FCC allows phone companies to auto-block robocalls

The FCC voted Thursday to allow phone companies to block robocalls automatically for their customers. The vote would allow phone service providers like Verizon to switch on technology that blocks robocalls, which have exploded in number to about 5 billion a month nationwide. The companies would not need their customers’ permission to block the calls….
Technology News & Reviews | New York Post


The Weekend Reset: Buster, Big Beats and Killing Robocalls

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And here’s one: You know that confident feeling you get when wearing your favorite suit? Imagine feeling that way about your finances. Personal Capital tracks your net worth and spending for free, so you know where your savings stand and how your investments are performing. Get started here.

It’s Friday. Looking for something to switch up your weekend, or to give you an excuse to relax a little? That’s what the Weekend Reset is for. Each week contributor Tim Johnstone pulls together five things to get your weekend started. Could be something to read or watch, something to eat or listen to, or even something to do. Enjoy the weekend fellas.


READ: Consider this your lifehack of the week.

If there is one thing I don’t do with my phone, it’s actually make calls and such. As in talking. Actually communicating via telephone seems so late 19th century. In the instance when mine actually rings, I deliver a withering side-eye and cuss like a sailor before ignoring it completely. You may have a different relationship with your phone. And that’s all good. I would imagine however, that we are of like mind when it comes to Robocalls. Which means this is totally relevant to your interests. With thanks to Joe for the heads up.


LISTEN: Jai Wolf brings big melodies to go with the big beats.

More of this please. Jai Wolf is a Bangladeshi-American producer who, having worked with Skrillex and other big names in the EDM world has released a debut collection of his own. This is electronic music that is warm and embraceable. The title gives away the idea here. The Cure To Loneliness. You have to be working hard to not find comfort in these songs. Yet it all rings true. It feels good. At the dog end of a particularly craptacular day gone by, I stumbled upon this and within minutes I had let my arguments with the day fade away. Not even kidding. There’s an indie-rock feel to some of this in a way that is less moronic than it sounds.


EAT: A different take on Spring’s favorite root vegetable. 

Roasted radishes with Herbs. I am fairly flabbergasted at the notion that people roast radishes. It’s not the actual roasting that flabbers my gast, but the idea that in all of my time on this particular orb, I had never run across it or had thought of doing it myself. I am such a disappointment. You, who aren’t burdened with such failure, are free to enjoy completely. But for reals, this is so good.


FISH: As in, adopt one. Or two.

My brother spent some time living at my place this summer, because life. While I was off enjoying a week at a mountain lake, he was goofing around at the state fair and when I returned I discovered a big fish bowl and two goldfish on my dining table. I was introduced to Loki and Thor and when my brother moved out last fall, the fish stayed behind. I knew this was going to happen the moment I saw them. What I didn’t know was how attached I would get to these guys. My previous experience with a state fair goldfish culminated with my father dumping the dregs of his scotch into the fishbowl when I was nine. To be honest, it culminated with a ceremonial flush later that night. I have since learned that even goldfish have personalities. So to speak. Mostly. Having lived with them for a good while now, I have to say that this article and this article do a good job of explaining why I am happy they’re still with me. Photo by Sri Lanka on Unsplash.


WATCH: I’m late to this party but what a party it is.

And by party I mean Western.  An entire anthology of first rate Westerns as only Joel and Ethan Coen could create. You get everything here. All the feels. ALL OF THEM. Because it’s the Coen Brothers, it is laugh out loud funny as well as bark real loud uncomfortable, funny or otherwise. Just don’t get too emotionally attached to the characters. Let’s face it, the American West of the era portrayed here, was not exactly the best of times. It was pretty brutal in fact. And with this as a backdrop, the stories that play out do so in ways that stick with you. The cast includes many Coen regulars along with a few surprises (Dudley Dursley we are looking at you!) including a classic performance from Tom Waits.


Tim Johnstone is Dappered’s music correspondent as well as our resident gatherer of all things interwebs related. He’s currently chasing his spirit animal. 

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The Briefing Room: Mueller report subpoena, White House health care plan, fight against Robocalls

ABC News


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John Oliver Fights Back Against Robocalls on Last Week Tonight

John Oliver lashed out against automated phone calls on Sunday night’s episode of Last Week Tonight, suggesting that robocalls are so aggravating that “hatred of them may be the only thing that everyone in America agrees on right now.”

While Oliver admitted that some robocalls are useful, such as automated calls about school closings or prescription reminders, “the vast majority vary from irritating to outright illegal.” It’s not just small or disreputable companies using robocalls, either. According to Oliver, the top robocallers each year include Capital One, Comcast, and Wells Fargo, who use the technology to “chase debts.”

And it’s getting worse, too, according to Oliver, who cited statistics showing that the number of robocalls increased by 57% last year, reaching nearly 50 billion robocalls in total. Some pundits estimate that robocalls will soon account for half of American’s mobile phone calls, Oliver said. The dramatic escalation in the number of robocalls has reportedly made the obnoxious practice the No. 1 complaint to the FCC every year, totaling more than 500,000 complaints a year, about 60% of all complaints received by the FCC. “They are definitely aware of the problem,” Oliver said.

To alert the FCC to exactly how irate people are about the problem, Oliver set up a robocall to all five of its commissioners, including his frequent target FCC chairman Ajit Pai, urging them to address the scourge that is plaguing America’s phone lines. At the click of a big red button, FCC members’ phones began ringing every 90 minutes, playing a recorded message that said, in Oliver’s voice: “Hi, FCC! This is John from customer service. Congratulations! You’ve just won a chance to lower robocalls in America today. Sorry, but I am a live person. Robocalls are incredibly annoying, and the person who can stop them is you! Talk to you again in 90 minutes. Here’s some bagpipe music.”

Entertainment – TIME


Why robocalls have gotten worse since the government shutdown

Don’t pick up that phone. Americans have been plagued with an increasing number of robocalls — and the government can’t do anything about it. Both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are closed due to the government shutdown, which means Americans can’t file complaints on FCC or FTC websites and regulators…
Technology News & Reviews | New York Post