New stuff from Google

Hope all are buzzing a lot these days! Though I started using Google Buzz, I have not used it a lot. But with whatever I have used it, I must confess that I am really impressed by it for lot of reasons. One, being integrated with gmail - you don't have to go to a differnt place to update your status if you are a gmail user. Second, most of these days lot of corporates are banning social media on their intranet - but its very unlikely that they put a ban on gmail.So that way you will be sure that your microblog is always in a active state. And the last but not least - buzz has some pretty decent light weight interface provided by google itself. Both their web and mobile interface are very good.

Google search has introduced some good new features, in case you have not noticed in your search.

1) You have a Nearby tool in the Search Options panel which would get you search results nearby your current location.So in case you want to search for Mexican food or Indian food near by your location, you don't have to include that in your search. Just use this tool and you would only see the relavant searches.You can choose to see results nearby either your default location or a custom location, and you can narrow down to results at the city, region or state level.

2) Starring your search result - Official Google blog says that it will have this feature where in you can just click the star marker on any search result and the next time you perform a search, that item will appear in a special list right at the top of your results when only relevant. Google says that stars is something that users don't have to remember, they just have to perform a normal search and if they had starred something earlier, you will be rediscovering your starred items right when you need them. Stars is a replacement to SearchWiki, which was hated by many because it was actually re-ranking, deleting, adding search results. But with Stars, you dont do anything of that sort. You will still see the regular search results from google,but the ones you had starred will come up on a separate section.

Star search feature will be rolled out in next couple of days per official googleblog.

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Spokn - The new generation VOIP



Spokn a new generation service that is a true bridge between traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services offers the cheapest voip calls by use of landline, cell phone, PC, or SIP.

Spokn is a clean app. Its feature are tremendous. Basically Spokn is an Internet telephony service that works all the time, whether you are online or offline, on laptop or the mobile, travelling or at home. Spokn’s services are either for free or very nominally charged. Spokn provides 24 hour customer support, even to the free users. Per Spokn's website, their product revolves around the following

  • A phone service should work with phones - Free incoming calls from regular phones. Know more »
  • Spread the message - Spokn's Voice Messaging (VMS) keeps calls and costs in check. Know more »
  • Got a dollar? Get a numberOne dollar a month gets you a phone number in US, UK, Canada and more countries. Know more »
  • It rings everywhere you it to - Incoming calls ring any or all your phones or computers. Know more »

How can people benefit from this? Well let me give an example. Lets say somebody lives in USA and would like to make frequent calls to his friends and family in India. In this, he or his family would register for spokn service in India and once that is done, he would get a local access number from USA, dialing which he will be prompted to enter the spokn id (which is a 7 digit number that you get when you register for the spokn service). Dialing the spokn id, he would be connected to his friends in India.Now where the phone is dialed depends on the kind of subscription you have taken.

You could be logged in from multiple devices at once (like Spokn dialer on your laptop, a SIP device at home and from your mobile dialer too). If you have (optionally) enabled call forwarding, your regular phone will also ring. The call will ring on all of them for 15 seconds. If you pick it up, other phones will stop ringing. If you didn’t pick up the call on any of the phones, the caller is prompted to leave a VMS for you.

So only making calls are payable and the prices are dirt cheap, cheaper than skype in many cases and whats free?

* All calls to other Spokn IDs are free.
* Incoming calls from other Spokn IDs are free.
* Incoming calls from regular phones are free.

In addition Spokn has apps for the following smart phones till date (iphone is promised to be supported soon)
* Blackberry
* Windows Mobile
* Nokia N & E Series

The biggest question that I got from my friend when I told him about this is, how different is this service from SKYPE? Spokn has answer  for this here - Spokn vs Skype

 I just downloaded Spokn and will be trying it out in next few weeks. In the meantime if any of you have tried it out, do let me know by leaving a comment.

International Calling Rates

Destination USD / minute
USA All phones $ 0.01
Canada All phones $ 0.01
India All phones $ 0.02
UK Landlines $ 0.02
Singapore All phones $ 0.02
France All phones $ 0.04
Germany All phones $ 0.04
See rates for all countries »
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Swype - New way to type on your smart phone

Came across this new technology for typing in your smart phone  called Swype. This looks quite promising as its lot easier than the traditional typing especially in a smart phone. The main idea is that you don't lift your fingers to type different word - you just swype across the keys.

To get an idea of how this works, Techcrunh recently reported a video that demonstrated SWYPE vs traditional typing in an iPhone. It also further states that it will be part of Android in 2010. Samsung has also announced that  it will be launching OMNIA II on Windows Mobile 6.5 with Verizon.

 Only time can tell if SWYPE would be threat to iPhone, but this is for sure a good invention to watch for.

Swype was developed by founders Cliff Kushler and Randy Marsden, along with a very talented team of software programmers and linguists.Together, their experience is unmatched in developing onscreen keyboard-based text input solutions for mobile touch-screen device.


Interesting video that compares Swyping with iPhone typing

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