For your convenience in reading: Subject lines are printed in RED and
Moderator replies when issued appear in BROWN.
Previous Issue (just one)
TD Extra News
Add this Digest to your personal or
TELECOM Digest Wed, 7 Sep 2005 13:44:00 EDT Volume 24 : Issue 407 Inside This Issue: Editor: Patrick A. Townson Telecom Damage Tops $400 Million (Monty Solomon) Apple Expected to Unveil Cellphone Equipped With iPod (Monty Solomon) Mobile Music Buys May Bring Meager Carrier Profit (Monty Solomon) DIRECTV to Offer Free HDTV Upgrade (Monty Solomon) Conqueror in a War of Virtual Worlds (Monty Solomon) Qwest Tech Shot in Minneapolis (Rob Barbeau) Microsoft, Google Face Off in Court (Reuters News Wire) Group Claims Yahoo Helped Jail Journalist (Alexa Olesen) Katrina Children Shown on Web Site (Reuters News Wrie) Unwanted Calls (R.W. Bytheway) Mark Cuccia From New Orleans is Safe (Joseph) OpenWengo: Open Source Alternative for Skype? (firstname.lastname@example.org) Google Talk Using Supernodes for VoIP? (email@example.com) Force Group in IP Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) Bob Denver as Maynard (Lisa Hancock) Telecom Update's New Sponsors (Angus TeleManagement Group) Re: Flood Relief Efforts - Unfair Criticism? (Lisa Hancock) Re: Washington Failed to Fund Levee Projects (Lisa Hancock) Re: You Can't Foil These Parking Meters/Tech Makes it Easier (Atkinson ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2005 22:49:42 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> Subject: Telecom Damage Tops $400 Million Telecom Damage Tops $400 Million BellSouth Says Repairs May Take Months By Arshad Mohammed Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, September 6, 2005; D06 Telephone company BellSouth Corp. yesterday estimated that it would cost $400 million to $600 million to repair the damage from Hurricane Katrina and said it could take four to six months to restore service in the hardest-hit areas of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. The Atlanta-based company, the dominant phone service provider in much of the South, stressed that those were preliminary estimates. It has not yet been able to survey all of its sites given the breadth of the area struck by the hurricane a week ago. BellSouth said an estimated 1.1 million of its lines were out in the region, with 90 percent of these in what it calls the "red zone" -- New Orleans, areas north of the city and the Gulf Coast of Mississippi. That is down from 1.75 million lines that were out late last week. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/05/AR2005090501231.html ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2005 10:07:56 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Apple Expected to Unveil Cellphone Equipped With iPod Stakes are high for computer firm, partner Motorola By Hiawatha Bray, Globe Staff | September 7, 2005 High-tech industry analysts say Motorola Inc. and Apple Computer Inc. are likely to introduce today the first cellular telephone that can double as an iPod portable music player. "I think it has a chance of being a major product," said Roger Entner, wireless phone analyst for Ovum, a Boston research firm. "It just adds another tool to that Swiss Army knife we call wireless phones." Entner said he has spoken to executives familiar with the new device. Longtime Apple-watcher Tim Bajarin, of Creative Strategies Inc, in Campbell, Calif., said he also has heard about the new product from his contacts at cellular telephone service provider Cingular Wireless, which is expected to be the first cellphone company to market the new device. Development of the iPod phone is no secret; Apple and Motorola unveiled plans for such a device in July 2004. The stakes are high for both companies. Apple's iPods are by far the most popular portable music players, renowned for their beauty and ease of use. One-third of Apple's third-quarter 2005 sales of $3.5 billion was generated by iPod. But rivals continue to unveil products, including cellphones with music players. Meanwhile, Motorola of Chicago, the world's number-two cellphone maker, is enjoying a rebound. After years of sluggish performance, Motorola chief executive Edward Zander has rejuvenated the company by launching a line of stylish cellphones like the wafer-thin Razr. Adding an iPod phone to the Motorola stable could help the company gain ground on cellphone leader Nokia of Finland. Apple last week invited journalists to a major product unveiling set for today in San Francisco, but the company has maintained its usual strict secrecy about what it will say. http://www.boston.com/business/personaltech/articles/2005/09/07/apple_expected_to_unveil_cellphone_equipped_with_ipod/ ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2005 10:12:41 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> Subject: Mobile Music Buys May Bring Meager Carrier Profit By Sinead Carew | September 7, 2005 NEW YORK (Reuters) - Cell phones may become the new way for the iPod masses to download and listen to music in the coming years, but wireless companies may not see much of a boost to their profits from selling such services. The biggest U.S. mobile service companies are considering selling phones that can play songs and some have plans to deliver music to phones over the wireless airwaves, in a bid to boost revenue as phone call prices drop. Analysts expect Cingular Wireless, the biggest U.S. mobile service, to reveal plans on Wednesday to sell a new Motorola Inc. <MOT.N> phone that comes with iTunes, the music store software from Apple Computer Inc.<AAPL.O>, whose iPod player dominates the portable digital music market. At least initially, Cingular is expected to let users transfer songs to the phone from computers rather than through wireless download services. POOR PROFIT MARGINS FOR SONGS Despite all the excitement about wireless song purchases, such mobile music is likely to deliver much poorer profit margins than wireless carriers are used to from phone calls or other services such as ringtones, one analyst said. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2005/09/07/mobile_music_buys_may_bring_meager_carrier_profit/ ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2005 00:00:34 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: DIRECTV to Offer Free HDTV Upgrade The switch will likely require a programming commitment. By Phillip Swann Washington D.C. (September 6, 2005) -- DIRECTV revealed tonight that it will offer a free system upgrade for High-Definition TV owners so they can get local high-def channels later this year. DIRECTV is expected to begin offering local HD in 12 markets by year's end. However, the channels will only be available on new DIRECTV MPEG-4 receivers and dishes, which have yet to go on sale. Until now, it was uncertain if current HDTV owners would have to pay up to $300 to buy a new receiver to get the local high-def signals. However, Robert Mercer, a DIRECTV spokesman, told TVPredictions.com Tuesday night that current HDTV owners would be offered a free upgrade. An estimated 600,000 DIRECTV subscribers have high-def sets. http://www.tvpredictions.com/freehdtv090605.html ------------------------------ Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2005 22:15:59 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> Subject: Conqueror in a War of Virtual Worlds By SETH SCHIESEL Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment wanted to make a big splash in the video game world back in March when it introduced Matrix Online, a massively multiplayer online game based on the once-hot film franchise. The game made a big splash all right, like a belly flop. Over its first three months the game signed up fewer than 50,000 subscribers, a pittance, so in June Warner cut bait and agreed to sell the game to Sony. Last month Matrix Online was downsized from nine virtual "realms" to three, because users were having a hard time finding one another in the game's vast digital ghost town. The troubles of Matrix Online were partly of Warner's own making; many players and critics agree that the game is a mediocre experience. But the online market used to make room for mediocre games. Now, the broader phenomenon is that so many contenders, including Matrix Online, simply cannot stand up to the overwhelming popularity of online gaming's new leviathan: World of Warcraft, made by Blizzard Entertainment, based in Irvine, Calif. With its finely polished, subtly humorous rendition of fantasy gaming -- complete with mages, orcs, dragons and demons -- World of Warcraft has become such a runaway success that it is now prompting a debate about whether it is helping the overall industry by bringing millions of new players into subscription-based online gaming or hurting the sector by diverting so many dollars and players from other titles. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/06/arts/design/06worl.html?ex=1283659200&en=7057c2e17780c600&ei=5090 ------------------------------ From: Rob Barbeau <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Qwest Tech Shot in Minneapolis Date: 7 Sep 2005 05:55:47 -0700 Organization: http://groups.google.com http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/5600215.html Didn't see anyone had posted this yet. On the radio this morning the announcer said the man was still in critical condition. ------------------------------ From: Reuters News Wire <email@example.com> Subject: Microsoft, Google Face Off in Court Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2005 10:25:37 -0500 Attorneys for Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc. faced off in court on Tuesday over whether an executive familiar with the world's largest software maker's plans in China could begin working for the search engine leader. Microsoft is asking King County Superior Court Judge Steven Gonzalez for a preliminary injunction to stop former vice president Kai-Fu Lee from working for Google ahead of a trial scheduled for January 2006. Microsoft attorney Jeffrey Johnson argued in court that Lee, who built Microsoft's Beijing research and development center, is violating a non-compete contract that he signed with Microsoft because he has intimate knowledge of Microsoft's operations in China, its competitive strategy against Google and recruiting efforts. "Dr. Lee should live up to his promise," said Johnson. Microsoft played video depositions of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, Chief Executive Steve Ballmer and other executives detailing Lee's involvement in planning China-related strategies and businesses. Microsoft and Google are increasingly becoming the technology industry's most visible competitors, as they face off in the Web search arena and seek to hire top software engineering talent. Google said that Lee decided to leave Microsoft and work for Google to head up their China operations because he was frustrated with Microsoft's lack of action and commitment in China. "He tried, but they (Microsoft executives) were completely uninterested in what he had to say about China," said Steve Langdon, a Google spokesman. The hearing, which will last another day, is the latest move by the Redmond, Washington-based software giant to stop Lee from working at Google while he is still obligated by the one-year non-compete agreement, which went into effect when Lee quit Microsoft in mid-July. Microsoft won a temporary restraining order against Lee and Google in July. Google, based in Mountain View, California counter-sued in its home state last month to block Microsoft's lawsuit. 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 http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/more-news.html . Hundreds of new articles daily. ------------------------------ From: Alexa Olesen <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Group Claims Yahoo Helped China Jail Journalist Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2005 10:28:47 -0500 By ALEXA OLESEN, Associated Press Writer A French media watchdog said Tuesday that information provided by Internet powerhouse Yahoo Inc. helped Chinese authorities convict and jail a journalist who had written an e-mail about press restrictions. The criticism from Reporters Without Borders marks the latest instance in which a prominent high-tech company has faced accusations of cooperating with Chinese authorities to gain favor in a country that's expected to become an Internet gold mine. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo and two of its biggest rivals, Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp.'s MSN, previously have come under attack for censoring online news sites and Web logs, or blogs, that include content that China's communist government wants to suppress. Reporters Without Borders ridiculed Yahoo, saying it was becoming even cozier with the Chinese government by allowing itself to become a police informant in a case that led to the recent conviction of Chinese journalist Shi Tao. "Does the fact that this corporation operates under Chinese law free it from all ethical considerations?" Reporters Without Borders said in a statement. "How far will it go to please Beijing?" Pauline Wong, head of marketing for the Hong Kong office, said Wednesday that the company had no comment on the statement. "We're still looking at it," Wong said. Reporters Without Borders said court papers showed that Yahoo Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd. gave Chinese investigators information that helped them trace a personal Yahoo e-mail allegedly containing state secrets to Tao's computer. Yahoo Holdings (Hong Kong) Ltd. is part of Yahoo's global network. Shi, a former journalist for the financial publication Contemporary Business News, was sentenced in April to 10 years in prison for illegally providing state secrets to foreigners. Reporters Without Borders described Shi as a "good journalist who has paid dearly for trying to get the news out." His conviction stemmed from an e-mail he sent containing his notes on a government circular that spelled out restrictions on the media. "This probably would not have been possible without the cooperation of Yahoo," said Lucie Morillon, a Washington, D.C.-based spokeswoman for Reporters Without Borders. Shi's arrest in November at his home in the northwestern province of Shanxi prompted appeals for his release by activists, including the international writers group PEN. A number of Chinese journalists have faced similar charges of violating vague security laws as communist leaders struggle to maintain control of information in the burgeoning Internet era. Yahoo and its major rivals have been expanding their presence in China in hopes of reaching more of the country's population as the Internet becomes more ingrained in their daily lives. Just last month, Yahoo paid $1 billion for a 40 percent stake in China's biggest online commerce firm, Alibaba.com. Meanwhile, Google and Microsoft are locked in a bitter legal battle over a former Microsoft engineer who Google hired in July to oversee the opening of a research center in China. AP Business Writer Michael Liedtke in San Francisco contributed to this story. 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 Associated Press News Radio at http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/AP.html Get aquainted with Telecom Digest Extra at http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra ------------------------------ From: Reuters NewsWire <Reuters@telecom-digest.org> Subject: Katrina Children Seeking Parents Shown on Web Site Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2005 10:20:12 -0500 Photos of children separated from their parents by Hurricane Katrina have been posted on a Web site by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in an attempt to reunite families. Photos of more than two dozen children found in Louisiana were posted on the organization's Web site (http://www.missingkids.com/), together with sometimes scanty information available about them. There was also an entry for one child without a picture. One entry about a little boy apparently too small to speak properly reads: "His name may be Neiamaya or Jeremiah. His date of birth is unknown; however, he is believed to be about 2 years old." A five-month-old baby, named Jordan Barnes, was also among the children. He was transferred from a hospital in New Orleans to Baton Rouge General Hospital due to Katrina but his mother's whereabouts were unknown. For those unable to access Internet in areas where Katrina knocked out electricity, the center has set up a telephone hotline (888-544-5475) for families separated during the hurricane which hit last Monday and in the flooding and chaos which followed. The center has also posted information about missing children and adults in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi. Several of the photos have been stamped "resolved," and the center's president, Ernie Allen, told CNN that workers, in cooperation with other agencies, has already been able to find mothers of children held in a shelter in San Antonio, Texas. Thousands of people may have been killed by Katrina and its aftermath when flood barriers protecting New Orleans from an adjacent lake burst and hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated. 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 http://telecom-digest.org/td-extra/more-news.html . Hundreds of new articles daily. ------------------------------ From: R. W. Bytheway, Jr. <Bob.Bytheway@Comcast.Net> Subject: Unwanted Calls Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2005 11:33:39 -0500 I too have received the 215 area code number on my cell phone. I Googled and found your site. Will the *67 work with callers who have their numbers blocked and those calls that show up as UnKnown? Someone used to have the home number I currently have and I'm getting call after call and telling these idiots to Google my number and see that I'm not who they want does no good. Most of them seem to have never heard of Google in the first place. One number listed as UnKnown or Private keeps calling and the caller is abusive to me and I have no way of knowing how to report them. Will the blocking of UnKnown or Private showing up on the caller ID work? Thanks for your great site. Bob [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: *67 is intended to _deliberatly_ block the calling party's number. On your caller ID display it will usually shown either 'private' or 'withheld' but not often 'unknown'. Two ways to avoid that type of call: *77 is known as 'blocked ID blocker'. People who _deliberatly_ block their caller ID -- even if due to telephone company shortcomings the number would not be available anyway -- can be dodged by using *77 (by itself, just dial that into your phone, wait for a response, then disconnect). In the future, callers who dial *67 before the number will be told 'party does not accept blocked ID calls; please hang up, make your number available, and dial again.' The second method is by subscribing through your telco to *60, which allows a repertoire of up to ten numbers _you never ever want to hear from_. Dialing *60 -- once you have subscribed -- gets you a recorded message of instructions on what to do. To summarize those instructions, you can either dial in the ten digit fully qualified number _or_ you can add 'the last call recieved, whether or not the number is known_. In that case, the system will not tell you the number being added -- since _that_ person also has privacy expectations -- but it will tell you that a 'private entry has been added to your list'. Later on, you are permitted to delete (from your list) any of the fully qualified numbers you originally had blacklisted or you can delete the entire batch of 'private entries'. If you use *60 and wish to add numbers to your personal Do Not Disturb list, after you enter the number to be added, the system goes away for a few seconds; it has to 'ping' that number to be assured that it is a good number. First time around at least, when using *60 be sure to listen completely to the instructions given. PAT] ------------------------------ From: Joseph <JoeOfSeattle@yahoo.com> Subject: Mark Cuccia From New Orleans is Safe Date: Wed, 07 Sep 2005 06:12:41 -0700 Reply-To: JoeOfSeattle@yahoo.com This may be of interest to folks on CDT/Telecom Digest: > From a yahoo list: To all list members concerned about Mark Cuccia: Mark Cuccia is safe and sound. Mark called me at 8 AM this morning (Wednesday). His apartment did not get flooded and he is fine. Today has been the first day that he has been able to get a cell signal since the hurricane and subsequent flood. He is still without electrical power. However, please do not call Mark right now, as he is saving battery power on his cell phone and reception is still spotty. He plans on leaving New Orleans to stay at his aunt in New Iberia, LA. He said he will call me when he reaches his aunt's house. If he is still not able to send out a message, I'll send a message at that time that he has made it out of New Orleans. Please let others know that he is safe and sound. Dave Perrussel Webmaster - Telephone World http://www.dmine.com/phworld ------------------------------ From: email@example.com Subject: OpenWengo: Open Source Alternative for Skype? Date: 7 Sep 2005 08:37:26 -0700 Organization: http://groups.google.com OpenWengo: Open Source Alternative for Skype? http://slashdot.org/articles/05/09/06/1345209.shtml?tid=185 and also http://dev.openwengo.com/trac/openwengo/trac.cgi/wiki/WengoPhoneNG ------------------------------ From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Google Talk Using Supernodes for VoIP? Date: 7 Sep 2005 08:38:26 -0700 Organization: http://groups.google.com http://james.seng.sg/archives/2005/08/25/more_about_google_talk.html " ...I found out that the STUN server specified does not belong to Google -- the IP address belongs to someone in Taiwan, likely another Google Talk user. Further investigation shows that Google Talk apparently comes with a STUN server. In other words, like Skype, Google Talk turns every client into a possible server to help relay voice call between two users ... " ------------------------------ From: email@example.com Subject: Force Group in IP Office Date: 7 Sep 2005 08:44:43 -0700 Organization: http://groups.google.com I have an Avaya IP Office. I have users in a overflow group but the users keep pressing the 'group' button on the handset taking the phone out of the group. Is there a way to force users to remain in group and disable the group button on the handset. Thanks in advance for any help! Oz ------------------------------ From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Bob Denver as Maynard Date: 6 Sep 2005 13:47:25 -0700 Organization: http://groups.google.com I was sorry to read that actor Bob Denver passed away. It surprised me because from TV I think of him as a kid, not an older fellow. His most famous role that everyone talks about was as Gilligan, in Gilligan's Island. But I remember him more from his prior role as a beatnik, Maynard G Krebs, in "Dobie Gillis". Dobie Gillis was an early 1960s show about an average teenage boy trying to get along with his friends, parents, school, girls, etc. I enjoyed it when I was very young. It was on reruns, but I haven't seen it in a while. I do remember it as being a cut above the silly humor of most TV shows -- a little more thoughtful, a little more intellectual, jokes that were a little less obvious. I remember the parents as being definitely NOT the typical Cleaver/Nelson TV parents of that era -- the father, trying to run his grocery store, was always hollering at Dobie for something or another. I liked shows that had that as they seemed to be more realistic. (Ward Cleaver, for all his mildness, made me terrible nervous, and he was someone I wouldn't want to visit.) Mr. Denver, as Maynard, was kind of a comedy relief, and wasn't too central to the plots. But it was nice seeing an anti-establishment figure, esp way back then -- he'd wear torn sweatshirts and had a scruffy little beard -- and issue poetic philosophical observations that may or may not made sense. [public replies, please] ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 7 Sep 2005 07:38:01 -0700 Subject: Telecom Update's New Sponsors From: Angus TeleManagement Group <email@example.com> Reply-To: Angus TeleManagement Group <firstname.lastname@example.org> ************************************************************ TELECOM UPDATE ************************************************************ published weekly by Angus TeleManagement Group http://www.angustel.ca Dear Telecom Update reader: As you know, there is no charge for subscribing to Telecom Update. That's only possible because it is supported by leading telecommunications companies that understand your need for up-to-date, unbiased news on this fast-changing industry. We are very pleased to announce that the following companies have agreed to sponsor Telecom Update in 2005-2006. Avaya: www.avaya.ca/en/ Bell Canada: www.bell.ca Cisco Systems Canada: www.cisco.com/ca/ Ericsson: www.ericsson.ca Mitel Networks: www.mitel.com/ NEC Unified Solutions: www.necunifiedsolutions.com Rogers Telecom: www.rogers.com/solutions Vonage Telecom: www.vonage.ca Please join us in extending them sincere thanks: their generous support will make it possible for us to continue delivering Canadian telecom news to you every week in the coming year. Ian & Lis Angus Telecom Update, now in its eleventh year, is a weekly summary of Canadian telecom news. Our sponsors make it possible for us to produce and distribute it without charge. Telecom Update's content is solely the responsibility of Angus TeleManagement Group. The current issue, and all past issues, can be found at Angus TeleManagement Group's Web site: www.angustel.ca. [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: _Telecom Update_ is the 'Canadian version' essentially of TELECOM Digest. There is no affiliation between us except that this Digest syndicates news each week from the 'Canadian version' and Angus frequently uses our material as it applies to Canada. He uses 'USA news' as well, when it has specific application to Canada. His archives are at the location mentioned above, while ours are at http://telecom-digest.org/archives . PAT] ------------------------------ From: email@example.com Subject: Re: Flood Relief Efforts - Unfair Criticism? Date: 6 Sep 2005 13:16:14 -0700 Organization: http://groups.google.com Joseph wrote: > Maybe you're having problems being convinced since you're well off > enough to have a vehicle to take you where you need to go. Many > people in the area are poor and probably had no way to move themselves > and their families out of there. I'm not sure why you're assuming > that there are enough cars in New Orleans to evacuate everyone. To me, the logistics of the evacuation should've been first considered by local officials, then help requested from the Feds if facilities were inadequate. That is, the local politicians should know their own community best as to transport options -- who can get out on their own, who will need help, who won't want to go. (I remain wondering if many people remained by choice.) Anyway, the local government would then line up transit and school buses, something they as local leaders would be more familiar with and have the authority to commandeer. They would know the neighborhoods best to arrange the best staging points (using logical central points instead of just points taken from a map.) John Hines wrote: > I have concerns with Bush's personal response to this disaster, which > threatened thousands, as well as a third of our energy supply (from > the gulf), when it is compared to his response to the single life of > Terry Schavio. I very much disagreed with his involvement with the Schavio situation. But that is irrelevent here. That's one of the things that bothers me. The federal response to New Orleans should be looked at only in terms of other disasters, not other Federal projects or policies. ------------------------------ From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Washington Failed to Fund Levee Projects Date: 6 Sep 2005 14:01:06 -0700 Organization: http://groups.google.com Serrano & Gaouette wrote: > WASHINGTON - For years, Washington had been warned that doom lurked > just beyond the levees. And for years, the White House and Congress > had dickered over how much money to put into shoring up century-old > dikes and carrying out newer flood control projects to protect the > city of New Orleans. There are a great many projects throughout the United States that are 'critical' but are 'underfunded'. The Federal Government does not have an unlimited well and can't pay for everything everybody wants. It must be remembered that many people strongly disagree on what projects are actually "critical" as well as what constitutes "underfunding". Let's take an example close to home: If it were up to me, every Telecommunications service provider or manufacturer would have regular on-site audits by both technical and financial inspectors by the FCC to ensure their system is reliable, won't screw up other people, meets high standards of performance, and isn't a sham -- the kind of oversight to prevent a Norvergence. But I can't help but suspect a lot of people in that business, especially smaller ones, would feel that's a waste of money and would not appreciate FCC inspectors nosing about their business asking tough questions and demanding answers. In other newsgroups, there was considerable debate concerning if in fact the levees were underfunded or who was responsible for what. Anyway, every state has a backlog of critical bridge and highway construction and lots of other needs. In my state, the Feds proposed a flood control project that the locals shot down. Years later, we got very serious flooding that that project could've prevented, and now it's up for discussion again. So, people can't even agree on what desirable infrastructure is. In New Orleans, they're arguing about wetland areas, for example. I also note that some newspaper columnists pulled the race card, claiming more might have been done had New Orleans been a more affluent or Bush supporting area instead of poor and black. Yet other states get floods in very wealthy areas where million dollar homes are washed out. So much for that theory. Serrano & Gaouette further wrote: > To cut spending, officials gambled that the worst-case scenario > would not come to be. The reality is that this kind of gamble is done every day in every city across the country. There simply is not enough resources to do everything everyone wants done. First off, not everyone agrees on criticiality of every project. Some projects may hurt other people who object to them (a flood control project was nixed because of that). Not everyone agrees on the amount of funding necessary. Secondly, there are many infrastructure needs that could called inadequate. Roads, highways, hospitals. We do the best we can. As an example close to home, I would be in favor of beefing up the FCC with technical and financial inspectors who would rigorously check all telecom providers (service and equipment) to ensure they meet rigorous standards. Let's prevent another Norvergence. I'd dare say a lot of people in that business would resent such severe demands and time requirements to fulfill those audits. Who would be right? As you can see, there is no "right" or "wrong" answer when it comes to spending money or taking Federal action. By the way, The New York Times had a columnist, Tierney, blame the local officials for the failure: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/06/opinion/06tierney.html He noted the Norfolk VA area has locally prepared flood plans and the like which New Orleans didn't have. ------------------------------ From: Fred Atkinson <email@example.com> Subject: Re: You Can't Foil These Parking Meters/Technology Makes it Easier Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2005 23:49:36 -0400 This article made me remember an experience I had when I was working with SkyTel. I was on a business trip to Colorado. First we ran all over Denver optimizing the SkyTel paging system. Then we went out to Vail and Aspen to work on the systems there. I can't now remember if this happened in Aspen or in Vail. But it was one of them. They had non-metered forty-five minute parking zones. They 'chalked' you as described in the article, an officer came by and typed your tag number into his wireless terminal. It was time stamped into the computer. So, when another officer comes back by and types it in again and you are over the time limit, the wireless terminal printed you out a parking ticket. We had parked our rental vehicle in a forty-five minute zone. I neglected to notice what time we actually parked. We didn't expect to be there for more than a few minutes. But there was a problem with the equipment on the site and we had to stay to get it fixed. When we returned to the vehicle, there was a parking ticket on it. When I looked at the chalk time versus the time the ticket was issued, the difference of the times was only thirty-eight minutes. I called the parking ticket supervisor at the town hall, gave him the ticket number so he could pull it up in the system, and asked him to explain that one to me. I pointed out that the sign said forty-five minutes. He was reluctant, but he deleted the ticket from the system and told us not to worry about paying it. So much for modern technology. Fewer challenges, huh? Fred ------------------------------ End of TELECOM Digest V24 #407 ******************************