I recently started using GrandCentral (now owned by Google).
What is it, you ask?
To put it mildly, it’s an amazingly cool service that starts by giving you one phone number for life. You can link that one phone number to your cell phone, landline, office phone, or whatever else you have. This way, you can choose which phone rings depending on who calls, or you can optionally have it ring ALL your phones. Never worry about changing phone numbers when you move again.
GrandCentral also provides you with an online voicemail system, creating an “inbox” for your call log and voice messages. Miss a call? GrandCentral can e-mail you with a convenient link to the voice message. Neat!
What are just a few other features available? How about call recording and blocking? Done. Just like a good e-mail system, GrandCentral allows you to label certain callers as SPAM. Telemarketer or ex-girlfriend harassing you? Label their calls as “spam” and never hear from them again!
Best of all, GrandCentral is FREE. Since the service is currently in BETA, it requires an invitation.
I currently have 5 invitations remaining. All out, sorry!
Please note: this service currently only works in the USA.
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I just discovered Wowio, a service that allows you to download free eBooks. As a benefit, the eBooks do not have any DRM, so you can freely move them from computer to computer (or PDA). The files ARE secured with a password, which means that you cannot modify them, but there are no restrictions on viewing or printing.
Is there a catch? Well, you can only download five eBooks per day, and the selection is not yet tremendously vast. However, they do have many categories, and they will continue to add more in the future.
Here are the five titles that I downloaded today:
- Excel for the CEO
- The Art of War
- The Tales of Mr. Tod
- The Black Cat
- The Science of Getting Rich
If you want to join, there are a few ways to do so. To cut down on multiple accounts, they require that you verify your identity. Verification includes one of the following methods:
- A non-anonymous e-mail address (no Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, etc) – this is probably the easiest way)
- A scan of an ID (student ID or driver’s license) – I don’t recommend this method
- A credit card (that will not be charged – supposedly)
- Friends and Family Code – You can “vouch” for the identity of up to 3 other people. Don’t vouch for yourself or your account will be terminated
Currently, they are running a promotion to give away iPod Shuffles to everyone who refers 10 people. Unlike most of those other iPod giveaway offers, this one is quite easy. You do not have to give out your credit card number or sign up for any “trials.” All you have to do is refer people to sign up for their free service. That’s it.
As an experiment, I’m going to start a referral chain here. If you list my e-mail as the referrer, please contact me or leave a comment below. Once I reach ten referrals, I will replace my e-mail address with yours so that I can help you earn ten referrals. I’ll do this in first-come, first-serve order.
brian [at] bondari [dot] com
All e-mail addresses will be broken up like that to avoid spam. Enjoy your free eBooks, and let’s try to earn a few iPod Shuffles for one another.