Google Voice Can Now Interact With Voicemails From Your Current Cell Phone Number

Google is one of those companies that seems to always be working on something awesome. I’m a huge fan of Google Voice, as it really simplifies my life. Well if you’re one of the lucky people that have gotten into the beta, they have added yet a new feature. You can now have Google handle the voicemails from your personal cell phone number.

Despite the fact that I have a Google Voice number, people still call my actual cell phone number. This means that I have two different places to check my voicemail. Now Google can actually take control of your voicemail, and adding all of the same great features that you get on your Google Voice account. Things like custom greetings based on who’s calling and transcribed voicemails make it worth while. Now if I could just get a real Google Voice app on the iPhone (I’m looking at you Apple) it would be perfect.

By Chris Scott Barr

(Source: OhGizmo!!!)


Italian agency chops off its creatives' heads

An Italian ad agency called Milc had a strange idea for self-promotion: chopping off the heads of its creatives. This would seem to hamper their ability to provide good ideas, but it turns out it’s a metaphor for the ad business in this economic downturn. The severed heads are meant to represent wonderful creative ideas that have gone unused because of client spending cutbacks. “I hEad a great idea” is the hEadline, with additional copy that explains: “To cut your communications budget means to cut your own future.” There’s also a Web site. We’re also told that “no creatives were harmed.” A smart-ass might say, “That’s a pity,” but I’d never stoop so low. I don’t know if I’d risk working with an agency that’s so quick to decapitate, though I suspect the chief media outlet for these “executions” will be award-show annuals, where success will just go to their heads.

(Source: AdFreak)

Vodafone Symphonia

Vodafone New Zealand hired a production team to orchestrate cellphones into playing Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture. The effort took 1000 phones and 53 different ringtone alerts, synchronized to recreate the famous classical piece.

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(Source: PreSurfer)

Install Up To 59 Free Applications Quickly And Easily Using Ninite

Whenever I build a new computer, there are certain pieces of software that need to be installed. Things like VLC, iTunes, OpenOffice, Flash, .NET and a host of others are essential to my everyday computing. Generally I’ll take some time to install each of these individually just after the OS is loaded. I’ve always thought it would be nice if there was an easy way to just install all of them at once. It seems that my wish has come true.

Ninite is a small piece of software that lets you install up to 59 different pieces of software in the background, with almost no interaction from you. All you have to do is head over to the Ninite website, select which programs you want and download the installer. It will automatically install the software you selected (while saying ‘No’ to any extra toolbars or other annoying add-on programs). This is definitely one of the coolest discoveries I’ve come across in a while.

(Source: Oh Gizmo!!)

Samsung Provides LTE Devices to TeliaSonera for World’s First 4G-LTE Service Commercialization

4G/LTE, every geek on Earth’s dream. If you want to enjoy this 4G madness, you’ll have to move to one of the countries with 4G support where operators like TeliaSonera will give you a “speed” fix with the Samsung GT-B3710, the world’s first USB LTE device…
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the leading mobile phone and equipment provider, today announced a contract with TeliaSonera to provide Long Term Evolution (LTE) devices. LTE technology is one of the most anticipated technologies for 4thgeneration (4G) mobile service in the telecommunications industry. According to the contract between Samsung and TeliaSonera, a leading telecommunication service provider in the Nordic and Baltic countries and the emerging markets of Eurasia head-quartered in Sweden, Samsung will provide mobile broadband devices for commercial service in Sweden and Norway next year.

“We are very pleased to work together with TeliaSonera for this historic step forward in the modern telecommunications industry. With TeliaSonera’s initiation of LTE service, we hope more consumers to enjoy advanced mobile broadband service much earlier than expected,” said JK Shin, executive vice president and head of the Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung is committed to providing the best and the latest LTE devices to TeliaSonera and will fully support the commercial service in Sweden and Norway next year.”

“The 4G modems from Samsung will play a very important part of our 4G launch in Sweden and Norway,” says Kenneth Karlberg, President and Head of Mobility Services, TeliaSonera. “We look forward to sharing Samsung’s world leading mobile experience and that we together will offer our customers a whole new way of enjoying mobility services.”

The Samsung LTE device (Model name: GT-B3710) is expected to be the world’s first LTE device. The device is a USB stick that can be connected to a laptop computer, or other portable devices. The USB stick incorporates Samsung’s in-house developed LTE modem chip, branded Kalmia, and supports 2.6GHz band for LTE service.

With this contract, Samsung has again demonstrated its leadership in advanced mobile technology within the mobile industry and telecommunication standardization communities. Samsung’s LTE solution is fully compliant with the latest 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) LTE Release 8 (Rel- standard. Based on its number of contributions, Samsung ranks as one of the top companies within the 3GPP, the association that specified the LTE standard. Samsung also has four seats on the wireless networking standardization working group executive board.

(Source: Akihabaranews)

Afghan opium the most lethal drug worldwide

Afghan opium kills more people every year than any other drug on the planet, claiming up to 100,000 lives annually, according to a United Nations report released Wednesday.

Although U.S. officials have pointed to the last two years of lower production in Afghanistan, the country still produces 90 percent of the world’s opium, which the report says now threatens to sow havoc in much of Central Asia.

“The catalog of casualties caused by Afghan narcotics is gruesome,” Antonio Maria Costa, the executive director of the U.N. office on drugs and crime, says in a note in the report’s summary. “We need to go back to the dramatic opium addiction in China a century ago to find comparable statistics.”

In addition to drug-related deaths, Afghan opium and heroin pay for weapons that anti-U.S. insurgents use to kill American troops.

From 2005 to 2008, Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan earned an average annual income of some $125 million from the opium trade, not including money gained from drug-processing facilities or other related business in neighboring Pakistan, according to the report.

The Afghan opium crop, used to produce heroin, dropped from 7,700 metric tons in 2008 to 6,900 this year, but because of massive overproduction there are now more than 12,000 metric tons of opium in stockpiles, enough to meet world demand for more than two years. Criminal and insurgent groups probably are holding most of those reserves, the U.N. said.

The U.N.’s findings sounded a strong warning about the Central Asian opium-trafficking route, which has become a virtual conveyor belt for heroin between Afghanistan and Russia, referring to it as the “most sinister development yet.”

“The perfect storm of drugs, crime and insurgency that has swirled around the Afghanistan-Pakistan border for years is heading for Central Asia,” Costa said. “If quick preventive measures are not put into place, a big chunk of Eurasia could be lost.”

McClatchy Newspapers published a series of articles earlier this year that traced the flow of opium from Afghanistan through Tajikistan – a main Central Asian conduit – to Russia.

The articles found that Western inaction during the years after the 2001 U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan opened the way for Afghan opium to fuel corruption throughout Afghanistan, turn Tajikistan into a borderline narco-state and create thousands of new addicts in Russia.

Russia is now the world’s largest consumer of heroin, according to the U.N. report. At least 70 tons of Afghan heroin were consumed in Russia last year, the report says, more than three times the amount in the United States and Canada combined and higher than previous estimates.

The number of addicts in Russia has multiplied tenfold during the past decade, and there are now 30,000 to 40,000 Russian drug-related deaths each year, according to Russian government figures cited by the report. Official Russian news services have said that up to 30,000 of those deaths are due to Afghan heroin.

Russian leaders repeatedly have voiced their anger about the lack of a Western crackdown on Afghan opium, and the issue was brought up during President Barack Obama’s and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visits to Moscow this year.

In May, the head of Russia’s federal drug-control service, Viktor Ivanov, said that about 180 Afghan drug cartels were trafficking heroin to Russia.

“The majority of these 180 drug cartels are based in the U.S. and NATO areas of responsibility,” Ivanov said.

(Source: 420Butts)

Bong Water Can Be Illegal Drug?

Bong water can count as a controlled substance, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a decision that raises the threat of longer sentences for drug smokers who fail to dump the water out of their pipes.
In a 4-3 decision Thursday, the state’s highest court said a person can be prosecuted for a first-degree drug crime for 25 grams or more of bong water that tests positive for a controlled substance.

The decision, which reverses two lower court rulings, came in the case of Sara Peck. Items seized during a search of her Rice County home in 2007 included a glass bong — a type of water pipe often used to smoke drugs — that contained 37 grams — about 2 1/2 tablespoons — of a liquid that tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine.

The Supreme Court said that unambiguously counts as a drug “mixture” under the wording of state law and sent the case back to Rice County District Court for further proceedings. The decision, authored by Justice G. Barry Anderson, noted that the liquid wasn’t plain clear water, but had a pink color and fruity odor, and that a narcotics officer had testified that drug users sometimes keep bong water to drink or inject later.

The statute defines a drug “mixture” as “a preparation, compound, mixture, or substance containing a controlled substance, regardless of purity.” When the language of a statute is unambiguous, the high court said, precedents prohibit courts from disregarding the letter of the law under the pretext of pursuing the letter of the law.

In a sharply worded dissent, Justice Paul Anderson said the majority’s decision “does not make sense, and borders on the absurd.” He said it isn’t consistent with what the Legislature intended when it wrote the state’s drug laws. And he blasted Rice County authorities for charging Peck with such a serious crime.

If bong water is considered a drug mixture, and it weighs enough to raise the crime to a first-degree drug offense, the presumed sentence for a first-time offender is seven years and two months in prison, and a felony drug offense goes on his or her record, Paul Anderson wrote.

But if the bong water is treated as part of the drug paraphernalia, as the lower courts held, he wrote, the same defendant would face no more than a $300 fine and the petty misdemeanor conviction would not go on his or her record.

Justices Alan Page and Helen Meyer joined in Paul Anderson’s dissent.

Attorney Bradford Delapena, who represents Peck, said he had not yet had a chance to discuss the ruling with her, but he said the dissent correctly pointed out the problems the ruling raises.

“They’re treating Ms. Peck, who had two tablespoons of bong water, as if she were a major drug wholesaler,” he said.

Delapena said Peck’s case now goes back to the trial court, where he said prosecutors could use the ruling to try to extract a guilty plea to a more serious offense with a stiffer sentence than a $300 fine on a petty misdemeanor. He laughed at the suggestion that it means dope smokers should empty their bongs promptly.

“I wouldn’t presume to draw that lesson,” he said. “I would just stick with the legal lessons.”

(Source : 420Butts)