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TELECOM Digest     Fri, 24 Jun 2005 16:29:00 EDT    Volume 24 : Issue 288

Inside This Issue:                             Editor: Patrick A. Townson

    Australia Outlaws Using Internet to Encourage Suicide (Lisa Minter)
    Saint Exupery Estate Wins Cybersquatting Case (Lisa Minter)
    ISPs and Telcos Attempt to Stop Municipal Broadband and Wifi (L Minter)
    A Big Bang and the Small Fry Who Get to Watch it (Lisa Minter)
    Tutorial: What is Broadband (Lisa Minter)
    Groups Laud Yahoo For Shutting Down Chat Rooms (Lisa Minter)
    Net2Phone Review and Caution (
    NTT DoCoMo Revs 4G (Telecom dailyLead from USTA)
    Re: Which Video Plug-in For Skype? (J Marc)
    Re: SBC DSL Total Fee Per Month (Dean M.)
    Re: SBC DSL Total Fee Per Month (Robert Bonomi)
    Re: Cardholders Kept in Dark After Breach (Robert Bonomi)
    Re: DSL Speed (Choreboy)
    Re: Bell Divestiture  (David Wilson)
    Re: Cardholders Kept in Dark After Breach (Steve Sobol)
    Re: Dial/Touch Tone Speeds (was Re: Bell Divestiture) (
    Re: Dial/Touch Tone Speeds (was Re: Bell Divestiture) (Robert Bonomi)
    Re: Hayes Smartmodems (was Re: Bell Divestiture) (Robert Bonomi)

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: Australia Outlaws Using Internet to Incite Suicide
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 12:54:01 -0500

People who use the Internet to incite others to commit suicide or
teach them how to kill themselves face fines of up to A$550,000
($430,000) under tough new laws passed in Australia on Friday.

Using the Internet to counsel or incite others to commit suicide or to
promote and provide instruction on ways to do it has been outlawed but
the new laws were not designed to stifle debate about euthanasia,
Justice Minister Chris Ellison said.

"These offences are designed to protect the young and the vulnerable,
those at greatest risk of suicide, from people who use the Internet
with destructive intent to counsel or incite others to kill
themselves," Ellison said in a statement. Individuals convicted of
such offences face a fine of up to A$110,000, while corporations face
a fine of up to A$550,000.

Use of the Internet to organize suicide pacts emerged as a grim
problem for Japan last year, with dozens of Japanese killing
themselves in Internet-linked group suicides.

Helping someone to commit suicide is illegal in Australia but there
has been a long-simmering debate about euthanasia.

Dr Philip Nitschke shot to fame in 1997 when he helped four people die
in the Northern Territory, where the practice was briefly legal before
the national government stepped in to overturn local laws.

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: Saint-Exupery Estate Wins Cybersquatting Case
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 12:56:01 -0500

The literary estate of French author Antoine de Saint-Exupery on
Friday won a cybersquatting case to evict a Virgin Islands operator
whose Web Site sells memorabilia linked to the creator of "The Little

Arbitrators ruled La Societe Civile pour l'Oeuvre et la Memoire
d'Antoine de Saint Exupery-Succession Saint Exupery, set up by
relatives to manage his literary estate, had proved The Holding
Company had no right to three disputed domain names.

The Holding Company, which registered the domain names, had used a
"valid, registered trademark in a commercial context, i.e. with the
intent to generate commissions on sales of books and other memorabilia
concerning Antoine de Saint-Exupery. This does not constitute bona
fide use," the ruling said.

Saint-Exupery, a pilot whose fable "The Little Prince" is considered a
classic of flight, love and loneliness, disappeared in July 1944
during a wartime aerial reconnaissance mission.

His literary estate said it was authorized by the author's heirs to be
the sole owner and manager of trademarks and other intellectual
property rights tied to his work, life and name.

The three neutral arbitrators were named by the U.N. World
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) whose arbitration center
resolves disputes in a low-cost, fast-track procedure.

Ownership of the domain names is transferred within 10 days unless the
loser launches a court case challenging the decision.

The domain names are (, and

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter children's books, and the
estate of J.R.R. Tolkien, late author of the "Lord of the Rings"
trilogy, have also won cases at WIPO. ; Geneva Newsroom tel. 41-22-733

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: ISPs and Telcos Attempt to Stop Public Broadband
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 12:58:23 -0500

by Tom Spring

When tiny north Kansas City, Missouri and several other small towns in
Kansas and Missouri, announced that they planned to offer affordable
high-speed Internet access much the way it does other public services,
local attorney Brian Hall was ecstatic. Though Hall could get DSL
service from SBC Communications, he says that he found the service
unreliable, supplying lower speeds than he expected. But then goliath
Time Warner Cable asked a Missouri federal court to block the city's

Time Warner's initial case was dismissed, but the company appealed the
ruling and vows to stop North Kansas City from offering services it
plans to provide residential customers later this year.

Other cable and telecommunications companies are fighting similar
battles in major cities and rural communities across the United
States, to prevent the municipalities from supplying their residents
with fast, low-cost reliable Internet access, either via wireless or
high-speed fiber wired networks. In places where no laws currently
prohibit a city or town from entering the broadband-provider market,
the companies are lobbying for new legislation that would.

If a municipality can offer Net access at lower prices than most
telephone and cable TV companies, why shouldn't it,
municipal-broadband advocates argue. The opponents counter that cities
would have an unfair competitive advantage and that service and
support might not be as good as that from private companies.

Case for the City

Cities see wireless broadband as a low-cost way to offer low-income
residents Internet access. High-speed offerings are good for local
businesses, schools, and hospitals, they argue, and make the community
a better place to live. And when private industry can't or won't give
the service, how can you blame the city for doing it, asks Jim Baller,
an attorney who represents municipalities.

Lafayette, Louisiana, mayor Joey Durel says that his city "begged" its
phone and cable companies for years to wire it with fiber-optic access
 -- to no avail. The city now plans to build its own fiber network, but
Bell South and Cox Communications have filed court motions to stop the
plan. Independence, Kansas is in the same prediciment.

"The practices of corporate telco and cableco are hurting communities
like Lafayette," he says.

Durel says a Lafayette-owned fiber network delivering Internet, cable
TV, and phone service would save residents over 20 percent on their
monthly bills, and would let the city give its schools fast Net

The Opposition

The municipal Internet trend is irking giants such as Bell South,
Comcast, SBC, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon Communications. SBC
representative Marty Richter says basic policy and conflict-of-
interest issues arise when government enters markets where it can tax
and regulate its private-sector rivals, making the competition unfair.

However, cities and towns can't regulate telecom providers or ISPs --
that's up to state and federal agencies. Cities do regulate cable
franchises; but where cities offer such services, they are still
subject to state and federal rules, says attorney Baller.

Though it has acted to block municipal Wi-Fi efforts in Philadelphia,
Verizon says it is prepared to compete with municipalities. Verizon
says it can do a better job of network management and customer
care. "Cities need to go into these projects with their eyes wide
open," says Eric Rabe, spokesperson for Verizon. SBC plans the same
agressive approach against towns in Missouri and Kansas who try the
same thing. 

Many of these networks have high up-front costs -- the Lafayette plan
will cost $125 million -- and there will be service and maintenance
costs. If too few users sign up, revenue may not cover upkeep costs,
and the city will lose money. This year, for example, Washington
State's Whatcom County had to sell its unfinished fiber system for
$126,000 after spending $2.3 million on it. Private firms jumped in
and saturated the broadband market, say county representatives.

Besides, "do you really want to call city hall when your Internet
access goes down?" Verizon's Rabe asks.

For Mayor Durel, who says service from his local phone company is
awful, the answer to Rabe's question is yes.

Copyright 2005 PC World Communications, Inc.

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
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,  PC World.

For more information go to:

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Here in southeast Kansas, the city of
Coffeyville has been in charge of electrical power for many years.
They've offered to help Independence with the same arrangement, but
Westar, the electric utility for much of eastern Kansas has been 
objecting. Independence has thought about fiber, wifi and municipal
broadband for quite a while now, but Southwestern Bell (SBC) has been
fighting us every step of the way. SBC claims 'our DSL service is
good enough for you' and they were the main objectors when Cable One
took over the cable internet service here from Time Warner a couple
years ago. 

Of course, Bell's DSL also requires that people be locked in to Bell's
crummy telephone service also, where with the other providers of phone
service here, Prairie Stream and Gage, they are more than happy to
work along with either Cable One or the Dish network, as well as Cox,
the cableco serving Coffeyville. They are all good corporate citizens;
I do not know why SBC has to be so hateful toward our entire community.
I know they fought furiously against allowing Prairie Stream to go in
business here, and they thought 'for sure' the Kansas Commission would
be on their side; imagine their surprise when the Commission gave
approval not only for just Independence, as Prairie Stream originally
started out, but for _any_ community in Kansas where Southwestern Bell
was the telco 'of record'. Then the Commission later said competition
would be allowed in the United Tel/Sprint territory for the rest of
Kansas as well. That should have told SBC where they stand here in
Kansas, but I guess they did not get the hint. Now Prairie Stream has
their little switches all over the state. They have a 2000-line switch
here in Independence for example, which serves our town and elsewhere
in Montgomery County.  Great service, and super-cheap rates, local
service (ported through our 'traditional' exchange here in town
[620-331]) and 100 minutes of long distance service as part of the
package. PAT]


From: Lisa Minter <>
Subject: A Big Bang, and the Small Fry Who Get to Watch it
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 13:02:17 -0500

By Peter N. Spotts | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

As cosmic objects go, Tempel 1 is something only an astronomer could
love -- a pockmarked potato half the size of Manhattan spewing dust
and gas, as it sputters along through the sky.

Nevertheless, the comet is getting star treatment of late from
hundreds of people across six continents who have been tracking its
movements with telescopes and feeding images of the comet to
professional astronomers. The reason? On July 4, an American
spacecraft will launch a projectile to slam into the comet and offer
clues to what Tempel 1 is made of.

Whatever secrets it uncovers, the mission -- dubbed Deep Impact --
also highlights the key role amateur scientists play in several
aspects of astronomy. Unlike the world of, say, biology or physics,
the cosmos remains one of the few realms of science where dedicated
amateurs can still make consistent, significant contributions. They
feed professional scientists with data that track changes in variable
stars. They discover and track comets and asteroids, hunt for planets
beyond the solar system, and record changes in the afterglow of
powerful gamma-ray bursts.

And while the glory associated with Deep Impact will go to the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the scientists who
conceived the mission and will record the July 4 collision with mighty
mountaintop telescopes, some credit should be given to the amateur
astronomers doing reconnaissance work.

"Observations from the amateurs ... have proved very useful," says
Tony Farnham, a University of Maryland astronomer. The key is
telescope time.

Precious commodity

Dr. Farnham has been observing the comet once a month since January
from the Kitt Peak Observatory near Tucson, Ariz. That's generous for
professionals, who must vie for hours at major observatories. But
"ideally, we would like to get images more frequently" in order to
track changes in the comet's output of dust and gas, any sudden
emergence of jets of gas, or changes in the form and structure of the
comet's features, he adds.

The data amateurs provide help fill those gaps. And they aid in
planning his next mountaintop observing run. The images are not as
detailed as those from the telescope he uses. Still, "there are some
very talented observers out there, and they have been getting some
very high-quality images."

At least 250 amateur and professional astronomers are participating in
the small-telescope science program. Sixty-nine are individuals
operating from small observatories and backyard sites. Others are
working in teams averaging at least four members apiece.

Their telescopes host light-gathering optics that range in size from 6
to 36 inches across. Some are commercially made, some are homemade,
and none of the setups comes cheap. The participants must replace
their eyepieces with digital imaging equipment sophisticated enough to
meet the Deep Impact team's specifications. That can run into several
thousand dollars.

Amateur groups got tapped in a roundabout manner, says Gary Emerson,
an engineer and amateur astronomer who works for Ball Aerospace &
Technologies Corp. in Golden, Colo., which built the Deep Impact

The impact may kick up enough dust to brighten the comet from a
telescope-only object to one visible to the naked eye under dark skies
or via binoculars under less favorable conditions. So the mission's
public-outreach coordinator initially came to Mr. Emerson and asked
about opportunities to involve amateur astronomers in visiting schools
to give talks or hosting comet-collision parties during which the
public could view the comet through amateurs' telescopes. Indeed, the
mission has a component -- the amateur observers' program -- that
follows through on that idea.

"But I said: 'There's a lot of really advanced amateurs around the
world who would love to get involved in some serious science,' "
Emerson recalls. He says he'll be recording the event from a new
backyard observatory at his retirement spot in southwestern New

Squashed like a bug

When the comet slams into the spacecraft's impactor at some 23,000
miles an hour -- an event one astronomer has likened to a 767 colliding
with a mosquito -- no one knows what the outcome will be. The
projectile could ding the comet's ice-and-rock surface, excavating a
crater the size of a house. Or it could carve a hole as wide as a
football stadium and 14 stories deep. The Deep Impact spacecraft will
observe the proceedings -- fleetingly -- as it speeds past the comet,
then beam the results back to Earth for the first close-up of the
anatomy of a comet.

But long after the big telescopes have turned elsewhere, the cadre of
amateurs will still be staring at the afterglow of the celestial
fireworks of the Fourth of July.

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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login nor registration requirements at in the far right
side column.

*** FAIR USE NOTICE. This message contains copyrighted material the
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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
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For more information go to:

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: This proposed collision of the comet
and the satellite on July 4 has caused some interest at the
Independence High School and the Community College, where the
Astronomy class plans to observe it through a telescope that day.  PAT]


From: Lisa Minter <>
Subject: Tutorial: What is Broadband?
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 13:05:26 -0500

A tutorial from Broadband Reports:

Broadband refers to telecommunication that provides
multiple channels of data over a single communications medium,
typically using some form of frequency or wave division multiplexing.

Broadband access is a vehicle that allows the delivery of an entirely
new breed of media services and communications-oriented
applications. In the long run, it is these new services and
applications that will differentiate broadband from dial-up Internet
access and give consumers a reason for subscribing to broadband. Audio
and video are the obvious cornerstones of this coming high-speed
revolution. Speedy connections coupled with always-on access will
improve the consumer multimedia experience and change the types of
business models that are viable in the interactive marketplace. As use
of broadband grows to more than 20 million subscribers by 2004,
traditional media companies may uncover opportunities for growth and
acquisition in these alternative content categories enabled by the
high-speed Internet. Broadband will not replace traditional media
formats as they exist today. But it will emerge as a new source of
fragmentation, siphoning off enough listeners and viewers to affect
established media entities and their long-term growth.

Federal Full broadband lines are lines with information carrying
capability in excess of 200 Kbps in both directions, simultaneously.
One-way broadband lines are lines with information carrying capacity
in excess of 200 Kbps in one direction (typically downstream) and less
than or equal to 200 Kbps in the other direction (typically upstream).

Broadband Access for Consumers is either through DSL (Digital
Subscriber Lines) or via cable modem. See attached FCC Document

DSL is a technology for bringing high-speed and high-bandwidth, which
is directly proportional to the amount of data transmitted or received
per unit time, information to homes and small businesses over ordinary
copper telephone lines already installed in hundreds of millions of
homes and businesses worldwide. With DSL, consumers and businesses
take advantage of having a dedicated, always-on connection to the

There are currently at least six different types of DSL. They are
Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL), Symmetric Digital
Subscriber Line (SDSL), ISDN Digital Subscriber Line (IDSL),
High-bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line (HDSL), Very high-bit-rate
Digital Subscriber Line (VDSL), and Rate-Adaptive Digital Subscriber
Line (RADSL).  Each one has different technical ranges, capabilities,
and limitations.

Cable modems (CM) are designed to operate over cable TV lines to
provide high-speed access to the Web or corporate Intranets. A power
splitter and a new cable are usually required. The splitter divides
the signal for the "old" installations and the new segment that
connects the cable modem. No television sets are accepted on the new
string that goes to the cable modem.

There are three types of CM: external modem, internal modem, and
interactive set-top cable box. A number of different cable modem
configurations are possible. Over time more systems will arrive.

Cable modem services offer shared bandwidth between your and your
neighbors. Your speed will vary with how many people are on the cable
modem network, which may be a disadvantage. With DSL service, you have
a dedicated connection to your home.

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, Broadband

For more information go to:


From: Lisa Minter <>
Subject: Groups Laud Yahoo For Closing Chat Rooms
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 13:07:45 -0500

By GREG SANDOVAL, AP Technology Writer

Family advocacy groups lauded Yahoo Inc. on Thursday for closing its
chat rooms to clean up areas that allegedly were used to prey on

Over the past month, pressure has been building on Yahoo to crack down
on chat rooms that promoted sex with minors. After learning some of
their advertisements were showing up in such chat rooms, companies
such as PepsiCo Inc., Georgia-Pacific Corp. and State Farm Insurance
removed their ads.

Yahoo's move came after a lawsuit was filed against the Internet
portal last month on behalf of a 12-year-old molestation victim and
following a long campaign by watchdog groups to persuade Yahoo and
other large Internet portals to purge their sites of child porn. The
suit seeks $10 million in damages.

"The specific reason for the closure not withstanding, this is a
positive a step in the online fight against child exploitation," said
Michelle Collins, director of the exploited children unit at The
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, based in
Alexandria, Va.

Yahoo spokeswoman Mary Osako said the company closed down user-created
sites to make enhancements and to ensure users were adhering to the
site's terms of service.

But after years of trying to persuade Sunnyvale-based Yahoo to go
after child pornographers operating within the chat rooms, critics
suspect the threat of a costly civil suit and the potential loss of
advertising dollars likely prompted Yahoo to act.

Patrick Truman, a senior legal counsel for the conservative Christian
group, Family Research Council and a former federal prosecutor,
believes Yahoo has the means to police its site more effectively than
it does. The company acknowledges that it does not monitor its chat

"I'm glad a suit has finally been brought because it will give someone
access to the way Yahoo operates," Truman said. "Records can now be
subpoenaed that will show the kind of knowledge Yahoo has about the
trade of child pornography in its chat rooms."

In 2002, an FBI investigation revealed that child pornography was
being distributed on a Yahoo Group called Candyman. Yahoo Groups are
similar to chat rooms but allow members to access their own Web site
within Yahoo and communicate via e-mail. Candyman operated two months
before being shut down.

Among the photographs circulated on Candyman was one of a 12-year-old
boy from Georgia who was molested and photographed committing sex acts
against his will, according to the boy's attorney, Adam Voyles.

The lawsuit claims Yahoo, which has until July to respond to the suit,
is liable for what transpired within Candyman.

"These problems are not new," Voyles said. "It's been going on since
the 1990s. Yahoo has not changed its behavior. I hope it does. I hope
they take this opportunity to clean up."

Meanwhile, Yahoo must move to shore up its relationship with some of
its sponsors.

Pepsi removed ads that were being displayed in the suspect chat rooms,
but continued to advertise elsewhere on Yahoo. But Atlanta-based
Georgia-Pacific, the maker of Brawny paper towels, removed all its ads
from Yahoo, company spokeswoman, Robin Keegan said.

"We were absolutely horrified to find out about this," Keegan said,
adding that the company had no knowledge that their ads were appearing
in the chat rooms in question.

Some users who obeyed the site's rules were upset by Yahoo's decision
to close down all user-created sites, posted online complaints about
the decision.

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. To see a complete stream of news headlines from AP 
and other news sources, check out any of the 'FeedRoll' streams in
the Telecom Digest Extra pages; the index to same is in the column
on the left side of the screen, or at 


Subject: Net2Phone Review and Caution
Date: 24 Jun 2005 06:51:15 -0700

I will say that the process for getting Net2Phone is pretty easy.  I
*was* trying to use Net2Phone but the call quality is very, very poor.
I've get to get a conversation where the person I'm calling doesn't
hang up and call me on my land line.  The thing that really ticks me
off though is that you have to keep the BargainsBuddy spyware
installed or the product doesn't work, which it didn't work in a
useful fashion anyway.  The product also does not have a phone book to
store your "to phone" contacts, only your "in network" contacts.

Very poor product.


Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 12:44:27 EDT
From: Telecom dailyLead from USTA <>
Subject: NTT DoCoMo revs 4G

Telecom dailyLead from USTA
June 24, 2005

* NTT DoCoMo revs 4G
* Sprint Nextel Corp. unveils branding plan
* Finland picks Flarion for wireless broadband network
* AT&T extends reach to new markets
* Cingular to stop selling Ogo device
* Telecoms using Microsoft face snags with TV plans
* Free Webinar: Understanding Your Customer Increasing Revenue
* Video search emerges on the scene
* MCI tests commercial VoIP
* Comcast launches VoIP in Portland area
* VoIP comes to mobile phones
* Japanese companies launch joint mobile IP project
* Once VoIP-focused Fonality launches new PBX option
* Reports: P2P still popular

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


From: Jean Marc <>
Subject: Re: Which Video Plug-in For Skype? or
Date: 24 Jun 2005 10:08:18 -0700

I agree, vSkype, even with bugs, offers more features (group/sharing).


Subject: Re: SBC DSL Total Fee Per Month
From: Dean M. <>
Organization: SBC
Date:Fri, 24 Jun 2005 06:49:49 GMT

I can tell you that in my case the FUSF is ~$2. As best I can read the
bill, there are no other taxes associated with the DSL line; they're
all associated with the phone line (which of course is necessary for
the DSL but that's another story).


On Thu, 23 Jun 2005 21:30:22 -0700, <> wrote:

> I haven't subscribed SBC DSL before. I am interested in the Express
> package that charges 14.95 per month, but it excludes tax and FUSF
> fee. I want to ask usually how much it will charge for each month in
> my case?

> Please advise. Thanks!!


From: (Robert Bonomi)
Subject: Re: SBC DSL Total Fee Per Month
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 10:36:07 -0000
Organization: Widgets, Inc.

In article <>,
<> wrote:

> I haven't subscribed SBC DSL before. I am interested in the Express
> package that charges 14.95 per month, but it excludes tax and FUSF
> fee. I want to ask usually how much it will charge for each month in
> my case?

There's actually a reason they don't advertise an 'all in' cost -- "it
varies by location".

There are Federal taxes, State-level taxes, and _municipal_ level
taxes that one has to cope with.  And usually several items of _each_

The "Universal Service Fee" shouldn't apply if DSL is being added as a
'shared' service on the POTS pair.  You're already paying that as part
of the POTS service.

The 'package' deals are a whole lot messier, because you've got
several kinds of service included.  each with its _own_ bundle of
taxes -- Not all taxes apply to all kinds of service in the bundle,
and even when they do, they may be at different percentages depending
on the particular service in the bundle.

In _broad_ terms, for POTS service, taxes can add around 20-25% to the
'base' billing, maybe even more.  For DSL, there's a lot more
variability -- some people quote 'all in' numbers; for those that
don't, figure at least 5% tacked on.  possibly as high at 20% (rare)

> Please advise. Thanks!!

Call SBC and ask for the exact figures for _your_ address.  If the
front-line salesdroid can't come up with them, ask for a supervisor.

Then, to be a _real_ PITA, ask them for a -written- quote.  MAILED,
not e-mailed.


From: (Robert Bonomi)
Subject: Re: Cardholders Kept in Dark After Breach -- Washington Post
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 11:02:59 -0000
Organization: Widgets, Inc.

In article <>, Marcus Didius Falco
<> wrote:

> I had been planning to call my active credit card companies to
> determine whether any had been compromised. This article caused me to
> start the process this morning, calling American Express, my most
> active account.

> After thanking me for carrying their card for 21 years, they refused
> to tell me whether any of my three cards was among those
> compromised.

Well, they don't *know* which cards were actually compromised.  NOBODY
_knows_ which card numbers were actually stolen from CardSystems.

CardSystems only knows which card numbers were _vulnerable_ to have
being stolen -- data as to which of those _were_ stolen is simply not

> They tried to tell me that they have all sorts of "anti-fraud"
> procedures. Even so, it was Master Card and not American Express
> that first uncovered the problem,

NOT surprising.  MC has a _lot_ more cards out there, and a *lot* more
transactions/day than AMEX does.

Identifying 'suspect' transactions is one thing -- you look for things
that are 'inconsistent' with the history _for_that_account.
Identifying *where* a 'data theft' occurred, is a whole different
kettle of fish.  You have to have a _volume_ of accounts with similar
suspect transactions first, and then go looking for 'common history'
in prior activity on those accounts.

If only because of the larger number of cardholders, and thus the
larger volume of transactions, I would _expect_ MC to find
'statistically significant' correlations sooner than Amex.

> and there is no way I can reliably double check an account that has
> dozens of charges a month, many of them posted in the name of parent
> companies located at head offices in other cities, so that many of
> the charges are not easily verified and must usually be taken on
> faith.

Well, unless, _you_ keep a record of everything you charge -- date and
amount.  And match them against the statements you get.  It's not
really rocket science.

I used to do it every month, for several corporate cards that had
several _hundred_ charges/month.  Life was _really_ fun when the
Company President's son (away at college) used daddy's card to sign up
for Internet access (and the fact that the initial posting was 'late',
and was for _4_ months services).  That one _jumped_ off the statement
at me -- the company had it's own dial-up pool, and everybody used
_that_ for home access.

If you choose not to do so, and 'uncritically' accept their
accounting, that _is_ your choice.

> Accordingly, I told them to cancel all three cards and send me new
> ones.  They were not happy, but were unwilling to tell me whether
> the cards had been compromised. Perhaps if they have the expense of
> replacing many customers credit cards, some necessarily and many
> unnnecessarily, they will start taking security and customer service
> more seriously.

> When I get the new American Express cards I will call the second
> most active card in my wallet, and so on down the list.

Note: if you are in the UK, as your email address seems to indicate,
it is _unlikely_ that any of your cards were exposed via the
CardSystems 'problem'.  Unless you're doing siginficant credit-card
buying in the U.S., that is.  CardSystems clears almost exclusively
for U.S.-based merchants.


From: Choreboy <>
Subject: Re: DSL Speed
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 12:10:26 -0400
Organization: Posted via Supernews, wrote:

> Choreboy wrote:

>> Ah, crosstalk!  It seems to me that if DSL uses the same wire dialup
>> used, the same crosstalk will be present.

> Not necessarily.  Remember AM and FM radio waves go through the same
> air, but AM is much more sensitive to lightning and other static than
> is FM.

By your analogy comparing a noisy room to a quiet one, I thought you
meant the wiring for DSL had no crosstalk.

> DSL service may be arranged to minimize crosstalk.

So there's less crosstalk on wiring used for DSL?

>> On dialup, it seemed to be the wire that wouldn't let me connect at
>> the farm at the same speed I could connect a block from the CO.  I
>> wonder how the farm wire, that wouldn't take 50k on dialup, will carry
>> 1.5M or more on DSL.

> Because it's NOT just the wire to the farm, but ALSO other parts of
> the telephone plant being set up for DSL.

At the farm, it seems to be the wire that limited my dialups to 46k
when I got 52k in town.  If the wire wouldn't carry more than 46k, it
wouldn't matter what the telco did at their end.  I wonder how a DSL
signal can carry 1.5M through those mile of wire.

>> I have trouble understanding on the phone, and I often resort to
>> the phonetic alphabet to be understood.  I think the problem may be
>> more in the typical quality of phones than in bandwidth.  You could
>> have broadcast quality microphones and loudspeakers and it will
>> still sound like a telephone because of the limited bandwidth.
>> Since bandwidth is limited, telephone components aren't high
>> fidelity as it would be a waste to make them so.  (I believe the
>> modern "K" handset is clearer than the older "G" handset.)

Military AM and SSB are limited to 300-3000 Hz. Shortwave radios can
be filtered that way for tuning and difficult conditions.  Speach
comes across pretty clearly.  If telephone voices are harder to
understand, I think the problem must be something besides the nominal
bandwidth of a telephone.

>> Does a POTS line from the CO to a house carry multiple voices?

> Depending on the location, often times yes.  Between central offices
> or within the CO almost always yes.  I mean if you live across the
> street from the CO you probably have dedicated copper pair, but you
> live some distance you probably are multiplexed over a carrier line.
> The degree of multiplex determines your bandwidth.

Would you be able to connect with V90 on a multiplexed line?

>> For marketing, bundling can entice a customer who would not
>> otherwise have bought them all.  You lose the customer who wnats just
>> one and doesn't have money to waste.  That's why Henry Ford didn't
>> bundle his cars with garages.

> Remember that while Henry Ford did very well at first, eventually
> General Motors and Chrysler surpassed him with their cars.  They
> couldn't be the Model T on price, but they had better marketing.  What
> was great in 1918 wasn't so great in 1928.  Henry Ford was so stubborn
> he almost ruined the company and his family had to take it away from
> him.  Even his wife voted her shares with the others and he was forced
> out.  It's a shame such a brilliant man was also such an mean SOB.
> His "$5/day" wages was partly myth.

I think it was speed and price.  Roads had improved by 1928, and other
brands were faster than the Model T.  I suppose the competition was
also more affordable than it had been in 1908.  Similarly, consumers
who once settled for 14.4 modems now want faster speeds, depending on
the price.

>> I was speaking of Bellsouth's costs.  I understood million-dollar
>> switches were the big cost for voice service, while equipment to carry
>> heavy internet traffic was the big cost for DSL.

> In many cases, if not all, the equipment is the same.  Today voice
> talk is converted to digital for transmission, and those digital
> signals share the lines with DSL signals.  I'd say the biggest
> investment (beyond more capacity) was in local loops so that customers
> could have reasonable speed on DSL.  Not everyone can get it.

Earlier in the thread I learned that the switches for voice calls are
very expensive.

As far as capacity goes, I don't know how fast is the digital stream
for a voice call, but I'm sure DSL at 2.5Mb/s requires much more of
the telco's capacity.


Subject: Re: Bell Divestiture 
From: David Wilson <>
Date: 24 Jun 2005 17:06:43 +1000
Organization: University of Wollongong

TELECOM Digest Editor noted in response to a writer:

> And Apple licensed Microsoft Basic for its machines, but gave it a
> new name 'Applesoft DOS' instead.

Applesoft BASIC = Microsoft 6502 cassette BASIC + Apple graphic
commands It took 10KB (5x 2KB ROMs) and used 5 byte floating point

The OSI Superboard had an 8KB Microsoft 6502 cassette BASIC and used 4
byte floating point numbers -- same range (up to 10**38 if I recall)
but less accuracy. The funky 2 character error codes were due to an
oversight -- the high bit of the second character was not cleared
resulting in a graphic symbol instead of the appropriate letter (it
should have been "NF" for NEXT without FOR and "/0" for division by
zero etc).

Apple DOS was written in house at Apple and added disk commands (in a
rather unique kluge due to the cassette BASIC not having any DOS hooks
built into it). 

David Wilson School of IT & CS, Uni of Wollongong, Australia


From: Steve Sobol <>
Subject: Re: Cardholders Kept in Dark After Breach -- Washington Post
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 00:12:14 -0700
Organization: Glorb Internet Services,

Marcus Didius Falco wrote:

> After thanking me for carrying their card for 21 years, they refused
> to tell me whether any of my three cards was among those
> compromised. 

Amex sucks. Tear the card up and get another to replace it.

> When I get the new American Express cards I will call the second most
> active card in my wallet, and so on down the list.

Why not do all of them at once? If the data is at risk, you're best off 
doing it sooner rather than later.

> Such credit-card-issuing banks said MasterCard and Visa have shared
> with them lists of account numbers that may have been
> compromised. Though such accounts may earn heightened scrutiny from
> the banks that issued them, customers may never know whether their
> account numbers were among those stolen by hackers.

Which, of course, screws the customers to a certain extent, but screws
the merchants even more because the merchants bear the losses. Amex is
the worst to deal with if you're a merchant. They are expensive and
have very merchant-unfriendly policies. (I think some of their
cardholder policies aren't very friendly, either.)

> "Those accounts have been flagged, and we're watching them even more
> closely than we otherwise would," said Jim Donahue, spokesman at
> MBNA. "If we start to see an unusual rate of fraud [among the set of
> compromised accounts], we would consider notifying those customers
> impacted -- but we haven't seen that yet."

Yeah. What a load of self-serving crap. It's not just about the credit 
cards. It's about SSNs and other personal information. To withhold 
information about such breaches is criminal.

> "That sounds really bad to us," said Chanelle Hardy, legislative
> counsel at Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer
> Reports magazine. "Any time that any unauthorized person gets access
> to sensitive or personal information, [the cardholder] should be
> notified," she said. "For a consumer, it's the first line of
> defense. It's almost their only line of defense."

Exactly. - 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"


Subject: Re: Dial/Touch Tone Speeds (was Re: Bell Divestiture)
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 01:40:02 -0700
Organization: Cox Communications wrote:

> wrote:

>> I note that PBX operators had 20 pps dials while the rest of us had 10
>> pps.  Some kids experimented and found 20 pps worked at home.  Now, it
>> was easy to modify the dial to go faster -- so why didn't Bell have
>> everyone at 20 pps -- faster utilization of equipment?  I strongly
>> suspect there were valid technical reasons not to.

During the transition period of deployment to electronic switching, a
lot of step-by-step office were provided with DTMF-to-dial-pulse
converters so the Bell System and independent LEC could sell DTMF
service to subscribers.  That implementation was definately limited to
something not far above the recommened interval for DTMF tones.  As to
speeding up dial pulse, that would work on a Crossbar because the
origin dial pulse was not driving the switching matrix, where is was
on a stepper switch.

Any PBX hooked to a stepper switch had to have its dial pulse limited
to 10 pps.


From: (Robert Bonomi)
Subject: Re: Dial/Touch Tone Speeds (was Re: Bell Divestiture)
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 10:19:08 -0000
Organization: Widgets, Inc.

In article <>,
<> wrote:

> Would anyone remember in what year dual-mode phones (keypad with a
> little switch to convert to pulse if necessary) came out in wide
> quantity?  I think that was around the time they stopped using real
> ringer bells.  My guess is the late 1980s.

Third-party manufacturers of phones for direct attach to the PSTN
offered it from nearly day one.  That way you could have th 'fancy
looking' push-button phone _without_ having to pay the telco extra
every month for Touch-Tone(tm) service.


From: (Robert Bonomi)
Subject: Re: Hayes Smartmodems (was Re: Bell Divestiture)
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2005 10:10:43 -0000
Organization: Widgets, Inc.

In article <>,
<> wrote:

> Fred Atkinson wrote:

>> I got him to describe the setup.  Then I asked him how he was making
>> it dial.  He told me that he was typing in 'ATD9,' and then the area
>> code and the number.

>> When Hayes designed the Smartmodem, they should have had the unit
>> default to touch-tone instead of outpulsing rotor dialing by default.
>> Incidents like this could have been avoided.  I happened to know that
>> this customer's PBX did not support rotary dialing.  The 'T' I added
>> to the string switched the unit from default rotary dialing to touch
>> tone.  Problem solved.

> I'm confused.  IIRC, the command was four characters, either
> ATDT or ATDP.  Are you saying it would work with three?

You remember incorrectly.  "ATD" was basic "dial" command.  It dialed
the number in whatever was the default mode configured for the modem.
OPTIONALLY, you could 'prefix' the number to be dialed with either a
'T' or a 'P' to force dialing in a particular manner.  > >Also, for
dialing out of a PBX, wasn't a 'pause' character needed to >allow time
for the second dial tone?

That depended on the PBX.  <grin>  You could also do it at two separate
commaneds -- e.g:

> Way back then a lot of people still had rotary service and most
> systems supported both.  I don't think early on defaulting to pulse
> was such a bad idea for those days.

Entirely correct.  tone dialing was ubiquitous at businesses, but did
not have anywhere the same degree of penetration on residential lines.
A lot of people refused to pay the extra per month charge.

> IIRC, Hayes was the leader in modems, but didn't they end up going
> bankrupt?  I didn't understand that.

Hayes was the _early_ leader in building affordable modems for the
home/hobby market.  they did a poor job of adapting to the changes in
the marketplace, as speeds went above 2400 baud.  the 'higher speed'
market became fractured, as there were _not_ any standards to
follow. There were a number of 'proprietary' schemes implemented --
resulting in manufactur A's high speed modem not being able to talk to
manufacturer B's unit, except by falling back to 2400, or maybe 1200.

The Pac Rim 'copycat' manufacturer's came along, and were putting
'price pressure' on the lower end of the line, while 'incompatibility'
problems plagued the high-end sales.

>> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I think we used 'ATT' for tone dialing
>> and 'ATP' for pulse dialing.

If so, it was not a genuine Hayes unit.  Some of the copycat
manufacturers did build in those 'shortcut' commands.  In the true
Hayes command set, the 'T' or 'P' was part of the 'dialed number', not
part of the command.  for modems that 'saved' numbers, for 'speed
dial", or for 'auto-dial', the 'T' or 'P' was kept as part of the
stored number.  You just issued an: "AT {mumble} 4" for example, to
speed-dial stored number #4, where the string stored as #4 was "T


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