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The Telecom Digest for September 06, 2010
Volume 29 : Issue 241 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:

Consumer Watchdog Group Goes After Google(Monty Solomon)
A Strong Password Isn't the Strongest Security(Monty Solomon)
Re: A Strong Password Isn't the Strongest Security(David Kaye)
Re: 911-only public phone(tlvp)
Re: Whatever happened to travelers' cheques (checks)(Wes Leatherock)
Re: 911-only public phone(AES)
Re: 911-only public phone(John Levine)
Re: Whatever happened to travelers' cheques (checks)(Richard)

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Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2010 09:09:08 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Consumer Watchdog Group Goes After Google Message-ID: <p062408ebc8a946eec954@[]> Consumer Watchdog Group Goes After Google By NICK BILTON SEPTEMBER 2, 2010, 4:24 PM Consumer Watchdog, a consumer group, has long been critical of Google and some of the comments that Eric Schmidt, the company's chief executive, has made about privacy online. On Thursday, the group took its objections to a new level with a 540-square-foot video advertisement in Times Square in New York that shows Mr. Schmidt as an unctuous ice cream truck driver who knows everything about everyone and happily offers free ice cream in exchange for full body scans. (The video is available on YouTube, which is owned by Google.) ... http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/02/consumer-watchdog-group-goes-after-google/
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2010 09:09:33 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: A Strong Password Isn't the Strongest Security Message-ID: <p062408eac8a9469bb5df@[]> A Strong Password Isn't the Strongest Security By RANDALL STROSS September 4, 2010 MAKE your password strong, with a unique jumble of letters, numbers and punctuation marks. But memorize it - never write it down. And, oh yes, change it every few months. These instructions are supposed to protect us. But they don't. Some computer security experts are advancing the heretical thought that passwords might not need to be "strong," or changed constantly. They say onerous requirements for passwords have given us a false sense of protection against potential attacks. In fact, they say, we aren't paying enough attention to more potent threats. Here's one threat to keep you awake at night: Keylogging software, which is deposited on a PC by a virus, records all keystrokes - including the strongest passwords you can concoct - and then sends it surreptitiously to a remote location. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/business/05digi.html
Date: Sun, 05 Sep 2010 23:00:59 GMT From: sfdavidkaye2@yahoo.com (David Kaye) To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: A Strong Password Isn't the Strongest Security Message-ID: <i617fb$p38$3@news.eternal-september.org> Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> wrote: >Here's one threat to keep you awake at night: Keylogging software, >which is deposited on a PC by a virus, records all keystrokes - >including the strongest passwords you can concoct - and then sends it >surreptitiously to a remote location. Not to be picky, but keyloggers aren't deposited by viruses, though they are desposited by malware (the general term for malicioius software). You're absolutely right about keyloggers. Unfortunately, many are now being spread via rootkits, which often have a booting component that is invisible to the operating system. So, for each and every customer as part of my standard procedures I always scan for rootkits and I use a port spy to look at what connections are being made. I have a tendency to remove or disable apps/applets that connect to places I am unfamiliar with. Unfortunately, Apple, HP, Google, and Adobe connect to so many addresses/sites with mystery numbers and names that I've often turned off perfectly legitimate functions. I just wish that those companies would connect to names and places we can easily understand. A good example is "1e100.net" which on the surface looks really bogus. It's not. Google opens about 6 to 8 connections to it on port 1138 on up when you visit their main page. No explanation, no resolving to a name, so who's to know if it's legit or not? Would it hurt Google so much to attach a name to the address, such as "googleadsense.com" or something? Jeez....
Date: Sat, 04 Sep 2010 23:12:43 -0400 From: tlvp <tPlOvUpBErLeLsEs@hotmail.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: 911-only public phone Message-ID: <op.vijhvho4itl47o@acer250.gateway.2wire.net> On Sat, 04 Sep 2010 18:57:24 -0400, John Levine <johnl@iecc.com> wrote: > The airport phone thing made sense when the only phone most people could > use in the airport was a pay phone. It's pretty obsolete now. That "airport phone thing" still has advantages over a call made from a sell phone or a pay phone, primarily this one: that the firm being called knows exactly the location of the originating phone. (Random callers at the luggage carousel in an arrival terminal might be blissfully unaware of just which terminal they're in, let alone between which entrances to that terminal, both of which would be important to the driver of any service van coming to fetch them.) It's also a great "meeting spot" for traveler and service-van driver to meet, and it facilitates service van drivers phoning home for further instructions without needing to rely on sometimes unreliable cellular or walky-talky service. Cheers, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2010 10:25:20 EDT From: Wes Leatherock <Wesrock@aol.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Whatever happened to travelers' cheques (checks) Message-ID: <215784.7b131053.39b50250@aol.com> In a message dated 9/4/2010 4:26:55 PM Central Daylight Time, jhaynes@cavern.uark.edu writes: > And then you see a lot of businesses with satellite dishes on the > roof... I was in a Wal-Mart once when the satellite dish was down and it was general chaos because they could not take charge cards, dedit cards of checks. Wes Leatherock wesrock@aol.com wleathus@yahoo.com
Date: Sun, 05 Sep 2010 08:55:56 -0700 From: AES <siegman@stanford.edu> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: 911-only public phone Message-ID: <siegman-83F0D8.08555605092010@BMEDCFSC-SRV02.tufts.ad.tufts.edu> In article <20100904225724.7737.qmail@joyce.lan>, John Levine <johnl@iecc.com> responded to my OP, which said: > >Out of curiosity: Suppose you could hold your personal cellphone up to a > >panel on such a board (or stick it into a small slot on the board, next > >to a given listing), and the board would set up a call directly from it, > >to the relevant hotel or service? (Or from them, to your cellphone?) > > > >Technically feasible, with current cellphones? (via Bluetooth, or > >whatever?) with the response: > Um, what's the practical difference between this and a poster on the wall > with the phone numbers of the various businesses, so you can just call > them from your phone? John, I suppose the core feature for this kind of 'stick your phone in a slot and it gets auto-dialed to some number, or gets called back by some number' idea is that it could provide a fast-track, instant-response, one-hand, no dialing, no breaking your train of thought, no having to learn or remember or key in a number, and auto-authenticating way of getting connected to someone or somewhere, in a great variety of situations, travel and otherwise. I have no idea at all whether this is technically possible with current phones (likely not), but I'm sure it could be. The concept of making it a 'slot' of some kind, rather than just a 'swipe' over a surface, would be to make it less likely that your phone would be inadvertently or unintentionally (or even surreptitiously) triggered wen you're just walking past. Seems to me on further thinking there are an immense number of situations in which this could be useful As for the airport hotel boards and limo services situation, the implementation could be one central phone slot, plus a push button beside each advertising panel, or better a separate slot (or slots) for each panel. In either case, advantages of this over a poster (besides the basic but far from trivial result of no hand-dialing) would include: * Re-programmability (the hotel could reprogram the number associated with its slot when needed; or a new hotel could buy the slot). * Multiple people could rapidly access the same slot (you stick your phone in; a beep sounds or a green light turns on, saying "We recognize you"; you pull your phone out and walk on, starting to talk; the person behind you does the same (big hotels can presumably handle multiple reservation calls at once). * Or, for small hotels, the green light says, "OK, we've got your number, we'll call you back in just a minute" -- same result. But, the more I think about it, the more ideas emerge: Imagine a small panel or post with a SuperShuttle (or Washington Flyer) slot, way out at the arrival gate; you stick your phone it, tell SS you just walked off the plane and where you want to go; and they start setting up a group shuttle to your region, while you're walking in and getting your luggage. (If you don't show up soon, they've captured your cell number and can call you back to see what's up.) Or the same thing for an auto rental: While you're collecting your gear and taking the shuttle out to their lot, they're setting up your car. Or a slot at the unatttended entrance to the airport parking lot, that lets you drop your car at an area just inside, and order maintenance services while you're gone (and gives them your number, to call if need be). Or as an access control method at any unattended secure entrance to anything, providing a way to get connected to a central building manager or security office, with at least some information and authentication. provided by your phone. (If this access point is actually at the gate to some large sprawling facility -- like military bases I've visited, for example -- you can get directions to the building you want.) Or a slot like this way back at the entrance to a fast-food drive-in line; place your order there, they've got your billing info, your order is ready when you reach the window. Too bad I've never had any entreprenurial genes (and am far past the age when I'd use them if I did). I think this broad concept is a lot more promising that any number of things I've seen emerge, and succeed, here in Silicon Valley. :-) ***** Moderator's Note ***** These ideas could as easily be implemented by swiping a credit card: the difference, of course, is that consumers are leery of giving out financial info or billing permission without talking to a human first. A cellular telephone number, however, is something that consumers are also very reluctant to give out, especially since their protection against "cold" calls vaishes as soon as they establish a "business relationship" with the company calling. Unless you can figure a way to make a "bulletproof" security protocol that lets Alice give Bob a time-limited copy of her cellphone number which Alice believes Bob can never use for anything else, it's a non-starter. The cryptography part is, by the way, the easy one. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: 5 Sep 2010 23:25:16 -0000 From: John Levine <johnl@iecc.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: 911-only public phone Message-ID: <20100905232516.16278.qmail@joyce.lan> >> >to a given listing), and the board would set up a call directly from it, >> >to the relevant hotel or service? (Or from them, to your cellphone?) >> > >> >Technically feasible, with current cellphones? (via Bluetooth, or >> >whatever?) Man, I hope not. Can you imagine the security issues if random pieces of equipment could place calls from your phone? Even if it's distance limited, imagine a kiosk saying "stick your phone in the slot for $5 of free airtime/upskirt pictures of Paris Hilton/whatever" R's, John PS: Re the other question of where you are, feel free to assume the poster with the phone numbers has a large box in the center saying "YOU ARE AT THE LUGGAGE CLAIM IN TERMINAL Z" in case anyone asks.
Date: Sun, 05 Sep 2010 11:06:19 -0700 From: Richard <rng@richbonnie.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Whatever happened to travelers' cheques (checks) Message-ID: <hsm78692j094a5s2vaanhqsq257pepnqge@4ax.com> On Fri, 3 Sep 2010 16:51:39 -0700 (PDT), Lisa or Jeff <hancock4@bbs.cpcn.com> wrote: >I understand going back even further, charge cards were once known as >"charge plates" and were metallic, not plastic. Back a few decades, the Playboy Club's wallet-size membership cards were made of metal. They used to trip the metal detectors at airports.
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End of The Telecom Digest (8 messages)

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