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Volume 28 : Issue 92 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:
  I Just Called To Say I Own You
  Re: The Conficker Worm: April Fool's Joke or Unthinkable Disaster?  


====== 27 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ====== Telecom and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Digest for the Internet. All contents here are copyrighted by Patrick Townson and the individual writers/correspondents. Articles may be used in other journals or newsgroups, provided the writer's name and the Digest are included in the fair use quote. By using -any name or email address- included herein for -any- reason other than responding to an article herein, you agree to pay a hundred dollars to the recipients of the email. =========================== Addresses herein are not to be added to any mailing list, nor to be sold or given away without explicit written consent. Chain letters, viruses, porn, spam, and miscellaneous junk are definitely unwelcome. We must fight spam for the same reason we fight crime: not because we are naive enough to believe that we will ever stamp it out, but because we do not want the kind of world that results when no one stands against crime. Geoffrey Welsh =========================== See the bottom of this issue for subscription and archive details and the name of our lawyer, and other stuff of interest. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 2 Apr 2009 08:03:45 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: I Just Called To Say I Own You Message-ID: <p062408a2c5fa03c9f085@[10.0.1.6]> http://www.thebigmoney.com/articles/saga/2009/03/31/i-just-called-say-i-own-you I Just Called To Say I Own You By Daniel Stacey Created 03/31/2009 - 5:52pm This month's launch of Google Voice [1], an application that offers U.S. customers free landline and mobile calls, is not just a bold move to build a new-age phone-service provider. It's also the latest sign of official war among the big tech companies in the mobile-phone market: Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Remember Steve Ballmer's chest-beating [2] launch of the new Windows Mobile OS in February-and then the iPhone's 3.0 update [3]? You might wonder why, in the middle of a nasty recession, the major engine rooms of American innovation are jostling like crazy to break into a market that has existed since the Cold War, when Mikhail Gorbachev accidentally made the Mobira Cityman [4] 1987's must-have accessory. But this contest is about much more than mobile phones as we know them. It's about smart phones, which have become the red-hot convergence point of telecoms and handheld computing. It's a battle that captures not only the rapid changes sweeping through this sector but the long-term strategies of three very different companies competing to realize alternative visions of the future. And with each, there's the cheery story firm flacks are peddling, and the other story-of insatiable greed and late-night scheming to achieve total market dominance [5]. Take Google. With its "Don't be evil" slogan, the company has offered smart-phone users an endless swoon of utopian applications-like the friend-finder Google Latitude [6] and Google Book Search's 1.5 million free smart-phone e-books [7]-since it launched the first Android phone with T-Mobile last year. But beneath the marketing spin lies the cold, hard fact that 97 percent of Google's revenue comes from search advertising [8]. And its main ways to expand this stream are to form a search monopoly by eating Yahoo and to find new (and, potentially, more invasive) methods of collecting data to target its ads more efficiently at Web users. To that end, the whole point of Google's push into the phone market is to force you to continue to search and navigate the Internet using Google products. The first Android-compatible phone, the T-Mobile G1, even has a dedicated "Google search" button [9], just to remind you what's at stake. Google phones are also loaded up with a version of the Chrome browser, which doubles as a machine that feeds Web navigation and search data to Google's mother ship. [10] This preserves Google's ability to expand its data vaults and grow its advertising model as the mobile Web takes off. And there is even speculation [1] that Google Voice-which uses speech recognition software to send you voice messages as SMSs and e-mails-could be linked into the same invasive advertising model behind Gmail, where the content of e-mails is scanned to target ads at users. Your idle phone chat could become a rich seam of information for Google's data banks. Apple, however, appears to have entered the mobile-phone market in a way that enhances its unique brand equity. The iPhone, launched in June 2007, is a sleek handset with a user-friendly operating system that focuses on satisfying plug-and-play types rather than fiddly geeks. But beneath the veneer of Jonathan Ive's [11] polished ceramic surely lies a larger plan. Because Apple, Google, and Microsoft are really competing for ownership of the handheld-computing market. Convergence has meant you can't really go after one without the other. If Apple can create the killer smart phone-as it did for MP3 players-then by default it will also become the mobile operating system of choice. That would allow Apple to start building an operating system monopoly for handheld computer users in the way Microsoft did with PCs in the '90s. And once it's got users hooked on Apple devices for all their mobile computing, mobile Web, music, video and print media needs, well, why not encourage users to sync up all their devices with a nice ol' Mac desktop? It's the sort of aggressive multipronged pincer movement Apple would rather mask than-as PR buffoon Steve Ballmer might-trumpet to the world. Another long-term goal for Jobs and Co. appears to be the complete domination of the digital media market through the creation of a converged device that allows you to listen to music; watch video; and download books, newspapers, and magazines [12], supported by an overarching iStore stocked with any forms of media that can be digitized and sold. Last year, Apple's growing control over the distribution of video content forced the major studios to form a creepy consortium called the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem [13]. In the music industry, Apple is so powerful that it was able to bluff its way through negotiations last October to increase the royalties paid to artists and record companies, simply by threatening to close its iTunes store. More recently, Amazon released an iPhone application [14] that allows you to download its Kindle books onto your Apple phone, a concession to the potential for the iPhone to become the default e-book reader. Microsoft, for its part, has been one of the slowest tech companies to react to the sector. But it has recently come out swinging with a new mobile operating system, a giant deal to distribute Windows with phone manufacturer LG, and a sexy retail plan [15] that will soon see Microsoft-branded stores jostling for attention with Apple's hipster temples on a High Street near you. Like the launch of the Zune in 2006-five years after the iPod-it seems like another application of their well-known strategy "embrace, extend, extinguish [16]." That is: Wait until someone comes up with a good idea, then copy it and try to muscle him out of the market with your sheer size. But is Microsoft really after a slice of the handset market? Like Google, Microsoft has a core focus [17] that makes all its other projects look like pointless hobbies. That focus now is selling Windows and Office-and it's here that Microsoft is more blatant but also honest about its intentions. As Ballmer said at the annual Mobile World Congress [2] in February: "Volumes speak volumes." More than 20 million phones [18] sold last year used a Microsoft operating system, 46 percent more than Apple [19]. And the deal it's just signed with LG, the world's third-biggest phone manufacturer, will see Windows on 50 new models over the next five years. Still, Windows Mobile holds only a 13.9 percent market share [20] right now, behind Nokia's Symbian (52.4) and the BlackBerry OS (16.5), and it's a long way from achieving the 90 percent dominance it holds over home and office computers. With these three tech behemoths all in the ring, what are the possible outcomes? If Google emerges victorious, a world of smart phones that protect the search giant's ability to control most of the time you spend on the Internet. A world of Google phones is also likely to be one plagued by privacy issues as it tries to grow advertising income by farming more and more data. Under Microsoft's plan, we might see a mobile-phone market in which your handheld, home, and office computers all run Windows and the company gets to keep its global dominance of the operating system market. And if Apple has its way, it could realize a more audacious plan to take on Microsoft by claiming an operating system monopoly over mobile computing that can then be eased into homes and offices, making life so simple and synchronized for you that, like the atrophied residents of the Axiom [21], all your needs are supplied by one feel-good company. Game on. Source URL: http://tbm.thebigmoney.com/articles/saga/2009/03/31/i-just-called-say-i-own-you Links: [1] http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article5945170.ece [2] http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c6e02284-fc94-11dd-aed8-000077b07658.html [3] http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/apple-unveils-iphone-3-0-with-copy-and-paste-585997 [4] Nokia Mobira Cityman [5] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHpM5US2HDs&feature=related [6] http://www.google.com/latitude/intro.html [7] http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/06/technology/internet/06google.html?_r=1&ref=technology [8] http://www.thestandard.com/news/2009/01/22/picture-guess-where-google-gets-97-its-revenue [9] http://mashable.com/2008/09/23/google-g1/ [10] http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10032047-56.html [11] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Ive [12] http://tbm.thebigmoney.com/articles/saga/2009/01/29/god-save-kindle [13] http://blogs.pcworld.com/staffblog/archives/007744.html [14] http://mashable.com/2009/03/04/amazon-kindle-iphone/ [15] http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2009/feb09/02-12CVPRetailStoresPR.mspx [16] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embrace,_extend_and_extinguish [17] http://www.businessinsider.com/2008/5/google-to-surpass-size-of-microsoft-windows-in-2009 [18] http://www.mobileburn.com/news.jsp?Id=6109 [19] http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601204&refer=technology&sid=aZn3LEqDPxV8 [20] http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2008750869_microsoftlg17.html [21] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=poIbhWhRZfg&feature=related 2008-2009 Washington Post.Newsweek Interactive * All rights reserved. ------------------------------ Date: Fri, 03 Apr 2009 04:29:17 GMT From: "Tony Toews \[MVP\]" <ttoews@telusplanet.net> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: The Conficker Worm: April Fool's Joke or Unthinkable Disaster? Message-ID: <0n3bt49e43e063hom6sk1gj46kf2d9gnok@4ax.com> David Kaye <sfdavidkaye2@yahoo.com> wrote: >Oh, and PS: I am in the habit of turning off and removing the anti- >virus programs from nearly all my customers' computers, feeling >confident that Windows firewall, a router, and an updated service pack >should be just fine. I also turn off unneeded services. And as I >said previously, only one of my hundreds of customers has any >problems. So much for needing McAfee, Norton, and the lesser- >knowns. I don't know if the moderator will allow my posting as it is not telecom related. I strenously disagree with your pactice of removing anti virus programs. It is very easy to visit a URL at a legitimate site which has a malicious advertiser and down comes some malware, scamware, trojan or virus. A friends public computer in a coffee shop as some kind of malware exe process running about once a week or two. Either the antivirus takes care of it or I poke about for a minute in task manager and I find it and kill it. Invariably these around found in the guest accounts Temporary Internet Files folder. I should note that his computer is in full view of the public. So any sites to which you'd be ashamed to show your mother aren't visited any more. Indeed one regular male customer is no longer a regular and hasn't been seen for months since the PC was moved. A few days ago I found two suspicious exes. I moved those exes to a holding folder and waited a few days. And sure enough the anti virus program then found them. Also consider an incoming email with a malicious attachment. I still get about 10 to 20 of those a month. Finally there are the 0 day exploits. Microsoft and others simply can't get the patches out fast enough to deal with these. However the anti virus vendors can get their products updated within a few days. Tony -- Tony Toews, Microsoft Access MVP Please respond only in the newsgroups so that others can read the entire thread of messages. Microsoft Access Links, Hints, Tips & Accounting Systems at http://www.granite.ab.ca/accsmstr.htm Tony's Microsoft Access Blog - http://msmvps.com/blogs/access/ ------------------------------ TELECOM Digest is an electronic journal devoted mostly to telecom- munications topics. It is circulated anywhere there is email, in addition to Usenet, where it appears as the moderated newsgroup 'comp.dcom.telecom'. TELECOM Digest is a not-for-profit, mostly non-commercial educational service offered to the Internet by Patrick Townson. All the contents of the Digest are compilation-copyrighted. You may reprint articles in some other media on an occasional basis, but please attribute my work and that of the original author. The Telecom Digest is currently being moderated by Bill Horne while Pat Townson recovers from a stroke. 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