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TELECOM Digest     Wed, 31 Aug 2005 16:55:00 EDT    Volume 24 : Issue 396

Inside This Issue:                             Editor: Patrick A. Townson

    Phone Networks Out for 'Months' in New Orleans (Justin Hyde)
    All Remaining New Orleans Citizens _Must_ Evacuate Now (Brett Martel)
    Re: Global Warming Probably the Reason for Katrina (mc)
    More Charges For Los Angles Man in Choice Point ID Theft (Dan Whitcomb)
    Microsoft Buys VoIP Firm (USTelecom dailyLead)
    Re: Is Verizon Wireless Sabotaging Older Cell Phones? (Scott Dorsey)
    Re: Telecom Scam (Scott Dorsey)
    Re: Internet Phone Companies May Cut Off Customers (Lisa Hancock)
    Re: Long Distance = 211 (was Sid Ceasar and Phones) (Neil Mclain)
    Re: Judge: Lawsuit About (NYS) Prison Phone Rates Can Proceed (L Hancock)
    Re: Connecticut Man Sells Microsoft Windows Source Code (Lisa Hancock)

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: Justin Hyde <
Subject: Phone Networks Out for 'Months' in New Orleans
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 01:20:02 -0500

Phone networks struggle in Katrina's wake
By Justin Hyde

Telephone companies struggled to restore service and measure the
damage to their networks in Louisiana and Mississippi on Tuesday after
Hurricane Katrina cut power and triggered severe flooding, but with
the governor's Wednesday announcement that 'all must evacuate now' it
is quite uncertain when/if ever telcommunications service will return.

Residents reported trouble making and receiving calls throughout the
day, and many turned to the Internet and text messaging to try and
reach relatives and friends.

"It's spotty at best," said Josh Britton, a student at Louisiana State
University in Baton Rouge. With cell phones, "a lot of times you'll
have to try for several minutes to make an outgoing call ... In
several of the parishes in southeast Louisiana there's virtually zero
communication capability."

A spokesman for BellSouth Corp., the largest local telephone company
in the region, said while the company estimated about 53,000 lines
were out in the two states, the actual numbers were likely to be

The three largest wireless companies -- Cingular Wireless, Verizon Wireless
and Sprint Nextel Corp. -- all said cellular service in the area had been
affected as well.

All companies said power losses were the main threat for further
service failures, but that flooding was hampering their efforts to
reach network equipment.

Entergy Corp. reported more than a million customers without power in
Louisiana and Mississippi, and warned customers to expect a long and
difficult restoration that could take weeks.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin told television station WWL that 80
percent of the city was under water, and authorities declared martial
law in some areas.


BellSouth spokesman Joseph Chandler said 75 central switches in
Louisiana were running on backup generator power and 340 remote
terminals were running on batteries.

He said BellSouth had about 34,000 lines down in Louisiana, but that
many people simply weren't able to report outages. The company has
about 800,000 customers in New Orleans alone.

"We have the potential for our outages to go up, and we're prepared
for that," Chandler said. "The biggest challenge we have right now is
we can't get out there."

In Mississippi, Chandler said BellSouth had 143 switches running on
generators and about 1,500 terminals on batteries. The batteries in
the terminals -- which handle telephone signals between homes and the
central switch -- could last a day or two before they would need to be

Cingular, the largest U.S. wireless service, said it was suffering
network disruptions in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as well
as in Mississippi.

Verizon said in New Orleans, many cell sites were out of service,
limiting customers' ability to place or receive calls. The company
said customers who evacuated may be able to place calls but not
receive calls, and mobile-to-mobile calling might also be available to
some customers.

Sprint Nextel, the No. 3 U.S. mobile service, said it was having its
worst network problems in New Orleans, where callers were unable to
make long distance calls outside the city, where it keeps key network
equipment that handles calls from the surrounding regions.

"Customers will see issues making long distance or wireless calls
within the area hit by the hurricane due to power outages and
flooding," said Sprint Nextel spokesman Charles Fleckenstein.

Cellular services rely on towers to send and receive signals from
customers' cellular phones. Both companies said many of their towers
were running on backup power, but flooding was hampering their efforts
to reach some sites.

Sprint Nextel and Cingular said they were prepared to use
truck-mounted cellular towers to bolster service in areas where they
couldn't reach their equipment due to flooding.

Several Internet posters said telephone service of any kind in the
affected areas was intermittent, but a few found text messages could
get through to cell phones where regular voice calls could not.

Britton and dozens of other people with Internet access used their
blogs to provide running updates on the conditions in specific
neighborhoods, to keep track of friends and pass along requests for
help and photographs of the damage.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited. 

NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the
daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at . Hundreds of new
articles daily.

For more information go to:


From: Brett Martel <> 
Subject: Governor Says: Everyone _Must_ Leave New Orleans Immediatly, Now
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 09:49:44 -0500

BRETT MARTEL, Associated Press Writer

The governor of Louisiana says everyone needs to leave New Orleans due
to flooding from Hurricane Katrina. "We've sent buses in. We will be
either loading them by boat, helicopter, anything that is necessary,"
Gov. Kathleen Blanco said. Army engineers struggled without success to
plug New Orleans' breached levees with giant sandbags, and the
governor said Wednesday the situation was worsening and there was no
choice but to abandon the flooded city. There are no exceptions to
this request. 

"The challenge is an engineering nightmare," Gov. Kathleen Blanco said
on ABC's "Good Morning America." "The National Guard has been dropping
sandbags into it, but it's like dropping it into a black hole. It has
accomplished nothing."

As the waters continued to rise in New Orleans, four Navy ships raced
toward the Gulf Coast with drinking water and other emergency
supplies, and Red Cross workers from across the country converged on
the devastated region.  The Red Cross reported it had about 40,000
people in 200 shelters across the area in one of the biggest urban
disasters the nation has ever seen.

The death toll from Hurricane Katrina reached at least 110 in
Mississippi alone, while Louisiana put aside the counting of the dead
to concentrate on rescuing the living, many of whom were still trapped
on rooftops and in attics.

A full day after the Big Easy thought it had escaped Katrina's full
fury, two levees broke and spilled water into the streets on Tuesday,
swamping an estimated 80 percent of the bowl-shaped, below-sea-level
city, inundating miles and miles of homes and rendering much of New
Orleans uninhabitable for weeks or months.

"We are looking at 12 to 16 weeks before people can come in," Mayor
Ray Nagin said on ABC's "Good Morning America, "and the other issue
that's concerning me is have dead bodies in the water. At some point
in time the dead bodies are going to start to create a serious disease

Blanco said she wanted the Superdome -- which had become a shelter of
last resort for about 20,000 people - evacuated within two days, along
with other gathering points for storm refugees. The situation inside
the dank and sweltering Superdome was becoming desperate: The water
was rising, the air conditioning was out, toilets were broken, and
tempers were rising. Many of the temporary residents of this shelter
of last resort have begun arguing with each other and becoming violent.

At the same time, sections of Interstate 10, the only major freeway
leading into New Orleans from the east, lay shattered, dozens of huge
slabs of concrete floating in the floodwaters. I-10 is the only route
for commercial trucking across southern Louisiana.

The sweltering city of 480,000 people -- an estimated 80 percent of
whom obeyed orders to evacuate as Katrina closed in over the weekend
 -- also had no drinkable water, the electricity could be out for
weeks, and looters were ransacking stores around town, firing guns as
needed to scare away any resistance to their tactics.  

"The logistical problems are impossible and we have to evacuate people
in shelters," the governor said. "It's becoming untenable. There's no
power.  It's getting more difficult to get food and water supplies in,
just basic essentials. We had thought frail and sick people would be
safe in Superdome, but that is unrealistic also. Still, Charity (Hospital)
and other such institutions are moving their patients over to
Superdome, under the assumption 'something is better than nothing'."

She gave no details on exactly where the refugees would be taken. But
in Houston, Rusty Cornelius, a county emergency official, said at
least 25,000 of them would travel in a bus convoy to Houston starting
Wednesday and would be sheltered at the 40-year-old Astrodome, which
is no longer used for professional sporting events.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency was considering putting people
on cruise ships, in tent cities, mobile home parks, and so-called
floating dormitories -- boats the agency uses to house its own

To repair one of the levees holding back Lake Pontchartrain, officials
late Tuesday dropped 3,000-pound sandbags from helicopters and hauled
dozens of 15-foot concrete barriers into the breach. Maj. Gen. Don
Riley of the U.S.  Army Corps of Engineers said officials also had a
more audacious plan: finding a barge to plug the 500-foot hole. Right
now, Pontchartrain, and the Mississippi River are simply swapping
their contents back and forth, via New Orleans; the fast rise of the
water level has slowed down somewhat, as water seeks its own level.

Riley said it could take close to two months to get the water out of the
city.  If the water rises a few feet higher, it could also wipe out
the water system for the whole city, said New Orleans' homeland
security chief, Terry Ebbert.

A helicopter view of the devastation over Louisiana and Mississippi
revealed people standing on black rooftops, baking in the sunshine
while waiting for rescue boats.

"I can only imagine that this is what Hiroshima looked like 60 years
ago," said Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour after touring the
destruction by air Tuesday.

All day long, rescuers in boats and helicopters plucked bedraggled
flood refugees from rooftops and attics. Louisiana Lt. Gov. Mitch
Landrieu said 3,000 people have been rescued by boat and air, some
placed shivering and wet into helicopter baskets. They were brought by
the truckload into shelters, some in wheelchairs and some carrying
babies, with stories of survival and of those who didn't make it.

"Oh my God, it was hell," said Kioka Williams, who had to hack through
the ceiling of the beauty shop where she worked as floodwaters rose in
New Orleans' low-lying Ninth Ward. "We were screaming, hollering,
flashing lights. It was complete chaos."

Looting broke out in some New Orleans neighborhoods, prompting author-
ities to send more than 70 additional officers and an armed personnel 
carrier into the city. One police officer was shot in the head by a 
looter but was expected to recover, authorities said.

A giant new Wal-Mart SuperCenter in New Orleans was looted, and the
entire gun collection was taken, The Times-Picayune newspaper
reported. "There are gangs of armed men in the city moving around the
city, some attempting to act as police officers while others are
simply looting and pilaging" said Ebbert, the city's homeland security
chief. Also, looters tried to break into Children's Hospital, the
governor's office said. 

On New Orleans' Canal Street, dozens of looters ripped open the steel
gates on clothing and jewelry stores and grabbed merchandise. In
Biloxi, Miss., people picked through casino slot machines for coins
and ransacked other businesses. In some cases, the looting took place
in full view of police and National Guardsmen.

Blanco acknowledged that looting was a severe problem but said that
officials had to focus on survivors. "We don't like looters one bit,
but first and foremost is search and rescue," she said.

Officials said it was simply too early to estimate a death toll. One
Mississippi county alone said it had suffered at least 100 deaths, and
officials are "very, very worried that this is going to go a lot
higher, based on corpses seen floating in the water" said Joe
Spraggins, civil defense director for Harrison County, home to Biloxi
and Gulfport. In neighboring Jackson County, officials said at least
10 deaths were blamed on the storm.

Several of the dead in Harrison County were from a beachfront
apartment building that collapsed under a 25-foot wall of water as
Hurricane Katrina slammed the Gulf Coast with 145-mph winds
Monday. Louisiana officials said many were feared dead there, too,
making Katrina one of the most punishing storms to hit the United
States in decades.

Blanco asked residents to spend Wednesday in prayer.

"That would be the best thing to calm our spirits and thank our Lord
that we are survivors," she said. "Slowly, gradually, we will recover;
we will survive; we will rebuild."

Across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, more than 1 million
residents remained without electricity, some without clean drinking
water. Officials said it could be weeks, if not months, before most
evacuees will be able to return.

Emergency medical teams from across the country were sent into the
region and President Bush cut short his Texas vacation Tuesday to
return to Washington to focus on the storm damage.

Also, the Bush administration decided to release crude oil from
federal petroleum reserves to help refiners whose supply was disrupted
by Katrina.  The announcement helped push oil prices lower.

Katrina, which was downgraded to a tropical depression, packed winds
around 30 mph as it moved through the Ohio Valley early Wednesday,
with the potential to dump 8 inches of rain and spin off deadly

The remnants of Katrina spawned bands of storms and tornadoes across
Georgia that caused at least two deaths, multiple injuries and leveled
dozens of buildings. A tornado damaged 13 homes near Marshall, Va.

The governor of Louisiana, the Mayor of New Orleans and various other
community leaders urged everyone remaining to "gather up what you can
of your possessions (at SuperDome or wherever) and please evacuate;
you will be taken in a bus convoy or by boat or helicopter to a safe
place, most likely Houston."

Associated Press reporters Holbrook Mohr, Mary Foster, Allen G. Breed, Adam
Nossiter and Jay Reeves contributed to this report.


On the Net:

National Hurricane Center:

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.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: To me it seems unrealistic to expect
any restoral of telecom service in the near future for New Orleans.  PAT]


From: mc <>
Subject: Re: Global Warming Probably the Reason for Katrina
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 10:59:24 -0400

> For all its numbing ferocity, Hurricane Katrina will not be a unique
> event, say scientists, who say that global warming appears to be
> pumping up the power of big Atlantic storms.

So now all right-thinking, pardon me, left-thinking activists are
going to say Big Oil caused the hurricane?

Weren't there bad hurricanes in 1900 and the 1930s?  Who caused them?

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I do not know about any right- or left-
thinking activists. Yes, there were hurricanes in the past, and I do
not know what caused them. I will suggest, and strongly believe there
is a problem with global-warming. I will suggest at least part of that
problem has come about because there are far too many people on our
planet to support them all sufficiently. I do not think the problem of
over-population has to get to the visual extremes we have heard about
in the past (so many people we each get a few feet of space to stand
in, etc); it can simply get to where our resoures become more and more
scarce.  I live in a very small town, and I can go sometimes for a
mile without seeing someone else. Aside from the fact that that _suits
me fine_ I still maintain we have too many people on planet Earth to
support them all. I think we each need to do our share to reduce the
massive consumption of energy needed in our world. I do not know about
any direct correlation between global warming and the disasterous
weather conditions we have experienced in the past few years, but I
strongly suggest there is a cause and effect somewhere. Even if we
confine our search on this to things obvious before our eyes, such as
the changes in weather conditions at the North/South Poles, and the
unpleasant events of this past week, still, there has to be some cause
and effect. The events of this past week and the changes at the polar
regions are just two of the more obvious things for those of us who
are not too bright. A measly little hurricane -- as nasty as it has
been, but still a tiny event in the overall scheme of things -- is but
a symptom in what to expect if things continue as they have. 

And it would seem everyone wants to have his own agenda figure into
the process. Ignorant Christians who follow along after Pat Robertson
or Jerry Falwell and their ilk would like to have you believe that
the tsunami at Christmas was "God's way of punishing the world because
of the abundance of gay people in southeast Asia." I wonder how long
it will be until Pat Robertson and others come to the conclusion that
the abundance of gay people in the French Quarter in New Orleans led
to the great Katrinia. All of us have agendas, it would seem, why not
own up to your own agenda on this as well?   PAT]


From: Dan Whitcomb <> 
Subject: More Charges for Los Angeles Man in ChoicePoint ID Theft
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 01:21:38 -0500

By Dan Whitcomb

A Nigerian man has been indicted for infiltrating the personal data
firm ChoicePoint Inc. to fraudulently access financial records of
consumers in a still-widening case that has spurred calls for tighter
regulation of the consumer information business.

Oluwatunji Oluwatosin, who had already been sentenced to 16 months in
prison in the ChoicePoint case, now faces 22 more charges, Los Angeles
prosecutors said on Tuesday.

The additional counts came as authorities broadened their investigation 
of data theft at ChoicePoint and said they expected more people to be 
charged in the case.

Prosecutors said about 1,500 people had their personal data
fraudulently accessed and an estimated 148,000 people nationwide were
exposed to identity theft. The ChoicePoint case first came to light in
February when the company -- as required by state law -- informed some
35,000 Californians that they were at risk for identity theft.

"The 22-count grand jury indictment unsealed today represents one of
the largest cases of identity theft ever prosecuted in Los Angeles
County," Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley said.

The breach prompted investigations by federal authorities and a
U.S. Senate committee. Sen. Diane Feinstein has used the ChoicePoint
case to back her call for a federal law like the California regulation
requiring data companies to advise consumers when their information
has been compromised.

Oluwatosin, 42, a resident of the Los Angeles suburb of North
Hollywood, is accused of using mail drops to dupe ChoicePoint into
thinking he ran a legitimate business, which allowed him access to the
Georgia company's vast collection of consumer information.

Prosecutors say Oluwatosin and other members of a fraud ring used that
information to access existing credit card accounts or set up new

The case caused $2 million in losses to Bank of America, Citibank,
Bank One, Household Bank and Discover and another $2 million to
ChoicePoint to cover the costs of notifying consumers whose data had
been compromised.

In February Oluwatosin was sentenced to 16 months in prison after
pleading no contest to a single count of identity theft in the
ChoicePoint case.  Authorities continued the investigation while he
was in prison.

Oluwatosin faces 22 years in prison if convicted on all of the counts
in the new indictment, which charges him with conspiracy, grand theft,
identity theft and credit card access fraud.

A second Nigerian national, Kabiru Olatunde Ipaye, 43, has been charged in a
related case with receiving stolen property, access fraud, possessing a
forged driver's license and other counts.

ChoicePoint's databases contain 19 billion public records, including driving
records, sex-offender lists and FBI lists of wanted criminals and suspected

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.


Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 12:20:18 EDT
From: USTelecom dailyLead <>
Subject: Microsoft Buys VoIP Firm

USTelecom dailyLead
August 31, 2005

* Microsoft buys VoIP firm
* Katrina causes phone service outages; SMS, blogs come through
* Report: SBC to use AT&T name
* Skype: We're not for sale
* Microsoft, Nortel team up
* Analysis: ITunes phone will face stiff competition
* Icahn group mulls plan to boost Time Warner stake
* TELECOM '05:  Preparing You for What's NEXT
* Juniper makes WLAN plan
* MCI settlement may be close

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

Legal and Privacy information at

SmartBrief, Inc.
1100 H ST NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005


From: (Scott Dorsey)
Subject: Re: Is Verizon Wireless Sabotaging Older Cell Phones?
Date: 31 Aug 2005 11:42:32 -0400
Organization: Former users of Netcom shell (1989-2000)

In article <>,
<> wrote:

> Joseph wrote:
> 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.

So take the batteries to a local battery shop and get them recelled.


"C'est un Nagra.  C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."


From: (Scott Dorsey)
Subject: Re: Telecom Scam
Date: 31 Aug 2005 11:44:46 -0400
Organization: Former users of Netcom shell (1989-2000)

Michael D. Sullivan  <userid@camsul.example.invalid> wrote:

> Eric Shoaf wrote:

>> I just received this today. I called to see what the deal was. They
>> required that I made over 50k, I bring my spouse to an office at 1250
>> 22nd Street NW, DC with two forms of ID. No Children. I would have to
>> set through a 90 minute presentation. I felt this might be a scam, so
>> I did a search on the phone number that I called on the internet and
>> found Telecom Digest.

> The address they gave you is for an Embassy Suites hotel (it's across
> the street from my office, in fact), not an office building.  Total
> scam.

Well, a lot of these guys give presentations in rented hotel
conference rooms.

Many of these program ARE scams, it's true, but just because they are
using a hotel conference room doesn't mean they necessarily are one.


"C'est un Nagra.  C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: But we know for a fact that this one is
a scam.   PAT]


Subject: Re: Internet Phone Companies May Cut Off Customers
Date: 31 Aug 2005 09:41:41 -0700

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: A 'standard' set by AT&T for the
> operating companies was to use '2121' or '2131' as well. The last four
> digits were to preferably end in '1' and be repetitive.   PAT]n

In Phila, before 911, police was 231-3131.  When 911 came in, they
kept the old number and said to use that for minor police calls (ie
dog parking, traffic light out) and only use 911 for serious
emergencies.  But everyone just used 911 and 231-3131 was dropped.
Some cities have instituted another number (311) for low grade calls,
but I don't know if it is successful.

The Philadelphia 911 system badly failed when a young kid was brutally
murdered.  Several people called 911 to report the attack, but the
overall computer system didn't take it as a critical call and police
came out way too late.  One problem was that all dispatchers were
poorly trained and they all handled calls citywide rather than a
specific area as they used too.  Because of that they had no idea of
multiple calls coming in.  The family of the victim said if the city
properly upgraded the system they would not sue and the city did so.


Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 00:38:45 -0600
Subject: Re: Long Distance = 211 (was Sid Ceasar and Phones) wrote:

> Actually, that part was accurate around the LA area (or at least the 
> suburban independents) in the 1950s.  You dialed "0" for the local 
> operator and "211" for the long distance operator.

In Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window," Jimmy Stewart is watching
(through a very long lens) his across-the-court neighbor (Raymond
Burr) as Burr picks up the phone and dials three digits.  Stewart,
narrating the events to his girlfriend (Grace Kelly), recognizes "211"
and mutters "long distance."


Subject: Re: Judge: Lawsuit About (NYS) Prison Phone Rates Can Proceed
Date: 31 Aug 2005 07:10:53 -0700

Danny Burstein wrote:

> 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.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: The prisoners in Illinois really need
> to have such a lawsuit started also in their behalf. ...
> 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.

Many prisons and jails* charge high fees on prisoner collect calls.
It is a profit source.  IMHO that makes it an unconstitutional tax.
Clearly it is immoral and foolish.

These fees do not punish the guilty; rather, they punish the innocent
families.  It is not fair to make them suffer.

Any prison textbook will tell you that family contact keeps recidivism
down, and obviously that's something society wants.  So in making
family contact harder, these policies encourage crime, not deter it.

One Long Island jail was in the news on how cruel they treat families.

They must wait outdoors in the rain in a long line to be admitted.  If
capacity is exceeding, those in line are sent home; having made the
trip for nothing.

There are necessary security restrictions for prison visitors and
phone calls, but the rates for phone calls are too high.  They should
be provided on a break-even basis.

*Jails are normally county units for sentences of less than a year,
prisons are normally state units for sentences of a year or longer.
Both jails and prisons have collect phone service.  One jail has phones
in each cell, $1/minute.

The New York Times had an editorial today about this:

An extract:

Faced with high prison costs, the states have been desperately seeking
ways to make sure that people who are released from prison will forge
viable lives outside -- and not end up right back behind bars. Part of
the solution is to help former inmates find training, jobs and places
to live. In this context, the increasingly common practice of jacking
up the costs of inmates' telephone calls to bankrupting levels, and
then using the profits to pay for some prison activities, is
self-defeating and inhumane. It also amounts to a hidden tax on
prisoners' families, who tend to be among the poorest in American

A vast majority of the state prison systems have telephone setups that
allow only collect calls. The person who accepts the call pays a
premium that is sometimes as much as six times the going rate. Part of
the money goes to the state itself in the form of a "commission" - or,
more simply put, a legal kickback.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Some people, it seems, are unclear on
the concept. Ask any police officer: People in prison are scum. If
they are in jail (instead of prison) it is only because (a) we did not
get around yet to putting them in prison (waiting for a trial) or (b)
some 'liberals and activist judges' insist on giving the scum shorter
sentences instead of taking the advice and wisdom afforded them by
those of us who are Brave and Courageous Police Officers, because we
know better on how to deal with scum. 

And if people in prison are scum (as the police officer has proven to
you) then it only seems reasonable prisoner's families and friends are
scum also. We cannot punish them (family and friends) as much as we
would like, since that goddamned US constitution keeps standing in the
way (or at least the way the 'liberals and activist judges' interpret it)
so the best we (as police officers) can hope for is to punish them as
severely as we can in order that maybe -- just maybe -- we will be
able to drive a wedge between them and their loved ones. Make them
jump hoops to be able to visit inmates; drive them into bankruptcy on
their telephone bills; insist on investigating each visitor or
recipient of a phone call as closely as we are allowed (in the hopes
they also can be charged with something), etc. And, thank God for
small favors, none of us ever have any of this pinned back on us; we
never get our own noses rubbed in the messes we helped create, because
in order for that to happen it requires that the scum be able to
afford an attorney smart enough to know our 'system' and they are 
usually too expensive. 

(police to prisoners complaining there is only one working phone for
them to use [of the six or eight installed there] and a huge number of
new prisoners just brought in):  'its not _our_ fault the phones are
not working; _you_ would need to notify the telephone company.'

(police to visitors waiting in a line outside in inclement weather
to get in to visit who have been waiting four hours since that is when
the Salvation Army bus got there that day: 'its not _our_ fault it is
raining today [or ten degrees below zero]. Our 'regulations' say that
only X and Y can be allowed to visit today, and then only if X and Y
submit to all sorts of humiliation [which they call procedures] first.

Oh, they'll blame it on any- and everything: 'terrorism' being their
first choice in recent years. And I guess you may have read in the
news recently where President Bush wants FBI to now investigate all
prisoners and their families/friends to detirmine if they have become
'radicalized' by their treatment in prisons/jails. Cannot have any
new terrorists coming out of jail/prison ready to kick ass, can we?
I guess the prisoners and families are expected to say to the prez,
"oh no, massah, no hard feelings on this end.".  PAT]


Subject: Re: Connecticut Man Sells Micrsoft Windows Source Code
Date: 31 Aug 2005 09:45:39 -0700

Associated Press NewsWire wrote:

> 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.

I believe IBM always made the source code available for its mainframe
operating systems.  Competitors could and would use it for supplemental
utility programs.  They would write links and exits to/from the
operating system for maximum program efficiency.

If IBM can release it, why can't Microsoft?

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I guess Microsoft _doesn't want_ to
release their code, and no law says they have to. But as a matter of
fact, they do release it to 'recognized developers' (not just, in
street parlance, 'hackers') to work with provided the same recognized
developers take a vow of total secrecy about their projects and
require the same vows of secrecy from their employees, etc.   PAT]


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