Episode 606: The Kindle is coming!

Get fired up! Amazon's e-book reader is coming! Hot diggity! Plus: mind-reading for real.

Oh, boy, kids. No, really. Get fired up. Amazon's e-book reader, the Kindle, may be arriving on Monday! I know, right!? Breathe. In other news, the anti-P2P college bill (you know, "the blackmail of our nation's universities, etc. etc.") has advanced in the House. So, yay for that. And Google might just get all crazy and buy that wireless spectrum after all.

--Molly


Listen now: Download today's podcast

EPISODE 606

TODAY'S LINKS:


TODAY'S VOICE MAIL:
Mike from West Virginia
The truth about ghost calls.

Anon.
Insider Wii news.



TODAY'S E-MAIL:
Toshiba A2 HD DVD firmware upgrades unit to 1080p!
Hello Moto!

I bought the Toshiba A2 HD DVD player after Tom gave the heads-up on the $98 sale (thanks, Tom!) and I was surprised to see that the first firmware update had this notice:

This firmware update improves support for 1080p/24Hz OUTPUT. How cool is that? Thanks BOL!

Kent in New Hampshire

Ghost callers
Hello Tom, Molly, & Jason,

I once worked in a call center where we were calling clients out (not really telemarketing) and we were using what was known as a "Predictive Dialer." It's a computer system that calls out a bunch of numbers at once based on the number of agents logged in. The system tries to predict how many agents will be available to take a call in a few minutes and how many live persons should be answering depending of the time of day. The predictive dialer also has to filter out voice mail and answering machines by listening to the answering party. For instance, a voice mail message will tend to be continuous whereas a live person answering the call will tend to say: "Hello..... Hello.... Hello....". The system will detect the pauses, and will route that call to an agent who will start talking. That is why you often have to wait 4 or 5 seconds before you hear a "click" then someone comes on the line (the agent didn't hear you say "Hello").

However, the predictions aren't always right, and sometimes too many calls are made, and/or too many people answer, and/or not enough agents are free to take calls, therefore you wait on the line saying "Hello... Hello..." while the dialer is trying to assign you an agent. After a short while, it will time out and hang up on you. It will then reschedule another call to you. If you get such calls that hang up on you often, it's because the predictive dialer being used isn't correctly configured.

Hope this answers your ghost questions :)

Have a great weekend; love the show,

Giorgio
from Montreal, QC, Canada

Telemarketers? Get the Zapper!
Hey Buzz Crew,

In episodes 605 you guys were talking about telemarketers and ghost calls. Well I don't know if you know if you've ever heard of this product called the Zapper. I have it in my house, and we think it is the greatest invention ever!

Lots of different companies make similar products--this is one of them though.

You plug this little device into any phone in your house--it will then work on all phones attached to that line. Every time you answer the phone, the zapper will send out a single tone over the line. If a telemarketer calls from a computer system, this tone apparently tells their system that your phone number has been disconnected, and they will remove you from their list.

Obviously not all telemarketers call from computer systems, and it will take some time before you start to notice a reduction in the number of calls you receive...but we've had it in my house for years and we have noticed a drastic reduction in the number of telemarketing calls!

The Zapper. Get it!

Gregg

The Ten Commandments
Hello Tom, Molly, and Jason,

This is Kand from San Jose.

In Jollycast #605, Jason mentioned that it is tempting to use the neighbor's unsecured Wi-Fi if all you have is a dial-up.

Jason, don't you remember the Ten Commandments? One of them says: Don't covet thy neighbor's Wi-Fi!

I enjoy listening to your podcast on the way from work everyday!

Thanks,
Kand

BitTorrent is evil!
Hi TomJolly, love the show.

However, you keep defending bittorrent users as innocent victims the the vast net neutrality debate. They are not. While some may use the program to exclusively transfer files legally, the vast majority of bittorrent users use the program to illegally acquire movies, music, television shows, software applications, and quite possibly to steal people's souls. The application does have good uses, exceptionally fast file transfers of legal files, but how you can laughingly turn a blind eye to all the evil that surrounds bittorrent is astonishing.

Anyway, again love the show.

T Sunclades
IT Director Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools Geek Squad Senior Technician (Ret.)

Pass-a-matic ceasing operations
Hey buzz

I heard about this service here, so just wanted to let you guys know that they are done. (read below)

Brian
Buckeye, Arizona

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Pass-a-matic Ceasing Operations

Dear Pass-a-matic User:

Southwest Airlines has asked us to stop the operations of our boarding pass retrieval service for their airline based on their new terms and conditions for usage of their site.

We are complying with their request immediately and will no longer be providing boarding pass retrieval services for Southwest Airlines customers.

The Pass-a-matic team would like to thank you for your support and giving us the opportunity to serve you. We hope to bring you other travel support services in the future and will be back in touch when we do so.

Pamela
Pass-a-matic Support

 

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