I have been using GrandCentral for a while now now and I must say it is a great service. I wasn’t sure if I needed another phone number (even though free) but now after using it for some time, I am liking it…
It is still in beta but has some nice features such as routing of your calls based upon your filters, gettting customized ringer-tone (for your callers).
I have a couple GrandCentral invites to share. Leave a comment if you need one.
Voip News has a nice article on 25 tips to Improve your skype experience. I liked this one:
Whether you want to keep an eye on your pet goldfish from work or just make sure no one has broken in the house while you are on vacation, Skype can double as an away from home monitoring system. Checking in is simple with Skype’s one and two way video calling. You’ll need two separate Skype accounts, a computer at home with a webcam, and access to the Internet. Using one account, setup the home version of Skype to auto-answer calls and automatically fire up the webcam. Then to check in, just use the second Skype account to call the first, and the webcam video will pop up.
Roman Scharf, Jajah’s CEO, demonstrates how Jajah works to make low-cost – even free – phone calls around the world with a regular phone. On the other line is Guy Kawasaki, famous evangelist and blogger.
It looks pretty cool & uses a plug-in for java phone and they are also coming versions for CDMA. Text SMS to call is also in the pipeline.
Check out the video.
Joel Selvadurai has launched the beta version of Messagr. Messagr lets you search for Skype users according to their interests and/or expertise.
Users only appear in the search results if they are available to chat. It needs a lot more people to join it to make it fly, but it’s got huge potential. Find friends through common tags. Signup here
Ivan Pope of Snipperoo has put the messagr on digg!. Here’s the link
Russell Shaw writes about VoIP blocking in third world countries. Namibia is going for people using VoIP and five people have been busted for using Internet for VoIP. 2 years ago, there was a bust in Belarus as well and there is complete prohibition of VoIP in Bangladesh.
It reminds me that it wasn’t long ago (little over 4 years) that VoIP was completely banned in India as well & you had to sign a contract with VSNL (state owned only net provider at that time) that you won’t be using net for anything else than viewing web sites, and sites such as Dialpad etc were not allowed in India.
Compared to that, VoIP is on a huge rise now, Skype & Yahoo Voice messenger are extremely popular. Calling cards rates have dropped about 800% and you can call New Delhi now for 3 cents per minute & Hydrabad for 1.5 cents per minute. It is also important to note that India still doesn’t have huge infrastructure, in terms of phone lines, compared to most European countries.
Search Engine Watch is reporting that Google has now implemented Click-To-Call features in the UK. A search on the word jet2 at Google.co.uk brings up this ad.clicktocall-google-uk-c.pngIf you click on the green phone icon, it opens the ad up to enter your phone number. According to Google’s Click-To-Call FAQ “Google foots the bill for all calls, both local and long-distance“
Currently it only Supprts GTalk, but last month Google and eBay announced plans to integrate and launch a “click-to-call” advertising functionality that would allow inter-oprability between the two protocols, Skype & Google Talk.
Blogged with Flock
Skype announced a new cordless phone on Thursday that sends and receives Skype calls just like a landline, but without the need for a computer.
Typically, Skype phones work through a computer or a laptop. The new Philips VOIP841 plugs into a standard RJ-11 home phone jack, as well as into an RJ-45 broadband connection jack. It can send and receive Skype calls as well as calls from a regular home phone number.
“So now in order to have Skype, you don’t have to have a PC,” said Manrique Brenes, director of hardware business development for Skype. But you do have to have a broadband connection.
via ABC News
Nik Cubrilovic at TecCrunch reported another cheap international calling service Rebtel. It provides a local number to both you and your friend overseas. Both the users call a local number and then the call is bridged over VOIP. Here is how it works:
You signup for the service and it gives a local number for you & another local number for your friend. You call the local number and it routes the call to your friend overseas. Your friend now hangs up and calls you back on the the other number (your friend’s local number) while you are still on the line. It is little inconvenient but it works and it is free. They charge $1 per week for unlimited calls but if you don’t call during a week, there is no charge for that week.
I tried it for London, but went back to SkypeIn as I already have a SkypeIn number for UK but I can see this service being useful for people who spend a lot of time on overseas calls. And I assume that down the road they would make this service easier (may be a premium service).
They still don’t have India includes in the list of countries to call & Tejas Patel mentioned after his calculations that it is still more costly to use Rebtel than Skype & Yahoo to call the countries that are not yet in the Rebtel’s list of 30 countries you can make free calls.
CNet reports today:
Nine months after announcing they would make their instant messaging services interoperate, Yahoo and Microsoft have done it.
The companies are set to release on Thursday a limited beta test of a service that will enable users of Windows Live Messenger (the next generation of MSN Messenger) and Yahoo Messenger with Voice to connect with each other.
When you comptetion acts defensive, it certainly means that you are doing something right.Can we say that MS & Yahoo are partnering due to the fear of Skype or Google / AOL annoucement to make their IMs interoperable.