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TELECOM Digest Wed, 31 Aug 2005 01:35:00 EDT Volume 24 : Issue 394 Inside This Issue: Editor: Patrick A. Townson New Orleans Social Breakdown (Holbrook Mohr) Katrina Crisis Gets _Much_ Worse Each Day (AFP News Wire) "I Love You, But We Are Going to Die" (Scott Gold) Connecticut Man Sells Microsoft Windows Source Code (AP News Wire) Where There's a Will, There's a Way;Fresh Spin on 419 Fraud (Monty Solomon) IBM to Release 'IBM and the Future of the Home' Podcast (Monty Solomon) iTunes Music Phone Set to Launch (Monty Solomon) New on TV: The Multiple-Channel Screen (Monty Solomon) Verizon Is Granted Authority to Offer FiOS TV (Monty Solomon) Re: Is Verizon Wireless Sabotaging Older Cell Phones? (Daniel AJ Sokolov) Re: Is Verizon Wireless Sabotaging Older Cell Phones? (Lisa Hancock) Judge: Lawsuit About (NYS) Prison Phone Rates Can Proceed (Danny Burstein) 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 email. =========================== 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: Holbrook Mohr <email@example.com> Subject: New Orleans Social Breakdown Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 17:27:17 -0500 [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: The first several articles in this issue of the Digest for Wednesday are devoted to the _massive_ destruction in New Orleans as well as Gulfport and Biloxi, MS, not just the physical destruction and loss of lives, but the rioting and looting going on as well. The telecommunications networks are mostly out of order as well. PAT] Water Continues to Rise in New Orleans By HOLBROOK MOHR, Associated Press Writer Rescuers in boats and helicopters struggled to reach hundreds of wet and bedraggled victims of Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast on Tuesday, while New Orleans slipped deeper into crisis as water began rising in the streets because of a levee break. The magnitude of the disaster -- and the death toll in particular -- became clearer with every tale of misery. Mississippi's governor said the number of dead in one county alone could be as high as 80. "At first light, the devastation is greater than our worst fears. It's just totally overwhelming," Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said the morning after Katrina howled ashore with winds of 145 mph and engulfed thousands of homes in one of the most punishing storms on record in the United States. Bill Lokey, an official with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, called Katrina "the most significant natural disaster to hit the United States." In New Orleans, water began rising in the streets Tuesday morning, swamping an estimated 80 percent of the city and prompting the evacuation of hotels and hospitals. The water was also rising perilously inside New Orleans' Superdome, and Blanco said the tens of thousands of people now huddled there and other shelters would have to be evacuated as well. "The situation is untenable," Blanco said at a news conference. "It's just heartbreaking." Because of two levees that broke Tuesday, the city was rapidly filling with water, the governor said. She also said the power could be out for a long time, and the storm broke a major water main, leaving the city without drinkable water. Also, looting broke out in some neighborhoods. New Orleans lies mostly below sea level and is protected by a network of pumps, canals and levees. Officials began using helicopters to drop 3,000-pound sandbags onto one of the levees, hoping to close the breach. All day, rescuers were also seen using helicopters to drop lifelines to victims and pluck them from the roofs of homes cut off by floodwaters. The Coast Guard said it rescued some 1,200 people. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin said hundreds, if not thousands, of people may still be stuck on roofs roofs and in attics, and so rescue boats were bypassing the dead. "We're not even dealing with dead bodies," Nagin said. "They're just pushing them on the side." A reporter saw an example of this, with a dead human being floating in the way of their rowboat; using a stick, the body was shoved aside, along with the cockroaches and red ants which were crawling all over it. National Guardsmen brought in people from outlying areas to New Orleans' Superdome in the backs of big 2 1/2-ton Army trucks. Louisiana's wildlife enforcement department also brought people in on the backs of their pickups. Some were wet, some were in wheelchairs, some were holding babies and nothing else. Superdome was to be only a stopover, a transfer point, since authorities had earlier decided the many thousands of people who had taken shelter there in Superdome would have to be evacuated also; water had begun to enter that place as well. Nevertheless, it was clear the death toll would rise sharply, with one survivor after another telling of friends and loved ones who floated off or disappeared as the floodwaters rose around them. "I talked with paramedics that are on the scene and the devastation is so great that they won't quit counting (bodies) for a while," said Mark Williams, operations supervisor for an ambulance service along the Mississippi coast. On Monday, paramedics made feeble efforts to assist some residents; now today the same paramedics are busy attempting to evacuate Charity Hospital by taking the old, very sick patients over to Superdome, where they will wait with thousands of other folks until eventually they figure out a way to evacuate everyone who is left and still alive. Along the coast, tree trunks, downed power lines and trees, and chunks of broken concrete in the streets prevented rescuers from reaching victims. Swirling water in many areas contained hidden dangers. Crews worked to clear highways. Along one Mississippi highway, motorists themselves used chainsaws to remove trees blocking the road. Animal carcasses floated along in places in the acrid, filthy water. Tens of thousands of people will need shelter for weeks if not months, said Mike Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. And once the floodwaters go down, "it's going to be incredibly dangerous" because of structural damage to homes, diseases from animal carcasses and chemicals in homes, he said. An estimated 40,000 people were in American Red Cross shelters along the Gulf Coast. Officials warned people against trying to return to their homes, saying that would only interfere with the rescue and recovery efforts. Looting broke out in Biloxi and in New Orleans, in some cases in full view of police and National Guardsmen. On New Orleans' Canal Street, the main thoroughfare in the central business district, looters sloshed through hip-deep water and ripped open the steel gates on the front of several clothing and jewelry stores. ================================ ** "The looting is out of control. The French Quarter has been attacked," said Jackie Clarkson, a New Orleans councilwoman. "We're using exhausted, scarce police to control looting when they should be used for search and rescue." Deputy Police Chief Warren Riley said that in one case, a looter shot and wounded another looter, and the mayor was asking for martial law to be imposed. ** People were seen running down the streets with bags of food and clothing taken from stores. When asked, most of them insisted they were not 'looters' but were simply looking for ways to feed and clothe their families. ================================ More than 1,600 Mississippi National Guardsmen were activated to help with the recovery, and the Alabama Guard sent 800 of its soldiers to Mississippi as well. In New Orleans, a city of 480,000 that was mostly evacuated over the weekend as Katrina closed in, those who stayed behind faced another, delayed threat: rising water. Failed pumps and levees apparently sent water from Lake Pontchartrain coursing through the streets. The rising water forced one New Orleans hospital to move patients to the Superdome, where some 10,000 people had taken shelter, and prompted the staff of New Orleans' Times-Picayune newspaper to abandon its offices, authorities said. Hotels were evacuated as well as the water kept rising. Downtown streets that were relatively clear in the hours after the storm were filled with 1 to 1 1/2 feet of water Tuesday morning. Water was knee-deep around the Superdome. Canal Street was literally a canal. Water lapped at the edge of the French Quarter. Clumps of red ants floated in the gasoline-fouled waters downtown, sometimes feasting on dead animals and other garbage. "It's a very slow rise, and it will remain so until we plug that breach. I think we can get it stabilized in a few hours," said Terry Ebbert, New Orleans' homeland security chief. Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi said there were unconfirmed reports of up to 80 deaths in Harrison County -- which includes devastated Gulfport and Biloxi -- and the number was likely to rise. An untold number of people were also feared dead in Louisiana. At least five other deaths across the Gulf Coast were blamed on Katrina. "We know that there is a lot of the coast that we have not been able to get to," Barbour said on NBC's "Today Show." "I hate to say it, but it looks like it is a very bad disaster in terms of human life." As for the death toll in Louisiana, Blanco said only: "We have no counts whatsoever, but we know many lives have been lost." At the Superdome, someone died after plunging from an upper level of the stadium, Ebbert said. He said the person probably jumped. The biggest known cluster of deaths was at the Quiet Water Beach apartments in Biloxi, a red-brick beachfront complex of about 100 units. Harrison County, Miss., emergency operations center spokesman Jim Pollard said about 30 people died there. "This is our tsunami," Mayor A. J. Holloway of Biloxi, Miss., told The Biloxi Sun Herald. Joy Schovest, 55, was in the apartment complex with her boyfriend, Joe Calvin, when the water began rising. They stayed despite a mandatory evacuation order. "The water got higher and higher," she said, breaking into tears. "It pushed all the doors open and we swam out. We grabbed a lady and pulled her out the window and then we swam with the current. It was terrifying. You should have seen the cars floating around us. We had to push them away when we were trying to swim." Teresa Kavanagh, 35, of Biloxi, shook her head is disbelief as she took photographs of the damage in her hometown. "Total devastation. Apartment complexes are wiped clean. We're going to rebuild, but it's going to take long time. Houses that withstood Camille are nothing but slab now," she said. Hurricane Camille killed 256 people in Louisiana and Mississippi in 1969. The hurricane knocked out power to millions of people from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle, and authorities said it could be two months before electricity is restored to everyone. Oil prices jumped by more than $3 a barrel on Tuesday, climbing above $70 a barrel, amid uncertainty about the extent of the damage to the Gulf region's refineries and drilling platforms. By midday Tuesday, Katrina was downgraded to a tropical depression, with winds around 35 mph. It was moving northeast through Tennessee at around 21 mph. Forecasters said that as the storm moves north over the next few days, it could swamp the Tennessee and Ohio valleys with a potentially ruinous 8 inches or more of rain. On Monday, Katrina's remnants spun off tornadoes and other storms in Georgia that smashed dozens of buildings and were blamed for at least one death. According to preliminary assessments by AIR Worldwide Corp., a risk assessment company, the insurance industry faces as much as $26 billion in claims from Katrina. That would make Katrina more expensive than the previous record-setting storm, Hurricane Andrew, which caused some $21 billion in insured losses in 1992 to property in Florida and along the Gulf Coast. Anne Anderson said she lost her family home in Gulfport. "My family's an old Mississippi family. I had antiques, 150 years old or more, they're all gone. We have just basically a slab," she told NBC. She added: "Behind us we have a beautiful sunrise and sunset, and that is going to be what I'm going to miss the most, sitting on the porch watching those." Associated Press reporters Mary Foster, Allen G. Breed, Brett Martel, Adam Nossiter and Jay Reeves contributed to this report. On the Net: National Hurricane Center: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov 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 http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/more-news.html . Hundreds of new articles daily. Listen to AP News Radio and read other stories at: http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/AP.html ------------------------------ From: AFP Newswire <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Katrina Crisis Gets _Much_ Worse Each Day Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 15:14:15 -0500 Dozens dead, communities smashed, floods rise, as Katrina crisis deepens Rescuers battled a humanitarian disaster after storm surges whipped up by Hurricane Katrina killed dozens and a canal breach sent a new deluge into already swamped New Orleans. At least 80 people were feared dead along the coast of the southern state of Mississippi, where glitzy casinos, plush homes and shrimp fishing businesses lay in ruins, after a storm surge up to 30 feet (10 metres) high crashed ashore on Monday. Helpless authorities in New Orleans meanwhile watched as surging floodwaters gushed through a 200 feet (600 metre) hole in the 17th Street Canal defences, indundating a low-lying city already 80 percent under water. "Some 700 people have been brought to dry ground during the night," Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco told reporters. But in the absence of reliable casualty figures and reports of bodies floating in the water, she warned: "We know that many lives have been lost." More than a million people were without power across Mississippi, Louisiana and Alamaba, water supplies were compromised and collapsed communications left large areas cut off from the outside world, authorities said. Damage estimates soared into the billions of dollars and oil prices raced to the historic level of 70.85 dollars per barrel on anxiety over the damage to US production facilities. "This is our tsunami," said A.J. Holloway, mayor of the 48,000 population city of Biloxi, where a tidal surge swept away bridges, sent boats crashing into buildings and flooded entire neighborhoods. Authorities said at least 50 people were known to have been killed in Biloxi alone. Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour said that the death toll in wider Harrison County could be as high as 80. At least 30 of the dead were in a single Biloxi apartment complex demolished by the storm. Back in New Orleans, famed for its French Quarter and Mardi Gras celebrations, engineers tried to stem rising flood waters surging through a canal breach from Lake Pontchartrain into the northern part of the city. "The water is going to keep coming in until it reaches the level of the lake. I don't know what they are going to do," police Lieutenant Julie Wilson told WWL-TV. Pumping stations, which normally keep the low lying city free of flood waters were not functioning owing to a city-wide power cuts, after waters submerged power lines, or fallen trees knocked out supplies. Two parishes were put under martial law to deter looting, while police halted anyone trying to get into the city from outside, following a mass evacuation on Monday. Two people were reported to have died in floodwaters as they tried to return to their homes. Swamped highways, unsafe raised expressways and severed telephone links left the city effectively cut off to the outside world. Ray Nagin, mayor of 1.4 million people said late Monday that at least 80 percent of the city was underwater. Hurricane victims clung to the roofs of their homes waving bits of material to attract helicopters on rescue missions. Boat crews meanwhile picked gingerly around submerged live power lines, gas pipes and underwater debris. "The devastation is greater than our worst fears. It is just totally overwhelming," Blanco said. "We need to save as many people as we can save, and that is our mission for today." Evacuees some with broken legs and arms were taken to the storm ravaged Superdome sports arena, where more than 20,000 people were packed, amid rising tensions. CNN reported that one man, apparently crazed by frustration, jumped from the second level of seating to his death, while toilets were overflowing and temperatures were rising in the absence of air conditioning. Three feet of water (one meter) had flooded areas outside the arena and waters had encroached on the downtown area, reports said. As the scale of the disaster became clear, the White House said President George W. Bush would lop the last two days off his vacation and head back to Washington on Wednesday to coordinate relief efforts. Copyright 2005 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AFP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Agence France Presse. NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/more-news.html . Hundreds of new articles daily. Also see http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/newstoday.html ------------------------------ From: Scott Gold <GoldTimes@telecom-digest.org> Subject: "I Love You, But We Are Going to Die" Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 15:20:44 -0500 By Scott Gold, Times Staff Writer NEW ORLEANS - The phone call lasted just long enough to break Bridgette Medley's heart. Medley, her husband and her 3-year-old daughter had sought shelter from Hurricane Katrina at a downtown hotel. Water seeped through the ceiling and wind made the building shudder as they slept on the hard floor of a ballroom. But they were safe. Her siblings and parents were not. Like about 50,000 other residents of the city, they had ignored the mayor's mandatory evacuation order and elected to ride out the storm at the family home in the Eighth Ward, a neighborhood of shotgun houses, railroad tracks and industrial canals on the city's east side. By 7 a.m. Monday, the water started rising. Medley's siblings and parents pulled down the stairs to the attic and climbed up. At 7:57 a.m., Medley's 48-year-old sister, Stephany Johnson, managed to get through on her cellphone. "She was panicking," Medley said. "The water was up to their ankles in the house and rising fast -- in a house that is 5 feet off the ground to start. "She said, 'I love you.' " Medley struggled to keep the tears from spilling out. "And then she said, 'We're going to die.' " Then the line went dead. Throughout the day, the two sisters maintained a frantic, frustrating conversation in spurts and stops. Hundreds of families found themselves in a similar situation, divided by choice, chance and fate. Authorities said that by nightfall, 200 people in the city were stranded on rooftops, and more were trapped in attics awaiting rescue. Scores more in surrounding towns were in similar straits. People sought help from one of the only radio stations on the air: WWL. They called to explain how their friend or relative got trapped in the attic or on the roof, then provided addresses and cross streets in case rescuers were listening. "Please, sir. We don't know what else to do," said a woman who gave her name as Betty. "It's my sister. They're stuck on the roof. And her two kids are there." "We'll see if we can't get some response over there," said the radio host, Bob Del Giorno. "We can't guarantee." Seconds later: "Let's go to Yvonne." "My daughter is on the roof!" Yvonne said. "She was in the attic until 10 and then she broke through the roof and climbed up there." "Maybe we can help," Del Giorno said. "Hopefully." Others waited by the phone. There was nothing else they could do. Patricia Penny had begged her son, Billy, 34, to leave. But he was afraid to abandon his five cats and the dog he was watching for friends, so he and his girlfriend stayed at their home on the east side of New Orleans. Penny last heard his voice in an 8 a.m. phone call. He was blunt: "It's bad." An enormous magnolia tree had fallen over in the front yard, and the storm had ripped a deck off the house. The water was rising and it was too late to leave. Penny said Monday night that she was sure her son had climbed onto the roof (and cut a hole behind him for the animals to escape). She eventually reached someone with St. Bernard Parish who was working with emergency crews. The word was not good. The entire parish, he told her, does not have a single fire engine or police car that still worked. "They are operating from on top of a building," she said. "They are just going out in boats with a bullhorn trying to find people." She was certain her son was alive, Penny said. "I raised both my children myself," she said. "I know them so well that when I think about one of them, they'll call me. It's true. I know him that well. And I know that he is a survivor." New Orleans is surrounded by water, and much of the city rests below sea level in a bowl-shaped depression. Even when the sun is shining, the city depends on a complex and often fragile system of protective levees, as well as enormous pumps to expel water that collects in the bowl. The flooding was worse in the city's eastern districts. In the neighborhood where Medley's father, a postal worker, and her mother, a nurse, had raised four children in a single-story stucco house, the water had nowhere to go, even hours after Katrina had passed. Medley's family home is close to an industrial canal, and serious storms had often brought water to the curb out front. "But never inside," Medley said. "Never, ever." That's why Medley's parents and two of her siblings elected to stay. They knew that Katrina was big, Medley said. But how bad could it be? The last major hurricane to hit New Orleans directly was Hurricane Betsy in 1965. At 9 a.m., Medley was able to get through to her sister again. Now the water was 3 feet deep in the house. There were two windows in the attic, and if her relatives broke the windows and contorted their bodies just right, they might be able to get to the roof, Medley said. But her parents are frail and in their 70s, she said. "That might work for my brother and sister," she said. "But I can't imagine my parents making it out." By noon, the water was 3 feet from the first-floor ceiling and still rising. Medley had enlisted relatives in Texas and Georgia to call the National Guard in hopes of getting a rescue party to the house. "No luck," Medley said. "Not yet. All we can do is pray. There's just so much water, and it's still raining hard." She paused. "I think . I mean, I think they're going to drown," she said. "I really do." At 3 p.m., she got through again. "What is the water doing?" she asked. "Well, what do you see through the window? Look out the window! What do you see when you look at Mrs. Jones' house?" The water, her sister reported, appeared to have stabilized -- not dropping, but not rising anymore either. "OK," Medley said. "That's good." At 6 p.m., another call. Her sister told her that she had reached a person. "A real, human person," Medley said. The National Guard was sending a boat. They were saved. "Praise the Lord!" Medley shouted. "Hallelujah!" The family had already made a pact for the next hurricane -- no more splitting up. "Everybody is leaving next time," Medley said. "More importantly, everybody is leaving together." How to help Federal officials said Monday that people wanting to help victims of Hurricane Katrina should not travel to the affected areas unless directed to by an agency. Instead, Michael Brown, head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, urged people to contribute money to organizations. FEMA listed the following agencies as needing monetary donations to assist hurricane victims: . American Red Cross, (800) HELP NOW [435-7669] English, (800) 257-7575 Spanish . Adventist Community Services, (800) 381-7171 . Christian Reformed World Relief Committee, (800) 848-5818 . Church World Service, (800) 297-1516 . Convoy of Hope, (417) 823-8998 . Mennonite Disaster Service, (717) 859-2210 . Salvation Army, (800) SAL-ARMY [725-2769] . United Methodist Committee on Relief, (800) 554-8583 Source: Associated Press Copyright 2005 Los Angeles Times NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/more-news.html . Hundreds of new articles daily. ------------------------------ From: Associated Press NewsWire <AP@telecom-digest.org> Subject: Connecticut Man Sells Micrsoft Windows Source Code Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 15:03:16 -0500 Mon Aug 29,10:38 PM ET A Connecticut man known on the Internet as "illwill" pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court on Monday to charges relating to the theft of the source code to Microsoft Corp.'s Windows operating software, considered among the company's crown jewels. William Genovese Jr., 28, of Meriden, Conn., pleaded guilty charges related to the unlawful sale and attempted sale of the source code for Microsoft's Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0. The code had previously been obtained by other people and unlawfully distributed over the Internet, prosecutors said. The source code is the blueprint in which software developers write computer programs. Access to a software program's source code can allow someone to replicate the program, and industry experts expressed concern that hackers reviewing the Microsoft software code could discover new ways to attack computers running some versions of Windows. A federal indictment filed against Genovese in February 2004, charged that the day Microsoft learned significant portions of its source code were stolen Genovese posted a message on his Web site offering the code for sale. Genovese was arrested when an investigator for an online security company hired by Microsoft and an undercover FBI agent downloaded the stolen source code from his Web site after sending him electronic payments for it, Manhattan U.S. Attorney David Kelley said in a news release. Genovese faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced in the fall. There was no published telephone listing for Genovese in Meriden, Conn. and prosecutors did not return a call seeking information about his attorney. Microsoft had previously shared parts of its source code with some companies, U.S. agencies, foreign governments and universities under tight restrictions that prevented them from making it publicly available. A Microsoft spokesman said in February that the company was confident the Windows blueprints weren't stolen from its own computer network. The Redmond, Wash.-based company did not immediately return a message Monday seeking comment. 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 http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/more-news.html . Hundreds of new articles daily. ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 17:26:14 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> Subject: Where There's a Will, There's a Way; Fresh Spin on '419 Fraud' Mitch Lipka Special to Consumer Reports WebWatch A "banker" recently e-mailed Consumer Reports WebWatch asking for our help in claiming a deceased man's bank account: "I am Mr. Pui Cheung, Director of Operations of Hang Seng Bank Ltd. We discovered that Mr. Richard Nault died from an automobile accident. On further investigation, I found out that he died without making a WILL, and all attempts to trace his next of kin was fruitless. No one will ever come forward to claim it (his $30 million account). According to Laws of Hong Kong, at the expiration of 5(five) years, the money will revert to the ownership of the Hong Kong Government if nobody applies to claim the fund." The pitch had a familiar ring to it. In this spin on the old Nigerian letter scam, the purported banker -- or, in some cases, attorney or individual -- writes about desperately trying to reach next of kin to dispense a fortune. Finding no relatives, the e-mailer suggests you pretend to be family and split the fortune with him. This scam hooked Stanley El of Woodbury, N.J., who responded to an e-mail supposedly from a Nigerian prince who said he needed a trustee to help him collect his inheritance. El, a business and personal development specialist who has published articles in some African publications and had relatives who worked on the continent, said the message seemed plausible to him. Following an exchange of e-mails and phone calls, El said he spent $5,000 to fly to Spain to sign documents that supposedly would make him the trustee. He was offered a prince's sum for his part, but El said he participated because he genuinely believed he could help. He had no idea he was participating in a scam. The scammers sent a phony $50,000 check to El's bank account, which cleared. El never got any of it, because the fraudsters quickly withdrew the cash before the bank realized the check was a fake. The bank then sued El. Although a judge determined that El should share the loss with the bank, he said a year later he hadn't been asked to pay up. http://www.consumerwebwatch.org/dynamic/fraud-investigation-419-fraud.cfm ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 17:32:21 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: IBM to Release 'IBM and the Future of the Home' Podcast ARMONK, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 30, 2005--IBM announced today that the second podcast in its inaugural series, "IBM and the Future of ..." is available on its investor Web site. The podcast is called "IBM and the Future of the Home." "IBM and the Future of the Home" explores how an explosion of new consumer-electronics devices, smart-home appliances and home network technologies promise to combine together to change the way our homes work and how we interact with them, introducing a new category of home integration software and services. The podcast is hosted by George Faulkner and includes a discussion with George Bailey of IBM Business Consulting Services and Kevin Reardon of IBM Engineering and Technology Services. Both are experts in the consumer-electronics industry and work frequently with clients. The podcast is available on IBM's investor Web site, at http://www.ibm.com/investor/viewpoint/podcast/30-08-05-1.phtml . - http://finance.lycos.com/home/news/story.asp?story=51466434 ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 17:30:46 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> Subject: iTunes Music Phone Set to Launch By GREG SANDOVAL AP Technology Writer SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A long-delayed cell phone from Apple Computer Inc. and Motorola Inc. that can play iTunes music downloads is finally set to debut through Cingular Wireless, a research analyst said. The new phone will be equipped with software that would allow it to play songs purchased at Apple's iTunes Web site, according to Roger Entner, an analyst for research firm Ovum who said he learned of the plans from an industry executive. Representatives from Apple, Cingular and Motorola declined to comment, but the three companies are expected to roll out the device at an event here next week. Apple announced Monday that it would host a news conference Sept. 7. It was unclear whether the new phone will allow users to download music directly over a cellular Internet connection or if they would have to download songs to a computer and then transfer them to the handset. Just about every major cell phone maker has been working to launch a music phone that could compete with the iPod, Apple's popular digital music player. - http://finance.lycos.com/home/news/story.asp?story=51469647 ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 18:20:55 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: New on TV: The Multiple-Channel Screen By PETER GRANT Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL August 30, 2005; Page B1 When pro football starts in September, fans who sign up for the "SuperFan" game package offered by satellite operator DirecTV Group Inc. will get a new feature: a channel on which they'll be able to watch eight games on one screen. But viewers who don't feel like shelling out about $300 for SuperFan will have other options for watching several programs at once -- whether it's sports, news or shopping shows. The multiple-channel screen, known in the television industry as a "mosaic," is about to show up on millions of TVs throughout the country. It's another sign that satellite and cable systems are beginning to embrace interactive television after years of hype about the concept. EchoStar Communications Inc. is set to announce today that its Dish Network satellite service has added the mosaic feature to its "Dish Home" channel. Viewers who tune to Dish Home, where they have access to a wide range of interactive features like games and shopping, will see what's happening on six channels, currently all tuned to news stations. Comcast Corp. this fall is planning to launch a similar mosaic feature on a new "portal" screen that subscribers to its cable systems will see when they first turn on their TVs. http://online.wsj.com/public/article/0,,SB112536033078726213-6nbA_iBpwzmHcvE4b46Bk3vMoAA_20060830,00.html ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 18:22:37 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> Subject: Verizon Is Granted Authority to Offer FiOS TV Verizon Is Granted Authority to Offer FiOS TV to 235,000 Residents of Manatee County - Aug 30, 2005 05:55 PM (PR Newswire) County Commission Opens the Door to More Consumer Choice, Better Competition for the Public BRADENTON, Fla., Aug. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The Manatee County Commission today voted for consumer choice and competition in the cable-TV market by awarding a far-reaching video franchise to Verizon for its FiOS TV product, to be delivered via its new, all-fiber network. This is the largest population to be served by a Verizon franchise agreement so far. Manatee joins Temple Terrace as the second municipality in Florida to grant a franchise to Verizon as the company continues its campaign to be permitted to deliver television services to customers in its service territory. The commission's decision means that Verizon now has the authority to offer FiOS TV to the 235,000 residents in the unincorporated portions of the county. It is anticipated that a portion of these residents will begin enjoying stepped-up competition and more consumer choice to the region's existing cable-TV and satellite services by 2006. The franchise does not apply to other communities in the county, including the cities of Bradenton, Palmetto, Anna Maria, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach and Longboat Key. - http://finance.lycos.com/home/news/story.asp?story=51472930 ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 21:32:04 +0200 From: Daniel AJ Sokolov <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: Is Verizon Wireless Sabotaging Older Cell Phones? Am 30.08.2005 16:31 schrieb William Warren: > I just went through some of the same trouble, but for a different > reason: I left my phone behind at my folk's house, which is about an > hour's drive away, and tried to activate a spare Motorola 120C that a > friend gave me a couple of months ago. > Verizon flat-out refused to turn it on, saying that it isn't E911 > compliant, and that their system won't activate any phone that doesn't > comply. Such rules create mindbogging "logic". Better no phone, hence no means to call 911, than a phone that may connect you to the wrong 911-callcenter. My e-mail-address is sokolov [at] gmx dot net ------------------------------ From: email@example.com Subject: Re: Is Verizon Wireless Sabotaging Older Cell Phones? Date: 30 Aug 2005 13:45:54 -0700 Organization: http://groups.google.com Joseph wrote: > You may have some validity in wondering about the second. In many > mobile forums that I've gone to I've heard it mentioned that Verizon > will no longer activate any handset on its network that doesn't > incorporate GPS tracking in it. The older handsets did not > incorporate this and Verizon has a mandate that by a certain time > 95%(?) of their subscribers must have this type of handset. I don't know about that stuff. I do know that, for some time now, none of the carriers would activate any analog phones. I have a friend who has an old bag phone and goes into rural areas where there are weaker signals and he needs the stronger power but they wouldn't help him. The newspaper had a piece on this; people out west in wide open spaces aren't happy. Regarding the original poster's concerns, it's sadly nothing new with cellular companies to be a pain to their customers. I knew someone who got a cell phone that wouldn't work in his own house and he wanted to cancel his deal but they refused; he had to threaten litigation (actually get the paperwork from court) before they'd let him go. Other companies had frequent disconnects while talking. Batteries have a limited life span. Batteries and accessories are very hard to find since they don't want you keeping old phones; I guess they want the profit of selling you a new phone or having you make use of the newest features which are a cost. Many fathers have screamed over the text-messaging bill their kids have run up. For myself, I've tried buying batteries at yard sales, but they're usually no good; so I generally just use the phone in the car where I have the adapter. I get about 15 minutes of time out of a battery so I can use it for limited stuff and that's been helpful. I don't think the phones themselves are built very well and probably would just break from normal handling after a couple of years. I do not like cell phone sales people. I know some people use pay-as-you-go cell phones but they have dirty tricks (purchased time expires monthly even if you don't use it), and the companies don't treat those subscribers very well. Supposedly competition is supposed to make it good, but all the carriers have sunk to a lousy level which is now the base. My impression is they want every subscriber on the $40 minimum plan. My plan is now $20 and I suspect fairly soon they'll cancel me and force me to upgrade. I doubt it's for technical reasons, but rather they want $40 from me too every month and hopefully I'll use premo features and pay even more. ------------------------------ From: Danny Burstein <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Judge: Lawsuit About (NYS) Prison Phone Rates Can Proceed Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005 18:36:16 -0400 Organization: PANIX Public Access Internet and UNIX, NYC Center for Constitutional Rights announced a major victory on August 30, 2005 for the families and friends of people incarcerated in New York State prisons. The federal trial court in Byrd v. Goord issued an opinion upholding the constitutional challenge lodged by inmates' families, ministers, friends, and counselors to the inmate telephone system in New York, which is designed to provide the Department of Correctional Services with millions of dollars in 'commissions' or 'kickbacks'. Rates for such calls are set well above market rates: In New York State, families pay a $3 connection fee and 16=A2 per minute, a 630% markup over regular residential consumer rates ... Meanwhile, rates at federal prisons are as low as 7 cents a minute. rest at: http://www.ccr-ny.org/v2/reports/report.asp?ObjID=FhipyPsQJ&Content NOTE that this decision does NOT reduce the rates. It simply allows the lawsuit to proceed. _____________________________________________________ Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key [to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded] [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: The prisoners in Illinois really need to have such a lawsuit started also in their behalf. The Illinois Department of Corrections is _not_ a very nice bunch of people to be sure. Ninety or ninety-five percent of all crime (and thus inmates) in the Illinois correctional system are from Chicago. But of course they have no prisons anywhere around Chicago itself; the prisons are all in the southern end of the state 300 miles away, or some are in the western part of the state 150-200 miles away. Objective: make it as difficult or nearly impossible for the prisoner's families and friends to stay in touch with them. Prisoners are given the 'privilege' to make as many _collect_ phone calls as desired to names and phone numbers on lists submitted by inmates at about one or two dollars per _minute_. Keeping the prisoners out of touch with their families and friends is one surefire way to guarentee a high rate of repeat incarcer- ation, which is what the Corrections Industry needs for its own 'success', along with the profits made on expensive phone calls. A division of Salvation Army working with a division of Catholic Charities operates several 'bus routes' from the Chicago area to the various prisons in Illinois (I think there are 32-35 prisons run by the state). Busses leave Chicago seven days per week at 7 AM taking the mothers and children (almost always) to see the men in prisons throughout the state. Bus arrives at Robinson, IL or East St. Louis, IL after a several hour ride, waits around for one or two hours (or however long is allowed for visits) then brings the women and children back to Chicago, arriving in the late evening. That's the ones who had gotten their phones cut off because they could not pay the outrageous fees charged by Illinois Department of Corrections for phone calls. PAT] ------------------------------ TELECOM Digest is an electronic journal devoted mostly to telecomm- unications 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. 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