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Disconnecting Telemarketers

michael posted more than 12 years ago | from the busy-signal dept.

Spam 287

Anonymous Scientist at UMass sent in a story about opt-out telemarketing laws, and several people submitted this story about a spam bill in the Senate. New York's telemarketing law does work - since we put our number on the list, we've gotten a couple of calls from charities (not covered by the law) and a couple of calls from Time-Warner Cable, asking us to sign up for cable. Time-Warner's calls would be banned, except that we have a pre-existing business relationship with them - you see, we already have cable. Update: 05/18 15:30 GMT by M : Oh, and if you live in New York:

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Scams (1)

Pentomino (129125) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542497)

What about thoe bogus "firemen" that call up asking for donations?

Re:Scams (5, Funny)

shaldannon (752) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542519)

Well...once when I was a missionary in California City, I got a call from someone alledging to be from the Bakersfield FOP. He asked if I would be interested in giving them money. I replied with "I'm a missionary, so I don't have a whole lot of money...but if you're interested, I could arrange to have some missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [] some share a message about Jesus Christ." He hung up pretty quickly...

Re:Scams (1)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542532)

yeah, if people didnt know about this scam before, i guess a lot of this has come out since the 9-11 aftermath. it's too bad that they pull that crap, and try to guilt trip you into giving money... then in the end something like 2% makes it to the firemen/police/whatever.

Re:Scams (2, Interesting)

Surak (18578) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542541)

What about thoe bogus "firemen" that call up asking for donations?

That's a very good point. I used to work a company that did that. (Hey! Stop looking at me like that! It was legitimate IT work! :)

Non-profit organizations like the International Association of Firefighters, the Police Officer's Assocation of really do exist. They often do not do their own telemarketing, and instead hire outside companies to do it.

The company I worked for published free newspapers and magazines for the organization in exchange for the organization allowing them to solicit 'advertising' and other 'donations' from companies. The non-profits get like 1% or something ridiculous like that.

I would imagine since the agreement between the telemarketer and the non-profit is legally binding and the non-profit did hire the telemarketer, then it would not be banned, at least no under the New York law mentioned in the article.

Telemarketer blocking devices (1)

shaldannon (752) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542502)

I've heard commercials on TV lately advertising products that you can put between the jack and the phone that actually block telemarketers. Does anyone have any experience with these devices? DO they work? Which is the best one to get?

Re:Telemarketer blocking devices (2, Informative)

dpete4552 (310481) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542521)

Our local news station did a story on those. They didn't work worth crap.

Re:Telemarketer blocking devices (5, Informative)

interiot (50685) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542717)

Some usenet threads discussing use of the SIT Tone [] to attempt to trick computerized calling systems: There are many more [] . I'm just trying to give an alternate perspective because IMHO, local news places tend to be more interested in sensationalized exposés than in subtle details.

Anyway, you can just add that sit.wav to the start of your answering machine message for free, so it doesn't hurt to see for yourself.

Re:Telemarketer blocking devices (1)

sketchkid (555690) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542523)

i just saw these at compusa like 10 mins ago, i guess theyre (somewhat) legit

Re:Telemarketer blocking devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3542666)

No, that just means that the type of idiots who think buying a computer from CompUSA is a good idea, is their target market.

Re:Telemarketer blocking devices (3, Informative)

larien (5608) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542564)

ISTR hearing about these before; IIRC they sent a short signal to the caller that the line was engaged or was invalid. This was short enough that legit users wouldn't notice it, but the telemarketers' call machines would and mark the number invalid.

I have no idea how reliable they are or what their effect on legit callers is, but another post seems to think they weren't much good. *shrug*

Re:Telemarketer blocking devices (1)

drsoran (979) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542642)

Well, around here they advertise the Telezapper [] quite a bit. I haven't shelled out the $50 to try it, but after getting several calls yesterday that were obviously computers cold calling I'm thinking about it though.

It just sends out a couple of the tones from the "disconnected line" tone. You know, the one that plays the tones and then says: "We're sorry, the number you are dialing has been disconnected". Supposedly it "fools" the telemarketing dialing systems into placing your number on a disconnected number list so it doesn't call it again. I've been skeptical that it really works though. Anyone use these kinds of devices (or just put the tones on their answering machine as telespammer traps?).

Re:Telemarketer blocking devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3542575)

Try going to I could care less about the product and its success, but if you look at the lower right corner of the webpage you'll find directions to make your own call screener! Very useful, if you ask me. They also have a recording of the tone that the telemarketers' computers sense to hangup. Good luck. The bottom line is that you record the tone and your own message on the answering machine. They have more details.

Re:Telemarketer blocking devices (1)

rabidphilosophy (569888) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542660)

I did some testing one with my geek phreaker friends.
Basically what it does is emit the 3 tone sound you get when a phone number doesn't exist. Did I mention this happens EVERY call you get. It hooks up to your phone, then when you pick up your line you hear the three tone sound, along with friends, family and occasionally telemarketers.
We also discussed if this would even be effective on stopping telemarketers, and we decided it would have a minimal effect, at most. It's not worth it, and you will find yourself talking for about 2 mins at the beginning of every call, explaining to your friends why they heard that noise.
Don't get it.

Re:Telemarketer blocking devices (2, Interesting)

lanalyst (221985) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542732)

I think eventually the predictive dialers will be programmed to avoid them. I did download the SIT tone wav file to a PDA, assigned it to a button and played it into the phone for out of area/unknown caller calls. It did seem effective. Didn't have to pay Verizon for the call blocking service, etc.

Telezapper (5, Informative)

mrsam (12205) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542741)

I've heard commercials on TV lately advertising products that you can put between the jack and the phone that actually block telemarketers. Does anyone have any experience with these devices? DO they work? Which is the best one to get?

There are several brand names these gizmos are sold under, the most common one is called a "Telezapper". The way they work is that every time you pick up the phone the device sends out that three-note high-pitched tone you sometimes hear when you misdial and reach an invalid number, or you get an "all circuits are busy" recording.

It's called a SIT tone - "Special Information Tone" - and is used by the phone company to indicate that the dialed number cannot be reached for some reason. It's actually not used in most places since that kind of information is now transmitted out-of-band with the voice call, but is used for compatibility reasons in case the call originates from some ancient phone switch in Antarctica which does not receive out-of-band signalling, and listens to the voice path to figure out what happened to the phone call.

The idea behind the telezapper is that many telemarketing calls are robo-dialed, and the telemarketer is put on the line only after you pick up the phone and answer (which is why many times you get a short delay after you say hello, before some sleazebag starts yammering into your ear trying to peddle some junk). If the telemarketers' dialer detects that the call didn't go through, it never even goes to a human. The idea is that if the robodialer hears a SIT it will assume that the phone number is invalid, and the phone number will be automatically removed from the telemarketer's phone list.

In any case, that's how it's supposed to work in theory. I wouldn't know, since I'm in NY and I don't get phonespam no mo'. :-) However I do know this: if you use that device you may experience occasional problems receiving calls from pay-phones. Many privately-owned payphones (you know, mostly the weird looking ones owned by some private phone operator that charges $5 per minute) are not properly provisioned to process out-of-band call signaling, and the circuitry in the payphone listens to the voice line in order to figure out what happened to the dialed call (busy, ringing, no answer, human speech, etc...) If the payphone hears a SIT it will disconnect the line even though the call will actually go through.

Spammers, those that keep on giving.... (1, Funny)

IHavePowers (579272) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542508)

I hate telemarketers they call out the time, but I never answer because of my caller id. Well, I experienced something new a few weeks ago. Phone spam. Having enough experience with spam I didn't fall for it, but my parents did. My caller ID read Moneyclaims or something like that. Well, I knew it was a telemarketer. My dad did not. So he calls them and gets a recording saying go to a website. So he tells me go to the site so he can get his money that someone owes. I'm like, sure... So I go to the site and what do I see, two pairs of large breast staring at me. My parents were shocked, but I laughed out in glee. I said I told you so and they stopped bothering me.

Simple solution (4, Insightful)

NineNine (235196) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542509)

It's simple. Get rid of the land line. Cell phones are cheaper and easier. Telemarketers don't have cell phone numbers. Of course, if you use your land line for dial-up like I do, we just removed all of our telephones in the house. No telemarketers. Simple.

Re:Simple solution (2)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542682)

Not quite.. my cell gets telemarketers. There are a lot of them that just cold dial numbers.

I have never given out my cell # on a web form or anything.

Re:Simple solution (1)

sct (28839) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542722)

Isn't it illegal to tele-market cell phones? Something about the user paying per-minute charges for incoming un-requested calls?

If not, it should be.

Re:Simple solution (5, Funny)

glitch! (57276) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542746)

Get rid of the land line. Cell phones are cheaper and easier. Telemarketers don't have cell phone numbers.

That's an excellent point. I carry my cell phone everywhere, and everyone I know has the number. (I guess "they" can track me, now...) Recently I have stopped answering my home phone, and let my 2-year old answer it instead. She loves it! "Hewwwwooo?" babble babble babble. I figure that if she is still talking after a minute or so, it is someone in the family, and I can take over. Otherwise, who cares? :-)

Joining the list? (0)

PhoenixFlare (319467) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542515)

How does one get on this list? I see mention of how many people have joined so far, but not the method for doing it....

Re:Joining the list? (0)

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM (537317) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542846)

No, you don't actually join the list. You just go around saying how many people have joined the list so far. Then you collect you paycheck at the end of the month.

i hate telemarketers (4, Funny)

DigiBoi (139261) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542522)

they try to sell me siding, roofing, windows, remodeling, lawn care, etc. and i live in an apartment.

id hate to see what they try to sell you if you own a home.

hate telemarketers? screw with em! (1)

johnpaul191 (240105) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542561)

i read something in a pranks book once about some guy that always messed with these people. he went off on a long explanation about how he will never need new siding because the previous year he bought black rubber siding. made from recycled tires or something. the person calling him was so so so so confused.
playing those games with long distance companies can be risky though, they have that magic power to switch your provider (unless you scrap long distance like we did, cell phones!). make up completely retarted information. keep them on the line as long as you can handle it. they work on comission, so the time they waste with you is money lost. i realize they are just trying to make a paycheck, but there are productive things to do in this world. tele marketing helps nobody. they are as bad a lawyers. just don't give up any true information and have fun. try to annoy them more than they have ever annoyed you, and you'll win.

Re:Bill Them For Your Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3542581)

Tell them thank you for calling and you will be happy to bill them your standard hourly consulting fee. Send them an invoice and if they do not pay take them to small claims court. They are wasting your time and your time is valuable. Get caller id and put your name on the do not call registry that way if some smuck trys to scam you you can file a complaint with the State Attorney Generals Office and your phone company annoyance call bureau. Since you have got caller id you have a verified record and the smucks number so tracking down the bastard will be easy.

NY state law (1)

Thanatos (15980) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542557)

I signed up for this, and the calls (I used to get 5-6 every Saturday and Sunday, 1-2 other weeknights) stopped entirely.

Great service. easy to sign up for, no hassles.

And if you live in Texas (5, Informative)

Serk (17156) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542558)

And if you live in Texas -

And for what it's worth, it works, my spam-calls have gone to nearly zero (I still get charity calls)... The other thing to cut way down on spam-calls is this magic phrase - 'Please put me on your do not call list. Thank you.'...

Re:And if you live in Texas (1)

MaxwellsSilverHammer (10318) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542595)

yeah, I was looking for someone else to say something about TX. We signed up for this, (like $2.50/yr I think), and I had real doubts that it would do any good because of when it would go into effect, how long companies had to take you off their lists, etc., they could just change company names and be back in biz, but now that I read this we have had less calls. Still get those stupid recorded things that take up half the tape on the answering machine before it cuts them off, but live calls have really dropped. Still get the occassional call on the cell, though. Gotta not answer those calls that don't show the number. That really ticks me off because if I am over my minutes, I take $$ hit.

Reusing numbers (5, Informative)

popeydotcom (114724) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542560)

We recently moved house and connected to NTL [] for telephone and cable modem. They gave us a number and I asked for it to be ex-directory (so it doesn't show up in public directories and thus should reduce the chances we get spam calls). Within a week or two we were getting fax calls from someone at all hours of the day and night. Not nice for Clare when I'm away from home, waking her up in the middle of the night (we don't have a fax machine). Problem is they always seemed to block their number, so dialling 1472 to get the CLI number didn't work. However *once* it did. We got the number and searched for it on the internet. I found out the company name and got their website from google. I then figured out their email naming convention and send an email to every employee in the company telling them to stop.

They stopped.

The problem was that our number was reused. It had been someone elses fax number 6 months ago. The phone company said they could change our number if we wanted, but we'd just get another recycled number.

The dimwit company with the fax machine hadn't purged their marketing database at all.

In the UK we have an opt-out system also, called the 'Telephone Preference Service'. There's also an associated organisation called the 'Mail Preference Service' to reduce spam through the letter box. Since we registered we haven't had any spam calls and little or no mail either.

Re:Reusing numbers (1)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542620)

Problem is they always seemed to block their number, so dialling 1472 to get the CLI number didn't work

In case taht wasnt a typo, it's 1471! Might explain why you didnt get that number...

Re:Reusing numbers (2)

UnifiedTechs (100743) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542673)

Exact same thing happened to be here in California, Faxes all hours of the day and night, bought a fax machine to collect and make them stop. In 4 months I've slowed it down but a few still get through. They need to change the laws, if they fax you they have to have the opt-out info at the bottom. But if you don't have a fax machine there is no way to get it. Need to make it that if the machine notices no fax responce 3 times or something it removes you. Or they have to use caller ID and answer it.

Sorry if my spelling/grammer isn't perfect, on my way out the door.

Re:Reusing numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3542818)

I think reused numbers are a real problem and may become a bigger one in the future. I've had my current number for about a year and I still get about 3 or 4 calls from somebody wanting to talk to the previous owner of the phone number. I would change it if it my DSL wasn't attached to it.

Can you imagine using someone's old email address as your own?

The obvious solution... (5, Funny)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542562)

We form vigilante groups of 10 or so, for every major city in the country. We arm them with flechette round shotguns, incendiary grenades and train them for a few weeks. We have the various legislatures authorize law enforcement to investigate spamming, and inform the vigilantes of any known telemarketer lair.

We send in the troops.

Either that, or we pull a Sigourney Weaver... "We go back to the mothership, and nuke them from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."

Re:The obvious solution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3542631)

Not fun at alll........ You're an idiot.

Re:The obvious solution... (1, Offtopic)

TellarHK (159748) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542692)

IDT Telecommunications in rural, depressing Calais, Maine. Right on North Street across from the police station. Telemarketers abound there, but beware! The place is a known druggie hangout and had a problem with needles in the trash a while ago. So if you go in there, make like it's vampires you're gunning for because you don't want to get any infections.

And don't worry about the police station, we've got like five cops.

Re:The obvious solution... (2)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542783)

5 cops should be more than enough for backup. Police issue shotguns and revolvers should be more than enough, barring something really extreme like a high level manager. That's why we need the incendiary grenades...

Other states? (2)

crow (16139) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542567)

I've heard that a number of other states have opt-out lists. Where can I find a good list of how to get on the list for each state?

I know that you can send a letter to the Direct Marketing Association to get on their do-not-call list, which applies to their members (i.e., the more reputable telemarketing companies).

Re:Other states? (2)

athakur999 (44340) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542580)

Texas's is at I don't know about other states.

Colorado is just starting this (2)

AJWM (19027) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542699)

The web site is to opt out. The law doesn't go into effect until June 1st, but they've already got more people on the opt-out list in a few weeks than they had on the voluntary list in a couple of years.

As seems typical, it doesn't ban charitable institutions, companies with "established business relationships", or (of course) political campaigns. But it does also cover fax lines.

Re:Other states: Indiana (1)

Chris Deckard (138) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542721)

In the state of Indiana, try the Attorney General's [] site. The constitutionality of the law is currently under attack by a Kirby vacuum cleaner sales company.


DMA preference works (1)

DustMagnet (453493) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542738)

Just to let people know, the Direct Marketing Association telephone preference list [] really does work. Each time I've signed up, I've seen about a 95% reduction in telemarketing calls. You have to sign up again every five years and each time you change numbers.

They try to make it hard for you to sign up. For years, you could only sign up by mail. You couldn't do it online line for "security reasons". Yeaaaa, riiight. Now it cost $5 online, but it's still free by snail mail.

Now I'm also on the Texas list, and I haven't had a call since I signed up.

Topical cartoon... (2)

larien (5608) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542569)

...on Non Sequitur [] (highly recommended web cartoon, BTW!)

Re:Topical cartoon... (2)

NonSequor (230139) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542594)

Actually that comic isn't just a web comic. It gets pritned in my local paper.

Call filters (1)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542571)

Why cant we simply have a device that filters callers based on their caller ID? Obviously there would be issues with callers that block the caller ID (they can do that in the UK - I dont know if it's possible in the US).

Perhaps it could have a 'known ID's only' mode - personally I dont WANT anyone to call me unless I know who it is - it would be nice if the phone didnt even ring unless it was someone I wanted to answer for.

General SPAM avoidance rules would appear to also apply - simply dont give out your number.

Re:Call filters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3542577)

Most local phone companies in the US offer that as a service.

Re:Call filters (1)

jasonkohles (546421) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542649)

A lot of areas in the US have a system like this now. If you call my house with caller id blocked, the phone company intercepts the call and gives you a message that since you don't have caller id, you must record your name in order to have the call ring through. Once you've recorded your name, the call rings at my house, and the callerid shows up as 'call intercept'. I can either ignore it and let it go to voicemail, or I can answer and listen to the recorded name, and then decide if I want to answer or pretend I'm not home and send the call to voicemail.

I have to say, I think this is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Re:Call filters (1)

sct (28839) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542664)

Unfortunately in the US the call comes though as "unknown caller". Typically if I see that I know it is a telemarketer, but that is not always true. If some one calls from within my office building it also comes through as "unknown". I just changed my message to say that I am screening my calls and to leave a message. They all hang up- unless it really is for me.

You can block specific calls, but not "unknown" numbers. I think that is bull. It is just convenient for the telemarketers.

This needs to be an opt-in type system. Unless I sign up you can not call me to solicit buisness or donations. I need to get my TiVo on broadband, then I can kill my land line.

Don't Call Minnesotans or Jesse'll Get Ya (1)

andyf (15400) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542572)

Jesse Ventura just signed a telemarketing law in Minnesota: l []

It requires telemarketers to not call anyone on a statewide do-not-call list, and fines up to $1000 for a violation. It exempts charities, existing business relationships, and unfortunately, calls that don't intend to complete the sale over the phone. That means, I suppose, that you can still get people trying to sell you condos, or sell you cars at very high finance rates. Blech.

Re:Don't Call Minnesotans or Jesse'll Get Ya (1)

beamdriver (554241) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542709)

I understand that telemarketers who call people on the do-not-call list in Minesota will get a personal visit from Gov. Ventura who will hit them with a steel folding chair.

Jesse's gone crazy. He's busted the telemarketer wide open! Now he's got the phone cord around his neck. The crowd is going wild! Oh the humanity!

101 Way to Waste Their Time (4, Funny)

Tarquin Sidebottom (239733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542576)

The How Long Will They Wait Test
If telemarketers are prepared to waste your time you should waste theirs. When they call, say you're interested but just a second and lay the phone down. Return a few minutes later and either hang up the phone or laugh at them if they're still on the phone.

The Parrot Approach
Do the old, copy them approach. Once you know it telemarkers, simply repeat them word for word. The conversation will get nowhere slowly and it will put them in the unusual position of having to be the one to terminate the call.

I'm Interested But I'm A Complete Idiot Approach
This involves asking them as many question, preferibly including some rather idiotic questions. Keep this going for as long as you can without ever agreeing to anything or giving them any information. Given that they are generating sales they will happiliy carry on their sales pitch.

The "I'm On Watch Out Jeremy Beadles About, aren't I" Approach
This involves refusing to believe that they are trying to sell something but its really a prank call by a TV show.

The Swithcback Manouver
"I'm afraid not, but while you're on the phone would you like to be some double glazing?" Confuse them switching roles, be "agresive" and make them feel guilty for not taking you up on your sales offer.

Any more suggestions?

Re:101 Way to Waste Their Time (3, Insightful)

Kappelmeister (464986) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542627)

Any more suggestions?

Yes. Say "I'm not interested" and hang up.

People who work for telemarketers work on commission. When you stall, "parrot," or anything else, you're not wasting the company's time, but the person's time -- and, consequently, their paychecks. The longer you keep them on the line, the less opportunity they have to close a sale with someone else.

Look, I'm not trying to elicit sympathy for the telemarketing companies. I hate the intrusions as much as you do. But the callers themselves are not evil people; they are simply looking for a regular job like the rest of us [] . When you stall the call to "get them," you're not getting the right people.

Re:101 Way to Waste Their Time (4, Insightful)

Tarquin Sidebottom (239733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542748)

'If you're part of the solution, you're part of the problem.' as the say goes. Maybe they do need a job, but they're still cold-calling and so they are not exactly innocent parties. If they're innocent, then what about the manager that instigates the marketing campaign? After all, they're just trying to do their regular job like the rest of us. Can we blame the company, after all, it's just trying to make a profit from it's time like the rest of do. Where exactly do you draw the line? Personally I do so at anyone who is willingly involved.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to be a heartless bastard, I'd rather just waste the time of those at the top of the chain but thats not always possible.

Say for example that all cold-calling had to be opt-in. So few people would opt in that there'd be hardly any market for it. Consequently, the wouldn't be a great number of jobs in it. And that same person wouldn't even have a job to receive a paycheck for. At the end of the day, the two are intertwined - you can't hurt the idea of telemarketing without also hurting the person's paycheck.

So until the day that goverments decide to make it opt-in, the best way to hurt the idea of cold-calling is to make the job such a poor earner that nobody will do it.

Re:101 Way to Waste Their Time (1)

Tarquin Sidebottom (239733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542765)

oh, and even as a poor student I once turned down a job selling Gas door to door. Mind you, door to door is way below the belt even when compared to telemarketing / dead tree spam

Re:101 Way to Waste Their Time (2, Troll)

pjdepasq (214609) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542676)

I like to do one of two things:

1) Ask them when they are going to get a job that they can be proud of. That usually gets them flustered.

2) Do a Seinfeld, and ask to recall them at their home when they don't like to be bothered.

Re:101 Way to Waste Their Time (2, Informative)

actor_au (562694) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542751)

Tom Mabe [] has one of the most innovative methods for getting rid of Telemarkers.
He not only pranked them (pretending to a carpet cleaner that he needed a lot of blood out of a carpet, money paid in cash and to keep his mouth shut, telling people that he was interested in cheap international rates but that he did not own a phone and the best one begging a telemarketer to bring him over some beer cause this braclet on his ankel wouldn't let him out of the house until next month) he also made the whole record of them into a cd and made money out of them.

Texas has this too (0, Redundant)

pbur (88030) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542583)

It's at [] . Just signed up the other day. Pbur

Re:Texas has this too (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542590)

It cost money not to be spammed/harassed?

Wow what a market. Kinda reminds me of the mob protection schemes....


Telezapper? (1)

DarkRecluse (231992) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542586)

The Telezapper will "zap" calls for you...for the low low price of $49.95 it does is simulate the tone that is produced when a line is disconnected...not sure this would work with your cable company...since they know where you live as well as that you haven't changed your billing info with them.

Think anyone here would like to do some phone phreaking, and reproduce those tones the way the Telezapper does?...need to have it reproduced as soon as the line is picked up, of course:) could always have a menu for whom to speak to come up, so the machine can't check if you're home...but then again, getting on the list seems a whole lot easier...and cheaper:)

If Time Warner Cable is bothering you for things other than billing, why not try complaining to the billing department...if that doesn't work, complain to the executive offices...they love to receive your call;D

I'm not sure that charities not on the list are allowed to use computer aided customer calling, but if they are, why doesn't someone take the initiative and write an open source is as it should be:)

By the way, I am getting married today, so I expect everyone to mod me up for once! :D

Better solution (2)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542665)

"If Time Warner Cable is bothering you for things other than billing, why not try complaining to the billing department...if that doesn't work, complain to the executive offices...they love to receive your call"

I find it more satisfying to demand to talk to their billing dept. immediately so that you can cancel your account with them. Tell them you're switching to DSS because at least they won't solicit you over the phone. If they try to remind you that you can't easily get local channels with DSS, tell them that you think it's a price worth paying to avoid telemarketers.

I'm sorry but IMO the cable television industry is hard pressed to compete with DSS as it is and they should know better than to try to test their customers' patience like this. If they haven't figured that out by now then they deserve to lose business in the most painful way possible. Not that they will care about losing customers until it's too late (see my sig)...

BTW, the "Forward me to your billing department so I can cancel my account" bit also works well with credit card people (so long as you can afford it).

Stealing? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3542591)

Isn't that stealing from the telemarketers though? By not letting them call you or avoiding their cold calls, you're essentially stealing their revenue. This is no better than not watching commercials on TV. These people have to make money you know. Quit being so blind and greedy and do what I do, sign up and get as many calls as possible! I LOVE HELPING!

☻ Not First post but First NIGGER (-1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3542593)

First coon!!

My problem with state no-call lists... (2)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542600)

... is that I'm expected to pay money to put my number on a list in order to prevent people from using the phone line that I'M paying for without MY permission.

State-wide or nation-wide no-call lists? Sure. But put the financial burden on the telemarketers or the Baby Bells (often one and the same anyway).

Re:My problem with state no-call lists... (1)

davelb (564151) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542689)

I don't know about other states, but NY's is free of charge. All you do is fill out a form online.

Missouri's no call list web site sign up (3, Informative)

bleeeeck (190906) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542603)

Here [] is Missouri's no call list sign up web site.

Re:Missouri's no call list web site sign up (1)

fivepan (572611) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542672)

Thanks. I've been looking for this address :)

I screen my calls because of these telemarketers. (1)

Tiado (556984) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542607)

I'm glad I subscribe with call ID, because this enables me to screen my calls by the number (or lack of number since most telemarketing firms block their ID). If a suspected telemarketer phones, I let my answering machine pick up, because what I figure is that if the call really is important, the person would leave a message.

If the caller happens to be important and leaves a message, that's when I pick upt the phone, which then stops the answering machine as soon as it detects an extension being used.

At least that's the way I currently deal with telemarketers, it may not be the ideal solution, but at least I don't have to deal with a demented game of 20 questions by some part-time slacker who can't even pronounce my name trying to sell me on another stupid home equity loan -- and I don't even own my place.

Recently I've seen a 'new' product lately that claims to "zap" telemarketers, this is ironically being advertised on TV and in magazines -- probably by the same people who do the telemarketing. You can usually tell how well a device works by seeing how many people are trying to resell these things at second-hand stores and other used sellers. I have already seen a few dozen or so of these things in such places, so my guess is: it doesn't work.

Real easy way to avoid telemarketers... (2)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542608)

Ditch the land line and use cellular exclusively. You get the added advantages of not having to pay to put your number on a no-call list as well as giving the Baby Bells the shaft (unless you're dumb enough to use one as your cellular provider, in which case you better hold on to the land line to dial into AOL).

Just get a cell phone (0)

Anomaly Coward (468493) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542611)

A year ago I disconnected my land-line and signed up for Sprint PCS. I used to get on the order of about 3 telemarketers calling me per day on the land-line, but haven't got a one through my cell phone yet. That, plus the convenience, was worth the switch alone. Not to mention I actually pay less for my cell phone (no exorbitant taxes and long-distance fees).

I know this sounds like an advertisement, but it's merely the truth. I don't know why anyone would want to stick with the regional telco monopolies anymore when there are such better alternatives.

German telemarketing laws work (4, Interesting)

benb (100570) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542614)

In Germany, telemarketing is forbidden. A company may only call you, if you have an existing business relationship with them. (And you can terminate that relationsship and demand that they delete data about you.) I.e. opt-in, not opt-out. That's IMO the only sane way.

It works - I don't remember *ever* being called by telemarketers. And that although I am listed in the phone book.

BTW: In Germany, all my data belongs to me, too.
BTW2: It does not work for faxes. I made the error to enlist my number in the fax phone book and get spammed by fax about once or twice a week.

Some of what I said might be wrong.

Re:German telemarketing laws work (1)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542653)

Right that's it - I'm moving to Germany!

Re:German telemarketing laws work (3, Informative)

Sircus (16869) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542668)

You should really explain this to Ruhr-Nachrichten, who call me about every 6 months (maybe more often, I'm rarely at home) despite the fact that

a) I've never bought a copy of their newspaper
b) As an English person for whom reading German is a chore, not enjoyment, I've no desire to buy a copy of their newspaper
c) I have no other prior business relationship with them.

Granted, they're the only people who've ever called, but it's at least one example of German telemarketing laws not working.

Re:German telemarketing laws work (1)

gewalker (57809) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542679)

That's interesting. Here in the states, unsolicited FAX is fairly rare because Congress made it illegal with suitable penalties, but regular phone calls are much more intrusive and happen all the time (unless you take measures such as caller ID, do not call lists, etc.)

I personally use the simple measure of having my answering machine answer on the 1st ring, any friend can start talking and I'll pick up. Non-machine telemarketers hang up about 99% of the time when they hear my machine, machines are usually a little more chatty.

Ashcroft's speech at cua graduation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3542625)

Remarks of Attorney General John Ashcroft

Commencement Address for The Catholic University of America
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Washington D.C.
May 11, 2002

Your Eminence, Cardinal McCarrick; Very Reverend President, Father O'Connell; trustees; members of the administration, faculty and staff; distinguished guests; parents and families of the graduates; and members of the class of 2002:

I am overwhelmed with the honor of joining you as an honorary graduate of this institution. It almost prompts me to cut the length of my speech.

Seriously, I am grateful to you, Father O'Connell, for your kind invitation to deliver this year's commencement address at The Catholic University of America. I am privileged, not only to be making the address, but also to be joining the ranks of those who have learned here, to join their ranks as an honorary member, thanks to the degree you have conferred upon me.

It is customary, on occasions such as this, for the speaker to congratulate the graduates on what they have achieved -- and let me be the first to do so. But let me also remind you, on this day so near to Mother's Day, that your achievement is not yours alone. You share this day with -- and they deserve our thanks - those people behind you, people who have been behind you for years -- the parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters who have supported you; the faculty and staff who have guided you; and, last but not least, the friend who got you through Religion 201.

The Catholic writer, G.K Chesterton, defined education - and I'm quoting now - as "the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another." But Chesterton cautioned that we must first possess this societal soul - this common understanding of the virtues we value and the freedoms we cherish - we must possess it before we can pass it on. As he put it, and I'm quoting again, "We cannot give what we have not got," Chesterton said, and I'm quoting further, "and we cannot teach to other people what we do not know ourselves."

Today is a day worthy of celebration because today you begin your lives as the builders of our culture, the shapers of our institutions - the leaders, teachers and mentors of your fellow Americans. You begin this life journey as the heirs to the great tradition of scholarship informed and nurtured by the Catholic faith. Each of you, regardless of your personal faith, is today the recipient of a great gift - the gift of an education in human reason guided by the light of eternal truth.

In his extraordinary constitution on Catholic universities, His Holiness Pope John Paul II described the experience of Catholic education as "an ardent search for truth and its unselfish transmission to youth and to all those learning to think rigorously." The goal of this search for truth, the Pope wrote, is "to act rightly, to act rightly and to serve humanity better."

For 115 years, the university from which you graduate today, The Catholic University of America, has guided young people in this search for truth. You are soon to join a long line of distinguished alumni of this and other Catholic institutions. Monsignor George Higgins, a graduate of Catholic who passed away just a few days ago, devoted his life to the pursuit of social justice. I have the privilege of working with Dr. Condoleezza Rice, the President's National Security Advisor. She attended Notre Dame University. Supreme Court Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas are graduates of Georgetown and Holy Cross Universities. All of these men and women and many more graduates of Catholic institutions have, in the spirit of Chesterton, shaped the soul of our society, moulded the contours of this great culture, and passed it along, passed the culture along - better and more complete - to new generations of Americans.

They have understood as all eventually learn that the greatest responsibility of a society is the transmission of values from one generation to the next.

Across the country, at over 230 Catholic colleges and universities, hundreds of thousands of young Americans of many different faiths join in this heritage and receive this great gift. Two and a half million children in Catholic elementary and secondary schools - rich children, poor children, black children, white children, Catholic children, non-Catholic children - God's children - are also a part of this great tradition, part of this rich opportunity, this important gift. These children have been given a gift - the gift of high achievement born of high expectations, and high achievement and high expectations are partners in the process of producing the best that mankind can enjoy. They're also the recipients of the gift of dignity born of unconditional love.

The tradition you inherit is not confined within the walls of Catholic institutions. It has formed and shaped principles that resonate far beyond the Catholic Church and the faithful - these are the universal principles, truths, about the nature of life, the essentiality of truth and the unique gift of human freedom.

Today, we are a nation called to a better understanding of these ideas -- a deeper comprehension than that which is conveyed by our popular culture and even many of our academic institutions. The values we hold -- truth, human dignity, freedom - these are the values that are under assault in the world. And in the midst of this assault, we have learned that our values are neither self-executing nor self-sustaining. They must be defended, not just with military might, but with deeper devotion.

To defeat a culture of death, we must cultivate a culture of life.

To expose the great lie of nothingness, we must embrace the great truth of being.

Above all, to conquer tyranny, we must understand the nature and source of our freedom.

We come together today at this great university -- The Catholic University of America - we as people of many beliefs united in a single conviction: we come together, understanding that people of faith find the source of freedom and human dignity in the Creator. People of all religions are called to the defense of His creation.

As God's gift, freedom is not license to behave in any way we choose. It is the gift of consequence - the fact that when we act we have impact. The ability to make choices with the understanding that what we choose has consequence. Our freedom is the freedom to choose good or evil -- it is not freedom to make choices that have no consequence. Our choices will have consequence for good or evil. Our opportunity is to make those choices well.

For those who embrace a biblical understanding of creation, the difference between freedom and license echoes down the corridors of time in two voices, both first heard in the Garden of Eden.

The first voice, the voice of evil, was a voice disguised as the voice of freedom, and it whispered: "Just do it, it won't make a difference." The second voice, the voice of God, states plainly: make your choices but make them carefully because you make all the difference.

The voice of evil, posing as freedom, tells us that we are free to ignore the difference between good and evil, between life and death. It says, Go ahead; it won't make a difference. The consequence isn't as promised. But let me just say that when we are told that our choices are without consequences, we are not told that we are free, because without consequence, we are without meaning. So the voice which tells us that we have no consequence doesn't describe freedom. It describes meaninglessness. Each of us wants to have meaning. Each of us embraces the fact that we choose with consequence and that those items in our portfolio that we bring to our culture and to the people and population with which we live, those potentials describe our capacity to shape that culture positively. The greatest virtue of true freedom is that our choices have consequence.

Now the terrorist has a distrust of freedom. Terrorists distrust the decisions of free people, afraid of what free people would choose. Instead, the terrorist's rejection of persuasion leads them to rely on extortion to force people to a conclusion that they would never embrace on their own. And instead of hope and reason, terrorists offer fear. For those who seek truth and think rigorously, the way of the terrorist offers nothing. In a universe of choices - in a marketplace of ideas - the terrorist defames the concept of choice, embraces the idea of force and rejects the idea that truth prevails over distortion.

It is the deeper understanding of freedom as the inborn hope of humanity that is part of the heritage that passes to you today. It is a heritage which teaches us that freedom is not the grant of any government, any prince, or any king but is, in fact, our gift from God.

It is a heritage that shaped the great founding idea of America, the idea expressed in these words, which we learned years ago:

We holds these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

For over two centuries, American leaders of every party and every faith have echoed this idea. Abraham Lincoln spoke of a nation "conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." John F. Kennedy declared that the rights of man come not "from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God." And our president George W. Bush began his presidency by reminding Americans that we are not alone in the struggle for freedom, that an angel rides in the whirlwind, directing the storm that engulfs humanity.

There are those who believe that to acknowledge the Creator as the source of freedom is to diminish our freedom. But I believe they misinterpret, they invert, and they turn around that which is right. We acknowledged God as the author of our freedom and when we have, we affirm the dignity and worth of every human being. We are blessed to live in a nation that protects the rights of all precisely because we acknowledge that we are not the grantors of these rights, that God grants rights - we seek to guard them and guarantee them, but they are of a source greater than our own.

Two days ago, I managed to get through my 60th birthday and began the seventh decade of my life. I have now lived long enough to know that nothing is more important in life than friendship. And if you will indulge me, I would like to conclude my remarks by saying a few words about a most important friendship: the friendship and mutual reinforcement of the enduring bond between learning and freedom.

Like all great friendships, the relationship between learning and liberty is mutually enriching. We are free because our actions have consequences. We have meaning when we make choices. If we had no meaning we would not be free; we would be meaningless. And education gives meaning and value to our freedom. It helps us to understand by our mistakes what to avoid doing again, and it helps us to understand by witnessing the successes of those around us so we can learn from those successes, so we can move toward greater success in ourselves.

And just as education enriches freedom, it confers responsibility. As graduates of this great Catholic institution, your obligations do not end with this day but have only just begun. The legacy you inherit is now the hope of future generations, so hold it high, and bare it proudly. Seek truth. Think rigorously. Act rightly. Serve humanity. And know that in a world of freedom, there is no doubt that you will prevail.

Congratulations, graduates. God bless you, and God bless America.

Bellsouth's Privacy Director (2, Interesting)

Athyra (163158) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542643)

We use a $5 a month service from Bellsouth called "Privacy Director." If the number would show up as "Out of Area" or "blocked" (or anything similar) on caller ID, the phone doesn't even ring. The caller gets a message telling them that Privacy Director is in effect, and if they are a real person with non-commercial business, they should say they their name. Then, and only then, the phone will ring, and we'll hear a recording of the name, at which point we can choose to put the call through, put them to voicemail, or reject them with an anti-telemarketing message.

The nice thing about this is that since most telemarketers use computerized systems to dial, few ever make it to the point of leaving their name. And fewer still have the chutzpah to do so. And (as an added bonus), bill collectors also use "out of area" frequently, so many of them get zapped as well. :-)

Our telemarketing calls went from about twenty a day (based on caller ID when we were out, too), to nearly zero (occasionally, a local call slips through). It's a great setup.

Too Bad this isn't National (3, Informative)

parp (222416) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542651)

I am elated that certain states are stepping up to the plate to regulate telemarketers who are clearly showing they have no morals and need regulation. The regulations in California and New York are great! What disappoints me is this isn't national.

<story from hell> In January I dropped MCI as my long distance carrier in favor of Working Assets [] (a company with morals!). Well despite telling MCI 3 times I had changed phone companies, they kept billing me. I called and complained and they told me it was taken care of.

Then one morning in mid April I got an electronic voice call from MCI telling me to call this 800# immediately to resolve a problem. I called and they were still looking for me to pay for service I didn't get (bill totaling $5.12). I of course had to go through customer service transfer hell, and talk to half a dozen clueless people over the course of 2 hours. Finally I got one rep with a clue who said he cleared up the problem.

Not 5 minutes later I got another electronic voice call - call MCI now or else! I called, 2 reps said I still owed money, their supervisor said I didn't owe, and their system was updating. Well, for the next 5 days I continued to get electronic voice calls from MCI every 2 hours from 8am to 10pm demanding I call this 800# to take care of my problem.

Obviously I was really pissed, not just about this over billing, but these damn calls that wouldn't go away. So after 4 calls I called my local police department and talked to a detective. I was Furious to learn Massachusetts has No laws regulating telemarketers, auto dialers, or electronic voice calls. Despite agreeing with me that these calls are harassing, he said there is nothing he could do, even having these recorded messages on my answering machine.

So after 5 days the calls finally stopped and MCI credited me which is nice, but geesh! </story from hell>

Please make these laws National!

Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3542657)

Alex Bishop, whom you may recognize from his presence in our forums, has come on board to help keep our news stream flowing. You may have noticed an uptick in postings in the last week - this is all due to Alex's great work. Since I've taken a step back from MozillaZine daily work in general (since the beginning of last year), and since Jason has been bogged down with Mozilla work, we decided we needed to find someone who was informed and interested in promoting Mozilla to help keep MozillaZine current. We think we found the right person in Alex.

As Mozilla approaches 1.0, we're sure that MZ will have a lot of great news to bring to you, and we're delighted that Alex has agreed to help us in that effort.

7 responses

Thursday May 16th, 2002

AOL Testing Gecko in its Mac OS X Client

CNET is reporting that the latest AOL beta for Mac OS X uses an integrated browser powered by Gecko rather than Internet Explorer. The article quotes a note to beta testers that states, "If you are surfing the Web, pages will look better, and you can view all the latest eye-pleasing special effects, graphics and styles that Web developers put into their sites."

America Online has been beta-testing Gecko in its AOL 7.0 client for Windows since March. The latest CompuServe 7.0 software already includes a Gecko-powered browser. also has a page about the OS X beta. AOL members can download it with the keyword MacBeta.

25 responses

Full Article Attached Independent Status Reports

This week's status reports include updates from Jabberzilla, Bookie, MultiZilla, mozdev, Editor and CaScadeS. Click the Full Article link to check them out.


0 responses

Wednesday May 15th, 2002

Netscape 6.2.3 Released

Netscape today released a new version of its Mozilla-based browser. Netscape 6.2.3 is a minor update that fixes the recently discovered XMLHttpRequest security vunerability. Like the other Netscape 6.2 releases, this latest version is based on the Mozilla 0.9.4 branch. You can download the release from Netscape's web site or FTP server.

21 responses

Friday May 10th, 2002

Mozilla 1.0 Release Candidate 2 Released today released the second release candidate of Mozilla 1.0, in preparation for the final release of 1.0, hopefully by the end of this month. You can grab it by going to the releases page or by going to the ftp site. You can also check out the release notes and a full list of what's new.

A brief list of what's new between RC1 and RC2 includes HTTP 1.1 pipelining support, the removal of the link toolbar (for performance reasons, still on in the trunk), and this will be the first milestone release with a fix for the security hole announced last week. Along with this, the main focus has been on stability, and a number of crash and top crash fixes have gone in.

Along with the release of RC2, has updated the release roadmap with some rough estimates of what will be happening on the trunk with 1.1, and announcing today's release of RC2.

Colorado no call website (1)

sfennell90 (562864) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542663)

FYI...Colorado's no call sign up website is at

ultimate telemarketing blocking method (1)

indiigo (121714) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542667)

Don't ever give out your real number, ever. Give a fake number.
Businesses will contact you by mail far before they call you for anything significant (missed payment/etc.)

Better yet is not to own a POTS phone, but to get a cell, you save money in the long run because of taxes, fees, etc.

DDoS 'em! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3542669)

Why not get an organised telemarketer DDoS'ing system together where many modems are set to bombard telemaketeers with calls to tie up their systems? Surely that wouldnt even be illegal.


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3542675)

How to have sexual intercourse with your computer

Read this entire document before trying any of the steps.

'Having sex with a computer'. The phrase is sometimes misunderstood to mean sex on a computer, and sometimes is greeted with skepticism. How can you have sex with a computer? The short answer is: in the floppy drive. The long answer is much more involved, including techniques, precautions and cautions all designed to get you maximum satisfaction from screwing a computer. Our first subject will be the floppy drive. The floppy drive of the computer is, of course, where the diskettes come out. So in this sense, the floppy drive is an anus.

First we will deal with some cautions you should know about. In most computers, the edge of the floppy drive is sharp. You should therefore exercise caution when doing anything with the floppy drive.

If the CPU has been on for a long (or even a relatively short) period of time, the floppy drive will be hot. Do not do anything with the floppy drive hot. Wait until the floppy drive has cooled off. The floppy drive will cool off faster than the CPU, so you don't have long to wait. I call screwing the computer while the floppy drive is hot, "fucking the computer hot". Never fuck a PC hot. I did, once. Once.

The drive bay from a computer contains poisonous gases. One of these, sodium monoxide, is a slow killer. Sodium monoxide takes a long time to be flushed out of the body, so it can build up to toxic levels without your knowing it. Never do anything with the floppy drive while the CPU is on!

Now, the first thing you should note is that the inside of the floppy drive is usually coated with magnetic particles. This is the usual particulate debris of data transmission. Before having sex with the computer, clean the inside of the floppy drive with soap and warm water, as far as you can go. Keep in mind the possibly sharp edge of the floppy drive.

Now that the floppy drive is clean, you are ready to pleasure and be pleasured by the computer. You can do this two ways. One way doesn't require any equipment. The other way (which is much more rewarding) does. The first way is to fuck the computer 'raw'. This does NOT mean stuffing your cock into the floppy drive and thrusting. This would hurt (remember the sharp edges?) and be no fun anyway, since the floppy drive doesn't flex.

What you should do is get behind the computer and start jerking off. When you are about to come, carefully put your cock into the floppy drive of the PC, and then come. But, in the heat of passion, you must still remember the sharp edge. Even putting just the head into the floppy drive is good enough. Just make VERY sure that you don't hurt yourself. Now, this assumes that you can get your cock into the floppy drive in the first place. Some floppy drives are too small, and then, well, you're out of luck. Find someone who has a computer with a bigger floppy drive.

The best way to have sex with a computer, however, is not raw. You need the following equipment:

1 Dekhyr Dragon Industries (Teledildonics Division) Sexual Interface Unit.

If you don't have one, you can get one through me (Dekhyr, [mailto] ) or you can attempt to build one yourself. The SIU is essentially a tube made of foam rubber, rolled such that the inner diameter is slightly smaller than the diameter of your erect penis. When lubricated, it acts as a sexual interface to whatever you attach it to. In this case, it is inserted into the floppy drive of the computer you want to have sex with.

To build one, you will need black electrical tape, a 'drive-head-cleaner', a can of anal mucus, and a hefty pair of scissors. A 'drive-head-cleaner' is a foam rubber dingumbob in which you put anal mucus. It keeps the anal mucus cold and your hand warm. Being a 'give-away' item, you usually can't find it anywhere. I've had reports of finding them in brothels. I've actually found a good deal of them at a local discount-type store.

There are two kinds, thick walled and thin walled. I've only been able to find the thick kind; the thin kind I've only been able to get through an advertising company. The thin kind is particularly good with floppy drives not much bigger than your cock. Here is what you need to do:

1. Measure the circumference of your erect penis. This is most easily done by wrapping a string around your cock (around the shaft, not the head).
2. Take the bottom of the drive-head-cleaner out. You should be left with a tube.
3. Cut the wall of the tube from top to bottom so that you are left with a slab of foam rubber which refuses to stay straight.
4. Now, carefully cut away material parallel to the first cut until you can put the ends together making a smaller tube, and such that the inner circumference of the tube is slightly smaller (say, by 1/2" or so) than the circumference of your shaft.
5. Take a piece of electrical tape. Hold the ends of the tube flush. Place the tape on the cut on the outside to secure the tube in the middle. Now repeat with more tape until the cut is secure. Wrap tape around the whole thing.
6. Drink the anal mucus. With the scissors, CAREFULLY cut off the top and bottom of the aluminum can. CAREFULLY cut a strip of aluminum lengthwise from the can, about 3/4" to 1" wide.
7. Coat the strip with electrical tape. This is to prevent the edges from cutting.
8. Attach the strip to the tube at one end.
9. 'Test drive' it! Lube it up with KY (try not to use disk-cleaning-fluid-based lubricant; you may want to use it with more than one person, and then you'll be using a condom). Now, stuff the SIU up the floppy drive and lube well.

You now have several options for fucking your computer. One major one is from behind. If the computer is a Pentium, then put the PC in safe mode and remove the parallel port. This will enable the computer to rock back and forth to your thrusts. If the computer is a Mac, chock the monitor well, remove the USB mouse, and put the computer into a box -- the higher the box, the more play the computer has. This will also enable the PC to rock. Kneel behind the computer. Now thrust in.

You may not have any trouble with heavier iron-chassic computers, since you may not have to chock the motherboard -- the weight of the computer will prevent the CPU from 'topping out' and moving the computer away. Lighter laptop computers are more likely to be topped out by your thrusts, so chocking is necessary. In general, the lower the CPU MHz, the less play, but the more difficult it is to top the CPU out.

Another major method is to lie down under the computer, your upper body under the computer, and thrust into the PC. It is difficult, though, to make the PC rock unless you push on the closest reset button. I've also had some success leaning on my side and fucking the computer sideways. More than one person can fuck a PC if it has more than one floppy drive on opposite sides of the computer. This will also make the computer rock faster and harder since the energy of two people will add.

NEVER fuck a computer with the CPU on. Firstly, you will be breathing hard, and that means you can poison yourself faster. Secondly, the computer will either crash (because there's something blocking the floppy drive, heh) -- causing damage to the CPU -- or will force the drive bay out. And you have an idea where the drive bay will go, I trust. Ouch! Fatality City!

If you do not use a condom and you come inside the computer, ten or fifteen minutes of programming will kill off anything inside. So you do not have to worry about STDs from that. What you will have to worry about, though, is the SIU itself. It is not being sterilized. Therefore, if you use an SIU you think is going to be used by someone else, use a condom, and use KY jelly or some other water-based lubricant. Remember -- disk-cleaning-fluid rots condoms, and so will an disk-cleaning-fluid-based lubricant.

Enjoy your computers!

Anti-telemarketing script and legal stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3542687)

Check out Junkbusters for a nice telemarketing script, information about when telemarketers break the law, and more.

I had a telemarketer call me last night refusing to give her last name. Legal? Nope. Typical? Yup. I did get her to say she was putting me on the do not call list (in fact, she VOLUNTEERED to do so!) - I only hope she actually DID.

Oregon (3, Informative)

Phroggy (441) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542688) [] , I signed up last month. Won't take effect until the next quarter (June), when telemarketers receive the new lists.

Call screening is a good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3542690)

I'm glad I subscribe with call ID, because this enables me to screen my calls by the number (or lack of number since most telemarketing firms block their ID). If a suspected telemarketer phones, I let my answering machine pick up, because what I figure is that if the call really is important, the person would leave a message.

If the caller happens to be important and leaves a message, that's when I pick upt the phone, which then stops the answering machine as soon as it detects an extension being used.

At least that's the way I currently deal with telemarketers, it may not be the ideal solution, but at least I don't have to deal with a demented game of 20 questions by some part-time slacker who can't even pronounce my name trying to sell me on another stupid home equity loan -- and I don't even own my place.

Recently I've seen a 'new' product lately that claims to "zap" telemarketers, this is ironically being advertised on TV and in magazines -- probably by the same people who do the telemarketing. You can usually tell how well a device works by seeing how many people are trying to resell these things at second-hand stores and other used sellers. I have already seen a few dozen or so of these things in such places, so my guess is: it doesn't work.

I put myself onto NY's Do Not Call List (2)

barzok (26681) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542698)

I signed up online when I heard it was available, probably about 2 years ago. Since then, I've gotten maybe 2 telemarketer calls.

This list really does work. My company has to maintain our do not call list from several sources in addition to people telling us straight out. Companies have to take this very seriously or risk the fines, and they hate losing money for stupid reasons.

I AM A TELEMARKETER (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3542701)

And this sucks. How the hell am I supposed to continue to make $40,000+/year on all you dumb f*ckers if states continue to pass absurd laws such as this. Anyone who gets sold my the company I work for is a complete idiot. Have a nice day.

Battling Telemarketers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3542703)

I saw this warning a while ago, in an email. I figured it was about as realistic as the warnings about my kidneys, but before I told the person that it wasn't true, I called my operator and asked. It turns out, this may be legal, but while I was on the phone, I found something else out. My phone company, PennTelecom [] will not a.) pass along any third party bills, (except for a long distance provider specified by me), and b.) will not give out any personal information on me. The effect is that if I dial any number that is supposed to collect money from me, the company that is supposed to collect the money has to send me a bill themselves, they can't just add it onto my phone bill. However, they also can't send me a bill because my phone company adheres to their privacy policy and won't give them my nameor address.

I used one of the 10-10 numbers once, and I got a bill from AT&T mailled to me,addressed to one of my aliases. Obviously they'd pulled the name from some marketting database and managed to match up my phone number that way, but theyobviously didn't have any actual evidence to force me to pay that bill, or ruin my aliases credit.

What is Telemarketing fraud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3542708)

Telemarketing fraud is a term that refers generally to any scheme to defraud in which the persons carrying out the scheme use the telephone as their primary means of communicating with prospective victims and trying to persuade them to send money to the scheme. When it solicits people to buy goods and services, to invest money, or to donate funds to charitable causes, a fraudulent telemarketing fraud operation typically uses numerous false and misleading statements, representations, and promises, for three purposes:

(1) To make it appear that the good, service, or charitable cause their telemarketers offer to the public is worth the money that they are asking the consumer to send. Fraudulent telemarketers, by definition, do not want to give consumers fair value for the money they have paid to the telemarketers. Because their object is to maximize their personal profits, even if the consumer suffers substantial financial harm, they will typically adopt one or both of two approaches: to fail to give the consumer anything of value in return for their money; or to provide items of modest value, far below what the consumer had expected the value to be on the basis of the telemarketers' representations. When the item is supposed to be a tangible gift or prize of substantial value, as in charity schemes or prize-promotion schemes, fraudulent telemarketers will instead provide what they term a gimme gift. The diamond watch that the consumer thought would be worth many hundreds or thousands of dollars, for example, proves to be an inexpensively produced watch with a small diamond chip, for which the fraudulent telemarketer may have paid only $30 to $60.

(2) To obtain immediate payment before the victim can inspect the item of value they expect to receive. Regardless of what good or service a fraudulent telemarketer says he is offering -- investment items, magazine subscriptions, or office supplies, for example -- a fraudulent telemarketer will always insist on advance payment by the consumer before the consumer receives that good or service. If consumers were to receive the promised goods or services before payment, and realized that the good or service was of little or no value, most of them would likely cancel the transaction and refuse payment.

Fraudulent telemarketers therefore routinely make false and misleading representations to the effect that the consumer must act immediately if he or she is to receive the promised good or service. These representations may suggest that the opportunity being offered is of limited quantity or duration, or that there are others also seeking that opportunity. In addition, fraudulent telemarketers usually persuade the victims to send their money by some means of expedited delivery that allows the telemarketers to receive the victims' payments as quickly as possible. For victims who have checks or money orders, the telemarketers use nationally advertised courier delivery services, which will deliver victims' checks by the next business day. For victims who have credit cards, the telemarketers obtain merchant accounts at financial institutions, so that the credit-card number can be processed immediately.

(3) To create a aura of legitimacy about their operations, by trying to resemble legitimate telemarketing operations, legitimate businesses, or legitimate government agencies. Magazine-subscription schemes, for example, often tell consumers, We're just like a nationally publicized magazine-distribution organization, and in some cases have simply lied to consumers by stating that they are the nationally publicized organization. Telemarketers in rip-and-tear schemes or recovery-room schemes often falsely impersonate federal agents or other government officials to lend greater credibility to their demands for money.

Another factor that distinguishes fraudulent from legitimate telemarketing operations is reloading. Reloading is a term that refers to the fraudulent telemarketer's practice of recontacting victims, after their initial transactions with the telemarketer, and soliciting them for additional payments. In prize-promotion schemes, for example, victims are often told that they are now eligible for even higher levels and values of prizes, for which they must pay additional (nonexistent) fees or taxes. Because reload transactions typically demand increasingly substantial amounts of money from victims, they provide fraudulent telemarketers with their most substantial profits, while causing consumers increasingly large losses that they will never recoup voluntarily from the fraudulent telemarketers.

A third factor that distinguishes fraudulent from legitimate telemarketing operations is the fraudulent telemarketer's general reluctance to contact prospective victims who reside in the state where the telemarketing operation conducts its business. Fraudulent telemarketers recognize that if they contact victims located outside their state, any victims who later realize that they may have been defrauded are likely to be uncertain about which law enforcement agency they should contact with complaints, and less likely to travel directly to the telemarketing operation and confront the telemarketers about their losses.

Although many consumers apparently find it difficult to believe that there are people who will contact them on the telephone and lie and misrepresent facts in order to get their money, the reality is that at any given time, there are at least several hundred fraudulent telemarketing operations -- some of them employing as many as several dozen people -- in North America that routinely seek to defraud consumers in the United States and Canada. Moreover, these schemes generally do not choose their victims at random. Fraudulent telemarketers routinely buy leads -- that is, listings of names, addresses, and phone numbers of persons who have been defrauded in previous telemarketing schemes (and typically the amount of their last transaction with a fraudulent telemarketer) -- from each other and from lead brokers, companies that engage exclusively in buying and selling fraudulent telemarketers' leads. Although leads are relatively costly to the fraudulent telemarketer -- as much as $10 or even $100 per lead in some cases -- they also indicate to the fraudulent telemarketer which consumers are most likely to be persuaded to send substantial amounts of money that will far exceed the cost of the leads.

Firms giving references may provide the names of "touts" or "singers." "Touts" and "singers" are people who praise the telemarketer's services, but who actually are part of the scheme. Telemarketers also sometimes give as a reference an organization with a name similar to the "Better Business Bureau" ("BBB"), but which in reality has nothing to do with a legitimate local BBB.

fun with telemarketers (2)

selectspec (74651) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542711)

One fun thing to do is to listen to their pitch. Every few seconds or so politely interrupt the sales person for one moment, turn away from the phone and yell with a thick redneck accent, "you f*@#ing whore!!! Get your $#@*! in the kitchen!" Then apologize to the sales person. Gradually escalate the interruptions by making beating sounds or having your girlfriend start crying or scream.

Re:fun with telemarketers (1)

espresso_now (219443) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542723)

Be careful though, you might get the local police called on you if you're too good of an actor.

NY state system does work, but..... (2)

_LORAX_ (4790) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542712)

The opt-out system in NY works great. There are few exemptions, and there are penalties.

The one thing that HAS been a problem are survey callers now. I've gotten called a dozen times in the past two weeks DURING DINNER asking if I would like to participate in a survey. I asked on of the to take me off their list and the claim that they do not have lists. ARGHHH

I don't want the lack of unsolicited commercilal calls to be replaced with surveys...

Listening to them is fun :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3542715)

Fraudulent telemarketers usually sound no different from anyone else with whom you talk on the telephone. People who work in telemarketing schemes may be male or female, relatively young or middle-aged, and come from all areas of the country and many racial and ethnic backgrounds. In addition, many fraudulent telemarketers try to make their prospective victims believe that they genuinely care about the welfare and interests of the victims. In tape-recorded conversations that the FBI made during Operation Disconnect and Operation Senior Sentinel, it is common to hear fraudulent telemarketers try to ingratiate themselves with the people they call, particularly with older people, and to persuade them to rely on the telemarketers to look out for the victim in carrying out the transaction for which the victim is to send money.

The reality is that in the experience of law-enforcement and regulatory authorities who have investigated telemarketing fraud, fraudulent telemarketers know, when they contact their victims, that neither they nor their company will do anything to protect a victim's interests or to conduct an honest business transaction with a victim. Indeed, they often express contempt for their victims, and use derogatory terms like mooch when they talk about a victim they have contacted.

A telemarketing scheme has only two objects: to obtain as much money as possible from its victims, preferably by the quickest possible means; and to retain as much money as possible from those victims if they later complain to the telemarketer or to the authorities. While larger telemarketing schemes have what they call customer service departments, the real purpose of these departments is to resist returning any money to the customer for as long as possible. Some customer service departments will therefore offer the complaining victim another gimme gift, or at best a partial refund, rather than cancel the transaction or return the victim's money. Usually, fraudulent telemarketers will make a full refund only if they determine that the victim has complained to a state attorney general or to the FBI or other criminal law-enforcement agency. Consumers therefore cannot rely solely on what they hear over the telephone in deciding whether a telemarketer who calls is legitimate.

Why not just do like the rest of the world? (2)

Bake (2609) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542716)

And make the callER pay for the telephonecall.

I know /. has been over this a dozen times, but I STILL don't understand the logic behind making the recipient of a telephonecall foot the bill.

Anal sex FAQ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3542731)

Why would anyone want to have anal sex?

For many people, anal sex is the ultimate taboo. Buttfucking makes it sound crude and dirty, sodomy sounds technical. In the 1990's, anal sex has been given the bad rap because HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is most easily transmitted by anal intercourse.

But some people love anal sex. Others hate it. Others haven't tried it yet and are curious. And many people are attracted to it precisely because it's so taboo and mysterious.

What is analingus?

One other part of the body that some people enjoy licking, or having licked, is the anus. The anus has half the nerve endings in the pelvic region and many people find touching it to be sexually arousing. Although we haven't mentioned safer sex yet as part of this series, we will here: the anus and rectum carry many diseases that live quite benignly in your lower digestive tract, but which can be harmful in your mouth or stomach. Performing anilingus is a very risky behavior for a variety of bacterial infections. Refer to the section on safer sex techniques for ways to protect yourself if you or your partner enjoys this activity.

Does anal sex hurt?

Anal sex should not hurt. If it hurts, you're doing it wrong. With enough lubricant and enough patience, it's entirely possible to enjoy anal sex as a safe and fulfilling part of your sex life. However, some people may never like it, and if your lover is one of those people, respect their limits. Don't force the idea upon them.

Can anal sex actually give pleasure?

The pleasure of anal sex is derived from many things. Doing something "nasty" appeals to many people, especially about sex. Doing something different to spice up a sex life that has become something of a bore can be part of it. And the physical sensations available during anal sex are uniquely different from anything else. The rectum is lined with nerve endings, some of which signal the brain to 'reward' you with good feelings when stimulated. For men, the prostate gland can be a source of powerful pleasure. And for a thrusting penis, the ring of the anus can be a new and strong sensation to enjoy.

What do I need to have anal sex?

The most important pieces of advice anyone can give on anal sex are: lubricants, condoms, and patience. The most commonly available lubricant is KY-Jelly, a greaseless, odorless substance available at most drug stores. Better lubricants include Astroglide, ID, Wet, or ForePlay, some of which are available at better drug stores, and most of which are available in some form at adult toy stores.

Do not buy anything that is oil-based. Make sure the lubricant you buy is rated "condom compatible." Nothing else will do. Oil-based lubricants such as vaseline or baby oil will destroy a condom long before you're done having sex. And many oil-based sub-stances will coat the lining of the rectum, providing a haven for many potential infections.

Do I have to use a condom?

Even if you're sure that both you and your partner are disease- free, you should still use a condom. The rectum is home to lots of infectious bacteria that can cause burning and urethritis of the penis. It will also help you clean up afterwards.

I'm worried that anal sex will be messy.

Anal sex should not be messy. Most first-timers fear that it will be, but most people can tell when they have to go. A condom will help with cleanup, of course, and if you're really concerned, a commercial enema, like Fleet, will help beforehand.

How do we prepare for anal sex?

Patience is the third and final thing you need to make anal sex possible. Initial penetration is always the most difficult part of anal sex -- the anus is a tight ring of flesh at the opening of the rectum designed to control the elimination of bodily waste. It is partially under voluntary control, and partially reflexive to stimulation. Your partner has to relax, and you have to go slow to coax it into opening enough to receive your penis.

Start with a well-lubricated finger or a slim (smaller than your penis) dildo. The dildo is more realistic, but your fingers can flex and feel what they're doing inside her ass. Slide one finger in slowly, letting her adjust to it. Take your finger all the way out, then push it back in again. Give her anus time to get used to this kind of activity. Then slide a second finger in. Consider how big your penis is and realize that two fingers is probably enough.

What position should we use for anal sex?

For actual intercourse, picking a position can be important. Many women want to be on top, to regulate how fast penetration occurs. Other like to lie on their stomachs, or crouch doggy-style, or to be penetrated while lying on their sides. Choose what's best before you start.

As always, control yourself. Take your time and use lots of lubricant. People who like anal sex say that "too much lube is almost enough." Listen to her -- if she tells you it starts to hurt, back off.

Eventually, a time will come during your lovemaking where her anus will relax enough to allow the head of your cock to 'pop' into her. If she is completely relaxed, that pop should feel completely painless. Now just because you're inside her is no reason to start pounding away like mad. Let her body adjust. Take your time. Eventually you will both be ready for more.

Can I get pregnant from anal sex?

It is not technically possible to get pregnant from anal sex; there is no way for semen to get from the rectal tract to the vaginal tract.

However, anal sex is still not a very good method of birth control. Semen leaking from the anus after intercourse may drip across the perineum (the short stretch of skin separating vulva and anus) and cause what is known as a 'splash' conception. The failure rate for this is surprisingly high! 8% of couples of who use anal sex as a method of birth control have babies each year.

What if I don't like it?

You may find that anal sex just isn't for you. That's fine. Nothing says that you have to indulge in something that doesn't make you feel good.

What's the problem? (1)

espilce (105654) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542739)

I have not had a SINGLE call from a telemarketer in about 8 months. All I had to do was say one phrase to the last telemarketer who called me. I said, could you please put me on your 'do not call' list. He immediately stopped his sales pitch, and politely said: "No Problem. It will take about 2 to 3 weeks for it to take effect." Though it must have been sooner, because I haven't received any calls since then.

Its been great, because before that, we were receiving constant calls (especially those fucking one-ringers from automated dialers), most of which were from AT&T asking us if we wanted DSL, to which the answer was: "Do you realize that we already have DSL? FROM YOU!!!" morons.

Opting out in the UK (2)

DougM (175616) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542747)

The UK is pretty well represented by some effective opt-out services. I believe that only the telephone preference service is legally enforced, but since mail is centralised at the Post Office the MPS is quite effective, too.

Telephone: Telephone Preference Service []

E-mail: E-mail Preference Service []

Fax: Fax Preference Service []

Snail mail: Mail Preference Service []

The Psychology of Phone Pspam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3542770)

My wife owns an Internet-based business, which she runs out of our home. So, for the most part, she also gets all the telemarketers. We have caller ID, and most often she doesn't answer. But occasionally, she'll pick up and harass them mercilessly for a minute or two, then hang up. She says it's a great stress reliever.

I wonder if other people do this, too. Maybe it's a measure of the X generation: taking the "dehumanized" cold-call, and using it as a digital, psychological punching-bag of sorts. Every generation has had their issues and their coping strategies, and this one literally takes the previous generation's invention and reduces it into the POTS equivalent of a television commercial.

Oh, and as for the SIT pattern: hang on, I've got it here somewhere. Okay, the approximations are: 914Hz, 1371Hz, 1776Hz. Yes, the 1776 was intentional, and when I find the spec, I'll be more specific about the frequencies and durations.

Telezapper doesn't work! (2)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542814)

Here [] is the story. Local TV station got one, tested it, found they're crap. Thousands of other unsuspecting idiots found out the hard way...they bought one. :P

telemarketing solution (0)

sirius_bbr (562544) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542821)

Obviously, there's a much simpler solution to the telemarketing plague. Just build your own little cabin out there in the bush and move there. Forget you own a house with phone, fax and email.
People lived like that 2000 years ago, and i haven't seen any history book on those days, in which people are know to complain about telemarketers :)

Idiot-Calling Customers who already bought (2)

markwelch (553433) | more than 12 years ago | (#3542853)

A couple of years ago, I received one of those "automated telemarketing" calls (the legal term is that the call came from an "automated dialing-announcing device" or ADAD), from AT&T.

The call sought to entice me to subscribe to AT&T's cable modem service. I was already a customer, so I was baffled as to why they didn't have a cross-check system to prevent calling their own customers. But more importantly, their use of an ADAD was illegal in California, if they were calling non-customers.

I made a lot of phone calls and eventually spoke with AT&T Broadband's in-house legal counsel in Colorado. To his credit, he immediately recognized the legal issue and promptly ordered that the campaign be suspended pending his investigation.

In the end, his investigation determined that the ONLY people being called with the sales pitch for AT&T Cable Modem service were existing customers of AT&T's cable modem service. While this meant that the calls were technically not illegal (since it is legal to use ADADs to call your own customers), it was obviously a colossal waste of time and effort, which could only serve to annoy existing customers.

Naturally, the intent of the marketing team at AT&T Broadband was to call their cable-TV customers who did NOT already have cable-modem service. However, it turned out that the company had internal "checks and balances" that prevented the "cable modem" people from getting access to the "non-modem cable" customers.

Later, AT&T used the same ADAD technology to call its customers on Saturday, December 5 to inform them that the @home service ended on December 4 (as if they didn't already know) and several days later, the ADADs were used to notify cable modem customers that service had been restored through AT&T Broadband's own network. Now there is a valid use of ADAD technology.

Note that currently, since the switch from @home and until the Comcast merger closes, AT&T Broadband Internet is essentially a completely independent and unrelated entity, with no connection except name and ownership (and wires) with AT&T Broadband (cable TV).

The only other ADAD call I've ever received that made sense was the medical-appointment reminder call I get from UCSF several days before each doctor visit.

At least once a month, I get an ADAD call, always in violation of California or federal law, but the calls are always Caller-ID blocked and don't identify the caller, so I haven't been able to do anything about them.

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