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The Telecom Digest for September 07, 2010
Volume 29 : Issue 242 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:

Re: 911-only public phone(Hal Murray)
Re: 911-only public phone(AES)
Re: Blocking Junk Calls(Jim Haynes)
Re: 911-only public phone(Gordon Burditt)
Re: A Strong Password Isn't the Strongest Security(Garrett Wollman)
Re: A Strong Password Isn't the Strongest Security(David Clayton)
Comics Previews iPhone 5(Sam Spade)

====== 28 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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Date: Sun, 05 Sep 2010 16:08:43 -0500 From: hal-usenet@ip-64-139-1-69.sjc.megapath.net (Hal Murray) To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: 911-only public phone Message-ID: <Q96dnRCD3shGmxnRnZ2dnUVZ_uSdnZ2d@megapath.net> >> 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. What fraction of modern cell phones include a camera? How about just printing a bar code on the corner of the poster, pointing your cell phone at it, and poking a button? -- These are my opinions, not necessarily my employer's. I hate spam.
Date: Sun, 05 Sep 2010 17:13:19 -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-3EB8C9.17131805092010@sciid-srv02.med.tufts.edu> In article <20100905232516.16278.qmail@joyce.lan>, John Levine <johnl@iecc.com> wrote: > >> >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" I have at least some appreciation of the security issues involved. But: * To the extent that this mythical "slot" was located in a reasonably trustworthy location -- e.g, inside an airline terminal, or built into the entryway or entry gate of a major building or public facility -- one could have some reasonable trust that it was put there with the approval of and is under the control of a responsible and reachable organization. (The terminal, after all, is going to get a little revenue from helping set up those contacts.) * If the slot operated only to _set up_ an outgoing call -- i.e., you had to pull the phone out of the slot, look at what was on the screen, then hit SEND yourself -- then it would become exactly as safe as the poster you suggested. * And if the slot operates only to get you a call back to your cellphone from the hotel or the shuttle service or the remote gatekeeper -- well, OK, then one could envision a system where you had a readable card that stored only your name and cellphone number. Swipe it in a slot, and the relevant service provider or gatekeeper calls you back. ***** Moderator's Note ***** I'm sorry, but I don't think it words that way. Although some early adopters might be willing to try it out, you'd have to dispell the public's impression of the risks before going forward, and that means you'd have to find a way to dispell years of Hollywood Hype about computers and those that design them. The average cellphone user will be afraid that such a device might - 1. Steal the address book and send ads to all their friends, with their own email address. 2. Change their phone so that it shows ads all the time. 3. Steal their cell number and sell it to anyone they choose. 4. Use the number to keep track of where they fly and who they talk to. 5. (Pick your worst nightmare - how about your wife seeing the list of calls you make while you're away from home?) Trust me, the TV stations will have a field day mining users' fears about Big Brother. It's just not viable at this time: it might become so in the future, but that would require several generations to grow up with, trust, and (dare I say it?) understand public-key cryptography and trusted third-parites. People judge every new innovation from the framework of belief and experience that has grown around the old technology that they are used to, so every change must overcome the same barriers of habit, inertia, supperstion, fear, and prejudice. Ask youself what happened to the system some start-up company tried to install at airports, which was supposed to give frequent travellers an advantage in pre-registration for security checks. Only a few travellers were interested: like the "Fast Fill" dongles that turn on a gas pump without need of inserting a credit card, the process didn't save enough time to be worthwhile. Do you remember the "Cue Cat"? It was an optical bar scanner that users could attach to their PC in order to scan bar codes from magazines or TV so that users could get information about products that interested them. It died a quick and expensive death, because Radio Shack hadn't realized that computer users don't want to make the process of selling them things any easier, and also because they resented the thought that their magazines - one of the few relics of their childhood still unaffected by modern technology - would be part of the never-ending stream of come-ons they already see on the average web site. Cell phones are private. They are personal appliances, dedicated to one user, and as such they can't be used as dongles, because their owners won't trust others with them. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sun, 05 Sep 2010 18:16:34 -0500 From: Jim Haynes <jhaynes@cavern.uark.edu> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Blocking Junk Calls Message-ID: <KIOdnSRG6oBPuRnRnZ2dnUVZ_qmdnZ2d@earthlink.com> On 2010-09-04, T <kd1s.nospam@cox.nospam.net> wrote: > > I wish I could get my bank to stop calling both my home and business > numbers trying to get me to sign on for the 'privilege' of letting them > charge me $35 should I overdraw by 1 cent. > > I think I might stop by my local branch and tell them if they DON'T stop > calling that I'll just withdraw my money and put it in a credit union. > That was the only way I could get Wells Fargo to quit calling me trying to sell me insurance, after they bought a bank where I had an account.
Date: Sun, 05 Sep 2010 23:21:23 -0500 From: gordonb.f60ga@burditt.org (Gordon Burditt) To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: 911-only public phone Message-ID: <4rudnXg4_qXe8RnRnZ2dnUVZ_j2dnZ2d@posted.internetamerica> >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?) I would assume that it costs an extreme amount of money. Perhaps enough to buy an airport, a hotel, or a car-rental company. This sort of functionality just begs for a scam. Someone would figure out a way to overcome distance limitations, and cause everyone's phone to call the inventor's 900 number. Then he'd set it up at a place with a lot of pedestrian traffic (say, an airport entrance or airport security checkpoint, a sports stadium, at a train station, ATM, store, etc.). Distance limitations can be overcome by using more power (who cares if a megawatt burst burns out a few phones and causes a few cateracts and brain cancers? The electricity is probably stolen from the venue owner anyway.) >Technically feasible, with current cellphones? (via Bluetooth, or >whatever?) I'll suggest an alternative, which might require minor changes in existing smartphone apps: put up a QR 2-D barcode with some kind of prefix indicating it's a phone number (http: indicates web, perhaps tel:8555551212 indicates it's a phone number), and invite users to scan it. (Does Japan already use QR codes for phone numbers?) The app asks if you want to call the number. Also put the number up there in plain text for those without smartphones or those who want to write it down for later. Put up other details that calling potential customers should know, like "YOU ARE AT DFW AIRPORT BAGGAGE CLAIM AREA #37A". A setup where you can read the phone number off the phone will be useful to collect telemarketing call lists (even if no call is made immediately). That's also a big security problem. >Potential advantage: Once the cellphone connection was established, >you'd be able to move on, pick up your luggage, grab some food, whatever >(and, your phone would have captured the number, in case you wanted to >reconnect later on). Same applies if you dial it yourself (with or without the QR codes). >Security concerns? Maybe the wireless connection would only set up the >call on your display panel -- you'd have to press Send to actually send >it. Even that sounds like a great way to do a denial-of-service attack. Keep popping up windows to prevent anyone in the area from calling 911 during, say, a bank robbery.
Date: Mon, 6 Sep 2010 04:23:48 +0000 (UTC) From: wollman@bimajority.org (Garrett Wollman) To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: A Strong Password Isn't the Strongest Security Message-ID: <i61qck$1hvl$1@grapevine.csail.mit.edu> In article <i617fb$p38$3@news.eternal-september.org>, David Kaye <sfdavidkaye2@yahoo.com> wrote: >A good example is "1e100.net" which on the surface looks really >bogus. Until you realize just what number that is, and which takes its name from it. -GAWollman -- Garrett A. Wollman | What intellectual phenomenon can be older, or more oft wollman@bimajority.org| repeated, than the story of a large research program Opinions not shared by| that impaled itself upon a false central assumption my employers. | accepted by all practitioners? - S.J. Gould, 1993 ***** Moderator's Note ***** Isn't 1e100 = 1? Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Mon, 06 Sep 2010 15:47:59 +1000 From: David Clayton <dcstar@myrealbox.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: A Strong Password Isn't the Strongest Security Message-ID: <pan.2010.> On Sun, 05 Sep 2010 23:00:59 +0000, David Kaye wrote: > 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. ......... And which Operating System are you referring to? Anyone got the stats of how many non-Windows OSs are ever infected by root kits etc? -- 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, 05 Sep 2010 22:00:50 -0700 From: Sam Spade <sam@coldmail.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Comics Previews iPhone 5 Message-ID: <XJSdnWi7UsYf6BnRnZ2dnUVZ_jWdnZ2d@giganews.com> Be the first on your block to own one! http://tinyurl.com/28dsrqe ***** Moderator's Note ***** Now I understand why all my cow-orkers got them! Why didn't somebody tell me? Bill Horne Moderator
TELECOM Digest is an electronic journal devoted mostly to telecom- munications topics. It is circulated anywhere there is email, in addition to Usenet, where it appears as the moderated newsgroup 'comp.dcom.telecom'. TELECOM Digest is a not-for-profit, mostly non-commercial educational service offered to the Internet by Bill Horne. All the contents of the Digest are compilation-copyrighted. You may reprint articles in some other media on an occasional basis, but please attribute my work and that of the original author. The Telecom Digest is moderated by Bill Horne. Contact information: Bill Horne Telecom Digest 43 Deerfield Road Sharon MA 02067-2301 781-784-7287 bill at horne dot net Subscribe: telecom-request@telecom-digest.org?body=subscribe telecom Unsubscribe: telecom-request@telecom-digest.org?body=unsubscribe telecom This Digest is the oldest continuing e-journal about telecomm- unications on the Internet, having been founded in August, 1981 and published continuously since then. Our archives are available for your review/research. We believe we are the oldest e-zine/mailing list on the internet in any category! URL information: http://telecom-digest.org Copyright (C) 2009 TELECOM Digest. All rights reserved. Our attorney is Bill Levant, of Blue Bell, PA. --------------------------------------------------------------- Finally, the Digest is funded by gifts from generous readers such as yourself who provide funding in amounts deemed appropriate. Your help is important and appreciated. A suggested donation of fifty dollars per year per reader is considered appropriate. See our address above. Please make at least a single donation to cover the cost of processing your name to the mailing list. All opinions expressed herein are deemed to be those of the author. Any organizations listed are for identification purposes only and messages should not be considered any official expression by the organization.
End of The Telecom Digest (7 messages)

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