-Disappointed by the lack of drag and drop music/video transfer in iTunes. To the best of my knowledge, everything has to be done via the syncing interface for the device in iTunes.

-Disappointed by the lack of ability to use the phone like a portable drive.

-Games. Where are the frickin’ games already?

-Maps, Photos, Camera, iPod Functionality, YouTube, Safari, Phone quality. All beautiful and excellent.

-If you are thinking about the 4GB, spend the extra hundy for the 8GB.

100 Million iPods – Fun With Math

Apple sold the first iPod 5 and a half years ago. Today they sold the 100 millionth unit.

iPod Family

A little fun with math. In those 5.5 years, Apple has sold:

  • 18,181,818 per year
  • 1,515,152 per month
  • 49,801 per day
  • 2,044 per hour
  • 35 per minute

or in a nutshell, one iPod has been sold every 1.7 seconds since November 2001.

My iPhone Emailed Me

My iPhone emailed me. My SLVR is not happy, especially with my Samsung Upstage en route.

iPhone

I am in a bit of a quandry though. Cingular has the new RAZR V3xx available and my plan is eligible for a phone upgrade. According to many, there will be discounts on iPhone, but how much is the million dollar question right now. Should I take the V3xx for $50, pay full price on the iPhone when it is available and Ebay the RAZR, or play the waiting game for the iPhone. I recently upgraded my wife’s phone to the RAZR and as she says, I’m “just suffering from phone envy.”

On a side note, the SLVR is one of the best phones I’ve owned in the last few years – candy bar or flip. The Samsung A920 is the best flip I’ve had and it is right up there in a close second with the SLVR.

What? No PDA Phone?
No way, the last thing I need is to be connected 24-7. My office email checks for new email once per hour. I check my personal mail on about the same schedule, but most responses wait until I get my kids to bed at night. Seriously, if you are checking & responding to email more frequently than that, you spend your time being reactive instead of being proactive – like say, a former colleague who had his desktop mail client set to check for new mail every 60 seconds…