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TELECOM Digest     Mon, 11 Apr 2005 00:06:00 EDT    Volume 24 : Issue 155

Inside This Issue:                             Editor: Patrick A. Townson

    Homespun 'Podcasts' Explore a Universe of Topics (Lisa Minter)
    H-P Seen Pressuring Kodak's Lead in Online Photos (Lisa Minter)
    Clearing the Paper Trail to College (Monty Solomon)
    Airlines Try to Stem the Flow of 'Frequent Flyer' Loot Online (Solomon) 
    Deal May Let Comcast Grow in State (Monty Solomon)
    Re: Wierd Telephone Problems (Al Dykes)
    Re: Wierd Telephone Problems (Michael Muderick)
    Re: Prison Cell Phone Scandal (John Levine)
    Re: Warning! A Virus Attacked my System! (Steve Sobol)

Telecom and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Digest for the
Internet.  All contents here are copyrighted by Patrick Townson and
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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.  


Date: 10 Apr 2005 20:01:01 -0700
From: Lisa Minter <>
Subject: Homespun 'Podcasts' Explore a Universe of Topics

By Andy Sullivan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As millions of pilgrims streamed into Rome this
past week, a Dutch priest led Internet listeners on an intimate audio
tour that allowed them to pay one last visit to Pope John Paul II
before he was laid to rest.

Father Roderick Vonhogen brought the Catholic Church's ancient rites
to life through a cutting-edge format: the podcast, a radio-style show
that is distributed over the Internet.

Podcasts have caught on like wildfire since they first emerged only
nine months ago. Listeners can pick from roughly 10,000 shows on
topics ranging from religion to wine to technology, and media
companies and advertisers are taking note.

For now, it's a cottage industry dominated by the likes of Father
Roderick, a parish priest from the Netherlands whose low-key charm and
you-are-there narratives bring the church's pomp and circumstance down
to a human scale.

On "Catholic Insider," listeners hear Father Roderick banter with
students camped out in St. Peter's Square and describe the pope lying
in state in the basilica.

"It's beautiful, it really looks like he's sleeping," he whispers as a
choir sings in the background.

Thousands of podcasts can be found through directories like
Podcast Alley , while listeners
can automatically download new shows as they become available
using free software like iPodder .

Listeners can transfer their podcasts to an Apple iPod or other
portable MP3 player, and listen to them when and where they wish.

A recent survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project found
that one in three U.S. adults who own an MP3 player have listened to a
podcast, though the survey's small sample size means that figure could
be substantially lower.

Analysts say podcasting could challenge the broadcast industry by
giving consumers more control over what they hear, and when they hear

"To radio it's a big threat, because people are fed up with radio,"
said digital-media analyst Phil Leigh.


Like the World Wide Web 10 years ago, many podcasts rely on homespun
charm rather than slick presentation. Anybody with a computer and a
microphone can set up their own show.

"The Daily Download" is little more than a man describing his bowel
movements as they happen. One of the most popular podcasts, "The Dawn
and Drew Show," features the ramblings of a married couple on a
Wisconsin farm. 

"Do we have anything to talk about? No? I guess that's the appeal,
right?" Dawn said on a recent show.

Several radio stations have developed podcasts of their own, typically
condensed versions of their morning shows.

Businesses from Newsweek to General Motors have set up podcasts, as
has Democratic politician John Edwards, who ran unsuccessfully for
U.S. vice president last year.

Some amateur podcasters hope to quit their day jobs.

Todd Cochrane hopes to attract more advertising dollars for his
twice-weekly technology show "Geek News Central" by setting up a
network of podcasts that meet professional standards for sound quality
and family-friendly language.

"We're trying to build a brand out of many individual brands,"
Cochrane said of his fledgling network.

Music remains a hurdle. Because no licensing rules exist, podcasters
must secure permission from individual artists and songwriters before
playing their songs. Most stick to independent artists, rather than
those signed to major record labels.

For now, the greatest opportunity lies in spoken-word podcasts which
can develop faithful if narrow audiences interested in a particular
subject, said analyst Leigh.

As big companies have jumped into podcasting, some pioneers have
worried that they could be crowded out. That doesn't bother Ryan
Ozawa, whose HawaiiUP podcast explores daily life on the Hawaiian

"The easier it is to put yourself out there, and the more people that
do it, the more likely we are to find the next Ed Murrow ... or the
next Howard Stern," he wrote in an e-mail interview.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited

NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the
daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at . Hundreds of new
articles daily.

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Date: 10 Apr 2005 20:05:12 -0700
From: Lisa Minter <>
Subject: H-P Seen Pressuring Kodak's Lead in Online Photos

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Web sites that let consumers e-mail and print
digital pictures have become a new battleground for companies like
Kodak and Hewlett-Packard, which hope to use the growth of these sites
as a conduit for selling highly profitable products like paper and

Eastman Kodak Co.  may see its lead in the burgeoning market for
online picture development -- which lets travelers, for example, share
vacation pictures before they've even returned home -- pinched by
recent moves at Hewlett-Packard Co.

The threat comes even from retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

More than 1.3 billion pictures were transmitted, or "uploaded," to
online systems from personal computers in 2004, as digital cameras and
camera phones went mainstream. The lion's share of those images went
to Kodak's Ofoto service, which was recently renamed Kodak EasyShare

But last month H-P, the leading maker of computer printers, purchased
Snapfish, which was ranked third behind Ofoto and privately held
Shutterfly in a market that includes sites like Photango, dotPhoto and
Google Inc.

Snapfish gives H-P a heartier online component, says Infotrends
analyst Jill Aldort.

H-P may woo photo enthusiasts, particularly those with H-P printers,
to store their pictures, she said. It's possible that H-P may offer
discounts on replacement ink cartridges.

"H-P is certainly going to put more marketing muscle behind Snapfish,
which already had a strong brand name," she said. "I think Kodak
should be concerned, but I don't think they need to stay awake at
night. It makes the market more competitive."


Kodak, which is almost 18 months into a tough transition away from its
flagging traditional film business, says it is not losing sleep over
the consolidation, such as H-P's move and Yahoo Inc.'s recent purchase
of online site Flikr.

"There is a huge upside in the market, as evidenced by the deals,"
said David Rich, vice president of marketing at Ofoto, now known as
Kodak EasyShare Gallery. "We have over 1 billion images under
management and we will double that over the next year."

That big number belies the online photofinishing market's relatively
small size, which reached only $160 million in revenue in 2004 and
is seen growing to $630 million in 2008, according to
Infotrends. That's a drop in the bucket for H-P and Kodak.


Still, analysts say it is essential that these companies solidify an
online strategy, since consumers adore taking pictures, even as
methods change.

Digital cameras will outsell film cameras this year. And young people
are more apt to e-mail pictures than print and store them in albums.

But it is printing where the money is made: high-quality paper and
high margin ink and toner are profit drivers for Kodak, H-P, Canon
Inc.  and others. What's more, users and friends make repeat trips to
the sites, giving each company another chance to showcase its brand,
and sell other products.

"They are set to face off against each other, whereas before this, H-P
was undiversified. They had these home (systems) and that was about
it," IDC analyst Chris Chute said.  "Kodak has been pushing into H-P's
space, so now H-P is saying 'We need to get into this."'

In all, about 25.9 billion total prints are expected to be made in the
United States in 2005, with digital prints growing 50 percent to about
7.7 billion from 2004, industry group Photo Marketing Association

But some habits die hard. More and more, consumers are coming back to
retail stores for digital prints. PMA says the number of pictures
printed at retail will nearly double to 3.1 billion in 2005.

IDC's Chute said that the so-called Internet-to-retail market is going
to double to about $1 billion in 2008 revenue.  In Internet-to-retail,
users upload pictures to, for example, Wal-Mart's or Ritz Cameras' Web
sites, which are both powered by Kodak rival Fuji Photo Film
Co. Ltd. They then go to local stores and pick up the pictures, days
faster than a Web-only store could deliver.

"The problem online is that I have to wait for my pictures, and this
constituency is used to 'One-Hour-Photo.' This combines the best of
both worlds," Chute said.

Copyright 2005 Reuters, Limited.

NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the
daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at . Hundreds of new
articles daily.

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understanding of literary, educational, political, and economic
issues, for non-profit research and educational purposes only. I
believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material
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For more information go to:


Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 22:57:21 -0400
From: Monty Solomon <>
Subject: Clearing the Paper Trail to College

By Alison O'Leary Murray, Globe Correspondent  |  April 10, 2005

When Natick resident Sean True looks at the college admissions
process, he sees a problem -- too many envelopes being mailed to too
many colleges. Too much paper.

"For 35 years, we've heard this huge promise of a paperless future, 
but I just see us creating more," said True, who helped his son, Sam, 
a Natick High School senior, with his applications last fall.

True, chief technical officer at an Internet company, is trying to 
cut the clutter. He has offered his expertise to the Transcript 
Project, the brainchild of Natick High guidance counselor Ron Miller, 
which seeks to transmit electronically students' grades and class 
standings to colleges.

Sounds simple? It turns out it's not so easy.

Transcripts, which document a student's academic career and can make
or break an application, require special handling. Only certain
members of the high school staff have access to them, and the
documents must arrive at college admissions offices with assurance
that they have not been tampered with or handled by any unauthorized


Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 23:25:31 -0400
From: Monty Solomon <>
Subject: Airlines Try to Stem the Trade of Frequent-Fliers' Loot Online

By Jenn Abelson, Globe Staff  |  April 4, 2005

Airlines are stepping up scrutiny of Internet auction sites where
savvy consumers and frequent business travelers are selling and
bartering free vouchers, miles, and other airline awards.

In recent months, hundreds of deals for airline vouchers have appeared
on eBay and on Craigslist sites across the country, including
Boston. Now, these tickets are being offered at even lower prices as
some of the bigger promotions with American Airlines and United
Airlines that promised free flights across the country or around the
world are set to expire.

"I travel a lot for work, have zillions of miles and vouchers, and I 
could never use them in my lifetime," said Tony Lito, a Worcester 
marketer who received two World Series tickets last fall from a 
couple who wanted the airline vouchers to honeymoon in Bali. "This 
is a perk you've earned. Why should you not benefit somehow?"

The airlines don't agree. American Airlines and other carriers say 
they are increasingly monitoring Internet sites and handing out 
punishments for the sales of rewards that are explicitly prohibited. 
Facing stiff competition and high oil prices, financially struggling 
airlines say they cannot afford to have their own customers undermine 
award programs and profits.

Although airlines often allow awards to be transferred for free to
family members and friends, selling the tickets for cash or bartering
them for other products, such as tickets to a U2 concert, is strictly


Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 23:29:59 -0400
From: Monty Solomon <>
Subject: Deal May Let Comcast Grow in State

Deal may let Comcast grow in state
Firm expected to try to join its franchises with those of Adelphia

By Peter J. Howe, Globe Staff  |  April 9, 2005

An $18 billion bid for bankrupt Adelphia Communications Corp. by the
nation's two biggest cable companies will likely lead to Comcast
Corp. adding at least 26 more local cable franchises to the 212 it now
owns in Massachusetts, industry analysts said yesterday.

If they succeed in their bid for the nation's fifth-largest cable
company, which serves 5 million subscribers, Comcast and Time Warner
Inc. are likely to immediately execute a deal that trades Comcast's 21
percent stake in Time Warner -- a legacy of 1990s cable dealmaking --
back to Time Warner. In exchange, Comcast would get about 2 million
current Adelphia or Time Warner customers to add to its current 21

As a way to maximize operating efficiencies and advertising reach,
Comcast is likely to focus heavily on expanding existing clusters of
cable franchises. Adelphia's local operations -- including Cape Ann,
the South Shore, and Martha's Vineyard -- would fit hand-in-glove with
Comcast's existing megacluster in Greater Boston and southern New
England, making their 124,000 customers almost certain candidates for
a swap.


From: (Al Dykes)
Subject: Re: Wierd Telephone Problems
Date: 10 Apr 2005 17:36:01 -0400
Organization: PANIX -- Public Access Networks Corp.

In article <>, Gladiator
<> wrote:

> 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] 

When I was a kid we had this problem for a while. After days of
troubleshooting it was discovered that the inside wire running in the
rafters had sagged and come in contact with a hot water pipe. The
insulation carbonized enough to short out the ring voltage put not
affect calls.

sh*t happens.  

a d y k e s @ p a n i x . c o m 
Don't blame me. I voted for Gore.


Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 19:49:14 -0400
From: Michael Muderick <>
Subject: Re: Wierd Telephone Problem

I've seen the problem also occur with moisture in the line, or at a
jack that at one point had moisture and now has oxidation- green_
across the pins.  The ring voltage just jumps across that lower than
air resistance.

Michael Muderick> ******************************


Date: 11 Apr 2005 02:34:37 -0000
From: John Levine <>
Subject: Re: Prison Cell Phone Scandal
Organization: I.E.C.C., Trumansburg NY USA

>> They should still be using public safety radio services/systems.

> Hmm ... a few years ago I know many of the local police departments
> back here used them. Dunno if that is still true.

Our county is doing a rather expensive public safety radio upgrade
system that's supposed to tie into an upgrade NY state is doing.

Beyond the issue of competing with normal users in cell bands, public
safety radios do some specialized tricks like having a button to put a
bunch of firemen* something that acts like a party line or conference



* - many of whom are female


From: Steve Sobol <>
Subject: Re: Warning! A Virus Attacked my System!
Date: Sun, 10 Apr 2005 19:42:53 -0700
Organization: Glorb Internet Services,

Fred Atkinson wrote:

> 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. wonderful, wonderful AV package for windows ditto, but for Linux and other POSIX-ish OS's
(There is a port for Windows, too, though)

And don't forget to update your virus defs every day ... - Apple Valley, CA - - 888.480.4NET (4638)
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / / PGP: 0xE3AE35ED

"The wisdom of a fool won't set you free"
     --New Order, "Bizarre Love Triangle"

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I have all the computers on my network
using Grisoft AVG 7.0 all the time. And they all go to look for
updates between 5-7 AM, then proceed to use those new definition files
to examine each computer.  Its the only way to run things these days. PAT]


TELECOM Digest is an electronic journal devoted mostly but not
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