12.5.19 Stopping robocalls; Public pension problems; Deterring porch pirates
One recent study reports a record 5.7 billion robocalls were made in Oct. alone, up 25% from the month before. That translates into 182 million robocalls per day, or over 2 thousand per second. Experts predicts by year’s end, Americans will have received about 60 billion for the year. Phone companies make money from robocalls. The FCC is putting heat of telecom to address the problem by the end of the year. The industry solution – Shaken/Stir, could take years to meaningfully remedy the problem. Shaken/Stir will reduce robocalls at best but the problem will not go away. Filters like NoMoRobo can only block numbers known to be spam, while robocallers & scammers keep switching lines to get around filters, or commit spoofing.
Most workers don’t receive pensions anymore, except for many state and local employees, many of whom are underpaid. Generous pensions are promised in return for years of service. The Economist reports state and local pension plans are underfunded. Either pension promises will be broken or taxes will have to go up. The real solution is better pay for state and local workers and 401K plans like workers in the private sector. Underfunded pension don’t work for taxpayers or government workers.
About 1/4 of Christmas shopping is being done online.That means a massive number of packages circulating. Criminals are engaging in porch piracy on a scale never seen before. Many homeowners are putting in cameras. For theft prevention, several companies are selling connected package receiving boxes, accessed by delivery workers via one-time use codes, able to alert the owner to a delivery. The boxes can be at the street or at the front door. It’s become a burden for apartment and condo staffs to handle packages. Amazon is pushing their lockers in Whole Foods locations. Walmart and Target have package pickup. FedEx and UPS stores have pick up locations.
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