It was announced today that Google’s GOOG-411 service will end on November 12, 2010. While I have found this service to very useful on many occasions, that is not the part of Pogue’s Post that caught my attention.
What I found most insightful about Mr. Pogue’s post was his uncovering of the real reason Google established the free service in the first place. Why (and how) Google would offer this service at no charge was always a mystery to me. Outside of the tagline about calls being connected by bandwidth.com, the service was free of advertising and there was no clearly identified mechanism for Google to make money on this service.
Apparently, Google’s purpose for offering this service, according to Pogue’s Post, was as a “phoneme-harvesting operation for honing Google’s voice technologies.” In other words, they collected voice samples from the service users for the further development of other voice services.
This is just another example of how brilliant the minds of those working at Google really are. The last time I was this impressed by Google’s genius was when they came up with the brilliant marketing campaign to spread to the word about the release of their Chrome browser. The idea was that the gift giver could prepare an interactive online greeting card, for friends, family members and colleagues, while simultaneously introducing Google Chrome.
Word comes out very frequently these days, that Google is spreading its wings. It recently expanded into areas like Google TV and investing in the transmission of power generated by Wind Farms off the east coast of the United States. It is likely just a matter of time before more of Google’s brilliance is unveiled.
By the way, I still swear the “beep, beep, beep” sounds heard while waiting on the GOOG-411 service, were human, not computerized tones.
Recently, Tony Robbins tweeted an off-handed joke about what do air and sex have in common? The answer is you do not think much about either until you are not getting either. Funny enough.
The need for air is obvious enough. There is no need to discuss the other here. It got me to thinking though about Internet Connectivity, in the sense that it is something else that is taken for granted and not thought much about, until you do not have it.
With the expansion of WiFi to places most had never dreamed about, it is easy to see why Internet connectivity is not always a thought or concern. Every Starbucks, library, book store etc., now provide WiFi for customers, at no charge. Some local cable TV providers are even beginning to blanket their coverage area with free WiFi. Considering how many places Internet connectivity is available in, many take it for granted. That is until, it is not there when needed.
Internet connectivity is what telephone dial-tone service was a generation ago. When a phone is picked up, it is automatically expected that there will be a dial tone and a call can be made, without any issues. We have come to expect the same of our Internet connection. The expectation is that it is just always there, always available, whenever and wherever needed. Thankfully, depending upon where you live or work, a connection to the Internet is generally available. Frequently, broadband is even available.
Schools should be no different. Anytime, anywhere, learning cannot take place without adequate network/Internet connectivity. With the benefit of e-Rate, most schools are now providing wired Internet connections to all classrooms. As the transition to portable devices takes place, schools need to ensure wireless connectivity for their students and staff as well.
- How do i connect my laptop to the internet? (grand-alliance.com)