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Showing posts from 2019

New technology could prevent neighbor-spoofed robocalls if implemented

As an update to my previous post, there is apparently some movement afoot to implement a method of secure verification of caller ID info.  It is similar to how e-mail and websites are encrypted and authenticated, using certificates. STIR/SHAKEN  is a technology standard that incorporates an authentication service, a verification service, and a certificate repository.  When a call is made, the authentication certificate issued by the caller's provider is looked up by the recipient's provider, and the call info is verified as being authentic or not. The standard appears to be designed to be implemented at the service provider level.   As I stated previously, carriers will be slow to adopt anything that will cost them money, due to the amount of power they wield, and this case is no exception.  The call for them to adopt such a standard was put out by the FCC in 2014.  Nonetheless, 5 years later some providers,  including Verizon , are going public with announcements that they

Robocalls are Changing The Way We Use Telephones

If you are over the age of 30, you probably remember, at least at one time, answering the phone with "Hello?" Not as in "Hello (friend's name)", but as in "Hello, who is this?"  Well, thanks to caller ID, those days are a distant memory, and thanks to Robocalls, there may soon come a day when you won't even get a phone call from someone you don't know. Robocalls are massive amounts of unsolicited phone calls, using the help of computer autodialers.  For the poor souls who pick them up (usually the most vulnerable demographic, such as the elderly), a sales call for life insurance, extended car warranties, vacation package, or a fraudulent business proposal awaits them.  Many calls even use recorders in order to commit identity theft. The concept of these calls are nothing new, but the sheer volume of them, and growth rate are staggering.  Many Americans complain of getting dozens of calls a day, such as the ones in this Reddit Thread .  T

A Guide to Craigslist Etiquette

In a world where the amount of trash we generate and the cost of living keep going up, while wages and employment opportunities don't, Craigslist is a God send.  One of the perks of living in Vermont is that we have a healthy Craigslist market, with a relatively low scam rate.  Sure, I get stood up occasionally, but almost all of the time, if I can actually meet up with someone to make a deal, everything is on the up-and-up.  I think this comes from a long tradition of bartering in a state where the climate is rough, and most of it is remote. In the interest of keeping this market healthy, I thought I would provide a few of my rules and expectations when it comes to buying and selling on Craigslist. Always Deals are cash, and in person At an agreed upon meeting location. Must be in a public place unless both parties are comfortable with a house meeting. As a buyer Only talk to local sellers.  Expect to pay with cash, unless the deal is a barter/trade. Expect to