Got a cool trick up my sleeve to dazzle a client with to prove you care about them more than you care about not pissing off a Black Swan audience (some guy got shot in France for that you know, great movie), that in addition to being able to contact you normally they are also able, if you don’t field the email soon, to send an email to a certain address, like or, and in doing so making my phone go completely crazy until I shut it up by pulling up the urgent email or the battery died and, if I could get her to agree with this, it would also freak out my wife’s phone too for good measure.

Text messages too (why not) and if I had a landline, with Google Voice, I don’t know, some additional freakiness.

A variety of ways to accomplish this and I’m sure mine isn’t by any means the best but hey, maybe it would work for you and you hadn’t thought of this so here’s how I just did it on my Google phone:

Wait, pause that colon cliffhanger, gotta get this out of my system if you don’t mind (you don’t mind, do you?).

I created an urgent-sounding email address alias on the client’s domain, I set up a filter with Google that takes any mail sent to that address and forwards to another email address (I used my own server but you could use a Gmail account, anything with IMAP, whatever), I went through all the Android notifications and alarms and gathered up a bunch of appropriate sounding notifications and alarms, I stitched them all together and looped them into one three hour file, saved it, dropped it on my SD, configured the urgent account on K-9, an Android email client which lets you specify different notifications for different accounts you add, assigned it the long-ass ring which alternates between extremely obnoxious and gentle and gave it an aggressive vibration pattern — done!

Yeah you’re right, one more full-width shot of that broad with the unconvincing dye job (so what, who cares):

Yes, thank you Captain Obvious, this relies on Google being up and it would take Google going down to get these people to try to email me over something urgent in which case I wouldn’t get the alert making this whole thing stupid but that’s the whole point, don’t you see, that I stand behind my resold product not going down long enough for any of these clients to notice it and get irritated enough to try and fail to email my regular address for help and then email my urgent address. Yeah I know Google’s had a few Fail Whales here and there but hey man, you tell me how Google stacks up against anyone else who provides half the services Google does.

Anti-fanboy ballbreaking ginger-bashing jive turkey.

Doug Simmons


  1. You have the most inaccessible writing style I have ever come across. Borderline gibberish I tell you.

  2. Hey sorry, but what can I say, I have big sentences. Can’t always comfortably stuff them through everyone’s tunnels of comprehension. Which is why I try to loosen you up with the seductive jay-pegs.

  3. So what’s your point? That Google makes fantastic software products that geeks can tweak whichever way they want and make it do whatever they want? Well, the last time I checked, geeks comprised approximately 0.06% of world’s population. So whatever happened to making life easier for the other 99.94% people? Oh wait…. thats what Microsoft has been doing for decades in PC/software and Apple for almost a decade in the PMP/smartphone department. Tell me one Google product except search and maps that has made life simpler for us common folks.

    Okay, now that we are talking, let me make some points here even at the cost of this ‘reply’ being longer than the ‘post’ it is replying to. First – Just like you, Doug, I have been through the hspl/unlocking/flashing/customising routine with WinMo devices. It used to make me feel like a superdude strutting around my stuff to the lesser mortals. But the time comes in everyone’s life when there is no more time or inclination to do that. You just want your phone to work without registry edits and hacks. What the heck did I pay $530 for if I still have to do all the hard work? Thats what is uncool about Android. Buy an iPhone from the store, put it on…. it works. Get a WP7 device, slam a SIM and login with your Windows Live ID…. it works. Mail, Facebook, Live Mesh, Zune, XBox simply work without even installing any app. Isn’t that what you would call a ‘smart’ phone? Of what use is your badassmoled dual core NFC compliant curved display spec hungry device if it takes a smarter man to even figure out which side is the front of the phone?

    Second – is about ownership.When I pay to buy a product, it is mine. Pure and Simple. I don’t want no one to tell me what I do with it. Microsoft has been a champion of that since inception even at the cost of losing billions of dollars in revenue from piracy. When I bought a Windows 3.1, it was mine. Windows XP, they asked me to register online but even if I didn’t (or wasn’t connected to the internet), it worked, no problems. WinMo 5.0, I could unlock and flash it with a new ROM 17 times everyday, Microsoft couldn’t care less. Even for WP7 they have till now made the right kind of noises to the Homebrew people. Apple Inc, on the other hand, wants to own me when I buy their products. You actually pay to become their slaves, iTunes and all. Heck, the even changed the frigging screws so that you couldn’t open the back panel of the iPad (or was it iPhone). Google, the overlords of ‘Do No Evil’, they say their products are free. But they enslave you in a different way. You have to give them your identity to use their freebies and they track and record everything you do under the garb of targeted advertisement. Even if you don’t sign in, they still know who you are, thank you. They want to control our lives, even telling me what I want to know before I finish the question!! What kind of a joke is this? Why did they fight a bloody Civil War in the 18th century if slavery was to come back through the rear door? At best it is Colonialism by another name. No wonder Google and Apple got dropped from some obscure ethics list this year, but were they worth being there to begin with?

    Third – is about breach of confidence. Companies making products are supposed to do R&D for new products. They are supposed to spend time and resources to design, make, test and refine the product BEFORE it is launched in the market. In every industry there are norms on the how’s and who’s of testing and companies investing in R&D have traditionally done well in their fields. In comes Google and changes the ethics. They had a brilliant idea – “Why spend time and resources on in-house testing, lets toss it to the gullible and unsuspecting public…. they will take any shit as long as we give it free. We save money, go faster than the competition and even earn revenue from advertising while the testing is going on!!” Almost every Google product follows the above to the tee. And then they even earn brownie points for speedy updates. If this isn’t breach of public confidence, tell me about it.

    For once, try to rise above the fanboishness and throw an impartial glance at things as they are. Maybe you’ll see reason. I won’t say that Microsoft does everything right either, but that maybe the subject matter of another reply (or post). :P

  4. Civil War in America was in the 19th century, right? My bad.
    Where the heck is my Edit button?!

  5. I’m uncomfortable engaging here. At first I’m thinking all right I trolled this out of you, but then I think, no wait, I just wrote a relatively neutral bit and you’re taking shots at NFC (you’re wrong on that — just wait a while, you’ll see) and Live IDs “just working” with the phone you find, having surveyed the scene, to be so great — and you’re coming at me all combative, maybe I’m about to become the troll victim. Or you’re just trying to pull in some pageviews for me as a gift, perhaps to entice me to stick around and write more and come up with more almost over the line picture arrays. Speaking of which, I could use some compliments with these pictures.

    Either way, Hotmail Alias, you almost rival my intelligence so I see you, here at least, as a blogging liability.

    But maybe you could use that intelligence and explain to me what’s going on with WP7 here, the sidewaysness thing in spite of its being so refreshingly and uniquely right. Not a rhetorical question, I don’t doubt it’s awesome (I’ll take everyone’s word for it), just can’t make sense out of that data.

    Can you?

  6. Near the end of your ‘relatively neutral bit’, you wrote this, “……. you tell me how Google stacks up against anyone else who provides half the services Google does……”, which was my takeoff point in full combat gear. Nothing against the tip & trick you posted, but mostly because I could not make head or tail of it. Same goes for the linked Google Doc taking a sideways look at WP7 sales. I need to first make sense of what it is before I make sense of the data. But anyway, I never said Microsoft does everything right!!!

    Your choice of pics is legendary and that’s one of the reasons why I go past the bump and end up reading the full article. The other reason is the kick I get from deciphering the meaning of your long sentences. Makes me feel like I cracked the Sunday Crossword!! Ah, then there is also the matter of getting to read some good pieces of prose, which are extremely hard to come by these days.

    P.S. – Do you have the email of the dyed broad? Not the ‘engineered’ one….. that would be such a breach of trust!!

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