BuzzBlogs: VoIP Spam: A Bad Call; Video Games = $$

Vonage recently sent e-mail containing an audio attachment to all its subscribers to drum up investors for its forthcoming IPO. Could it be considered spam? Also: Big bucks in the

May 19, 2006

2 Min Read
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VoIP Spam: A Bad Call

As VoIP services penetrate the consumer market, technology pundits have warned about the emergence of VoIP spam--unsolicited phone calls or voice messages sent to a user's VoIP service--and expected it to come from scam artists. Vonage, however, is the first VoIP company to spam its own customers.

Vonage recently sent e-mail containing an audio attachment to all its subscribers to drum up investors for its forthcoming IPO. The audio, which runs 1 minute 37 seconds, cheerfully announces that IPO shares have been reserved for customers who meet eligibility requirements.

While Vonage's IPO is completely legit, people could be forgiven for confusing the message with one of the many scams circulating online. Hard to tell fact from fiction these days, spoken or not.

$18 billion

That's the estimated financial impact video games had on the U.S. economy in 2004, according to a new study. Though decried by many as time-wasters and instigators of violent behavior in children, video games have evolved from a technological novelty to a powerful economic engine. Need proof? Game sales alone generated $8 billion in 2004, a number that's expected to hit $15 billion by 2010.

The study's authors--Robert Crandall, of the Brookings Institution, and J. Gregory Sidak, of the Georgetown University Law Center--also predict that employment in the video game industry will reach 250,000 jobs by 2009, a 75 percent increase.

So now, if the CIO catches you playing "World of Warcraft" at work, just say you're not slacking off, you're doing your part to stimulate the economy.

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