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Culture

Privus Mobile knows who's calling you

New downloadable caller ID service for smartphones provides names and numbers of incoming callers--and not just those stored in the phone's contact list.

We've all seen unrecognizable numbers pop up on our cell phone screens, but to answer or not to answer? It's probably a marketer or a wrong number, but there's always that slim chance it's the Pulitzer committee, Google human resources, or that one true love who dumped you but finally decided he made a giant mistake.

Privus Mobile
I D You

Enter Privus Mobile. The new downloadable caller ID service for smartphones provides names and numbers of incoming callers--and not just for those stored in the phone's contact list.

Many times, you'll receive a call from a number that you haven't already saved, and it shows up sans a name. Privus Mobile--offered by Accudata Technologies subsidiary I D You--promises to deliver up to 95 percent of names for callers, individual or corporate, not in a user's directory.

The service also provides information on many international calls, but from what we can gather, blocked numbers will remain blocked.

Some new smartphones fully support the Privus Mobile service, meaning you get the names of your callers before you pick up. Other models provide the names and numbers once you hang up or miss a call, allowing you to forward their info to your contact list automatically. (Click here for a list of approved smartphones and wireless networks; the service is available throughout North America and should be announced in many European Union countries by the end of 2008.)

But how much are you willing to pay for that extra bit of wireless privus-y? Three months of service will set you back $24.95, while 12 months go for $89.95--and for those rates it just might be worth it to gamble and pick up the phone. Those who are interested can visit the I D You Web site and get a free three-day trial.