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Google voice might be adding free VoIP for US/Canada

According to the screenshots from CNET, Google will offer free calls within the U.S. and Canada, with cheap international calling, in 2010.
http://www.ndtv.com/article/technology/google-testing-web-based-voip-in-gmail-47225

Google is all about making things free. I'm a big fan of Google Finance with free real-time quotes, Google Calendar (which others, Apple, charge for), Google Navigation (replacing Garmin type devices soon), Google docs (MS Office) even their Android OS is free (as opposed to Windows Phone)

If you're planning to pay for any of this stuff I would check out Google first
 

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Google voice might be adding free VoIP for US/Canada
Google announced today that they're adding the capability of making phone calls from within gmail (free for the rest of 2010, but cheap after that), but it's only available if you're in the US. They say they're planning to expand it to other countries "soon," but I've heard that before -- I've been waiting for Google Voice to be available in Canada for a while now!

See http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/08/call-phones-from-gmail.html
 

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Oh ya haha I use a proxy so I can watch Hulu so I didn't notice

Apparently only Alberta works so far. I'm sure Bell/CRTC have nothing to do with this
 

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Like I said before, high quality VoIP is crisp and clear if you have the right router (QoS for VoIP), decent ISP, using a close enough server etc

If anyone can make VoIP user friendly it's Google

http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2010/08/25/google-voice-calls-gmail.html

Both services are prevented from offering Canadians incoming calls by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. CRTC rules require all phone providers to include enhanced 911, which enables emergency operators to automatically locate callers.

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2010/08/25/google-voice-calls-gmail.html#ixzz0xh1XhY6e
People on other forums have got it to work in Canada. Hafta set up a US acct though

The whole e911 thing is a bunch of crap. Who relies on VoIP for 911 anyways.. any charged cell phone or plain old phone will call 911 for free without any bills

The worst part is the CRTC only blocks incoming calls on Skype and Google and their reason is e911. You can make outgoing calls on Skype and Google no problem
 

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The whole e911 thing is a bunch of crap. Who relies on VoIP for 911 anyways.. any charged cell phone or plain old phone will call 911 for free without any bills
I disagree. There are some people who do not have a POTS and use only a cellphone for voice calls. Sometimes the service is down, busy, is dropping calls or the handset is not charged. All of these are common occurences that can render a cell phone useless. If people are relying on cell phones for calls now, what makes you think they won't be relying on VOIP in the future? If one of these non-cell, non-POTS people can't dial 911 in a true emergency, the media will be all over it and demanding answers from the Minister. Not good.

The CRTC needs to ensure 911 service is available at all times. I agree with their insistence in this matter.
 

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So it's better to have just a cell than a cell and VoIP?

The problem is not that they cannot dial 911, the problem is that if they cannot speak then 911 cannot locate them automatically from an IP address. With e911 they do have the address of the user provided

The CRTC isn't stopping any VoIP outgoing calls or people from calling 911 on VoIP, they're only stopping people from having incoming Cdn numbers on Skype and Google and citing 911 as the reason

If the Minister or CRTC actually cared, they would make a free 911 phone line in every house the same way that any cell phone can call 911 without a bill.
 

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I find 911 and the phone service to be a complete ruse. How often does anyone call 911 when they have no other choices but their (landline) phone. Unless you are isolated in the country, there are many options.
 

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Google is all about making things free.
You're being mislead.

Something like 95%+ of their enormous revenue comes from paid advertising in various forms. And you think they're giving this stuff away for free? You are paying a price already, in terms of your privacy. An ad company that has basically unlimited access to your personal information, that you're giving them willingly.

They're a publicly traded company and I believe are required to make the best decisions on behalf of their stockholders AFAIK. Where in the equation of making money for their stockholders does 'giving stuff away' come in? When the answer is - by doing so, they make more money from you.

You own voip phone, now they know your actual physical location, as well as that you are an adult. They also know everyone you call and where they are. They can tie all this back to every bit of internet traffic you have - since your voip and internet are on the same connection.

The amount of information they have on individuals, and how they can tie it together, is mind boggling. Quite frankly I'm surprised that the Canadian gov't hasn't investigated them for privacy reasons.
 

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Google is governed by the very strict FIPPA (Freedom of Information and Personal Privacy Act). There's not a whole lot of true privacy violation they can do while obeying the law.

I'm more concerned about less sophisticated companies that have access to and retain credit card information. The stories you hear about missing hard drives with millions of card holder records on them, etc.
 

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You're being mislead.

Something like 95%+ of their enormous revenue comes from paid advertising in various forms. And you think they're giving this stuff away for free? You are paying a price already, in terms of your privacy. An ad company that has basically unlimited access to your personal information, that you're giving them willingly.

They're a publicly traded company and I believe are required to make the best decisions on behalf of their stockholders AFAIK. Where in the equation of making money for their stockholders does 'giving stuff away' come in? When the answer is - by doing so, they make more money from you.

You own voip phone, now they know your actual physical location, as well as that you are an adult. They also know everyone you call and where they are. They can tie all this back to every bit of internet traffic you have - since your voip and internet are on the same connection.

The amount of information they have on individuals, and how they can tie it together, is mind boggling. Quite frankly I'm surprised that the Canadian gov't hasn't investigated them for privacy reasons.

I completely agree. Seems that people do not understand how lucrative the Internet advertising machine seems to be. It's why I've done my darndest to filter out as much advertising as possible. The privacy issues you mention are very real.
 

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They are advertising to their potential buyers. In a way, this targetting reduces the inappropriate advertising that you might see.

I agree that knowing where they can reach you by phone could be much more invasive than their internet ads.
 

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I'm somewhat sympathetic to the privacy concerns, but I'm willing to share information (anonymously) about my interests and browsing habits if it allows them to pay for fantastic services which they offer for free. I think everyone is forgetting how unspeakably awful most webmail services were before Gmail changed the business, or mapping before google maps (mapquest was just terrible), much less streetview.

These are fantastic services that add a lot of value for me, and I get them free of charge. What little I do sacrifice in terms of privacy doesn't overly concern me. I'm mostly concerned about USAPATRIOT, and the US government's right to spy on anyone and everyone without a warrant.
 

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I find 911 and the phone service to be a complete ruse. How often does anyone call 911 when they have no other choices but their (landline) phone. Unless you are isolated in the country, there are many options.
like what?

and even cell phones, the way i see it is in future no one will use "voice plans" to make "voice calls". people will be using voip software on their smart phones and make "voice calls" with their "data plan" only. what happens to 911 then? i think 911 service will also have to undergo a technological revolution and they will start using GPS to "sense" trouble....
 

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Discussion Starter #15
like what?

and even cell phones, the way i see it is in future no one will use "voice plans" to make "voice calls". people will be using voip software on their smart phones and make "voice calls" with their "data plan" only. what happens to 911 then? i think 911 service will also have to undergo a technological revolution and they will start using GPS to "sense" trouble....
This is what I do. $30/month on my iPhone.. no voice plan. I CAN CALL 911 WITH MY IPHONE FOR FREE even without a voice plan or any charged cell phone for that matter

I know someone who pays $$$ for a few key words so that his company appears at the top of a Google search. At least Google is open and highlights these results as "sponsored". Sometimes I find these useful and I actually click on them knowing it's sponsored

99% of sites on the web are plastered with useless or deceiving ads that no one should ever click on. I find Google sites are the only place left on the web that aren't plastered with these intrusive ads

What I hate is adware that hogs my computer's resources. Google doesn't play that game because they are leading the way to cloud computing

Those who are concerned about privacy should move off the grid or to a cave in Afghanistan. Good look doing anything in Canada without volunteering private information
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Here's something Google did that is simply refreshing and original

I think you should use Google Chrome (you should be using it anyways because it makes Firefox seem "unspeakably awful" in andrewf's terms)

It also backs up why Steve Jobs wants HTML5 to kill Flash already

http://www.thewildernessdowntown.com/
 
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