For almost a week now, the world has been watching the developments taking place in Egypt. Since the day the “internet plug” was pulled, bits and pieces of information have been leaking out of – and presumably into – those with some form of internet connection.
In what it touts as an effort to help the citizens of Egypt regain communication with the outside world and to tell their story about the unprecedented events unfolding, Google is offering a new service. The idea is essentially a voice-to-text translation service. People in Egypt who have phone service can call a number and have their “tweet” recorded, translated, and posted to Twitter, all automatically. The only thing needed, and this is certainly still a problem in many cases, is a voice connection.
Google reports on it’s blog that their engineers worked with counterparts from Twitter and SayNow, a company that the behemoth Google acquired just last week, to bring this bold idea to fruition. The service is live and ready for use. Anyone can call one of the following numbers, leave a voicemail, and the service will post the tweet to Twitter under the hashtag #egypt. The numbers are: +16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855.
Google engineers hope that this new service will help the people of Egypt who are currently being cut off from the outside world and will hopefully add transparency to the situation there.