Archive for February, 2007

YouMail Voicemail Service

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

The new YouMail service gives cell phone users an innovative way to personalize their voicemail messages well beyond the standard greetings. YouMail allows users to record an individual voicemail greeting for every caller, based on their caller ID. So now can have one voicemail greeting for your boyfriend or girlfriend, one for your parents, and still another for your boss and business associates.

The YouMail service provides users with the ability to check their voice messages from any phone, or from the Internet, along with the ability to forward their favorite messages to any e-mail address. The "ditchmail" feature provides a way to hang up on unwanted callers after their custom greeting has been played.

YouMail is free and works with existing cell phones and most carriers.

Free Dial-A-Story

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

The Marianna Black Library in Charlotte, North Carolina has a free dial-a-story line for children aged 3-5. The story changes weekly. (828) 488-9412.

Free 411 from Tell Me

Monday, February 26th, 2007

Tell Me (covered before here) has entered the free directory assistance market. The service says that it can find the phone number of any business in America for free.

Call 1-800-555-TELL (8355) and say "Business Search". You can then say the name of a particular business that you're looking for, or say the type of business that you want — such as "pizza" — to find options in your geographic area. You can optionally have Tell Me send you the company's phone number and address via text message.

Details about your telephone exchange

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

Here's a cool (although arcane) tool found by a reader:

NPA NXX Lookup:

He writes: "When you put in your phone number, you get a lot of data, but the most fun is the part where it says 'Central Office.' In some areas, such as mine, it still lists the old alphanumeric code for the prefix. For example, my phone number is 503-771-xxxx (in Portland, Oregon). The Central Office field lists it as 'PORTLAND-PROSPECT.' The old alphanumeric code would be PRospect 1-xxxx.

This website did help me find out which phone company had posession of the vanity number I wanted for my business, so it's helpful for that, too."

What does your phone number spell?

Saturday, February 24th, 2007

I can never remember my mobile phone number. I've had the same number for years, and still have to look it up every time anyone needs to call me on my cell. And now, the Interweb-powered solution: enter your digits at the web site and it will show you what words and phrases your phone number spells.

Quit Smoking Hotline

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Ready to stop smoking, chewing, and otherwise imbibing tobacco? The 1-800-QUIT-NOW hotline offers telephone tobacco counseling and tips. It will also direct you to your local state's tobacco quit line: many states offer free nicotine patches and in-person counseling sessions. update

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

The free international calling service didn't come back online Monday as the company said it would. Not a big surprise there. Now the CEO now says in his blog that service will resume with 5 days.

Who is my long distance provider?

Thursday, February 22nd, 2007

Dialing 1-700-555-4141 will tell you which company is your long distance carrier. Dialing 1-your area code-700-4141 will tell you which company provides your local toll service (oxymoronically known as "local long distance".)

Update on Free International Calling

Friday, February 16th, 2007

Of the three services that we've discovered that offer free international calls, two of them have already gone belly-up. The web site of Futurephone (which we wrote about here) says the service is no longer available, and (article here) has quietly gone disconnected. Maybe the Universal Service Fund loophole that these companies were using to generate income isn't all it's cracked up to be.

But (article) still seems to be humming along — at least, for now. lets you call two dozen countries for free. 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.

Looks like I spoke too soon: according to the blog of AllFreeCalls' CEO, "Our allfreecalls provider in Iowa today took flight due to increasing pressure from a large USA based carrier." (Hint: its initials are A, T, and T.) He continues, "We are working on getting a new number up. We expect to be back in business on Monday afternoon…"

We'll see about that.

Here's info about the AT&T lawsuit that's killing the free international long distance services.


Friday, February 16th, 2007

In their own version of the Rejection Hotline, porn star Ron Jeremy and Virgin Mobile are offering "Dial-A-Dis". When a not-so-hot guy or girl asks for your phone number, you can give them the Dial-a-Dis digits instead of your own. In a recorded message, Ron Jeremy will let them down easy for you.

The numbers are (416) 348-1801 (to reject a woman) or (416) 348-1802 (to reject a man). Both numbers are in Toronto — so in addition to weaseling out of rejecting someone, you'll get the satisfaction of knowing they'll have to pay for a call to Canada.