November 29th, 2004


Do Not Call Me!

"The Federal Trade Commission is considering a rule change to the Telemarketing Sales Rule to allow "pre-recorded message telemarketing." Robo-calling, as it's called, is a cheaper, but no less-annoying remix on traditional telemarketing. The seller uses pre-recorded messages instead of live operators (saving millions in labor costs) and leaves messages on your voicemail instead of calling directly. This, of course, puts the onus on the receiver to call back and ask not to be contacted further. We all remember how well that system worked in the past.

Under the new rule, even households who had previously signed up for the Do Not Call Registry would be subjected to the onslaught of "answering machine spam". Admittedly, only companies with whom you have an "established business relationship" would be allowed to contact you, but we've all seen how that definition can be stretched to absurd lengths.

The source of the proposed rule change is the Voice Mail Broadcasting Corp, who have an interesting client list. Right now, the matter is in the hands of Allen Hile of the FTC's Division of Marketing Practice. Mr. Hile has provided a way to let him know how you feel about it, or you could call him direct at (202) 326-2181. The comment period on the regulation ends January 20."

I do not want additional calls at home whether they are live or Memorex. I put myself on the state and national Do Not Call registries so I would not have to endure sales calls. One more reason to consider going cellular only...

Comment here if you want to stop the proposed change. I did.
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Money Matters

"Money, it's a crime
share it fairly but don't take a slice of my pie
money, so they say
is the root of all evil today
but if you ask for a rise it's no surprise that they're
giving none away, away, away"

23 former London school children who sang on Pink Floyd's 1979 classic "Another Brick In The Wall" want unpaid royalties. The teenagers secretly recorded vocals for the track, with the chorus "We don't need no education."

Music teacher Alun Renshaw took the school pupils to a nearby recording studio without the permission of the headmistress after being approached by the band's management.

The lyrics "We don't need no education, we don't need no thought control, no dark sarcasm in the classroom -- teachers leave them kids alone" were described by the Inner London Education Authority as scandalous.

Music teacher Renshaw told the Evening Standard newspaper he accepted the offer, viewing it as "an interesting sociological thing and also a wonderful opportunity for the kids to work in a live recording studio".

The members of Pink Floyd would not be responsible for paying the money. It would be paid by a music royalties society.
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Reading Frenzy

Several moons ago, I wrote about my goal to read all of the unread books I own by August 2005 when I will celebrate my 40th birthday. I got off to a slow start but I am making progress. Short reviews below of some that have made it to the "done been read" stack.

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Plenty more to read but I will still be putting books on my holiday wish list.