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"In 1970 I found little difficulty staying 30 years ahead of the man in the street, and now I find it difficult to stay 18 months ahead of the man on the street."
- Vernor Vinge

Aggressive-Response Service  
  An answering service with an attitude.  

Tired of those obsequiously polite answering machines?

"Yeah, whaddaya want?"
"Is this the computerized answering service of Oberon National?"
"You got a problem with that?"
"I got a problem with the tone of your voice."
"F--- you. You dialed the aggressive-response number… I'll connect you with obsequious response, if that's all you can handle…"

…When programmers have nothing better to do, they dick around with stuff like that…

From The Golden Globe, by John Varley.
Published by Ace Books in 1998
Additional resources -

Varley fans may also recall the Big Computer (BC) from his 1983 novel Millenium, which had the same characteristics.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Golden Globe
  More Ideas and Technology by John Varley
  Tech news articles related to The Golden Globe
  Tech news articles related to works by John Varley

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