Google’s Gmail email service already includes instant messaging along with voice and video chat. The company has now added conventional phone calls to the Gmail interface. This option is currently only available within the USA, although the company says its working on making this available more broadly. A special voice and video plug-in needs to be installed; it’s available for Windows, Mac and Linux computers.
Yesterday morning City of London Police arrested nine people as part of an investigation into a suspected fraud case that's believed to have involved premium-rate international phone numbers being called on mobile phones. Officers also seized up to £15,000 worth of mobile phones along with hundreds of SIM cards and fake documents. The raids took place after an investigation in partnership with O2.
At the end of May, VoIP service Skype launched a new iPhone application that allowed calling over 3G networks and noted that "Skype-to-Skype calls on 3G will be free for a trial period which will run until the end of 2010".
The company has just updated its iPhone app for iOS4 and announced it's decided not to implement an additional charge for calls made over 3G.
Google has made its Google Voice web-based telephone service available to consumers across the USA. It offers a single number that can reach fixed-line and mobile phones according to the user's preset rules, along with a visual interface for voicemail and free calls within the US & Canada. The service had previously only been available to invited guests. Google Voice is currently free except for international phone calls.
Following up on last year's question of "What's the carbon footprint of sending a text message?", The Guardian has now asked "What's the carbon footprint of making a mobile phone call?"
Climate change expert Mike Berners-Lee has considered rather more than the earlier article, factoring in phone manufacture and network administration alongside power consumption. His answer is that a minute's mobile-to-mobile call will generate 57g of carbon.