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Google Voice Grabs 1 Million Phone Numbers

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the is-this-the-party-to-whom-I-am-speaking dept.

Google 198

alphadogg writes "Google has reserved 1 million phone numbers with Level 3, signaling that it may finally be ready to roll out its long-anticipated Google Voice service. The free service, announced in March, lets users unify their phone numbers, allowing them to have a single number through Google Voice that rings a call through to all their phones. Sources could not say when the 1 million numbers may be assigned. Level 3 has been supplying Google with phone numbers since the introduction of Google Voice, so the 1 million numbers are an indication Google is close to adding a significant number of users. A public launch has been anticipated since Google said in March the service would be 'open to new users soon.' One early user said: 'I've only been using Google Voice for a few months, but it's completely changed the way I use voicemail and communicate... When it goes public, I think the rush to grab Google Voice numbers is going to be stunning. I know some of my friends check the Google Voice page almost every day to see when they can grab a number and get started using it.'"

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first post bitches (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28391483)

lick my asshole clean you linux fags.

Re:first post bitches (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28391771)

If you weren't used to having your OS do everything for you (including automatically downloading spyware) you would wipe it yourself.

I wonder.... (3, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391543)

... how long it will be before we see a civil or criminal suit arising from a competitor, user or law-enforcement looking for a user.

Re:I wonder.... (1)

L3370 (1421413) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391611)

Day 3 of its release. :)

Re:I wonder.... (5, Funny)

arootbeer (808234) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391777)

So, about 7 years after the general public gets their hands on it?

Re:I wonder.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28391699)

We all wonder when posters will quit using the subject line for beginning a sentence. Aargh!

Does... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28391779)

...it bother you when people do that?

Yes ... (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392287)

... immensely.

I think this joke might be just about played ou... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392575)

...t.

I, for one, think we can do a lot better at this. (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392983)

TSIA. HAND!

Prepare for more.. (1)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392687)

...subject comment trolls then if it bothers you. Your bother is troll food.

I'm waiting.... (2, Interesting)

Laebshade (643478) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391633)

for this for my G1. I'm surprised this wasn't included, even though it's in closed beta. PF Voicemail Fusion works ok, but youmail is horrible for the G1. Google Voice already has an android app, so I can't wait!

Re:I'm waiting.... (4, Interesting)

AntiRush (1175479) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392207)

I have a google voice account (transferred over from grandcentral) and in general I didn't find the GV android app to be all that usable. The extra overhead ended up making me miss a lot of calls that I wouldn't otherwise have. Another problem was that dialing out either involved using the GV application which dials your Google Voice number and places the call via their system or making calls from your real number. The former put a 10 - 15 second overhead on making a call and the latter tends to confuse people because they are receiving a call from a different number than the one they (were told to) call.

I ended up giving my real number to anyone that mattered. I still use my Google Voice number for anything online or calls/text messages that I potentially want to screen. It's a great service but it didn't work for me as an every day number.

Re:I'm waiting.... (5, Informative)

Evan Charlton (1498823) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392313)

Disclaimer: I wrote the GV Android app in question.

I didn't find the GV android app to be all that usable. The extra overhead ended up making me miss a lot of calls that I wouldn't otherwise have. Another problem was that dialing out either involved using the GV application which dials your Google Voice number and places the call via their system or making calls from your real number. The former put a 10 - 15 second overhead on making a call and the latter tends to confuse people because they are receiving a call from a different number than the one they (were told to) call.

If you haven't tried the latest version, I recommend you do so; it makes the dialing process much more seamless. If you still have problems with, don't hesitate to shoot me an email: gv {at} evancharlton {dot} com (that goes for anyone else that has questions or suggestions).

Re:I'm waiting.... (1)

AntiRush (1175479) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392427)

Thanks for the response! I'll certainly give it another shot; I haven't tried the new version yet.

Also, I apologize if my above post seemed like a flame against your app - overall it's great and you are providing a great service to Android/Google Voice users. Keep up the good work.

Re:I'm waiting.... (3, Interesting)

Evan Charlton (1498823) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392621)

No worries, I've gotten much worse ;-). And the app likely deserves it; it's a complete hack due to the lack of a public API.

Will it work when my nets die? Or with 911? (0)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391641)

One reason I never liked other net phone services is that you can't dial 911 and when my computer reboots, or decides to explode, my phone dies; will GVoice suffer from these problems as well? I'm not entirely sure how this is supposed to work (yes yes, I could google it, but that would be one less answer on google. You know, ever google a question only to find people pointing you to google?)

Re:Will it work when my nets die? Or with 911? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391719)

One reason I never liked other net phone services is that you can't dial 911 and when my computer reboots, or decides to explode, my phone dies;

Vonage (VoIP) understands 911 just fine, though yes, no computer, no phone. But there are many people who have no land line at all, instead using only cell...

Re:Will it work when my nets die? Or with 911? (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392201)

Cell phone network operators have a federal mandate or something to provide 911 and emergency GPS even for non-paying "customers."

I've tried Vonage and Comcast Digital Voice and would not rely on VoIP if my life or a loved one's was at stake. However, if that were all I had access to at the time I would fall back on the old adage "something is better than nothing."

Give me a Qwest POTS for stability and reliability. Give me VoIP and cellular for mobility.

Re:Will it work when my nets die? Or with 911? (5, Informative)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391819)

This isn't a net phone, per se; it's a phone abstraction. A number that lives out there in the phone cloud, which you point to whatever number(s) you wish to receive calls at. You can still dial directly out from your cell phone, home phone, office phone, whatever. 911 is based on the number you're calling from. However, if you want your GVoice number to show up on caller ID, you would instead initiate the call from the GVoice web site or the android/iphone app. In other words, as long as you've got a working phone, you've got 911. The use of GVoice doesn't change that at all.

Re:Will it work when my nets die? Or with 911? (2, Interesting)

fulldecent (598482) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392653)

A VOIP app to bypass the phone number altogether... that would change the world.

But the question remains: where's the revenue?

Re:Will it work when my nets die? Or with 911? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392783)

Uh, a lot of VOIP services use Jingle (XMPP/Google Talk), SIP, or Skype user names in addition to phone numbers and allow you to contact people by username directly for free if they are on the service. It would be nice if phone companies were willing to let you use VOIP apps -- then what you are talking about would happen much more quickly. On the other hand, most people have all their numbers in a address book on their phone so they do not dial anyway.

You CAN intiate a call from your phone directly (4, Informative)

Brit_in_the_USA (936704) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392711)

I just want to add that you can initiate a call from your phone directly. You can call your own Google number and then press "2" to dial out to a new number (including international) and end with a "#" to start ringing. I now have a few international numbers on speed dial on my cell phone (I have bought some google credit for this), the entries are in the format:
my_google_number p 2 p destiantion_number #
note that "p" inserts a ~2 second pause on most dialers.

To get this working seamlessly you need to go to your account settings and disable PIN entry for mail box and use caller ID instead to identify your cell phone as authorized to go straight in. If you don't want to do that you need to include the right pauses and pin dialing codes in that example above.

Re:Will it work when my nets die? Or with 911? (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392935)

So why do people care? First time I saw a commercial service that offered that was ca. 10 years ago. Several services like that are still around, but none of them have managed to convince enough people that it matters to actually make it big.

Re:Will it work when my nets die? Or with 911? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392221)

It is NOT voip. Google Voice forwards to other phones.

How big is the market? (1)

Robert1 (513674) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391665)

It seems to me that the same people that would be all for a techy solution like this are the very same people who are unlikely to even own a landline. Nearly universally, everyone who I know in their mid 20s - early 30s don't have a landline and have only one number - their cellphone.

I can see a market for this for intense businessmen who might have 2 lines at home, a private line at work, and another line at their second home. But is there a demand from the tech savy young google user?

Re:How big is the market? (4, Interesting)

jackspenn (682188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392037)

Nearly universally, everyone who I know in their mid 20s - early 30s don't have a landline

The same used be be true for me, but now my parents, aunts and uncles, former teachers, etc. have all switched. I would say that nearly every person I know 15-62 have switched solely to cell phones in place of home phones. The two people I know with a home phone, my grandfather (85) and grandmother (82) switched to Vonage over two years ago to the complete surprise of the entire family. Reason they gave "It's a fixed monthly cost that works for what they need."
I really think the traditional home phone line could be dead in a decade or so.

Re:How big is the market? (2, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392041)

Even if you only have one line, you might like to use this. If a business asks for your phone number, you could give them the Google Talk number. Then, if they abuse it, you simply tell Google Talk to either always push them to voice mail or (better yet) to play the "this line is disconnected" message.

Re:How big is the market? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392347)

I plan to use this service in conjunction w/ my iphone and Skype. Since the Skype app works via wi-fi and just about everywhere I go I'm connected to a hotspot, I can take calls to my SkypeIn number without using minutes. Those times I'm called and not near a hotspot Skype is configured to forward to my cellular number directly so no matter what I wouldn't miss a call.

And, if I understand correctly, since I can set up default routing of numbers I'll be able to control who's important enough to get past my VM at any given time.

Re:How big is the market? (1)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392361)

Actually, NPR had a piece yesterday about how the number of people with only cell phones (no landlines) just surpassed the number with landlines in the US. However, "Jason Levine" is right that even people with only one phone might find this useful. Personally, since moving to Chicago from upstate NY I haven't changed my area code (I save a lot of money by staying on my parents "Friends and Family plan" and would want to give up my phone number even if I could). However, if I decide I want to submit resumes for jobs I want the phone number to have a local area code. My concern is that the unusual area code will either make them think I'm applying from out of state or that it's a type (my old NY area code is only one number off from one of the area codes in the Chicago area). Either of those two possibilities could be used as a way for them to weed out my application early in the hiring process. Before this, I had to buy cheap pre-paid phone with a local number and keep putting a little money into it every month, or so, to keep it active.

Re:How big is the market? (1)

TarrVetus (597895) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392669)

I can see a market for this for intense businessmen who might have 2 lines at home, a private line at work, and another line at their second home. But is there a demand from the tech savy young google user?

Absolutely.

I have one phone, and it's my cell phone. I don't have an unlimited calling/ unlimited text messaging service for my phone, and I cannot justify paying for it right now. In the last month, however, I've had a spike in my call volume--instead of using less than 300 minutes, I'm moving upward to 500 or so, and they're from many different numbers.

With Google Voice, I can give out one number and have it ring to my cell phone, and a cheap temporary service on my computer, such as Skype. If I am at my computer, I can pick up the phone there; if out, the call will go to my cellphone.

This allows me to overcome the temporary spike in the number of calls I am receiving for much less than paying for extra cell minutes (and less problems than switching to another cellphone plan),and by only having to hand out one number to my contacts.

Google Voice gives me one number for whatever phone(s) I want. It could help me save hundreds of dollars with minimal hassle. Change my phone service? Have a pay Skype account for three months? No worries!

Oh, that's just great... (4, Insightful)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391671)

Now telemarketers, religious freaks, and campaign-donation guys will be able to find me no matter where I am.

I wonder if we'll be able to register that line on the DNC list.

Re:Oh, that's just great... (2, Informative)

ratnerstar (609443) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391821)

I imagine you could, but political campaigns and charities can ignore the DNC list anyway. More importantly, Google Voice gives you a lot more control over screening your calls before you answer them.

Re:Oh, that's just great... (4, Informative)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391837)

I've already registered mine on the DNC list, but additionally, you can also do fun things like push all unknown callers directly to voice mail. Then you can quickly review and delete your VM's on their web site.

Re:Oh, that's just great... (1)

kwardroid (1466409) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392101)

With a decent IPBX you can do anything GV can do (transcribing voicemail may be the exception), e.g. Asterisk. The real difference is the interface and required knowlegde to setup this kind of behavior.

Re:Oh, that's just great... (1)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392399)

I've already registered mine on the DNC list

Yeah, so have I, both of them. Got three different calls telling me I needed to go vote for Barack Obama in November. The third one I slipped through my asterisk-fu.

"We hope you'll go out and vote today!"
"I already did this morning. For Senator McCain."
"Oh." (long pause) "Have a nice day, then, I guess."

There's only so much you can do, and reporting the non-profits and/or pols doesn't do much good.

Re:Oh, that's just great... (5, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391901)

Now telemarketers, religious freaks, and campaign-donation guys will be able to find me no matter where I am.

I am a Google voice user.
Zero automated telemarketing calls get through to me. The system defaults to requiring callers with previously unseen caller-id's to state their name before it will even ring my real phone(s). No automated system knows how to do that so far.

Even if a real person calls and does get past the name prompt, I can "answer" the phone by sending the call to voice-mail and listening in, the way you can with a real physical answering machine.

I am also able to blacklist specific caller-id numbers to either go directly to voice-mail or to play the "this number has been disconnected" recording and tone pattern.

Worst case, I can also configure all unknown caller-id numbers to go directly to voice-mail too.

Since signing up with GrandCentral a year or two ago (the predecessor company that google purchased) my annoying call rate has gone to zero.

Re:Oh, that's just great... (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391937)

The system defaults to requiring callers with previously unseen caller-id's to state their name before it will even ring my real phone(s). No automated system knows how to do that so far.

Not exactly innovative. Verizon gave me that at my apartment in 2002.

Re:Oh, that's just great... (4, Informative)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392053)

Not exactly innovative. Verizon gave me that at my apartment in 2002.

What exactly is your point? The service as a whole is very useful, and somewhat innovative. There are precedents for many--if not all--of the features, but many of them would have required a staffed calling center not that long ago.

So here's an example of what I like. I can always route my parents to my home number, and my friends to my office during the day, my cell phone at night. I can route colleagues to my office by day, direct to voice mail at night. If I'm going on vacation and staying at a cabin where cell signal is bad, and I want to be reached by one particular friend, I can route their calls to the cabin's land-line before I leave.

And then beyond all that, when people leave a voice mail, GVoice automatically transcribes it. It's not perfect, but it's often faster to get the idea of what they called about without having to listen to a long, rambling VM.

Re:Oh, that's just great... (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392825)

So only new things that no other company is doing or has ever done are useful or desireable. Got it.

Re:Oh, that's just great... (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391907)

Of course, the whole point is that you get to decide which of your contacts can reach you at which phone. You can make it so that if they're not in your contact list, they get voice mail only.

You can also screen callers (they state their name to a recording) based on whether they are in your contact list or whether they are blocking caller ID.

Re:Oh, that's just great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28391973)

Think about it this way: It is google, may be ull get a notification that its a spam call before you pick it up!

Re:Oh, that's just great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28391977)

The spam filters on GV are great and can be set at a very fine grained level, unlike the phone company.

Re:Oh, that's just great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392257)

There's no pride to be had in ignorance, son. Educate yourself about the topic before spreading your ass cheeks over the keyboard.

Re:Oh, that's just great... (5, Funny)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392321)

Now telemarketers, religious freaks, and campaign-donation guys will be able to find me no matter where I am.

Hey!

Re:Oh, that's just great... (2, Interesting)

hoooocheymomma (1020927) | more than 5 years ago | (#28393087)

Haha why the hell is this "interesting"??

Re:Oh, that's just great... (3, Funny)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#28393151)

I dunno, actually. I wonder if this will be interesting, too :)

Where are the Telco's Lawyers (2, Interesting)

mpapet (761907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391693)

Queue Dr. Evil '1 million phone numbers... MMUUUAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAH!'

It certainly sounds like a big number, but it isn't. What I am wondering is what the Telco execs are doing about it.

A little history for ./ The telco's stuck it to Vonage two different ways.
1. whisper campaign in the equity markets claiming Vonage didn't own the value-drivers in their business. 100% bunk. Amazon doesn't own the 'tubes' that connect to their service, has fantastical valuations. With Vonage, it *is* a very big problem??? But equity manager ran with it and hammered Vonage.
2. Patent litigation. Especially bad and ridiculously obvious patents were used to extract the Telco's vig. (hint, look up the word vigorish)

Google's much more well-capitalized and swimming in the deep end of Telco waters if they attempt to unify POTS/wireless with VOIP. When will Telco exec's send the legal dogs after Google?

Re:Where are the Telco's Lawyers (3, Informative)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392181)

Whisper campaign? Well, let's see. If the end-game for Vonage is to replace the existing hardwired telephone service there is one little problem - they need the wires to be maintained for their customer's DSL links. Nobody really believes that the wireline maintenance is going to be covered by the revenue generated by selling naked DSL service.

The end result of this is Vonage can be a bit player off to the side but should they "succeed" they really fail. Not a good overall strategy. Yes, I guess you could say they don't own the value-drivers. More importantly, they desperately need their competition in order to survive. And their competition has to be both doing well enough to support their business and make it possible for them to compete.

Worse yet for Vonage and their ilk is that the government has mandated the wireline telephone companies have to provide for data services and bulk-purchased voice services to be priced below real costs. As long as these services are provided to a few players and the main part of the telco revenue is still providing telephone service everything will be fine. But, again, should Vonage or any of their sort really "succeed", they fail.

Would the right answer be to forcibly separate the wireline facilities from the telco voice providers? Sure, except under current rules no wireline facility could operate because the services that are sold today to outside companies are done so at a loss. There are a lot of wires out there and the maintenance of this is quite costly. Today that bill is paid for by voice services, mostly for business customers that have entirely different billing arrangements than residential customers do.

So pulling the facilities management away from the telcos would simply require the data and bulk services to be sold at real prices. So the $14.99 DSL service would be more like $99. At today's pricing it makes sense for an individual to drop their $25 telephone and $15 DSL to something like $15 DSL and Magic Jack at $20 a year. If the DSL service was priced including wireline maintenance costs, it wouildn't be practical at all. The real problem there would be lost of people can't afford $1200 a year for Internet and would drop it. Loss of market share like this would cripple plenty of things and would change the landscape of Internet service providers in the US.

What is the real answer? I suspect it is to abandon wireline maintenance completely and replace it with new fiber optic links from a completely new company. In about 50 years. In the meantime, we will have the existing wires in the ground and on the poles until they need repair. And with nobody repairing it, people will just do without wired connections.

Did they need it? (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 5 years ago | (#28393003)

Having dealt with Vonage's crappy customer service, particular when cancelling a "no contract plan", I'd have to say that the Telcos had little to worry about. I thought that the local telco was the worst it could get *until* I tried Vonage.

Did you know that they don't have a phone number for their disputes department, and then you must send them a letter to some address in nowhere USA within X (I believe 14) days of the issue/cancellation? A *phone* company that doesn't have a number for a major department... imagine that.

Awesomeness (1)

dburkland (1526971) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391715)

This could be very useful especially for pranking Ahmad in Boston at 4AM CST

Lame anecdotal evidence (2, Interesting)

jayme0227 (1558821) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391737)

"I know some of my friends check the Google Voice page almost every day to see when they can grab a number and get started using it."

And I have friends who have never heard of Google Voice and completely lack the technical understanding to want to use it. I hate it when people use anecdotal evidence to suggest how great or grand something is going to be.

Most of my friends actually have just one phone (their cell) to their name anyway. While I see some of the features being semi-useful for a single-phone user, many require one to be at their computer, or at least have a smart phone, thus eliminating their usefulness in a large variety of circumstances.

Re:Lame anecdotal evidence (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391859)

My office is situated such that I can only get cell phone signal if I'm standing at the window. I've got my GVoice set up to send all calls to my office phone during the day, and to both home and cell phone in the evenings and weekends.

There are a lot of reasons why one might want to take calls directly on a different line than their cell phone.

Re:Lame anecdotal evidence (1)

quangdog (1002624) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391967)

Is there a way automate this using the bluetooth settings on your phone and computer at the office, such that when your phone is in range, google forwards calls to your office phone, and when your phone is out of range, google forwards calls to your cell?

I have sometimes thought that such a service would be handy (and, in fact, I know someone who uses one) but he has to manually tell the service where he is all the time. Granted, it's a quick process, but it's one more thing to think about. Sometimes he forgets and when I dial his cell it hits his office even though he left already. If google offered an integrated way to detect where your phone is and forward calls appropriately, I'm much more interested.

Re:Lame anecdotal evidence (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392087)

Well, considering there are a number of apps written to control GVoice accounts, I'd be willing to bet that this could be done. I think they publish the web API, so if you are or if you know someone who is handy with the codestuffs, you could probably write a GVoice gadget to do just that.

Re:Lame anecdotal evidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28391935)

I hate it when people use anecdotal evidence to suggest how great or grand something is going to be.

Or conversely, how unpopular something will be.

But I don't want you to call my mobile! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Monkey (795756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391755)

I only give my mobile number out sparingly. I tell most people to call my land line. I do this because I don't want to be accessible to every one all the time. Most calls can wait. If I had this service it would mean more relatives calling me up while driving to tell me to go on line and look at some random news story. Right now, I think I'll stick with having two numbers.

Re:But I don't want you to call my mobile! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28391865)

Okay, that's good to know.

I'll call you later.

Re:But I don't want you to call my mobile! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28391887)

Actually, you can flag numbers to direct straight to voice mail. Which then gets transcibed into and email. The service gives you some pretty good controls over handling calls and routing, based on factors like time, caller and your availability.

In your case, you can give out the number freely and only forward people in your "Friends" group to you cell phone.

Re:But I don't want you to call my mobile! (2, Insightful)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391891)

That's the cool thing. You can set up profiles and automatically direct some people to only a specific phone, or right into voice mail. You can even set up personalized ring-back tones and VM outgoing messages so that if your father calls you, the VM says, "Hi Dad, sorry you didn't make it past the screen!"

Re:But I don't want you to call my mobile! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392995)

My cell phone service provides a real cool solution to this problem. If I see a number I don't want to answer right now then I don't and it goes to voice mail. Check with your service carrier. They probably have a similar service.

Why is it that so many people think they have to take every call?

Abuse (2, Interesting)

symes (835608) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391761)

How do they prevent abuse? Say unifying Pizza Express with someone's landline - or Sarah Palin with PETA... and so on

Re:Abuse (1)

dominian (1009213) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391827)

There are options like Call Screening..Call Presentation..Caller ID (as with most carriers), these all help to combat abuse.

Re:Abuse (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391975)

OP is talking about signing up and directing your Google Voice number to someone else's number that you don't own. I.E. the local Pizza Delivery.

I would imagine the same thing that prevents it today, people get pissed because they are getting 'prank' calls, complain, and someone brings down the hammer.

Re:Abuse (1)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392237)

I would imagine it's like any other opt-in membership. You provide an email address, they send an email, you reply. Except you give the number to google, they give you a pin, then you make a call from that number to the Google line punch in the PIN. ???

Re:Abuse (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392009)

I imagine it involves some process where you have to 'enroll' each physical number in to the service by dialing in from that location. If you can't get to Palin's line, for example, you can't mess with it. Existing call forwarding schemes use some version of this.

Re:Abuse (1)

Crazy Man on Fire (153457) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392019)

I'm sure they have a verification step just like many other services. Just a guess, but they probably place a call to the number you want to register and you have to key in a code that they have given to you to prove that you are in control of the phone number in question.

Re:Abuse (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392159)

If I recall correctly from when I signed up to GrandCentral (Google Voice's predecessor), signing up a number meant that Google would call that number. You would then need to approve the addition by typing in a code.

In fact, I just stopped by Google Voice's help pages and that's exactly what they do:

Signing up: Verifying the new phones you're forwarding to
Print
When you add a new phone number to the Phones tab of your Google Voice Settings, you will need to verify the number for security and abuse prevention reasons. Any new numbers you're setting up to forward to when your contacts call your Google number will need to be verified by following the steps below:

      1. Click Settings at the top of the Google Voice page.
      2. Select the Phones tab.
      3. Click the 'Add another phone' link to add a new phone number to forward your calls to.
      4. Enter the name of the phone you're adding, the number, and select the appropriate phone type. You can adjust more advanced settings by clicking the 'Show advanced settings' link.
      5. When you're finished, click Save. Once you click Save, a 'Verify your Phone' pop-up will appear with you a phone verification code.
      6. Click Connect and Google Voice will call the phone you're verifying.
      7. When prompted, enter the verification code you see in the 'Verify your Phone' pop-up to complete the verification process.

Please note that if you don't verify the new phone you've added to your settings, it won't be able to receive calls from Google Voice. You won't be able to select it as one of the numbers Google Voice forwards to. You can click the 'Verify Now' link at any time to verify your number.

If you're experiencing problems with entering the verification code using a SIP phone, make sure your SIP phone has DTMF set to RFC2833 to ensure your phone recognizes the verification code you're entering to complete the verification process.

Re:Abuse (1)

AntiRush (1175479) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392247)

To register a phone number with your Google Voice account you have to answer an automated call and enter a touchtone passkey that is provided on the website. If you don't have access to the phone you can't add it to the ring list.

Re:Abuse (1)

argiedot (1035754) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392571)

The obvious way. Have you ever used Google Calendar's SMS notifications? To enable them, you are sent a code to the number that you registered. The code then has to be entered on the Google page within a certain amount of time.

I want Jenny's number... (4, Funny)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391769)

Oh yeah, it's 867-530-niiiiiii-eeee-iii-een.

Re:I want Jenny's number... (1)

bmecoli (963615) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392059)

so it's 867-530-64444444-3333-444-336? That's quite a number.

Re:I want Jenny's number... (1)

buckadude (926560) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392401)

at my college 360-867-5309 called the media lab. the jenny joke there is oooooold.

inbound number transfer (1)

jipn4 (1367823) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391811)

If Google has a number shortage, it's kind of odd that they don't let people transfer their existing numbers to Google Voice. That would probably free up a lot of the numbers they already have.

I have a Google Voice number, and if I could transfer my existing number into it, I would do so.

Re:inbound number transfer (1)

VeNoM0619 (1058216) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391961)

Yes, but how does Google Voice then call the number (your cell) it just took from your cell?

Re:inbound number transfer (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392333)

Lots of people know your current number but you want to switch to using google voice.

It would be simpler in terms of not having to get everyone to use a new number to get a new number for your actual phone (cell, land line, VoIP, whatever - the one everyone has) and give the number everyone has to google to use as the google voice entry point.

Re:inbound number transfer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392633)

When you transfer a number to a new carrier, your old phone gets a new number.

Re:inbound number transfer (1)

blindd0t (855876) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392185)

From TFA:

Last week, TechCrunch reported that Google would add number portability later this year to Google Voice, which would let users keep one of their existing phone numbers as their Google Voice number. For example, users could make their cell phone number their Google Voice number.

Re:inbound number transfer (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392625)

GrandCentral and Google have been saying that for years.

I'll believe it when I see it.

(I've been waiting for porting since I got my Grand Central account)

Re:inbound number transfer (1)

jipn4 (1367823) | more than 5 years ago | (#28393031)

Yes, but... they have been saying that for a while, so I wouldn't hold my breath.

The question is: why is it taking them so long? That seems like a pretty straightforward feature, in particular since they already handle outbound number transfers.

google grabbed 1 million numbers huh? (1)

bmecoli (963615) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391959)

I wonder how long it'll take for google to call each number, breathe heavily for a few seconds, then hang up?

privacy? (1)

littlesparrow (1388279) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391995)

could someone indicate how this works? are there privacy issues involved? can google 'monitor' my activity (cell use, numbers coming in and out)? can they sell the data? what about international laws? does my privacy fall under american law (google location) or my own country's law? seems to me people are too quick to embrace 'services' now without questioning what it is they are giving up in return.

Re:privacy? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392579)

For your first question, please read the Google Voice FAQ, and other questions, they answer exactly how everything works.

Yes, Google could technically monitor your activity, for all the calls you make through Google Voice, but really are you worth it?

No, they can't sell the data, once again answered in the FAQ.

International? So far Google has only offered this service in the US, you can make outbound international phone calls for a small price.

As for embracing things too quickly, go put on your tin foil hat, and just don't sign up for the service. You are not REQUIRED to sign up for this service. You can keep your own privacy if you don't trust Google to abide by its own terms and conditions.

Re:privacy? (2, Informative)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 5 years ago | (#28393079)

As for embracing things too quickly, go put on your tin foil hat, and just don't sign up for the service. You are not REQUIRED to sign up for this service. You can keep your own privacy if you don't trust Google to abide by its own terms and conditions.

Actually, he may have no choice. If someone else signs up for it, and then calls him...they have forced the use of GV on him.
This same concern came up during the rollout of gmail.

Re:privacy? (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392683)

Guess what.

If you pick up a phone, you have no privacy. Your telco monitors your activity. The telco of the receiving end of the call monitors the activity. The NSA monitors it. Hell, the NSA may be recording it. Networks the call traverse record bits of information about it. Any one of them can figure out the location, and the laws (when followed) are the laws of both ends of the call and every country the call transits.

If you want to know how it works, you can try googling about it. However, your inane privacy rant, I suspect, was the real purpose of your post... not some inquiry into how Google Voice works.

I overheard you talking aboutâ¦. (1)

testdummy (61896) | more than 5 years ago | (#28391997)

How long before Google starts listening in on your conversations so that is can target ads?

Re:I overheard you talking aboutâ¦. (2, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392095)

Just as long as Verizon, Skype, and AT&T take for whatever purpose they want. The same laws apply to everyone.

Its not the conversation content you'll have to worry about (that's protected from interception by all but the NSA). Its whom you call, or calls you. That data has been for sale for a decade or so.

Finally (0, Redundant)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392057)

Here's my chance to get that 867-5309 number I've always wanted!

One number wherever I go? Already have that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392193)

It's called a cell phone.

Re:One number wherever I go? Already have that. (1)

Fox_1 (128616) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392749)

The above may be a joke - but I used to sell this kind of technology years ago (just before the 2001 bubble burst).

I concluded then that the reason for the failure of the company I worked for was that we were competing with cell phones. Find me Follow me, One Number, etc, however you market the service ultimately you are adding a layer of complexity and hassle when 90% of the phone calls will be coming to your cellphone anyways.

There's nothing here that hasn't been done by unified communications software and providers before. Of course Google has a name and cachet, but my prediction is that for most the current cell phone/voicemail solution will continue to endure.

Re:One number wherever I go? Already have that. (1)

ID000001 (753578) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392785)

What if you are out camping, and someone leave you a really really long and whiny voice mail, Have you ever wanted to just read it in text? What if the only unlimited call plan available to you cost more then you can afford? Don't you want it to forward to other phone like land line / office phone? What if you don't want to answer every call? Never ever wanted having the ability to just delete unwanted robo call if they don't pass a simple test? What if you are waiting for a really important call and you want no interruption except that call? Etc etc. Show me a cell phone that can do all those without extra cost and I would agree.

potentially troubling feature (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392433)

"Call Record - Record calls and store them online"

In a lot of places, both parties must be notified if the call is being recorded. I wonder what controls they put in place for this.

I've had one for over a year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392519)

I've had one since grand central. anybody want to buy it??

Given this extends beyond the internet (1)

T Murphy (1054674) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392561)

Will they just text you the ads?

Rubbish! All I need is my single wireless phone... (0, Flamebait)

SrWebDeveloper (1419361) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392581)

Use a Google number which rings all my other phones? I don't know what century most of you live in, but I have only two phones in my entire life now: my wireless which is for friends/family, and my work phone. No land line at home, local telco can kiss my ass. I use my wireless to check mail and voicemail from work, well organized and easy to access. I see NO need to forward my work phone to home, which is discouraged by most employers anyway, and when I'm at work I must use the work phone for business calls, especially LD. So why would I need yet another number? Oh, the insanity, the pain... the pain... RUBBISH!!!

Level 3 sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28392595)

I know this isn't the proper forum for griping so mod me for being redundant.

Last year before the financial tsunami they finally told us tough shit after we've been complaining to them for mis-billings for 5 YEARS!!! Said we were too small for them to really care (we do $100K/yr. in services from them). We finally had enough earlier this year and decided to slowly transition over to Paetec which offered lower rates and hopefully better customer service. Level 3 caught win of it, came scrabbling back to us and said they'll fix everything if we stayed with them. We told them to fix them first then we'll talk. Weeks went by and nothing happen. By the end of this summer we should be done transferring all of our T1s to Paetec. Good riddance Level 3. Fuck you very much.

USA only, hence useless. (1)

loufoque (1400831) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392811)

When will supposedly global companies, especially Internet-based ones, provide global services instead of USA-specific ones?

What happens when Google Voice is down? Privacy? (2, Insightful)

altek (119814) | more than 5 years ago | (#28392815)

Just curious, if you are using a Google Voice number as your "one number to rule them all", and the service is down, what happens? Even if it goes down temporarily (as Gmail does constantly, ahem) does that mean incoming calls cant get to you?

Also, since Google is obviously able to hijack the voice audio, what's to say they aren't listening to / recording calls? I realize they "aren't evil" but, still.

I like the concept of this service, but don't want to have my incoming calls relying on Google's service to make it through.

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