Friday, June 20, 2008

Revenge on Telemarketers and Email Scammers

hitler on the telephone In my haste to answer a phone call recently, I managed to spill a glass of orange juice all over the keyboard of my new laptop. Imagine how angry I was when I realised the call was from yet another telemarketer. These calls can be relentless, and requests to stop calling seem to achieve nothing. Here are some ways to deal with these pests:

  1. The Seinfeld strategy: poiltely tell the telemarketer: 'I'm busy right now and I can't talk; give me your home number and I'll call you back later.' When they decline to give their home number: 'I'm sorry, I suppose that's because you don't want people calling you at home? WELL NOW YOU KNOW HOW I FEEL!!!.'

  2. Three little words that work: 'Hold On, Please...' Saying this, while putting down your phone and walking off instead of hanging-up immediately) would make each telemarketing call so much more time-consuming that boiler room sales would grind to a halt. Then when you eventually hear the telephone company's 'beep-beep-beep' tone, you know it's time to go back and hang up your handset, which has efficiently completed its task. These three little words will help eliminate telephone soliciting.

  3. Do you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end? This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone. This technique is used to determine the best time of day for a 'real' sales person to call back and get someone at home. What you can do after answering , if you notice there is no one there, is to immediately start hitting your # button on the phone, 6 or 7 times, as quickly as possible. This confuses the machine that dialled the call and it kicks your number out of their system. Gosh, what a shame not to have your name in their system any longer!!!

  4. When you get those 'pre-approved' letters in the mail for everything from credit cards to 2nd mortgages and similar type junk, do not throw away the return envelope. Most of these come with postage-prepaid return envelopes, right? It costs them more than the regular 50 cents postage 'IF' and when they receive them back. It costs them nothing if you throw them away! In that case, why not get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these cool little, postage- prepaid return envelopes. Send an ad for your local chimney cleaner to American Express. Send a pizza coupon to Westpac. If you didn't get anything else that day, then just send them their blank application back! If you want to remain anonymous, just make sure your name isn't on anything you send them. You can even send the envelope back empty if you want to just to keep them guessing! It still costs them $1.00 The banks and credit card companies are currently getting a lot of their own junk back in the mail, but folks, we need to OVERWHELM them. Let's let them know what it's like to get lots of junk mail, and best of all they're paying for it... Twice! Let's help keep Australia Post busy since they are saying that e-mail is cutting into their business profits, and that's why they need to increase postage costs again. You get the idea! If enough people follow these tips, it will work ---- maybe you'll get very little junk mail anymore.

  5. Do you ever recieve emails from people claiming to be the wife of the ex president of Nigeria or some such place, telling you that they have millions of dollars they can't get out of the country and if you just help them with $10,000 dollars to cover the transfer they will give you millions? Reply to the email and agree to the conditions. Tell them you will meet them at Nairobi airport (preferrably somewhere that requires them to do some very expensive travel) next Friday at 4.00am and that you will bring the $10,000 in cash. Of course DON'T TURN UP.

My laptop keyboard remained sticky for months. Taking a little revenge has at least given me some satisfaction and I haven't had any spam phone calls lately.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Zeitgeist: Conspiracy or Internet idiocy?

While Zeitgeist is an interesting and unusual film, the ideas it presents should be approached with some caution. Before taking my word for it, visit this site to watch the movie online: » click here to view

Zeitgeist abounds with conspiracy theories and makes a very good case against Christianity (according to the film; there is no record of Jesus as a historical figure; the story is more an astrological metaphor), and it also has a section attacking the central bank of the U.S.: financiers like J.P. Morgan intentionally precipitated the depression by calling in loans on mass for their own advantage, and the central bank continues it’s hegemony by providing the government with currency at interest that can never be repaid.

There is also an expose on 9/11 claiming it was all an inside job, perpetrated by the U.S. government. This really does seem incredibly far fetched; although some very compelling evidence is presented. The buildings collapse in the manner of a controlled demolition where a series of charges cause implosion. Why did the interior steel structure collapse? Why was there practically nothing left of the planes? (Even with particularly bad crashes, there is always substantial wreckage). Why did an adjacent building which wasn’t hit by a plane also collapse? You can even see a series of small explosions down the WTC just before it collapses; makes you think anyway.

The main problem with the ideas Zeitgeist presents is that they lack credible sources. Wikipedia:,_the_Movie Gives some background info, producer etc. The criticism is worth reading:

"In addition to attracting significant public interest, it has been criticized for relying too heavily on anecdotal evidence and for using unidentified, undated, and unsourced video news clips, voice-overs, quotes, and book citations without page numbers. In a piece entitled Internet idiocy: the latest pandemic, the Arizona Daily Wildcat refers to the film as "internet bullshit" saying that "witty sayings, fear tactics and a cool, assertive air all enable them to convince the unwitting public of their points". In one of its few mainstream reviews the Irish Times called it "unhinged" and accused it of offering nothing but "surreal perversions of genuine issues and debates"
Many conspiracy theories seem to omit details that don't support their case while focussing on those that do. Zeitgeist is no exception.