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Archiving Phone Calls? Why Not; It's Cheap

Posted by: Olga Kharif on May 16, 2006

Consultancy Ferris Research recently calculated how much it would cost to archive voice calls — an issue all the more intriguing in light of the government’s phone records controversy. Ferris estimates that storing one hour of voice calls takes up about 5 megabytes. So if a user is on the phone for an hour 200 days a year, that adds up to 1 gigabyte of storage a year. That amount of storage costs between $1.60 and $2.10.

So, in theory, recording calls — either by the government or corporations that want to keep tabs on employee activities — would come at a trivial cost.

As an increasing number of phone calls are being routed via the Web, through Web-calling services, they are becoming easier to record than traditional phone calls, as they are in a digital format. Considering voice archiving’s low cost, I think it’s a real possibility that corporations — and, potentially, the government — could start to record phone calls.

Reader Comments


May 17, 2006 6:32 AM

Did you get that:

Brian Ross, ABC News' Chief investigative correspondent, and Richard Esposito, from ABC News, today reported that: "The FBI acknowledged late Monday that it is increasingly seeking reporters" phone records in leak investigations."

Here's the post:

Stuart Oliver

May 17, 2006 6:44 AM

We have a massive amount of information that comes our way. We read documents, emails, listen to podcasts, look at pictures etc. some of these we will remember, many we won't. Our memory is not infallible. But, what if we could store all of this, with no limits on capacity. Technically it's possible for sure, the challenge is the age old requirement of finding it again.

Imagine for a moment that anything that can be stored can be found. Not just "found" but found when you want to find it. Search engines need to improve and our ability to use them also needs to improve. So now you can search for a word in an audio file, you can search for a face or object in a picture and, of course, search for text in emails in documents.

What we need is a repository with a personal knowledge management system that "sits on top" of it. This has search built into it, tagging of every object that exists. If I tell it that the passport photo image I just uploaded is Stuart, then is should create a signature of that image, such that when I search for "Stuart" again it will search all images for that electronic signature and so my face. So if we have images, text, and audio we should now be able to draw on almost everything that we've experienced and encountered and exploit it to our benefit.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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