29 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for May 04, 2011
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Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2011 09:01:51 -0700 (PDT) From: Mark Smith <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: The most profound question about cellphones ever. Message-ID: <email@example.com> >Is it okay to charge one's cellphone with it turned on? The manual >says the cellphone should be turned off when charging. So, will it >charge even if it's turned on? And if you charge it with it turned on, >can you receive calls? You can charge any phone when it is on, but if the battery is totally down the phone may go back into charging mode. My Palm Pre, a battery pig, shows a battery charging symbol when the battery is down too low to run the phone. My GSM phones (2 Nokia and a Motorola) will run with a dead battery from the charger. Car chargers may support this mode where the plug in (AC) may not. The phone will definitely ring if it is on. I have made and received calls in this mode. The risk is a dropped call if the talk power takes too much power from the charger and the battery. Remember the charging times are all quoted with the phone off, so charging times when on may be much longer. This is not a big deal if plugged into AC outlet overnight, but if the battery is dead and you want to make a call in a half hour charging with power off is better. Mark
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2011 11:39:20 -0600 From: Fred Atkinson <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Looks like "fake caller ID" laws are about to get a boost Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> At 08:45 AM 4/30/2011, you wrote: >Per Dave Garland: > > If I was > >energetic enough, I could make a custom intercept recording tailored > >to spammers. > >I'm coming around to the idea of a challenge/response: > >- Somebody calls > >- Phone doesn't ring yet > >- Challenge: "Please press 1 for Dave, 2 for Sue, 3 for Don, > 4 for Sam, 5 for Chris, 6 for Ethel, 7 for George, > 8 for Charlie, or 9 for Pete. > >- I'm "Pete" and when somebody presses 9, the phone rings. > >- If anything else is pressed, some sort of extended BS message > ensues - hoping to burn a few minutes for the caller. > > >My theory: people who call me with any regularity will learn to >just hit "9" right away and not be inconvenienced by the >challenge. > >-- >PeteCresswell It's a good idea, Pete. Maybe you should market it. Or maybe you could develop it even further. I used to use a thing called the 'Phone Butler'. I got it just before they implemented the DNC registry. It was great. It charged up on the ringer current when the telemarketer would call in (no battery to replace). You just plugged it into your line like an answering set. You'd answer and as soon as you realized it was a telemarketer calling you hit the star ('*') button on your touch tone pad and it would come online. It had a male, British voice that identified itself as the 'Phone Butler' saying that he had been instructed to 'politely decline your inquiry and to ask you to please put this number on their Do Not Call list'. Then it would hang up (no discussion or argument). And that was something that a telemarketer can't handle. Which is why it was so funny. I believe I have one stashed away in one of my electronics boxes (electronics I haven't used in a while). But I don't need it now since it is unusual for me to get a telemarketing call more than once or twice per year. Then I just give them the 'Put me on your do not call list', let them acknowledge that, and then I hang up. End of story. But others aren't quite as assertive or as bold as I am. That's where this device would be most useful. Here's a URL to where you can buy one: http://electronicsusa.com/mk41.html I remember reading about someone who was running a Phone Butler on his line. The phone rang, he answered, the pitch began, he pressed '*' and hung up. A few minutes later, the phone rang again. It was the telemarketer. The man said, "Didn't you get the message?". He said he did and he wasn't calling back to sell him anything. He said he wanted to find out where he could buy a Phone Butler as a present for his wife and hoped the man would tell him. Regards, Fred
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2011 22:03:54 -0500 From: Dave Garland <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Looks like "fake caller ID" laws are about to get a boost Message-ID: <email@example.com> On 4/30/2011 9:45 AM, Pete Cresswell wrote: > Per Dave Garland: >> If I was >> energetic enough, I could make a custom intercept recording tailored >> to spammers. > > I'm coming around to the idea of a challenge/response: > > - Somebody calls > > - Phone doesn't ring yet > > - Challenge: "Please press 1 for Dave, 2 for Sue, 3 for Don, > 4 for Sam, 5 for Chris, 6 for Ethel, 7 for George, > 8 for Charlie, or 9 for Pete. > > - I'm "Pete" and when somebody presses 9, the phone rings. > > - If anything else is pressed, some sort of extended BS message > ensues - hoping to burn a few minutes for the caller. Hmm.. my VoIP calls that "digital receptionist" and I could do that too. One of the routing options is "echo test", which echos back to the caller anything they say (I think it's for "ping testing"). That might be amusing. But I use the line for my business too, so I had best keep the amusing touches as fantasy. I don't actually get enough spam calls to warrant the effort, anyhow. It does seem like blacklisting particular calling numbers works fairly well (or perhaps when they get the "not in service" recording they remove my number from their dialer list). Dave
Date: Sun, 01 May 2011 03:18:50 -0700 From: Sam Spade <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Looks like "fake caller ID" laws are about to get a boost Message-ID: <wsudnRalPZEWriDQnZ2dnUVZ_sydnZ2d@giganews.com> danny burstein wrote: >> Also, it would be a good idea to go to the FTC Web site and report >>whichever company is continuing to call you. If they get enough >>complaints, they'll at least send them a warning letter. > > > Not meaning to dump on the poster here, but what proof do > we have that the FTC (and the related for this purpose, FCC) > does even this diddlysquat? Yes, we see the periodic press releases > that they put out, but as of last month I was still getting > calls from "Rachel of Card Services", and the feds have gotten > thousands, perhaps tens of thousands... or hundreds... > of complaints. > > She's been at it for literally (and I mean that literally) years. > > For that matter, where in their enabling legislation is > there a provision that states "ignore the public and > disregard violations of the law unless you get X number > of complaints"? > > The FCC handed this issue off to the FTC a long time ago. Congress provided the capability for aggrieved individuals to sue violators in federal court. (Tracking them down then hiring competent counsel to represent you in federal court costs a fortune.) All the FTC does is gather statistics and advise you of your right to file a lawsuit, if you are so inclined. No one, but no one cares about this issue. It was originally raised strictly to appease consumer groups. Briefly, California tried to do something about the issue on intrastate calls. It didn't take long for the telemarketers to switch to interstate calls. Plus, as you probably know, California has run out of money to work such issues. What little money is flowing in (as businesses continue to leave the state en masse) is to maintain state employee Cadillac salaries and Rolls Royce pension plans.
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2011 12:17:13 -0700 From: The Kaminsky Family <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Need a large PBX. Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On 4/29/2011 10:43 PM, The Kaminsky Family wrote: > On 4/29/2011 6:24 AM, Scott Dorsey wrote: >> ***** Moderator's Note ***** > >> Is Rolm still in business? > > When I stopped working for them (ten years ago - time flies!) > they were part of Siemens, and were no longer using the ROLM > name. I think they are still around; I'll ping someone, and > post again what I find out. > > Mark I heard back from a friend who had stayed on long after I left. The last of engineering originally from the ROLM campus were laid off about 2 years ago. By then it was Siemens only in name - it was a subsidiary of the Gores Group (an equity firm). Siemens Networks Boca Raton is the last development site for the unit in the US; they make an IP PBX. Mark
Date: Sun, 1 May 2011 15:33:14 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Dutch Police Used TomTom's GPS Data To Target Speeders Message-ID: <email@example.com> Dutch Police Used TomTom's GPS Data To Target Speeders By Eyder Peralta April 29, 2011 Over the past week, U.S. consumers have been talking about their smart phones keeping tabs on their location. In the Netherlands, another kind of GPS scandal is brewing: The government bought aggregate global positioning system data from the automotive navigation company TomTom and then used it to install speed cameras in places where drivers are most likely to speed. ... http://www.nhpr.org/dutch-police-used-tomtoms-gps-data-target-speeders
Date: Sun, 1 May 2011 16:14:21 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Data Privacy, Put to the Test Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Data Privacy, Put to the Test By NATASHA SINGER April 30, 2011 BIG OIL. Big Food. Big Pharma. To the catalog of corporate "bigs" that worry a lot of us little people, add this: Big Data. It was not a good week for those who guard their privacy. First, we learned that Apple and Google have been using our smartphones to collect location data. Then Sony acknowledged that its PlayStation network had been hacked - the latest in a string of troubling data breaches. You'd have to be living off the grid not to realize that just about everything there is to know about you - what you buy, where you go - is worth something to someone. And the more we live online, the more companies learn about us. But to what extent do others have a right to share and sell that information? That is the crux of a data-mining case that had arguments last Tuesday before the Supreme Court. The case, Sorrell v. IMS Health, is ostensibly about medical privacy: Vermont passed a law in 2007 that lets each doctor decide whether pharmacies can, for marketing purposes, sell prescription records linking him or her by name to the kinds and amounts of drugs prescribed. State legislators passed the law after the Vermont Medical Society said that such marketing intruded on doctors and could exert too much influence on prescriptions. But three health information firms, including IMS Health and Verispan, along with a pharmaceutical industry trade group, challenged the law, saying it restricted commercial free speech. Access to prescription records, IMS Health says, helps pharmaceutical companies market efficiently to doctors whose patients would most benefit from specific drugs. Now the justices are to decide whether the Vermont law is constitutional. But with the recent headlines about privacy invasion - the PlayStation hack followed a recent breach at the online marketing company Epsilon that exposed e-mail addresses of customers of Citibank, Walgreens, Target and other companies - the Vermont case is tapping into a much broader conversation about consumer protection and informed consent. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/01/business/01stream.html
Date: Mon, 02 May 2011 14:08:32 -0700 From: AES <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Donner Summit fiber optic cable routes? Message-ID: <siegman-2321DE.email@example.com> Any amateur historians on these groups who have knowledge about (or maybe were involved in) the fiber optic networks that currently run across Donner Pass in California? -- or can forward this query to people who might have knowledge? Reason for asking: Over the past several centuries Donner Pass has been a major route across the Sierras and into California for many modes of communication and transit, including: --Native American hunters; --Explorers and emigrants on the California Trail in the early 1840s (including the Donner party, some of whom actually made it); --Gold Rush fortune seekers in the late 1840s; --The first transcontinental railroad in the 1860s; --The first transcontinental highway (Lincoln Highway/Highway 40) in1915-1925; --The first transcontinental airline routes in the 1920s; --The Interstate 80 Freeway built for the Winter Olympics in 1960; --Several major pipelines for petroleum products, beginning in 19??; And today, a major set of fiber optic cables connecting California to the rest of the U.S. (For some winter-time photos of 7 foot tall fiber optic route markers on a ridge top above Donner Lake, cf. http://www.stanford.edu/~siegman/fiber_optic_cables_donner_pass/ There is also today an active Donner Summit Historical Society http://www.donnersummithistoricalsociety.org/ who would be very interested both in collecting more information about these cables for their very readable newsletter: http://www.donnersummithistoricalsociety.org/pages/Newsletters.html and maybe even for someone to talk about this at their annual public Rendezvous Event, scheduled this year for August 13-14: <http://www.donnersummithistoricalsociety.org/pages/donnerpasshistrendezv ous.html> I'd be glad to be a transmission channel to this group, either via responses to this newsgroup or to siegman at stanford dot edu.
Date: Tue, 3 May 2011 09:29:07 -0700 (PDT) From: Lisa or Jeff <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Busy trunks--subscriber behavior Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> These days it is very rare to run out of trunks or switching capacity. However, during emergency situations, such as after heavy storms or other natural disasters, or other major emergencies, there may be a temporary overload on telephone facilities. If this happens the switches may get overloaded. If a caller hits a busy signal (of any type), they'll try again very quickly. These unsuccessful call attempts represent a load on a switch. Years ago a flood of call requests to an ESS might cause the entire switch to fail; I'm not sure if today's switches have the same limitation. Some time ago the Bell System Technical Journal did a study on subscriber behavior out of concern that common control offices would be flooded in special situations. While somewhat dated, it is interesting. http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/bstj/vol27-1948/articles/bstj27-3-424.pdf
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2011 17:06:25 -0700 (PDT) From: Wes Leatherock <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: The most profound question about cellphones ever. Message-ID: <email@example.com> --- On Sat, 4/30/11, Sam Spade <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > Zorbampano wrote: > > > Is it okay to charge one's cellphone with it turned on? The manual > > says the cellphone should be turned off when charging. So, will it > > charge even if it's turned on? And if you charge it with it turned > > on, can you receive calls? > > None I've owned have had that limitation that I am aware of. All of > mine have been on charge when in the car. A sales representative for Cingular (now AT&T) told me she always plugs in the car chaerger and plugs her phone into it, turned on, whenever she gets in her car. Wes Leatherock email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2011 22:26:23 -0400 From: T <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Need a large PBX. Message-ID: <MPG.email@example.com> In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com says... > > >Call your Nortel rep. They will actually talk to you. > > Nortel? They're in the process of being dismantled. Who bought > their PBX business? > > R's, > John Didn't Google buy a bunch of Nortel's patents? And here's my take on VoIP systems, particularly Cisco. Not bad at all. And they don't need any special networking anymore. In fact my Cisco phone at work has my Ubuntu box hanging off it.
Date: Sun, 1 May 2011 03:55:08 +0000 (UTC) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Moroney) To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Apple iPhone secretly records owners' every move Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.com (Gordon Burditt) writes: >>> All you have to do is shut down all the location services. They're >>> nothing but a battery drain anyhow. >I suspect that GPS in the phone is not what E911 is using, even >if the phone has a user-accessable GPS. They can use triangulation data from cell phone towers. From this, if the phone can reach 911, the triangulation can locate it. >>> And it isn't just the iPhone but your Android phone might be doing >>> it too. It's why I shut off the GPS and Location Services on mine. >> >> How do the folks runnng E911 centers react to this? They're >> supposed to know where you are now when you call 911. >I wonder if E911 actually uses that information, and if so, how >much for reasons not related to catching pranksters. I work with some emergency service dispatch software, and currently, for the SW I work with, the information is logged but not used by the dispatchers. They do plan to use this info in the future, and I am sure other 911 systems already use it. >Second, most of the places where I've worked do not permit GPS >(especially in a cell phone) to work well inside. Places it >doesn't work well include: > - skyscrapers, especially if you're not on the top floor. > - concrete parking garage structures (except on the roof) > - shielded data centers > - "urban canyons", where you're on a road with skyscrapers > lining both sides of the road. > - even in my own car, with the cellphone in my pocket > or briefcase. (The TomTom on the dashboard works fine, > though.) >The last recorded location as I leave work might still be my home, >even though there has been an hour of driving, parking in the parking >garage, and working in a skyscraper. That last recorded location >is in the wrong county, and 50 miles off, and maybe 9 hours old. >If, as I just tried it, it requires 5 minutes to get enough info >for a location (from inside my home), I suspect I could travel >around work, shopping, and home for a week without actually having >the GPS capture a location, except at home (maybe). The length of time the GPS needs for a lock plus places where it simply doesn't work bothers me as to how useful it is. The phone would have to be in continuous GPS lock (when available) for it to be really useful for 911. >Maybe they've figured out that the location you're calling from may >not be the location of the emergency (if, say, you escaped from the >fire in your house and called from a neighbor's house, or crashed >your car and walked a mile to get to a landline or someone with a >non-crushed cellphone to get help for your passenger who's trapped >in the car), or in the extreme case I've mentioned before, someone >you were talking to on the phone in another state or country seems >to have had a heart attack or seizure and collapsed (and you know >them well enough to know where they live and that they are not >joking). The dispatchers are professionals enough to ask the proper questions and to know when phone location information is and is not useful. As another poster put it, it's more for the "My ex-boyfriend is kicking down my door! <crash> <scream> <click>" call (or other early disconnect or no contact w/caller).
Date: Sun, 1 May 2011 04:06:24 +0000 (UTC) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Moroney) To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Apple iPhone secretly records owners' every move Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> John Mayson <email@example.com> writes: >In 2006 I was driving eastbound on I-20 in eastern Louisiana when I >spotted a small grass fire in the median. I called it in. The LSP >operator took my information but needed to know if it was in the east >or westbound lanes. I said it was in the median between the two. She >insisted I tell her east or westbound. I just said eastbound given I >was east of Monroe and figured that's the direction help would come >from (I had no clue how much farther up the next exit was). Louisiana >didn't burn to the ground that year, so I assume they found it. The dispatch system probably has its area of coverage divided up into sections, usually streets or significant buildings or whatever. For limited acccess highways, the eastbound lanes are considered a separate street from the westbound lanes, which makes sense given how to get to an incident on the EB lanes is going to be different from getting to nearly the same location but on the WB side. I bet that I-20 is divided this way, and the system doesn't have "I-20 median" or "I-20, doesn't matter which side" as a valid location, and the dispatcher isn't going to/allowed to make up part of the entry by randomly assigning a side. >We don't realize sometimes how lucky we are many (most?) US cities >have numbering system. My hunch is few people are aware of it. Given >any street address in the Austin area I can more or less figure out >where it is. Driving in countries where there's no rhyme nor reason >to numbers and where, to quote U2, the streets have no names, it can >be a challenge. Some older Eastern US cities have interesting (or no real) numbering system for at least part of the city, which makes things interesting at best for emergency services.
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2011 16:53:49 +0000 (UTC) From: "Adam H. Kerman" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Looks like "fake caller ID" laws are about to get a boost Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Fred Atkinson <email@example.com> wrote: > There is something you are doing wrong. > Are you ordering things from catalogs? That gives them >implied consent to call you. > How are these people getting your numbers? I think the original source of telephone numbers is header information from credit reports, not illegal to sell even if credit transactions themselves have some minor privacy under federal law. Then once the information is sold to one list consolidator, it gets resold to other list consolidator and never goes away. I have a number that had been someone's business number several years ago, which is how all the callers who try to sell services to that business probably claim to get out of checking the Do Not Call list.
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2011 15:16:14 -0400 From: tlvp <tPlOvUpBErLeLsEs@hotmail.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Innocent man busted for child porn after neighbour leached Wi-Fi Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Fri, 29 Apr 2011 18:57:49 -0400, T <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > ... Of all the locked routers only two are > using WPA or WPA2, the rest are WEP. WEP is pretty trivial to crack into > so if I wanted to do something nefarious I could. > > Most of the WEP encrypted, they are wireless access points supplied by > the ISP. So the ISP enables weak encryption. Nice to know. Yup ... the 2WIRE HomePortal DSL device that at&t/Yahoo HSI supplied me is, so at&t's DSL tech folks report, prepared for nothing more serious than WEP. Maybe the 2WIRE folks would tell me different -- I don't know, as I haven't yet asked. Cheers, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2011 23:49:53 -0400 From: Ron <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Innocent man busted for child porn after neighbour leached Wi-Fi Message-ID: <email@example.com> T <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >However I have noticed one thing. Of all the locked routers only two >are using WPA or WPA2, the rest are WEP. WEP is pretty trivial to >crack into so if I wanted to do something nefarious I could. What you say is true, and WEP is junk, but it's still worthwhile for a few reasons. First of all, it's better than nothing. It does defeat casual attacks. As an analogy, even a bottom of the line Quickset lock defeats the doorknob-rattler looking for the easy opportunity of an unlocked door. The other thing it does is serve notice that this is a private network. If someone gets arrested for hacking into a WEP-encrypted net, they can't argue that it was accidental or they thought it was being offered freely to the public. -- Ron (user telnom.for.plume in domain antichef.com)
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