32 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for November 5, 2013
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Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2013 09:57:19 -0800 (PST) From: HAncock4 <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: 50th anniversary of first commercial installation of ESS Message-ID: <email@example.com> 1963 marks the anniversary of several major Bell System innovations. * A No. 101 ESS, the first commercial installation of electronic switching, using stored-program control, went into service in Cocoa Beach, Florida on November 30, 1963. (details below) * ESS No. 1 was being prepared for its first use. The first commercial installation of No. 1 ESS was a 4,000-line office at Succasunna, New Jersey. The equipment for Succasunna was installed in the summer and fall of 1963, and system program testing began at this location in January 1964. * Technical trial of custom calling services on No. 5 crossbar (Columbus, Ohio). Whiles the services were popular, it was not cost-effective to offer them on a No. 5 switch. * First public (non-trial) offering of Touch Tone service. * TSP service (person-to-person, collect, coin--automated consoles) first offered Forest Hills, NY. * Federal Telephone System cutover (national internal network). While most of the above are vital elements of today's telephone service, TSP/TSPS is essentially obsolete due to loss of payphones. Also, inexpensive or unlimited long distance service has virtually eliminated the need for toll classes other than directly dialed station-to-station. No. 101 ESS, excerpted from the literature: Over the years, intensive studies made at Bell Laboratories have shown that electronic switching systems are quite feasible and that electronic techniques are readily adaptable to a wide range of new services. Electronic systems also have many other advantages for the customer and the telephone engineer. Electronic switching techniques make it possible to easily change services and accommodate new requirements stemming from a customer's growth. The system embodies a number of new switching techniques. Among the most characteristic are: Shared Centralized Control: The switching equipment and the control equipment are separated. The control unit, located in a telephone company office, controls simultaneously a number of customer switch units. Stored Program Control: Highly versatile control of switching and service features is attained by stored program techniques. Switching instruc- tions are stored in plug-in electronic memories and these are consulted and acted upon as dictated by the service demands and the internal system logic. This technique allows features to be changed or added easily at the control unit. It does not require any action at the customers offices. Time Division Switching: The time division networks in the switch units keep to a minimum the space requirements on the customer's premises and enable simple and flexible growth capabilities within the limits of the system. Time division switching permits all calls in the switch unit to simultaneously share a common transmission path called a common bus. A cycle of time for the bus is divided into discrete, rapidly recurring time positions called time slots. Each time slot serves as a switched-in link over which a call connection can be established. Thus, when terminal circuits are to be joined in a talking connection, they are assigned the same time slot. Each switch unit has 50 time slots, so that 50 call connections can exist simultaneously. This system included support for Touch Tone dialing. Source: Bell Laboratories Record, November 1963; A History of Engineering & Science in the Bell System, Switching, 1925-1975.
Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2013 12:11:29 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: iPhone 5S surprises Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> iPhone 5S surprises Oct 20, 2013 By Jean-Louis Gassée Monday Note "I will withhold judgment on the new iPhone until I have a chance to play customer, buy the product (my better half seems to like the 5C while I pine for a 5S), and use it for about two weeks - the time required to go beyond my first and often wrong impressions". I wrote those words a little over a month ago. I've now played customer for the requisite two weeks - I got an iPhone 5S on October 3rd - and I'm prepared to report. But first, some context. iPhone launches always generate controversy, there's always something to complain about: Antennagate for the iPhone 4, the Siri beta for the 4S, the deserved Maps embarrassment last year - with a clean, dignified Tim Cook apology. (Whether these fracas translate into lost revenue is another matter). As I sat in the audience during the introduction of the original iPhone, back in January, 2007, I thought the demo was too good, that Steve was (again) having his way with facts. I feared that when the product shipped a few months later, the undistorted reality would break the spell. We know now that the iPhone that Steve presented on the stage was unfinished, that he trod a careful path through a demo minefield. But the JesusPhone that Apple shipped - unfinished in many ways (no native apps, no cut-and-paste) - was more than a success: It heralded the Smartphone 2.0 era. ... http://www.mondaynote.com/2013/10/20/iphone-5s-surprises/
Date: Mon, 4 Nov 2013 12:09:43 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Security Shouldn't Trump Privacy - But I'm Afraid It Will Message-ID: <email@example.com> Security Shouldn't Trump Privacy - But I'm Afraid It Will Oct 28, 2013 Jean-Louis Gassée Monday Note The NSA and security agencies from other countries are shooting for total surveillance, for complete protection against terrorism and other crimes. This creates the potential for too much knowledge falling one day in the wrong hands. An NSA contractor, Edward Snowden, takes it upon himself to gather a mountain of secret internal documents that describe our surveillance methods and targets, and shares them with journalist Glenn Greenwald. Since May of this year, Greenwald has provided us with a trickle of Snowden's revelations - and our elected officials, both here and abroad, treat us to their indignation. What have we learned? We Spy On Everyone. We spy on enemies known or suspected. We spy on friends, love interests, heads of state, and ourselves. We spy in a dizzying number of ways, both ingenious and disingenuous. (Before I continue, a word on the word "we". I don't believe it's honest or emotionally healthy to say "The government spies". Perhaps we should have been paying more attention, or maybe we should have prodded our solons to do the jobs we elected them for - but let's not distance ourselves from our national culpability.) You can read Greenwald's truly epoch-making series On Security and Liberty in The Guardian and pick your own approbations or invectives. You may experience an uneasy sense of wonder when contemplating the depth and breadth of our methods, from cryptographic and social engineering exploits (doubly the right word), to scooping up metadata and address books and using them to construct a security-oriented social graph. We manipulate technology and take advantage of human foibles; we twist the law and sometimes break it, aided by a secret court without opposing counsel; we outsource our spying by asking our friends to suck petabytes of data from submarine fiber cables, data that's immediately combed for keywords and then stored in case the we need to "walk back the cat". The reason for this panopticon is simple: Terrorists, drugs, and "dirty" money can slip through the tiniest crack in the wall. We can't let a single communication evade us. We need to know everything. No job too small, no surveillance too broad. ... http://www.mondaynote.com/2013/10/28/security-shouldnt-trump-privacy-but-im-afraid-it-will/
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