34 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
Copyright © 2015 E. William Horne. All Rights Reserved.
The Telecom Digest for Aug 22, 2015
|There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches. Every minority, be it Baptist/Unitarian, Irish/Italian/Octogenarian/Zen Buddhist, Zionist/Seventh-day Adventist, Women's Lib/Republican, Mattachine/FourSquareGospel feels it has the will, the right, the duty to douse the kerosene, light the fuse. Every dimwit editor who sees himself as the source of all dreary blanc-mange plain porridge unleavened literature, licks his guillotine and eyes the neck of any author who dares to speak above a whisper or write above a nursery rhyme|
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|Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2015 09:28:39 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Uber Missed Criminal Records of Drivers, Prosecutors Assert Message-ID: <18F2F264-2937-44CA-9B7D-CC99F8F8FCB7@roscom.com> Uber Missed Criminal Records of Drivers, Prosecutors Assert District attorneys in Los Angeles and San Francisco say drivers for the ride-hailing service have included some convicted of murder or sex offenses. SAN FRANCISCO - For more than a year, regulators in various cities have questioned whether Uber, the ride-hailing service, vets its drivers for criminal backgrounds as carefully as traditional taxi companies. Now the district attorneys of San Francisco and Los Angeles have offered perhaps the most concrete evidence to date that people convicted of murder, sex offenses and various property crimes have driven for Uber, despite assurances from the company that it employs "industry-leading" screening. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/20/technology/uber-missed-criminal-records-of-drivers-prosecutors-assert.html ***** Moderator's Note ***** I've always been fascinated by the way technology changes things. Uber in driving inefficiencies out of the hackney carriage trade in the same way that airline ticketing companies have driven travel agents out of business. Cab drivers of old had to spend gas driving around hoping for fares, or depend on a dispatch service might or might not give them high-value fares if they were on good terms with the dispatcher. But, the smartphone is not a good judge of character. Uber, seeking to run a virtual corporation which involves little investment and forces all its costs on its employees, is living in the margin between the metered rates of taxicabs and the cost riders are willing to pay to drive themselves or take public transit. That margin, built as much on customer ignorance as it is on smartphone technology, is now being reduced by the old-line players, whom are pointing out that words and reality don't always match in the online business world. Bill Horne Moderator|
|Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2015 10:28:26 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Consumers are Cutting the Cord to Gain Choices and Pay Less Message-ID: <D3219DE8-77B5-47C9-9329-13792A66CC2F@roscom.com> Congress and the FCC can help consumers have more broadband options as they choose online services over cable TV. In recent years, a lot of media and telecommunications executives dismissed the idea that Americans would stop subscribing to cable and satellite TV services. But the cord-cutting phenomenon can no longer be ignored. American cable and satellite companies collectively lost more than 600,000 subscribers in the second quarter of this year, the biggest decline the industry has ever seen. Analysts expect the trend to accelerate as more people replace cable with Internet-based services like Netflix, HBO Now and Amazon, which are much cheaper than the traditional TV package offered by companies like Comcast and DirecTV. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/21/opinion/consumers-are-cutting-the-cord-to-gain-choices-and-pay-less.html ***** Moderator's Note ***** The one thing I don't get is how people can stand the lower bandwidths that over-the-air Internet offers. There's no way that cellular 3,4, 5, or "N"-G pipes can replace cable when it comes to carrying capacity. Bill Horne Moderator|
|Date: Sat, 22 Aug 2015 01:13:58 +0000 (UTC) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Garrett Wollman) To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Consumers are Cutting the Cord to Gain Choices and Pay Less Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> To article <D3219DE8-77B5-47C9-9329-13792A66CC2F@roscom.com>, the moderator appended: >The one thing I don't get is how people can stand the lower bandwidths >that over-the-air Internet offers. There's no way that cellular 3,4, >5, or "N"-G pipes can replace cable when it comes to carrying capacity. It doesn't. Consumers aren't dropping their Internet subscriptions, just the expensive video bundle. Without any premium channels, I pay more than $90 a month for video service from Comcast -- and that's in a building with competition from both RCN and Verizon FiOS, and I own my TiVo rather than renting an inferior "box" from Comcast. If it were not for the downsides to streaming (inconsistent user interfaces, DRM to prevent ad-skipping, lack of access to certain sports) I would probably cancel my video service as well. As it is, I'm still contemplating switching to FiOS video, because they carry (Comcast-owned) Universal Sports, whereas Comcast and RCN do not. The events to which the NBC networks own the US broadcast rights (including the Olympics) are not legally available for streaming in the US to those who do not subscribe to a cable or satellite bundle that includes the channel on which they air. -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: 20 Aug 2015 12:35:13 -0600 From: "Fred Atkinson" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Deceptive Flip Phone Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> A few weeks back, I visited a Verizon Wireless store to upgrade my pre-paid Samsung flip phone to regular service. I had lost my pre-paid phone a few week prior while I was in Naha, Okinawa. I got a new prepaid flip phone from Walmart and transferred my account to that phone. When I got to the Verizon Wireless store, they told me that I could not transfer that phone to regular service since it had been in service for less than six months. I have several electronic devices and I use four port USB chargers to charge them. I am obviously not going to drag several proprietary chargers around with me everywhere I go. They brought out an LG flip phone. It had a USB cable and a charger with an 'A' type jack in the charger. It seemed reasonable to expect that it would charge on my four port AC chargers and my three port mobile charger. So I said OK. Upon getting home, I discovered that it would not charge on any of my multi-port chargers. Despite its appearance of USB compatibility, it was a proprietary charger. I took it back to the Verizon Wirelesss store and told them that any phone that would not charge on a standard USB charger did not meet my needs. They tried to charge me a restocking fee but after going back and forth a few days, they finally agreed to exchange the phone without a restocking fee since I also discovered a defect in the unit which I won't describe here. They brought out a Samsung flip phone. They let me see if it would charge on my four port USB charger and my three port mobile charger. Both chargers worked just fine. So I told them to go ahead and transfer my service to the Samsung flip phone. I've been happy with the Samsung. The point being is the lesson I learned here: Do not assume that a device that appears to have a USB charger is not proprietary. Personally, I think that LG was being deceptive when they manufactured that phone to appear that it could be charged from any USB charger. But that is just my opinion, of course. If Verizon had not forced me to changed phones, we would not have had this exchange. I have several Isound four port USB chargers and a three port mobile USB. I use them to charge my iPad and several lesser current devices at the same time. I did find out that the Isound (AC) unit cannot charge two iPads at the same time. But that is not a major concern since I only have one iPad anyway. So as they say, 'Let the buyer beware!'.|
|Date: Fri, 21 Aug 2015 22:55:41 -0400 From: tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Deceptive Flip Phone Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On 20 Aug 2015 12:35:13 -0600, Fred Atkinson wrote: > an LG flip phone. It had a USB cable and a charger > with an 'A' type jack in the charger. It seemed reasonable to expect > that it would charge on my four port AC chargers and my three port > mobile charger. So I said OK. > > Upon getting home, I discovered that it would not charge on any of my > multi-port chargers. Despite its appearance of USB compatibility, it > was a proprietary charger. 'Tain't just LG playing such games. I have several older Motorola handsets, and several Motorola chargers for them, all sporting a certain style of USB port or plug ("mini-B", I believe), all plugs mating nicely into all ports. But only certain phones will accept a charge from any given charger, and only certain chargers will successfully charge any given phone. I'm led to believe that Motorola has invented a gambit of using clever little resistors, pull-up or pull-down, perhaps in series with the hot charging pin, or perhaps shunting that pin to ground, so that a handset will be able to recognize "unauthorized" chargers and refuse their offerings, lest its battery be adversely affected (or so the story goes). Which handsets? An original RAZR V3, a later (Cingular-branded) RAZR V3xx, a SLVR L2, and a Verizon-branded WinMo Moto Q9m. Cheers, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.|
|Date: Sat, 22 Aug 2015 01:10:48 +0000 (UTC) From: danny burstein <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Deceptive Flip Phone Message-ID: <email@example.com> In <firstname.lastname@example.org> "Fred Atkinson" <email@example.com> writes: > I had lost my pre-paid phone a few week prior while I was in Naha, >Okinawa. I got a new prepaid flip phone from Walmart and transferred >my account to that phone. > When I got to the Verizon Wireless store, they told me that I could >not transfer that phone to regular service since it had been in >service for less than six months. > They brought out an LG flip phone. It had a USB cable and a charger >with an 'A' type jack in the charger. It seemed reasonable to expect >that it would charge on my four port AC chargers and my three port >mobile charger. So I said OK. > Upon getting home, I discovered that it would not charge on any of my >multi-port chargers. Despite its appearance of USB compatibility, it >was a proprietary charger. Could this be the result of the four vs. five USB wire issue? Back in the heydeys of Usenet Jim Navarro (sp? - from memory.. can't look it up from here) posted a Motorola FAQ, and one of the first Q&A (maybe the first) addressed a similar problem with them. It seems that there are many USB cables (and who knows, possible the chargers and hubs) which only run four wires. The Motorola needed all five... -- _____________________________________________________ Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key firstname.lastname@example.org [to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]|
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