It won’t work on a Macintosh yet . . . and it went a lot better for me with Internet Explorer than with AOL 5.0 . . . and I have to assume that by tomorrow 20 million people will have signed up for this and it will grind to some kind of halt . . .but this actually, actually works!

Forget 5 cents a minute. That’s a nickel too much.

Forget free calls where you have to listen to commercials first (though it’s great when you don’t happen to have a quarter at a payphone — 800-FREEWAY).

This is totally FREE phone service from your computer to any real phone anywhere in the U.S. (Soon, with luck, anywhere on the planet.

At the suggestion of the Remarkable Rogowsky’s — brothers and long-time friends whose familiar-sounding motto is Live Free or Die! — I went to dialpad.com and, without ever giving a credit card or having to guess what kind of modem I have (how should I know what kind of modem I have?), I was actually making free calls minutes later.

Would I make important calls with this service? No. The sound quality isn’t perfect (try lowering dialpad.com’s mike level) — and who knows what other weird things might happen. But for routine calls? It’s fine. Or at least it has been today. By tomorrow, as I say, there will probably have 20 million users attempting to jabber nonstop. The entire Internet will collapse. But right now — well, right now I have to go make some more calls.

 

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