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Telemarketers, Collectors Could Target Cells Under “Mobile Information Call Act”

Posted on November 22nd, 2011 at 18:42 by John Sinteur in category: If you're in marketing, kill yourself


The innocent-sounding “Mobile Information Call Act” would allow all sorts of nuisance calls to cell phones, eating into customers’ costly minutes, Sen. Chuck Schumer warned Sunday.


“What politician in his right mind would support this?” asked John Berigan, 44, of Park Slope, who uses his cell phone for his real estate business.

“There’s no one in the general public who would want this. “It would seem that some lobbyist in Washington has gotten to [Towns],” he said.

Current law bars telemarketing calls to cell phones unless the customer has given approval. The proposed change would allow prerecorded “informational” calls to be made to cell phones without consent.

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  1. Hey John, could you set up an Asterisk server to make pre-recorded informational calls to congress members’ cell phones asking them to vote for this law? That should kill it.

  2. Probably not – after all, they wrote an exemption for themselves in the do-not-call list, so they’ll just do the same here. They’ll make calls to a politician illegal, which will suit them for other purposes as well..

Terminator-Style Contact Lens Closer to Reality

Posted on November 22nd, 2011 at 17:18 by John Sinteur in category: News


Cyborgs of the future beware: Humans are working on computerized contact lenses with display technology.

"Some day maybe we’ll have full-fledged streaming in your contact lenses," said Babak Amir Parviz, an associate professor of electrical engineering at the University of Washington who co-authored a paper describing the computerized new contact lens in the latest issue of the Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering.

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  1. Siri, turn on maps.

  2. Glad to see someone’s working on it. But they’re testing the lenses on rabbits. Really? It’d be really nice if these non-medical projects were tested on human volunteers and not on more lab animals.

    This link may be worth reading for more info. They’re considering wireless power delivery.

    It made me wonder what the state of the art is in heads-up display in glasses these days. Upshot: it still sucks. Brother is expected to start shipping an 800×600 project-on-retina display “soon” called the AirScouter, but it’s not at all unobtrusive.

    If we haven’t gotten decent augmented reality glasses to work yet, I’m not sure if I’d bet that the contacts will become reality (as an affordable product, at decent resolution) in my lifetime. Let’s see, this is a 1-pixel display. If its capacity doubles every 2 years, we’ll get 1 megapixel in… 40 years?

    I’m still surprised that heads-up displays in glasses haven’t improved more.

Park Rules

Posted on November 22nd, 2011 at 15:38 by Paul Jay in category: Great Picture

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Why do we need a financial sector?

Posted on November 22nd, 2011 at 12:33 by John Sinteur in category: Robber Barons


Economics blog VoxEU debates Why do we need a financial sector? Serious, important and very dull articles discuss the trade-offs and myths of innovation, and whether the sector is overrated, critical or a contributor to the wider economy.

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170 Economists Sign Statement In Support Of Occupy Wall Street

Posted on November 22nd, 2011 at 10:52 by John Sinteur in category: News


From Econ4.org, a group that’s devoted to building an alternative to the economics orthodoxy that the economy is about Wall Street and not about the well-being of working people, a statement that’s been signed by 170 economists so far

Silly economists. You need 25,000 signatures before you get to have a petition ignored.

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Meanwhile, in Canada

Posted on November 22nd, 2011 at 10:31 by John Sinteur in category: Great Picture

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Ignorance is bliss when it comes to challenging social issues

Posted on November 22nd, 2011 at 9:42 by John Sinteur in category: News


The less people know about important complex issues such as the economy, energy consumption and the environment, the more they want to avoid becoming well-informed, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

And the more urgent the issue, the more people want to remain unaware, according to a paper published online in APA’s Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

"These studies were designed to help understand the so-called ‘ignorance is bliss’ approach to social issues," said author Steven Shepherd, a graduate student with the University of Waterloo in Ontario. "The findings can assist educators in addressing significant barriers to getting people involved and engaged in social issues."

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  1. Crikey. And the issues are not particularly hard:
    “See these guys? They took all the money.
    See these guys? They are messing up the climate and the environment.
    See these guys? They were supposed to be protecting you and everyone else. The first two bunches of guys bribed them not to do that.”

Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind Poll Shows Fox News Viewers Less Informed on Major News Stories

Posted on November 22nd, 2011 at 8:30 by John Sinteur in category: News


Quick, were Egyptian protesters successful in their bid to overthrow longtime president Hosni Mubarak earlier this year?

According to a new poll (PDF) from Fairleigh Dickinson University, if you watch Fox News you are significantly less likely to know the correct answer to that question than if you mostly avoid news shows and newspapers all together.

After controlling for factors like partisanship, education, and other demographic factors, the pollsters found that Fox New viewers were 18 points less likely to know that the revolt was successful than their non-active news consuming counterparts. Fox News viewers were also 6 points less likely to know that the Syrian uprising has yet to succeed.

“Because of the controls for partisanship, we know these results are not just driven by Republicans or other groups being more likely to watch Fox News,” said Dan Cassino, a Fairleigh Dickinson political science professor who took part in the analysis of the PublicMind data. “Rather, the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news at all.”

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  1. TV makes you stupid, as any fule kno.