GrandCentral is cool

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.

A DIY Home Security System using Skype

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.

Putting 2.7 billion in context: Mobile phone users



In the industrialized world, everybody who can talk and knows numbers, and can still hear and remember numbers – has a mobile phone. A recent story from Los Angeles tells us that a homeless person was accidentially dumped into a garbage
truck, and faced being crushed. He used his cellphone – I kid you not – to call the emergency number and was rescued. When the homeless carry this technology, everybody has it.


And the non-industrialized world? Catching up really fast. China adds 6 million phones every month, India adds 7 million phones every month. Bear in mind that the total phone population in countries like Finland, Norway, Denmark and Portugal – each countries with 120% or more penetration rates – is less than 6 million units total. China and India both add that amount every month.

Demo of calling with Jajah over regular phones

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.

Messagr – A Skype social network

messagr

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

http://digg.com/gadgets/Join_a_Skype_social_network 

VoIP, Skype Blocking in Third World Countries

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.

Google Launches Click-to-call in UK

via TechCrunch

clicktocall-google-uk-c.png

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.

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