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In a search industry where most of the major players are focused on machine learning, artificial intelligence and developing increasingly sophisticated algorithms, it’s unusual to come across a company which sets out to do the exact opposite.

Enter Digle, the ‘people-powered’ search platform. One part Yahoo Answers, one part classifieds, and two parts gamified search engine, Digle has set out to buck the system of search and SEO by putting the power into the hands of people, not machines, to find and deliver results.

Source: Search Engine Watch

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Telcos have a responsibility to ensure third-party charges were approved by the customer, FCC says.

The Federal Communications Commission on Monday announced that AT&T must pay US$7.75 million to compensate customers for sham directory assistance services that it allowed to be charged to their phone bills.

Source: Total Telecom

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Whitepages wants to end robocalls and spam texts once and for all. The online phone directory is spinning off Hiya Inc., formerly known as Whitepages Caller ID, to do just that.

Hiya pulls from a database of 1.5 billion numbers to identify a person or a business for incoming and outgoing calls to help with address book management. The app also signals to a user if the call is from a spam number and lets users block those callers. Hiya also shares news about the latest phone scams.

The company has been built for the last few years out of Whitepages, but founder Alex Algard said he'd identified more opportunity for the company to grow if it split from the core business. Hiya Inc. will now operate separately, based in Seattle, to further build on its software and lock down more deals with wireless carriers and phone manufacturers. It will operate with 40 of the 160 employees at Whitepages, the majority of whom are engineers. 

Source: International Business Times

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Beyond digitising the directory

Few would have predicted 20 years ago that a printed Yellow Pages would ever be consigned to the scrap heap of history.

Fast forward to today via the advent of Google search, superfast (mobile) internet and multichannel customer engagement, and the paper business directory could conceivably be entering its last days as a means of mass marketing.

Enter Truvo, proprietor of Belgium’s Yellow Pages equivalent, Having relied on print for 70 percent of revenues in 2008, the company has fully embraced digitisation and is now driving forward its digital transformation plan to provide all SMEs with a multichannel marketing platform, also including partnerships with Google, Facebook and Yext. Such has been the sea change in the business, its digital offering now accounts for 80 percent of income. 

Source: Business Review Europe

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Imagine if you had to pay extra to not have anchovies on your pizza. Or to not have flames painted on the sides of your car. Crazy, right?

Yet the telecom industry for years has charged landline customers a monthly fee to not have their names listed in phone directories — a recurring fee for a service that isn't being provided and will continue to not be provided at the customer's request.

It's hard to imagine a more brazen consumer rip-off, especially at a time when most people struggle to reduce the volume of telemarketers and robocalls reaching their home.

That's why state lawmakers need to get behind AB 2795, a bill introduced by Assemblywoman Patty Lopez (D-San Fernando). It would prohibit phone service providers in California from charging a fee for unlisted numbers.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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