The Federal Trade Commission was offering fifty large for some new ideas on how to deal with telemarketers and their ilk, and they’ve announced two winners:
[Aaron] Foss’s proposal, which he called Nomorobo, would use “simultaneous ringing” to route incoming calls to a second line. The second line would then be responsible for identifying the bad calls and hanging up on them. The software, he said, identifies robocallers with an algorithm he compared to an e-mail spam filter that looks for specific characteristics of the callers. It will work on both mobile and traditional phones.
[Serdar] Danis’s proposal uses software that people could implement through a mobile app, an electronic device in their home or as a part of their provider’s telephone service to block unwanted calls by consulting lists of good and bad phone numbers.
What’s disappointing here is not so much that the FTC doesn’t plan to mandate either of these schemes, as the fact that neither of them contains the terms “incendiary” or “electrical shock.”
(Via this Virginia Postrel tweet.)