The Telecom Digest for December 08, 2010
Volume 29 : Issue 331 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
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Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2010 02:04:29 -0500 (EST)
From: Dan Lanciani <email@example.com>
Subject: Whistlephone VOIP
In the past I've bemoaned the fact that external VOIP services do not seem
to work well for me. (VOIP within my own network is fine.) Recently I've
been using Whistlephone and the quality is quite acceptable; no obvious
dropouts. Whistelphone is a free service for calls within the US. It is
ad-supported. You listen to a 15(?) second ad at the beginning of your
You must download their softphone application to sign up; however
they do not prohibit (but do not support) use with ATA devices and/or
Asterisk. I use it with Asterisk and my ancient 2500 set, so whatever
they are doing right does not depend on the client. (I suppose it is
possible that they are just closer to me in some sense than other services.)
My only worry is that lately the ads have been for Whistelphone itself,
suggesting that their funding model may be failing. :(
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2010 10:47:11 -0500
From: Randall <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Driving While Distracted
On Dec 7, 2010, at 3:20 AM, email@example.com wrote:
> From: Matt Simpson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: email@example.com.
> Subject: Re: US may disable all in-car mobile phones
> Message-ID: <net-news69-4B125E.firstname.lastname@example.org>
> In article <email@example.com>,
> "Gary" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> Simply allow auto and medical insurance companies to deny coverage to
>> drivers involved in accidents when the evidence shows they were
>> using their
>> phone. Make drivers fully liable for all property damage, medical
>> costs and legal costs while driving and talking, and that would go
>> a long
>> way to resolving the issue without any fancy technical solutions.
> Unfortunately, many drivers would not have adequate financial
> to compensate their victims, leaving the innocent victims trying to
> squeeze blood out of a turnip.
> It might be more reasonable to handle it similar to DUI. The
> companies would still pay the damages, but after the first claim, they
> could either cancel the policy or charge sky-high premiums.
When your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
Why would you prefer to have more uninsured drivers on the road?
People don't stop driving, just because they lose their insurance,
any more than they stop driving when they lose their licenses.
Kentucky requires people convicted of DUI to attend "Driving School"
(which is really nothing more than a money machine for for-profit
EVERYBODY drives to those classes, and then they drive home afterward.
If the insurance company finds out about the DUI, they cancel the
standard policy and will only insure the driver in the "Assigned Risk"
pool - liability only, for about four times the price.
A VERY large percentage of people who get hit with this increase
are unable to pay it.
So they drive without insurance.
The idea behind DUI laws is that people who drive with more
than a minuscule amount of alcohol in their bloodstream are
inordinately dangerous to other drivers.
So why, exactly, does Public Policy ensure that a large number
of those presumably more-dangerous drivers have no automobile
ObTelecom: Substitute "Talking on cell phone while driving" for "DUI".
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2010 19:49:00 -0500
From: Ernest Donlin <email@example.com>
Subject: Question about an old scrambler phone
(moderator please change my email address so spammers can't use it.)
I've got an odd sort of a question for your group.
When I was a kid, my friend's dad had a phone in his house that he told me
was a "scrambler". It was a regular telephone, mounted on a metal
base, with an AC cord for the base. The base had just two vacuum tubes in
it, and a couple of transformers. It didn't look like much, but my friend
said his dad used it to make scrambled phone calls to his reserve unit.
Has anyone ever seen anything like that? I never knew if he was yanking my
chain or not.
***** Moderator's Note *****
If you want me to obfuscate your email address, PLEASE put
"[obfuscate]" (without the quotes, but with the brackets) in the
SUBJECT line of your post. Thank you!
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2010 20:08:10 -0500
From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net>
Subject: Another odd question
This seems to be a day for odd questions, and I just thought of one.
The Ethernet plugs we use at work are wired for the "568B" standard,
with the orange wires on pins 1 and 2, and the green wires on pins 3
Here's the question: _why_? I've been told that the whole idea with
Ethernet is to avoid "Near end crosstalk", so it seems to me that the
best way to do that would be to put one pair on pins one and two, and
the other on pairs seven and eight. How did we wind up with 568B?
(Filter QRM for direct replies)
Date: Tue, 07 Dec 2010 20:25:28 -0500
From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net>
Subject: A question about CO wiring
I've been working for a company that sells a line-switching device for
use by the utility industry. We routinely get boxes returned to us
that have been fried by voltage spikes, and it occurs to me that a
central office must take a lot of surges, spikes, etc. That's a
paradox, because I never heard of a CO being damaged by anything but a
direct lightning hit the whole time I was a tech.
We had, of course, "carbons" and "heat coils" at the frame that were
intended to take care of spikes coming in on the cable, but to gauge
by the way today's electronic boxes get burned up so easily, I'm
really surprised we didn't have a lot more trouble with lightning.
Ergo, I'm wondering what other equipment was used to keep the CO's
from suffering at Zeus' hands.
(Filter QRM for direct replies)
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End of The Telecom Digest (5 messages)