With the polls still open as I write this . . .


I recently asked how anyone could fail to have a Skype account.

And I’ve recently seen about two billion TV ads touting a thing called the MagicJack – and even saw them for sale in a 7-Eleven.


There’s a lot more to this analysis, but it concludes:

Skype is the best service if you are looking of a complement to your cell phone. This is exactly how Spot Cool Stuff uses Skype: We use our cell phones for domestic calls and then Skype for international ones. In fact, with the fantastic Skype iPhone app you can use Skype on your cell phone (presuming you have an iPhone). Except for video chats, we exclusively use Skype via an iPhone. (Speaking of video chats, it is very cool and surprisingly high quality on Skype).

At the start of this article, though, we stated that we were looking for the service that could best replace a telephone company land line. Without a doubt, the best service for that task is . . . Vonage.

If we were to stealthily break into your house and replace your telephone company land line service with Vonage you might never notice a difference. You’d have the exact same phone number (not so with MagicJack or Skype) and the exact same phone (not so with Skype); you could use your phone without a computer (not so with MagicJack) and you’d be unlikely to notice much quality difference. Yes, Vonage is the most expensive of these three services. But this is one of those times when you get what you pay for.


In a move no one cleared with me, the Oscars are going to have ten Best Picture nominees this coming March instead of five. I’m not sure I like that. But I do very much like how the voting will work.

Arlen Long: “Click circle #2 and then #3 and then #4 to see the animation. Instant Runoff Voting for the Oscars might generate understanding of how this would work for the Presidency.”

☞ And that, as I’ve argued before, would be a very good thing (and not just for the Presidency – for any election with more than two candidates).


Comments are closed.