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robocall, scammer, autodialer, businessmanlego

Anger at robocalls is a thing.

An anonymous Twitter user with the handle BusinessmanLego is getting a lot of love for pointing out a sad fact of American life: The phone call has been nearly killed by scammers.

We can all remember a time when getting a phone call from a number you didn't know would be exciting. A long-lost friend could be getting in touch. It could be a new opportunity. You may have won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes.

But now, a call from an unknown number is most likely from a scammer or an autodialer. They're distracting, annoying and feel like harassment. The fact that they've become so common seems like another example of how so many of our institutions have stopped working in the best interests of the public and have kowtowed to special interests.



A lot of people feel that robocalls have basically ruined the concept of the phone call.




Our leaders have failed.


Nobody wants to pick up the phone anymore.




People never used to ignore phone calls.



It seems like we've all sacrificed a great mode of communication and our sanity for a few opportunists to make a buck.



It's not just calls.



OK, now this was funny.

Now, here's a solution: We could charge people for unsolicited calls.

America has been plagued by robocalls over the past few years. The Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission identified them as the No. 1 complaint in 2020 and Americans are on track to receive 48 billion this year.

How does this happen?

Robocalls usually begin abroad in counties such as India, the Philippines and Mexico. Scammers route their calls to smaller U.S.-based telecom carriers who are happy to pocket their fees. The calls are then funneled to the largest carriers who send them directly to your phone.

In 2019, Congress passed the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (or TRACED) Act but the shadowy audio-dialing industry has been able to keep ahead of the law. Fortune says that blame can also be placed on big businesses for their "tacit support for robocalling" and federal agencies whose "foot-dragging" has allowed scammers to get off scot-free.



What can you do to stop auto-dialers?

1. Talk to your phone company. Most major telecom companies have call-blocking tools that can help shut down scammers on their end.

2. Register your number on the Do Not Call Registry.This won't stop illegal scammers but it will save you from hearing from bothersome legitimate telemarketers.

3. Block spam calls from your smartphone:

iPhone—iOS 13 has an app called Silence Unknown Callers, which blocks any callers that aren't in your contact list, you haven't been in contact with or haven't texted, and sends them straight to voicemail. Settings > Phone > Silence Unknown Callers

Android—To turn on Block Calls From Unidentified Callers, tap the phone icon on the bottom of your screen. Tap the three dots on the top right of the screen, then: Settings > Blocked Numbers. Enable Block Calls From Unidentified Callers by tapping the toggle switch on the right.

Google Pixel—When you receive a call from any number, tap Screen Call on your home screen and Google Assistant will answer it for you. If the caller responds, you'll receive a transcript of their response.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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Canva

Small actions lead to big movements.

Acts of kindness—we know they’re important not only for others, but for ourselves. They can contribute to a more positive community and help us feel more connected, happier even. But in our incessantly busy and hectic lives, performing good deeds can feel like an unattainable goal. Or perhaps we equate generosity with monetary contribution, which can feel like an impossible task depending on a person’s financial situation.

Perhaps surprisingly, the main reason people don’t offer more acts of kindness is the fear of being misunderstood. That is, at least, according to The Kindness Test—an online questionnaire about being nice to others that more than 60,000 people from 144 countries completed. It does make sense—having your good intentions be viewed as an awkward source of discomfort is not exactly fun for either party.

However, the results of The Kindness Test also indicated those fears were perhaps unfounded. The most common words people used were "happy," "grateful," "loved," "relieved" and "pleased" to describe their feelings after receiving kindness. Less than 1% of people said they felt embarrassed, according to the BBC.


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via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.


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