31 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for November 19, 2012
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Date: 18 Nov 2012 05:14:19 -0000 From: "John Levine" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Was "Wall Street" ever out of service? Message-ID: <email@example.com> >My brother says he read (somewhere) that the ESS telephone exchanges >that serve Wall Street in New York City were out of service for several >days at some time in the distant past. September 2001, most likely.
Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2012 20:51:45 -0600 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Robert Bonomi) To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Was "Wall Street" ever out of service? Message-ID: <-8OdnZZQJ67c0DXNnZ2dnUVZ_sadnZ2d@posted.nuvoxcommunications> In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> wrote: >Thanks for reading this: I have a question for the historians on the list. > >My brother says he read (somewhere) that the ESS telephone exchanges >that serve Wall Street in New York City were out of service for several >days at some time in the distant past. > >I say that never happened and he read an urban legend. > >Was there ever a long-term failure in an ESS that served Wall Street? First, define "Wall Street". <grin> Strictly properties that have addresses on the actual street of that name. or the Manhattan financial district? Second, a failure of some, or all of the phone exchanges that service whatever the answer to the first question is. For the Manhattan financial district, and 'some', there is the obvious -- 9/11. There is also the well-known incident -- late 1980s? (too lazy to look up actual date) -- when AT&T rolled out (nationally!!) a bad switch update, and virtually every AT&T/Western Electric manufactured C.O. (and tandem) switch started behaving very badly. All the Manhattan financial district 'big boys' have enough dedicated point-to- point links to 'elsewhere' that a NYC telco failure would be an inconvenience, but not catastrophic. Now the great East Coast power blackout is another possibility. :) Given how many of the Manhattan C.O. facilities are 'below grade', it would not surprise me that a past 'superstorm' (like Sandy) could/would have taken a lot of them out via flooding. But I can't say authoritatively that it did happen.
Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2012 07:35:53 -0600 From: Frank Stearns <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Was "Wall Street" ever out of service? Message-ID: <9oqdnZNCDuSkeTXNnZ2dnUVZ_qGdnZ2d@posted.palinacquisition> Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> writes: >Thanks for reading this: I have a question for the historians on the list. >My brother says he read (somewhere) that the ESS telephone exchanges >that serve Wall Street in New York City were out of service for several >days at some time in the distant past. >I say that never happened and he read an urban legend. >Was there ever a long-term failure in an ESS that served Wall Street? Bill - Somewhere in the ATT Film archives (linked in the past in this group), there was a Bell System film from the mid-70s that detailed getting scores of thousands of NY subscribers back up following a large fire in a C.O. -- I thought the location was downtown NYC; can't remember for sure and don't know if it affected Wall Street. I think the affected subscriber count was around 180,000. The outage was for a week or more, IIRC. Remarkable footage of yanking out burned and melted gear through blackened windows, and pulling gear from stock from around the USA and rushing it to NYC. (One community elsewhere in the country, slated for conversion to ESS, had their entire system sent to NYC and had to wait another 6-12 months for ESS.) Maybe the massive outage from this fire is the event your brother read about. (?) Frank -- . ***** Moderator's Note ***** That fire was in Brooklyn. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2012 11:24:48 -0800 (PST) From: HAncock4 <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Was "Wall Street" ever out of service? Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Nov 18, 8:35 am, Frank Stearns <franks.pacifier....@pacifier.net> wrote: > >Was there ever a long-term failure in an ESS that served Wall Street? > Somewhere in the ATT Film archives (linked in the past in this > group), there was a Bell System film from the mid-70s that detailed > getting scores of thousands of NY subscribers back up following a > large fire in a C.O. -- I thought the location was downtown NYC; > . . . > ***** Moderator's Note ***** > > That fire was in Brooklyn. The fire described above occured in 1975 and was in the Second Avenue exchange in lower Manhattan. Service in the neighborhood was out for a week or so. The following link has some information on that fire and the massive recovery effort. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Telephone I suspect that the incident being asked about was a failure in a post Divestiture AT&T toll exchange serving downtown NYC. If memory serves, this was in the 1980s. They were running a test and switched to battery supply but forgot to switch back, and apparently the batteries simply ran down. I don't know if the following affected Wall Street, but some years ago a programming error in a generic caused several ESS's nationwide to fail. I believe the error was in switches made in Plano, Texas. In the early 1970s there was a telephone service crisis in New York City where dial tone often was unavailable and many calls didn't get through. One company was so frustrated it ran a full page snarky ad in the New York Times. The Bell System mobilized an effort to repair and upgrade equipment. The above link touches on this issue.
Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2012 13:13:51 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Your Online Attention, Bought in an Instant Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Your Online Attention, Bought in an Instant By NATASHA SINGER November 17, 2012 YOU can be sold in seconds. No, wait: make that milliseconds. The odds are that access to you - or at least the online you - is being bought and sold in less than the blink of an eye. On the Web, powerful algorithms are sizing you up, based on myriad data points: what you Google, the sites you visit, the ads you click. Then, in real time, the chance to show you an ad is auctioned to the highest bidder. Not that you'd know it. These days in the hyperkinetic world of digital advertising, all of this happens automatically, and imperceptibly, to most consumers. Ever wonder why that same ad for a car or a couch keeps popping up on your screen? Nearly always, the answer is real-time bidding, an electronic trading system that sells ad space on the Web pages people visit at the very moment they are visiting them. Think of these systems as a sort of Nasdaq stock market, only trading in audiences for online ads. Millions of bids flood in every second. And those bids - essentially what your eyeballs are worth to advertisers - could determine whether you see an ad for, say, a new Lexus or a used Ford, for sneakers or a popcorn maker. One big player in this space is the Rubicon Project. Never heard of it? Consider this: Rubicon, based in Los Angeles, has actually eclipsed Google in one crucial area - the percentage of Internet users in the United States reached by display ads sold through its platform, according to comScore, a digital analytics company. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/technology/your-online-attention-bought-in-an-instant-by-advertisers.html
Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2012 13:33:49 -0600 From: Stephen Sprunk <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: phone numbers Message-ID: <email@example.com> On 17-Nov-12 23:44, John Levine wrote: > >>> Toll alerting is a remnant of dialing plans associated with crossbar >>> or panel. >> >> No, it's a PUC mandate. > > Actually, it's an artifact of the way that toll dialing on SxS > exchanges worked, subsequently elevated - cargo cult style - into > Holy Regulatory Writ. > > Bell was mostly panel which didn't need 1+, independents were mostly > SxS which did. That's why states where most people lived in Bell > areas, e.g., New York, Illinois, and California, never had toll > alerting. By land area, most of the country was/is independent. But, by population, most of the country was/is Bell, regardless of state. Yet some states mandated toll alerting while other states did not. S -- Stephen Sprunk "God does not play dice." --Albert Einstein CCIE #3723 "God is an inveterate gambler, and He throws the K5SSS dice at every possible opportunity." --Stephen Hawking
Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2012 11:05:24 -0800 (PST) From: HAncock4 <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: phone numbers Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Nov 18, 12:44 am, John Levine <jo...@iecc.com> wrote: > Bell was mostly panel which didn't need 1+, independents were mostly > SxS which did. That's why states where most people lived in Bell > areas, e.g., New York, Illinois, and California, never had toll > alerting. The proportion of telephone lines served by manual, SxS, panel, crossbar, and ESS varied over time. The Bell System Engineering Textbook gives a breakdown, but I don't have it handy. However, I believe in the 1970s SxS served roughly 45% of the lines, the rest shared between panel and crossbar, with ESS growing and a few manual exchanges. The Bell System served many small towns and rural areas in addition to big cities. Before the war SxS was the way to go and continued to be into the 1970s, when the number of SxS lines peaked in 1974. Also, in cities No. 1 crossbar, developed in the late 1930s, was generally used instead of panel for new installations. Bell System literature focuses heavily on panel and crossbar as they required sophisticated designs, but SxS was a major player. Indeed, in the 1970s Bell Labs worked on add-ons to extend the service life and functionality of SxS. Ironically, SxS could and was used for Centrex service in addition to No. 5xbar.
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