Free Gmail Call within the US and Canada Extended through 2012 - Google Policy Fellowship 2012 Announced - App Engine 1.6.1 Released

In time for the holiday season, Google Voice and Gmail has extended its free domestic calls within the United Stated and Canada for 2012."This is our way of helping you connect with friends and family across the country. And you can still call the rest of the world from Gmail at our insanely low rates," […]

Google VoiceIn time for the holiday season, Google Voice and Gmail has extended its free domestic calls within the United Stated and Canada for 2012.

"This is our way of helping you connect with friends and family across the country. And you can still call the rest of the world from Gmail at our insanely low rates," blogged Vincent Paquet, Group Product Manager.

Google Voice Call from Gmail

In other G-mail news, the following features are now available to domains inclduign Google Apps, Google Apps for Business, Government and Education -- following the Scheduled Release track:

Gmail:
- Disable chat setting: A new option to disable chat in "Settings" and this action can also be done via a screen reader.

Docs:
- The new look is now the permanent interface across all Docs services.

Sites:
- The new look is now the permanent interface.

Google Policy FellowshipGoolge has launched the 5th summer of the Google Policy Fellowship, "applications are open today, and the deadline to apply is February 3, 2012," informs Google.

Google policy Fellowship connect students of all levels and disciplines with organizations working on the forefront of these and other critical issues for the future of the Internet.

Selected students will spend ten weeks this summer working on a broad portfolio of topics at a diverse set of organizations, including:

"American Library Association, Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, Center for Democracy and Technology, The Citizen Lab, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Creative Commons, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Future of Music Coalition, Internet Education Foundation, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, Media Access Project, National Hispanic Media Coalition, New America Foundation, Public Knowledge, TechFreedom, and Technology Policy Institute," Google revealed.

You can learn about the program and host organizations on the Google Public Policy Fellowship website.

Google App Engine 1.61 releasedAlso, Google App Engine version 1.6.1 has now been released. Here are some new features that will keep you up tinkering well past midnight on January 1st.

  • Frontend Instance Classes - For applications that need more CPU and/or memory to serve requests, "Now, apps that need more computing power can upgrade the size of their instances," Google revealed.
  • High Replication Datastore (HRD) Migration Tool has graduated to become a fully supported feature. "The tool allows you to easily migrate your data, limits the downtime required to complete the migration, and also allows you to choose its precise time. Every app can now start the new year off right, improving their uptime and reliability by migrating to HRD!," informs Google.
  • Conversion API (Experimental) lets easily convert between PDF, HTML, text and images. Generating PDF invoices from HTML, displaying PDF menus as HTML or extracting text from images using OCR is now as simple as an API call.
  • Logs Reader API (Experimental) allows you to programmatically access your logs to build reports, gather statistics, and analyze requests to your heart's content.