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1-800-Google Launches

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the crying-with-information dept.

Google 123

The Webguy wrote to mention a C|Net article talking about Google's newest toy - Local Voice Search. The service is dirt simple: you call a 1-800 number and, via voice recognition software, say the category of business you're trying to reach. You can also try for a specific name, though the C|Net blogger had some problems with that. The Google Blog has been updated with details as well: "Google Voice Local Search lets you search for local businesses from any phone and for free. If you're in the US, call 1-800-GOOG-411 and say what you want to find. Here are some of the features -You can find a business listing by category. Just say "pizza," for example. You can send the listing details to your mobile phone via SMS. The service is fully automated, so it doesn't rely on human operators. It connects you directly to the business, free of charge."

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123 comments

Hello, Google? (5, Funny)

bensafrickingenius (828123) | about 7 years ago | (#18643125)

"Nookie."

Impressive (2, Interesting)

QBasicer (781745) | about 7 years ago | (#18643137)

It's impressive to think the resources it would take to run this service. I wonder what software they use to do the voice recognition.

Re:Impressive (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18643291)

I wonder too because most voice recognition software (or at least, text-to-speech software) sucks balls. Technology has a loooong way to go before this stuff actually works half decent. I'm not sure about anyone else but whenever given the choice to punch keys or talk, I always punch the keys because I get fed up with the incorrect text recognition.

Re:Impressive (2, Interesting)

The-Ixian (168184) | about 7 years ago | (#18643325)

I am surprised to hear someone say this. I have actually been very impressed with current voice recognition voice systems. I use HP, FedEx and Microsoft's voice recognition systems regularly and have only had a problem with recognition in very noisy environments.

Re:Impressive (1)

Da_Weasel (458921) | about 7 years ago | (#18643505)

I have to agree. PayPal has an excellent (and has had for quite a while) Voice Recognition system. But it all really comes down to who designs the IVR. A well designed IVR is a pleasure to navigate. But you rarely run into one of the good ones...

Re:Impressive (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 7 years ago | (#18643589)

But it all really comes down to who designs the IVR. A well designed IVR is a pleasure to navigate.
I think the whole point is to eliminate navigation. At least that's what I like about google maps. I can enter "einstein bagels near university of new mexico" and it works. (I just tried that on yahoo maps and it also worked, so I guess they've caught up). I would assume this is what google is bringing to the telephone, not hunting down through a nested menu of listings. IMHO the future is searching a big flat database, not (user-visible) ontologies and labels for everything.

Re:Impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18643799)

I wonder too because most voice recognition software (or at least, text-to-speech software) sucks balls. Technology has a loooong way to go before this stuff actually works half decent.
It just has to be said that text-to-speech is speech synthesis.

Re:Impressive (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18643753)

I wonder what software they use to do the voice recognition.
Google has a lot of natural language processing and speech recognition researchers on their staff; I suspect that it is a home-brew solution.

The technology behind it (3, Informative)

dysonlu (907935) | about 7 years ago | (#18643975)

Google uses Nuance Communications' speech recognition engine. Even though Google has hired a few folks from Nuance a while ago, it is NOT using homebrew technology, at least not as far as the engine is concerned. And even if Google had planned to build their own engine (they have no good reason to, really), it would have taken longer than a couple of years and much more than a handful of ex-Nuance engineers to be able to come up with a competitive speech reco engine -- the entry bar is high, even for Google. But like I said: Google has no good reason to re-invente the well -- it would have been just ridiculous; heck, if they seriously wanted to own the engine, they could have bought Nuance (the pre-merger Nuance, not the merged-with-Scansoft Nuance) with their pocket change.

Re:The technology behind it (1)

kmaclean (1011773) | about 7 years ago | (#18648761)

Makes sense ... the fact that Google released its n-gram models [blogspot.com] (a training corpus of one trillion words from public Web pages) last November (for a nominal price to researchers) seems to support the assertion that although Google might have a few people working on Speech Recognition, developing their own engine is not part of their core strategy.

Re:Impressive (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | about 7 years ago | (#18645267)

It's impressive to think the resources it would take to run this service. I wonder what software they use to do the voice recognition.
Well, my phone company has the same service, so I don't think it's "use an entire datacenter" intensive.

I wonder... (4, Funny)

had3l (814482) | about 7 years ago | (#18643143)

I wonder if it recognizes "Escort Services".

*sigh* who am I kidding?

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

SagSaw (219314) | about 7 years ago | (#18643333)

For fun, I tried "Prostitutes". The #1 match:

International Aid [internationalaid.org], a local Christian charity.

Re:I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18643781)

Too funny. These two searches were the first two "let's see what happens" searches I tried myself.

Escort Services works for Seattle WA ... Prostitution came up with some rather hilarious matches.

Also if you can get the service to spend a bit of time searching (mumble something), the "wait I'm thinking" sound effect is too hilarious.

Re:I wonder... (4, Funny)

Class Act Dynamo (802223) | about 7 years ago | (#18643879)

Well, let me tell you; I am over here in Philly, and I decided to ask it for escorts. The first two results were "Stacey Lacey" and "Ebony and Ivory." I started laughing loudly after that and it misinterpreted that as me wanting to "go back." I suppose that answers the question.

One Question... (2, Interesting)

sunami88 (1074925) | about 7 years ago | (#18643147)

Why? Doesn't Google do enough? Is anybody but me reminded of the dot-com boom? Big companies doing too much at once, gaining money/people at an alarming rate, and then inevitably crashing and burning. With every "BETA" they release I get more and more afraid one day I'll go to open my GMail and get a "Google has gone into Chapter 11" message or some such.

Re:One Question... (4, Insightful)

poliopteragriseoapte (973295) | about 7 years ago | (#18643177)

One difference is that in the dot-com era, you saw companies valued billions operating in a market that was worth a fraction of that - in the hope that in the "new economy" there would suddenly be billions of new dollars pouring into all possible sectors of the economy. In contrast, Google is profitable, this service must have been set up with a smallish (50?) number of employees, and the DA 411 market is worth some 8 billion dollars per year - and that is before advertisement is taken into account. So your comparison does not run very deep.

Re:One Question... (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 7 years ago | (#18643723)

One difference is that in the dot-com era, you saw companies valued billions operating in a market that was worth a fraction of that - in the hope that in the "new economy" there would suddenly be billions of new dollars pouring into all possible sectors of the economy. In contrast, Google is profitable

Sure. Google is profitable, but the bulk of it's revenue stream comes from a single source - web advertising.

Re:One Question... (1)

rm69990 (885744) | about 7 years ago | (#18643831)

One difference is that in the dot-com era, you saw companies valued billions operating in a market that was worth a fraction of that - in the hope that in the "new economy" there would suddenly be billions of new dollars pouring into all possible sectors of the economy. In contrast, Google is profitable

Sure. Google is profitable, but the bulk of it's revenue stream comes from a single source - web advertising.
As with Microsoft and their Windows and Office products, no?

Re:One Question... (2, Insightful)

GunFodder (208805) | about 7 years ago | (#18644203)

Right. So Google, like every other company that dominates a particular market, worries about saturating that same market. Even successful companies have to try new things if they want to keep growing. Google has thrown a lot of stuff at wall to see if it sticks, and this is yet another effort to establish an profitable market.

Re:One Question... (1)

synx (29979) | about 7 years ago | (#18644603)

You said:
> Sure. Google is profitable, but the bulk of it's revenue stream comes from a single source - web advertising.

I used to think this was a problem, but I don't think it is anymore. There are many industries with a single revenue stream - Toyota for example. Or TV - yes, TV, it's all advertiser supported - a single revenue stream supporting hundreds and thousands of channels, with a zillion employees and so on. All dependent on a single revenue stream.

While I suppose your point was that Google's revenue stream is a source of weakness due to it's concentrated point, have you thought that perhaps it's a source of strength? Without multiple revenue streams to protect and tend to, Google is able to be much more focused on improving the one it has.

As for the innovators dilemma, I'm sure some people down in Mountain View have read it, and worry about that particular scenario 24/7.

Re:One Question... (4, Insightful)

daeg (828071) | about 7 years ago | (#18643337)

There's a few key differences. First, Google is already profitable. Second, Google adds services over time, whereas many of the dot-com rushers tries to do everything at once. Google has the brand recognition and strong history to even the most novice of Internet users required that none of the dot-com guys, even with their tens of millions of marketing dollars, had.

With Google being a public company, they have more incentive to retain services than other service companies. They have far more to lose if they close a service than if, say, Webmail.us folded, since e-mail is all Webmail.us does. That reason alone will force them to keep large, successful services like Gmail alive, even if it is eventually in a reduced form.

Re:One Question... (2, Insightful)

ystar (898731) | about 7 years ago | (#18643475)

Google may see it as an investment in basic search technology - voice recognition might serve to "listen" to YouTube videos for time-sensitive ad-placement (see Google, i'm full of ideas, so hire me! =D ) If thousands of people try it and don't like it, they try to learn why, potentially improve it, or they have one of arguably several ideas that never went anywhere, and may or may not see the light of day again. Few bucks lost, price of research, etc. If it takes off, they stick local ads in it. I doubt this is really very harmful. Also, this is a great way of getting press...lots of computer-phobic people who have "heard" of this "googale" finally get to try it for free...

Re:One Question... (1)

brian_tanner (1022773) | about 7 years ago | (#18643531)

So, some major differences between Google and the dot-com boom are a) Google actually makes a considerable amount of money b) The Internet is substantially more stable than it was (initial fervor has subsided and things have shaken out and consolidated since then c) Google is packed full of the best people We had a visitor from Google a while ago (Pablo Cohn). The guy reports to Peter Norvig [berkeley.edu] and has taught machine learning summer school to Guido Van Rossum [python.org]. These guys are literally the modern superstars of Computing Science. In the Dot-com boom/bust, tons of money was gambled on any random person with a crazy idea. In contrast, Google is a collection of super talented people earn crazy money off their ideas.

Re:One Question... (1)

rm69990 (885744) | about 7 years ago | (#18643817)

Google has $11 Billion in cash and short term receivables, and $18 Billion in total assets. This has nothing to do with stock price, but actual things they own. Furthermore, their revenue and profit has been doubling yearly for the last five years. They made $3+ billion in profit last year. They also (like it or not) own patents and other "intellectual property" (I hate that term) to license to make money. The search ad market is growing, and Google is gaining share in that growing market.

I'm not too worried. The stock is overvalued, yes. But ignoring that, Google is extremely strong financially, and is simply funding a research and development team, which will inevitably produce products that will never make money, but occasionally will come up with a money maker, much like Microsoft, IBM, HP and numerous other companies do.

Google can't be compared to pets.com and other dot-bombs. Google wouldn't just disappear overnight, you would see it coming, so fear not.

So if the this is completely free of charge..... (5, Insightful)

8127972 (73495) | about 7 years ago | (#18643153)

.... just how does Google plan to make money from this? Sure it takes away business from traditional directory based searches, but I still fail to see how the cash that those services would get end up in Google's pocket. I'm sure that if I'm missing something that /.'ers will point out what that something is.

It's in response to a Microsoft move. (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 7 years ago | (#18643163)

It's their answer to Microsoft's acquisition of TellMe. (1-800-555-TELL). Presumably, like TellMe, after a while they will add ads.

Re:It's in response to a Microsoft move. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18643873)

Thanks for telling me. I'd never heard of it, but already I want to buy something!

Re:It's in response to a Microsoft move. (1)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | about 7 years ago | (#18647411)

So why isn't there a "metoo" tag on the article, like the ones in which Microsoft follows somebody?

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (4, Interesting)

aarku (151823) | about 7 years ago | (#18643189)

Well, one idea is that they could sell what company shows up first in your area when you ask for "Pizza." That ought to be worth a lot.

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (1)

Hyperspite (980252) | about 7 years ago | (#18643977)

Google wouldn't do that unless they were desperate (provided they play by their current rules). After all, if they gave you some pizzeria that was all the way across town, that wouldn't be very useful so people wouldn't use the service.

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | about 7 years ago | (#18647601)

"Well, one idea is that they could sell what company shows up first in your area when you ask for "Pizza." That ought to be worth a lot."

The question then becomes how they indicate that it is a sponsored listing. I would hope they would notify you in some way that the person at the top PAID to get there rather than being the most relevant.

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (3, Interesting)

networkBoy (774728) | about 7 years ago | (#18643199)

sure. you pay to have your business listed preferentially.
If no business is preferential or there is a "tie" then the user gets a short voice advert "while we find your numbers" and gets connected.

On a related note I got bored/frustrated with Delta airlines automated attendant some time ago and had lots of fun. Got into a sorta dialogue with the blasted thing then managed to end up in some sort of maintenance mode. Couldn't change any settings (required password, lord knows I tried) but I could monitor status.
-nB

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (1)

PMuse (320639) | about 7 years ago | (#18645813)

If pay-for-position gets in the way of most-relevant-results, then it ain't google. Google's appeal on the user side has always been best results on clean pages. If they lose that, the service will tank.

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (5, Insightful)

the_13th_saint (1076063) | about 7 years ago | (#18643215)

I see it as a way for them to know what people are searching for, just like their google search engine. You'd be surprised to know how much that sort of information can be worth to companies.

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18643651)

I have a friend who works at Amazon who told me that most of their profit is from selling their sales data, not from the sale itself. Selling on the internet has razor-thin margins for produces, but due to its size Amazon gets high quality marketing data that companies will pay a premium for.

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (1)

RealGrouchy (943109) | about 7 years ago | (#18643219)

Well, I've been able to reverse engineer about 80% of their business plan:

1. Launch effective and popular online search tools
2. Make money off of ads surrounding online search tools
3. Launch phone-based search tools
4. ...
5. Profit!

(No, but seriously, they'll probably get kickbacks from the phone companies for sms messages, or listed companies will have to pay for each time a searcher gets connected to them or something)

- RG>

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18643275)

Chances are the money will come from ads you'll either hear when waiting for a response (if there is a wait time), or from 'text ads' when you receive results via SMS.

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (2, Interesting)

Panspechi (948400) | about 7 years ago | (#18643289)

To me, it sounds like they are planning a slow takeover of VoIP by offering tidbits of functionality here and there, to regroup them all in the future as a mega-package...

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (1)

lionheart1327 (841404) | about 7 years ago | (#18643297)

Maybe the companies that they promote will pay some amount for every call?

Or a percentage of the purchases that Google refers?

Or even pay a premium to be on top of the results list?

This would all be very easy to track, and it could be the reason that this specifically only focuses on businesses.

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (2, Funny)

SpatialVacancy (876127) | about 7 years ago | (#18643303)

.... just how does Google plan to make money from this? Sure it takes away business from traditional directory based searches, but I still fail to see how the cash that those services would get end up in Google's pocket. I'm sure that if I'm missing something that /.'ers will point out what that something is.
Similar Quote, from 1998 regarding google search:

.... just how does Google plan to make money from this? Sure it takes away business from traditional directory based searches, but I still fail to see how the cash that those services would get end up in Google's pocket. I'm sure that if I'm missing something that /.'ers will point out what that something is.

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (1)

xmas2003 (739875) | about 7 years ago | (#18643327)

My guess is that the monetization will be ... (surprise!) ... advertising!

This is what an existing service does (1-800-FREE-411) where after you give 'em all the information, you hear a short ad, and then are given the option of connection to that advertiser ... or who you wanted in the first place.

P.S. Bummer Google didn't release this on April 1st ... ;-)

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (1)

iamnafets (828439) | about 7 years ago | (#18643451)

Once people start using the service, it becomes fairly easy for Google to charge for placement within the results page, or even listings in general. If 1800GOOG411 becomes some sort of phenomenon, it'd be a cash cow to charge businesses something a month like the yellow pages...

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (3, Interesting)

nernie (1050594) | about 7 years ago | (#18643513)

I think it's been pretty clearly established by now that Google is not very concerned about the short term money-making prospects of most of the products that it launches. In the long term, ads can be added to anything, and there is probably even some less-tangible value to running a free service that people like and use. Besides, this was probably a 20% project that a handful of people got together and created in their free time--there's little to lose even if it turns out to be a catastrophic failure.

There are so many threads lately where everybody whines about software companies that can't see anything other than the bottom line, even if it means getting sub-par workers to do a sub-par job. This is the other end of the spectrum, which is presumably what we'd all like to see more of. Why should you insist on questioning or worrying about what the short-term bottom line is? Given their earnings history, I'm plenty confident that Google is worrying about the money in the places it actually matters.

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18649151)

You're probably right, but the phone charges (especially from pay phones) mean that this will cost them more than most other 20% projects that just use a small amount of server space and bandwidth.

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18643517)

just how does Google plan to make money from this

If you can do it well and get enough people using it, running a business directory is basically a license to print money; the number of upsells you can add for the businesses to buy is staggering, and they will buy.

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (1)

gabriel.dain (928879) | about 7 years ago | (#18643607)

Well, the way I understand it, businesses would pay to be the first on the list. I'm sure than in any given suburb/city/whatever there will be more than 1 cafe, more than 1 pizza delivery. A list will ALL those businesses wouldn't fit in one SMS, or one hundred, so how does Google know which ones to send/show? Money from those businesses!

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (2, Informative)

joelpt (21056) | about 7 years ago | (#18643845)

Possible motivations for Google:

1. Further promote Google's value and brand in the minds of consumers and business owners alike. This is following in the same vein as the Google Local Business Center's completely free coupons that you can create for your business to appear on Google Maps. Call it good PR.

2. Statistics. Useful not only to them, but to local business owners. Again, develops brand loyalty and is good PR.

3. As part and parcel of 1 and 2, they hope that some of these local business owners will later purchase normal ads on Google.

In short, even if the added revenue from 3 doesn't completely offset the cost of running this service, 1 and 2 add value in ways that are hard to directly quantify in monetary terms. Though I suspect they will indeed make more (regular Adwords/Adsense) revenue as a direct result of this service's availability than it costs to run it. The usual exorbitant $1.25 per 411 call is not even close to what it costs to run such a service (especially without human operators).

4. Don't be evil. And while you're at it, if you can take out a few of the other evildoers out there, all the better! Google has taken the lessons of "disruptive technology" to heart, and it's worked for them time and again.

As usual, Google wins by not being overly (or at least overtly) greedy. It's for this reason that I doubt we'll ever hear paid ads or purchased placement when calling the service.

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18644275)

Maybe they will charge businesses to get a preferred find? for example, if you say 'pizza' domino's would come before pizza hut because domino's paid google money for that?

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge... (1)

simplerThanPossible (1056682) | about 7 years ago | (#18644395)

"free of charge..." to users

It's the "Yellow Pages" business model:
paid ads, free to users. Bigger ads cost more.

The "biggest" ad is the one heard first. Adwords-like pricing (ie bid-for-placement). It's harder to skim audio than text, so ranking might be even more valuable in this medium...

No need for "pure" search results, since users seek by known-categories, for a commercial service. Just like Overture, before they got killed by Google.

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge... (1)

Onan (25162) | about 7 years ago | (#18647593)


Just to pick nits, Overture is still very much in the game. They're still generating a few billion dollars a year for the company that acquired them, Yahoo. It's certainly fair to say that Google is pulling ahead in that race, but nobody's been killed yet.

Re:So if the this is completely free of charge.... (1)

u38cg (607297) | about 7 years ago | (#18646055)

It's pretty obvious - if Google connects you through to the business you choose, then that business will ertainly pay through the nose for the privilege.

Does this sign you up for phone spam? (2, Interesting)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 7 years ago | (#18643261)

You can send the listing details to your mobile phone via SMS.


Does this sign you up for phone spam?

Re:Does this sign you up for phone spam? (1)

davef139 (790691) | about 7 years ago | (#18643293)

I belive there are different laws against telemarketers and such calling cell phones as to a land line so you prob be in the clear. I think Discover told me once they werent allowed to call my cell phone

Re:Does this sign you up for phone spam? (2, Informative)

pdhenry (671887) | about 7 years ago | (#18643369)

Telemarketers are allowed to call your cell phone but they're not allowed to use automatic dialers (the kind that transfer you to an agent after you've answered) to call your cell phone. Since just about all telemarketers use automatic dialers this effectively kills telemarkting to cell phones.

Re:Does this sign you up for phone spam? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18643309)

Google's motto is "Don't be evil". So, no, it will not.

Re:Does this sign you up for phone spam? (2, Informative)

michaelhood (667393) | about 7 years ago | (#18644529)

Nope. I've been using the SMS-based version of this (Send an SMS with 'pizza' or 'weather' to 46645 (GOOGL)) and haven't received a single unsolicited message. It's unfortunate that spammers have given SMS such a bad repertoire. Everytime I see an SMS-based service that seems legitimate I am still leery of using it because I don't want SMS spam waking me in the middle of the night.

Happy Good Friday (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18643341)

FUCK ISLAM

Re:Happy Good Friday (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18643599)

If you don't know what Cmd-Shift-1 and Cmd-Shift-2 are for, GTF..

oh wait, wrong troll.

Doesn't this exist? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18643543)

Why doesn't google just buy 800-Free-411?
I mean, this service already exists, already SMS's you, already has ad revenue to support it, and has human operators when the voice fails.

OMG, Google is launching a new product to compete in a new marketplace. I don't see how this qualifies as news, as unlike most Google betas, this one seems to offer nothing beyond the status quo ante.

Even GMail offered huge free space as a unique selling point.

"Red boxing" anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18643551)

So all I have to do is come up with the perfect description for the number I want to call, and I get toll-free access to any number "local" to me?

Anyone else see some holes with this?

Payphone?

Shut up friends! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18643559)

My internet browser heard us saying the word Fry and it found a movie about Philip J. Fry for us. It also opened my calendar to Friday and ordered me some french fries.
Prof. Hubert Farnsworth

interesting (5, Interesting)

cashman73 (855518) | about 7 years ago | (#18643575)

Tried the number, and I'd say it works pretty well. I searched for "pizza" in "Scottsdale, Arizona", and it gave me quite a listing. I was also impressed that I only had to say "Flagstaff", and it knew automatically that it was in Arizona also (although there is also a Flagstaff, Maine, but I think that's a ghost town these days) ...

Google also recognized the term "brewpub", and located my favorite one, too! :-)

Sadly, they didn't understand my search for, "beer and hookers." But my search for "prostitites" in Scottsdale resulted in a response of, "We didn't find any exact matches, but here are a couple that come close ..." I got a kick out of the fourth listing they provided, which was for the Alliance Defense Fund [alliancedefensefund.org],. . . (no joke ;-)

An an unrelated note, if all of use call this number tonight, do you think it might be a first to "slashdot" a telephone? ;-) If we can slashdot Google's number, we should have CowboyNeal post a Telemarketer of the Week's number on slashdot ... try to bring down some truly useless and evil people,... :-)

Re:interesting (1)

cashman73 (855518) | about 7 years ago | (#18643583)

Whoops! "prostitites" should be "prostitutes" ... sorry! No pun intended! Really! ;-)

Re:interesting (1)

mgblst (80109) | about 7 years ago | (#18645073)

Really, I think most people got the fact that you meant prostitutes. Also, the error you made is not a pun, according to the widely held definition of a pun, it is more a Freudian slip.

Re:interesting (1)

bru_master (312436) | about 7 years ago | (#18643657)

hittin it for scottsdale as well, I tried Papago Brewing and spinatos and it picked up my voice with no problems.

Re:interesting (1)

Vskye (9079) | about 7 years ago | (#18643681)

Just checked it out also, and it works fairly well. It didn't pick out my favorite pizza joint out of the top selections. Voice recognition was good, although I didn't try out the hooker aspect, but it picked up on "automotive repair" and "cars". Not bad for a first look.

Re:interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18646291)

>>> we should have CowboyNeal post a Telemarketer of the Week's number on slashdot ...

Can we start with the number for Coastal Vacations?
I've got the FCC and Florida AG's office out looking for them (again) after
they spammed my cell phone and my wife's, even though both are cell phones
AND are on BOTH the U.S. Government and Florida Do-Not-Call lists (yeah, a
bit of belt-and-suspenders thinking here...). I'd just LOVE to return the favour...

toll-free (2)

steve426f (746013) | about 7 years ago | (#18643593)

I noticed the service automatically connects you to the business. Does this mean that Google pays if you are transferred to a long-distance number (i.e. since your call is actually connected to 800-goog411)?

Re:toll-free (1)

anotherone (132088) | about 7 years ago | (#18643911)

Presumably... you've been able to initiate the same thing through Google Local for awhile now. Since everyone gets free long distance on their cell phones it isn't really that useful though...

Zip codes work great (1)

Vacendak (717163) | about 7 years ago | (#18643601)

Been playing with it and it responds to zip codes for better results than with cities and states.

Google WILL make money off of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18643701)

Here is how I believe Google will profit from this. Let me first state that I love Google, and this service sounds cool. This will be paid for by chain stores and corporations that will pay google for preferential redirecting. For instance, if you say 'Pizza' with no name, you might get directed toward your local Papa Johns instead of the closer Domino's. Hell, if Google can get away with it, it could take payments from both Domino's and Papa Johns at the same time, maybe a 50/50 random chance deal.

The advertising potential for this is huge. Don't forget, thats how Google makes its money.

Re:Google WILL make money off of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18644171)

Google has a very strict policy about not allowing advertisers to influence results in any way.... ever. It's not just a policy, it's a part of the culture.

Weird.... (2, Funny)

theheff (894014) | about 7 years ago | (#18643707)

When i asked for it to find porn in Oklahoma, it gave me the first three results:

1. First Christian Church
2. The local police department
3. Animal Control

Maybe it's just not the same as the real google.

Re:Weird.... (1)

mattluria (970921) | about 7 years ago | (#18644087)

Strange...when I tried it, I was asked if I've been saved yet. Then asked me if I'd give some pastor $10 million dollars to his church.

Re:Weird.... (1)

PMuse (320639) | about 7 years ago | (#18645745)

Then, it is just the same as the real google local. I have seldom looked for something locally that I didn't get a lot of garbage in the top hits.

Page rank does a great job when it has web link information to rate the hits. For local businesses, that link information is pretty much nonexistent. I think this phone offering is premature -- they need to improve the quality of google local search results first.

It works great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18644007)

It recognized everything, even in my son's nasaly, five year old voice which I tested. Even when mumbling it still worked, and it worked quickly. The sounds were entertaining, and the computer's voice was clear. I searched under the most random keywords. If you want a restaurant that makes good chicken, then you say chicken, and it comes up with those restaurants. I can see this being very useful. Hell, if it becomes more popular, they could implement entering in a street name or intersection feature so that you can locate the closest ones. It is a cheap alternative to using a GPS that has this function built in, for that is all I use my old GPS for. Looks like I won't have to upgrade it now. The only problem was that it had a hard time pronouncing some words, like original. I hope to use this service a lot in the future.

Same Result Twice (1)

i_wanna_be_a_scienti (1042298) | about 7 years ago | (#18644179)

when i searched for pizza in my town, i got the same buisiness twice in a row as the top two results. they were also my favorite buisinesses
anyone hear the weird squiggle thing? its funny
i'm guessing that they would probably put ads as your search is being done.

Heh 1-800-GOOG-ALL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18645595)

I like that.

"Miserable Failure" (2, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | about 7 years ago | (#18646867)

...
*Bing!* "White House Operator. How may I direct your call?"

      Man, I *wish* that still worked.
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