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Google Voice Now Gives Priority to Students

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the hang-onto-your-alumni-vanity-address dept.

Communications 66

theodp writes "Holy Logan's Run, Batman! Google on Friday began giving students priority access to its Google Voice service, which has remained in a closed beta since its transition from GrandCentral in March of last year. Typically, invites for the service can take anywhere from a few hours to several months to arrive after a user signs up. But Google is now promising students who cough up an .edu e-mail address access to the service within 24 hours. Good thing CMU closes e-mail accounts after graduation, or old fuddy-duddy alums like Brian Reid might try to sneak in!"

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66 comments

News? (-1, Redundant)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 3 years ago | (#32218826)

How is this news worthy?

How is this not? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32219040)

One of the biggest IT companies in existance practically introduces a new service (Yeah, it existed before but was pretty unpractical due to those long registering times) for students (A huge amount of us students read this site, you know...)... How is this not exactly the type of news that SlashDot is for? Besides, it is not as if today would have been extraordinarily busy news day or anything. If you don't find it interesting, why waste your time with commenting? Not that you would have spent a lot of time for that as you didn't really write any arguments or such... Yeah. I'm getting pretty annoyed to people karmawhoring with the "How is this news worthy?" comment which you can find on practically every article on SlashDot. I would think of it as a running joke if those wouldn't get flagged +5 insightful pretty much every time.

Aaaaaanyways. Yeah, its nice that google does that. I would have hoped for something more sophisticated than just checking for .edu addresses, though. Not all students receive such (well, at least not outside USA. I don't know if all universities there use the .edu domain).

Re:How is this not? (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 3 years ago | (#32219124)

I didn't post for the karma, that's for sure. I've had top-rated karma for years now. I wouldn't care if my karma dropped to nothing. I just don't find this article news worthy. Big corporate entity offers service only to Americans, gives priority to those with .edu addresses (ostensibly students, though faculty have those addresses as well). Whoop-de-whoop.

I generally don't post anonymously because I'm not afraid to put my name where my mouth is.

Re:How is this not? (1)

mOdQuArK! (87332) | more than 3 years ago | (#32219314)

I just don't find this article news worthy.

So nice of you to decide that for the rest of us.

Re:How is this not? (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 3 years ago | (#32219348)

obviously I didn't, seeing as how I'm not a /. editor (if I had been, and this came across my virtual desk, I would have put it in the bin).

Re:News? (2, Informative)

pclminion (145572) | more than 3 years ago | (#32219948)

Well, I'm not sure, but I'm glad I followed that last link and learned that Google is a motherfucking slimeball who fired somebody for being too old and not staying at work past 7 PM on a regular basis.

If you lose respect for experience, and respect for a work-life balance, your company becomes a ball of pure evil and incompetence. I'm actually completely shocked.

Re:News? (1)

cjyetman (1761158) | more than 3 years ago | (#32220178)

How is this news worthy?

How is this comment post worthy?

Outside of USA (3, Informative)

ProfMobius (1313701) | more than 3 years ago | (#32218830)

But Google is now promising students who cough up an .edu e-mail address access to the service within 24 hours.

So much for all the students around the world who don't have email addresses ending in .edu

Well, i guess it is time to check if no-ip.com has hosts ending in .edu and set-up a home mail server :)

Re:Outside of USA (5, Informative)

mrrockford (1801968) | more than 3 years ago | (#32218952)

From my Google Voice acct: "Note that Google Voice is only available for sign up in the US"

Re:Outside of USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32218970)

As GV is currently a US only service, the lack of a .edu address isn't what's keeping them from getting an account.

As if that was the one thing Google DOESN'T know.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32219188)

Google is the largest datamining company in the world. I'm pretty sure they know everything imaginable about me. Whether or not my email ends in .edu, I should be able to tell them my address (Hell, even my home address) and they should be able to check whether I am a student or not.

Stop pretending I have any privacy the one time I don't want it!

Re:Outside of USA (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 3 years ago | (#32221988)

Well, i guess it is time to check if no-ip.com has hosts ending in .edu and set-up a home mail server :)

Even better: Set up your own home degree-program-via-email. Then you can legitimately apply for a .edu domain, and you can make a bunch of money off the suckers.

Of course, if you're a typical /. reader, you'll probably set up an actual online education web site for some topic that you're really interested in (but doesn't pay well). In that case, you're not making money off of "suckers", because they'll be other people with the same noncommercial interests as you.

Doesn't that sound like more fun that what you're doing now to earn a paycheck?

(For starters, you might set up a wiki dedicated to your interest, and then your "students" will supply you with a lot of your educational material - and pay you a bit for the honor of doing so. Of course, you'll probably be stuck with the job of keeping it all organized and free of spam, so it won't be a casual undertaking. You just might earn your .edu domain.)

World is not US of A (3, Informative)

i ate my neighbour (1756816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32218864)

My university's domain doesn't end with .edu you insensitive clod!

Re:World is not US of A (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32218880)

.school.nz? .edu.au? .ac.uk?

Am I getting close?

Re:World is not US of A (2, Insightful)

i ate my neighbour (1756816) | more than 3 years ago | (#32218890)

My previous one was .edu.tr, now just .nl, so I'm out of luck.

Re:World is not US of A (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32219660)

Yes, because the offering is only in the USA. A US-based company is offering services; the fact that the "World is not US of A" doesn't really matter. Google isn't trying to offer the world a service, it's offering the service to a specific region. And not to the entire region, they're preferring educational institutions within that region. Institutional regions that have .edu as a domain suffix to be exact.

Granted, some US schools have chosen domain names other than .edu. However, this was a choice. An .edu domain was available but often considered too complex for people to remember or use. Often those .edu domains map to the corresponding non-edu domains, but that's an administrative choice.

That being said, it's terribly easy to get an .edu mail account. I don't mean take a low-credit class at a local community college to get a free .edu mail account; I mean getting an .edu account without spending a dime. I've got an .edu account, and I've given instructions to a couple co-workers so they can get one too. If any criticism is needed, it's that giving .edu accounts access to Google Voice doesn't adequately limit service to US students.

As for you being "out of luck," that's mostly due to lack of initiative. A lot of things are offered to subgroups on a preferential basis. If you want in on a closed-beta game, you can position yourself into one of the preferred groups. Of course, there are people that complain they never get selected into betas--usually the same people who did nothing but cross their fingers and hope for an invite. Google Voice is more of the same.

Re:World is not US of A (2, Informative)

RabbitWho (1805112) | more than 3 years ago | (#32218928)

Mine ended in .ie My friends ends in .cz studentnumber@gmit.ie (GMIT university Ireland) name@mail.muni.cz (Masaryk university Czech Republic) It's really not guessable.. but as someone said if goggle voice is only available in America anyway it doesn't matter.

Re:World is not US of A (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32218882)

The reason that they're restricting it to .edu is because Google Voice is only available in the US for everyone. I mean, it still holds that the world isn't the USA, but if Google Voice is only available in the US, then it makes sense to use .edu. Google Voice happens to be a bit of an odd one when it comes to Google's services because voice services and the regulations that go along with them very from country to country - vs. the internet which is mostly unregulated and the same resource in most locations.

Re:World is not US of A (3, Interesting)

Florian Weimer (88405) | more than 3 years ago | (#32219140)

Except that .EDU is open to educational institutions worldwide.

Re:World is not US of A (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32226072)

No it is not.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.edu#Accreditation

Re:World is not US of A (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32227172)

Wikipedia has to be wrong about this because kit.edu was registered after 2001 and belongs to a German organization.

Re:World is not US of A (2, Interesting)

belrick (31159) | more than 3 years ago | (#32219618)

The reason that they're restricting it to .edu is because Google Voice is only available in the US for everyone.

There are Canadian Universities that have .edu domains - the University of Toronto has both utoronto.ca and toronto.edu.

But Google Voice is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32223238)

n/t

Re:World is not US of A (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32224508)

So your country can get its own Google and fuck off.

Re:World is not US of A (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32225428)

My university's domain ends in .com you insensitive clod!

It's actually been quite reliable... (3, Interesting)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 3 years ago | (#32218870)

I've been using GV (and before that GC) for a bit over a year, and it's been pretty reliable. then again, I only have used it for voicemail. I don't use it for SMS or making calls. Making calls through it just seems convoluted and unnecessary.

Re:It's actually been quite reliable... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32220144)

I have several out of state customers that I call exclusively using GV. There have been a few occasional issues, echo -- loss of sound, but overall it has been an effective tool to control costs. Now if only they had sip trunking ....

Re:It's actually been quite reliable... (2, Informative)

vipz (1179205) | more than 3 years ago | (#32220364)

I use it for international calling on my cellphone. Paying only a couple cents vs. a few dollars a minute that I assume all US mobile carriers are charging.

Re:It's actually been quite reliable... (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 3 years ago | (#32221248)

When you combine GV with a SIP service with free-incoming calls like Gizmo or Sipgate, then it suddenly becomes a lot more useful. I can now make and receive calls at very little cost. In fact it's now so cheap and so reliable that I've canceled my cell plan and only use a prepaid cell for the few times I don't have access to my sip phone. My cell phone is SIP-enabled, so anywhere there's wifi I can call via GV and SIP. Even if GV's outbound calling was a penny a minute, it would still be the cheapest way of calling I can find right now. As long as people are calling me via my GV number, Google is still making money.

If you want to use GV outside of the US, just get a free sipgate number.

Re:It's actually been quite reliable... (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 3 years ago | (#32221884)

I've been using GC and then GV for at least a few years.

Calling out with Google Voice is quite easy on my Android phone. So is SMS, which is free using the Voice app.

It's handy for me, because by communicating with GV exclusively, folks never know my actual cell phone number, but only my GV number. Which means that it never gets added to their phonebooks. Which means when they call me, they call GV, which is nice for all of the call-management stuff that GV offers. Also by keeping my actual number private, when people send me an SMS, I receive it as data (I have unlimited data) instead of being billed for it through my carrier (I don't have unlimited text).

And if I switch carriers, I don't have to worry about having any numbers ported. Hell, by using GV, it even makes it easier to switch providers for my home phone, since nobody has the number for that, either . . . All I have to do is plug the new number into GV, and people can reach me.

the first one's always free (5, Insightful)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32218910)

I guess it's like Facebook: target the young crowds, who then grow up thinking privacy policies unimportant when they enter the workplace.

Good grammar and clarity are always important. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32219280)

What do you mean? "thinking privacy policies unimportant" doesn't say anything. I think you mean "thinking privacy policies [are] unimportant", but even that isn't clear, because a privacy policy could simply say "There is no privacy".

It might be a judgement call (just like "judgment"), but that comma after "crowds" breaks up the sentence, unnecessarily. If your first language isn't English, I'm just a little sorry.

Re:Good grammar and clarity are always important. (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32219688)

(1) It's perfectly common in British English to omit "to be" in that instance (not "are"). American? 0/1

(2) No points for trying to simplify what I said then castigating me for not saying something else. I chose "privacy policies" because these contain the chatter people ignore when they see "free stuff!" - especially as students ignorant of workplace law. 0/1

The problem is not that people aren't concerned about their privacy - try walking in on any Facebook user while he/she is taking a shower - the problem is that they don't really consider the wording and implications of the privacy policies of organisations they're giving their data to.

(3) The comma has a purpose here: to make it clear that you're targeting all young crowds rather than just the ones "who grow up thinking...". If I were writing prose for somewhere more important than an Interweb discussion board then I'd probably either change the sentence structure to employ an obvious introductory clause or remove the subordinate entirely and apply a semicolon. Although TBH I'd make it my duty to employ the comma splice to irk you. 0.5/1

In conclusion,,, I'd award you 0.5/3 were you not posting AC. Did I correct your grammar in some previous post? Were you lurking in the shadows to get me back? Your attempt seemed fairly desperate :-).

If only they had... (1)

nxtw (866177) | more than 3 years ago | (#32218912)

...local numbers where I am, or even number portability. If I want to use Google Voice, I'm stuck with a number in the same area code but long distance, or a number technically "local" but in a different geographical area code.

It's not that my local area code is full; other VoIP wholesalers do have local numbers in the correct area code.

Doesn't every phone plan have "free" long distance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32223726)

I feel your pain, but let us be honest, every phone plan has "free" long distance.
And by "free" I mean "just as expensive as local calls".

Sure if you're on a landline you'll have to dial 1 first (really the landlines can't figure this out?).
But most places are 10 digit dialing anyhow.
And, I was under the impression that everyone had their phonebooks programed into their phones.
I don't even know my cell number. Granted I have a VoIP number that routes calls as desired, but still. Between work and personal I have 7 phone numbers and 4 phones.

If it really bugs you do what I do. Buy a VoIP number for ~$10 month. Have the VoIP number never ring to a real phone, but set it up to route calls to real phones based on time-of-day, calling number, etc.
I know and give out my VoIP number, but when you call it forwards to a different number (e.g., cell, work, home, etc.) that I don't care to remember.
If only I could do easy CallerID spoofing to always seem like I am calling from my VoIP number.
I can use GV to do that, but as you say GV doesn't have number portability.

Logan's Run? (1)

Velex (120469) | more than 3 years ago | (#32219034)

Hyperbole much? How is this Logan's Run? My parents believe I'm possessed by a demon, so no help from them to get into college. I got used to waiting until they dropped off my FAFSA, so I'm currently saving up so I don't need massive loans and I'll probably be entering college when I'm 32 or 35 or so. Am I missing something?

Is getting reduced cost meals at some (otherwise) expensive restaurants downtown when one shows a student ID Logan's Run now? I must be missing something.

Re:Logan's Run? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#32219134)

Hyperbole much? How is this Logan's Run? My parents believe I'm possessed by a demon, so no help from them to get into college. I got used to waiting until they dropped off my FAFSA, so I'm currently saving up so I don't need massive loans and I'll probably be entering college when I'm 32 or 35 or so. Am I missing something?

Yes, there are full scholarships available for the possessed. Contrary to much popular lore, Satan does not want stupid servants; he needs well-educated minions to fill important positions in government and industry. Just call 1-866-666-FUND to learn about opportunities.

There is, of course, a catch. You'll probably be required to get an MBA. But as an undergraduate, such fields as engineering (petroleum engineering is particularly popular), finance (of course), and even mathematics will be open to you.

Re:Logan's Run? (1)

Bob-o-Matic! (620698) | more than 3 years ago | (#32219276)

Basically same story here: Parents were too lazy to submit FAFSA (I wasn't assertive enough to see it through). Accepted to Rose-Hulman, ended up enlisted instead, which lasted 11 years. Completed my BSEE a few years after that, taking on a debt of $11K in 3 years of school including 1 very heavy summer term / 120 or so credits. Total bill was 49.5K (thanks, Montgomery GI Bill). Maybe I should have left after my first enlistment, but I had some great assignments.

Anyways, if what you want to do with your life requires a college education, then you'll find a way.

BTW, community college can get you part of the way to a bachelors degree for (sometimes much) less expense than a big school. I have attended classes at Monterey Peninsula College and the in-state student costs were very, very low (like eleven dollars per credit) in the late 90s; guess they still are low today. Schools in Ohio seem to be much more expensive.

Gives Priority to _American_ Students (1)

bunkymag (1567407) | more than 3 years ago | (#32219058)

Great. I have no fewer than three student email addresses, but because they all end in .edu.au, no dice. Thanks, Google.

Re:Gives Priority to _American_ Students (1)

pz (113803) | more than 3 years ago | (#32219092)

Great. I have no fewer than three student email addresses, but because they all end in .edu.au, no dice. Thanks, Google.

No, give priority to students studying at American schools. Huge difference, as something like 20% of the US college and university student population are foreign nationals. Americans studying abroad are just as out of luck as you are.

Re:Gives Priority to _American_ Students (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32219160)

Google Voice is currently an _American_ service. The phone #s are only available in the USA. So even if they did give you an account, it's not like you'd be able todo much with it down under

Re:Gives Priority to _American_ Students (2)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#32219432)

Typical. I have to say that if you are any indication that the state of education in the world as a whole is no better than here in the US. If you had any ability to understand simple concepts you would know that Google Voice is only available in the US. This is not because Google loves the US and hates crappy foreign countries. This is because they only have US numbers to hand out. If Google for instance gave you a US number you would then rack up massive LD bills and whine on /. how deceptive they were.

Way to go. In one sentence you were able to throw out some good US hate and prove that you are ignorant of the basic facts in the case. Good job.

Fuddy Duddy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32219112)

Didn't Google fire Brian Reid because he was too old?

GV and Android? (1)

zebrilo (1652077) | more than 3 years ago | (#32219260)

Now, let us wait for next version of Android OS which will be completely integrated with google-account

Re:GV and Android? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32220766)

Android already has a Google Voice app.

"try again later" (1)

dickens (31040) | more than 3 years ago | (#32219332)

I've been using Google Voice to make calls and last night got a "try again later" for the first time. So maybe all the lines were used by .edu users. I actually have a .edu address that is just forwarded to gmail.. maybe I'll invite myself if I ever get invites.

For some reason GV's systems make my voice more intelligible to my 70yo mom, who has a mild hearing loss. We've decided this is not an illusion...trying multiple calls from both my land line and mobile with and without GV. It always sounds better to her if GV makes the call.

CMU .Edu email (1)

daenris (892027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32219456)

Good thing CMU closes e-mail accounts after graduation, or old fuddy-duddy alums like Brian Reid might try to sneak in!"

Yeah, except their alumni forwarding emails also end in .edu

Not exactly a stumbling block (1)

bconway (63464) | more than 3 years ago | (#32220016)

Email addresses ending with @alum.[your school].edu work just fine. I think most schools offer alumni forwarding.

Hurry up with the Gizmo relaunch! (1)

h3 (27424) | more than 3 years ago | (#32240986)

I've been using GV (since GC days actually) with Gizmo as a landline at home , mostly as a number to give businesses that want my phone number (think cable/gas/credit card companies) and it's been swell. I've got an ATA to handle the SIP so I even got a traditional cordless handset from my landline days hooked up to it.

I want to get friends set up with something similar and want to play around more with GV with a cellphone + SIP as well but since folding Gizmo in, Google has closed off signups (you can find gizmo accounts being on auctioned off on ebay!), it's been a waiting game. I've tried other SIP providers but they never work as well (more lag, usually).

Besides, I figure they are working on something pretty awesome. I mean, if I can already rig up a free landline as it was, I can only imagine what actual integration with Gizmo technology can lead to. Death of the phone companies? One can dream right?

So hurry up Google! I want to see what you've been working on with this stuff for the past 6 months!

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