Archive for October, 2008

Go directly to voicemail with Slydial

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Do you ever intentionally phone somebody when you know they're not not available to take your call? Maybe you need to just leave a message and don't need to talk about it: remember, the club meeting's a 7:30 tonight. Maybe it's somebody you don't want to talk to: hey, it's your brother—did you mail me that check yet? Whatever the reason, you have to make your best guess about when the person you're calling won't be available, and hope you guessed right.

You can take the guesswork out of it all with Slydial. All you need to do is dial 267-SLY-DIAL (267-759-3425) and follow the prompts. You'll have to listen to a short ad (that's how they can provide this service for free), but then you go directly to voicemail for any cell phone number in the US.

Slydial is a free service—you don't even have to sign up to use it—but the phone number is in Pennsylvania, so if a call to there costs you, this call will cost you as well. There are extra services available after signing up (speed dial, etc. for your contacts). If you really want to go all out, there is a paid version as well, where you don't get the ad and you can leave messages of unlimited length.

Keep abreast of heavenly events with Spaceweather Phone

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

Spaceweather Phone is a fee-based service that helps keep you in the loop regarding all things astronomical. Available in two flavors, you can choose the focus more interesting to you.

Space Weather Alerts provide updates on Aurora- and solar activity. If you're interested in solar flares, sunspots, and all, you can sign up for these alerts for $4.95 per month.

If you're interested in more general celestial happenings, then you might want to try the $6.95 per month Backyard Astronomy Alerts. You'll get calls about satellite fly-bys, meteor showers, comets, and more.

Whether you're a photographer who wants to grab pictures of the next Aurora, a ham radio operator worried about getting knocked off the air by magnetic storms, or just somebody fascinated by the nighttime sky, you might just want to give one of these services a try. They also suggest that, of course, either of these services would make a swell gift.