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The Telecom Digest for October 25, 2012
Volume 31 : Issue 249 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
Knowing When It Pays to Upgrade Your Gadgets (Monty Solomon)
Few Winners in Heated Cellphone Wars (Monty Solomon)
When Free Stuff Leads You Astray (Monty Solomon)
Americans Paying More for LTE Service (Monty Solomon)
Credit Card Data Breach at Barnes & Noble Stores (Monty Solomon)
Verizon Starts Android OS Upgrade for LG Lucid Smartphones (Bill Horne)
Re: Voter surveys difficult due to cell phones (Pete Cresswell)

====== 31 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======

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Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2012 08:44:15 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Knowing When It Pays to Upgrade Your Gadgets Message-ID: <p0624081eccad8d5d0f7c@[]> Knowing When It Pays to Upgrade Your Gadgets By BRIAN LAM October 17, 2012 If a gadget breaks, gets lost or is stolen, it makes sense to replace it. But deciding whether to abandon an older, still-working device for a newer, shinier one can be a soul-sucking dilemma. Succumb to the temptation to upgrade too early and too often, and you can find yourself getting a piece of technology that is only marginally different from the old version, as well as a hefty credit card bill and the feeling that you played right into the hands of a corporation's marketing department. So what's the best way to decide when to upgrade? ... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/18/technology/personaltech/is-it-time-to-upgrade-your-gadgets-do-the-math.html ***** Moderator's Note ***** I know the REAL trick. Don't ride the wave: get in the trough BEHIND the wave! Let the children who want the latest shiny thing pay for the research, bug fixes, and software upgrades, and then, when the marketeers decide to push a different shiny thing, you can buy the old shiny thing for less than half what the children paid. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2012 08:44:15 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Few Winners in Heated Cellphone Wars Message-ID: <p0624081dccad8c4ccf81@[]> Few Winners in Heated Cellphone Wars BY STEVEN M. DAVIDOFF OCTOBER 23, 2012 If you are wondering who will be your cellphone provider next year, so are the cellphone companies. Maneuvers by American cellphone providers to acquire one another are threatening to erupt into all-out war. And the question is not only which ones will survive, but whether the survivors will be ruined by the prey they are rushing to swallow, leaving consumers by the wayside. The first move occurred in 2011, when AT&T made a bid to acquire T-Mobile U.S.A., the American subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, which had been looking to sell it for a long time. AT&T's move was brave, considering the well-known antitrust concerns. As part of the deal, T-Mobile was put in the awkward position of arguing to antitrust regulators that it might not survive if it wasn't acquired because of its smaller size and its annual revenue of only $21 billion. It was a bad move for AT&T. Regulators blocked the deal, and the company walked away poorer by about $6 billion - the $4 billion it was required to pay over the failed acquisition plus the estimated value of the broadband licenses it was required to grant T-Mobile. ... http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2012/10/23/few-winners-in-heated-cellphone-wars/
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2012 08:44:15 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: When Free Stuff Leads You Astray Message-ID: <p06240820ccad8f4982c5@[]> When Free Stuff Leads You Astray By ANN CARRNS OCTOBER 23, 2012 We all like freebies. But sometimes, free stuff can lure you into making choices that may not really be best. I learned that lesson anew last week, while on a road trip that took me through rural parts of Arkansas and Missouri. A quick comparison of flying time versus driving time had led me to choose the automobile for this outing. That meant I'd be behind the wheel for about six hours, but at least part of the route promised to include scenic foliage, and the weather looked good. Since I was driving alone, I decided to use a voice-guided G.P.S. system, to avoid having to check maps while dodging road kill. I had recently acquired an iPhone (not the most recent version, infamous for its map snafus). So I did a quick online search to see what navigation app might work best. My cellular provider, Verizon, offered one, for an extra $5 a month. That might not sound so pricey, but I think my cellphone bill is already outrageous, so I balked and kept searching. ... http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/23/when-free-stuff-leads-you-astray/ ***** Moderator's Note ***** "Apps" are never free: that's a fact of electronic life. No matter what the out-of-pocket expense, downloaded software comes with compromises. New applications require users to climb a learning curve, adjust their habits, and accept a new set of limitations on what they are able to do. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2012 08:11:58 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Americans Paying More for LTE Service Message-ID: <p0624081cccad8b6c9ae9@[]> RAW DATA Americans Paying More for LTE Service By KEVIN J. O'BRIEN Published: October 15, 2012 BERLIN - Does LTE, the superfast wireless service based on Long Term Evolution technology, cost too much in the United States? A recent study by the research arm of the GSM Association, a group based in London that represents mobile operators, suggests that may be the case. The LTE network run by Verizon Wireless, the U.S. market leader, went live in 2010, shortly after Sweden turned on the world's first LTE networks in December 2009. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/technology/americans-paying-more-for-lte-service.html
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2012 08:44:15 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Credit Card Data Breach at Barnes & Noble Stores Message-ID: <p0624081fccad8dd62bf6@[]> Credit Card Data Breach at Barnes & Noble Stores By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and NICOLE PERLROTH October 23, 2012 WASHINGTON - Hackers have stolen credit card information for customers who shopped as recently as last month at 63 Barnes & Noble stores across the country, including stores in New York City, San Diego, Miami and Chicago, according to people briefed on the investigation. The company discovered around Sept. 14 that the information had been stolen but kept the matter quiet at the Justice Department's request so the F.B.I. could determine who was behind the attacks, according to these people. The information was stolen by hackers who broke into the keypads in front of registers where customers swipe their credit cards and enter their personal identification numbers, or PINs. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/24/business/hackers-get-credit-data-at-barnes-noble.html http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/10/24/business/24barnes-and-noble-store-list.html http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/481338/barnes-and-noble-store-list.pdf ***** Moderator's Note ***** If the crooks stole PIN numbers along with the "Credit Card" numbers, then they weren't targeting credit cards: they were targeting DEBIT cards, which often have higher per-day limits, and may lack the legal protections that credit card users enjoy. I'm surprised that the New York Times would get the two types of card confused. Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2012 00:56:55 -0400 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Verizon Starts Android OS Upgrade for LG Lucid Smartphones Message-ID: <k67sen$3tq$1@dont-email.me> Verizon Starts Android OS Upgrade for LG Lucid Smartphones Published on: 22nd Oct 2012 Verizon Wireless has confirmed that it has started rolling out an Android OS upgrade for owners of the LG Lucid smartphone. The upgrade delivers Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) to the smartphone via a 348MB download. http://www.cellular-news.com/story/56961.php -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly)
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2012 11:11:33 -0400 From: Pete Cresswell <PeteCress@invalid.telecom-digest.org> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Voter surveys difficult due to cell phones Message-ID: <3j0g88d89anmln99g8pjp8jf0ktgfgmrdh@4ax.com> Per T: >It's even a problem on cell phones lately. I just installed the Android >app called BlackList - with it the phone never rings if your number is >in the list. Both my Samsung candy bar phone and my Samsung smart phone have a built-in "Reject List". You select a number from "Missed Calls" or "Received Calls", and then select the option that adds it to the Reject List. It mitigates the robocalls, but is not a complete solution bc you have to first establish that the number is one that sb rejected. Also, the robocallers tend to change numbers... and there are always new ones cropping up. FWIW, I read somewhere that the FCC has offered $50,000 to the winner in a contest to develop a technical means of avoiding robocalls. Seemed kind of pinchey to me.... Maybe 5 mil would get some attention... >Now if I could only do something about the spam texts. I disabled texting entirely after being burned by some third-party player that started sending me "Diet Tips" and reaping dollars for it by charging against my unused minutes. Went round-round with tMobile support on that one and came away with the understanding that anybody with texting capability is vulnerable to these scams. They key seems tb the scammer harvesting one's mobile phone number from somewhere. It sounded so safe and so lucrative that I actually caught myself wondering if I could get into it myself.... But only for a moment.... -) -- Pete Cresswell ***** Moderator's Note ***** It was the FTC that made the offer, not the FCC. Bill Horne Moderator
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