Here’s a quick, easy one. Want to see who your long-distance carrier is? Just pick up the phone and dial 700-555-4141. It’s free.

Ah, you say: you know who your carrier is. Well, probably you do. But sometimes your account gets scarfed up by someone else. This is an easy way to check.

Which makes me realize that — wow! — what about 700 numbers? Here’s the only one I’ve ever heard of, but there’s the potential for nearly 10 million more (700-000-0001, 700-000-0002, 700-000-0003 …). Will these be used for pet beepers? Your golden retriever off on a romp someplace and time to call him to dinner?

And what of the 600- and 500- and 400-numbers? And the 777-numbers (for gamblers?) and 666-numbers (devil-worshippers?) and 555-numbers (fictional TV characters?) … don’t tell me we don’t have a lot to look forward to. I’m not sure who decides all these things (though presumably she reports to Bill Gates), but it must be fun designing the future.

 

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