stupid idea of the day

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From: John Klassa (
Date: Thu Sep 21 2000 - 08:02:45 PDT

Maybe this already exists...

After installing the spam blocker at and
being delighted that it's filtering out a *lot* of crap (though I *am*
getting a few false-positives), I got to thinking...

Somebody should produce a little box that plugs into your phone line.
The box would have caller ID circuitry in it... Each incoming phone
call would have its number checked against an internal database of known
telemarketers. If the call is from such a source, it's blocked -- your
phone doesn't even ring (or, better yet, it answers the phone and says
"hello" a couple of times to get their auto-dialer to hand off to a
real person, and then plays a recording of your choice that tells the
telemarketer to go away, leave you alone and never call back).

You sign up for a year's service at $19.95 a month, and you get the box
for free. Your box calls the home office periodically to grab a new
list of phone numbers to block. The box would have a few options --
like what should happen to calls that come from numbers that are blocked
(i.e. let them through, or block them, or auto-answer with a message
that explains why they're blocked).

Something like this must already exist...

John Klassa /

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