Posts Tagged ‘Google Voice’

Cloud Computing – The debate

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

I listen to a lot of tech podcasts and lately there seems to be a recurring theme. Someone suggests cloud computing is bad, dangerous or just plain useless, while someone else tries to defend it. It’s like trying to defend vaccines to someone who is fixed in their belief that vaccines are bad. People who think there is too much risk in taking a certain action will never agree with those that think there is too much risk in not taking the action. I want to take a different approach here and look at cloud computing as a tool. Like other tools, it’s use comes with some risk. When you use any tool you are responsible doing so safely, protecting yourself and others from physical harm. When using cloud computing similar issues exist. With cloud computing however it’s your data that needs protecting. Lets start from the top.

According to Wikipedia, Cloud Computing is defined as:

“…the provision of dynamically scalable and often virtualised resources as a service over the Internet on a utility basis.”

There is a lot more if you want to read it, but basically the ‘Cloud’ refers to the Internet and the ‘Computing’ refers to the services companies provide there. Many of these services are free. Most of Google’s services or Twitter are examples. Some are pay services, such as hosted email solutions or the remote access products provided by Citrix. In a broad sense, Cloud Computing encompasses the computing services we use over the net as an alternative to using applications installed on our local computer hardware. If you want a bit more detail, Infoworld has an article describing the various types of services provided under the cloud computing banner. However, lets discuss whether cloud computing is a good or bad thing. We will start with some of the disadvantages to cloud computing and then we’ll touch on some of the advantages.

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Google Voice: One Number & More

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

In Mike’s post, “Google Voice: One Number to Rule Them All“, he went through what Google Voice is, and why he likes it. If you don’t understand what Google Voice is, I would suggest that you read that post before continuing here. I won’t be going into all the features here. I am going to focus on the features that, for my specific use, I think could use a bit more discussion.

Incase you still did not read Mike’s post, and are not clear on Google Voice, let me do the short version. First thing is, it’s in BETA. You can request an invite to the BETA on the Google Voice Site. Google Voice is a free service where you are given a phone number. Yes, another phone number. But this phone number is special. To start with you have a say in what number you get. Using wild cards you search for a number pattern of your choice. Let’s say your name is Joe. You could search for ‘*4JOE’. That might return 555-555-4JOE. A free vanity number. Cool.

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Google Voice Invites for Military Service Members

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Both Mike and I are Google Voice users. I saw this in the Google Voice Blog RSS feed today and thought it was a great move on Google’s part. They recognize the communication difficulties faced by the men and women in uniform. Transfers causing constant number changes, overseas deployments and limited phone access etc. So, they are now giving priority invites (sent within a day) to active military and reserves with .mil email addresses. If you know of anyone in the military let them know. Google Voice is a perfect fit for the military lifestyle. Great idea Google.

The original post, along with a link for requesting the invites, can be found at the Google Voice Blog.