29 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for March 28, 2011
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Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 07:29:17 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: It's Tracking Your Every Move and You May Not Even Know Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> It's Tracking Your Every Move and You May Not Even Know By NOAM COHEN March 26, 2011 A favorite pastime of Internet users is to share their location: services like Google Latitude can inform friends when you are nearby; another, Foursquare, has turned reporting these updates into a game. But as a German Green party politician, Malte Spitz, recently learned, we are already continually being tracked whether we volunteer to be or not. Cellphone companies do not typically divulge how much information they collect, so Mr. Spitz went to court to find out exactly what his cellphone company, Deutsche Telekom, knew about his whereabouts. The results were astounding. In a six-month period - from Aug 31, 2009, to Feb. 28, 2010, Deutsche Telekom had recorded and saved his longitude and latitude coordinates more than 35,000 times. It traced him from a train on the way to Erlangen at the start through to that last night, when he was home in Berlin. Mr. Spitz has provided a rare glimpse - an unprecedented one, privacy experts say - of what is being collected as we walk around with our phones. Unlike many online services and Web sites that must send "cookies" to a user's computer to try to link its traffic to a specific person, cellphone companies simply have to sit back and hit "record." ... http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/26/business/media/26privacy.html
Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 09:26:19 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Swiping Is the Easy Part Message-ID: <email@example.com> Swiping Is the Easy Part By TARA SIEGEL BERNARD and CLAIRE CAIN MILLER March 23, 2011 The cellphone has been more than a cellphone for years, but soon it could take on an entirely new role - standing in for all of the credit and debit cards crammed into wallets. Instead of swiping a plastic card at the checkout counter, consumers would merely wave their phones. There's just one hitch: While the technology is already being installed in millions of phones - and is used overseas - wide adoption of the so-called mobile wallets is being slowed by a major behind-the-scenes battle among corporate giants. Mobile phone carriers, banks, credit card issuers, payment networks and technology companies are all vying to control these wallets. But first, they need to sort out what role each will play and how each will get paid. The stakes are enormous because small, hidden fees that are generated every time consumers swipe their cards add up to tens of billions of dollars annually in the United States alone. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/24/technology/24wallet.html
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2011 08:57:09 +1100 From: David Clayton <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Swiping Is the Easy Part Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Sat, 26 Mar 2011 09:26:19 -0400, Monty Solomon wrote: > Swiping Is the Easy Part > > By TARA SIEGEL BERNARD and CLAIRE CAIN MILLER March 23, 2011 > > The cellphone has been more than a cellphone for years, but soon it > could take on an entirely new role - standing in for all of the credit > and debit cards crammed into wallets. > > Instead of swiping a plastic card at the checkout counter, consumers > would merely wave their phones. .......... I'm sorry, but this has to be the biggest crock that I've seen in a while. The "swipe" function is merely a prox chip that currently is physically located in a flat rectangular piece of plastic, there is nothing special about a phone to contain the same (tiny) prox chip. The chip could well be placed in your wristwatch or embedded a few millimetres under the skin in your hand, touting phones as getting some sort of new role to carry these chips may push people into changing hardware but the same outcome could basically be achieved by a knife and some glue. -- 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. ***** Moderator's Note ***** Not to mention, that I've lost my cellphone twice ... Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 18:58:34 -0400 From: "Gary" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Swiping Is the Easy Part Message-ID: <email@example.com> "David Clayton" wrote in message news:firstname.lastname@example.org... > > I'm sorry, but this has to be the biggest crock that I've seen in a while. > > The "swipe" function is merely a prox chip that currently is physically > located in a flat rectangular piece of plastic, there is nothing special > about a phone to contain the same (tiny) prox chip. You have to understand that the article was written about the United States. In the USA, the majority of our credit card transactions are carried out using the mag stripe on the back of the card. Yes, we still use 1960's technology for the data entry portion of credit card transaction - thus the term "swipe." Many other countries use RF based technology for their cards - sometimes a "prox chip," as you call it. We just have very little of it in the USA. There are lots of reasons for this, which we'll skip for now. The challenge presented in this article isn't what technology is used to transfer payment account information from buyer to seller, but who is collecting the fees for that transfer. When we use credit cards, the credit card clearing banks get their piece of the pie; as they've done for decades. If a phone is used, then the phone company claims the fee - cutting the bank's fee or sidestepping it all together! So, while proximity chips and the like can give us a much more secure transaction, the battle royal is between the existing banks and the "upstart" phone companies who want a piece of the transaction processing pie. The technology used is just a means to get to that bite of the pie. As always, money trumps all. -Gary
Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 15:08:30 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Third-Party iPad 2 Cases Take on Smart Covers Message-ID: <email@example.com> Third-Party iPad 2 Cases Take on Smart Covers By NICK BILTON MARCH 25, 2011 Although most hardware technology companies offer protective gear and cases for their gadgets, they also rely on third-party companies to create and design a variety of products. Over the past few years, partly fueled by the creation of delicate mobile devices with large flat screens, these companies have become an integral part of a product's success - and a multi-million dollar business. When Apple announced its latest iPad 2 this month, one of the featured updates it showcased was its own Smart Cover, a sleek protective overlay for the iPad 2 that also turns the device on or off when opened or closed. As my colleague Miguel Helft noted recently, although companies that sell cases for the iPad are impressed with Apple's new Smart Cover design, competitors said they were confident they would be able to offer a better and more innovative solution. Judging from the few iPad 2 covers that have been announced so far, it looks competitors might be have a few tricks up their sleeves. ... http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/third-party-ipad-2-cases-take-on-smart-covers/
Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 14:22:35 -0700 From: Steven <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Regarding that proposed ATT takeover of TM Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On 3/26/11 1:15 AM, Bob Goudreau wrote: > Steven<email@example.com> > >> I talked to Sprint Support and was told that they have roaming agreements >> with several carriers, but would not be specific, but he did say that they >> don't have a lot of towers in the area I have been in, but Verizon does, >> yet my data on my Sprint Overdrive works just fine and from what I can >> tell my going to my Overdrive page, it is on the Sprint 3G Network and a >> couple of times I hit 4g, I think it was Clear. > > You're certainly not going to be able to roam* a Sprint 4G device on > Verizon's network, as the former uses WiMax and the latter is just starting > to roll out LTE. Clearwire, which is partially owned by Sprint, runs a WiMax > network, which is resold by Sprint as its own WiMax service. > > * You'll still be able to roam using its CDMA and 1xRTT capabilities, of > course, just not its 4G capabilities. > > Bob Goudreau > Cary, NC > My Sprint phones are 3G, my Overdrive is 3g/4g. In Northern California I have hit a lot of Clear sites as they are now known. I will not use my Overdrive on 3g since there is a data limit on it, I use ATT that my DSL allows me to use, it is fairly good, not that fast though, but most of what I do is simple e-mail and sending in and doing my teams time sheets. At work I have a direct pipe which is very fast and the hotel is good also. -- The only good spammer is a dead one!! Have you hunted one down today? (c) 2011 I Kill Spammers, Inc. A Rot in Hell Co.
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 11:01:49 +1100 From: David Clayton <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Want an old-looking mobile handset? Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> I just read an article that mentioned this site where you can get handsets that look like the old "bricks" but have modern internals: http://www.retrobrick.com/latest.html What will they think of next...... -- 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: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 22:28:15 -0500 From: John Mayson <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: John's Phone | The World's Simplest Cell Phone Message-ID: <AANLkTi=7=ds9v-mV4QuGk50M-7odD_jnWd8SzFHNTQLp@mail.gmail.com> On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 6:56 PM, David Clayton <email@example.com> wrote: > Yep, it has no display and the Address Book is a pad and paper! > > http://www.johnsphones.com/ > > Now that's retro! Does anyone else besides me strangely want one? I'm a huge smartphone geek. Or perhaps I'm simply a phone geek? I find something elegant about it. But I can't justify spending around USD $100 on one. John -- John Mayson <firstname.lastname@example.org> Austin, Texas, USA ***** Moderator's Note ***** I too long for a simpler time, when phones only needed a phone number to work. But, come to think of it, no matter what kind of phone I buy (currently, one for Virgin Mobile that cost me $12.99), I only need a phone number to make it work. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 14:28:43 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Texting teenagers pay the price in lost sleep Message-ID: <email@example.com> Connected, exhausted Texting teenagers who stay 'on call' all night pay the price in lost sleep By Beth Teitell Globe Staff / March 27, 2011 Brookline 10th-grader Ashley Olafsson sleeps with her cellphone under her pillow so she doesn't miss "emergency'' texts - "like if a friend broke up with her boyfriend.'' Stephanie Kimball of Waltham, 14, is also available for urgent overnight correspondence, such as, "Hey, seeing if you're awake.'' Dedham ninth-grader Courtney Johnson gets as many as 100 texts while in bed. "I just don't feel like myself if I don't have my phone near me or I'm not on it,'' she said. Sure, all that middle-of-the-night communication leaves them tired, but as Olafsson explained, "It's impolite not to respond if someone is coming to you with their problems.'' With teenagers sending and receiving an average of 3,276 texts per month in the last quarter of 2010, according to the most recent statistics from the Nielsen Co., it's no wonder that Michael Rich, director of Children's Hospital Boston's Center on Media and Child Health, is starting to see young patients who come in exhausted by being "on call'' or semi-alert all night as they wait for their phones to vibrate or ring with a text. He and his patients' parents were initially baffled by the children's increased sleepiness because bedtimes hadn't changed, he said. "Who would think to ask a kid, 'Do you sleep with your phone under your pillow?' To us, it sounds like torture.'' Children who text late into the night do not fall asleep as well, he said, and they don't enter the deep sleep of Stage 4 REM sleep, "which is crucial to moving experiences and lessons of the day from short-term into long-term memory - in other words, completing the learning process.'' Anticipating texts, Rich explained, leads to a bad night's sleep in the same way as an early morning flight or other predawn obligation. "You're so focused on not screwing up your wake-up that you don't sleep as well.'' ... http://www.boston.com/community/moms/articles/2011/03/27/on_call_all_night_can_leave_texting_teens_tired_out/
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 14:49:12 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Cheaper Than A Tablet: 'Rooting' Your E-Reader Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Cheaper Than A Tablet: 'Rooting' Your E-Reader by JON KALISH March 27, 2011 What if you could buy a tablet with a slightly smaller screen than the iPad for half the price or even less? Hackers have been turning e-book readers into tablets for cheap Internet on the go. In fact, San Francisco hacker Mitch Altman doesn't read e-books on his Kindle at all. He only uses its Web browser to access maps and restaurant listings when he's traveling. The Amazon Kindle has 3G data connectivity so that readers can download e-books anywhere there is cell service. As many Kindle owners know, the device can connect to Google and Wikipedia to look up things mentioned in e-books, too. That connectivity is all the opportunity hackers need to turn an e-book reader into a tablet. ... http://www.npr.org/2011/03/27/134897271/cheaper-than-a-tablet-rooting-your-e-reader Listen to the Story Weekend Edition Sunday [5 min 35 sec] http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=134897271&m=134899191 Download http://pd.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/wesun/2011/03/20110327_wesun_10.mp3?dl=1
Date: Sat, 26 Mar 2011 12:57:28 -0400 From: T <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: bye, bye T-Mobile (fwd) Message-ID: <MPG.email@example.com> In article <AANLkTinVCPLr2HHEmGHfE+_Tvi3oV4tiF7qrRcqbOoUF@mail.gmail.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org says... > > Any bets on when Verizon Wireless will make its move for Sprint/Nextel? I'd say withing 8 months. Then there will be two. Then within five years we'll get to watch as either at&t or Verizon becomes Mother Bell all over again. Start the anti-trust lawsuits now! Don't waste any time!
Date: 27 Mar 2011 13:41:12 -0400 From: email@example.com (Scott Dorsey) To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: SLC-fed DSLAM's Message-ID: <email@example.com> Keywords: SLC DLC DSLAM Doug McIntyre <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >David Lesher <email@example.com> writes: >>I'm still searching for specific examples of DSLAM's in non-CO >>locations. Specifically, a DSLAM in/at a SLC cabinet or other >>digital remote. > >>I am asking because Verizontal is insisting that such isn't >>possible, oh no; or at least they don't know how to do it >>because they've never seen one like that.... > >>I have multiple anecdotes of such, but such is no help. I need >>specific examples of locations with customers known to have >>DSL service where they are fed from a SLC. It's far better if >>Verizontal territory, but it may help even if it is BellSouth or >>such. > >Qwest deploys remote DSLAMs all the time in their territories. >I'd be surprised if not all LECs do. My house is served by a >remote DSLAM, offering me the max 1.5Mbps service. Otherwise, I'm at a >distance that would only get 256k from a DSLAM located in the CO. I'm not sure how you could do anything other than remote DSLAMs. Out where I live, just about everyone's POTS service is coming from a SLC, and there just isn't any copper out there from the neighborhoods to the CO (as I discovered when they cut down my telegraph loop). Consequently, I don't see any other way that DSL could be provided. --scott -- "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 14:58:21 -0700 (PDT) From: Joseph Singer <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: bye, bye T-Mobile Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sat, 26 Mar 2011 12:58:39 -0400 T <email@example.com> wrote: > It started out as OmniPoint. Great service, great prices at the time > and the first GSM operator in the United States. > > OmniPoint became VoiceStream. Not so great really but still ok. > > And then Deutsche Telecom bought VoiceStream and T-Mobile was born. The first GSM system in the US was put in place by Sprint in Washington, DC prior to them deciding to be a CDMA operator and was later sold to VoiceStream Wireless. T-Mobile USA traces its roots back to Pacific Northwest Cellular and Western Wireless. Western Wireless spun off VoiceStream. VoiceStream purchased other GSM operators such as Omnipoint in the northeast and in Florida as well as Aerial in parts of Texas and parts of Ohio as well as many smaller operators. DT when they acquired VoiceStream also acquired Powertel and DigiPH to further expand their network when they re-branded the whole lot T-Mobile USA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voicestream#Network
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