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The Telecom Digest for October 30, 2011
Volume 30 : Issue 276 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
'Steve Jobs' review: Walter Isaacson's biography mesmerizes (Monty Solomon)
Re: Review: Newfangled Nest thermostat is hot (Wes Leatherock)
FCC Announces Changes to Universal Service Policy (Bill Horne)
Re: Edison's powrer network (Was Re: Telegraph turns 150 (Wes Leatherock)
LightSquared takes off the gloves (Bill Horne)
BART considering a policy on cell phone shutdowns (Bill Horne)
Re: Edison's powrer network (Was Re: Telegraph turns 150 (David Scheidt)

====== 30 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======

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Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2011 23:24:21 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: 'Steve Jobs' review: Walter Isaacson's biography mesmerizes Message-ID: <p0624087ccad121e17040@[]> 'Steve Jobs' review: Walter Isaacson's biography mesmerizes Walter Isaacson weaves a full and often revealing tale that brings 'Steve Jobs' to life through interviews with the late Apple visionary and those in his inner circle. By Richard Rayner, Special to the Los Angeles Times October 28, 2011 He was an abandoned child who grew up with the unshakable belief that he was destined to be a prince. How arrogant and sensible of him. His personal hygiene was bad. He often wore no shoes and liked to stick his feet in the toilet. His food faddery was so extreme that he sometimes endangered his own health. While in a hospital for a liver transplant in 2009, he refused to wear a medical mask because he couldn't stand the design. His own signature style, which featured jeans and a black turtleneck (Issey Miyake made him a lifetime supply of the latter, which he kept in a closet), was both anonymous and instantly recognizable. He was a control freak and a credit hog who burst into tears when he didn't get what he wanted. He sometimes demeaned his girlfriends and his employees yet such was his charisma that they went on loving him. He lived in a Palo Alto house whose modest scale astounded his rival Bill Gates. He said that he came of age at a magical time, in the early 1970s, when his consciousness was raised by Zen, Bob Dylan, and the drug LSD. J.P. Morgan or John Rockefeller, in other words, Steve Jobs wasn't. Yet he died with a personal fortune of more than $8 billion (according to Forbes), having been a single-minded pioneer of the PC age, having created and built arguably the world's most famous company, Apple, and having, in some way or another, touched all our lives. He was a visionary as ruthless and driven as any of the great first-generation American capitalists and his story already strikes us as a modern-day fable with a multitude of strange and enchanted details. Journalist and biographer Walter Isaacson has previously written about Albert Einstein and Benjamin Franklin. Small wonder that Jobs picked him out, and Isaacson gives the Steve Jobs fairy tale a swift, full, and less than utterly flattering airing in a book that Jobs authorized himself and from whose stark white and black Apple-like cover he stares like a Zen digital master. Jobs personally picked that mesmerizing image, while not having the time, or the health at that point, and maybe not the inclination either, to influence the text as a whole. Again, this is apt. Jobs drove his collaborators insane with his perfectionism yet he enabled them too. He knew the strengths and talents of others and was, for a tantrum-throwing Svengali, surprisingly self-aware. I'd guess that when he died less than a month ago he knew that Isaacson had served him fine. ... http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/books/la-et-1029-book-20111029,0,365536.story
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2011 08:02:38 -0700 (PDT) From: Wes Leatherock <wleathus@yahoo.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Review: Newfangled Nest thermostat is hot Message-ID: <1319900558.99949.YahooMailClassic@web111722.mail.gq1.yahoo.com> --- On Fri, 10/28/11, Adam H. Kerman <ahk@chinet.com> wrote: > Sigh. The once ubiquitous Honeywell round-dial mercury switch > thermostat was a wonder of simple design. Its use was simple and > obvious and, once installed and calibrated, required no manual to > learn how to use. That's what I still have in my house. It works quite well, even as my furnace has been replaced twice because of old age. No manual, no learning curve. Wes Leatherock wleathus@yahoo.com wesrock@aol.com
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2011 11:07:36 -0400 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: FCC Announces Changes to Universal Service Policy Message-ID: <1319900856.4140.4.camel@Thinkpad> The FCC has released news of its new policy on Universal Service: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2011/db1027/DOC-310692A1.txt (The rest of this post is quoted from the FCC site) Connect America Fund & Intercarrier Compensation Reform Order and FNPRM Executive Summary Universal Service Reform 1. Principles and Goals. We begin by adopting support for broadband-capable networks as an express universal service principle under section 254(b) of the Communications Act, and, for the first time, we set specific performance goals for the high-cost component of the Universal Service Fund (USF) that we are reforming today, to ensure these reforms are achieving their intended purposes. The goals are: (1) preserve and advance universal availability of voice service; (2) ensure universal availability of modern networks capable of providing voice and broadband service to homes, businesses, and community anchor institutions; (3) ensure universal availability of modern networks capable of providing advanced mobile voice and broadband service; (4) ensure that rates for broadband services and rates for voice services are reasonably comparable in all regions of the nation; and (5) minimize the universal service contribution burden on consumers and businesses. 2. Budget. We establish, also for the first time, a firm and comprehensive budget for the high-cost programs within USF.1 The annual funding target is set at no more than $4.5 billion over the next six years, the same level as the high-cost program for Fiscal Year 2011, with an automatic review trigger if the budget is threatened to be exceeded. This will provide for more predictable funding for carriers and will protect consumers and businesses that ultimately pay for the fund through fees on their communications bills. We are today taking important steps to control costs and improve accountability in USF, and our estimates of the funding necessary for components of the Connect America Fund (CAF) and legacy high-cost mechanisms represent our predictive judgment as to how best to allocate limited resources at this time. We anticipate that we may revisit and adjust accordingly the appropriate size of each of these programs by the end of the six-year period, based on market developments, efficiencies realized, and further evaluation of the effect of these programs in achieving our goals. 3. Public Interest Obligations. While continuing to require that all eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) offer voice services, we now require that they also offer broadband services. We update the definition of voice services for universal service purposes, and decline to disrupt any state carrier of last resort (COLR) obligations that may exist. We also establish specific and robust broadband performance requirements for funding recipients. 4. Connect America Fund. We create the Connect America Fund, which will ultimately replace all existing high-cost support mechanisms. The CAF will help make broadband available to homes, businesses, and community anchor institutions in areas that do not, or would not otherwise, have broadband, including mobile voice and broadband networks in areas that do not, or would not otherwise, have mobile service, and broadband in the most remote areas of the nation. The CAF will also help facilitate our intercarrier compensation (ICC) reforms. The CAF will rely on incentive-based, market-driven policies, including competitive bidding, to distribute universal service funds as efficiently and effectively as possible. -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly) "I count my blessigs, show and sure My memory's not as good as it was before They've cut off the lights and the phone calls too The landlord is knocking and he might break through" - John Gorka
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2011 08:30:06 -0700 (PDT) From: Wes Leatherock <wleathus@yahoo.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Edison's powrer network (Was Re: Telegraph turns 150 Message-ID: <1319902206.55797.YahooMailClassic@web111710.mail.gq1.yahoo.com> --- On Fri, 10/28/11, HAncock4 <withheld@invalid.telecom-digest.org> wrote: [ ... snop ... ] > In the early part of the 1900s, 25 Hz AC was common. Apparently in > those years it was a good frequency to use on electric motors of > that era (perhaps someone could explain the technical reasons for > that.) In the 1910s-1930s, several railroads electrified with that > frequency and it's still used to this day on certain Amtrak, SEPTA, > and NJT lines. When I was a chiled (teenager or earlier) we travelewd to the West by car and stayed at the Harvey House hotel in Gallup, N.M. As a sat or lay in my room I noticed a stange flicker to the lighting that appeared only if you viewed it from the edge of your eye. If you looked at it straight on it wasn't noticeable. I finally realized that this must be 25 Hz power, probably from a Santa Fe generator or althernator that supplied their considerable facilities in Gallup. As far as I know, the Santa Fe at that time had no intention of ever using electric power fro their trains, so they probably used 25 Hz for some kind of advatages that tghe writer mentions. Probably lighting was not a primary concern for their mechanical installations or it was just more or less the efault custom when the power supply was built. > At some point in the 1930s or shortly later, the commercial power > grid became reliable enough to use the 60 Hz as a means to run > clocks accurately. This led to the loss of pendulum regulator > clocks and Western Union time signals I remember lookding through a shortwave radio listener guide many years ago and for each country it gae the cutomary voltage and frequency and whether the stability of the frequency was good enough to be used for timing. > I wonder if any fledging local power companies also got into > telephone service as well. Both were public utilities and required > line poles. I don't know the origin of the name but a telephone company serving some of the Los Angeles basin was the Western Light and Telephone Company. There were quite a few independents in the Los Angeles basin at one time that fully participated in the network which was dominated by General Telephone and Pacific Telephone, perhaps in that order. I remember the first 5XB installed in this primarily step area was by the Sunland-Tujunga Telephonme Company Wes Leatherock wleathus@yahoo.com wesrock@aol.com
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2011 11:35:52 -0400 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: LightSquared takes off the gloves Message-ID: <20111029153552.GA16675@telecom.csail.mit.edu> According to a story at NationalJournal.com, LightSquared has decided to get down in the political mud to further it's claim that it can coexist with GPS. While trying to pull off the largest bandwidth grab in communications history, LightSquared is setting a new bottom level for the future of the telecommunications industry. Chris Frates- October 26, 2011 After months spent trying to make a technological case for why its network will not interfere with GPS, LightSquared has gone political. My colleague Josh Smith reports on a company that has been a boon to K Street: LightSquared has hired dozens of top lobbyists, including at least seven former elected officials -- including ex-House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt of Missouri; former Republican Sen. Tim Hutchinson of Arkansas; and Democratic former Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania. Rest is at: http://influencealley.nationaljournal.com/2011/10/lightsquared-goes-political.php -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly)
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2011 11:55:38 -0400 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: BART considering a policy on cell phone shutdowns Message-ID: <20111029155538.GA16876@telecom.csail.mit.edu> According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, California's Bay Area Rapid Transit system is considering a policy on when it will shut down cellular access in BART stations and on trains. I get the feeling that BART is doing some serious backpeddling while wishing it could revise recent history. October 26, 2011 - 7:28pm | By Eva Galperin BART Considers a Cell Phone Shutdown Policy This summer, decision-makers at Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) garnered considerable criticism -- not to mention the ire of Anonymous and days of protests -- after they chose to shut down cell phone access to four BART stations in downtown San Francisco based on rumors of an upcoming protest. Now BART~s Board Directors has drafted a Cell Phone Interruption Policy, which they will consider at an upcoming meeting on October 27th. Rest at: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/10/bart-considers-cell-phone-shutdown-policy -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly) "I've been up and down this highway, far as my eye can see No matter how fast I run, I can never seem to get away from me" - Jackson Browne
Date: Sat, 29 Oct 2011 22:00:06 +0000 (UTC) From: David Scheidt <dscheidt@panix.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Edison's powrer network (Was Re: Telegraph turns 150 Message-ID: <j8ht16$738$2@reader1.panix.com> HAncock4 <withheld@invalid.telecom-digest.org> wrote: :On Oct 27, 6:50 pm, Thad Floryan <t...@thadlabs.com> wrote: :> I'm really reaching back (I must have been only 2-3 years old or so), :> but I seem to remember one of my Grandads telling me that their power :> [would have had to be Baltimore MD] was DC for awhile and then switched :> to AC. That would also have been circa early 1900s (the power, not me!). :Having a DC local network was common in many places, and could've :lasted a long time. An IBM catalog of the 1930s listed equipment in :both AC and DC versions. Was that 120V DC (or so), or 48 V DC? Telco plant is 48V DC, and it's very common for computing equipment installed in telco faciilites to be so as well, beause it makes power distribution easier. (And, of course, you can run it off the great honkin' battery plant when the commercial power fails.) I woulnd't be surprised that IBM were making equipment for that market, for billing calculations, for instance, but I'm not aware of it. -- sig 38
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