Category Archives: JollyRogerTelephone

Best Telecom Easter Egg in a TV Show – Amazon’s “Reacher”

The winner for best telecom Easter egg in a show is – Reacher!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m always on the lookout for real telephone numbers in TV shows and movies. So I was delighted to find five telephony Easter Eggs in the new show “Reacher” on Amazon.

At one point, the police detective holds up a scrap of paper with a real telephone number on it. Of course I paused and called it right away.

I was treated to someone’s voicemail. I was asked to leave a message, but there was no beep and the call hung up. Sure enough – in the next scene we found out who this was, but it allowed us to be one step ahead of the investigation!

Much later, we saw the rest of the note, which contained three more valid numbers!

Each of these numbers ties into the story. Two of them are voiced by characters that never actually make an appearance in the show. Do they get credit for appearing in Reacher? There’s no mention in IMDB.

And finally at the end, we get a tender scene with a telephone number hand-off. This one, like the others, is tantalizingly obviously supposed to be called by us, the viewer.

This time I waited until the end of the show before calling it, and it was like a sweet post-credit scene. Well done, Amazon!

If Amazon changes these scenes, or if they’ve disconnected the numbers by the time you read this, or if you are not in the US and do not want to incur international telecom fees, here is the audio associated with each of these numbers:






The “rate centers” of the telephone numbers match the story line, so someone knew what they were doing. I checked the callerid name for these numbers, and three of them say “SKYDANCE”, which is the name of the production company for Reacher. It appears that Skydance has a great telecommunications consultant on this! Whoever you are, we appreciate you!

On an interesting side note, Amazon has recently released a telecommunications product called Amazon Connect for call centers. From the information I could find, I don’t think these numbers are part of Amazon connect. So Skydance Media is paying some monthly fee to host these numbers somewhere. Hopefully indefinitely.

The carrier associated with three of these numbers match the carrier for the telephone number in Don’t Look Up – ONVOY LLC. It could be Onvoy is a partner of Twilio. Peerless is the carrier for the remaining two. They are also a large business-to-business carrier and likely a partner with Twilio. I only mention Twilio because they’re the go-to place for telephone number hosting. But the telecom team at Skydance could be hosting it themselves – perhaps using this as another point of engagement with their productions. I sure hope so! And perhaps they should let people leave messages so we could express our appreciation!

So, to the Skydance telecom team – we salute you! I’m sure there’s a great story behind this. I’d love to hear it if you’re able to talk about it. If you’re a big telecom geek like me, you’re hoping someone noticed these hidden gems and you’re occasionally searching Google for mention of them. Please respond! We’ve noticed and we’re huge fans!

For reference, and to help the Skydance team find this posting, here’s the public North American Numbering Plan information for these five numbers as of 2022-02-13:

Information about number 12294743308:
LRN: 12298008993
State: GA
Ratecenter: ALBANY
LATA: 444
OCN: 067D
Company: ONVOY, LLC – GA
Prefix_Type: CLEC

Information about number 16465685111:
LRN: 19143509900
State: NY
Ratecenter: CHAPPAQUA
LATA: 132
OCN: 155E
Prefix_Type: CLEC

Information about number 19016540115:
LRN: 19012030000
State: TN
Ratecenter: MEMPHIS
LATA: 468
OCN: 276F
Prefix_Type: CLEC

Information about number 16093372601:
LRN: 18569550993
State: NJ
Ratecenter: CAMDEN
LATA: 222
OCN: 637C
Company: ONVOY, LLC – NJ
Prefix_Type: CLEC

Information about number 12297858132:
LRN: 12299222993
State: GA
Ratecenter: FITZGERALD
LATA: 444
OCN: 067D
Company: ONVOY, LLC – GA
Prefix_Type: CLEC


Roger speaks at TEDx Naperville about disrupting the telemarketing industry!

Way back in July of 2014, I wrote about how I stopped telemarketing at my house. Little did I know that my efforts to combat and disrupt unsolicited telemarketers would eventually lead to me giving a TEDx talk about it!

Some of you may know that, in an effort to stop telemarketing, I created a robot to talk to them. It’s an interesting story and I posted some audio at the beginning of 2016. My story was picked up by Gizmodo on February 1, 2016 and things got really crazy from there.

Anyway, Fast forward to November 4, 2016 and I find myself on stage at TEDxNaperville in Illinois speaking in front of about 500 people at a beautiful venue. I’ve never spoken in front of a crowd like that, and it was amazing.

Don’t get me wrong – as a phone guy, I love call centers. But as a phone guy I also love the telephone network. The Public Switched Telephone Network has been around for about 140 years and it is crushed under the burden of unsolicited telemarketing. Blocking doesn’t work. Their predictive dialers simply call the next sucker. I think the only solution (short of abandoning the entire network) is the Jolly Roger Telephone Company. Here is me story about how I’m disrupting the scammers, spammers, and crooks, which make up most of the unsolicited telemarketing industry.

By the way, this goes for cold callers too. If your business is struggling to handle cold callers (ask your receptionists, Investor Relations team, or any admins for your CxOs) then I also have a solution for you. It’s called a Biz-Bot and it will handle all your pesky cold callers for all your employees.

But anyway, here is the talk!

How I stopped one hundred percent of all telemarketers.

At the beginning of 2014, I got an aggressive telemarketer call at my house. Like most people, I really hate telemarketing calls so I let my 13-year-old son take the call. Well, my son said the caller said something really rude but he didn’t really hear. At that point, I said “hey, I’m a telephone guy. I should be able to stop this.” So I did.

Being a telephone guy, I cannot imagine NOT having a landline at home. I have AT&T U-Verse so it’s not like I have old-school POTS service anyway, but I like my home telephone numbers and don’t want to disconnect them. And hey, this was all an experiment anyway. So I got a new telephone number from a SIP provider and forwarded my home line to it, then via that SIP provider I routed it to my Asterisk server at a cloud provider. Then I added an Analog Terminal Adapter at home and plugged my home cordless phone into that. So I’m kinda like a Vonage or any other VoIP provider now. Incoming calls come into the SIP provider, then my Asterisk server, and then to my house via the ATA. Outgoing calls go out my Asterisk server then to my SIP provider. Pretty basic stuff. Yes, I tested 911.

Then I created a “white list” inbound app on Asterisk where all incoming callers get a greeting “hey, if you’re a real person press a digit and you’ll ring through to my house. If you don’t press a button, you’ll go to voicemail”. If a caller presses a button, their caller-id is added to the “white list” and rings to my house. From then on, that caller-id is allowed. After each call, I get an email with the caller-id and caller-id name of the caller, along with what happened to the call (e.g. rang through, went to voicemail, or hungup). It worked perfectly. It turns out that in the last six months, 100{0ed28e3470e974017c124b0897303dd14e34b5245564abb28916e7d48d9b07c0} of telemarketers are using predictive dialers; their machine thinks it got an answering machine and simply calls back later.

So on the email notification, I added a link to let me set the “disposition” of the caller-id next time. For friends, relatives, vendors, service providers, schools, etc, I can grant access next time. For obvious telemarketers (“SUN SOLAR”, “ELITE SERVICES”, etc), I can reject the call completely (“I’m sorry, your call did not go through”).

Sweet relief! It’s my telephone again! Now when the phone rings, I know it’s a real person and probably want to talk to him or her. I figured some telemarketers would punch through occasionally, but they don’t. I’ve stopped them all.

But here’s where it got interesting. I kept getting repeated calls from the same numbers – sometimes four within one minute. I get calls from particular numbers every night at about the same time. I got calls from fake numbers like “10000000000” or “16261346229”. That last one may not be obvious, but the first digit of an office code cannot be a 0 or 1. There’s no possible telephone number 134-6229 in the 626 area code. Now that my number is “protected”, I could even call the valid numbers back without worrying about tipping them off. When I did, I would get “Thank you for calling back. To be removed from our list…” or sometimes I would get a home-made “your call cannot be completed as dialed” message. Or sometimes just a fast busy or dead-air then disconnect. Obvious telemarketers.

So great, I’m blocking telemarketers and none are getting through, but I’m not causing them pain. I’m just blocking their dialing machine with my blocking machine. What if I send telemarketers to a greeting that says “hello” a few times, then tells them to hang on? Would that cause the predictive dialer to cut the agent through to me? If so, it would at least burn some “human time” and cost the telemarketing company some money, right? I tried it, and this was the result:

Not bad! I wasted 41 seconds of her time! So clearly I can get my telephone system to fool the predictive dialer into thinking it found a real person. I figured if I could combine some “detect noise” and “detect silence” algorithms into this thing, could I keep them on the phone longer? And how would I do it without any kind of speech recognition? Could I really keep a telemarketer on the phone just by detecting noise and silence? It turns out I could:

I really have to say thanks to Sofia for this call. Ironically, I listened more closely to Sofia’s pitch (and so have my friends) than if I had just hung up on her at the beginning. But anyway, this gave me the confidence to build a more elaborate parrot. At this point, I have collected several dozen calls of various entertaining quality. I will post them individually. I hope you enjoy. Perhaps next post about this subject, I’ll get a bit more technical how the algorithm works.