31 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for August 14, 2013
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Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2013 15:27:40 -0400 From: tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Roam the World and Keep the Cellphone on a Budget Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Sun, 4 Aug 2013 22:00:04 -0400, Monty Solomon wrote: > ... Actually, overseas cellphone bills do not have to be huge anymore, as > long as you do some planning. ... > ... > > http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/30/technology/personaltech/packages-lower-cost-of-travel-with-a-cellphone.html?pagewanted=all > FWIW, if you're planning a trip to Poland (which I'm just back from), you can do a lot better than what the NYT reports as AT&T's "three levels of data, priced by the month: 120 megabytes for $30, 300 megabytes for $60 and 800 megabytes for $120." The Polish carrier Orange (PL) offers an "Orange Free na Karte" starter kit for 20 Polish zloty (about USD $6.25 these days) that provides a SIM with Polish (+48-50*-***-***) cellular number and rights to 1 GB of data traffic and up to 20 zl. worth of voice and/or SMS traffic, expiring (if not renewed) after 30 days. I stuck their SIM into an older, unlocked, Motorola SLVR (aka L2) for tethering my laptop to. (In the past I've used an Orange (PL) SIM with an unlocked, AT&T-issued Sierra Wireless AirCard (getting much higher data transfer speeds), but the old APN settings no longer worked for me now.) Polish carrier PlayMobile has a similar offer -- at only 19 zl. -- but Play's coverage is less broad than that of Orange (PL). I'd welcome tips for specific PAYGO data SIM plans for other countries in Europe and Asia (AT, BE, CH, DE, ES, FR, ... IN, TH, etc.). Cheers, and thanks, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
Date: Tue, 13 Aug 2013 18:37:37 -0700 (PDT) From: Neal McLain <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Greenfield: Congress should give cable operators more leverage to negotiate retrans deals Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> By Steve Donohue, FierceCable, August 13, 2013 | Veteran cable analyst Richard Greenfield said Monday that | Congress should allow cable operators to team up in local | markets to negotiate retransmission-consent deals with | broadcasters. | | In a report about Time Warner Cable's dispute with CBS | Corp., the BTIG analyst said cable operators lack the | leverage that local broadcasters have through local | marketing agreements that allow station groups to negotiate | retrans deals in agreements covering multiple TV stations. | | "If Congress authorized MVPDs [multichannel video programming | distributors] in a given market to work together to negotiate | retrans the way broadcasters are allowed to utilize LMAs and | combine the leverage of their broadcast and cable network | holdings there would be far more balance to the retrans | negotiations in each market (preventing a broadcaster from | playing one MVPD against another)," Greenfield wrote. "The fear | politicians run of advancing this policy would be if it results | in broadcast networks abandoning broadcasting altogether to | become cable networks," he added. Continued: http://bit.ly/16NINgO Or worse yet, abandoning their campaign contributions. Neal McLain
Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2013 01:39:04 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Android one-click Google authentication method puts users, businesses at risk Message-ID: <email@example.com> Android one-click Google authentication method puts users, businesses at risk Lucian Constantin, IDG News Service Aug 4, 2013 PCWorld A feature that allows Android users to authenticate themselves on Google websites without having to enter their account password can be abused by rogue apps to give attackers access to Google accounts, a security researcher showed Saturday at the Defcon security conference in Las Vegas. The feature is called "weblogin" and works by generating a unique token that can be used to directly authenticate users on Google websites using the accounts they have already configured on their devices. Weblogin provides a better user experience but can potentially compromise the privacy and security of personal Google accounts, as well as Google Apps accounts used by businesses, Craig Young, a researcher at security firm Tripwire, said during his talk. Young created a proof-of-concept rogue app that can steal weblogin tokens and send them back to an attacker who can then use them in a Web browser to impersonate a victim on Google Apps, Gmail, Drive, Calendar, Voice and other Google services. The app was designed to masquerade as a stock viewing app for Google Finance and was published on Google Play, with a description that clearly indicated it was malicious and shouldn't be installed by users. ... http://www.pcworld.com/article/2045903/android-oneclick-google-authentication-method-puts-users-businesses-at-risk.html
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2013 13:08:23 -0700 (PDT) From: Neal McLain <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Time Warner Cable blackout saps CBS local news ratings Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> By Steve Donohue, FierceCable, August 12, 2013 | While CBS Corp. insists its blackout on Time Warner Cable | systems in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas has had a minimal | impact on ratings for its primetime programming lineup, Nielsen | data shows that the local newscasts of its stations in TWC | markets have dropped significantly. [snip] | On Friday, FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn warned that the | commission could take action to help resolve the dispute. | "We will continue to urge all parties to stay and resolve | in good faith this issue as soon as possible. However, I | will affirm to you that I am ready to consider | appropriate action if this dispute continues," Clyburn said. | But there may be little Clyburn and the FCC can do to end | the blackout of CBS stations and Showtime Networks, which | began on Aug. 2. The 1992 Cable Act prevents the FCC from | interceding in retransmission-consent disputes, and the | commission may not be able to force TWC to restore CBS | programming until a new law is passed by Congress. Continued: http://bit.ly/16GCwBG Or until Congress repeals the law that created this situation in the first place: the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992. Neal McLain
Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2013 14:52:31 -0400 From: tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: MetroPCS 4G Service Issues Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Sun, 28 Jul 2013 13:59:38 -0400, T wrote: > So this past week my Samsung SCH-R910 started exhibiting odd behavior. > Voice calls would not work. But SMS and net services all worked just fine. > > Finally a few hours later the phone started working again and SMS and > net services too. > > Then I get one of Metro's sneak voicemails saying I should bring my > phone in for a firmware upgrade. It went from v2.2.1 to v2.2.2. Now > knowing what firmware is, they upgraded the RF chip software. > > Now the phone and SMS work but no 4G service whatsoever from the very > same location. ... MetroPCS is the outfit that's "merging" with T-Mobile? Maybe teething problems. Earlier this week, my local T-Mobile service tower was out all day during most of the business hours of Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday. Speaking with T-Mo CS reps (over a landline connection, of course :-) ) each of those mornings, I was asked every time to go through the by-now-standard "shut off the phone, remove the back, take out the battery, read me the IMEI, replace the battery, restore the back, and turn on the phone" routine that their script mandates, and, when that changed not a thing, I got transferred one level up, where an agent checked their outages map and determined that my nearest tower was "undergoing maintenance." Dandy. But by 2:30, or 3:30, or 5:30 pm each afternoon, service was back to normal ... only to be broken again the next morning. Thursday, though, and again today, no such problems ... just service as usual. Can this all be the result of trying to weave together the two formerly disparate (but now merged) services of T-Mo and MetroPCS? And why on earth, after I tell them I'm just calling to learn the status of the maintenance on my local service tower, must the answer-droids on the front line waste my time and theirs on that "read me the IMEI" foolishness? With T-Mo for over a decade, I know the first thing to try if service is problematic is to switch the phone off, in hopes that a fresh association with the tower will improve matters :-) . (At least none of them tried to convince me, as two did a month ago when similar no-voice/no-data problems were plaguing me, that it was my "old SIM card that's worn out" that I need to replace at my "local T-Mobile store.") Cheers, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2013 23:13:44 -0500 From: Doug McIntyre <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Only Seven Percent of TV Households Rely on Over-the-Air Signals according to CEA Study Message-ID: <yPidnbYYxe9l_ZXPnZ2dnUVZ_sKdnZ2d@giganews.com> email@example.com (Garrett Wollman) writes: >Can you or anyone else explain, by the way, why cablecos put the HD >versions of various services (both local and national programming) on >different "channel" numbers from the downconverted SD versions? .. So its easier for them to disable if you don't spring extra for the HD package? One would think their DB would have a HD flag, but I find that things are rarely simple like that, and it has to do more with channels in this xxx range are the HD ones sort of logic.
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2013 22:22:03 -0400 From: T <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Photo Gallery (34) of San Francisco Bay Area pay phones Message-ID: <MPG.firstname.lastname@example.org> In article <5204326A.email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org says... > > Amazingly, many of these are still functional: > > > http://blog.sfgate.com/thebigevent/2013/08/08/strong-connection-the-greatest-phone-booths-of-the-bay-area/ > My two pay phones: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kd1s/3110671683/ And a rather interesting treatment of a Phone Booth up on Wickenden St. in Providence, RI: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kd1s/4707750718/
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2013 22:11:39 -0400 From: T <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Only Seven Percent of TV Households Rely on Over-the-Air Signals according to CEA Study Message-ID: <MPG.email@example.com> In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com says... > > Can you or anyone else explain, by the way, why cablecos put the HD > versions of various services (both local and national programming) on > different "channel" numbers from the downconverted SD versions? > [Moderator snip] In Cox land the HD channels of popular lower channels are just 1000 +channel number. For example, ABC6 is 0006 for SD, but 1006 for HD.
Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2013 12:34:05 -0700 (PDT) From: Neal McLain <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Only Seven Percent of TV Households Rely on Over-the-Air Signals according to CEA Study Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Monday, August 5, 2013 1:03:02 AM UTC-5, T wrote: > In article <51FE6175.311A1ED7@Guy.com>, Telco@Guy.com says... > > Gordon Burditt wrote: >> >> > Lots of other people with both a cable/satellite/internet source >> > of TV programming and antenna (not necessarily on the same TV) >> >> There's your problem right there. >> >> The cable or satellite digital box is the gateway to the primary >> big-screen TV in the home. They don't make those boxes with OTA >> antenna input and incorporate OTA signals seemlessly into the >> channel lineup. > > New televisions have MULTIPLE inputs - like antenna connectors, VGA, > HDMI, Composite, Component etc. My cable box connects to the TV via > HDMI now and it leaves that F connector open for an antenna should I > wish. Just push the button on the remote and you're scanning the > airwaves. You missed the point of the word "seemlessly." Even misspelled, its meaning is clear: it means you wouldn't have to "push the button on the remote" to switch to the OTA signal. The box would automatically switch to the OTA input whenever an OTA signal is selected. Earlier in this tread: Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Saturday, August 10, 2013 11:44:11 PM UTC-5, Garrett Wollman wrote: > Neal McLain wrote: >>On Sunday, August 4, 2013 9:13:09 AM UTC-5, Telco Guy wrote: >>> The cable or satellite digital box is the gateway to the primary >>> big-screen TV in the home. They don't make those boxes with OTA >>> antenna input and incorporate OTA signals seamlessly into the >>> channel lineup. >> >> Several years ago, there was some talk about a converter design that >> would do exactly that. The idea was that a single converter would >> have three inputs: VHF-OTA, UHF-OTA, CATV. The tuning circuitry >> would integrate the three signals into a single channel lineup, >> switching among inputs as necessary. > > Um, this is exactly what my TiVo does. It has two RF inputs, one for > an antenna and one for cable, with the requisite CableCARD slots and a > USB connection for SDV. Because I don't have reliable OTA reception > where I live, I usually have the broadcast channels disabled, but I > configure my TiVo to think I have an antenna, so that I can switch > over in just these sorts of cases. Does "I can switch over in just these sorts of cases" mean that you have to take some separate action (such as pushing a different button on the remote) to make the switch? If so, it's not "seamless" in the sense that Gordon Burditt and I use the word. This may seem trivial, but if you've ever been a cable guy trying to explain 12-channel converters to elderly widows or smart-ass teenagers, you'll understand. Neal McLain
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