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The Telecom Digest for August 02, 2010
Volume 29 : Issue 208 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:

My experience with cell phones overseas(John Mayson)
Florida land-line phone utilities lost 1 million customers in 2009 (John Mayson)
Re: Do you know where there are Teletype machines for sale?(Jim Haynes)
Re: FTC: say goodbye to "Stacey at Account Holder Services" (Alan Boritz)
Re: Do rate centers cross state lines?(David Kaye)
Re: Overlay acceptance(Mike Blake-Knox)
Re: Model 15 RO Teletype available (OT)(Lisa or Jeff)

====== 28 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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and the name of our lawyer, and other stuff of interest.

Date: Sun, 1 Aug 2010 12:08:05 +0800 From: John Mayson <john@mayson.us> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: My experience with cell phones overseas Message-ID: <AANLkTinA3wUU+AFk6t++RTZcsPcjSORAkOxyuPh57GMx@mail.gmail.com> >From time to time in the digest we discuss using cell phones in other countries. Discussions range from how to do it, how to contain costs, and people who apparently spend every waking moment on their phones and return home to $3,000 phone bills. I have a personal cell phone though AT&T Wireless and my company provides me with a phone through Verizon Wireless. My first stop was Moscow. I was only there for about 90 minutes. Neither phone worked. I was able to get my iPod Touch working on the airport's free wifi by guessing at what the Russian language splash page wanted me to do. My next stop was Singapore. Again, neither phone worked. Use of free wifi in Singapore requires registration. I didn't bother as they have plenty of free computers throughout the terminal. My destination was Penang, Malaysia. Again, neither phone worked. I wasn't sure my Verizon phone would work, but sort of expected my AT&T phone to work. I'm supposed to have international on both phones. I called AT&T and asked if they would unlock my phone and they did. I accomplished this by calling their international services number at +1 (800) 335-4685. It took only a few minutes and they were happy to do it. Next I went to a nearby mall and found a cell phone store. Per Malaysian law I had to provide my passport to buy a SIM card, but within 10 minutes I was talking and texting on a pre-paid SIM using my existing phone. Unlocked GSM phones are widely available here for reasonable prices (as low as $25 USD). I can refill my phone at the nearby 7-11 and the prices are reasonable. I really think if you're going to be in country for a while, getting a local SIM is the way to go. And speaking of which, it's been years since I've flown internationally. The new pre-landing ritual appears to be swapping out SIM cards. John -- John Mayson <john@mayson.us> Austin, Texas, USA
Date: Sun, 1 Aug 2010 12:22:55 +0800 From: John Mayson <john@mayson.us> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Florida land-line phone utilities lost 1 million customers in 2009 Message-ID: <AANLkTi=T3ycuATYxmUdoW5OV2-gSvHjCwzLz9XwJUd==@mail.gmail.com> WEST PALM BEACH, Florida - The three largest landline telephone providers in Florida - Verizon, AT&T and CenturyLink - lost 1 million customers in 2009. More here: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/os-landline-customers-florida-20100731,0,1547715.story -- John Mayson <john@mayson.us> Austin, Texas, USA
Date: Sat, 31 Jul 2010 21:51:41 -0500 From: Jim Haynes <jhaynes@cavern.uark.edu> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Do you know where there are Teletype machines for sale? Message-ID: <_fKdnWoCvdKgfMnRnZ2dnUVZ_hidnZ2d@earthlink.com> I will take the information to the mailing list greenkeys@mailman.qth.net That is where most of the Teletype enthusiasts hang out. ***** Moderator's Note ***** Thanks, I appreciate that. I tried to subscribe again, but the Mailman robot doesn't seem to like me anymore. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sat, 31 Jul 2010 23:58:39 -0400 From: Alan Boritz <bigtowersNOSPAM@earthlink.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: FTC: say goodbye to "Stacey at Account Holder Services" Message-ID: <0ho956pru7a6njo35b20krr0te630s4pfs@4ax.com> On Wed, 16 Jun 2010 20:15:41 -0400, danny burstein <dannyb@panix.com> wrote: >[FTC press release] > >The Federal Trade Commission's work to stop deceptive pre-recorded >"robocalls" took another step forward today as a federal court halted >a major telemarketing operation that made millions of illegal phone >calls pitching worthless extended auto warranties and credit card >interest rate-reduction programs. At the request of the FTC, a federal >court judge in Chicago has entered an order stopping the operation's >calls, temporarily freezing its assets, and appointing a receiver to >take control of the operation." > ----- >rest: >http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2010/06/asiapacific.shtm .... Doesn't look like it's doing any good. I've gotten 6 calls from "Stacey" since 7/7/10, five of them on my cellphone. On one day (July 7) "she" called my cell three times within 20 minutes. And the sixth telemarketing call originated from a wireless number with crude audio, to my home phone. No, wait a minute, that was Rachel. The timing, how the audio is delivered, suggests that the telemarketer may have intended most of these calls to be delivered to voice mail rather than to be answered live, since my voice mail almost always captured the beginning of the pitch rather than starting after the pitch started. And a quick web search reveals that the calls haven't stopped, and might not have even slowed down since the FTC did their recent enforcement actions. I don't know what's more bizarre, a large telemarketer defying a Federal court order, or all the people who believed all their garbage. ***** Moderator's Note ***** What's most bizarre is that voters actually believe this kind of charade, again and again and again, when politicians and bureaucrats proclaim that they're "solved" a problem, get their Thirty seconds on the evening news, and then go back to kowtowing to their campaign contributors while laughing - again - at how gullible we are. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sun, 01 Aug 2010 07:18:09 GMT From: sfdavidkaye2@yahoo.com (David Kaye) To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Do rate centers cross state lines? Message-ID: <i3373h$763$2@news.eternal-september.org> jsw <jsw@ivgate.omahug.org> wrote: >In the Omaha area, the rate center spans two counties, Douglas >and Sarpy, and if you count one little burg on the very edge, >yes, part of Washington County as well. There is an assumption among some people that counties are some special miracle land. While in California it's true that cities don't span counties, in Oregon they do. Portland, for instance, is in parts of 3 counties. As to NPA/NXX spanning, there are rural areas where it's easier to service one state from another. I seem to remember a small area of northern California serviced from Oregon. I'm trying to find the actual communities but can't at the moment. I believe this is also true between California and Nevada. ***** Moderator's Note ***** When I was a computer programmer at NYNEX, we had to make a lot of exceptions in our code for a town in the far North of Maine which was served from an exchange in Canada. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sun, 01 Aug 2010 08:53:20 -0400 From: Mike Blake-Knox <mikebkdontspam@knology.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Overlay acceptance Message-ID: <VA.00000260.4b0ed3bc@knology.net> In article <Yr6dnZrJb9489tLRnZ2dnUVZ_jWdnZ2d@giganews.com>, Sam Spade wrote: > Although domestic dialing in the U.S. and Canada is a fixed-number > system, international dialing is not. So, since the inception of direct > international dialing use of the "#" eliminates the 5-second ambiguity > period. Generally, enough knowledge of international dialing is built into the local "class 5" switch so neither timing nor "#" is required. I can't remember when I last needed to use the "#" to terminate dialing phone number. Of course, this may just say something about who I call and/or where I call from. (These days, typically European business or mobile numbers from a BellSouth (er, AT&T) centrex line). Mike
Date: Sat, 31 Jul 2010 19:44:46 -0700 (PDT) From: Lisa or Jeff <hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Model 15 RO Teletype available (OT) Message-ID: <c141273b-0e5d-4497-88ba-64d5efe2d0e1@m1g2000yqo.googlegroups.com> On Jul 31, 7:13 pm, Bill Horne <b...@horneQRM.net> wrote: > Model 15 RO, probably with "66 speed" gears. Formerly used by UPI. This > is a preasure-feed unit, i.e., it takes regular rolls of paper, not the > pin-feed kind. I always thought it'd be neat to have such a machine as an I/O unit connected to a PC. There were companies that made interface boxes so as to connect from the PC I/O to the Teletype's I/O, though I don't know if such boxes handled the ASCII-Baudot conversion. (That's tricky because Baudot requires shifts for letters and figures, so it's not a one-to-one character conversion.) Unfortunately, space limitations prevented me for acquiring a Teletype. Also I figured that the machines would need periodic mechanical maintenance which I'm not skilled at. But the image of the Teletype clacking out important messages or news has mostly faded away from the popular conscious. Years ago email replaced it and today cellphone texting supplanted that (see separate thread). J. ***** Moderator's Note ***** I learned to type on a Model 19 Teletype connected to a Ham radio transmitter at the M.I.T. radio club, W1MX, in the Sixties[1]. The machine required both a sense of timing and strong fingers: the keyboard was locked during the time when the previous key-choice was read by the mechanism, so producing consistently high speeds meant synchronizing your typing speed with that of the machine, and it took more force to start a key in motion than it did to complete the trip: each green keycap had a spring under it to absorb the typist's force as the key bottomed out. I think the converters that Jeff speaks of were current-loop to RS-232 devices, which only changed the "physical layer" signalling from that used by telegraph[2] lines to the bipolar interface specified by RS-232 for computers. Converting from the ASCII code most PC's use to the ITU2[3] or other codes used by Teletypes is almost always done in software, and it's a surprisingly complicated process: the Teletype can't print many of the characters available on computers[4], so the programmer must make choices about which ones to substitute. I know: I coded an interface like that once (although it was for an Anderson-Jacobson machine that used EBCD, not a Baudot Teletype), and although I was able to impress my professors by handing in papers with justified right margins, it took me a week of effort to get CP/M to do the trick. 1. Although I sometimes wish that I had acquired skill on a Dvorak keyboard instead, they weren't generally available until well into the 1980's. C'est la vie. 2. Yes, that's right: telegraph. Teletype machines were invented to give Western Union and other telegraph companies a way to replace their high-priced telegraph operators with machines that any dolt could operate: being automated out of a job is, you see, nothing new. Since Teletype machines were used to replace telegraph operators, they use the same signalling methods that the telegraph used: "Mark" (key down) means current flowing, and "Space" (key up) means no current flowing. Ergo, the "current loop" signalling interface that is standard on all Teletype mahines. 3. According to Wikipedia, Baudot's code was never used by Teletype or similar machines that had a "typewriter" keyboard: a man named Murray adopted Baudot's code to decrease wear-and-tear on the tape punching mechanisms, by assigning the most often used characters to "mostly spacing" codes, since only "marks" were punched. Western Union modified Murray's code to suit itself, and the result became the CCITT International Telegraphy Alphabet No. 2 (ITA2) which is used on TELEX machines to this day. Like many other historical terms in the telecommunications field, "Baudot" has survived as the common name, although some purists insist it should be called "Murray code" or "Baudot/Murray code", even though neither term is any more accurate than just saying "Baudot". 4. There is, for example, no "@" (at sign) on the Teletype keyboard (although the symbol has been integrated in the International Morse Code), and no "\" (backslash).
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End of The Telecom Digest (7 messages)

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