Neil Schemenauer's Web Log


May 07, 2005

Housing bubble?

Andrew Kuchling has some interesting links on his diary page. Personally, I think there is a bubble and that the end is near. A good indication of a bubble is a large number of speculative investors. I believe the housing market has this. The reason I think the end is near is because interest only loans are on the rise. From there, it seems leaders and borrowers have nowhere left to go. Things will probably hover on the edge of the cliff for a while, until the interest rate starts to rise. Once that happens it could get ugly pretty fast. The cynic in me sees this as another way that weath in the US is being concentrated into fewer and fewer hands.

May 06, 2005

Telemarketers suck

Telemarketers have been annoying me for the last few months. They call my Fido mobile phone with an automated dialler that has an automated voice message. It starts out something like This is not a sales call. This is a very important call.. They then provide a phone number to call back and some sort of tracking number. I did a little investigation and found that they are probably a mortgage broker and are not inside Canada. They have been calling my phone every few days. Often they will leave a voice message which I have to waste time deleting.

A few days ago I decided to try the SIT trick. The idea is to prefix your regular voice message with a SIT and that will cause the telemarketer's automated dialler to hang up, maybe even mark your number as out of service. I searched around a bit but couldn't find a good quality tone. I found a Cisco manual that provided SIT specifications and created my own audio file. I generated the vacant circuit tone:

  1. 985.2 Hz for 380 ms
  2. 1370.6 Hz for 274 ms
  3. 1776.7 Hz for 380 ms

I left about a 3 second gap between the SIT and my regular voicemail greeting. I was worried that the quality may not be good enough but it seems to have worked. I got about two calls after adding the SIT that did not provide Caller-ID information. I sent them both to voicemail instead of answering. Since then I haven't got any telemarketing calls. I would provide the audio file but I seem to have deleted it. It can be easily generated using Audacity.