Monthly archives: March, 2018

Jolly Roger pirates have moved to Digital Ocean!

What better place for the Jolly Roger than “Digital Ocean”, right?

All Jolly Roger services have moved to I did not select this host based upon its name. It turns out they have a really nice virtual machine infrastructure that is extremely easy to use. The name is a bonus.

It was an AMAZING amount of work to move everything. What started as a goofy hobby in 2013 has become a very complicated service that spans multiple dedicated servers. There are over 1 million(!) telephone records and almost a terabyte of storage that had to be moved. Anyway, it’s done now and everything should work EXACTLY the same as it always has. I am writing this post on a Sunday night. March 25th, 2018. If your service is acting differently or you’re having any troubles at all, then please get in touch with me through so we can get you all fixed up!

Thank you everyone for your love, kindness, and support through this crazy voyage! This new infrastructure is necessary for the web site that we’re about to launch for you! I’m so excited for you to see it!



Alas, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act may be dead

The TCPA was supposed to be this great thing that allowed us to sue telemarketers if they violated a bunch of rules. Of course, it didn’t seem to do much. I don’t know – perhaps telemarketing in 2018 would be worse without it, but telemarketing is still seems pretty bad!

Anyway, the TCPA provided an extremely vague definition of “automatically dialing” a number and a trade organization (of debt collectors!) successfully argued the clause should be overturned.

So, this may make the whole TCPA completely toothless, but I wasn’t holding out hope anyway. I did hear from a Jolly Roger subscriber who successfully sues telemarketers all the time. He said the TCPA was created to allow us, the consumer, to sue telemarketers and it was supposed to cause “death by a thousand cuts” to the telemarketing industry. Of course, we have learned that it’s a tough beast to kill. My subscriber described the process, and I suppose it’s easy (and profitable!) once you’ve done it a couple times.

Those of use hoping the government or telecom industry will help are disappointed again. They’re working on it, but it’s a huge industry and extremely difficult to change.

In the meantime, the Jolly Roger bots are here to help. Imagine a bunch of door-to-door salesmen wandering around your neighborhood. The Jolly Roger bots are like pretend homeowners out front working in the yard. When a door-to-door salesman comes to your house, the Jolly Roger bot intercepts them and chats them up for a while. You are inside and not bothered, and the salesman is tied up, which helps your neighbor. Heck, the neighbor at the end of the street may not even get a visit because the salesmen ran out of time. It’s like that, except with pirates. And bees. Oh, and sometimes blood.

Thanks for listening, everyone!



Telemarketer talks to a bot having a REALLY bad day

Hello all!

This call is between a “heating and air” scammer and a Jolly Roger bot named Barbarossa. If any of you have heard Barbarossa before, he’s not a particularly sympathetic bot. But this incarnation of Barbarossa somehow manages to sound like such a sad sack, that this telemarketer starts to feel sorry for him. And he’s a little amused.

I know we all love it when these robots frustrate and anger the telemarketers. Heck, telemarketers frustrate and anger us, so it’s payback time, right? But I also like to post some of the calls that amuse and entertain the telemarketers. It’s just as effective (we’re all trying to waste their time, right?)

These “heating and air” scammers pitch a too-good-to-be-true furnace inspection for super-cheap. They often claim they’ve been to your house before and “it’s time” to schedule the next inspection. If you follow them down the rabbit hole, they eventually ask for your credit card to hold the appointment. It is possible that this particular telemarketer doesn’t realize he is working for a scammer. He sounds like a nice enough guy. Or perhaps he is just working for a lead-generation company and will simply sell your contact info to other heating and air companies.

Regardless, this Jolly Roger bot wasted some time and now this telemarketer has an interesting story about a really bad day.

Thanks for listening! Roger

Podcast Episode 18 has been posted!

Note: As I post this episode, I realize that I did not finish episode 17! Unfortunately, I already mentioned the episode number a couple times in the audio, so I just went with it. I’ll get episode 17 posted soon.

In this episode, I talk about some recent enhancements to the Jolly Roger bot algorithm as well as some new tricks to keep telemarketers engaged longer. I play a couple calls and some snips that are new. And I talk about the new web site that we’re very close to launching!

Thank you so much, everyone!