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Telephone Calls

June 2, 2006 | From Bloomberg News
In arguments before the California Supreme Court on Thursday, Citigroup Inc.'s Smith Barney brokerage unit defended tape-recording phone calls with California customers without their consent, saying the state's law requiring their approval doesn't apply in other states. Smith Barney said employees in Georgia who recorded conversations with Californians were bound only by Georgia law, which requires the consent of only one party.
May 12, 2006 | Ronald Brownstein and Maura Reynolds, Times Staff Writers
Since the first revelations about the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance, the struggle over information about the program has been as contentious as the debate over the wiretapping itself. For months, Democrats in Congress have accused the White House of stonewalling questions about the program and have charged that Republicans have failed to press hard enough for answers. Some GOP senators joined in the complaints that Congress had been left too much in the dark.
May 8, 2006 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
It started with a shocking phone call from a man in South Africa to a monkey expert at the San Diego Zoo: How much should he charge for young monkeys caught in the wild? To Karen Killmar, associate curator of mammals, the idea of selling monkeys was repellent. "In this profession, you get some strange calls, but this was a first," Killmar said, adding in a chilly tone, "We do not put a price tag on our animals." Still, Killmar was intrigued. She started asking the caller questions.
March 29, 2006 | From the Associated Press
A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) violated federal law by turning over an illegally taped telephone call to reporters nearly a decade ago. In a 2-1 opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia upheld a lower court ruling that McDermott violated the rights of Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), who was heard on the 1996 call involving then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).
March 27, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Two Internet telephone services debut today with unusual business approaches, hoping to stand out in an increasingly crowded market with intense price competition. Lycos, the Internet portal owned by Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica, is launching a Windows-based program that provides free calls to phones when the user signs up for offers for credit cards or Netflix's DVD service. The software also shows banner ads.
February 27, 2006 | Lynn Marshall, Times Staff Writer
Chances are that if you call City Hall or one of this city's many departments -- say, waste management or animal control -- you will be put on hold. The average wait time runs about 50 seconds. They are precious seconds, so precious that Seattle, a city devoted to civic politeness and self-promotion, figured out a fresh way to fill them: with the music of its homegrown bands.
February 20, 2006 | From Associated Press
Businesses and individuals continue to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes each year on some long-distance telephone calls even though three federal courts say the levy is invalid. Companies have convinced the appeals courts that the 3% excise tax on local, long-distance and wireless calls does not apply to some current long-distance billing plans. The tax dates to 1898, when telephones were a luxury and lawmakers needed money to help pay for the Spanish-American War.
February 19, 2006 | David Colker, Times Staff Writer
The problem with free calls over the Internet is that you have to be at your computer to make them. You can't be cooking, driving, operating heavy machinery or doing the thousands of other things we do while chatting on the phone. But a new device called the VoSky Call Center allows you to make free Internet calls from any phone in your house -- even your cellphone.
December 25, 2005 | From Associated Press
President Bush on Saturday telephoned nine U.S. service members at their posts from Japan to the Persian Gulf to recognize their service to the nation and wish them holiday cheer. Placing the calls from his mountaintop presidential retreat at Camp David, Md., Bush talked to eight men and one woman, a Coast Guard member stationed in the Persian Gulf. "The president wished them a Merry Christmas and thanked them for their service to our country," said White House spokesman Allen Abney.
December 4, 2005 | David Colker, Times Staff Writer
Skype Technologies, the Luxemburg company famous for its free Internet telephone calls, last week launched an update that brings us closer to an elusive technological dream: the videophone. The Skype 2.0 software offers the ability to see as well as hear computer-to-computer callers -- provided that both parties have webcams. Video chats, as part of instant messaging services such as one sponsored by Yahoo Inc.
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