"intelligent" telephone answering machine

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   Have need for such a beast; must recognize caller ID and determine if  
call is from a town/city.

   Wait 7 rings before pickup.

   Emit loudest noise allowed by Ma Bell specs, primary frequency 3-4KC  
for greatest effect; perhaps sawtooth for most grating.
   Mixed with second tone about 14Hz above fundamental (understand 14Hz  
is least pleasing frequency difference).

   Simple-minded way of town/city determination: extract state  
designation (seems 90 percent of these fake callers have state included)  
and use look-up table for verification.

   Second "level" would be: verify all capitalized letters, only one  
"word" excluding state if any.

   Anyone willing to take on such a project?

    Thanks,
R. Baer


Re: "intelligent" telephone answering machine
On Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 3:23:06 PM UTC-4, Robert Baer wrote:
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Not sure what you are talking about.  Seems a very complicated way to force
 a dialing robot to listen to robot music.  Actually, most of the robocalls
 I get are from out of state only because my phone number is from out of st
ate.  They even pick an exchange local to where my phone number was origina
lly from.  So how would this detect a spammer?  

The only way to fix the spamming call problem is to force a per call charge
 of ALL calls like they do if you have the budget service from ma bell.  Le
gislate that originating companies for all calls with US destinations, rega
rdless of origin, pay $0.10 into a fund to fight phone spamming.  The provi
ders will make it unaffordable for spammers to robocall and 99% of spam cal
ls will end at the low, low cost of just one thin dime for each of your cal
ls.  

--  

  Rick C.

  - Get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging
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Re: "intelligent" telephone answering machine
Ricketty C wrote:
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* NOT music; never music, machine would emit grating NOISE.
   Read what i wrote; all undesired calls are from a town/city and most  
disclose state (WA, TX, etc).

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* No lawmaker is going to do that.

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Re: "intelligent" telephone answering machine
On Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 6:13:33 PM UTC-4, Robert Baer wrote:
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KC
Hz
d)
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orce a dialing robot to listen to robot music.  Actually, most of the roboc
alls I get are from out of state only because my phone number is from out o
f state.  They even pick an exchange local to where my phone number was ori
ginally from.  So how would this detect a spammer?
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Yes, and these calls are pretty much all from India.  What's your point???  
  


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arge of ALL calls like they do if you have the budget service from ma bell.
  Legislate that originating companies for all calls with US destinations,  
regardless of origin, pay $0.10 into a fund to fight phone spamming.  The p
roviders will make it unaffordable for spammers to robocall and 99% of spam
 calls will end at the low, low cost of just one thin dime for each of your
 calls.
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Of course not, for the same reason we are still seeing 800 deaths per day i
n the US soon to be increasing.  Politicians have to do the expedient thing
, not the effective thing which is why they are politicians and not corpora
te leaders.  

--  

  Rick C.

  + Get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging
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Re: "intelligent" telephone answering machine
Ricketty C wrote:
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* Maybe, and maybe not. Do not care if they come from Mars.
   How about that machine?

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Re: "intelligent" telephone answering machine
On Friday, October 23, 2020 at 9:36:57 PM UTC-4, Robert Baer wrote:
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f
3-4KC
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 14Hz
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ded)
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ne
 force a dialing robot to listen to robot music.  Actually, most of the rob
ocalls I get are from out of state only because my phone number is from out
 of state.  They even pick an exchange local to where my phone number was o
riginally from.  So how would this detect a spammer?
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st
???
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Are you actually rational?  Can you form a coherent thought???  

The calls are nearly all robo calls with no human to hear your noise.  When
 you press the right button they connect you to someone from India.  They u
se random phone numbers local to you and pay for nothing other than being c
onnected to a phone line somewhere in the world, very possibly over the Int
ernet before it reaches a phone network.  

Caller ID tells you nothing about this callers.  Nothing.  

--  

  Rick C.

  --+ Get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging
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Re: "intelligent" telephone answering machine
On 10/23/2020 8:21 PM, Ricketty C wrote:
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Caller ID is useful for whitelisting calls as it's unlikely that
a spammer will know the phone number of your MD, dentist, friend(s),
etc.  Less useful for things like the local police department (but,
how often do THEY call you???) which could be faked.

Caller ID can tell you the caller is someone you WANT to talk to
but can't tell you the caller is someone you DON'T want to talk to!

So, *blocking* based on CID (unless you're really pissed off at a
friend/neighbor) is useless.

Note that you can also add heuristics to further bias your
assessment of an incoming call; e.g., if "around dinner time" it
is likely a spammer/pollster/etc.  We only allow calls through
"after hours" if they are from folks who deserve "special access"
to us (e.g., calling to ask for a ride home from a club or a
ride to the hospital, etc.).  I certainly don't expect to hear
from my MD *much* after dinner time (though a 6PM call is possible
if he's returning MY call).

Re: "intelligent" telephone answering machine
On Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 2:08:42 AM UTC-4, Don Y wrote:
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You either block specific numbers you recognize as spam, which is what the  
NOMOROBO does, or you block EVERY CALL that isn't white listed.  Either way
 it is blocking based on CID and useless.  My entering the number of every  
contact I've ever had is not at all practical.  I had to talk to police rec
ently.  There are many others who call me first and I don't always want to  
make them use voice mail.  Then there is  the issue of the robocalls leavin
g voice mail which I get all the time.  

Caller ID is not a useful basis for blocking spam calls.  My phone already  
has it through the phone company and it only flags a fraction of the calls.
  


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Bull.  I get spam calls all day long.  


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I'm glad that you don't mind listening to your phone right 20 times a day f
rom spammers.  The NOMOROBO doesn't even work with most phone services, so  
it's really just a joke.  

--  

  Rick C.

  +-- Get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging
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Re: "intelligent" telephone answering machine
On 10/24/2020 9:14 AM, Ricketty C wrote:
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No, you allow whitelisted calls (to be further conditioned based on
identity, time-of-day, etc.) to be "accepted" (ring-through, routed to
personalized mailbox, etc.).

Non-whitelisted calls you identify with other MORE RELIABLE means.
In our case, we do that by recognizing the voice of the caller (we
don't "recognize" any spammers  :> )

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Each call I make is logged (phone number) along with the voice of the party
that answers.  So, the system already knows who my likely contacts will be
before they call.

Spammers don't get routed to the "answering machine" -- why would I want to
hear what they have to say?

The answering machine is used to allow DESIRABLE contacts to leave messages
at times when I'm not willing to speak with them:  "Sorry, Bob, but he's
not available, presently.  Would you like to leave a message?  Or, should I
just tell him that you called (at 3:12PM on Thursday the 14th)?"

It also lets us leave outgoing messages for specific callers:  "Hey, Bob,
I put the package in the mail this afternoon.  I'll give you a call back
tomorrow, around 9:00?"

Think about how your secretary would handle a variety of incoming calls
(from strangers, folks you might not want to deal with *now*, folks you'd
be willing to DROP EVERYTHING to speak with, etc.)

For a semi-cold call (i.e., someone I want to be able to call me but whom
I've not yet "registered"), I tell them what to say to the "attendant"
in order to have their call recognized as "not spam".  Just like a caller
interacting with a secretary needs a way to convince the sec'y of their
genuine need for access (because they know some "secret" that wouldn't
be known to a casual caller)

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As I said, you use CID to ACCEPT calls, not block.

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As do we.  But we don't "get notified" of ANY of them!  The system answers
the phone (WITHOUT an audible "ring"), determines the identity of the caller
and then decides whether we want to know that the party is calling us, "now".
If it decides to "bother us", then the ringer sounds.  Otherwise, the
call is processed as in the above examples.

Spammers technically prevent our phone from receiving legitimate calls
while they have the line tied up.  But, that's a tiny fraction of the
time so doesn't affect our accessibility.  They spend THEIR time on the
call, not ours.

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Our phone only rings when:
- it KNOWS the caller is someone we want to talk to
- we want to talk to that person AT THIS TIME (of day)

How it rings varies based on the nature of the caller.  E.g., if a "close
friend" calls at 3AM, we probably *want* to be awakened as said friend
wouldn't call at that time unless there was a genuine *need*, on their
part (abuse the privilege and you lose it!).  If a client calls "after
five", just send him to voice mail tagged as such.  If *I* call and
indicate "it's urgent", go to great lengths to chase down my other half,
including alerting via the outdoor and garage "ringers".

We REALLY don't like being disturbed by the phone.  *REALLY*!  So, even callers
that we want to (eventually) talk to are usually told that we'll return
their call later.  The phone, unfortunately, exists for the convenience of the
CALLER.  Our approach turns that on its head and forces the phone to comply
with OUR usage constraints.

TPC could implement a similar system -- without relying on verifiable CID
(there are genuine needs for "faked" CID).  And, I suspect most cell phones
have the horsepower to do this, as well.  (TPC could do so more efficiently
as it could centralize -- ick! -- the biometric database)

[I use the same mechanism -- augmented with video -- to recognize visitors
at the front door and "announce" them (as well as granting them conditional
access in my absence)]

Re: "intelligent" telephone answering machine
On Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 2:12:16 PM UTC-4, Don Y wrote:
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mmer
THEY
an't
the

I didn't say anything different.  


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How does your machine recognize voices?  If you mean YOU listen, I don't ev
en need to do that.  But I don't want to be bothered with the calls.  No ri
ng, no messages, no monitoring the call.  That's what the $0.10 per call fe
e will do.  Spammers and the services that connect them to the phone networ
k won't be able to afford to make thousands of calls to bring in a few hund
red dollars.  


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ry
ant
ty
e

This is why no one else will want to use that system, it's too labor intens
ive and also unreliable.  


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to

Because they are the bank or credit card company calling about suspected fr
aud on your account?  


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es
 I
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Too bad that there's no automated method of distinguishing the spammers.  


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Wonderful, a feature nearly no one will use.  


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Too bad we can't afford secretaries.  They could actually do the job effect
ively, but will probably quit since they only get paid $0.10 per call and h
ave to deal with annoying spammers.  


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So you implement voice recognition?  Great, that alone is a useful tool.  T
oo bad the spammers already use it and will apply that to dealing with your
 voice recognition.  


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ady
lls.

You are making a false distinction.  The CID is used to distinguish the cal
ls that are accepted vs. the ones that are blocks.  Stop talking nonsense.  
  


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of
s
ler
ow".
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So are you talking about a home brew system on a landline?  How does that w
ork on the cell phones the other 99% of us use?  


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They spend zero time on the call, it's a machine!  


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rom
e if
ay
, so
allers
f the
ly
es
ly

They won't take responsibility for the false positives and false negatives  
until a workable system is found.  Your system is full of holes.  It will o
nly require the spammers to amp up their game.  I've already talked about t
he systems that sound so much like a human and recognize what I say so well
 that it is hard to know if they are human or not.  Those systems will get  
right through your system like it wasn't even there.  But they will only be
come prevalent when forced to by the phone companies mounting a stronger de
fense.  


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s
al

Don't care much...  I'm at the end of a quarter mile driveway on a half mil
e private lane.  I get no house visitors unless they are invited.  

--  

  Rick C.

  ++- Get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging
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Re: "intelligent" telephone answering machine
On 10/24/2020 1:46 PM, Ricketty C wrote:
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But you assume "non-white" calls are black.  That's the mistake.

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How do all IVR systems "recognize voices" -- voice recognition!

How does your BANK *identify* you as the caller -- speaker identification!

As there is no universal "spammer voice", there's no need to try to identify
the spammer.  "Voice (identity) not recognized"

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I don't listen, the voice attendant does.  It decides who you are by analyzing
the feature-set that it derives (while listening to you) from your words.
It compares this to a database of feature-sets to form an appraisal of WHO
you are.  It augments this with any supplemental authenticators (CID) -- even
if not authoritative -- as well as the CONTENT of your speech and conditions
of the call (time of day, etc.)

These factors are then used to decide how your call should be handled.
A business relation's call might be routed to voice mail "after hours"
(because I don't think they deserve to cut into my personal time).
A family member's call might prompt the attendant to contact me:  "Your
sister is on the phone.  Do you want to speak with her, now?"
A neighbor's call (or visit!) might warrant chasing me down -- even if
I'm in the back yard or asleep.
And, a call from my other half (assuming she's not home) should go
to great pains to find me IF SHE CLAIMS IT IS URGENT.

As I've repeatedly said, think of what your (good) secretary would do
in each instance.  Recognizing the content of speech, identifying callers,
retraining models, diarization, etc. are pretty much solved problems.
The only real effort is designing the AI to make use of all of that
information in a way that models the behavior of a "secretary" (of
the type you choose).

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There's no labor involved.  I pick up my phone and I dial a number.
The system logs the number.  The other party answers.  I speak.  We engage
in a conversation.  The system has been recording all of the audio so
that it can post-process it to retrain models that it can then associate
with that callee -- in anticipation of him/her calling *me* at a later
date.

The "cost" to me is to announce to the system that "this is John Doe"
that I'm calling -- so it can associate "John Doe" with that number which
will free me from having to remember the number going forward:  "Call
John Doe" or "John Doe is calling".

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We've never been contacted by a financial institution regarding fraud.
They simply have disabled the account/cards in question.  We find out
about it when we try to use the card and it is declined.  (this has happened
three or four times)

If "The Authorities" (cops) want to contact us, we want them to send
a squad around to the house so we can verify the identity of the party.
I'd definitely NOT speak to anyone claiming to be an authority just
based on their "say so".

[We've had cops at the door a few times as well as DIA.  "Show me your
credentials, please"]

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Spammers are not desirable.  If you really want to know what they were
trying to say, route spam to a voice mail account and spend the time
to listen to their messages.

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Your thinking as an individual who lives off the beaten track out in the
woods.  Not as a business.

Why do folks use email when the phone SEEMS to be more convenient?
Ans:  because the phone has uncontrolled costs associated with it.
The cost of the email is the time it takes to type it out.  No
digressions about the weather, last night's ball game, the family,
speculation on the Market, etc.

I disconnected my business phone less than a year after I got it.
Too much NONBILLABLE time with clients and vendors as well as
their expectations to be able to chat with me at their convenience
(instead of my own).

Email cuts my correspondence time considerably.  And, provides a
documented conversation that I can refer to, later, instead of
relying on "you said _______" and arguing about what the intent
of that statement might have been (instead, I can just forward
a copy of their earlier email back to them to review and refute).

Do you always get access to the individual that you are trying to
call?  Do you never have to leave a message -- and await a reply?

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You don't have to pay (automated) voice attendants.  Why did anyone invent
the answering machine/voice mail/call forwarding/etc.?

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Voice recognition determines content.  Speaker identification determines
identity.  How are they going to know what *I* think is significant enough
in the message body to grant admission?

There's no "code word" like "press 3725 to gain access" or "how much is
three plus five".  Instead, I give semi-cold callers a one-time password
that I associate with them.  It expires in some few number of days (if you
aren't interested in establishing contact with me now, then there's no
need to do so) or when used.  When used, I have their name and voice signature
(after the system listens to our conversation for a while).

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No.  CID is only used to identify the ones that WILL be accepted.
The rest require further criteria to sort out.  YOU don't have any
additional criteria that you can apply (other than your own grey matter)
so have to treat it as a binary decision.

I can accept a call from my MD's office without knowing the identity
of the caller (medical assistant, receptionist, billing department,
etc.) by their voiceprint.

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Cell phones have a boatload of computational power (or, you can say
the feature is only offered on certain models of cell phones).  Or,
TPC (or a third-party agent) can offer it as a service.  Note that
it's not just filtering spammers out but also offering additional
services that your scheme won't begin to address.

Two of my colleagues have expressed an interest in the design
(I'm not interested in capitalizing products at this point in my life;
I prefer, instead, to have fun -- and not be bothered by unwanted
phone calls!  :> ).  I don't know the approaches they will take
as they have each, historically, been interested in different markets.
In my case, there is very little cost other than the DAA as the other
capabilities already exist, elsewhere, in my system.

[I also don't know how well my approach will scale.  I had a request
to handle 5,000 (!) contacts -- I don't think I interact with that
many entities in a year!  :< ]

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The line -- MY LINE (land or otherwise) -- is tied up for the duration.
And, their machine is busy interacting with my machine -- instead of a
potential "live person".  The fact that most calls are dropped (evident
in my log files) suggests they don't want to invest any effort after
realizing that they are talking to a machine.

I.e., a potential solution might be to just give everyone a machine and
the discipline NOT to salivate when they hear the bell ring!

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You want a spammers cost to increase to the point where it exceeds their
potential for gain.  Amp up your game?  I can amp up my response!
If I'm a commercial product (i.e., my colleagues' offerings), that means
everyone using it has suddenly become costlier to target.

Anything done in the CO has to be universally applied AND legally
allowed.  Nothing that I'm doing requires any legislation or buy-in
from competing interests (of course, the spammers want a say in any
legislation, too!  just like the loopholes that allow politicians to
contact you, folks you've done business with, etc.).

I could hire someone to manually answer the phone and implement the
same process -- I just choose to let a piece of electronics do it
for considerably less cost!

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Again, you're not thinking like a business.  Imagine eliminating the
"guard" (paycheck) who just sits and says hello to everyone who walks
into a facility -- to ensure "unwanteds" don't gain entry.

Or, the convenience of having the door to the cath lab unlock only
for certified staff.

Re: "intelligent" telephone answering machine
On Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 6:37:01 PM UTC-4, Don Y wrote:
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t
  
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No, if you pay attention to what I write I am saying your system is fatally
 flawed regardless because you are making unfounded assumptions.  You are t
he one trying to distinguish white/black/grey calls.  This simply does not  
work in a useful way for anyone other than yourself because you have design
ed the system around your tastes and presumably are willing to live with th
e limitations.  


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our
!

My bank identifies me by my proving intimate details of my account.  I have
 no idea what you are talking about now.  


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ify

This seems really out in left field now.  


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 to
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ll.
that
ands
yzing
O
even
ons

So you aren't going to explain what you are talking about???  Whatever.  


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You keep going on about handling different calls differently without explai
ning how you distinguish the callers.  In particular you claim you are not  
blocking calls based on CID but then say you do use CID along with "feature
-sets" which you fail to explain.  Looking back for the term you used so I  
could quote it I see your post has gotten longer and longer.  

I'm not interested in reading your book.  If you want to explain simply I'm
 happy to listen, but if you just want to go on and on, that makes it very  
clear to me that you have developed a very sophisticated non-solution to a  
real problem.  

Technology can solve every problem.  Sometimes laws and regulations are the
 right solution.  In this case a simple $0.10 fee per call is not only easy
 to implement, the mechanics are ALREADY built into the system.  It just ha
s to be turned on.  

When skimming I saw you mention that cell towers have large computational c
apacities... which is used by the cell calls, that's why the capacities are
 there, because they are needed.  They didn't just toss a bunch of processo
rs onto a board they don't need.  

I'm not interested in continuing the conversation if you can't get to the p
oint.  

I still say you have no useful way (by "useful" I mean to the rest of the w
orld) to distinguish spammers from anyone else, because no matter what you  
do, the spammers will adapt.  That's the reason why there is so much email  
spam.  Do you really think email just needs a better filter?  

--  

  Rick C.

  +++ Get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging
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Re: "intelligent" telephone answering machine
On 10/24/2020 5:36 PM, Ricketty C wrote:
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There are always white, grey and black calls.  Assuming that you can make a
binary distinction (black vs white, reject vs. accept) based on something
as crude as a CID is naive.  You don't know what a particular CID *means*,
even if it is unforgeable!  (is the hospital calling to tell you about
your upcoming appointment?  or, to request a payment?  or, to see if you'd
like to participate in their blood drive??)

[I have an "account" with the local university as I buy surplus equipment
from them.  When they call, are they trying to inform me that I won a
particular lot at auction?  Or, hoping I'll donate to their public television
station??  Both have happened.  I'm obviously far more interested in
the former call than the latter!]

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"My voice is my password" TmReg.

Companies and agencies are starting to realize that folks simply can't
keep up with the various artificial authentication mechanisms that they put in
place (PINs, secret questions, etc.) and are moving towards more biometric
identifiers.  When I call my credit card company, they note the number from
which I'm calling to identify me and my account.  I am only forced to talk
with a human if I choose to call from some "unregistered" phone number.

[What if someone spoofs my CID when calling them?]

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There is a little box.  The wires to the PSTN come in one end.  An ethernet
connection comes in the other (bringing power with it).  Inside the box is
an interface to the telco network.  It allows the processor (in the box)
to detect ring cadences, go off-hook, "listen" to incoming audio as well
as generate outgoing audio.

It can be programmed to "answer" -- or not -- based on whatever criteria
I deem appropriate (I might want to block ALL incoming calls at certain times).

When it answers, it can be programmed to emit whatever I choose to say
(via synthesized voice).  That "voice prompt" can be determined by time-of-day,
incoming CID, "expectations" (i.e., if I'm *expecting* a call and, who from),
etc.

Presumably, the calling party will eventually "make sounds" which the box
will detect (and analyze and record).

If the caller "talks over" my outgoing message, then it is likely a DUMB
autodialer -- one that simply waits for the phone to be answered and
then begins its spiel.  A real human -- especially one familiar with
how my phone works -- would patiently await the end of the OGM.
[assuming they don't know of shortcuts built into the answer process]

The caller will "make sounds" (typically "speak" -- but it could also
be a FAX machine, etc.) for some amount of time.  If speech, the amount
of time before a pause reveals something about the caller (a telemarketer
or robodialer will typically not wait for the short speech burst that are
typical at the start of an interactive conversation).

Typical conversations have a formulaic beginning (think about them... from
friends/relatives/colleagues vs. businesses vs. spammers).  It's unlikely
that the caller is going to utter "alpha geronimo boondoggle 27" -- so
you have a restricted vocabulary to typically process.

I can recognize likely names in those utterances -- especially because
I know which names are significant, to *me*!  (if you start talking
about Art Linkletter, I'm likely going to glaze over on you)

While listening to WHAT you are saying (speech recognition), I'm also
listening to HOW you are saying it -- the cadence, fundamental frequency,
how you pronounce vowels (cuz I know what vowels are in each of the
RECOGNIZED WORDS that you've uttered).  This "feature set" is a key into
a database of feature sets compiled from speech samples obtained from
other calls WITH KNOWN OTHER PARTIES (regardless of whether I was caller
or callee).  So, I can form an assessment of WHO you likely are
(speaker identification -- not to be confused with authentication!).

I can prod you by emitting additional utterances intended (in a live caller)
to elicit certain types of information in certain formulaic ways (NLP).
E.g., if I ("I" in all of this is The Box) say, "Who are you looking to speak
with?", I know I should expect to hear one of two names in response...
not "The Man of The House" or "Your Mother/Father" (yeah, I can answer the
phone with any voice characteristics I choose!  I can actually synthesize
YOUR voice after I've heard enough samples on which to build a model!)

Of course, legitimate callers who've been through the routine know
what to expect and how to respond (i.e., like a normal human!).  And,
each response gives me more data to refine my assessment of their
identity.  If I ever need confirmation, I can utter, "Who is calling,
please?" and "recognize" the response in a dictionary of "valid callers".

[Each of these provides data that the AI uses to build confidence in
its assessment of the caller's identity AND how it should handle the
call FROM that caller.]

Once I'm confident in the caller's identity, I can decide how to handle
their call in the current circumstances ("Sorry, Don is not available";
"Don is on his way to your house, Bruce"; "What should I tell Don this
call concerns?"; etc.)

Again, depending on caller's identity, time of day, mood, occupancy, etc.
the call may be "announced" to me (or my other half, if intended for her)
with the expectation that I'll respond "put him/her through".  I can
alternately say "take a message" or "tell him to call back later" or...

Just like you'd tell your secretary when she announces that "Bob Smith
is on line 2"

While I'm talking with Bob Smith, the box is listening in and recording
the conversation.  This frees me from the need to analyze the content
in real-time.

At the same time, it schedules an analysis task that will listen to
these TAGGED (caller identified) recordings.  This begins with diarization
then analysis of the callee's speech to further refine the models that
are used to identify that caller -- as well as enhance the speech
recognition FOR that caller.

This mimics how a human user recognizes callers and "learns" about
them, over time (e.g., Pete always calls at 5:00PM).

Note that there is no explicit "training" event that I'd have to
require callers to endure -- it's a "free" side-effect of the
implementation (by design!).  And, the accumulated dataset allows
those KNOWN callers to interact with my system in other ways.

In particular, it lets very special individuals (e.g., me and mine) gain
access to subsystems that wouldn't be accessible to mere mortals,
remotely.  So, I can give my neighbors access to the house (or parts
thereof) based on their voice and other 2FA authenticators.  Again,
without having to "train" the system for that access.

[In my initial demo of the speaker identification system, I had
my doorbell query arriving visitors and welcomed them, by name,
based on my recognition of their individual voices from past
phone conversations.]

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You want go-nogo to be based on a single criteria.  I take a more
realistic approach and base it on many criteria.  Speaker identification,
alone, requires an analysis of many non-binary criteria -- feature sets.

This is common in more advanced pattern recognition problems.  How do you
differentiate a written 4 from a 9?  Is there some magic threshold that
you can use to make a binary choice?  No, you look at many aspects of
each glyph and come up with a probabilistic assessment of each "set of
features" observed in the writings vs. some prior knowledge of what
those features are likely to be for those particular glyphs.

How do you know that the caller is male vs. female?  Yet, you know
that "Bob Smith" is definitely MALE -- so, if you think the current caller
is FEmale, it's likely NOT Bob Smith.  That aspect of the observed feature
set conflicts with the STORED feature set for Bob Smith!

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You are obviously ignorant of the technologies involved and, thus, can't
wrap your head around what is currently possible (and already in use).
Google "diarization" (so you know WHY you need it), "speaker recognition",
"speech recognition", "dynamic pattern recognition", "expert systems",
"speech synthesis", etc.

Familiarize yourself with the technologies and the issues addressed by each.
Familiarize yourself with the "open" implementations for each of these (so
you understand how much is already in place).  Actually BUILD some demo apps
so you can see what they can and can't reliably do.  Be amazed!

Then, sit down and think about how you could make a similar system to do what
I've described.  I've two colleagues that are making significant investments
in technology derived from my implementation.

If you can't, well... the world needs ditch diggers, too!

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That's your problem -- you're skimming and not reading.  You're not interested
in understanding an implementation, just looking to poke at (incorrectly
perceived) issues.  Grep my message for "cell tower"... didn't find it, did
you?  :>  I said "cell phone".  And most (many) cell phones have oodles of
computational power.  I've got a rescued phone lying on the desk in front of
me that has 2G of RAM, 16G FLASH and an 8 core 1.7GHz CPU.  And, the "DAA"
is already present in it -- along with a network connection to a conceivably
unlimited amount of "remote" storage AND an interface to the callee's "ear"!

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I've not received a piece of junk email in YEARS!  Nor has my other half -- and
she's far less "computer literate" than I!  You obviously have been doing
something wrong!

Re: "intelligent" telephone answering machine
On Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 2:26:24 AM UTC-4, Don Y wrote:
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have
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I don't know what credit cards you have, but I have to give them my card nu
mber and other identifying information that no one else has.  They don't gi
ve a crap about my phone number.  

I literally don't know what you are talking about with "forced" to talk to  
a person.  There's virtually no reason to call on a phone if you aren't goi
ng to talk.  I can much more easily and usefully get the info on my account
 that can be handled automatically simply by using the web site.  I only us
e the phone when I have to talk to someone.  


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nt
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m
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That's what I thought.  An invention for the previous century.  Some huge p
ercentage of phone numbers are cell phones.  So your "invention" is pretty  
much worth less.  That's why no one has produced it before.  


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f-day,
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peak
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Wow!  So much noise and so little utility.  You are designing a product for
 the Ozzie and Harriet generation.  


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u are
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You keep talking about what I want without having any understanding of what
 I am saying or what the real problem is.  The problem is the huge number o
f spam phone calls.  Your idea will do literally nothing for me because I c
an't connect your little box to my cell phone.  

Why can't you understand that?  


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There are calls I get that have nothing to do with any calls  I've received
 in the past.  They should not go to voicemail.  They should not be interce
pted by a silly voice prompting system and routed to voice mail.  There's n
othing you box does that is useful to most people.  


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r
e

What do you do about Alex Montgomery or Pat Paulson?  No, don't tell me.  Y
ou'll just talk about something else that isn't workable.  


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ry
o a
,

I did google it and I understand what it does.  But you are building a self
 driving car without understanding it will have to travel roads that have n
ot been mapped.  


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Your system does nothing useful for me.  In addition it will ultimately be  
circumvented by the spammers.  As I've said several times already, spammers
 use the sort of technology you are talking about.  They already are ahead  
of you and will very easily circumvent your system.  Cat and mouse except t
here are thousands of them ready to spend lots of money to defeat your syst
em.  


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That's the sort of job that will be open for you if you can't understand th
e limitations of your approach.  


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asy
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al

No, that's not the problem.  Your long-windedness is the problem and skimmi
ng is the cure.  Well, a partial cure.  


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id
f

OMG!  That's even worse.  The phone has enough resources to do it's job and
 does not have tons of leftover computational power for such a job.  CPU sp
eeds aren't even the limitation.  People can't keep their phones charged no
w.  What you are talking about would require crunching for every call, ofte
n not keeping up when other tasks are running and eating up the battery cha
rge.  When I do some surfing trying to keep up  with the news the battery g
oes very quickly.  What you are talking about will slam the battery in shor
t order.  


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Yes, not asking them to mail it to me so I can compost it!  

--  

  Rick C.

  +++ Get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: "intelligent" telephone answering machine
On Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 4:15:49 AM UTC-4, Ricketty C wrote:
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number and other identifying information that no one else has. They don't g
ive a crap about my phone number.  
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o a person. There's virtually no reason to call on a phone if you aren't go
ing to talk. I can much more easily and usefully get the info on my account
 that can be handled automatically simply by using the web site. I only use
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ercentage of phone numbers are cell phones. So your "invention" is pretty m
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d in the past. They should not go to voicemail. They should not be intercep
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 circumvented by the spammers. As I've said several times already, spammers
 use the sort of technology you are talking about. They already are ahead o
f you and will very easily circumvent your system. Cat and mouse except the
re are thousands of them ready to spend lots of money to defeat your system
.
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 does not have tons of leftover computational power for such a job. CPU spe
eds aren't even the limitation. People can't keep their phones charged now.
 What you are talking about would require crunching for every call, often n
ot keeping up when other tasks are running and eating up the battery charge
. When I do some surfing trying to keep up with the news the battery goes v
ery quickly. What you are talking about will slam the battery in short orde
r.
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Re: "intelligent" telephone answering machine
On 10/25/2020 1:15 AM, Ricketty C wrote:
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*ALL* of my credit cards use ANI to verify my identity.  I once tried to
"activate" a card from a different phone and the call was routed to a human
attendant (flagged as a problem in activation):  "You're not calling from your
HOME PHONE!"  (note the sticker on the face of the new credit card indicated
that you should call this number FROM YOUR HOME PHONE).

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We do nothing "electronically".  Never a fear of malware on a machine
harvesting our personal data.  No "accounts" that we access on-line -- we
rarely need to interact with any of these people so why make it easier for
information to be lost/stolen/harvested.

The new AMEX I received last week gave me two options to activate:
- download our app
- go online (and you;ll be prompted to set up an online account, access
   your statements on-line -- to save them postage fees, etc.)

"No thanks.  I'll telephone customer service.  When asked to "say what
you want, in a few words", say "activation".  Ignore their desire to
set up an account for you right then and there.  Wait for the "your
card is activated.  Please destroy your old card" message.  Done.

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And, as I said, you can implement my box as purely software IN your cell phone!
I need a box because I need access to the PSTN's "wires".  Your cell phone
already has that built-in.

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Gee, I guess there must be lots of Ozzies and Harriets if TWO of my colleagues
are developing products based on it!

I think you suffer from a lack of imagination.  But, then again. you're still
living with Forth...

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Why can't you understand that you can port the code TO your cell phone?
Do you think there is something magical about my "invention from the previous
century" that can't be replicated on ANOTHER device (cell phone) from the
previous century?

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What SHOULD happen with those calls?  Should they go directly to you?
How do you differentiate them from spam?

Again, I've folks investing considerable monies and effort to bring devices
based on this technology to market.  So, "most people" seems a generalization
that is purely YOUR OPINION.  People putting THEIR MONEY on the line seem to
think otherwise.

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I don;'t expect calls from Alex Montgomery or Pat Paulson.  How are they
any different from Citizens for Education Funding?  Or, Macy's?  Or,
spammers-are-us?

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No, you just don't see the map!

Simple question:  do you believe a sentient entity could act to screen
your calls to weed out spammers?  If so, then my point is proven.
If not, there's nothing you can do to block them from "evolving" around
whatever scheme you concoct.

Charge 10c per call?  But, you know the politicians will want an exemption
(as they already have, from the Do Not Call Registry).  Likewise, stores
with which you've done business.  Police?  Fire?

We receive solicitations on the City's letterhead for "Sewer Insurance"
from a private company.  Who's to say some determined spammer won't "buy"
access to your phone line from someone who already HAS access to it?

Any solution that relies on someone else to filter your calls will always
be subject to "tinkering".  The only effective solution is to filter the
calls yourself.

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They've not, thus far.  My logs show more than 8000 calls have been blocked
since I installed the proof-of-concept device.  Over 600 in the last month
alone! (wanna bet those are all political groups and pollsters trying to
influence swing-state outcome?  or, folks advocating for -- and against -- the
increased funding for education?  MJ legalization?  other local initiatives??

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I'm already "set for life".  Now working on setting up a foundation
to pursue issues of importance to me after I'm gone.

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Boy, you REALLY are clueless!

By your statement, this 8 core, 1.7GHz, 2G phone has "does not have tons
of leftover computational power for such a job".  I guess facetime takes
zero resources (cuz you're not streaming bidirectional video and audio
when the call comes *in*!)

Let's assume you are 100.0% correct!

Then, how does this iPhone 6S with a 2 core, 1.8GHz processor ever manage
to receive calls?  Is there an equivalent amount of computational power
in those 2 cores as in the first phone's *8* cores?  If the nature of
"answering a call" is constrainedd to using a single core (implementation
issues), then why can't I use the other cores for my code?

And, if these TWO phones are just barely capable of performing the required
tasks "without leftover computational power", then how is this 600MHz 1 core
phone EVER able to act as a telephone?

Or, my other half's 10 year old, disposable "feature phone"?  I guess 10 year
old processors were much better than this fancy multicore stuff -- they don't
make CPUs like they used to!

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And you KNOW this, how?  Have you even looked at the code required to do this?
Gee, a few messages back, you didn't even understand the concept of a "feature
set" in regard to speaker recognition.  Now, you claim to know how much
resources (battery and MIPS) it requires to do that processing!

You've also chosen to ignore the details I've laid out here.  Namely, that
you can use whitelisting to ACCEPT calls!  Or, is THAT too much of a drain
on battery, as well?

You clearly are spouting personal opinion without any basis in fact.
Go get an education in the technologies involved.  You don't even have
to implement a real product with them!  Just build their demos and
poke at them.  Notice how many CPU cycles are consumed for various
types of actions.  Extrapolate that to battery life.

If you conclude that YOU can't solve this problem as I've outlined,
then you can humbly admit that it's too much for your capabilities.
Leave it to more qualified folks to suss out.

When you actually have some basic knowledge, I *might* consider
engaging in an intellectual conversation.  Until then, I'm talking to
an opinionated dullard who just states what he WANTS to be true.

Bye!

<plonk>

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Re: "intelligent" telephone answering machine
On Monday, October 26, 2020 at 1:25:24 AM UTC-4, Don Y wrote:
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d
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 your
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ted

I can't believe you are so illiterate.  They don't tell you to call from yo
ur home phone because few have home phones these days.  We have cell phones
.  Yes, calling from your phone number helps, but not because ANI or CID ar
e not easy to fake, simply because someone stealing your credit card is not
 likely to know your phone number.  

That's the problem.  You are thinking about the situation as if you had gon
e to sleep 20 years ago and just woke up.  You don't seem to understand tha
t times have changed.  Yesterday's problems are not today's problems and ye
sterday's solutions won't work for most people.  


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oing
t
 use
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r

See, you are making my point for me.  You are designing a system that works
 for you and very few others.  


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No credit card company requires you to access statements online, it's avail
able if you wish to use it.  You can have both, online and paper access whi
ch is what I do.  Only the electric company and one other bill I have does  
not allow access to PDF bills unless I forgo paper bills.  So each month I  
send them an email through their web site asking them to email me a PDF whi
ch they do at considerable expense compared to just giving me access.  


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I have a 94 year old friend who thinks like you do and also has a home phon
e... VOIP through the cable company.  So you are in good company, just not  
a large group.  In fact, a very teeny tiny group.  

That's what you don't get.  Your ideas serve nearly no one but yourself.  Y
ou are not a typical user.  If it works for you, fine.  Don't kid yourself  
into thinking it will work for others.  


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 (in
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dio
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phone!
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e

I'm willing to bet you can't implement it in a cell phone.  You are only th
inking of MIPS and don't understand the nature of an invasive app like your
s.  Give it a try and see if you can get access to the features you need.  
It will be an interesting exercise.  


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my
 for
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agues

You should be aware of your target audience.  You also need to be aware of  
the limitations of the product.  


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till

I don't need to defend Forth.  You, however, are clearly stuck in the rut o
f land lines and thinking the problem you want to solve won't change with t
he nature of your solution.  I've already mentioned several times about the
 AI like robocall I've received many times that you won't be able to block.
  Your AI has to be better than their AI and they get to work on it continu
ously on thousands and even millions of calls.  Will you be able to match t
hat?  I don't think so.  


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I have no reason to believe you can port your code to the cell phone.  Cell
 phones are not open architectures and phone companies are not open access  
networks.  


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r
a --
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ived

Yes, if someone from my insurance company calls to say there's a problem wi
th my payment, I want to receive that call.  What phone number will they be
 calling from, I have no idea, they have bazillions of numbers.  I received
 a call not too long ago from my bank in another state.  That one I missed  
and didn't recognize the number and had a hard time figuring out if they we
re for real or not.  It finally "sort of" showed up in an online search and
 I realized it was valid, just not one of the regular offices.  If a human  
has a hard time telling how is your tool going to figure it out?  A tool li
ke this doesn't need to screw up very often before it causes some bad probl
em.  

Someone in your family is injured and in a hospital and you get a call from
 some number there.  Again, it's not a call you want obstructed.  Many call
ers you want to talk to won't even bother with such an ungainly system.  

You can block the stupid, recorded message robo calls.  That might help at  
least for a while.  Some of those callers won't fork out the money to upgra
de to a better system.  But many will and your system won't stop them.  If  
the phone rings or even if they leave a message you have lost because now I
 have to deal with it.  A recording is actually worse than a call.  I can r
ecognize a crap call in a couple of seconds.  The recording takes some time
 just to get into.  


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es
tion
 to
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People put money into many products that never make it to market.  I think  
the statistic is 90% never pay off.  So investment is no indication of a "g
ood" idea.  What you say is "my opinion" is not opinion at all.  You are ta
lking about land lines and being called during diner.  That's not even 20 y
ears old, that's more like 40 years old.  


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.

Do you not understand your own statements?  You seem to have lost context.  
 Go back and read your prior statements.  


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ly
 it
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't  
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pert
self
e not

That's my point although "any scheme" is not accurate.  I can prevent all s
pam phone calls by not having a phone.  


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n

Ok, so expempt the government from paying the fee.  How is that a problem??
?  I don't get spam from the Police.  


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Not sure what that even means.  Are you suggesting the government will sell
 phone service to spammers?  That's a government that will be out of office
 rather quickly.  


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That's a rather large leap.  Mandating a charge that is pushed through the  
phone system on each and every call is not really subject to "tinkering".  
Here in the US we call that theft and in the end someone gets stuck with th
e bill.  That someone will definitely take action to prevent it and that is
 the point.  The phone company is very good at regulating their network...  
it's not open.  You have to pay to be connected and I'm not just talking ab
out the subscriber level.  

Ultimately it may require an international agreement, but I think the exist
ing regulations provide for this.  The US can impose a $0.10 fee to any cal
ling party for the cost of connecting a call.  The other phone systems will
 push that back to their subscribers through any intermediaries required un
til ultimately it either is paid by the spammers who can't afford it or by  
their service providers who also can't afford it and in each case go out of
 business rapidly.  They can't just spring up like eBay vendors because the
y would be required to provide a bond or deposit so the provider doesn't ge
t stuck with the bill.  

Not complex, no hacking into phones, just a simple regulatory requirement a
nd no more spam other than selling million dollar homes to billionaires, bu
t they don't often call me.  I do get calls from people wanting to buy my h
ouse.  They are some of the more entertaining spammers.  I can run them rag
ged getting many calls back.  Once they think you are a possibility, they d
on't want to let go.  They like to start off by saying they are calling to  
make you an offer, but then always ask me how much I want.  Then it's all o
n them to stand by that statement and make me an offer. lol  

The only real question is what to do with the money collected?  I think it  
should be only used for schools.  No one argues against funding schools...  
or maybe roads.  


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D
do
 be
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mers
ad of
there
m.

Of course not.  You aren't even on their radar yet.  

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A robodialer makes that many calls in a day!!!  Actual robodialers probably
 operate on many calls at one time through a PBX like interface so thousand
s of calls per hour.  

You would have to change their hit rate by 10x at least to be noticed.  The
n they would investigate, find your information and learn how you work.  Th
ey would quickly develop methods of attacking your system by... attacking y
our customers repeatedly while exploring solutions.  


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- the
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es??

Your system has some advantages.  But I bet if it becomes at all common the
y require that you allow political election calls through!  You may be requ
ired to white list their numbers and then you have a wide open door for spa
mmers!!!  


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d the
 to
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 and
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The point is your app has significant resource needs and that will always b
e on top of whatever else the user is doing!  So now every time a spammer c
alls their other software starts dragging and hiccuping.  You may think thi
s fades into the background, but I assure you it will be recognized and rep
orted.  


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The phone doesn't stress the general processor.  Don't you know anything ab
out phone technology?  They have dedicated resources on a phone CPU to deal
 with the signal processing, etc.  The phone app is not a complex piece of  
software.  


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You really need to learn about phones and what they do.  So how will your s
oftware run on the 2 core phone?  Will it only be available to people who b
uy $1000 phones?  


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ed
ore

Again, you are pointing out how your app won't be able to work.  But you st
ill haven't learned enough about how phones work.  How many phone apps are  
their on phones?  I mean phone apps that answer the phone and deal with all
 the low level phone stuff that you will need access to?  What will it take
 to replace the phone app with your app?  Have you checked to see if the ph
one companies will even let you do that?  


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year
on't

You keep making the same mistake confusing the GP processor with a phone.  
You could ask how a cordless phone makes a call.  It's about as relevant.
  


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ged
,
tery
ttery
this?

I know my phone loses charge much faster when on the phone than when off.  
Your app will essentially answer EACH AND EVERY call to find out who is the
re.  My calls don't even get answered unless I feel like dueling with the s
pammers.  So yes, your app will suck phone batteries dry much faster than w
ithout answering all those calls.  


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ature

That's because I actually understand something about phones which you seem  
to lack.  I don't need to measure the MIPS of your app to know it will suck
 power.  EVERYTHING running on the processor and especially using the phone
 as a phone draws extra power than the idle current when the screen is off  
and the RF circuits are idling and the CPU is coasting.  

Do you at lease know what the term "talk time" means?  Check out the term "
standby time" and get back to me.  No, don't get back to me because there w
ill be many other obstacles you don't even know are there.  

It's not so much that you can't get past any one of these obstacles.  The p
roblem is you don't even know they are there.  Most inventions and startups
 fail because of problems they don't know about, not the ones they know abo
ut at the start.  Often it's not any one problem, it's the sheer number of  
them.  I'm seeing that right now on a ventilator project.  I don't want to  
run it (not that I'm really qualified either) but they are sailing on the T
itanic and they don't even know the icebergs are there.  They keep bouncing
 from one iceberg to the next as they come into view.  We are pretty far al
ong but I still only give them a 25% chance of making it because they have  
literally no idea of the issues beyond the technical ones.  


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t
n

I literally don't give a durn about your white list.  Your basic premise is
 flawed that you can recognize spammers and they won't be able to adapt.  T
hey have already come a long way which is why you feel a need for this prod
uct.  They aren't done yet and once they adapt to your product it will be r
educed to a white/black list device.  


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That's your failing.  The problems are not technology based.  The problems  
are that your technology isn't any better than the technology the spammers  
can also and presently use which you have not addressed even once.  


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You are showing a complete ignorance of how phones work and then tell me I  
don't understand the technology.  You need to learn about phone batter use  
which is the single biggest issue when designing a phone.  Any app that wre
cks that is doomed.  


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I never said that.  I said that what YOU have described will fail as a prod
uct.  You also don't realize the hurdles that will be required to jump to g
et onto a phone in the way you describe.  You should get a thorough underst
and of that before you do anything else in your development since it will p
otentially impact every part of your "thing".  


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Yes, that is exactly how I feel.  

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The typical response when someone can't actually make a valid argument.  So
rry you are spending so much time on something that is very unlikely to suc
ceed.  

--  

  Rick C.

  --+- Get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging
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Re: "intelligent" telephone answering machine
On 10/24/20 4:36 PM, Don Y wrote:
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Be mindful that "Interactive Voice Response" can mean multiple different  
things.

I've used IVRs that are simply "interactive" as in they "respond" to key  
presses with a "voice" recording.  Or "interactively (a recorded) voice  
responds (to your key presses)".

I've also used IVRs that actually apply voice recognition and try to  
suss out words / phrases.  I find these to be extremely annoying, if not  
actually irritating.



--  
Grant. . . .
unix || die

Re: "intelligent" telephone answering machine
On 10/24/2020 6:10 PM, Grant Taylor wrote:
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We routinely interact with systems that request "a few words about what you
are calling about" (I had to confirm receipt of a new credit card, yesterday,
without talking to anyone).  They work well because they expect to operate in
reasonably limited vocabularies -- you're unlikely to ask for "help purchasing
waterskis for your aardvark!"  When you think about it, it's a multiple choice
question with very many possible "keys" mapping to each "choice".

[Though I know many folks who regularly use unconstrained speech recognition
with a reasonably high degree of accuracy!  And, that's not to mention Alexa,
Siri, etc.]

If you know ahead of time what the caller is likely to say (e.g., one of
several one-time passwords that you've issued), then you can greatly
improve the recognition accuracy.  An "uncooperative" caller just wastes
his (and your) time getting nothing for their efforts.  (if that's your
goal, why not just constantly keep redialing the number all day long??)

[And, you can always fall back on, "I'm sorry, I didn't understand you.
Could you please repeat that?"]

Re: "intelligent" telephone answering machine
Ricketty C wrote:
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* For what i see, it is extremely useful via a machine i specified.

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* Nope.

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