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TELECOM Digest     Fri, 3 Jun 2005 23:42:00 EDT    Volume 24 : Issue 248

Inside This Issue:                            Editor: Patrick A. Townson

    Not Much to do in Kid's Online Domain (Lisa Minter)
    Virus Doesn't Fool Many Guys (Lisa Minter) 
    Re: Neat New Satellite Map Program  (John Smith)
    Re: Schools Prohibit Personal E-mail Sites (Dean M.)
    Re: Schools Prohibit Personal E-mail Sites (DevilsPGD)
    Re: Schools Prohibit Personal E-mail Sites (Fred Atkinson)
    Re: SEX.COM Owner Arrested for Child Molestation; Heroin (mc)
    Re: Nokia 3310 (GSM) and Prepaid in the US? (John Levine)
    Re: Porting an 800 Number (Fred Atkinson)
    Re: Known Spam Sites (Gary Novosielski)

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


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: Not Much to do in Kid's Online Domain 
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 21:13:21 -0500

PluggedIn: Not much to do in kids' online domain
By Andy Sullivan

There's not much for kids to do in the "online playground" set up by
the U.S. government more than two years ago.

They can go bowling with SpongeBob Squarepants at,
plunk a piano keyboard at, and learn about mummies
at There are fun facts about the solar system at and motorcycles at

Beyond that there's only 16 more Web sites in the "" Internet
domain, a letdown to those who had hoped that it would host enough
material so that kids wouldn't have to navigate the unprotected wilds
of the Internet at large.

"It's disappointing, I wish it was fully deployed," said Illinois
Republican Rep. John Shimkus, who sponsored the bill that set up the
domain in 2002.

But while Congress and administrator NeuStar Inc. set plenty of
restrictions to keep online predators and inappropriate content out of
the domain, they didn't provide many incentives to bring Web
sites in, Internet experts say.

"You're dealing with a commercial venture in some instances, and with
nonprofits that might not have the extra money," said Donna Rice
Hughes, president of the online child safety group Enough is Enough.

Congress turned to the idea of a special Internet domain for children
under 13 after several attempts to ban or segregate online pornography
failed in court in the late 1990s.

Lawmakers decided it would be easier to set up a .kids domain within
the United States' own .us domain rather than work through the
international nonprofit body that oversees top-level domains like .com
and .org.

In theory, parents could adjust their childrens' Web browser so they
could only view Web sites within the domain, making it easy
to avoid objectionable content.

Web sites with a address can't contain pornography, violence,
or references to drugs and alcohol. Message boards, chat services and
other interactive features are also prohibited from setting up shop
unless the operators can promise that kids won't be exposed to
inappropriate material.

All material must pass a content review before it is posted, and sites can't link to sites outside the domain.

The online real estate doesn't come cheap. Users must pay an annual
fee of roughly $150 to register the name, and the content review costs
an additional $250 per year. Those looking for a .com name, by
contrast, can pay as little as $7 per year.

These restrictions are compounded by a 1998 privacy law that prevents
Web sites from collecting personal information about children without
their parents' consent.

"Why would any kids' site pay $300 to register in a place that has
nothing really driving anyone to it and special liability for the
sites themselves?"  said Parry Aftab, a New York lawyer and activist
who works on online child-safety issues.

More than 1,700 names were reserved after the domain was
opened for registration in June 2003, but two years later only 21 Web
sites are up and running.

"I don't think we're disappointed, certainly the space is
serving a valuable need," said Keith Drazek, NeuStar's manager for
industrial and government relations.

Drazek said the registration fee is set by retail domain-name sellers,
and he declined to say what NeuStar charges as a wholesale price. The
content-review process takes time and effort as well, he said.

Only six Web sites or so have been rejected because of inappropriate
content, said Bob Dahstrom, chief executive of Kidsnet Inc., the
company that handles the content review.

"We'd be happy to review more," he said.

John Marshall University law professor David Sorkin, whose
site was rejected because it contained a Supreme Court opinion that
contained profanity, said the lack of content in the domain has
stymied its growth.

"It's sort of a chicken-and-egg problem, I suppose," he said.

Lackluster promotion hasn't helped either, Aftab and Rice Hughes said.
NeuStar should lower its prices and give away domain names to
nonprofit groups to encourage more content, they said.

NeuStar has produced an informational brochure and participated in a
public forum last July, Drazek said, and the company can't give away
domain names on its own.

Shimkus said he's still trying to raise awareness about the domain but
he can understand why the response has been tepid.

"I never want to make enemies of people who may see the light, and I
don't think (the restrictions) are onerous. But what I do think it
does is that if they have a similar dot-com site where they can market
goods, they'd rather be there," he 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.

For more information go to:


From: Lisa Minter <>
Subject: Latest Virus Didn't Fool Many Guys
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 21:14:55 -0500

Virus claiming Bin Laden arrest fools few on Web

A new computer virus in e-mails claiming that Osama Bin Laden has been
arrested has failed to lure many users to open dangerous attachments,
despite its high-profile headline, security software makers said on

The virus began circulating in the past day and is one of several Bin
Laden-type viruses that have been distributed on the Internet since
May 2004. The current virus has a subject line claiming Bin Laden has
been arrested.

The U.S. government has been hunting Bin Laden since 2001, and holds
him responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United
States. He has not yet been found.

To become infected, a user has to click onto an attachment inside the
e-mail to activate malicious code which allows a computer hacker to
later use the infected computer to send spam and other nuisances on
the Web.

Oliver Friedrichs, a senior manager at the security response team at
Symantec Corp., the world's biggest maker of security software, said
only 10 of several thousand customers had alerted the company on
Friday about the virus.

Symantec rates the virus a "2" on a scale of "5," which is the most

McAfee Inc., the second-biggest security software maker, said it had
seen few infections caused by the e-mail virus.

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: John Smith <>
Subject: Re: Neat New Satellite Map Program 
Date: Sat, 04 Jun 2005 02:19:04 GMT

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: A very good point!  I have to wonder
> why they are charging for views like that?  And the PRO version of the
> software is even more expensive. PAT]

One of the easiest to use free satpix sites is <>.

Pull up any map, and then click on the "Satellite" link in the upper
right corner.

It's something they've added recently, and still listed as "beta".


Subject: Re: Schools Prohibit Personal E-mail Sites
From: Dean M. <>
Organization: SBC
Date: Sat, 04 Jun 2005 02:24:28 GMT

On Fri, 03 Jun 2005 14:08:06 -0700, <> wrote:

> Steve Sobol wrote:

>> Not completely true. Private employers don't have to worry about First
>> Amendment issues; public school districts do. However, there are
>> probably ways to avoid those issues.

> The rights of free speech and assembly does not say the govt has
> to provide you the platform or medium for your activities.  For
> that you're on your own.

> A student on his own home computer on his private (not school issued)
> email or web account could do pretty much anything he/she wants,
> subject to standard law that everybody has to obey.  Likewise, any
> student may stand at the entrance of his school and hand out leaflets
> to students.  That's all classic stuff.

> But when the student uses school-owned facilities for personal
> expression, it's another story.  Students do not have a right of free
> speech in the school newspaper -- the publisher (the school) has the
> ultimate say, just as the publisher of any newspaper has the ultimate
> say in what goes in.  Likewise for electronic transmissions -- the
> hosts of web sites, chat rooms, email networks, etc., have ultimate
> control.

> It is important to remember that publishers and electronic hosts are
> ultimately legally responsible and liable for stuff they 'publish'.
> This is particularly important when dealing with kids because (1) the
> original kid who put out something bad may be immune to suit on
> account of being a minor and (2) the victim of something bad may be a
> minor and as such have additional rights of law.  In other words, if
> some kids snaps a cellphone photo of another kid naked and then
> publishes it on the school's media, the school would in a heck of a
> lot of trouble.  This has happened and school officials were in a big
> mess for failing to protect and control their networks from such
> actions.

> The courts have issued varied rulings on this.  Sometimes schools are
> between in a rock and a hard place -- sometimes they are forced by the
> courts to let kids publish crap and then they're the ones who get sued
> over it.  Schools have to play all sorts of games to cover themselves.

> Accordingly, we see rules like this -- banning some student activity --
> so the school can protect itself.  Given out litigous world and the
> fact some kids can be incredibly cruel -- I don't blame the school.

> This isn't anything actually new.  Even in my day there were a lot of
> stupid school rules for legal reasons.  For instance, we were
> forbidden to leave school grounds during lunch and the school
> aggressively enforced it -- even having the cops raid local lunch
> stops.  The thing was, during the school day if a kid got into any
> kind of trouble (ie hit by a car) the school was liable.  Also,
> teachers/staff were forbidden to transport students in their personal
> cars (ie give a kid a ride home in a rainstorm) due to liability risk.

> When I was in elementary school and learning weights and measures, we
> had to bring in sample ads from the newspapers as examples.  It turned
> out most of us found liquor ads.  The teacher was very upset.  It
> wasn't of course our fault, but the teacher was worried --
> realistically -- of having an elemetary school classroom full of
> liquor ads.

Forgive my ignorance, but if this whole exercise on the part of public
schools is simply aimed at reducing their liablility exposure, how do
the private schools others mentioned get around that issue? As you
point out, we do inhabit a litigious society so I can't imagine
private schools don't care about lawsuits. And I'm sure kids attending
private school can be just as cruel. What gives? Do private schools
reduce their liability by monitoring whereas public schools are not
allowed to monitor email? Seems to me that if they're blocking sites,
they're already monitoring, no? I don't get it. Why take away a
valuable tool from all the kids for the possible stupidity of a few?
It would be like cutting school sports entirely because some students
may get hurt playing. Or does that happen too?



From: DevilsPGD <>
Subject: Re: Schools Prohibit Personal E-mail Sites
Date: Fri, 03 Jun 2005 20:41:44 -0600
Organization: Disorganized

In message <>
(Lisa Hancock) wrote:

> Monty Solomon wrote:

>> By Tracy Jan, Globe Staff

>> Boston Public School officials, who recently banned cellphone use
>> during the school day, are angering students with a new prohibition:
>> no checking or sending e-mail from Yahoo, Hotmail, or other personal
>> Web-based accounts from school.

> I don't see why this is a big deal.  It's the school's computers and
> they should be able to regulate them any way they choose.  It's no
> different from the workplace where an employer dictates what can and
> cannot be done on his computers.

There is a critical difference: The schools are publicly funded.

> In some ways, I think schools acting to prevent harassment/ bullying
> between students is not such a bad idea.

It's not a bad idea, but denying access to Hotmail won't do squat.


From: Fred Atkinson <>
Subject: Re: Schools Prohibit Personal E-mail Sites
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 21:10:03 -0400

A couple of years ago, I was teaching special college courses for the
local technical college here in the area.  The courses were part of an
alliance between our college and the county school system.  We were
offering the students a chance to get college credit while they were
still in high school.  And we taught it at the county career center
rather than the college campus.  The students had to pass our college
entrance exam to be eligible, of course.  I was teaching them 'PC
Maintenance and Repair' and 'Computer Networking'.  For those kids who
were willing to work, it was a great opportunity to get a headstart on
college.  Some of them did quite well, too.  Of course, there are
always the students who show up thinking that you are just going to
pass them for showing up and taking the tests.  About three or four of
them did not complete both courses.  I told them up front it wasn't
going to be a free ride.

I was an adjunct at the college and I wasn't a staff member of the
county school system.  Therefore, I did not have an email account from
either one of them.  I do have Web access to my email account on my
domain ''.  I would pull up a browser at the school to
view my messages with some of them from the college, some of them from
folks at the school district, and some of them my own messages for
different things I was involved in.

One day (after I'd been teaching there for about a month and a half),
I tried to pull up the Web access for my mail server and got the
school district message saying that the site had been blocked.  I
called and asked why.  I was told it was because students were not
allowed to access their personal email from school district computers.

I pointed out that there was only one email account on that site, that
it was my account, and that I had no other email address to use for
college and school correspondence.  I assured them that I was not
going to give students email accounts on my mail server.

It took a couple of weeks, a written justification, and a few phone
calls and emails to the right people, but finally they lifted the

On another note, I later discovered that they had QSL Net blocked as
an 'inappropriate site' (I know the ham radio operators on TD will be
quite shocked by this).  I wrote up a justification for unblocking it
and made a few phone calls and emails.  But before the end of the
semester, I convinced them that there was no justification for
blocking it.  It took a good fight and I got a lady ham radio operator
at the school district headquarters involved.  But we got it done.

Sadly, they do these things without looking at how it adversely
affects faculty and staff and what it may deprive the kids of.  On the
latter, ham radio is a very educational hobby and they shouldn't be
denying the kids access to information about it.





From: mc <>
Subject: Re: SEX.COM Owner Arrested for Child Molestation; Heroin
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 19:15:45 -0400
Organization: Speed Factory ( )

> Mandy Howard of "Parents United Against Child Sexual Abuse" stated
> that people like Gary Kremen should be incarcerated for life since
> there is no cure for these people. We should start to think about
> protecting the rights of our children over the rights of child
> predators like Kremen.

That could well be the result of a journalist asking a person a rather 
different question ("What should be done with sexual predators?") and then 
inserting the response into a context that applies it to Mr. Kremen.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I've aleady had a problem with Ms. Howard
since the previous issue of the Digest was released. About an hour ago
I got another message from her (to be posted here) asking parents
'whose boy children had been approached by Mr. Kamen to please call
the San Francisco Police Department'.  I pitched it.   PAT]


Date: 4 Jun 2005 00:36:51 -0000
From: John Levine <>
Subject: Re: Nokia 3310 (GSM) and Prepaid in the US?
Organization: I.E.C.C., Trumansburg NY USA

> Hi, I got a Nokia 3310 (GSM) while i was in Italy but will be in the
> US for a few months and don't want to bother getting a new phone or
> locked in monthly phone service.  Can the 3310 be used in the US and
> if so what prepaid options are there?

That's a GSM 900/1800 phone.  North America is GSM 800/1900 so your
phone won't work at all here.

There's a nice comparison of US prepaid plans at  You might want to buy a used TDMA
handset on ebay before you go.




From: Fred Atkinson <>
Subject: Re: Porting an 800 Number
Date: Fri, 3 Jun 2005 20:42:04 -0400

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Fred, I may be missing something here,
> but regards the redirection of your personal 800 number, why wouldn't
> you just do that yourself (to wherever you like) rather than pointing
> it at still another 800 number from Vonage, so you will now get twice
> the fees for your inbound calls? PAT]

You did miss something, PAT.

A personal (or business) 800 number can be pointed at whatever carrier
that will take it and route your call.  My first personal 800 was
gotten for me by the folks at Sprint.  When I moved on to another
carrier, the new carrier arranged to repoint the number from Sprint to
their service.  And I moved a couple of more times.  Each time, the
new carrier repointed the number to go to them when I moved my
service.  I never had to do it myself.

This carrier says I have to arrange for it to be pointed at them.  But
once it is pointed at them, they will arrange for it to be sent to my
local phone number that they provide me.

Vonage offers toll-free numbers (I say 800 because both of my
toll-free numbers happen to be 800 numbers).  But, they won't accept a
toll-free number that you already have.  They will get you a new one,
but they won't transfer an existing toll-free number.  I spoke to
several people at Vonage (including those who do the number
portability stuff) and they all said the same thing.  They did say
that if you wanted to use another carrier and point it at your Vonage
number that you were free to do so.  So, when you dial my personal 800
number, it currently gets routed to Power Net Global who routes it to
my Vonage number.  Double whammy.

But this new carrier says they will allow you to move the toll-free
number to their service.  The only hitch (as I previously mentioned)
is that you have to get the 800 number pointed at them. because they
don't do it for you.  Unfortunately [as I never had to arrange to move
my number from one carrier to another myself], I don't know how to
arrange for that to happen.  Once the number is pointed at them, they
will arrange for it to ring your phone.  In this manner, you don't
have to use two carriers to make it work.

Did I explain it better this time?



[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Yes, you did. Let's see if anyone can
provide any answers.   PAT]


From: Gary Novosielski <>
Subject: Re: Known Spam Sites
Date: Sat, 04 Jun 2005 02:06:55 GMT

Steven Lichter wrote:

> Over the last month I have noticed that over 60% of the Spam e-mail I
> have received has come from e-mail addresses and sites that are
> registered to Godaddy. 

Godaddy is a reputable registrar.  I have three domains registered
with them.  The don't sell spam address lists or function as a

What led you to jump to this particular conclusion?


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