29 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for May 20, 2011
====== 29 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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Date: Wed, 18 May 2011 09:54:22 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Data theft may expose jobless residents Message-ID: <email@example.com> Data theft may expose jobless residents Breach could affect up to 210,000 in Mass.; state gives notification 4 weeks after attack By Hiawatha Bray Globe Staff / May 18, 2011 The personal financial information of up to 210,000 unemployed Massachusetts residents may have been stolen in a data breach caused by a virus discovered in state labor department computers four weeks ago, officials said yesterday. Names, addresses, and Social Security numbers, among other data, may have been taken, said John Glennon, chief information officer for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development. The number of affected recipients is probably a small fraction of the total number of potential victims, according to Glennon. The virus attempted to transmit confidential information to digital thieves, he added, but it was not clear how much, or even whether, any data was successfully stolen. ... http://www.boston.com/business/articles/2011/05/18/data_theft_may_expose_jobless_residents_in_mass/ Virus causes data breach at state websites http://www.boston.com/business/ticker/2011/05/virus_causes_da.html Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Reports a Virus Infiltrated the Computer Systems of Agencies tied to Employers, Unemployed Claimants and Career Center Customers http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=elwdpressrelease&L=1&L0=Home&sid=Elwd&b=pressrelease&f=eolwd_computer_virus&csid=Elwd
Date: Wed, 18 May 2011 10:00:03 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Caution: Texting on foot a hazard Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Caution: Texting on foot a hazard Distracted pedestrians are racking up all kinds of injuries. The message? Pay attention or pay the price. By Beth Teitell Globe Staff / May 17, 2011 Jocelyn Nagy was at the corner of Dorchester Avenue and West Broadway indulging in a favorite pastime, walking while texting, when she stepped in front of an oncoming car, which promptly ran over her foot. Nagy, 22, checked to see if she could still walk (incredibly, she could), and then quickly got back to the really important business. "I just got hit by a car!'' she texted friends. Massachusetts banned texting while driving last September, but as emergency room doctors - and annoyed or amused onlookers know - texting while on foot remains quite legal. Now that walking season is upon us, look out. Distracted pedestrians are colliding with cars and telephone poles, tumbling down stairs and off curbs, and slamming into other pedestrians, some of whom are also texting, of course. OMG! Just hit by jerk! Ohio State University researchers reported that pedestrian texting accidents led to more than 1,000 emergency room visits nationwide in 2008. In retrospect, that was a relatively simple time, when Americans sent a mere 1 trillion texts, according to CTIA-The Wireless Association, based in Washington, D.C. Last year, the number of texts hit 2.1 trillion, and Jack Nasar, a professor of city and regional planning at Ohio State, is updating his research. He expects that the new numbers, out later this month or in June, will show an increase in texting-related injuries. "I'm not sure people realize they are putting themselves at risk,'' he said. ... http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/articles/2011/05/17/accidents_among_texting_pedestrians_are_fraught_with_hazards/
Date: Wed, 18 May 2011 10:04:11 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: 99% of Android phones leak secret account credentials Message-ID: <email@example.com> 99% of Android phones leak secret account credentials 'Impersonation attacks' target Google services By Dan Goodin in San Francisco Posted in Security, 16th May 2011 21:44 GMT The vast majority of devices running Google's Android operating system are vulnerable to attacks that allow adversaries to steal the digital credentials used to access calendars, contacts, and other sensitive data stored on the search giant's servers, university researchers have warned. The weakness stems from the improper implementation of an authentication protocol known as ClientLogin  in Android versions 2.3.3 and earlier, the researchers from Germany's University of Ulm said. After a user submits valid credentials for Google Calendar, Contacts and possibly other accounts, the programming interface retrieves an authentication token that is sent in cleartext. Because the authToken can be used for up to 14 days in any subsequent requests on the service, attackers can exploit them to gain unauthorized access to accounts. ... http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/05/16/android_impersonation_attacks/
Date: Wed, 18 May 2011 12:56:05 -0700 (PDT) From: Lisa or Jeff <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: History--exchange evolution, C.O. buildings Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> The following table shows the types of exchanges in use in the Bell System. year Manual Panel Step x-bar Ess 1960 715 494 7511 2218 - 1970 11 451 8393 5637 264 1977 1 68 7223 6537 3477 source and more detail: http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/bstj/vol58-1979/bstj-vol58-issue01.html The above article provides great detail on the design of Bell System buildings. It notes that years ago buildings were constructed to house many people, primarily operators, but now hold mostly machines and fewer craft people.
Date: 18 May 2011 13:28:56 -0000 From: "John Levine" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Pre-paid SIM cards in the US Message-ID: <email@example.com> In article <BANLkTik+Bb3eow7UORH8wFKqtRhcJzuNQw@mail.gmail.com> you write: >A friend of mine in Malaysia is about to fly to California. He wants >a pre-paid SIM. All I could find him was a T-Mobile SIM available on >Amazon.com. Can he walk into a T-Mobile store in the US and buy one >there? I know an option is to buy a pre-paid phone, but he wants to >use his own phone. T-Mo and AT&T will both sell you a SIM. I bought an AT&T SIM a couple of weeks ago, I think for $25 plus the airtime. R's, John
Date: Thu, 19 May 2011 12:59:07 -0500 From: Dave Garland <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Pre-paid SIM cards in the US Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On 5/18/2011 8:28 AM, John Levine wrote: > T-Mo and AT&T will both sell you a SIM. I bought an AT&T SIM a > couple of weeks ago, I think for $25 plus the airtime. With T-Mo anyhow, for $20 or so you can get both the SIM and a cheap phone at a mass-market vendor like WalMart, Target or K-Mart. That's where I get mine (I lose/break phones). While I haven't tried using the SIM in the phone branded by another vendor, I have switched SIMs between various T-Mo-locked phones without any problem, and ISTM that it ought to work in any unlocked phone. Dave
Date: Wed, 18 May 2011 05:41:09 -0700 (PDT) From: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Open Wi-Fi Hotspots Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> On May 17, 4:53 am, Bill Horne <b...@QRMhorne.net> wrote: > As reported by Bruce Schneier in this month's edition of Crypto-Gram: > > The Electronic Frontier Foundation is calling for an "Open Wireless Movement". > > Details are athttps://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/04/open-wireless-movement > > Bill Horne I have a wireless router from Fon (http://corp.fon.com/en ) that allows allocation of a portion of the total bandwidth for use by others. It is free to other Fon members and a few bucks a day for non- members. I think it's a clever idea. I've had it for several years now. So far I've had a few paid users, but no other Fom members use the router. On encryption, as discussed in the article, use of HTTPS seems like it handles it. I use Squirrel Mail as my web mail system and HTTPS to access it. Harold ***** Moderator's Note ***** One of the certificate authorities recently discovered that it had mistakenly issued certs for websites that weren't owned by the domain name registrant. No system is perfect: SSL has weak points, too. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: 18 May 2011 12:51:34 GMT From: Doug McIntyre <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Pre-paid SIM cards in the US Message-ID: <email@example.com> John Mayson <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes: >A friend of mine in Malaysia is about to fly to California. He wants >a pre-paid SIM. All I could find him was a T-Mobile SIM available on >Amazon.com. Can he walk into a T-Mobile store in the US and buy one >there? I know an option is to buy a pre-paid phone, but he wants to >use his own phone. Since prepay options aren't as common in the US as they are the norm in Asia, they don't get advertised much. I'd suspect if they walked into a T-Mobile store, it might be more hassle than its worth trying to get a prepay SIM. Probably get sold on buying a phone package, etc.. Probably can eventually get through there, or an AT&T wireless store, since they are GSM as well. OOTH, I see them all over Target/BestBuy. Maybe even the grocery stores (although I'd admit there that I've seen the prepay phones, didn't look close enough to see if just the SIM cards were there). T-Mobile & AT&T and their roaming partners will all have them. I did buy my mom a cheap GSM cell-phone and prepay SIM from Target a year or so ago. It is easier to find a $10/phone with prepay time than just a prepay SIM card though.
Date: Wed, 18 May 2011 09:35:23 -0400 From: Pete Cresswell <nobody-home@Invalid.telecom-digest.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Letting it ring? Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Per David Clayton: >C'mon, 98% of people who have been brainwas.... trained to use phones have >a Pavlovian urge to answer any ringing phone. > >With the way technology is set up these days (answering machines, >diversions etc.) and people's general impatience it must be a rare thing >these days for a call to time-out ringing. I find that's part of the flaw in the logic of "screening calls" via an answering machine. The tension involved in waiting out four rings, sitting through the announcement, and then listening for the voice on the other end seems to outweigh just picking the thing up and answering it. Right now, my incoming is still POTS, but if/when I ever transition to 100% VOIP I think I'll shop for a provider that enables something like this: - Somebody places a call to my number - VOIP provider answers the phone with a recorded message: "Press 1 for Sue, press 2 for Joe, press 3 for Sam, press 4 for Jane, press 5 for Sally, press 6 for Will, press 7 for Irving, press 8 for Menachim, press 9 for Pete". - I'm Pete and nobody else exists. - If, and only if, somebody presses "9", my phone rings. Anything else, and the other end gets an extended message - anything... mainly to drive up the costs of telemarketers... but preferably number-specific to preserve the illusion that they really are leaving a message for Sue, Joe, or whoever. - My regular callers learn to just hit "9" as soon as they are connected - so they get an immediate ring and don't hear any message. - If I'm not there, my answering machine kicks in just like it does now and legit callers can leave a message. It may sound convoluted, but it seems to me like that should eliminate most all junk calls, especially the ones where they leave messages - at least until the practice becomes widespread and the robo-dialers get programmed to hit random numbers in search of a ring.... -- PeteCresswell
Date: Wed, 18 May 2011 16:18:22 -0700 From: "Jack Myers" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Letting it ring? Message-ID: <email@example.com> David Clayton <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > On Tue, 17 May 2011 12:35:44 -0400, Moore, Carl (Civ,ARL/SLAD) wrote: > > I haven't posted here in a while. Last night, I heard comment on Family > > Radio (on Harold Camping call-in program "Open Forum") about letting the > > phone ring. This reminded me of what Larry King did years ago -- tell HIS > > listeners who are calling in to let the phone ring. Some systems have a > > limit on how long the phone can ring. > > C'mon, 98% of people who have been brainwas.... trained to use phones have > a Pavlovian urge to answer any ringing phone. The point is that the caller holds his place in the incoming queue and [at least in the case of a POTS call] the caller does not get charged for the ring time. -- Jack Myers / Westminster, California, USA Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. --Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Date: Thu, 19 May 2011 13:19:17 -0500 From: Dave Garland <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Letting it ring? Message-ID: <email@example.com> On 5/17/2011 5:47 PM, David Clayton wrote: > C'mon, 98% of people who have been brainwas.... trained to use phones have > a Pavlovian urge to answer any ringing phone. I'm sure I recall reading that Western Electric (Bell) engineers devoted some research and effort into creating a ring sound that impelled the recipient to pick up the phone. Not so much with the electronic warbles we get nowadays... in klezmer music (Jewish party music of the last century), one often finds clarinet players making a sound that (80 years ahead of its time) is just like an electronic ringer. Dave ***** Moderator's Note ***** I'll never forget the first time that I heard a piezoelectric ringer on a cell-phone: I knew, right that instant, that it would soon be worked into TV commercials. I was right. 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.
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