The issue of who can access information stored on your electronic devices has become increasingly controversial in the last year, with authorities obtaining search warrants to unlock smartphones for everyone in an office building, courts ruling that police can force smartphone users to give up their devices’ passcodes, and federal lawmakers trying to force weakened encryption on consumers. Now, police investigating a homicide are hoping to get a look under the hood of Amazon’s Echo speaker to see if its virtual “Alexa” assistant might have recorded evidence of a murder. [More]
When Microsoft announced last month that its Xbox One would have the ability to provide users with live over-the-air content from local broadcast networks, the company said the new feature would allow viewers to pause the action for up to 30 minutes. But a half-hour just isn’t a lot of time for today’s busy TV watcher, which is probably why the company is reportedly looking to add a DVR feature to the console [More]
Although eMusic is a great service—for a flat monthly fee, you get a set number of downloads per month of DRM-free music tracks—it’s about to get better. Or maybe worse, depending on the breadth of your musical tastes. Today eMusic will announce that Sony is adding its back catalog of songs to eMusic’s library. The bad news is that eMusic also plans to slightly raise prices and/or drop the number of downloads per month. Even if it works out to between 50-60 cents per track, though, that’s still far less than iTunes Music Store or Amazon, and probably the cheapest way to grab music from Sony artists without resorting to piracy.
Kieffe and Sons, a California Ford dealership, decided for some reason to launch a radio ad attacking non-Christians and people who believe that prayer shouldn’t be in public schools. Audio and transcript of the ad, inside.
Kapil’s brand new Blackberry arrived with a battery that won’t charge. He wants T-Mobile to exchange it, but he says T-Mobile wants to replace it with a refurbished Blackberry instead of a new model. Kapil is fighting back, but even at the executive support level all he’s found are rude, uncooperative T-Mobile employees who keep saying there’s a process, and that someone will call him back—which never happens. Kapil refused to hang up on the fourth day and demanded to know what happens next after nobody calls back, which seemed to confuse and anger the T-Mobile rep he was speaking with. And for those of you who can’t listen in, we’ve transcribed some of the juiciest parts.
Update: Cablevision responds.
Thanks to the demands of movie studios, as of April 15th any pay-per-view movies you record to your DirecTV DVR will disappear after 24 hours. [DirecTV] Thanks to Mark!
Chris went ahead and added some animal pictures to make a video of that phone call between a scammer and a Southern gentleman. A weasel plays the Indian phisher, a houndog plays the gentleman, and a goose plays his wife. Go back to the post and watch it, it’s even funnier than the original.
–> A man in Virginia who apparently likes to record suspicious phone calls captured a very funny 10-minute talk with the world’s clumsiest phisher who called his house trying to get his bank account number. His local news station reports, “Howard says he recorded it because he wanted to help people by putting it on the news.”
Sony has agreed to sell its songs DRM-free on the Amazon MP3 store, completing the set—now all four big record companies are on board. It’s amazing how a little iTunes competitiveness will bring a bunch of executives together.
Here’s the strange, sad tale of Short-Tempered Tim at New World Video Direct in Brooklyn, NY. When Nicholas called NWVDirect a week or so ago with questions about an extended warranty for his new plasma TV, he got terse answers from a generally unhelpful man on the other end. The call was abruptly disconnected. Undaunted, Nicholas called back and got the same man, so he asked to speak to a supervisor, which is when things started to spiral out of control at the NWVDirect call center.
One important tool in dealing with companies is customer’s ability to record customer service calls, but many wonder if it’s legal or not. Well, until a company actually takes someone to court for doing it, we’ll never know for certain. However, we can look to the state by state wiretapping laws for guidance. Let’s begin.
RecordMyCalls is a super-easy way to record your customer service calls. Just sign up, call their 1-800 number, then call the number on which you wish your call to be recorded. After the call is over, the recording is immediately available on the site for review, downloading, and sharing. The main drawback is that it will cost you a $4.95/month or $9.95/month subscription plan, with recording rates of 20 cents and 15 cents per minute, respectively. We personally prefer using Skype + HotRecorder but for lazy people or those with no technical aptitude or really need to record a call and are aware from their “base” computer, RecordMyCalls is a viable option.
Me: [Laugh] Thanks. Anyway, here’s what’s going on with me today…
Matt’s voicemail stopped working so he called up Cingular to get it fixed, and while he was there he had them check out the rest of his account to make sure everything was ok, but they found something disturbing.