By Steve Bass
Let’s say you want to cancel that blind date (sure, at your age? Like you think you can get a date?), but you don’t want the embarrassment of actually talking to the person. Make the call with Slydial and you’ll bypass the person and get right to their mobile voice mail. “Hello, Aunt Sally? About the money I owe you…”
#2 Free Conference Calls
Did you hear the old telephone tree is dead? If you want to talk to all your bowling friends at one time, round them up on a free Rondee conference call. (The only catch is everyone will have to call a number in an area code in San Diego, California, to get on the conference call.) Cool features include setting up a scheduler that e-mails everyone an invite and a Web site to show who’s on the call.
#3 Hello, It’s Google Voice
There are a gazillion things you can do with Google Voice (formerly Grand Central), way more than I can possibly talk about here. Among the flashier features is getting a new phone number that gives you a super receptionist: The service calls all your existing phones until it finds you. There are also voice transcriptions that can be sent to e-mail, voicemail, conference calling, call recording, blocking, and screening.
The downside is it’s only available by invitation. (Nope, sorry, I don’t have any.) However, you can sign up and chances are good within a week Google will send you an invite.
TechBite’s columnist Steve Bass and PC World Contributing Editor publishes a free weekly newsletter with commentary on the technology products he loves, the strategies for getting the most out of them,and the gotchas that can cause computing misery. Sign up for the newsletter here