We’ve all heard the story before, the tale of the now-powerful tech company’s humble origins. Perhaps the business began in the founder’s parent’s basement, or in the broom closet of a more established company. Maybe it was begun between roommates in a dorm room, or built from startup to viability from the warehouse that doubled as the family home’s garage. While the details change, the mythic story remains the same – persistence despite unpleasant work environments allowed the tiny startup to become a business goliath.

However alluring this tale may be, current realities in the tech industry have rendered it increasingly obsolete. In fact, it’s the growth of the industry itself that has most changed the game in today’s era. As being on the cutting edge is part and parcel in the business, tech companies have routinely led the way in innovative office spaces as well. Gone are the days of the windowless basement, as companies have used their successes to pioneer new concepts in office design and functionality.

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Sitting area at WhitePages HQ

This innovative approach to office spaces has in many ways become the new standard for young companies to aspire to. These days, it’s not uncommon for new companies to invest in Class A buildings from the start. As competition for the best human resources is always fierce, operating in a convenient downtown location in a space with an open, high-tech, and modern feel can be an important instrument for convincing the best and brightest to get on board with a less established company. Susie Algard, the CEO and “re-founder” of OfficeSpace.com, has seen first-hand how this trend is becoming the new norm. The Seattle-based company connects businesses with local office spaces in their area and has been in startup mode since Algard took over three years ago. According to her, “In a vibrant start up community like Seattle, where talented people are in high demand, they don’t want to make sacrifices when it comes to work space. Many entrepreneurs feel strongly that their work space is an important facet of their culture and want to set the right tone from the start.”

In some ways, this type of work environment has become not only desired, but also expected by new workers entering the tech industry. The significant press coverage of innovative offices such as those at Facebook and Google has created a new ideal in the minds of many young prospective employees. The desire to enter a field that is different from the traditional button-down business environment is often an important factor in young employees choosing the tech industry in the first place. For many young talents, working in the tech industry is seen as a way to remain hip and modern while attaining a high level of business success.

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Open floor plan at WhitePages

In addition to these perceptive and competitive aspects there is also the fact that these new approaches to office space seem to provide tangible benefits as well. Sleek, modern office spaces with features such as open floor plans, natural lighting, sofas, and game rooms undoubtedly make going to the office a lot more comfortable for employees, and it’s no secret that relaxed, happy employees are much more likely to become motivated employees. Not only do unique office spaces attract potential employees, they also help to get the best from them.
Even we here at WhitePages have recently taken steps towards improving our offices, having completed a series of renovations aimed at improving both form and function of the space. Adopting a clean open floor plan and adding features such as a large communal kitchen area and staircase to join our two floors has no only improved aesthetics, but also the ease of communication and collaboration.

While these concepts were mostly pioneered by large, established companies, they have quickly become vital for new startups as well. The days where the number of any given city’s experts in the field could be counted on one hand have passed, and new graduates are entering the field at an ever-increasing rate. However, not everyone can immediately join an established company, and for many, new startups are seen as intriguing alternatives that hold the potential for rapid career advancement. As such, competition can be fierce for new talent at this level, and more and more startups are realizing the advantages of investing in dynamic office spaces from an early stage.

You may have seen the news that new scams have hit U.S. mobile consumers hard in recent weeks. The One Ring scam tricks users into returning an unknown call that rings just once – enough to show up in your missed call list – which is then routed to a paid service, racking up charges on your phone bill.

WhitePages has been monitoring this activity closely and today we’ve released a new feature in WhitePages Current to help protect users from this costly and potentially dangerous practice. With the rise of the recent “One Ring” phone scam, we have added over twenty thousand new spam numbers tied to One Ring and similar scams to alert consumers with an immediate notification if a call comes from one of the flagged numbers. This new feature will enable WhitePages Current users to fight spam further as new cases arise.

This feature uses our spam identification technology and accompanying spam scores based on the hundreds of millions of phone numbers searched through WhitePages services. As a WhitePages user, you too can leave comments about spam activity for a particular phone number, which factors into a phone number’s overall spam score.
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currentidscamIn 2012, according to Pew Internet Research, 68 percent of cell phone users received unwanted sales and marketing calls with one-quarter saying they encountered this problem at least a few times a week or more frequently. Not only can we help you decrease those unwanted calls, with the new One Ring feature users of Current will be protected by:

  • An alert and “possible fraud or spam” message will be displayed during incoming calls that originate from reported One Ring scam phone numbers
  • Suspicious call designation for numbers in the user’s recent call history
  • A prominent warning if an outbound call is made to a number with a high spam score, alerting the user that they are calling a suspicious number that may result in high charges to their phone bill

These new features are in addition to the rich features that are already included with our popular WhitePages Current app, including the ability to ID calls and texts while streaming social network status updates from Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. The app also incorporates a smart address book that updates in real-time with information about all of a user’s contacts, including newly identified calls and texts, and allows users to search contact information from their social connections and WhitePages’ directory of over 200 million people and businesses.

If you haven’t yet, download the WhitePages Current Android app and stop those scammers right in their tracks!

Love is in the App

Rebecca Carroll —  February 14, 2014 — Leave a comment

valentinesblog

Valentine’s Day is here, and while you normally may not be at a loss for words, a special occasion like this means that even the smoothest of talkers can experience a few bumps.

Here’s where technology can come to the rescue and un-knot even the most tongue-tied admirer. Check out one of these apps and websites to tell that special someone (or even Mom) how you feel:

Love Letter Generator

From mild to extra-spicy, you can enter a few details and check out your letter (with lots of creative license provided by the generator) and preview it before you decide to send it.

Love Poem Generator

Florid and slightly comical results at the same time. You enter some key details then see what the poetry genie churns out and can decide to email it or not.

Love Letter Designer (Google Play)

Will take images from Facebook and incorporate it into a custom template, and then you can post it to your intended’s Facebook wall.

Tom’s Love Letters (for iOS and Android)

Cute cartoon-ish cards that you can text, email, or post on Facebook and Twitter. You can send with music for a small fee, or without.

Today I am excited to announce the newest release of WhitePages Current Caller ID in the Google Play Store. WhitePages Current Caller ID provides rich call and text ID with real-time social status updates from Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as well as local information about a caller’s location. The newest version of WhitePages Current adds a smart contacts tab that updates in real-time with names, addresses and more information about a user’s contacts, including newly identified calls and texts.

WhitePages Current solves a real problem for people who don’t take time to manage or save new contacts to their phonebook. For example, you receive a phone call from someone not in your address book. You answer the call with some hesitation because you don’t know who the call is from, but are happy to find out it’s an old friend. The next week, when you want to call or text her again, you don’t know which number to choose from your call log because you forgot to save it to your contacts.

That is where WhitePages Current comes in. Not only is the call immediately identified before you answer, the smart contacts tab in the app updates in real-time with the caller’s name and address. If you want to call your friend again, just search your Current contacts tab and there she is – like magic.

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The newest version of WhitePages Current also has an expanded contact search so you can find everyone’s contact info easily with a single search across your networks and WhitePages. You can search contacts to find people from your phonebook and from identified calls and texts. If a telephone number for a contact is not found, you can view social contact profiles from Facebook and LinkedIn to obtain contact information or send a message. You can also find contact info for people and businesses outside your network, by searching WhitePages directory of over 200 million people and business.

WhitePages Current makes it easy to be a better communicator. Since launching in 2012, Current has helped users with more 16 billion calls and texts.

Please download the newest version of WhitePages Current Caller ID from the Google Play Store today, and let me know how you like it.

It’s no secret we love names at WhitePages, but perhaps the one thing we love more than a name is a nickname. While names themselves can often be wacky, nicknames are usually born out of some monumental event and carry a whole host of unforgettable memories.

Take, for example, “The 12th Man”. Back in 1976, the Seahawks joined the NFL and were met with some of the most over-the-top enthusiastic fans in the entire league. This crowd, which is known to cause actual earthquakes, was named “The 12th Man” in honor of their very real contribution to defensive plays. This nickname is worn close to the heart by all Seahawks fans, as evidenced by Troy & Kelly Mann who recently named their newborn daughter Cydnee Leigh 12th Mann.

Here’s a look at some other great nicknames of the Superbowl:

Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton

Denver Broncos

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In his own words: “It was dark on the plane, and everyone was sleeping. The stewardess was saying ‘Pot roast, pot roast’ and I raised my hand, as if that was name. The guy behind me was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to start calling you Pot Roast and I’m like ‘Yeah whatever. It’s stuck with me, but I’m just glad I ordered that instead of shrimp alfredo.”

Peyton “The Sheriff” Manning

Denver Broncos

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Sometimes a nickname is less about its origin than it is about the name itself. Peyton Manning’s nickname “The Sheriff” doesn’t have some crazy story attached to it, but anyone who has watched him on the field knows exactly how that name came to be. When “The Sheriff” talks, you listen.

Demaryius “Optimus Prime” Thomas

Denver Broncos

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Thomas was given the well-fitting name of “Optimus Prime” due similarities with fellow Georgia Tech receiver, Calvin “Megatron” Johnson. The two men are built like Transformers, not a bad quality to have in the NFL.

Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch

Seattle Seahawks

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Some nicknames go way back… way, way back. The now 27 year old Seahawks running back first earned the name “Beast Mode” in high school after one of his signature touch down runs led to his team’s championship win. Like all things “Beast Mode”, words simply do not do justice.

Brandon “Bang Bang” Mebane

Seattle Seahawks

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In the words of him teammate, Mike Wahle: “Remember when Fred Flintstone used to work at the quarry? There were all these gigantic rocks sitting around. That’s like Mebane when you run into him.”

Michael “Black Unicorn” Bennett

Seattle Seahawks

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Perhaps the greatest thing about nicknames is that if you don’t have one or don’t like the one you have, just pick a new one. It might just stick. “I’m stronger than I’ve ever been, I’m faster than I’ve ever been. I could run all day. I’m kind of like a black unicorn out there” -Michael Bennett.