29 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for August 11, 2011
====== 29 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2011 22:38:16 -0400 From: T <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: L.A. County starting over on emergency communications system Message-ID: <MPG.email@example.com> In article <CFoyC1AOfyNOFwro@wisty.plus.com>, PCook@wisty.plus.com says... > > In message <4E34BE67.firstname.lastname@example.org>, Tom Horne > <email@example.com> writes > > "Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt." And likewise "Nobody ever gets fired > > for specifying Microsoft - er, Motorola." > > Sorry Tom, IBM were sowing FUD around the computer industry years > before Bill Gates was even a twinkle in his father's eye, and "Nobody > ever gets fired for buying IBM" was also one of their key weapons in > the battle with the competition. And in recent news IBM backed away from the Blue Waters program with the NCSA. Looks like they bit off a bit more than they could chew. http://www.ncsa.illinois.edu/BlueWaters/system.html ***** Moderator's Note ***** It sounds like a mutually-agreed-upon tombstone for a project that got out of control. Either IBM tried to pad the specs - a time-honored practice in government contracts - or NCSA realized that they were fighting above their weight: either way, it's very rare for a major player to walk away from a high-visability (and high-prestige) project such as "Blue Waters". I wonder what the straw was that broke this electronic camel's back. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2011 22:56:21 -0400 From: T <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Wider-range cordless phones? Message-ID: <MPG.firstname.lastname@example.org> In article <4E3759EF.email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org says... > FWIW, after taking a shower and forgetting to close the bathroom door > afterwards, one of my smoke detectors 30 feet away will sound its siren. That one is easy to explain. Americium is a weak alpha emitter. It is used in smoke detectors because smoke (and steam!) can block the emissions of Americium.
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2011 22:58:21 -0400 From: T <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Wider-range cordless phones? Message-ID: <MPG.email@example.com> In article <3223CD20-EF71-4C90-A02B-33CD3A1A3847@sonic.net>, firstname.lastname@example.org says... > I had a Casio "G'zOne" cel phone that was made to military > specifications, which I purchased because it was waterproof. I used it > in the shower all the time - it was truly waterproof and quite > convenient for those calls that persist in being perfectly timed for > when you usually cannot answer them. Very interesting. I don't think my Samsung Galaxy would hold up too well if it got wet, but my Yaesu VX-7RB is just dying to go out and play in the rain. The latter is gasketed like nobody's busines and is rated to be able to withstand a dunking with no ill effect. The gasketing/water tightness is interesting on that radio. Even the earpiece/mic connector screws down and forms a seal.
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2011 08:14:14 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: London Rioters' Unrequited Love For BlackBerry Message-ID: <email@example.com> London Rioters' Unrequited Love For BlackBerry BY NIDHI SUBBARAMAN Aug 8, 2011 Rioters in North London have been using BlackBerry Messagess to rally, presuming RIM's phone-to-phone, encrypted messages won't land in the hands of authorities. But in an increasingly familiar move, RIM has now pledged to work with those authorities. ... http://www.fastcompany.com/1772171/london-protestors-unrequited-love-for-blackberry ***** Moderator's Note ***** The problem with organizing against the government is that protesters sometimes forget that governments have tax collectors as well as riot gear: if one doesn't work, the other will. Of course, there are always other ways to encrypt messages, but the fact remains that so long as the crown can identify who sent a message, it can practice rubber-hose cryptography. It will take a while, but the protestors will have to resort to using other means to keep their electronic communications out of Her Majesty's inbox. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: 9 Aug 2011 09:50:22 -0400 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott Dorsey) To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: AT&T to revoke unlimited data plans from some users Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> John Mayson <email@example.com> wrote: >Speaking of tethering (i.e. sharing your phone's broadband connection >with other devices), can someone explain to me the justification for >charging extra for this? The purpose of the company is to charge money. Providing telephone service is something that they do only so that they can charge money for it. This being the case, the company spends a large amount of time trying to figure out new ways to charge you money. The justification for charging extra, therefore, is that they can charge you extra and you'll pay it. >I pay my provider $X for 2 GB of data per month. How does it cost >them more if I use this data with my laptop versus my phone? My phone >can only RX/TX bits so fast, so it's not like I'm hogging bandwidth. >I can't help but think it's just a way for them to make more money. >If there's a technical reason that I'm not understanding, I'd love to >hear it. The cost of providing the service has little connection with what they charge for the service. You can think of the telcos as being sort of like vacuum cleaners that attach to your bank account. --scott -- "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 2011 11:15:09 -0500 From: John Mayson <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: AT&T to revoke unlimited data plans from some users Message-ID: <CALtjCn+vaJf0+y4PBHn1dq1FReOcokgoy-mSs1XTiVQPVy09vg@mail.gmail.com> Thanks for the feedback about the added cost of tethering. You've confirmed what I've suspected. -- John Mayson <firstname.lastname@example.org> Austin, Texas, USA
Date: Mon, 8 Aug 2011 23:04:52 -0400 From: T <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: AT&T increases voice mail security Message-ID: <MPG.email@example.com> In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com says... > > AT&T increases voice mail security > Password meant to deter hackers > > By Hiawatha Bray > Globe Staff / August 6, 2011 > > AT&T Inc. is changing the default method by which cellular customers > check their voice mail, after reports that the company's policies > made messages more vulnerable to hackers than on other cellphone > carriers. > > The giant telecommunications company said yesterday it will start > requiring users to enter a password to access their voice mails from > their own cellphones. Until now, AT&T users calling from their own > phones would immediately get access to their voice mails without > entering a password. > > http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2011/08/06/att_increases_voice_mail_security/ So I wonder, has Sprint fixed theirs yet? They did the exact same thing which made it REALLY easy to hack into someones voicemail. I clued a friend about MagigJack and a little PERL script proxies the MJ connection and lets you set your Caller ID to that of the cell phone. Then dial the phone via MagicJack and voila, you're in!
Date: Tue, 09 Aug 2011 10:28:54 -0400 From: Fred Goldstein <fgoldstein.SeeSigSpambait@wn2.wn.net> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: "splicing" into a fiber optic trunk Message-ID: <20110809142829.D0127550E@mailout.easydns.com> On Mon, 8 Aug 2011 18:07:49 +0000 (UTC), danny burstein <email@example.com> wrote, >Anyone familiar with, or can point to, a "how to" >in regards to splicing (term used loosely) into >a telecom fiber line? > >It's a legit purpose... > >We've got an actual _alternative_, as in second option, facilities >based telco near a site I'm helping spec. Actually three options.. > >there's the entrenched telco, there's a real local company >with its own physical plant, and there a cableco. > >The building already has copper from all three, with individual >offices choosing which ones to use. > >We'd love to get a fiber run into the complex. > >The independent telco has a fiber run about 100 feet away. > >We're just starting the discussion with them, but I'd >like to have enough info to be dangerous in the negotiations. > >So... the key question is... can they "splice" into the >fiber that's just about next door, or do they have to >run a new line the distance to the CO. > >for that matter, how do they physically do splicing >these days? would it be passive mirrors, or a Magic >Box [tm] that would get installed on the pole? You're not "splicing in" to an existing, lit strand. That would not work -- it could be done under some circumstances for wiretapping purposes, but that's not legal unless you're the authorized LEA. What you're apparently asking is how do you physically get service brought in to a building when the fiber passes nearby, right? The general idea is that you need to take a spare strand from the fiber and splice it to a lateral fiber going in to the building. So let's say that the passing fiber has 288-strands. First off, they can only cut in to the fiber where they have some slack, so most fiber providers have slack loops at various intervals. That's what those "snowshoes" up on the poles are for, quite visible in FiOS areas -- about a hundred feet of slack fiber wrapped around two snowshoes facing each other. This slack lets the fiber be lowered to the street where they can easily work on it. Then the technician cuts open the outer sheath, finds the buffer tube (usually 12 strands apiece), opens that, selects the desired color-coded strands, and splices them to the lateral cable. The splice itself is usually done with a fusion splicer, a tool that will set you back at least ten grand for a cheap one. Then it's all nicely closed up and put back onto the slack loop holder. The lateral might well be longer than the distance from your building to the pipe, depending on where the slack loop was and thus where they accessed it. This is pretty standard practice nowadays. If it's aerial fiber, it only costs a few hundred dollars of labor for two guys and a cherry picker truck. Plus they run the lateral to you. Underground is a little different; it's done in a manhole, but there are still slack loops down there. Pulling an underground lateral into a building can require some fancy digging under the street, sidewalks, and yards, so it can be very expensive (five figures per site). -- Fred Goldstein k1io fgoldstein "at" ionary.com ionary Consulting http://www.ionary.com/ +1 617 795 2701
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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