Thursday, November 16, 2006

Google Rolls Out New Prank Call Feature

Google has added a great new feature to its Map product, one that was rumored a few months ago. Now, Google will call businesses that show up in local search results for you. After clicking on the call link, either in the results list or in a bubble, you are prompted to enter your phone number. Google calls you and the business, then connects both calls. Even if the business is located in another calling area, Google will provide the service to you for free.

I think this is a terrific feature, but I believe it will end up being abused. A few years ago, a co-worker of mine had fun playing a joke on the unlikable fellow in the next cubical using the office phone system. He called him, then transferred the call to a person down the hall before he answered. The result was both answered thinking the other person called them. We could hardly contain our laughter as the two tried to figure out what was going on. Back then, we didn't have this service. In fact, Google didn't even exist then. If it had, we might have connected that man to an escort service or to Weight Watchers.

I hope the pranksters don't make Google regret this. It's quite convenient.

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