Archive for August, 2009

Free Dial-A-Story from San Francisco Public Library

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Nothing beats a good story. It's great entertainment, and studies show that the more kids are read to, the better they do in school. While we'd all love to spend more time reading with our kids, sometimes that's just not possible. In that situation, the second best thing may well be having somebody else read with them.

The San Francisco Public Library has a free Dial-A-Story service. It's available in English at 1-415-437-4880, Spanish (1-415-437-4882), and Cantonese (dial 1-415-437-4883). The folks at the Library recommend it for children ages 2 and older.

When we called the number, we didn't get a story; rather we heard a lively children's song (who knew that "Here we go Loopty Loo" would be such an ear worm?) that went on for a couple of minutes. Presumably they rotate their content, so you may want to call back often.

The Dial-A-Story service is available 24/7. It's not a toll-free call, so you'll want to consider the possible cost you may incur when calling.

Free Anonymous Voicemail and Conference Calling

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

How many times have you needed to give out your contact information, but really wish you didn't have to? Whether it's an item on eBay, a posting on Craigslist, or even somebody you just met and would like to get to know better, there's that moment of hesitation when it comes to giving out your phone number. Yeah, it'll probably be okay, but you just never know. CallVibe might be what you're looking for.

These guys provide an anonymous voicemail service. After you sign up for a free account, you download their client application to your computer. To leave you a message, all that folks need to do is to call 1-504-353-2500 and enter your mailbox number. The app will let you know when a message comes in; then all you need to do is phone in and retrieve that message.

With this service you can also set up your own conference calls. Get everybody on the line at once and make those decisions that need everybody's input.

CallVibe is a free service. To use their application, you'll need a computer running Windows XP or Vista.