30 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for June 19, 2012
====== 30 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2012 23:10:39 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: You for Sale: Mapping, and Sharing, the Consumer Genome Message-ID: <email@example.com> You for Sale: Mapping, and Sharing, the Consumer Genome By NATASHA SINGER June 16, 2012 IT knows who you are. It knows where you live. It knows what you do. It peers deeper into American life than the F.B.I. or the I.R.S., or those prying digital eyes at Facebook and Google. If you are an American adult, the odds are that it knows things like your age, race, sex, weight, height, marital status, education level, politics, buying habits, household health worries, vacation dreams - and on and on. Right now in Conway, Ark., north of Little Rock, more than 23,000 computer servers are collecting, collating and analyzing consumer data for a company that, unlike Silicon Valley's marquee names, rarely makes headlines. It's called the Acxiom Corporation, and it's the quiet giant of a multibillion-dollar industry known as database marketing. Few consumers have ever heard of Acxiom. But analysts say it has amassed the world's largest commercial database on consumers - and that it wants to know much, much more. Its servers process more than 50 trillion data "transactions" a year. Company executives have said its database contains information about 500 million active consumers worldwide, with about 1,500 data points per person. That includes a majority of adults in the United States. Such large-scale data mining and analytics - based on information available in public records, consumer surveys and the like - are perfectly legal. Acxiom's customers have included big banks like Wells Fargo and HSBC, investment services like E*Trade, automakers like Toyota and Ford, department stores like Macy's - just about any major company looking for insight into its customers. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/technology/acxiom-the-quiet-giant-of-consumer-database-marketing.html
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 01:43:50 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Apple and Google Go Head to Head Over Mobile Maps Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Apple and Google Go Head to Head Over Mobile Maps By QUENTIN HARDY June 17, 2012 SAN FRANCISCO - Get ready for the mobile map wars. For many people, phones have become an important way to navigate the world, and mobile maps are at the core of the journey. They are often the critical element in commerce, socializing and search. So far, Google has reigned supreme in the mobile map world, with its maps on every iPhone sold so far - and, of course, on every phone based on its own Android operating system. Last week, though, Apple gave notice it would enter the battle, announcing that in the fall, its phones would no longer carry Google maps, but instead would have Apple's own map service built in, part of its new mobile operating system. Maps are simply too important to be left to a rival. The question is: Can Apple build a map service that does as good a job, or a better one, than Google has? If Apple slips up, consumers in the highly competitive smartphone market may have a good reason to turn to Android phones. If Apple succeeds, Google will be under pressure at a time when it already has to deal with other competitors in map services. "It makes Apple more valuable and denies Google a lot of user data, and a brand presence, on the iPhone," said Ben Bajarin, an analyst with the technology research firm Creative Strategies. If Apple cannot meet or exceed Google's maps, he added, "it will irk their power users," who are the most valuable customers. Apple's move into maps was not exactly a surprise. It has bought a few companies that make mapping features, like three-dimensional visualizations, and has secured rights to data like the names and layouts of streets in over 100 countries from TomTom, a big digital map company based in the Netherlands. But making digital maps is not easy. Google has spent years working on its services, pouring all kinds of resources into the effort, including its Street View project to photograph and map the world. It will be hard to duplicate that depth and breadth. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/18/technology/apples-goes-head-to-head-with-google-over-mobile-maps.html
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 01:43:50 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Verifying Ages Online Is a Daunting Task, Even for Experts Message-ID: <email@example.com> Verifying Ages Online Is a Daunting Task, Even for Experts By NICOLE PERLROTH June 17, 2012 SAN FRANCISCO - Just how hard can it be to verify the age of a person online? After all, privacy experts have been complaining for years about how much advertisers know about people who use the Internet. The answer, it turns out, is very hard. Despite attempts by privacy advocates, academics, law enforcement officials, technologists and advertisers to determine a person's age on the Internet, the reality is that, online, it is extremely difficult to tell whether someone is an 11-year-old girl or a 45-year-old man. The question arose last week after Skout, a mobile social networking app, discovered that, within two weeks, three adults had masqueraded as teenagers in its forum for 13- to 17-year-olds. In three separate incidents, they contacted children and, the police say, sexually assaulted them. In response, Skout suspended its app for minors, appointed a task force of security specialists to investigate and find solutions and said it would not resume the service until it could find a better way to vet users' ages online. Skout said it had vetted its users ages through Facebook, which officially prohibits members under 13, but has acknowledged that children find ways to enter. Facebook said recently that it was experimenting with age verification tools that would allow people younger than 13 to join. The resounding response from those who have studied age verification technologies, and, in some cases, put them in place, has been: good luck. The problem is that everyone - not only sex offenders - has an incentive to lie. Children want to enter Web sites and forums where their older peers are. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/18/technology/verifying-ages-online-is-a-daunting-task-even-for-experts.html
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 10:34:43 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Teenage girl posts picture of cash on Facebook, family robbed within hours Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Teenage girl posts picture of cash on Facebook, family robbed within hours May 29, 2012 By Mike Flacy Digital Trends As mentioned by the BBC News recently, a 17-year-old girl was visiting her grandmother in Sydney, Australia when she took a picture of a "large sum of cash" while helping her grandmother count her cash savings at the home. The teenager posted the picture on her Facebook feed around 4 p.m. on Thursday May 24. Approximately seven hours later, two masked men armed with a wooden club and a knife entered the girl's family home 75 miles away in the town of Bundanoon. Upon entering the family home, the men found the 47-year-old mother of the girl as well as a 58-year-old man and 14-year-old boy, likely her father and brother. When speaking to the family, the two men wanted to talk to the girl about the sum of money in the picture that was posted on Facebook. ... http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/teenage-girl-posts-picture-of-cash-on-facebook-family-robbed-within-hours/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-18232613
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 12:16:01 -0400 From: tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> To: email@example.com. Subject: Predicted increase in the global adoption of mobile broadband Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Some "interesting statistics worth browsing": > Total mobile subscribers will top 6 billion in 2012. By 2016, 7 > billion. In some countries, such as Finland, the number of > mobile subscribers surpasses the actual population. (How? > Multiple devices.) Some 200 million traditional phone lines will > be dropped over the next the five years. DSL accounted for > two-thirds of all wireline broadband subscriptions in 2011. These and more are to be found in a ZDnet blog entitled "BRIC nations adopting mobile broadband at rapid clip", residing at: : : http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/bric-nations-adopting-mobile-broadband-at-rapid-clip/80119 : . Cheers, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 12:15:47 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Die, contracts! Prepaid mobile phone use surges Message-ID: <email@example.com> Die, contracts! Prepaid mobile phone use surges The American market doesn't look like Europe or Asia, but it's inching closer. by Cyrus Farivar June 14 2012 Ars Technica Whether we like it or not, my wife and I recently became statistics. About eight weeks ago, we moved back to California after spending two years in Germany. We had a suspended T-Mobile USA contract while we were away and were likely going to re-activate it on our unlocked iPhones upon our return. But knowing that we'd only get EDGE speeds on our phones back in the US, it didn't seem worth it to pay well north of $100 for two phones per month. So we made the jump-becoming two more of the many Americans who have recently made the switch from postpaid to prepaid. New industry data released in May shows American mobile phone operators have been hit with the first-ever net decline in contract ("postpaid") subscriptions, a loss of 52,000 subscribers. And the number of non-contract ("prepaid") mobile customers has reached record levels-now accounting for about 25 percent of all mobile phone users in America. ... http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/06/prepaid-mobile-phone-users-in-america-hit-record-high/
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 12:09:28 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Meet GSM Nation, an MVNO selling any smartphone you desire Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Meet GSM Nation, an MVNO selling any smartphone you desire By Kevin Fitchard June 15, 2012 GSM Nation has spent the past two years selling unlocked smartphones through its online retail portal, and in the process it has steered tens of thousands of customers toward contract-free voice and data plans offered by the newly emerging class of mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). GSM Nation CEO and co-founder Ahmed Khattak, however, is getting tired of handing off the potentially lucrative service business. So this fall GSM Nation plans to launch its own MVNO. For those unfamiliar, an MVNO is a sans-network operator that resells the data and voice services of a major carrier. What will set GSM Nation apart from the growing hordes of MVNOs popping up on AT&T's and T-Mobiles' networks is its own already highly developed retail business. It's not quite Amazon or Best Buy, but it sells more than 200 different models of unlocked smartphones and tablets on its website, all of which are sourced directly from manufacturers or global distributors. It buys its iPhones from a reseller in Korea and imports Samsung Galaxy phones from Latin America. "No other MVNO has these types of relationships," Khattak said. Typically an MVNO will source a handful of new or refurbished smartphones from manufacturers or resellers, but for high-end devices like the iPhone it only supplies SIM cards and relies on customers to bring their own handset, he added. "We will be the first MVNO to sell high-end unlocked handsets straight from the manufacturer," Khattak said. Lots of data and a modicum of voice GSM Nation has decided to partner with T-Mobile, tapping into the operator's high-bandwidth HSPA+ networks and possibly even its future LTE network. Those data speeds are of particular importance to the company because it plans to target more-sophisticated users who live for their data services and spend relatively little time talking on their phones. ... http://gigaom.com/mobile/meet-gsm-nation-an-mvno-selling-every-smartphone/
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 12:19:35 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: App Store enigma: the patent holder, the developer, and the voiceless child Message-ID: <email@example.com> App Store enigma: the patent holder, the developer, and the voiceless child Apple's "benign dictatorship" of the App Store leaves users, devs in the dark. by Nate Anderson June 14 2012 Ars Technica Few apps available for the iPad sell for $300-and even fewer are considered a bargain at the price. But "Speak for Yourself" turned consumer-grade tablets into sophisticated Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices for those struggling to speak due to issues like autism; standalone hardware offering the same capabilities goes for up to $15,000. The software changed lives. Dana Nieder's daughter Maya was unable to speak on her own, and the recent Speak for Yourself app proved intuitive enough that the four-year old could use it almost immediately. The results amazed Nieder, who wrote about them on her blog: Maya can speak to us, clearly, for the first time in her life. We are hanging on her every word. We've learned that she loves talking about the days of the week, is weirdly interested in the weather, and likes to pretend that her toy princesses are driving the bus to school (sometimes) and to work (other times). This app has not only allowed her to communicate her needs, but her thoughts as well. It's given us the gift of getting to know our child on a totally different level. Then, on June 4, Apple pulled Speak for Yourself from its App Store after two companies complained about patent infringement and filed a separate lawsuit against the app's developers. Speak for Yourself rushed to court to complain that its business had been "sacrificed to Plaintiff's commercial greed" without any sort of judicial ruling, but the court declined to take any immediate action. The Speak for Yourself app was gone and its developers had no other lawful way to sell it. They were worried-and angry. ... http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/06/app-store-enigma-the-patent-holder-the-developer-and-the-voiceless-child/
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 08:06:56 -0700 (PDT) From: HAncock4 <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Penna revising phone recording laws Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> The front of the telephone directories always warned that a beep tone every 15 seconds indicated a call was being recorded. Phone centers that recorded phone calls (such as police dispatching) had that beep tone. The Phila Inqr reported that the laws are being changed, which police investigators applaud. It will make it easier to get and use wiretapped evidence for criminal cases. The new law also deals with the issue of disposable cell phones. "The bill also would afford greater protection to victims by allowing them to make secret recordings of crimes committed against them. County DA Ferman cited a Montgomery County teenager who last year recorded her own sexual abuse at the hands of her father, only to be told that the recording was inadmissible in court and that she could be charged with a crime for making it." For full article please see: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/pennsylvania/20120618_Investigators_laud_proposed_expansion_of_Pa__wiretap_law.html
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 12:01:09 -0400 From: Matt Simpson <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: timely joke Message-ID: <net-news69-9DB7A1.email@example.com> In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> wrote: > S'pose Eric thinks twice now before using his cellphone in public any more? Eric, John, Peter, or whatever his name is, probably doesn't really exist http://www.snopes.com/embarrass/miscues/backtobed.asp
Date: 18 Jun 2012 13:23:18 -0000 From: "John Levine" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: timely joke Message-ID: <email@example.com> In article <firstname.lastname@example.org> you write: >Is a bit of levity in order in these hallowed halls these days? > >After a busy day, a commuter settled down in her seat for a snooze on the >train ride home to Mt. Kisco from downtown Manhattan. Gee, when people sent this around last week, she was on the train home to Hudson from Montreal. R's, John
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2012 09:59:23 -0500 From: email@example.com (Robert Bonomi) To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: Ring voltage measurment question Message-ID: <gLOdnT9MXo1WbUDSnZ2dnUVZ_qqdnZ2d@posted.nuvoxcommunications> In article <email@example.com>, Mike Spencer <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: >email@example.com (Robert Bonomi) writes: > >> In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, >> Mike Spencer <email@example.com> wrote: >> > >> > Is there a name for that cabinet? The central office is ca. 13 >> > miles away, the cabinet only 4 as the wire runs. >> >> Frequently referred to, generally, as a 'vault', especially if underground. >> Above-ground units may be called a 'pedestal' (if small) or a 'hut' (if big >> enough to walk into). >> >> Beyond that, "it depends". <grin> > >[further details snipped] > >Medium sized, two-door cabinet, not walk-in. > >and Neal McLain <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > >> Probably Digital loop carrier. >> >> >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_loop_carrier >> >> >> Does the box you mention look like the photo in Wikipedia? > >Yes, but also like the one at: > > > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remote_concentrator > > >Rural area, guessing a few hundred scattered dwellings, no industry or >commerce nearby. A friend who lives close -- 1/2 mi. -- to a similar >cabinet (but far from the CO) can have ADSL because of that >proximity. That may identify what lives in the cabinet. THAT cabinet definitely has active electronics in it -- a 'channel bank' equivalent (this includes the ring-generator circuitry) that de-multiplexes a "high cap" circuit ('T'-span, fiber, etc.) from the C.O. into the individual subscriber loop circuits, plus the DSLAM that provides the DSL capability. Unfortunately, two such boxes can look 'identical' from the outside, and have very different things 'inside' them. Thus external appearance is not a reliable indicator of internal functionality. >Would the telco device that actually generated my ring voltage be >located in that DLC/RLC/box? IF the box contains =just= cross-connects of copper pairs, then the subscriber loop extends through the box, and ring-generator circuitry somewhere closer to, if not actually in, the C.O. OTOH, if the box is a termination for some form of high cap circuit, from the C.O., de-multiplexing it onto the individual copper pairs providing POTS service to subscribers, then the ring-generator circuitry IS, without question, in that box. I would say that it is "probable", maybe even "highly probable", that the box which your service goes through is a high cap termination, not just a cross-connect. But the Law of Perverse Statistics comes into play as well -- in any specific situation, the particular 'thing' in question is all too often NOT what is commonly found in that situation, and the more you -want- it to be that thing, the more likely it is 'something else'. <wry grin>
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 16:02:14 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: EBook Revenues Beat Hardcovers For The First Time Message-ID: <email@example.com> EBook Revenues Beat Hardcovers For The First Time John Biggs June 15, 2012 The Association of American Publishers released a report today that shows that ebooks have beaten hardcover revenues for the first time. Ebook revenues topped out at $282.3 million YTD while hardcovers hit $229.6. Almost exactly a year ago the tables were turned with ebooks hitting $220 million and hardcovers brushing past $335 million. The only growth in hardcovers is in the young adult/children's category where hardcover revenue rose to $187.7 million and children's ebooks rose to $64.3 million, up from $3.9 million in 2011. In short, ebooks are winning. ... http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/15/ebook-revenues-beat-hardcovers-for-the-first-time/
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 16:10:39 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Disruptions: Wearable Gadgets Upset F.A.A. Curbs on Devices Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Disruptions: Wearable Gadgets Upset F.A.A. Curbs on Devices By NICK BILTON JUNE 17, 2012 Pity the poor flight attendant. They didn't sign up for this: millions of petulant airline passengers surreptitiously reading digital books and magazines on their iPads or Kindles during takeoff and landing. The flight attendants' job was never easy. Glamorous once, at times rewarding. But now they have to stroll the aisles of a plane while it lingers at the gate or on the runway to ensure that people turn off their smartphones, computers or tablets - yes, "Off, not in Airplane Mode." The flight attendants are left to enforce the arcane rules of the Federal Aviation Administration, which mandate that people can't use electronic devices - with the strange exception of electric razors and audio recorders - from the moment a plane leaves the gate until it reaches 10,000 feet. This task is only going to become more complex for flight attendants as technology moves from your backpack or purse, to, well, you. Wearable computers on planes will be an enforcement nightmare. ... http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/disruptions-wearable-gadgets-upset-f-a-a-curbs-on-devices/
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