29 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for June 05, 2011
====== 29 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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Date: Sat, 4 Jun 2011 01:47:02 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: E-Mail Fraud Hides Behind Friendly Face Message-ID: <email@example.com> E-Mail Fraud Hides Behind Friendly Face By MATT RICHTEL and VERNE G. KOPYTOFF June 2, 2011 SAN FRANCISCO - Most people know to ignore the e-mail overture from a Nigerian prince offering riches in exchange for a bank account number. That is a scam, plain to the eye. But what if the e-mail appears to come from a colleague down the hall? And all he asks is that you add some personal information to a company database? This is spear phishing, a rapidly proliferating form of fraud that comes with a familiar face: messages that seem to be from co-workers, friends or family members, customized to trick you into letting your guard down online. And it has turned into a major problem, according to technology companies and computer security experts. On Wednesday, Google disclosed that it had discovered and disrupted an effort to use such pinpoint tactics to steal hundreds of Gmail passwords and monitor the accounts of prominent people, including senior government officials. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday that the F.B.I. would investigate Google's assertion that the campaign originated in China. Such tactics were also used in an attack on a company called RSA Security, which security experts say may have given hackers the tools to carry out a serious intrusion last month at Lockheed Martin, the world's largest military contractor. The security specialists say these efforts are a far cry from more standard phishing attempts, which involve spraying the Internet with millions of e-mails that appear to be from, say, Citibank in the hope of snaring a few unfortunate Citibank customers. Spear phishing entails sending highly targeted pitches that can look authentic because they appear to come from a trusted source and contain plausible messages. As such, the specialists say, the overtures are becoming very difficult for recipients to detect. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/03/technology/03hack.html
Date: 3 Jun 2011 13:52:25 -0400 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott Dorsey) To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Need some help Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> ABLE1 <email@example.com> wrote: >> >> What is the amp driving? Which taps on the transformer are being used? > >That is the problem, The terminals are not labeled. Wish they were. What do they look like? What continuity do you measure between them? >Was hoping to find info on the speaker numbers. >>> Connected to multiple speakers that are labeled D31201-0500 VRC8 with >>> a multi-tap Txfmr L50411-0010. > >I have to assume that it is 70.7volts. It seems the most logical. >Have not been given the green light as yet to replace the amp. > >I plan on installing a Bogen 100 Watt Amp, it has taps for 25 and 70 volts. >I could play it save and connect to 25volts and test and if output is >surprisingly low the jump up to 70volts. Shouldn't hurt any thing at >25volts. Why not look at the transformer in one of the speakers and see what the primary is set up as? --scott -- "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Date: Fri, 03 Jun 2011 20:22:17 -0400 From: tlvp <tPlOvUpBErLeLsEs@hotmail.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Pre-paid SIM cards in the US Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Thu, 02 Jun 2011 21:54:58 -0400, Paul Robinson <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > ... > So if his phone will work on T-Mobile, buying a pre-paid phone, > getting it set up, then moving the sim card to his old phone should > allow him to use it on the pre-paid number in the U.S. When he goes > back to Europe, switching the sim card back should put him back on his > old number. At least that's how I understand it. Once the ambiguities in this exposition have been resolved correctly (*which* of the two SIMs does "the sim card" refer to each time? what does "it" refer to each time?), this advice is correct. Details: Proviso: the existing phone must work on US T-Mobile's frequencies. Then: buying a pre-paid T-Mobile phone with SIM and setting that up, then moving that new T-Mobile SIM into the visitor's existing phone, visitor will have a local US T-Mobile phone number through that phone. Later, back home, after switching SIMs again so that original SIM is in visitor's existing phone, that phone will once again revert to the original or "old" number. But it should be possible to snag a pre-paid SIM alone, without cheap phone to go with it, more economically, no? Cheers, -- tlvp (who's still hoping for answer to an analogous question for use in Canada -- Vancouver, BC, more exactly -- for a coupla' weeks' GSM data usage exclusively). -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2011 11:15:31 -0700 (PDT) From: Joseph Singer <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Caller Pays vs. Called Party Pays (was Re: DSL Reports: AT&T Caps Have Arrived) Message-ID: <email@example.com> Thu, 02 Jun 2011 09:58:34 -0400 tlvp <tPlOvUpBErLeLsEs@hotmail.com> wrote: > That's where European operators treat their clients much nicer -- > inbound calls and inbound messages arrive at no charge to the > recipient (in the case of the Polish operators Orange and Play, in > fact, even after your starter SIM's stored value has gone to zero, > you can receive for at least a year from your SIM's date of first > use). Let's not get into the old saw of "their system is better than ours." In Europe and other countries where the subscriber doesn't pay to receive calls the calls are not free. The initiator of the call pays for all call charges and always at a non-negotiated rate. Whatever the tariff is that's what the caller pays and very often at a rate that's even higher than an international call to a regular number. Most people in North America get calling plans that give them a surfeit of available minutes or get a plan that gives them enough minutes that they can make just necessary calls.
Date: Thu, 02 Jun 2011 20:39:41 -0400 From: tlvp <tPlOvUpBErLeLsEs@hotmail.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Vancouver (CA) prepaid (paygo) GSM data SIM advice sought Message-ID: <email@example.com> A month hence, in Vancouver (near the UBC campus) I'll be needing cellular internet access through a Sierra Wireless USB Connect 881 dongle (unlocked) and some economical Canadian GSM cellular data SIM provider -- but which? Rogers? Fido? Bell? other? Recommendations urgently sought! TIA. And cheers, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP
Date: Thu, 2 Jun 2011 18:45:26 -0700 (PDT) From: Paul Robinson <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: A sample of phone fraud, or Scamming People for fun and (lots of) profit Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> There is an actual pay telephone in The Plaza at Prince Georges Shopping Center on East-West Highway in Hyattsville MD. It's roughly across the street from the Prince Georges Plaza subway station on the Metrorail Green Line. It specifically states it does not permit incoming calls, but that's okay, lots of other pay phones don't either. By using one of the tools of the trade, I discovered its phone number: 301-853-8103. It's a COCOT, i.e. it's not a Verizon pay telephone. Now, if you were actually going to use it to dial a number and pay in cash, its rates are very reasonable, 50c for a local call of 10-minutes or less (Verizon charges 50c for local calls but puts no time limit on them.) $1.00 will get you a 10-minute call anywhere in the country that's not local. Now, the phone states that for collect calls its rates are 50% of AT&T. And this is where the fun comes in. And the fraud. To be sure I got it right I wrote all prices quoted to me down. I don't really have a place I can call collect to check it out, but I can check the credit card rate since that's probably going to be similar, since they have to pay a processor for the charge. I personally can process any credit cards that someone wants to pay me through Google Payments, they charge me 3 1/2% plus 35c and no monthly fee, so for anything up to $10, call it 50c. (Large scale billers would get even better rates.) So let's say that they also have to pay the mall something on the credit card surcharge so let's add another quarter, and let's say they'd have to add something to ding you for the convenience, so let's up it another quarter, so presumably a credit card or collect call would run like $2 for 10 minutes, or maybe they ding you further and charge $2 for 5 minutes, I doubt the charge the phone company would make for processing a collect call could be much more than a credit card processor. So I try calling a local call, but it really shouldn't matter where I'm calling because rates have been postalized; you either pay about $20 a month for a phone line and 5c a minute for non-local calls or you pay about $40 a month and nothing for calls anywhere in the U.S. and Canada. Even less if you put in a VOIP box and route calls over that. To be sure it's a local number I try itself. I dial 0+301-853-8103. The automated attendant asks me if I want to call collect, credit card, speak to an operator or get the rate for the call. I press 4 to get the rate. It asks me whether I'm calling collect or credit card. I try credit card. The price of the call for the first 3 minutes is: $23.93 and extra time is $3.45 for each additional minute. For $23 I can walk into a 7-11 and buy a cheap Net-10 or TracFone cell phone and get about $12 change; they will charge $10 plus tax whether I buy it with cash or a credit card, and for that $10 I get a charger, initialization of the phone and a phone number assignment, and the first 20 minutes of talk time, incoming or outgoing. All I need to do is plug the phone in somewhere for a while to get the battery going. And I have 60 days to use the 20 minutes before the phone becomes inactive; I'd have to buy more time if I wanted to keep it running. Well, they also announce another service on that phone, 1-866-866- CALL, who, when I get through to their operator, she can't look up calling the phone's own number billed to a credit card, so I give her my cell phone number 703-225-xxxx which although it's in Virginia it is still a local call. That will cost $14 for the first 3 minutes. Then I tried 1-800-CALL-ATT, which is AT&T's old dial-through service. Someone else is running it but they use AT&T's network, they say. For a credit-card billed call they will charge $12.75 for the first three minutes and $1.75 for each additional minute. Note, these would be automated calls, not using an operator. Well, I remembered the way you dial an actual number over a network, 10-10-288 which would use the AT&T network. So I tried 101028803018538103. I get a bong and the AT&T name, so I've actually gotten AT&T. It asks me whether I want to use a credit card or collect. But there's no way to find out the rate, but I can speak to an operator. Apparently the phone isn't passing the number and when I gave the AT&T operator the phone's own number for a credit-card billed call it didn't like that, so I gave him my cell phone number. The AT&T Rate for a credit-card billed, user-dialed (local) number is: $6.80 for the first one minute, $1.84 each additional minute, plus tax, making a 3-minute local call on AT&T cost $10.48. (It's probably the same for any number called but this is an example.) Now, gouging people is one thing, it's a ridiculously high rate, but if you put out a service, you can charge anything you want. However, what you can't do is make a provably false statement in doing so, that is clear fraud. In my original example, charging a credit card user a surcharge for what the credit card company is charging plus the regular cash rate, and even if they charged 100% more and charged $1 for 5 minutes, would have made a 5-minute call $2 and even if they charged a $2 surcharge instead of $1, at $3 for 5 minutes, or even if they charged $1 a minute plus a $2 surcharge would have made their rate honest at 1/2 of AT&T's rate. But it's not. Their rate is not 50% of AT&T's rate, their rate is 250% of AT&T's rate. And that is fraud because the statement on the phone is provably false. If they didn't claim their rates are cheaper and then charged the ridiculous rate of $23 for 3 minutes and $3.45 each minute after I'd say they were gouging people - they are - but if they want to do that, as long as you can find out their rate in advance it's not an issue. But if you found out AT&T's rate, then took them at their word that their rate is 50% of AT&T, you'd be expecting to be charged $3.40 for the first minute. Even if they didn't discount the additional minutes and charged the same, $1.84, it wouldn't be that bad but technically otherwise it should be 95c a minute, not $3.45. There would still be a lot of profit there at $3.40/95c. At these rates it would be 1/2 of AT&T; it's honest even if still ridiculously high but still acceptable. But intentionally defrauding customers is not. +--------------------------------------------------------------+ Paul Robinson <email@example.com> http://paul-robinson.us (My Blog) "The lessons of history teach us - if they teach us anything - that no one learns the lessons that history teaches us."
Date: Fri, 03 Jun 2011 08:28:19 +1000 From: David Clayton <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: There's no easy escape from cellphone risks Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Thu, 02 Jun 2011 08:17:15 -0400, Monty Solomon wrote: > > There's no easy escape from cellphone risks > > By Hiawatha Bray > Globe Staff / June 2, 2011 ......... > Still, the threat of brain tumors - no matter how slight - is troubling to > WHO scientists. Americans average about 20 minutes of cellphone talk time > per day, according to data from CTIA, the cellular industry's trade > association. > > That doesn't sound like a lot. But researchers were alarmed by a study > that found an increased incidence of brain tumors in people who used their > cellphones for an average of 30 minutes per day. > > ... > > http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2011/06/02/no_easy_escape_from_cellphone_risk/ One issue that might arise from these studies is he evolving changes in radiation intensity which must have varied since the beginning of cellphone networks. In the beginning when there were far fewer base stations than there are now, the handsets must have been forced (on average) to transmit at hight power levels which would have had commensurate increase in any negative effects as outlined in these studies. Nowadays one can make the judgement that with more cell base stations (installed to meet the steadily increased demand) then - overall - handset transmit power should have diminished for a lot of users. There will be many exceptions in less dense service areas, but the general concept should be valid. The bottom-line may be that the effects - which take a long time to arise - may be less harmful than a decade or so ago for the same overall time of phone usage with the device next to your skull. -- Regards, David. David Clayton Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Knowledge is a measure of how many answers you have, intelligence is a measure of how many questions you have.
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