Category Archives: Google

Google to Offer Free Phone Service


Google announced its new service, Google Voice, on Thursday. According to the New York Times:

Google stepped up its attack on the telecommunications industry on Thursday with a free service called Google Voice that, if successful, could chip away at the revenue of companies big and small, like eBay, which owns Skype, telephone companies and a string of technology start-up firms.

Kim Peterson (MSN Money) wrote an interesting piecesummarizing what others have already said about the service, which will come with a lot of features. Whether it will be able to successfully compete with the Internet calling giant Skype remains to be seen. I’m interested in seeing how the voice and Internet-based components of this service will interact and interface with each other. What I like about this service is that it is “platform” agnostic, i.e. calls can be routed to any kind of phone. And, this is just another reason to get rid of your landline.

However, the service does of course raise some potential issues that need to be explored, mostly having to do with your privacy (or increased lack thereof). According to the NYT:

Google Voice may raise more hackles with privacy advocates, and perhaps regulators, than it does with competitors. The service would allow Google, which already collects vast amounts of data about the behavior of Internet users, to gather information on their calling habits.

“It raises two distinct problems,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. “In the privacy world, it is increased profiling and tracking of users without safeguards. But the other problem is the growing consolidation of Internet-based services around one dominant company.”

The Informer has another interesting take on a Google-controlled world

Image Credit: Google,

Doodle 4 Google

I’ve always been fascinated by the Google Doodles that’ll show up on the Google home page on a regular basis. Today, the winner of the Doodle 4 Google contest is being shown. I think it’s pretty cool that Google had this contest.

To learn more about Google’s Doodles, you can learn about Google’s doodler, Dennis Hwang, here (how cool a job is that!). And if you want to see more examples of Google’s popular images, a quick web search (yes, using Google) will bring up plenty of them.

And of course, congratulations to Grace Moon, the winner, as well as all of the other finalists and participants. There were lots and lots of creative and interesting entries.

Image Credit: Grace Moon, Canyon Middle School Castro Valley, CA, at

Becta’s Emerging Technologies for Learning, Volume 3

Becta has just published the third volume in its series Emerging technologies for learning, an annual publication. This series is worth a read, and I’ve gotten a lot of good ideas from it in years past. This year’s line-up includes articles on

Given the impressive line-up of authors I have to say that I’m proud and a little humbled to have been asked to contribute to the 2008 volume of the series. Highly recommended!!

Image credit: “nptechtag”; cambodia4kidsorg’s photostream:

Carnival of the Mobilists #114

This week’s Carnival of the Mobilists is hosted by Chetan Sharma at the Always-On Real-Time Access (AORTA) blog. Quite an appropriate acronym, I would say. I’m off reading …


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Carnival of the Mobilists #104

The last Carnival for this year can be found at the About Mobility blog. Lots of interesting posts to finish out the year, including items on Google Maps, mobile web, and the question whether one mobile phone is enough. Some predictions for 2008 can be found as well. We’ll see how many of them will come true … See you in 2008!

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Carnival of the Mobilists #103 Is Out

This week’s Carnival of the Mobilists, hosted by Judy Breck at Golden Swamp, is the next to last Carnival for 2007. Lots of goodies this week too, including more info on Amazon’s Kindle (which I’m still skeptic about, I mean, who would pay $400 for a greyscale device these days which, even though it is wireless, doesn’t seem to have full Internet browsing capabilities?), Google Maps for Mobile, and my favorite post of the week, Mobile Myths on Morten Hjerde’s blog Sender 11.

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Carnival of the Mobilists #102 is out

All the way from Egypt, Tarek Ghazali brings us this week’s Carnival of the Mobilists. Lots of good contributions this week, including some on mobile Internet, the death of the wristwatch, and P2P for mobile networks. I’m off reading!!


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