Wednesday, March 14, 2007

preparing for march madness

There are two types of people in the world – people who text and people who don’t. I’m in the latter category as are most of my friends. I have figured out T9, but typing anything on a telephone keypad is so much slower for me than email or an actual call that I rarely bother. I’m just not cool enough I guess.

However, there is one text service that is so awesome even I get it: 4info. 4info gives you information on your phone without the hassle of using a mobile web browser.

On my clamshell, getting a game score or a stock quote is a major 10+ step connecting to the internet pain. With 4info, obtaining the same information is much simpler. I just text a message to 4info (44636) and add what I am looking for in the body of the message. For example, warriors or msft. And, 4infro responds back with real-time results.

Their how to page lists the types of searches 4info supports. Examples include very useful services like local weather, flight tracking, package tracking and headlines as well as some more creative ones like jokes, movie times, wifi hotspots by zipcode and pickup lines.

There some advanced features too. In sports, you can get schedules, player stats and standings, but there is more to 4info than search. Web phones can bookmark for faster queries, and smart phones can run the 4info application. Free. 4info is advertisement supported. No charges, apart from any your carrier may impose for texting, are passed on to you.

The greatest feature, and the reason for this post, is the 4info alert providing customizable, instantaneous updates. And, the most kick-ass alert of all is the one designed for March Madness.

You’ve filled out your brackets, you’ve made plans to watch your favorite teams, but you are not truly prepared for the Tourney unless you have sent “TOURNEY ALERTS" to 44636. In return you will receive scores in a text message immediately after each game. Better still, you will get messages anytime there are upsets in progress.

ps watch out for the PAC-10