Banana Phone

The Monday Morning Three-Minute-Hate is a time to remember all those things that make life worse, Once you’ve got through poverty, war and injustice, and the way the alarm clock makes you feel, you’re likely to start to dwell on other stuff.

Like those silent robotic telemarketing calls.

I had an email this morning that made the Three-Minute-Hate last a mere two and a half minutes. Alex Ruiz has used a Raspberry Pi to make a really neat tool to stop automated calls, while still providing support to allow through any legitimate automated calls, like those from the emergency services or (eek) charities (I promise that the Raspberry Pi Foundation will never, ever place a marketing call to you, automated or otherwise). Alex says:

I recently submitted a solution for a government initiative here in the USA to stop those pesky automated telemarketing phone calls. You can see the details here:

http://robocall.challenge.gov/

My solution was prototyped using a RPi and an off-the-shelf Analogue Telephone Adapter and it works great. Being an independent coder, the advantages the RPi presented as a development platform both in cost and flexibility made it an obvious choice for writing experimental phone software. Because of the low cost, I was able to successfully fund the development and beta distribution of units on my own. This helps enormously, as I can now claim that my solution is not theoretical and is working in a real business environment.

I was able to fully meet the criteria of the FTC’s challenge entirely.

And all of this was only possible with the RPi.

Again, I cant thank you guys enough for this wonderful piece of hardware and the personal attachment I’ve grown for it. This device showed me my own potential as a developer and for that, I am very grateful.

Here’s video of the Banana Phone in action. I love the big grins plastered all over Alex and his friend when their demo goes off without a hitch.

Thanks Alex – and good luck in the competition!

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