[tabi] Re: Fw: [VICUG-L] FW: Farewell, GOOG-411

  • From: "Daniel Ben Moshe" <danielbenmoshe1@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2010 14:54:27 -0400

I like that.  
 

I'm glad to be your humble and obedient servant,

Zechen Elder Daniel Ben Moshe,
B'ni Yahshuah Synagogue Of Broward County,
www.theblindcansee.org
Choose ye this day whom you will serve.  If YHWH be Elohim, then serve him,
with all of your heart.  However, if baal be your god, then serve him.  As
for me, and my house.  We choose to serve YHWH!

The late Bishop Joe O Patterson told a story long ago, when i was a small
child.  about the show down, between Elijah, and the 450 false prophets of
baal. He shared with us how Elijah, stood, and told the false prophets to go
on ahead,and call their god first.   Because they had a much larger program.
He talked about how they had 450 participants to introduce. Elijah was so
sure of YHWH, he with confidence said, that he only had one.  Elijah also
reminded them, that they had to drag their fake god up the mountain side on
an ox cart.  Elijah also announced to the world, that his Elohim would be
there when he arrived.  He said mockingly, you go on ahead.  Heck, I will
even let you have prime time.  I'M going to take a nap, and when you guys
finish your foolishness, wake me up.  Go ahead now, take your best shot.
Bishop Joe O Patterson
A blessed memory
1963-1989   

 

  _____  

From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Adam Gaffney
Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 2:44 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [tabi] Re: Fw: [VICUG-L] FW: Farewell, GOOG-411


Yes, I did and then tried for several other cities to see if places of
learning turned out idiots..  
--
"The people may be made to follow a path of action, but they may not be
made to understand it."
 
-        Confucius ca. 480 B.C. 
 
 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Barbara  <mailto:bkblpp@xxxxxxxxxxxx> Lineberry 
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 2:40 PM
Subject: [tabi] Re: Fw: [VICUG-L] FW: Farewell, GOOG-411

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.  Do you mean you
called goog 411 and asked for the number for the Village Idiot?
 
Barbara

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Adam  <mailto:gaffney@xxxxxxxxxxxx> Gaffney 
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Sent: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 2:36 PM
Subject: [tabi] Re: Fw: [VICUG-L] FW: Farewell, GOOG-411

hi folks, what other free phone information services do folks recomend since
goog 411 is going away?  I've used 800 free411 800 3733 411 but like goog
411 a little better.  
 
I have a strange sence of humor and have a few nick names for things, one
being the village idiot for the village inn.  I called goog 411 one day to
get this number and wanted to see what would happen when I asked for the
number in Tallahassee and got a funny result, it was a place of learning.   
 
--
"The people may be made to follow a path of action, but they may not be
made to understand it."
 
-        Confucius ca. 480 B.C. 
 
 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Lynn  <mailto:evans-lynn@xxxxxxxxxxx> Evans 
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Sent: Thursday, October 14, 2010 3:47 PM
Subject: [tabi] Fw: [VICUG-L] FW: Farewell, GOOG-411

This was an active discusion on the VICUG list:
 
Farewell, GOOG-411 - NYTimes.com
Pogue's Posts - The Latest in Technology From David Pogue

October 14, 2010, 12:04 pm
Farewell, GOOG-411

Oh, it's a sad day in techland.

On November 12, Google will turn off 800-GOOG-411 forever.

It was one of the best, juiciest, most useful services in all 
phonedom.
It didn't cost anything.  It didn't require a smartphone.  Its 
accuracy
was uncanny.

In case you missed it, GOOG-411 is a free, voice-activated
directory-assistance service.  You say the business name or 
category you
want-"Freestyle Gym," "taxi," "Sakura restaurant," "hospital,"
whatever-and the city and state.  In one second, the guy's voice 
starts
reading a list of the best eight results.


mem/email The Times's technology columnist, David Pogue, keeps 
you on
top of the industry in his free, weekly email newsletter.  Sign 
up | See
Sample

You interrupt him by saying, "number two" or whatever.  Then you 
can say
"details" to hear him read you the address and phone number.  Or 
you can
say "text message" to have him text you the information.  But if 
you just
hang on, he connects your call for free.

You never actually hear the phone number.  But why should you 
care? You
just want to call the place, right? It's like having a little 
assistant
dude back at HQ connecting your calls-and if you're driving, 
which you
often are when you use this service, never once did you take your 
eyes
off the road.  Or even write anything down.

People who knew about GOOG-411 adored it.  But Google is about to 
turn it
off forever.

The blog gives no explanation.  Instead, it simply says "Goodbye 
to an
old friend" and suggests that you use one of Google's 
voice-driven tools
on an Android cellphone instead.

Well, that's great if you have an Android cellphone.  What about 
the 95
percent of us who don't?

I asked Google why Google pulled the plug.  The PR person's 
(non)-reply:

"Our focus is to provide the most value that we can for our 
users.  In
this context, we see the combination of speech technologies with 
the
increasing growth of smartphones as a better opportunity to 
provide more
value for users, so that is where we've chosen to focus our 
efforts."

I wrote back: "Thanks for the information.  But if Google's focus 
is to
provide 'the most value,' then certainly a service that works on 
100% of
phones provides more value than one that works only only 5% of 
phones.
Is there a more plausible reason?"

The reply this time was no more helpful: "GOOG-411 showed that a
fully-automated service could connect callers and businesses all 
over
the country.  We will continue to invest in voice recognition
technology."

Sigh.

The real answer was one Google search away.  Here's Google's 
Marissa
Mayer, talking to Infoworld in 2007 , when she was Google's vice
president for search: "If you want us to build a really robust 
speech
model, we need a lot of phonemes, which is a syllable as spoken 
by a
particular voice with a particular intonation.  So we need a lot 
of
people talking, saying things so that we can ultimately train off 
of
that.  So 1-800-GOOG-411 is about that: Getting a bunch of 
different
speech samples."

In other words, GOOG-411 was never intended to be a permanent 
exhibit;
it was a phoneme-harvesting operation for honing Google's voice
technologies.

Anyway, if you intend to soldier on in the post-GOOG-411 world, 
here are
your options:

* Use Google's even older, text-message version of GOOG-411, 
which is
still available.  You can text, for example, "home depot dallas 
tx" to
the address 46645-that is, GOOGL-and you'll be texted back with 
the
information.  Unfortunately, that's nowhere near as quick or as
hands-free as GOOG-411.

* Use the Google Mobile App.  It's available for Android, iPhone 
or
BlackBerry.  You speak what you want, just as with GOOG-411 ("CVS
pharmacy San Diego"), and you're shown the best matches on a map,
complete with prominent, one-tap phone numbers.

Unfortunately, it's not hands-free and it works only on those 
three app
phones.

* Use Microsoft's competing service, 800-BING-411.

BING-411 is a renamed version of TellMe, which Microsoft bought 
in 2008
for about $1 billion.  (You can read about the service here .  Or 
read my
original 2001 Times review .)

It works very similarly to GOOG-411, except it also offers 
turn-by-turn
driving directions, news headlines, travel info, cheap gas, 
horoscopes,
weather for any city, traffic, sports scores, movie information, 
and so
on.  (Say "Tell me my choices" at any time to hear this menu.)

This service would seem to be a natural successor for Google's
service-it works from any phone, for example.  It does, however, 
take
more steps to get to the information you want.  A typical call 
might go
like this:

Darby: "Bing 411.  Say a city and state." Me: "Cleveland, Ohio." 
Darby:
"Cleveland, Ohio.  Is that right?" Me: "Yes." Darby: "OK.  What 
business
or type of business are you looking for?" Me: "Home Depot." 
Darby: "OK,
Home Depot.  What street is it on? Or say 'I don't know.'" Me: "I 
don't
know." Darby: "I found nine locations.  When you hear the one you 
want,
just say it.  Brook Park Road.  Center Ridge Road.  Mayfield 
Road..."

(To get to this point on GOOG-411, you could have just said, 
"Home Depot
Cleveland, Ohio." It would have read you the listings 
immediately.)

Me: "Mayfield Road." Darby: "OK.  There are two numbers for Home 
Depot at
3460 Mayfield Road, rated 2 stars.  The first number is 
216-297-1303.  The
second number is 800-887-3395.  Now you can say, 'Driving 
directions,'
"Share this listing' or 'Connect me.' You can also say 'Repeat 
the info'
or 'Start over.'"

And so on.

At least you can interrupt Darby at any time, cutting the 
conversation
short.  (Yes, that's her name.  I actually met her once.  She's 
the voice
of TellMe and about a million other voice-activated 
customer-service
lines.) Also, you get a text to your cellphone automatically when 
you
identify the listing you want, which is handy.

Note that Bing lists (and identifies) advertised search results 
first,
which is annoying (but may mean that this service will carry on).  
Then
again, if all you want is a phone number (and are willing to 
listen to
an ad to get it), services like 800-FREE-411 are still around.
GOOG-411's fans will miss it dearly.  But BING-411 will get us 
through.

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