Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Free Phone Calls by Google Voice: What’s Next?

Today I opened my Gmail account and was informed that I could make free phone calls to the US and Canada.

Gmail

Now.. I sometimes joke that today the two Superpowers are no longer the US and the USSR, but Google and China; but is Google really going to put an end to Ma Bell by making my phone calls free???

Naturally, I clicked on “Learn more”!

Gmail2

Okay. So this is Google Chat. And it says I can “call anywhere”. Free in 2010. So that must mean I can call landlines — which I pay for with Skype. (And since they say “2010”, I assume there will be a fee starting in 2011..)

“How does this work?
You can now place calls to landline and mobile phones from within Gmail. Just dial any phone number and you’ll be connected. Learn more.”

Yup. Install Google Voice, and you can call landlines, free (US & CA) for the remainder of 2010. And – like Skype – it has video too.

Related:
* Call phones from Gmail – Official Gmail Blog
* Google Voice is added to Gmail; Boosts exposure but still falls short in other areas

… I wonder why I am getting a little uncomfortable with Google..?


In other news: The September/October issue of Foreign Affairs is now available online and within its virtual pages is one of the most important cyberwar articles in modern history.

Our nation faces risks far greater than a rogue flash drive: Failure to properly safeguard our consumer and industry systems; unwillingness to invest in ongoing security; and ordinary computer users playing with digital weapons of mass destruction.”

For more, see: Inside look at Pentagon’s cyberdefense strategy: The battlefield beyond bad flash drives

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


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<a href=”http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/call-phones-from-gmail.html”>Call phones from Gmail – Official Gmail Blog</a>

August 26, 2010 - Posted by | computers, free software, Google, IM, News, tech, VoIP | , , , , , , , , ,

11 Comments »

  1. TechPaul,

    I expect any day now to open my Gmail and I will be prompted to shop at Googlemart for anything I want… Hmmm… Does the word “monopoly” mean anything here?

    Rick

    Like

    Comment by Ramblinrick | August 26, 2010 | Reply

    • Rick,
      GoogleMart.

      Well, my “concerns” are not about “monopoly” (the ‘curse of being #1’) but the fact that Google actively records our every online move.

      It’s late, and I’m tired, but I will just paraphrase (one of, if not the, Google honchos) “If you don’t want somebody to watch, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it online.”
      Like, talking with friends.. typing to friends..
      I simply function using the premise that my every keystroke (sent or received) in Gmail is recorded, analyzed, indexed, and stored.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | August 26, 2010 | Reply

  2. Here we go again more loss of privacy through Freebies! With Google’s introductions to this Free Long Distance Service and with Google being who they are, “who has access to all our behavior,” it’s appearing to be COUNTER PRODUCTIVE for all involved…

    Like

    Comment by Gaia | August 27, 2010 | Reply

    • Gaia,
      I do not know that Google Voice is any different than any other VoIP/video conferencing program, nor that Google intends to record people’s conversations.. like I know they do with text, search entries, clicked links, and such.

      Nor am I saying there’s anything wrong with the fairly typical business model of “introductory specials”.

      What I am saying is, I am getting a vague, uneasy feeling about Google.. and I don’t think I’m alone.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | August 27, 2010 | Reply

  3. No Paul, I have not taken my view based on any of your comments. Perhaps I am too suspicious/jaded (that vague, uneasy feeling as you call it),of these companies/corporations who branch out into fields where there’s potential for ALMOST anything. There’s such fine lines in the business of technology.
    That’s all!

    Like

    Comment by Gaia | August 27, 2010 | Reply

    • Gaia,
      I think I understand you.

      To these companies, I think they just see it as slicing their own share into a “market pie”.. which is sometimes referred to as “competing”.

      Market competition is generally considered a good thing, as it tends to bring consumer prices down.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | August 27, 2010 | Reply

  4. It’s AWESOME!!

    Like

    Comment by g | August 27, 2010 | Reply

    • g,
      I chuckled seeing this.. (I remember from previous comments that you think Google puts out some cool stuff)

      I had seemed to remember that Google had purchased Skype, but it may be that they purchased a competitor to try to compete with Skype (see, Google Buys GIPS to Challenge Skype in VOIP).

      I have come to rely on “video conferencing” as a way to visit with far off friends and family (as I won’t fly).. and yes, it is “awesome”.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | August 27, 2010 | Reply

      • I’m the poster child for all things google!

        If the price I have to pay is them watching my habits for their advertising purposes, so be it. If it becomes a problem, I know how to turn it off.

        Like

        Comment by g | August 28, 2010 | Reply

        • g,
          If nothing else, Google had a distinct effect on the folks at a certain software company based in Redmond.. (ahem) much akin to my morning alarm clock’s on me.

          Like

          Comment by techpaul | August 28, 2010 | Reply

  5. thank you for useful post

    Like

    Comment by max | September 30, 2010 | Reply


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