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AOL to Enter the VoIP Ring 93

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the everyone-else-was-doing-it dept.
FiveDollarYoBet writes "Looks like AOL is entering the VOIP racket. The service is free but it's really a Skype clone with a copper local number. They're also going to offer an unlimited version for $14.95 a month but you have to make the calls from your computer. It'll be interesting to see if it's more of a IM live chat or a true VoIP. The article also outlines their plans to take on MySpace in the near future."
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AOL to Enter the VoIP Ring

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  • "It's really a Skype clone on copper" really shouldn't have been included.

    Of course, then again, I'm a Wikipedia Editor.

    And, of course, I need more negative karma.
  • by castlec (546341) <castlecNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:36AM (#15268591)
    You've got Phone Call!!
  • Ya! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kitsunewarlock (971818) on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:40AM (#15268598) Journal
    And once again AOL offers us another paid service any person can spend 15 minutes learning to get absolutely free and legal! Pity time and warner.
    • Re:Ya! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by no_mayl (659427)
      Just good marketting.
      I'm old enough to remember the days when Compuserve (before being bought by AOL) had real TCP/IP that allowed Minix users to connect over a modem while AOL had some hacked up custom protocol that worked by replacing all network related apps on windows.

      Look who's still around...
      That's Marketting with a capital M
      or maybe just lazy/ignorant users.
      • OT: Re:Ya! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by wawannem (591061)

        Just good marketting.
        I'm old enough to remember the days when Compuserve (before being bought by AOL) had real TCP/IP that allowed Minix users to connect over a modem while AOL had some hacked up custom protocol that worked by replacing all network related apps on windows.

        Look who's still around...
        That's Marketting with a capital M
        or maybe just lazy/ignorant users.

        As a former employee of CompuServe which was absorbed by AOL, I think I should weigh in on this issue. CompuServe is still around in

    • Re:Ya! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BoneFlower (107640)
      The average net use cannot figure it out in 15 minutes. A good chunk of them would be unable to figure it out if given full documentation written for their literacy level, *and* they dedicated the entirety of their being for their entire lifetime to meeting the challenge.

      Never underestimate the stupidity of your average netizen. There are people I get calls from where I am left wondering how the fuck they are sufficiently intelligent to succesfully sign up for the service, or how their much smarter friend
      • Re:Ya! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TapeCutter (624760) on Friday May 05, 2006 @07:27AM (#15269273) Journal
        That is why AOL has succeeded thusfar..

        It's also the reason we have to put up with the concerted effort to take over your browser, spam your inbox, ect. People actually buy shit from random pop-ups and emails. AOL will happily promise to shield you from all the "hackers" for a fee. From what I can tell, (I'm not from the US), they are basically aimed at people who (for whatever reason) cannot use a browser for more than five minutes without calling a help desk.

        If AOL suddenly had a change of heart and tried to educate their users about "the tricks of the trade" they would loose their (sizable) section of the market, it is in their interest to "help" their users and at the same time treat them as mushrooms.

        "The average net use cannot figure it out in 15 minutes."

        I agree. Whatever your opinion of AOL, there are plenty of people who are willing to pay for someone else to "work it out" for them Many of them don't want educating, they want a device like a preset home theater where they only have a few buttons to remeber to get what they want. Push the wrong buttons (like 'mute' or 'AV3') and they simply call in a TV repairman (or pester a relative) to "fix it".

        "People are fucking stupid."

        I don't see that behaviour as automatically stupid, sometimes it is just willfull ignorance. All through the 80's I repaired my own cars and bikes, now my car looks like a dishwasher under the hood and tells the mechanic how badly I have neglected it (error codes). I have a good enough idea of how my car works to spot bullshit, but spare me the details, what's it going to cost and how long will it take?

        OTOH: Browse at -1 to see the stupidity of people on the net. While doing so remeber the 'netizens' who created the often nonsensical, bottom-dwelling posts were at least smart enough to work out how to post them.
        • by johnw (3725)

          Push the wrong buttons (like 'mute' or 'AV3') and they simply call in a TV repairman (or pester a relative) to "fix it".

          I used to live next door to an oldish lady who had (for reasons I don't pretend to understand) about 8 VCRs in her living room, along with a slightly larger number of remote controls. I was endlessly getting called in to help her because, "My video doesn't work". Every time I'd find she'd been fiddling with the cables and had muddled up the remotes. I'd wire up just one VCR to her telly

          • Hehe, I had an retired guy next door who was the same, after a while I trained him to call me and say "I've pushed the wrong button again" before fiddling. OTOH: The same guy could rebuild a tractor with a pair of knitting needles (ok, slight exageration but you get the idea).
    • by Sique (173459)
      It works with bottled water, why not bottled services?
    • Re:Ya! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by zakezuke (229119) on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:54AM (#15268729)
      > And once again AOL offers us another paid service any person can spend 15 minutes learning
      > to get absolutely free and legal! Pity time and warner.

      According to TFA you get an inbound phone number with this sucker, for free. That's kind-of spiffy, that's almost worth running AIM. Think about it, your stuck at an airport abroad but you have your laptop and WiFI. You need to contact your non-technical person so you hit the website and msg their mobile, and boom "you've got a phone call".

      Now color me ignorant, but show me another service that would permit free incomming calls without a monthly fee.
      • Re:Ya! (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        http://www.sipgate.co.uk/ [sipgate.co.uk] offers a free local number in the UK (and other countries i believe) when you sign up.

        http://www.gizmoproject.com/ [gizmoproject.com] has a nice softphone application which, from looking at the Mac OS X 2.0 test version, will soon allow you to set it up for 3rd party SIP services. There are other softphone apps out there, but Gizmo's is the nicest cross-platform one IMO.
        • http://www.sipgate.co.uk/ offers a free local number in the UK (and other countries i believe) when you sign up.

          http://www.gizmoproject.com/ [gizmoproject.com] has a nice softphone application which, from looking at the Mac OS X 2.0 test version, will soon allow you to set it up for 3rd party SIP services. There are other softphone apps out there, but Gizmo's is the nicest cross-platform one IMO.


          Looks like gizmo is $3.00/month for inbound calls. Not a bad deal.
          The "sipgate" is saying "Customers who sign up with sipgate for g
          • Re:Ya! (Score:1, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward
            > Looks like gizmo is $3.00/month for inbound calls. Not a bad deal.

            Yeah, Gizmo charges. What i was saying is that Gizmo makes the nicest softphone application. At the moment it's hardcoded to use Gizmo accounts, but the 2.0 version that's currently in testing (for Mac OS X) seems to support 3rd party SIP/IAX providers.

            Since Sipgate only providers Windows software once the 2.0 release of Gizmo is out they'll be a consistent softphone out for Windows/Linux/Mac that'll work with any SIP provider.

            > The
            • I don't personally have any experience with any of these companies except Gizmo, which suits my needs perfectly. I have one of their UK local call-in numbers and it all works with no problems at all.

              I was unaware of these options, and I thank you for sharing them. I might even take the time to sign up for one as a UK number "may" be handy for dealing with people in the UK. However, I presume what AOL is offering is a US based number. That would be "so" ultra handy for someone like my self in North Americ
      • Now color me ignorant, but show me another service that would permit free incomming calls without a monthly fee.

        www.voipuser.org

        Infact, pretty much all of the SIPPSTN gateways do freebee DDIs.
      • Think about it, your stuck at an airport abroad but you have your laptop and WiFI

        That would be awsome... But in my location (Comer Georgia USA) I only have one option for land line phone service (AllTel). And only one option for high speed internet (AllTel DSL). In order to get the DSL, I must also buy the local phone service. Even if I had AOL this would still cost me out the ass.

        Local Phone: $35.00
        DSL: $29.95
        AOL: $X
        AOL VoIP: $14.95
        -------------
        Total: $79.90 + X

    • AOL is like this weird blob or amoeba that takes over everything on the internet and then clones it. Yet every clone it produces is somehow inferrior to the original.

      Strangely enough, this does not dissuade millions of people of going with the clones instead of the real deal.

    • Re:Ya! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Fred_A (10934) <fredNO@SPAMfredshome.org> on Friday May 05, 2006 @03:36AM (#15268814) Homepage
      What's odd is that their current offer in France [adsl.aol.fr] is an ADSL modem with an (optionally) included voip handset meant to replace your regular phone.

      Why don't they do the same in the US ?

      In France having a lot of stuff included is the norm for ADSL offerings and I know the US lags a bit because of the low population density, but adding a handset to a modem isn't that hard. Or do they target dialup users ?

      And for 6.90€ extra, you can change the colour of the modem! Yay!

      The ISP that typically sets the trend for bundling gadgets here is "Free". Currently their ADSL2+ offering comes with a kit consisting of the ADSL2+ modem with 1 USB port, 5 Ethernet ports, a WiFi Mimo interface, a phone interface. Then there is the multimedia hub with the TV tuners (including HD), a terrestrial digital tuner, a number of connectors (SCART, etc, including HDMI, S/P DIF), WiFi link to the ADSL modem and a remote. All of this is actually Linux based ;)
      You can also stream your computer's content to your TV on your LAN through VLC via the multimedia hub.

      The kit comes with the TV (through ADSL in a VLC like stream), free phone and ADSL2+ for 30€ per month.

      Why anybody would pick AOL over something like that is beyond me...
      • by Pastis (145655)
        The coolest part is the new Wifi gateway. If you have a Wifi enabled phone and free, the phone calls goes through VoIP when you are at home ... and when you are close to another FreeBox!

        So free phone calls from mobile to land line.

        Now if you live in Paris, where many users have Free, the VoIP grid is getting big and you get you don't get to pay your landline phone calls (almost) wherever you are.
      • As much as AOL US would love to have something like the AOL Box, the Box isn't sold in the US because the services are very different. AOL France is an ISP, selling broadband connections directly. AOL US is primarily a content/services business and provides broadband by linking buyers and sellers (telcos/cable cos). Once the deal is made AOL is out of the broadband part of the customer's experience.

        The AOL Box is a key part of the service in France. The broadband market in France is sufficiently differen
    • Re:Ya! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FireFury03 (653718)
      And once again AOL offers us another paid service any person can spend 15 minutes learning to get absolutely free and legal!

      How is this different to almost any other consumer-level paid-for thing in computing? Lets see:

      1. SkypeOut is a single closed service with vendor lockin. There are hundreds of SIP->PSTN gateways out there where you are *not* locked in and can get a better deal. However, many people still use Skype because of marketting and lazyness. I was talking to someone (who is Pro-open-stan
      • I'll bite.

        1. SkypeOut is a single closed service with vendor lockin. There are hundreds of SIP->PSTN gateways out there where you are *not* locked in and can get a better deal. However, many people still use Skype because of marketting and lazyness. I was talking to someone (who is Pro-open-standards) the other day who was telling his parents to use SkypeOut rather than a SIP service - the reasonsing was that because Skype is locked into a single vendor it's easier than deciding which vendor to use and e
        • most of the people the other guy's parents know will likely be using Skype.

          What makes you say that? I can see no evidence that the parent poster knows anyone on Skype. Infact the parent doesn't mention *anything* about Skype at all.

          If they were using a SIP service, they would not be able to call those people, or indeed the millions of other people using Skype.

          And indeed noone on Skype can call people using SIP. I'm not sure what your point is here, you seem to be arguing against a statement I didn't make
  • Already? (Score:2, Insightful)

    Is it just me, or - not that they were ever early birds - is AOL getting to the party later and later with each forage into a new market?

    ...We're sorry, the number you have reached does not accept calls from AOVoIP users. Please try your call again through a more standards compliant provider.

    • Re:Already? (Score:5, Informative)

      by qortra (591818) on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:45AM (#15268608)
      They've had user to user voice communication for quite a while now (long before Google for instance). Moreover, (AFAIK) they are the only IM service to allow PSTN termination; Skype was never really an IM service (it was primarily VOIP). The real contenders in this particular market (text IM services integrating voice communications) are MSN, Yahoo, AOL [AIM], and Google [Talk]. Of those, aren't they now the early bird?
      • True 'nuff; I was discounting the previous generation of voice-over-IM features as far as being real "in the VOIP game" offerings. I guess I've just always identified "real VoIP" with SIPPhone & Vonage, since they were more geared towards PSTN termination, and towards just generally being more faithful incarnations of the familiar telephone earlier on.

        When I started using SIPPhone, voice on Yahoo IM was still pretty unusable (YIM 4.? - 5, IIRC). That made a substantial jump in quality in 6, but that w

  • Triton (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:41AM (#15268602) Journal
    I bet if you want to use this, you're going to have to DL AIM's new "Triton" client (maybe they'll make it work with the older 5.x versions) and the ViewPoint advertising that comes with it.

    I can't imagine that AOL would make this a standalone product.

    So it will be ad supported, one way or another, if for no other reason than AIM already has ads built in.

    TANSTAAFL, unless you block the ads, which the vast majority of the user base has no clue how to do.
    • Not to mention that Triton all but forces the use of the AOL Browser. Ugh. Color me unimpressed, especially since I've used Firefox since Phoenix 0.1 (Yes, I really am a die-hard user. I also liked the Phoenix name better)
      • It loads up the IE AOL-branded browser on startup, but it doesn't require it's use. Other than the 4 seconds it takes to let it load and close, it shouldn't be too much of a turn-off.
  • Whut? Whut? (Score:5, Funny)

    by zephc (225327) on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:42AM (#15268603)
    kan u here me know?!? LOLZ!! :::hugs:::
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:52AM (#15268623)
    AOL has always had a pretty family-oriented image, which was probably to their disadvantage in certain demographics but maybe not entirely in this case. At a time when there's a lot of concern about the so-called dangers of MySpace (child predators, etc), AOL could leverage their family-friendly image to tout a MySpace-like service that is also "family friendly": more safety features to protect children, parental controls for parents, and a number of other features that would score points with concerned parents.

    Whether a service like that will get them anywhere near as big as MySpace is anyone's guess, but it would definately take advantage of both the current concern over MySpace's complete openness and AOL's current image. Plus, if the government really does require sites like MySpace to raise their minimum age to 18 and enforce age verification, there will be an entirely new market (12-17 year olds) for a kid-friendly MySpace, one that AOL could fill quite well for the reasons stated above.
  • What makes it a "Skype clone"? The user interface? The protocol? The marketing?
  • by uvajed_ekil (914487) on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:24AM (#15268668)
    AOL Phone = plenty of incoming calls that are mysteriously lost, a staggering number of incoming telemarketing calls that get through to sell you replica watches and internet porn (despite your number being on the national "do not call" list), having to listen to ads before you get to your voicemail, you eventually paying way too much, and intelligent people nolonger taking you seriously.
  • well DUH (Score:3, Insightful)

    by myspys (204685) * on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:27AM (#15268677) Homepage
    The service is free but it's really a Skype clone

    You could say that about more or less ANY VoIP-system.

    Skype does VoIP, so any VoIP-system is bound to be more or less a clone of it.

    duh
    • Re:well DUH (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FireFury03 (653718)
      You could say that about more or less ANY VoIP-system.

      Skype does VoIP, so any VoIP-system is bound to be more or less a clone of it.


      Actually, I'd say that Skype is the clone - SIP and H.323 have been around a lot longer than Skype. The only reason Skype have succeeded is marketting - open protocols have been doing the same job years before Skype came along, Skype just marketted their closed clone to the general public.
      • While Skype certainly did a good job of marketing, it really does have one strong technical capability, which is a NAT traversal system that pretty much just works, including penetrating firewalls. That means that unlike most VOIP systems, which work really well if you're on the real Internet but die if you're stuck behind NAT (or at least if both ends of your call are behind NAT), and which generally require lots of configuration if you have a more complex firewall, Skype Just Works.

        The closed protocol

        • That means that unlike most VOIP systems, which work really well if you're on the real Internet but die if you're stuck behind NAT (or at least if both ends of your call are behind NAT), and which generally require lots of configuration if you have a more complex firewall, Skype Just Works.

          Anything that can use STUN (almost all SIP clients) will traverse (most) NATs. However, there are rare situations where the NAT cannot be traversed and Skype works around this by proxying your traffic through random othe
  • by masterpenguin (878744) on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:43AM (#15268704)
    You're going to need that unlimited plan to get in touch with tech support
  • I mean, will it really attract any new users? People who dislike AOL will not change their minds, and people who like AOL will start to use this, but I can't really see it affecting the market.
  • Why does the submitter think VOIP is it a racket? Being able to phone a US landline from Europe for 2 US cents a minute with Skype doesn't sound like a racket. It sounds like a positive bargain.
    • Actually, with the new triple-play offers from ADSL providers, calling the US from Europe can be free now. They simply have their own VoIP networks, and put a plug for any regular POTS phone on the router box. No computer needed (let alone dedicated software), and for the user there's no difference with a regular land line (except you can't use a modem or a fax on the line). I have to say, I don't see the point of using a computer to phone these days.
      • They simply have their own VoIP networks, and put a plug for any regular POTS phone on the router box.

        And if you need an extension on each floor of your house for "emergency" purposes, then what?

        except you can't use a modem or a fax on the line

        For people who rely on fax, do the telcos offer an add-on fax service?

        • And if you need an extension on each floor of your house for "emergency" purposes, then what?

          You use DECT phones (and pray power doesn't fail), or you stick with real POTS lines. Anyway, I don't see the difference with the VoIP-in-computer approach: both have the same problems wrt reliability ; but the integrated VoIP approach it a lot easier for the end user.

          It ain't perfect, but communications don't come much cheaper than free...

          For people who rely on fax, do the telcos offer an add-on fax service?

          • The ADSL providers target private individuals who don't need a fax, not businesses

            O rly? I've seen advertisements for "business DSL" service [google.com] with service levels for home offices and small businesses.

            And e-mail is a lot better than fax anyway <geek smirking>

            Unless you need to interoperate with businesses that use the legacy fax system. Then you have to pay extra for a fax-email gateway. I was hoping that VOIP phone companies would offer such a gateway at a discount to their subscribers.

            • O rly? I've seen advertisements for "business DSL" service with service levels for home offices and small businesses.

              My bad ; what I really meant whas that the ADSL providers who target individuals expect them not to care for fax. And it is this subset of providers which actually offers unlimited free communications to some foreign countries, including the USA. I have no doubt that there's other kinds of offers (maybe including unlimited calls) made to businesses, but they're not comparable to the AOL of

  • by noidentity (188756) on Friday May 05, 2006 @03:55AM (#15268845)
    What's with the overuse of fighting metaphors? Seems every third article or so is titled using a metaphor related to fighting. Most commonly it's "X to be the next Y killer?" Maybe some people need spend more time playing competitive video games.
  • There's nothing about protocol. Is it going to be a proprietary protocol? That is the real question here ! Let this VOIP software compete on the same market. Make a common standard after things evolve enogh. There should be someone watching over this. In the early days there was just copper and some modulation around this question NOW we have greed that regulats this companys.I can just hope people are enough aware of this problem.
    • I am a little confused at what you are concerned about. Proprietary standards for VoIP in general, or that the AOL product will be a closed software package (or both)?

      I am less concerned about AOL/Skype/etc. proprietary systems and what they could do with information that they glean from my use, than I am about the FCC and the US Government. http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/ DOC-265221A1.pdf [fcc.gov]

      As technology has proven over the last few years, eventually an open-source solution will exist

  • It feels like old news [slashdot.org], maybe just an extension of really old news [slashdot.org].
  • Think's there's any possibility that they'll use the SIP protocol?
    • What makes you think they don't use SIP? Or is it that you feel the service should be open to any soft phone client software?
      • because of the fact they claim for $4/mo, it'll work with Skype and Skype definitely doesn't use SIP and I don't think anyone's figured out how to connect to Skype peers with exsiting SIP clients.

        Another thing is there's a lot of hardware out there right now that supports SIP and allows you to use a regular phone for VoIP, so I'm curious if AOL's service will require you to be strapped to your computer or purchase their proprietary hardware (i.e. Skype) or would they actually be "nice" and use a well-suppor
        • I think you might have misread the article:

          "Still, it's the first offer of a free number. To get a number that can be called on Skype costs about $4 a month."

          The $4/month is a comparison (free AOL tel # vs $4/mo Skype tel #). AFAIK there's no $4 Skype-compatible product. I'm fairly certain that AOL's using SIP, given that their previous VoIP effort used Level 3 as infrastructure.
  • So Time Warner which owns Road Runner offers Digital Phone for 49.95 a month.

    Time Warner owns AOL and AOL offers VOIP for $14.95.

    As if we couldn't already figure out why the AOL Time Warner marrage didn't work out, the are apparently under cutting their own product.
    • But these aren't the same product. Digital Phone replaces your home phone service with VoIP underpinnings, cutting the cord to the phone company but your phones work just like they did before. AOL's product allows you to make and receive PSTN calls to and from your computer, like Skype does.
  • An article about AOL in USA Today.

    God bless low the quality that the average American demands and respects.
  • by Nurgled (63197) on Friday May 05, 2006 @06:25AM (#15269083)

    It saddens me that VoIP is going the way that IM went. I want something that will interoperate with everything else --including the traditional telephone network -- transparently. I don't want to have to care whether the person I'm calling uses Skype, or AOL, or Google Talk, or whatever. I just want to pick up my phone (software or hardware) and call them, like I can on the traditional phone network. Why does every new technology seem to degenerate into a mess of competing and deliberately un-interoperable implementations? How long will it be before the hacks of the IM world are repeated, and we end up patching up this mess with complicated multi-protocol client software?

    • I want something that will interoperate with everything else --including the traditional telephone network -- transparently. I don't want to have to care whether the person I'm calling uses Skype, or AOL, or Google Talk, or whatever. I just want to pick up my phone (software or hardware) and call them, like I can on the traditional phone network.

      Well, not entirely true - on the traditional PSTN you have to know that people use the PSTN and not something like Google Talk. But the PSTN is so ubiquitous that
    • There's always Vonage. I've been using Vonage for more than a year without problem. They have some great features and a reasonable pricing plan ($25 includes free national calls and international calls that are cheap compared to most calling cards, especially when so many cards apply 'hidden fees'). There are a few features still missing - for years, people have been requesting some sort of call block, and a 'soft phone' (a software phone that allows you to connect your computer to the Vonage network throug
  • If AOL are starting in on voip, then someone's going to start thinking about the potential of cold calling revenue. the only person I know still using aol is cancelling soon because they are bombarded with non blockable adverts within the aol client whenever the log in. I can see it now, coding late into the night, or playing games, and getting constantly interrupted by people trying to sell me insurance/double glazing/marital aids, whatever. If anyone starts it, it'll be aol, and as soon as someone does,
  • The following text may contain car analogies:

    I know it's been said before, but it's still shocking that it isn't seen as the main issue. Seriously, I don't give a shit about the quality of the service compared to Skype. If Toyota started selling petrol, the issue wouldn't be the quality of the petrol, it'd be "OMG TOYOTA IS SELLING PETROL". This is little different. Similarly, if Hitachi created its own TV channel, I wouldn't be asking how good the programs were, I'd be mentally noting not to buy any Hitach

  • by malsdavis (542216) * on Friday May 05, 2006 @06:36AM (#15269124)
    "The article also outlines their plans to take on MySpace in the near future."

    My bet is that "taking on MySpace" means a huge marketing campaign to 'warn' parents of the supposed 'dangers' of MySpace and how their expensive & restrictive system will be so much safer. Thereby getting the parents to force teenagers and such to switch.

    If AOL are lucky they may even be able to get the parents to pay a monthly fee to switch and 'ensure' their childs safety. Such is the paranoia spread by the mainstream media these days.
    • > My bet is that "taking on MySpace" means a huge marketing campaign to 'warn' parents of the supposed 'dangers' of MySpace and how their expensive & restrictive system will be so much safer. Thereby getting the parents to force teenagers and such to switch.

      They'll probably emphasize on how murderers, canibals and pedophiles were found on myspace too, in a subtle way.
  • Also this month, it will roll out AIM Pages -- a direct broadside on MySpace. If someone on your AIM Buddy List has an AIM Page you'll get an alert whenever that person adds something to it. One click takes you to it.

    So basically they're offering VOIP (like MSN/WLM) and linking blog updates to your IM profile (like MSN/WLM). IT'S MAGIC!
  • I've been playing Oblivion a lot lately. When I saw the headline about VoIP Ring I thought of this:

    You've equipped the Ring of VoIP.

    What kind of stats would it have? Mind Reading?
  • I see people bashing it either because it's not free for long distance or just because it's AOL. Let's wait until we can evaluate the service before bashing it. I don't expect too much out of it, but I'm holding off my wrath until I try it at least.
  • Looks like aol turns yet another ring into a dope ring

  • Will they have a voice that says "You've got voice mail"?

    This is a perfect excuse to add more boot-time background processes to provide users with an even slower, more popup-and-reminder-filled computing experience!

  • "Dubbed AIM Phoneline, the free number would only allow for incoming calls from any phone." ONLY from ANY?
  • In the software VoIP area there have been a lot of big announcements recently, including Yahoo, Lycos, AOL. I guess I wouldn't touch AOL and Lycos because they sound too good to be true, and sure enough they are (ads). But none of them, nor Skype, support Canada: their inbound services don't have Canada numbers.

    What software VoIP services do offer Canadian phone numbers?
  • More software that AOL provides to make your computer run even slower.
  • Will AOL's VoIP service say "Goodbye!" when it disconnects me?

"If you don't want your dog to have bad breath, do what I do: Pour a little Lavoris in the toilet." -- Comedian Jay Leno

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