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Could Vonage deal signal the end of phone numbers?

 by John Moe // Posted: 08/04/10 11:11 AM

That’s a bit of an extrapolation but not all that far fetched. Vonage is a VOIP (voice over internet protocol) company and they have a new free app for Android and iPhone. It lets you call any one of your Facebook friends for free over either Wi-Fi or 3G. The friend has to have the app too so you’re restricted to your smart phone friends who have taken this course. There are obviously now way more ways to get in touch with someone than you can actually use. But what I think matters here is the absence of phone number; you just point to their name and they’re called and you never even needed to put in their number originally (or use cell minutes for that matter). Facebook is very good at establishing one unique identity for each person, this Vonage plan uses that identity as a phone number, ditches the number itself.

Comments | Filed Under: facebook voip vonage

today's show

What will we do with all this "white space"?

09/26/10 11:15 AM

There’s a vote coming up this week in Washington that will have a big impact on how you use the internet, what’s available to you, how much faster you’ll be able to get things online. On Thursday, the FCC is expected to open up unused parts of the broadcast spectrum, a lot of people call it “white space”. This is space that was positioned to be something of a buffer between television stations but such padding is proving less essential since the conversion to digital TV.

On today’s show, we talk to Glenn Fleishman from Wi-Fi Networking News and The Economist about how the spectrum works and what kind of new space we’re talking about. We also check in with Tim Wu from Columbia Law School about the companies that will look to use the space and what it all might mean for you and me as internet consumers.

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