@hchavers Do you really not receive telephone solicitations? I wonder what magical trick I’d need to perform to get that result. I re-register our phones on the Do Not Call list every year, but we still get 3-5 spam calls per day. They’re usually all from 5 to 8 companies, and they’ve gotten very clever in trying to sound like a real person with a genuine product. It got really bad during the annual Medicare enrollment period, during which we got as many as 10 calls a day.
@hchavers I receive probably 10 or 12 robo-dialer calls a week. The two most common are “We’re calling about your credit card account… Don’t worry! There’s not a problem…” and “We’re contacting you about your property. We’re prepared to make a cash offer…” with an occasional home solar systems call tossed in for flavor.
Unfortunately they come from rotating and spoofed numbers, so despite my diligence in blocking the calls, they persist. And there’s absolutely nothing I can do to make it stop. If I had to guess, Mint Mobile sold my contact information. The calls seemed to start when I switched over to Mint.
@ruouttaurmind I think the issue is a shady company that has an account with NPAC and log any number that gets ported or activated and sell the info to robo callers, not necessarily your actual Telco. It’ll happen anytime you port your number to anyone.
@hchavers@magic_cave I just find it hard to believe there are enough idiots out there to make the robocalls worth all the bullshit. I’ve never once been tempted. I don’t know anyone else who’s bought a vacation membership or whatever. And no one has confessed to falling for the Indian Windows virus BS.
@hchavers@katbyter Politicians, companies with whom you’ve had a previous relationship (remember that weekend six years ago when you had to call a plumber?), and IRS-qualified charities/non-profit organizations are exempt from do-not-call laws. I once talked to a plumber whose boss opened an IRS-qualified educational non-profit to teach people about how to keep their drains from getting clogged. The people actually making the calls didn’t really do that, but that was their out if they were ever challenged. Grrrr.
I use Google’s Screen Call feature in their Pixel line. It has dramatically reduced spam calls or they immediately hang up when they do call. Kind of a shame, since I enjoy interacting through the feature.
@hchavers@ruouttaurmind At least the buy-your-home-as-is people here just send letters and postcards. It’s easy to spot where the info came from (publicly available courthouse records) since I haven’t used the name my house deed is held for the last 25 years.
@DVDBZN@hchavers I thought about using that feature, but I don’t give anyone my cell number. (We’re part of the Old Geezer group who still have landlines.) Generally speaking, our cell phones are turned on only when one of us is away from home or when we’re on vacation.
@hchavers Our state and national Do Not Call lists are a joke - nothing more than a free list of phone numbers for the scammers to call.
Our home phone (provided in our bundled services by Comcast Xfinity) offers a free subscription to NoMoRobo, which blocks robocalls to a degree. If our phone rings only once, then it is a robocall and NoMoRobo has picked it up. The trick is to never answer a call on the first ring so while a few do still get through we are bothered much less overall.
For my cell phone, I am trying a service called Jolly Roger Telephone Service. If you don’t recognize a number you don’t answer it and it is sent to Jolly Roger, who makes the caller jump thru some basic hoops (like pressing a button) to prove they are human. If they are a scammer, they are hooked to a random anti-scammer bot who talks to the telemarketer and records the call for your entertainment (sends you an email link). It’s hilarious to listen to “Bob” in Bangalore have a running conversation with one of their bots! It may not stop these phone scammers, but it sure does waste a lot of their time. You can also Whitelist numbers from friends and family who you want to allow thru without any hassle.
I think the issue is a shady company that has an account with NPAC and log any number that gets ported or activated and sell the info to robo callers
I’ve had the same number with Verizon for 11 years, and just recently (maybe 6 months ago, maybe a year ago) started getting 10-15 calls a week. Not to say your theory isn’t correct also, but they have to be getting numbers elsewhere too. Honestly, never had literally any problem with it up to that point.
Also, I don’t sign up for shady websites, never give my cell number if I can help it, and have zero social media presence. IDK where they got it from, if not from Verizon directly, my bank, or my kid’s school.
The spam callers generally, I believe, are not calling you specifically. The machine dials every number in the area they are interested in without knowing whose line it is. They are not dialing people, they are dialing numbers. Of course, there are some who get your number as someone interested in some product and will dial you, but the vast majority at my home and cell numbers are just random and often have a spoofed origination number, including some with our exchange.
@andyw@MagnaVis Exactly this, part of the program that’s making the robo-calls is to log if they hit a live line - either you answer or it gets voicemail. So chances are one of the robo-call programs hit on your number and logged it as ‘live’. There are a number of services (ex. Twilio) that provide an API to facilitate software to generate a new phone number at any time - so blocking numbers is essentially a waste of time. Best is to get some software on your phone that pre-screens and alerts you to probable spam. Most carriers have one free. You may need to install it yourself. I use AT&Ts, it works adequately.
@PocketBrain I saw a magazine article about them a while back. The answer to your question is yes, but they’re hard to find and exorbitantly expensive. They apparently were manufactured pretty well, they were well maintained, they were often remodeled well, and they’re “a thing” on the market these days.
@CaptAmehrican Really? Barnes and Noble doesn’t qualify, or there are none near you? There’s 2 near me. My town has a small used bookstore right on the main street of the historical downtown area. There’s at least 3 comic book stores within easy driving distance from my house. Where do you live that you have no book stores? That’s super sad!
@CaptAmehrican Nope, since Borders went under, B&N is the last bastion. I do worry about them though, I think they’ve done a good job staying somewhat relevant, but they really need to step up their online game to stay competitive with Amazon. I remember when the Nook used to be good, now literally everyone I know (who owns an e-reader) has a Kindle instead.
When Sam Goody (and Tower, come to think of it) closed down, B&N upped their music and movie game a little, but they can’t compete with supers like WM and Target. You’ll walk in and usually find a large-ish toy sections these days too.
I think the big thing they are doing right is incorporating Starbucks locations inside the stores and creating lounges for reading. There were major renovations to my local store recently to make more such spaces, spread out through the store. Nice chairs, large tables for drinks and books, secluded corners with just a beanbag chair or three; it’s pretty cool.
I think, generally (maybe just my area) the quality of employee is increasing too. I used to ask for books or authors and be met with blank stairs, but lately have had better interactions with staff.
I wish Google Maps could be told to mark more locations by default. This is less than half of what’s in this area. The only reason I went so far to the east is so that I could show everyone that there’s a town here called “Lizard Lick.”
BlockquoteB&N upped their music and movie game a little, but they can’t compete with supers like WM and Target
The roles have actually switched at my local Targets and one of the two closest B&Ns near me (I don’t go to Wal-Mart enough to gauge) . Target has almost eliminated music, while one of the B&N has the biggest selection of new vinyl in the city. (the other B&N only has a total of about 200 discs) My local Targets and B&Ns have comparable movie selections.
@CaptAmehrican@DrWorm That’s a really good point, I’ve been really surprised lately with B&N’s vinyl game. I’d have to look specifically, but I think you’re right about Target’s music selection too, come to think of it. Several changes to my local Target recently, and music either moved or went away. I’ve not gone looking for it. Next time I’m there (I don’t go often) I’ll have to look.
I miss making a shopping list and making a single trip to the store or mall to get everything all at once. These days if I want or need something I just go to the computer and order it right away instead of compiling a list before heading out to shop.
I can even remember my mom saying “We can’t go to the store yet - we don’t have enough on the list!”.
I signed up for LEGO’s regular catalog. It still comes in print, and I go through it page by page to admire all the sets.
Then I sit down with my daughter and we talk about ones we like together. She’ll color in the bricks next to the ones she wants (they provide these white LEGO bricks next to each set to facilitate this). Then she’ll go through again and circle the ones that she really wants. It’s great fun!
I grew up with something called Bid & Buy for our city. You would phone in and bid on items while they were doing the auction live on tv. This was back before cell phones, it would get heated on Sunday nights and my parents would yell if someone called the house phone and wanted to talk.
We had cordless phones so we brought over the neighbors phones too trying to get through. A decade later I met my husband and told him about this memory and he was the f*cker that bought the sword my grandpa was bidding on.
While I admit today’s model for buying music is much more efficient, I admit I miss the excitement of going into “record” stores and poring through the selection (“record” store is in quotes because it includes much of the early CD era)
Any trip to a different city always included a side-trek to one or more of their record stores.
I would know that certain albums existed, but since there was no Amazon or ebay, the thrill of the hunt was part of the experience.
@eonfifty@fibrs86 When buying a new PC in the early 90’s, a Computer Shopper magazine was the research tool of choice. At its peak, it was 800+ pages, and probably about 95% of it was ads.
Its hard to fathom that it was an offline chore at the time. You had to do decide whether you were going to assemble your own, or choose from one of the hundreds of the IBM “clones” (some memorable ones for me were Gateway, CompuAdd, Everex, Northgate, Kaypro, Zeos, Amdahl )
I wouldn’t say I “miss” it, but I do remember it with some affection.
@DrWorm@eonfifty@fibrs86 As do I. I used it to upgrade the first computer we bought and then to buy the parts for the next several computers I built “back in the day”. Now you can barely compete with the units the OD or Best Buy etc. sell already assembled and with an OS and other software to boot. Unless you are trying to build a gaming rig.
How about a “none of the above” option? My ideal shopping experience would be having an AI show me holograms, and when I say: “Yeah, that!” have that instantly appear at my house via transporter platform or synthesizer. No wait, no shipping boxes to recycle, and no porch pirates.
I miss the malls I grew up near. The Charleston Plaza Mall (with the Fox Theatre and Woolworths anchors), which had the Pizza Bar and Hamburger Hollow in it (along with many others). It was plain inside but a long sweeping straight line with two slopes covered in ribbed rubber mat so people wouldn’t slip. Skateboarders used to drive them crazy in there.
Then the Boulevard Mall, much larger and somewhat more ornate (with the giant concrete fountain in the middle that was decorated for Santa’s Throne for the holidays). Sears, JC Penneys, Dillards, and a ton of smaller shops, and the best Woolworths in town, as I recall.
CPM is gone; just a giant strip mall there now. Not sure about the Boulevard mall.
But Woolworths… sigh, I may miss them most of all.
@duodec My hometown Woolworth’s had an old fashioned soda fountain/lunch counter in it, as did Kresge’s a few blocks down. I remember them with much affection. A good selection of toys, a burger and a shake: a kid couldn’t ask for much more in those days.
I can’t call it outmoded, but I do miss shopping with my mom. During her later years, I would put her on an electric cart (Sam’s Club was the best place for this) and let her drive around until she became tired or until the cart ran out of juice.
I did, however, spend a lot of the time apologizing to the people she ran into. Her worst mishap was running over a lady whose foot had had some recent surgery done on it. Much apologizing and a free cup of coffee helped the lady to forgive us.
@Barney My Dad used the electric carts for grocery shopping the last 6 months or so before he lost his mobility enough that he sent his caregivers to the store instead. Fortunately he did very well with them. He could still drive a car ok then too, just not walk more than a little without support.
@Barney We put my elderly aunt in one of those carts at Disney World and I had to spend most of the day either clearing a path to keep her from running over folks or holding onto the back of her seat to slow her down… She never did have much patience.