TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Pod Slurping Dangerous to Your Company

Re: Pod Slurping Dangerous to Your Company

Tue, 21 Jun 2005 00:56:16 -0000

In article <>,
jtaylor <> wrote:

> On Ebay there is a brisk trade in BIOS password chips, as well
> as kits for soldering them onto the motherboard.

> More trouble than shorting a jumper, to be sure, but it requires
> more equipment, and that equipment is unlikely to have any other
> reasonable purpose; being discovered with such tools would be a
> dead giveaway.

If you are already opening up the computer, why not just steal
the hard drive?

Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2005 01:07:05 -0000
From: (Robert Bonomi)
Newsgroups: comp.dcom.telecom
Subject: Re: Bell Divestiture
Message-ID: <>
Organization: Widgets, Inc.
X-Telecom-Digest: Volume 24, Issue 282, Message 17 of 17
Lines: 245

In article <>,
<> wrote:

> Robert Bonomi wrote:

>> Revisionist history at work. Computer "time sharing" did not exist

>> _at_all_ before mid-1964.

> It was running at Dartmouth College -- the pioneer -- in 1963.

You apparently know more about DTSS than _Dartmouth_ does. I checked
the Dartmouth history before posting that. Yes, Dartmouth invented
time-sharing, I acknowledged that. Development _started_ in 1963, but
it wasn't operational until May of 1964. (It supported an entire *TWO*
terminals in its original form.)


"In September, 1963, under the direction of mathematics professors John
G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz, a project to establish a time-sharing
system at Dartmouth got under way. The fruits of this project were
BASIC, a simplified programming language, and a time-sharing system --
using the GE-235 and Datanet-30 computers. This system began
operations in May, 1964. In 1965, Dartmouth placed off-campus
terminals in secondary schools in the area. "

By September '64, they had upped the capacity to a whopping 7 terminals.

>> _WHAT_ business?? In Randy's case it *was* just a hobby. No income,
>> no membership 'fees', no nothing. All the expenses came out of his
>> personal pocket.

> Repeat: A non-profit is still considered a business. Who paid for
> it wasn't the issue. Bell was correct to charge business rates for
> this service.

Your opinion does not agree with the official rulings of the Illinois
regulatory authorities. Thus, it is safe to say that in the
jurisdiction where the events occurred, you are quite wrong.

>> Speed of call set-up is irrelevant to the number of
>> _connected_and_running_ calls that can be handled

> Sorry, but faster speed makes for a more efficient system. Faster
> speed allows a more sophisticated route selection and alternative
> paths. Control and connection need not even be in the same physical
> place. Connection facilities could be shared among a wider audience
> because the fast connection gear can make use of many more choices.

Yes, there are benefits (a few 'direct', many 'indirect') to 'speed'.
*NO*, they do not relate to the *number* of established calls that can
be handled simultaneously.

Putting a bigger engine in a Corvette will let it "go faster"; it is
utterly irrelevant, however, to increasing the number of passengers
that that car can carry.

Faster control elements does _not_ let you handle more calls, unless
you had an insufficient number of control elements to begin with. The
limiting constraint on call-volume handling is "elsewhere".

What "faster speed" does is let you handle the *same* load of calls
with fewer control elements. This is not an increase in 'capacity';
merely a decrease in 'unit cost'.

>>> Regulated monopolies were NOT _guaranteed_ a minimum rate of return.

> Others confirmed that statement.

Some people have seen franchise documents with fixed numbers
specified. One can even find regulatory agency filings where it was
argued that the franchise-guaranteed rate was insufficient, due to the
present rate of inflation.

>> Western Union and most of the railroads were 'regulated common
>> carriers'. Not regulated monopolies.

> The Bell System was a common carrier. Railroads had "monopolies" in
> their service territories;

You've never seen tracks for two competing railroads running
side-by-side? Tell me, in 1950, say, who had the 'monopoly' for
passenger service between New York City, and Chicago? Or for freight
between those locations, for that matter?

Bell System held _exclusive_ franchises -- including the exclusive
right to run telephone cabling on public right-of-way -- for telephone
operations in many areas of the country. In other areas, Central
Telephone, or United Telephone (later, United Telecom) held that
franchise. Where such exclusive franchise existed, they were a de
jure monopoly. as well as being a common- carrier.

>> Hint: the SxS _was_not_capable_ of *native* touch-tone operation, a
>> front end translation from touch-tone to pulse was required.

> Right. That contradicts your claim that Touch Tone actually saved the
> company money.

Repeating for the illiterate:

'native' touch-tone operation was substantially cheaper for the telco
than was 'native' pulse dialing.

They retrofitted dial-to-pulse conversion on SxS switches so that they
could 'pre-convert' customers to touch-tone before the switch was
converted to native touch-tone dialing.

This was a "short-term" expenditure of money now, to maximize
"long-term" benefits. By having a significant "installed base" of
touch-tone users *already*in*place* when the C.O. was converted to
_native_touch-tone_ handling, they could get by with far fewer sets of
digit decoders (dial or pulse). With 'pulse' tieing up the decoders
for average more than five times as long as touch-tone, there _was_
significant benefit to be obtained. getting even 20% of the calls on
touch-tone, meant a _halving_ of the number of decoder elements

The intent was to 'spend a little money now' to 'save a _lot_ of money
later'. Especially since that 'spend a little money now' could be
done by making the customers pay for _that_ money, when the 'savings'
did *not* have to be given back.

It can be entertaining, in a morbid sort of way, to look at just
_how_much_ money the ILECs were raking in -- from that
$1.00-1.50/month/line 'touch-tone surcharge' -- vs. the 'piddling
cost' of installing the 'added cost' items (touch-tone converters) in
SxS switches. the return on investment will make your head spin.

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

> Your one example is off. AT&T introduced the picturephone at the NY
> World's Fair in 1964 and the Bell System never introduced it into
> service at all, as far as I can tell. Does your phone show pictures?

Picturephone *was* offered to the public, in 'limited' markets. for a
few years. It wasn't really marketed, because it was still
quasi-experimental, the picture part worked only on local calls. but
it was available. A few exchanges in Chicago, similarly in Los
Angeles. And, I believe, at least one east-coast location as well.

In article <>, TELECOM Digest
Editor noted in respnse to <>:

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: My grandfather got me on at Standard
> Oil in the credit card office in Chicago in June, 1967, _not_ in 1978!
> His boss had gotten me the phone room job at University of Chicago
> when I was in high school in 1959; grandpa was with the company as an
> executive at Whiting Refinery for several years, but did not think I
> should be doing refinery work. You see, I am not really all that good
> at doing hard labor jobs. Grandpa's boss was going to put me to work
> in the superintendent's office either in Whiting or maybe send me back
> to Neodesha, KS (where grandfather had worked at one time); I thought
> I should stay around Chicago where my friends were so he suggested the
> marketing department or credit card processing office would be good
> for me.

> In the credit card processing office in 1967 they had IBM 370
> computers

Historical note: the IBM 370 line was announced in June, 1970, with first
customer shipments the following spring.

No doubt Standard Oil was one of the early S/370 customers.

> In 1970 I guess, I do not remember for sure, they brought around
> terminals, sat them on the desks and told people 'Do not Touch These'
> until we explain what to do, which was about a month later. We were
> told these would be replacing some of the job functions that had been
> done manually before. PAT]

Probably '71 or '72. After upgrade to a S/370 gave them the
horsepower to run 'online' CICS. The 360 didn't have the speed/power
to do all the records work that SO threw at it, _and_ handle the
overhead of on-line processing.

In article <>,
<> wrote:

> Michael D. Sullivan wrote:

>> I used it starting in 1965, when my high school got a
>> single TTY connected to it, either the only or one of a very few high
>> schools connected to time sharing in the mid 1960s.

>> By the late 1960s, time-sharing was much more widespread and was heavily
>> used. But not in the mid-60s.

> Our school system got it in 1967. Is that "mid" or is that "late"
> 1960s?

That would be generally considered "late" in the decade. Typically,
x0-x3 was 'early', x4-x6 was 'mid', and 'x7-x9' was 'late. Sometimes
people would blur things, and do things like call x6-x7 'late mid".

> In any event, the point is that the demand data lines were growing and
> the Bell System was responding to that demand.

The data-line growth at that time was the proverbial 'drop in the bucket'
compared to a decade later.

> Of course let's remember Teletype (a Bell unit) developed a faster
> machine (the 33 and 35) that used the new ASCII code.

Nit: Teletype Corp. was, since 1930, a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Western Electric.

Teletype also had competition in the manufacture of such devices. GE,
among the 'big name' manufacturers. Also people like Xerox, Northeast
Electronics, and even Fujitsu.

>> The problem for regulators and regulated telcos comes when the
>> services that are providing the subsidy for below-cost residential
>> service are subject to competition. ...

>> ... in the old days, AT&T had an incentive
>> to allocate costs to long-distance, to keep that price as high as
>> possible within its rate of return and keep local residential
>> service low ...

> Many people have stated that long distance rates were higher to
> cross-subsidize residential service. But where is that documented as
> to _original_ reliable source?

Is Judge Greene, or the FCC, enough of an authority?

> Further, what was the dollars/percentage impact of that cross-subsidy?
> That is, how much more would residential service have cost and how
> much less would long distance? Does anyone have an authoritive
> source?

After divestiture, there is a documented hard-dollar amount that the
IXCs had to pay LECs _per_customer_ to make up the 'lost revenues'
from the prior LD to local service subsidation. A declining amount
over the years, but initially several dollars per month/line. placing
it at circa 20-25% of what customers were billed for basic local

It was set initially to be roughly equivalent total revenues to what
the local service operations got in 'subsidy' from the long distance

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