Greg Galitzine : Greg Galitzine's VoIP Authority Blog
Greg Galitzine


Google To Expel Avatars from Virtual Eden

November 21, 2008

For those who have read the Book of Genesis, you remember that the world was created in six days, with the seventh day reserved for rest and contemplation.   For those of you who are following the developing 'Book of Google,' you will note that it took just six months to create and subsequently destroy the (virtual) world of Lively.   A post on the Official Google Blog broke the sad news.   "Google has always been supportive of this kind of experimentation because we believe it's the best way to create groundbreaking products that make a difference to people's lives. But we've also always accepted that when you take these kinds of risks not every bet is going to pay off."   Lively will be shut down at the end of the year, as Google "prioritizes their resources" to focus on their core search, advertising and applications businesses.

No word yet from the Avatars that will be forced to leave their virtual paradise.  

Opera Mini 4.2 Released

November 25, 2008

Opera Software released latest version of its Opera Mini 4.2 browser for mobile phones. The company reports that speed trials have shown a 30% speed increase for users in the US, due to the addition of a new Opera Mini server park in the US.   According to the company, this release also marks Opera Mini's official availability on the latest version of the Android mobile platform. A technical preview of Opera Mini was previously released for an earlier version of Android in April 2008. I covered that here.   One of the neat things about this version of Opera Mini is that it offers support for more than 90 language versions, including Amharic, Armenian, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Kirghiz, Lingala, Marathi, Malayalam, Mongolian, Oriya, Punjabi, Pashto, Sinhala, Tajik, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Uzbek, Khmer, Kashmiri, Lao and Turkmen.   This is great news for native speakers of those languages and on a personal level allowed me to use words like Pashto, Lingala, Assamese and Urdu -- in context -- on my blog.  

14 Join Open Handset Alliance, Android Gains Momentum

December 10, 2008

So yesterday, the Open Handset Alliance announced that 14 additional companies were joining the Android alliance, demonstrating "their support for Android as an open mobile platform and their commitment to its commercial success."   The newest member companies are: ·         AKM Semiconductor Inc., ·         ARM ·         ASUSTek Computer Inc. ·         Atheros Communications ·         Borqs ·         Ericsson ·         Garmin International Inc. ·         Huawei Technologies ·         Omron Software Co. Ltd. ·         Softbank Mobile Corporation ·         Sony Ericsson ·         Teleca AB ·         Toshiba Corporation and ·         Vodafone   Adam Leach, principal analyst at Ovum believes the move will lead to a greater number of devices based on the Android operating system over the next year.   Said Leach, "This announcement signals greater confidence in the OHA and the Android platform within the mobile industry. The extended membership will lead to a greater number of Android devices in the market next year and could lead to much-needed consolidation in the mobile Linux space."   "Google and its OHA partners have the opportunity to build critical a mass of supporting handsets during 2009," Leach added. "If [Google] achieves this momentum in the handset market in 2009, then it has the potential to challenge Nokia and the Symbian Foundation for dominance in the handset software market."

DataViz to Develop Android Apps in 2009

December 11, 2008

DataViz is well known in the industry for its Office compatibility and productivity solutions that enable users to access their office documents on mobile platforms such as Palm OS, Symbian OS, BlackBerry, Java, Linux, Windows Mobile, Windows and Macintosh.  Their solutions include mobile Office suite, Documents To Go, and wireless Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync client, RoadSync. Well, now we hear that they will be developing Documents To Go and RoadSync for Android in 2009.
    No word yet on exactly what features will be supported with Android. If you wish to be notified on availability, news updates or provide feedback please the company has set up the following URL:

Motorola, Google Cut Jobs, Will Microsoft Follow Suit?

January 15, 2009

Motorola announced it will cut another 4,000 jobs this year, in addition to the 3,000 jobs that were eliminated last year. In a rare move, Google also announced they were laying off employees. Google also announced they would be consolidating some office locations. And, the Wall Street Journal reported that even Redmond software giant Microsoft is mulling job cuts. Check out this article for the details.

Google Power Meter and the Next Great Conspiracy Theory

February 11, 2009

Ok, all you would-be Michael Crichtons, pay attention. 

Several weeks ago, Rich blogged about the apparent cozy relationship between Barack Obama and Google's CEO Eric Schmidt, who in many circles is considered to be among the favorites for the administration's CTO job.   Two weeks earlier (January 11th), The New York Times published an article titled California Seeks Thermostat Control, which described how the State of California would reserve for itself the "emergency power to control individual thermostats, sending temperatures up or down through a radio-controlled device that will be required in new or substantially modified houses and buildings to manage electricity shortages."   That seems a bit "Big Brother-ish" now, doesn't it?   On February 9th, Google announced a new initiative whereby it would help consumers track their home energy usage and thereby lower demand and the global warming emissions that come from producing electricity.   Dubbed Google PowerMeter, the new solution (which is currently in beta by Google employees only) would receive information from utility smart meters and energy management devices and provide that information regarding home electricity consumption right on a user's iGoogle homepage.   Ok, so this is about Google helping consumers save money in the Web 2.0 world right? And help green the nation while we're at it. Right? RIGHT?   "It may not sound like much, but if half of America's households cut their energy demand by 10 percent, it would be the equivalent of taking eight million cars off the road," Google said.   Now indulge my inner conspiracy theorist.   The software has a nifty "Sharing" feature, which would allow users to "strike up a little friendly competition to see how your energy consumption compares to your friends and neighbors."   Sharing personal power consumption information in a world where saving energy is the most patriotic thing you can do???   I'm not saying there's any conspiracy, but it's fun sometimes to play connect the dots and maybe supply budding novelists with alternative subplots for their adventure novels.

Google Launches Voicemail to Text

March 12, 2009

Google is introducing Google Voice, which is based on the technology of Grand Central Communications, a company they acquired in July 2007.                         The new service marries innovative new phone features with Google's e-mail service (Gmail) allowing users to receive transcribed voicemail messages in their e-mail inbox.   According to Craig Walker, posting on the Official Google Blog:   The new application improves the way you use your phone. You can get transcripts of your voicemail and archive and search all of the SMS text messages you send and receive. You can also use the service to make low-priced international calls and easily access Goog-411 directory assistance.   While not entirely a new application (see Spinvox and PhoneTag... Vonage offers a service like this...
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