29 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for May 31, 2011
====== 29 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
Telecom and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Digest for the
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We must fight spam for the same reason we fight crime: not because we are naive enough to believe that we will ever stamp it out, but because we do not want the kind of world that results when no one stands against crime. - Geoffrey Welsh
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Date: Sun, 29 May 2011 10:20:30 -0700 (&PDT) From: Lisa or Jeff <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: NYT: Spammers and their bankers Message-ID: <email@example.com> A NYT editorial suggests "If banks or credit card companies refused to settle payments with spammers' banks, they could disrupt spam." see: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/opinion/29sun3.html?ref=opinion Reasonable idea? IMHO, many of the problems we face today in the "e-world" are due to the lack of controls once common in the world of commerce. Of course, those lack of controls enable a very high volume of commerce and no one wants to be the one to say "the party's over, it's time to go home". (For instance, just the other day I ordered stuff over the telephone giving my credit card number orally. In the old days I'd have to mail in an order form and check and the business would have to wait until the check cleared.)
Date: Sun, 29 May 2011 18:49:46 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Funny or Die: Groupon's Fate Hinges on Words Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Funny or Die: Groupon's Fate Hinges on Words By DAVID STREITFELD May 28, 2011 CHICAGO RACHEL HANDLER is struggling to say something funny or perhaps amusing or at least clever about horses. Her mind is empty. She can't recall the last time she was on a horse or even saw a horse. The minutes fly by. Horses are nothing to joke about. Ms. Handler writes for Groupon, the e-mail marketer that was casually founded in the pit of the recession and almost immediately became a sensation worth billions. The musicians, poets, actors and comedians who fill its ranks are in a state of happy disbelief over the company's success. In the age-old tradition of creative folk, they were just looking for a gig to support their art. Now stock options have made some of them seriously wealthy, at least on paper. Poets who work here give away copies of their verse in the reception area. One poem begins like this: closed my eyes and I was nothing yeah, I was running I was nothing and then I was flying That just about sums up Groupon's brief history, which has been meteoric even by dot-com standards. Groupon, which is expected to go public within the next year, is either creating a new approach to commerce that will change the way we eat and shop and interact with the physical world, or it is a sure sign that Internet mania is once again skidding out of control. Or both. The big Internet companies owe their dominance to something singular that shut out potential competitors. Google had secret algorithms that gave superior search results. Facebook provided a way to broadcast regular updates to friends and acquaintances that grew ever more compelling as more people signed up, which naturally caused more people to sign up. Twitter introduced a new tool to let people promote themselves. Groupon has nothing so special. It offers discounts on products and services, something that Internet start-up companies have tried to develop as a business model many times before, with minimal success. Groupon's breakthrough sprang not just from the deals but from an ingredient that was both unlikely and ephemeral: words. Words are not much valued on the Internet, perhaps because it features so many of them. Newspapers and magazines might have gained vast new audiences online but still can't recoup the costs from their Web operations of producing the material. Groupon borrowed some tools and terms from journalism, softened the traditional heavy hand of advertising, added some banter and attitude and married the result to a discounted deal. It has managed, at least for the moment, to make words pay. IN 177 North American cities and neighborhoods, 31 million people see one of the hundreds of daily deals that Ms. Handler and her colleagues write, and so many of them take the horseback ride or splurge on the spa or have dinner at the restaurant or sign up for the kayak tour that Groupon is raking in more than a billion dollars a year from these featured businesses and is already profitable. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/business/29groupon.html
Date: Sun, 29 May 2011 18:51:57 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Study Sees Way to Win Spam Fight Message-ID: <email@example.com> Study Sees Way to Win Spam Fight By JOHN MARKOFF May 19, 2011 For years, a team of computer scientists at two University of California campuses has been looking deeply into the nature of spam, the billions of unwanted e-mail messages generated by networks of zombie computers controlled by the rogue programs called botnets. They even coined a term, "spamalytics," to describe their work. Now they have concluded an experiment that is not for the faint of heart: for three months they set out to receive all the spam they could (no quarantines or filters need apply), then systematically made purchases from the Web sites advertised in the messages. The hope, the scientists said, was to find a "choke point" that could greatly reduce the flow of spam. And in a paper to be presented on Tuesday at the annual IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy in Oakland, Calif., they will report that they think they have found it. It turned out that 95 percent of the credit card transactions for the spam-advertised drugs and herbal remedies they bought were handled by just three financial companies - one based in Azerbaijan, one in Denmark and one in Nevis, in the West Indies. The researchers looked at nearly a billion messages and spent several thousand dollars on about 120 purchases. No single purchase was more than $277. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/20/technology/20spam.html
Date: Mon, 30 May 2011 11:28:49 -0400 From: tlvp <tPlOvUpBErLeLsEs@hotmail.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Study Sees Way to Win Spam Fight Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Sun, 29 May 2011 18:51:57 -0400, Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > > Study Sees Way to Win Spam Fight > > By JOHN MARKOFF > May 19, 2011 > > ... > > It turned out that 95 percent of the credit card transactions for the > spam-advertised drugs and herbal remedies they bought were handled by > just three financial companies - one based in Azerbaijan, one in > Denmark and one in Nevis, in the West Indies. ... Shut down those companies, and the spammers won't just change banks, quicker than you can say "Johnnie Walker"? Cheers, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP
Date: Mon, 30 May 2011 07:44:55 +0700 From: John Mayson <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Pre-paid SIM cards in the US Message-ID: <BANLkTikG1==ybBy1x_=Z6-WwO8+2pPR58A@mail.gmail.com> For what it's worth, I bought one at Siem Reap airport in Cambodia. $5 USD for the SIM, $1 of talk time, and 1 GB (?) of data. Only trouble was it only worked in the city center. Forget about out by the temples. -- John Mayson <email@example.com> Austin, Texas, USA
Date: Sun, 29 May 2011 19:47:35 +0000 (UTC) From: "Adam H. Kerman" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Pre-paid SIM cards in the US Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> tlvp <tPlOvUpBErLeLsEs@hotmail.com> wrote: >On Wed, 25 May 2011 21:00:26 -0400, John Levine <email@example.com> wrote: >>... SIMs aren't tied to phone numbers. That relationship is made at the >>switch. That's why you can move an existing number to a new phone, >>and change the number on an existing phone. >Interesting ... in Poland, at least with GSM provider Orange (aka Centertel), >each starter-SIM you buy comes with phone number already assigned to it and >printed right on its blisterpack and on its credit-card-sized card-holder >(right alongside that SIM's PUK number, for that matter :-) ). Pre-assigned telephone numbers is terribly wasteful. Furthermore, it prevents re-use of the line number for a very long time. My earlier technical questions about the GSM standard remain unanswered: Can a SIM card be used with multiple telephone numbers simultaneously? If the telephone number isn't used as the account number, then I don't see why not. If an active receiver is registered on the GSM network based on the SIM card number itself, I don't see why not. In GSM, a phone number is translated into a SIM card number for routing purposes, right? Can a telephone line number be used with multiple SIM cards? This situation seems appropriate for travel, so that the traveler obtains a SIM card locally to obtain a suitable plan for the area he is visiting or conducting business in and doesn't have to inform his contacts of a temporary contact number. There'd have to be a caveat against simultaneously activating multiple SIMs with the same telephone number if more than one shows up as a GSM receiver registered on the network at the same time and which registration is actually privileged to receive service.
Date: 30 May 2011 14:16:19 -0000 From: "John Levine" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Pre-paid SIM cards in the US Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> >Pre-assigned telephone numbers is terribly wasteful. Furthermore, it >prevents re-use of the line number for a very long time. Outside North America, mobiles are in a different numbering space from landlines, and numbers are variable length, so there's no shortage. As far as I can tell, assigning the number when the SIM is activated happens primarily in NANP countries. >Can a SIM card be used with multiple telephone numbers simultaneously? No. There are multi-SIM phones, though, for people who travel a lot. If you want people to be able to call you on any of several numbers, you can probably figure out how to do that. >If the telephone number isn't used as the account number, then I don't >see why not. A SIM is assigned to a specific network. If you know how to read the serial numbers on the SIM, you can tell which network it is. For example, AT&T SIMs all start with 890124 and T-Mo (US) SIMs atart with 890126. >Can a telephone line number be used with multiple SIM cards? No. I suppose you could imagine a hypothetical network in which a carrier would let you do that, but why would they? If you have two phones, you have two phone numbers. R's, John
Date: Sun, 29 May 2011 13:28:41 -0700 (PDT) From: Lisa or Jeff <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Busy trunks--subscriber behavior Message-ID: <email@example.com> On May 28, 10:32 pm, T <kd1s.nos...@cox.nospam.net> wrote: > In article <LfudnW3r6shd_VzQnZ2dnUVZ_gedn...@giganews.com>, > s...@coldmail.com says... > > > If a lot of subscribers remained off-hook, no harm, no foul, unlike a No > > 5 XBAR, which could crash given sufficient permanent off-hooks. > > That's because the 5 XBAR used the markers for everything and being that > markers were nothing but logical arragangements of relays, and limited > depending on the office design, it was a fairly simple matter to > overwhelm them. I'm not an expert on switching, but I do not think the above is correct. According to the Bell Labs history, the "marker" isn't called in until all the digits have been registered in the "originating register" and the "line link". So, I'm not sure the marker can be overwhelmed by numerous off-hooks. I don't know if a crossbar switch could "crash" from being overwhelmed with traffic--"crash" being the system fails to work at all and needs external intervention to reset it (a "reboot"). Rather, I think call requests, either subscribers or external trunks coming in, would simply get slow service until traffic levels reduced. The Bell System recognized the need for network control fairly early on and if too many calls were flooding a particular exchange or region they would manually busy out the trunks so the region wouldn't get overloaded. From panel onward switches contained numerous checks and alarms would sound if there were problems. Also, both panel and crossbar had timers on off hook so that if the subscriber didn't complete their dialing within a specified time, the receiving equipment was cut off to avoid tying it up. Other BSTJ articles discussed what happens to subscribers if there are too many off-hook (people trying to make calls) all at once. Obviously this was something they had to provide for very early on as emergency situations (eg major storms) would spark such calling. Later, radio promotions and the like could do so. One issue was whether a subscriber had "a place in line" while waiting, that is, were they served in turn, or randomly picked when a receiver became available. The BSTJ also gives rather complex statistical analysis formulas on all of this (as well of course trunk group usage and blocking).
Date: Sun, 29 May 2011 10:55:18 -0700 (PDT) From: Joseph Singer <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Pre-paid SIM cards in the US Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sat, 28 May 2011 13:58:11 -0400 tlvp <tPlOvUpBErLeLsEs@hotmail.com> wrote: > Interesting ... in Poland, at least with GSM provider Orange (aka > Centertel), each starter-SIM you buy comes with phone number already > assigned to it and printed right on its blisterpack and on its > credit-card-sized card-holder (right alongside that SIM's PUK > number, for that matter :-) ). As in many other things it depends on where you initiate service. In the US and Canada generally you'll buy the kit with the SIM and when you activate the service a number will be assigned. In many other countries the number is already pre-assigned to the SIM kit. In Europe that's generally the way prepaid is handled.
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