2x40: Teeth Will Be Provided

Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which we appeal for Colgate corporate sponsorship, nobody adds a fake notch, and:

Come chat with us and the community in our Slack channel via https://badvoltage-slack.herokuapp.com/!

Download from https://badvoltage.org

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My experience with spam calls has been the same as Jeremy. I’ve seen a drastic increase to the number of spam calls I’ve received over the past year, despite being on a Do Not Call list. I had a guy with an Indian accent named Bob call me the other day. He told me my Windows license was about to expire, so I asked him which Windows version I was running and he hung up. :sweat_smile:

Thanks to Googles spam filters, many of the spam calls go straight to voice mail. But it’s still extremely annoying that I have to go through and delete each one of them. I’m curious if anyone has a better solution to combat spam calls?

EDIT: I’m in the United States :us:

As in the discussion of the release of the Pixel 3, I was wondering why @sil finds it annoying when things are kept secret before launch.

I’m in Croatia and over the summer I started getting calls. These ones would be from random countries in Europe but would only ring for a moment. I investigated and found that it was a scam to get you to call them back and get stung on premium rate calls. I did answer one by accident once (I was on my hands-free and didn’t see the number) and it was some dodgy sounding financial scheme. I asked them not to call again and they haven’t since.

Combination of two reasons. If you build a thing entirely yourself then you’re entirely entitled to your “ta-daaah!” moment, no real problem with that. But a product which is at least partially based on a shedload of open source software written by people who aren’t you but then you get all the credit for the release rasps a file against the tiny remaining zealot-ish part of my soul.

And secondly, I find it annoying when unsurprising stuff is kept secret before launch. This is completely not a software thing; if you’re releasing anything at all and everyone in the damn room knows exactly what you’re going to say but you still knock on like it’s the Second Coming or something, then I get irritable because I’m being expected to pretend that I’m amazed and impressed, since otherwise I’m a killjoy. A big secret release is genuinely surprising and awesome (in its correct sense of “causing awe”); a release which doesn’t surprise and doesn’t cause any awe because you knew it beforehand still has all the trappings of the better one, but now the audience’s choice is between laissez-faire dismissal, which makes them surly teenagers and “the meh generation” and incapable of joy, or pretending they really are surprised and filled with awe even though they aren’t, which makes them fools acting out a role for the media’s benefit. I think it’s invidious of a company to put people in that unfortunate position. You’re not allowed all the benefits of a big launch day and all the benefits of loads of press hype by leaking stuff ahead of time, in my opinion: either invite people in before the release and have them write about it, or shut the fuck up and get your big launch day surprise. Not both.

I am surprisingly, and not particularly rationally, exercised by this topic.

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Forget Brexit, we need a campaign for Stuart Langridge, Poet Laureate. (Seriously, love this sentence.)

Just a note on the lack of write-API for G+: back then, this was unofficially confirmed as a conscious choice, to avoid becoming a dumb repeater of content posted elsewhere. At the time, there was an explosion of multi-social apps broadcasting crap to Twitter/Facebook/Anything else, without actually engaging with the following conversations. To this day, a lot of people post to multiple social networks but really reply only to one of them.

Google people were terrorized of G+ being an also-ran full of uninteresting spam, they were desperate to suck real activity out of Facebook and into G+. To do that, they pulled all the tricks in the book to leverage their ecosystem and force people into G+. Maybe you don’t remember it well, but for about a year it was as intense as the sun.

In this context, developers clamoured for a write API and were rudely bounced. The read API was made available only a month or two after launch, a sign that the machinery was in place already; but Google explicitly refused to have an official write API. The message was very very clear for the (very few) people paying attention:” you can hack your way through but don’t you dare build a real posting app”.

Ironically, their anxiety was eventually shown as misplaced: the lack of content (and yes, a lot of content looks like spam to some) was one of the factors people cited for disengaging (the infamous “ghost town” label).

While I would not expect a list of credits as like a movie, it would be nice to, at the very least at their events, acknowledge the open source projects that they benefit from.

That is when you have at the ready “ooooohhhh” and “aaaahhhhh” and “how about that!” And keep dabbing a tissue at your eyes. :grin:

I do not get scam calls at all here in Germany.
The reason might be I’m using Sailfish and no 2FA, Google stuff etc. so nowbody knows my number except real humans.
But I never heard someone complaining about this around here.

JFYI, there is an API for G+: https://developers.google.com/+/web/api/rest/

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Back in 2011, just after G+ launched, I spoke to an acquaintance at Google’s Sydney office who I had gotten to know a little bit as a user of the Wave API (!), and I asked about the lack of G+ publishing API. At the time this person gave two reasons for not having one:

  • They wanted to encourage people to actually use G+, and were afraid that if they had an API at launch it would be just another target for multi-network clients (which were popular at the time) and no one would use it directly.
  • They were deathly afraid of being overrun by bots flooding the network with garbage before they managed to get any traction.

This person felt fairly certain they would have to provide a publishing API at some point, but didn’t have any real idea of when that would be or what it would look like. Google did dip a toe in the water when they let certain partners have access to a publishing and page management API but AFAIK this never really went much further.

(Google person moved on in 2013, and has no further information to offer).

My wife receives spam calls to her USA number several times per month that are mostly car insurance related, and they start (when we can’t detect them as spam) on the call assuming she drives and has current insurance. She doesn’t own a car (though has done, years ago). We get less to our UK landline or mobile numbers - landline is ex- directory and on the legally enforceable don’t-cold-call TPS list but probably google-able. The UK ones we do get are all automated calling bots but we rarely answer that phone. It’s pretty rare for either of us to receive that type of call on mobile in UK.

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