30 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for September 19, 2011
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Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2011 13:14:18 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Plenty of Chatter About a New iPhone Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Plenty of Chatter About a New iPhone By NICK BILTON SEPTEMBER 15, 2011 We're just weeks away from the announcement of the new Apple iPhone 5, according to an Apple employee who asked not to be named because he was not allowed to speak publicly for the company. As the excitement for Apple's latest product revs up, chatter about the phone is starting to fly around the Web at warp speeds. ... http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/15/alleged-iphone-5-images-begin-to-surface-online/ ***** Moderator's Note ***** Well, gush, isn't it just super? There was a time when the members of the "professional" press were expected to maintain some detachment from the industry they reported on. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2011 10:33:42 -0700 From: Thad Floryan <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Plenty of Chatter About a New iPhone Message-ID: <4E762B76.email@example.com> On 9/17/2011 10:14 AM, Monty Solomon wrote: > Plenty of Chatter About a New iPhone > > By NICK BILTON > SEPTEMBER 15, 2011 > > We're just weeks away from the announcement of the new Apple iPhone 5, > according to an Apple employee who asked not to be named because > he was not allowed to speak publicly for the company. > > As the excitement for Apple's latest product revs up, chatter about > the phone is starting to fly around the Web at warp speeds. > > ... > > http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/15/alleged-iphone-5-images-begin-to-surface-online/ The last news line at the above URL is: " According to Apple, 200 million people have stored their credit " card information on iTunes. That should be "... 200 million foolish people ..." How many times have Apple's servers been hacked? According to a Google search ("when was apple hacked"), the last time was over the July 4, 2011 weekend. Have people already forgotten the SONY Playstation hacks earlier this year? On June 6, 2011, the iTunes systems were hacked and credit card info was retrieved per: http://betanews.com/2011/06/06/itunes-hack-widespread-and-apple-appears-to-know-about-it/ and https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2665383?start=345&tstart=0 This article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304803104576424573989176378.html suggests Apple's security is lax. Entrusting one's finances to so-called "smart phones" and online vendors seems like a dumb idea. ***** Moderator's Note ***** Bruce "Secrets and Lies" Schnier is fond of pointing out that online commerce only works because people know that their liability for credit-card fraud is $300 at worst (at least in the U.S.), and also know that most banks will call them if any large, unusual charge shows up. Schnier has predicted that improvements in network and server security will be driven by the insurance industry, which is, after all, the party with the biggest stake in the game. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2011 13:14:18 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: AppleCare preparations hint at iOS 5.0 release around Oct. 10 Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> AppleCare preparations hint at iOS 5.0 release around Oct. 10 By Neil Hughes September 13, 2011 Apple has reportedly informed its AppleCare division to expect an influx of iOS-related inquiries from customers beginning Monday, Oct. 10, perhaps signaling when the company plans to release iOS 5 to existing device owners. For instance, one person familiar with the matter said his local AppleCare call center has been told to expect an eightfold increase in customer calls on that day, and that staff are being advised ahead of time for the increased traffic. The person could not say with any certainty what will be released on that Monday, but noted that the increase in call volume is related to iOS. This led them to speculate that Apple could release iOS 5 and iCloud on Oct. 10. While AppleInsider cannot verify the accuracy of the information provided, the tip did include specific details on call volumes that suggest the details are at least plausible. However, since the details come from an unproven source, the information is presented solely in the interest of discussion. It's unlikely that the Oct. 10 date would coincide with the release of a new iPhone, as Apple has typically issued hardware updates later in the week. Releasing a major update to iOS a few days before a new iPhone arrives would not be new, however. ... http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/09/13/applecare_preparations_hint_at_ios_5_0_release_around_oct_10.html ***** Moderator's Note ***** When I was an innocent child, I saw a film on TV that showed pictures of a very long semi-trailer carrying a mysterious object that looked a lot like a silo tipped over on its side, all drapped in canvas with lots of handsome young men carrying firearms around its edges. The high point of the film was when the announcer - who kept saying "we" when he talked about what was happening - told all the innocent children that the soldiers had to partially deflate the tires of the mysterious semi-trailer in order to get it under the arch at the toll gates. He also said "we couldn't tell them what it was, of course" when explaining to all the innocent children why there was so much secrecy about the silo-on-its-side object they were transporting to a place they couldn't talk about either. It seems that some things never change. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2011 21:16:29 -0700 (PDT) From: HAncock4 <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: EXchanges (was: area code named beer) Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Sep 16, 7:15~pm, t...@panix.com (Thor Lancelot Simon) wrote: > Not such a major undertaking. ~In roughly 1980 I lived in a rural area > of New York State that still had 4 digit dialing. ~Extension to a > longer number can be done automatically -- it is fully deterministic, > you are just adding predetermined digits. Vol 2 of the Bell Labs history (op cit) describes what had to be done, and it was not trivial. As mentioned, they had to add digit-absorbing selectors in step-by-step exchanges. While that's not replacing the entire exchange, it's not something that simply gets plugged in either. Further, the new exchange designation has to be wired into other exchanges, intermediate tandem switches, and other equipment so the exchange can be reached. > My number was 687-XXXX for external purposes, but for in-town callers, > simply XXXX would do. ~The "687", obviously, was just added onto the > front when numbers went to 7 digits -- and there were towns near us > with switches still configured to allow 3-digit dialing, which had had > four digits prefixed to the front, too. If someone's phone number was say 6235, how would the switch know if someone was dialing 687-6235 or just 6235? There were a lot of different dialing patterns and they all had to be uniform so that someone in a town could dial 7 digits and the call would still go through. If fewer digits would work--as it continued to do so in many towns--so much the better, but making that happen wasn't always that simple. There was also the issue of dialing other towns nearby. > However, there is no such mapping from longer numbers (8 digits) onto > shorter numbers (7 digits). ~Since New York City got only one area > code in the original direct-dial plan, if there were really 8 digit > numbers in circulation, some subscribers' numbers would have had to > be completely changed, not just extended. ~This is what I am a little > skeptical about. Many libraries offer the NYT on-line as well as microfilm. Check out 12/8/1946, pg 209, classified ad, Houses Queens, and you'll see an ad by Listing Realty of Hillside Ave with HO 5-10412. You'll also see an ad for BE 5-2874J. For such eight digit subscribers, as well as party line subscribers with a letter suffix, they all would need to get a new number when their exchange went dial. In those years many people did get entirely new numbers. There were Bell letters and booklets to customers and special directories issued to reflect those changes. Lots of people got new exchange designations.
Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2011 17:18:47 -0700 (PDT) From: Wes Leatherock <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: EXchanges (was: area code named beer) Message-ID: <1316305127.2579.YahooMailClassic@web111715.mail.gq1.yahoo.com> --- On Sat, 9/17/11, Neal McLain <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: [ ... ] > In the example you cite, the situation was straightforward: > simply adding 687 worked because there were no local numbers > beginning with 6, 7, or 8, and because 687 was available > within the area code. The local switch was configured > to distinguish the absorbed ("predetermined") digits from > actual numbers by segregating them on separate levels. [ ... ] > A = The selector absorbs the specified digit once only; on the next > digit, it "trunks on all levels." This digit must be dialed > once (and only once) in order to reach certain specified second > digits. However, it is absorbed (ignored) for any other second > digit. [ ... ] > AR = The selector absorbs the specified digit repeatedly unless a > digit has been absorbed previously on a level designated "A". Digit aborbing had many uses in larger step-by-step areas, such as Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio. Certainly it would have been impossible to trunk large multi-exchange cities like these without use of digit-absorbing. I was on the receiving end of the woes that this could cause when I got the number VIctor 3-6056 when I moved back to Oklahoma City from Dallas many years ago. The time number in Oklahoma City was REgent 6-0561. We got calls all during the night every night from often-incoherent callers with slurred speech who misidialed the first digit as 8 instead of 7. A call starting with 83, because of the digit absorption from the downtown office, absorped the digit 4. The phone company soon changed my number when I complained. When I was downtown, where my office was, I tried various combinations when making calls to offices out of downtown and discovered many prefixes where the secon digit could be ignored, since it would be absored, just dialing six digits. It varied depending on the origination and destination office, since figuring out how to make thr tuning work in step-by-step office varied according to the route. It must have been quite a challenge for the traffic engineers, but they seemed to be quite comfortable with it. Wes Leatherock email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2011 15:09:56 -0700 (PDT) From: HAncock4 <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: EXchanges (was: area code named beer) Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Sep 17, 8:18 pm, Wes Leatherock <wleat...@yahoo.com> wrote: > The phone company soon changed my number when I complained. When I > was downtown, where my office was, I tried various combinations when > making calls to offices out of downtown and discovered many prefixes > where the secon digit could be ignored, since it would be absored, > just dialing six digits. In the mid-1970s I worked for a business served by a small Centrex. All extensions were in the 3xxx series, and we dialed 4 digits internally. I was curious and dialed 417 and reached extension 3417. So, actually only three digits were required in most cases. As an aside, their switchboard was an old style cord board; I had assumed Centrex switchboards would be modern cordless consoles. Presumably the switch serving us was step-by-step, which ironically was easily adapted to Centrex service. (Panel and No. 1 crossbar could not support Centrex.) The irritating aural signals sounded like step-by-step PBXs; Centrexes served by No. 5 Crossbar seemed to have modern signals like a regular exchange. Also, toll calls were ONI, that is, an operator had to come on to get the calling number, even for suburban message unit calls. On this switch when we transferred a call, we flashed the hookswitch once, and the operator came on to do the transfer. On later Centrexes (presumably served by ESS), a hookswitch flash would generate a stutter dial tone and the person could dial the desired number himself, or even easily set up a three-way call. Side note: On the older Centrexes, when one dialed nine for an outside line, there would be a slight pause and click before the outside dial tone came on. But on the newer ones the dial tone remained on continuously, no pause, no click. Side note: On many PBXs and Centrexes there were tie lines to other PBXs of the company. One would dial an access code (often 8 or 8n), then the extension on the remote PBX. While usually one could not get an outside line on the remote PBX, one could get a tie line, and dial back to your own PBX, or another PBX if there were multiple tie lines. Very large organizations had private networks interconnecting numerous locations. In experimenting, I once ended up reaching another company who shared our Centrex prefix--apparently the shared circuitry at the central office did not have the necessary 'block' for tie-line calls. Normally our extensions could not dial between two separate companies. (The business I reached was an entirely separate organization). Although the Bell System prided itself on standardization, it appears PBX, Centrex, and tie line arrangements of large organizations varied considerably from one instalaltion to another, and probably there was variation in local practices, too. Many dial PBX's started their extension numbering with 2, but others did have a 1 series. Dial codes and procedures for tie line arrangements varied greatly. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Bell System developed a variety of relatively small modern dial PBXs that had cordless consoles, a compact switch, and more automated features (eg 'camp on'). Vol 2 of the Bell Labs history gives some description of those, though mostly the internals of the switch. Unfortunately, there is no mention of prices. I would love to see a Bell System commercial price list from say 1965 listing the rentals of their various dial and manual PBXs and corded and cordless switchboards. Particularly, for a small dial PBX, I wonder about the relative cost of a cordless vs. corded switchboard. since a cordless board required considerably more circuitry but didn't yield much more productivity to the customer.
Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2011 20:28:10 -0400 From: tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: EXchanges (was: area code named beer) Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Sat, 17 Sep 2011 10:14:40 -0500, Neal McLain wrote: > ... [big snip] ... > John figured out that if he asked the operator for 8-2440, the operator > would dial it like any other 8-XXXX number. He'd then flash of the > switchhook on his room phone, effectively dialing 1. Thus, the central > office saw 82-4401, ignored the "A"-digit 8, and sent the call right > back to the West Quad PBX. John could make an inside call. > > This technique worked well on busy evenings when student operators were > on duty. But John screwed up: he tried it on a weekday afternoon when > the Chief Operator was on duty. She recognized his voice, and politely > informed him the inside calls were not permitted. I've always wondered > if she figured out how he did it. > > Neal McLain Hook-flash dialing was quite a trick to master, if you hadn't quite ever needed to before. A small performing group I was part of back in the late '60s had been putting on an afternoon show for the inmates of the Yale Psychiatric Institute (YPI), and when the show was over we all retired to the ground floor bathrooms to change out of costume and into civilian clothes. By the time we were in full civvies again, 5 pm had come and gone, as had the receptionist, and the entrance doors were all locked -- as was the dial on the receptionist's pulse-dial (rotary) desk phone. What to do? Dial 9 for an outside line, then the Yale campus police number -- all by hook-switch flashing (!). Took about half an hour to get all the timing right, but, yes, it did ultimately all come together, and the campus cops came to let us all out. Cheers, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP. ***** Moderator's Note ***** My dad taught me a different method. When he came across a phone that had a dial-lock on it, he would hook-flash the operator (the trick, btw, is to flash the hook at a consistent rate - most people try for speed, which is the wrong way to go about it) and ask for assistance in dialing, and he'd say the line kept going dead. There was, however the one time on a frozen Saturday morning at a bar in Boston where he was fixing a toilet, and needed to call the supply house for a part that he needed, and he got impatient and took a pair of pliers and bent the finger-stop up and out of the way of the lock. When I got home from school on Monday, I asked him if anyone had gotten mad, and he said "About what? We didn't do anything wrong"! Some years later, we were in a basement in Boston, and I looked up and say a lineman's handset hooked on a nail (the old, old kind, that you had to dial with a pencil and that came in a real rubber housing), with the leads still clipped across the protection block. It was, of course, in "Monitor". I asked the guy who owned the house why it was there, and he just shrugged his shoulder and said "Because the phone man put it there". I told him it was hurting his phone line and that I would remove it for him. My dad later told me, with a very big smile, that it was the best tool in his box. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2011 07:45:42 -0700 (PDT) From: Wes Leatherock <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: ANCIENT telephone transmission Message-ID: <1316270742.67885.YahooMailClassic@web111711.mail.gq1.yahoo.com> --- On Fri, 9/16/11, mattrix <mattrix3@gmail.VALID-IF-THIS-IS-ELIDED.com> wrote: > I'm still not sure how signalling worked. The US seems to have sent > tones in the voiceband that could be recovered as signals? Signalling was almost always ringdown with no supervision. Much later straightforward trunks were adopted on some busy routes, but were substantially more expensive. > But I'm not sure if they did the same in Australia. > > In fact, after automatic exchanges were introduced (especially in the > Step-by-Step system used in Australia), when did it become possible > for the subscriber to make inter-exchange calls (say from one side of > a city to the other) without operator intervention? How did the > signalling work in that situation? In the U.S. it was normal common battery type supervision in most cases. Each step-by-step operation went just as before internally, and if the next selector was in a different office it just went forward as before. Wes Leatherock firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
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