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TELECOM Digest     Sun, 17 Jul 2005 21:33:00 EDT    Volume 24 : Issue 328

Inside This Issue:                             Editor: Patrick A. Townson

    Non-English Domain Names Likely Delayed (Anik Jesdanun)
    A Decade After Birth of E-commerce, Downtown Becomes a Slum (AFP News)
    Podcasting Spurs a 'Land Grab' (Greg Sandoval)
    Remember Internet Consumers (Cleveland Plain Dealer Editorial)
    Music Industry Complaints (News Wire)
    Re: Muzzling the Muppets/Bush Wants PBS to Toe Republican Line (Tony P.)
    Re: Muzzling the Muppets/Bush Wants PBS to Toe Republican Line (McHarry)
    Re: News Corp. Forms Internet Division (jared)
    Re: Who Really Controls Internet? (Barry Margolin)
    Re: Mossberg: Tracking Cookies are Spyware (Julian Thomas)
    Re: Corrupted PC's Find New Home in the Dumpster (Steve Sobol)
    Re: Don't Let Data Theft Happen to You (Phil Earnhardt)
    Re: Don't Let Data Theft Happen to You (John McHarry)
    Re: A Pass on Privacy? (Tony P.)
    Re: Finger Scanning At Disney Parks Causes Concern (Dale Farmer)
    Re: Nigeria Jails Woman in $242 Million Fraud (mc)

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: Anick Jesdanun <>
Subject: Non-English Domain Names Likely Delayed
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 17:52:28 -0500

By ANICK JESDANUN, AP Internet Writer

Concerns about "phishing" e-mail scams will likely delay the expansion
of domain names beyond non-English characters, the chairman of the
Internet's key oversight agency said Friday.

Vint Cerf, head of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and
Numbers, would not speculate on when such characters might appear but
said Internet engineers must now spend time "trying to winnow down,
frankly, the number of character (sets) that are allowed to be

Demand for non-English domain names is high outside the United States
and a U.N. panel studying Internet governance said in a report
Thursday that "insufficient progress has been made toward
multilingualization." It cited the lack of international coordination
and technical hurdles as among the problems.

Officially, the Internet's Domain Name System supports only 37
characters -- the letters of the Latin alphabet, 10 numerals and a

But in recent years, in response to a growing Internet population
worldwide, engineers have been working on ways to trick the system
into understanding other languages, such as Arabic, Chinese and

Engineers have rallied around a character system called Unicode.

But security experts warned earlier this year of a potential exploit
that takes advantage of the fact that characters that look alike can
have two separate codes in Unicode and thus appear to the computer as
different. For example, Unicode for "a" is 97 under the Latin
alphabet, but 1072 in Cyrillic.

Subbing one for the other can allow a scammer to register a domain
name that looks to the human as "," tricking users into
giving passwords and other sensitive information at what looks like a
legitimate site. It's much like how scammers now use the numeral "1"
sometimes instead of the letter "l" to trick users.

"In some of the early tests, ... it became clear we had opened up the
opportunity for registering very misleading names," Cerf said in a
conference call wrapping up ICANN's meetings this week in
Luxembourg. "This kind of potential confusion leads to parties going
to what they think are valid Web sites."

Cerf said it may be possible to proceed with character sets that
aren't at risk of confusion as the standards-setting Internet
Engineering Task Force tackles the broader security concerns with
non-English names.

Tests of non-English characters have been going on for years, and in a
few cases they are fully operational. Last year, operators of the
German ".de" domain began offering 92 accented and other special
characters, including the umlaut common in German names.

But ICANN has yet to approve domain names entirely in another
language; all addresses now must end with an English string such as

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. Listen to AP News Radio and view their stories at No login nor registration

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I think people who are more familiar
with other language sets should be allowed to use them on the net;
instead of stalling on the development of these things, in order to
make the internet as useful as possible in _all countries_ of the 
world and not just the _English speaking countries_, Vint Cerf is
claiming that there are likely to be misunderstandings by Americans
(in what is presented) which will lead to more scams, etc. Of course,
ICANN (read, Vint Cerf) won't make any changes in the contracts we
all were forced to sign in order to be able to use this damn system;
they could write severe punishments, i.e. ex-communication, into their
contracts, but they refuse to do that as well. So guys, if the English
language subset is not all that familiar to you, don't expect any
improvements anytime soon. I feel those domains -- such as 'de' which
are not subject to ICANN should go right ahead and do as they please.


From: News Wire <> 
Subject: A Decade After Birth of E-Commerce, Downtown Becomes a Slum
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 17:53:30 -0500

After enjoying phenomenal growth in its first 10 years, Internet
commerce faces new challenges amid growing fears of viruses, spyware
and a range of fraud schemes.

The e-commerce revolution led by companies like eBay and,
both created a decade ago, has made the Internet a permanent part of
the world of commerce.

But even as more consumers join the rush, many are growing fearful
about maintaining their privacy, protecting their personal data and
the potential of falling victim to nefarious elements in cyberspace.

A survey of US Web users by the Pew Internet and American Life Project
released this month shows 91 percent have changed the way they behave
online as they try to avoid these problems.

Among the other findings of the survey: 81 percent said they stopped
opening e-mail attachments unless they are sure these documents are
safe; 48 percent have stopped visiting sites that they fear might
deposit unwanted programs on their computers; and 25 percent have
stopped downloading music or video files from peer-to-peer networks to
avoid things like spyware.

A separate Conference Board survey last month showed more than half of
online consumers say their level of concern has grown over the past
year and many have changed the way they use the Internet, with some
scaling back online purchases.

Nearly 70 percent of online users have installed additional security
software on their PCs, and 54 percent now "opt out" of special offers;
41 percent are purchasing less online, the survey by the business
research firm showed.

The research firm Gartner, in its poll of 5,000 US adults, showed
growing concerns about "phishing," in which fake e-mails are disguised
to look like legitimate requests from banks or credit cards firms, a
technique used in identity theft schemes.

In the 12 months to May 2005, an estimated 73 million US adults who
use the Internet said they received an average of more than 50
phishing e-mails in the past year, Gartner said. That was up 28
percent from a prior survey.

Also, some 2.4 million online consumers reported losing money directly
because of the phishing attacks, although most said this was repaid by
banks or credit card issuers, the Gartner survey indicated.

Online retail sales in the US market, the world's most developed,
amounted to 141.4 billion dollars in 2004, according to the National
Retail Federation. Some forecasts see that figure hitting 331 billion
dollars by 2010.

Globally, eBay alone is expected to have sales of more than 40 billion
dollars this year, up by a third over last year.

But Gartner estimates that US banks and credit card issuers lost about
1.2 billion dollars last year to phishing schemes. And analysts say
the high-tech community needs some kind of system of authenticating
e-mail to ensure that an e-mail actually comes from the person who's
purporting to send it.

"Companies need to take steps quickly to beef up online security,"
said Avivah Litan, vice president and research director at Gartner.

"We are seeing unprecedented levels in consumer transactions
online. Yet businesses cannot rely on the Internet to lower costs and
improve marketing efforts indefinitely if consumer trust continues to

Pew found 93 million US Internet users, or 68 percent, cited computer
trouble in the past year that is consistent with problems caused by
spyware and viruses, although 60 percent were not sure where the
problem originated.

One in four said they found new programs on their computers that they
did not install or new icons that seemed to come out of nowhere, with
one in five saying their starting point, or home page, had
inexplicably changed.

"These survey results show that as Internet users gain experience with
spyware and adware, they are more likely to say they are changing
their behavior," said Pew's Susannah Fox.

"But what is more alarming is the larger universe of people who have
struggled with mysterious computer problems, but have no idea
why. Internet users are increasingly frustrated and frightened that
they are not in charge of their Internet experience."

Copyright 2005 Agence France Presse.

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[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Any of you who live in large
metropolitan areas have probably seen your 'downtown' area change
dramatically -- for the worse -- in the past thirty or forty years.
In Chicago, for example, what was once a vibrant area with more than a
dozen movie theatres, about the same number of department stores, the
symphony, several legitimate theatres and any number of wonderful
restaurants has deteriorated very badly, as people grew afraid to go
to the downtown area at night; fears of pickpockets, assaults by bums
in general, very poor transit many times, etc made it just no longer a
pleasant experience. In downtown Chicago, State and Madison Streets
are mostly deserted at night. Very few restaurants open at night, few
or no public restrooms, etc. Unlike Chicago or many other cities where
it took thirty or forty years of decay and political corruption to 
reach the stage things are in, on the net it has only taken around
10 years to reach the point that many users are 'afraid to go out at

In large cities, a process called 'gentrification' has been going on
which attempts to restore some of the glory and granduer to the
business district and residential areas. People complain a lot about
gentrification, claiming it has the effect of 'pricing people out of
the neighborhood'.  In order to pay for the 'gentrification', or
improvements, the prices have to go _way_ up of course, and the 'bums'
or poor people cannot afford to live there any longer. My brother, for
example, mentioned that condominiums (which is basically all there is
to live in in Chicago, if you want a decent place these days) have
outrageous price tags attached to them. Object: price the bums out of
the neighborhood. A group of the 'new settlers' in an area called
'South Loop' (immediatly south of the downtown area in Chicago, along
South State Street and Congress Parkway) has been moaning and carrying-on
about the Pacific Garden Mission as one example. PGM has been there in
that same spot for 135 years doing whatever it does ... the 'new settlers'
in South Loop arrived maybe five years ago; and _they_ think PGM
should be forced out ('those bums are ruining our neighborhood', etc).

Well, I digress, just a little, but I see the very same thing
happening in our 'village', the internet. God only knows decay has set
in very badly on the net; crime is _so_ rampant, we probably need some
'gentrification', and I think ICANN knows that to be the case (just
like Mayor Daley runs Chicago, ICANN in essence 'runs the net'). Just
as politics and corruption dictate Mayor Daley's posture on things,
politics dictates ICANN's posture as well. I doubt we will see any
real changes -- any 'gentrification' if you will -- on the net for at
least a few years until the crime -- i.e. scams and spams and viruses
and other nuisances have gotten to be _so bad_ that all of the
oldtime,' original settlers of this village have thrown up their hands
in disgust and walked away. 

When it has gotten to the point that there is no one left here at all
from the old days, and the net is just one .com after another, one
E-Bay located next to an Amazon, then a couple of sex movie houses,
etc and everyone else knows the minute they plug in the cable/DSL to
the back of their computer one or more viruses or spy-cookies is going
to slip in and there are jillions of computers gathering dust in the
closet next to the CB radios, then and only then will Vint Cerf and
the others at ICANN decide to get down to business. What Vint _wanted_
to do back in 1994, along with Al Gore, of inventing the internet as a
business proposition only will happen by default. All of the original
settlers of 'internet village' will have gone away and then watch: all
the lame excuses for why spam and scam cannot be controlled (and you
have heard them all, same as me; just ask a couple of the more vocal
users here about how we cannot dictate to other sites, we cannot do X
because spammers will retaliate with Y, etc) -- all those excuses will
vanish and the transition from friendly place with decent users to
strictly big-business concerns will be complete. If I have been
threatened once with having _my_ own interconnectivity cut off if I
resorted to certain self-help spam fighting techinqes, I have been
threatened a dozen times. I wish some of these fools _would_ just cut
me off ... so they could get down to the business of making over the
net in Vint Cerf's image.  PAT]


From: Greg Sandoval <> 
Subject: Podcasting Spurs a Media 'Land Grab'
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 17:55:28 -0500

By GREG SANDOVAL, AP Technology Writer

The runaway popularity of blogging, which has turned everyday people
into online news outlets, caught the media establishment off
guard. The industry is trying not to make the same mistake with
podcasting -- which lets nearly anyone "broadcast" on the Internet.

Everyone from Disney to Newsweek to National Public Radio is now
offering podcasts, and Apple Computer, Inc. last month made it a whole
lot easier to find them and download them to iPods.

While profits remain elusive, there's a bigger prize out there -- the
company that manages to become the go-to Web site for podcasts could
gain enough leverage to strike favorable deals with proven content
providers, and generate cash by charging for subscriptions and

Podcasts are recorded audio files, distributed via Internet
download. They can be stored on computers or digital music players and
played back whenever the listener chooses. Like bloggers, podcasters
can sound off on whatever they please -- from politics and religion to
gladiolas and glass-blowing.

For now, podcasts are mostly talk -- the complexities of the
music-licensing business make it exceedingly difficult to legally
include songs in the audio files. Podcasting isn't likely to explode
in popularity until companies figure out how to guarantee that music
owners get paid.

But as tens of thousands of podcasters seek audiences, a growing
number of companies are trying to make sense of what's out there and
become magnets for the best of it. They include not just Apple but
also, and as of last weekend, another
startup --

In Odeo's newly renovated loft across the street from the Giants'
ballpark, Evan Williams and his first nine employees have hustled to
launch the beta version, which creates directories of podcasts for
downloading and provides studio-quality sound tools for podcasters to

Odeo encourages podcasters to upload their shows on its
site. Recognizing that one of the main complaints about podcasting is
the difficulty of finding them, Odeo organizes the shows by
genre. Odeo's headings includes arts, food, religion, sex, and
technology. There is even a one called "weird."

To help listeners discover new shows, Odeo employees scour the site
for the best and display their recommendations on the "Featured
Channels" page.

Williams, who co-founded before selling it off to Google
three years ago, is enough of a believer in podcasts to bankroll Odeo
out of his own pocket. And while he won't say exactly how he plans to
make a profit, he says charging for premium content or for access to
digital recording tools is a possibility.

Gaining legal access to popular music may be what's needed for
podcasting to become profitable. Without music, skeptics doubt there
is any money in it.

"There is no easy way to license music legally for podcasts," says
Fred von Lohmann, an attorney for the online civil liberties group
Electronic Frontier Foundation. "You have to clear the rights one song
at a time from record labels and artists and that's a painful

Williams, however, is optimistic: "If podcasting finds a large enough
audience, the money will come."

Already, some podcasters are willing to pay for superior tools,
according to Matt Galligan, who hosts a podcast called "The Spotlight"
that promotes music from unsigned and little-known artists.

"If you don't have good audio quality, people won't listen to you," he

Podcast Alley is a typical Internet bootstrap operation, prized by
fans of Internet "narrowcasting" not just for its podcast selection
but also for free tools and tips.

Launched in November and featuring 4,100 podcasts, it has just one
employee: founder Chris McIntyre, a 26-year-old programmer from
Nashville, Tenn.

McIntyre says the number of podcasts has tripled in the past three
months on his site and he's already begun selling enough ads to cover
his expenses.

"Podcasts appeal to niche markets that can help advertisers zero in on
their target audience," he said, adding that a podcast dedicated to
endurance sports has received money from Gatorade for plugging the
sports drink during the show.

In another sign that podcasting is attracting advertisers, Toyota has
agreed to underwrite all the podcasts for Los Angeles-based radio
station KCRW for six months in exchange for a 10-second mention in
each of the shows, said Ruth Seymour, KCRW's general manager.

If anyone is positioned to win big on podcasting, it's Apple, which
added an iPod directory that features more than 3,000 podcasts to the
company's iTunes music-download site on June 28. Apple said more than
a million podcasts were downloaded in the first two days the service
was active.

With its marketing muscle and customer base - 16 million iPods sold -
Apple has the clout and connections to strike deals to obtain music
rights and collect licensing fees from podcasters wishing to become
Web disc jockeys.

But it had better act fast.

NPR is negotiating with the music industry for podcasting rights as
are other media companies, according to Seymour, whose station
receives some of its programming from NPR.

She is eager for such a deal. Without one, KCRW is prevented from recording
podcasts for shows that include music. That means fans of the popular
"Morning Becomes Eclectic" must wait until music rights are obtained.

"The explosion for podcasting hasn't happened yet," said Seymour. "It
takes off the second that someone gets the music rights."

On the Net:

Podcast Alley:

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
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From: Cleveland Plain Dealer <>
Subject: Remember Internet Consumers
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 17:57:43 -0500

The little guys lost twice in Supreme Court decisions involving
technology last week, but in both instances the rulings hardly
represent the end of online battles.

The case that has attracted the most attention is also the most
straightforward. At issue is whether Internet file-sharing companies
can be held responsible if they encourage users to trade copyrighted
music and videos without paying for the materials.

Some attacked the unanimous decision, charging that the threat of
legal action would stifle needed innovation even as it allowed major
studios to cling to obsolete business practices. But the growing
presence of firms that offer legal download options undermines that
argument and ignores a more important one: the ubiquity of
file-swapping itself threatens innovation by denying artists their

The second decision involved whether cable companies must allow
competing Internet providers to use their networks to offer high-speed
service. Voting 6-3, the majority punted, saying that such decisions
are the purview of the Federal Communications Commission.

But the FCC already has ruled that cable systems are distinct from
telecommunications companies, and thus do not have to offer equal
access to lines. In a sharp dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia accused
his colleagues of making false distinctions between the services - and
worse, shirking the court's obligations.

The cable companies cheered, and the telecoms made noise about wanting
similar provisions. Congress -- which writes the laws on which the FCC
is supposed to issue regulations -- should be braced for lobbying of
unprecedented intensity and expense.

As quixotic as it may sound, we urge members of Ohio's delegation to
remember consumers in this process. The value of the Internet is
inherent in the universal opportunities it allows; if services are
narrowly controlled, huge opportunities for abuse exist.

As several critics argued after the opinion, if a single company
controls high-speed Internet in a community, it could deny -- or at
the very least slow down -- users' access to items the system's owners
oppose. Just consider the frightening implications for companies
competing to offer specific downloads, or political candidates seeking
to spread their platforms. Citizens win in free and robust exchanges;
it is crucial that Congress allow them to flourish.

Copyright 2005 

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: News Wire <> 
Subject: More Music Industry Complaints
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 17:59:45 -0500

Music industry says pirated CDs make everyone suffer.

The Recording Industry 2005 Commercial Piracy Report, prepared by the
International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), paints a
stark picture when it comes to global pirating of music compact discs.

According to the report, illegal traffic in pirated music was worth
$4.6 billion last year, 34% of all CDs are illegal, and fake
recordings outsell legitimate recordings in 31 countries around the

The report takes the position, not surprisingly, that this "mass-scale
copyright theft" is damaging the livelihoods and wellbeing of musical
artists and hundreds of thousands of persons employed legitimately in
the music industry. The report states that the music industry is a
"risky business" and that the industry must protect its intellectual
property, otherwise "the music industry quite simply would not exist."

In addition the harm to the music industry itself resulting from
pirated CDs, the report points out that governments and citizens are
hurt too, as "lost industry revenues mean lost tax revenues in the
hundreds of millions of dollars."

The report details a list of the top ten priority countries that have
markets that have "unacceptable piracy rates that urgently require
addressing." These countries are: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia,
Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Russia, Spain and Ukraine.

Thus, while there has been quite a public debate about online
downloading and file-sharing of music, culminating in the recent
Grokster decision by the United States Supreme Court, the report makes
plain the the pirating of tangible, physical CDs also is an issue to
be addressed.

Eric Sinrod is a partner in the San Francisco office of Duane Morris
(, where he focuses on litigation matters of
various types, including information technology disputes. His column
appears Wednesdays at His Web site is,
and he can be reached at To receive a weekly
e-mail link to Mr.  Sinrod's columns, please send an e-mail with the
word Subscribe in the subject line.

Copyright 2005 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

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requirements at


From: Tony P. <>
Subject: Re: Muzzling the Muppets/Bush Wants PBS to Toe Republican Line
Organization: ATCC
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 16:17:12 -0400

In article <>, says:

> Monty Solomon wrote:

>> As head of the board that doles out $400 million in federal funds for
>> public broadcasting, Tomlinson is actually required by law to provide
>> PBS and NPR with "maximum protection from extraneous influence and
>> control" by meddling politicians.

> I don't want any political interference in PBS.

> Unfortunately, IMHO, some PBS programming was politically biased
> reflecting left-aisle attitudes and did not present a balanced
> viewpoint.  For example, their series on New York City focused heavily
> on the lowest social station and gave short-shrift or a even negative
> view to the wealthy and business community.  A more balanced
> presentation would've focused on reasons factories and the middle
> class left the city in the 1950s.  All the show did was simply blame
> them for the troubles the people in the city had during those years.
> The story of the poor and disenfranchised is important, but the
> stories and concerns of the middle class and business community are
> important too.

Just finished reading Levin's "Freakonomics". There are two things
that stood out.

First -- that we need to provide unfettered access to abortion. The
tinkering with abortion we do now will directly correlate to a rise of
crime in 10 or so years.

Second -- we need to take care of those in need. Otherwise it comes
back to bite us in the ass.


From: John McHarry <>
Subject: Re: Muzzling the Muppets/Bush Wants PBS to Toe Republican Line
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 21:37:05 GMT
Organization: EarthLink Inc. --

On Sat, 16 Jul 2005 19:26:24 -0700, hancock4 wrote:

> Harry Truman and Richard Nixon both independently remarked that
> history will be written by a liberal perspective because most writers
> and social critics are of a liberal bent.

Reminds me of Thomas Kuhn's "The Structure of Scientific
Revolutions". His argument is that really big changes in science come
about when the upstart theory wins over the upcoming generation, since
the older, established, scientists can't change their views radically.

Professional historians have largely been fairly liberal for some
generations now. Since they are the writers of serious history, it has
been their views that have come down. If they somehow train up a
generation of right wing historians, that could change, but not until.

Of course, one has to wonder why those whose profession is the study
of history tend to have liberal views. Is there something in the
detailed study of what has happened in the past that leads to such a
position? Or is it just that those with other views tend more to spend
their lives in other fields?


Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 13:45:36 -0600
From: (jared)
Subject: Re: News Corp. Forms Internet Division

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: As far as I am concerned, Fox News is
> the most biased, one-sided news outfit around anywhere. Very extremely
> conservative, and mostly liars at that. A web site I recommend to
> everyone is  where their slogan is
> "We watch FOX so you don't have to". You'll find their RSS feed among
> other RSS feeds of interest in our td-extra area also. PAT]

It seems to me that the large plasma displays, apparently solely
showing Fox 'News', are proliferating in the USA ... in the waiting
area at the bank, in the foyer of the office building, etc. Does
anyone know the details of this, is the cost of the display and the
feed being subsidised?


From: Barry Margolin <>
Subject: Re: Who Really Controls Internet?
Organization: Symantec
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 16:04:22 -0400

In article <>, Tony P.
<> wrote:

> Those are just TLD name servers, nothing more. The Internet would
> still work if those were to just disappear but it would be less useful
> or easy to use than it is now.

> Every server gets an IP address. That's what you really use to
> connect.  DNS is just there to translate human readable to machine
> readable.

What you *really* use are binary digits represented as electronic
signal levels on various types of wires and radio transmissions, but
we don't make users modulate those manually, either.

And what about all the load balancing and fault tolerance that come
from allowing a host name to resolve to multiple addresses and
changing the mappings on the fly?

Names are more than just a way to make things user-friendly, they're
an important piece of the Internet architecture.  I don't think
there's ever been a network of more than a few dozen machines that
didn't depend on a naming scheme to enhance the capabilities.

Consider this: how useful would the phone be if you could only call
people whose phone numbers you already knew, i.e. there were no phone
books or directory assistance?

Barry Margolin,
Arlington, MA
*** PLEASE post questions in newsgroups, not directly to me ***


From: Julian Thomas <>
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 16:20:14 -0400
Subject: Re: Mossberg: Tracking Cookies are Spyware

In <>, on 07/17/05 at
03:52 PM, typed:

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: And have you noticed how many sites
> refuse to admit you at all if you refuse to accept their cookies? On
> our web site until last year when the site
> was greatly overhauled, I used cookies only for the purpose of
> referring to the user by name and telling him how often he had been
> there. _No other reason_. I finally quit it, when various users were
> offended by it; not apparently because I called them by name, or
> referenced how often they had been around, but because of all the
> potential for misuse otherwise. And I did get 'legitimate' business
> inquiries about the cookies. Companies wanted to by them, etc and
> get more details, etc. But that just made me feel very uneasy and
> unethical. That's the main reason I distribute NY Times and other
> newspapers on this site (see td-extra) with no login nor
> registration requirements. I just don't think it is anyone's
> business who reads what around here.  PAT]

Actually, there are several good strategies for dealing with these
sites, at least in the Netscape/Mozilla/Firefox browser family.

The easiest is to make the cookie file (usually cookies.txt)
read-only.  This presents the illusion that the cookie was accepted,
but it actually evaporates on your machine.

If there is a site whose cookie you want to accept, turn off the
readonly attribute on the file, accept the cookie, close the browser,
and make the file readonly again.

Another approach is to have a backup of the file, and restore from the
backup on every bootup (this can be automated).

 Julian Thomas:
 In the beautiful Finger Lakes Wine Country of New York State!
 Warpstock 2005: Hershey, Pa. October 6-9, 2005 -

 Old age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: The way some web sites are getting
around that now is by issuing the cookie, as always, then going back
one or two seconds later (while loading the page) _looking_ for the
cookie ("Didn't I just give you a cookie? What does it say? What do 
you mean you don't have it any longer? That's it for you, goodbye.")
I have tried that technique, I still get rejected by some sites.  PAT]


From: Steve Sobol <>
Subject: Re: Corrupted PC's Find New Home in the Dumpster
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 13:28:22 -0700
Organization: Glorb Internet Services,

Monty Solomon wrote:

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: And how long do they have those _new_
> machines until they also get polluted and have to be replaced?  

The sad thing is that it's simply not that hard to protect yourself.

We have two computers here that never get infected ... the other one
can't be infected because it's not on the Net, but my wife's and mine
both are. - 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"


From: Phil Earnhardt <>
Subject: Re: Don't Let Data Theft Happen to You
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 14:46:14 -0600

On Thu, 14 Jul 2005 18:15:38 -0500, Jim Rusling <>

>> When paying with a credit card, the server brings a small wireless
>> terminal directly to the table.  It looks just like a compact adding
>> machine, with a paper roll on the back, but with a card slot on the
>> front, where you insert your card. If it's a debit card, you key your
>> PIN on the keypad.  The receipts are printed right from the same
>> device, and the card never leaves your possession.

>> If devices like this were used in the states, you could presumably
>> also use the keypad to add a tip amount to the check.  (In France,
>> where service is included, tips are a rarity, and when offered at all
>> are invariably in cash.)

> I would worry about the security of the wireless connection.

One would hope that such devices *could not operate* unless there was
a secure connection.

I have more fundamental concerns: what would prevent the creation of a
validation device that was completely functional but managed to copy
and transmit the credit card information? What would keep an
unscrupulous restraunt manager or waiter from substituting such a
device? For that matter, what would keep an unscrupulous customer from
swapping a trojan horse wireless validater widget while the waiter
wasn't looking?

AFAICT, any system which counts on the secrecy of a number is simply
problematic today. Challenge/response systems are the only way to go:

1. The vendor sends the details of the transaction: your credit card
number (which is no longer sacrosanct), the vendor's account number,
and the amount of the transaction. Optionally, there could be a
customer-supplied number shipped up for the customer's own tracking of
transactions. These are sent to a centralized validation authority.

2. The validation authority issues a challenge code for this

3. The customer enters the code in their personal validation card
which generates the response code. The customer manually enters the
validation code; the vendor relays the validation code to the
centralized authority and the transaction is validated.

The personal validation card would be protected with a PIN and

AFAICT, having such a system would eliminate a massive amount of
fraud. Besides using the card for validating transactions, any
alteration of my credit information: applying for a new "credit card",
change of address, etc. would require exactly the same validation.

> Jim Rusling



From: John McHarry <>
Subject: Re: Don't Let Data Theft Happen to You
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 21:42:05 GMT
Organization: EarthLink Inc. --

On Fri, 15 Jul 2005 19:13:43 -0500, Jim Rusling wrote:

> I recently ran into a
> completely open wireless network at a business with sensitive records.
> The owner thought that it was secured.

I stumbled on something similar a few months ago when setting up a new
WiFi network. We were getting a strong signal from an open network run
by a company that does background checks. When I told them, they fixed
it, toute de suite.


From: Tony P. <>
Subject: Re: A Pass on Privacy?
Organization: ATCC
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 18:24:12 -0400

In article <>, 


> Anyone making long drives this summer will notice a new dimension to
> contemporary inequality: a widening gap between the users of automatic
> toll-paying devices and those who pay cash. The E-ZPass system, as it
> is called on the East Coast, seemed like idle gadgetry when it was
> introduced a decade ago. Drivers who acquired the passes had to nose
> their way across traffic to reach specially equipped tollbooths -- and
> slow to a crawl while the machinery worked its magic. But now the
> sensors are sophisticated enough for you to whiz past them. As more
> lanes are dedicated to E-ZPass, lines lengthen for the saps paying
> cash.

> E-ZPass is one of many innovations that give you the option of trading
> a bit of privacy for a load of convenience. You can get deep discounts
> by ordering your books from or joining a supermarket
> 'club.' In return, you surrender information about your purchasing
> habits. Some people see a bait-and-switch here. Over time, the data
> you are required to hand over become more and more personal, and such
> handovers cease to be optional. Neato data gathering is making society
> less free and less human. The people who issue such warnings --
> whether you call them paranoids or libertarians -- are among those you
> see stuck in the rippling heat, 73 cars away from the ''Cash Only''
> sign at the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Of course when they pry too deeply you can always lie. I do it
regularly with store discount cards, etc. They can have my name, I
don't care about that. But address, phone number, email, etc. if
required will ALWAYS be fudged.

Of course EZ-Pass is linked to a credit or debit card so it would be
trivial to dig for information that way.

And for those of a technical bent, it would be easy to run a bootleg
EZ-Pass. It is after all and RFID device and you could read numbers
all day long and then have your computer equipped RFID device send
random numbers to the sensors.

Interestingly the city of Providence is putting in parking kiosks. You
can either insert cash or purchase a ProvPas. It's a mag-stripe based
system. The card has the amount deposited for the account written on
the magnetic stripe. But cards are just purchased for cash so one with
a reader-writer could definitely have some fun with the system.


From: Dale Farmer <>
Organization: The  fuzz in the back of the fridge. 
Subject: Re: Finger Scanning At Disney Parks Causes Concern
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 21:24:37 GMT

Monty Solomon wrote:

> ORLANDO, Fla. -- The addition of finger scanning technology at the
> entrances of Walt Disney World theme parks for all visitors has caused
> concern among privacy advocates, according to a Local 6 News report.

> Tourists visiting Disney theme parks in Central Florida must now
> provide their index and middle fingers to be scanned before entering
> the front gates.

> The scans were formerly for season pass holders but now everyone must
> provide their fingers, Local 6 News reported. They have reportedly
> been phased in for all ticket holders during the past six months,
> according to a report.

> Disney officials said the scans help keep track of who is using
> legitimate tickets, Local 6 News reported.


> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: How could it tell something like that
> unless there was some control samples as well? For example, finger
> prints or scans _after_ the tickets were used, or when the tickets
> were purchased? What good is just a random set of fingerprints without
> some name or other controlled circumstances to go with it? Or is
> Disney World taking down names and addresses and supplying these
> finger scans to some third person or agency as well?   Hmm ... PAT]

Disney does have a problem with ( typically teenage) chronic
troublemakers.  They get caught, given the usual don't come back on
the property spiel, and escorted off the property.  The problem is
that some of them come back with revenge in mind.  By getting these
folks prints and scanning everyone upon entrance, they can easily
recognize them at the gate and block them.

Disney has every right to use this technology at their parks.  Just as
I have the right to take my business elsewhere.



From: mc <>
Subject: Re: Nigeria Jails Woman in $242 Million Fraud
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 20:01:03 -0400

Fred Atkinson <> wrote in message

> The scam involved $242 million dollars, she is out only about a
> quarter of that, and she only gets two and a half years in jail?  And
> she'll probably be paroled in less than a year if their penal system
> is like ours.

Worse than that.  Backdated to include time served before conviction
and sentencing.

This is reportedly a major national industry for Nigeria.


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