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Google Voice Opens To All

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the is-this-the-party-to-whom-i-am-speaking dept.

Google 185

An anonymous reader writes "Google Voice is now open to anyone in the US, removing the need to search for an invite. At the Google Voice site, anyone with a US IP address and a US phone number can sign up for an account. Non-US IPs are blocked, and non-US-based phone numbers are prevented from attaching to Google Voice (with the single odd exception of the 403 area code of southern Alberta)." Good timing on the part of Frontier Communications Corp., which just filed a lawsuit claiming that the Google Voice feature connecting a user's home, work, and cell phone numbers to another number infringes one of their patents.

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185 comments

403 is odd? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32658602)

Gotta be able to make those 420 calls!

Re:403 is odd? (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#32658684)

You'd want to call either 250 - 604 - 778 for BC for a code 420. Alberta is for oil...

Re:403 is odd? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32659062)

Interestingly (aside from the joke), I have two Google Voice numbers that forward to 604. Both of them were grandfathered from when the service was Grand Central and had nothing to do with Google. Last I checked, they still worked (although if I change the number, I'll never be able to change it back again).

Re:403 is odd? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659318)

Which is actually why its open to us.

Alberta does so much business with the states - it's surprising. You'd think something like Toronto that is right on the boarder might have some sway, but its all the oil businesses in Alberta that want in on Google Voice. Anyway to save money for long distance to Imperial Oil.

Re:403 is odd? (1)

dhalgren (34798) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659766)

But Toronto isn't right on the border. Or the boarder, I hope. Toronto is very heavy, after all.

Free phone service = Surveilance. Use CB Radio! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32659368)

I keep telling this to everyone.

Just because something is free doesn't mean it is acceptable. Do like the military
does on such non-secure mediums of communication: speak in codes that don't reveal
any geography and trade-secrets.

Eventually someone will properly implement strong encryption for voice data like how
is done by data with SSL and such, but the cause of Intelligence is to make this medium
available when you are expecting to be able to break encryptions. Civilian computing
technology has always physically been thousands of times lower than military computing. A HAM Radio friend of mine years ago disclosed a phase of cold-fusion power that military administrators could use through any computer equipment that would remove all the in-efficiencies of wasted heat energy so that they could re-clock computers much higher than the civilians ever would on their out-of-phase power input; the result at the time I heard this was a Pentium 150MHz computer could compute well above the equivalent of today's 3000MHz multi-core computers and DSPs.

With how the computers today are performing, civilian computers are geezers on crutches walking slow for the military industrial complex computers to process and break.

The more you know.

Re:Free phone service = Surveilance. Use CB Radio! (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659612)

I keep telling this to everyone.

When you keep telling everyone to speak in codes on the phone and remind them that the military is using cold fusion to power their CPUs, do you keep getting ignored?

WTF (5, Insightful)

linhares (1241614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32658640)

since when US=ALL?

Re:WTF (4, Funny)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#32658736)

since when US=ALL?

Reminds me of that joke about the UN poll.

Last month, a world survey was conducted by the UN. The only question asked was: "Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world." The survey was a huge failure...

Africa they didn't know what "food" meant.

Eastern Europe they didn't know what "honest" meant.

Western Europe they didn't know what "shortage" meant.

China they didn't know what "opinion" meant.

the Middle East they didn't know what "solution" meant.

South America they didn't know what "please" meant, and

the USA they didn't know what "the rest of the world" meant.

Re:WTF (1)

yeshuawatso (1774190) | more than 3 years ago | (#32658874)

What about Canada and Mexico?

Re:WTF (2, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659306)

Huh? That is the rest of the world! /me waves his American flag

Re:WTF (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659486)

By the rest of the world, they mean the US territories which we have not yet occupied.

    I am confused about the Alberta reference though. We took over Canada and Mexico years ago. We just don't like the Mexican territory much, so we don't let them come up to visit. Canadians though, they look and sound (mostly) like regular white folks, so they're more than welcome to come over.

    [ducking]

Re:WTF (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659386)

The Canadians wondered why everyone didn't just grab a bowl of poutine in between periods.

The Mexicans were busy mowing my lawn.

Re:WTF (2, Interesting)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 3 years ago | (#32658812)

Allow me to introduce you to the concept of "context". This is a US-based, and US-centric site. Surely you can understand this.

Here's another example from Auntie Beeb [bbc.co.uk]. Am I meant to gather that all women around the world can obtain contraceptives from UK National Health Service? Of course not. Context. Learn about it. Live it. Love it.

-Peter

Re:WTF (2, Funny)

value_added (719364) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659042)

This is a US-based, and US-centric site. Surely you can understand this.

No need to shout. You could have said "It's all about us".

Or something like that. ;-)

Re:WTF (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32659054)

Oh noes, another wanker xenophobic on /. How about getting back to your 10lb burger and gay pr0n while licking the latest apple polished-turd?

Re:WTF (3, Insightful)

linhares (1241614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659068)

Allow me to introduce you to the concept of "context". This is a US-based, and US-centric site.

Allow me to introduce you to the concept of "context". This is a US-based, and US-centric site, INSIDE the Internets.com!, which connects us all. The web is the context. If you think slashdot isn't a "global" entity because of its history and server location, tell me why it is always talking about things like Ubuntu or thepiratebay or linux or skype or; well i could go on but laziness is also global.

Re:WTF (5, Informative)

Pootie Tang (414915) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659180)

/. FAQ: http://slashdot.org/faq/editorial.shtml#ed850 [slashdot.org]

Slashdot seems to be very U.S.-centric. Do you have any plans to be more international in your scope?

Slashdot is U.S.-centric. We readily admit this, and really don't see it as a problem. Slashdot is run by Americans, after all, and the vast majority of our readership is in the U.S. We're certainly not opposed to doing more international stories, but we don't have any formal plans for making that happen. All we can really tell you is that if you're outside the U.S. and you have news, submit it, and if it looks interesting, we'll post it.

It is worth noting that there is a Japanese Slashdot run by VA Japan. While we helped them a little in their early days, they essentially run their own content without any real involvement from us... none of us can read Kanji! There are currently no plans to do other language or nation specific Slashdot sites.

Re:WTF (0, Troll)

linhares (1241614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659326)

"New Ubuntu resealed for all!!" (South Africa only) / "Skype available for all!!" (Finland only IIRC) / "Wikileaks discloses shit for all" (Iceland only). Nobody questions that /. is US-centric, that's a straw-man. People question the use of "for all" to refer only to the superior, as in "All men are created equal". Douglas Hofstadter once wrote an incendiary piece in which he changed male-centric words (man, guy) for white-centric words, with things like "White lands on Moon". He did this to show, in the most incendiary way possible, how much we categorize some and gladly leave others away from the party. I for one think this is funny weird language, but I was just pointing out a funny thing, not really into a political mood for such rant today.

Re:WTF (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32659834)

Fuck you nigger.

Re:WTF (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32659072)

1) Slashdot has a significant number of users from other countries.
2) Google is a multi-national corporation that provides most of its services to any country with Internet access that hasn't explicitly blocked them. The UK NHS isn't.

Re:WTF (4, Insightful)

ashridah (72567) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659184)

Allow me to introduce you to the concept of "context". This is a US-based, and US-centric site. Surely you can understand this.

That, for some reason, keeps posting stories about Australia. Riiiight.

Re:WTF (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32659476)

Wait, first people complain that US citizens are too self-centered and refuse to recognize the existence of the rest of the world, then when those same people show an interest in outside events, they get rebuked for not being US-centric enough?

Re:WTF (3, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659514)

Indeed. Complaining about Slashdot's US centric state is a bit like going to a friends house and complaining about what they cooked. They don't mind you hanging out, and they don't mind you taking part in dinner, but if you don't like what's being served - shut up or leave.

really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32658646)

Here I thought the word "all" was defined as everyone, and not 4.5% of the world's population.

Re:really? (2, Informative)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | more than 3 years ago | (#32658750)

Here I thought the word "all" was defined as everyone, and not the important 4.5% of the world's population.

FTFY. :P

Google Voice is... (1)

J-1000 (869558) | more than 3 years ago | (#32658660)

Worth it just for the shortened answering machine message. Say sayonara to the Long Winded Lady.

Re:Google Voice is... (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 3 years ago | (#32658778)

Worth it just for the shortened answering machine message. Say sayonara to the Long Winded Lady.

Also, I love the text messages with the (attempted) transcription of the incoming message. Even when it's mangled, it tells me whether my ex is calling to tell me something important, or if she's just going to tell me the latest gossip about people I'm not related to any more (her, for example).

And the failed transcriptions are sometimes hilarious. My son likes to call up and leave a message just to see what Google thinks he said. A recent example: "Hey Dad and I found Steakhouse on. So either holler okay, but in the day picking up in." For great justice!

Re:Google Voice is... (1)

Hes Nikke (237581) | more than 3 years ago | (#32658930)

This is actually in my google voice voicemail list:

Don't call me back. Give me a call back. I'm just trying to see. Well I just want to try to grab a spouse from. Ohh. It's Jeff, It's or anything, so if you get that restriction. I'm not sure but school work it out. Thanks. Bye. Yeah. Yeah. Yes, that's it. Yeah bowl last night, okay hello. I don't later bye and okay. Yeah, the boys are okay. Okay bye. Will there. Bye. So yeah. But bye our, well, but alright we are on a shirt this chill. Yes, all yeah cool. So Hey Mr. I'll buy dot com. If you've got a lot. Hey Nate, it's Vicky, that was on that. But yeah, so I won't get far. Nate drop it off, it was or company. Bye. Yeah, Hello Said, so you know it like it. Ciao it Paul, but hello.

Re:Google Voice is... (1)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659066)

The sad thing is, I kind of understood parts of that.

Still, when will Google just admit that they are trying to solve an impossible problem, and allow the option of transcription straight to IPA? With IPA, at least I can muddle through it and try to figure out what it means. With an attempted full English transcription, I get gibberish that I have to mentally translate back into an intermediate form, and then try to guess at what it is supposed to mean. Extra levels of indirection just make it harder, not easier.

Still rather laggy. (4, Insightful)

jalano (309339) | more than 3 years ago | (#32658662)

Google Voice has one critical flaw, and that is it has an inherent "processing delay" that it introduces into the voice path.

The delay is slightly longer than the delay most cell phones have talking to another cell phone. When you add the Google Voice delay in, it's almost an unbearable 1/3 to 1/2 a second.

I've used it from my land line calling calling out because of the free calling feature, and for that the delay is tolerable. But I can't justify having it forward to my cell phone because if anyone calls me from a cell phone, the combined lag makes the conversations really hard to have.

Re:Still rather laggy. (1)

J-1000 (869558) | more than 3 years ago | (#32658734)

But I can't justify having it forward to my cell phone because if anyone calls me from a cell phone, the combined lag makes the conversations really hard to have.

The good news is everyone will continue to call you back with whatever pops up on their caller ID (your cell phone number) despite your best efforts to coach them all into using your GV number.

Re:Still rather laggy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32658792)

Unless you use an Android or Blackberry phone with the google voice app installed.

Re:Still rather laggy. (2, Informative)

Sancho (17056) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659176)

You can call Google Voice to initiate a call. You can also (with most cell phones) program your address book with delays between digits. Between these two, you should be able to call from your GV number.

Re:Still rather laggy. (1)

caseih (160668) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659376)

If you can get them to text you once, it sets up a semi-permanent hashed phone number that you can not only text back to, but also call. Then they'll always see it as coming from your GV number. I do this all the time and it works great. I usually add the GV hash phone number to my address book as a secondary number. Just choose that when placing the call.

Re:Still rather laggy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32659436)

If you have a smartphone, you can just use the Google Voice app. It has the option to make all calls from your GV number. I don't even tell people my real cell phone number. They only see my GV number.

Re:Still rather laggy. (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659984)

The good news is everyone will continue to call you back with whatever pops up on their caller ID (your cell phone number) despite your best efforts to coach them all into using your GV number.

The better news is that if you have an Android phone (and some other non-Android phones I think), you can select which number is used to return calls. On my G1, I have the option of (a) always using my cell number to return calls, (b) always using my GV number to return calls, (c) always being offered a prompt asking me which to use, and (d) having option a set but hitting the GV app "button" to make a call through GV anyway.

Apparently, it's supported as an app on at least Android and Blackberry phones (with, if memory serves, it being rejected from the iPhone app store), and as a web app for virtually any other smart phone (iPhone, Windows imMobile, Palm WebOS, Nokia N60, etc)

Google Voice Page [google.com]

It makes it pretty easy for me... I select "Call with Google Voice" when making any business call, or "Call without Google Voice" for all others (I chose option (c) above for my phone). It adds one more click to making each phone call... but that's it. And of course, using the "Call with..." option enables all of GV's other options (recording, transcription (as pathetic as it can be), conferencing more people in, and so on.

As for delay, I dont experience any added delay on my GV calls... though occasionally, I do experience bad call quality. Very rarely lately, but a few months ago, it was a little more obvious and a little more frequent.

Re:Still rather laggy. (2, Insightful)

yeshuawatso (1774190) | more than 3 years ago | (#32658788)

I've been with this beta since the first invites were sent out and have never experienced a lag. But then again, I stopped using it for voice since it's redundant when using a cell phone. I still lose minutes with or without it. Free text messaging with archive seems to be the best feature, as transcribing hasn't worked for me in a while and when it did, it didn't work very well.

Re:Still rather laggy. (2, Informative)

Sancho (17056) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659092)

I started out using my number as a throwaway. Gave it to companies who I didn't trust with my real number in cases where I needed to have them contact me quickly. The blacklist feature was what really sold me on it. The SMS was just a nice bonus.

Then I started using the number more and more, and eventually it just became my default number. I gave it out to all my friends and never looked back.

I've noticed the lag, too. It manifests, in practice, by both parties trying to start talking at once, stopping, restarting, repeating. Occasionally, I'll also have choppy conversations--where the other side thinks I'm cutting out--but that could just as easily be my carrier.

Re:Still rather laggy. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32659682)

Wait a minute -- you keep a list of black people and don't let them call you? Seriously, that's fucked up. It's 2010, the President of the United-Fucking-States is half black.

Re:Still rather laggy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32659646)

A small voice delay is more than made up for the indexing of my private conversations and the innumerable benefits that targeted cell phone ads will bring.

I talk about what to pick up for dinner with the little woman, hang up, and bam! There's a coupon for Panda Express right there!

Re:Still rather laggy. (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659680)

    I tried out Google Voice for a while. I had given all my friends the number, but they still had my direct numbers. I received an awful lot of comments that calls to Google Voice would usually go to voicemail, or like you said, there would be an unreasonable lag in the conversation.

    I compared my cell phone call log to the Google Voice log. I missed an awful lot of calls, where my cell never rang. I even test called myself from a few different phones, and the majority of the time experienced the same thing. Now all I get is voice spam to it, and they never make it through to my cell. I don't know who the number was issued to before, but I feel sorry for them. They must have been on every marketing list there is.

Re:Still rather laggy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32659716)

You need to learn how to talk with someone. Don't start talking until they are finished. Many people call this "interrupting" and is considered rude as well. Google Voice helps people deal with this forgotten aspect of human interaction called "listening". Learn it. Live it. Love it.

And 1/3 of a second really isn't that long. Is it?

Re:Still rather laggy. (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659932)

I stil use a circa-2001 cell phone on t-mobile and 100% of my calls are through google-voice (both incoming and outgoing), been using it since it was grandcentral, and I haven't experienced an excessive delay. Now most of my calls are through Ooma's VOIP but I still occasionally use the cell phone too.

I am still waiting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32658738)

I am still waiting for google finger, google ear, and google sight to go with google voice.

Re:I am still waiting... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32658896)

I am still waiting for google finger, google ear, and google sight to go with google voice.

I believe you have to be over 40 [slashdot.org] to qualify for the google finger...

Oblig. Prior Art/Obvious (1)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | more than 3 years ago | (#32658770)

Because the notion of call forwarding is novel and has never been thought of/implemented before...

Re:Oblig. Prior Art/Obvious (1)

Z34107 (925136) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659574)

Google Voice does a lot more than just call-forwarding, although having one call ring any or all of your phones is pretty nifty. You get voicemail with adequate transcription (you can get your voicemail messages e-mailed to you), free text messaging, blacklists, incoming call recording, call routing (these people automatically get my cell, these automatically go to voicemail), free US+Canada long distance, cheap international calling, and a "call me" widget you can throw on a website that lets people call you without ever knowing your telephone number.

Probably a lot of other stuff that I missed. But, you can't argue with the price. If you haven't tried it, go waste ten or so minutes to set it up. I applied for the beta on a whim not knowing what I would do if I got it. Now, I would cry if I had to go back to handing out my actual phone numbers.

Re:Oblig. Prior Art/Obvious (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659810)

for some reason voice mails for me never get transcribed. some are from overseas (australia) and some domestic. I don't know why

FIX SLASHDOT (-1, Offtopic)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#32658772)

Can the people in charge of Slashdot please fix the moderation system? It's been broken since yesterday. I have no idea how people are able to moderate.

I also don't get any confirmation page when posting.

It seems the Slashdot staff believes in this quote: "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green [wikiquote.org]

Re:FIX SLASHDOT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32658846)

I've noticed many issues lately too with ./ Clicking on a message is now a new page instead of just expanding the message. Replying to a message is it's own page as well (with the basic Quote button gone). Looked like they've tried to do an overhaul of the current system (while live too) into a nightmare. An overhaul should be for improvements and a step forward, not backwards like this mess has been.

Re:FIX SLASHDOT (1)

i8degrees (410294) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659990)

I'm glad that I am not the only one -- I, too, am having the same described problem as stated above, but only on my main workstation, which its browser version is 3.5.9 whereas version 3.6.3 of Firefox on my other station does not have these issues! Although, even on the newer version of Firefox, I am click

Damn rendering issues ...

Gizmo5 (2, Insightful)

BiggoronSword (1135013) | more than 3 years ago | (#32658886)

I want VoIP! Give it to me Google!

I want unlimited data (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659380)

Well, i have it now but if i so much as sneeze on my plan it will dissimilar in to the AT&T ether.. If you have to pay for data use, *and* cell minutes, what the point of voip other then security?

On patents... (4, Insightful)

Skuld-Chan (302449) | more than 3 years ago | (#32658952)

I have the impression its impossible to do anything in this country without infringing on some patent somewhere.

Re:On patents... (3, Funny)

forkazoo (138186) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659088)

I have the impression its impossible to do anything in this country without infringing on some patent somewhere.

Did you license having that impression? You probably should have.

Re:On patents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32659140)

Actually, I (Anonymous Coward) have licensed that impression and have filed a suit against both the defamatory use of that impression and the derivative response to that impression in a court in East Texas. Of course, there is nothing to identify me, but that will not stop me from sending vague injunctions, cease and desist orders, and DMCAs until the court throws out the case. Also, if you don't have the money to wait for that to happen; no fear. I will settle for having it taken down and the low price of your life savings.

Give it up for Google! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32658956)

Your privacy, that is.

It's good but it could be great (3, Interesting)

eudaemon (320983) | more than 3 years ago | (#32658972)

Grandcentral had consensus-based call filtering; numbers flagged by enough people as undesirable got added to a blacklist anyone could subscribe to and Google took it out, which is a shame. Google voice still has trouble turning off some call presentation features - for instance pressing "4" to toggle call recording. Every time you receive a call from an automated system that requires a 4 as input GV just eats the digit. They also removed SIP call handling for anyone but Gizmo 5, another damn shame. Having said that, it is free except for international calls and those are pretty cheap.

On the upside they already handle texting, making those $20/mo unlimited texting plans redundant. Now we just need EU-like cell plans where "caller pays" and we'd be all set - you can complete google voice calls as inbound to yourself via the mobile and full web pages. Oddly the Android client doesn't offer this feature.

 

Re:It's good but it could be great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32659076)

Caller pays is stupid. I'll pay my phone bill, you pay yours, thank you very much. Europeans have some interesting ideas sometimes, but this is not one of them.

Re:It's good but it could be great (1)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659520)

Caller pays is stupid. I'll pay my phone bill, you pay yours, thank you very much. Europeans have some interesting ideas sometimes, but this is not one of them.

The frustrating thing is that it results in a 20x increase in the cost of calling a cell phone in Europe vs. a landline via a calling card, skype, google voice, or whatever else. Cells in Europe, unless using VoIP services to get around the insane prices, essentially cannot be called from the rest of the world.

Re:It's good but it could be great (2, Insightful)

Anaerin (905998) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659794)

Caller pays is common sense. If you call me and blast telemarketing messages down my ear, why should I have to pay for the privilege? If you had to pay extra to receive a long-distance call, would you say that's fair?

More pointless google tech (0, Troll)

AthleteMusicianNerd (1633805) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659008)

What is the fucking point?!?!?!?!?

Re:More pointless google tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32659082)

What phone service lets you ring all your telephones on a per number selection. Duhh. That's right. google-phone allows you to control which of your home, cell, VoIP numbers to call for incoming calls, one, two or even all phone can be set to ring. Now add in voice mail which will do text to speech and send you an email of the content etc. So fuck off twat, get back to your gay apple wankfest.

The Borg Hive Mind is like Islam's cube. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32659450)

It re-implements itself in every culture, to assimilate you from causing harm to others. Google is an Intelligence-collection effort: what was not allowed to be done by Government is being implemented at a private company not under control of Government.

It's the same way how courts are bending to Chinese that purchased US mortgages around Colorado. You must ask yourself why the paper money is being allowed to end-up in a foreigner's hands to convey property rights in America? Why isn't the law being enforced to jail whoever traded with that foreigner? Why is an American in free labor trading with a foreign government that forces people to work at slave labor and then hornswaggle all markets with slave-made goods that none can compete to?

Google is exactly that. The founders of Google are all former CIA employees, and what's worse is they are all Jewish. That should make you wonder because it's been jews their selves that are kicked-out of 4/5 countries in the world for heinous fiscal-crimes: the old-age wives-tale that a jew is "good with money" is a hoax; jews are slave-traders, and you have them running Google to expand to all kinds of free services.

808 ( Hawaii ) (1)

Ken Broadfoot (3675) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659418)

".....single odd exception of the 403 area code of southern Alberta."
Add 808 to that exception...

AT&T (Now MCE) Personal Reach Service (1)

jmitchel!jmitchel.co (254506) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659566)

AT&T introduced a follow-me service that (top of my head) covered most or all of the patent claims in 1996, probably at least as much as Grand Central does.

Aberta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32659616)

Pure conjecture, but perhaps that has something to do with Shaw, a rather good national ISP whose main base is there. (Main technical base anyway. Hard to say what they consider 'head office' these days.)

Call Forwarding (1)

EEPROMS (889169) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659778)

I think Frontier forgot to mention Call Forwarding in their patent application. The fact that call forwarding has been around for over 30 years within the communications industry seems to make me again wonder what the patent office is for, definitely not for reviewing patent applications thats for sure. I remember conjoining my mobile. home number and work number on a NEC pabx way back in the late 80's ffs, yes that is what call forwarding is.

It's not quite ready for prime time. (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#32659814)

Google Voice still needs work. They seem to have a terrible time getting some cell phone operators to recognize Google Voice numbers, and there are constant complaints about SMS messages not getting through to some numbers. Part of the problem is that Google isn't a real telco, and they don't participate as a carrier in the North American Numbering Plan. They rent their blocks of numbers from third party small carriers, which sort of works most of the time.

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