Remember Samantha West? That was the name of the most definitely recorded voice insisting that she was a real person on a telemarketing call about buying health insurance. And while there probably is no Ms. West sitting by the phone dialing up potential customers, she’s not exactly a robot, either. [More]
We’ve arrived at a whole new level of robocalling, and this time the robots don’t want us to know they’re robots. Did you just get a shiver down your spine, too? Shiver jinx! This particular telemarketer for a company hawking health insurance has her own name and a tinkle of laughter to go along with her denial of actually being a robot. [More]
While we’ve all got our eyes in the sky waiting for the robot revolution to start with Amazon (and burrito) drones, we must not be distracted by the threat on the ground. By threat I mean intelligent, walking, talking robots. Or more fittingly for Google, which quietly snapped up seven technology companies, androids. [More]
In what could be a breakthrough in foodservice technology or one of the most ill-advised ideas ever, a restaurant in London has begun using a miniature helicopter to bring food to customers’ tables. [More]
Because there’s nothing that old people love more than creepy, robotic Teddy bears, the folks at Fujitsu have created a companion for the elderly in the form of a bear that reacts to the emotions of the person in the room. [More]
Rob noticed something uncanny about this sign spinner advertising for a local jewelry store. He was drawn in by her defined features and lifeless gaze, and the expert way in which she moved the sign in the exact same motion every time. Upon closer inspection, he realized that she was no ordinary sign spinner, but an android! [More]
Money is tight in the federal government, so the Obama administration nixed a proposed $150 billion manned NASA flight back to the Moon. The backup plan: A robot who’s willing to make the trip for $450 million. [More]
A wacked-out debt collector robot left a weird message on one of our reader’s voicemail. Seems someone forgot to properly program its “Madlibs” file. Take a listen and you’ll see what we mean… [More]
Everyone knows robots with laser blasters will someday destroy and enslave humanity, but until now few realized they would take the form of slithery mechanical reptiles. [More]
Chase has these fancy new ATMs that take checks without envelopes. It scans the check and blah, blah, robots, science, a better tomorrow. The interesting thing about them is that reader Angela says that when the ATM makes an error, Chase mails the check back to you so that you, the customer, can take it to a branch bank and show it to a human being. Apparently, even though Chase already has the check in its possession — it cannot find a human being to read a check. [More]
This holiday season’s inexplicably hot toy, Zhu Zhu Pets, may be hazardous to your health. And not just because many parents stood outside in the cold for hours to get one. No, according to green ratings guide GoodGuide.com, the cuddly robot toys contain high levels of the substance antimony, which could be hazardous. [More]
Verizon’s customer service is operated by robots. Apparently, these robots are not too skilled at determining whether or not you are also a robot. This might be useful to know during the upcoming robot apocalypse (see this educational film about the subject,) but for reader Carlos it had no practical application. [More]
When you were a child, did you own a hamster? Did you say to yourself, “this pet is okay, but I wish it didn’t poop, bite, or sleep, and that it could skateboard and surf?” Well, envy the children of today.
First they pissed off Verizon, then they pissed off the internet, the attorney general of Indiana, and Congressmen Mike Doyle. Now the group of companies responsible for the car warranty robocalls have annoyed New York Senator Chuck Schumer by calling him during an important meeting about health care.
Sometimes”‘free” means “wow what a great bargain,” and sometimes it just mean worthless. CareerBuilder offers a free resume review on their site—enter your email address, upload your resume, and “we’ll email you the results of your free evaluation, including tips on writing a resume that will help you land the interview.” All it really does is collect your address so it can send you unsolicited email (we got spammed 30 minutes later), and your “review” is just a boilerplate page of generic advice.
Asta la vista, robo callers! As of December, all pre-recorded sales calls need to have a way for consumers to opt-out of their mailing lists, either by pressing a button or saying something.No doubt this will happen at the end of the call. So the good news is that you have a way to get off their list. The bad news is…
To promote its new line of HEATTECH innerware (that’s the new word for thermal underwear), UNIQLO will be giving out free samples of it in a “giant human vending machine” from 10AM-1PM in the middle of Times Square on November 18th. Intrigued by the concept of a giant human vending machine but befuddled about its execution, I engaged in parlay with their PR flak, with amusing and quirky results. So now, we bring you the first installment in our new series: Conversations With PR Flaks…