telephone

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Here's How to Make Being on Hold Less Infuriating

Companies should play pop tunes, not elevator music: study

(Newser) - No one likes being on hold, and the elevator music that typically plays while you cool your heels doesn't enhance the experience. Fortunately, a new study is suggesting a solution, Time reports: Just change the music. We're already conditioned to find elevator music annoying, researcher Karen Niven says.... More »

Why You're Still Plagued by Robocalls

And how to deal with them

(Newser) - Why do telemarketers keep pestering you, long after you signed up for the federal "Do Not Call" list? First of all, you're certainly not alone, Consumerist reports: "If this were a disease, it would be an epidemic," says a consumer advocate. The Federal Trade Commission gets... More »

Wrong Number Saves Man's Life

Woman heard struggle, called police

(Newser) - With a blood clot threatening his life, a British man reached for the phone and dialed the wrong number—but as wrong numbers go, this was the right one. Hearing heavy breathing and moaning, the woman who picked up initially believed she was the victim of a prank call. But... More »

Italy Stewing Over Bain's Tax-Free Phone Deal

Mitt Romney's company sold phone company for $1B profit

(Newser) - Good thing Mitt Romney ducked Italy on his European tour; Italians aren't too thrilled with him right now. That's because Romney's Bain Capital played a key role in acquiring a phone-directory company from the Italian government and selling it for a $1 billion profit at the height... More »

Qantas Puts Caller on Hold ... All Night

Says he waited 15 hours for response

(Newser) - When an Australian businessman called up his national airline at 7:22pm on Wednesday, an automated message told him an operator would be with him "as soon as possible." But no one ever picked up; instead, he stayed on the line until 11:01am the next morning and... More »

Woman Calls Ex 65K Times

...in a single year

(Newser) - Fatal Attraction, much? A 42-year-old Dutch woman apparently had a very, very hard time letting go of her former boyfriend ... or his phone number. Prosecutors claim she called him 65,000 times in the last year, and are charging her with stalking. Spaced over 365 days, that's 178 calls... More »

'Sensual' Phones Kiss, Cuddle

Don't hang up on me, baby

(Newser) - Here's a cellphone that's got your number. In pursuit of more "emotional" and "sensory" phones, a designer at the Berlin University of the Arts has come up with three different touchy-feelie models that will blow on your neck, coo, and even kiss, reports the Los Angeles ... More »

New Phone Etiquette: Don't Call Anyone

Phones are so smart now, we've stopped calling altogether

(Newser) - Smartphones are the most important accessories in our lives, good for doing just about anything—except actually calling people, writes Pamela Paul in the New York Times . In fact, phone use in general is way down over the past five years, reports Paul, so much so that when her phone... More »

Why I Love My Land Line

Because I can actually talk on it

(Newser) - That smartphone can text, email, navigate, surf, organize, amuse, and waste time indefinitely. But the one thing it sucks at? Actual phone calls, writes Stephen Randall in an LA Times requiem for the land line, which "sits like a weird dusty antique on my desk. It won't let me... More »

Call Centers Return to US, With a Twist

More companies hire trained operators to work from home

(Newser) - It’s still not as cheap as outsourcing to India or the Philippines, but US companies are increasingly choosing homegrown telephone operators to handle their customer service needs. The trend is fueled by the advent of “phonesourcing” or “homesourcing,” which uses linkups to allow trained operators to... More »

Why Talking on the Phone Stinks

The pleasantries, the epic goodbyes make conversation totally lame

(Newser) - Though you'll have to pry the smartphone out of most Americans' cold, dead hands, there are plenty of reasons why those gadgets are good: They allow you to communicate in so many ways other than talking. The Oatmeal illustrates (literally) 10 good reasons why talking on the phone sucks:
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'TigerText' iPhone App Bails Out Philanderers

App automatically deletes text—or sext—message trail

(Newser) - Tiger Woods probably wishes he’d had TigerText, a new iPhone app that automatically deletes sensitive text messages and cleans up cellphone call records. When a user sends a TigerText, it resides on the company’s servers. After the recipient reads the message, the system deletes it immediately, 5 days... More »

O'Keefe: The Media Are Picking on Me!

Was at Landrieu's office, 'could have used a different approach'

(Newser) - James O’Keefe says he did not try to bug Mary Landrieu’s phone, and reports saying he did are false. In a lengthy statement on Andrew Breitbart’s Big Journalism blog railing against the media, the conservative activist acknowledges a "visit" to the senator's office and says, "... More »

Straighten Out Your Finances in 2010

Some simple moves can net $1K or more

(Newser) - On the eve of the first serious workday of the New Year, take a hard look at your finances and see where you can cut back in 2010. A relatively small investment in time can result in some serious savings, Kathy Kristof writes for the Los Angeles Times :
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Hold Music Improves, But Slowly

(Newser) - We may have Erik Satie to blame for hold music—the composer “developed a very cynical attitude” toward a distracted listening public and decided modern music would be more like a chair than an intellectual pursuit—but the science behind it is state-of-the-art, Newsweek reports. Studies on the intrusion... More »

Voicemail Is So Over

System too slow in faster-paced world

(Newser) - After some 25 years of popularity, voicemail has become merely an annoyance for many, the Boston Globe reports. "What I really hate are the soliloquies," says a time-crunched user. But the long-winded are only part of the problem, experts say; the real culprit is the rise of texting.... More »

Too Many Phone Numbers? Google Can Help

Promising new free service handles access to all your devices

(Newser) - One phone number for home, two more for work, another for your mobile—Google Voice aims to change that. The new free service, which gives you one internet-based number that dials all your phones, "will take years to reach its full potential," but it looks promising, Hiawatha Bray... More »

Police Hunt Silicon Valley Phone Vandals

50K lose service in attack that highlights systems' vulnerability

(Newser) - Authorities in Silicon Valley are hunting for saboteurs who cut fiber-optic telecom cables, leaving more than 50,000 customers—including police and hospitals—in parts of three counties without phone and internet service, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Ten cables were severed, crippling 911 operations, cellphone service, and businesses depending... More »

Skype Could Hit iPhone as Soon as Next Week

Voice-over-IP firm may announce its client at CTIA Wireless

(Newser) - Skype is putting the finishing touches on a version of its VoIP client for the iPhone, and may debut it as soon as an industry conference next week, GigaOm reports. Skype is looking to the mobile market to keep growing as its PC usage starts to plateau. Skype already offers... More »

Skype Rolls Out New Biz Service

Internet calling company aims to boost revenue

(Newser) - Internet calling company Skype is introducing new software for businesses that lets workers on corporate phone systems make calls using regular office phones instead of computer headsets, the Wall Street Journal reports. Domestic and international calls to cellphones and landlines will start at 2.1 cents a minute, and computer-... More »

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