Friday, February 27, 2015

Live Long and Prosper - Spock

Up to his passing, Leonard Nimoy had a longing for knowledge and learning, which he included into his Star Trek character Spock. It was fun at times to watch Dr. McCoy and him clash, calling him a "green-blooded Vulcan," with his classic eyebrow raise. That Vulcan salute and quote "Live long and prosper" has become ingrained in all of us.

Star Trek has always had something going for all of us, even those who barely watched the series, if at all. It aroused interest in the stars and science out there, even getting people to clamor for their own versions of devices seen on the series. From the communicators, we got cellphones. From the padds we saw Captain Kirk write on, we got tablets. From warp speed, we get the wanderlust of wanting to go further out in the stars without it taking so long. From the transporter, we want to spend a longer vacation without the time it takes to get there. From the phasers, come laser pointers and various uses of lasers in the military and commercial/private sectors.

From the Enterprise, both starship and space shuttle, we want to be able to go where no one's gone before.

Two of the best quotes from his character Spock can be found in two Star Trek movies.

In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, in the reactor scene after he saves the ship, his final words to Kirk were "I have been, and always shall be, your friend." He says it again at the end of Star Trek III: Search for Spock after the ceremony, "I have been and always ever shall be your friend."

Powerful stuff. Classic scenes and excellent quotes. Brought many a tear inside and out of theaters. Star Trek's not going to be the same without him, McCoy, or Scotty.

His final tweet on Monday - "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory."

His place is in the stars somewhere on a Genesis planet.

Live long and prosper.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Case for AIM Relay - Part 2

Many of us have had our personal relay numbers switched or ported to Sprint IP Relay. Their procedure was more strict than Purple's was, in terms of our having to provide some forms of ID to prove who we are. Why couldn't Purple make more of an effort to reduce the fraud calls? It would have been a much more simpler effort to do.

When I mentioned the medical part of using my number in my previous post, this was a very serious use after a very serious major surgery. Suppose trouble happened to me post-surgery? Say something like a doctor needing to contact me and quickly about some health-related issue from the surgery and couldn't, thus possibly leading to more serious things happening? Or maybe I had another infection. I could easily have come down legally on Purple, with them being legally responsible for what happened to me due to their behavior and actions.

Sprint IP Relay is web-based as we all know. In most cases, that's not a problem. Calls can be made and received on it and the font size and colors can be changed, which is great for those with vision issues. But, there's another issue in terms of incoming calls. Unless you're actually watching the page, it's VERY EASY to miss a call.

In my case, I have missed EVERY SINGLE INCOMING CALL, except for one. There is no blinking window like many instant messengers have. Every web browser I've seen doesn't flash the page. All it does on that page is darken it and show an incoming call popup that's not very noticeable. Very easy to miss if you're in another window. That plus how many other calls were received before this one?

Yet it would be easy enough for them to create a popup window that would display as an alert in front of everything else displayed to the user. So why haven't they done this?

Jobsearchers and medical are possibly missing out on important calls. It gets worse if the caller just hangs up without leaving a message. I'm not the only one who may be missing calls. It may result in employers just calling the next person on their list, and that next person may get the job instead of me because I couldn't answer quickly enough! This is what hurts our jobsearch abilities.

It's not enough to be the "only game in town." It's too easy for that provider to just stop services. Fortunately, TDI and the FCC are working towards getting more text relay service providers.

Again, shame on you, Poople, for your actions.

FCC;s current list of Internet-based TRS Providers

Update 3-10-2014:

I had a recruiter call me earlier. He said

"I tried calling your phone but it directed me to a dispatch center."

Then a bit of time later, I got another call from someone else, saying that they weren't sure if they reached me. But of course, no wonder there's so much confusion due to Sprint's answering announcement.

"Sprint IP Relay operator XXXX one moment while I connect your call"

Poople had a customizable answering announcement which allowed you to put your name in there.

So, in short, Sprint Relay is screwing us over in two ways... The first is the difficult if not impossible to catch incoming calls and the answering announcement.