GrandCentral, Google’s $50 million phone company, has been down all morning (see overview of service here). And that means every single user who has started using their GrandCentral phone number isn’t able to receive any calls. Users are complaining on Twitter, and I’ve confirmed this as well by simply calling friends who use the service. Calls will not go through.
Update: service is back online sometime before noon PST. Still no word from them on the cause of the outage.
Update 2: Co-founder Craig Walker posts the following on the GrandCentral blog:
I wanted to write a quick note to all the GC users and apologize for the service interruption this morning. We had a power issue at our current colo facility and it knocked us off line for a few hours. Unfortunately I’ve been up in the mountains with the family this weekend and had no cell/internet coverage so couldn’t respond earlier. I did want to let you know that we were able to restore the service by noon today and are working extremely diligently to make sure this won’t occur in the future. We’ll do a better job keeping you informed in the future, not only about service related issues but also about upcoming features, soliciting your feedback, and generally making sure that you, the GC user, is well informed as to what’s going on with the service.
Ties between Google and the Surui, whose chief, 34-year-old Almir Narayamoga, “visited the company…to ask it to help monitor the loggers’ incursions” were first established last year. In that time, Google has not only offered the Surui photographic assistance, but will use the Google Earth Outreach initiative to “alert the world” of the ongoing illegal cutting of 600,000 acres of Rondonia forest.
If you’re curious as to how Chief Narayamoga managed to get an audience with Google in the first place, it’s important to know that this isn’t the first time any of the Surui have embarked outside the Amazon. It’s said that the tribe first made contact with “the modern world” in the latter half of the 20th century, and have even recently adopted the use of mobile satellite navigation systems to better navigate trails.
Mind you, this new effort by Google to dip 20,000+ leagues beneath the sea, all around the globe, isn’t necessarily just for entertainment. Unless you’re one to think bathymetry is really damn cool. The company has brought together “an advisory group of oceanography experts” to consult for the project and even invited some specialist researchers to the Googleplex late last year to discuss plans for the service. Sound like serious business?
Google’s most recent attempt to enter the commercial software arena took place recently with it’s re-launch of Postini, as reported by Read / Write Web:
Yesterday Google announced a new product aimed specifically at Google Apps’ enterprise customers. The service, powered by Google acquisition Postini with technology from ScanSafe, is called Google Web Security for Enterprise and it offers real-time malware protection and URL filtering with policy enforcement and reporting. Essentially, it’s a big Google firewall in the cloud.
Google Web Security for Enterprise provides three main areas of protection: 1) web virus and spyware protection, 2) web filtering and content control, and 3) protection for roaming and remote users. Services such as these aren’t anything new to I.T. administrators, but they often come in the form of expensive software suites, hardware appliances, or, more often, a combination of both. With the Google Web Security product, the goal is to provide enterprises with the same type of security and protection that they are used to, but all under the Google brand.