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Google Voice brings expectation management to Santa 2.0

Letters are so 20th Century

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Google has set up a Santa calling service, offering personalised calls from the man himself, along with Facebook and Twitter updates, as the man in the red suit goes high tech.

Mr Claus has apparently signed up with the chocolate factory and has a voice-mail account where ankle-biters can leave him a message, and a website where parents can suggest what Santa might like to tell their beloved offspring – "expectation management" as it's technically known.

Once you've established who the call is for, and what gift they might reasonably expect (with "Android Phone" being the first option on the list), the technology from Varitalk glues the audio together for local playback, and Google Voice will deliver it to a US phone number for free.

It might seem a strange alliance, but Google knows well if you've been naughty or nice this year, and always checks the list twice, so perhaps extending Google Voice to the north pole makes more sense than providing the service in Europe – we'll just have to stick to paper and pen for another year at least. ®

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