Phone Spam

Mobile-Phone-SPAMGot my first straight up spam phone call tonight. It was so over the top that I had to listen to it just to see how bad it was. A robo-dialed call from the 202 area code was offering secret weight loss berries from Siberia. All I had to do was leave my name and phone number on the voice mail of whoever’s system was hacked and doing the robo-dialing and they would call me back to get my credit card info. Couldn’t be anything wrong with leaving my credit card info, right?

I’m actually curious how this type of system could work. Email spam always worked because the incremental cost of sending spam was essentially $0. You could send out millions and if only 100 people ever responded you’d still make money. With those percentages it’s possible to come across someone that believes that secret berries will overcome your beer drinking habit or that mushroom extract will give you a “bigger manliness”.

Phone spam would have to overcome the issues with the cost of placing a phone call. Other than hacking the phone system and using a blue box like Woz and Jobs were famous for, there is always a cost to placing a phone call. So either the phone spammers have discovered a whole population of people willing to give their credit card info to random people on the phone or they’ve discovered a way to make free phone calls.

The number that called tonight (202-211-8774) is not a legitimate number. When I attempted to call back I got the “This call can not be completed” error with a male voice that kicked in afterwards saying error “090T”. Didn’t find anything relevant about this error on The Goog. I’m guessing someone is placing this phone call for free, just not sure how, caller id is probably spoofed but that doesn’t answer the cost aspect.

If this call is a sign of things to come, having a telephone in your house could become much more unpleasant.  Email became unusable until spam filters were put in place in pretty much every email application. There’s no infrastructure for doing phone call spam filtering other than something like Google Voice which has some basic filters .

Filoli in the game

Was just watching the movie “the game” with Michael Douglas on TiVo. AMC played it a couple days ago.

What I found interesting is that douglas’s character, who is supposed to be a wealthy businessman from San francisco is living in the filoli house which is a historic house/park. We’ve often taken family there when they’ve visited to see the amazing gardens.

Posting from iphone

Getting ready for denise’s wedding shower. Jaimie was bathing Caitlin in the shower of the hotel room. Everything was going great until Maggie jumped into the tub to get the rubber ducky. Then we had a wet baby and a wet dog.

Tapping out text on the iPhone isn’t As bad as it first seems.I will try and post some pics and video from the event later.

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad

Lately I’ve been watching the TV show Breaking Bad at night after everyone else goes to bed. It’s got to be the most depressing show that I can remember. The episode I saw last night featured a family completely strung out on Meth with their poor abused child left to fend for himself. Makes me just want to go give Caitlin a hug after each show.

As depressing as the show is, I find I can’t stop watching it. It’s one of the better written shows out there right now, it’s almost as if it were intended for viewing as an R rated movie instead of cable TV. There are swears and violence which get bleeped. I had to look up where it had originally aired since we downloaded it off of ITunes and was surprised to see that it’s an AMC show.  I wonder if this is the start of a new trend where edgier shows can be done on smaller networks where the creators of the show will have more control. This counteracts the issues that shows like Firefly, Terminator, Jericho, and Dollhouse have had with the larger networks exerting control or killing shows that didn’t live up to their prime time standards.  As more and more people watch shows on streaming systems like ITunes or Hulu, the network is going to matter less and less. Recommendations, word of mouth, and simple quality will matter much more to how well a show does.