The Telecom Digest for September 29, 2010
Volume 29 : Issue 261 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
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Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2010 18:06:32 -0400
From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Apple Threatens Search Giants' Mobile Ad Shares
Apple Threatens Search Giants' Mobile Ad Shares
Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! have swiftly lost share in the U.S.
mobile advertising market to Apple's new iAd. Independent rivals such
as Jumptap and Millennial Media are gaining, too
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2010 15:49:10 -0700
From: Thad Floryan <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: 1930, when the US Senate tried to ban dial telephones
On 9/26/2010 9:57 PM, Bob Goudreau wrote:
> Similarly, Oregon has a much lower tax (25.0 cpg) than its Pacific coast
> neighbors Washington (37.5 cpg) and California (46.6 cpg). As one would
> expect, Oregon has lower overall gas prices ($2.897) than WA ($2.967) or
> CA ($2.964). The non-tax portion of the pump price is markedly HIGHER
> in Oregon than in either of its two neighbors, perhaps reflecting the
> dead-weight cost of paying extra attendants. At least New Jersey manages
> to avoid an extra markup -- though in fairness, one would expect lower
> prices there in any case because proximity to refineries lowers transport
> and delivery costs.
Hmmm, even with multiple refineries here in the San Francisco Bay Area, the
at-the-pump gasoline cost is the highest in the state. Doesn't make sense
other than for greed.
Back in the early 1960s I did experience, once, a gas price that was
incredibly high at Ruidoso, New Mexico. The explanation for the 10-15x higher
price was the cost to transport gas to that 7,000 foot (2km) altitude over
winding mountain roads.
Refinery locations: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_refineries
New Jersey: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_refineries#New_Jersey
Also note: http://www.oregongasprices.com/
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2010 18:17:52 -0700
From: Thad Floryan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: White House to force "back doors" in all communication media
In today's (27-SEP-2010) Slashdot:
The White House plans to deliver a bill to Congress next
year that will require Internet-based communication services that use
encryption to be capable of decrypting messages to comply with federal
The bill will go beyond CALEA to apply to services such as Blackberry
email. Even though RIM has stated that it does not currently have an
ability to decrypt messages via a master key or back door, the bill
may require them to. Regarding this development, James Dempsey of the
Center for Democracy and Technology commented on the proposal, saying,
'They basically want to turn back the clock and make Internet services
function the way that the telephone system used to function.'
***** Moderator's Note *****
>From the foxnews article cited above:
National security officials and federal law enforcement argue
their ability to eavesdrop on terror suspects is increasingly
"going dark," The New York Times reported, as more communication
takes place via Internet services, rather than by traditional
I've been holding off on this issue, but now it's time to speak. I
don't think the feds are demanding Son-of-Clipper in order to fight
terrorism: I think that's a sham.
What are elected "leaders" are really scared about is that ordinary
citizens will start doing (encrypted) banking in countries that don't
deduct taxes from their citizen's paychecks. Think about it: if I want
you to sell/do something for me, and we agree on a price for the
hardware/software/service, you're probably willing to charge less if
my payment to you is in Swiss Francs, Deutsche Marks, or
Krugerands. After all, those governments might not charge you taxes
based on your bank balance, and might even have laws that prohibit
their own tax authorities from checking!
The income tax and the payroll deductions that feed it has been the
engine of the Federal government's growth since it was instituted. The
ever-increasing bite is hidden behind a wall of bureaucracy, FUD, and
sleight-of-hand that distributes funds to centers for "exploited
children" which are actually used to eavesdrop on exploited voters, at
the same time that even the most staunch supporters of Democracy are
gritting their teeth at the ever-decreasing fraction of the tax bill
which actually benefits the elderly, the poor, or the impaired.
Let's face facts: governments are in the business of collecting
tribute by force of arms, and of redistributing that tribute to their
most influential patrons. Our government knows this, but it is very
afraid that ordinary people will realize it too, and start to use
encryption to bypass the patriotic shell game and keep their money in
The only terrorism involved in this issue is the terrorized look in
the eyes of the pigs who have been repainting our collective barn
since the cold war started: they are scared that the workhorses of
society will jump the (electronic) fence and leave them feeling
slightly less equal than others. You heard it here first.
Copyright (C) 2010 E.W. Horne. All Rights Reserved.
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2010 15:23:01 -0700
From: Richard <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Hempstead NY has toughest cellphone tower restrictions
On Sat, 25 Sep 2010 07:08:28 -0700, Thad Floryan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Cell phones: getting tough on towers
>Frank Eltman,Associated Press Writer
>story posted Sep 24, 2010
>GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (AP) -- A Long Island township has imposed
>restrictions on the placement of new cell towers that are
>among the toughest in the country, and one phone company
>says it effectively bans new construction.
>The town of Hempstead is a notable example on a list of
>municipalities tightening rules on where cell phone companies
>can place antennas. The moves come as consumers are demanding
>blanket wireless coverage for their phones and buying laptops
>and, more recently, tablet computers that also rely on cell
>Despite a 1996 federal law prohibiting municipalities from
>considering health issues in approving locations for cell
>antennas, a group of mothers concerned about what they
>consider risky cell towers outside their children's schools
>successfully lobbied the town of Hempstead.
This ordnance can easily be shot down. Congress voted to give the FCC
sole jurisdiction over electromagnetic radiation matters. See:
ARRL Argues that Oklahoma Town's RFI Ordinance is "Null and Void"
Oklahoma Town Agrees RFI Ordinance Does Not Apply to Hams
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2010 18:09:34 -0500
From: email@example.com (Gordon Burditt)
Subject: Re: Verizon now demanding surcharges to pay them...
>Whether it's a surcharge or a discount depends upon your point of
>view. Assume that an item costs $100 cash and $105 via CC. From one
>point of view, it's a $5 surcharge for CC. From the other point of
>view, it's a $5 discount for cash. But the effect on the consumer is
There's a real difference, though: the ADVERTISED PRICE. If the
advertised price is $100, it's not a cash discount. If it's $105,
it is. This probably doesn't make a lot of difference to telcos,
but it does to, say, gas stations a few blocks from each other,
there's the temptation to lie.
I believe that in other situations, the advertised price has been
used to tell whether it's a discount or a surcharge. I'm
half-remembering some anti-price-gouging rules that price-capped
things (gasoline, food, generators, flashlights, batteries, bottled
water, first aid kits, lumber, etc. or maybe it was everything)
during disasters (hurricane, flood, tornado, etc.). If you usually
charged a surcharge for credit cards, you could continue. A number
of businesses tried to cheat and got caught under the advertised
price test. This might have been in Houston. I'm not sure about
New Orleans after Katrina.
Discount vs. surcharge may make a difference in some states
for sales tax calculations.
Telcos, though, usually try hard not to advertise costs (except for
cellular service, and then they leave out a lot). I suspect that
if telcos thought they could get away with it, they'd charge extra
for telling you how much your bill is, and arrange some way for the
credit card company put an entry for an unspecified amount charge
on your bill. Of course, then you wouldn't get a balance on your
credit card bill, either, because that would let you calculate
the amount of the phone bill.
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2010 10:45:44 -0700 (PDT)
From: Joseph Singer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: The Telecom Digest (16 messages)
Sat, 25 Sep 2010 23:23:21 -0400 Monty Solomon <email@example.com> noted the article:
<<Smartphones encourage mobile user churn
Owners of high end handsets are the least loyal, bad news for AT&T
Published: 22 September, 2010
High end smartphones not only bring operators' networks crashing down
with their high rates of data consumption, but they breed fickle
consumers who will worsen churn levels, especially as users get more
hostile to two-year contract lock-ins. The downside of the smartphone
boom is highlighted in a survey by Nokia Siemens, which found that
users of high end handsets are the least likely to stay with their
Further on into the article it states:
<<Before smartphones, the main driver of customer loyalty was network
coverage and signal strength. Now the device is the main factor for
customers choosing a carrier, and applications and services play a
major role in keeping them loyal, both to the device and the
In my opinion anyone who switches their carrier simply for a device no
matter how "wow" the device is a little not too smart. Many people
have stated many times that AT&T's network is inferior to Verizon's
but I know plenty of people who now have regular non jailbroken
iPhones who I assume are on the AT&T network and have abandoned their
previous network. If you have a device that can't perform because the
network you are using is either over-saturated with traffic or has
spotty network coverage so you cannot make voice calls or use data
services you have a gee-whiz device that is essentially a paperweight
for all the use it is to you for the services you assumed you could
use. In many phone forums which I have observed they always say that
the most important thing for mobile service (meaning voice and these
days data) is that you have good network coverage.
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End of The Telecom Digest (6 messages)