Please, ma'am — not the fax

Q: For months now, someone in the 202 area code has been trying to send my BlackBerry a fax. I've tried calling and faxing the mystery faxer, without effect. Can I get my wireless carrier to block the call?

A: Years ago, I would occasionally enjoy the delightful experience of picking up my phone at work, only to hear the screech of a fax machine. That was annoying enough, and I wasn't paying for any airtime minutes back then!

Unfortunately, if some bozo is besieging your cellphone with misguided faxes, you may have no options. Two of the four major nationwide carriers, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile, don't offer any way for customers to block calls from particular numbers.

AT&T Wireless, however, offers a $4.99-a-month add-on called Smart Limits. It's intended for parents who want to regulate who can reach a child's phone, but it would work in this scenario, too.

Verizon Wireless, meanwhile, plans to offer a usage-controls option for most of its phones this month, though it hasn't announced a price.

Q: Is there a mobile-phone edition of Wikipedia? The real thing takes forever to load on my cell.

A: The next time you need to settle a bar bet, you can choose from a few phone-friendly versions of the user-generated, user-edited encyclopedia. Its official mobile-phone edition,, provides the text, but not the images, of the original. For more visual detail, an ad-supported, third-party site,, features thumbnail versions of Wikipedia's illustrations.

Wikipedia's home page doesn't link to any mobile edition, which led me to note this ethical issue on my blog: Would it be wrong for me to edit the home page to fix that oversight?

Share This Story