Two little-known Google freebees to make your life better

My latest evidence that life just keeps getting better and better is two little-known free services offered by Google, ones that have saved my bacon on more than one occasion.

The first is Google's text message query feature, which allows me to Google by sending a text message with my question via my cell phone, and receive a return text message from Google with the answer.

For example, if I want to find a pizza shop near my home, I type a text message "Pizza shop 43214" and send the message to 466453 (GOOGLE). A moment later I receive a text message or two with the shops and addresses.

The other service I use frequently is Google's free 411 feature. It uses a computer voice interface which is at first off-putting, but works quite well. If I'm on the road and looking for the nearest Bob Evans Restaurant, for example, I can dial 800-GOOG-411 (466-4411). The computer asks me the where and what, and responds by offering to connect me for free, as well as giving me the address and offering to send it as a text message.

Have you noticed what your cell carrier is charging you for directory service these days? Give Google a try, and save yourself a little cash.

For another free 411 alternative, see my post Free Answers to Anything by Texting ChaCha


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Two little-known Google freebees to make your life better
Anyone between the ages of 18 and 88 who has a driver's license can take a vacation and earn money by driving recreational vehicles across North America. RV driving is a no-stress, enjoyable way to see America for free -- and you get paid to do it! Depending on how many trips you want to take, you could earn as much as $50,000 a year. The company pays your expenses, provides insurance coverage and you sleep right in the RV -- most are very comfortable.Your destination is on a first-come, first-served basis. But the route you take is left up to you as long as you arrive at the final destination in a reasonable amount of time (usually about one week). How about a stop at the Grand Canyon as you make your way across the U.S.? Best yet, you don't need any special training -- RVs handle just like the family car.
Not only can you get a complimentary vacation for every 15 people you sell a vacation to, you also get income from travel agency commissions (usually 10%-15% of the airfare, hotels and tours you arrange). Plus, since you're in business for yourself, your trip expenses are tax-deductible -- as are any travel expenses when you "scout" new destinations. All you need to get started is the ability to think on your feet and relate to all kinds and ages of people. To find clients, contact churches, banks (they frequently have senior citizen clubs), high school graduating classes, garden clubs, needlework guilds, investment clubs -- any group of people that are used to doing things together.
This is a great way for you to see the world. Of course, there are fewer career opportunities at the airlines nowadays, but you can also work for any travel-related business, be it Hertz or Holiday Inn, and get travel bargains.
If you don't mind traveling on relatively short notice, you can save 50%-70% on some great trips. But don't pack too many bags because you generally can't check any baggage.Very often custom law dictates that someone must accompany a cargo shipment. So you "chaperone" a shipment -- like bank papers or blueprints -- in exchange for airfare. You meet a contact at the destination, then you're off on your vacation!
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