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4MR is sponsored by Carnegie-Knight News21, an alliance of 12 journalism schools in which top students tell complex stories in inventive ways. See tips for spurring innovation and digital learning at Learn.News21.com.

In this week’s 4MR podcast I look at the recently launched free phone service from Google through Gmail. Undercutting Skype and other VoIP services (not to mention landlines), Google is letting people call from their computer to anywhere in the U.S. or Canada for free, and charging low international rates. What’s in it for Google? I spoke to tech pundit and Computerworld contributor Mitch Wagner to learn more.

Check it out:

bareaudio82710.mp3

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Listen to my entire interview with Mitch Wagner:

wagner full.mp3

Background music is “What the World Needs” by the The Ukelele Hipster Kings via PodSafe Music Network.

Here are some links to related sites and stories mentioned in the podcast:

Call Phones from Gmail at Google

Six Things Google’s Free Phone Service Can’t Do at NY Times

Gmail call feature a ringing success, a million times over at Christian Science Monitor

How to make calls using Gmail at CNET

Google reportedly adding voice calling to Gmail at Computerworld

Gmail Voice Is About Future Search, Not Free Calls at Gizmodo

Gmail’s now in the phone biz. Trouble for carriers down the road? at Sprint Connection blog

Google continues the assault on the price of a phone call at Washington Post

Google adds free phone calls to Gmail, wow at Seattle Times

Google Voice phone booths Dr. Who might love at News.com

Google introduces Gmail-linked phone service at SF Chronicle

Also, be sure to vote in our poll about what you think the future of the landline will be:


Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit.


i-59e41f7d887bee107a310677b0f93a1e-news21 small.jpg

4MR is sponsored by Carnegie-Knight News21, an alliance of 12 journalism schools in which top students tell complex stories in inventive ways. See tips for spurring innovation and digital learning at Learn.News21.com.