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TELECOM Digest Sun, 10 Apr 2005 17:30:00 EDT Volume 24 : Issue 154 Inside This Issue: Editor: Patrick A. Townson Question About SKYPE and Using Lingo; Will There be a Problem? (KOS) Wierd Telephone Problems (Gladiator) Fraud Work at Home Offers From Nigeria (NOTvalid@surplus4actors.INFO) Re: Experts Please Help (Robert Bonomi) Re: Touch Tone Blocking (William Warren) Re: Touch Tone Blocking (Robert Bonomi) Re: Touch Tone Blocking (Wesrock@aol.com) Re: Touch Tone Blocking (Gordon S. Hlavenka) Re: VOIP Adapter With High REN (Robert Bonomi) Re: Administrivia: A Temporary Outage (Tim@Backhome.org) Re: Packet8 Number Portability (John Harper) Warning! Virus Has Attacked Me! (Fred Atkinson) Telecom and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Digest for the Internet. All contents here are copyrighted by Patrick Townson 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 the recipients of the email. =========================== Addresses herein are not to be added to any mailing list, nor to be sold or given away without explicit written consent. Chain letters, viruses, porn, spam, and miscellaneous junk are definitely unwelcome. 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 =========================== See the bottom of this issue for subscription and archive details and the name of our lawyer; other stuff of interest. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- From: KOS <email@example.com> Subject: Question About SKYPE and Using Lingo; Will There be a Problem? Date: 10 Apr 2005 11:21:48 -0700 Hi, I currently use Lingo; was wondering if I download Skype, will I still be able to use Lingo or will this cause some type of corruption? Thanks, KOS ------------------------------ From: Gladiator <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Wierd Telephone Problems Date: 9 Apr 2005 13:47:04 -0700 Organization: http://groups.google.com Hello: I have this problem with my telephone at home. For incoming calls, sometimes, it would ring once then disconnect the caller. I thought it was my phone, but I bought a new one, and it was the same thing. I called my telephone company, and the technician came and said that this could be due to wiring inside the building. So, the telephone company thinks it's not their responsibility. The strangest thing is, outgoing calls seem to be fine. I can dial outside w/o problems. Anyone seen this before? Will [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I've seen it lots of times. And as often as not, it is in the wiring somewhere (either 'your' wiring or possibly telco's.) Chances are there is some _tiny_ bare spot where the two wires touch, or nearly so. The amount of current in the line when the phone rings is sufficient to 'bridge the gap' and complete the connection for a half second or so. What does the calling party receive under those circumstances? Usually they will hear one or two ringing signals, then it will change to busy, or maybe it will sound like the line went dead. When you place a call -- as opposed to receive a call -- there is much less voltage on the line because the phone is not ringing. Its the increase in voltage which causes this to occur. That is why you experience no problems when _you_ place a call; the 'current bridge' is not present. How do you prove it is telco's problem and not yours, or vice-versa? Take your telephone out to the demarc, or place where the telco says your wiring begins. Disconnect where they say yours starts. Use a cell phone (or some other third-party line) to dial into _your_ number. If you have your phone plugged directly into the demarc, and the problem is present, you should hear your phone ring once (a half ring, maybe) and then go dead. Note on the phone you are using to call in what happens, i.e. busy signal, fast busy, the line goes dead, or whatever. If this happens *and you have 'your' wires pulled or disconnected at the demarc, then the problem is telco's. If it rings through normally, and you can talk to yourself (or any confederate who is assisting you), then it is NOT telco's problem. Then, reattach the wires you took down at the demarc and try the test again. Does it occur this time? If the problem occurs when your wires are connected, but _not_ when you are connected direct to the demarc, then it is indeed your problem. Try this much first, then get back to us with the results. If it is indeed in your length of wire and not telco's, then we will discuss how you go about correcting it. You'll basically have two choices in that case: fix it yourself or with your own electrician hired, _or_ pay telco (or bribe the technician) and they will fix it for you. Typically it costs less to fix it yourself, but depending on the complexity of the wiring (and distance involved and the size of your complex) it may be faster and less grief to let telco handle it. We will discuss both approaches when you get back to us with your findings. Hoping to hear again from you soon. PAT] ------------------------------ From: NOTvalid@surplus4actors.INFO Subject: Fraud Work at Home Offers From Nigeria Date: 9 Apr 2005 15:20:10 -0700 Organization: http://groups.google.com "Many American retailers don't ship online products overseas because of fraud. So organized crime groups overseas came up with a clever ruse. They order online goods using stolen or fake credit cards. Then, they have the packages sent to unwitting citizens in this country, who then rewrap and reship the items overseas." See http://www.fbi.gov/page2/april05/cyberthief040405.htm TO CATCH A CYBER THIEF FBI Agent Talks About His Travels to Distant Shores to Stop Internet Scams 04/04/05 [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: We talked about this the other day with the 'employment opportunity' I presented here which came to us from St. Petersburg, Russian Federation. Maybe it was a legitimate offer, or maybe not. I can't help but wonder though, what if the Russian crooks happened to unwittingly wind up doing business with some American crooks? The Russian (or Nigerian) crooks 'lured someone in' on their scheme to use fraud credit cards to drop ship to them via your 'company'. But the only thing is, the Americans don't actually do the drop shipping expected. The Russians/Nigerians do 'all the work' of stealing/abusing a credit card, talk to you to get the merchandise shipped to them, but then you don't actually ship. You abscond with the merchandise yourself, leaving the Russians/Nigerians holding an even bigger bag than before. Oooh, I bet that would really tick them off! I mean, what are _they_ going to do, call the FBI? You might call this routine 'when one con artist does business with another con artist by accident'. PAT] ------------------------------ From: email@example.com (Robert Bonomi) Subject: Re: Experts Please Help Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 19:42:52 -0000 Organization: Widgets, Inc. In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, sffdsff <email@example.com> wrote: > Hi Guys, > I am trying to develop an application which will connect to the > telephone line and when I get an incoming line it shall send a voice > data on the phone line and then look for key entries from the other > side ... similar to a voice mail system. I have figured out that I > would need a DAA to interface to the phone line (of course a one that > would have a DTMF decoder so that I can get the key entries). Now my > question is how do I send the voice data out (this voice will be > pre-recorded on a flash). All the places I have looked say that I > would need PCM data interfaced to a DSP. > I do not want to complicate the matter -- I want to make it simple by > using a PIC Microcontroller. > So basically this is what I plan it would look like: > RJ11 <---> DAA <---> Serial Interface <---> PIC Micro <-->Flash > This should take care of both voice and key entries. > I have looked into tons of options but cannot figure out a "simple" way > to do this. The 'simple' way is to buy it 'off the shelf'. It's called "IVR", aka "Interactive Voice Response". Inexpensive (even _free_) software to do this on a PC-type box is readily available. It may require a "voice/data" modem, or a dedicated phone-line interface card. If you insist on DIY, the answer to "how do i send the voice data out" is 'generate the analog wave-form and impress it on the phone line. If that isn't sufficient 'clue', you don't have the requisite skills to attempt such a project -- use the "simple" way, mentioned in the previous paragraph. For 'digitalized voice' stored anywhere, you have to have "something" to take that digital data, and convert it back to an _analog_ waveform, to send over the POTS circuit. DSP chips greatly simplify the process. ------------------------------ Date: Sat, 09 Apr 2005 21:57:50 -0400 From: William Warren <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Touch Tone Blocking Takoma Park Volunteer Fire Department wrote: > I need to devise a way to keep users from playing touch tones over the > paging system. If you can suggest a way to prevent users from > sounding touch tones over the paging amplifier circuit post it here or > E-mail direct. Be advised that my ISP's anti Spam software will > generate a service message to which you will have to respond in order > for me to receive your e-mail. > Tom H > [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: At least on the older Bell > switchboards, there was a certain contact on the network (inside the > switchboard) to mute your earpiece from the audio on touch tones while > still playing them out over the phone. It was generally only done for > switchboard operators to prevent them having to listen to the tones > all the time as they placed calls. PAT] Pat, I think he's asking how to keep people from _deliberately_ playing touch-tones over the paging system when they dial the PA access code from their phone. In other words, they've probably got some pranksters in the fire station who like to pretend they're the organist for Deep Purple, using the PA as their amplifier and the Touch Tone keypad as ntheir organ. A ham radio operator would be the best guy to ask, since hams have been using Touch Tone on FM repeaters for a while now. The only question would be if Tom H is trying to hang up on any PA access call that has Touch Tone in it, or if he wants to just mute the tone and keep the call active. William [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Maybe you are right. I used to see (or actually hear) this happen a lot in Chicago at the Transit Atrocity stations. The overhead loud speaker would come on, which was _supposed_ to be for an announcement from either one of the control tower operators, or some other employee. When the loud speaker came on, all you would hear was 'dee, dee, dee, doop' and then a hang up. Obviously someone had pressed the wrong key on his multiline phone or had started dialing without looking to see which line key was pressed down. PAT] ------------------------------ From: email@example.com (Robert Bonomi) Subject: Re: Touch Tone Blocking Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 19:31:59 -0000 Organization: Widgets, Inc. In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Takoma Park Volunteer Fire Department <email@example.com> wrote: > I need to devise a way to keep users from playing touch tones over the > paging system. If you can suggest a way to prevent users from > sounding touch tones over the paging amplifier circuit post it here or > E-mail direct. Be advised that my ISP's anti Spam software will > generate a service message to which you will have to respond in order > for me to receive your e-mail. Please be advised that having been *spammed* too many times by said ISP's 'anti-spam' software, because my address was *forged* as the sender of messages being 'challenged', *ALL* such 'challenges' are blocked at time of transmission. You ask for a favor, and then expect people to jump through hoops to tell you about it. "Sorry, Charlie", that dog doesn't hunt. As for your 'problem', the real solution is "training". It is a 'personnel' problem, not a 'technical' one. Technology cannot _prevent_ the problem, although it can "ameliorate" it. a DTMF decoder chip, wired to interrupt the PA leads when tones are detected is about as close as you can come. Put the decoder _in_front_ of a 50-100ms 'delay line', and you can cut the PA off _before_ the tones propagate through the delay line. ------------------------------ From: Wesrock@aol.com Date: Sat, 9 Apr 2005 20:29:33 EDT Subject: Re: Touch Tone Blocking Pat wrote: > [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: At least on the older Bell > switchboards, there was a certain contact on the network (inside the > switchboard) to mute your earpiece from the audio on touch tones while > still playing them out over the phone. It was generally only done for > switchboard operators to prevent them having to listen to the tones > all the time as they placed calls. PAT] Are you sure that wasn't MF tones rather than Touch-Tone? Operators ordinarily used MF signaling, not Touch-Tome. Wes Leatherock firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: The *only time* I experienced this was when I filled in overnight two or three times for the regular switch- board operator at the 14 East Delaware Apartments in Chicago. A large building (20 stories, with about 150 apartments), they had a switchboard for tenants; that was about 1965 or so. Unlike most of those older high-rise buildings which had switchboards for the tenants with _rotary dials_ on them, this one had a little box built in with a touchtone pad. The tenants could hear the touch tones, but the operator could _not_. I have no idea how they wired it to do that. PAT] ------------------------------ Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 11:06:18 -0500 From: Gordon S. Hlavenka <firstname.lastname@example.org> Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Crash Electronics Subject: Re: Touch Tone Blocking Takoma Park Volunteer Fire Department wrote: > I need to devise a way to keep users from playing touch tones over the > paging system. If you can suggest a way to prevent users from > sounding touch tones over the paging amplifier circuit post it here or > E-mail direct. Use a DTMF receiver chip to detect the tones. Feed the PA audio input into the chip and connect the DV output to the PA Mute input. Probably a $5 investment in parts, or a minimal drain on your junkbox :-) You'll still get a brief burst of tone (20-50msec) at the beginning but the rest of the tone will be muted. Gordon S. Hlavenka http://www.crashelectronics.com Tragically, as many as 9625 out of every 10,000 individuals may be neurotypical ------------------------------ From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Robert Bonomi) Subject: Re: VoIP Adapter With High REN? Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 20:03:21 -0000 Organization: Widgets, Inc. In article <email@example.com>, Thor Lancelot Simon <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > I am trying to switch two of three phone lines in a very large, very > old house over to VoIP. The house has quite literally twenty > extensions split between the three lines -- I think I need at least 4 > or 5 REN per line, plus the ability to drive all the wire leading to > those handsets (over 100' in some cases) without exploding the audio > output circuit in the ATA. > Does anyone make equipment meant for this that I can use with a > mainstream VoIP provider? It's been suggested to me that Packet8 > might be my best chance since they build their own gear but I don't > see anything suitable on their web site. > I am basically looking for a Cisco ATA-186 (including the 2-line > capability) on steroids. Two possible solutions: 1) put in a small analog PBX. You can probably significantly reduce the number of sets, if each set can access all the lines. This also takes care of the issue of 'wire length'. Additional benefits: "intercom" calling between phones, as well as 'conference' capabilities (internal and external), without losing audio level. 2) Use a supplemental ring generator / ring extender. Viking Electronics is one of the better-known sources for such. Option 1 _is_ more expensive, but you get a *lot* more for the money. [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Option 1 is exactly what I did here with my little 'TotalCom' PBX thing. And tiny little PBX/Line Sharing devices are not all that expensive these days. Two or three hundred dollars gets you a light-weight, all electronic device you mount on a wall somewhere and forget about it. Example http://sandman.com PAT] ------------------------------ From: Tim@Backhome.org Subject: Re: Administrivia: A Temporary Outage Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 07:01:41 -0700 Organization: Cox Communications ptownson wrote: > Sometime late Friday afternoon, the _alias name_ 'telecom-digest.org' > went out of order. This alias is routed through John Levine's computer > in New York. It came back on line Saturday late morning or early > afternoon. When this happens, any netter who requests the URL > http://telecom-digest.org simply draws a blank. But, anyone who uses > the real name http://massis.lcs.mit.edu/telecom-archives does get > through (unless massis also happens to go down). Although we would > _prefer_ to be known as 'telecom-digest.org' to the internet world, > we can go by 'massis.lcs.mit.edu' as needed. If you tried to reach > this site Friday afternoon/evening/overnight into Saturday morning > and kept 'drawing blanks', please remember this and use our alternate > (but original) URL, and you should get through that way. > Patrick Since you have the domain name you are already incurring that expense. For $19.95 a year you can have shared hosting at 24-7host.com. It's not the most reliable host in the world, but for the bucks it is value received. I have two of my domains hosted there, that I can accept having some outages. For my more demanding domain I have it hosted at Verio for $12 a month (used to be $24). [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Thank you for the offer, but I do not pay for any of my domain names. Either I get them as a gift from readers (as is the case with telecom-digest.org) or I otherwise find them around for free. If I had to pay for them, I probably would just quit doing this totally. PAT] ------------------------------ From: John Harper <email@example.com> Subject: Re: Packet8 Number Portability Date: 10 Apr 2005 10:27:43 -0700 Organization: http://groups.google.com kwyet wrote: > Packet8 has been ok for me. Just one thing thats been irritating. The > claims on their website at times don't jive with reality. For one, > they claimed that virtual numbers were available for Canadian area > codes. That was simply a lie. They were aware of this contradiction but > chose to ignore it for a very long time. Finally they removed the > claim. > Secondly, they claim that it takes up to six weeks to have your number > ported. That may be true for some, but it hasn't been true for me. It > has been 9 weeks for me and still no "status updates" on my account. > Their standard reply when called on this matter is, "I'll pass this to > the LNP department". > On one call to support, I was led to believe it was stalled because of > my phone company. I entered a complaint with my States's PSC only to > receive a call from my phone company saying all they need is a PON and > that Packet8 would know exactly what that is. Well ... I called > support again. Same response as quoted above. Oh ... and he also said > that the website is incorrect ... that it hasn't been updated yet to > reflect that they are backed up and the time is actually more than 6 > weeks. Support told me that 10 days ago. Does it take 10 days to > update a sentence on a website? Naw it dutton. I live in McAllen, Texas, USA. Vonage and Lingo cannot yet offer a local toll free number, so it was important that my SBC number be ported. Packet8 could not only port my SBC number, but they offered a local temparary number that could be called from the McAllen area toll free. I ruled out RoadRunner (Time Warner Cable) by price alone ($39.95/month). I signed up with Packet8 on March 7, 2005 at $19.95/month. I faxed my application to have my SBC number ported to my Packet8 account on March 8, 2005. I received my Packet8 device, hooked it up, and activated it on March 17, 2005. My old SBC phone number was ported on April 8, 2005. The transfer was almost seamless (a phone call to Packet8) when my SBC service was terminated. So far, everything seems to be working as advertised. Call forwarding, Call waiting, Caller ID, Voicemail, Etc. Also, my use history is available on the Packet8 site and is impacted within 10 seconds of my hanging up the phone. Quality of the voice is as good as my experience with SBC. I wear hearing aids and voice quality is important. So far, so good. Time will tell. [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Have you yet started receiving the 'we miss you and want you back' letters and promotions from SBC? They'll start out sort of modest at first (a few free services for a couple months; then one or two offers of a $50 VISA gift card and the freebies), then some perfectly outrageous offers for DSL at a very reduced price, etc ... They may place you with a collection agency claiming you left them still owing 20-25 dollars at some point; they have a bunch of tricks designed to get you back. PAT] ------------------------------ From: Fred Atkinson <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Warning! A Virus Attacked my System! Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 14:24:30 -0400 Hello, everyone, A worm came through my PC. If you get any attachments that appear to be from me, don't open them. From my research, it appears to be a work called Netsky. I haven't found a way to get it off yet, but I'm working on it. Regards, Fred ------------------------------ TELECOM Digest is an electronic journal devoted mostly but not exclusively to telecommunications topics. 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