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Message Digest 
Volume 28 : Issue 276 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:
  Re: For Americans, Plastic Buys Less Abroad 
  Re: Does Google index audio files? 
  Re: Does Google index audio files? 
  Re: Does Google index audio files? 
  Re: Does Google index audio files? 
  Re: For Americans, Plastic Buys Less Abroad 
  Re: Western Union's satellite loss 
  Re: Western Union's satellite loss 
  Re: For Americans, Plastic Buys Less Abroad  
  Lessons learned on e-mail / When it comes to messages, some traces can linger 
  Email scams: it's different when it's personal 


====== 28 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: Wed, 7 Oct 2009 14:16:00 +0000 (UTC) From: ranck@vt.edu To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: For Americans, Plastic Buys Less Abroad Message-ID: <hai7r0$sb4$1@solaris.cc.vt.edu> David Clayton <dcstar@nospam.myrealbox.com> wrote: > People should also be aware that these "chip" cards also have privacy > (rather, lack of it) concerns for the individual card users. AFAIK > they can store data about transactions so when used in an off-line > mode the terminal can interrogate the card to determine if it should > approve the transaction without direct confirmation from an on-line > source (probably via algorithms on previous purchasing patterns, I > would say - at a guess). Uh, it should be much simpler than that. Really, all the card needs to "remember" is how much has been used as a total, it doesn't need to store transaction details. I'm not saying they don't store those details, but they really should not need to, and the merchant's machine has no need to be able to query previous transactions. It only needs to query how much "money" is available. If I were designing such a card/chip system and wanted to store transactions on the card itself I'd encrypt those so merchants could not get the info and only report back a maximum allowable charge amount when queried. But why store them at all? > Currently only your card issuer has the sum total of all of your > transactions, with individual transaction points only able to see > specific transactions that pass through their systems - now with this > data stored in a location accessible to ALL places that you use the > card (the actual chip on the card itself) and actually used in the > transaction process, who knows how much information individual > retailers/vendors can now collect about your card use at other places? Do you know for a fact this info is stored on the card/chip? Do you have a reference to an article or technical description? Bill Ranck Blacksburg, Va.
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 2009 23:10:45 -0500 From: John Mayson <john@mayson.us> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Does Google index audio files? Message-ID: <6645152a0910062110t2a9a1461qabeae083f9dfc438@mail.gmail.com> On Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 1:41 PM, AES <siegman@stanford.edu> wrote: > Google has POG ("Plain Old Google"). Google Video, Google Images, > Google Scholar, and numerous others. Is there a "Google Audio", or > something similar, that will index downloadable MP3 and other audio > files? > > I've just started looking into this, and not many such files seem to > appear in basic POG (note: I'm after things like seminar talks and > lectures, much more than music files). Right now, no. I have heard from several sources including Leo LaPorte's "This Week in Google" podcast that the reason Google is offering 1-800-GOOG-411 is so they can fine tune their speech recognition using a large sample of voices from a diverse population. I would have to think that they have indexing of audio files in their sights, but I would also imagine this is a long ways off. I have Google Voice and the transcriptions of voice mails is good, but it's not great. It will have to be great before they can think of indexing podcasts, lectures, etc. So see, I swung it back around to a telecom topic, so you're good. ;-) John -- John Mayson <john@mayson.us> Austin, Texas, USA
Date: Wed, 07 Oct 2009 16:02:14 -0700 From: AES <siegman@stanford.edu> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Does Google index audio files? Message-ID: <siegman-BBA9ED.16021407102009@news.stanford.edu> In article <6645152a0910062110t2a9a1461qabeae083f9dfc438@mail.gmail.com>, John Mayson <john@mayson.us> wrote: > On Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 1:41 PM, AES <siegman@stanford.edu> wrote: > > > Is there a "Google Audio", or something similar, that will index > > downloadable MP3 and other audio files? > Right now, no. I have heard from several sources including Leo > LaPorte's "This Week in Google" podcast that the reason Google is > offering 1-800-GOOG-411 is so they can fine tune their speech > recognition using a large sample of voices from a diverse > population. I would have to think that they have indexing of audio > files in their sights, but I would also imagine this is a long ways > off. I have Google Voice and the transcriptions of voice mails is > good, but it's not great. It will have to be great before they can > think of indexing podcasts, lectures, etc. I wasn't really thinking of indexing audio files by applying speech recognition to their content, although now that you've pointed out this possibility, I begin to grasp what this could do. I was just thinking of indexing audio files by their titles and maybe other textual metadata in or associated with the file. That's obviously a limited capability, but even it could be useful for some purposes (and it's how some images are captured into Google Images, is that not so?)
Date: Tue, 06 Oct 2009 23:53:12 -0700 From: Thad Floryan <thad@thadlabs.com> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Does Google index audio files? Message-ID: <4ACC3AD8.4050006@thadlabs.com> On 10/6/2009 8:45 PM, AES wrote: > Google has POG ("Plain Old Google"). Google Video, Google Images, Google > Scholar, and numerous others. Is there a "Google Audio", or something > similar, that will index downloadable MP3 and other audio files? Not really. A more-or-less complete list of Google products is here: <http://www.google.com/intl/en/options/> POG searching for "{topic} MP3 download" might be useful. > I've just started looking into this, and not many such files seem to > appear in basic POG (note: I'm after things like seminar talks and > lectures, much more than music files). Seminars and lectures now tend to be in video form, either streaming over the 'Net, DVDs, or various-typed files (*.flv, *.mp4, etc.) that can be copied to your system for later playback. Given your Stanford posting address, a search using this: Zimbardo seminar download produces some interesting results, such as several lectures by Prof. Zimbardo that can be downloaded. > [And apologies if this is not the right NG for this query, but it seems > telecom related, and I'm not sure where else to go.] I just checked to see if any of the 1950s and 1960s Bell Science Hour programs with Dr. Frank Baxter were available for download, but didn't have any success. I quickly found "Strange Case of the Cosmic Rays" and "Thread of Life" in my laserdisc collection; would have to search longer to find more since I didn't file them under "Bell Science".
Date: Wed, 07 Oct 2009 16:23:15 -0700 From: AES <siegman@stanford.edu> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Does Google index audio files? Message-ID: <siegman-ED6CA4.16231507102009@news.stanford.edu> In article <4ACC3AD8.4050006@thadlabs.com>, Thad Floryan <thad@thadlabs.com> wrote: > Given your Stanford posting address, a search using this: > > Zimbardo seminar download > > produces some interesting results, such as several lectures by > Prof. Zimbardo that can be downloaded. Thanks much for this! -- more valuable to me than the answer to my original query. I'm in fact involved with a number of organizations at Stanford University that generate and capture audio lectures, talks, and seminars that are of wide interest outside the university. Stanford's official process for making these available is distribute them (free) through "Stanford at iTunes U" <http://itunes.stanford.edu/>. Since I intensely dislike iTunes, even setting aside the whole idea of distributing academic content as "tunes", and since Stanford has a massive IT organization that could surely make all this material available directly from its inhouse servers, I'd like to see it do so. You've steered me to go looking for situations where others within the university are doing this, or at least doing something other [than] giving the Apple Store control over the distribution.
Date: 7 Oct 2009 04:50:10 -0000 From: John Levine <johnl@iecc.com> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: For Americans, Plastic Buys Less Abroad Message-ID: <20091007045010.79216.qmail@simone.iecc.com> >Currently only your card issuer has the sum total of all of your >transactions, with individual transaction points only able to see >specific transactions that pass through their systems - now with this >data stored in a location accessible to ALL places that you use the >card (the actual chip on the card itself) and actually used in the >transaction process, who knows how much information individual >retailers/vendors can now collect about your card use at other places? None. There's a crypto protocol for transactions, the terminal doesn't get to poke around in the innards of the cards. Last year I visited a lot of Cambridge University Computer Lab security seminars where they dissected the chip+pin system. They found a fair number of security issues, but that's not one of them. R's, John
Date: Wed, 7 Oct 2009 20:19:29 EDT From: Wesrock@aol.com To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Western Union's satellite loss Message-ID: <bc9.585253f0.37fe8a11@aol.com> In a message dated 10/5/2009 11:32:05 PM Central Daylight Time, jameswades@remove-this.gmail.com writes: > I am leaving out significant technical detail here in the interest of > space/time, however, telegraph circuits in commercial service can > generally be subdivided as follows: > > 1. The simplex ground return circuit: This is the classic telegraph > circuit, with a single current loop in the range of 100 to 300-VDC > at 60 to 100-mA operating over typically an iron wire with ground > return. > > 2. The duplex circuit, using the bridge principle, thereby allowing > two telegraph circuits to operate on a single wire. > > 3. The quadraplex circuit, based on a similar principle to the above, > allowing four circuits to operate on a single wire. You will recall that Alexander Graham Bell was trying to invent a multiplex telgraph system, probably hamonic in nature, when he got the idea for the telephone. > However, the technology of the telegraph served as the foundation > for every aspect of our modern life. Today, people are impressed > that they can buy and sell stocks on-line, but they overlook the > fact that the New York Stock Exchange is an International exchange > because of the telegraph. Folks are impressed that they can get the > latest news on their "I-Pod," but the telegraph made news > syndication, wire services, and the like possible! The > infrastructure that supported the telegraph industry was vast and > complex. One could establish a circuit from Alaska to NYC in a few > minutes for a press application, brokerages could transmit a buy or > sell order to the NYSE or Board of Trade and get a response in > minutes, and telegrams moved with incredible speed and efficiency > considering the state of the art. We had a very skilled Teletype operator in the Dallas bureau of United press who started out as an operator for Merrill Lynch in Tulsa. Wes Leatherock wesrock@aol.com wleathus@yahoo.com
Date: Wed, 7 Oct 2009 21:39:48 EDT From: Wesrock@aol.com To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: Western Union's satellite loss Message-ID: <c41.6831518f.37fe9ce4@aol.com> In a message dated 10/5/2009 9:54:31 PM Central Daylight Time, jhaynes@cavern.uark.edu writes: > In my (very limited) experience W.U. had its own pole line on one > side of the railroad R.O.W. and the railroad had its own pole line > on the other side. However there were arrangements to interconnect > W.U. with the railroad's own telegraph system. The two pole lines on either side of the right-of-way were normally telephone company and W.U./railroad shared. Many exceptions exist. Wes Leatherock wesrock@aol.com wleathus@yahoo.com
Date: Wed, 7 Oct 2009 21:45:47 EDT From: Wesrock@aol.com To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Re: For Americans, Plastic Buys Less Abroad Message-ID: <bdd.5c044bbc.37fe9e4b@aol.com> In a message dated 10/6/2009 10:20:48 PM Central Daylight Time, john@mayson.us writes: > When Linus Torvalds first moved to the United States he commented on > how shocked he was to learn how backwards our banking system was. I > forget the exact details, but if I recall correctly consumers hardly > used checks in Finland even back then. Everything from bill pay to > statements were electronic. Many people still use checks. There are some things nothing else works for. Various local and national clubs and organizations are run by volunteers who have to training or desire to learn how to operate the machiney nor does the organization have any funds fot the equipment or fees, nor do they see any reason to, since they are interested in the purpose for which the club was organized, not being techie or devoting a bunch of time to side issues. When I paid my tree trimmer, my plumber, etc., neither was set up to deal with electronic payments, so I wrote them a check. (I will note that several years ago I had work done by Roto-Rooter, a franchise of a national company. They took my credit card for $2,000+, the plumber read all the details over the phone to the local office, and they apparently entered it manually and got authorization before the plumbder left the premises. > Around 1990 or so I was in rural, eastern Tennessee. I stopped for > gas. They didn't have pay at the pump, so I went into the store. > It was a national chain and I had a credit card issued by this > chain. I handed him my card and he wasn't sure what to do with it. > He had what appeared to be a mechanical cash register, nothing he > could use to run the card. He pulled the shoe box sized apparatus > to make a carbon of my credit card, but had to pull out the manual > to figure out how to use it. I hadn't seen one of these devices in > many years. Even though I've never worked in a retail location that > took credit cards, >I knew how to adjust the levers to set the > price, where to place the card, and how to slide the roller over it > all. So I did it all for him. I could've ripped him off by setting > the wrong price, but I didn't. You say a "national chain" but he was probably just a small operator who owned his business and had a contract with the "national chain." A restaurant I frequent had a power failure and the cashier took everything down manually. They remembered how to do it from earlier employment but they didn't use the machine, just wrote everything down on the manual ticket by hand. > In 1997 I was near Valdosta, Georgia at another national chain. I > went in to pay. She asked how much I had pumped. I sarcastically > thought, didn't say, "Why not look it up on your fancy adding > machine?". Their system was to use binoculars to read the pump. Such methods of reading the pump still exist. Low volume stations do not see a return on equity (except maybe negative) for the cost of installing a more automated system. The manual method is the most cost effective. Because a higher tech system exists it is often not economically effective. Because it's high tech does not necessarily make it cost effective. Wes Leatherock wesrock@aol.com wleathus@yahoo.com
Date: Wed, 7 Oct 2009 23:20:53 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Lessons learned on e-mail / When it comes to messages, some traces can linger Message-ID: <p0624089fc6f307d49f94@[10.0.1.5]> Lessons learned on e-mail When it comes to messages, some traces can linger By Hiawatha Bray, Globe Staff | October 7, 2009 The Boston Globe Michael Kineavy, chief aide to Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, has learned the hard way that simply deleting e-mails does not make them go away. The city is potentially facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses to retrieve e-mail messages he deleted that have been subpoenaed by federal authorities and are the subject of a formal request from the Globe. The lesson for Kineavy, who said yesterday he was taking an unpaid leave, is that it's very difficult to wipe out all traces of the e-mails we send. And it's not just e-mail. Millions of us post personal information on social networking sites like Facebook, display photographs at Flickr, or load videos on YouTube. And once that data has been published online, it's virtually impossible to erase it. ... http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2009/10/07/with_e_mail_traces_are_hard_to_erase/
Date: Thu, 8 Oct 2009 01:46:04 -0400 From: Telecom digest moderator <redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu> To: redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu Subject: Email scams: it's different when it's personal Message-ID: <20091008054604.GA7953@telecom.csail.mit.edu> My son graduated from High School this June, and he's been looking for a job while he goes to trade school to learn about plumbing. Last week, he told me he might get a job cleaning apartments. He talked on the phone to the man who'd placed the ad on Craigslist: someone about to move into the next town over, who needed help getting an apartment cleaned up before they arrived. The guy said he could have the job and that he would be paid $500 per week. Not exactly minimum wage, but close: I told my son that the money is green, and that he can't be too picky in this economy, and that if he did a good job cleaning that the apartment owner might hire him to do plumbing. This morning, the UPS driver delivered an overnight delivery "Urgent Letter", addressed to my son, which contained a check for $2,733.00 dollars, and a sheet of paper containing a typewritten message that says only "For confirmation of the check delivery, notify the issuer with the email below: worldovationals@yahoo.com" ... which, needless to say, puzzled the hell out of me. I thought that the check might have been issued because of a bequest from my mother, who was gathered up in 2007: her estate has just been settled, and I assumed that she had made a bequest to my son that I hadn't known about. Still, the lack of paperwork seemed odd, but my son was eager to cash the check: he wanted to buy a car. So, I called the issuing bank, which is in Alabama, and asked them to verify the check. The check showed a firm called "Goyer Logistics Group, LLC", with an address in Miami Beach, Florida. The bank had no record: neither the account number, nor the issuer were on their books. Neither 411.com nor anywho.com showed any company with that name, not in Miami Beach, not in Florida. There was no number for the name on the UPS envelope: "Julius Carl" from Atlanta, Georgia. Now, I'm as gullible as the next guy, and at least as willing to believe that UPS delivers four-figure checks to unemployed Nineteen-year-olds, but I had to break the bad news to my son and explain that the check was a fraud. I told him that if he sent an email to the address that had accompanied the check, he would receive instructions to send most of the money to somewhere else and that the check would bounce. Still, I called the Secret Service - which is in charge of wire fraud - and asked for an agent I know who gave a talk at a computer security group I belong to. He had been transferred, but no matter: I spoke to a different agent, and she told me it was an obvious Nigerian "419" scam. While I was on the phone with her, my son came into the room and said he had received an email which explained everything. The email he had received was from "Daryl", the guy who had interviewed him on the phone and offered him $500 per week to clean an apartment. Daryl wanted my son to wire most of the money to a "travel agent" in Arkansas, with a long-winded explanation of how they needed the agent to purchase a plane ticket so his wife could travel from England to the U.S. and emphasizing that the money needed to be sent very quickly. The Secret Service agent said that there is nothing they can do: even if my son had followed instructions and lost the money he wired to Arkansas, it wasn't a high enough amount to involve them. She also said that they get thousands of these reports every day, and although she was gracious enough to invite me to send copies, she made it clear it would be just for a report. The Secret Service can't get involved: it's not enough money and he didn't even lose anything. The local police, adept as they are at issuing parking tickets and responding to traffic accidents, are nonetheless not likely to have the resources needed to track down a throw-away cell phone, or a "travel agent" in Arkansas, or "Julius Carl" from Atlanta. I won't kid you: this is scary. First, it's scary because my inclination was to justify the existing of a check that arrived with no documentation or explanation, by attributing it to my mother's generosity even though I had been present at the reading of her will, and it never mentioned my son (or any of her grandchildren, come to that). Second, it's scary because, even though my son had answered a spam email and had provided his name and address, he was interviewed by telephone, by a person who spoke (according to my son) English with the same accent as most other people he knows. This is scary because it could have happened to my kid, who is trying to find a job, and who doesn't have any experience in the world, and who has lived with a computer and email since he was in grade school. It is scary because I have to check his credit reports and mine, because I have to admit that our banking system is a creaking and decrepit horse-drawn-buggy with a lot of electronic duct-tape holding it together, and because that system could have run over an impressionable and innocent young man. It's not an abstraction anymore. This could have happened to me and mine. -- Bill Horne Moderator
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 Bill Horne. 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 moderated by Bill Horne. Contact information: Bill Horne Telecom Digest 43 Deerfield Road Sharon MA 02067-2301 781-784-7287 bill at horne dot net Subscribe: telecom-request@telecom-digest.org?body=subscribe telecom Unsubscribe: telecom-request@telecom-digest.org?body=unsubscribe telecom This Digest is the oldest continuing e-journal about telecomm- unications on the Internet, having been founded in August, 1981 and published continuously since then. Our archives are available for your review/research. We believe we are the oldest e-zine/mailing list on the internet in any category! URL information: http://telecom-digest.org Copyright (C) 2009 TELECOM Digest. All rights reserved. Our attorney is Bill Levant, of Blue Bell, PA. --------------------------------------------------------------- Finally, the Digest is funded by gifts from generous readers such as yourself who provide funding in amounts deemed appropriate. Your help is important and appreciated. A suggested donation of fifty dollars per year per reader is considered appropriate. See our address above. Please make at least a single donation to cover the cost of processing your name to the mailing list. All opinions expressed herein are deemed to be those of the author. Any organizations listed are for identification purposes only and messages should not be considered any official expression by the organization.
End of The Telecom digest (11 messages)

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