Volume 29 : Issue 15 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
Coming Soon to a Windows 7 Machine Near You: Cable
Re: ATT femtocell (was MajicJack)
Re: MagicJack for Cellular phone
N Carrier and Program transmission
Re:FCC now planning "all-IP" phone transition
backup power, was:FCC now planning "all-IP" phone transition
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Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2010 06:34:15 -0600
From: Neal McLain <email@example.com>
Subject: Coming Soon to a Windows 7 Machine Near You: Cable
Coming Soon to a Windows 7 Machine Near You: Cable
By Leslie Ellis, Multichannel Newswire, January 12, 2010
Last Wednesday night [January 6, 2010] on the eve of the Consumer
Electronics Show, Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corp., tucked a small
remark into a gadget-y keynote. And if you work in multichannel video,
you’re going to need to know about it. Soon.
He said this (paraphrased): By March, consumers will be able to
purchase, at retail, a gizmo that turns a Windows 7-based PC into a
mambo-box, capable of displaying or recording four scrambled HD channels
on as many HDTV screens. In other words, it shares a CableCard across
four channels. This applies to new PCs with Windows7, as well as
existing PCs, upgrading to Win7.
The device is made by Seattle area-based Ceton Corp. It looks like any
other expansion card meant to be stuffed into desktop and tower-style
PCs: About the size of two Pop Tarts, glued together. (Laptop users:
yes, a USB peripheral version is in the works, as is a 6-tuner version.)
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2010 12:26:53 -0500
From: Matt Simpson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: ATT femtocell (was MajicJack)
In article <J8p3n.5458$%P5.email@example.com>,
Sam Spade <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Does AT&T provide a femtocell?
Yes, but they call it a microcell
And they actually charge you a monthly fee for the privilege of
offloading your calls from their network to your ISP.
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2010 13:42:23 -0500
From: "Geoffrey Welsh" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: MagicJack for Cellular phone
David Kaye wrote:
> It's not like I have much sympathy for the carriers. For one, the
> fact that they charge 20 to 25 cents a message for text that takes
> miniscule bandwidth is unconscionable.
That's the way things work in many industries and, since this is a telecom
forum, I'll trot out my favorite example: Bell Canada charges me $22.01 per
month (plus sales taxes) for local phone service which includes unlimited
local calling to a heck of a lot of people and businesses in the Toronto
area. I don't pay them $8.95 per month to add Caller ID.
What's the cost of providing me with caller ID? Maybe someone could argue
with my assertion that it's pennies since they have already paid for and
implemented it on my CO switch but have it disabled for my line, but it
certainly isn't 40% of the cost of providing me with unlimited local phone
Lots of companies charge huge markups on optional features so that they can
advertise lower "Starting From" prices and still preserve their profits.
Did you expect the cellular companies to be different?
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2010 17:16:16 -0500
From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net>
Subject: N Carrier and Program transmission
I've just come across another old document that I hope will interest
some of the readership: it's a treatise on how Program circuits (i.e.,
Radio and TV audio) were transported via "N" carrier.
(Original file no longer available, sorry)
(Filter QRM for direct replies)
Date: Thu, 14 Jan 2010 19:31:48 -0500
From: "Geoffrey Welsh" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re:FCC now planning "all-IP" phone transition
> Telcos used to run them, usually every Wednesday at 8 a.m. amd
> actually transfer the power and run on auziliary power for an hour so
> to make suwre the generator is working and so is the transer.
One of my favorite stories, though quite possibly fictional, is about an
organization that tested their backup power systems regularly but failed to
notice that the fuel pump was actually connected to mains power so, while
every test was successful, during a real power outage the generator
spluttered and died...
Date: Fri, 15 Jan 2010 01:24:37 +0000 (UTC)
From: danny burstein <email@example.com>
Subject: backup power, was:FCC now planning "all-IP" phone transition
In <726f8$4b4fb773$adce602a$31843@PRIMUS.CA> "Geoffrey Welsh" <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
>> Telcos used to run them, usually every Wednesday at 8 a.m. amd
>> actually transfer the power and run on auziliary power for an hour
>> so to make suwre the generator is working and so is the transer.
> One of my favorite stories, though quite possibly fictional, is
> about an organization that tested their backup power systems
> regularly but failed to notice that the fuel pump was actually
> connected to mains power so, while every test was successful, during
> a real power outage the generator spluttered and died...
Which reminds me of my favorite story, which, similarly, may or may
not be true. I've never been able to verify it one way or another, and
the folk involved have pretty much all met up with Father Time.
Back in 1965 we had the Big Northeast Blackout (thank you, Canada)
[a], which included NYC.
While emergency power was pretty rare back then, hospitals generally
had something on line.
Sure enough, Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan, NYC, had some pretty
large (by 1965 standards) backup generators, and they soon came up and
gave the hospital functional power.
Except that... well...
.. as you can well imagine, the generators back then were physically
very big, and heavy, and were sitting on the concrete pads in the
basement. Make that sub, sub, basement.
Bellevue (and Manhattan in general) isn't very high above sea level,
and the generators were pretty far down.
Turned out that the sump pumps weren't hooked up to the backup
(About fifteen years later I did, in fact, get to see the generators
in questions. And sure enough they were pretty deep, and there was a
small pool of water around them from the constant drainage.).
The internet publication "Risks Digest" is filled with examples of
this sort. It's well worth reviewing for anyone considering how to
design things to keep working....
[a] the blackout started at the Sir Adam Beck substation
in Canada, near Niagara Falls, and cascaded from there.
Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
[to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]
***** Moderator's Note *****
At the time, I lived in New Hampshire, in an old house on a
back-country road that suffered frequent power failures: when the
lights started to flicker, my brother and I both ran for the cellar to
get the lanterns and my father lit the kerosene heater that was
built into the kitchen stove, but after a few minutes, the lights were
back to normal and the juice was still on. It seems New Hampshire had
its own generators, and could keep going even when the grid went down.
My father was so impressed with the fact that our power stayed on that
he called the President of New Hampshire power to congratulate him.
I remember David Brinkley on TV, commenting on how the studio was
being lit by a lantern that looked like it should be hanging from a
tree next to a stream while someone scaled fish. They were using a
"miniature" battery-powered camera which had been developed for use on
the floor of political conventions: it was about the size of a
suitcase and had a shoulder-mount and brace to support it.
Some years later, in the Eighties IIRC, there was another outage that
affected mostly New York, and I saw the "Today Show" announcers
sitting crowded together in front of a single camera in the "Emergency
Operations Center": it looked cheap and amateurish. Brinkley, however,
had looked like a pro doing his best in bad circumstances: it's funny
how a Coleman lantern can (literally) set the stage for authenticity.
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End of The Telecom digest (6 messages)