29 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for August 23, 2011
====== 29 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 09:34:02 +1000 From: David Clayton <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: On Point: Liberty, Security And Biometrics Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Sat, 20 Aug 2011 08:57:31 -0400, Monty Solomon wrote: > http://onpoint.wbur.org/2011/07/20/biometrics > > Wednesday, July 20, 2011 at 11:00 AM EDT > > Liberty, Security And Biometrics > > Liberty, security, and biometrics. Eye scans, facial recognition systems. > Police and more are using them. We'll look at the stakes. > > The next tool in the American police tool belt is a game changer. > > A little bit of technology that plugs into an iPhone. It can capture an > image of your face. It can scan the pattern of your eyeballs. It will > remember forever. And it can track you anywhere. > > It's called the Mobile Offender Recognition and Information System. > > Biometrics. American troops have used it all over Iraq and Afghanistan, to > ID enemies. > > Now it's coming home. Facial recognition. Iris scans. Sounds like Minority > Report. And it's not just police. Facebook is in the game. ........ And if the database starts off full of people already in the criminal justice system then a lot of people won't have a problem with that, but how about when all the photos of Driver's Licence holders are in it, or when ALL the publicly available Facebook pics are also included? Just give it a few years and the controllers of this technology will have the ability to easily track the movements of virtually anybody who comes within range of it (not just those of us who use cellphones, as happens now). -- Regards, David. David Clayton Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Knowledge is a measure of how many answers you have, intelligence is a measure of how many questions you have.
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 09:39:24 +1000 From: David Clayton <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Americans and Their Cell Phones Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Fri, 19 Aug 2011 16:45:25 -0400, Geoffrey Welsh wrote: > John Mayson wrote: > >> Not to be Debbie Downer here, but when I read things like this all I can >> think of is how spoiled we are. Too many people in the world have real >> problems. Us? Our downloads take too long. > > That reminds me of an (I believe) OnStar ad showing a mobile phone go > flying during a collision and implying that you're out of luck if you're > pinned somewhere and can't reach it. I don't know how we all got to be as > old as we did, not having cellphones let alone OnStar and, following a > collision or an unintended departure from the roadway, we not only had to > free ourselves from the vehicle but also had to find a way to reach gasp > a LAND LINE to call for help... And your cellphone could turn into a potentially deadly object in a collision - as any loose object in a vehicle cabin can be. Years ago I once saw a vehicle crash report of a ballpoint pen that killed someone when it flew off the back shelf and speared into the back of the neck of a front seat occupant, what damage could a object like a cellphone do hurtling around the cabin in a big G-force crash? -- Regards, David. David Clayton Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Knowledge is a measure of how many answers you have, intelligence is a measure of how many questions you have.
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2011 19:46:04 -0400 From: T <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Extensions to pay phones? Message-ID: <MPG.firstname.lastname@example.org> In article <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org says... We had that at a garage I worked in. The phone did, in fact, have > a Touch Tone keypad but, since the line was an actual coin line, > you couldn't make a phone call as the CO didn't give you dial > tone until the pay phone had a coin dropped into it. > > - In roughly 1980 the line was switched to "dial tone first", > but restricted to "911" and (probably) "operator". (this was > part of the whole nationwide transition for 911 service). > > But again, you couldn't make calls to other numbers. Trying > to do so got you a "please deposit ten cents and redial". > > - Somewhere or another I read of ways to get around these > restrictions. Might even have seen it in a movie... Not that > I'd even have known about the details... > > > > -- > _____________________________________________________ > Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key > email@example.com > [to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded] > > > ***** Moderator's Note ***** > > The older models of payphone were manufactured so that the coin-chute > relay was only connected whIen there was a coin in the slot, so that > the CO could easily detect if a coin had been deposited. They could > not, however, detect the denomination(s) or the number of coins in the > slot. > > Early attempts to detect red box fraud were focused on checking for > the presence of a coin after the CO received coin-deposit signalling > tones: the avoidance mechanism is obvious. > > Bill Horne > Moderator I have in my posession a 1990's Qwest 1D2 payphone. You're right, when the coin drops down it trips a little switch and sets one of the relays on the control board.
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2011 21:04:14 -0400 From: T <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Extensions to pay phones? Message-ID: <MPG.firstname.lastname@example.org> In article <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org says... > > On Thu, 18 Aug 2011 15:56:56 +0000 Scott Norwood wrote: > > > > I have seen this sort of setup in an older movie theatre. To the best of > > my knowledge, it is still in place (it was as of a few years ago). > > > > There is a normal Western Electric 1C2 payphone in the lobby for customers > > to use and a second one in the boxoffice to allow the cashier to answer > > incoming calls. Both have the same number, which is also used as the main > > number for the business (and is listed in the phone book as such). The > > owner also has an answering machine connected to the same circuit to > > answer the calls and give out information when no one is in the building. > > What is a WECo 1C2 payphone? > > I am familiar with the single-slot 1A2, but that was back in the 1980s. Is > the 1C2 an upgrade? Do you have a link to a picture? > > I suspect you didn't really mean to imply the movie theater also had a > second 1C2 in the box office. The 1C2 was the next to the last in CO controlled pay phones made by Western Electric. I have a 1D2, here's a pic of the guts: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kd1s/3122036626/ The only key difference I know of between a 1C2 and 1D2 is the totalizer. On the former it's a very electromechanical beast, whereas on the latter it just uses a little sensor board to detect the coins and relay that on to the logic board. In the below picture you can see the sensor board clearly on the coin mechanism: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kd1s/3055173054/
Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2011 23:58:07 -0500 From: "John F. Morse" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Extensions to pay phones? Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Sat, 20 Aug 2011 21:04:14 -0400 T wrote: > The 1C2 was the next to the last in CO controlled pay phones made by > Western Electric. > > I have a 1D2, here's a pic of the guts: > > http://www.flickr.com/photos/kd1s/3122036626/ > > The only key difference I know of between a 1C2 and 1D2 is the totalizer. > On the former it's a very electromechanical beast, whereas on the latter > it just uses a little sensor board to detect the coins and relay that on > to the logic board. > > In the below picture you can see the sensor board clearly on the coin > mechanism: > > http://www.flickr.com/photos/kd1s/3055173054/ Thanks for the info. Also for all the interesting pictures. Too bad Fred Phelps had to spoil Providence. :-( -- John When a person has -- whether they knew it or not -- already rejected the Truth, by what means do they discern a lie?
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 11:20:31 +0200 From: Marc Haber <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Extensions to pay phones? Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> HAncock4 <email@example.com> wrote: >Regarding the theatre and its phone booth, I can't think of any reason >why the phoneco would not continue to provide that service. However, >I suspect the pay phone doesn't get much use and the theatre owner >must pay for it to make up the shortfall. It might be cheaper for >them to terminate the pay phone and just have a regular line for the >box office. In Germany, Telcos are desperately trying to phase out ISDN since the vendors of CO equipment have announced the EOL of the associated hardware. Gr~~~~e Marc -- -------------------------------------- !! No courtesy copies, please !! ----- Marc Haber | " Questions are the | Mailadresse im Header Mannheim, Germany | Beginning of Wisdom " | http://www.zugschlus.de/ Nordisch by Nature | Lt. Worf, TNG "Rightful Heir" | Fon: *49 621 72739834
Date: 20 Aug 2011 21:43:30 -0400 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott Dorsey) To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Verizon strike Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Robert Bonomi <email@example.com> wrote: >There is also a 'nuisance' factor associated with a naked DSL pair. Unlike >a pair with 'dial tone', a field tech cannot tell that whether pair is 'in >use' (meaning 'active', not 'off hook') by simply hooking a butt-set onto >the pair, and 'listening' for voice, or dial-tone. There have been lots >of 'naked' DSL circuit outages because a field tech unwittingly 'stole' an >active pair to fix another problem. I've had plenty of digital circuits and loop circuits of various sorts nynexed over the years, but then again I have also had a few active pots circuits taken down too. Dial tone is no guarantee they won't nynex it. --scott -- "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Date: 22 Aug 2011 00:48:46 -0400 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott Dorsey) To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Verizon strike Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> >Do you mean that the rules are no longer in effect, that the FCC is no >longer responsible for enforcing the rules, or that the FCC chooses >not to? The FCC has authority but no resources to enforce any longer. Witness the huge amount of consumer electronics out there with no possibility of ever coming CLOSE to meeting Part 15 requirements. Most of the field offices are closed down, and the ones that are opening have minimal engineering staff. Up in DC it doesn't seem like there are any engineers left at all, just lawyers. --scott -- "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2011 22:51:12 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: If Phones Ring, Obama Is Here, With Cell Power Message-ID: <email@example.com> If Phones Ring, Obama Is Here, With Cell Power By ABBY GOODNOUGH August 19, 2011 CHILMARK, Mass. - To the slamming screen door, happy vacation chatter and other noises at the Chilmark General Store, add a less expected one this month: ringing cellphones. Chilmark, a town of gentle hills and wandering stone walls in the outer reaches of Martha's Vineyard, has spotty cellular service, at best, for most of the year. But when President Obama and his family arrive for what has become a yearly August vacation, something magical happens. "Suddenly my phone starts ringing," said Rachel Fox, an entertainment lawyer from Manhattan whose family has a home here. "There are people for whom this is a very big deal - not just that the president comes, but that their cellphones work while he's here." The better reception is due to two temporary cell towers (known as cell on wheels) that Verizon puts up here and in neighboring West Tisbury, said Timothy R. Carroll, the executive secretary in Chilmark. He said the White House Communications Agency, which handles phone systems for the president and other federal officials, had requested the towers. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/20/us/politics/20vineyard.html
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2011 19:51:57 -0700 (PDT) From: HAncock4 <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Verzion workers to return to work Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> >From the NYT: "Leaders of the unions that have been on strike against Verizon Communications announced on Saturday 8/20 that they were ending the walkout even though the two sides had not reached an overall settlement for a new contract. Beginning with the evening shift on Monday, the 45,000 striking workers will return to their jobs, posts that they left on Aug. 7 in the nation's largest strike since 2007, when workers at General Motors held a two-day strike. Union leaders are ending the walkout, they said, because Verizon management had finally agreed to engage in serious bargaining on the contentious issues after the company had originally insisted on negotiating more than 100 proposals for concessions. " For full article please see: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/technology/verizon-workers-end-strike-though-without-new-contract.html?_r=1&hp I'm not up on current salaries, but I don't think these traditional workers make very much money. I believe historically phone company workers did not have the greatest pay, but had job security and usually reasonable working conditions to make up for the lower pay. In my humble opinion, having loyal employees is an asset for business. I'm troubled by today's corporate climate of people being disposable, and ongong reduction of fringe benefits once taken for granted by workers at large companies. As to Verizon losing landline business, I can't help but wonder if their service quality has decreased from the past Bell System standards--due to management decisions--and that is driving subscribers away. I wonder if they'd rather have the landline subscribers using cell phones--maybe cell phones are more profitable to Vz. [public replies, please]
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 00:28:13 -0400 From: David Chessler <chessler@VALID-IF-THIS-IS-ELIDED.usa.net> To: email@example.com. Subject: Why did Google pay $12.5bn for Motorola Mobile? Search me... | Technology | Guardian.co.uk | The Observer [obfuscate] Message-ID: <201108210428.BGG41074@mr16.lnh.mail.rcn.net> http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/aug/21/google-motorola-mobile-john-naughton Guardian.co.uk Why did Google pay $12.5bn for Motorola Mobile? Search me... The increasingly fierce battle for intellectual property rights is causing many large corporations to make questionable decisions John Naughton The Observer, Sunday 21 August 2011 Google founders Larry Page, left, and Sergey Brin ensured that only a minority of shareholders were given voting rights. Photograph: Stuart Ramson/Associated Press http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Admin/BkFill/Default_image_group/2011/8/19/1313747711197/Google-founders-Larry-Pag-007.jpg Once upon a time, dinosaurs roamed the Earth - huge, dim-witted monsters that spent much of their time savaging one another in tar pits. They were succeeded by mastodons, lumbering giants with bigger brains and huge tusks but not much in the way of IQ. Their spiritual heirs are the vast corporations that spend much of their time slogging it out in a swamp labelled "intellectual property". Last month, there was much hullabaloo because Nortel, a bankrupt Canadian telecommunications manufacturer, put its hoard of 6,000 wireless patents and patent applications up for auction. The scent attracted a herd of corporate mastodons Apple, Microsoft, RIM, EMC, Ericsson and Sony - which eventually won the auction with a $4.5bn joint bid. This attracted much attention from the commentariat, which interpreted it as a slap in the eye for Google, perceived as a rogue participant because it had made a series of apparently fatuous bids for the patents. At one point, for example, Google bid $1,902,160,540. At another, its bid was $2,614,972,128. And when the herd's bid reached $3bn, Google countered with $3.14159bn. Commentators were baffled by these numbers until mathematicians came to the rescue. The bids were, in fact, celebrated constants in number theory. The first is Brun's constant, the number towards which the sum of the reciprocals of twin primes converge. The second was the Meissel-Mertens constant (which also involves prime numbers). And the third, as every schoolboy knows, represented the first six digits of pi. At this point, the penny dropped. Perhaps the Google guys were playing silly buggers - but with a serious motive, namely to inflate the price that the herd would have to pay. And so it proved. Then, last week, Google dropped a bombshell. It bought Motorola Mobile, a manufacturer of handsets, for $12.5bn. In the process, it acquired Motorola's huge cache of 17,000 patents - and 29,000 employees. This was variously interpreted either as http://www.businessinsider.com/suck-it-applesoft-2011-8 a masterstroke or http://www.businessinsider.com/google-motorola-deal-2011-8 the dumbest move since, well, Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace. In his blog post justifying the acquisition, Larry Page, Google's co-founder and now its CEO, wrote: "Motorola has a history of over 80 years of innovation in communications technology and products, and in the development of intellectual property, which have helped drive the remarkable revolution in mobile computing we are all enjoying today. Its many industry milestones include the introduction of the world's first portable cellphone nearly 30 years ago, and the StarTAC - the smallest and lightest phone on Earth at time of launch." All of which is true, but is also ancient history. He went on to point out that Motorola had bet its ranch on Google's Android operating system for mobile devices and that this implied "a natural fit between our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers everywhere." Oh yeah? There are several flies in that ointment. First, the price Google paid for Motorola represents roughly the same amount per patent as the inflated price the hapless herd paid for Nortel's trove. Second, the move puts Google in a business that no sane executive would want to be in, namely the manufacture of hardware, described by one analyst as a "crappy, low-margin commodity business". Worse still, it puts Google in direct competition with the other handset manufacturers - HTC and Samsung, for example - which have bet their respective ranches on Android. And, worst of all, it means that a software company with 20,000 employees has moved into an area - running a hardware company with a payroll of 29,000 - that lies way beyond its core competency. In the circumstances, it's not surprising that Google's shares are down nearly $90 from where they were on 25 July. Some masterstroke, eh? But even if Google's shareholders are unimpressed, there's precious little they can do about it, for the same reason that News Corporation's shareholders can do nothing about Rupert Murdoch's tendency to run a public company as if it were a family business. Google, you see, has the same shareholding structure as News Corp, one that ensures that only a minority of the shares have voting rights. When they set up the company, the Google guys explicitly stated in the company prospectus that they didn't want mere investors to constrain their freedom of action. They didn't want their freedom to make bold strategic moves to be constrained by Wall Street jitters. And they got their way. One wonders if they've ever heard of that old English adage: "Be careful what you wish for" © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 07:12:24 -0500 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Robert Bonomi) To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: BART cuts off subway cell phone service Message-ID: <jrSdna5sHsO1a83TnZ2dnUVZ_jmdnZ2d@posted.nuvoxcommunications> In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Adam H. Kerman <email@example.com> wrote: >Robert Bonomi <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >>Adam H. Kerman <email@example.com> wrote: >>>Robert Bonomi <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >>>>Gordon Burditt <email@example.com> wrote: > >>>>>>According to one article: >>>>>>"The agency did not jam cell signals, which is illegal, but shut off >>>>>>the system - which Johnson said is allowable under an agreement with >>>>>>several major phone service providers that pay rent to BART." > >>>>>I still wonder if deliberately shutting down 911 service (cellular >>>>>or otherwise) for any reason that isn't itself an emergency ... might >>>>>make them liable in a wrongful death suit should failing to reach 911 >>>>>make a significant difference in the outcome. > >>>>Short answer: almost certainly _not_. They have no 'duty' to provide >>>>such service; they cannot be held liable for not providing it. > >>>Of course they had a duty. > >>Show me the statute, or the case-law, OR the contractual 'terms of passage' >>(invoked by the purchase of a ride on the system) that imposes the duty to >>provide cell service in the subway. > >>And explain why, say, the CTA got away with failing to fulfill that duty >>for, literally, decades after cell-phones were introduced. > >>While you're at it, please identify when this 'duty' came into >>being. Was it with the first 'mobile phones' (MTRS)? The first >>cell-phones? The first hand-held mobile phones? The first hand-held >>cell phones? > >>Does this 'duty' exist only for subway tunnels, or does it apply to >>_all_ tunnels. Like the Holland Tunnel into NYC, or the Eisenhower >>Tunnel in the Rockies. How about Moffat Tunnel? Or all all the other >>rail tunnels that Amtrak trains go through? > >>"Inquiring minds want to know!" > >A property owner has a duty to provide a safe environment to people on >the property and to maintain systems in working condition. FALSE TO FACT. > The duty >to keep the service working came about when it first started working. FALSE TO FACT. >I'm not a P.I. attorney in real life, nor do I play one on tv. But in case >of a tort claim, the plaintiff's argument would be that delay in reaching >rescue personnel aggravated the injury and BART has liability for >that action. > >>>BART claimed it shut down communications due to emergency. > >>"Their property, their rules." > >So you think they have the right to shut down communication services but >are imune from damages that arise subsequently from the foreseeable >consequences of shutting down communication. To be precise, I belive, with a bunch of case-law to back the point, that they have no duty to provide resources to the public for that purpose, and that, therefore, they cannot be held liable for 'failure to do so', *regardless* of why they did not do so. > I don't think that's a >legal defense. You sir, "don't know what you don't know". There is an -ancient- Middle Eastern proverb about: "those who knoweth not, and knoweth not that they knoweth not" After this reply, I'm going to follow that ancient wisdom. >>>If they were truly fearful of violence, then they were anticipating >>>that it was likely injuries would occur. > >>Where did they say 'violence'?? As opposed to say, 'disruption' of >>their services? Or are you assuming 'facts not in evidence', and then >>arguing base on those unfounded-in-fact assumptions? > >There are no facts, as BART wasn't acting on actual events, but fear >of additional bad publicity. Also, based on events elsewhere in the world, >there was the possibility of violence. That's the wrong reason to shut >down communications. I see, you are merely _speculating_ as to why the shutdown was done, and arguing against your self-generated strawman. > >>>The action they took would have aggravated the injuries if delay in >>>receiving treatment was the result. > >>So what? > >>Is the state 'highways' dept (DoT, or whatever name it uses) liable if they >>move a roadside emergency callbox, and emergency response is 'delayed' to >>an accident at the former site of the call-box? (somebody had to go from >>the accident site to the new call-box cite to make the emergency call, >>thus delaying the response by the travel time involved. Suppose the >>accident is inside a tunnel, where cell-phones "don't work". > >That hypothetical is irrelevant to what BART did. Why? the circumstances are exactly the same. > >But if the state highway department acted similarly to BART, shutting >down communications because they were trying to prevent people from >reaching each other to coordinate a mass gathering, then yes, they'd >be liable under a hypothetical similar to the one I offered. > >>>>Note: it is well-established case-law that emergency services providers >>>>(police, fire, etc.) do not have a duty to respond to any particular >>>>incident, even if notified of the event. I suspect that this would also >>>>apply with regard to the 911 'outage' that the OP described. > >>>In this case, BART itself is not the rescue agency. It's still the San >>>Francisco fire department as notified by the San Francisco police department, >>>assuming they run the 911 call center. > >>>I don't see why the case law you are thinking of would apply. > >>You might try reading what was said. SEPARATE FROM the BART situation, >>the OP described a situation where all 911 service in an area was disrupted >>for a period of weeks, due to administrative 'stupidity' in provisioning >>phone lines into the call center, and wondered about liability in that >>situation. THAT is what the "911 'outage'" referred to. > >The relevance is what, then? entirely relevant to the situation the OP raised. You know, people are allowed to discuss more than one example in a single posting. > >>>Here's another legal quandry BART has placed itself in. By claiming not >>>to be a common carrier ... > >>Does BART actually operate any public radio communications equipment? >>Do they hold any government-issued "common carrier" radio licenses? (their >>private-use 'commercial' radio license does not count.) Or do they >>merely rent the use of some of their property to licensed communications >>common carriers? (you have to have a license to operate a transmitter, >>you do not have to have a license for an antenna that somebody else's >>transmitter is connected to.) > >>BART just might know what they're talking about. :) > >Regardless of not being a federal license holder, a common carrier couldn't >shut itself down under similar circumstances. FALSE TO FACT. > BART shut down, so it's not >a common carrier. >>>... because it doesn't accept all communication traffic for any use >>>of communication systems when the system itself was used to but only >>>specific communication traffic, BART may have accepted liability plan >>>a crime or to set up a situation in which harm was caused to another. > >>*snicker* > >>BART absolutely IS a 'common carrier' - Of _people_, that is. They >>offer services to the public, for _a_ _fee_, and are required to >>transport any legal passenger who pays that fee. (The _definition_ of >>a 'common carrier' is one who (a) offers a service, for a fee, to the >>public, (b) is required to provide that service to anyone who pays the >>fee for the legal use of that service, and (c) is subject to >>government oversight, review, and scrutiny of the rates, terms, and >>condition under which that service is provided.) > >I'm not going to guess how common carrier law would apply in this case >as transit districts aren't typically subject to a state public utility >commission or if BART is statutorially defined as such. Sure, BART >appears to be a common carrier. > >>They are not a -communications- common carrier, since they do -not- offer >>any communications service 'to the public', 'for a fee'. >>As I understand it, they (BART), do not offer any public communications >>services AT ALL. They simply 'rent out' some of their property to duly >>licensed communications common-carrier third parties who provide the actual >>communications services. > >When I rent property, I am not subject to the land owner's ability to >prevent my access or use of the property during business hours because >of something that might happen. In the abstract, that is true. UNLESS there are _contractual_terms_ in the lease/rental agreement that do allow such restriction. The carrier contracts with BART HAD such a clause, according to published reports. > BART is not "simply" acting as land owner >granting an easement, right of way, or tenancy. They are controlling >access for reasons of other than preventing conflict with train service. Again, "so what?" applies. >>>You think BART won't be a party to personal injury lawsuits? I do. >>>They've just made it more difficult to defend themselves for their >>>contribution to the situation by allowing communication to take place. > >>I think it is LIKELY they'll get named in suits. They are a 'deep pockets' >>defendant, and there are always greedy lawyers to be found -- who will file >>suit against _anyone_, regardless of the actual 'merits' of the case. > >>I think it is UNLIKELY that anyone will -win- anything against them on >>the basis of their temporarily shutting down the cell service. > >This isn't a matter of greed. This is a matter of litigating whether >BART's deliberate actions contributed to the injury. > >>_EVERY_ cell service provider has disclaimers in their customer contract >>that service may not always be available, and that service may be >>interrupted/disrupted, and that if such happens, it is not a breach >>of the carrier-customer contract. Some cell service providers have >>separate contracts with BART to hook their transmitters to BART's tunnel >>antennas. Those contracts contain a clause that allows BART to disable the >>use of the antennas when BART deems it necessary to do so. > >That's the cellular provider's defense to a tort, not BART's defense. BART is not providing any service to the customer, there is no contract between BART ant the cell user. The cell customer has no 'standing' to sue BART over non-performance of cellular service. 1 >>>Common carrier is an all-encompassing shield from a great deal of >>>liability. This was action against their own interest. > >>Claiming -- or denying -- common carrier status has -no- relationship to >>whether or not one is covered by common-carrier protections. > >>'Common carrier' protections and limitations apply ONLY where there is >>a *contractual* relationship between the carrier and another party, and >>serve to limit the liabilities that the *contractual* *relationship* would >>otherwise impose. > >I think it applies to offering carriage generally, not just to those >with whom it's contracted for carriage. I say again, "you don't know what you don't know", and what you think you know is incorrect. Legally, to be a 'common carrier', you must: 1) be offering a governmentally regulated service, 2) be subject to governmental regulation of the _rates_charged_ for those services. 3) if the government so mandates, have a public schedule of rates on file with the regulatory agency. 4) have minimum and maximum rates (often the same) for each specific service which are subject to government approval and regulation. Until relatively recently you were not a common carrier unless you had a tariff schedule on file with the regulating agency. Certain, but not all, regulatory agencies have waived -- at least 'for now' -- the requirement for tariff filings. If they were to re-instate it -- as is still legally permissible -- any business which wanted to assert 'common carrier' status and the protections thereof would have to comply, or lose said status. If you are not offering service "for a fee", then one of the critical components of a contract is missing -- and either side can terminate their participation -- with or without notice, at any time, for ANY reason, -without- any recourse available to the other party. >>Absent such a contractual relationship, it should be obvious that there is >>_ZERO_ liability for failure to provide a 'contracted' service. Given >>that, any presumption of the existence of liability must be based on a >>statutory (be it 'black letter', or case-law, based) requirement to provide >>such a service. > >So why cannot BART be a subcontractor with regard to a cellular service >subscriber? If BART only provides the 'antenna', and "somebody else" owns/operates the transmitter(s), BART is not a "carrier", common, or otherwise.
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 07:37:05 -0500 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Robert Bonomi) To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: BART cuts off subway cell phone service Message-ID: <FKCdnZeKY6psZs3TnZ2dnUVZ_sOdnZ2d@posted.nuvoxcommunications> In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Adam H. Kerman <email@example.com> wrote: >Robert Bonomi <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >>Adam H. Kerman <email@example.com> wrote: > >>>Communication was shut off due to perception of the possibility of >>>harm to BART, likely with more concern for public relations than the >>>possibility of damage to property. Communication wasn't shut off because >>>actual property damage was occuring. > >>>So, no, they weren't trying to punish a minority by inconveniencing >>>every cell phone user. They were scared based on incidents in London and >>>other cities. > >>>This is prior restraint. > >>FALSE TO FACT. > >>'Prior restraint' is a restriction on -what- you can say, not how you >>can say it. ("Prior restraint" is a 'term of legal art' and has a very >>specific meaning.) > >Fine. So tell us the correct term. > To steal from Disney: "Imagineering" -- where you imagine a causation and argue a fictitious reason for that causation. The facts are that the various actual 'common carriers' -- Sprint, Nextel, AT&T, etc. -- are not, using only their own equipment and antennas, able to provide service in all locations. This is expressly and specifically acknowledged in (a) the terms of their government-issued licenses, and (b) the terms of their contract(s) with their customers. BART provides -- under a contract with some (but not all) of the 'common carriers' physical facilities (the in-tunnel antennas) that allows the service offered by those select common carriers *to*the*common*carrier's* customers to function in the tunnels.` BART has no 'duty' to anyone to maintain that -- or, for that matter, any -- functionality 'in perpetuity'. They can decide to stop offering -anything-, at any time, for any reason (or without a published reason), =unless= they have a contractual commitment to provide such service through some date. BART's contract with the common carriers does allow them to shut off the in-tunnel antenna system. BART acted within the terms of their contracts. This was not an un-Constitutional restriction on 'free speech'. It was, at the most, a restriction on the "time, place, and manner" of speech. Such restrictions have been challenged in the past, and the Constitutionality of such restrictions has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. Given that it is "lawful" for them to do so, no rational court would find liability for a 'legal and proper' action taken by a property owner.
Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 00:07:16 +0000 (UTC) From: David Scheidt <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: BART cuts off subway cell phone service Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Robert Bonomi <email@example.com> wrote: :In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, :Adam H. Kerman <email@example.com> wrote: :>Robert Bonomi <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: :>>Adam H. Kerman <email@example.com> wrote: :> :>>>Communication was shut off due to perception of the possibility of :>>>harm to BART, likely with more concern for public relations than the :>>>possibility of damage to property. Communication wasn't shut off because :>>>actual property damage was occuring. :> :>>>So, no, they weren't trying to punish a minority by inconveniencing :>>>every cell phone user. They were scared based on incidents in London and :>>>other cities. :> :>>>This is prior restraint. :> :>>FALSE TO FACT. :> :>>'Prior restraint' is a restriction on -what- you can say, not how you :>>can say it. ("Prior restraint" is a 'term of legal art' and has a very :>>specific meaning.) :> :>Fine. So tell us the correct term. :> :To steal from Disney: "Imagineering" -- where you imagine a causation and :argue a fictitious reason for that causation. :The facts are that the various actual 'common carriers' -- Sprint, Nextel, :AT&T, etc. -- are not, using only their own equipment and antennas, able :to provide service in all locations. This is expressly and specifically :acknowledged in (a) the terms of their government-issued licenses, and :(b) the terms of their contract(s) with their customers. :BART provides -- under a contract with some (but not all) of the 'common :carriers' physical facilities (the in-tunnel antennas) that allows the :service offered by those select common carriers *to*the*common*carrier's* :*customers* to function in the tunnels.` :BART has no 'duty' to anyone to maintain that -- or, for that matter, :*any* -- functionality 'in perpetuity'. They can decide to stop offering :-anything-, at any time, for any reason (or without a published reason), :=unless= they have a contractual commitment to provide such service through :some date. :BART's contract with the common carriers does allow them to shut off :the in-tunnel antenna system. BART acted within the terms of their :contracts. The contract is not the only controlling document. The terms of the licenses that the carriers operate on matter; they're not allowed, by regulation, which overrides the contract, to cede authority over their licensed spectrum to third parties. So BART don't get to shut off servcie whenever they feel like it. There needs to be a real pressing reason to do so. It's not clear that existed; if it didn't, BART's actions were illegal. It's not clear there's any recourse against them, though. -- sig 57
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 07:39:50 -0500 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Robert Bonomi) To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Telecom Re: BART cuts off subway cell phone service Message-ID: <FKCdnZaKY6oLYc3TnZ2dnUVZ_sOdnZ2d@posted.nuvoxcommunications> In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, David B. Horvath, CCP <email@example.com> wrote: >>On Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2011 14:19:54 -0700 (PDT), : HAncock4 >><firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >>In reading various public comments in the news, I can't help but >>suspect many people do not understand the issue. People seem to think >>it's a "free speech" issue, but I don't see it that way---one does not >>use their cell phone to demonstrate. To me, the issue is (1) does a >>property owner have the right to suspend cell phone service within his >>property over communications gear he owns, and (2) steps a government >>action may take in the face of a civil disturbance. > >In many ways, this is a free speech issue as Bay Area Rapid Transit is >a governmental agency: check out their web site: www.bart.GOV >(emphasis mine). That puts the standard of restricting that speech >pretty high. It is, specifically, a matter of restricting the 'time, place, and manner' of speech. A point which the U.S. Supreme Court has (more than once) held to =be= Constitutional.
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 09:02:06 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Your Voice Mail May Be Even Less Secure Than You Thought Message-ID: <email@example.com> Your Voice Mail May Be Even Less Secure Than You Thought By RON LIEBER August 19, 2011 For all of the palace intrigue recently about who in Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation kingdom knew what about phone hacking when, one fundamental question about the scandal has gone mostly unanswered: Just how vulnerable are everyday United States residents to similarly determined snoops? The answer is, more than you might think. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/20/your-money/your-phone-may-be-less-secure-than-you-thought.html
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 10:58:44 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Banks told of security flaw with use of caller ID Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Banks told of security flaw with use of caller ID By Hiawatha Bray Globe Staff / August 20, 2011 A Boston consumer advocate warned yesterday that JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. make it too easy for data thieves to steal personal information from their credit card customers. Former Massachusetts assistant attorney general Edgar Dworsky, who now runs the consumer education website Consumerworld.org, discovered the flaw after reading a Globe story about "caller ID spoofing'' services - Internet sites used to trick caller ID systems into believing a call comes from a different phone number. Identity thieves who know a customer's ZIP code and the last four digits of his credit card number can use such services to pose as a customer when calling an automated bank customer service line, Dworsky said. Retail stores often print the last four numbers of a credit card account on sales receipts, which a thief could recover from the trash if discarded by the customer. ... http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2011/08/20/banks_told_of_security_flaw_with_use_of_caller_id/
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 13:37:16 -0400 From: tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: advertisement poking fun at the AT&T takeover... Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Sat, 20 Aug 2011 14:29:25 -0400, danny burstein wrote, in part: > ... Virgin Mobile has an advert ... > > thirty seconds. about ten megs: ... > > http://www.dburstein.com/video/virgin/ ... Suggestion: Don't try that on dial-up :-) -- even a Basic DSL connection requires over 200 seconds (3.5 minutes) to gather in all 30 seconds of the whole short video, without doing which you'll suffer from horrible cogging. Cheers, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 16:12:02 -0400 From: David Chessler <chessler@VALID-IF-THIS-IS-ELIDED.usa.net> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Bell Logo History: Doing Business As.... Message-ID: <201108212039.BAQ64838@mr17.lnh.mail.rcn.net> The confusion about the names of the Bell Companies comes about because in most instances they did not change their names on divestiture (1984). The companies hold "Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity" (operating license) that are very valuable, and in some cases are "perpetual." Changing the name of the operating company, or, worse, merging operating companies, might require reissue or modification of the license. Some operating license were granted directly by the legislature and might require that the legislature modify them by statute. No one wants to risk the mischief that would cause. Thus you will see that formal reports of operating companies say things like "New England Telephone Company" dba "Nynex" or "Bell Atlantic" or "Verizon"
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 16:39:55 -0400 From: David Chessler <chessler@VALID-IF-THIS-ELIDED.usa.net> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: BART cuts off subway cell phone service [obfuscate] Message-ID: <201108212039.BAQ64844@mr17.lnh.mail.rcn.net> About 20-30 years ago, when cell phones were a lot newer, some people wanted to jam cell phones on their private property, to prevent disturbance of other patrons. The FCC dealt with these cases under provisions of the Communications Act. However, Title III of the Communications Act (302A) governs only devices that actually transmit radio signals. And Title II of the Communications act (214) permits temporary discontinuance of service. Thus, passive actions, such as installing wire mesh in the walls of a restaurant or movie theater, so it acts as a Faraday cage, would appear to be legal. Disconnecting some antenna (nodes) of the cellular network (those that work in the subway) would also appear to be legal, if it is brief enough. So I don't see many grounds for legal action against BART, but IANAL, although I have played one in the hearing room.
Date: Sun, 21 Aug 2011 19:56:38 -0600 From: Fred Atkinson <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject:VOIP Technical Support (or lack thereof) Message-ID: <email@example.com> Several months ago, I was subscribing to a VOIP provider on a two year contract. About four months before the contract was up, the audio on my end became so garbled that I couldn't understand my callers or the person(s) I was calling. I asked my VOIP provider to troubleshoot it. They tried for a couple of months. They had me bypass my Cisco 871 router and connect my PAP2T VOIP device directly to my cablemodem. It wasn't great, but the quality was much better. Then they pointed the finger at my Cisco router. I asked them to troubleshoot it. They refused. They said they will troubleshoot Linksys and several other SOHO routers but they would not support Cisco (which IMHO is the best). After two months with no resolution, I negotiated a deal with another VOIP provider who assured me that they would support my Cisco router and that same VOIP device. I was assured that they'd get this working for me. So we configured the PAP2T up for the new service and submitted porting requests for my toll-free and my home numbers. The quality was the same. They'd troubleshoot it for a day or so and then drop it. I'd have to call again every few days to make them pursue it further. I pointed out to them that they promised me they'd get it working. I decided to get another Cisco Smartnet contract so we could get some help from Cisco TAC. Cisco TAC went over that router with a fine tooth comb. They could find nothing wrong. So I asked the new provider to troubleshoot again. They never isolated anything. I even gave them access to my Cisco router so they could look at the configuration. After two months with no resolution, I purchased another of that same Linksys PAP2T VOIP devices. It was strictly a shot in the dark (which is not the way to troubleshoot (buy this and replace it. If that doesn't work, buy that and replace it, etc.)). It cleared the problem immediately. Neither one of those providers could isolate the problem and it took four months to resolve it. If they had determined the device was bad in the first place, I could've replaced it a lot sooner. It is clearly a disgrace to the VOIP providers' industry. I contacted my old provider (who had charged me for the two months that I switched before the end of the contract). I told them about the resolution and insisted they refund the two months of charges since they failed to identify the unit as being defective. Just a few days later, those charges were refunded to my charge card. At least they did that much. So far, the new provider has not charged me for service. We'll discuss those first two months if they charge me for them. Fred
Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2011 08:08:17 -0700 (PDT) From: HAncock4 <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Handheld credit card validator for LIRR Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> "The NY MTA announced that the LIRR has launched a pilot program using hand-held Ticket Issuing Machines that allow customers to purchase tickets on board trains with all major credit and debit cards. LIRR conductors assigned to trains running between Ronkonkoma and Greenport will be carrying an Apple iPhone 4 equipped with a PaySaber cradle device that uses an application designed by the LIRR that enables train crews to make credit card sales and 'debit-as-credit' sales and print out tickets in one easy transaction. The device will be used to process onboard cash sales as well during the pilot program." For full press release please see: http://www.mta.info/news/stories/?story=341 Conductors selling tickets aboard most trains had to punch out a special duplicate ticket. One part was given to the passenger as a receipt and the other part was turned in with the cash collected. Punching was cumbersome and slowed down ticket collection.
Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2011 09:11:54 -0700 (PDT) From: HAncock4 <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Hacker group plans more protests Message-ID: <email@example.com> An article in SF Gate describes the hacker group "Anonymous" and its future plans. "Anonymous is anyone, and therefore it's everyone. It's a cause, an idea, a network, a rallying point, its supporters say. But it's a movement that has no structure, no leader, no rules. And yet this is the group - and many of its supporters don't even consider it a group - that gave BART a major headache last Monday when a protest organized online forced the agency to close its four downtown San Francisco stations during evening rush hour, stranding thousands of commuters. Sometimes called a proponent of "hacktivism," Anonymous generally targets institutions its supporters consider to be suppressing free speech and Internet freedom. Earlier this year, some blamed its supporters for a sophisticated attack on Sony's PlayStation Network over the company's pursuit of PS3 hackers, an attack that forced the system offline." for full detailed article please see: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/08/22/MN3M1KP3O3.DTL
Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2011 13:51:15 -0400 From: "Geoffrey Welsh" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: CBC's Cross Country Checkup talks about the effect of technology (primarily smartphones) on children Message-ID: <bedbf$4e5296f3$adcea244$10667@PRIMUS.CA> I didn't catch the whole show, but the Sunday August 21st 2011 episode of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's live call-in show Cross Country Checkup focused on technology - primarily smartphones - and its effect on children. One topic covered was the use of - and prohibition of - smartphones. I plan to catch the rest of the episode via podcast and, if you're interested, you can do so at http://www.cbc.ca/checkup/ http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/aug/21/google-motorola-mobile-john-naughton (Item trimmed to remove unrelated material - Moderator)
Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2011 16:44:03 -0500 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Robert Bonomi) To: email@example.com. Subject: Temporary Moderator Announcement Message-ID: <5uKdnRFcvfY-UM_TnZ2dnUVZ_rOdnZ2d@posted.nuvoxcommunications> Bill is off on a couple of weeks of vacation, and asked me to fill in as moderator in his absence. -- Robert Bonomi
Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2011 16:19:39 -0700 From: Thad Floryan <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: USA's Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 Message-ID: <4E52E40B.firstname.lastname@example.org> I don't recall seeing this posted previously, so here's the URL to the [USA] "Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009": http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111s30enr/pdf/BILLS-111s30enr.pdf It's 4 pages and 125 KB.
Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2011 20:46:36 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: The Mystery of the Disappearing UDID (Apple iOS) Message-ID: <email@example.com> The Mystery of the Disappearing UDID by Marco Tabini TidBITS 22 Aug 2011 Every release of iOS comes with a healthy share of new features, updates, tweaks, and the inevitable accusation that Apple is up to no good. Case in point, TechCrunch broke the news  last week that the latest beta of iOS 5 begins to phase out developer functionality that can be used to track individual devices. The rest of the Mac punditry machine quickly piled on, accusing Apple of trying to shut competitors out of the iPhone market and claiming that developers will no longer be able to provide users with services like scoreboards, personalized accounts, and goodness knows what else. There seems to be general agreement, therefore, that this change (which Apple, true to form, made in the latest beta with little fanfare) is a Big Deal. There's also a lot of confusion, however, on exactly what a UDID is, what it does, and why it is being discontinued. ... http://tidbits.com/article/12438
Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2011 20:46:36 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Lion Security: Building on the iOS Foundation Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Lion Security: Building on the iOS Foundation by Rich Mogull TidBITS 12 Aug 2011 It has long been a truism among tech pundits that Apple users suffer few security attacks due to relatively low market penetration making Macs uninteresting to professional cybercriminals. That may have been true five to ten years ago, but thanks to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, we can now say with assurance that obscurity is no longer Apple's primary defense against attacks. With over 220 million iOS devices sold, Apple dominates the tablet market and is one of the major players in the smartphone market, placing the company on the front lines of the security wars. Since the initial release of the iPhone, Apple has continually added to iOS important security defenses lacking in Mac OS X to keep up with both attacks and jailbreaks. (Every jailbreak is technically a security attack used to circumvent Apple's iOS restrictions.) How does this relate to Lion? Before Apple formalized the name as "iPhone OS" and then "iOS," the operating system on Apple's handheld devices was simply "OS X" or sometimes "OS X for iPhone." Apple representatives made the distinct point that it was merely a variant of Mac OS X, and this was reinforced once people started jailbreaking (and later developing for) the platform. While not identical, iOS and Mac OS X are more alike than different. Apple has been extremely clear that a key goal in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion was to incorporate lessons learned on iOS back into Mac OS X. While many of these changes were focused on the user experience - gestures, Launchpad, and so on - Apple also migrated significant under-the-hood security improvements from iOS into Lion. With Lion, Apple has focused on three significant security improvements that have been put to the test in iOS and closed one longstanding gap in how memory is protected, along with some smaller changes. To be clear, all of these features existed in Mac OS X before Lion in one form or another; the way Apple has combined and enhanced them to change the entire Mac application and OS ecosystem clearly shows the influence of iOS. ... http://tidbits.com/article/12417
Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2011 18:14:25 -0700 From: AES <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: The future of "femtocells"? Message-ID: <siegman-B9462A.email@example.com> OK, I'll ask a predict-the-future question of the gurus on this NG: What's likely to be the future of "femtocells" (aka residential "network extenders")? -- that is, gadgets which connect to a cellphone provider over the Internet and provide a good cellphone signal within the residence and portions of the yard? (I don't mean rooftop gadgets that pick up signals from a nearby towers and rebroadcast them inside a residence.) That is, are major cellphone providers likely to continue making these network extender devices and service available, at reasonable cost, for the foreseeable future? Or are there commercial or political factors that might lead to them dropping this kind of connectivity in the future? Reason for asking: I live in a "faculty ghetto" on a major university campus: 850 fairly upscale residences in a mile-square area, heavily wooded, fairly hilly. Cellphone coverage within much of this area, provided by cell towers in surrounding cities and suburban areas, ranges from poor to lousy. Proposed improvements in coverage using a half dozen low-power distributed antennas hidden inside 30' to 50' high poles about 12" in diameter, located within the area but generally shielded by surrounding trees, are rousing the usual fervid nimby response from a vocal minority. All the residences in this area have or can get good Comcast Internet service; Google 1 Gig fiber is being installed right now. So, why not bypass this entire distributed antenna controversy, and tell everyone to just buy their own femtocell? (I've had a Verizon model for a year or more myself, and it's been excellent.) I'm just attempting to check: are these femtocells likely to remain available indefinitely? Or are there good reasons they might go away? Thanks for any insights.
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