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The Telecom Digest for November 26, 2010
Volume 29 : Issue 319 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:

Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction(Monty Solomon)
Re: US may disable all in-car mobile phones(Richard)
Re: US may disable all in-car mobile phones(John Mayson)
Re: US may disable all in-car mobile phones(John Levine)
Re: US may disable all in-car mobile phones(Bill Horne)
Re: When Your Company Remote-Wipes Your Personal Phone(John Mayson)
Re: early CATV - terrestrial HBO distribution(T)
Did someone call me about a Teletype machine? [nfp](Bill Horne)


====== 28 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2010 00:30:02 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction Message-ID: <p0624083bc913a32a9c52@[10.0.1.2]> Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction By MATT RICHTEL November 21, 2010 REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - On the eve of a pivotal academic year in Vishal Singh's life, he faces a stark choice on his bedroom desk: book or computer? By all rights, Vishal, a bright 17-year-old, should already have finished the book, Kurt Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle," his summer reading assignment. But he has managed 43 pages in two months. He typically favors Facebook, YouTube and making digital videos. That is the case this August afternoon. Bypassing Vonnegut, he clicks over to YouTube, meaning that tomorrow he will enter his senior year of high school hoping to see an improvement in his grades, but without having completed his only summer homework. On YouTube, "you can get a whole story in six minutes," he explains. "A book takes so long. I prefer the immediate gratification." Students have always faced distractions and time-wasters. But computers and cellphones, and the constant stream of stimuli they offer, pose a profound new challenge to focusing and learning. Researchers say the lure of these technologies, while it affects adults too, is particularly powerful for young people. The risk, they say, is that developing brains can become more easily habituated than adult brains to constantly switching tasks - and less able to sustain attention. "Their brains are rewarded not for staying on task but for jumping to the next thing," said Michael Rich, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and executive director of the Center on Media and Child Health in Boston. And the effects could linger: "The worry is we're raising a generation of kids in front of screens whose brains are going to be wired differently." But even as some parents and educators express unease about students' digital diets, they are intensifying efforts to use technology in the classroom, seeing it as a way to connect with students and give them essential skills. Across the country, schools are equipping themselves with computers, Internet access and mobile devices so they can teach on the students' technological territory. It is a tension on vivid display at Vishal's school, Woodside High School, on a sprawling campus set against the forested hills of Silicon Valley. Here, as elsewhere, it is not uncommon for students to send hundreds of text messages a day or spend hours playing video games, and virtually everyone is on Facebook. The principal, David Reilly, 37, a former musician who says he sympathizes when young people feel disenfranchised, is determined to engage these 21st-century students. He has asked teachers to build Web sites to communicate with students, introduced popular classes on using digital tools to record music, secured funding for iPads to teach Mandarin and obtained $3 million in grants for a multimedia center. He pushed first period back an hour, to 9 a.m., because students were showing up bleary-eyed, at least in part because they were up late on their computers. Unchecked use of digital devices, he says, can create a culture in which students are addicted to the virtual world and lost in it. "I am trying to take back their attention from their BlackBerrys and video games," he says. "To a degree, I'm using technology to do it." The same tension surfaces in Vishal, whose ability to be distracted by computers is rivaled by his proficiency with them. At the beginning of his junior year, he discovered a passion for filmmaking and made a name for himself among friends and teachers with his storytelling in videos made with digital cameras and editing software. He acts as his family's tech-support expert, helping his father, Satendra, a lab manager, retrieve lost documents on the computer, and his mother, Indra, a security manager at the San Francisco airport, build her own Web site. But he also plays video games 10 hours a week. He regularly sends Facebook status updates at 2 a.m., even on school nights, and has such a reputation for distributing links to videos that his best friend calls him a "YouTube bully." Several teachers call Vishal one of their brightest students, and they wonder why things are not adding up. Last semester, his grade point average was 2.3 after a D-plus in English and an F in Algebra II. He got an A in film critique. "He's a kid caught between two worlds," said Mr. Reilly - one that is virtual and one with real-life demands. Vishal, like his mother, says he lacks the self-control to favor schoolwork over the computer. She sat him down a few weeks before school started and told him that, while she respected his passion for film and his technical skills, he had to use them productively. "This is the year," she says she told him. "This is your senior year and you can't afford not to focus." It was not always this way. As a child, Vishal had a tendency to procrastinate, but nothing like this. Something changed him. ... https://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/technology/21brain.html
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2010 21:46:43 -0800 From: Richard <rng@richbonnie.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: US may disable all in-car mobile phones Message-ID: <fstre6pfqbqjabbq2ou59lh2csr8ecuc9m@4ax.com> On 24 Nov 2010 23:11:44 -0000, John Levine <johnl@iecc.com> wrote: > >>moving faster than a walking pace could be denied service except for >>911. > >Hmmn. Could you explain exactly why I can't use my phone when I'm >on the train? Or if I am a passenger in the back seat of an automobile, or better yet in the back of a taxicab or a motor home which is moving? ***** Moderator's Note ***** OK, guys, we get it. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2010 13:33:19 -0600 From: John Mayson <john@mayson.us> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: US may disable all in-car mobile phones Message-ID: <AANLkTinq+5tc-q-Jr7ueex43G9bm6VKVz9ObZRmPhU1=@mail.gmail.com> On Wed, Nov 24, 2010 at 5:11 PM, John Levine <johnl@iecc.com> wrote: > >>moving faster than a walking pace could be denied service except for >>911. > > Hmmn. Could you explain exactly why I can't use my phone when I'm > on the train? It's the classic tale of 10% of the population ruining it for the remaining 90%. For a decade we've heard time and again that we shouldn't talk or text while driving. Instead of seeing the wisdom in that we see it as an assault on our rights and this is the end result. Congratulations America! John -- John Mayson <john@mayson.us> Austin, Texas, USA
Date: 26 Nov 2010 00:43:52 -0000 From: John Levine <johnl@iecc.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: US may disable all in-car mobile phones Message-ID: <20101126004352.15957.qmail@joyce.lan> >> Hmmn. Could you explain exactly why I can't use my phone when I'm >> on the train? > >It's the classic tale of 10% of the population ruining it for the >remaining 90%. If you're referring to the 10% of the people who dangerously talk on the phone while driving, I would agree. If you think that "moving at more than 20 mph" is synonymous with "driving a car", I have to conclude that you've never been to New York or any other large city with useful transit, or ridden in a carpool. It's possible there is some technical hack to recognize a phone that is being used by the operator of a moving vehicle, but this isn't it. R's, John
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2010 21:26:38 -0500 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: US may disable all in-car mobile phones Message-ID: <20101126022638.GA347@telecom.csail.mit.edu> On Fri, Nov 26, 2010 at 12:43:52AM -0000, John Levine wrote: > >> Hmmn. ? Could you explain exactly why I can't use my phone when I'm > >> on the train? > > > >It's the classic tale of 10% of the population ruining it for the > >remaining 90%. > > If you're referring to the 10% of the people who dangerously talk on > the phone while driving, I would agree. > > If you think that "moving at more than 20 mph" is synonymous with > "driving a car", I have to conclude that you've never been to New York > or any other large city with useful transit, or ridden in a carpool. > > It's possible there is some technical hack to recognize a phone that > is being used by the operator of a moving vehicle, but this isn't it. Gentlemen, I agree that a blanket prohibition won't work if it's based on only one test. (Sorry, Tom). But - What can we do that will work and will be accepted by drivers? Let's face it: banning risky behavior cuts right to the heart of what Democratic governments stand for, and it is justified only when the majority of citizens agree that the ban does more good than harm. It may, for example, be a PITA to have to buckle up all the time we're driving, but the inconvenience is small compared to the costs (human, societal, and commercial) of not doing it. A majority of people agree that the good outweighs the bad. It may be, for example, an offense to some religious beliefs when children are vaccinated against common diseases. Again, the majority of people agree that the rights of the children to walk erect and hear properly and have full possession of their faculties outweigh those of their parents to worship as they choose. Cellphones have all the wrong attributes from a public-safety point of view: they're small, hard to see, complicated, and useful. Moreover, the cellphone market has grown with extraordinary speed (pun intended), to the point where cellular-service providers have Billions of dollars in cash flow every year, and thus the power to influence public opinion and legislative actions. This is turning into an elephant fight, and we need to be careful that grass-roots debate and consensus doesn't get trampled by the giant companies arrayed on both sides of the issue: HMO's and common carriers. Insurance underwriters are on one side, allied with government actuaries, both keeping track of the ever-increasing expense of accidents: medical care, time lost from work, and diminished capacities when survivors must return to normal life. These direct costs are just the tip of the iceberg: every highway accident during rush hour causes "ripple" expenses because hundreds or thousands of other motorists are late for work, unable to shop on the way home, etc.: costs that policy makers must consider even if motorists are unaware of them. In opposition: the _incredibly_ profitable cellular industry, drunk on the nectar pouring out of the holy grails of deregulation, de-unionization, and per-minute pricing. Make no mistake: this technology has, in one generation, accomplished what the Bureaucrats who ran the telephone networks in Ma Bell's Golden (again, pun intended) age could never achieve. 1. Cellular carriers have few of the expenses that burden wire-line incumbents - A. No infrastructure in or over the streets. B. No pension plans worth mentioning. C. Little or no requirement to serve unprofitable areas. 2. The expensive unionized workforce of the wire-line telephone industry has been replaced by a travelling circus of contractors, non-union limited-task workers, and avaricious owners who care for nothing but profit and whose notion of "Public Service" is largely limited to a sincere desire to be rich and gone when problems arise. 3. Per-minute pricing is now the accepted norm. So, as you see, the cell carriers have incentives to fight any restrictions on cell use, and most people have a "It's their business" attitude that takes no account of the price we must all pay for cell use by drivers. Someone is going to lose. My bet is on the public: either the insurance industry will find a way to deny claims that involve cell use by drivers, or we'll all get used to paying more taxes for spinal-injury care. After all, when elephants fight, it's the grass that gets trampled. -- Bill Horne (Filter QRM for direct replies)
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2010 13:40:15 -0600 From: John Mayson <john@mayson.us> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: When Your Company Remote-Wipes Your Personal Phone Message-ID: <AANLkTi=VCS7ZWhraSpZ-eS4=xUSbSK9uExU=nTg2Z9ky@mail.gmail.com> Is the iPhone the only smart phone with this "feature"? A friend of mine claims this is impossible on an Android device, but didn't elaborate. -- John Mayson <john@mayson.us> Austin, Texas, USA
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2010 12:27:49 -0500 From: T <kd1s.nospam@cox.nospam.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: early CATV - terrestrial HBO distribution Message-ID: <MPG.275866a45b099e28989d00@news.eternal-september.org> In article <20101114122029.71194xwkxe1kdsow@webmail.uslec.net>, bernies@netaxs.com says... > > When I was a kid in the early 1970's I visited my uncle in Allentown, > PA, who was a research scientist for AT&T Bell Labs there. We > attended a party at a well-off neighbor's house where the TV was tuned > to a new channel their kids called "Home Box". They said it came over > the "box" and there was indeed a special box on the TV stand that > received it. > > They told me it showed movies during prime time, but that they were > all very dated movies. It was mid Sunday afternoon, and because that > wasn't prime-time, "Home Box Office" was playing its usual > non-prime-time endless loop 'interval signal' of a Frenchman riding a > bicycle. For hours all we could see on "Home Box" was the rear view > of that Frenchman pedaling away, with a French music loop soundtrack. > > My uncle told me the signal was delivered to the house via cable after > coming over AT&T microwave repeaters located on mounaintops, a concept > that intrigued me. I've read that in 1975 HBO became the first TV > network to broadcast via satellite when it showed the "Thrilla in > Manila" boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier to its > subscribers. > > -Ed I recall when you could get HBO via RF instead of cable. At least that was the case in Providence, RI in the late 1970's. Cable rolled in in the early 80's and it's never been the same.
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2010 19:47:12 -0500 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Did someone call me about a Teletype machine? [nfp] Message-ID: <20101126004712.GA32551@telecom.csail.mit.edu> My son told me today that someone had called me about a "really heavy printer", but he didn't have anymore details and didn't write down a phone number. If you were trying to reach me about a Teletype or similar machine, please try again. Email is actually better, but use 339-364-8487 if you need to phone. Thanks for trying. Bill -- Bill Horne W1AC (Filter QRM for email replies)
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.
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