Thursday, August 26

Google Voice and Gmail sitting in a tree, C-A-L-L-I-N-G

Now that Google Voice has finally gone public, Google has merged Gmail and Google Voice to allow users to place phone calls from within Gmail, adding more flexibility to both services. Additionally, the company announced that calls to the US and Canada would be free for "at least" the rest of the year, and that calls to other countries would be very cheap.

Previously, Gmail users could load up their Google Talk lists in the sidebar, and even make voice or video calls with their Google Talk contacts. As Google points out, however, these types of VoIP calls were limited, as they required both parties to be sitting at a computer while signed into Gmail. What if one party is away and you need to confirm something? Or what if you suddenly remember to make a doctor appointment while you're checking your e-mail?

The Google Voice integration is meant to address those situations. "We’ve been testing this feature internally and have found it to be useful in a lot of situations, ranging from making a quick call to a restaurant, to placing a call when you’re in an area with bad reception," wrote Google Software Engineer Robin Schriebman on the Official Google Blog.

Not only can you make outbound calls (after installing a plug-in), you can also choose to receive calls on your Google Voice number from within Gmail. The service is only available to US users for now, and in typical Google fashion, it's rolling out slowly—don't panic if you don't see the update right away. Now if only Google would put some of that world-class engineering talent to work on improving the voicemail transcriptions...

Wednesday, August 25

Infographic: State of the GeoSocial Universe

The infographic shows the number of users on each network, and what portion of those users overlap with the huge mobile “sun.” For instance, Facebook has 500 million active users, with roughly one-third of them accessing their accounts via mobile devices. Services like Foursquare, Gowalla, and Loopt, being entirely dependent on mobile tech, have 100% of their users within the mobile sphere.

Tuesday, August 24

Blog Posts And Tweets: Where Do They Come From? H/T @db

With the explosion of blog and Twitter posts, it’s interesting to note that according to this infographic from GOOD, the majority of source material still comes from traditional U.S. newspapers and magazines. Also, while the array of subjects covered by blogs is somewhat concentrated around a few current events categories, technology tweets seem to be single-handedly blazing the 140-character-news-trail.

Thursday, August 19

The Web Is Dead: Long Live the Internet, How the new paradigm reflects the inevitable course of capitalism

Two decades after its birth, the World Wide Web is in decline, as simpler, sleeker services — think apps — are less about the searching and more about the getting. Chris Anderson explains how this new paradigm reflects the inevitable course of capitalism. And Michael Wolff explains why the new breed of media titan is forsaking the Web for more promising (and profitable) pastures.
Read the article at

Disable Facebook Places From Letting Others Tag Your Location Without Your Consent frm @Consumerist

"Facebook Places" is a new Facebook feature with Foursquare check-in-like functionality, but by default it lets other people tag you as being at a location without requiring your consent. This could lead to friends tagging you as being inside a peepshow, or an ex-girlfriend tagging you as being with another girl so your new girlfriend gets pissed off. The sitcom storyline possibilities are endless! Here's how to turn it off:

1. Go to privacy settings
2. Go to "customize"
3. Scroll to "things others share"
4. Disable "friends can check me into places."


Classic 1950s photo hoax of "How a Home Computer would look in 2004" - Still cracks me up!

Although a 2004 Photoshop hoax, this picture still cracks me up! Given that even the smallest functioning computers in the 1950s were big enough to fill a master bedroom, no one at the time could have envisioned them becoming home appliances. Remington Rand's UNIVAC I, the very first commercial computer made in the United States, weighed 29,000 pounds and occupied over 350 square feet of floor space. Like other computer models of the time, it didn't have a video monitor, let alone a steering wheel.

The caption reads: "Scientists from the RAND corporation have created this model to illustrate how a "Home Computer" could look like in the year 2004. However, the needed technology will not be economically feasible for the average home. Also the scientists readily admit that the computer will require not yet invented technology to actually work, but 50 years from now scientific progress is expected to solve these problems. With teletype interface and the FORTRAN language, the computer will be easy to use."