30 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for February 28, 2012
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Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 12:43:12 -0500 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: FBI turns off 3,000 GPS trackers after Supreme Court ruling Message-ID: <email@example.com> FBI turns off 3,000 GPS trackers after Supreme Court ruling By Sean Gallagher Andrew Weissmann, general counsel for the FBI, has announced that his agency is switching off thousands of Global Positioning System-based tracking devices used for surveillance after a Supreme Court decision last month. Weissmann made the statement during a University of San Francisco School of Law symposium on communications privacy this past Friday. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Weissmann said the ruling in the US vs. Jones case, which broadly limited the use of warrantless GPS tracking devices, brought about a "sea change" at the Justice Department. The ruling (PDF), issued on January 23, held that placing a GPS device on the underbody of a car constitutes a search and requires a valid warrant. In the case of Antoine Jones, law enforcement agents obtained a warrant to place a GPS tracker on a car registered to Jones based on evidence suggesting he was involved in drug trafficking. However, the warrant expired before agents actually installed the device, and the GPS tracker was eventually installed in a different jurisdiction from the one the warrant had even authorized. The Justice Department claimed Jones had no reasonable expectation of privacy because he was driving on public roads. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/02/fbi-turns-off-3000-gps-trackers-after-supreme-court-ruling.ars?clicked=related_right -or- http://goo.gl/ZmREe -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly)
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 02:04:28 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: GPS jammers and spoofers threaten infrastructure, say researchers Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> GPS jammers and spoofers threaten infrastructure, say researchers By Sean Gallaghe During the GNSS Vulnerability 2012 event at the UK's National Physical Laboratory on Wednesday, experts discussed the threat posed by a growing number of GPS jamming and spoofing devices. The increasing popularity of the jammers is troubling, according to conference organizer Bob Cockshott, because even low-power GPS jammers pose a significant threat to cell phone systems, parts of the electrical grid, and the safety of drivers. Since cell phone towers and some electrical grid systems use GPS signals for time-keeping, GPS jamming can throw them off and cause outages. "We're seeing a large number of low power devices which plug into power sockets in a car," Cockshott told Ars. "These devices take out the GPS tracker in the vehicle, but they also create a 'bubble' of interference, sometimes out to up to 100 yards. They're illegal, so their quality control is generally not good." There has also been an emerging threat from more powerful GPS "spoofing" systems, according to Cockshott, who is also the director of Position, Navigation and Timing technology for the UK's ICT Knowledge Transfer Network. GPS spoofing attacks can provide both inaccurate location and time information, potentially creating much larger problems than a dropped call. "There have been incidents where trucks carrying high value goods have been hijacked," he said, "where GPS and cell phones have been blocked." ... http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/02/uk-research-measures-growing-gps-jamming-threat.ars ***** Moderator's Note ***** The article mentions "Spoofing" several times, but there are no citations of actual spoofing incidents, only of GPS jamming. GPS Spoofing, if it's possible, would be orders-of-magnitude harder to do than jamming. As for GPS jamming, I'm tempted to say "What did you expect?", but I'm old enough to know that it's not that simple. Large trucking firms are always seeking efficiencies, and the mid-level managers who make buying decisions (for the "Tattler" GPS systems that are installed on trucks) are under constant scrutiny by their superiors, and live in a world where they are expected to have an explanation ready for every possible delay, breakdown, gas-price increase, and flat tire: I think they are jealous of the relative freedom they think the drivers enjoy, and compensate by trying to keep the drivers under an electronic thumb. The truck drivers, who are in a world where their doctors lecture them about weight, and their wives about long absences, and where they must balance their boss' demands for "More!" against government regulations concerning speed and rest, are the kind of people who like being competent, dependable, and alone. The intrusion of GPS trackers into their world could be the subject of a doctoral dissertation: suffice to say that we all know you can't treat people like cattle. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 07:52:06 -0600 From: email@example.com (PV) To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Supermarket shop by mobile phone Message-ID: <x9ednSwmc50bF9bSnZ2dnUVZ_gidnZ2d@supernews.com> "John F. Morse" <email@example.com> writes: >I learned the Linotype in 1960 in Topeka, Kansas. Still can recite the >keyboard. ;-) Yep. >A line of mats in the stick, which was too loose that the spacebands >couldn't tighten it fully, would cause a "squirt." I was probably in the last generation to learn how to use a linotype (my high school used them for the weekly newspaper until the early 80s), and "squirt" was what everyone there called it, including the machinists who would come out to fix and maintain the machines, and they were all older guys. >The 550 degree molten lead would squirt out and put holes in your >shirtsleeves -- if you [were] wearing a [long sleeved] shirt. The casting box was pretty low on the machines I used (1909 Merganthaler linos, and one more modern (as in 1960s) from a company I can't remember, that had an autoquadder that I loathed beyond words), you more likely would get squirts on your pants leg, and while it hurt a bit, the alloy would cool as fast as solder, so it wasn't all that dangerous unless you got a spot on bare skin, WOW that hurt. * -- * PV Something like badgers, something like lizards, and something like corkscrews.
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 02:05:47 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Schneier: government, big data pose bigger 'Net threat than criminals Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Schneier: government, big data pose bigger 'Net threat than criminals By Dan Goodin As Bruce Schneier spent the past decade watching the growing rash of phishers, malware attacks, and identity theft, a new Internet threat has emerged that poses even greater risks, the security expert said. Unlike the security risks posed by criminals, the threat from government regulation and data hoarders such as Apple and Google are more insidious because they threaten to alter the fabric of the Internet itself. They're also different from traditional Internet threats because the perpetrators are shielded in a cloak of legitimacy. As a result, many people don't recognize that their personal information or fortunes are more susceptible to these new forces than they ever were to the Russian Business Network or other Internet gangsters. ... http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2012/02/schneier-gov-big-data-pose-bigger-net-threat-than-criminals.ars -or- http://goo.gl/TuzcN
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 13:41:54 -0500 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Schneier: government, big data pose bigger 'Net threat than criminals Message-ID: <20120227184154.GA7155@telecom.csail.mit.edu> On Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 02:05:47AM -0500, Monty Solomon wrote: > > Schneier: government, big data pose bigger 'Net threat than criminals > > By Dan Goodin > > As Bruce Schneier spent the past decade watching the growing rash of > phishers, malware attacks, and identity theft, a new Internet threat > has emerged that poses even greater risks, the security expert said. > > Unlike the security risks posed by criminals, the threat from > government regulation and data hoarders such as Apple and Google are > more insidious because they threaten to alter the fabric of the > Internet itself. They're also different from traditional Internet > threats because the perpetrators are shielded in a cloak of > legitimacy. As a result, many people don't recognize that their > personal information or fortunes are more susceptible to these new > forces than they ever were to the Russian Business Network or other > Internet gangsters. > > > http://goo.gl/TuzcN > I've been saying for years that my son and others of his generation didn't realize what they were giving up by using Instant Messenger and its follow-on products. They gave up the last vestige of privacy they have in the electronic age: the names of their friends. -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly) If I seem to mislead you It's just my craziness comin' through But when it comes down to just two Aw I ain't no crazier than you - Delaney and Bonnie
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 07:25:34 -0800 (PST) From: Wes Leatherock <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Supermarket shop by mobile phone Message-ID: <1330356334.56066.YahooMailClassic@web111715.mail.gq1.yahoo.com> --- On Sun, 2/26/12, John F. Morse <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >I understand the use of the term "senderized" but I'm trying to >remember if 5XB actually used the term "sender," or if their >equivalent were called "registers." [Moderator snip] >But it has been many years, and I didn't work in the 5XB office as a >full-time job assignment. At night I used my ears, and would listen >for the 5XB Trouble Recorder to grind continuously, following one >Major Alarm "bong" after another. Then I'd chase down crosses in the >Translator from broken-off wirewrap "springs" (XET?), and refilled >the Trouble Recorder. Didn't a 5XB have a "register" which communicated with a "marker" ("marker group"?) that told the machine what to do? I thought the idea of common control offices such as 5XB was that they did not have to have an external "sender" to tell them what to do. Wes Leatherock email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 16:59:17 -0600 From: "John F. Morse" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Supermarket shop by mobile phone Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Mon, 27 Feb 2012 07:25:34 -0800, Wes Leatherock wrote: > Didn't a 5XB have a "register" which communicated with a "marker" > ("marker group"?) that told the machine what to do? The originating register communicated with a (originating?) marker, but there was also a "dialtone marker" IIRC. Perhaps it was used to set up a register to a linelink for the subscriber's dial pulses or Touchtone signals? Somewhere around here, probably lost in the basement, are many of my OS/FS drawings, plus some SDs, CDs, WDs, Wiring Lists, BSPs, etc. Perhaps I'll someday find them while looking for something completely different? > I thought the idea of common control offices such as 5XB was that > they did not have to have an external "sender" to tell them what to do. Common control meant that a common piece of hardware, usually the marker, set up the switch train from one end to the other. Not under the control of a subscriber's dial, like SXS offices. Markers are large and expensive, but they handle calls for anyone in an office, so only a few are required. Their other big benefit is they can build a path without the problem of hitting a dead end like a SXS office, when no paths in the succeeding train were available. A "marker group" was one complete switching machine, controlled by one or more markers. When ESS came around, it was called a CG "Control Group." Then the digital switch CO is called a DS. They are usually numbered: MG0, MG1, MG2; CG0, CG1, CG2, DS0, DS1, DS2, etc. -- John
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 14:47:11 -0500 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: LightSquared Seeks Stay From FCC Message-ID: <email@example.com> LightSquared Seeks Stay From FCC Feb 27 2012 | 1:40pm ET Grasping at straws and perhaps merely postponing the inevitable, Harbinger Capital Management's wireless Internet venture has asked the Federal Communications Commission for an extension on its death sentence. LightSquared asked the FCC, which earlier this month said it would revoke the company's preliminary waiver to use satellites to provide mobile Internet services. A comment period on that decision is set to expire on Friday. But LightSquared asked the regulator to extend that period to March 30. http://www.finalternatives.com/node/19726 -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly)
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2012 16:22:45 -0800 (PST) From: HAncock4 <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Supermarket shop by mobile phone Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Feb 26, 3:49 pm, "John F. Morse" <j...@example.invalid> wrote: > I understand the use of the term "senderized" but I'm trying to remember > if 5XB actually used the term "sender," or if their equivalent were called > "registers." The following link is to a series of Bell Labs Record articles on No. 5 crossbar. http://www.telephonecollectors.info/index.php?option=com_docman&task=cat_view&gid=132&Itemid=2 The terms do get confusing; it appears different common control switches have different levels of sophistication with the "sender".
Date: Thu, 23 Feb 2012 23:30:48 -0500 From: T <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: How does a "Trunked" line between two 5ESS CO's work? Message-ID: <MPG.email@example.com> In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com says... > > > arranged to have her business line (713-467-xxxx) "trunked" > > Lots of imprecise usage here muddle what's going on. > > A) I agree it sounds as if she got sold RCF. That has several > issues. She is likely paying way too much for it, and may be > paying per call or minute as well. > > B) She could, for some outragous amount, get "Foreign Exchnage" > service. In that case, she gets a actual set on her desk that > rings in and dials out on her 713-467 DN. But be sitting down; > it's typically priced as if a cable crew has to lay pairs the > whole route, as in centuries past. > > Choices that may be viable all utilize LNP, transferring her > number to a more flexible service. This might be a VOIP carrier > such as "MagicJack" or Vonage or less controversial names. It > also might be a cell carrier. > > If she can get her service moved to a prepaid cell, she can > THEN [port] it again, to Google Voice. My only experience with FX was back in the 1980's. We had moved from Providence, RI to North Providence, RI. North Providene is split into three distinct rate centers. Starting at Town Hall off Smith Street it's 401-23[1-3] (That's REGEX notation for last character can span 1 through 3). That is in the Centredale rate center which encompasses the Centredale and Providence calling areas. So calling Warwick, RI on 401-73[2,4,6,7,9] is not a toll call. Then there is the middle section of the town which is served by 401-35 [3-4] which is also in [the] Providence rate center. But as you get into the Marieville section of the town you get jacked with a Pawtucket rate center which is on 401-72[1-9]. Thing is, call Warwick from that part of the the town and you'd ring up a toll. At the time I was living in the Marieville section so I had an FX drawn in from the 401-35[3-4] section. A total of 4 air miles cost me $60 a month for service. This was far better than the $100 plus I was spending prior to [installing] the FX line. Then we moved to the center of the town and I got the Provience rate center again, so I had a second line drawn in [from the Center (401-353] rate center], and made a deal with a large BBS owner: the BBS was based in the Warwick area so there was a whole [section] of the state that had to pay toll rates to dial in to it. I realized that by putting call forwarding on my 401-353 FX line, it would [dutifully] forward not one but MANY calls at a time into the hunt group that the BBS used. So the only real limit was the hunt group size. The side benefit was that even with Call Forwarding turned on I could use the line for outgoing calls. It thrills me to know I denied (then) NYNEX untold dollars of toll revenue back then. But I don't feel guilty because I know for YEARS we paid toll rates that were a complete fiction because the cost of carrying those calls to NYNEX was dropping like the proverbial rock due to the technology and automation improving over time.
TELECOM Digest is an electronic journal devoted mostly to telecom- munications topics. It is circulated anywhere there is email, in addition to Usenet, where it appears as the moderated newsgroup 'comp.dcom.telecom'. TELECOM Digest is a not-for-profit, mostly non-commercial educational service offered to the Internet by Bill Horne. All the contents of the Digest are compilation-copyrighted. You may reprint articles in some other media on an occasional basis, but please attribute my work and that of the original author. The Telecom Digest is moderated by Bill Horne.
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