Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gizmo5-Google Voice, Google Wave Invites

Alright, since it would appear I only got 3 retweets for that... everyone gets a Wave invite!  Yay?  They're not nearly as rare now as they were a few months ago.  (Yeah, 2 days late, sorry about that.)  @scaiuan, I can't DM you since you're not following me, but I do need an email address to send the invite to.

Also... recently (since Google acquired Gizmo5) it seems I've been able to make free calls to any phone through Gizmo5.  It shows up as being from my Google Voice number.  Has this happened to anyone else?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Chrome OS Is Here!

Oh, now look what happened while I was at school.  Google demoed Chrome OS!  The Chromium OS source code was released as well.

Alright, so maybe we won't be seeing actual Chrome OS machines until later... but hey, you can always get Chromium OS.

Now I have to say, I am disappointed at the fact that you can't just go download Chrome OS.  You'll have to buy machines with the OS preinstalled.  Also, it won't work with hard drives, only SSDs.  Keep in mind, though, that the average user doesn't want to have to deal with getting things to work... the average user just wants things to work.  I think that's what we'll be seeing once machines with Chrome OS start hitting the market.

Is this good?  Is this bad?  I honestly don't know.  The consumers will determine what happens to Chrome OS.  In the meantime, I'll be trying to test Chromium OS on one of my laptops.  Will it work?  Doubtful.  But hey, it's worth a shot.  If it does happen to work, I'll report back here.

Here's the VMware image.  There are a few things that haven't yet been implemented in this version (the menu in the top-left corner, for one) and the menus look like something straight out of Windows 95... but hey, it's Chromium OS.

Link removed because you guys overloaded it. XD

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Google Phones, Google Operating Systems, and Google Wave Invites

Well well, look what's been happening over the last few days.  Lots of new Google news.

First of all, there's a Chrome OS event scheduled for tomorrow.  Apparently, we'll be getting their launch plans and a "complete overview", so this could be quite interesting.  I'm guessing this one won't turn out like that other one.

TechCrunch is also reporting that the Google phone does exist... and may end up being a data-only device reliant on VoIP.  Sounds interesting, but Google has denied all rumors of a Google phone in the past.  We'll see, Mike, we'll see.

On another note, I've got 8 Google Wave invites to give out.  Follow @googleworldblog on Twitter and retweet this tweet to enter.  I'll select the winners on the 23rd.  (Also, this is the first time I've done this, so if anyone has any tips on an automated method of doing this... that would be nice.  Otherwise I could see it getting out of hand if enough people notice.)

Friday, November 13, 2009

TechCrunch: Google Chrome OS To Launch Within A Week

Hmm, TechCrunch has been getting a lot of exclusive stories lately.  The most recent of which is this article stating that Chrome OS is to be released within a week.

Their previous exclusive story turned out to be true; Google posted about the Gizmo5 acquisition on one of their blogs and Gizmo5 stopped accepting new members.

If this is indeed true (and I have reason to believe it is) I'll be installing and testing it upon release.  Of course, the TechCrunch article mentions possible driver issues... but since Chrome OS is Linux-based, manufacturers don't necessarily have to create a completely new set of drivers.  We'll see what happens though - I don't have a netbook at my disposal, so hopefully this Compaq laptop will do.  It's fairly generic in terms of hardware.

We'll have to see what happens though.  All I can say is... if this is true, it's going to be a good week.

Monday, November 9, 2009

TechCrunch: Google Has Acquired Gizmo5

TechCrunch recently posted this:

According to them, Google has now acquired Gizmo5.  For those who don't know, Gizmo5 is a VoIP provider with clients for Windows, OS X, and Linux.  Specifically, they run the only VoIP service supported by Google Voice, which is why this isn't so surprising.  As of right now, the deal has not been announced officially by either company, but I'd suggest watching their blogs for more information.

So what does this mean for Google Voice users?  Well, there are a few possibilities here.  Google could integrate the Gizmo5 client's functionality into Google Talk, which I'd say is pretty likely.  In the short term, they could stop charging for dialing out through Gizmo5/Google Voice... or they could keep charging, which would surely annoy a lot of people.

If they do keep charging, there's a nice little article over at Nerd Vittles that I saw a while ago.  Basically, it describes how to integrate GV dial-out functionality with an Asterisk server.  Take a look at it if you're interested.

Regardless of what happens, this move could serve to position Google as a formidable competitor to Skype.  Consider this: Gizmo5's SIP services are open.  Skype is completely proprietary.  Gizmo5 is not very well-known.  Plenty of people know about Skype, but even more people know about Google.  The problem Google's had up until this point is that most people aren't even aware of Google Talk... which is pretty odd since Google is one of the largest advertising companies on the internet.  If they actually start advertising these services, well, I think they could easily grab a huge portion of the VoIP market share.

Update: Google has announced it on their Google Voice blog.

On the Gizmo5 side, you don't need to look far to find this - it's on their homepage.