30 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for November 24, 2011
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Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 22:54:07 -0500 From: tlvp <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Sophos Security's take on Google's latest "_nomap" opt-out offer Message-ID: <BLU0-SMTP13268853FB8802230AEB616DBC90@phx.gbl> >From Sophos, a heads-up regarding Google's decision to let ordinary folks "opt out" of having their wireless access point's SSIDs catalogued, indexed, and exploited by Google's location service by the simple expedient (?) of appending a "_nomap" to the SSID, i.e., recasting the SSID from <NetworkName> to <NetworkName_nomap>. For details and commentary, see the Sophos announcement http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2011/11/17/google-forces-opt-out-wi-fi-snooping/ . Cheers, -- tlvp ***** Moderator's Note ***** This submission arrived with a note attached, and I'm pasting some of it here FYI the readers. My usual NNTP server acting flaky this evening, I thought I'd write directly to you with the following little tidbit... ALL submissions to the Telecom Digest have an EQUAL chance of being seen and/or published. It does NOT matter how you send them in, neither figuratively nor literally. Everything arrives in the same mailbox, because that's the way Usenet handles posts that need approval - they are emailed to me! If you deem it post-worthy, I'll be grateful to see it posted. If not, who am I to argue :-) ? You are a contributor, and you can always ask me to reconsider a moderation decision. That doesn't mean I always will, of course, but you're entitled to ask. See the FAQ. -- Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2011 07:21:16 -0800 (PST) From: HAncock4 <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Hedy Lamarr--actress/radio inventor Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Actress Hedy Lamarr is credited with inventing key concepts used in radio and telephony to this day. Her biography, by noted author Richard Rhodes, has been published. book review from Newsweek: "Actresses often long to turn director, but how many of them yearn to turn inventor? Given the success that the screen siren Hedy Lamarr achieved in that realm revealed in Richard Rhodes's fascinating biography, Hedy's Folly it's a pity more of them don't consider it. In 1940, while acting alongside Jimmy Stewart and Judy Garland in the MGM musical Ziegfeld Girl, the 26-year-old Lamarr spent her free time devising a radio-controlled submarine missile-guidance system to help the U.S. Navy in World War II. What moved her to do this? "She didn't drink and she didn't like to party, so she took up inventing", Rhodes explains. Of course, there was more to it than that. The torpedo was not the starlet's only invention: she also came up with an antiaircraft shell with a proximity fuse, and a fizzing cube that could turn a plain glass of water into soda." For full article please see: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/11/20/hedy-lamarr-biography-hedy-s-folly-by-richard-rhodes-review.html
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2011 04:51:11 -0500 From: tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: OT: Electronics store with classic parts Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On 22 Nov 2011 10:29:10 -0500, Scott Dorsey wrote: > tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> wrote: >> ... 12BE6, 12BA6, 12AV6, 50C5, 35W4 :-) ! ... >> ... >>'Zat what you were after, Bill? Or were you looking for the post-octal >>follow-up to these (their miniature 9-pin counterparts)? Cheers, -- tlvp > > Those are the 7-and 9-pin minis. I don't remember the early octal ones, > but they weren't quite as standardized. > --scott (Ulp!) You're right, scott. So much of that RC-18 is octal stuff I never bothered checking whether those 5 were or weren't, just assumed they were. Sorry to have misled so badly! And thanks for steering us all right again. Cheers, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2011 07:30:08 -0800 (PST) From: HAncock4 <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: MSNBC/NYT: Caller ID Forging Message-ID: <email@example.com> [Quote from MSNBC] Caller ID has been celebrated as a defense against unwelcome phone pitches. But it is backfiring. Telemarketers increasingly are disguising their real identities and phone numbers to provoke people to pick up the phone. "Humane Soc." may not be the Humane Society. And [do you] think the I.R.S. is on the line? Think again. Caller ID, in other words, is becoming fake ID. For full article please see: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45413739/ns/us_news-the_new_york_times/
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2011 10:19:43 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Universal Service Reform Order Yields a Surprise or Two Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Universal Service Reform Order Yields a Surprise or Two 11/21/11 by Joan Engebretson Weighing in at 750 pages, the Universal Service and inter-carrier compensation reform order from the FCC was made public on Friday. The commission issued a fairly detailed executive summary in late October when the order was adopted- and in large part, the final order essentially just adds more detail to what was outlined in the executive summary. But after an initial review, I did find a few elements in the order that had not been previously announced. http://www.telecompetitor.com/universal-service-reform-order-yields-a-surprise-or-two/
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 09:37:32 -0800 (PST) From: Tom Horne <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Police radio encryption Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Nov 21, 2:31 pm, withh...@invalid.telecom-digest.org (HAncock4) wrote: > > USA Today article discussing pros and cons of police encrypting > their radio transmissions. Police say it's to keep criminals from > listening, but journalists object saying it makes government less > transparent. It seems rather a straight forward question to me. Preventing people from listening in real time is needed by law enforcement. Preventing people from listening in at all is not in the interest of government accountability. Police should have to maintain a complete record of everything that is said and they should be required to turn over those records in response to a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA, or it's state level equivalent) request. To allow police to completely conceal everything they say on the radio is going to allow them to engage in misconduct more easily without fear of that misconduct being discovered. I would think that the video of the UC Davis campus police spraying pepper spray on non violent demonstrators proves that police have a tendency to overreact to being defied even when that defiance is a legitimate exorcise of the defiant citizens rights. When a police officer says jump a citizen should be able to say "why" rather than "how high." So I think encryption has short term benefits and long term liabilities. Hiding police conduct from the press and the public is not a good thing. There has been some interest on the part of Emergency Medical Service (EMS) administrators in encrypting ambulance radios because of the need to protect patients' private information. In that case, where the encryption is done on the medical control channels, I think that encryption would be a perfectly legitimate tool to use in protecting patient rights. Encrypting administrative and dispatch traffic of EMS agencies however has little legitimate purpose that I am able to discern. The reason that there is a temptation to encrypt is that the news media outlets often act irresponsibly when they have immediate access to some types of information. As we all know "If it bleeds, it leads." That is how a mercury spill at a public high school becomes "Chemical leak at High School! Film at noon." We have a slogan in Fire & Rescue which reminds us that "The principal difference between the parent of an endangered child and a terrorist is that you have a faint hope of negotiating with the terrorist." So when the news outlet resorts to sensationalism in order to sell the soap they endanger the children and the responders who are trying to protect them. For the responders and their leadership, that gets old pretty fast. Like many other things in public life there is no easy answer. And, like the pendulum of a working clock, there is no resting in the middle: it will only pause briefly at the extremes. -- Tom Horne
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2011 16:47:29 +0000 (UTC) From: "Adam H. Kerman" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: How 1-800-ITS-UNIX changed the world Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Thad Floryan <email@example.com> wrote: >Background: for those who are unaware of Andrew Tanenbaum: > > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_S._Tanenbaum > >which begins: >" Andrew Stuart "Andy" Tanenbaum is a professor of computer science >" at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam in the Netherlands. He is >" best known as the author of MINIX, a free Unix-like operating >" system for teaching purposes, and for his computer science >" textbooks, regarded as standard texts in the field. He regards >" his teaching job as his most important work. >An interview several days ago with Andrew Tanenbaum can be read here >in English: > > http://linuxfr.org/nodes/88229/comments/1291183 > >Several interesting passages in the interview caught my eye: >" The reason MINIX 3 didn't dominate the world has to do with one mistake >" I made about 1992. At that time I thought BSD was going to take over >" the world. It was a mature and stable system. I didn't see any point in >" competing with it, so I focused MINIX on education. Four of the BSD >" guys had just formed a company to sell BSD commercially. They even had >" a nice phone number: 1-800-ITS-UNIX. That phone number did them and me >" in. AT&T sued them over the phone number and the lawsuit took 3 years >" to settle. That was precisely the period Linux was launched and BSD was >" frozen due to the lawsuit. By the time it was settled, Linux had taken >" off. My mistake was not to realize the lawsuit would take so long and >" cripple BSD. If AT&T had not brought suit (or better yet, bought BSDI), >" Linux would never have become popular at all and BSD would dominate the >" world. Would AT&T have been prohibted from buying BSDI, either by the court order that broke them up a few years earlier or by the non-commercial license they'd given to Univ of Cal at Berkeley in early days? I thought all commercial Berkeley-style Unixes were licensed by the university. Having learned SysVRel4 and earlier, Berkeley-style Unixes have always struck me as weird. Also, inflicting sendmail upon the world was evil. I have comments about sendmail exploits, either built in or that I created due to misconfigurations because sendmail is painful, but they wouldn't be good for the children to hear. ***** Moderator's Note ***** Want to borrow my Exim4 book? Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2011 07:49:12 -0800 (PST) From: grumpy44134 <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: OT: Electronics store with classic parts Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Nov 22, 10:29 am, klu...@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote: > Those are the 7-and 9-pin minis. I don't remember the early octal ones, > but they weren't quite as standardized. > --scott > 12SA7, 12SK7 . . . . . . . ?
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2011 07:44:20 -0800 (PST) From: HAncock4 <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Mall tracks shoppers by their cellphones Message-ID: <email@example.com> A small article in the LA Times says a shopping mall is using a new computer program that will track the movements of Thanksgiving weekend shoppers using their cellphones. Thee Temecula Promenade is one of two malls testing out the new technology, which mall operators said is designed to monitor how shoppers flow through the center. for full article please see: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/11/mall-monitoring-shoppers-by-tapping-into-their-cellphones.html (The technical details of how this is done were not described. Given that and the impending robocalls to cell phones, I am glad I keep my cellphone off most of the time.)
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 08:47:42 -0800 (PST) From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Telephony on TV Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Nov 21, 2:39 am, David Thompson <dave.thomps...@verizon.net> wrote: > 'The Sting' relies on interception of newswire (race results). Quite a > few movies showed Teletypes, either newswire, cable (e.g. WU, C&W), or > business telex/TWX. They are nicely cinematic with the thudding and > the dinging and the typehead moving and the words appearing. Ordinary > people wouldn't encounter a Teletype but I'm not sure they're obscure. If memory serves, the closing scene of "All The President's Men" show a Teletype printing out a news story ending the story. That film also had extensive of use of telephones (black rotary 500's with plastic dial) in the office and in phone booths (modern lower case "phone" sign, but with old Bell System logo). Many offices had Teletypes for one reason or another, so they weren't that unusual in the workplace. Many had receive only to get news, weather, or special bulletins from headquarters. Others had TWX or Telex for two-way communication. News programs often showed a bank of Teletypes in the background, and newsradio stations used the thudding noise in the background. They continued using that noise even after mechanical Teletypes were replaced with computer screens. The classic film Casablanca opens with a police officer ripping an urgent bulletin from the Teletype, a common cinematic theme. The film, "Airport", recently available on cable. made extensive use of telephone and radio conversations to move the plot along. The airport manager had a fancy telephone setup on the wall behind his desk. The maintenance supervisor had a mobile phone in his car. Other personnel had radios in their cars with the handheld microphone pulled out on its coiled cord, a popular cinematic device. The film was made around the time Touch Tone was coming out, and important people in the film had colored Touch Tone sets, while mere mortals had plain black rotary sets. Ironically, the airport's PBX switchboard was a quiet board--for a crazy busy airport like that in a snowstorm the board should've been a lot busier. > 'The President's Analyst' has important roles for several fictional > (we hope!) telco -- but not quite telephone -- technologies. In "The Day the Earth Stood Still", a somber army general picks up the phone, spins the dial at zero, and states grimly, "get me the President!". That was a common cinematic device. > TV series 'Cannon' frequently used an IMTS (I believe) car phone at a > time when they were uncommon and 'sexy' but not unknown. Did Mannix have a car phone? I remember back then that VIPs would be shown with a car phone, which were very rare back then. You're right, it added some "sexy" or coolness to the show. > 'Green Acres' had Eddie Albert (often?) climb a pole to directly use > the cable, but this was just a yuk, not important to plot. That was an ongoing joke that the backward town couldn't or wouldn't get enough wire to finish extending the line from the pole into the house. It served for other jokes such as dropping the phone to the ground and hitting someone or having a tough time talking in bad weather. I think the phone portrayed was actually a butt test set. In old days Bell dials made a scratchy sound when dialed while AE dials were much quieter. But in old movies that scratchy sound could add to the drama of a scene when a character was slowly and deliberately making a phone call of importance to the plot (such as toward the end in Casablanca with Capt Renoit forced to make a call at gunpoint or several times in Maltese Falcon). Question: In conducting business, Hollywood studios made extensive use of the telephone, even going way back. I wonder if they Bell System provided them with advanced PBX switchboards or networks to accomodate their demand. I wonder if studio lots had more telephone extensions than a typical industrial site. [public replies, please]
Date: Wed, 23 Nov 2011 10:19:43 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: FCC Connect America Fund Order Clarifies Inter-Carrier Compensation, VoIP Message-ID: <email@example.com> FCC Connect America Fund Order Clarifies Inter-Carrier Compensation, VoIP 11/23/11 by Joan Engebretson The FCC's Universal Service and inter-carrier compensation (ICC) reform order, also known as the Connect America Fund Order, provides further details about several key mandates outlined when the order was adopted last month - mandates designed to minimize access stimulation and phantom traffic and to resolve long-standing questions about whether VoIP traffic is subject to long-distance access charges. http://www.telecompetitor.com/fcc-connect-america-fund-order-clarifies-inter-carrier-compensation-voip/
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