30 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for April 13, 2012
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Date: Tue, 10 Apr 2012 18:17:08 -0700 (PDT) From: HAncock4 <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Ohio bill could doom landlines Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Apr 10, 10:52 am, Wes Leatherock <wleat...@yahoo.com> wrote: >> The cellphone does provide portability, which is important these >> days since there are so few pay phones. If say a low-income senior >> goes out and their car breaks down or they fill ill and need help, >> they have their cell and can call someone, and be called back. > > I saw a pay phone being used yesterday by a person who did not > appear impoverished. Just out of curiosity, at what kind of business or location was the payphone located? These days, all I see are empty phone booths and shelves that once held pay phones. A few remain at railroad stations essentially to serve as a 911 phone, but even some railroads got rid of them. Anyway, my guess is that if a senior needs to make a phone call, someone in a business, especially one they've visited (ie a doctor's office or store), will likely let them use the office phone. It's just if they're driving in an isolated area--as so many suburban places are--they'll be too far to walk to anything and need their cell phone. (A scruffy younger person might not get their priviledge.) When my mother lived in the city, most sections were developed enough that she was never far away from a store if she needed help. The suburbs aren't like that. Of course, many seniors and other ill people can't get out very much and a landline is the preferred means of communication. The modern Lifeline service is very valuable for them if they're of modest means. While the economic situation of senior citizens has improved very much over the decades, rising uncovered health care costs, rent, and reduced pensions and investment income is hitting quite a few of them hard. People who figured they'd get by on 4% interest on a bank CD find it tough when it's 0.5%.
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 07:09:18 -0700 (PDT) From: Wes Leatherock <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Ohio bill could doom landlines Message-ID: <1334153358.82624.YahooMailClassic@web111715.mail.gq1.yahoo.com> On Tue, 4/10/12, HAncock4 <email@example.com> wrote: > On Apr 10, 10:52 am, Wes Leatherock <wleat...@yahoo.com> wrote: >> I saw a pay phone being used yesterday by a person who did not >> appear impoverished. > Just out of curiosity, at what kind of business or location was the > payphone located? It was at a 7-Eleven store in a high traffic area in a very upscale location. The person using it appeared to fit the demographic of the area and was certainly not a senior citizen. Wes Leatherock firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Date: 11 Apr 2012 04:11:47 -0300 From: Mike Spencer <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: SaskTel ending rotary dial service Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> HAncock4 <email@example.com> writes: > On Apr 7, 7:18 pm, Mike Spencer <m...@bogus.nodomain.nowhere> wrote: > >> We developed 60 hz hum on the POTS line 8 years ago when the Aliant >> line and service guys were on strike. Several visits from "crews" >> composed of accountants, marketing guys and managers failed to solve >> the problem. Finally, one manager type went tearing off in the truck >> to the big cabinet 5 miles away on the main road. Claimed to have >> yanked out a circuit board and stuck in a new one. The hum was >> gone. Off they go, happy and proud of theirselfs. > > Could it be that remote "concentrators" interpret the dial signals? > In old Bell System days, I believe the concentrators would switch the > call locally without going to the C.O. if the called party was served > by the concentrator (per the Bell Labs history 1925-1975). Perhaps > the modern circuit cards in the concentrator do not handle rotary > signals. I don't know about "concentrators". The only other anecdotal data point is that about 1987 or '89, when (then) MT&T replaced our party line with a private line, the "new" line would accept pulse or tone dialing. (Determined from using a modem to call into Unix hosts from a CP/M machine. :-) After a few weeks, the tone dial capacity stopped. Since pulse worked with both dial phones and modem, there was no reason to keep checking until, as recounted in the previous post, pulse went away suddenly. >> Only now our dial phones no longer work. Oy. >> Well, I'd been collecting up Nortel 2500 sets from junk stores for a >> few years so we just swapped a couple of them in and all was well. >> Returned two 500-type phones to Aliant. Our bill went down. No new >> charge for "touch-tone" but no longer rental for the dial sets. > > Was it common eight years ago to be still renting phones in your > area? I really doubt if it's common. Ours had been in place since 1973. I have at least one friend with a dial phone that I think was telco-installed mid-80s. I've seen a horrible little piece of junk which I think is the current default phone Bell Aliant will give you if you say, "Install a phone and just make it work. I don't want to think about it." That might be a rental. > In the US, at the time of Divestiture, they gave subscribers the > option to buy their in-place telephone sets at a very reasonable > price. New manufacturers made very inexpensive sets, too, and the > payback against rental was less than a year. Which no doubt accounts for me being able to pick up 2500 sets in junk stores. -- Mike Spencer Nova Scotia, Canada
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 08:48:22 -0500 From: Bob Paver <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Ohio bill could doom landlines Message-ID: <A0F88280-3E12-4849-8640-5A009CE16545@thepavers.net> On Tue, 10 Apr 2012 07:52:53 -0700 (PDT) Wes Leatherock <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > --- On Mon, 4/9/12, HAncock4 <email@example.com> wrote: > >> On Apr 8, 2:26 am, bon...@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) wrote: >> >>> There are distinct advantages over the land-line 'lifeline' >>> subsidy service -- the cell service provides a 'limited use' >>> (roughly 2-4 hrs airtime/month) phone at no cost to the >>> subscriber, while the 'lifeline' service for landlines provides >>> only a partial reduction in the cost of a landline The landline >>> usually provides unlimited 'local' calling, however.- >> >> The cellphone does provide portability, which is important these >> days since there are so few pay phones. If say a low-income senior >> goes out and their car breaks down or they fell ill and need help, >> they have their cell and can call someone, and be called back. > > I saw a pay phone being used yesterday by a person who did not > appear impoverished. I am late to this discussion, but I have kept my landline vs. moving to VoIP, or using my mobile phone exclusively, because: 1) In an extended power outage, landlines generally keep working, 2) The cell phone reception at my home is completely unreliable, 3) In an widespread "disaster" situation it's tough to charge your cell phone, and finally, 4) Cell towers are completely overloaded in such situations. My reasoning may be faulty, but I feel that the landline is a necessary "business continuity plan". Of course, being able to have an intelligible phone conversation in the best of times, is a plus. Bob
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 11:54:34 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Apple, publishers face U.S. antitrust lawsuit over e-book pricing Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Apple, publishers face U.S. antitrust lawsuit over e-book pricing By Jim Puzzanghera 8:33 AM PDT, April 11, 2012 WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department on Wednesday sued Apple Inc. and five major book publishers for allegedly colluding to fix e-book prices. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, alleges that Apple and the publishers "reached an agreement whereby retail price competition would cease (which all the conspirators desired), retail e-book prices would increase significantly (which the publisher defendants desired) and Apple would be guaranteed a 30% 'commission' on each e-book it sold (which Apple desired)." The agreement helped drive prices up to avoid retail price competition from Amazon, in violation of antitrust laws, the suit said. ... http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-apple-ebook-suit-20120411,0,2437575.story
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 09:00:47 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Cut in E-Book Pricing by Amazon Is Set to Shake Rivals Message-ID: <email@example.com> Cut in E-Book Pricing by Amazon Is Set to Shake Rivals By DAVID STREITFELD April 11, 2012 The government's decision to pursue major publishers on antitrust charges has put the Internet retailer Amazon in a powerful position: the nation's largest bookseller may now get to decide how much an e-book will cost, and the book world is quaking over the potential consequences. As soon as the Department of Justice announced Wednesday that it was suing five major publishers and Apple on price-fixing charges, and simultaneously settling with three of them, Amazon announced plans to push down prices on e-books. The price of some major titles could fall to $9.99 or less from $14.99, saving voracious readers a bundle. But publishers and booksellers argue that any victory for consumers will be short-lived, and that the ultimate effect of the antitrust suit will be to exchange a perceived monopoly for a real one. Amazon, already the dominant force in the industry, will hold all the cards. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/12/business/media/amazon-to-cut-e-book-prices-shaking-rivals.html
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2012 09:00:47 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Justice Dept. Sues Apple and Publishers Over E-Book Pricing; 3 Publishers Settle Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Justice Dept. Sues Apple and Publishers Over E-Book Pricing; 3 Publishers Settle By JULIE BOSMAN APRIL 11, 2012 9:19 p.m. | Updated The Justice Department jumped directly into the fight over the future of digital books on Wednesday - and Amazon came out the winner. In an action that could lower the price of e-books and shift the expanding market in Amazon's favor, the Justice Department slapped Apple and five of the largest book publishers with an antitrust lawsuit, charging that the companies colluded to raise the price of e-books. The announcement, made in Washington by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Sharis A. Pozen, the acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department's antitrust division, capped a long investigation. The inquiry hinged on the question of whether publishers, at the urging of Steven P. Jobs, then Apple's chief executive, agreed to adopt a new policy in 2010 that in essence coordinated the price of newly released e-books at the price offered in Apple's iBookstore - typically between $12.99 and $14.99. At the time, Apple with its blockbuster iPad was trying to challenge Amazon's hold on the e-book market. Amazon, the online retail giant, had become a kind of Walmart for the e-book business by lowering the price of most new and best-selling e-books to $9.99 - a price meant to stimulate sales of its own e-reading device, the Kindle. ... http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/11/justice-files-suit-against-apple-and-publishers-over-e-book-pricing/
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2012 13:53:35 -0700 (PDT) From: Michael <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: DSL line question-Verizon-filters Message-ID: <email@example.com> I just replaced my Verizon modem...they sent me a new one because the old one would periodically drop signal, and had to be re-booted each time. As a followup they called my today to check that everything was OK. They ran a line test because they said they weren't seeing a perfectly good line. I disconnected everything from the demarc and the number that had been 1400, was now perfect, around 3500. Not sure what that means, but she suggested replacing all my DSL filters...they go bad she said. I have about 10 in the house, including some that serve more than one device, e.g. caller id boxes, wireless phones, answering machine, etc. Do the filters go bad? I occasionally will hear some DSL noise when two phones are off - hook at the same time. Otherwise everything seems to work OK. They scheduled to call back in a week to see if there's an improvement. I have some new filters, never used, that I could put in. I'd welcome any comments.
Date: 12 Apr 2012 19:26:22 GMT From: Doug McIntyre <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: DSL line question-Verizon-filters Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Michael <email@example.com> writes: >Do the filters go bad? I occasionally will hear some DSL noise >when two phones are off - hook at the same time. Otherwise everything >seems to work OK. Yes, filters can go bad. So can phones, water meters hooked to phone lines, alarm systems, etc. They may be causing problems with the DSL signalling, but still pass voice frequencies okay. With this sort of thing, it does become the game of unhooking one thing and trying again, over and over again.
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