So your phone rings. You check to see if you know the number, but you don’t. For a second you have a quick internal debate. Should you answer it? You’re not expecting any calls, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important. Maybe it’s a family emergency and someone is calling from the hospital. Maybe it’s work related. Maybe it’s a lawyer calling to tell you that a rich, heretofore unknown uncle has died, left you all of his money, and you never have to work another day in your life. That would be a call worth answering, right?
But it’s never something great, and odd are it’ll be one of those annoying robocallers on the other end, pleading with you to stay on the line for some super-important nonsense. These make up the bulk of my incoming calls, and they are annoying as hell. Now you can help stop this public nuisance, and collect one hell of a cash prize for your efforts.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is staging a contest challenging the more technologically savvy among us to come up with a way to block robocalls. Many of these calls are illegal, and the FTC is seeking a way to crack down on these prerecorded sales pitches. Check out the Robocall Challenge website for the official rules.
In order to qualify, your solution has to block calls on both landlines and cell phones, and can be either technological in nature or more practical. If you come up with the best answer, you can walk away with $50,000. That’s nothing to scoff at. And you could sleep well at night knowing that you’ve made life a little better for a lot of people, and that you’ve struck a blow for humanity against the impending robot takeover.