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The Telecom Digest for December 31, 2012
Volume 31 : Issue 305 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
Apple vs. Google vs. Facebook vs. Amazon (Monty Solomon)
Latest Netflix Disruption Highlights Challenges of Cloud Computing (Monty Solomon)
To Extend a Device's Battery Life, Get to Know It Better (Monty Solomon)
Simple Tools Help Owners Sift Data for Eager Customers (Monty Solomon)
Keeping Loved Ones on the Grid (Monty Solomon)
Verizon Announces End of 900 Number Billing (danny burstein)
New Online Privacy Rules for Children (Monty Solomon)
Re: The End of the Public Phone Network (Scott Dorsey)

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

Telecom and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) Digest for the Internet. All contents here are copyrighted by Bill Horne and the individual writers/correspondents. Articles may be used in other journals or newsgroups, provided the writer's name and the Digest are included in the fair use quote. By using any name or email address included herein for any reason other than responding to an article herein, you agree to pay a hundred dollars to that person, or email address owner.
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Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2012 01:26:28 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Apple vs. Google vs. Facebook vs. Amazon Message-ID: <p06240870cd058ee7d9f5@[]> Apple vs. Google vs. Facebook vs. Amazon The Lines Between Software and Hardware Continue to Blur By JESSICA E. LESSIN, GREG BENSINGER, EVELYN M. RUSLI and AMIR EFRATI December 25, 2012 Four big technology fiefs-Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. -have been creeping into each other's turf for years. In 2013, their war is set to escalate around two fronts: hardware and search. With new products and services expected in 2013, the four big technology giants-Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon-will battle it out over hardware and search. The WSJ's Yun-Hee Kim talks about what products to expect from the big four in the coming year. Software giants including Google and Amazon are interested in ramping up hardware to boost customer loyalty and to extend control over their software services and the revenues that flow from them. That is heightening their collision course with Apple, which is responding by building more of its own software to make its devices stand out. Google, with the $12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility under its belt, plans to use the phone maker to release new Android devices to help knock Apple's iPhone off its perch. And Amazon, which has upped the ante in the tablet wars with the Kindle Fire, has also been testing its own phone. Meanwhile, all four companies see search as a big opportunity for retaining and profiting off customers. While Google's paradigm of typing queries in a search box has prevailed for years, now its rivals want to undercut the Web-search giant through mobile search on smartphones and other devices, and a slew of search services that allow recommendations from friends. ... http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324677204578188073738910956.html
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2012 01:07:01 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Latest Netflix Disruption Highlights Challenges of Cloud Computing Message-ID: <p0624086ccd058a4ec61a@[]> 'The Cloud' Challenges Amazon By BRIAN X. CHEN Published: December 26, 2012 For some on Christmas Eve, "White Christmas" was a blackout on Netflix. That's because problems with Amazon's cloud computing service, which provides storage and computing power for all kinds of Web sites and services, caused Netflix to go down for much of the day. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/27/technology/latest-netflix-disruption-highlights-challenges-of-cloud-computing.html -or- http://goo.gl/T3Hwl
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2012 12:38:43 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: To Extend a Device's Battery Life, Get to Know It Better Message-ID: <p06240892cd062c80ca3c@[]> To Extend a Device's Battery Life, Get to Know It Better By KIT EATON December 12, 2012 As you jet off on a winter vacation or a holiday season trip to see family, chances are you'll face a 21st-century problem: mobile device battery angst. It's a never-ending itch at the back of your thoughts. Though we all love to use our smartphones to stave off boredom, or to navigate a new city, every moment of use eats precious battery time. And, particularly during a journey, you never know when you will find power next. Thanks to my job, I experience more battery angst than most people, so I have tried some battery life apps. You may too. But unlike other types of apps, you need to be wary with these. Apple's tight control of iOS means battery apps on the App Store, even popular ones like Battery Life Pro All-in-One (free on iTunes), cannot automatically control an iPhone or iPad's real-time battery consumption. This is because of Apple's own systems for protecting battery life and app security. That said, there are some supposed best practices you can follow to keep your iDevice's battery healthy. And there are ways you can manually adjust your phone. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/13/technology/personaltech/apps-help-extend-the-battery-life-of-devices.html
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2012 12:41:33 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Simple Tools Help Owners Sift Data for Eager Customers Message-ID: <p06240893cd062d0eeb60@[]> Simple Tools Help Owners Sift Data for Eager Customers By JULIE WEED December 12, 2012 Velvet Palate sells artisanal wines that are made in small quantities around the world and typically not stocked in stores. Selling online, said Kim Kooren, a co-founder, has allowed the company to zero in on a niche of geographically diverse customers. Before helping to start Velvet Palate in New York in January, Ms. Kooren worked for an online media company that analyzed how effectively subscription offers and other marketing tools attracted new customers. "We could see which Web sites people were coming from when they arrived on our Web pages, what they clicked, where they abandoned the process," she said. "And that allowed us to constantly tweak and improve what we were offering and how we were communicating." In her new venture, Ms. Kooren said her goal had been to use online data collection and Web analytics to cater to customers' tastes. There is nothing new, of course, about paying attention to customer needs and desires, but there is now far more data available - far less expensively - through Web analytics and customer-loyalty programs. Using basic e-commerce software along with free tools like Google Analytics and Bing Webmaster Tools, small businesses can perform sophisticated data collection and analysis that can help them compete with companies that have far greater resources. Based on the experiences of business owners, this guide offers suggestions on how both Web-based businesses and traditional retailers can use data. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/13/business/smallbusiness/data-analysis-helps-stores-compete.html
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2012 12:05:38 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Keeping Loved Ones on the Grid Message-ID: <p0624088fcd06248eed8e@[]> Keeping Loved Ones on the Grid By FARHAD MANJOO October 22, 2012 THEY say if you love something, set it free. Good advice, but you still might want to keep your eye on it. So the other day, I slipped a GPS tracking device into my wife's car before she headed off to work. I put another tracker in my 2-year-old's diaper bag and sent him off to the nanny for the day. I still had a few trackers left, and my parents were in town, so I also threw one into their vehicle while they took my son out to the park. Of course, I had never suspected any wrongdoing and, later on, when I reviewed the trails left by these GPS devices, they turned up nothing untoward. My spying was meant only as an experiment, but I still felt like a heel. As well I should have. It's precisely because of mischief like mine that tracking devices get a bad rap. These small gadgets work by connecting to GPS satellites and cellular networks to follow subjects and report back their locations to their masters. Once I sent them out into the world, I could look up the trackers online, either on the Web or through a smartphone app. They could also be configured to send me alerts based on various criteria. If my wife's car left her office parking lot during the day or my parents' vehicle broke the speed limit, I might get a text alert. If your mind reels at the universe of Maury Povichian possibilities contained within these gadgets, you're not alone. Yet after chatting with representatives at several GPS tracking companies and trying out their products, I learned that there are many less icky, entirely defensible uses for such devices. For example, some parents use trackers to make sure their children get to school and back safely each day. Others build them into their teenage drivers' cars so they can be alerted if the kids drive recklessly. There's also the elder-care market - GPS trackers embedded into medical-alert devices can help locate and provide emergency help for parents with Alzheimer's. And don't forget the dog: a tracker attached to its collar can let you know if it wanders out of your yard, and help you find it if it doesn't come back. The more I heard about these devices' applications, the less unseemly they began to feel; indeed, for many people, GPS tracking could soon become a regular part of life. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/25/garden/tracking-family-with-gps-dont-forget-the-dog.html?pagewanted=all ***** Moderator's Note ***** Can I use one to find out if my mechanic is using my car for parts runs? Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2012 14:57:08 -0500 From: danny burstein <dannyb@panix.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Verizon Announces End of 900 Number Billing Message-ID: <Pine.NEB.4.64.1212301452170.24430@panix5.panix.com> (I thought I had seen a similar post in c.d.t., but can't find it now. So if this is a dupe, feel free to fold, spindle, and mutilate.) Verizon, which still handles a hefty chunk of landline calls, will no longer accept any bills from "900" service providers. That's pretty much the final nail in that coffin. - Most, perhaps all, cellular, VOIP, cable "phone" services, have blocked this "area code" for quite some time, pretty much speeding it into history. And now it'll be deader than Jimmy Hoffa. http://blogs.imediaconnection.com/blog/2012/12/24/900-number-billing-ends/
Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2012 13:58:34 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: New Online Privacy Rules for Children Message-ID: <p06240897cd063f2c2a8a@[]> New Online Privacy Rules for Children By NATASHA SINGER December 19, 2012 In a move intended to give parents greater control over data collected about their children online, federal regulators on Wednesday broadened longstanding privacy safeguards covering children's mobile apps and Web sites. Members of the Federal Trade Commission said they updated the rules to keep pace with the growing use of mobile phones and tablets by children. The regulations also reflect innovations like voice recognition, location technology and behavior-based online advertising, or ads tailored to an individual Internet user. Regulators had not significantly changed the original rule, based on the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, or Coppa. That rule required operators of Web sites directed at children under 13 to notify parents and obtain their permission before collecting or sharing personal information - like first and last names, phone numbers, home addresses or e-mail addresses - from children. The intent of that was to give parents control over entities seeking to collect information about their children so that parents could, among other things, prevent unwanted contact by strangers. The new rule, unveiled at a news conference in Washington, significantly expands the types of companies required to obtain parental permission before knowingly collecting personal details from children, as well as the types of information that will require parental consent to collect. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/20/technology/ftc-broadens-rules-for-online-privacy-of-children.html
Date: 30 Dec 2012 16:21:14 -0500 From: kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: The End of the Public Phone Network Message-ID: <kbqb8a$573$1@panix2.panix.com> John David Galt <jdg@diogenes.sacramento.ca.us> wrote: >On 2012-12-27 20:46, Colin wrote: >> The End of the Public Phone Network >> >> More and more businesses and households are trading their traditional >> switched telephone service for voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP, >> services. > >So when is AT&T going to make the change possible for people like me (who >have to pay them for POTS service as a condition of getting broadband)? As soon as they can figure out how to charge you more money for going to VoIP. --scott -- "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
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