411 http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/217/all en-US Opt-out of the wasteful $26 billion phone directory industry http://www.wisebread.com/opt-out-of-the-wasteful-26-billion-phone-directory-industry <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/opt-out-of-the-wasteful-26-billion-phone-directory-industry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2200696844_3e434151f7.jpg" alt="yellow pages in the dumpster" title="yellow pages in the dumpster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In this day and age of the internet, free Google 411 and a host of other paperless directory services, what use do the big, fat phone directories serve? I don’t know about you, but when I get those large plastic bags filled with 3lb phone books, I usually put them straight in the recycling bin. We never use them. Now a website similar to the National No-Call registry is asking you to sign up and stop receiving these archaic books. </p> <p>The facts speak loud and clear; the massive amount of money and resources the phone directory industry sucks up is phenomenal. This, from <a href="http://www.yellowpagesgoesgreen.org/">YellowPagesGoesGreen.org</a> : <ul> <li>540 million directories are printed annually in the United States.</li> <li>The average weight of each directory is 3.62 lbs.</li> <li>1.79 directories are printed for every man, woman and child in the US. </li> <li>The phone directory industry is worth over $13 billion in the US (that figure doubles to $26 billion worldwide).</li> <li>It takes 24 trees to make 1 ton of paper.</li> <li>It takes over 19 million trees to make half a trillion directories.</li> <li>It takes 380 gallons of oil to produce that ton of paper (over 7.2 billion barrels per 500,000,000 books).</li> <li>3 cubic yards of waste are taken up by one ton of paper (that equates to 1.6 billion lbs per 500,000,000 books).</li> <li>Over 270,000 cubic yards of landfill are taken up per 500,000,000 </li> <li>7,000 gallons of water go into the production of one ton of paper.</li> <li>4,000 kilowatts of energy are also needed to make that ton of paper (3.2 billion KW hours/500,000,000 books).</li> </ul> <p>As a frugal shopper, I deplore waste (the main image at the top of this article came from someone who spotted DOZENS of yellow pages in their apartment building&#39;s dumpster). And the idea that these millions and millions of directories are being printed so that at least 90% of us can just put them into the recycling bin, well, that just burns me up. So much money, so many resources, all for nothing.</p> <p>Decades ago, there was a need for phone directories. But that industry needs to face one hard fact; it is going the way of the dinosaur. And continually producing these books is merely prolonging the inevitable, but wasting precious time and money in the process. However, if we all do something about it, maybe we can speed that process up.</p> <p>Simply <a href="http://www.yellowpagesgoesgreen.org/stop-yellow-pages/">click on this link</a> and you’ll be directed to the opt-out page at YellowPagesGoesGreen.org, where you can opt out of both the yellow and white pages. The website’s mission statement is both clear and admirable:</p> <blockquote><p><em>Yellowpagesgoesgreen.org is an organization working to educate consumers and promote the green movement to eliminate the unsolicited delivery of Yellow and White Pages books. This site is aimed at starting a national movement to solicit the White/Yellow Pages industry to proactively stop the delivery of books or to begin moving legislation to mandate the stoppage of this activity. This movement should be similar to the National No-Call Registry that have stopped and/or decreased the number of unwanted solicitations telephone calls to consumers.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote><p><em>A college student who was renting a house in Liberty, Missouri founded Yellowpagesgoesgreen.org. The number of telephone books delivered to the house was overwhelming and the work required to recycle them was daunting. When he spoke with his neighbors they all told him they just threw them away. Due to the use of technology, he felt these books were now outdated. However, he understood that some people may still want them and felt the best way to limit this tremendous waste was to mimic the National No-Call Directory. Additionally, he wanted this site to serve as a depository for information and educational issues concerning the green movement.</em></p></blockquote> <p>I put my name down this morning; and unless you have a real need for these books, like in the video below from <a href="http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1752127">collegehumor.com</a> , or maybe propping up a young child at the table, so that they can reach their chicken soup, I urge you to do the same. It&#39;s time to put the phone directories out of their misery.</p> <p><em>Note: There&#39;s a tiny bit of &quot;colorful&quot; language in the vid...turn down the volume if you&#39;re at work or around young ones.</em></p> <object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/3U9YAwuN5lA&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="menu" value="false" /><param name="wmode" value="" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/3U9YAwuN5lA&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="344"></embed></object></p> <p><em>Thanks to <a href="http://thedenveregotist.com/article/2494/enough-with-the-yellow-pages-already">The Denver Egotist</a> (via <a href="http://lifehacker.com/400663/yellowpagesgoesgreen-like-do-not-call-list-for-giant-wastes-of-paper">LifeHacker)</a> for bringing this subject to my attention.</em> </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/opt-out-of-the-wasteful-26-billion-phone-directory-industry">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-spare-a-square-5-quick-tips-on-toilet-paper-usage">&quot;Can you spare a square?&quot; 5 quick tips on toilet paper usage.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/use-only-what-you-need">Use only what you need</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-coffee-cup-revolution-lets-take-a-stand">The Coffee Cup Revolution: Let&#039;s Take a Stand!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/times-are-tough-would-you-consider-a-diy-funeral">Times Are Tough; Would You Consider A DIY Funeral?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-will-you-do-when-gas-drops-below-150-a-gallon">What will you do when gas drops below $1.50 a gallon?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Consumer Affairs Green Living 411 directory energy oil phone telephone waste yellow pages Thu, 21 Aug 2008 20:00:32 +0000 Paul Michael 2353 at http://www.wisebread.com Google Offers Free 411 - No Ads! http://www.wisebread.com/google-offers-free-411-no-ads <p><img width="358" height="239" alt="http://www.morguefile.com/forum/profile.php?username=nacu" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/cellphone.jpg" /></p> <p>[insert a joke about <em>getting da 411 on the 411</em> here]</p> <p>Google is offering free 411 service; ad-free, very sophisticated voice recognition, and oddly unirritating directory assistance. You can only reach businesses currently, but at least there aren't any ads right quite yet, which is a nice break.</p> <p>Just call <strong>1-800-GOOG-411</strong> (1-800-466-4411) and give it a try, should you be in need of a business number.</p> <p>Crave more or less <a href="http://crave.cnet.com/8300-1_105-1.html?search=google">broke this story</a> for me, but I'm more psyched about this than I thought I would be. First, the voice rec abilities are pretty stunning. I called to get the number of a local restaurant, Purple Cafe and Wine Bar. Even though I slurred this as much as possible, the pleasant computer voice on the other end responded &quot;Purple Cafe and Wine Bar&quot; in a baritone timber before offering me the number.</p> <p>The voice rec had a harder time with my favorite Chinese place, Sichuanese Cuisine. Also, it had some fairly hilarious pronunciations of local cities, which aren't always easy to figure out. You know the way Worcester in pronounced &quot;Woostuh&quot; in Massachusetts? We have a city named Sequim, pronounced &quot;Squim&quot; and the sexy male computer voice squeezed about three more syllables out of it than necessary.</p> <p>Now, Google's record-keeping system has always freaked me out a bit - I use Gmail but am occasionally bothered when the targeted ads hit too close to home (&quot;Hemorrhoids? Cheap meds!&quot;), and these calls are recorded, I'm sure for the purpose of fine tuning the system to respond better to personal idiolects. So I'm racheting down my &quot;Google is eveil&quot; rhetoric, which is based more on their inability to hire me than any real threat.</p> <p><em>Photo by </em><a href="http://www.morguefile.com/forum/profile.php?username=nacu"><em>Belen</em></a><em>.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/google-offers-free-411-no-ads">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-411-directory-assistance-that-really-works-a-review">Get free 411 directory assistance that really works (a review)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/watch-all-the-documentary-movies-you-can-handle-free-online-and-yes-its-legal">Watch All The Documentary Movies You Can Handle, Free Online - And Yes, It&#039;s Legal.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sit-in-on-a-class-at-mit-for-free">Sit in on a Class at MIT for Free!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-solar-power-banks">The 5 Best Solar Power Banks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-signal-5-quick-ways-to-boost-your-cell-phone-reception-updated">No Signal? 6 Ways to Boost Your Cell Phone Reception</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Technology 411 advertisement directory assistance free information listing operator speech rec voice recognition Sat, 07 Apr 2007 04:31:25 +0000 Andrea Karim 468 at http://www.wisebread.com Get free 411 directory assistance that really works (a review) http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-411-directory-assistance-that-really-works-a-review <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/get-free-411-directory-assistance-that-really-works-a-review" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000059271124_Large.jpg" alt="man on phone" title="man on phone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Your phone company is charging you anywhere from 50 cents to $2 for a 411 call. Now you can get the exact same service completely free by using 1-800-FREE-411 (1-800-3733-411).</p> <p>It works just like a regular 411 call. The only catch is that you have to listen to a 15-second ad, which isn't too bad considering the ads are often contextual (e.g. if you asked for Dominoes Pizza listing, you might get a Pizza Hut ad before you get the number you wanted).</p> <p>One of our writers gave it try tonight. Listen to the result:</p> <p>(If you can't use the audio player above, here's the <a href="http://wisebread.com/files/wisebread/1-800-FREE-411-call.mp3">link to the recording</a>.)</p> <p>The voice recognition technology is excellent, but live operator assistance is also available when the computer is not up to the task.</p> <p>This free 411 service has been around since last year, but it never really took off the way I thought it would. Americans make six billion 411 calls a year and only 3% of them are using the Free411 service. My guess is most people thought this was a cool idea when they first heard about it but never bothered to try the service.</p> <p>Some people may have been deterred by certain misunderstandings regarding the service. Let's clear some of those up:</p> <ul> <li>There are hidden charges right. The service has been around for at least a year and has stayed <a href="http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/nothing/free411.asp" target="_blank">completely free</a>.</li> <li>It's not buggy. It used to be when the service first came out, but this company has since received a $30 million cash infusion from investors and has successfully handled over 100 million calls. It is currently handling 600,000 calls a day. I've been using this service for over a month and have never experienced any problems.</li> <li>Don't worry aboout telemarketers. Free411 does not share your phone numbers with any telemarketers. Besides, if you haven't done so already, you should register your phone numbers with the <a href="https://www.donotcall.gov" target="_blank">National Do Not Call Registry</a>.</li> <li>This service does not require the use of a website. You use this service exactly the same way you use 411.</li> <li><span class="content">You can bypass the computer by saying &quot;Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you are my only hope!&quot; Yes, this is 100% true. You do have to say it twice, though. But you don't have to be as whiny as Carrie Fisher.<br /> </span></li> </ul> <p><strong style="font-style: inherit; line-height: 22.1000003814697px;">Note: Charges reflect 2006 pricing.</strong></p> <table border="1" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="3" width="400" style="height: 244px"> <tbody> <tr> <td style="background-color: #c0c0c0"> <p><strong>Wireless Carriers </strong></p> </td> <td style="background-color: #c0c0c0"><strong> Charges</strong></td> <td style="background-color: #c0c0c0"><strong> Long Distance Providers<br /> </strong></td> <td style="background-color: #c0c0c0"><strong> Charges</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td style="background-color: #ffff99">Verizon Wireless</td> <td style="background-color: #ffff99">$1.49</td> <td style="background-color: #ffff99">Verizon</td> <td style="background-color: #ffff99">$3.49</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Virgin Mobile</td> <td>$1.75</td> <td>VarTec</td> <td>$1.99</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="background-color: #ffff99">Sprint Nextel</td> <td style="background-color: #ffff99">$1.40</td> <td style="background-color: #ffff99">Sprint</td> <td style="background-color: #ffff99">$2.49</td> </tr> <tr> <td>U.S. Cellular</td> <td>$1.49</td> <td>AT&amp;T</td> <td>$2.49</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="background-color: #ffff99">T-Mobile</td> <td style="background-color: #ffff99">$1.49</td> <td style="background-color: #ffff99">MCI</td> <td style="background-color: #ffff99">$1.99</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Cingular</td> <td>$1.79</td> <td>&nbsp;</td> <td>&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="background-color: #ffff99">AT&amp;T</td> <td style="background-color: #ffff99">$1.75</td> <td style="background-color: #ffff99">&nbsp;</td> <td style="background-color: #ffff99">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top">Alltel</td> <td>$1.50</td> <td valign="top">&nbsp;</td> <td>&nbsp;</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <div class="right">&nbsp;</div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/will-chen">Will Chen</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-free-411-directory-assistance-that-really-works-a-review">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/google-offers-free-411-no-ads">Google Offers Free 411 - No Ads!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/six-cool-bar-tricks-that-anyone-can-master">SIX cool bar tricks that anyone can master.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-more-ways-to-hustle-free-drinks">5 more ways to hustle free drinks.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-living-room-0-cost-of-rearranging-the-furniture-priceless">Cost of Rearranging the Furniture - $0. New Living Room - Priceless.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/financial-advice-and-free-book-offer-from-zen-master-leo-babauta">Financial Advice And Free Book Offer From Zen Master Leo Babauta</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks 411 directory assistance free free411 review telephone Tue, 26 Dec 2006 14:14:59 +0000 Will Chen 110 at http://www.wisebread.com