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Making Free Phone Calls With Google's GrandCentral 144

Posted by timothy
from the you-will dept.
andrewmin writes with an enthusiastic pitch for Google's closed-beta call-aggregation service called GrandCentral, for which we non-beta-testers can at least reserve a number. Specifically, he's using GrandCentral in combination with Gizmo5 to make free VoiP calls. Excerpted: "Most of the time, I'm at my computer. Or near it. And if I had an internet device like a Nokia N810 or an iPod Touch, I'd have it with me 24/7. And since most of the time I'm at a place where there's a WiFi network, it makes sense for me to use VoIP rather than a regular phone line. ... I'm talking about making and receiving calls that are completely free (that is, $0.00/minute) forever (that is, no 30-day demo) for as much as you want (that is, no 30-day trial or five hour/week limit)."
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Making Free Phone Calls With Google's GrandCentral

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  • half way thru your call

    a soft 3rd part voice interrupts your conversation "this is Ads by Google: for free unlimited hosting please see http://..../ [....]"
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Or, in the case of Slashdotters:
      "This is Ads by Google: Is your parents' basement becoming a bit to cramped for you and your Star Wars memorabilia collection? Do you long for companionship in your life? Do you wan't to experience this sex thing people keep talking about? Visit Russian Milf Dating dot com now!"
    • No you see google has text ads, which means all us phone phreaks out there are going to finally be cool for being able to actually understand the DTMF ads google plays! I fuggin love google! *puts on his phonelosers shirt*
  • So much for 95% of the world ...

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      yeah sucks that I can't even reserve thanks to living in the third world
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Step 1: Start your own <FOREIGN COUNTRY>-based Google
      Step 2: Offer free telephone call service not available outside <FOREIGN COUNTRY>
      Step 3: ???
      Step 4: PROFIT!!
      • by Ilgaz (86384) *
        Well, there is a site/client named www.skype.com and it seems working. At least we, in potential axis of evil countries can use their services. ;) Just checking, it got 10.276.342 people online right now.

        Funny is the Gizmo mentioned in story... I remember I was supporting Gizmo big time (since OSS/standard based) and advertising them to everyone until... Some genius suit there decided to offer Free real phone calls BUT made a huge list of countries you can't call saying something like "Big fraud happening i
    • by ArIck (203)
      This is not completely accurate. I am in Canada and I had gotten a Grand Central number. Maybe it is for US and Canada only but, how hrd is it to use a proxy in the US to register (or ask a friend to do it) and use that phone number if you want!
      • by rsax (603351)

        >This is not completely accurate. I am in Canada and I had gotten a Grand Central number. Maybe it is for US and Canada only

        GrandCentral Requirements [google.com]:

        "At this time GrandCentral is only available in the U.S."

      • what area code? I just checked 2 area codes in Ontario, and neither are available.
      • by tomhudson (43916)

        This is not completely accurate. I am in Canada and I had gotten a Grand Central number. Maybe it is for US and Canada only but, how hrd (sic) is it to use a proxy in the US to register (or ask a friend to do it) and use that phone number if you want!

        You can't get an area code that's local to Canada. I looked it up. Kanuckistan isn't exactly 3rd world. Also, you're in violation of their TOS. Why not just grab a copy of iCall (to talk to phones) or Eyeball Chat?

    • by urcreepyneighbor (1171755) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @06:40PM (#23286892)

      So much for 95% of the world ...
      So fucking what?!

      I don't go to Japanese sites expecting freebies from Japanese companies for my American ass.

      If it is in Google's interest to offer this product/service to <insert your country>, they will.

      It's like the Japanese video game market. A ton of crap gets dumped in the Japanese market, because most of the companies are a) in Japan, b) it's cheaper and easier to test a new game in a local market - before potentially pissing away money on a failure.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Ox0065 (1085977)
        Really?

        I thought it was because they couldn't be 'bothered' doing the translation, & didn't really value anyone else's opinion anyway.
        Perhaps that sums up the (USof) American problem too.

        I want to know how this relates to android. Live WiFi to GSM handoff anyone? cough from da good ol US of A?
      • by Ilgaz (86384) *
        They should use a Google.US Domain for that service and block those non USA countries IP blocks reaching! ;)

        Google's interest doesn't worth shit. When I hear "VOIP over PC", Skype comes to my foreigner mind. A client which supports my language, offers me to select real numbers all over the planet, even my Nokia E65 phone connects to their network over 3G/WLAN/GPRS via third party client. When you do anything regarding voice over IP, you will be compared to Skype.

        So, Google offers free number but blocks ever
    • Apparently it's not available in all of the US either.

      I only count 45 states and the District and Columbia on their reserve page..
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by IconBasedIdea (838710)
        The service is available in every state. However, numbers in every area code and/or state are not available at all times. Your number and your location need not match.
        • Area code 603 is not available- and that covers the entire state of New Hampshire.
          • So... pick another state? Nothing says that you have to choose the state of your residence...
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by sumdumass (711423)
              I guess the point of wanting a local area code is so that it isn't long distance for everyone that you are likely to give the number out too.

              Could you imagine, Hey this is my new number that will be able to contact me anywhere I am at, you just have to call california at 10-15 cents a minute or more. but you can reach me at that number.
              • I think we're rapidly approaching the point where no one cares what area code you're in, or even country code soon. I'm already at that point. Just about everyone I know has a cell phone that can call nationwide (and Canada) at no additional cost for at least part of the day if not all the time. Plenty of people also have VoIP like Vonage or Lingo (which I have) where you can call anywhere in the US or western Europe for free any time.
                • by tomhudson (43916)

                  By 2020 it won't matter. Everyone will have a wireless palmtop that connects to the local mesh|lillypad network for internet/phone/video calls/etc.

                  You can already do that with a lappy - it's just a question of shrinking it down more, and getting more people to "donate" their unused bandwidth to the mesh.

                • by sumdumass (711423)
                  I don't think that level of saturation is as high as you think for most people. I know plenty of people, perhaps more then you because of the nature of being on call all the time, who don't have anything but regular POTS service. Many small to medium businesses don't mess around with Vonage or other VoIP products unless it is to connect satellite stations and so on. Most of my customers have cell phones but they still use POTS services to call me because instead of using their minutes on the cell phone, the
              • by Sparr0 (451780)
                What is this "long distance" that you speak of?
                • by sumdumass (711423)
                  Long distance is the term given to when you have additional rate assigned to your calls outside a local area. The local area is some arbitrary land mass that I'm sure there is a reason for but I can't figure it out so it looks random, but it is where you can call without the additional charged.

                  If I remember right, it was originally assigned when your call went to more then one operator board or crossed lines onto another network. For some reason, they kept it around when they became monopolies and went to c
                  • by Sparr0 (451780)
                    $40/mo for unlimited calling to anywhere in the country on my cell with MetroPCS. Cheaper if I don't want voicemail.
                    • by sumdumass (711423)
                      You will have the niche coverage offering low rate plans in select cities. I picked the major carriers because that is what the majority of people have to choose from. MetroPCS is available in what, small parts of 5 or 6 states?
                  • by Andy Dodd (701)
                    I have seen few (if any) LD providers that provide the deep discounts during off-peak periods that call providers do.

                    Pretty much every service provider has either unlimited nights/weekends or virtually unlimited. (For example, AT&T's lowest voice plan gives you "only" 5000 night/weekend minutes instead of unlimited.)
                    • by sumdumass (711423)
                      My Nextel nights and weekends start at 9pm. It would be great if I did most of my stuff between 9pm and 6am or 7am but for the majority of us, we don't. If you happen to have that kind of lifestyle, great. You will find that it won't last long though. As you get older and settle down, it will change and you will end up being like the rest of us for the most part. At least enough so that you end up needing to make and receive calls during the day
                  • by ncc74656 (45571) *

                    Now assuming that your not making a joke about cell phones and VoIP not having long distance charges, I should remind people that they pay more then standard POTS service when they employ these other technologies. VoIP, you have to have high speed Internet. That's another $20-$60 a month on top of the normal service.

                    That $20-$60 per month is money you're already paying, so your choice is between POTS+broadband or VoIP+broadband. For VoIP, I'm currently paying $35 per year plus $0.019 per minute for outb

                    • by sumdumass (711423)
                      It isn't necessarily something you would already be paying. I know plenty of people who still use dial up because broadband isn't available in their area or it costs too much. I also know quite a few people who still don't own computers. So as for the you would still be paying it anyways, well that's if you fit a subjective profile.

                      Also, your already paying about $250 a year for your VoIP without adding your inet service. Think about it. You stated 1000 minutes a month at 1.9 cents ($0.019). That come out t
              • Valid point; but realistically with today's landline and cellphone market, it's becoming more and more common for long distance to be included at a flat rate.
                • by sumdumass (711423)
                  Sure it is becoming more common but you have to look at people with existing services and perhaps the payphone call from a loved one stranded with a dead battery or something who needs to get a hold of you for a ride or jump or something. Then again, you can just give out the local numbers and hope they have enough quarters to get you at home, or on your cell phone, or at work, if your there and in range.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by adlucem (1158083)
      Some of the rest of the world already has free VoIP, though. For instance, ~50% of French households have broaband, and the typical monthly fee of 30 bucks includes free VoIP (and numeric TV). The big difference of GrandCentral seems to be that it centralizes all of your phoning devices, around a unique phone number.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Max von H. (19283)

        Some of the rest of the world already has free VoIP, though. For instance, ~50% of French households have broaband, and the typical monthly fee of 30 bucks includes free VoIP (and numeric TV).

        Not only that, but the calls are free when calling no less than about 50 countries, US included. With some providers, you can can connect to your number through SIP from basically anywhere and place calls for free. Wish I had that here in Canada, where I get charged long distance whenever I call out of city limits.

    • by arivanov (12034)
      Just put a small PBX at home. I have an asterisk doing the same job for me. It aggregates my landline, 3 VOIP numbers (from 2 countries), 2 cell phones when I am in the home (via chan_bluetooth), etc and forwards to the correct number depending on the circumstances. There are plenty of live CDs floating around and all you need is a retired small PC to run it.

      As far as non-US the Grandcentral business model will _NOT_ work outside US. It works due to the vagaries of the US mobile market. In the US called per
  • by hey (83763)
    If only Google would innovate a bit ;)
  • Damn it! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Aranykai (1053846) <[slgonser] [at] [gmail.com]> on Saturday May 03, 2008 @06:00PM (#23286660)
    Someone already reserved (314)159-2653.
  • by Hunter-Killer (144296) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @06:02PM (#23286680)

    And since most of the time I'm at a place where there's a WiFi network, it makes sense for me to use VoIP rather than a regular phone line.
    As someone who hates cell phones, I used a softphone (reaching back to an Asterisk server) on my laptop for a few months. Anytime I used WiFi outside my house (campus network or coffee-shop style coverage) I had nothing but problems: garbled communication, one side of the conversation not hearing anything, etc. Almost completely unusable--you know service is bad when it makes cell phone quality look fantastic in comparison.

    Anyway, Grand Central may be a replacement for a land-line phone, but I think Andrew is being a bit optimistic about the adequacy of using it as a "mobile" phone.
    • Most public wi-fi spots are so saturated with traffic that IP telphony is next to useless. When you have 50 people all swilling nasty over roasted Starbucks coffee while watching Youtube videos you are not going to get a very good IP-phone connection.
    • by seidojohn (870852) <seidojohn&gmail,com> on Sunday May 04, 2008 @12:36AM (#23288922) Homepage
      This apparently isn't designed to replace cell phones or land lines. From what I understand from TFA:

      1. Give GrandCentral all your phone numbers (Home, Cell, Work, etc.)
      2. Tell GrandCentral when you will be around each phone
      3. Tell all your contacts you have a new phone number, and give them your GrandCentral one
      4a. Someone calls at a time which you told GrandCentral you would be at work, so your work phone rings.
      4b. Someone calls when you're on your lunch break, out of the office, and your cell phone rings.
      4c. Someone calls when you're at home, and both your cell phone and land-line ring.
      4... Repeat for whatever configuration you have set up.

      From TFA:

      With GrandCentral, you get:
      All your calls through a single number. Add your other numbers to your GrandCentral account and then make your own rules for how and when your phones ring.
      All your voicemails in one place, saved for as long as you want. If you don't answer a GrandCentral call, your callers will be sent to your GrandCentral voicemail. You can then check messages by calling your GrandCentral number, by logging into your account, or by checking the GrandCentral notification email.
      Handy features that work the same way across all your phones:
      *ListenIn as callers leave you a message
      * Record calls on the fly so you never have to fumble for a pen again
      * Switch phones mid-call without your caller knowing
      * Block annoying callers at will
      * Record custom greetings for different caller or groups of callers

      Later in TFA:

      To use GrandCentral, you just need a touch-tone phone and a Flash-enabled browser. Visit the About Adobe Flash Player page to find your version of Flash or confirm that your already downloaded it.

      Also this:

      Note: GrandCentral won't charge you for these calls; however, if you use a cell phone, regular cell phone airtime charges may apply

      Sorry for so many quotes, but if people won't look at the website they're commenting on, perhaps they'll read this... ;)
      • You are correct; to be clear as to what I was referring to, I should have said Grand Central+Gizmo5 (what the author was describing in the summary).
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by hacker (14635)

        You missed one of the slickest features of GrandCentral, one which is not highly advertised...

        Let's say you have your Work, Mobile and Home numbers registered with GrandCentral.

        You receive a call to your GrandCentral number, which rings in your office at 4:50pm, and you need to catch the train down the road at 5:30, and it's a 20-minute walk.

        You accept the call in your office, have your conversation, then TRANSPARENTLY switch the call to your cellphone, continue talking there, without ever dropping th

    • by a.ameri (665846) on Sunday May 04, 2008 @08:26AM (#23290624)
      As part time Asterisk developer let me second the parent.

      Not only VoIP, but any real-time application is useless on nearly all current implementations of 802.x due to two major reseason:

      * Response time is too high irrespective of bandwidth. Lag is not acceptable in situations where you can't buffer. Your YouTube playback will not suffer because even a tiny buffer can eliminate the problem, but you can't buffer RT applications.

      * Most importantly, the concept of QoS, while theoretically feasible on 802.x, is completely absent from the current implementation. I have heard but I'm yet to see a real Wifi device with QoS. Without QoS, VoIP sucks.

      And then, there is also the issue of enhanced emergency services compliance, or what's in US called E911. In Australia where I live, most VoIP providers either completely block calling '000' (our emergency service number) or require you to submit a physical address for your static IP and REMAIN in that location.

      To sum it all up, if you're holding your breath for VoIP on Wifi, dream on. I've tested various VoIP clients (from the top of the market Siemens and Snom IP phones with Wifi to softphones like Counter path, etc) using various VoIP servers (Asterisk, Cisco, Nortel, etc.) using various UDP protocols (SIP, AIX2, H.323, Skinny etc.) and it DOESN'T WORK(TM).

      Until we have full end-to-end QoS support on wireless networks, or something like WiMAX which promises to drastically lower response time and lag, VoIP on wireless will remain a toy for geeks to play with and nothing more.
      • by PCM2 (4486)
        T-Mobile in the U.S. offers VoIP calling for several models of phones that support 802.11. If you're within range of your home wireless router, you can initiate a call over WiFi. Then, when you walk out the front door, the call will automatically switch over to the cellular network. They do charge a flat fee for this service, but WiFi calls are unmetered, and by all accounts the VoIP system works quite well.
    • I can't speak for the Wi-Fi hard phones, but the Polycom hard phones we have around here have enough built into them to cancel a good bit of the crap you get with voip. Even with our Switchvox appliance internally, you can hear a major difference between employees on a soft versus hard phone. I would guess that the Wi-Fi phones are at least similar, though probably not as much so.
  • by viking80 (697716) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @06:02PM (#23286688) Journal
    http://www.freeworlddialup.com/ [freeworlddialup.com] Gives anyone a free phone number forever, globally, and you can dial to and from most VOIP services.

    It works great with any VOIP SW or HW or Asterisk for a fancy home answering machine.

    If you need the POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) world to call you, http://www.ipkall.com/ [ipkall.com] will give you a free Washington phone nuumber.
    • by mrbluze (1034940) on Saturday May 03, 2008 @06:40PM (#23286894) Journal

      http://www.freeworlddialup.com/ [freeworlddialup.com] Gives anyone a free phone number forever, globally, and you can dial to and from most VOIP services.

      That just doesn't have the same feeling of excitement as getting up at 2am in the pouring rain, going to a telephone booth with a 555 timer chip and piezo, making freaking calls with your computer next to you plugged into the 12V socket of your car, then posting abusive messages anonymously on your favourite BBS. And all for free, man!

  • This is not entirely accurate. I have been doing this on my nokia n810 for some time. It has worked, and worked nicely and freely to boot. However a friend of mine using this set up was told he'd need to purchase minutes in that he was over using the free service. He went back to using vonage. I have used the two in tandem and not had any problems with it whatsoever or had a limitation on phone minutes.
    • by mscdex (774392)
      It sounds like your friend was calling through gizmo and not grandcentral. I did this on accident initially when I set up gizmo and grandcentral. In order to call out through grandcentral instead, you need to log into your account at the grandcentral webpage, or the mobile version of their webpage and dial from your address book. There is currently a maemo application in the works here [internettablettalk.com] that will allow you to dial your grandcentral contacts without opening your browser.
  • Hmm. My UID is 7 digits long...
  • Just as Google "earns" (however indirectly) from what we search for (eg, enabling it to increase its ad revenues, by positioning "relavent" ad's beside our search results)...

    so can it (very likely) continue to earn even more, eg, automatically listening-in on our future phone conversations - using well-developed voice-to-text technologies - to gather valuable information from them.

    Perhaps we should be -paid- for each use of Google's "free" VoIP service, ie, if/when it is unfolded before us... more as harves
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by zeroduck (691015)
      I've been using the beta for a few months now, and its pretty slick. I think the intention is to charge for the service at some point. On the settings tab, they list what "plan" you have.

      Right now there is no advertising on the website or inserted into your calls.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by quickgold192 (1014925)
      Gmail *does* pay you - with a free email account.
  • Specifically, he's using GrandCentral in combination with Gizmo5 to make free VoiP calls

    He's making free phone calls to the USA. I am pretty sure he cannot call Benin or Nepal free of charge. That is the nature of the industry. Once this Google product is out, free calls will not be to every device that can receive them all over the world. Free calls will be to USA and Canada.

    By the way, can anyone tell me what determines the cost of an international call? My provider (Sprint Canada) charges an average of 49 cents/min for a call to Asia though you can use some of the many pre-paid phone car

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Mostly it is the company you are buying the service from, and the contracts it has with terminating companies in the destination country.

      One thing to be aware of is the prepaid cards are generally given the lowest quality of service routes. The phone company already has your money, so it doesn't really care whether the call goes through or not. If you are placing the call on a billable basis then the phone company doesn't get any money if the call doesn't go through.

    • by eharvill (991859)

      By the way, can anyone tell me what determines the cost of an international call? My provider (Sprint Canada) charges an average of 49 cents/min for a call to Asia though you can use some of the many pre-paid phone cards and make a call at about 7 cents/min to the same destination.

      It's pretty messed up. My wife calls back home to Spain all the time on her ATT cell phone (from the US). If she calls a land line it's like 2 cents a minute. If she calls a cell phone it's nearly 50 cents a minute. WTF??? I get pissed when she calls someone's cell for obvious reasons!

    • 7 cents/minHere in the UK they do that by having 270 minutes per hour.

      The voice says "you have 110 mintes" and 8 minutes later, it says "you do not have enough credit for this call".

      I am not sure why the telephone regulator has not done something about this, but I suspect corruption might have a bearing on it.

      In other cases, notice that an unactivated phone card is worth about $0.005, while an activated one is worth $5. If you wanted a convenient waay to launder money, perhaps you should consider carrying

  • VoIP to landland or cell phones are not free, at least if your time and friendships are worth something:

    "Users NEW to the All Calls Free plan get 20 minutes of free calling simply by getting ONE friend to sign up for a new Gizmo account. There are no commitments and no hidden fees."

    http://gizmo5.com/pc/network/mobile-or-landline-calls/ [gizmo5.com]

    • by Darundal (891860)
      Only if you make the call through Gizmo itself, and not GrandCentral. Through GrandCentral, it is free.
      • by cain (14472)
        How do you make calls through grand central? All I see is people call your grand central number and it gets routed where you want it. I don't see how you can call out using the grand central number. If you see that, please let me know. I know of no way to make VoIP calls to land lines or cell phones without paying.
        • by Darundal (891860)
          That is it, basically. You go to the Grand Central site, put your Gizmo SIP number in as one of your phone numbers, and then when you are in your addressbook, click the call them button for one of your contacts and make sure that Grand Central routes to your Gizmo number. They don't charge you a dime for this.
  • for the extra $3 a month i'd rather purchase the skype unlimited north america plan, the service and call quality are good and i dont't have to garble together a bunch of different services, for my $3 its just not worth the extra hassles to use gizmo or grand central.

    just my $3
  • ...sooner than you think. 2015 [makingithappen.co.uk] is way off. 2009? Maybe...
  • The idea of universal and free phone access was raised in Scott Adams' "The Religion War," as a hacker's dying act to make all telephone calls in the world free. The war ends almost as quick as it began, and society rededicates itself to sustaining this new and free communication network.
  • How many of these services are there now, hundreds at least. Maybe Google should make a search engine for VoIP services, so we can compare all the freeness.
    • by glomph (2644)
      IPKall [ipkall.com] has offered a free inbound number (which you can use with ANY publicly-reachable SIP service worldwide, including Gizmo/sipphone) for years. The numbers are in Washington State, but will work anywhere. Super-simple to set up. And it does not do the silly ringback method (hit 1 to receive the call, etc.) that GrandCentral does.

      To -make- calls, if you have no other option, the GrandCentral web system (http://m.grandcentral.com/) is a bit clunky, but OK for residents of FreedomLand.

      (I signed u

  • Isn't it actually Gizmo that is making and receiving the free phone calls? So why not just use it? Or did I miss a big piece of the article because to me it just looks like the author is using Grand Central to push a call through Gizmo.
    • by Tacvek (948259)
      AFAICT, what he is doing is placing a call from the grand central address book. Google then calls your phone (or in this case the SIPphone (GIZMO) account). When you pick up, Google then dials the party you selected, and connects the two calls. I'm guessing there is some reason why he is using a sipphone (GIZMO) account rather than a regular phone. I'm not sure what the reason is. But the point is Google is making two phone calls, (only one routed over POTS though), and thus is the one footing the bill for
    • by RAMMS+EIN (578166)
      But...but...Google!! Google!!
  • I've never understood people's desire to use VOIP over WiFi on their cell phones. What is wrong with just using your phone?

    My wife and I share a family plan and we get plenty of minutes, and they roll over which is a big help because we don't have to have a plan that allows for that one month when we have higher than normal usage.

    I guess some people are on the phone constantly and have to buy a prohibitively expensive plan? But are we talking 5000 minutes or what? Business folk who are on the phone
  • I love being able to record calls, I love the call screening, and I love being able to select which number I receive calls on.

    voice mail in your email, selectable ring-ins.

    I love grand central.
  • GrandCentral - from whom I've had a number since before Google bought them - gives you the option of providing either (a) the caller's caller-ID, or (b) GrandCentral's caller-ID. If you use option (b), you give up knowing who's calling you before picking up the phone, but you can add GrandCentral to your "Fave-5" or whever you might have.

    GrandCentral will still tell you who's calling, of ocurse...
  • What I love about GC is checking my email ALSO gets me my voicemail. No more checking a cell's vm, home machine, email all separately.

    The time savings is great. Add that I get messages sooner that way too.

    Finally, unlike the article's comment, it was just a few hours from when I reserved a number (in a more useful calling area for me) to when I was included in the beta (how sweet is that?)

    It will be interesting to see what their revenue model is after beta...

    • by Fnord666 (889225)

      It will be interesting to see what their revenue model is after beta...
      That's the great thing about it. Since Google bought it, you know it will be in beta forever!
  • Before you sign up, read GrandCentral's terms and conditions. I'd suggest using Xebba [xebba.com] instead. They are not completely free, but they specifically mention that they do not record calls and do not harvest anything from your conversations.
  • From the Grand Central [grandcentral.com] homepage:

    You need Flash to use GrandCentral. Get it here [adobe.com]
    Ok, is there any chance of this working with actual, published, open protocols for making and receiving calls?

    Or do I need to have Flash on my phone?
    • by Wingman 5 (551897)
      If you read the article it says grand central gives you a sip number, you can use that with any sip device (thats what the other program is for, you could really just use any softphone.
  • Phone calls are not all that expensive anymore, and most people who really need free calls just use VoIP.

    I think GrandCentral needs to do a lot more to appeal to people. Right now, its model is that you give out its number to everybody and it then connects to your devices. I think that model is too rigid. They should offer different services (voice mail, forwarding, parallel forwarding, voice response, VoIP, etc.) and let the users decide how to connect those services to each other and to phone numbers.

    A
  • It's getting more and more difficult to be "out of touch", and I'm pretty sure I don't like it. Once upon a time, you could avoid somebody for a while without being flat-out rude to them.

    Now we can't even use expense as a reason not to be at everybody's beck and call. I guess I'll just have to amend my message to say something like, "Dave only collects voice mail once a day, and it looks like you already missed today's check-in. Sorry."

    More to my taste would be something like, "Fuck off, I'm busy",

  • I wouldn't recommend giving Gizmo your money. I've sent them money (two weeks ago) and am yet to receive any credit. A check on their website (http://forum.gizmo5.com/viewforum.php?f=26&sid=a017ebef79d1fed2787c5d0b244f4245) shows me that this is not an isolated problem.

We are Microsoft. Unix is irrelevant. Openness is futile. Prepare to be assimilated.

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