Free MLB Extra Innings

I'm not sure anybody out there appreciates how freaking excited I am right now. Saying I'm a baseball nut would be the understatement of the century, so between the premiere of Battlestar Galactica tomorrow night (and the marathon SciFi is running today) and the free MLB Extra Innings that Comcast and DirecTV are offering until April 6th, I doubt I'll leave this couch for the next 100 hours. There's over 11 games on TV today alone! I'm so giddy, I don't even know what the type right now.

I had trouble finding the channels, but if you're using Comcast like me, they're most likely in the 770-790 range. I didn't even know they had channels that high. I'd only made it up to the 600s where all the adult programming…I mean…um, documentary videos are located. Phew, that was a close one!

[via USSMariner]


The Power of FREE!

The following text was taken from the Predictably / Irrational blog that is written by Dan Ariely. He's recently written a book titled Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions and I thought the text below was really interesting in relation to our love for freebies. Something interesting to keep in mind and perspective.

In one of our projects, Kristina Shampanier, Nina Mazar, and I examined whether our reaction to Free! is just a rational reaction to a low price (a very low price) or if it is an irrational overreaction to Free! We carried out a set of experiments in which we measured not only what people chose but also what they gave up in the process. By doing so we were able to show that Free! can tempt us so much that we are willing to forgo a really good deal for a mediocre one simply because it is Free! For now let's skip the experiments and consider the following thought-experiment:

Consider how long you would be willing to stand in line for a free Ben & Jerry's ice cream cone. Let's assume that your answer is 20 minutes and that the cost of a Ben & Jerry's ice cream cone is $1.45. Now answer this: would you be willing to stand in line for 20 minutes for $1.45 in cash? No way.

This is exactly what the experiments showed; when something is Free! we get excited and as a consequence we are willing to give up better deals – not to mention our time, money, etc.


The Future Of Business Is Free!

This isn't really a freebie, in fact, it's not a freebie at all. But I just read this article on Wired.com about how businesses and companies are embracing the concept of giving more and more things away for free and I thought some other freebie fanatics might enjoy reading it as well. It doesn't focus on the world of freebies as we know it, where we sign up for free samples or swag, but instead looks at how companies like Google, Yahoo, Gillette, and more make billions while still giving most, if not all, of their services away for free.


Free Can Koozie

If you're anything like me, you hate touching anything cold. In fact, almost every woman in my life thinks it's hilarious to wait until their hands are ice cold and then grab my arm or face with them. What is up with that, ladies?! Come on! Us men are not fans of that! So with that said, you can understand why I'd be signing up for one of these free koozies to keep my beverages chilled but my hands nice and toasty (you can see examples of the different options here). Unfortunately, it's freezing where I live right now and I'm bundled in about 19 blankets, so I doubt I'll be able to use this thing anytime soon!


Free Text and SMS Messages Online

Free SMS & Text Messages

Ok, I'll admit, I don't really get the whole text messaging phenomenon. If I want to talk to somebody or ask them a question, I'll just call them! Over 90% of my phone calls consist of 30 second conversations that go like this:

Friend: Hey Goob, what's up?
Goob: Hey mate, got a quick question. You know what time we need to show up at Bob's tomorrow night?
Friend: Yeah, be there around 6.
Goob: Great, thanks, take it easy.
Friend: Peace.

I don't care how fast you type on a phone, you can't beat that in terms of time spent! But whatever, I digress. πŸ™‚ I've got friends all over the country and world at this point. And while I might want to call them from time to time, the nitty gritty is that I end up texting them thanks to the prices of phone calls. But seeing as how text messages cost money too, I figured there had to be a way around paying. I mean, if e-mail is free, why shouldn't 150 character messages be?! And thankfully, many other websites out there agree with me!

Below I've put together some of the best sites on the net that allow you to sent 100% free text messages. I tried most of them out by texting my own phone to see if they worked, how fast it went, etc. Many of these offer world-wide messaging, or at least texts to certain countries abroad. So chances are though that no matter where your friends or families are in the world, you'll be able to text them using one of the sites below. Many times you'll need to know the country code of the number you're trying to message, but for some reason most of these sites don't provide a list of the freaking codes! Luckily, this is when Wikipedia really comes in handy. Even more annoyingly, sometimes you'll need to know the cell phone service provider of your friend. If you have no idea what it is, then have a look at Fone Finder and thank me later!

And as always, if you know of a good site I missed, please leave a comment and let us know about it!

Google Voice – One of the longest running free texting via websites still up and running! They let you send text messages for free to US and Canadian numbers (excluding U.S. territories American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands). It couldn't be easier to send text messages straight from your browser or phone, all for free.

They update their locations here.

TextFree – This is a mobile app for both iPhone and Android or personal computers that lets you send free text messages worldwide.

Text Port – Yet another fantastic site that lets you send free sms to US and Canadian numbers via their set numbers. What makes this site even better, IMHO, is the clean and nice layout. No flashing ads or annoying messages all over the place. Just a box for you to send your free text message from and that's it.

Previous Best Free Text Options

How many people remember some of these original free texting sites? While they're sadly no longer with us, they were the pioneers of free global texting online back in the day, circa 2006-2014.

  • AIM
  • Anon Txt
  • Call Wave
  • Cardboard Fish SMS
  • Chikka
  • Free Text Send
  • Gizmo
  • Group 2 Call
  • Joopz
  • Send SMS Now
  • SMS Everywhere
  • Text 4 Free
  • The Txt
  • Txt Drop
  • Yahoo Messenger India

Yeah, you read that last one right! I still have my YM India login info from 2005 πŸ˜€

So there you have it! Those are some of the best free text messaging websites I found that let you send free text messages around the globe. No matter where you or your friends are in the world, hopefully you'll be able to stay in touch with nothing more than a couple of cell phones and a few of the websites from this list.


Free Google Services

Free Google Services

Everybody seems to love Google when it comes to finding stuff on the Internet, but did you know they offer a ton of free services? From the ever popular ones like video sharing (YouTube) and e-mail (Gmail) to the more unknown ones of free voicemail and free calendars; chances are if there's a program or service out there that most people would be interested in, Google provides an easy and free version of it! So I've decided to try and compile a massive list of them here on HIF, in alphabetical order and broken into two categories. The first list contains all of the services and products that Google offers directly from their site. The next list contains all the websites and companies Google owns and operates. By no means is this a be all, end all list for the services Google offers, but these are the things that I think most average people could get some use out of. So…enjoy!

Google Alerts – Let's say you have a hobby of collecting rare, Norwegian buttons from the 17th century. Now, chances are there aren't going to be many new and fresh stories to pop up on the Internet every day about such a topic. Which is where Google Alerts comes in. You can set it to e-mail you whenever there is a new article about any topic you want, (you can specify if you want to only focus on blogs, user groups, large newspapers, etc.) Pretty nifty if you have certain things you're really interested in but which there isn't a website already dedicated to them.

Blogger – It seems like everybody and their brother have a blog by this point. But in case you are one of the nine people left without one and want to try, yet feel overwhelmed by the process, then Blogger is the site for you. It walks you through every aspect you could possible need and handles all the techno mumbo-jumbo, so that all you have to do is click a few buttons, type what you want to say to the world, and then click one more button! Easy as can be.

Google Custom Search – This nifty little tool allows you to create your own mini-search engine of data. Let's say for instance that you are a wonderful chef with tons of family recipes that you'd like to share with your family. Well, with Google's custom search engine, you could input each of the recipes that you wanted to share and if you do a few a day, over time you'll have a nice (and big!) database of awesome recipes. Then your cousin halfway across the world might one day think, “Man, I could go for some pizza right now…,” come to your database, search for pizza, and viola! He's got your own recipe!

Google Book – Slowly, but surely, Google is trying to scan every page of every book into it's computers so that one day you'll be able to search for a certain passage and pull it right up. Of course, it's taking them forever to do so, but current estimates put the count of books in their database at over 1 million. Not too shabby!

Google Docs – Now this is one of my favorite Google features, by far! Basically, this is an on-line version of Microsoft Office. There's a word processor, spreadsheet, power point – basically everything you'd ever need. You can password protect all your files or collaborate with friends across the internet, giving different people different levels of editing powers. If you're in school or work and have ever tried organizing a group project, Google Docs might very well be a Godsend for you!

Google Earth – If you enjoy spying on your neighbor's backyard, then this is the product for you! Haha, Basically this is a massive collection of satellite photos spanning the globe, to the point where you can plot in almost any coordinates and get a bird's eye view of the place. It's fun to at least check out your own area and see if you can make anything out.

Google Groups – You might already be familiar with Yahoo's Groups feature, but Google's is much more visually appealing and easier to navigate, so I go with theirs. Pretty much, there will already be a group out there for anything you can imagine. In fact, I think there's already a Norwegian buttons group πŸ™‚ This is a great feature to hook up with people who might be able to help you with something particular that a search engine might be vague at, like where the best sushi in Argentina can be found or how best to fix the engine of an antique car.

Google Hangouts – Google started with own messaging service a while back called Google Talk. It's since evolved into Hangouts, which is a pretty useful cross-platform messaging app. You not only can talk to people, but also send files, check your gmail accounts, and even make free pc-to-pc phone calls (just like Skype!) – all for free!

Google Image Search – You'd be surprised how many people out there still don't know that you can search for images as well as normal text words on Google!

Google Keep – This free services used to be called Google Notepad. It's essentially a cloud-based notes program that lets you to access your files with any internet device, like with the Google Docs feature. You can save and sync notes, pictures, graphs, voice memos, and more. If you're anything like me and have sticky notes all over your desk with reminders to do things, then you'll love Keep!

Google Mail – Previously an invite-only system, GMail now let's anybody sign up and has 1.5 billion active users worldwide. It's quite easy to navigate and use and the 10GB-plus space they offer makes it the perfect e-mail account to never have to delete a message with pictures or videos attached to it!

Google Maps – Like Mapquest, but 100 times better in my opinion. You can not only look up directions, but plot a trip and even track your vacation for friends and family back home to watch! But even cooler is their Street View for certain large cities, which has 360 degree photos from almost every street!

Google Messages – Share high-quality media without extra fees by sending free text on Wi-Fi with Google Messages.

Google News – Kinda like Google Finance, but with News instead. It's actually one of the better news services out there, much better than Cnn.com and the like, as they tend to get breaking news uploaded much more quickly as well as draw on news from a huge variety of sources.

Google Photos – The old Picasa program has evolved into a powerful photo editor and management storage system program. Google Photos is a must if you have tons of photos on your computer and was created as Google's answer to Yahoo's Flickr back in the day. Photos will backup your pictures on your mobile or PC device and save them in the cloud so you never lose them. They also have a search function built into the photos metadata, so you can search for topics like “birthday” and it'll show all the photos of birthday parties.

Google Scholar – This is cool feature that lets you search among scholarly papers and journals for in-depth analysis and conversations based on the topic you're looking for. Google is slowly broadening the number of resources it includes in the search results, but suffice to say if you ever really need to sound smart about a given topic, a GScholar search should be at the top of your list of things to do.

Google Shopping – Formerly known as Froggle, this service basically let's you search for a given product and Google will tell you where you can buy it cheapest.

Google Sites – This is a free web page-creation suite to rival Microsoft Office! It gives you free access to Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Drawings, Google Forms, and Google Keep.

Google Translate – There are plenty of other free web translators on the web out there, but I've yet to come across one that's any better or easier to use than Googles. Enough said.

Google Voice – Google will give you a real, working phone number for free! They can then call it and be forwarded to your real number or leave you a voicemail, which you can access through your own phone or via the Internet. Perfect for those situations where you don't want certain people to know your phone numbers!

YouTube – If you don't already know about this free video sharing site, and yet you're here reading HIF, then you my friend are one in a million! Upload videos of up to 100mg, watch millions upon millions of other videos, and waste a good portion of your day while doing so.

So there you have it! Hopefully you found a few services in here that you didn't know of before. And by all means, if you know of one or two I skipped over, please share them in the comments!


Free Murad Skin Care Samples

Murad boasts it's “clinically proven to increase skin's firmness by up to 42% within 10 minutes.” Now, what if I use triple the recommended dose? Will my skin become so firm it's impenetrable? Oh baby, all I want for Christmas is to become a super villain hero and take over the world take over the world!

Have you ever had one of those weekends where you did absolutely nothing for 48 hours straight and then when you got up to go to bed Sunday night, there was a Goob-shaped imprint on the couch? Yeah, that was me this past weekend. I was a few microwavable meals and a bedpan away from never moving a muscle all weekend. I wonder if some free Murad samples and promo codes can help me get rid of this pasty complexion I developed.

Oh and if your imprint really is Goob-shaped, please let me know, because that means you're probably my long-lost evil twin. If there's anything Hollywood has taught me, it's that we have to fight to the death.


Kiva.org

So there's been a section on the freebie forums called Hey, It's Free…To Help People! for months now, which I have yet to do a darn thing with. But I decided to change that today.

A few days ago I heard about Kiva.org, which is a non-profit website that specializes in helping aspiring entrepreneurs in third world nations. Using microfinancing, they are given small loans to be used to improve their daily lives before they ultimately pay the loan back to us lenders. To idea is to enable people to help themselves individually instead of simply throwing billions of dollars in aide to a foreign government and hoping it trickles down to the people. In fact, Muhammad Yunus recently won the Nobel Peace Prize for his research into microfinancing and wrote a book called Banker To The Poor, where he details how effective the method is.

Just to give you an example, José Medina lives in Paraguay and is trying to raise $600 to purchase supplies for his handcrafts business. In 12 months time, he would have made enough money to repay the loan in full . They have had 2171 loans paid back in full and only 7 which have defaulted! Those are some darn good odds if you ask me.

Now, Kiva lets anybody loan money, but the minimum amount is $25. But I thought if anybody out there wanted to simply donate $5 or $10, that we could put our money together in a HIF pool or something and then pick a person to “sponsor” and help! It'd be kinda cool to think that all of us here at HIF specifically helped one person out there in the third world better their life!

So the basic plan of action is this: Donations of any amount can be sent to me, where I add them all together. No matter how much or little money we actually raise here, come September 12th, I'll post two or three different potential people that we can “invest” in to help them out. We'll take a day to pick a person and then I'll invest all the money I collected into their venture. We'll all be able to follow their progress along via Kiva.org I'll even post a progress bar here on HIF or something. Then when they ultimately (and hopefully!) succeed in their business, they'll pay me back. At which point, I'll announce that we need to pick a new person and start the process all over again!

The beauty of this is that your one time donation doesn't just help one person, but multiple people time and time again. If this is something nobody's interested in, no worries, but I thought since we all get so many freebies all the time, maybe we could muster up a little support and pass the baton to those who could really use it.

Thanks for taking part in this and here's to actually making a difference in the world!


Free Dove Shampoo and Conditioner Samples

Dove used to be king of Freebie Mountain. It's a thankless monarchy, but from 2006-2010, they held the crown by giving away over 50 different freebies! They even gave away a large, fluffy robe once! Sadly, those days have long passed, but I've managed to collect a few free Dove sample offers and coupons below. I also added a few of the classic jokes from over the years πŸ˜€


Congratulations! We've graduated from basic to free Advanced Dove hair products. I don't know how we passed with me sleeping through most of the classes, but here we are!


The signup form states “fill out this form to receive a free sample of Dove Hair.” So…we're getting dove hair? Not to sound ungrateful, but what the heck am I going to do with dove hair? Plus, I thought doves had feathers. If you think I'll rub dove feathers in my hair, then you must have been spying on me last Thursday.


For some reason, Dove Cream Oil sounds delicious to me. It sounds like a delicious dessert if you ask me. In fact, knowing my subconscious, I'll somehow order one of these the next time I'm out at dinner with friends or a date. The evening will be going well, I'll be witty and carry on some light banter all throughout the meal. Then the waiter will walk over, ask if we want anything else, and my mouth will somehow utter, β€œYeah! We'll have a little dove cream oil and some coffee.”


If you have a bottle of Dove Hair Care shampoo, then take a picture of yourself holding it and get a free Dove luxury bathrobe. You'll also have to write a short review about it, but you can alternately make a 30 second video.

It sounds like a lot of work, but it shouldn't take more than a minute or two. Plus the freebie is a luxury bathrobe! Just think of all the fancy parties you'll be able to wear it to! I'll finally be able to eat at the five star restaurant down the street without being told I'm under dressed. High society, here I come!


Ladies and gentlemen, I come to you as a concerned member of the freebie world. I'm no business executive, but I do know that in order to stay up and running, most companies need to sell various products for profit. With that in mind, I ask how in the world is Dove still operating? Every time I turn around, they're giving away endless amounts of samples, like the free Dove Pro-Age lotion.

But it's not just the fact that Dove is giving away countless freebies. There's the trend in product names. Pro-age? Isn't lotion supposed to be anti-age? Is the name supposed to be ironic? Is this a joke I'm not getting?

Some people might think I run a freebie website and develop relationships with the companies so that I can get even more free samples. Heck no! I just want their e-mail addresses so I can ask them what the heck their product names mean.


There's one thing I've learned about marriage, and that's that you never really have to buy shampoo and conditioner. Nope. Not anymore. The husband never has that responsibility anymore. You sort of just get into the shower, and all of a sudden, there's a huge over-sized bottle of something that smells fruity that promises smoother, silkier hair. And when you're out? You just shout “Honey! We're out of shampoo!” and suck it up with a bar of soap. The next day? A new super-sized bottle of something else.

But I guess with this sample of Dove shampoo and conditioner, I can bypass shouting for a day or so. Just a simple click at the bottom of the page on the “Free Samples” link and that'll be one day that I don't have to shout.

The laundry, however is a different story…


Free Marines T-Shirt

If you're a high-school aged individual with no desire whatsoever to join the military, then you might not want to sign up for this free Marines T-Shirt. I remember signing up for something similar back when I was a junior in high school and let's just say that I soon got on a first name basis with the local Marine recruiter. He used to call all the time, it was like I had a new friend! Then one afternoon, I was playing Final Fantasy 8 and defeated a monster that had been giving me so much trouble recently. I was in such a gay mood after that huge victory, that I couldn't help but tell everybody how gay I was right then! That evening was the last time I ever talked to him, for he mysteriously stopped calling after that…I've never figured out why…


Free MLB Live Gameday Audio

Just a bit outside!

It's tough being a huge baseball fan of a team you don't live near. I'm stuck listening or watching the nearby Orioles or Nationals, which sucks unless the Mariners are playing them πŸ™‚ However, mlb.tv has an awesome (but kind of pricey) service where you can watch or listen to any game nationwide via your computer. And from now until July 14th, they are letting your listen to any baseball game for free. It's pretty cool, you even get to pick which broadcast you want to listen in on, so if your team is playing an away game, you still can tune into your team's broadcast and listen to some heavily biased play-by-play!


Free Lanyards

My college gave out something similar to these free lanyards every year, except back then I called them Key Thingies To Swing Around. I think I nailed myself in the head while swinging my keys around approximately 92 million times in college. And it never once never messed never with me mind!