All posts by mark

Make Personal Conference Calls on the Fly with your iPhone

We are working through a family issue that requires me to keep a number of family members up to speed on changes.  I found the easiest way to do this is to quickly call all the right people and have one conversation where we can all ask our questions and share advice – just like at work.
An easy way to create a quick conference call is to simply use your iPhone to add additional callers to the conversation.  Just click “Add Call” during your call and then “Merge Call” to add the additional calls to the group conversation.
You can add up to five callers if you have AT&T or T-Mobile service and up to two callers on Sprint or Verizon.  This limit is based upon your service provider – not the service provider of those you are calling.
You can learn more here.

How to add a Credit Security Freeze to Protect Your Accounts

Ever heard of a credit report freeze? This lets you lock up your credit  report so that no lender can pull your file when attempting to issue credit in your name.  In other words – it prevents fraudulent credit activity from potentially occurring.
To get started you simply apply to add a freeze at each the of the three credit reporting agencies including TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.  Most states waive any fees to add or lift the security freeze for victims of identity theft.  Some steps waive the fees for all consumers for both adding and lifting the freeze including Indiana and South Carolina.  Other states require a nominal fee for this service in the $3 to $10 range to add or remove a lift. Read more at the Consumer Union’s Guide to Security Freezes to get a state by state index of rules and any fees.
Once you have added a freeze all you need to do is just visit a website to temporarily lift the freeze when applying for new credit.  I keep my information to remove the freeze in a spreadsheet to make it easy to remember all the account information and it takes me about 10 minutes to make the adjustment across all three credit reporting bureaus when needed.
It is a little step that you can do in order to help prevent you from being a victim of identify theft.

An Inside Look

In case you missed this article on Southwest Airlines Network Operations Center, Training Cabin, and Listening Center.  A rare behind the scenes look with amazing pictures and narrative
Check it out on CNET
Hat tip to David Gray for sharing.


Robots are coming to a hotel near you

Starwood is rolling out robotic room service at their properties ready to drop off your $35 cheeseburger and fries.
From Gulliver:The butler known as a “botlr” is being tested in its Cupertino hotel in Silicon Valley (naturally) with a view to expanding its presence worldwide. Botlrs come complete with bow ties and resemble a cutesy cross between Disney’s Wall-E and R2-D2 from Star Wars. As well as having novelty value, they are capable of delivering room-service orders by navigating lifts and corridors before dialling the occupant’s room number to announce their arrival”

Read more at Gulliver