30 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for November 11, 2011
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Date: Wed, 9 Nov 2011 22:47:45 -0500 From: danny burstein <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Telemarketers might get OK to call cellphones Message-ID: <Pine.NEB.firstname.lastname@example.org> We've all seen the repeated warnings, make that WARNINGS, that the telemarketers were about to Get All The Cell Numbers or get directories or get the law changed to allow Robot Calls to cell phones, etc. And 99 percent of the time this has been [a lie]. (That doesn't mean they all follow the current laws, of course, but most of the time most of them do.) I just got an e-mail chain letter with yet another claim of this sort. It's a warning that the House is about to push through a law to... yes, let telemarketers bother us, legally, on our cell phones. Which in the US also means most of us pay for incoming air time. Seems this one is real: [ US Chamber of Commerce ] Letter Supporting H.R. 3035, the "Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011" ... The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, strongly supports H.R. 3035, the "Mobile Informational Call Act of 2011." This legislation would update the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to help ensure that consumers can receive time-sensitive information on their mobile devices, while maintaining current restrictions designed to protect wireless users from unwanted telemarketing calls. ------------- rest: http://www.uschamber.com/issues/letters/2011/letter-house-subcommittee-communications-and-technology-supporting-hr-3035-%E2%80%9Cmobi - they dress it up in nice language, making it sound like it's for the recipient's own good, etc., etc., and so forth. _____________________________________________________ Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key email@example.com [to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]
Date: Sun, 6 Nov 2011 17:08:51 -0800 From: Bruce Bergman <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Emergency generators Message-ID: <CACqS807amyJiWCGyUCZqofB+ongpBzSV6MXfQfYnhagS6nLBsQ@mail.gmail.com> On Sun, Nov 6, 2011 at 1:20 AM, David Chessler wrote: > > Some years ago we had a windstorm (or hurricane) that knocked out > power for days--a week for some people. This is not an uncommon > problem in Maryland and the Eastern shore. Summer thunderstorms can > knock out power for days. > > Anyhow, the problem was getting power into the house to run the > computer (I was on deadline at the time), the refrigerator, and maybe > a light or two. I don't own a generator, and for events that happen > only once or twice a decade, that seems an excessive expense. Then I > remembered: I had two cars, each of which had a generator with > battery backup. A quick trip to a nearby truckstop (if two counties > away is nearby) and I owned two inverters. These cost about $100-125 > each. (Truckstops are the most likely local sources, but Wal-Mart > sometimes has them. Or, there is the internet.) > > I connected the one with the nominal rating of 1000 watts > (continuous) to the battery of my Ford, which had the larger battery > and generator, using large crocodile clips (like jumper cable > clamps), and ran an extension cord into the house. I plugged in the > refrigerator and "POWER". The one with the nominal rating of 750 > Watts could not run the refrigerator, but attached to the battery of > the Honda it did just fine on the computer and printer. I had the > cars idling, so the batteries had a chance to recharge (IIRC, modern > alternators deliver full power even at idle). There is no way this > arrangement could supply full power to the house. I think the Ford > had a 65 AMP alternator, which means 780 Watts at 12 volts, less the > losses. However, the battery supplied any surge that the alternator > could not. (When an electric motor, like the one in the refrigerator, > starts, it draws perhaps double its usual load for a fraction of a > second.) Electric stoves, air conditioners, electric heat just won't > work with such small alternators, though you could probably run the > fan in a forced-hot air furnace. > > This arrangement would also work for camping at events [or > evacuations] where you can leave your vehicle reasonably close to your > tent. > You do NOT get your full car alternator output at idle, it's spinning barely fast enough to keep up with engine running loads of the EFI computer and injectors, fuel pump, electric cooling fan, etc. You need to get the engine over about 1800 - 2000 RPM for maximum alternator output. Cars are not designed to sit there for hours unattended in one spot (no cooling airflow underneath for the exhaust system) and run with a brick on the gas pedal. Cars don't have any automatic shutdown safeties, if it overheats or runs low on oil you can wreck an expensive engine that way. And car batteries are designed for a burst of starting power and immediate recharge, they will only last a half-dozen or so deep discharges from running an inverter - just like leaving the headlights on overnight. Which is why it's far better to have a purpose built gasoline engine generator set for running larger household loads like refrigerators, well pumps, furnace blowers. And a genset will last a long time with just a little maintenance - add gasoline stabilizer to the fuel, start them for an hour's workout every few months, and rotate out your emergency gasoline supply once or twice a year - dump it in your car's tank and fill the can with fresh gas (and another dose of stabilizer) and put it away next to the generator. If your main needs are for 12V power like for camping and for recharging dead car batteries and Ham Field Day operations, you can build yourself a Mule - you couple a large lawnmower engine and a large car alternator. ***** Moderator's Note ***** > > I don't know how to calculate the startup load of a refrigerator: you > are right, of course, that the starting demand is much higher than the > running power that's needed, but I'm not sure how to calculate it. I'm > told that the worst case power-demand is from an air conditioning > system, but I don't know why. > > The usual rule of thumb for figuring motor starting surge is 10X the running full load amps for that first fraction of a second as it's not moving yet, and current ramps down as the motor spins up to speed. Or look at the motor nameplate for "Locked Rotor Amps", and there it is. Other than that, it varies (a LOT) depending on the motor design and the control system - there are "Soft Start" motors and drives for when you don't have the available current or don't want to pay the utility rates for it. That said, inverters need to be massively oversized for starting and running motor loads - the bare minimum is a "2000W Continuous 4000W Surge" rated unit to start a 500W motor. And the inverter really should be running off a second dedicated "Deep Cycle Battery" in the car or truck to supply those big current surges, and charged from an oversized alternator (100A to 225A, biggest one you can stuff into the space available) through a diode charge isolator. When camping you can run small energy uses like a TV Computer or Radio from the inverter or directly off the Deep Cycle battery with the engine off, and it will recharge in the morning when you start driving to your next stop. And you can start the car in the morning because you didn't run anything off the starting battery. If anyone has a pointer to an EPA or other site that gives the > procedure, please send it in. I'm very interested in getting > information about the running costs of various fuels, as well: I read > that Natural Gas is much more expensive than gasoline. TIA. > For raw BTUs per dollar, Natural Gas is far cheaper than gasoline - no international tanker shipping, no complex refining, no adding MTBE or Ethanol oxygenates, no tank trucks or home delivery charges. They take it out of the well, clean it up a little (extract "sour" sulfur compounds and the Helium if there's enough to bother), add a little Methyl Mercaptan stink, and stuff it into the pipeline. Propane is a byproduct of oil refining, but it's good point is local storage where you can have a week or more of fuel on hand for emergencies. One caveat, if your tank location goes way below zero have a safe way of warming the storage tank or you can lose pressure - there's gas in the tank but it won't vaporize when it gets below ~ -30F in the tank. Running hot water over the tank works in a pinch. This makes Propane bad for unattended Telecom backup generators in Snow Belt states, you have to put heaters and thermostats on the fuel tank and monitor them for operation. And both Natural Gas and Propane are a lot cleaner than Gasoline to run your permanent installed generator on, the engines last a lot longer - Propane is 108 Octane, NG almost as good. Several companies make easily convertible residential sized backup generator sets that can switch from NG to Propane (and back) with a few minutes work. If the disaster disrupts your NG supply, you switch over to Propane. Price wise, it's probably NG cheapest, then Propane and Red-Dye Diesel (no road taxes) neck and neck, Road Diesel a bit more because of the taxes, then Gasoline trailing in the rear, but local markets fluctuate. --<< Bruce >>-- PS: Mr. Moderator, I've made a few submissions through Usenet that never hit the queue - they might not have had the Keyword though. Check the filters at your end of the Interweb Pipes, please.
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2011 15:22:54 -0800 (PST) From: "Mark J. Cuccia" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Sixty Years Ago on Saturday 10-Nov-1951 Englewood "DDD" Message-ID: <1320967374.27481.YahooMailClassic@web31102.mail.mud.yahoo.com> It was sixty years ago, on Saturday 10-November-1951, that Englewood/ Teaneck NJ had their nationwide long-distance dialing "trials". I don't know if there was an "end date" for these customer trials of long-distance dialing, as I've never come across any such end date indicated. And AT&T/Bell did intend to expand such customer long distance dialing as the 1950s progressed. It wasn't called DDD (Direct Distance Dialing) at the time of the November 1951 introduction, but simply (customer) nationwide long distance dialing. It wasn't even truly nationwide, although calls to the San Francisco/ Oakland CA Bay area as well as to Sacramento CA were part of the 1951 customer dialing from Englewood/Teaneck NJ. Most of the communities/ metro areas which could be customer dialed as of November 1951 from Englewood/Teaneck NJ were in urban areas in the northeast or midwest. Englewood/Teaneck NJ already did have customer dialing throughout much of northeastern NJ, as well as with the five boroughs of NYC. I don't know how much of Nassau County NY and southern Westchester County NY might have been dialable from northeastern NJ prior to November 1951. The NYC Metro area did include Nassau County and the southern part of Westchester County, where the NNX c.o.codes in this area were "protected" for 7-digit (2L-5N) dialing between the five boroughs of NYC and Nassau County and southern Westchester County. So, I wonder if MAYBE Englewood/Teaneck NJ (and other parts of northeastern NJ) already were able to dial to Nassau and southern Westchester "as part of" the NYC metro area, as "11" plus 2L-5N ?? The Englewood/Teaneck NJ Nov.1951 dialing instruction booklet states to use 516+2L-5N to call Nassau County, and 914+2L-5N to call (all of) Westchester County and all or part of three additional counties in the Hudson River Valley area. Calls within the northeastern NJ area were dialed as just 2L-5N. No mention of NJ being area code 201 was made in the dialing booklet. The other metro areas (in addition to NYC/Nassau/lower Hudson River Valley, and northeastern NJ) which could be dialed, along with their actual area codes (with one exception) included: 617 Boston MA 401 Providence RI 215 Philadelphia PA 412 Pittsburgh PA 216 Cleveland OH 313 Detroit MI 312 Chicago IL 414 Milwaukee WI 916 Sacramento CA 318 San Francisco CA (west bay) and 415 Oakland CA (east bay) Sacramento CA was the only SXS area (although some of the areas in the lower Hudson River Valley NY area -- northern Westchester County and the additional counties which could be dialed also included SXS). All other areas which could be dialed from Englewood/Teaneck NJ at this time were Panel/#1XB (and some very new #5XB) communities. Englewood/Teaneck NJ customers were served from new #5XB. Only single and 2-party customers were eligible for the customer long distance dial service. Note that San Francisco/west bay/north of Golden Gate are listed as 318, while Oakland/east bay are listed as 415. The entire Bay Area was a single 2L-5N calling area, and 415 was the official area code for all of the Bay Area (until 510 for Oakland/ east bay split form 415 retained by San Francisco/west bay/etc. in 1991). But probably because "up-front realtime" six-digit translation of an NPA-NNX code was not yet available, and because there were direct trunks from NY or NJ to both San Francisco (west bay) and Oakland (east bay) tandem/toll switches, it was probably considered better for efficient routing to have 318+2L-5N for the west bay points with 415+2L-5N for the east bay points, at least from customers. I tend to think that toll operators would still have used 415+2L-5N for calling all of the Bay area, since they could plug into a direct trunk to San Francisco vs. a direct trunk to Oakland, and then key/dial 415+2L-5N. All "official" Bell System maps in articles in Bell's journals of the era show only 415 for all of the Bay area. However, press releases and general purpose magazines/newspapers had articles referencing 318 for San Francisco/west bay, and 415 for Oakland/east bay, in such articles regarding this new customer dialing capability from Englewood/Teaneck NJ in November 1951. It would be interesting to know if an Englewood/Teaneck NJ customer dialed 318 and then 2L-5N for an Oakland/east bay exchange, or if they dialed 415 and then 2L-5N for a San Francisco/west bay exchange, if the call would still complete. I assume that it "could", but it would have probably involved an extra trunk and/or tandem in the connection which wouldn't have been necessary if the customer had dialed the "listed" area code. Several news/press stories and magazine articles including more detailed technical articles in Popular Science, Popular Electronics, etc. appeared at the time. The mayor of Englewood NJ dialed calls to the mayors of several Bay Area communities, and I assume as well to the mayors of other communities which now could be dialed. In 1996, I was loaned a copy of the Englewood NJ customer dialing booklet, which I copied and also did a text transcription of. That text transcription was also submitted to Telecom Digest/Archives and can be found at: http://massis.lcs.mit.edu/archives/history/englewood.nj.1951.dialing The next known customer long distance dialing implementation was in Fall 1953, two years later, from the Birmingham MI suburb of Detroit. A few more towns/metro areas were now customer dialable by 1953. I don't know if this implementation started off with "just" 415 for "all" of the Bay Area, or if 318 vs.415 was still used. Note that before a community/metro area could be made customer dialable, it had to now be on a 2L-5N basis. By the time Birmingham MI had the service in Fall 1953, some of those additional communities were now 2L-5N, while when Englewood/Teaneck NJ first started with customer long-distance dialing in Nov.1951 two years earlier, those additional communities were still 2L-4N (or mixed 2L-4N with 2L-5N), not yet (fully) 2L-5N. In addition to the 1996 posting I made to Telecom Digest/Archives of the transcription of the 1951 Englewood booklet, I have made several other posts to various Telecom-related groups, including here to Telecom Digest over the past 15 years, which can be found in the archives of older posts, for further reference. Mark J. Cuccia markjcuccia at yahoo dot com
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2011 17:58:18 -0800 (PST) From: Joseph Singer <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Self checkout apps Message-ID: <1320976698.92958.YahooMailClassic@web161514.mail.bf1.yahoo.com> Bill Horne, moderator CDT/Telcom digest wrote: > The problem with "time saving" apps on "smart" phones is that they > can't save you any time. Since those who use a "scanning" app to > scan barcodes via a "smatrt" phone would have to do the same thing at a > checkout aisle, there's no time savings. There is, however, the > perception of time savings, since those who use their "smart" phones > for such things feel like they're saving time because they don't have > to spend as _much_ time in the checkout aisle. > > Of course, you have to checkout: the store wants to be paid. Of > course, you still have to type in a code for any produce you buy, and > you have to have cellular and data service, and of course the whole > thing adds up to another toy for those with more money than brains. It's rather obvious that you don't have a smartphone and are very averse to their value and readily put down anyone who chooses to use one. If you choose not to use modern technologies that's your choice. It seems silly to put down people who choose to avail themselves of these newer technologies. Did you ever think perhaps that scanning your items yourself you don't have to wait for a station to be available to scan your items at a self checkout? ***** Moderator's Note ***** Joseph, I agree that the "more money than brains" comment was a bit too much; my apologies. But, my criticism of expensive cellphones remains, and I think it remains valid as well. Users who purchase these instruments are, IMNSHO, enabling a vicious-circle of technology: the idea that "everybody has to have one", just because many other people already do. I'm not adverse to "modern" technology: I'm typing this note on a computer, after all. I'm adverse to end-users being drawn into a self-fullfilling prophecy, and in the process, being tied to an electronic leash that tethers them to their employer's corporate management. On this specific issue: I don't think the time which might be saved by not waiting for a self-checkout kiosk at a supermarket is adequate compensation for paying tens or hundreds of dollars per month in usage, data, and other costs. That is, of course, my opinion, and YMMV. Bill Horne Moderator P.S. Please send submissions to ONE address, not two. The sumission address for emails is telecomdigestmoderator.atsign.telecom-digest.org
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