In case registering on the national Do Not Call list didn't really do anything, two ex-telemarketers in the U.K. have invented a blocking device that acts like a receptionist for your landline. The TrueCall intercepts all your calls before they reach you, letting them through if the number is recognised as a family member or friend, and replying with an automated message if the number belongs to a telemarketer.
If TrueCall doesn't recognise the number, it asks for the caller's name and number and then puts them on hold, ringing you with the information to see if you'd like to take the call. If you don't, add it to your block list and never hear from the number again. The cost for blocking cold calls and telemarketers is roughly $US162 from the maker's website. Hey, that's cheaper than hiring someone. [TrueCall via BBC]