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David Pogue and the NY Times get all Lifehacker with this listing of cellphone tricks. Very nice, how much? Free? Even nicer.

The list includes free directory assistance by calling the ad-supported 800-FREE-411 (800-373-3411), Google searches by txting GOOGL (46645) , long distance (712-858-8883), price comparisons, and customizable voice mail services. The list is great, except for one.

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He recommends Pinger, the service for sending voice mails through a browser or email, which I think I find useless. Here's his writeup on it:

You call one of Pinger's access numbers, say the name of the person you're calling, and then speak a message.

Suppose you've just pinged your sister. She receives a text message to let her know. With one keystroke, she can hear your message — and with another, send a voice reply. There's no waiting to roll over to voice mail, no listening to instructions, no outbound greetings.

David likes it because it combines the immediacy of TXT messages with the personality of voice mail. But I think most phones can send voice messages like this via MMS, yes? And voice mail works just fine as is, even with the annoying lead-up messages that the greedy cellphone companies insert to nickel-and-dime more minutes out of you.

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I do not believe this will catch on, nor does it deserve to catch on. And if it does catch on, I would say it's only because of Pogue's editorial weight, equivalent to 80 metric tons in gold.

Free Services to Inspire Your Cellphone [NY Times]