Archive for January, 2007

Free International Calling

Friday, January 19th, 2007

Since we mentioned the Futurephone free international calls service, a few similar services have cropped up. It looks like for the next few years, there will be a number of services that let you place international calls, just for the cost of a call to Iowa. lets you call two dozen countries for free. Just dial 712-858-8094, and listen to the instructions. Dial 0-1-1, followed by the country code and the number you want to call. offers a similar service: dial (712) 945-4444 and follow the prompts.

These services are taking advantage of the Federal Communications Commission's Universal Service Fund, which helps telecommunications in states where the telecom infrastructure is lacking. The U.S. government pays these companies a small fee for every call that is placed from certain states — in this case, Iowa. A more detailed explanation of the scheme can be found here. Also here.

Arcade Fire Dial-A-Song

Thursday, January 4th, 2007

Found this tidbit at The Boston Globe:

If you're jonesing for new music from Montreal indie-rock quintet Arcade Fire and can't wait until spring to hear their sophomore release "Neon Bible," then it's time to let your fingers do the walking. …

Those who dial 866-NEON-BIBLE (or 866-636-6242 for the alphanumerically impaired) and then dial ext. 7777 will get an earful of an almost comically lo-fi recording of an impassioned, mid tempo, organ-and-glockenspiel-enhanced tune called "Intervention." There are also quirky "menu options" that allow listeners to leave a message or hear more about the "revolutionary, safe new medical program" called "Neon Bible," a title nicked from a novel by John Kennedy Toole. There's also a "free evaluative quiz" and a "$10,000 contest."