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The Telecom Digest for September 10, 2010
Volume 29 : Issue 245 : "text" Format

Messages in this Issue:

Re: A Strong Password Isn't the Strongest Security(unknown)
Re: A Strong Password Isn't the Strongest Security(Robert Bonomi)
Re: A Strong Password Isn't the Strongest Security(Scott Dorsey)
Re: A Strong Password Isn't the Strongest Security(Thad Floryan)
Re: 911-only public phone(Michael Moroney)
Re: Gmail phone service makes calling anywhere from home cheap. (www.Queensbridge.us)
In the pursuit of new customers, wireless companies forget their existing ones (John Mayson)

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Date: Wed, 08 Sep 2010 21:11:12 -0400 From: Ron <ron@see.below> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: A Strong Password Isn't the Strongest Security Message-ID: <e8cg8611tve8pt02ekromqm562v7531ai3@4ax.com> David Clayton <dcstar@myrealbox.com> wrote: >Someone please show me Have you bothered to STFW on your own? > where these infamous "rootkits" have compromised >non-Windows systems in comparison to Windows in the last 10 years and I'll >give these threats a little more credence. This has added humor value, as the term "rootkit" is a UNIX term for this type of compromise. The term was ported to Windows when this type of attack finally hit that platform. The very fact that there are a lot of currently maintained and available Linux rootkit scanning tools implies that they're not merely a useless holdover from the past. -- Ron (user telnom.for.plume in domain antichef.com)
Date: Thu, 09 Sep 2010 00:42:32 -0500 From: bonomi@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: A Strong Password Isn't the Strongest Security Message-ID: <_Y-dnbHABuVV7hXRnZ2dnUVZ_sWdnZ2d@posted.nuvoxcommunications> In article <pan.2010.>, David Clayton <dcstar@myrealbox.com> wrote: >On Mon, 06 Sep 2010 19:21:47 -0700, John wrote: > >> David Clayton <dcstar@myrealbox.com> wrote: >>>> Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> wrote: 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? >> >> Given that the term originated in the Unix world (where someone whould >> hack in, get root access and replace a number of standard system files >> with specially modified versions) I would say probably quite a few. >> >> I fact, that's one of the specific problems with root-escalation >> vulnerabilities in Linux. >> >Yep, I suppose that there must be some historical and/or rare >vulnerabilities in Unix/Linux systems *now*, but the bare facts are that >these threats that being referred to now are almost solely Windows >based, yet are always referred to without that obvious qualifier. > >Someone please show me where these infamous "rootkits" have compromised >non-Windows systems in comparison to Windows in the last 10 years and I'll >give these threats a little more credence. Compare where the various O/S's are in their "Internet lifetime", i.e, norm things for each O/S from the date that it first had a significant presence on the 'net, and the picture is VERY different. There is a cynical remark from the QA trade that says "The number of discovered bugs in any system is finite. The number of _undiscovered_ bugs int that same system is, *by*definition*, infinite." <wry grin> It is "possible" to write 'bug-free', 'vulnerability-free', 'secure against any direct attack' software. 20+ years ago, the Feds wrote a set of specs on what it took to do exactly that. The process is, unfortunately, very labor intensive, =very= time-consuming, and very, *VERY*, expensive. As a result, it is utterly _impractical_ in the 'commercial' world. Virtually nobody is willing to wait 10+ years for such a trusted application, and absolutely NOBODY in the commercial sphere (let alone the 'home' market) is willing to pay the price that such '_provably_secure_" software would cost. AFAIK, there is ONE system on the market built to those criteria, and the clientele is exclusively government contractors -- primarily weapons-systems people. The early versions had only the 'second highest' rating for a secure system (which did not include the 'proven bug-free' attribute), but were the only systems available with that rating. they required custom-built hardware, and all application software had to be essentially custom-written for the platform. Bringing out a version with a "unix-like" system-call interface and user environment took a mere eight years_ more, still on proprietary hardware. Another two years went to re-hosting on select COTS Intel-architecture PC platforms. The "proven bug-free" rating required another 5+ years of development and testing/ certification. If Microsoft had gone that route, we might be about due for the releases of "Trusted MS-DOS 3.3". <grin> ***** Moderator's Note ***** Writing "bug free" and/or "perfectly secure" software is a lot like selling emergency rations that have to last for 50 years, taste good, and which can't be consumed by rodents. It's also a lot like being asked to make a deluxe lifeboat to lift national leaders up to the space station in time of war. By the time the customers want to complain, you'll be rich and gone. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: 9 Sep 2010 07:30:22 -0400 From: kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: A Strong Password Isn't the Strongest Security Message-ID: <i6agge$ogs$1@panix2.panix.com> tlvp <tPlOvUpBErLeLsEs@hotmail.com> wrote: > >Heh ... Engineers tend to use "aeb" to mean: a x 10^b . It's a Fortran thing that stuck around. --scott -- "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis." ***** Moderator's Note ***** God is Real unless declared Integer! Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Thu, 09 Sep 2010 18:35:33 -0700 From: Thad Floryan <thad@thadlabs.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: A Strong Password Isn't the Strongest Security Message-ID: <4C898B65.5040307@thadlabs.com> On 9/9/2010 4:30 AM, Scott Dorsey wrote: > tlvp <tPlOvUpBErLeLsEs@hotmail.com> wrote: >> Heh ... Engineers tend to use "aeb" to mean: a x 10^b . > > It's a Fortran thing that stuck around. > --scott > > ***** Moderator's Note ***** > > God is Real unless declared Integer! Heh! A major road here in Silicon Valley (San Francisco Bay Area, running from San Jose CA to San Francisco CA) is named El Camino Real. A wag once posted to ba.internet it should be renamed El Camino Double Precision due to the sheer amount of traffic (and congestion). :-)
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2010 18:03:55 +0000 (UTC) From: moroney@world.std.spaamtrap.com (Michael Moroney) To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: 911-only public phone Message-ID: <i6b7ib$d3n$1@pcls6.std.com> Wes Leatherock <Wesrock@aol.com> writes: >As a reporter, I once did a story on the Oklahoma City Fire Department >dispatching operation. They had every address in the city >cross-reference (on 3x5 cards) to a fire call box number, even if >there were no call box there. > >They also had another list showing every real or putative fire box >number and what response was appropriate--whether that fire box >location might designate a school house, a department store, an >apartment house of whatever, and the appropriate response--a single >engine, a massive response for a school house or a skyscraper and just >what equipment was to be dispatched and any additional hazards, such >as a chemical warehouse or whatever and what specialized response >would be needed for it, or whatever. The card also told what fire >station should respond and maybe second or third choices if the first >station was already out on a fire. This is similar to New York City. A "box" can be a couple of city blocks or a major building. There may be a telegraph box or a newer speakerphone system as a street box, or the box may be a number only. The dispatch system is computerized and the dispatch policy is complicated and depends on the type of alarm (structure fire, dumpster fire or whatever) as well as what type of building(s) are at the box location as well as hazard information on file (chemicals or whatever). The speakerphone system is a drop-in replacement for an old Gamewell panel so they go into old housings and use the current loop wiring, and are not part of the public telephone system. They are wired in series like the old telegraph boxes. Loops are upgraded one at a time to the new system. Some boroughs no longer have telegraph boxes.
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2010 11:10:25 -0700 (PDT) From: "www.Queensbridge.us" <NOTvalid@Queensbridge.us> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Gmail phone service makes calling anywhere from home cheap. Message-ID: <402e235e-84e9-4014-8959-edfbdf59fadb@c21g2000vba.googlegroups.com> On Sep 8, 7:24 am, Bill Horne <b...@horneQRM.net> wrote: > On 9/7/2010 8:42 AM, Monty Solomon wrote: > > > The Home Phone Is Back! > > > Google's new Gmail phone service makes calling anywhere from home > > cheap and crystal clear. > [snip] > > ***** Moderator's Note ***** > > > I use the service: it performs as well as this reviewer says. > > > The only inconvenience is that a single account can't have more than > > one "landline" phone number, so anyone in your home who wants "their" > > Google voice number routed to a cell phone or a different landline > > must have a different account. > > OK, let's try that again. (That's what I get for posting a comment > before my second cup of coffee). > > The only inconvenience of Google voice is that each account requires a > separate land-line or cell telephone number for it to forward its calls > to. In other words, if you have more than one Google voice account > holder in the same house, you must have more than one land-line or > cell phone, etc. > > You can's share your pots line with a different Google voice > account-holder. Every Google voice account needs a different place to > send that account's calls. > > I hope this is more clear. I haven't had my second cup of coffee yet. > > Bill Horne > (Filter QRM for direct replies) Having another phone number for another family member is no big deal when you can get a cell phone line for $5.00/monthly prepaid on Virgin and $3.00/monthly on VZ via a third party provider. Google Voice will only allow a cell number to be used by one user, UNLESS you set that cell number as a land-line number in settings. -- Always something new and controversial at http://www.Queensbridge.us ***** Moderator's Note ***** Even if a number is entered as a landline, you can't have more than one (or possibly two) Google Voice acounts associated with it. I "invited" my wife to join, and that worked OK, but then I let my son have an account, and Google denied me the use of the number, saying someone else had registered it. It might be one account, it might be two: I'll crank up my wife's account and see what happens. Is there a guideline at Google? Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2010 10:11:00 +0800 From: John Mayson <john@mayson.us> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: In the pursuit of new customers, wireless companies forget their existing ones Message-ID: <AANLkTi=hY=cAUAFfsOvoObjo3fHNpDsi_74vbYMNACgr@mail.gmail.com> The real purpose of this email is to poll people here to see if they know the nitty, gritty details of phone subsidies and why phone companies seem to treat existing customers like third-class citizens. I wasn't going to mention the name of the company in question, but it'll be very obvious anyway, so why confuse matters. My family and I have been customers of AT&T Wireless for years. We've always had what I call POCTS (plain ole cellular telephone service). We have long been content to take the free (to us) flip-phones knowing the cost of the phone was being built in to our two-year contract. However this last time I paid $50 to get a slightly nicer phone, the Pantech C530. I decided to get with the times and picked an Android smart phone. I tried to order it from Amazon.com but got a message that I wasn't eligible for an upgrade until January 2011. This puzzled me for two reasons. One, back in May 2010 they allowed a random person in California to use my upgrade. I didn't learn about this until that customer returned the phone, thus returning my upgrade, which disabled my phone service. Two, I've had my existing phone for a long time. I don't know exactly how long, but it's close to two years. And besides, how much of a subsidy did I really get on it? I thought a quick call to customer service would get this ironed out. Certainly they would work with a long-time customer with an excellent payment record who wanted to convert his minimal talk plan to a beefy data plan with global roaming. Turns out no, I was wrong. They had little interest. I was very polite and calm on the phone. I didn't threaten. Surely they would allow me to upgrade four months early rather than risk me going to T-Mobile, right? According to their records I have had my phone for only 11 months. This can't be true as I was unemployed 11 months ago and would not have bought a new phone. They admit they allowed someone else to have my upgrade in May, but now say that upgrade never existed. Surely the aggravation of having to straighten that out and not having my phone available was worth four months, right? The best they could do was give me a break on the price of the Android phone. But it was still way more than I wanted to spend. I told her I'd call back. I've been out of the country. I talked to my wife and lately she's had all sorts of trouble with her phone and the service. Whenever she goes to the local AT&T store they're more interested in selling her their U-Verse service than solving her phone issues. It turns out we can go to T-Mobile, get nice Android phones at a deep discount, and get data plans for less than AT&T. Why stay with AT&T? Is this the new business model? I would have to think it's less expensive to keep existing customers than attract new ones. I think I've had my phone for nearly 24 months. They say 11. Let's call it 18. I'll be eligible for an upgrade in four months meaning month 22 of owning the phone. Even if my phone cost $200, I paid $50 up front, which means $6.82 per month in subsidy, assuming we're even in January 2011. In order not to lose $27 and change ($6.82/month * 4 months) in a phone subsidy they're going to let me walk out the door and pay them nothing for eternity instead. That just makes no sense at all. And keep in mind when we switch we're taking three numbers with us. They'll lose that revenue too. Am I missing something? We often hear the big telecom companies are evil. They may be, but they're not stupid. Why allow a good customer to stroll out the door over pocket change? John -- John Mayson <john@mayson.us> Austin, Texas, USA
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.
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