Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Skype introduces free landline and mobile calls

(in the USA and Canada)

Skype has introduced free SkypeOut calls to traditional landline and mobile phones in the US and Canada. No 911 yet, of course.

Now, consider that we don't even have the option of free local calls, let alone free long-distance calls (or by definition of the PR, international calls, since we'd be calling the USA or Canada)! Gotta love that low interconnect fee!

IS, Storm, et al: Are you listening?!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Google behind the times!

Google recently introduced four new search tools.

I'll only write about the first-mentioned, Google Co-Op, here.

Way back in 2004(!) I wrote two posts, a day apart. At the bottom of both of these posts was a short paragraph explaining the technical requirements and projecting the probable user experience (i.e. the actual user operation).

The posts are archived at the bottom of:
(Selection is Censorship, and Recognizing Blogging Bias)

What Google now needs to do is to streamline the subscription to those sources, as well as allowing transitivity - so I can subscribe to multiple levels of sources (with appropriate damping of relevance as number of links increases). They already use PageRank to iterate through complex networks of links and back-links (of webpages) and settle on a stable representation. That could be used for this "distributed source approval".

And they already have a large database of "approved" internet sites.

Skype offers live translation service

(seen at http://www.itwire.com.au/content/view/4266/127/)

Skype will be partnering with Language Line Services to offer live translation on calls from Skype's network.

The Top 10 languages demanded (out of 150 offered) are:
  1. Spanish

  2. Mandarin

  3. Russian

  4. Vietnamese

  5. Korean

  6. Cantonese

  7. Portuguese

  8. Polish

  9. French

  10. Japanese

And it costs $2.99 per minute. Ouch!

Big Brother implementation date

Oops! I forgot to mention that the mobile phone registration dealie should be implemented as of June 1!

Only two more shopping weeks until un-Christmas!