30 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for December 9, 2011
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Date: 8 Dec 2011 01:43:26 -0000 From: "John Levine" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Canada has its own FISA. But this is a good one... Message-ID: <email@example.com> In article <Pine.NEB.firstname.lastname@example.org> you write: >It's an anti-spam measure. And it's got the mainsleaze spammers >worried... (the hardcore crooks will ignore it, of course, but >this should free up resources to go after them, too) Yes, that's the plan. The story you quoted is poorly researched; they took the FISA acronym out of the bill before it was passed and now it's known as CASL, Canada's Anti-Spam Law. It also regulates downloaded software, since the consent rules for getting commercial e-mail and for permitting software downloads are largely the same. It doesn't go into effect until the various agencies publish the regulations to implement it, which with any luck will be in early 2012. R's, John Claimer: I helped write it. ***** Moderator's Note ***** Since spam is now showing up in Internet-aware cell phones, that begs the question: Is there ever going to be a "Final Ultimate Solution to the Spam Problem"? Netizens have been talking about a FUSSP for years: is it a believable goal? Bill Horne Moderator
Date: 8 Dec 2011 21:44:53 -0000 From: "John Levine" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Canada has its own FISA. But this is a good one... Message-ID: <email@example.com> Telecom Digest Moderator said: >Is there ever going to be a "Final Ultimate Solution to the Spam >Problem"? Netizens have been talking about a FUSSP for years: is it a >believable goal? No. If you look back at the history of telecommunication, any system that is ubiquitous and cheap has abuse problems. In the late 1800s, a few telegraph systems offered flat rates, quickly rescinded when they were overwhelmed by telegraph spam. You can certainly build a system with walls around it that would have very little spam, but one of the most important reasons we use e-mail is that you can send mail to anyone without having to make complicated prior arrangements. And that's the same reason that there's spam. R's, John
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2011 23:22:34 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: The 'hacktivists' of Telecomix lend a hand to the Arab Spring Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> The 'hacktivists' of Telecomix lend a hand to the Arab Spring By Shyamantha Asokan, Published: December 6 On a rainy November morning in Northern Virginia, at a cafe where elderly women are meeting for pastries, Andrew Lewis is hacking into one of the most tightly controlled police states in the Middle East. "The more you know, the more you can help," he murmurs, as his scan of Syria's cyberspace throws up lists of servers. His 6-foot-6-inch frame hunched over his laptop, Lewis skims the codes at lightning speed and clicks on one of the servers that process and direct Syrian Internet traffic - but then he is asked for a password. He guesses it correctly on his second attempt. Lewis, 22, is a member of Telecomix, an unconventional Western computer club that helps activists across the Middle East. During this year's Arab Spring, pro-democracy protesters have used Facebook to promote rallies and Skype to avoid tapped cellphones, but their governments have in turn boosted online censorship and spying. Telecomix has tried to step in and provide the activists with tech support. When Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's now ousted president, cut off the entire country's Internet in January, Telecomix set up dial-up connections using two servers in Europe. The members then faxed the dial-up numbers to every Egyptian office, university and coffee shop they could find. In August, after extracting records from unsecured servers, the group discovered that Syria was using equipment made by a Silicon Valley company, Blue Coat Systems, to block certain sites. (The U.S. government is now investigating Blue Coat, which denies selling its products to a country under economic sanctions.) Telecomix has also helped activists in Tunisia, Yemen and Bahrain. ... http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-hacktivists-of-telecomix-lend-a-hand-to-the-arab-spring/2011/12/05/gIQAAosraO_print.html
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2011 17:43:23 -0800 From: email@example.com (Dave Platt) To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: OSHA: Two Federal DOT Agencies Ban Hand-Held Phone Use Message-ID: <email@example.com> In article <1323189621.94563.YahooMailClassic@web111714.mail.gq1.yahoo.com>, Wes Leatherock <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >Do these rules also apply to CB use, which is mostly truckers now? No. According to the order, they used the same definition of "mobile telephone" that the FCC does - it's a device which uses commercial mobile radio services. CB, FRS, GMRS, and amateur radio are not commercial mobile radio services. "The push-to-talk feature of a mobile telephone can be replaced with the use of a compliant mobile telephone, two-way radios, or walkie-talkies for the short periods of time when communication is critical for utility providers, school bus operations, or specialty haulers. The use of CB and two-way radios and other electronic devices by CMV drivers for other functions is outside the scope of consideration in this rulemaking." This is consistent with how the California DMV has decided to interpret California's no-hands-on-mobile-phones-while-driving regulations... they don't apply to CB, walkie-talkie use, or ham radio (although I suspect that using a ham radio to access a telephone autopatch would be technically forbidden, and I always pull over and park before using one). -- Dave Platt <email@example.com> AE6EO Friends of Jade Warrior home page: http://www.radagast.org/jade-warrior I do not wish to receive unsolicited commercial email, and I will boycott any company which has the gall to send me such ads!
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2011 10:21:00 -0800 (PST) From: HAncock4 <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: History: Cell phone early days Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On 3/17/1979 and 4/17/1980 the New York Times reported some interesting tidbits about mobile telephone service and the transition to cellular systems. The cell phone patent was awarded to Richard Fefrenkiel of Bell Labs, No. 4,144,411* (BSTJ on-line has an issue devoted to early technology). At that time, there were 40,000 mobile telephone users with a waiting list of 20,000. The US was served by 54 channels**. In NYC there were 12 channels serving 700 users. It was difficult to comjplete a call due to congestion. A central tower served a radius of 35-45 miles. A new experimental cellular system was on trial in the Chicago area with 10 cells serving 2,100 square miles. Electronic switching was necessary to serve the system in order to handle the complex 'hand off' when a caller went from one cell to another. On 4/9/1981 the FCC announced the plan to award licenses to two carriers in each metropolitan area. One carrier would be the existing wireline company (if it was interested) and the other would be a competitor. It was felt this would be a good compromise to provide cell phone service as quickly as possible since the Bell System had the knowledge and capability, as well as open the field up to competition. Bell would have to provide the service through new subsidiaries. General Telephone (GTE), a major Independent telephone company, said it was interested in providing service in its areas. The article said many in the US Justice Department were opposed to giving AT&T any cell business even though they were the predominate developer of the system. They felt others should do so in the interest of competition. [It seems to me this was an ideological dislike of AT&T because AT&T was the one who developed the system and the knowledge base, and had the resources to quickly deploy it to meet demand.] * Patents may be looked up on-line from the US Patent Office. ** In a crowded area I can easily imagine 54 people in proximity making calls at the same time. But back then that was the total US capacity.
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2011 19:39:48 -0800 (PST) From: email@example.com (HAncock4) To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: I'm looking for #5XB training manuals Message-ID: <email@example.com> On Dec 5, 3:15 am, Bill Horne <b...@horneQRM.net> wrote: > Thanks for reading this. I'm writing a brief talk about #5XB, and > would appreciate pointers to traning materials. An overview document > would be ideal, but I'll take anything. TIA. [This is] from a Bell textbook c1979: --No. 5 xbar originally developed for suburban residential and small cities not requiring multi-office complexities of Panel and No. 1 xbar. Many calls would be within the office. (Recall that panel and 1xbar were to solve the "big city problem" of multiple offices.) --to be compatible with DDD and AMA (store all needed digits). Later features over 30 years: --Central AMA making No 5 a small toll office. --Line Link pulsing for inward dialing to PBXs. --International IDDD --Centrex, including station controlled transfer. --large auto call distributor. ***** Moderator's Note ***** Does anyone know when the last #5XB was retired, and where it was located? Are there any still in service outside museums? Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2011 08:38:28 -0800 (PST) From: HAncock4 <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: MSNBC/NYT: Caller ID Forging Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Dec 5, 3:27 pm, klu...@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote: > John David Galt <j...@diogenes.sacramento.ca.us> wrote: >> 1) An ethical telco does not pass along any Caller-ID from a call >> originating on its network (at least not without flagging it as >> "unreliable" in some machine readable way) unless it can >> authenticate that the number belongs to the originating subscriber. > This would require a lot of legal changes, to the point of pretty > much redfining the concept of the common carrier. For what it's worth, the first sentence in my Business Law texbook on Common Carriers states "A common carrier has the right to make reasonable and necesarry rules for the conduct of its business." Actually, common carriers have always had rules about what they would deal with and would reject submissions that did not comply with those rules. For example, we obviously can't shoot 120V house current out over our POTS phone line. For digital trunk customers, the signal obviously must meet specifications regarding basic electrical properties as well as format of header and data bits. To stretch the obvious, there are already edits in place--if you would submit a telephone call with an invalid NPA, that call would be rejected. It seems to me that it would be possible, without massive legal rewrites, to tighten the edits for submitted calls to protect the network from Caller ID misuse. After all, some callers are spoofing Caller ID for fraudulent reasons. If I am in error in these comments, a citation to a text or website where I might learn more about it would be appreciated. [public posts, please]
Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2011 04:16:43 -0600 From: email@example.com (Robert Bonomi) To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: OSHA: Two Federal DOT Agencies Ban Hand-Held Phone Use Message-ID: <D6idneNN_K4WE33TnZ2dnUVZ_qadnZ2d@posted.nuvoxcommunications> In article <1323189621.94563.YahooMailClassic@web111714.mail.gq1.yahoo.com>, Wes Leatherock <email@example.com> wrote: > >--- On Mon, 12/5/11, John Stahl <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > >> US Occupational Health & Safety has reported on their web site >> (www.ohsonline.com) that "Two DOT agencies, the Federal Motor >> Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous >> Materials Safety Administration, published a final rule Dec. 2 that >> will prohibit use of hand-held mobile phones by commercial drivers >> while on the road...." > >> It seems that the DOT has put a higher penalty on hand-held cell >> phone usage while driving than probably most states have imposed on >> over-the-road drivers and have even added a fine on their employers, >> too. According to the article, "Drivers who violate the restriction >> can be charged a civil penalty of as much as $2,750; a civil penalty >> of as much as $11,000 can be imposed on employers who fail to >> require their drivers to comply." These new rules take effect >> January 3, 2012. > >Do these rules also apply to CB use, which is mostly truckers now? The cited rule applies to "hand-held mobile phones". It would seem obvious that this does not include 2-way radios (of any sort), where the radio is mounted to the vehicle body. ***** Moderator's Note ***** I wonder: would this law apply to a cell phone that was mounted to the vehicle? I know that AMPS phones mounted in the trunk are pass~, but there must be a zillion vehicle-mounted "Onstar" phones out there. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2011 20:42:23 +0000 (UTC) From: "Adam H. Kerman" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: OSHA: Two Federal DOT Agencies Ban Hand-Held Phone Use Message-ID: <email@example.com> Robert Bonomi <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >Wes Leatherock <email@example.com> wrote: >>On Mon, 12/5/11, John Stahl <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >>>US Occupational Health & Safety has reported on their web site >>>(www.ohsonline.com) that "Two DOT agencies, the Federal Motor >>>Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous >>>Materials Safety Administration, published a final rule Dec. 2 that >>>will prohibit use of hand-held mobile phones by commercial drivers >>>while on the road...." [Moderator snip] >>Do these rules also apply to CB use, which is mostly truckers now? >The cited rule applies to "hand-held mobile phones". It would seem >obvious that this does not include 2-way radios (of any sort), where >the radio is mounted to the vehicle body. >***** Moderator's Note ***** >I wonder: would this law apply to a cell phone that was mounted to the >vehicle? I know that AMPS phones mounted in the trunk are passe, but >there must be a zillion vehicle-mounted "Onstar" phones out there. Plenty of regulations based on state laws continue to allow the making of hands-free phone calls, completely missing the point that the danger isn't from the fact that the hands are engaged but that the brain is disengaged from driving. ***** Moderator's Note ***** Maybe the state legislatures which passed those laws decided that forbidding "hands free" use would be unenforceable, or placed the language in the bills to solve a safety problem without inviting a fight with the FCC, knowning that hands-free use is a negligible percentage of the potential violations. To my mind, the bigger question is whether using two-way (non-cellular) radios while driving is inherently dangerous. I don't think it is, but I don't know what, if anything, the statistics say: the first hard data about the dangers of cell phone use while driving came from countries that allow their police to access cellular call data without court orders, and that means that those police forces had access to enough data to make justifiable statistical inferences. In the U.S., AFAIK, it's a different story. In any case, there's no equivalent mechanism to track use of two-way radios during or preceding an accident, since there's no way to gather the data in the first place. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2011 21:35:23 -0500 From: T <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Video shows alarming capabilities of mobile tracking software Message-ID: <MPG.email@example.com> In article <k-n15B.A.jOC.GEE2OB@telecom>, firstname.lastname@example.org says... > > Carrier IQ Video Shows Alarming Capabilities Of Mobile Tracking Software > Devin Coldewey > > You may be aware of the growing controversy surrounding Carrier IQ, > a piece of software found pre-installed on Sprint phones that, > according to developers who have investigated, is capable of > detecting, recording, and transmitting various user actions and > inputs. Among the data CIQ potentially has access to are location, > SMS, apps, and key presses. [Moderator snip] I have a Samsung SCH-R910 from MetroPCS. I don't see IQRD running on it at all and I've checked via E2 and the manager and it's not on the phone at all.
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