32 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
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The Telecom Digest for April 27, 2014
====== 32 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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Date: Fri, 25 Apr 2014 10:43:19 -0400 From: Barry Margolin <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Net neutrality is an illusion: CDNs Message-ID: <barmar-C74D0D.firstname.lastname@example.org> All the furor over cable companies trying to sell "premium" connectivity, and yesterday's FCC announcement that they'll allow this, ignores the fact that content providers with deep pockets have long had ways to get better connectivity to end users. They're called Content Delivery Networks, either purchased from service providers like Akamai and Limelight, or done in-house by Google and Amazon. These companies have large networks of servers distributed all around the Internet, located on most of the large ISPs and/or at connectivity points between ISPs. When users go to a site, the network automatically directs them to the closest server, to minimize latency and provide better connections. In other words, if you wanted to provide a better quality service, you just bought more servers and connections from multiple providers. The only difference the latest decision makes is that now you have another option: pay the ISP for priority routing. The Internet has never really been a level playing field -- if you could only afford basic web hosting, you've been at a disadvantage. So what's the big deal? -- Barry Margolin, email@example.com Arlington, MA *** PLEASE post questions in newsgroups, not directly to me ***
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2014 22:54:08 -0400 From: Pete Cresswell <PeteCress@invalid.telecom-digest.org> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Net neutrality is an illusion: CDNs Message-ID: <email@example.com> Per Barry Margolin: > The Internet has never really >been a level playing field -- if you could only afford basic web >hosting, you've been at a disadvantage. > >So what's the big deal? I'd say it's the issue of an informed consumer and legitimate forms of competition. Instead of users paying extra for bandwith, content suppliers are paying or not paying basically "under the table"... so a consumer does not know if his connection to a given site is poor because of his ISP or because the site isn't paying anybody off. Same situation as the priority routing thing... but now it's official: institutionalized.... and, I would expect, on the fast track to be applied to every mom-and-pop operation as ISPs maximize profits. Sites with big pockets but not necessarily the best product are going to tend to dominate while small providers who can't pay the freight but might have a better product are going to be frozen out as customers try to connect but get very poor transfer speeds. Seems like the continuation of what I see as a sort of natural law: power wants to coalesce. The rich get richer, the big squash the small... the big get bigger, and eventually we wind up with very few people running a very large show. I think we have already passed a sort of tipping point where corporations have become big enough to acquire most of the legislature most of the time and democracy is fast becoming an illusion. Witness the "Too Big To Fail" banks. In spite of Congress' posturing and profiling those banks are now bigger than ever and they know they'll get bailed out next time. -- Pete Cresswell [moderator pro tem's note: but bear in mind that there have never been "network neutrality" rules in effect. The Internet doesn't work like that; Wheeler isn't creating a new "fast lane", he's simply acknowledging that he can't legally stop it. And doing it in a way that looks bad. -fg]
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2014 23:55:12 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Microsoft is now a phone company, as Nokia deal closes Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Microsoft is now a phone company, as Nokia deal closes Another 25,000 staff come aboard. by Peter Bright Apr 25 2014 Ars Technica As announced earlier this week, Microsoft's purchase of Nokia's Devices and Services division has closed almost four months later than expected. Redmond is paying about $5 billion for the Nokia division, now named Microsoft Mobile Oy, and some 8,500 design patents. The software giant is also paying another $2 billion for a ten-year license for 30,000 utility patents, with an option to renew the licenses in perpetuity. ... http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/04/microsoft-is-now-a-phone-company-as-nokia-deal-closes/
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2014 18:53:51 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Makes the Call, Takes the Flak Message-ID: <email@example.com> FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Makes the Call, Takes the Flak Agency Chief's Unapologetic Style Will Be Put to the Test on 'Net Neutrality' Rule By GAUTHAM NAGESH CONNECT April 24, 2014 Even on the powerful eighth floor of the Federal Communications Commission, almost no one on Wednesday had previewed Chairman Tom Wheeler's new proposal to regulate how broadband providers manage their networks. It wasn't an unusual event, say people who know and work with the chairman, a nearly 40-year veteran of telecom policy, much of it as an industry lobbyist. Mr. Wheeler has been in the job less than six months but his mode of operation is already clear: He often unilaterally stakes out positions on issues facing the agency, like the Internet rules, even when they are sure to be unpopular with large swaths of industry. ... http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303834304579522111556080036
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2014 23:58:08 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Reg probe bombshell: How we HACKED mobile voicemail without a PIN Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Reg probe bombshell: How we HACKED mobile voicemail without a PIN Months after Leveson inquiry, your messages are still not secure By Simon Rockman 24 Apr 2014 The Register Special report Voicemail inboxes on two UK mobile networks are wide open to being hacked. An investigation by The Register has found that even after Lord Leveson's press ethics inquiry, which delved into the practice of phone hacking, some telcos are not implementing even the most basic level of security. Your humble correspondent has just listened to the private voicemail of a fellow Reg journalist's phone, accessed the voicemail inbox of a new SIM bought for testing purposes, and the inbox of someone with a SIM issued to police doing anti-terrorist work. I didn't need to use nor guess the login PIN for any of them; I faced no challenge to authenticate myself. ... http://www.theregister.co.uk/Print/2014/04/24/voicemail_still_easy_to_hack/
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2014 23:44:31 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: In a world of me-first smart home gear, can smarthubs make them all play nice? Message-ID: <email@example.com> In a world of me-first smart home gear, can smarthubs make them all play nice? Review: We automate this old house with the Revolv and SmartThings smarthubs. by Sam Machkovech Apr 26 2014 Ars Technica http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/04/in-a-world-of-me-first-smart-home-gear-can-smarthubs-make-them-all-play-nice/
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2014 20:24:15 -0700 (PDT) From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: BBS: The Documentary Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Tuesday, February 27, 2007 7:17:42 PM UTC-5, T wrote: > In article <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org > says: > > > Yeah! A retro of old skool 80s geek out there at > > > > http://geekvideo.blogspot.com/2007/02/bbs-documentary.html > > > > Awesome -- lots of younger people remember the BBS which is amazing. > > Here's how I got into it. Back in 1982 I'd just graduated high school > and bought myself a Radio Shack DC-1 modem. This was the one where you > had to dial then flip the switch when you detected carrier, etc. > > I did so on the advice of a friend who told me about this cool new thing > called the BBS. Providence, RI had but one BBS at the time called > NYBBLINK. About a month after I'd gotten the modem NYBBLINK went belly > up. > > So I pressured my friend and together we built a BBS package for the > TRS-80 Model III called Syslink. Well, Syslink begat PowerCor and > PowerNet. The guy who built the Power* systems was Andy Green, who then > formed Intelicom Data Systems or IDS. IDS is now Conversent > Communications. > > So all because I bought a modem and had nothing to connect to. Imagine > that. > > For a few years in the late 80's I was the sysop for Syslink, but by > then it was running on a PC under TBBS. > > [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I started my BBS'ing in 1979 under the > tutalage of Randy Seuss in Chicago, but instead of the software and > computer he operated, I chose to use an Apple ][+ and a variation on > the People's Message System of Bill Blue. I got the Apple in 1981 and > thought that was better to use than the older OSI C-l-P machine I had. > I kept *Lakeshore Modem Magazine* alive through the end of 1985 at > which point I was pretty much involved in Usenet all the time. During > that same time period I was also sysop of the Chicago Public Library > BBS for about three years, but that (CPL) was on a volunteer basis > (which is not to say my own BBS made any money, either!) PAT] It's fun for me to see this story. I wrote Nybblink back in 1981. I was running a company named Human Computing Inc. at the time, and worked a deal with "The Computer Store" in Providence, RI. We (I) provided the code and support, and they provided the hardware (an Applie ][+, a DC Hayes 300 baud modem, and a phone line.) It was online for close a year before the store went out of business. Nybblink was the first BBS in Rhode Island and introduced a new concept of allowing people to break out discussions into different topic areas instead of everything being in one endless thread. As I think back on it, I am amazed to think that only about a dozen different areas were ever created. - Charlie Behrens
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2014 23:59:31 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Eyes Over Compton: How Police Spied on a Whole City Message-ID: <email@example.com> Eyes Over Compton: How Police Spied on a Whole City A sergeant in the L.A. County Sheriff's Department compared the experiment to Big Brother, even though he went ahead with it willingly. Is your city next? CONOR FRIEDERSDORF APR 21 2014 The Atlantic This is the future if nothing is done to stop it. In a secret test of mass surveillance technology, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department sent a civilian aircraft* over Compton, California, capturing high-resolution video of everything that happened inside that 10-square-mile municipality. Compton residents weren't told about the spying, which happened in 2012. "We literally watched all of Compton during the times that we were flying, so we could zoom in anywhere within the city of Compton and follow cars and see people," Ross McNutt of Persistence Surveillance Systems told the Center for Investigative Reporting, which unearthed and did the first reporting on this important story. The technology he's trying to sell to police departments all over America can stay aloft for up to six hours. Like Google Earth, it enables police to zoom in on certain areas. And like TiVo, it permits them to rewind, so that they can look back and see what happened anywhere they weren't watching in real time. ... http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/04/sheriffs-deputy-compares-drone-surveillance-of-compton-to-big-brother/360954/
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2014 23:43:33 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Man uses Raspberry Pi to build actual working cell phone for $158 Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Man uses Raspberry Pi to build actual working cell phone for $158 "PiPhone" powered by a Pi, a touchscreen, a wireless module, and a battery. by Jon Brodkin Apr 25 2014 Ars Technica http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/04/man-uses-raspberry-pi-to-build-actual-working-cellphone-for-158/
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