How cool is this? My wife was telling me the other day that she wanted to find a local photographer that could take a specific size photograph and develop it in a certain way. So she browsed over to Google Local, searched for the business, and it had this “call” link. She clicked it, typed in our telephone number, and up rings our phone with the business number on the caller id. She answers it and the phone says, “connecting.” Then Google routed her phone call to the business… for free. :-) I thought at first… “mmm-kay, whoopie doo…” but it actually is pretty neat, and convenient for those who happen to google businesses regularly.
You don’t even have to press the numbers on the telephone for the business you are calling anymore! :-) I’m not sure if it will connect you to the business if your number is outside of the US, and I tried checking out google.ca to see if our Canadian friends had the same ease of use, but it doesn’t make the “call” link on the webpage.
The US side is fully functional however. Give it a shot at Google Local. Just type the name of the business, or type of business… and where it’s at, like “Chicago, IL” and it will have a little “call” link next to it. Type your phone number in, click “Connect for free” and your phone will ring. :-)
I love innovation.
It’s official. We have a home phone number. FINALLY… Though I must say, as long as I have went without one, it was kind of getting enjoyable.
Nevertheless, it’s here, via a new service called “SkypeIn.” Much like SkypeOut lets you make phone calls from the Skype VOIP client, SkypeIn lets you receive phone calls from other “regular” telephones (read regular as PSTN).
The cool part about the service is I can make my “home phone number” in any area that Skype has secured the rights to phone numbers. For instance, Denise and I have a telephone number with the area code, 248. This means that anyone who may call our number would actually be making a call to Oakland County, (Farmington Hills, Pontiac, Troy) Michigan.
In turn it routes the telephone call to -ANYWHERE- in the world that our computer is on Skype. For free. Or at least for what we paid for the line.
Currently we have a 3 month “lease” on the line for â‚¬10.00 (â‚¬ = Euro).
Wow… I am writing this on a Win95 computer I setup to do voice chat… well, I am sorry to say the Linux Yahoo Messenger client doesn’t do voice. In other news, I have dial up piped in to my Redhat 9 box, and this computer… How exciting! Anyhow, I am having trouble with the “dial up on demand” function of my router… when I request a connection it “should” connect… right now I have to go into the web administration and force a connect… definitely not the best solution. Difficulties lie ahead of me… :-( I see lots of networking in my future… oh boy!
I had decided it is almost impossible to do voice chatting easily with Linux, until I was chatting with the creator of GAIM via Yahoo Chat (I think), and he said in the future GAIM would probably support it, but in the meantime I should try out NetMeeting on the Windows side, and GnomeMeeting on the Linux side.
I have to say I am impressed. Though, not with upgrading my Redhat 8.0 default GnomeMeeting. I hate dependency blah blah blah blahs. So I just downloaded like 6 different rpms, and hope I can satisfy them all. Is there a better way to do this? Be sure to leave a comment if you have nifty tips on this problem.
Oh… and I finally found out if you want to run NetMeeting on Windows XP… click on Start > Run, and then type in conf.exe. This will allow you to run it on Windows. I probably will never know how anyone figured that one out…
Yeah, so I expect to talk with Venezuela soon via free Linux. Hopefully the 56k modem will withstand the heat of zipping off 1′s and 0′s down to South America. I chatted with a dude from Texas tonight. It was okay, but quite a bit of interruptions… and that after he turned off his webcam. Before he shut the video down, it was like a slow motion video, and a little bit of broken audio every 30 seconds.
It’s definitely time for cheaper and more widespread broadband…
Oh, don’t really look for voice chatting anywhere else on Linux… unless you want to play around with Gyach Enhanced and the programmer’s attitude. By the way, be prepared to learn Python if you are serious about trying this out. Maybe I just couldn’t get it set up because I am not a programmer… I don’t know. And there’s another one out there developed for Windows but says it will work with WINE. I can’t… and don’t want to remember the name. Unfortunately it only displays with Wingdings on my WINE setup. I could either figure out the font thing, which I played with until nearly 3am lastnight, or learn to read in Wingdings…
Hence the reason I fell back on GnomeMeeting.