Google, Twitter Enable Egyptians to Tweet via Voice

By RJ Middleton
|  Tuesday, Feb 1, 2011  |  Updated 11:17 AM PDT
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Google, Twitter Enable Egyptians to Tweet via Voice

Ben Curtis/AP

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Using Google's speech-to-text recognition technology, and Twitter's hashtagging and massive distribution list, Egyptian citizens can still get their words out despite an Internet blackout.

The Guardian has reported that the new service is a coordinated effort between the two Silicon Valley giants.

Callers use special numbers and their words are transcribed into a Tweet that is auto-tagged with #egypt.

The three phone numbers are: 1-650-419-4196; +390662207294; and +97316199855. No Internet connection is required.

A weekend blog post from Ujjwal Singh describes their process:

Like many people we’ve been glued to the news unfolding in Egypt and thinking of what we could do to help people on the ground. Over the weekend we came up with the idea of a speak-to-tweet service—the ability for anyone to tweet using just a voice connection.

... We hope that this will go some way to helping people in Egypt stay connected at this very difficult time. Our thoughts are with everyone there.

The Noor Group in Egypt was the last internet service provider available after the four main ISPs were shut down on Friday. Noor went dark late Monday night -- their Internet "routes" disappearing.

Mobile phone service, however, was restored on Saturday.

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