32 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for January 30, 2014
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Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2014 04:42:49 +0000 (UTC) From: danny burstein <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Modems, wArEz, and ANSI art: Remembering BBS life at 2400bps Message-ID: <email@example.com> In <20140129041922.GA21145@telecom.csail.mit.edu> Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> writes: [snip] >encryption to keep the NSA out. Modems are going away because >circuit-switched phone connections are going away. The only ray of >hope for modem users is that FAX machines are still in use, so even >VoIP providers have had to made provisions for at least 14,400 bps >data. If only.... A very big problem in the extended NYC area (and probably others as well) is that VZ is doing its best to dump the copper network and transition people to a cellular based pseudo phone line. The magic box has an RJ-11 out the back, that gives you a "dial tone", but it does NOT let you use modems, fax machines, or, for that matter, alarm circuits. The same with, for example, T-Mobile's (no longer offered) similar pseudo landline which worked over your internet connection and had RJ-11 jacks. (I'm grandfathered in). WIth other VOIP carriers it's a tossup. Some do, some don't. _ There's NO technical reason why they can't be designed to interoperate. But they dhoose not to. here in flyover country, Michigan, there used to be a quasi independent cellular company going by the name of Century Wireless. They had one of those boxes as well [a], and I'm pretty sure they did, in fact, claim in their adbertising that it would work with fax machines. - They've since been gobbled up by aAT&T and the new folk no longer make that claim. I may be misremembering or they may have changed the design. [a] I hooked one up for a friend in a marginal cellular area. We placed the box and ran the associated wiring to a small tower on her roof... -- _____________________________________________________ Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key firstname.lastname@example.org [to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2014 23:47:04 -0800 (PST) From: Neal McLain <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: : Re: Aereo Update: And the Question is . . . Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Tuesday, January 28, 2014 11:58:52 AM UTC-6, Bob K wrote: > On 1/27/2014 1:16 PM, Garrett Wollman wrote: >> Never mind that: the broadcaster owns a compilation copyright on their >> broadcast output -- syndicated programs, network programs, local >> programs, and commercials integrated into a single product -- and >> that would be sufficient to deny Aereo the use of the signals if Aereo >> is found to be engaged in "public performance". (I don't know if ABC >> actually made a claim for compilation copyright in the lower courts; >> if not, they forfeited that particular issue on appeal, but have other >> grounds as Neal rightly notes.) > > I guess I am at a loss to really understand some of this. > > It the olden days, TV stations made their money by selling advertising > time. And, they still do seem to carry plenty of advertisements! It > was my understanding the more viewers they had, the more they would be > able to charge for an advertising spot. True, if the station sells the ads itself. In the case of network programming carried by affiliate stations, the network sells the advertising and pays the station "compensation" for carrying its programming, advertising included. The compensation is tied to the station's viewership. > To increase their viewing audience, stations spend a lot of money > running as much power as the FCC will allow, with huge towers to make > sure their signal reaches everyone within their coverage area. In > some areas they may install translators to fill in dead spot, and all > this costs money. The reason they do that is to service as many > households they can -- and hence charge the advertisers as much as > they can. Indeed they do. > On the other side of the coin, since they are using a public resource > -- the frequency slice they have licensed to them, I think the FCC > still mandates they offer at least one signal that viewers can receive > without paying any direct charges. Yes, assuming that the "one signal" you're referring to is the off-air broadcast signal that the station transmits. > Now, when a service provider, like a cable company or satellite > company, picks up that broadcast and makes it available to their > customers, that is a case of "one hand washing the other". That > signal makes the TV signal available to the customers of the service > -- and therefore more attractive. But, on the other hand, it also > makes the broadcast signal available to more viewers -- and hence > increases the price that can be charged to the advertisers. That's a double-edged sward. Yes, it does increase the audience, but it doesn't necessarily increase the value of the advertising. If, say, Chicago's WGN-TV carries advertising for jewelry stores and car dealerships, these advertisers may not want to pay extra to reach cable subscribers in, say, Springfield or Madison. Meanwhile, the owners of jewelry stores and car dealerships in Springfield and Madison resent the competition. And you can be sure that they will complain to their representatives in Congress. Back before the advent of satellite video distribution (ca 1975), cable TV operators had to carry WGN-TV and other distant independent stations in order to have something to sell. If they just carried the local stations (supplemented by public/educational/ government access channels and whatever they could produce themselves) they wouldn't sell many subscriptions. And that's not a hypothetical statement -- I lived through those days. > If a TV station is allowed to charge a cable company to retransmit > their signal -- that charge isn't paid by the cable company, but > rather is passed on to the cable company customer. Who are we > kidding? The consumer always pays in the end. You're d*** right. > Take a look at how many local stations are carried on your cable > system. Multiply that by the charge being paid by the cable company > back to the TV station. I'm not sure just how much that is -- but if > the TV station is charging a dollar per month for every subscriber -- > that ends up a tax on every subscriber for the potential ability to > watch that station. And, that is whether or not the end viewer ever > wants to watch a particular station. I retired in 2000, so I no longer have access to accurate information about retransmission-consent fees. But from what I hear, the fees currently range from $1.00 to $3.00 per station sub per month, and they keep going up every three years when retrans agreements come up for renewal. This, of course, puts the station in the ultimate sweet spot. It gets paid compensation by its affiliated network and it gets paid retrans fees by the cable and sat companies. Note that each station can elect either "retransmission-consent" or "must-carry". If a station elects retrans, it can charge whatever the market will bear, and it can require the cable/sat company to carry (and pay for) co-owned non-broadcast programming. Example: Disney owns the ABC Television Network, several ABC affiliate stations, and numerous non-broadcast channels including 80% of ESPN. So it can force the cable company to carry ESPN as a condition for granting retrans consent for the ABC station. Again relying on what I hear, ESPN currently costs around 5.00/month/sub. If the station elects must-carry, the station must carry the station, but no money changes hands. Typically, smaller less popular stations elect must carry while the big guys elect retrans consent. > It would seem to me that any time a TV station can get someone to help > distribute their signal to more viewers, they should be paying (not > charging) for that service. I'm sure every cable TV and satellite TV company in the country (with one notable exception) would agree with that. The exception is Comcast, which owns the NBC network and several NBC stations. Apparently it makes more money charging itself than it costs to pay itself. This whole retrans-consent/must-carry procedure is legal under the grotesquely-named "Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992." If you don't like it, don't complain to your cable company. Complain to your elected representatives in Congress. Neal McLain Retired cable guy
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2014 19:12:03 +0000 (UTC) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Garrett Wollman) To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: : Re: Aereo Update: And the Question is . . . Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> In article <email@example.com>, Neal McLain <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >True, if the station sells the ads itself. In the case of network >programming carried by affiliate stations, the network sells the >advertising and pays the station "compensation" for carrying its >programming, advertising included. The compensation is tied to the >station's viewership. Wrong way around. Stations have had to pay the networks for affiliation deals for about a decade now. KNTV (11 San Jose)'s deal to take NBC away from long-time affiliate KRON (4 San Francisco) was the first major-market deal structured this way, but all the networks are doing it this way now. The smaller (unwatched) networks are generally barter deals; some may even offer token compensation. -GAWollman -- Garrett A. Wollman | What intellectual phenomenon can be older, or more oft email@example.com| repeated, than the story of a large research program Opinions not shared by| that impaled itself upon a false central assumption my employers. | accepted by all practitioners? - S.J. Gould, 1993
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2014 00:35:30 -0500 From: tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Modems, wArEz, and ANSI art: Remembering BBS life at 2400bps Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Tue, 28 Jan 2014 23:19:22 -0500, Bill Horne wrote: > Modems are going away because > circuit-switched phone connections are going away. And yet subscribers to at&t's slowish DSL service, "at&t/Yahoo! HSI", still have access to banks and banks of dial-up modems, for when traveling, or when other circumstances interfere with proper DSL access -- listed in: http://sbcyahoo.prodigy.net/openPhone/index.html . Cheers, and happy modem pooling :-) , -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2014 17:06:46 -0500 From: T <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Modems, wArEz, and ANSI art: Remembering BBS life at 2400bps Message-ID: <MPG.firstname.lastname@example.org> In article <email@example.com>, mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net says... > > On Tue, 28 Jan 2014 23:19:22 -0500, Bill Horne wrote: > > > Modems are going away because > > circuit-switched phone connections are going away. > > And yet subscribers to at&t's slowish DSL service, "at&t/Yahoo! HSI", still > have access to banks and banks of dial-up modems, for when traveling, or > when other circumstances interfere with proper DSL access -- listed in: > > > http://sbcyahoo.prodigy.net/openPhone/index.html > . > > Cheers, and happy modem pooling :-) , -- tlvp Very interesting. And I know small business that have the credit card terminals don't use the net but a dial-up phone line. That's just a modem. So they're going to be in trouble when they decide to ditch Verizon copper and go with VoIP etc.
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2014 15:59:51 -0500 From: James Cloos <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Modems, wArEz, and ANSI art: Remembering BBS life at 2400bps Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Most of the common AT commands can be found via pages like: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hayes_command_set http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_Phone_AT_Commands and the External Links on those pages. Fax modems still make heavy use of them. Except for the V.34 and V.90+ fax modes, each page requires several AT commands to complete, given all the transitions which the older protocols use. -JimC -- James Cloos <email@example.com> OpenPGP: 1024D/ED7DAEA6
Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2014 17:04:05 -0500 From: T <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Modems, wArEz, and ANSI art: Remembering BBS life at 2400bps Message-ID: <MPG.firstname.lastname@example.org> In article <20140129041922.GA21145@telecom.csail.mit.edu>, bill@horneQRM.net says... > > On Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 10:18:08PM -0500, T wrote: > > In article <20140127163326.GA17239@telecom.csail.mit.edu>, > > bill@horneQRM.net says... > > > > > ... BBS systems are going to make a comeback: with the NSA > > > monitoring all the Internet traffic, and common carriers allowed to > > > favor content they like, those wanting an added measure of privacy > > > and transparency are likely to revive the BBS systems - and maybe > > > even join FidoNet again! > > > > I'm afraid that's probably moot too because they'll be listening in on > > the wired phone circuits too. > > That might be true, or not: technically, it's possible, but I wonder > if the NSA's monitoring hardware is concentrated at the Internet > backbones to the exclusion of local dialup-data monitoring capability. > > System such as W.A.S.T.E. could be installed so that small groups can > use a BBS for trading encrypted files, but (all kidding aside) they > will likely have to rely on Internet connections and (very) robust > encryption to keep the NSA out. Modems are going away because > circuit-switched phone connections are going away. The only ray of > hope for modem users is that FAX machines are still in use, so even > VoIP providers have had to made provisions for at least 14,400 bps > data. > > Bill Well - I've long known that for example a #5ESS installation - you could montior any line from the console that you wanted. No need to go out in the frames. And with CALEA and other legislative law enforcement things - they have remote access to them too.
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