Google Voice: All Your Call Are Belong to Us!

That means you can switch your mobile number to Google and then just use whatever device you happen to have in your hand to receive calls. That’s an extremely powerful feature for Google Voice.

Outbound calls from those devices will still show whatever phone number is assigned to it, though. But Google has that covered, too. We’ve learned that they are preparing to launch apps for the major smartphone platforms that will automatically route outbound calls through Google Voice. That means whoever you call will see your Google Voice number as the caller.

via Google Voice’s Secret Weapon: Number Portability .

These are great features that may make Google Voice the killer app for telephony. Stay tuned.

links for 2009-06-14

Westlaw & Courtroom Connect Partner to Capture Courtroom Video

Many state court systems now permit live streaming video of court proceedings via the Internet to interested parties. The equipment used by Westlaw and its partner Courtroom Connect does not interfere with court proceedings; it typically consists of one compact, stationary video camera on a tripod, a video encoder that enables the video signal to be sent over the Internet, an audio mixer, and a device that transmits the signal. With the exception of the camera, all of the equipment can fit on a small table. It usually takes about four hours to install and test the equipment. To webcast proceedings live, a separate Internet connection can be installed in order to prevent any disturbance to the court’s Internet connection.

via Westlaw Wants Your Video Records.

Interesting development. This press release is from March 2009, but Carl Malamud just twittered about it. I’ll look into this a bit more, but it looks like this partnership is making video record of trials, which are generally public, and then selling the footage. Some portions are available for free, but full coverage is only for paying customers. Sounds like a 21st century update of the way West gained a virtual monopoly on the print opinions of courts in the late 19th and early 20th century, a monopoly that is only now being broken.

I’ve taken a quick look at the stuff on the Courtroom Connect site and this is not rocket science. They are placing a web cam in the courtroom and streaming the video back to a Microsoft server. Pretty straight forward and something that could be handled in house or by an organization that would provide the content for free.