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Volume 28 : Issue 54 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:
  Re: The Cellphone, Navigating Our Lives 
  Re: TeleTrap from TelTech Systems 
  Re: Low-Tech Fixes for High-Tech Problems 
  Re: Giving Up the Cellphone Contract 
  Re: Giving Up the Cellphone Contract 
  Free Internet-Calling Services Join the Cellphone App Market
  Can the Cellphone Industry Keep Growing?
  Time for a muzzle / The online world of lies and rumor grows ever  more vicious. Is it  time to rethink free speech?
  Select the smartest phone for you

====== 27½ years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
Telecom and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Digest for the
Internet.  All contents here are copyrighted by Patrick Townson and
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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, and other stuff of interest.

Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2009 18:52:09 +1100
From: David Clayton <>
Subject: Re: The Cellphone, Navigating Our Lives 
Message-ID: <>

On Sat, 21 Feb 2009 18:13:40 -0500, Sam Spade wrote:

> David Clayton wrote:
>> And so many of these things rely on a fully functional GPS system, how
>> long until those who want to bring down Western civilization figure out
>> a way to cripple this system by knocking out a satellite?
> Not an easy task.  There are spares on orbit right now.  There [are]
> several spares awaiting launch.
> Someone would have to destroy several widely separated satellites before
> they would knock out the system.  With our technology we would figure
> out quite quickly where the destruction was coming from.  That would be
> a major act of war.

A few missiles that can reach the orbit altitude and blow up leaving
suitably sized debris that would eventually collide with those satellites
would probably do the job (although with the amount of garbage now in
orbit it may happen there any environment that humans can
reach that they don't pollute in one form or another?) And even if you
found out where the missiles came from, would those who sent them really

Put enough debris into orbit - with malicious intent or otherwise - and
sooner or later the whole resource will be severely degraded if not made
unusable, and that would have a major impact on the modern way of life
(and warfare).

Regards, David.

David Clayton
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Knowledge is a measure of how many answers you have, intelligence is a
measure of how many questions you have.


Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2009 01:54:30 -0800 (PST)
From: Sam Spade <>
Subject: Re: TeleTrap from TelTech Systems 
Message-ID: <>

T wrote:

> I recall some time ago I was using NetworkPlus 800 service. ANI is a 
> beautiful thing, you cannot block. Ane Net+ would transmit the ANI as 
> CLID. 

ANI is "sticky" for in-wats calls but not for any other calls.  Other
than in-wats ANI is an operator trunk treatment (including wireline

The CLID blocking rules do not apply to in-wats.  I don't believe the
CLID SS7 message is even sent on an in-wats call.  Lots of half-smart
users dial *67 before an in-wats number thinking they are going to
block their number from reaching that predatory call center they are
calling.  Surprise!

I think the FCC tried to explain that back in the late 1990s when they
still gave a darn about making the Caller ID system working.  Maybe
now that we have a Democrat (and democratic) president again the FCC
will once again grow to care about consumer issues.


Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2009 10:32:02 -0600
From: Hudson Leighton <>
Subject: Re: Low-Tech Fixes for High-Tech Problems 
Message-ID: <>

In article <jB3ol.6905$>,
 MC <> wrote:

> T wrote:
> >> As customers begin to queue, he reaches beneath the counter for a 
> >> black plastic bag. He wraps one layer of the plastic around the card 
> >> and swipes it again. Success. The sale is rung up.
> > 
> > It'a because the plastic creates drag so that the card reader actually 
> > has a chance to interpret the data on the card. 
> Would simply sliding it more slowly do the same thing?  I seem to recall 
> that some card readers want the card to be slid fairly slowly.

I have never used the bag trick, but have used the slide the card
backwards trick with very good success.

As I understand it the data is on the strip twice and
running the card backwards reads the other data set.

Backwards being defined as swiping the card through
the POS terminal bottom to top.



Date: Sun, 22 Feb 2009 10:27:16 -0800 (PST)
From: Joseph Singer <>
Subject: Re: Giving Up the Cellphone Contract 
Message-ID: <>

Sat, 21 Feb 2009 22:38:36 -0500 T <> wrote:

<<I'm looking hard at Metro PCS. They've just expanded into RI and have
coverage in my most traveled areas (RI, MA, CT) but CT isn't quite ready
yet. Their rates are very attractive though.

I wonder if they're GSM and if I could just snap the module into my
Nokia phone.>>

MetroPCS as well as Cricket (another prepaid unlimited operator) are
both CDMA operators and they don't have SIM cards.  Also, you can only
use their approved phones i.e. phones which they sell or have sold.

Also, please consider when replying to an article to *not* quote the
entire article.  Include exactly what you're referencing and leave the
rest out.  Thanks!

(Amen - bh)


Date: 22 Feb 2009 12:45:54 -0000
From: John Levine <>
Subject: Re: Giving Up the Cellphone Contract 
Message-ID: <>

> I'm looking hard at Metro PCS. They've just expanded into RI and
> have coverage in my most traveled areas (RI, MA, CT) but CT isn't
> quite ready yet. Their rates are very attractive though.

> I wonder if they're GSM and if I could just snap the module into my
> Nokia phone.

No, they're CDMA.  You probably have to buy an appropriately
programmed phone from them.



Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 00:20:57 -0500
From: Monty Solomon <>
Subject: Free Internet-Calling Services Join the Cellphone App Market
Message-ID: <p06240882c5c7e1bddf77@[]>

Phone Smart
Free Internet-Calling Services Join the Cellphone App Market

The New York Times
January 29, 2009

For years, software providers have offered ways to make free calls 
from cellphones, and most of them even work. The problem is putting 
the software on your phone.

It is not that carriers want to make it hard for subscribers to load 
Skype, Fring and other free-calling apps onto phones, although the 
networks obviously bristle at the idea of giving their customers a 
way to make free calls (also known as "voice over Internet protocol" 
or telephony). The bigger issue is that until recently, carriers have 
made it painfully hard to load anything onto your phone, whether it 
is sophisticated software or a simple ring tone.

But since Apple buried its spurs in the backside of the industry by 
creating an application store that actually works - thereby 
compelling other companies to follow suit - these free-calling 
applications are almost within the reach of the average smartphone 

Of the many free-calling applications, Fring, a start-up based in 
Israel, and Skype, the standard-bearer of the free-calling realm, are 
among the more user-friendly. But even then, the applications are not 
yet worth the inconvenience unless you plan to make a fair number of 
international phone calls and can put up with less-than-perfect call 
quality (or far worse).



Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 00:20:57 -0500
From: Monty Solomon <>
Subject: Can the Cellphone Industry Keep Growing?
Message-ID: <p0624087dc5c7de922181@[]>

Can the Cellphone Industry Keep Growing?

The New York Times
February 4, 2009

Cellphone sales are falling, manufacturers have announced thousands 
of layoffs and wireless carriers are finding it harder to acquire and 
keep customers.

It seems like another tale of "recession bites industry," but there 
are signs that this downturn is masking something more fundamental: 
that the cellphone industry's best days are behind it.

Analysts and investors are beginning to ask whether the industry can 
continue growing. The challenge is both simple and daunting: how to 
expand when more than half of the six billion people on the planet 
already have phones. And even in developing countries where there are 
underserved markets, subscribers spend less on phones and services.



Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 01:03:49 -0500
From: Monty Solomon <>
Subject: Time for a muzzle / The online world of lies and rumor grows ever  more vicious. Is it  time to rethink free speech?
Message-ID: <p0624088ac5c7ec8a67ac@[]>

Time for a muzzle
The online world of lies and rumor grows ever more vicious. Is it 
time to rethink free speech?

By Drake Bennett  |  February 15, 2009

HERE ARE TWO stories about the Internet.

The week before last, the crippled economy coughed up a gift for 
picked-on college students across the country: It shut down Juicy 
Campus, a notorious website where campus gossips nationwide were 
invited to hold forth anonymously. "Just remember, keep it Juicy!" 
the home page had exhorted. Posters had duly obliged, and many 
students had found their social skills, weight, grooming habits, 
sexual orientation, and/or promiscuity to be the subject of gleefully 
vicious discussion by unseen online classmates. In a healthier 
economy, it's unclear if anything could have closed down Juicy Campus 
- university administrators and even state prosecutors were eager to 
take it on, but had all but conceded that they had few legal options, 
and the website had been rapidly expanding the number of its member 

And then there is this: Last month, someone posted a map showing the 
names, home locations, and occupations of thousands of people who 
gave money to support the passage of Proposition 8, the ballot 
initiative outlawing gay marriage in California. A number of these 
Proposition 8 supporters have since reported threatening e-mails and 
phone calls.

Speech now travels farther faster than the Founding Fathers - or the 
judges who created much of modern free speech law - could have 
dreamed. The Web has brought a new reach to the things we say about 
others, and created a vast potential audience for arguments that 
would once have unfolded in a single room or between two telephones. 
It has eaten away at the buffer that once separated public and 
private, making it possible to expose someone else's intimate 
information to the world with a few keystrokes, or to take 
information that would formerly have been filed away in obscure 
public records and present it digestibly as a goad to collective 
political action.

One of the results has been the advent of a new culture of online 
heckling and shaming, and the rise of enormous cyber-posses motivated 
by social or political causes - or simple sadism.

Now, some legal scholars are beginning to argue that new technologies 
have changed the balance of power between the right to speak and the 
right to be left alone. At conferences, in law review articles, and, 
increasingly, in the courts, some lawyers are suggesting that the 
time has come to rethink some of the hallowed protections that the 
law gives speech in this country, especially if that speech is 
online. The proposals vary: Some focus on restricting material that 
can be posted online or how long it can stay there, others on whether 
we should be less willing to protect online anonymity. More ambitious 
schemes would have courts treat a person's reputation as a form of 
property - something to be protected, traded, and even sold like any 
other property - or create a legally enforceable duty of 
confidentiality between friends like that which exists between 
doctors and their patients.

At stake is the basic question of what we will allow people to say 
and do online, whether it's on a message board, a Craigslist ad, or a 
YouTube video - and who gets to set the rules governing what's OK and 
what's not. As the Web grows increasingly interactive, the system of 
informal and formal rules that determines appropriate behavior is 
only beginning to emerge, and thinkers on both sides of the debate 
agree that courts can go a long way toward shaping it. The argument 
over what to do about online speech, in other words, is an argument 
over whether the Web's unruly nature is something to be celebrated or 



Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 01:08:00 -0500
From: Monty Solomon <>
Subject: Select the smartest phone for you
Message-ID: <p0624088bc5c7ed87a2ff@[]>

The Boston Globe
Select the smartest phone for you
With so many competing operating systems and features, choosing a 
device can be daunting

By John Dyer, Globe Correspondent  |  February 22, 2009

T riders who used to crack open the newspaper on their morning 
commutes now surf the Web on their smartphones. Executives don't rush 
back to the office to write last-minute e-mails anymore; they send 
them via their PDAs, or personal digital assistants, a fancy name for 

Lost in an unfamiliar town? Smartphones have global positioning 
systems. Want to capture baby's first steps when a camera isn't 
handy? Smartphones take photographs.

These light, handheld devices are like electronic Swiss Army knives. 
They offer more doodads than most people need, making them essential 
tools for the technically savvy, but often intimidating for everyone 

The Globe tested four smartphones. Each is essentially a mobile phone 
and computer in one, allowing users to make calls and send text 
messages, check e-mail, listen to music, and enjoy the other perks of 
browsing online - from Internet banking to finding a good local 

Each allows users to download free or inexpensive applications, a 
trend that's opening new markets for computer and telecommunications 
companies. Applications range from music files to online dictionaries 
to currency converters.

We asked AT&T and T-Mobile to supply us with their most up-to-date 3G 
or third-generation smartphones, and we tried out the $435 Blackberry 
Bold, the $235 LG Incite, the $200 iPhone with 8GB of memory, and the 
$180 T-Mobile G1.



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