It blows my mind that here in 2015 we are still having problems with the old WinMail.dat attachment issue. It stems from the fact that MicrosoftLookOut err, Outlook still uses a proprietary format for its email attachments. There is a workaround which I will link to here for Outlook uses to tweak their settings that it seems to me that perhaps Microsoft should just fix the problem. Of course Microsoft assumes that everybody in the universe sends emails with Microsoft outlook. The main problem is that a lot of email accounts today all web-based and don’t support this attachment Standard or should I say nonstandard.
The following is a somewhat clunky workaround for ATT cellphone subscribers with LOCKED iPhones to block specific telephone numbers. This was a simple solution to my battle against a particular nasty Telemarketing / Travel Company called E Tour and Travel. You too may have a number you’d like to block; a disgruntled ex, a bailiff or debt collector, the Pope, your parole officer, or any other such “person non grata”. You actually have 4 options, 1) Pay AT&T (and soon Verizon) for a service that blocks numbers 2) Use the silent ringtone method (that what this article is all about!!) 3) Port your number over to Google Voice (GV) and block the call on the Google Voice side 4) Unlock your phone and use iBlacklist this is a true call blocker and costs $12.
The bad news is that there is currently no FREE way to block a particular phone number from calling your iPhone. AT&T appears to offer a paid service called “Smart Limits” that allows a user to block numbers but it’s $5 per month / line and why should we have to pay for this!
The method I’m going to describe here is called the silent ringtone trick and no, I did not come up with the idea even though almost half a million people have read this article! Dead simple idea really, grab a new ringtone off my site called Silent Ringtone then assign it to the bugger, er number, you want blocked. The silent ringtone is actually a real 30 second ringtone that consists of 30 seconds of sweet Fanny Adams i.e. pure silence. Your phone will ring for all other calls, except the ones assigned to this silent ringtone! (See gotchas at the end of this article)
Here it is in three easy steps:
- First download file by double clicking on this special secret SILENT Ringtone download link. It’s a zip file so you’ll need to unzip it once it’s down loaded.
- Next add the number that you wish to block to your Address book, give it a nice name like “Telemarketer Scum”, “Miffed Ex” or “Jonny Law”. If you’ve got a lot of numbers to block create one universal blocked call contact called Blocked and you can then add other numbers to it in future by the “Add to existing Contact” feature.
- Finally assign this secret Silent Ringtone to the just added Telemarketer or Miffed Ex. Voila! you’ll never be disturbed by them again.
This method is not really a true way to block calls at the telephone exchange / network level but really just a clunky workaround. You’ll still see the callers number in the Phone > Recents > Missed list. If you phone is on vibrate, it will vibrate when the baddies call but not ring; this may be annoying.
They will still be able to leave you a message (most telemarketer won’t) BUT the phone will never again ring when they try to call and harass you, out of sound out of sight perhaps??!
Update, Jan 2011: Use Google Voice to block the baddies!
Another option is to port your current cellphone number over to Google Voice and then let Google Voice do the blocking. Your carrier would give you a new number and all you’d do is program Google Voice to ring this new number. Calls can be permanently blocked with Google Voice at the touch of a button. Also, your carrier may not like you running off to Google with you current phone number and you may incur charges when you port the number over. You’d also have a problem when dialing out from your iPhone as if you dial calls in the regular manner the other person would see your new number not you old cell number. Still this is an option to consider. It has been reported that some folks are having some trouble with Google Voice after they have ported over their numbers; missed, delayed calls and texts etc (Ha ha AT&T customers, myself included have has this BS for years) so you may want to wait a month or two until you decide to port your number over.
The new Iphone is here, not really new more of an evolution than revolution. In the bottom line department the new iPhone is gonna be 1/2 the cost just $199 compared to the $400 I paid for the 8 gig model, ouch (the price of early adoption). The data rate when you’re not on wifi is now 3G as apposed to slow 56k pokey Edge so 1700kbps vs the 200kbos of edge. GPS is now built in also a nice feature. Audio is supposedly better, audio quality was ok in my opinion. They have added Exchange support for business users too. It’s coming to 54 odd countries including South Africa and Australia!
I think the biggest thing to look forward to is the ability to add apps to the phone. I want a decent IM client, be able to use SKYPE to talk to South Africa for free, a blogging client to update this bloody blog to name just a few apps. The good news is from what I’ve seen this is all possible, that for me is what I’ll be waiting for!
My personal experience with 9 months of the old iPhone
- ATT in my neighborhood sucks, as many dropped calls as dropped trousers at a bachelor party! I appear to live in a ATT bermuda triangle really, and it does seem to be localized a block or so around my house.
- No video, come on we want video – perhaps iphone 2.0 upgraded software will allow apps to use this!!
- Simple cut and paste – no sorry can’t do on an iphone
- Headphone jack recessed – new iphone has fixed this but old one required an adaptor to use a mini plug found on regular headphones
- No instant messaging – will be taken care off soon I hope
The Good and great
- Ipod is excellent, really great
- Interface – nothing like it in ANY phone for twice the price !!
- Browser – a real we browser, you can actually use it
- Ease of use, fantastic. I like to think of myself as being a tech savvy guy but I’m been stumped numerous time trying to figure out how to do something simple on high end Nokias and Sony Erickson phone. I’d like to say anyone can pick up the phone and start using most of it’s features right away.
- Phone and ipod integration great, jammin to tunes or listening to BBC podcast, call comes in, audio level from ipod drops down and call ringer goes up. Hang call up, ipod starts playing where you left off, volume is faded back up
- Ergonomics – a slippery little bugger, needs a case or a skin or even tape on the sides to stop it slipping out of your hand. Great size otherwise.
- Screen, I can finally read a cell phone screen in broad daylight
So in summary, the worlds best phone just got a whole lot cheaper and some nice additions too. I think they’re gonna sell a ton more of these pups now, glad I still have some APPL stock.
A mate of mine recently forwarded an email claiming that a directory of cell phone numbers will soon be published and presumably made available to anyone, including telemarketers. All recipients were encouraged to call 888-382-1222 and have their number added to the do no call list.
My first course of action when receiving an email of this nature normally involves a quick scan of the Urban Legends website know as Snopes.com. Sure enough the claims in this email came up as FALSE (see this page for full details) but as with all urban legends there is a grain of truth in the email (from Snopes): A national directory will be compiled, but numbers will be included on an opt-in basis. If a cell phone subscriber does nothing, the number will not be listed. When the directory is ready, it will be available only as part of the existing 411 directory service, accessed by calling in and asking for a specific number. It will not be published in a book or on the Internet. And it will not be sold to telemarketers.
The moral of the story is check with Snopes.com first before you forward any emails that contain wild claims to 100 of your mates. Sure, I always find it fun to ream this particular gent a new one when he messes up but if you add up the time wasted for all the recipients to figure out that the email is in fact false you might be quite alarmed. Let assume this fellow forwarded it to 8 of his pals (I see he did looking at the To: field of the email) If each of those people forwarded it to 8 of their friends and those to 8 of theirs then you can see we’re headed up that smelly creek for sure!
So let’s all make New Year’s Resolution Number 7: “I will check with Snopes.com first before forwarding any alarmist emails to my pals”
I think I’d like to create my own Urban Legend this year so if you have any ideas drop me a line. I also have a pretty good idea of whom the first recipient of this email will be in order for it to propagate around the Internet like a nasty dose of the Clapp!
It’s 11.31am Mountain time here in Colorado and I haven’t heard a bloody peep from the Macworld Expo regarding the “Big News” that every Mac geek has been salivating over for the past six months. Christ on a Bike! is it now 2006 or what – how about a live video feed, or low tech audio feed Mr Jobs? All the major Mac news sites like ThinkSecret and are down, thanks to frantic searchers like myself. In the name of all thing good and unholy TELL US, TELL US NOW!! I’m now searching news.google.com – nuffin! Oh sweet God and baby Jesus how long has a bloke to wait! Do I have to phone a friend of a friend who lives in The Haight and get em to stroll down the hill to the expo with a cellphone in hand?
We’re all chomping at the bit here Steve, even the suits (apple stock just went up 5% over night!)Here is what has been suggested the announcement are gonna be: