How to improve on AT&T revenge…


A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about a way to get free SMS text messaging on your phone using Google Voice, Gmail and Yahoo mail. Fortunately, last week Google updated their sync capabilities to add push, so we can now do away with the Yahoo part and have Gmail push directly to the phone, and reply directly in Gmail to the received SMS messages. It requires that your Gmail be setup as an Exchange account on your iPhone however. Here are the steps:

1. Follow the instructions in my last post to setup Google Voice and forward SMS to your Gmail account in the settings, but do NOT set up Gmail or Yahoo mail account on your iphone. If you do already have them setup and don’t use them for something else, feel free to delete them.

2. Go to Google Sync page and follow the instructions for setting up your Google account as an Exchange account.

3. Voila. SMS messages will be pushed to your phone via Google sync, and you will be able to hit reply and compose free SMS back to the sender via your Gmail account. An even more perfect way to have free sms and avoid the ridiculous AT&T rates.

The other great thing about Google Sync is that it also gives you the ability to sync your contacts and calendar for free (largely doing away with the need to pay 100 bucks a year for a mobile me account).

Fingertips, Part 3


United has this shitty system on a bunch of their flights where the planes are divided into “Economy” and “Economy Plus”. The latter has slightly more legroom and are in the front half of the plane and the former are packed in like sardines in the back half. And even though a bunch of  “plus” seats are vacant at takeoff, they won’t let you switch to them. I was in one of the last boarding groups for my flight yesterday to San Francisco from LA, sandwiching myself in the middle seat between a very portly guy to my right and a nervous (but thankfully thin) one to my left. Just before they closed up the plane a couple of minutes later, a guy starts leading a tall blind man down the aisle towards us and I realize that this guy looks a LOT like Stevie Wonder. And everyone on the plane is staring, and a couple of people say things to him as he comes down the aisle and it strikes me that this IS him! (And I verified this morning on twitter that he was indeed in San Francisco last night.) He and his two companions pass by me to to take their seats two rows behind mine in the cramped section. People keep turning around from in front of me to look and whisper to each other.

At this point I am wondering why Stevie Wonder is sitting in the shitty section of this shitty United flight. Why would a world renowned superstar travel in this way?  I come up with the following possibilities:

1. He gets a kick out of traveling with the common people from time to time and hearing their gasps when they see him.

2. This was a very last minute trip, and they just needed the very next flight to SF, whatever that was.

3. He is in serious financial trouble (so much so that, even though he is a very big man and would clearly benefit, he can’t afford the $15 upgrade to “Economy Plus”?)

Anyone else have a theory?

low key lala


Uh-oh, I feel as if I am coming down with a little cold. Took a lot of airborne and hoping it doesn’t progress. This week in LA has been pretty good professionally, as I made a few contacts and secured a little work. I also got caught up with a few friends and generally had a swell time, low key though it was. I am now in Marina del Rey to visit my old friend Jose, and will spend the night here before going to the airport tomorrow to head up to SF.