29 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for August 19, 2011
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Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2011 23:21:05 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Google Vs. Apple: Clash Of The Titans In Wireless Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 11:00 AM EDT Google Vs. Apple: Clash Of The Titans In Wireless Google will buy Motorola's cell phone division to take on Apple. We'll look at the clash of titans in wireless. Search giant Google is big and has made plenty of big acquisitions. But early yesterday, Google announced its biggest acquisition ever, by a long shot. $12.5 billion for Motorola Mobility, Motorola's wireless operations - the company that made the first commercial cell phone. It's a huge rock in the wireless pond. A play for Motorola's treasure chest of patents, Google said. To clear the path for Google's Android smart phone operating system. There's a giant battle underway for the future of wireless. This hour On Point: the future of smart phones, and the clash of titans -- Google, Apple and Microsoft. -Tom Ashbrook Guests Scott Steinberg, head of the technology consulting firm Tech Savvy Global and acclaimed gadget expert and high-tech entrepreneur. Ken Auletta, has written the "Annals of Communications" column for The New Yorker since 1992; author of eleven books including Googled: The End of the World As We Know It. Steven Levy, Wired senior writer; previously chief technology writer and a senior editor for Newsweek, author In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives and The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness. http://onpoint.wbur.org/2011/08/16/google-vs-apple
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2011 22:45:24 -0500 From: email@example.com (Robert Bonomi) To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: BART cuts off subway cell phone service Message-ID: <mZGdnWwgY6RJF9HTnZ2dnUVZ_o2dnZ2d@posted.nuvoxcommunications> In article <h6CdnTkbYaGe7NbTnZ2dnUVZ_vWdnZ2d@posted.internetamerica>, Gordon Burditt <email@example.com> wrote: >> According to one article: >> "The agency did not jam cell signals, which is illegal, but shut off >> the system - which Johnson said is allowable under an agreement with >> several major phone service providers that pay rent to BART." > >I still wonder if deliberately shutting down 911 service (cellular >or otherwise) for any reason that isn't itself an emergency ... might >make them liable in a wrongful death suit should failing to reach 911 >make a significant difference in the outcome. Short answer: almost certainly _not_. They have no 'duty' to provide such service; they cannot be held liable for not providing it. Note: it is well-established case-law that emergency services providers (police, fire, etc.) do not have a duty to respond to any particular incident, even if notified of the event. I suspect that this would also apply with regard to the 911 'outage' that the OP described. Aside: this kind of questions are better raised in a 'legal' forum, e.g. misc.legal.moderated.
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 10:50:44 -0400 From: Telecom Digest Moderator <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Shame On You! Message-ID: <20110818145044.GA28051@telecom.csail.mit.edu> (This is an email which I sent to the editors of The Philadelphia Enquirer.) To the Editors, The online version of the Inquirer for August 17th contains an image which insults both the individual portrayed, and other striking union workers at Verizon. I am referring to the page available at http://articles.philly.com/2011-08-17/business/29896885_1_verizon-employee-jim-spellane-striking-verizon-workers . This web page has a story headlined "Verizon strike is also a public relations fight", written on August 17, 2011, by "Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer". If I were a sightless person, using a text-to-speech converter to read the article in question, I might have come away with a better impression: the words on the page, however, do not match the image you chose to accompany them. Even the caption for the photograph is innocuous: "Verizon worker Walter Amaral, of New Bedford, Mass., holds a placard and chants outside a Verizon office in Boston." However, the photo you chose to print is a jarring, and I think intentional, contrast to the article that it is next to. The image that visitors to your website see is of a middle-aged man, who appears to be shouting rather than chanting, and who has shoulder-length, partially grey hair. I infer that your publication intended to demean both Mr. Amaral and the Union he is part of; that you intended to send a subliminal message that unions are no longer fashionable and that their members are too old to do their jobs. Please, tell me why a publication that serves the Philadelphia area - or, for that matter, Pennsylvania - found it necessary to obtain a photograph of a striker walking a picket line in Boston. Why not a picture taken in your city of record? Did Verizon order you to use that photograph instead of others? Bill Horne Moderator The Telecom Digest 43 Deerfiedl Road Sharon, MA 02067-2301 339-364-8487
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 16:53:04 -0700 (PDT) From: Wes Leatherock <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Shame On You! Message-ID: <1313711584.38979.YahooMailClassic@web111713.mail.gq1.yahoo.com> --- On Thu, 8/18/11, Telecom Digest Moderator <firstname.lastname@example.org e-this.telecom-digest.org> wrote: > (This is an email which I sent to the editors of The > Philadelphia Enquirer.) [ ,,, ] > Please, tell me why a publication that serves the Philadelphia area > - or, for that matter, Pennsylvania - found it necessary to obtain a > photograph of a striker walking a picket line in Boston. Why not a > picture taken in your city of record? Did Verizon order you to use > that photograph instead of others? The same thing happens in the Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, Okla.) I think there is a common reason here--it costs money to go out and make their own local photo, while the wire services send them photos as a part of their services, or they can get a photo with a couple of clicks. Wes Leatherock email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org ***** Moderator's Note ***** I don't believe it. Previous editions of The Inquirer had extensive pictures of Philadelphians on picket lines, and I've never met a photographer who didn't take four times more shots than he needed. They could have taken another of those out of the archives if they were short of images, but I think what really happened was that Verizon's ad agency called up and demanded that the editor get in line. IMHO, this wa a hatchet job, and I've seen this before. I was on a picket line at Dedham, Massachusetts, and a photographer from the local rag came by and asked us all to line up, and then said he was looking for a "perfect angle" while he snapped away. The photograph that the paper ran showed one of the picketers using the pay phone, which was the shot the photographer had come for: anytime the big money boys want to belittle and taunt common men, they do it by finding an exception and holding it up so that the masses think it's the norm. Remember that you are not a newspaper's customer: you are its product. Your willingness to believe what a publication tells you and shows you is a valuable commodity which is sold to the highest bidder. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 15:56:56 +0000 (UTC) From: email@example.com (Scott Norwood) To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Extensions to pay phones? Message-ID: <email@example.com> In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Lisa or Jeff <email@example.com> wrote: > >Years ago, it was common for a small business, such as a luncheonette, >gas station, barbershop, etc. to have a pay phone with an extension >attached to it. The extension did not have a dial. In this way the >pay phone could serve both customers and the business. If the phone >rang, the business could answer it on the extension if desired. I have seen this sort of setup in an older movie theatre. To the best of my knowledge, it is still in place (it was as of a few years ago). There is a normal Western Electric 1C2 payphone in the lobby for customers to use and a second one in the boxoffice to allow the cashier to answer incoming calls. Both have the same number, which is also used as the main number for the business (and is listed in the phone book as such). The owner also has an answering machine connected to the same circuit to answer the calls and give out information when no one is in the building. I don't know to what extent this conforms to the relevant tarrifs (I am sure that his arrangement has been in place for decades), but I do know that the owner would consider a second phone line to be an "unnecessary expense."
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 12:49:41 -0500 From: "John F. Morse" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Extensions to pay phones? Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Thu, 18 Aug 2011 15:56:56 +0000 Scott Norwood wrote: > I have seen this sort of setup in an older movie theatre. To the best of > my knowledge, it is still in place (it was as of a few years ago). > > There is a normal Western Electric 1C2 payphone in the lobby for customers > to use and a second one in the boxoffice to allow the cashier to answer > incoming calls. Both have the same number, which is also used as the main > number for the business (and is listed in the phone book as such). The > owner also has an answering machine connected to the same circuit to > answer the calls and give out information when no one is in the building. What is a WECo 1C2 payphone? I am familiar with the single-slot 1A2, but that was back in the 1980s. Is the 1C2 an upgrade? Do you have a link to a picture? I suspect you didn't really mean to imply the movie theater also had a second 1C2 in the box office. -- John When a person has -- whether they knew it or not -- already rejected the Truth, by what means do they discern a lie?
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 14:38:07 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Americans and Their Cell Phones Message-ID: <email@example.com> Americans and Their Cell Phones Mobile Devices Help Solve Problems But Create New Annoyances August 15, 2011 More than eight in ten (83%) American adults own some kind of cell phone. These devices have an impact on many aspects of their owners' daily lives. In a telephone survey conducted from April 26 to May 22, 2011, among a nationally representative sample of Americans, the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project explored the uses (51% had turned to their cell phone at least once to get information they needed right away) and behaviors of cell phone owners (42% of cell owners used their phone for entertainment when they were bored). Despite their advantages, the survey also found some downsides for owners, ranging from just needing to take a break from using it to the long time required by some downloads. ... http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2083/cell-phones-texting-internet-photos http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Cell-Phones.aspx?src=prc-headline http://www.pewinternet.org/~/media//Files/Reports/2011/Cell%20Phones%202011.pdf
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 2011 22:10:48 -0500 From: John Mayson <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Americans and Their Cell Phones Message-ID: <CALtjCn+MEuvzA1CFV_JZXMYgRUbMsG7BaFH6Y4RLBZkKxesbzg@mail.gmail.com> On Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 1:38 PM, Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > > Despite their advantages, the survey also found some downsides for > owners, ranging from just needing to take a break from using it to > the long time required by some downloads. Not to be Debbie Downer here, but when I read things like this all I can think of is how spoiled we are. Too many people in the world have real problems. Us? Our downloads take too long. John -- John Mayson <email@example.com> Austin, Texas, USA
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2011 13:56:07 -0700 (PDT) From: Hancock4 <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Extensions to pay phones? Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Aug 17, 12:09 am, bon...@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) wrote: > In the 80s, Ameritech incrementally rolled 'units' based billing across > almost all of their service area, wherever they could bully the state > utilities commission into accepting it. In the 1970s the Bell System predicted significant changes in their business model and planned for them (literature of their era covers it). One change that did come to pass was to charge for Directory Assistance calls; in the 1970s, almost a third of the Bell operators were providing DA services. (About half if you count special operators like route-rate, intercept, etc.) Another change predicted was conversion to measured service for all subscribers, presumably to replace revenue lost by customer owned equipment and lower toll rates. Traditionally, the Bell System rolled out a new technology or business model in one area, saw how it worked out, then rolled it out elsewhere. It appears the Ameritech approach was based on that, but fortunately, it was not repeated too much. Indeed, in the Philadelphia area, Bell Atlantic reduced suburban message unit charges by lowering or eliminating the message unit charge and by providing time-of-day discounts. Subscribers can still order basic message-rate service (sadly, trying to get specific info from the Vz website was not possible and Vz really pushes hard their bundles and premium packages.) Another change in the 1970s was conversion of toll rates to have a one- minute initial period, big discounts for late at night and weekend calling, and higher charges for operator handled calls.
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2011 14:19:54 -0700 (PDT) From: Hancock4 <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: BART cuts off subway cell phone service Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Aug 16, 9:43 pm, John Mayson <j...@mayson.us> wrote: > Richard Stallman (head of the Free Software Foundation) is urging > people to complain to the FCC about this. > > https://esupport.fcc.gov/ccmsforms/form2000.action?form_type=2000F > > I'm not sure if this does any good. > > I personally am against BART's action unless they can convince me > there's some compelling reason. Even then I'd be suspicious. In reading various public comments in the news, I can't help but suspect many people do not understand the issue. People seem to think it's a "free speech" issue, but I don't see it that way---one does not use their cell phone to demonstrate. To me, the issue is (1) does a property owner have the right to suspend cell phone service within his property over communications gear he owns, and (2) steps a government action may take in the face of a civil disturbance. Regarding 1), Many property owners do legally ban the use of cell phones, such as theatres, houses of worship, and commuter rail lines. Once a property owner, like a railroad, installs special gear so its patrons can use their cell phones, does it have a legal duty to provide that service 100% of the time? In today's deregulated world, what law demands that? AFAIK, there is nothing to stop BART from merely permanently turning off the cell phone antennas on its property if it so chose (beyond contractual agreements with cell phone companies). Regarding 2), government agencies certainly have the right, indeed a duty, to take action to protect public safety in response to civil disorder. It's common for streets to be closed, curfews issued, liquor stores and bars closed, etc., in response to civil disorder. As mentioned, a demonstration or disruption within an active railroad station is dangerous. Photos of the subsequent demonstration showed demonstrators climbing atop trains and interfering with train operation. BART, like most transit agencies, has safety rules for behavior within stations and platforms and AFAIK this policy has been upheld by the courts, and for good reason. One's right of free speech on a public sidewalk is limited when one enters buildings--a person has no right to march into their governor's office and do a protest. Why wouldn't suspending cell phone service within a very narrow area be any different than closing off a street or issuing a curfew?
Date: Wed, 17 Aug 2011 14:22:49 -0700 (PDT) From: Hancock4 <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: BART cuts off subway cell phone service Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Aug 17, 3:42 am, gordonb.15...@burditt.org (Gordon Burditt) wrote: > I still wonder if deliberately shutting down 911 service (cellular > or otherwise) for any reason that isn't itself an emergency (e.g. > a gas leak in the subway tunnels requires shutting down electrical > devices that might detonate the gas, including cell transmitters. > But they'd need to shut down the trains, too.) might make them > liable in a wrongful death suit should failing to reach 911 make a > significant difference in the outcome. Photos of the BART demonstration (see above) showed some terrified elderly people and very aggressive demonstrators. If an elderly person suffered a heart attack out of fear or because of the disruption in train service as a result of the demonstration, would the demonstrators be liable for a wrongful death suit?
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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