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Slashback: Stupidity, Telebastardy, Fast Search

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the welcome-to-the-working-week dept.

Slashback 321

Slashback tonight with updates and corrections on Overture's Fast Search acquisition (overstated in a previous story), sex.com's sordid adventures in California, the ongoing struggle involving telemarketers vs. your privacy, and more -- read on for the details.Just the parts that matter. Peter Gorman of FastSearch writes:

"I read your Overture/FAST story on Slashdot and wanted to make a clarification.

Your headline implies that Overture is completely acquiring FAST. This is completely incorrect. Overture has only acquired FAST's Internet business unit assets, which includes FAST WebSearch, FAST PartnerSite and FAST's popular search site, AlltheWeb.com."

Thanks for the correction, Peter.

Isn't that the stuff that sells? icantblvitsnotbutter writes "In what looks like a scoop, The Register has an article covering the latest in the ongoing battle between Gary Kremen and VeriSign. The High Court of California has rejected a request to consider the legal issue of whether a domain can legally be deemed as property. This is a huge help for (relatively) money-strapped Kremen, whose opponent VeriSign was evidently using the request as a delaying tactic. VeriSign previously had breathlessly warned that a wrong decision would 'cripple the Internet'."

And they made such a pleasant version of Debian, too ... robmered writes "Three years after receiving US$135M in cash from Microsoft, and one and a half years after Xandros bought Corel's Linux assets, The Age is reporting that Corel has finally removed all Linux software from its website. The end of an era, or a margin note in history? The Age thinks the former, but the strength of Open Office, Gimp and numerous desktop environment efforts seem to indicate that the Linux bandwagon will roll on regardless."

Certainly, I would like to talk at length about your business proposal. Would you like to know my fees in advance? KC7GR writes "There's an article running at DMNews about a company called Castel, Inc. that has, supposedly, developed software that can be used by automated dialing equipment to bypass a TeleZapper, or similar SIT generators, and get through to your phone no matter what.

It is also claimed that the software can deliver any type of text or phone number to a recipient's caller ID box, no matter if it's true or false, and that it can also bypass the anti-telemarketer blocks made available by some telephone companies, such as SBC and Qwest.

Granted, this software is not cheap (about $2,700.00 per calling position, apparently), and Castel is quick to claim that they created this stuff primarily for collection agencies to help them get through to deadbeats who use TeleZappers. Does anyone here really think that'll stop telemarketers from using the same crap, just because they can?"

Brevity is one antidote to stupidity. Yoda2 writes "Here is Part II of the Salon story on the Loebner Prize that Slashdot covered yesterday."

cancel ×

321 comments

Frosty (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5401702)

McPosty

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/Get It\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)___In__|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\__You_/__//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_e_x_*_


Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.


Re:Frosty (-1, Offtopic)

punkball (240859) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401715)

And slashdot has been goatsexed yet again...

trogdoooooor! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5401703)

burninating the countryside
burninating the peasants
burninating the people
in the thatch-roofed cottages!

THATCH-ROOFED COTTAGES!
TROGDOOOOOOOR!

oh, yeah, fp.

Re:trogdoooooor! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5401742)

Timmy censoring bitchslap elapsed time: 45 seconds.

Good work, Timbo. YUO AER TEH R0X0RZZZ!!11!1!one

Re:trogdoooooor! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5401953)

Timothy, why does everyone hate you? Is it because you use your mod points the same way George W Bush uses the military? You are an insignifigant speck, and will most certainly bitchslap my account for this( I'll post using my nick so you can look it up, not like you can't anyways). TTFN, Ta Ta for now... AC

IN SOVIET RUSSIA (fp) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5401707)

Whatever.

Privacy (-1, Troll)

(1337) God (653941) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401709)

I side on the fence that if you care enough about privacy to make it your job to fight it, you clearly have something to hide.

Re:Privacy (5, Insightful)

creative_name (459764) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401807)

So does that mean if you fight for the right to have a free trial you are going to commit a crime? Is it not possible for someone to fight for something based purely on ideology rather than self-interest? What happened to standing up for what you believed because you believe it, and not because you gain from it?

If you're not willing to fight for your privacy, you don't deserve it in the first place.

Re:Privacy (2, Interesting)

piranha(jpl) (229201) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401902)

Parent-parent posting was worded cleverly (or stupidly, depending on intent):

I side on the fence that if you care enough about privacy to make it your job to fight it, you clearly have something to hide. [emphasis mine]

"Fight it", not "fight for it".

Re:Privacy (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5401816)

You sir or madam, are an idiot. NO ONE will fight for YOUR privacy, except for you. Go ahead, sit around, and lose your rights. But I'm going to fight the good fight. You can thank me later.

Re:Privacy (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5401821)

or maybe you are just a bastard

Re:Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5401895)

this was actually funny!

i hate the way modders mod up the psuedo intellectual answers.

calling the guy a bastard made sense.

i give you a virtual mod up....Score: 5 Appropriate

I give the modders ...Score: -1 Real Life is Gonna Break Your Goddamn Door One Day (for being stupid)

Re:Privacy (4, Insightful)

Myriad (89793) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401836)

I side on the fence that if you care enough about privacy to make it your job to fight it, you clearly have something to hide.

Since you claim to have nothing to hide, and there should be no concern for privacy, please post your full name and address. I'll be by shortly with a few miniature camera's to install in your bedroom, bathroom, and living room. A few taps for the phone, and other assorted recording and monitoring device. Please also pop the hood on your car so I can install the GPS tracking system. Got a cell phone? I'll need your ESN and number please.

What? You don't want to provide that? Not even your name, phone number, and address? Why ever not? I though you didn't think privacy mattered!

Gasp! You must have something to hide!

Re:Privacy (0, Redundant)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401988)

Good Job Myriad! Once again, bringing idiocy to its penultimate level is the best way to get the point across.

Skeletons in the closet,
AWG

Re:Privacy (2, Interesting)

cyril3 (522783) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402181)

have nothing to hide, and there should be no concern for privacy

Just because someone has nothing to hide it doesn't mean they are happy for everyone to know everything in intimate detail. That I have nothing to hide as far as the government or law enforcement is concerned doesn't mean I am happy to have you watch me in the shower.

I always assumed that the term "nothing to hide" meant roughly that I had nothing that would cause me too much grief if it became known to people who mattered to me in some way (eg I don't want my wife to know about the pr0n or my boss to know its gay pr0n).

As you don't particularly matter to me its not a question of 'nothing to hide', it's just none of your damn business.

Re:Privacy (1)

JesseL (107722) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401854)

And I believe that just because you have something to hide doesn't mean you shouldn't be able/allowed to hide it. Everybody has plenty of persoanl information and they should have every right to resist it becoming public.

Re:Privacy (1)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401877)

Yeah, I absolutely have to keep First Mutual Mortgage and Gordo's Roofing Service out of my bio-weapons cache.

I have something to hide (5, Insightful)

Rares Marian (83629) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401907)

1.My kids' names
2.Their ages
3.Their birthdates
4.The school they go to
5.My address
6.What they look like
7.What route they take home from school
8.Who their teachers are
9.Where hteir soccer practice is held
10.The secret password we use to authenticate and
11.When I am home and when I am not

authorize pick-up-the-kid-from-wherever functions

Oh and privacy isn't just about secrecy, it's about private spaceand private property. Private property means control over that property.

I think every address should have a public phone to which certain callers are restricted to only leaving messages. Kind of like how you can yell from across the street at me all you like, bu the minute you get on my property I cantell you to go away in which case refusal to do might cause your yell-from-across-the-street privileges to be legally revoked as well.

Dinner time is highly private property. Weekends and afternoons are highly private property. Ho

Oops (1)

Rares Marian (83629) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401935)

10. The secret password we use to authenticate and
authorize pick-up-the-kid-from-wherever functions.

Homework time is private property.

Re:Privacy (2, Interesting)

phorm (591458) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401936)

We all have something to hide. Some people are hiding very bad things... others are hiding things that big business or government tells us are bad... but almost everyone does anyways.

Nobody is 100% innocent.

Re:Privacy (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402203)

my son and daughter are.
I want to keep everything about them private.

Re:Privacy (4, Insightful)

shepd (155729) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402010)

Well, then you should have no problem if I send you a set of envelope sized clear ziplock sandwich bags that you can use for your mail instead of wasting your money on envelopes, right?

If I included postage on them would you use them? It's not a bad deal really. I mean, if you have nothing to hide, why should you worry if the postman you hate across the street opens all your mail (undetected, because it's ziplock!) and gives it a peruse. Maybe he can even report any mistakes you've made on paying your Visa to the credit agency for you, or errors on your income tax report to the IRS! How excellent!

If you don't want that, well, you must have something to hide. I mean, it's not like it's even going to cost you anything to do this, you'd _make_ money, and your only cost is the privacy you don't value anyways!

On second thought... (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402032)

Re-reading your sentence just made me realise it made no sense at all.

Sorry for responding, but it's unclear to me exactly what the hell you're trying to say now that I've taken a second look at it.

Re:Privacy (1)

swv3752 (187722) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402053)

Don't you think you would have been better at hiding your little troll club?

Re:Privacy (or why should the parent be modded UP) (1)

Mitreya (579078) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402074)

No, no, mod the parent up!
There should be a mod +1 "Common misconception shared by many".

The parent is *serious*, it seems. I think a couple of good replies have been posted and modded up already. But please, mod him up or put up an explanation for him. Unless its a troll do not mod him down and pretend he does not exist.

Re:Privacy (or why should the parent be modded UP) (1)

swv3752 (187722) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402144)

Read his journal and tell me he is not a troll.

Don't feed the trolls (1)

Wee (17189) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402078)

This is one just too obvious.

-B

Re:Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5402096)

Or have been a victim of, or know how to use personal privacy to do harm.

Must be a liberial. Only way you pretend to win is by cheating.

IE, creating a sub group of misinformed turds within a loosely bound forum and...forget it...

Re:Privacy (1)

ChaoticLimbs (597275) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402134)

Can I just get some information about you then?
I'd like to know your preferred brand of bread.
And I'd like to know if you like mayonnaise.
Could you also tell me whether you make between 40-75k a year or 75-100k a year or more?
In addition, I would like your full name, address, phone number, and your nationality.
What is your checking account routing number?

Re:Privacy (1)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402147)

"I side on the fence that if you care enough about privacy to make it your job to fight it, you clearly have something to hide."

I'm more worried about lack of context. For example, if the MPAA finds a log somewhere that shows my computer downloaded Harry Potter.avi, how do they know the following:

1.) That the .AVI actually contained the movie.
2.) That I don't already own the DVD.
3.) That I was the one who downloaded it, as opposed to a clever e-mail virus or something.
4.) That I downloaded it beacuse I clicked the wrong link or because it was misrepresented.

Not having anything to hide does not mean you're exempt from being burned by this. People can draw all kinds of wild conclusions with little bits of data like that. Do you want to be labeled as a music pirate because you made a copy of a music CD to keep in your car?

totally offtopic (-1, Offtopic)

DraconPern (521756) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401710)

don't forget your local meetup. :)

Caller ID faking... (4, Interesting)

MacGoldstein (619138) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401717)

Is that not illegal yet?

Re:Caller ID faking... (4, Insightful)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402175)

"Caller ID faking... Is that not illegal yet?"

It'll become illegal when somebody finds a way to block telemarketers with it.

Fast post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5401719)

Perfectly on topic.

I always knew the day would come... (5, Funny)

alpha_1100001 (653929) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401733)

When someone invented a caller id blocker blocker blocker.

Re:I always knew the day would come... (5, Funny)

ctr2sprt (574731) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401803)

You're probably right, too. First there was radar to catch speeders. Then we got radar detectors, which are still illegal to use (if not to own) in some states. So the cops got radar detector detectors. To which my current radar detector is supposedly invisible... but it still features a radar detector detector detector. No joke.

Re:I always knew the day would come... (1)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401964)

> Then we got radar detectors, which are still illegal to use (if not to own) in some states.

I believe Virginia is the only state which continues to outlaw them.

Re:I always knew the day would come... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5402015)

They were always illegal in Connecticut and NYC. Not anymore?

Re:I always knew the day would come... (1)

Anonvmous Coward (589068) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402089)

"I believe Virginia is the only state which continues to outlaw them."

Are you saying Radar Detectors are legal now?

Re:I always knew the day would come... (1)

rot26 (240034) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402145)

Are you saying Radar Detectors are legal now?

They've always been legal and continue to be legal in most states in the US.

Re:I always knew the day would come... (1)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402172)

Are you talking about active or passive devices?

Fred Rogers, DEAD at age 74 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5401738)

I heard some sad news on the radio today, Fred Rogers, the host Host of 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood,' died today. He was 74. Say what you want about the Public Broadcasting System, but Fred Rogers embodied the American Spirit during a time when the commies were trying to take over America. Truely an American icon ... He will surely be missed.

sex.com might get slashdotted. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5401753)

In case sex.com gets slashdotted, here is the text:

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And here is a local sex mirror: $$exySlut [slashdot.org]

Er... (4, Funny)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401767)

It is also claimed that the software can deliver any type of text or phone number to a recipient's caller ID box, no matter if it's true or false, and that it can also bypass the anti-telemarketer blocks made available by some telephone companies, such as SBC and Qwest.
But can it get past the telephone answering machine I use to screen my calls, at the caller's expense?

Er, nope.

And people still fork out $5 a month for CLI. Meanwhile there's just no way a telemarketer can get through to my phone, and I don't breach the privacy of my friends and collegues (why should I force them to give me their phone number? I wouldn't force them to give me their address before letting them in the house...) and all because of a $15 piece of junk I got from the local branch of Wal*Mart.

Bliss. And my electricity bill's lower too. Between this and my new Mac, I can power the entire house on my own smugness...

Re:Er... (1)

anubi (640541) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402064)

I thought "bypassing technological blocks" was illegal under the DMCA?

Or is it only illegal if I do it?

Re:Er... (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402071)

"But can it get past the telephone answering machine I use to screen my calls, at the caller's expense?"

How do you convince them to pay for your local telephone service as well? If they're able to call you, you're obviously paying that particular bill...

DMCA On Them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5402116)

It is also claimed that the software can deliver any type of text or phone number to a recipient's caller ID box, no matter if it's true or false, and that it can also bypass the anti-telemarketer blocks made available by some telephone companies, such as SBC and Qwest.
So if someone uses the DMCA to stop their shenanigans, am I supposed to feel good or bad about it?

I'm curious... (5, Interesting)

SubliminalLove (646840) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401800)

I worked as a telemarketer once... for a week. I got paid full time for my training and then bailed and got a new job before ever making a call. So I know nothing about the industry.

I'm curious, how long do you think it would take a telemarketing company to pay off the huge chunk of change they'd require to buy enough copies of this program to outfit their entire outfit? As I recall, there were several hundred stations at the place I worked.

~SL

Re:I'm curious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5401955)

Think about this question in relation to spam. Obviously some fool is buying the goods. Otherwise they'd already be out of business. The only real difference here it is cost the telemarketers far more to make a single call than it does a spammer to send to one recipient.

Re:I'm curious... (4, Interesting)

iabervon (1971) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402127)

The feature of ignoring TeleZapper is probably not useful to telemarketters, because anyone with a TeleZapper who gets a call from a telemarketter is likely to pissed and hang up (or be pissed and yell at the person). People tend to be nice to telemarketters because they don't want to be rude, but will probably feel that the telemarketter is being rude if the call goes through a TeleZapper.

The thing evidentally can reduce the dead air before the caller is connected, which could help them avoid getting hung up on before they start talking.

It also can set the caller ID. People block based on lack of caller ID, but telemarketters could leave caller ID enabled if they really cared; the issue is mainly that they don't want people to call them back at the call center (they want people to call the client's number), but people rarely call telemarketters back anyway. The fact that they don't provide caller ID information suggests that they aren't really trying to reach people who don't want to be reached. They're mainly going after people who can be convinced over the phone to buy stuff, and these people generally answer the phone when it rings.

eh (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5401806)

http://www.codebushido.com
its a website!
that is unrelated to this post!
believe it!
for it is true!

This call is from POTUS. (3, Funny)

$$$$$exyGal (638164) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401811)

Many call centers opt to transmit no caller-ID data instead. Because of this, calls from telemarketers often appear as "out of area" or "unavailable" on caller-ID boxes.

This new technology allows the telemarketers to make any name appear that they want. Great. Now I'm going to get calls from "President Bush" and "Saddam Hussein" and "Michael Jackson", instead of "Unknown Out of Area Caller". Which is worse? ;-)

--sex [slashdot.org]

Re:This call is from POTUS. (4, Funny)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401904)

I've already had to block "President Bush", "Saddam Hussein" and "Michael Jackson", they just don't have anything interesting to say anymore.

Re:This call is from POTUS. (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401971)

"Now I'm going to get calls from "President Bush""

I got enough of those during election season last year. Apparently he needed my help or something.

Re:This call is from POTUS. (2, Informative)

planet x pat (213834) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401974)

Actually that would be illegal. If they do give you information, it must be the correct info. Check this out ...
http://www.junkbusters.com/fcc.html

BTW, I write software for ACDs not PDs; but I do know a little about the business.

Re:This call is from POTUS. (2, Interesting)

$$$$$exyGal (638164) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402037)

Great. I'm glad it's illegal. But I can still imagine telemarketers "stretching" the law a little. Let's see, let's open up a small division in our corporation with the codename: "Alex Trebek".

--sex [slashdot.org]

Re:This call is from POTUS. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5401977)

"President Bush" and "Saddam Hussein" and "Michael Jackson"

Would it make a difference if it were Natalie Portman, Shania Twain, Marrisa Tomei, Nicole Kidman, or Jennifer Lopez? How about "Hot Nekkid Chick"?

worse (1)

waspleg (316038) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402061)

what happens when all the data farms get sold to these assholes? suddenly you start getting calls from your mom, your friends, your job only when you answer the phone its a friendly telemarketer who want sjust a moment of your time to complete their survey..

oh well, i remember reading extensive articles about these kinds of things 10 years ago on bbs's.. (how to block/change/build your own shit etc) i guess now its mainstream for telemarketers hooray

no CID info sent on T-1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5402152)

if you have a lot of lines you'll probably have at least a T-1 for the phone system. I haven't seen a T-1/PBX send out CID info as it is. I know it has to be possible somehow, but all the places I worked I just left it alone and the caller just saw "unavailable". I know a lot of the hospitals around here are like that too.

So... (0, Offtopic)

SubliminalLove (646840) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401822)

Is SourceForge working on a competing model yet?

~SL

Incoming Call (0, Offtopic)

JanusFury (452699) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401828)

Incoming Call From: Bill Gates
Accept/Decline? ...

Re:Incoming Call (3, Funny)

$$$$$exyGal (638164) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401869)

You hit "Decline". On the other end, they see:
Abort, Retry, Fail?

--sex [slashdot.org]

Re:Incoming Call (1)

W. Justice Black (11445) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402189)

Abort, Retry, Fail?

Phuleeeze. These are telemarketers. It'll be:
Abort, Retry, Ignore, Fail?

Re:Incoming Call (3, Funny)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401900)

Incoming Call From: Richard Stallman
GNU/Decline? ...

Loebner Prize winner story (1)

jkauzlar (596349) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401834)

I found the story on the Loebner prize particularly interesting and tried out some of the chat bots that have been developed, esp. Alice. They have a little ways to come as far as language processing, but overall I think they've come very far (the last one I've tried was the psychoanalyst in Emacs).

I can think of a number of uses for this, including search engines, help desk stuff, etc. How long before this becomes commonplace technology? Five years, ten years?

What about the other units? (2, Funny)

phraktyl (92649) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401844)

So, who aquired Make.Money.FAST?

This software will do more harm to telemarketers (2, Insightful)

SoCalChris (573049) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401856)

developed software that can be used by automated dialing equipment to bypass a TeleZapper, or similar SIT generators, and get through to your phone no matter what.

I would think that this would do far more to hurt the industry than help them, especially as far as the government deciding whether or not to regulate do not call lists.

Faking callers id's always possible. (4, Interesting)

Monkeyman334 (205694) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401870)

If you have your own phone switch, you can send out any caller id you want. It's not authoritative, never has been. It's about the same as a reply-to address in email. It's a shame the poster didn't buy Kevin Mitnick's book after it was mentioned on slashdot so many times, because he does cover caller id spoofing for social engineering on people who do think caller id is a secure way to id the caller.

Re:Faking callers id's always possible. (1)

elfkicker (162256) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402118)

I think most software of this nature has an option to ignore the SIT tones anyway. I put the SIT on my answering machine and still get plenty of marketing calls. It is less than it was tho.

This product doesn't seem to be doing anything new for all the attentions it's been getting. This should only go to further for state enforced do-not-call lists.

What about 911? (1)

Controlio (78666) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402200)

Caller ID is easy to spoof, our company spoofs ALL outgoing phone traffic to report the phone number of our main trunk line. So this isn't that surprising to me. It's all in what you send over the data channel.

But what about 911? They use something other than Caller ID, don't they? Something that can't be spoofed by the end user? If they don't, or it can in fact be spoofed as well, I can see quite a bit of abuse once this practice becomes mainstream.

What is their "special" Caller ID called? How is it transmitted to them? Can regular people receive it?

"Stupidity" Article (1)

connsmythe96 (576445) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401889)

Argh, I haven't even finished the FIRST article. Are they writing a book??

A new trend? (0, Offtopic)

The Apostrophe Guy (644728) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401890)

WOO WOOOOOOO!

Bubb Rubb says: Gotta get the cross-flow.

So the National do not call lsit will be bypassed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5401897)

Sounds like a trillion dollar law suit! I will be the first to sue! You heard it here first!

Anonymous surfing using this technology? (5, Interesting)

sam0ht (46606) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401913)

In the UK, you can use a dial-up ISP for 'free', and they just take a cut of the phone bill direct from the telephone company. No bills.

You don't need to give them your real name, address, or anything, just surf over to their website and create an account with fake info. However, they do tend to require a caller ID, one soldier was kicked because his base's phone system blocked outgoing caller ID. So the ISP still has your real phone number.

If it is indeed possible to transmit an arbitrary caller ID, then one could spoof caller ID, and create and use an account completely anonymously. Which would be nice.

Re:Anonymous surfing using this technology? (1)

tarquin_fim_bim (649994) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401992)

" So the ISP still has your real phone number"

But if you dial 141 first they can't log your number either.

Other ways to fight TeleSpam... (2, Informative)

Dave21212 (256924) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401917)


(As I mentioned [slashdot.org] early Thursday...)

There are still ways to fight [bidstrup.com] the estimated 19 million calls per day (6.8 billion/year), but passing the out of service tones might not be one of them any longer.

"Rain [slashdot.org] " posted [slashdot.org] these tones in a prior discussion [slashdot.org] .

Call screening (1)

upt1me (537466) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401919)

When I get a call and I don't reconize the number I don't answer it. It goes to voice mail or the answering machine. No nead for the telezapper or any other expensive equipment.

Deadbeats? (5, Insightful)

yoshi_mon (172895) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401922)

...and Castel is quick to claim that they created this stuff primarily for collection agencies to help them get through to deadbeats who use TeleZappers.

Ok, so let me get this straight. I'm Joe deadbeat, but I still pay for a phone. But, since I've been labled a "deadbeat" by EQUIFAX or some rabid collecation agency, it's OK for them to spoof my CallerID or bypass means that I have put in place to try to require callers to present a valid call?

This type of morality, it's OK to do X to Y beacuse they are Z, just sickens me. I personally think that anyone who subscribes to this kind of slipperly slope logic should get a punch in the mouth.

Re:Deadbeats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5402039)

So right.

I'm surprised they didn't justify their technology as helping to find fugative pedophiles. That's the scapegoat for everything.

Re:Deadbeats? (0, Flamebait)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402081)

Or WOMD. Hello, Saddaam, this is Chirac. (Hoah-hoah-hoah) We Sures gives dem da runs-around, no? Nows, can I buys some of dat dere Anthrax?

Re:Deadbeats? (1)

Tolchz (19162) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402045)

I'm guessing that irony was intentional...hoping at least.

Caller ID was already compromised... (5, Interesting)

unicorn (8060) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401937)

I'm in charge of the phones, among other things here at the office. And our Nortel switch can already transmit whatever the owner wants, for CID info, according to the company that handles our maitenance contract. The tech told me that it's childishly simple to change it to almost anything.

And this system, is several years old.

A Business Held Accountable? Oh My! (4, Insightful)

Myriad (89793) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401939)

VeriSign stands to lose $100 million if the appeal court decides in favour of Kremen. It is doubly concerned however that the case will be used as a foundation for thousands of similar cases in which the registrar and owner of the .com top-level domain has acted negligently.

Wow, a business being held accountable for their actions? Who would have thought!

Of course VeriSign would have no problem nuking your domain should you fail to pay them for registering your domain name to you. By definition then you are paying for the domain name to be registered to you.

If I purchased a car and the dealership turned around and gave my car to someone else do you think they'd get away with it for long?

If I order food from a restaraunt and they make an error on my order do they turn around and tell my "Tough sh*t"?

Why then, if someone were to pay VeriSign for a service, should VeriSign not be accountable for said paid for service?

Re:A Business Held Accountable? Oh My! (1)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402124)

Actually, I'd damn near piss myself if a waitress told me that. I'd still dine and dash them, but I'd be doing it with a wet crotch.

$2,700? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5401949)

I used to work at a skip-only (acounts sent to us with no numbers, we had to skiptrace first) collection agency. Our margins were razor thin. There's no way in hell we could have spent $2,700 per position for this software.

Most dialers SUCK BALLS as well- their software was designed by idiots. How does this call-blocker-buster proport to work, anyway?

Corel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5401950)

Should we really feel bad/left out that Corel's products were as irrelevant on Linux as they were on Windows? Frankly, I don't feel too bad about that...but if I were the CEO of Corel that might be different.

Not in Texas (forged caller id) (5, Interesting)

parc (25467) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401952)

In Texas, law explicitly requires callers to identify themselves in CallerID with a phone number the business can be reached at (NOT attached to an autodialer), or if the equipment is not capable of presenting a number, they must state their company name and callback number in the first 30 seconds of a call.

Note that by having ANY id, your equipment can obviously present callerID.

For once, Texas has a useful law.

Yet another (mostly) shameless plug... (3, Interesting)

Yoda2 (522522) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401954)

In contrast to the chatterbot quest, I've been working on software to provide computers with a more humanlike understanding of language.

Experience-Based Language Acquisition (EBLA) is an open source software system written in Java that enables a computer to learn simple language from scratch based on visual perception. It is the first "grounded" language system capable of learning both nouns and verbs. Moreover, once EBLA has established a vocabulary, it can perform basic scene analysis to generate descriptions of novel videos.

A more detailed summary is available here [osforge.com] and this [greatmindsworking.com] is the project web site.

Are we supposed to take Salon seriously? (4, Interesting)

chazzf (188092) | more than 11 years ago | (#5401978)

I've always been intrigued by Salon's output, but I cannot honestly take this article seriously. The author has a very clear pro-Loebner bias that he doesn't even try to conceal. His hostility towards Minsky, Dennett, and the rest of the established academic community is so blatant (and unfounded) that it's embarrassing to read. Take this quote:

Decision sciences, by the simplest possible definition, refers to computerized assistance in resource allocation. An example provided by a press release from MIT announcing the creation of a decision sciences program was "complex computer-based 'passenger yield management' systems and models that the airlines use to adjust pricing of each flight's seats in order to maximize revenue and profitability to the airline." That's a far cry from the bold claims made by A.I. visionaries in decades past. But focusing on such systems has a signal advantage for scientists who have been failing miserably at the Turing test. It gets them off the hook.

And later: In other words, if you read between the lines what you come up with is that one reason "serious" A.I. scientists don't try to mimic human speech anymore is that they discovered they can't do it.

Okay, so he's holding up the academics to ridicule because they abandoned the Turing Test. Why did they abandon the Turing Test. Will, according to the filty academic, it's because: ""The Turing test is not very useful for many A.I. scientists today because they work on projects that have nothing to do with human linguistic performance."

So, the respectable AI people aren't working with the Turing Test because they aren't working with linguistics. Gosh, that seems fairly reasonable to me. I mean, I suppose it's possible that the entire AI academic community, en masse, chose to boycott a hack contest run by an East Coast elite who started the contest because "He's a hedonist who thinks work is an abomination and sloth is our greatest virtue. He got interested in A.I. because he hoped the day would come when robots and A.I.'s could do all the work and people could play all the time." The rich kid wants to play so those damn academics better make me a robot who can bake me a pie. But I digress....

The contest focuses on a field that has been abandoned by current AI research. Why? Because we can't make it work yet. The hardware isn't there yet. So we're doing other stuff. Look at the progress of chess programs, mission-critical systems, UT bots. AI is getting better. A souped-up ELIZA isn't going to confirm that. They attack the AI people for not producing better entries for a contest the AI people don't find valid. Loebner and the author, who are obviously in the same camp, are trying to have it both ways. Bullshit. If Salon wants my money [slashdot.org] to stay afloat, they'll have to do better than this.

~Chazzf

The worst people to call (4, Insightful)

macdaddy (38372) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402018)

Think about it this way. Why on Earth would you want to call the people who have gone out of their way to say they don't want to talk to you? It's not likely they are likely to buy anything from you just because their impressed you can ring through on their landline and around whatever means they have to block you. All you'll really accomplish is to piss them off even further.

It might even be possible to say that by intentionally bypassing someone's blocks they put on your incoming calls that you're harassing them. IANAL though. I only play one on slashdot.

Re:The worst people to call (2, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402173)

actually, that may not be true. I did door to door sales*, and the rule of thumb is, the more 'No Soliciting' signs, the more likely you would make a sale.

*it was a very long time ago, and I am not proud of it. Interesting note, I found out if I took my merchendise to a strip club, people would by it in droves. I had to give the girls 10%,but hey everyone gets there cut.

phone teergrube/SPEWS (3, Funny)

sleepingsquirrel (587025) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402022)

What we need to do is start apply spam principals to telemarketers, like a teergrube [iks-jena.de] . I don't know if it would be possible to do, but I'd like to have a button next to my phone which I could press which wouldn't hang up the connection for an hour or two, thus clogging up their precious lines. I've heard that law enforcement has something like this to help in tracing calls. Or even better, have a machine setup which listens in and whenever it hears a pause on the other end of the line it would spit out a canned recording saying something like "hmmm.. that's interesting. Tell me more".

And why exactly can't we have a SPEWS/blackhole type of call blocking list? I'm paitently waiting.

Those that won't buy (3, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402028)

The question remains:
If people are willing to subscribe to/buy telezappers, block lists, do not call lists, etc...

Can't telemarketers get the point that these people are not potential sales, they're only potential angry call recipients?

Not only that, but wouldn't forging a phone number come under some sort of legal troubles... especially if you used a number that somebody else owns?

Yeah, right (2, Informative)

taustin (171655) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402031)

It is also claimed that the software can deliver any type of text or phone number to a recipient's caller ID box, no matter if it's true or false, and that it can also bypass the anti-telemarketer blocks made available by some telephone companies, such as SBC and Qwest.

Anybody with an IDSL or PBX phone system can put in anything they want on Caller ID. And recognizing SIT tones is a feature on better telemarketing rigs, and generally one that can be turned off. They don't "bypass" the telezapper, they simply ignore it. Duh.

On the other hand, any telemarketer that pays $2700 for something so obivously a ripoff will get no sympathy from me.

DMCA Violation? (4, Insightful)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402052)

Isn't Castle, Inc's software a direct violation of the DMCA? It purposely gets around blocks AND can falsely report information to a caller id box. Sounds like it's time to pull out the lawyers.

Re:DMCA Violation? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5402119)

Yeh, seems I remember DVD-JON got hung up pretty good for bypassing technological locks.

Do you think they have the guts to do it to a tie guy?

sordid (1)

pangu (322010) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402171)

sex.com having sordid adventures... I sure hope so!

Where's the DCMA when you need it. (1)

cyril3 (522783) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402198)

Why isn't this type of crap covered by the security circumvention laws.

Telezapper and other cheese (5, Informative)

rot26 (240034) | more than 11 years ago | (#5402214)

All the telezapper does it emit the first of the three tones in a standard SIT signal... you know, the little "doo dee dweep the number you have dialed is no longer in service" thing you get from time to time. This tone is handled in the automated dialing software the same way that any other tones (1,2,3,#,etc) are... i.e. however the programmer wants to handle it, depending on the application. There's no magic involved in "getting around" a telezapper, it would involve one line of programming code to simply ignore it.

by the way, you don't NEED a telezapper... if you use an answering machine, just record the SIT tone (or even the first 1/3rd of it) at the beginning of your outgoing message. Human callers expect weird noises from answering machines, they just ignore it. But automated dialers which are programmed to look for it assume the number is disconnected.

To get the SIT tones, just google up sit.wav, you can find it all over the place.
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