How can you help with the Kenya Flood effort? April 22, 2018 - For the past several days, Kenya has been subject to severe rains and flooding. The forecast over the next 5 days is calling for … [Read More...]
The Flight to Costa Rica
Did you know that Southwest Airlines flies directly from Houston to San Jose, Costa Rica? When I received an email advertising a special on direct flights from Houston I hopped on the chance and booked my trip. The flight was just as a I come to expect from Southwest Airlines – No extra fees for for your first piece of checked luggage and the same comfort and level of customer service that have become the brand of Southwest Airlines.
The flight from Houston to San Jose, Costa Rica is only 3.5 hours, so before you know you it, you are off on your adventure. A pleasant surprise was that for an extra $8, they offer wifi on the flight!
Do you regularly receive unsolicited calls offering you SEO services to get you on the front page of Google? Or my favorite is, “Your business qualifies for a business loan up to $250,000 without a credit check!” Why not fly the Jolly Roger when you deal with these callers?
If you are a business owner like me, answering the phone from a number that I do not recognize may actually be a potential customer. If I let the call roll to voicemail, I may or may not retain that customer, so I take my calls.
This cycle of endless unsolicited calls used to be a source of frustration for me, but now, I find it greatly entertaining and I love to get those calls. What caused this polar shift in my thinking is a direct result of Roger Anderson’s brainchild. Roger Anderson, a telecom expert, kept hearing his customers complain about unsolicited calls to their businesses. In response to their complaints, he created a service named Jolly Roger Telco where you can transfer those calls to pre-recorded bots that can keep unsuspecting scammers and solicitors busy talking.
What is really awesome is that you can choose to receive a copy of the phone call between the bot and the telemarketer at the conclusion of the call. It’s highly entertaining. Here is a sample of what you can expect:
I used to dread receiving telemarketing calls, but now I find myself anxiously waiting for the next telemarketer to call me. Talk about a polar shift! When I see a telemarketer call, I get excited and get to transfer them to the bot that is waiting to speak with them. Now, instead of costing me money, they are the ones who are losing time. Win!
Did I mention that this is a lot of fun?
Can I Use Jolly Roger Telco with a Cell Phone?
Yes! This is where the real genius comes in. Jolly Roger Pirate bots can be introduced two ways – Text an invite to them or just call them and then conference them into your phone call. I have found that calling them and then adding them to the call is the fastest way to get them on the phone for me.
Pictured to the left is the entry that I saved into my phone for the number to summon a pirate. I made the name start with a period and then the letter “A” so that it would show up first in my list of contacts. This allows me to see their number fast when I go to “Add Call” and then pull up my contacts.
Once the bot answers, I then “Merge” the call and then turn on Mute. That’s when the magic happens.
So, here is a sample of how I get someone to wait for me to “transfer” them.
Caller: Hello, sir. I am calling today to get your website on the front page of Google, Does that sound like something that would interest you today?
Caller: Are you the business owner?
Me: No, please hold, I will get him on the line.
And just like that, they wait to speak to the Pirate Bot. It’s rather simple really. For those who think I am being mean about this, please check this article from Google’s Webmaster Support pages concerning solicitation calls promising that you will be placed on the first page of Google.
Can I use Jolly Roger Telco on my Home Phone?
Yes! It is even better if you have digital phone service (VoIP). I have digital phone service through AT&T U-verse, so using their “Locate Me” feature I am able to simultaneously ring both my home phone handset and Jolly Roger Telco. When they receive the call, they compare the caller ID to known scammer and telemarketers answering the call if the number is found in their database.
This means, while I am at work, Jolly Roger is filtering the scammers and telemarketers from my phone line automatically. Of course, the prime time for telemarketing calls is between 5pm and 8pm, just when you need some entertainment after a long day.
It is great!
A Little about Jolly Roger Telco
I have had so much fun with this, I reached out to Roger and we had a call to discuss his business. Roger also told me about what is coming in the future and offered to let me help him develop a bot for use in the future.
Roger Anderson launched Jolly Roger Telco back in May of 2016 and has been steadily growing his business. It was not until someone shared the video of his Ted Talk that I had even heard of Roger’s service.
Currently, Jolly Roger Telco is working to further develop the Biz Bots for companies to use when they are getting slammed with telemarketing calls. In my case, I am the receptionist, since I am my only employee; but many business owners would probably learn a lot if they spoke with the people that answer the phones for their business. When telemarketers call a business, they are leeching resources that the business is paying for.
By absorbing the time of the telemarketers and scammers that are calling, you are causing them to lose money. The longer that they are on the phone with you, the more money they lose. It is simple math.
Thank you Jolly Roger Telco for making answering my phone more fun!!
Recently, I installed the AMP plugin from Automattic in order to validate with Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages to take advantage of the speed that it offers, but I ran into some major issues. I installed the plugin without any issues, but one Google Search Console indexed my pages a few days later, I saw that every AMP link had a validation error.
I read through the documentation and it seemed that this validation error was a common problem, but the solution was evasive. Since AMP has only been out since last month, there was not much documentation aside from support forums written by folks speaking in some foreign code. Yes, I run a website for my photography, but I am a photographer, not a coding expert. That said, when faced with a validation error and looking at it in Developer Tools I can somewhat understand what is going on, but first I have to have copious amounts of caffeine.
Buried deep down in one of the support threads, I found where someone with the CloudFlare plugin was experiencing a validation error on all of their AMP generated links until they disabled the HTTPS Protocol Rewriting (shown below):
Along the way, I found another plugin that adds the AMP plugin as an extension to the Yoast SEO plugin. Basically, the Glue for Yoast SEO & AMP plugin assures that AMP will be using the correct the metadata from Yoast SEO and pulls that into AMP.
So instead of staying up all night reading support threads and brewing endless cups of coffee, if you are running CloudFlare & Yoast SEO and have plans to install AMP, I would suggest that you try what worked for me. If that resolves your issue, please share this link so others can find the solution to this misery.
I have had a many of my friends asking me about why it is that they are getting warnings from their service providers about overusing their data plan. My first question is, “Do you have an iphone?” If yes, my next question is, “Do you use the Facebook App on your phone?” It seems the answer is always a resounding yes.
The latest Facebook App uses an autoplay feature for videos that are posted in your newsfeed. This kind of bandwidth usage is sure to kill anyone’s mobile phone plan if they use Facebook a lot. To complicate the matter, when you go into the settings of the Facebook app, it seems that you cannot turn this feature off. The feature is not controlled by settings reached through the app, but through the settings on your iPhone.
Follow the following instructions and you will be able to disable autoplay videos on Facebook app.
1. Go to the Settings Menu on your Home Screen.
2. Scroll Down and select “Facebook” on the list