AOLbyPhone is officially cool...

From: Stephen D. Williams (
Date: Sat Jan 06 2001 - 02:05:03 PST

$4.95, 800 number, speech recognition (but not yet for composing), fairly good
text to speech with reasonable inflection.

Allows you to read your email (but not intelligent choices of which email),
get weather, sports, headlines, shopping, and interestingly 'phone call'.

Weather was interesting because it somehow knew I was in Las Vegas when I
called with my Virginia mobile phone.

'Phone Call' allows you to make a 2 min call to anywhere, free, while in the
middle of a browsing session. It offers to call the sender of email. (Didn't
explore that yet.)

Poor performance with interruption even though it invites you to do so, but I
was mostly using speakerphone to demo it.

To cover the long distance (i.e. 800 charges) including payphone surcharge
($0.30 as per FCC; they invite you to use it from payphones), and the outgoing
phone calls (ok, LD is nominally $0.06/min now), along with the capital costs
that will be needed to handle this for a large number of users, this is
reasonably impressive. I think it's cool for the price/performance and that
AOL thinks it's now scalable enough to start selling with popups. Anyone know
who's technology they're using?

There seem to be many voice competitors suddenly.


Stephen D. Williams         Insta, Inc./Jabber.Com, Inc./CCI
43392 Wayside Cir,Ashburn,VA 20147-4622 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax  Dec2000

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