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Volume 28 : Issue 39 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:
  The End of Alone
  Google and Amazon to Put More Books on Cellphones
  So Many iPhone Apps, So Little Time
  Re: 911 service not prepared for new generation of pranksters     

====== 27 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2009 23:39:43 -0500
From: Monty Solomon <>
Subject: The End of Alone
Message-ID: <p0624082cc5b2c050ed3f@[]>

The End of Alone
At our desk, on the road, or on a remote beach, the world is a tap 
away. It's so cool. And yet it's not. What we lose with our constant 

By Neil Swidey
February 8, 2009

Don't get me wrong. I love technology. It's magical how it makes the 
world closer, and more immediate. Take, for instance, the real-time 
way we learned about the plane that skidded off a Denver runway and 
burst into flames in December. One of the passengers on Continental 
Flight 1404 used Twitter to share everything from his initial 
profanity- and typo-laced reaction to making it out of the fiery jet 
("Holy [bleeping bleep] I wasbjust in a plane crash!") to his lament 
that the airline wasn't providing drinks to the survivors who'd been 
penned into the airport lounge ("You have your wits scared out of 
you, drag your butt out of a flaming ball of wreckage and you can't 
even get a vodka-tonic.")

Technology also makes life infinitely more manageable. It's what 
allows me to begin writing this essay from a packed coffee shop on a 
snowy winter afternoon while still being connected with my editors 
and finish writing it from my kitchen in the middle of the night, 
when all the interruptions of the day have faded away (unless I want 
to check Facebook to see how many of my friends are also nuts enough 
to be staring at a computer screen at 3 a.m.). And technology simply 
makes things more fun, like the way my wife will hold her iPhone up 
to a restaurant ceiling speaker and instantly be told that the 
vaguely familiar tune of funky '70s cheese she hears is "Sky High," 
by the one-hit-wonder band Jigsaw, rather than letting that little 
mystery make her cerebrum ache for the rest of the day.

So please don't confuse what I have to say for that tired Luddite 
screed about how technology is ruining us. It isn't.

Except it just might.

Because of technology, we never have to be alone anymore. And that's 
the problem.



Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2009 00:31:56 -0500
From: Monty Solomon <>
Subject: Google and Amazon to Put More Books on Cellphones
Message-ID: <p06240834c5b2cd18ec40@[]>

Google and Amazon to Put More Books on Cellphones

February 6, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO - More electronic books are coming to mobile phones.

In a move that could bolster the growing popularity of e-books, 
Google said Thursday that the 1.5 million public domain books it had 
scanned and made available free on PCs were now accessible on mobile 
devices like the iPhone and the T-Mobile G1.

Also Thursday, Amazon said that it was working on making the titles 
for its popular e-book reader, the Kindle, available on a variety of 
mobile phones. The company, which is expected to unveil a new version 
of the Kindle next week, did not say when Kindle titles would be 
available on mobile phones.



Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2009 00:34:00 -0500
From: Monty Solomon <>
Subject: So Many iPhone Apps, So Little Time
Message-ID: <p06240835c5b2cd77029a@[]>

So Many iPhone Apps, So Little Time

February 5, 2009

Who was it who wrote, in March 2008, just after Apple announced its 
intention to create an online app store for the iPhone, "You're 
witnessing the birth of a third major computer platform: Windows, Mac 
OS X, iPhone"?

Oh, right--that was me.

Anyway, there are now 15,000 programs available on the App Store, and 
so many more are flooding in that Apple's army of screeners can't 
even keep up. I keep meaning to write a thoughtful, thorough roundup 
of the very best of these amazing programs, but every day that I 
don't do it, the job becomes more daunting. (But don't worry. I'll 
get around to it.)

For the moment, let's use a single program as a case study. It's one 
of the most magical programs I've ever seen for the iPhone, and 
probably for any computer. It's Ocarina, named after the ancient clay 
wind instrument.



Date: Fri, 6 Feb 2009 22:07:32 -0800 (PST)
Subject: MagicJack 
Message-ID: <>

I am not a techie, so I apologize in advance.

I see the MagicJack ads on TV a lot: my question is - "Do all the
calls come thru a PC/Laptop device"? If this is so, then this is a
problem: that means if my laptop is not on, I will miss calls.

Currently I have Comcast cable Internet and telephone service.
I have a wireless router for laptop use.

Pls let me know as I am ignorant [of] how MagicJack works.

Your help will be highly appreciated.



Date: Sat, 07 Feb 2009 21:04:59 -0600
From: (Gordon Burditt)
Subject: Re: 911 service not prepared for new generation of pranksters     
Message-ID: <sYKdnZYovspG1hPUnZ2dnUVZ_qfinZ2d@posted.internetamerica>

>It should be trivial, and should be mandatory... that any call
>coming into a PSAP from a "questionable", for want of a better
>term, source, get a Big Note on the screen saying something
>like "this caller is from a questionable source. Make sure
>you triple check any and all info".

911 operators are not necessarily all that careful about getting
the location straight when the caller SAYS he's at a different
location than the emergency and makes it very clear that there's a
difference.  Example:  once during a lunch break some fellow employees
were looking out over downtown Dallas from a high floor of a downtown
office building.  One of them spots a large burst of flame and lots
of smoke, along with hearing a loud bang, coming from a building
on the edge of downtown and he calls 911.  He describes it as best
he can: something like "about 200 yards north of the blah blah exit
of 35E, on the east side.  A sign on the top of the building says
FooBar Corp.".  Guess where the fire trucks show up?  At the downtown
office building, even though the fire is at least 30 blocks away.


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