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The Telecom Digest for October 17, 2011
Volume 30 : Issue 263 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
iOS 5 reviewed: Notifications, iMessages, and iCloud, oh my! (Monty Solomon)
Genius Bar iPhone policies tightened to make AppleCare+ more attractive (Monty Solomon)
Re: Lightsquared being called to account (Scott Dorsey)
Re: Privacy alert: Verizon is now monitoring your mobile Web habits (Rob Warnock)
Why Facebook Is After Your Kids (Monty Solomon)
The Apple effect: How Steve Jobs & Co. won over the world (Monty Solomon)
How Siri Works (Monty Solomon)
Online Banking Keeps Customers on Hook for Fees (Monty Solomon)

====== 30 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======

Telecom and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Digest for the Internet. All contents here are copyrighted by Bill Horne and the individual writers/correspondents. Articles may be used in other journals or newsgroups, provided the writer's name and the Digest are included in the fair use quote. By using any name or email address included herein for any reason other than responding to an article herein, you agree to pay a hundred dollars to that person, or email address owner.
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We must fight spam for the same reason we fight crime: not because we are naive enough to believe that we will ever stamp it out, but because we do not want the kind of world that results when no one stands against crime.  - Geoffrey Welsh

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Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2011 09:10:30 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: iOS 5 reviewed: Notifications, iMessages, and iCloud, oh my! Message-ID: <p0624081ecabf2c0b8224@[]> iOS 5 reviewed: Notifications, iMessages, and iCloud, oh my! By Jacqui Cheng Ars Technica iOS 5 is now available to the public after having been teased for months. Unlike the last major update to the operating system (iOS 4), we think iOS 5 could be the most significant update to the iDevice line since the rollout of iPhone OS 3 back in 2009. Why do we say that? Simple-because of the sheer number of new and improved features that make the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad more usable than ever. We're talking significantly revamped notifications, Twitter integration, wireless sync, iCloud, home screen improvements, and more-so many, in fact, that we can't address everything buried within an app or setting in a single review. What we will do, however, is talk about the major updates as well as those tidbits that interest us the most after having used the OS. We did run across a few nitpicks here and there that we hope Apple addresses in future updates. Overall, though, we think it's worth upgrading to iOS 5. ... http://arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2011/10/ios-5-reviewed-notifications-imessages-and-icloud-oh-my.ars
Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2011 10:38:56 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Genius Bar iPhone policies tightened to make AppleCare+ more attractive Message-ID: <p06240836cabf4b28cd09@[]> Genius Bar iPhone policies tightened to make AppleCare+ more attractive By Daniel Eran Dilger October 11, 2011 After introducing a more comprehensive extended warranty option for iPhone buyers, Apple is reportedly curtailing liberal exchange policies in its retail stores to make the new option more attractive. Last week, Apple introduced "AppleCare+" for iPhone buyers, a $99 replacement for its previous $69 extended warranty plan, but one that now covers up to two incidents of accidental damage. Previous plans did not cover accidental damage. Under the terms of the new plan, users who experience factory defects or problems, like a premature battery failure or problem with their headphones, are covered for free for two years, while any accidental damage caused by the user is covered for the same two year term with a $49 deductible termed a "service fee." Users also get two full years of free software support, although according to the AppleCare+ warranty contract, such free support excludes software described as beta, which would currently exclude iOS 5's Siri service. Under the terms of the revised plan, Apple will now repair or replace an accidentally damaged device with a new or refurbished model at the $49 price of the service fee, something that would otherwise cost $200 outside of the warranty period. ... http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/10/11/genius_bar_iphone_policies_tightened_to_make_applecare_more_attractive.html
Date: 15 Oct 2011 20:32:41 -0400 From: kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Lightsquared being called to account Message-ID: <j7d8n9$g9a$1@panix3.panix.com> >Oh, yes: I forgot to point out that SkyTerra didn't "buy" the spectrum >at anything near the going rate: they got some low-rent SATELLITE >spectrum, never paid to orbit the required SATELLITE, and were bought >out by an avaricious gambler who wants his going-downhill-fast hedge >fund to profit beyond the dreams of Croesus by ruining the GPS system >for everyone. Hate to tell you this, but that's not exclusively a satellite allocation there. Check the FCC frequency allocations. Satellite use is primary but not exclusive (much like that slice at 138 MC). >All in a day's work, by the standards of Capitol Hill: I bet he >figures that when the bill comes due and a few lightplanes crash and >common people like me have to buy new, improved GPS receivers to >compensate for his greed, he'll be a both richer and gone. > >I'm not being too subtle here, am I? No, and that's basically the problem. This has been turned into a political football by nontechnical people who don't understand the issues, and you're buying right into it. --scott -- "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2011 22:28:14 -0500 From: rpw3@rpw3.org (Rob Warnock) To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Privacy alert: Verizon is now monitoring your mobile Web habits Message-ID: <gLKdndSsecDT0gfTnZ2dnUVZ_qmdnZ2d@speakeasy.net> In a "Moderator's Note" to Michael Moroney <moroney@world.std.spaamtrap.com>, Bill Horne wrote: +--------------- | ***** Moderator's Note ***** | Thanks for sending that: I've uploaded a screen shot that shows what I | just saw when I accessed the site. Of course, I already checked the | box (using lynx), but the screenshot shows how the "Suggestions" link is | in the way of the checkbox. | | It's at | http://www.telecom-digest.org/R5C.png | +--------------- If you're using Firefox, you might try "View -> Page Style -> No Style" to turn off CSS for that page to see if that gets rid of the floater/popup. I've had some success in using that to defeat overly-"smart" CSS that gets my window and/or screen size totally wrong and horribly misformats the page, e.g., using the "mobile" version for a non-mobile system and vice-versa. [Google News is particularly bad about that!] What you see with CSS turned off is itself quite horribly formatted, but at least most of the interesting/useful bits are usually visible. ;-} -Rob +--------------------------------------------------------------+ Rob Warnock <rpw3@rpw3.org> 627 26th Avenue http://rpw3.org/ San Mateo, CA 94403
Date: Sun, 16 Oct 2011 10:26:54 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Why Facebook Is After Your Kids Message-ID: <p06240850cabff8393b13@[]> Why Facebook Is After Your Kids By EMILY BAZELON October 12, 2011 In May, Consumer Reports announced that 7.5 million kids age 12 and younger are on Facebook. The magazine called this "troubling news," in no small part because their presence is at odds with federal law, which bars Web sites from collecting personal data about kids under 13 without permission from their parents. "Clearly, using Facebook presents children and their friends and families with safety, security and privacy risks," Consumer Reports concluded. Within weeks of the Consumer Reports news, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, called for challenging the 1998 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (Coppa), which prevents Facebook from signing up young kids legally. "That will be a fight we take on at some point," Zuckerberg said at the NewSchools Summit in California. And indeed, with the Federal Trade Commission poised to tighten Coppa's regulations, Facebook has tripled its spending on lobbying, formed a political action committee and hired former Bush and Obama officials to push for its agenda. We don't really know yet how joining Facebook at a tender age affects kids socially and emotionally. There's the fun and freedom of Facebook, and then there's the Consumer Reports finding that the site exposed a million teenagers to bullying and harassment last year. What is clear is that Facebook thinks it needs access to kids' lives in order to continue to dominate its industry. The younger the child, the greater the opportunity to build brand loyalty that might transcend the next social-media trend. And crucially, signing up kids early can accustom them to "sharing" with the big audiences that are at their small fingertips. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/16/magazine/why-facebook-is-after-your-kids.html
Date: Sun, 16 Oct 2011 16:28:30 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: The Apple effect: How Steve Jobs & Co. won over the world Message-ID: <p0624086bcac0ece9cbbe@[]> The Apple effect: How Steve Jobs & Co. won over the world UPDATE: Steve Jobs passed on Wednesday. In this cover story, first published last month, Alan Webber explores what made Steve Jobs (and Apple) exceptional. Apple knew what consumers didn't want and understood the power of being itself. A look at what the company can teach corporate America. By Alan M. Webber, correspondent The Christian Science Monitor September 17, 2011 Santa Fe, N.M. The one and only time I met Steve Jobs was back in 1991. I was managing editor of the Harvard Business Review (HBR), and I'd made the trip from Boston to Silicon Valley to see for myself what was going on. I'd just wrapped up a presentation in one of the classrooms at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif., when Mr. Jobs materialized and started a conversation. "That was a great article," he told me. "One of the best things I've ever read. It's absolutely right. It's not computers. It's computing." He was talking about an article that we'd just published in the July 1991 issue of HBR, a piece written by Andy Rappaport and Shmuel Halevi called "The Computerless Computer Company." It was a provocative piece that came at a time when the United States was nervously watching Japanese companies win more than 40 percent of the American market for laptops, assert leadership in the production of memory chips, and rival US companies in the production of supercomputers. Don't worry, the piece argued. The future isn't in computers. It's in computing. "Defining how computers are used, not how they are manufactured, will create real value - and thus market power, employment, and wealth - in the decades ahead," the authors wrote. "A computer company is the primary source of computing for its customers." The future, in other words, is a verb, not a noun. That insight, it seems to me, is at the heart of Apple today. The computer is a thing, but what people want is not a thing, but to do things. ... http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2011/0917/The-Apple-effect-How-Steve-Jobs-Co.-won-over-the-world Remembering Steve Jobs http://www.csmonitor.com/CSM-Photo-Galleries/In-Pictures/Remembering-Steve-Jobs Steve Jobs: One of the greatest business leaders? http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2011/0826/Steve-Jobs-One-of-the-greatest-business-leaders/Henry-Ford-vision
Date: Sat, 15 Oct 2011 17:39:23 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: How Siri Works Message-ID: <p0624084ccabfad6eb343@[]> How Siri Works By Jeff Wofford October 5, 2011 Once again someone has offered us incredible artificial intelligence, and once again we are bracing for disappointment. It happened with handwriting recognition on the Newton, which proved to be slow and clumsy. It happened with the not-as-smart-as-they-first-appeared creatures of Lionhead's Black and White. And remember the Kinect debut video showing a kid interacting with an on-screen villain effortlessly, the AI character perfectly intoning the kid's name? Kinect brought some of the innovations promised in that early teaser, but clearly the video implied a level of sophistication and polish that turned to vapor in the end. But it's Apple this time, with Siri on the iPhone 4S. And although Apple has screwed up before-witness the aforementioned Newton-if anyone has the motivation, the resources, and the smarts to get AI right, the iPhone dev team is it. Having programmed and taught artificial intelligence in video games for almost twenty years, I am deeply skeptical-you might almost say cynical-about claims to offer a truly useful and usable intelligent agent. Ordinary people-those who don't study AI-have big hopes (and fears) about AI, and marketers prey on these fantasies. In reality AI is, on the whole, a hoax. Virtually everything we call "AI" today is either a theatrical display of essentially scripted behavior (that's how most game AI works), a massive database (such as Google Suggestions and expert systems) or a vague and decidedly unintelligent jumble of neural networks and genetic algorithms. So-called "artificially intelligent" programs are generally either too limited or too clumsy to be useful in helping ordinary people do ordinary tasks. So will Siri be different? Despite my skepticism, I actually think the answer is "yes." I think Siri will do more or less what Apple promised yesterday. The reason it will work is that it actually has fairly modest ambitions-more modest than they first appear. ... http://www.jeffwofford.com/?p=817
Date: Sun, 16 Oct 2011 10:43:35 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Online Banking Keeps Customers on Hook for Fees Message-ID: <p0624085ecac09db13a89@[]> Online Banking Keeps Customers on Hook for Fees By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ October 15, 2011 Customers frustrated by banks' controversial new fees are finding out what industry insiders have known for years: it is not so easy to disentangle your life from your bank. The Internet banking services that have been sold to customers as conveniences, like online bill paying, serve as powerful tethers that keep them from jumping to another institution. Tedd Speck, a 49-year-old market researcher in Kent, Conn., was furious about Bank of America's planned $5 monthly fee for debit card use. But he is staying put after being overwhelmed by the inconvenience of moving dozens of online bill paying arrangements to another bank. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/16/business/online-banking-keeps-customers-on-hook-for-fees.html
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