I’ll Ghost Your Buster: Names Edition


How many people in the US share their names with proton-beam-shooting, jump-suit-wearing, ghost-busting heroes? Allow me to uncover the mystery. Out of respect, the originals will go first:

1984 [Places hand over heart]

Peter Venkman – 1 person has this name (in MI)

“Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!”

“This Mr. Stay Puft’s okay! He’s a sailor, he’s in New York; we get this guy laid, we won’t have any trouble!”*

Raymond Stantz – 1 person has this name (in PA)

“Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities, we didn’t have to produce anything! You’ve never been out of college! You don’t know what it’s like out there! I’ve *worked* in the private sector. They expect *results*.”

Egon Spengler – 0 people have this name

“There’s definitely a *very slim* chance we’ll survive.”

Winston Zeddmore – 0 people have this name

“Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a God, you say yes!”

Dana Barrett – 120 people have this name (with the most in GA and IN)

“You know, you don’t act like a scientist…You’re more like a game show host.”

Louis Tully – 12 people have this name (with the most in CA)

“Hey, this is real smoked salmon from Nova Scotia, Canada, $24.95 a pound! It only cost me $14.12 after tax, though.”

Janine Melnitz – 0 people have this name

“I’ve quit better jobs than this. Ghostbusters, whaddya want.”


2016 Giving it up for the ladies…

Erin Gilbert – 169 people have this name (with the most in CA)

“Proton guns are all well and good, but sometimes you need the Swiss Army.”

Abby Yates – 10 people have this name (with no more than 1 per each state its in)

“It’s always the sad, pale ones.”

Jill Holtzmann – 1 person has this name (in MO)

“Just try saying no to these salty parabolas!”

Patty Tolan – 14 people are named Patricia Tolan (with the most in NY and CA)

“I guess he’s going to Queens – he’s going to be the third scariest thing on that train.”

Kevin… Just Kevin – 1,107,355 people have this first name (with the most in NH)

“Clark Kent? Oh, because of the glasses and the handsomeness.”

Martin Heiss [respect] – 6 people have this name (with the most in MI)


*Peter Venkman gets two quotes because he’s the best. And I couldn’t choose (two was hard enough). And it’s my article so I can do whatever I want.

Bon Voyage, Whitepages Caller ID. Aloha, Hiya!

Announcing today, Whitepages Caller ID has packed its bags, kissed Mom and Dad goodbye (thanks for everything!), and moved into its own space in the mobile world as Hiya. From this day forward, Hiya is its own company, ready to take on the world!

Why? It’s time. After graduating college, I could have moved back in with my parents and hunkered down for the long term for some free food but I didn’t. I had learned so much and grown so much, it was time to make it on my own. Since its inception in 2008, Whitepages Caller ID has done some awesome, incredible things and it’s only getting bigger and better. What better way to continue improving than by allowing the team-formerly-known-as-Whitepages-Caller-ID to focus on its specialty?

All of us, at Whitepages and Hiya, are excited for this opportunity. We know it will be a success and give caller ID the focus that it deserves in this ever-changing mobile landscape with landlines becoming artifacts and scams and spams continuing to rise.

With Hiya, users can expect to find the exact same world-class features, such as:

Call and Text Identification: Hiya automatically identifies the person or business on the other end of the line, for incoming and outgoing calls, regardless of whether they are in a user’s contacts.

Real Time Spam and Scam Detection. Hiya analyzes more than 400 million calls per month to provide users with alerts and news on the latest phone scams and fraud.

Call Blocking. Hiya lets users block unwanted callers, and provides them with an auto-blocker that keeps known scam numbers from ever ringing through to a user’s phone.

Sound good? Of course it does! With that, I guess there’s nothing left to say but adieu! auf wiedersehen! gesundheit! farewell.

hiya_logo small

Now, swing on down to www.hiya.com to check out the goods. I mean, look at that friendly little dude, just saying “hi!”, ready to welcome you with open arms!

Game of Thrones: Names Not Yet Forgotten

shutterstock_286527893If they want to give you a name, take it, make it your own. – Tyrion Lannister

If you haven’t seen last night’s GOT premiere, you may want to come back later. There’s a stream of consciousness flowing here that details *slightly* more than if you didn’t see last nights episode from an Average-Joe-I’m-No-Expert point of view.

Given the unique range of names brought to us by Game of Thrones, I was particularly interested in seeing how many of those names live among us (like real people!). In a time not too long ago, 1996, there was only the Song of Ice and Fire series. In that time, my brother-in-law decided that if he had a daughter, her name would be Aria. It used to be original. Then, HBO got it. Now, well, I’ll let you decide.

Arya – 647 people in the US have this name with the most in CA.  88% are between the ages 0-12. (Aria has 2,434 with 84% between the ages of 0-12).

Daenerys – 0 people in the US have this name. These stats are bound to change. She’s a powerhouse!

Tyrion – 14 people in the US have this name with the most in ID. Really… Idaho?

Jon – 206,613 people in the US have this name with the most in MN. They said his fate would be determined in the premiere episode. I’m going to call BS on that as I’m still not convinced he’s actually dead. Wishful thinking?

Sansa – 22 people in the US have this name with the most in SD. I bet *somebody* feels stupid for turning down Brienne’s sworn sword the first time around.

Cersei – 0 people in the US have this name and good riddance.

Melisandre – 8 people in the US have this name with the most in RI. How old IS she?!?

Ramsay – 9,697 people in the US have this name with the most in ME.

Theon – 342 people in the US have this name with the most in UT. 

Brienne – 1,307 people in the US have this name with the most in SD. Fun fact, the name peaked in popularity in 1979. Gwendoline Christie, who portrays Brienne, was born in 1978 which isn’t *exactly* 1979 but it’s pretty darn close!

Jorah – 75 people in the US have this name with the most in MI.

Ellaria – 2 people in the US have this name, split between KS and NJ.

Bran – 1,565 people in the US have this name with the most in HI and I just want to know where the heck is this guy?

Jaime – 167,921 people in the US have this name with the most in CA. In gender breakdown, 44% are female and 56% are male.

Also, there’s way too many characters; I know I missed a ton. Thankfully, if you’re reading this, you’re probably a Game of Thrones fan and thus, are already used to disappointment.

Industry and Government Join Efforts to Fight Unwanted Calls

shutterstock_336963665Last week, Whitepages was invited to attend the Do-Not-Call Law Enforcement Summit in Indiana. The summit was hosted by the nation’s Chief Spam Call prosecutor Greg Zoeller (also know as Indiana Attorney General). More than 50 other states’ AG offices, federal staff of the FCC and various law enforcement bureaus attended as well. For the first time, leading industry representatives of phone spam-blocking solutions were invited to share their real world experiences.

The overwhelming consensus was that we have come a long way in detecting and avoiding unwanted calls. Whitepages couldn’t agree more. Just in the United States, Whitepages screens more than 400 MM calls and protects consumers from about 20 MM unwanted calls every month. Samsung, the world largest smartphone manufacturer, has integrated Whitepages’ Spam Detection in their new Samsung Galaxy S7 device and the majority of T-Mobile US users have access to spam detection as well.

However, more needs to be done to avail such phone spam protection solutions for more consumers. Despite the FCC’s recent decision to officially allow carriers to block unwanted calls on behalf of their subscribers, many of the nation’s top carriers are late in recognizing the urgency in addressing this issue for the sake of protecting their most valuable asset – the telephony network.

Indiana AG Greg ZoellerJoe Bindbeutel, Chief Counsel of Missouri Consumer Protection division and Bikram Bandy, FTC Chief of the National Do Not Call Program urged both providers and carriers of phone spam protection solutions to come to terms and work together. Solutions from Whitepages and other vendors are here, whether integrated into phonescarrier networks or as downloadable apps.

Addressing the state of the industry, Jonathan Mayer, the FTC’s technical expert on this topic, drew an excellent comparison with the rise and defeat of email spam. In comparison with the effectiveness of email spam filtering solutions, carrier’s call blocking offerings today are “over a decade behind”. So it’s time to act.

The pressure is in fact increasing on carriers. After the event’s AG Zoeller’s press conference, I talked to Timothy Marvin, who leads the nation’s largest Anti-Robocall campaign at Consumer Union. Educating carriers about call blocking solutions may soon shift to the next level. CA Congress Woman Jackie Speier introduced the “ROBOCOP” act, which would require carriers to offer such solutions free-of-charge.

It’s Friday, I’m in Love

Ever wish your name was Friday? I did. I worked at good old TGI Fridays for seven years part-time and, I won’t lie to you, I loved it. Then I saw the movie “His Girl Friday” and I liked that name even more. I actually tried to give myself the nickname Friday (who does that??). As a surprise to no one, it didn’t catch on. Probably for the best.

But enough with my embarrassing stories… there are those fortunate enough to have been born with the name Friday, as well as the other days of the week. Let’s start at the top.


3,466 people in the US have this first name (with the most in MD)

3,619 people in the US have this last name (with the most in OK)


385 people in the US have this first name (with the most in AL)

5,534 people in the US have this last name (with the most in TN)


2,670 people in the US have this first name (with the most in DE)

35 people in the US have this last name (with the most in MT)


499 people in the US have this first name (with the most in MT)

6 people in the US have this last name (with the most in VA)


80 people in the US have this first name (with the most in WV)

5 people in the US have this last name (with the most in NV)


543 people in the US have this first name (with the most in HI)

7,648 people in the US have this last name (with the most in WY)


32 people in the US have this first name (with the most in DC)

326 people in the US have this last name (with the most in GA)


So whether you’re named Friday, or just wish you were <cough>, let’s all agree that Friday is where the party’s at. Go get ’em, tigers.