30 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for October 20, 2011
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Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2011 23:11:55 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: New Worm by Creators of Stuxnet Is Suspected Message-ID: <email@example.com> New Worm by Creators of Stuxnet Is Suspected By JOHN MARKOFF October 18, 2011 The designers of Stuxnet, the computer worm that was used to vandalize an Iranian nuclear site, may have struck again, security researchers say. Stuxnet, which infected tens of thousands of computers in 155 countries last year, created an international sensation when experts reported that it was designed as an American-Israeli project to sabotage Siemens Corporation computers used in uranium enrichment at the Natanz site. The researchers say the new worm, which they call Duqu, is intended to steal digital information that may be needed to mount another Stuxnet-like attack. The researchers, at Symantec, announced the discovery on the company's Web site on Tuesday, saying they had determined that the new program was written by programmers who must have had access to Stuxnet's source code, the original programming instructions. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/19/technology/stuxnet-computer-worms-creators-may-be-active-again.html
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2011 08:52:43 +1100 From: David Clayton <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Are Smartphones Becoming Smart Alecks? Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Mon, 17 Oct 2011 22:44:58 -0400, Monty Solomon wrote: > Are Smartphones Becoming Smart Alecks? > > New Devices Dish Out Sarcasm, Tell Jokes; 'Two iPhones Walk Into a Bar' > > By GEOFFREY A. FOWLER > OCTOBER 15, 2011 > > Now even your phone talks back. ......... > The phone takes verbal commands and questions, and responds with > computer-generated speech. > > Real humans are responding to this alarming breakthrough by asking their > iPhones ridiculous questions. ......... Good, then those pesky humans may stop bothering the other people they used to be asking their ridiculous questions. Can't wait for the phone app that slaps the stupid user on the back of the head for being a pain. At last, some phone technology where I can see a real benefit..... ;-) -- 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.
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2011 23:10:26 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: In a Battle of the E-Readers, Booksellers Spurn Superheroes Message-ID: <email@example.com> In a Battle of the E-Readers, Booksellers Spurn Superheroes By DAVID STREITFELD October 18, 2011 The tablet wars have begun. Superheroes are the prize - or perhaps the victim. Amazon, seeking to make its coming Kindle Fire tablet as appealing as possible, negotiated a deal with DC Comics for the exclusive digital rights to a hundred popular graphic novels. Among the series: Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, the Sandman and Watchmen. Barnes & Noble, with a tablet of its own to nurture, did not like this one bit. Two weeks ago it removed all the copies of the physical volumes from its 1,300 stores, saying it would not carry any book if it were denied the right to sell the digital version. Books-a-Million, the third-largest bookseller with 231 stores, followed suit last week, making the same argument. Booksellers of all sorts used to pride themselves on never removing any book from their shelves, but that tradition - born in battles over censorship - is fading as competitive struggles increase. Last year, in a sort of foretaste of the present conflict, Amazon temporarily removed the "buy" buttons for the publisher Macmillan as part of a struggle over e-book pricing. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/19/technology/bookstores-drop-comics-after-amazon-deal-with-dc.html
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2011 23:31:57 +0100 From: Stephen <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Online Banking Keeps Customers on Hook for Fees Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Mon, 17 Oct 2011 16:52:29 +1100, David Clayton <email@example.com> wrote: >On Sun, 16 Oct 2011 10:43:35 -0400, Monty Solomon wrote: > >> 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. > >For that very reason the government in Australia next year is forcing the >banks here to make such a thing much easier for customers: > > >http://www.smh.com.au/national/switch-bank-accounts-in-just-a-tick-20110820-1j3k4.html > the UK has had rules about making migration of current accounts easy for years, but tighter regulation is also coming. http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/saving/article-2036543/Current-account-switching-Easy-seven-day-bank-switching-UK-2013.html -- Regards firstname.lastname@example.org - replace xyz with ntl
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2011 00:29:19 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Georgia Tech Turns iPhone Into spiPhone Message-ID: <email@example.com> Georgia Tech Turns iPhone Into spiPhone ATLANTA -- Oct. 18, 2011 -- It's a pattern that no doubt repeats itself daily in hundreds of millions of offices around the world: People sit down, turn on their computers, set their mobile phones on their desks and begin to work. What if a hacker could use that phone to track what the person was typing on the keyboard just inches away? A research team at Georgia Tech has discovered how to do exactly that, using a smartphone accelerometer-the internal device that detects when and how the phone is tilted-to sense keyboard vibrations and decipher complete sentences with up to 80 percent accuracy. The procedure is not easy, they say, but is definitely possible with the latest generations of smartphones. "We first tried our experiments with an iPhone 3GS, and the results were difficult to read," said Patrick Traynor, assistant professor in Georgia Tech's School of Computer Science. "But then we tried an iPhone 4, which has an added gyroscope to clean up the accelerometer noise, and the results were much better. We believe that most smartphones made in the past two years are sophisticated enough to launch this attack." ... http://www.gatech.edu/newsroom/release.html?nid=71506
Date: Tue, 18 Oct 2011 23:06:55 -0400 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Congress asks for technical reports about LightSquared and GPS Message-ID: <CAFY5RQLsvx0UMFsvtWWQ0oNKr6vZ7y_W_J_f1BtQBK6qPuqKmQ@mail.gmail.com> Congress has asked various federal agencies for copies of reports they submitted to the FCC concerning possible interference by LightSquared's network to the GPS system, but the reports aren't forthcoming. Where there's smoke ... http://science.house.gov/press-release/transparency-needed-evaluate-gps-interference Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email to write me directly) -- "Now you've got every right and reason To be down in the dumps today But aren't you just adding to the problem If you've got nothing good to say?" - John Gorka
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2011 08:35:00 -0400 From: John Stahl <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Cellphone Users to Get Billing Alerts Under New Voluntary Standards Message-ID: <3B.15.27502.7F3CE9E4@hrndva-omtalb.mail.rr.com> >Cellphone Users to Get Billing Alerts Under New Voluntary Standards > >By AMY SCHATZ >OCTOBER 17, 2011 > >WASHINGTON-Wireless-phone customers will begin receiving real-time >alerts next year if they are about to go over their monthly voice, >data or text-message limits under new voluntary industry standards >set to be announced on Monday. <clip> After reading some of the "horror" stories about consumers' reactions to the receipt of extremely large ($$) cell phone bills for excessive usage, it struck me that it seems from this article that the cell phone industry might be dragging its heels just a bit as they announced that the proposed alerts will take as much as a year (or two depending how the alert is "broadcast") to implement. My carrier, Verizon Wireless, has (almost - depending, I've observed, the time of the week) real-time information about data, number of calls and texting usage available either on the their website where I'm registered to pay my bill or via the #DATA or #MIN dial-up's on my cell phone where a (free) text message indicates current cumulative usage. Since this info seems to be available now, it is strange that it will take a year (or two) to get an alert system setup to forward this info automatically to the customer when some, yet to be determined, threshold is reached. Also not clear in this proposed alert is in the case of a under-aged (a minor) user under his/her parent(s) family plan, whether the master cell number will receive all plan user alerts, or just the (under-aged) user (who might not pay attention to the alert)(?) Of course I'm assuming that the younger users will creat the heaviest volume of the cell phone plan members. Perhaps if not, as in this case, industry "voluntary" but the FCC or one of the other government commissions had ordered this alert system be setup, it might get implemented faster. A year (or two) away applicaton will surely result in many more of these huge bills to suddenly appear, with no warnings, in consumers' mail boxes. John
Date: Wed, 19 Oct 2011 14:48:09 -0400 From: tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> To: email@example.com. Subject: Coming soon: Verizon Droid Razr ? Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> For all who wistfully remember -- or even still use -- a Motorola RAZR, an intriguing announcement of an impending Android RAZR through Verizon: http://news.yahoo.com/motorola-brings-back-razr-name-smartphone-182114993.html Overpriced, I'd think, but ... . Cheers, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
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