Add a Little Privacy to Google Latitude

This title must sound very ironic given that the whole purpose of Google Latitude is to reduce privacy. I am not saying this is a bad thing, just that telling people where you are right now is less private than not telling them.

Recently, Google took the reduction of privacy a little further by allowing you to setup a web site badge for Latitude. Up until this point, you could only share your location with select friends, however, now you can share it with the whole world via your website, blog, etc. I do use this, so you can spy on my location if you wish.

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Google Voice and Asterisk

Many months back Paul Marks and I looked into how to integrate Google Voice and Asterisk. Inbound calling was simple as you direct your Google Voice account to a Gizmo5 number and Asterisk integrates with the open SIP standard that Gizmo5 uses.

However, our task was to be able to make outbound calls without the need to use the web interface to place the call. What essentially had to happen is when you dialed a number on your SIP phone, Asterisk would have to talk to the Google Voice site and handle the call setup for you.

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Google App Engine

Last night, Google launched App Engine which allows developers to create web applications and publish them on Google’s infrastructure. The exciting part of the App Engine in my eyes is that the language you use to develop on it is Python. Google provides many API’s to interface the Python programming language with the various services they offer. You can authenticate via Google accounts, use Bigtable to store data, and use Google Aps to bind your application to your own domain. They opened the initial “Preview Release” to the first 10,000 developers to sign up. From the looks of it, those 10,000 spots filled up within the first few hours of the launch.

I was fortunate to be one of the first to sign up and got my account last night. I created a basic hello world application to test and overall the system seems very easy to use. My demo is at http://labs.appspot.com.

I also created an account for the PyAMF project and we were able to get a PyAMF echo server running on App Engine. It is currently located at: http://ae.pyamf.org We are continuing to work with it today and tomorrow to write up some examples and a How-to to get people started quickly. We will continue to add more examples to the site as time progresses and we get everything documented.