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The Telecom Digest for November 8, 2011
Volume 30 : Issue 285 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
Re: 60 hz as a time standard (David Lesher)
I'm not alone in my dislikes (Bill Horne)
Re: Apple's Universe (Randall Webmail)
Keeping PBX fraudsters at bay (David Clayton)
Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in GPS Tracking Case (Bill Horne)
Republicans move to block FCC appointments over LightSquared issue (Bill Horne)

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

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See the bottom of this issue for subscription and archive details and the name of our lawyer, and other stuff of interest.

Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2011 05:37:08 +0000 (UTC) From: David Lesher <wb8foz@panix.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: 60 hz as a time standard Message-ID: <j97qq4$rs7$1@reader1.panix.com> A side note on 60Hz... I just got a Obitalk ATA, a TCP/IP->phonejack box suitable for supporting both SIP and XMPP/GoogleVoice sessions; the latter being my interest. I'm at a friend's, and scrounged an old "Cobra" phone to use with it. But the phone somehow suffers fom imbalance such that there was an annoying amount of 60 Hz. I called a friend on the other coast this morning. He is on a PoS*** copper loop of 40Kft plus, and always has hum balance [60 Hz] issues. But his 60Hz is from another power grid, NOT sync'ed to mine. We could listen to the two grids slowly hetrodyning against each other... BTW, I gave up on the Taiwan special, and found another phone in the junk box here; this a genuine BSP-NFS 500 set. I bet I'm only Obitalk customer running such. No hum at all with it. -- A host is a host from coast to coast.................wb8foz@nrk.com & no one will talk to a host that's close........[v].(301) 56-LINUX Unless the host (that isn't close).........................pob 1433 is busy, hung or dead....................................20915-1433 ***** Moderator's Note ***** I'm a bit behind the times: please explain what "XMPP" is and how it is used with Googlevoice or other services. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2011 09:42:03 -0500 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: I'm not alone in my dislikes Message-ID: <20111107144203.GA17213@telecom.csail.mit.edu> I've discovered that I'm not alone in my dislikes; particularly my dislike of "smart" cellular phones. I recommend an article by Deborah D. McAdams: link courtesy of Michael Painter on the Cybertelecom-l mailing list. Once upon a time, making a phone call involved the use of a toaster-sized static device roped to a wall outlet. There were areas of the country where calls were connected by local ladies who, it is now clear, were operatives of The CIA. If you were not in the vicinity of the toaster-sized device when someone tried to call you, the only way to know is if you were so informed by the caller or the phone company spy lady. http://www.televisionbroadcast.com/article/125828 Bill -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly) "These apples are delicious! 'As a matter of fact, they are' she said. Can all this fruit be free?" - Bare Naked Ladies
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2011 16:00:52 -0500 (EST) From: Randall Webmail <rvh40@insightbb.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Apple's Universe Message-ID: <2142117294.653999.1320699652732.JavaMail.root@md03.insight.synacor.com> > >http://www.anandtech.com/show/4956/apple-ios-5-review > >***** Moderator's Note ***** >I'm announcing the NEW! IMPROVED! iBill iService. The iBill iService >will make you iSexier, iSmarter, and iPrettier. Only iStupid, >iSluggish, iOld people will turn down the NEW! IMPROVED! iBill >iService. You have been iWarned! >iBill, whose iCrystal iBall is as iCloudy as iEver. Apple's stuff works, and it works well together. My 17" HP laptop is permanently tethered to a flat-screen display, while my work MacBook Pro goes with me when I travel. My iPhone is always in my pocket and I never knew I needed an iPad until I bought one, now I can't imagine doing my job without it. Oh, and my ancient blueberry iMac cost $15 plus shipping on ebay, three or four years ago. ... ***** Moderator's Note ***** I suggest you go to work at iApple, and teach them how to write a clear sentence. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Tue, 08 Nov 2011 08:48:53 +1100 From: David Clayton <dcstarbox-usenet@yahoo.com.au> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Keeping PBX fraudsters at bay Message-ID: <pan.2011.> http://www.itwire.com/business-it-news/security/50928-keeping-pbx-fraudsters-at-bay Keeping PBX fraudsters at bay By Sam Varghese Monday, 07 November 2011 09:25 Business IT - Security With phone-hacking very much in the news, a small company in Israel has probably chosen the right time to announce that its software, which can analyse and detect fraudulent activity on PBXs, can now work with 200 PBX models. Humbug Telecom Labs chief technical architect Nir Simionovich said the inter-operation was made possible through a plug-in from another company, AGG Software, that makes software used for snooping. He said that Humbug's software made it possible for small companies to have proper protection against a type of fraud that was once thought to only affect much bigger outfits. Humbug vice-president for sales and marketing, Eric Klein, said three kinds of fraud could be perpetrated through PBXs - subscription fraud, voicemail hacking, and premium rate service fraud. Eric Klein Humbug's software is part open source and part proprietary. "Humbug releases its collection agent for Asterisk and other open source PBX variants under a GPL licence, which means its fully open sourced," said Klein. Asterisk is free software that transforms a computer into a communication server. "In the same manner, Humbug makes its data collector API available to the public. Thus, anyone can connect to it utilising their platforms and developments." Klein said the Humbug software provided three distinct methods of interconnecting with its engine - an open-source, GPL-licensed, agent service for Asterisk-based systems; an open web-based API, utilising HTTP or HTTPS; and a closed source agent, provided by AGG software, capable of allowing legacy PBX systems to connect as well. "For PBXs that can support it, either of the collectors can be installed on the PBX as an agent," he said. "For legacy systems AGG provides a serial port plug that is connected to an external server that acts to collect and transmit the CDRs (call detail records) to Humbug." The PBX creates the call details (including call set-up, completion codes, status codes, etc.). "This is taken by the collector and sent to the Humbug service for analysis. This analysis includes running the CDR through a set of filters to see if it triggers one of the alerts. These alerts include a blacklist of more than 70,000 known numbers that are used for fraudulent activities, customer defined black/white lists based on location, or time of day/day of week." Simionovich said if an alert was triggered, the service would send an email or SMS (text) message to the customer-designated administrator for action. "In the next release the Humbug Fraud Protection service (part of Humbug Pro) will send a message to Asterisk-based PBXs on call set-up to not allow the call to be initiated if it is to one of the 70,000+ blacklisted numbers. This service will be expanded during future releases to include a customer-specified list of prohibited countries and then time of day/day of week. These customer set prohibitions will allow a white list for specific extensions or numbers based on the user's business case." The AGG plug-in is either connected via a serial port adapter, collecting from the PBX and passing on to an external server, or as software installed as an agent on the PBX, that then sends the call detail records to Humbug. Simionovich admitted that at present, since a warning occurred during the commission of a fraud, the party which was trying to commit the fraud did benefit to some extent. "Currently, Humbug is only sending notifications to prevent additional fraud attacks; thus, one attack gets through and the fraudster does get the benefit of that one call. The number of calls that get through is limited by the administrator not Humbug," he said. Klein said this would change with the next release. "On systems that support it we will be able to stop outbound calls as they are initiated, thus preventing even this first call from benefiting the fraudster," he added. ***** Moderator's Note ***** I'm a bit puzzled here: I thought that phone rates had decreased to the point that fraud wasn't a problem. Is it still an issue in overseas traffic? Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2011 21:52:49 -0500 From: bill@horneQRM.net (Bill Horne) To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in GPS Tracking Case Message-ID: <20111108025249.GA10804@telecom.csail.mit.edu> The Electronic Privacy Information Center has filed an amicus brief in the GPS tracking case. The United States Supreme Court will hear arguments on November 8 to determine whether the warrantless use of a GPS tracking device by the police violates the Fourth Amendment. EPIC filed a "friend of the court" brief in US v. Jones, urging the Supreme Court to uphold robust Fourth Amendment protections. Rest at http://epic.org/2011/11/supreme-court-to-hear-argument-5.html . Here's a quote from the Amicus brief itself - In this context, the proliferation of GPS tracking technology creates a large, and largely unregulated, repository containing detailed travel profiles of American citizens. Law enforcement access to such information raises the specter of mass, pervasive surveillance without any predicate act that would justify this activity. Constitutional protections against unreasonable searches are intended to protect individuals from this precise sort of government intrusion. The full text is at http://epic.org/amicus/jones/EPIC_Jones_amicus_final.pdf . Bill -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly)
Date: Mon, 07 Nov 2011 23:03:41 -0500 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Republicans move to block FCC appointments over LightSquared issue Message-ID: <1320725021.6682.3.camel@Thinkpad> According to an item in the Cybertelecom-l mailing list, the LightSquared controvery continues, with Republicans moving to block replacements for the FCC: On Thursday, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) submitted in a Congressional statement directed to President Obama that he would object to the nominations of Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai as commissioners at the FCC. Rest at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-tech/post/fcc-nominees-get-tangled-in-lightsquared-controversy/2011/11/03/gIQApIr7iM_blog.html Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email to write to me directly) "Truckin, like the do-dah man Once told me 'You got to play your hand' Sometimes, the cards ain't worth a dime If you don't lay 'em down" - Grateful Dead
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