Archive for the 'Fun #s' Category

Get me out of here!

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

In a sticky situation that you need to get out of? Not sure if that date or meeting is going to go well? Maybe you should cover yourself and arrange for a call to come in, that'll let you excuse yourself to take care of some important matter? Maybe you need Getmooh.

Getmooh ("GETMeOutOfHere") is a free service that lets you phone yourself, after a manner of speaking. On their website, you can enter a number to call—most likely yours—a time to call, and a choice of messages to use. On their FAQ page, they warn that their system has some kind of bandwidth cap placed on it, such that if that capacity is exceeded, your call may not get made. I suppose there's really no such thing as a mission-critical "get me out of here", but if such a thing were to exist, you'd be well-served not to rely on these folks to guarantee that the call's going to be made.

You do need to sign up to take advantage of this service, and your phone number is included with all outgoing messages, so if you're planning to have a call made to somebody other than yourself, know that your recipient is going to know who's responsible for the call.

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.

Send a birthday greeting by phone

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

Want to wish somebody a happy birthday, but don't want to make it just another Hallmark moment? Maybe you should check out BirthdayDialer.com.

A free service, these guys will send your greeting along to the lucky Birthday Boy (or Girl). You can choose from several different greetings—there's a traditional rendition of "Happy Birthday to You", a banjo version, and even a "Bollywood Birthday". And of course, there's Marilyn Monroe's breathy "Happy Birthday Mr President". There's a generic "happy birthday" message that goes out along with the fancy-schmantzy one. Your call is placed in real time, so you'll need to remember to visit the site on your friend's birthday.

These guys also offer a paid version, where you get to schedule the call, and add your own personal message as well.

TextDialer reads your message back in a robotic monotone

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Need to make a phone call but not so interested in letting your recipient know who's on the other end of the line? Or maybe you're just a big fan of Mr Roboto. Either way, here's an interesting find for you. Point your web browser to TextDialer, enter the number you want to call, and type in your message. This service will then call your number (in the US or Canada) and read your message back to whoever picks up the phone. The sound quality is about what you would expect from a synthesized voice, and some of the pronunciations were a bit off, but it definitely gets your meaning across.

TextDialer is a free service.

Thanks to K3ntucky for pointing this one out to us.

Let Mario help you ask for a Nintendo DS for Christmas

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

Whether you've been naughty or nice, you've decided you need a new Nintendo DS for Christmas. You've left notes lying around the house. You've left store ads open to the right page. You've even absent-mindedly wondered aloud "what would it be like to have a brand new gaming system?" Are you sure that everybody gets it? Maybe it's time to call in reinforcements.

Do you think it might help if Mario himself were to make a call on your behalf? Check it out here. All you need to do is to enter your name and the name and relationship of the person to whom Mario is going to send the message for you. Answer a couple of questions, and everybody's favorite plumber will make that phone call for you–or send an email message with a link to an audio file that your recipient can listen to.

It doesn't cost anything to get Mario to put in a good word for you. And hey, I'll bet you'd rather get a couple of new games than a new pair of socks.

Get a free phone call from Santa

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

If you're more than about two years old, you've no doubt received a gift from Santa Claus. If you're lucky, you may have gotten a letter from him as well. But what about a phone call? If you, or someone special, needs to get a jingle from that Jolly Old Elf, you'll want to check out ChristmasDialer.com.

Just enter your phone number and choose one of three messages. Click the button, and in a minute or two, you'll get a call from Kris Kringle himself. Imagine the joy on your child's face–or the look of shock on the face of your spouse–when The Big Guy calls.

Santa assures us that he doesn't keep track of your phone number, so you're not going to get a bunch of crank calls from the elves anywhere down the road.

Post pictures to your Photobucket account from your phone

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

Do you take a lot of photos with your phone? It's a pretty handy thing to always have that camera with you. Not only is it easy to share vacations and outings, but more "serious" stuff as well: here's the apartment we're looking to rent; here's the cute new dog we're looking at adopting from the local animal shelter.

You can send those images to other folks through MMS, but if you're hitting more than one or two contacts, that can get expensive. It'd be handy if you could hit a bunch of folks all at once.

You've got an online account for sharing pictures, right? If it's with Photobucket, you can take advantage of their service that lets you upload pictures directly from your phone.

Log in to your account, click on the "albums & upload" button, grab the email address and send a message to it with your picture as an attachment. In a short time, your image will be included in your album. Now you can point people there to see your handiwork.

If you don't already have a Photobucket account, you can sign up for free.

Name that song

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

We've all been there. You hear a song, your toes start tapping, and pretty quick you know you've gotta' own that song. Only problem is, you have no idea what it is or who's performing it. What are you gonna' do?

You could try 411-SONG. To ID a song you're hearing, you just dial 1-866-411-SONG (1-800-411-7664), hold your phone up to the speaker, and in about fifteen seconds, they'll identify the song and text you back with the title, performer, and a link to buy the song. It couldn't be easier.

The first call is free; after that, it costs $0.99 per call, or you can get unlimited song IDs for $3.99 a month.

Dial-a-story where you tell the story

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Dial-a-story services generally allow you to call or log in to listen to a story. This one's different, in that you are encouraged to leave a story, as well as listening to one.

The Story Collector is an opportunity to share with others the story you never got to tell, or the old favorite that the kids keep pestering you to tell again and again. Stories run from serious to amusing, touching to outrageous, and just about everything in between. While you can listen to stories submitted by others, this is your chance to make your own mark.

Fill in a web form with some minimal information—your name, email address, and any comments you want to make, and you'll be given a toll-free number to call to tell your story in your own voice. If you want to remain anonymous, that's an option as well. Make the phone call, tell your story, and you're good. Now everybody can hear about your most memorable vacation, the time the cat died, or why Aunt Mabel insists on bringing fruitcake to holiday dinners when nobody can stand the stuff.

Call to Confess

Friday, May 16th, 2008

Got a lot on your mind? Need to get it off your chest? More naughty than nice? Maybe it's time to 'fess up.

Call to Confess doesn't care who you are or what you're about. Just phone them at 1-848-482-5568 and tell them all about it. It's not the same as going to Confession, and nobody's going to assign you penance, but you may just help yourself out.

Of course, you should remember that the standard rules of the confessional don't necessarily apply here. You can listen to the confessions of others—and probably your own also—on their website.