The integration between Gmail and Google voice has been ongoing since August, but one of our favorite features finally seems to be rolling across the board, call recording. This feature has been around for some time now, but unless you knew to hit “4” during the call you probably had no idea it was even possible. The familiar record icon in the lower right corner on the other hand is much more intuitive.
The feature still works the same as before, inbound calls only and both parties are notified that recording has been activated. There also seems to be an arbitrary limitation in place that prevents the recording of calls that bypass Google Voice by going from one Gmail contact from the other, but I’m guessing that will be fixed in time.
Has the feature gone live for you? Anyone out there using it?
Google Voice is popping up in more and more places these days, and the search giant is finding it increasingly difficult to avoid being labeled as a common carrier. Google on the other hand claims that since it doesn’t charge for the service, they should be exempted from the classification and all the onerous regulations that would apply. Analysts on the other hand are not so sure this justification will hold up, and new features such as Gmail integration and video calling are increasingly blurring the lines.
Google can get away with shenanigans such as blocking calls to rural areas since it is nothing more than a free service at the moment, but if the regulators get involved it could be an entirely different story. It would be interesting to see if Google maintains the same level of commitment if the laws end up turning against them, and they are forced to comply with the same rules as local phone carriers.
One of the topics we get asked about most often is VoIP (short for Voice over Internet Protocol), or Internet telephony. VoIP refers to any service that lets you make “phone calls” online. A lot of people have heard that you can make calls for cheap or even for free using VoIP, but they’ve got questions about how it works.
There are three main forms of internet phone call--PC to PC, PC to Phone, and Phone to Phone. In this article, we’ll explain each type, how it works, and how much it’ll cost you.
Caller ID spoofing will soon become a thing of the past, or at least a lot less prominent. You can thank the U.S. Congress, who last week passed the "Truth in Caller ID Act of 2010."
There isn't much to the short bill, which gets straight to the point.
"It shall be unlawful for any person within the United States, in connection with any real time voice communications service, regardless of the technology or network utilized, to cause any caller ID service to transmit misleading or inaccurate caller ID information, with the intent to defraud or deceive," the bill reads.
Under the new bill, you would still be allowed to block your phone number from showing up on other people's phones, and law enforcement would be exempt from the restrictions. VoIP calls, however, would not be exempt and was actually the focus of the bill, according to the Congressional Research Service summary.
Cnet reports that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will be using January's CES trade show to spread the good news about Windows 7. Ballmer is one of the keynote speakers, along with the CEOs of Ford and Sony, for the annual electronics extravaganza. The Windows 7 push is expected, but some observers think that Microsoft might have really big news in store for CES - perhaps, a Zune-based phone.
While Cnet's sources deny that a ZunePhone will be on tap for CES, it's a hard rumor to kill. Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry claimed recently, in a posting at Barron's Tech Trader Daily blog, that Microsoft would be rolling out a phone combining the features of the Zune and the Danger Sidekick handheld.
So, will early January see a new convergence device from the folks in Redmond, or just the expected emphasis on Windows 7, Xbox 360, and the like? Talk amongst yourselves, and we'll all find out in about three weeks.