Articles During School NAIT Nugget

Tech Talk: Gmail’s just grand!

Published in the September 16 2010 issue of The NAIT Nugget. Tech Talk


Gmail’s just grand!


http://google.com

LINDA HOANG
Issues Editor

“Starting today, you can call any phone right from Gmail.”

That was announced by Google’s Gmail team last month and it really just proves how much more awesome having a Gmail account is compared to having any other e-mail account — I’m looking at you hotmail and yahoo users.

Switch over, already.

Not only do Gmail users now have the ability to call someone at the comfort of their computer screen, they can do it for free – anywhere in Canada and the United States.

Does this make you want to switch to Gmail yet?

I swear, they aren’t paying me to make them sound good, this is just how it is.

I’ve made many calls using Gmail’s built in “Call phone” button since the feature showed up on the sidebar of inboxes in late August and it’s been a nearly perfect experience.

Quick calls placed with ease. Longer calls made with just as much ease.

If your current phone plan doesn’t give you very many outgoing calls, this feature can really come to the rescue. Also if your job entails you having to call out a lot – sometimes to long distance numbers (hello journalist interviewing people) – then this seems to be the perfect alternative to using your actual phone.

But there have been some bumps.

One call I made to a Toronto cellphone was extremely poor audio quality, with voices on both ends cutting in and out. I lost the connection after several minutes.

I thought this might have been a Gmail fail at first, but upon calling a couple more long distance numbers – one to a different Toronto phone and another down to the United States and both of which were crystal clear calls – I’ve come to the conclusion that it was just that first person’s cellphone or cellular signal strength that messed up the call.

There’s also been some area code confusion.

On some calls I’ve made to local numbers, the caller ID shows up as your regular, local 780 area code, however for other calls it’s shown up as a California area code.

I’ve been assured by various other Gmail calling users that despite the California area code, those picking up the phone shouldn’t be charged long distance, but I guess we really won’t know until they get their bills at the end of the month.

However, aside from those minor hiccups, it’s safe for me to give Gmail’s free calling to any Canadian and American phone number (and very cheap calling internationally) a Linda’s Tech Talk thumbs up and seal of approval.

One more thing should be mentioned though, is the free calling across North America only lasts until the end of 2010. After that the service will likely begin charging something similar to Skype fees. Still, that gives users nearly four months of free calling goodness.

Please do yourself a favour and ditch your current free, web-based e-mail service to sign up for Gmail. You just can’t go wrong with it.

Follow Linda on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lindork.

Linda Hoang is an Edmonton blogger who writes about food, travel, lifestyle/events and pets. She’s also a social media/digital specialist with a journalism background. Linda is in love with her city and loves exploring and promoting Edmonton and other places she visits with her husband Mike. Linda is also the founder of the Edmonton International Cat Festival (and has 2 cats herself, along with 2 dogs).

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Beer lovers - enter to win a @SherbrookeLiquor gift pack featuring this fancy Belgian Christmas beer 🍺, a $50 gift card, & a beer glass! (total value of prize pack: $75)
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @sherbrookeliquor !
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 13 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
Sherbrooke Liquor is one of Canada's best liquor stores! They carry over 1,500 beers (whoa), 800 wines, 400 spirits, and a bunch of beer/wine accessories/tools and other gifts. Along with their great selection, Sherbrooke is also very well-known for their exceptional service and commitment to community. They’ve personally ordered me specialty products - and would do the same for anyone who requests. The staff are simply wonderful and they are truly Edmonton's liquor store. Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
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  • 🎁 DEC 11 GIVEAWAY! 🎁
LOVE pizza? 🍕🍕 Then today’s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway 🎅🏻 is for you!! Win $50 to @LovePizza_YEG!! 🍕
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @lovepizza_yeg!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 12 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
LOVEPIZZA 🍕 is a pretty cool local pizza spot in downtown Edmonton. The owners - a husband and wife team who met on a first date having pizza - want to create memorable experiences around people, places, and you guessed it - pizza! LovePizza pizzas are about 6" wide and 17" long. They have signature pizzas (try the Meatatarian or the Old MacDonald!) and my favourite - Build Your Own Pizza! You can even add an egg 🍳 on your za. Yum. LovePizza regularly gives back to the community, and is always coming up with funky pizza specials! Give them a try. ☺️ Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
* UPDATE * The winner is @beep_bam_boop from here on Instagram! Thanks for entering everyone!
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  • 🎁 DEC 10 GIVEAWAY! 🎁
When you wake up craving Mexican-inspired meat platters & churros, you obviously make today’s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway 🎅🏻 a $50 giftcard to @Rostizado_YEG! 😍
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @Rostizado_yeg!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
—————————————
For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 11 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
Rostizado is a modern-Mexican restaurant that uses fresh, quality local ingredients prepared in traditional-Mexican rosticeria fashion: slow-cooked and hearty. Their platters are a must-try: with rotisserie chicken, beef, and Cuban-Style pork shoulder. We also love their crispy potatoes, roasted cauliflower and various queso dips. They have an awesome lunch deal and the churros are to die for. Rostizado has a great vibe, cool decor, excellent service and a meal here is always a good time! Their sister-restaurant @trescarnales is also a popular spot for tacos in the city! Learn more about Rostizado and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
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  • 🎁 DEC 9 GIVEAWAY! 🎁
I’m a big brunch fan so today’s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway 🎅🏻 is Brunch for 2 to @BundokYEG! (valued at $40).
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @BundokYEG!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 10 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
Bündok is a pretty cool place on 104 Street, serving up delicious and beautifully-plated food. Their brunch menu includes both bistro and brunch options. There's french toast, eggs benny, omelettes and sausages, but the bistro dishes are my favourite - like sea bream crudo and chicken liver. Yuuuum!! Although this giveaway is for brunch, you also have to try their regular lunch and dinner menu. Bündok's gnocchi is unbelievable. Bündok should most certainly be on your list for a visit!  Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
** UPDATE ** Congrats to @chercher14 for winning this giveaway!! Thanks for entering everyone!
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  • 🎁 DEC 8 GIVEAWAY! 🎁
Who LOVES seafood? 🐠 Today’s 24 Days of Christmas 🤶 is a Chef's Table Dinner for FOUR people with wine pairings 🍷to @sabor_yeg!! Delicious, sustainable seafood! This dinner/wine pairing is valued at $250. Happy Friday!!! 🎉 —————————————
To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @sabor_yeg!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 9 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
Sabor is very well-known for serving some of the very best seafood in Edmonton! Sabor serves up delicious Iberian (Portuguese/Spanish/Mediterranean) coastal cuisine, using sustainable, Ocean-wise certified seafood. This beautiful restaurant (perfect for wedding receptions and other intimate gatherings) is also home to live music on weekends! Sabor has been voted one of Canada's best restaurants and is one of my favourites. It's got a great lunch deal (appetizer + entree for $18 from a set menu) and has delicious risotto and paella too. Eating 'Family Style' at Sabor is also popular! Chef Lino will prepare a three-course meal that changes daily, based on seasonal ingredients and his daily ingredients. Sabor is a must-try! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
** UPDATE ** Congrats to Amber P, the winner of today’s giveaway! .
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  • 🎁 DEC 7 GIVEAWAY! 🎁
Who doesn’t love a good croissant? Well the ones from @chocorrant are GREAT! Today’s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway 🎅🏻 is an Artisan Chocorrant Collection (Baker’s Dozen) of croissants featuring all kinds of flavours like matcha, strawberry milk, chocolate and cookies and cream! (Valued at $50).
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @Chocorrant!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
—————————————
For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 8 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
Chocorrant is one of Edmonton’s newest patisserie & cafes. They make their croissants in-house, fresh daily, and infuse awesome flavours into these buttery,  fluffy pastries. I had only ever really had cheese, chocolate and regular croissants before Chocorrant opened my eyes to all the wonderful flavours you can have in a croissant! They also have savoury croissant sandwiches and sell over treats too! Visit their cute little store on @shop124street. Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
** UPDATE ** Congrats Andrea K from Facebook! She wins $50 worth or croissants!! .
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  • 🎁 DEC 6 GIVEAWAY! 🎁

Have you tried @ErnestsNAIT? This #yegfood gem and one of Canada’s Best Restaurants (voted by @opentable users!) features delicious cuisine & service by @NAIT Culinary Arts & Hospitality students! I’ve always had a great meal at Ernest’s and now you can too - For today’s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway 🎅🏻, I’m giving away a $50 gift card to this affordable fine dining spot. —————————————
To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @ErnestsNAIT.
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 3 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
Ernest's is an Edmonton food gem - an affordable fine dining spot featuring delicious cuisine and excellent service by NAIT Culinary Arts and Hospitality students. This dining room has been a huge part of the Culinary Arts department for over 50 years, and is recognized as one of Edmonton's top dining experiences. The coolest part is that all the food is prepared and served by students! Ernest's offers a lunch and dinner menu, along with a lunch buffet, and is often host to a bunch of wicked culinary dinners featuring celebrity chefs and local chefs. You're always in good hands at Ernest's. They’ve also been named one of Canada's Best 100 Restaurants in past years, AND for 2017! If you've never tried, now's your chance! I used to call it a hidden gem but it shouldn't be hidden because everyone should know about Ernest's! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
* * THE WINNER IS @reneechan_yeg! * *
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  • 🎁 DEC 5 GIVEAWAY! 🎁
Happy #TacoTuesday!! 🌮🌮 Today’s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway 🎅🏻 is a $50 gift card to @ElCortezYEG!! Eat all the tacos, tequila, and try their new winter menu!
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @ElCortezYEG!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
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For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 6 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
El Cortez is a super cool Mexican kitchen + tequila bar just off Whyte Ave @oldstrathcona. The restaurant/bar specializes in traditional Latin food with a modern twist. Their tasty menu features tacos, tapas, gourmet street food, and Latin brunch. They are one of just 9 establishments in the WORLD to be certified by The Tequila Regulatory Council (so their tequila offerings are legit). They also have amazing decor and an overall wicked vibe - like when I say it's super cool I mean this place oozes cool. Check out the funky graffiti-style wall art and the crazy-lit bathrooms. El Cortez is always a good time. They just launched their new winter menu too so be sure to check it out, PLUS - on Tuesdays its half-price tacos!! 🌮 They’re also currently running a holiday gift card promotion! For every minimum $50 gift card purchased, El Cortez is donating $5 to the Humane Animal Rescue Team @hartedmonton! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
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  • 🎁 DEC 4 GIVEAWAY! 🎁
Mondays can be hard. Ramen can help! 🍜 Today’s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway 🎅🏻 is a $50 gift card to @yegnoodles!! Eat all their delicious noodz. 🍜
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @YEGNoodles!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
—————————————
For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 5 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
The Prairie Noodle Shop takes Japanese ramen and infuses it with flavours unique to Alberta. The team behind Prairie Noodle Shop tested the market with a series of ramen pop-ups before opening their 124 Street location. This prairie-inspired ramen is one of the best (and certainly one of the most unique) in the city! Try their NEW winter menu which includes beef and curry bowls, the return of their 🧀 bowl, and new small plates & beers! 🍺 Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
* * UPDATE * * The winner is Jerb2 from Twitter! Thanks for entering everyone!! .
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#yeg #yegfood #edmontonfood#exploreedmonton #lindorksgiveaways #yegxmas #yegchristmas #edmonton #edmontonchristmas #holidays #festive #festivities #hohoho #merrychristmas #yegnoodles #ramen #ramenislife #japanesefood #soup #souperb #tasteab #japaneseramen #albertaramen #albertapork #ramennoodles #noodles #noodz #yegsoup #souperb
  • Sunday Funday at @centralsocialhall trying their delicious brunch 🥂😍 & learning about how the company has evolved over the years - stepping up their #yegfood game! Thanks for the great company @becausemimosas @argenplath @antonatienza & for the invite @jessekupina @vancebosch @chattygirlmedia! 🙏🏻
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  • 🎁 DEC 3 GIVEAWAY! 🎁
On Sundays, we brunch! 🍳🥓🤤 That’s why today’s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway 🎅🏻 is Brunch for Four to @xix19! (valued at $120!)
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @xix19!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
—————————————
For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 4 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
XIX Nineteen offers simply great food. Head Chef Andrew Fung is one of my favourite chefs in Edmonton. Must-orders on their brunch menu: their crispy chicken & waffle (pictured), their five spice bao benny, their Moroccan meatball tagine, and their banana bread french toast. On their regular menu - XIX Nineteen’s signature Ahi Tuna Twists is a must!! XIX Nineteen has two locations - one in Terwillegar south Edmonton and one in St. Albert. Give it a try if you haven’t yet! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
* * UPDATE * * Congrats to @gingergolovely of Instagram, winner of Brunch for Four to @xix19! Thanks to everyone who entered. Watch for more giveaways! .
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#yeg #yegfood #edmontonfood#exploreedmonton #lindorksgiveaways #yegxmas #yegchristmas #edmonton #edmontonchristmas #holidays #festive #festivities #hohoho #merrychristmas #xixnineteen #xix19 #chefandrewfung #terwillegar #stalbert #stalbertfood #brunch #sundaysareforbrunch #sundayfunday #brunchbrunchbrunch #chickenandwaffles #bubblewaffles
  • 🎁 DEC 2 GIVEAWAY! 🎁
Today’s 24 Days of Christmas Giveaway 🎅🏻 is an All-You-Can-Eat Brazilian Steakhouse Dinner for Two to @EatPampaYEG! (valued at $100!)
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To enter, do two things: 
1. Make sure you’re following me and @EatPampaYEG!
2. Tag a friend in the comments to spread the word about the giveaway!
—————————————
For even MORE chances to win, enter through my Twitter @lindork and Facebook (Lindork - Linda Hoang)! I’ll pick a winner on Dec. 3 out of all entries received here, on my Facebook and Twitter. —————————————
Pampa's Brazilian churrascaria provides unlimited fire-roasted select cuts of AAA Alberta beef, pork, chicken and lamb, served table-side. I love their rump steak! They also have a huge salad bar and unbelievably delicious Brazilian cheese buns (#paodequeijo!) Pampa has two Edmonton locations (downtown + Ellerslie) and one location in Calgary! Learn more and see a running list of all my 24 Days of Christmas Giveaways on my blog: www.linda-hoang.com (link in bio)👩🏻‍💻
* * UPDATE * * Congratulations to Candice M from Facebook, winner of Dinner for 2 to @eatpampayeg!! .
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