Pat, the Editor

For your convenience in reading: Subject lines are printed in RED and Moderator replies when issued appear in BROWN.
Previous Issue (just one)
TD Extra News
Add this Digest to your personal   or  


TELECOM Digest     Sat, 18 Jun 2005 17:25:00 EDT    Volume 24 : Issue 276

Inside This Issue:                             Editor: Patrick A. Townson

    Statement from Consumers Union About Huge Credit Card Theft (L Minter)
    Re: Worst Phishing/Fraud Attack Ever! 40 Million Cards (mc)
    Re: Worst Phishing/Fraud Attack Ever! 40 Million Cards (Steve Sobol)
    Re: Worst Phishing/Fraud Attack Ever! 40 Million Cards (Jared)
    New Free DataBase Has Details on _Everyone_ (Patrick Townson)
    Embarassing Email Mistake (Lisa Minter)
    Sprint, Verizon Opening Door to Mobile Content (Lisa Minter)
    Pod Slurp Dangerous for Your Business (Lisa Minter)
    DSL Speed (Choreboy)
    Report: Google to Start New Payment System (Monty Solomon)
    Re: Bell Divestiture (Arthur Kamlet)
    Re: Cell Phones Now Playing Role of Wallet (The Kaminsky Family)
    Re: 700-555-4141 (Michael Muderick)
    Re: Monitor/Recorder for Residential Power Line Outages? (David Clayton)
    Re: Monitor/Recorder for Residential Power Line Outages? (AES)

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: Statement from Consumers Union About Huge Credit Card Theft
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 01:42:26 -0500

Consumers Union: MasterCard Security Breach Underscores How Lax Data
Security Puts Consumers at Risk of ID Theft

Contact: Susanna Montezemolo, 202-498-6746 (cell) or Michael McCauley,
415-431-6747, ext. 126, both for Consumers Union

WASHINGTON, June 17 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is a statement by
Susanna Montezemolo, policy analyst, Consumers Union's Financial
Privacy Now Campaign:

"MasterCard International's announcement today that more than 40
million credit cards of all brands potentially have been exposed to
fraud is a startling reminder of how vulnerable consumers are to
having their sensitive information stolen by crooks. While MasterCard
has indicated that Social Security numbers and birth dates were not
accessed in the incident from the 13.9 million MasterCard-brand cards
involved, there is no information yet available about the remaining
26.1 million other credit cards that were part of this massive data
security breach. If such sensitive information was accessed from the
other cards, then tens of millions of Americans may be at heightened
risk of identity theft."

"Regardless of what information was stolen, this incident should serve
as a wake-up call for lawmakers to give consumers stronger tools to
protect themselves, such as the right to put a security freeze on
credit files to prevent identity thieves from opening new accounts in
their names. And lawmakers must enact new safeguards to hold companies
accountable for ensuring that strict data security practices are in
place and followed."

For more information on the identity theft safeguards advocated by
Consumers Union, see:


Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, is an independent,
nonprofit testing and information organization serving only the
consumer. We are a comprehensive source of unbiased advice about
products and services, personal finance, health nutrition, and other
consumer concerns. Since 1936, our mission has been to test products,
inform the public, and protect consumers.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I suggest _DEFINITLY_ begin watching
your credit/debit card statements very closely. I suggest you may
want to request copies of your credit bureau reports from at least
the three major bureaus. Many of the affected credit card companies
are now giving these away free, for the asking. _Do not hesitate_ to
question anything/everything of a degratory nature on those reports
that you do not recall.  PAT] 


From: mc <>
Subject: Re: Worst Phishing Fraud Attack Ever! 40 Million Cards Affected
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 15:08:36 -0400
Organization: Speed Factory ( )

Why is this "phishing"?  The reports indicate that it was an intrusion
into a single business's computers, not a phishing attack in which
people are tricked into giving their identifying information to an

And I don't see anything in the reports to indicate that it has
anything particularly to do with the Internet.  Does it?

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: The word 'phishing' may have not been
the best way of phrasing things. As I understand what happened (and
they are being sort of tight lipped about it) the perpetrator(s)
installed some sort of 'back door' into the software to deliberatly
capture the card numbers and other details. 'Traditional phishing' -- 
if we can use that term -- does generally refer to social engineering
done manually, case by case. I put up a phony web page and trick you
into revealing those same details. On the other hand, 'traditional
hacking' usually refers to brute force removal of the desired data
or manipulation of same, no password required. What terms should be
used when there is a case of 'social engineering' where a computer
'trusts' that what it is doing is what it _should_ be doing, i.e. a
back door built in by someone, and the computer goes right along
innocently doing its thing?  And what term should apply when instead
of 'traditional phishing' (one person after another being tricked)
the phisherman grows impatient and decides to get them all in one
swoop by posing as a delivery person and tricking the one person
(let's call him the 'master data collector' [who is honest]) into 
giving up his hoard?  I honestly suspect that is what happened in 
the one case last week with the 'missing UPS' shipment. Neither UPS
nor the employee-in-the-trick-bag is willing to admit it; some fool
in the proper-looking uniform socially engineered the 'master data
collector' into turning over his hoard of lawfully collected data.
We probably need new common-names for all this deviant behavior;
'phisher', 'cracker' and 'hacker' are just not enough any longer. PAT]


From: Steve Sobol <>
Subject: Re: Worst Phishing Fraud Attack Ever! 40 Million Cards Affected
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 12:37:09 -0700
Organization: Glorb Internet Services,

Lisa Minter wrote:

> "Hardly a week goes by without startling new examples of breaches of
> sensitive personal data, reminding us how important it is to pass a
> comprehensive identity theft prevention bill in Congress quickly,"
> said Sen.  Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record), D-N.Y.

Startling? I am not even surprised by junk like this anymore.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: My thanks to Lisa for rounding up this
> item. So what do we do now? Discontinue any/all shopping on the
> web where Card Systems is the processor? What information _is_ safe
> to give over the net any longer? Any at all?  PAT]  


Who said anything about the Internet? This particular breach would
affect much more than just Internet transactions. This is apparently a
backend system that was breached. Non-Internet transactions could also
have been exposed.

And there's no way to avoid Card Systems, because we don't do business
with them directly, and as far as I know, neither do the
merchants. They deal with the card issuers. - Steve Sobol / / PGP: 0xE3AE35ED
Coming to you from Southern California's High Desert, where the
temperatures are as high as the gas prices! / 888.480.4NET (4638)

"Life's like an hourglass glued to the table"   --Anna Nalick, "Breathe"


Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 14:26:40 -0600
From: (jared)
Subject: Re: Worst Phishing Fraud Attack Ever! 40 Million Cards Affected

The problem with this article's title is that it was not a phishing attack.

Note that the article says virus-like, the following is an excerpt
from an article attributed to the LA Times. Reportedly someone planted
a harvesting programme which is virus like in the sense that it
operates stealthily but may not be like a virus in how it propagates.

By Joseph Menn
Los Angeles Times

The largest reported breach of personal data, hackers infiltrated the
computers at a credit card processing center and stole as many as 40
million card numbers, it was disclosed Friday.

MasterCard International said card numbers and expiration dates were
harvested by a rogue program planted inside the computer network at
CardSystems, one of the low-profile companies that process merchant
requests for credit-card authorization. When a retailer swipes a
customer's card, the information goes to companies such as CardSystems
for approval before getting passed along to banks.

At least 68,000 accounts have had fake charges posted to them, said
MasterCard Vice President Linda Locke. Most credit card companies
reverse fraudulent charges that are reported to them.  Social Security
numbers or other items of personal information were not taken.

The attack exposed the numbers of 13.9 million MasterCards and an
unknown number of other brands of cards, including American
Express. Atlanta-based CardSystems processes $15 billion in charges
annually for MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover and other
cards. Officials at Visa did not return a call seeking comment.

"I think all four (of the major card issuers) will be tainted," said
Chris Hoofnagle, west coast director of the Electronic Privacy
Information Center. "This is the biggest security breach by far."
Hackers and identity thieves trade and sell pilfered credit card
numbers in online chat rooms, making it relatively easy for a single
big theft to affect thousands of cards quickly. MasterCard, which
uncovered the incursion, would not divulge the dollar amount of the
fraud uncovered so far or say when the improper charges began.

"Several banks reported atypical patterns of fraud (this week)," Locke
said. With the help of security company CyberTrust , she said, "We
traced disparate patterns of fraud back to CardSystems." After
examining the computers there, she said, "We believe that a hacker
intruded and installed some malicious code that captured card
information."  The FBI is investigating.  MasterCard said CardSystems
hadn't been using industry safeguards at its Tucson, Ariz., processing
center, suggesting to analysts that the numbers had not been
encrypted. CardSystems did not return phone calls seeking comment.


The statement from the processor follows, though there is precious
little detail.

Statement from CardSystems Solutions, Inc.

(June 17, 2005)

CardSystems Solutions, Inc., identified a potential security incident
on Sunday, May 22nd. On Monday, May 23rd, CardSystems contacted the
Federal Bureau of Investigation. Subsequently, the VISA and MasterCard
Card Associations were notified to alert them of a possible security
incident. CardSystems immediately began a remediation process to
ensure all systems were secure. Additionally, CardSystems immediately
engaged an independent 3rd party to validate systems security.

Since that time, concurrent to the investigation proceedings,
CardSystems is completing the installation of enhanced/additional
security procedures recommended by the security assessor involved in
the investigation.

We understand and fully appreciate the seriousness of the
situation. Our customers and their customers are our lifeblood. We are
sparing no effort to get to the bottom of this matter. Our goal is to
cooperate fully with the FBI to complete the investigation and ensure
that we do nothing that might compromise the investigation.


From: Patrick Townson <>
Subject: New Free Database Has _Everyone_ Listed
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 12:43:46 -0500

Some email I got from a family member this past week:

Beginning this month (May '05) a new database will be available to the
general public, free of charge, that displays your personal
information (names, addresses, phone numbers, birth dates).

The database is found at I urge you to forward
this email to family and friends. Check to see if your name and
information is in their database. If so and you want it removed, send
them an e-mail at to request it be removed. I do
not know how our names are appearing there, but I checked my own and a
few other random ones, and they are all in this database!

After opting out by email, check back after a few days to make certain
your information has been removed.

Displaying such information should be a crime.

(End of letter)


Well, I dunno how much of a crime it should be, except that a random
check of my own information and a few test, controlled cases show that
although it is _generally accurate_ there are some mistakes and
omissions, about like any such database. Anyway, its all there at It appears they have put a lot of 'hooks'
into the cgi-bin things of _other_ databases so you do not have to
keep re-entering the names/addresses to look in different areas of
interest. For instance, you put in your name, some information is
provided, then links are given to take you off to various other data
bases, directly to information about the name you (originally)

Such as, enter a name, it comes up with an address, then by clicking
on the link you can get the map of the location, the aerial or
satellite photo of same, and lots more. One link goes off to Yahoo
Photos, another to newspaper clippings, etc. Like William Burroughs in
his book _Naked Lunch_ now we all get to see precisely what is on the
end of the other guys' forks. So far as I can tell, they do not have
_naked photos_ of any of us yet on display, but I have not checked it
all out. You begin your review by going to
and filling in a little template. Then the computer takes over.

Patrick Townson


From: Lisa Minter <>
Subject: Email Embarrasses 119 Failing Students
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 13:18:52 -0500

More than 100 students who failed their classes at the University of
Kansas last semester found out who shared their misfortune. The
school's Office of Student Financial Aid sent an e-mail to 119
students Monday notifying them that they were in jeopardy of having
their aid revoked.

But the names of the students were included on the e-mail address list
 -- meaning everyone who got the e-mail could see the names of all the
other recipients.

"It was a completely inadvertent, unintentional mistake," university
spokesman Todd Cohen said Thursday. "It was our error, our mistake and
we deeply regret it."

Nancy George, a student on the list, said the mistake was tantamount
to releasing the grades of students without their permission, which
the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prohibits.

"Nobody should have known that I failed a class or that I even had a
student loan," said George, who says she failed because her daughter
had developed pneumonia.

Cohen said the university is contacting students to apologize. She
also said the incident had been reported to the Department of
Education so it could determine if there was a violation of the
federal law.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. 

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: Sprint, Verizon Opening Doors to Mobile Content
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 13:35:28 -0500

By Antony Bruno

Sprint and Verizon Wireless may soon lower the walls on their
networks, allowing their subscribers greater access to third-party
content, including ringtones and graphics.

The mobile phone giants are responding to U.S. cell phone users'
growing interest in buying content from sources other than their
wireless carrier.

Allowing subscribers to access non-network content is a common
practice for mobile operators in Europe, as well as U.S. carriers
Cingular, Nextel and T-Mobile.

Sprint and Verizon, however, have taken a "walled garden" approach,
restricting content to that offered directly through their own
delivery portals.

Sprint is testing a system that would let content providers target its
subscribers with sales and marketing campaigns through premium SMS
messaging, otherwise known as "short codes."

A short code is a four- or five-digit number that works like an e-mail
address but across various wireless carriers. Companies can place the
short code in their advertising to generate customer responses.

In turn, subscribers can send a text message to a short code to
request information or make purchases. The reply is delivered to the
subscriber as a text message attachment. The charge is added to the
mobile bill.


According to John Styers, Sprint director of data communications
services, the carrier is conducting short-code delivery trials with
various partners, including Sony BMG and Warner Music Group.

"Both of them are in the midst of launching a premium SMS service," he
says.  "They want to be able to offer on their artist-specific Web
sites the artists' content in ringtone fashion through SMS. So we are
working with them to launch some of their artists' Web sites as well."

He says Sprint will slowly open its network after these trials, based
on technology performance and customer feedback.

Verizon, which has operated the most tightly controlled network of all
U.S.  carriers, uses a content delivery system called BREW. Only
content written and delivered via the BREW system can operate on
Verizon's network and phones.

But Qualcomm, which created the BREW technology, has introduced a new
version that would support non-BREW content. Sources say Verizon has
told content aggregators that it intends to open its network to
off-portal content before the end of the year. The carrier declined to
comment for this story.

According to executives at QPass, a wireless transaction management
firm, off-portal sales in the United States are beginning to
explode. The company manages the off-portal sales activity for
Cingular, Nextel, Boost Mobile and other carriers that together
represent about half of the U.S. market.

In the last year, these carriers have seen off-portal content sales
grow at a compound annual rate of 410 percent. In the last six months,
total off-portal sales activity skyrocketed 1,024 percent, with a
month-over-month growth of 141 percent this past quarter alone.

Even with the crumbling of these garden walls, however, less than 10
percent of all wireless content transactions in the United States are
non-carrier.  This pales in comparison with Europe, where about 80
percent of all mobile content sold is off-portal.


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: Pod Slurping Dangerous to Your Company
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 13:41:11 -0500

Nearly a year ago, an analyst from Gartner recommended that
enterprises should think about banning Apple's iPods -- and similar
small-sized portable storage devices -- for fear of data walking out
the door.

Now, with data being lost in more ways than once thought possible --
backup tapes lost by UPS, Social Security numbers sold to criminals,
and hackers breaking in to networks remotely -- a researcher has
demonstrated just how easy it is to walk off with megabytes of
sensitive material when armed with only the ubiquitous iPod and simple

With more than 30 million iPods in circulation and models packing as
much as 30GB of storage space, the gizmo makes a perfect tool for data
theft, wrote computer security expert Abe Usher in his blog.

Dubbing the practice "pod slurping," Usher created a proof-of-concept
application that runs from an iPod that, when the device is connected
to a PC, will sniff through a PC's hard drive to find and copy all the
Microsoft Office documents it finds.

"An unauthorized visitor shows up after work hours disguised as a
janitor and carrying an iPod (or similar portable storage device),"
posited Usher.  "He walks from computer to computer and 'slurps' up
all of the Microsoft Office files from each system.

"Within an hour he has acquired 20,000 files from over a dozen
workstations.  He returns home and uploads the files from his iPod to
his PC. Using his handy desktop search program, he quickly finds the
proprietary information that he was looking for."

The thief could even access PCs that require a log-in  username/password
by using a boot CD, a specially-crafted CD that sidesteps log-in 
authentication, said Usher.

Gartner's 2004 advice would block pod slurping, added Usher, if
enterprises adopted the research firm's recommendations to lock down
desktops by disabling USB functionality or Windows' Universal Plug and

Copyright 2005 CMP Media LLC.

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.

*** FAIR USE NOTICE. This message contains copyrighted material the
use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright
owner. This Internet discussion group is making it available without
profit to group members who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information in their efforts to advance the
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
as provided for in section 107 of the U.S.  Copyright Law. If you wish
to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go
beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright
owner, in this instance, CMP Media.

For more information go to:


From: Choreboy <>
Subject: DSL Speed
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 01:35:35 -0400
Organization: Posted via Supernews,

A relative has a farm. His phone service comes in on 700 yards of
ordinary telephone cable buried along his driveway.  Last week he got
Bellsouth DSL.  It comes in on the same conductors as before, but I've
seen speeds fifty times faster than dialup.

I thought 56K was the fastest speed possible with conventional
telephone cable.  How can DSL be so much faster with the same old


Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 14:30:03 -0400
From: Monty Solomon <>
Subject: Report: Google to Start New Payment System

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) -- Online search-engine leader Google Inc.
is preparing to introduce an electronic payment system later this year
in a move that would pose a financial threat to one of its biggest
advertisers, Internet auctioneer eBay Inc.

The Wall Street Journal reported Google's plans on its Web site late
Friday, citing sources familiar with the Mountain View-based company's
plans. The Journal did not provide any details about Google's

A Google spokesman declined to comment on the report.

The likelihood of Google rolling out an online payment system to rival
eBay's popular PayPal service became a hot topic during an Internet
conference hosted Thursday by Piper Jaffray.



From: (Arthur Kamlet)
Subject: Re: Bell Divestiture
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 18:43:21 UTC
Organization: Public Access Networks Corp.

In article <>, Robert Bonomi
<> wrote:

> It is not inaccurate. Demand ramped up *far*faster* than the Bell system
> projections indicated.

> There were numerous big-city locations where you _could_not_get_ RBOC
> phone lines in quantity, when you wanted them. 'Rationing' _was_ in
> effect.  For a variety of reasons -- lack of field workers to do
> physical interconnects, lack of C.O. capacity, among the big ones.

> When you're down to the last few thousand numbers available out of a
> C.O.  that serves 100,000 numbers, and the new switch isn't due for
> delivery for another 18 months, you _don't_ have many choices.

Number Ageing.

As recently as 10 years ago, the RBOCs had pretty much a consistent
12-month number aging policy.  When the crunch came in selected
offices, those offices were generally allowed to use faster aging, but
the software generally could not accommodate different aging for
speciic exchanges.  Their choices were to lower aging company wide or
have the service order processor override 12 month aging case by case.
Neither a great solution, but aging changes did free up thousands of

Today I'd be surprised if anyone really cares about aging any more,
especially with wireless.

> Telephone _line_ sales had reached the 'saturation' point, Nearly
> everybody that was likely to buy telephone service *had* service. The
> only place for 'revenue growth' was in "add-on sales".  'Additional
> extensions' was the big-money item in this class.  extra jacks were
> one-time revenue item.  'Long cords' (set to wall, or handset to base)
> couldn't justify much of a recurring charge.  Additional sets, on the
> other hand, were almost pure gravy. With only one line there was, in
> general, only one phone in use at a time, so the wear-and-tear on the
> second phone was mostly covered by the increased life-expectancy of
> the first one.

We're talking Western Electric phone sets, here.  The kind that when
they pulled samples and dropped them 50,000 times to see if it would
break, it would't.

The building housing the phone would disintegrate before the phone
would break <g> No wear and tear concerns.

In my OCAP assignment, I rode along with a repairman one day, on an
NDT complaint (No Dial Tone.)  It turns out the husband got mad at the
wife and threw the phone through the wall.  Big hole in the wall, and
the phone wires pulled out of of the box.

Repaired the box, reattached the wires, and the phone worked
perfectly!  Didn't fix the hole in the wall <g>

One day Western woke up and found the retail cost of a new phone at
Radio Shack was less than Western's cost of parts for a 500 deskset.
So after some marketing shifts, they got out of the handset business.
Today, break a phone? Buy a new one. Just like a TV.  --

Art Kamlet     ArtKamlet @   Columbus OH    K2PZH


From: The Kaminsky Family <>
Organization: None Whatsoever
Subject: Re: Cell Phones Now Playing Role of Wallet
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 09:12:36 GMT

Monty Solomon wrote:

> By BRUCE MEYERSON AP Business Writer

> NEW YORK (AP) -- Already a device of multiple disguises, from camera
> to music player and mini-TV, the cell phone's next trick may be the
> disappearing wallet.

Nice juxtaposition of this message with the earlier one about the lack
of security for our financial data.

I think "disappearing wallet" will shortly become "disappearing



Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 05:42:33 -0400
From: Michael Muderick <>
Subject: Re: 700-555-4141

I also posted a while back that the number no longer works. Tried it
from a number of different locations in the 610 area.


[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: The only way I found out it worked
here in 620-land was by listening _very carefuly_ to the recorded
message. After a barely audible two word message 'Qwest Communications'
then a loud, clear, 'Number Not in Service' recording. That is not
going to necessarily be your experience, of course.  PAT]


From: David Clayton <>
Subject: Re: Monitor/Recorder for Residential Power Line Outages?
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 14:57:52 +1000

On Fri, 17 Jun 2005 10:41:55 -0700, AES wrote:

> Any have pointers to a gadget that will monitor and log power
> outages or glitches on 110V or 220V residential electrical service?

> Looking for a home or retail level gadget that will work either
> connected to a dedicated computer, or preferably free-standing with
> periodic read-out to a computer, logging time and duration of both
> longer outages and short glitches (anything long enough to cause
> digital clocks and appliance displays to reset).

> Asking on this group because a lot of tech-savvy people seem to hang out
> on this group; glad to accept pointers to any other group.

> Any way to make the computer itself (e.g., Mac iBook) do the sensing and
> recording?

Doesn't UPS equipment output this sort of stuff on their serial ports to
the monitoring software that is usually supplied with them?


David Clayton, e-mail:
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
(Remove the "XYZ." to reply)

Knowledge is a measure of how many answers you have,
intelligence is a measure of how many questions you have.


From: AES <>
Subject: Re: Monitor/Recorder for Residential Power Line Outages?
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2005 07:32:31 -0700
Organization: Stanford University

In article <>, (Robert Bonomi) wrote:

> It should be obvious that any such device will need to be powered by 
> some sort of UPS.  Whereupon you may as well use a UPS.  <grin>

I don't see why a simple power monitor/logger gadget can't be battery
powered, or more precisely, line powered with battery power to carry
it over the hopefully rare occasions when the line power fails,
preserving the already logged data and keeping its internal clock
running.  We're talking about logging mostly short losses of voltage
in household electric service that's mostly on -- and battery backup
should keep a simple logger gadget running for days if not months.

In my household the built-in wall oven apparently has a built-in
battery; it's clock and other settings will still be valid after a 20
minute outage.  Some electric clocks and most of the cordless and cell
phones will retain settings for a day or more; and of course all the
laptop computers for much longer.  The thermostats for the HVAC ditto.

The microwave oven's clock display, however, is flashing "==12.00=="
over and over after even a sub-second glitch, as are many other
electric clocks.  The coffee maker with a built-in auto-start feature
to make coffee just before 6:00 am each morning has lost all its
settings -- but comes back up with its heating element still on if it
was on when the power failed; lovely safety feature, that.

Most annoying is the expensive, highly touted Bose radio: it loses all
its settings -- time, station presets, etc -- on even the slightest
power glitch.  (Lots of other things not to like about this overpriced
radio as well -- DON'T BUY BOSE is my recommendation.)

> Most modern "smart" UPS systems have a capability for signalling a
> host computer about the state of the incoming power, and the state of
> the UPS batteries.  Allowing, among other things, 'controlled'
> shutdown of a UPS-protected device when the UPS batteries are about to
> expire.

Sounds like I'll have to look at this -- but I don't really want UPS,
especially for the household appliances, and would initially just
like to assemble some data on how badly PG&E is really doing.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Now wait a minute! I have a Bose radio
and that does not happen. The radio has a battery compartment which
keeps everything in place. The battery does _not_ continue to play
the radio, but when our power goes out here, I do not have to reset 
the clock or the presets, etc. Do you have a battery in your Bose
radio?   PAT]


TELECOM Digest is an electronic journal devoted mostly but not
exclusively to telecommunications topics. It is circulated anywhere
there is email, in addition to various telecom forums on a variety of
networks such as Compuserve and America On Line, Yahoo Groups, and
other forums.  It is also gatewayed to Usenet where it appears as the
moderated newsgroup 'comp.dcom.telecom'.

TELECOM Digest is a not-for-profit, mostly non-commercial educational
service offered to the Internet by Patrick Townson. All the contents
of the Digest are compilation-copyrighted. You may reprint articles in
some other media on an occasional basis, but please attribute my work
and that of the original author.

Contact information:    Patrick Townson/TELECOM Digest
                        Post Office Box 50
                        Independence, KS 67301
                        Phone: 620-402-0134
                        Fax 1: 775-255-9970
                        Fax 2: 530-309-7234
                        Fax 3: 208-692-5145         


This Digest is the oldest continuing e-journal about telecomm-
unications on the Internet, having been founded in August, 1981 and
published continuously since then.  Our archives are available for
your review/research. We believe we are the oldest e-zine/mailing list
on the internet in any category!

URL information:

Anonymous FTP:
  (or use our mirror site:

RSS Syndication of TELECOM Digest:
  For syndication examples see
    and also

*   TELECOM Digest is partially funded by a grant from                  *
*   Judith Oppenheimer, President of ICB Inc. and purveyor of accurate  *
*   800 & Dot Com News, Intelligence, Analysis, and Consulting.         *
*,                    *
*   Views expressed herein should not be construed as representing      *
*   views of Judith Oppenheimer or ICB Inc.                             *

ICB Toll Free News.  Contact information is not sold, rented or leased.

One click a day feeds a person a meal.  Go to

Copyright 2004 ICB, Inc. and TELECOM Digest. All rights reserved.
Our attorney is Bill Levant, of Blue Bell, PA.




Visit and take the next step in your
career with a Master of Science in Telecommunications Management
(MSTM) degree from Oklahoma State University (OSU). This 35
credit-hour interdisciplinary program is designed to give you the
skills necessary to manage telecommunications networks, including
data, video, and voice networks.

The MSTM degree draws on the expertise of the OSU's College
of Business Administration; the College of Arts and Sciences; and the
College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology. The program has
state-of-the-art lab facilities on the Stillwater and Tulsa campus
offering hands-on learning to enhance the program curriculum.  Classes
are available in Stillwater, Tulsa, or through distance learning.

Please contact Jay Boyington for additional information at
405-744-9000,, or visit the MSTM web site at



Finally, the Digest is funded by gifts from generous readers such as
yourself who provide funding in amounts deemed appropriate. Your help
is important and appreciated. A suggested donation of fifty dollars
per year per reader is considered appropriate. See our address above.
Please make at least a single donation to cover the cost of processing
your name to the mailing list. 

All opinions expressed herein are deemed to be those of the
author. Any organizations listed are for identification purposes only
and messages should not be considered any official expression by the

End of TELECOM Digest V24 #276

Return to Archives**Older Issues