Posts tagged Calls

Oh No They Didn’t: European Parliament Calls For Break Up Of Google

Today many Americans are busy preparing Thanksgiving meals or getting ready to travel to the homes of friends and family to celebrate the holiday. But Google certainly won’t be giving thanks for the European Parliament’s vote in favor of a resolution to “unbundle”…



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Bitcoin Foundation Calls For Code And Currency Conformity

Bitcoin has a loyal following and international recognition, but there’s one key attribute the currency is missing—standardization. The Bitcoin Foundation hopes to remedy that by implementing uniform consistency in its code, currency symbol, and subunits this year.

In a press release Tuesday, the Foundation laid down its formal plan of action to streamline Bitcoin over the upcoming six months. It’s the first we’ve heard about the previously unnamed Bitcoin Foundation’s Financial Standards Working Group since their call for volunteers in the Reddit r/bitcoin community back in June.

See also: Forget Bitcoin: There’s A Better Model For Mobile Money

“Standardization is an important step towards removing obstacles for mainstream adoption,” said Bitcoin Foundation executive director Jon Matonis in a statement. “This is especially true with a technology for financial innovation that is global in reach.”

The standardization attempt will cover three areas. First, the Foundation will apply for an internationally recognized currency code for Bitcoin under the ISO 4217 International Standard for currency codes. ISO 4217 requires that all codes begin with an X, so the most commonly used BTC code is out, with XBT as a prospective replacement.

Second, the Foundation will attempt to establish a Unicode-approved currency symbol. Unicode makes it possible for a currency symbol to be displayed in any computer typeface. The current contenders are B, ฿ and Ƀ.

See also: I Bought Bitcoin In Person And Here’s What Happened

Third, the group will standardize Bitcoin’s subunits. The average currency operates with two subunits, or numbers to the right of the decimal, as in $1.00. But when 1 bitcoin is worth hundreds, subunits are necessary for conveying regular day-to-day transactions, which currently go down to the eighth decimal place, or 1 Satoshi. This doesn’t fit with the standard for other currencies, so the Foundation is working on an alternate solution.

Volunteer chair Beth Moses, who helped standardize the extravehicular interfaces on the International Space Station for NASA, will be heading the 20-person Bitcoin Foundation working group. 

Illustration by Madeleine Weiss for ReadWrite

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T-Mobile CEO Calls iPhone Bendgate “Utter Horse Sh–”

T-Mobile CEO John Legere, dissing the iPhone 6 Plus bending controversy.

Following technology execs has become a little more boring since Steve Ballmer stepped down from Microsoft last year. If you miss the antics of the bullish, blustery and frequently red-faced former CEO, don’t fret: We still have John Legere. 

The T-Mobile honcho, addressing a GeekWire Summit audience over the weekend, talked about the bending controversy over the iPhone 6 Plus, and he didn’t mince words. According to the long-haired, pink T-shirt-loving chief executive of America’s fourth largest carrier, “bendgate” is utter “horse sh–.”

“The video of the guy that’s [intentionally bending the iPhone 6 Plus]—and if you could have seen his face, he probably would have been purple. The thing moves a little bit? Are you s—ting me? I mean, when was the last time you took any other…this is an amazing supercomputer in your hand. What the f— are you putting it in your pants and sitting on it for?” 

Granted, Legere is not exactly an objective spectator. A fairly new iPhone partner—T-Mobile finally got the Apple device in 2012—Legere’s company likely sees this smartphone as a crucial piece of its growth strategy. And iPhone “bendgate” aside, that tactic appears to be working. According to analyst Chetan Sharma, T-Mobile is on track to unseat Sprint as the third largest carrier in the U.S. 

See also: iPhone 6 Problems: Not Safe For Your Pants Pocket—Or Your Microwave

For Sprint, which started offering the iPhone in 2011, it seems even Apple can’t stop its fall. After its failed bid to buy T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom, the company stepped back, replaced CEO Dan Hesse and apparently worked on customer service. Now it celebrates being “the most improved company in customer satisfaction” (though some of that credit really belongs to its pre-paid cellular subsidiaries Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile). 

See also: Apple Really Needs To Get It Together

Both carriers would probably agree with Legere’s priceless sentiment—in message at least, if not in tone. If you want to observe the color commentary for yourself, the video follows below. Legere goes into his peak NSFW rant around 20 minutes in. Enjoy. 

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Google Introduces Free Voice Calls From Hangouts by @mattsouthern

Google understands how important it is to keep in touch with friends and family, as they state in an announcement published on their official blog today. Keeping in touch becomes especially difficult when your friends and family are spread around the world. Google’s Hangouts app already makes it easy to keep in touch by sending a quick message, or starting a video chat. But sometimes you just want to make a traditional phone call, and now you can with the new version of Hangouts. Google has announced that, starting today, you can make voice calls from Hangouts on Android, iOS […]

The post Google Introduces Free Voice Calls From Hangouts by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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How I Deal With SEO Outsourcing Calls – Search Engine Roundtable

How I Deal With SEO Outsourcing Calls
Search Engine Roundtable
salesman If you are anything like me, you get several sales pitches a day, including one or two requests from companies to outsource your SEO or web development to them. My company on average gets three phone calls a day with SEO and web …

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Track Ad Clicks That Lead To Phone Calls With AdWords’ Website Call Conversions by @mattsouthern

Seventy percent of all mobile searchers have called a business directly from search ads, Google says, but what about those searchers that call a business after clicking on a search ad? Now there’s a way to track those people. Today Google announced the launch of website call conversions, a way for you to track calls from your website that occur after an ad click. Google will track clicks that lead to calls by dynamically inserting a Google forwarding number on your website that measures the calls made by users who have clicked on one of your search ads. You will […]

The post Track Ad Clicks That Lead To Phone Calls With AdWords’ Website Call Conversions by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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Google Webmaster Guidelines Update Calls “Low Quality Guest Blog Posts” Spam

Google has updated their webmaster guidelines, specifically in the little or no original content guideline, to add “low-quality guest blog posts” as an example of “scraped content.” Brian Ussery first spotted this change, noting how Google has been fighting the use of guest…



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Apple Confirms iOS Backdoors, But Calls Them “Diagnostic Capabilities”

Apple acknowledged that its iOS operating system for iPhones and iPads contains several previously undisclosed “diagnostic capabilities”—services that an iOS forensics expert recently described as “backdoors” that could allow broad access to a user’s personal data on those devices under certain circumstances.

See also: Those “Backdoors” In Apple’s iOS—What You Need To Know

The issue involves problematic iOS services identified several months ago by Jonathan Zdziarski, the forensics expert who is also a one-time iOS jailbreaker and the author of several books on iPhone development. Zdziarski gave a presentation on his findings last weekend and published the slide deck to his talk, which drew wider attention to his findings. (See our FAQ about Zdziarski’s backdoor findings here.)

Through The Backdoor

The three backdoors Zdziarski highlighted in his talk are present in 600 million iPhones and iPads, and are capable of accessing a great deal of personal information and then dumping it off the phone to a “trusted” device, such as the desktop computers many iPhone users plug their devices into. The backdoors can only be accessed via such trusted devices, limiting the danger of exploit—although that trust mechanism itself could also be spoofed by a determined attacker.

Until last night, Apple had apparently never described these iOS services publicly. Zdziarski reported the services do not notify users when they begin accessing personal data; do not require the consent of users if they access personal data; and cannot be turned off by users.

In a support document released Tuesday night, Apple described the three backdoors as “diagnostic capabilities to help enterprise IT departments, developers, and AppleCare troubleshoot issues” and offered a few details about each:

1. com.apple.mobile.pcapd

pcapd supports diagnostic packet capture from an iOS device to a trusted computer. This is useful for troubleshooting and diagnosing issues with apps on the device as well as enterprise VPN connections. You can find more information at developer.apple.com/library/ios/qa/qa1176.

2. com.apple.mobile.file_relay

file_relay supports limited copying of diagnostic data from a device. This service is separate from user-generated backups, does not have access to all data on the device, and respects iOS Data Protection. Apple engineering uses file_relay on internal devices to qualify customer configurations. AppleCare, with user consent, can also use this tool to gather relevant diagnostic data from users’ devices.

3. com.apple.mobile.house_arrest

house_arrest is used by iTunes to transfer documents to and from an iOS device for apps that support this functionality. This is also used by Xcode to assist in the transfer of test data to a device while an app is in development.

Apple’s support document acknowledges that a third party can access these services wirelessly via Wi-Fi from a trusted device, as Zdziarski had previously reported. It neither confirms nor denies Zdziarski’s finding that these three services operate without the knowledge or explicit consent of the user.

Apple also claims a much more limited role for the file_relay service than Zdziarski found, saying it is used only for “limited copying  of diagnostic data from a device.” Zdziarski, by contrast, reported that file_relay has access to 44 data sources within an iPhone, including highly personal information as call records, SMS text messages, voicemail, GPS logs and more. Such personal information has little in common with diagnostic data in most cases.

In a blog post reply, Zdziarski criticized Apple for being “completely misleading” in some of its descriptions and for failing to address his other concerns such as user consent and notification. But he also acknowledged that Apple will probably begin fixing those issues behind the scenes:

All the while that Apple is downplaying it, I suspect they’ll also quietly fix many of the issues I’ve raised in future versions. At least I hope so. It would be wildly irresponsible for Apple not to address these issues, especially now that the public knows about them.

(Zdziarski’s blog is having server problems; here’s a cached version of his reply to Apple should you need it.)

I’ve asked Apple for further clarification, and will update if and when I hear back from the company.

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Mobile Calls Are The New Conversions: 7 Tips For SEMs

Are you seeing depressing plateaus, or even declines, in your year-over-year conversion numbers? The fact is that a huge portion of search activity is moving to mobile. Soon, mobile activity will account for over 50% of searches. The problem is that the mobile conversions don’t follow the…



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Netflix Calls Out Verizon For Charging For Crappy Streaming, Part Deux

Netflix knows sure knows how to get a rise out of Internet service providers: Since mid-May, the streaming video service has been posting an error notice to Verizon subscribers blaming the network for slow delivery of its online videos. Verizon issued a cease-and-desist order and demanded lists of Netflix customers who might have seen this message.

The streaming provider’s response? Don’t blame us for your crappy network.

The letter from Netflix General Counsel David Hyman (.PDF) starts out cordially enough:

Your interpretation mischaracterizes our messaging. The message you cite to in your letter merely lets our consumers know that the Verizon network is crowded.… The message is part of our ongoing transparency efforts.

Basically, Netflix said that the error message was merely part of a transparency test, which is set to end June 16. Whether that was always the plan or merely a last-minute decision to (somewhat) appease the ISP isn’t clear, though it’s very likely the latter.

Still, Netflix couldn’t resist throwing in a few barbs:

In fact, it is my understanding that Verizon actually upsells customers to higher speed packages based on improved access to video services, including Netflix…. To ensure that these customers get the level of service they pay you for, it is your responsibility to make sure your network, including your interconnection points, have sufficient capacity to accommodate the data requests made by those customers.

Translation: You’re charging people for service you aren’t providing, and somehow calling Netflix on that? That’s just not cool.

Then things took a turn for the hilarious.

To try to shift blame to us for performance issues arising from interconnection congestion is like blaming drivers on a bridge for traffic jams when you’re the one who decided to leave three lanes closed during rush hour.

In addition, the streaming company criticized Verizon’s refusal to join Open Connect, the peering and caching program Netflix established to allow ISPs to connect right to the service directly instead of going through third-party content delivery networks. Participants include Frontier, British Telecom, TDC, Clearwire, Telus, Bell Canada, Virgin, Cablevision, Google Fiber and others. Notably Verizon and Comcast are both missing from the list. 

You have chosen not to participate in the Open Connect Program, but instead have allowed your network connection to Netflix to degrade until we agreed to pay for augmented interconnection. We brought the data right to your doorstep…all you had to do was open your door. 

Meanwhile, Netflix flatly ignored Verizon’s demand for the subscriber list. No word yet on the broadband provider’s next course of action, but we’re getting the popcorn ready for the next act in this little play. Because it’s quite likely that Verizon’s rebuttal will be swift and fierce. Unfortunately, as the drama continues on, viewers are the ones who are losing.

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