Google Voice Has Come to Italy/ Usare Google Voice

Well, Google Voice has finally arrived to Italy, at last. To call any mobile phone or landline directly from Gmail is now possible even from Italian accounts, while it was not available until a few weeks ago. As soon as you connect to your Gmail account, you will be asked to try and/or authorize the Voice service. Then, a small sleak box will appear on your bottom right with the number dialling pad, including the country symbols. Rates seem quite appealing and low, even for calls directed to mobile phones, ranging from €0,02 (land line, like in the United Kingdom) to 0,11-0,13,2 in Italy and €0,08 in the United Kingdom, all per minute, excluding VAT though. Just to note, a typical call to a mobile phone in the USA is free. Further information is available here.

Clearly enough, Google Voice presents itself as a way to scrap customers from its rival Skype, recently acquired by the arch-rival Microsoft, especially with good rates, but Skype has the greater advantage of totally free voice calls from computer to computer and integrates with Facebook very well and Google Voice is not, instead.

In Italiano:
Dopo diversi mesi di anticipazioni e di tira e molla, finalmente è disponibile anche in Italia il servizio Google Voice per chiamate a telefoni cellulari e di rete fissa. Il servizio è attivabile attraverso il proprio account Gmail e poco dopo compare sullo schermo, in basso a destra, un tastierino comprendente l’indicativo prefisso nazionale. Sì, perché a secondo del paese di destinazione di chiamata, le tariffe cambiano leggermente, come si evince dalla tabella nel link. In estrema sintesi, Google Voice sembra competitivo per chiamare telefoni fissi, mentre per i cellulari vi possono essere tariffe più appetibili.
Certo, Google Voice non può competere con le chiamate gratuite da computer a computer effettuabili con Skype (che permette di interloquire anche via Facebook), così come il versante integrazione comporta l’attenzione verso Google Voice con Docs, Gmail e gli altri servizi Google, con cui s’integra meravigliosamente (e logicamente).

I PAid A Bribe: Uncovering Corruption Thro Web 2.0/ Quando il Web 2.0 aiuta a scoprire la corruzione

Today I just discovered ipaidabribe.com, a unique initiative to tackle corruption by harnessing the collective energy of citizens in India. People can report on the nature, number, pattern, types, location, frequency and values of actual corrupt acts on this website. The reports will, perhaps for the first time, provide a snapshot of bribes occurring across Indian cities and states. The initiative is backed by Janagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, a non-profit organisation based in Bangalore, India. It works with citizens and the government to improve the quality of life in Indian cities and towns. Founded in 2001 by Ramesh Ramanathan and Swati Ramanathan, Janaagraha started as a movement to enable citizen participation in public governance. It has now evolved into a robust institution for Citizenship and Democracy.
I Paid a Bribe will use the reports to argue for improving governance systems and procedures, tightening law enforcement and regulation and thereby reduce the scope for corruption in obtaining services from the Indian government. The site invite people to register any recent or old bribes paid, but does NOT ask for their name or phone details, so people can feel free to report on the formats provided.

In Italiano:
I Paid a Bribe è una pagina collaborativa “Made in India”, in cui si invitano le persone che hanno subito un tentativo di corruzione, andato o meno a buon fine, di segnalarlo geolocalizzandolo sulla mappa, permettendo di raccogliere statistiche e contrastare il reato. Il sito collaborativo è frutto dell’impegno della fondazione Janagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy, un’organizzazione senza fini di lucro con base a Bangalore, India ed è a fianco dei cittadini (ma anche delle autorità governative) per migliorare la qualità di vita nelle città e nei villaggi del paese. Notevole uso degli strumenti del Web 2.0, non c’è che dire.