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Alex Wiesen
Works at Google
Attended Stanford University
Lives in Santa Clara, CA
1,989 followers|668,240 views
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Alex Wiesen

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Our deepest sympathies for the people affected by the earthquake in Nepal. We're making calls to Nepal only 1c a minute for the next week using Google Voice, Hangouts (including Hangouts Dialer), and Gmail. And remember, from Nepal (and everywhere else we offer service), calls to the US and Canada are free, and are only 1c to India.

You can read more about what Google is doing in response to the Nepal earthquake below.
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That's very respectable. That and the People Finder are really great tools for mitigating fear in a disaster.

Now Google needs to finish the robots that acquired to save people.
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Alex Wiesen

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Logitech's first MX mouse, the MX Revolution, had an awesome feature -- the scroll wheel would automatically switch to a "free spinning" mode if you flicked it hard, letting you glide through long files quickly and smoothly. It was my favorite mouse.

It was a great feature for those of us who read long files (like say, code) but I think either too many users found it confusing (it was controlled by software on your machine which could break) or it was too expensive, or both, because after the Revolution, Logitech never included the feature again on any of their followup MX mice. They all had the ability to toggle the wheel into a free spinning mode, but it was a mechanical toggle. This might not seem like a big thing, but as people's MX Revolutions died (including mine) prices for the discontinued model started to shoot up on eBay. I considered buying one but it was like $200 and used at the time.

The MX Master is the first mouse they've released since the Revolution to bring back the adaptive scroll wheel. If you code, or work on long documents, you should give it a spin. (See what I did there?)
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My MX Master should be in my hand by Friday.
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Alex Wiesen

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Access to natural daylight has long been one of the biggest limiting factors in building design - some solutions involve reflecting real daylight from the outdoors, but until now no solution has be...
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Want! No... Need!
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Alex Wiesen

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I had the privilege of listening to Makana during a special trip to Maui earlier this month, and was blown away with the "heart" and spirit of Aloha that his music has. If you have an opportunity to hear him perform live, run, don't walk.

This is one of his older albums, and it has a lot of the songs I liked best from his live performance -- check it out.
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Bad Request

Error 400

Link no worky
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Alex Wiesen

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Google Voice users on iOS -- one more present for you after the holidays! Check out the latest version of Hangouts for iOS, which adds support for Google Voice SMS and Voicemail in Hangouts.

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/hangouts/id643496868?mt=8
Get Hangouts - free messaging, video, and voice on the App Store. See screenshots and ratings, and read customer reviews.
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Still getting spam voice mails as new voice mails in hangouts! These are voice mails that are marked spam in google voice however hangouts alerts me to a new voice mail...ARGH!! so frustrating!!!
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Alex Wiesen

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Wow. These are amazing.
Don't get us wrong. Space-based telescopes like Hubble and Spitzer brought us absolutely stunning images of deep space this year. But some of the most out-of-this-world images of space taken in 2014 came from star-obsessed photographers right her...
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Alex Wiesen

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More good news for Google Voice users!
 
Good news, GV users! You can now stay in touch via MMS with Verizon Wireless users. Google Voice now supports MMS messaging with of all major carriers in the US and Canada. 

Along with this announcement, we are also adding native MMS support for photo messaging to Google Voice. If you opt in to Google Voice in Hangouts, you can now attach photos to any SMS message and it will be delivered as a native MMS (instead of SMS with a link). Support for group messaging via MMS will be enabled in a future update. 

#googlevoiceupdate
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+Michael Convey As +Alex Wiesen said, 'support for group messaging via MMS will be enabled in a future update'. This update has not happened yet. :-/
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Alex Wiesen

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[This post is from me personally and is not an official message from Google proper.]

It's taken a lot of hard work and we've had some crazy ideas, but today we've announced something that I'm incredibly proud to have been a part of, Project Fi.

Project Fi is Google's way of exploring the communications space and trying new ways to bring innovation to the carrier ecosystem. I like to think of it as Project If -- asking "What if?" and seeing where that will take us.

To start, we're saying "What if your phone could use more than one carrier network and switch between them seamlessly to get the best coverage?" And "What if you could use WiFi like a network and switch seamlessly there too?" And "What if you only paid for what you use?"

To me, Project Fi is about challenging ourselves to question how things work and try new and different things. How can we make communication and the carrier experience better for everyone? What are the ideas that will grab hold and resonate with users and change the way we think of mobile communications?

This is just the beginning of the journey, but I'm incredibly excited by what we'll be able to try.
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+Dietrich Murphy, the problem with "unlimited data" is that nobody ever uses unlimited data -- there's always some measureable finite amount of data used. The difference between $60 for unlimited data and $10 per gig on Fi (according to the FAQ) is that you will only ever pay for what you use. If you happen to use 6 GB of data, then you pay $60. If you are like many unlimited users, and only use 2 or 3 GB, then you only pay $20 or $30. I don't see MetroPCS giving $50 back to the unlimited data subscriber who only used 1 GB in a particular month. This service sounds appealing in that, like Republic, it can use WiFi or cellular data, and move seamlessly between the two. Unlike Republic, it has the capability to use a combination of more than one cellular network's services. As of this announcement, they are going to be using both Sprint and T-Mobile -- which is double the number of cellular providers used by any other MVNO on the same phone -- and the Nexus 6 is capable of using AT&T and Verizon as well (if Google ever works out a deal to use those networks as well).
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Alex Wiesen

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Nicely done T-Mobile! Of course, Google Voice beat you to market on this important user audience back in 2012 with Google Voice for Pets. :)

http://googlevoiceblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/google-voice-expands-to-new-markets.html
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Strangely enough, the quasi-pet lizard in our back yard has not signed up for either service. Another unserved demographic!
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Alex Wiesen

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Fascinating!
Indian food is something of an anomaly, but not for the reasons you might think.
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The science of cooking!
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Alex Wiesen

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Clearly I need to bring my family to Japan for this. :)
When Studio Ghibli fans visit Japan, they typically make a beeline for the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka. But there's another spot that should be on any fan's list. Make that every fan's list.
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OMG! I want to visit 💜
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Alex Wiesen

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More Hangouts fun. And (shameless plug), with Hangouts Dialer (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.hangoutsdialer&hl=en) you can add VoIP calls, and call to dozens of countries for the first minute free.

Also a little update that we think will help Google Voice users: in this new version of Hangouts, when you've set the app to "Smart Reply" you can directly choose between local SMS and Google Voice when starting a new text message conversation, to make it easier to choose how you want to text.
 
Hangouts: now smarter, faster, and a lot more fun

If you’re like me, you want to stay connected with friends and family without technology getting in the way. Hangouts lets you focus on the people you love talking to, so your conversations feel as in-the-moment and natural as they do in real life.

Today we’re updating the Hangouts app for Android to make it easier to express yourself, and have more fun along the way:
    - Like the saying goes, a sticker is worth a thousand words. From penguins to pirates, koalas to cats, 16 new sticker packs (and more to come!) have tons of ways to say what’s on your mind.
    - Give your video calls some extra flair with video filters including sepia, vignette, black & white, and more. Just swipe during a video call to try these new styles. 

We’re also making it easier to start conversations with friends and family:
    - Confirm your phone number so your friends who already have your digits can more easily find and message you in Hangouts.
    - Know when your friends are ready to chat right now with “last seen” timestamps, so you never have to type, “You there?”

Hangouts is also introducing the start of something new -- smart suggestions right in your conversations:
    - When you’re trying to meet up with friends in real life and someone asks, “Where are you?”, Hangouts can now understand what you need and offer to help.  You’ll see a one-tap option to share your location right in the conversation, without you needing to hunt around in a map, drop a pin and send your position. 

Try all the new features by updating the Hangouts app on your Android device  (http://goo.gl/v7FTL - rolling out to the Play Store over the next few hours). Note that “last seen” timestamps will roll out in waves over the next few weeks, so you may not see this feature for all your contacts right away. Today’s updates will also be available on the Hangouts iOS app soon. 

P.S. We’ve added a few other surprises to this Hangouts update, but we’ll let you find them on your own. Woot!
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I would really like to finally see a consolidation of apps. The Google Voice and Hangouts dialer apps needs to be pulled and all features transferred to the single Hangouts app. However the web interface (Google Voice) for managing settings and seeing call logs is very nice and should be kept or improved upon. I am a new Android user and the initial experience of trying to get my mobile cell number, Google Voice, the native dialer, and Hangouts/Hangout Dialer to all work toward and play nice has been slightly confusing. 

Hopefully the hangout/google voice team(s?) are working toward making this experience more...seamless, but powerful.

The original goal of the hangouts project was to unify several apps and services into one kickass system, however it seems as though that goal has yet to be fully realized.

However, great work thus far!

Thanks!
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Work
Occupation
I talk to people, push buttons on a machine, and sometimes push buttons on a machine in order to talk to people.
Employment
  • Google
    Tech Lead Manager, 2011 - present
  • Sciforma Corporation
    Principal Engineer, 2002 - 2011
  • Scitor Corporation
    Senior Software Developer, 1995 - 2002
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Santa Clara, CA
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Story
Tagline
I work on Google Voice and other stuff.
Introduction
I'm a pretty serious PC and video gamer, parent, piano player, and in my spare time I create platforms and products.
Bragging rights
According to my four year old, I'm her best Dad EVER.
Education
  • Stanford University
    Computer Science, 1991 - 1999
Basic Information
Gender
Male