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The Telecom Digest for December 9, 2012
Volume 31 : Issue 287 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
The State of Smartphones in 2012: Part I of our Ultimate Guide (Monty Solomon)
FCC chair criticizes rule against using tablets during takeoff (Monty Solomon)
Re: Who Do Online Advertisers Think You Are? (Stuart Barkley)
Re: Dear ITU, please don't bill Internet use like phone calls (T)
Re: Best simple screening system? (Scott Dorsey)
For PC Virus Victims, Pay or Else (Monty Solomon)
Future Of Landline Phones (Monty Solomon)

====== 31 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======

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Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2012 23:47:03 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: The State of Smartphones in 2012: Part I of our Ultimate Guide Message-ID: <p06240814cce721185741@[]> The State of Smartphones in 2012: Part I of our Ultimate Guide We review the landscape and name the best in multiple categories. And it's just the beginning. by Andrew Cunningham Dec 3 2012 Ars Technica The last six months or so has seen a veritable storm of high-end smartphones. While you can generally count on new hardware being released year-round, this holiday season is particularly busy. Between the iPhone 5, iOS 6, the Nexus 4, Android 4.2, and Windows Phone 8, things have changed quite a bit since the summer. Even more exciting, the smartphone wars aren't just a two-horse race anymore. Apple and Samsung continue to be the giants in the field, but we're seeing attractive handsets from a newly competitive LG, a Google that seems more eager than ever to show its Android partners how it's done, an HTC that's eager to thin out its product portfolio and reverse its ill fortunes, and a Nokia that really wants its bet on Windows Phone to pay off. We know all this new hardware and software can be hard to keep straight. To that end, we'll be taking some time over the next few weeks to go in-depth on the state of the smartphone: we'll be examining not just the available hardware and software, but also which hardware and software will work best for particular uses. More than ever, smartphones are powerful devices that can handle an increasingly large amount of the work formerly unique to full-fledged computers. But just like the PC market, the hardware and software you buy is going to depend on what kind of things you need to use it for. For the purposes of this overview, we're going to be focusing on current, high-end iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8 handsets. These aren't the only players in the field, but they're certainly the most consequential: smaller platforms like Tizen, Open WebOS, and Firefox OS are either still in development or not widely available commercially. As for BlackBerry, RIM seems to be all but begging users, developers, and the press alike to wait for BlackBerry 10 to come out before writing it off... so that's what we'll do. Expect more coverage of RIM's latest as its projected March 2013 launch date approaches, but BlackBerry won't factor into today's discussion. To kick off this series, we'll examine each platform's major strengths and weaknesses, then dive into specific phones and use cases. ... http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2012/12/the-state-of-the-smartphone/
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2012 23:47:03 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: FCC chair criticizes rule against using tablets during takeoff Message-ID: <p0624081ccce7235cdf3c@[]> FCC chair criticizes rule against using tablets during takeoff Pilots can use iPads in the cockpit, but passenger use is banned by FAA rules. by Timothy B. Lee Dec 6 2012 Ars Technica The head of the government agency in charge of wireless communications has urged the agency in charge of commercial air travel to revise its long-standing rule against the use of portable electronic devices during takeoff and landing. The Federal Aviation Administration is currently considering relaxing the rule that prohibits the use of iPads, Kindles, or other devices when an airplane is below 10,000 feet. On Thursday, Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski sent a letter to Michael Huerta, the chairman of the FAA, asking him to "enable greater use of tablets, e-readers, and other portable devices" during takeoff. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Hill. ... http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/12/fcc-chair-criticizes-rule-against-using-tablets-during-takeoff/
Date: Sat, 8 Dec 2012 14:10:14 -0500 From: Stuart Barkley <stuartb@4gh.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Who Do Online Advertisers Think You Are? Message-ID: <alpine.BSF.2.00.1212081359390.15508@freeman.4gh.net> > What about "Flash cookies"? Are they real, and if so, how can I > control them? Looking at your system backups you are able to see what files change while running your browser. That will allow you to reverse engineer what is being stored locally on your system. Be sure to check file contents and not just timestamps, some things update files without changing the timestamp. On my unix systems I find the following helpful: % rm -rf ~/.adobe ~/.macromedia % touch ~/.adobe ~/.macromedia % chmod 444 ~/.adobe ~/.macromedia Some flash based websites won't work anymore, but I'm usually happier that way. Stuart Barkley -- I've never been lost; I was once bewildered for three days, but never lost! -- Daniel Boone
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2012 14:21:41 -0500 From: T <kd1s.nospam@cox.nospam.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Dear ITU, please don't bill Internet use like phone calls Message-ID: <MPG.2b2c0bc79252bbea989d56@news.eternal-september.org> In article <p06240815cce721796e0c@[]>, monty@roscom.com says... > > Dear ITU, please don't bill Internet use like phone calls > > Telcos lobby for drastic change, think content networks getting a free ride. > > by Iljitsch van Beijnum > Dec 1 2012 > Ars Technica > > "Operating agencies shall negotiate commercial agreements to achieve > a sustainable system of fair compensation for telecommunications > services and, where appropriate, respecting the principle of sending > party network pays." [Moderator snip] That isn't going to wash here in the U.S. In essence they want to meter internet usage. Technically it's trivial do so, but ethically it's wrong to do so. Most of us have broadband connections that were sold to us as UNLIMITED in both use and bandwidth.
Date: 8 Dec 2012 10:26:20 -0500 From: kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Best simple screening system? Message-ID: <k9vm6s$6dk$1@panix2.panix.com> Frank Stearns <franks.pacifier.com@pacifier.net> wrote: >Robot Rachel and her evil robot sister, Ann, are hitting me up 2-4 times a day now >for interest rate reductions on my credit cards -- and making me crazy. Forward all your calls to your congressman. Maybe he'll do something about it. --scott -- "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2012 23:59:26 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: For PC Virus Victims, Pay or Else Message-ID: <p06240822cce727eef168@[]> For PC Virus Victims, Pay or Else By NICOLE PERLROTH December 5, 2012 CULVER CITY, Calif. - Kidnappers used to make ransom notes with letters cut out of magazines. Now, notes simply pop up on your computer screen, except the hostage is your PC. In the past year, hundreds of thousands of people across the world have switched on their computers to find distressing messages alerting them that they no longer have access to their PCs or any of the files on them. The messages claim to be from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, some 20 other law enforcement agencies across the globe or, most recently, Anonymous, a shadowy group of hackers. The computer users are told that the only way to get their machines back is to pay a steep fine. And, curiously, it's working. The scheme is making more than $5 million a year, according to computer security experts who are tracking them. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/technology/ransomware-is-expanding-in-the-united-states.html ***** Moderator's Note ***** In Neal Stephenson's latest novel, "REAMDE", he describes a data ransom scheme where the hackers ask to be paid by having their victims leave virtual money at certain geographic locations in a Massive Multiplayer Game called "T'Rain", which has numerous virtual locations that players can go to or avoid according to the rules of the game. Long story short: the money transfers are a lot harder to trace, because the hackers can claim they are just other game players who just found the virtual cash laying on the virtual ground. Nice way to evade the police's first rule of investigation: "follow the money". Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Fri, 7 Dec 2012 09:48:36 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Future Of Landline Phones Message-ID: <p06240825cce7b0be026c@[]> Future Of Landline Phones http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2012-12-06/future-landline-phones The Diane Rehm Show December 6, 2012 Landline phone use is plummeting. The telecom industry argues it should no longer be required to provide the service. Consumer groups disagree. The future of the landline. Guests Scott Cleland chief executive of The Precursor Group Gigi Sohn president and co-founder of Public Knowledge Betty Ann Kane chairman of the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia Craig Moffet senior analyst for U.S. Telecommunications, Cable and Satellite at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2012-12-06/future-landline-phones
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