We've had HD TV and HD audio, and next on the list of old tech to get the high-definition makeover is voice calling. XConnect are offering a high-definition voice trial through their IP-peering federation to several US operators. The aim...
Damn. I want this so bad. Google Voice, formerly known as GrandCentral and acquired by the company in 2006, has finally launched officially in the US. It's a service that gives you one phone number that can access all your phones, for life, for free.
It's been invite-only for nearly two years, and there are apparently tens of thousands of people on the waiting list, but Google will shortly be letting some of those people in. Accounts have, in the past, gone for up to $650 on eBay.
The way it works is that you get given a mobile phone number, and then a web interface lets you redirect that number to any phone you like. Going on holiday? Redirect it to the hotel you're staying in. Leaving the office for an afternoon? Send people to your mobile phone. Expecting a call you don't want? Put the caller through to the fax machine.
There's also Spinvox-esque voicemail transcription, text messaging, friend settings (so that certain people can bypass your voicemail) and call recording. There's even conference calling, and you can add credit to the account to make very cheap international calls, just like Skype.
Sadly, the service is only available in the USA. That's a big :( for me. When can we get that going down in the UK? It's got to be possible, right?
Okay, this is going to be a bit tricky to explain, so pay attention. Telnic is a company who own the .tel domain name. Never heard of it? That's okay - it's not publicly available yet. It's basically a global contacts database for people. You register a domain, like //henry.tel/, and it acts as a central repository for all the different ways people can contact you.
You can save URLs, email addresses, phone numbers, usernames, locations - all sorts. You can also specifiy keywords that describe you - for example I might write "blogger", "technology" and "DJ" there. Each has a clickable link which will open it in any service that you specify. For example, you can just click on a Skype username, and it'll try and open Skype to call it...
Just as it's not enough to have simple, ordinary speakers for your iPod, it's no longer cool to have an ordinary headset and speakers for making your Internet calls. No, you need to have a gadget - and if that...