30 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for November 27, 2011
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Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2011 10:15:51 +1100 From: David Clayton <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Hedy Lamarr--actress/radio inventor Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Thu, 24 Nov 2011 11:19:23 -0800, Joseph Singer wrote: > Wed, 23 Nov 2011 07:21:16 -0800 (PST)From: HAncock4 wrote: > >> Actress Hedy Lamarr is credited with inventing key concepts used in >> radio and telephony to this day. Her biography, by noted author Richard >> Rhodes, has been published. I'm sorry, I can't see that name without having immediate flashbacks to "Blazing Saddles". Someone has to end this thread before I get the DVD off the shelf..... -- 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. ***** Moderator's Note ***** Ah, the joys of a full plate of beans and a whiff of smoke around the campfire ... it makes my eyes water just thinking about it. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2011 20:55:08 -0800 (PST) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (HAncock4) To: email@example.com. Subject: Update on at&t/T-mobile merger Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> The NYT reported on 11/24/11 "The companies said they had withdrawn their application to the F.C.C. to join their cellular phone operations but still plan to contest a federal antitrust lawsuit and pursue their $39 billion deal" http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/25/technology/att-deal-with-t-mobile-takes-a-step-back.html?hp To me it seems if the whole point of the Bell System Divesture was that public interest required smaller competing companies, then this merger should not be allowed. Aren't both wireless companies big enough on their own to compete successfully? [public replies, please]
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2011 05:00:08 -0600 From: email@example.com (Robert Bonomi) To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Telephony on TV Message-ID: <dtKdndkP_Jml6FLTnZ2dnUVZ_q-dnZ2d@posted.nuvoxcommunications> In article <email@example.com>, danny burstein <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >[snippeth] > >>Did Mannix have a car phone? I remember back then that VIPs would be >>shown with a car phone, which were very rare back then. You're right, >>it added some "sexy" or coolness to the show. > >Don't recall about Mannix, but if we go back to the 1950s, >"The Adventures of Superman" [a] featured publisher Perry >White with a car phone. None of the reporters or other >secondary people... Yes, Mannix had one. As with Cannon, it was used infrequently. Both used 'operator assisted' dialing. ***** Moderator's Note ***** Someone told me that 'Mannix' was the trade name of a drug used for treatment of manic-depressive illness, now called bipolar disorder. Was that a little bit of a Hollywood inside joke? Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2011 21:28:11 -0600 From: email@example.com (Robert Bonomi) To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Telephony on TV Message-ID: <7u-dnfytEfTWM0zTnZ2dnUVZ_jidnZ2d@posted.nuvoxcommunications> In article <dtKdndkP_Jml6FLTnZ2dnUVZ_q-dnZ2d@posted.nuvoxcommunications>, > >***** Moderator's Note ***** > >Someone told me that 'Mannix' was the trade name of a drug used for >treatment of manic-depressive illness, now called bipolar >disorder. Was that a little bit of a Hollywood inside joke? You shouldn't believe everything people tell you. :) There is a drug with the registered trademarked name of 'Mannix" in THAILAND. it is a muscle relaxant. There is a 'herbal remedy' called 'manix' -- primarily used as a diuretic.
Date: 25 Nov 2011 11:11:05 -0500 From: email@example.com (Scott Dorsey) To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Universal Service Reform Order Yields a Surprise or Two Message-ID: <email@example.com> Adam H. Kerman <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >FCC is ordering 6 Mbps down/1.5 up in rural areas in five years in some >portions of rural service area. 4/1 in all Universal Service areas in >five years, and 4/1 to 85% of subscribers in three years. Wow! That's as good as Korea had a decade ago! What an advance! >What federal law defines broadband as universal service? In the past it has not been defined as such, which I would argue has been a barrier to broadband availability in many areas. --scott -- "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2011 11:41:50 -0800 (PST) From: email@example.com (HAncock4) To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Please contribute to keeping Wikipedia free of ads Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Nov 24, 3:03 pm > ***** Moderator's Note ***** > I didn't say Wikipedia was perfect. I said "They do good work". I agree, they do good work, all things considered. Yes, since it is user contributed, errors of fact and omission do creep in and some of them are maliciously planted. It is not a resource I would depend on to decide whether or not to have ... surgery. But it is a good resource for background or miscellaneous information and the footnotes allow for further research. I plan to contribute.
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2011 22:27:36 -0500 From: "Michael D. Sullivan" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Please contribute to keeping Wikipedia free of ads Message-ID: <CA+K-LfY=NfbNjm4wVmaToCLUXx-wubhZrJSq017+00+CyBNsEQ@mail.gmail.com> On Thu, 24 Nov 2011 12:03:39 -0800, John David Galt <firstname.lastname@example.org> said, in Message-ID: <email@example.com>: > ***** Moderator's Note ***** > > OK, I opened the door, so I'm going to allow the followup. > > I didn't say Wikipedia was perfect. I said "They do good work". > > This is important: Wikipedia gives people who were actually there the > chance to publish first-hand information about subjects that they > actually were involved in creating or changing. Having access to the > people who made the history is a privilege that only the Internet > could provide, and Wikipedia is a major vehicle for carrying this > important work forward. No, Wikipedia is not a place for first-hand information or original research. It is a place for referencing, summarizing, and curating information that is already available, either in print, online, or elsewhere. It has sister projects, such as the Wikimedia commons and Wikisource, where source documents can be posted. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Five_pillars for more information in general. No Original Research is one of the core policies of Wikipedia: Wikipedia articles must not contain original research. The term "original research" (OR) is used on Wikipedia to refer to material, such as facts, allegations, and ideas, for which no reliable, published source exists. This includes any analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position not advanced by the sources. To demonstrate that you are not adding OR, you must be able to cite reliable, published sources that are directly related to the topic of the article, and directly support the material as presented. The prohibition against OR means that all material added to articles must be attributable to a reliable published source, even if not actually attributed. The verifiability policy says that an inline citation to a reliable source must be provided for all quotations, and for anything challenged or likely to be challenged, but a source must exist even for material that is never challenged. That "Paris is the capital of France" needs no source, because no one is likely to object to it and we know that sources exist for it. The statement is attributable, even if not attributed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:No_original_research -- Michael D. Sullivan Bethesda, MD ***** Moderator's Note ***** My point, which I didn't express very well, is that primary sources are available to confirm or deny what is published, and even if a "non fact" has appeared in a dozen other publication, Wikipedia has a feedback mechanism that allows for corrections from those who have more accurate information. I'm closing this thread after today: this is a subject for another forum. I still think they do good work, but everyone has to make up their own mind about that. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Thu, 24 Nov 2011 20:26:24 -0800 (PST) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (HAncock4) To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Early advanced PBX systems--Telephony on TV Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Nov 24, 10:30 am, Wes Leatherock <wleat...@yahoo.com> wrote: > > Question: In conducting business, Hollywood studios made extensive > > use of the telephone, even going way back. I wonder if they Bell > > System provided them with advanced PBX switchboards or networks to > > accomodate their demand. I wonder if studio lots had more telephone > > extensions than a typical industrial site. > ...Some of the independent compahies were pretty progressive and their > telephone service may have provided by independent companies which > could also supply such equipment and networks. Let's use 1940 as a base year. What kind of advanced PBX systems and special features for high volume users did the Bell System and Independent companies offer at that time? My recollection of the Bell System history is that except for a few cordboard features (eg automatic ringing), _advanced_-dial features wouldn't come until well into the 1950-60s when crossbar was developed for PBX use. But, some Bell companies developed special services on their own and perhaps some were offered to Hollywood studios since presumably they were major customers. Did the Independent equipment providers (eg Leich, Automatic Electric, Kellogg, Stromberg Carlson) offer any advanced technology for large PBX customers in 1940? How about after the war*? I think at that point for large users Bell basically had its 701 dial PBX, with special features mostly handled manually by the PBX attendant or someone's own secretary via an office key system. For instance, if an executive barked "get me John Smith over at Paramount!", a secretary or PBX attendant would look up Mr. Smith's phone number, dial it, get Mr. Smith (or his secretary on the line), and announce the call to the caller when it was ready. If Mr. Smith wasn't available, the secretary would manually leave a message or search him out elsewhere. Other businesses worked the same way, indeed these practices continued well into the 1970s. The studios probably were liberally equipped with extensions, trunks, and, key systems in offices. My guess is that they may have had more trunks and extensions than other large businesses. Back then, some offices had their own intercoms between a manager and his secretary and staff--these are often depicted in old movies, and such 'squawk boxes' may have been cheaper than a Bell provided key system intercom. Studios may have extensively used "code call" which was a system of coded flashing lights that signalled a particular person to call in. Studios sometimes had branch offices in New York City to deal with financing or the theatre community. I wonder if studios had cross- country tie-lines back then (very expensive to carry, but eliminated expensive a la carte toll charges and may have allowed faster calling.) Perhaps they had cheaper private TWX or Western Union lines. In those days telegraph traffic was "piggybacked" on low bands of voice trunks. Slow at a rate of 60, but cheaper. Like many industrial sites of the time, they may have owned a separate in-house telephone network for internal calls. Someone who had two phones on their desk, particularly two different types of phones, often had one Bell phone and one internal phone. A privately owned system saved on monthly Bell rentals, but meant that the owner had to do his own maintenance. If an organization was large enough, it would already have a staff available for that. (Many school classrooms had such networks). In those days one could ask the long distance operator to "get me John Smith in Scranton" and the long distance operator would call distant directory assistance to get the number, then place the call person to person. Long distance back then was expensive partially for that reason. In the immediate postwar era, the Bell System urged callers to place calls by number to save on time and make better use of [the] operator distance dialing [service] which was becoming available. Going forward into the modern era. I wonder if Hollywood studios were quick to go onto Centrex service. Step by step, which widely served the LA area, was easily adaptable to providing Centrex. (When did the Independent telephone companies begin to offer Centrex?) * Getting a detailed history of the AE company hasn't been easy.
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2011 19:38:11 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: The Machine That Makes You Musical Message-ID: <email@example.com> The Machine That Makes You Musical By ROB WALKER November 23, 2011 In a dimly lighted conference room in the Palo Alto, Calif., offices of Smule, a maker of music apps, Ge Wang was sitting in a meeting with his colleagues, humming, singing and making odd whooshing noises into the microphone of an iPad, checking the screen, and then pounding fugues of code into an attached laptop. Poking at his devices, he reminded me of a child obliviously amusing himself while the grown-ups natter on around him. Nobody else in the meeting seemed to notice Wang's behavior as they listened to a debriefing about recent updates to Smule's Mini Magic Piano app. When the guy at the head of the table mentioned that the graphics on the welcome page now subtly pulse, Wang looked up. "Yeahhhh," he said. "Classic Smule," he added in a mutter to nobody in particular. "Everything needs to pulse." Then he blew into his iPad mic and banged some more code. Wang, who is 34 and a founder of the company, often leaves an impression of childlike distractedness. But in fact he's distressingly productive. He was coding in someone else's meeting in July because he had just two hours to prepare for a presentation on a new Smule product, code-named "Project Oke." His company has been remarkably successful, but the app-o-sphere is more competitive than it used to be, and there was a lot riding on his coming up with another hit - ideally by year's end. Wang likes to say that he has two full-time jobs, and they seem wholly distinct. At Stanford University, where he is an assistant professor, he teaches a full course load through the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (usually referred to as CCRMA, pronounced "karma"), presiding over a highly experimental "orchestra" that performs with cleverly customized laptops, cellphones and other electronics. It's very cutting edge and, in terms of audience, very rarefied. At Smule, a profit-driven, private company that recently raised its second round of venture-capital financing, he devises applications bought by millions. Founded in 2008, Smule released several apps in rapid succession, but its breakthrough was the Ocarina. Exploiting the iPhone's microphone as well as its touch-screen interface, Wang converted the device into an easy-to-play flute-like instrument. In what has become a Smule signature, the app also included a representation of the globe, with little dots that light up to show where in the world someone is playing the app at that moment. With a tap, you can listen. It's also possible to arrange a duet with an Ocarina user thousands of miles of way, whom you've never met. The Ocarina was downloaded half a million times, at 99 cents a pop, in its first couple of months, making it the top-selling app for three straight weeks; a new artist selling that many downloads of a single today would probably end up on the cover of Rolling Stone. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/magazine/smule.html
Date: 26 Nov 2011 20:48:54 -0500 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott Dorsey) To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Please contribute to keeping Wikipedia free of ads Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> >This is important: Wikipedia gives people who were actually there the >chance to publish first-hand information about subjects that they >actually were involved in creating or changing. Having access to the >people who made the history is a privilege that only the Internet >could provide, and Wikipedia is a major vehicle for carrying this >important work forward. Then it permits idiots who weren't there to completely rewrite what they said and replace valuable information on actual physics with references to comic book characters. --scott -- "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis." ***** Moderator's Note ***** Every has to make up their own mind about what "good work" means. Our opinions differ. I'm closing this thread after today. Bill Horne Moderator
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