What’s happening in the world of technology? Well…
As though the search giant isn’t already big enough, Google just introduced its newest service: phone calls through gmail. Users can now call any landline or cell phone for free from their gmail page. For now it’s only free in the U.S. and Canada, but you can still call selected countries like France and the U.K for 2 cents a minute. Google’s long term plans include installing Google Voice phone booths in airports and universities around the U.S. that people can hop into to make calls for free.
Want to know how to call from your gmail? Check out this video tutorial.
Oh and here’s an awesome animated history of phoning.
Paul Allen, one of Microsoft’s original founders, has filed lawsuits against (take a deep breath) Google, Apple, Yahoo, Netflix, Facebook, AOL, eBay, Yahoo!, Staples, OfficeMax, Office Depot, and YouTube. Allen alleges that the companies violated patents owned by his now-defunct idea lab, Interval Research. As the Wall Street Journal reports, this massive lawsuit is one of a slew of high profile patent cases like NTP Inc., which extracted $612 million in settlements and that prompted critics to dub the term “patent trolls.”
“This lawsuit against some of America’s most innovative companies reflects an unfortunate trend of people trying to compete in the courtroom instead of the marketplace,” said a Google spokesman.
To his credit, Allen, who has an estimated worth of more than $13 billion, pledged to donate more than half of his wealth to philanthropic causes.
If you use facebook chat, keep an eye out for the message ‘LOL is this you?’ followed by a series of links. The message, which began showing up in the network yesterday afternoon, will automatically spam your friends through your profile. A Facebook spokesman said the company is looking into the matter. (Luckily the outbreak is still limited for now.)
Farmville—the deceivingly banal social networking game that began on Facebook and then spread like a zombie virus through every other social networking platform—has been proven to actually turn people into zombies (so to speak.) A study showed that while user time varied, most return to the game daily with some users spending the better part of their day tending to their crops.
Not only is real time being wiled away, but real money is being spent. One report from eMarketer in June showed that social games generated more than $725 million last year in the U.S. alone.
As one user wrote: “This game is addictive like cocaine-laced-alcohol-cigarettes. It’s like flypaper, you can’t put the thing down. It’s Pavlov’s dogs with a Salad-Shooter dispensing goodies and high-fives for no apparent reason. The game causes a complete cascading failure of the higher functions of the human brain, so you’re reduced to a near-vegetative state save for motor skills necessary to operate the mouse, by which you accept your rewards of flowers, animals, farming equipment, Mardi Gras beads and SuperBowl premiums and other precious things that you can’t live without.”
Uh oh…. can’t finish post… must water… magic cauliflower.
And finally…if the Facebook movie “The Social Network” annoys the hell out of you too…
…then you’ll appreciate this parody trailer for the Twitter movie.