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TELECOM Digest     Tue, 24 May 2005 19:40:00 EDT    Volume 24 : Issue 231

Inside This Issue:                             Editor: Patrick A. Townson

    FTC Asks For Help Against Spam Zombies (Lisa Minter)
    Apple Intends to Support Podcasts (Lisa Minter)
    Robot Soldiers (Lisa Minter)
    JDS Buys Acterna (Telecom dailyLead from USTA)
    Re: Corporate Identify -- Verizon vs. "Bell Telephone" (Lisa Hancock)
    Re: Packet8 DTMF Tones Sound "Clipped" (Dave Garland)
    Re: Very Early Modems (Scott Dorsey)
    Re: Common Sense Moves Could Protect Privacy (Lisa Hancock)
    Re: Looking for a Model 15 or 19 (Jim Haynes)
    Re: Looking for a Model 15 or 19 (moody1951)
    Re: Last Laugh! Your House at P.O. Box 4621 (Lisa Hancock)

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
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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: Lisa Minter <>
Subject: FTC Asks For Help Against Spam Zombies
Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 16:17:44 -0500

By Andy Sullivan

Home computer users who unwittingly send out spam e-mail should be
disconnected from the Internet until their machines are fixed, the
U.S.  Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday.

The FTC said it would ask 3,000 Internet providers around the globe to
make sure that their customers' computers haven't been hijacked by
spammers who want to cover their tracks and pass bandwidth costs on to

Online viruses like "SoBig" turn infected computers into spam-spewing
"zombies" that send out millions of unwanted messages without the
owner's knowledge. Zombie networks are responsible for 50 percent to
80 percent of all spam, according to various estimates.

Because many home users lack the technical smarts to fight the problem
on their own, the FTC hopes their Internet providers will help,
although they are not required to do so.

Internet providers should identify computers on their networks that
are sending out large amounts of e-mail and quarantine them if they
are found to be zombies, the FTC said. They should also help customers
clean their machines and tell them how to keep them safe in the first
place, the FTC said.

The FTC said Internet providers should route all customer e-mail
through their own servers, which could upset more than technically
proficient users who run their own e-mail servers.

The FTC also said it plans to identify specific zombie computers and
notify their Internet providers.

Law enforcers in 25 other countries, from Bulgaria to Peru, are also
participating in the campaign, the FTC said.

Absent from the list of cooperating countries was China, where experts
say rapid growth and a relative lack of technical sophistication have
led to a large number of zombie computers.

Most U.S. Internet providers already have taken the steps outlined in
the FTC's letter but they must take care not to squelch legitimate
mail in the process, said Dave McClure, president of the U.S. Internet
Industry Association.

"It's sometimes very difficult to tell the difference between spam
coming across your network and your local charitable organization
sending out its monthly newsletter," said McClure, who added that
U.S. law prevents Internet providers from reading customer e-mail.

The FTC's campaign follows on earlier efforts to shut down "open
relays" and other poorly configured computers that have been exploited
by spammers.

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.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: This would be great, if it happened.
But as you know, there are so many netters who would quarrel about
_anything_ done to actually eliminate (not just filter out) spam. To
their way of thinking, any effort to block access to the internet 
(oops, there I go again, mentioning that non-existent thing!) by
these zombies is to be condemmed, since 'no one on the net wants to
see any changes' that may possibly impose on anyone else, and there is
no agreement on what is considered offensive and malicious, etc,
yada, yada, adnauseum etc. If you cannot be man enough to protect your
own computer while the cesspool fills up, swarms around you and
overflows, then, they would tell you, 'maybe you would be better off
just not doing any networking.' How selfish they are in feeling that
way!   PAT]


From: Lisa Minter <>
Subject: Steve Jobs Says Apple Will Support Podcasts
Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 16:20:30 -0500

Apple Computer Inc. (Nasdaq:AAPL - news) will support and organize
podcasts in the next version of its iTunes and iPod software, the
company said on Monday.

Podcasts, which are sound files and audio content such as radio shows,
have surged in popularity and do not require an iPod to listen to them
on the go.  Any digital MP3 player will work.

"With the next version of iTunes, due within 60 days, there will now
be an easy way for everyone to find and subscribe to" podcasts, the
company said in a statement.

Steve Jobs, Apple's co-founder and chief executive demonstrated on
Sunday evening how Apple's podcasting organization and downloading
process would work at a Wall Street Journal technology conference,
said Tim Bajarin, an analyst at market research firm Creative

"From the demo, we saw you could put podcasts under categories,"
Bajarin said. "It makes it much easier to have, access, organize and
sync podcasts to an iPod."

The updated digital music jukebox software, which Bajarin said Jobs
said was version 4.9, "organizes the podcasts within the iTunes

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.


From: Lisa Minter <>
Subject: Robot Soldiers
Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 16:31:47 -0500

      from the May 19, 2005 edition -

      When 'I Robot' becomes 'We Robot'
      By Gregory M. Lamb | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

      It sounds like classic sci-fi: Robots, linked by a common
network, roam the land. When one unit discovers something, they all
know it instantly. They use artificial intelligence to carry out their

      Soon, such marching orders will be real, carried out by robot
groups known as "swarms" or "hives." For example:

      . Last month, South Korea's Defense Ministry announced that it was
planning to spend up to $1.9 billion to deploy robots along its border
with North Korea. The robots would be used mainly for surveillance,
although some could be armed. The effort might allow South Korea to
remove some of its troops from along the 150-mile-long demilitarized
zone (DMZ), one of the most heavily guarded borders in the world, a
defense ministry representative told the Associated Press.

      . iRobot, a Burlington, Mass., company that makes military
robots along with its popular domestic robot, the Roomba vacuum
cleaner, operates perhaps the largest robot swarm in the world. About
100 experimental units operate as a team and have taught at least one
important lesson: Real-life robots need to be reminded to recharge
themselves. That's led to just such a feature on the Roomba, which now
returns to its charging base when its battery fades.

      . The United States Army is developing a Future Combat System
(FCS) that includes a close network of troops and ground and aerial
unmanned robots. The robots would communicate with one another and
coordinate their activities based on the mission assigned to them.

      "We're very interested" in hive or "swarm" technology, said
Dennis Muilenburg, FCS program manager at Boeing, which is being paid
$21 billion by the Army to oversee hundreds of contractors working on
the FCS program.

      The FCS family of ground and aerial robots now under development
would include a 25-pound "flying fan" that could be carried in a
soldier's backpack, Mr. Muilenburg explained at a robotics conference
in Cambridge, Mass., last week. When launched, it would survey the
battlefield by hovering overhead or perching on a rooftop. A combat
unit of the near future, he said, might consist of 3,000 soldiers, 900
vehicles, and "hundreds of robots" -- some of them armed -- all
closely networked.

      The US military will deploy networked robots "within five
years," predicts Helen Greiner, cofounder and chairman of iRobot.

      Frontline Robotics, in Ottawa, is working with a South Korean
firm, DoDAAM Systems Ltd., in a bid to supply robots for the DMZ
defense project.  The Canadian company plans to offer a line of
security robots that possess a significant level of individual
autonomy and "hive" intelligence, says Richard Lepack, president and
chief executive officer of Frontline, which merged last week with
White Box Robotics in Pittsburgh.

      In a test last month, two of the company's robots were able to decide
for themselves which should enter a narrow passageway first. That's
something that may be easy for people, he says, but has been hard for robots
to master.

      Frontline makes a robotic vehicle that looks like a small Jeep and
others that could be cousins of R2D2, one of the robots in the "Star Wars"
movies. A proprietary Robot Control System on each unit employs mathematical
formulas, or algorithms, that give it some basic movements such as following
the leader, avoiding obstacles, or wandering in an area.

      The robots also can work as teams, with each having a leader. The
teams talk among themselves, and the leaders talk with one another. If a
leader is disabled, another robot automatically takes over.

      "What one robot sees is shared among all the other team members in
real time," Mr. Lepack says. So what Robot A senses is immediately known to
Robots B, C, D, and so on.

      Birds and bees, part II

      Robotmakers find inspiration for their programs in nature: the
behavior of bee, ant, and wasp colonies, as well as of flocks of birds
and schools of fish. Ants, for example, communicate by leaving
pheromone trails that other ants can follow to food. Ants also work as
teams to distribute their workload, such as finding the most efficient
paths for foraging or deciding who will haul bits of leaves back to
the nest, without needing any directions from a leader.

      In simulations on a computer at Frontline, teams of up to
200,000 robots were shown to be able to coordinate their activities

      But computer simulations can only do so much, says Ms. Greiner
of iRobot. Software can't account for the unexpected, she
says. "Whatever you don't put in [to the simulation] will come back
and bite you."

      'True swarms' The development of "true swarms," thousands or
      tens of thousands of mobile robots working together, is many
      years off and "depends on some things that haven't been invented
      yet," Greiner says, including miniaturization of components and
      better power sources and sensors.

      Military deployment of networked robots will come first, she
says. For example, "searching for mines is inherently a parallel
task," since you don't want "to put all your eggs in one basket" if a
single robot gets blown up. Swarms will be an effective tool for
reconnaissance, too. In the foreseeable future, a soldier might take a
handful of tiny robots out of his pocket and send them into a building
to check it out, she says.

      And in an imaginable future, swarms might do much of the routine
housework, Greiner says. They'd understand that the dusting robots
should come out before the vacuuming robots, which should do their job
before the mopping robots. The lawn-mowing robots would scurry around
before the raking robots cleaned up.

Copyright 2005 The Christian Science Monitor.

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
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Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 12:29:16 EDT
From: Telecom dailyLead from USTA <>
Subject: JDS Buys Acterna

Telecom dailyLead from USTA
May 24, 2005

* JDS buys Acterna
* Report: WLAN shipments jump in Q1
* MSOs see gold in commercial services
* GPON piques RBOCs' interest
* Vodafone reports earnings
* Announcing USTA's New Webinar Series: Marketing Strategies for ILECs
* BitTorrent creator launches search engine
* A primer for podcasts
* Former Qwest executive settles with SEC

Follow the link below to read quick summaries of these stories and others.

Legal and Privacy information at

SmartBrief, Inc.
1100 H ST NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005


Subject: Re: Corporate Identify -- Verizon vs. "Bell Telephone"
Date: 24 May 2005 09:54:45 -0700

Al Gillis wrote:

> I don't know this for
> sure, but I'm guessing changing the name of a big company might be
> really expensive but using another name for the business might be as
> easy as filing a form with a state's corporation commission.

That is true.

But in the case of Verizon, I'm reasonably sure they did indeed
legally change their name (IIRC, the newspapers said it was voted on a
the Annual Meeting of the stockholders); and that included changing
the local units' names.

> This same syndrome afflicts many railroads; One road buys another,
> paints new logos all over everything but retains the old name on
> deeds to properties, operating authorities and the like.

Railroads often don't directly own all the tracks and routes.  Some
are on long term leases where the owner gets rent check every year.
Others are wholly owned but under a separate name.  (AT&T had a "195
Corporation" which just dealt with its HQ bldg).

In the case of Verizon and prior Bell names, I suspect the other
poster who said it was for trademark protection was correct.  I notice
black Verizon pay phones have the Bell logo on the side.

One other possibility of printing a legacy name on ads is to
distinguish the Bell side from the GTE side.  I suspect former GTE
customers will use legacy GTE services and plans for quite some time
to come.  (Any former GTE customers now on Verizon want to comment on
this issue?)

The holder of the Pennsylvania Railroad trademark apparently let it
lapse.  Some smart private guy quickly snapped it up, then demanded
royalties from all the model makers and publishers who use the PRR
logo.  It got kind of messy and I don't know the details, but the
original holder (a corporate descendent) got the rights back.  Other
railroads are a little more careful with their logos.  They don't
usually charge modelers for their use, but they don't let them lapse

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: The same thing happened with the URL.  It accidentally got away and the person
who cybersquats on it now are demanding big ransom for its
return. He'll have to wait a bit longer before I give him anything. PAT]


From: Dave Garland <>
Subject: Re: Packet8 DTMF Tones Sound "Clipped"
Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 11:39:22 -0500
Organization: Wizard Information

It was a dark and stormy night when Clark W. Griswold, Jr.
<> wrote:

> I seem to recall that the old Bell System spec for tone duration was
> 20ms, or 1/5th of a second.

That would be 1/50 of a second.  Maybe it was 200ms?


From: (Scott Dorsey)
Subject: Re: Very Early Modems
Date: 24 May 2005 11:47:58 -0400
Organization: Former users of Netcom shell (1989-2000)

Brad Houser  <> wrote:

> Here is a picture of a 1958 AT&T modem (not sure if this is the first
> commercial modem, the Bell 103. If so it was 300 baud):


No, the Bell 103 is a little plastic box only a little bit larger than
a Hayes external modem.

This appears to be a photograph of an encrypted data system using a
carrier key tape.


"C'est un Nagra.  C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."


Subject: Re: Common Sense Moves Could Protect Privacy
Date: 24 May 2005 08:52:23 -0700

Monty Solomon wrote:

> Wachovia Corp., and Bank of America Corp. say they have notified
> more th an 100,000 customers that their accounts and personal
> information may be at risk after former bank employees allegedly
> sold account numbers and balances to a man who then sold them to
> data collection agencies. Nine people have been arrested in New
> Jersey in the case.

At one time bank employees were held to be pillars of the community.
They were treated as professionals and acted as professionals.  It was
rare to have one go bad.

Even big city banks tended to be community oriented operations.  Most
employees intermixed in person with the customers they served.

Further, banks had elaborate systems of accounting and auditing

Unfortunately, today many accounting controls are gone.  The people
who loaded up an ATM every day kept whatever cash was left over
because no one bothered to audit it, for example.

Also, banks today are huge anonymous empires.  Many employees work in
"boiler rooms", under pressure to sell profitable new banking products
like stocks and insurance yet meet a tough quota of customers served
per day.  The computer watches every transaction and break.

These modern employees, often dealing with disgruntled customers over
the phone, have little incentive to be loyal.  Thus, there is greater
temptation, esp when the theft is of non-cash items.  (Most of us
would not pry open a vending machine to steal a candy bar, but if the
vending machine malfunctioned and served it for free, nobody would pay
for it.  The man who services the machines where I work found that out
the hard way.)

Cash and money can be audited and controlled.  Secret information like
personal records can be lifted easily.

I don't think much of these 'boiler room' customer service operations.
As a customer, I find them maddeningly frustrating to deal with.


Subject: Re: Looking for a Model 15 or 19
Organization: University of Arkansas Alumni
From: (Jim Haynes)
Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 19:46:24 GMT

In article <>, <>

> Looking for a Model 15 or 19 in good cosmetic condition and operating
> order.

You need to get on the mailing list greenkeys on  Archives
are searchable on  Also try ebay, being aware that asking
prices are often unrealistic.

jhhaynes at earthlink dot net


From: Reggie <>
Subject: Re: Looking for a Model 15 or 19
Date: 24 May 2005 13:14:01 -0700

Yes, the old black boxes.  Had some years ago.  Donated them to a
museum.  Wished I had one for display and operation with a HAL 6000


Subject: Re: Last Laugh! Your House at P.O. Box 4621
Date: 24 May 2005 13:52:32 -0700

TELECOM Digest Editor, commenting on the spam from Customer Service

> ... that is the age and quality of the mailing lists these spammers
> often times use.

Not only spammers.

My father died many years.  I occassionally today get junk mail
addressed to him -- at my present address.  He never lived there and
at the time he died I was still living at home with him.

The databanks do a mix 'n match in hopes of making a connection.

The City of Phila Parking Authority got into hot water recently for
mailing dunning notices for unpaid parking tickets 15 years old.  The
recipients were people who never were in Phila nor owned the car.  The
collection agency did a match search on names nationally.  Obviously a
lot of errors came up.  This made the newspapers and didn't help the
poor reputation of the Parking Authority.  Sure, one could fight the
dunning letter but at considerable cost in time and money.  I know one
victim is just sending in a check.

This kind of database matching is scary.

Can anybody out there defend this sort of thing?

[public replies please]

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Lisa, I am wondering if City of Phila
Parking Authority are as full of snot as the people who run the
various 'Authorities' (we used to call them 'Atocities' in Chicago; 
i.e. the Chicago Transit Atrocity, the Chicago Housing Atrocity, etc.)?
I do know the people who handle the parking meters in Chicago (when
they are not busy ripping them off for the handful of loot inside
then they are hassling the people whose license numbers they purportedly
copied down [oftentimes incorrectly] to pay fines, etc) can be down-
right vicious in their ignorance. Letters from City of Chicago will 
show up in the mail hundreds of miles away to people who have never
been in Chicago in their lives, telling them to pay a one hundred
dollar fine for a parking meter violation. The people insist they
have never been in Chicago, no one had permission to drive their
car in Chicago, and they do not know how they came to be associated
with a parking ticket from Chicago. The parking people sass at them,
warning them 'if you force us to take this to court the present 
$100 fine will triple and if you do not show up in court on X day
at X hour, your car will be listed on a national registry to get
impounded.' 'Just make it easy on yourself [read as lazy us] and 
send in your check and don't get any smart ideas about stopping
payment on the check.'  Lisa, those people are truly vicious. What
about where you live?   PAT] 


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