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AT&T Killed Visual Voicemail and That’s NOT the Worst Part!

July 27th, 2009 No comments

I was recently aware of this problem when I noticed I wasn’t getting visual voicemail for the past several weeks. I dialed and held the #1 on my keypad to see if I missed any voicemail. Turns out I had over 20 business and personal messages. So I Googled only to find out this problem has been going on for weeks and has appeared on both CNET and TechCrunch.

att visual voicemail failure AT&T Killed Visual Voicemail and Thats NOT the Worst Part!

AT&T Reveals Its New Service the Death Star

This leads to my rant on why the Visual Voicemail issue isn’t even the worst part. What really bothered me was AT&T’s lack of responsibility to notifying and informing their customers of this issue so people could manually check their voicemail until this issue has been resolved. AT&T is aware of this problem and has been supposedly working on a fix for several weeks now. Therefore, it is absolutely inexcusable for AT&T not to publicize this failure. Voicemail is an integral to our lives as email.

I contacted AT&T Tech Support twice and both customer service representatives were not aware of this problem. How can a system wide issue not be communicated to even their own support staff?

My real estate agent was also missing my voicemail until I told her about this issue. She’s had several dozen messages that were missed.  Another friend of mine missed over 40 messages. How much loss in business do you think could have been prevented if AT&T advised their customers to check their voicemail manually? What has changed? There were not any new features in Visual Voicemail that could have broken it!

Our GadgetMETER writer, Jay Chang, made a wonderful suggestion: switch to Google Voice. Which is exactly what HE did.

Here is our laundry list of complaints with the Death Star known as AT&T….and yes, I cannot wait for the Class Action Lawsuit. Maybe George Lucas will make another Star Wars Trilogy.

  • AT&T did not notify customers about a known issue with visual voicemail causing loss of business and life disruptions.
  • Poor 3G service in New York City and San Fransisco. Would you bother upgrading to 3GS knowing you would get shady service in these cities?
  • Long term contracts. I get it. The contracts help subsidize the iPhone purchase. However, AT&T has taken advantage of this by overcharging because Verizon is not in the iPhone game. Once Verizon is, I’m giving AT&T a two fingered salute goodbye!
  • Still no official 3G tethering. I’ve heard they are planning to charge more. Why does AT&T plan to rape their customers? We already paid for the data plan, it shouldn’t matter what devices use it. Comcast Internet doesn’t charge me extra for additional devices I use on my Wi-Fi connection at home. If you want to do a simple hack to tether the iPhone 3.0, check out our post here.
  • Telecom companies have never been known to innovate and move technology forward. It’s always been Silicon Valley. Once we move to Wi-Max and Google offers its own low cost or free universal Internet Access, I would excpect to see low cost data and voice plans.

If you are having iPhone visual voicemail problems, try these steps from CNET. It didn’t work for me but apparently it worked for others.

I cannot imagine all the problems in people’s lives this has caused. Share your stories with us.

Photographic Memory pill

July 27th, 2009 No comments

People with a photographic memory often say it’s a curse. People without are usually, like me, jealous of those that have one. How cool would it be to remember anything and everything you see and be able to recall it at any time necessary at a later date. No more asking for directions, no more trouble recalling information, no more cramming for tests. No more trying to remember that person’s name or phone number. The applications are endless.
Now imagine you could take a pill and BAM! everything you see is committed to memory without any effort.
Well some scientists in Spain think they have singled out a protein that can extend the life of visual memory significantly. When the production of the protein was boosted in mice, the rodents’ visual memory retention increased from about an hour to almost two months.

Picture 18 Photographic Memory pill

Will you remember what this protein looks like in two months?


This memory extension only applies to memories made through the poorly understood visual cortex of the brain. So you won’t be able to remember everything you hear, only everything you see. But still!
The implications of having a pill that could do this are staggering. I’m not sure even William Gibson himself could imagine all the repercussions, but I’ll have fun pondering it none the less.

via popsci.com

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