29 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for June 21, 2011
====== 29 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2011 01:46:12 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: N.J. payroll firm ADP in data breach Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> N.J. payroll firm ADP in data breach By Associated Press June 16, 2011 ROSELAND, N.J. - Payroll services company Automatic Data Processing Inc. yesterday disclosed a data breach that it said apparently affects only one of its employer clients. ADP said its security team discovered the intrusion during routine monitoring of its systems. The breach involved a client of Workscape, a benefits administration provider that ADP recently acquired. ADP did not identify the client, which was notified of the breach. ... http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2011/06/16/payroll_firm_adp_discloses_data_breach/
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2011 01:51:44 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Disqualified by Evidence on a Phone Message-ID: <email@example.com> Disqualified by Evidence on a Phone By DYLAN LOEB McCLAIN June 12, 2011 A German master was disqualified from his country's championship tournament this month, done in by his cellphone. Officials determined that the master, Christoph Natsidis, 23, had consulted a computer program on his smartphone during his game against the grandmaster Sebastian Siebrecht in the last round. According to Chessvibes, a Web site devoted to news about the game, Natsidis made repeated trips to the bathroom, for 8 to 10 minutes at a time. Siebrecht offered him a draw, which Natsidis accepted. Afterward, a tournament referee asked to see Natsidis's phone and found a chess program on it with a position from the game. A message sent to Natsidis's Facebook page asking him for comment was not answered. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/12/crosswords/chess/chess-christoph-natsidis-punished-for-cheating.html
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2011 07:47:23 -0700 (PDT) From: Mark Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Battery power support today Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> >On Jun 15, 5:06 am, David Clayton <dcstarbox-use...@yahoo.com.au> >wrote: >In very general terms, my impression from the news media and informal >conversation is that old landline POTS is more reliable than Wireless >or Cable phones. How 'much more' I can't say. In some plain old >regular snowstorms that snarl traffic my cellphone wouldn't work on >account of busy circuits, but I always got dial tone on landlines. But dial tone doesn't mean you can call anywhere. During the Northeast blackout in the 60s I was in Rhode Island and when the lights went out it seemed like everyone was trying to call their relatives. We had dial tone 90% of the time (other 10% dead air) but no calls were going through. We got the famous "Please try your call later." recording. After a couple of hours we were able to call Maine which was mostly unaffected by the blackout. Mark Smith
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2011 02:25:36 -0700 From: Sam Spade <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Battery power support today Message-ID: <LM2dnepCioyM8mHQnZ2dnUVZ_o6dnZ2d@giganews.com> Lisa or Jeff wrote: > That is a good question. As we know from the literature, the old Bell > System went to great lengths to assess and minimize that risk against > economic realities. I suspect some areas of the old BOCs have maintained their backup standards, while others have not. As to grade of service, I suspect most old BOCs have more options now to control the network and trunk availability because of all the vast amount fiber they now have. I also suspect much of this is a closely quarded secret. I have a Vonage line and two cell phones. I also have an AT$T wireline line, which I am not about to get rid of for any number of reasons, E911 being one of them. My AT&T wireline is toll restricted based on the premise, why pay for that when the Vonage line is toll free to much of the world.
Date: Sun, 19 Jun 2011 00:41:09 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Computer Failure Delays United Flights Nationwide Message-ID: <email@example.com> Computer Failure Delays United Flights Nationwide By ANAHAD O'CONNOR June 17, 2011 Passengers were stranded at airports across the country Friday night after a failure in United Airlines' computer system, the airline said. The disruption set off widespread delays at airports in San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, with many passengers left sitting in terminals or stuck on planes that were grounded. United said in a statement that the problems began at 8:15 p.m. New York time, when the computer failure knocked out its flight departures, airport processing and reservations systems. The statement did not address the nationwide delays, and a spokesman did not return a phone call seeking comment. It was not clear what had set off the computer failure, but United said in its statement that it had a technology team in place that was struggling to restore the system. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/18/us/18united.html
Date: Sun, 19 Jun 2011 00:48:41 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Order Sushi Like a Native, and Know What You're Eating Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Order Sushi Like a Native, and Know What You're Eating By BOB TEDESCHI June 8, 2011 Want to take someone down a notch? Take them to a sushi bar and ask them to order. Even sushi fans face a moment of uncertainty when a server who is clearly fluent in Japanese addresses the table. Novices have it even worse. Did you just order the salmon or another bottle of sake? Will that tuna come with rice or will it appear as a solitary slab on a plate? And was it maguro tuna or toro tuna? (You'll know when the bill comes.) Mobile apps can solve these mysteries, while also helping you avoid the contempt of the sushi chef and staff who lack the time to explain every item on the menu while the rest of the restaurant beckons. If you're a casual sushi eater, you're best downloading free apps like Guide to Sushi or Sushipedia from the Apple App Store, or Japanese Sushi Guide & Quiz and SuShi for Android devices. For a nominal price, SushiGuru ($1 on Apple), SushiMonger ($2 on Apple) and SushiTime ($2 on Apple) offer even better experiences. The free Apple apps are more polished than the ones for Android devices, but that should come as little surprise to Android users who've ever caught a peek at a friend's iPhone. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/09/technology/personaltech/09smart.html ***** Moderator's Note ***** It's fish. Go buy a pole. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2011 09:46:48 -0400 From: Eric Tappert <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Battery power support today Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Thu, 16 Jun 2011 12:05:22 -0700, AES <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >Snipped per moderator's request... > >I think I'll go talk to my patent attorney . . . You may be able to get a patent, but the reality is that all of these schemes have very serious safety issues. Your solar array is connected to the grid and backfeeding the grid poses serious safety issues to the linemen (linefolks???) trying to restore your service. The same logic applies to the lawn mower generator as it will likely be plugged into the house electrical system, with the same backfeed issues. BTW, lots of folks say they'll flip the main breaker, but that's not a guarantee that they will in a blackout. The disconnect form the grid needs to be automatic and complete. That is a fundamental safety requirement. The proper way to do standby generators is to connect them through a listed transfer switch to prevent any backfeed issues. Also, your inverter on the solar array needs a 60 Hz source to sync to, so without utility power it needs to shut down. The power it generates is dependent on the sunlight reaching the array, therefore it varies from minute to minute (clouds anyone??). Connecting to an almost infintie bus (the power grid) allows proper operation. Standalone operation requires matching the load to the generated power, second by econd. Not a trivial or cheap task. All appliances expect 60 Hz power with reasonable voltage regulation. Great care needs to be had to make sure that is not violated to avoid safety issues. Do things "right" and live long and prosperous... ET
Date: 17 Jun 2011 10:23:50 -0400 From: email@example.com (Scott Dorsey) To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Battery power support today Message-ID: <email@example.com> AES <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > >Suppose your gasoline-powered lawn mower included access to its drive >shaft in some way _from the top_, and the mower manufacturer also sold a >small free-standing (unpowered) generator with a matching fitting _on >the bottom_. If you run a lawnmower engine constantly for a day or so, it will fail. The bearings on them are very cheaply made, they are not intended for continuous operation. I have used improvised PTOs on lawnmowers to drive VW bug alternators for emergency power. It works, but it's not a long-term thing, and by long term I mean a couple days. --scott -- "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2011 08:05:14 -0700 (PDT) From: Tom Horne <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Battery power support today Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Jun 16, 3:05 pm, AES <sieg...@stanford.edu> wrote: > Since the thoughtful discussion by Tom Horne <horn...@gmail.com> at > <482ffaae-e702-4ef9-ab5d-4444bdd5c...@z37g2000yqb.googlegroups.com>, > contains the following sentence > > > I also have a generator that I maintain and test quite > > regularly, but not many homes are so well equipped. > > 1) I'll toss in the following idea which my wife actually suggested > some years ago, and which I think is remarkably ingenious. > > Suppose your gasoline-powered lawn mower included access to its drive > shaft in some way _from the top_, and the mower manufacturer also sold a > small free-standing (unpowered) generator with a matching fitting _on > the bottom_. > > When the power fails, pull off a small cap on the top of the mower > housing, opening up access to the motor shaft a small distance down > inside a 1" or so diameter hole. [Moderator snip] > I think I'll go talk to my patent attorney . . . Although admittedly off topic for this group I thought I would add... Amateur Radio Operators (Hams) have made so called pup generators for many years. They take a lawnmower engine; or any small engine for that matter; and install a metal plate on to it through which the drive shaft protrudes. They then install a truck alternator through the same plate and with a drive belt and the correct pulleys you have a very large supply of DC current to keep batteries charged. Hams have used pups to power radios and other station equipment that runs on twelve volts DC but with the addition of an appropriately sized inverter you can also run AC loads. The use of somewhat larger batteries allows you to use an inverter that is quite a bit larger than the alternator alone could supply. That is because the inverter needs to be sized so as to be able to start loads rather than just to run them. A refrigerator, as one example, is much greedier in it's use of electricity during starting than it is when running. So the batteries supply the peak starting load to the alternator and get recharged by the pup which is sized only to carry the charging and running loads. The plates are available ready made by mail order from http://theepicenter.com/tow082099.html. My only relationship to them is in using their instructions. There are additional possibilities. A few high end ride on lawnmowers are available with power take offs. There are generator heads available that are designed to run from power take off shafts. That combination produces a lot more power than the pup inverter combination which maxes out at about 3000 watts. High end riding mowers can power generator heads with capacities to 10,000 watts. Full sized tractors can power much larger generator heads. There are also 120 Volt alternators in the 10,000 watt range that can be fitted into the engine compartment of pick up trucks and full sized vans. -- Tom Horne
Date: Sun, 19 Jun 2011 09:59:37 +0200 From: jack <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Battery power support today Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Thu, 16 Jun 2011 12:05:22 -0700, AES wrote: > Since the thoughtful discussion by Tom Horne <email@example.com> at > <firstname.lastname@example.org>, > contains the following sentence > >> I also have a generator that I maintain and test quite >> regularly, but not many homes are so well equipped. > > 1) I'll toss in the following idea which my wife actually suggested > some years ago, and which I think is remarkably ingenious. > > Suppose your gasoline-powered lawn mower included access to its drive > shaft in some way _from the top_, and the mower manufacturer also sold a > small free-standing (unpowered) generator with a matching fitting _on > the bottom_. > > When the power fails, pull off a small cap on the top of the mower > housing, opening up access to the motor shaft a small distance down > inside a 1" or so diameter hole. > > Drop the generator onto the top of the mower, firmly held in place with > some matching brackets or fittings on top of the mover enclosure, and > with its shaft making a mating connection to the mower shaft. Pull the > starting cord, and you've got electricity -- and in many parts of the > country your new primary power source will have been not just tested but > usefully employed once a week, most of the weeks in the past year. > This sounds like a scaled-down version of what the a store down the road here sells: generators that can be hooked on the 3-point hitch of a farm tractor, and generate 15 or 20kW AC. The nicer ones also have a 300A welder output, all for about 1/2 the price of an equivalent diesel generator. Problem with scaling it down to lawnmower size is that the governor on a lawnmower isn't as quick and reliable as the one on 'real' generator, so keeping the output at a reasonably constant voltage at 50 or 60Hz under varying load might be a bit of a challenge. Switching power supplies don't have much of a problem with that though, so for comms gear it could work well. If such a contraption existed, I'm sure I could sell a bunch of them here (.za), but I wouldn't consider selling this to the US - way too much potential for getting sued by some idiot who lost the cover, got some piece of clothing caught in the shaft while mowing the lawn, and lost an arm (or worse) -j
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2011 08:18:01 -0700 (PDT) From: Tom Horne <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Battery power support today Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Jun 16, 6:41 pm, David Clayton <dcstarbox-use...@yahoo.com.au> wrote: > On Thu, 16 Jun 2011 14:17:04 -0400, Pete Cresswell wrote: > > Per Tom Horne: > >>fact that modern communications > >>has become more brittle with it's increasing sophistication. > > > After reading about the aftermath of Katrina (and knowing nothing much > > technical...) I started thinking it would be a good thing if there could > > be some sort of standard for cell towers and internet connection hardware > > where, in a pinch, every box could be operated from 12v DC. Seems like > > automobile batteries would be in pretty good supply in almost any > > disaster... > > In any disaster and the immediate aftermath, I would assume that people > would be trying to use the remaining comms infrastructure far more than > normal, so would any (probably) degraded infrastructure be able to handle > the demand? > > There may not be much point in keeping one or two cell towers up if > thousands of people - including emergency workers - hammer them with > demand that cannot be fulfilled. Same goes with any Internet > infrastructure, if some survives it may be totally saturated (and > virtually useless) because we expect it to be there 24/7 these days. > > -- > 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. In the US, and possibly elsewhere, there is a system in place to provide emergency workers with priority access to the cellular network during emergencies. In the US the cell phone to be used must be programmed into the system in advance. When the emergency feature is engaged that call goes to the head of the cue. I devised a somewhat more devious approach which I used on localized large incidents. I would pass the word to the incident commander to be ready to make his call. I would then plug a carbon arc light bulb into the inverter on one of the apparatus at the scene. That creates a radio dead zone several hundred feet across. The commander was told to hit send as soon as the light went out. It worked pretty well. What we were dealing with was that the news people would get a circuit and hold it open in order to insure an out of band talk path to their producer, editor, or whoever. That would saturate the available capacity of the nearest cell towers. The interference caused by the arc would blow the news people off line freeing enough capacity to allow the incident commander to make his call. -- Tom Horne
TELECOM Digest is an electronic journal devoted mostly to telecom- munications topics. It is circulated anywhere there is email, in addition to Usenet, where it appears as the moderated newsgroup 'comp.dcom.telecom'. TELECOM Digest is a not-for-profit, mostly non-commercial educational service offered to the Internet by Bill Horne. All the contents of the Digest are compilation-copyrighted. You may reprint articles in some other media on an occasional basis, but please attribute my work and that of the original author. The Telecom Digest is moderated by Bill Horne.
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