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The Telecom Digest for September 18, 2013
Volume 32 : Issue 196 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
Here we go again: another retrans-consent battle! (Neal McLain)
X.25 links still available? (sampsal)
E-ZPasses Get Read All Over New York (Not Just At Toll Booths)
(Monty Solomon)
Behind Microsoft Deal, the Specter of a Nokia Android Phone (Monty Solomon)
With 30 tuners and 30 TB of storage, SnapStream makes TiVos look like toys (Monty Solomon)
Gov't standards agency "strongly" discourages use of NSA-influenced algorithm (Monty Solomon)
NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans' data with Israel (Monty Solomon)
Verizon, facing protest, won't kill wireline phone in hurricane-damaged area (Monty Solomon)
FBI Admits It Controlled Tor Servers Behind Mass Malware Attack (Monty Solomon)
Re: On Campus, a Faculty Uprising Over Personal Data (John Levine)

====== 32 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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We must fight spam for the same reason we fight crime: not because we are naive enough to believe that we will ever stamp it out, but because we do not want the kind of world that results when no one stands against crime.  - Geoffrey Welsh

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

Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2013 20:14:46 -0700 (PDT) From: Neal McLain <nmclain.remove-this@and-this-too.annsgarden.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Here we go again: another retrans-consent battle! Message-ID: <7b610641-2c15-49f0-80a4-d45b32cd472c@googlegroups.com> | Dish Network nears Media General blackout in 16 markets | By Steve Donohue, FierceCable, September 16, 2013 | | Media General is beginning to warn Dish Network subscribers | that they will lose its 17 TV stations in 16 markets unless | the company agrees to pay increased retransmission-consent | fees by Sept. 30. | | Dish's contract was set to expire on June 30, but the | satellite TV provider and Media General agreed to a 90-day | extension. Media General owns ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC affiliates | in several states, including Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Georgia | and Alabama. | | "Our highly-rated television station is an important asset to | our local community and it is unfortunate that Dish does not | recognize our fair market value," Brad Moses, general manager | of Media General WFLA-TV in Florida, said in a prepared | statement. http://tinyurl.com/m3kvbdk Neal McLain aka texascableguy
Date: Mon, 16 Sep 2013 18:40:41 -0700 (PDT) From: sampsal@gmail.com To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: X.25 links still available? Message-ID: <042f776b-f58c-4fc2-a80d-7d78faefcef9@googlegroups.com> Does anybody know if it is possible to get an X.25 hook up nowadays? Ideally over the D channel of a basic ISDN connection. sampsa
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2013 01:45:16 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: E-ZPasses Get Read All Over New York (Not Just At Toll Booths) Message-ID: <p06240809ce5af9934718@[]> E-ZPasses Get Read All Over New York (Not Just At Toll Booths) Kashmir Hill, Forbes Staff 9/12/2013 After spotting a police car with two huge boxes on its trunk - that turned out to be license-plate-reading cameras - a man in New Jersey became obsessed with the loss of privacy for vehicles on American roads. (He's not the only one.) The man, who goes by the Internet handle "Puking Monkey," did an analysis of the many ways his car could be tracked and stumbled upon something rather interesting: his E-ZPass, which he obtained for the purpose of paying tolls, was being used to track his car in unexpected places, far away from any toll booths. ... http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2013/09/12/e-zpasses-get-read-all-over-new-york-not-just-at-toll-booths/
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2013 01:48:48 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Behind Microsoft Deal, the Specter of a Nokia Android Phone Message-ID: <p0624080ace5afaa28686@[]> Behind Microsoft Deal, the Specter of a Nokia Android Phone By NICK WINGFIELD SEPTEMBER 13, 2013 SEATTLE - Before Microsoft reached a deal to buy Nokia's phone business, there was a possibility that Nokia could have switched its smartphones to Google's Android operating system sometime after late 2014. And now, it is clear that a Nokia Android phone was more than a possibility. It was real. A team within Nokia had Android up and running on the company's Lumia handsets well before Microsoft and Nokia began negotiating Microsoft's $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia's mobile phone and services business, according to two people briefed on the effort who declined to be identified because the project was confidential. Microsoft executives were aware of the existence of the project, these people said. Another person said the idea of Nokia using Android wasn't a part of Microsoft's discussions with the company about an acquisition, even though that was widely recognized as a possibility. On one level, Nokia's Android effort is not shocking. Companies often have "plan Bs" in the works in case they need to change course on strategy or want to help negotiate better terms with partners. Getting Android to run on Nokia's hardware was not a Herculean engineering effort, according to the people familiar with the project. Still, a functioning Nokia Android phone could have served as a powerful prop in Nokia's dealings with Microsoft, a tangible reminder that Nokia could move away from Microsoft's Windows Phone software and use the Android operating system, which powers more than three out of every four smartphones sold globally. ... http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/13/behind-microsoft-deal-the-specter-of-a-nokia-android-phone/
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2013 02:01:38 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: With 30 tuners and 30 TB of storage, SnapStream makes TiVos look like toys Message-ID: <p0624080fce5afd7b3170@[]> With 30 tuners and 30 TB of storage, SnapStream makes TiVos look like toys Houston company's monster DVRs power Colbert, The Daily Show, and other big TV names. by Lee Hutchinson Sept 14 2013 Ars Technica When you're picking out a DVR for your home, there's a pretty short list of candidates-TiVo has its new 6-tuner DVRs, or you can get something from your cable provider, or you can roll your own. But consumer-grade DVRs don't really scale all that well for media companies that need to record and process lots of TV. When you've got 30 or more channels that you need to be recording simultaneously, your cable company's DVR isn't really up to snuff anymore and it's time to call in the big guns. Houston-based SnapStream makes a line of DVRs that scale to truly silly sizes-its products are the monster trucks of the DVR world. If you watch TV at all, you've almost certainly already seen what SnapStream can do-popular shows like The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, The Soup, and tons of others are customers, using 30+ channel DVRs to record dozens and dozens of TV shows simultaneously in order to integrate clips from those recorded shows into their own. But SnapStream's boxes do a lot more than simply record TV-they're actually a home theater PC geek's dream. Because Snapstream works so closely with media production companies, its DVRs sport functionality that no consumer set could possibly get away with having. For example, a SnapStream cluster is just as good at repackaging, transcoding, and distributing content for re-use as it is for recording it in the first place-functionality you won't find on a consumer-grade DVR. The system also gives users the most amazing TV guide access we've ever laid eyes on, wrapped in a simple and almost ludicrously fast GUI. ... http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/09/with-30-tuners-and-30-tb-of-storage-snapstream-make-tivos-look-like-toys/
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2013 01:57:35 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Gov't standards agency "strongly" discourages use of NSA-influenced algorithm Message-ID: <p0624080dce5afc71f321@[]> Gov't standards agency "strongly" discourages use of NSA-influenced algorithm NIST: "we are not deliberately... working to undermine or weaken encryption." by Jeff Larson and Justin Elliott, ProPublica.org Sept 13 2013 Ars Technica Following revelations about the National Security Agency's (NSA) covert influence on computer security standards, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, announced earlier this week it is revisiting some of its encryption standards. But in a little-noticed footnote, NIST went a step further, saying it is "strongly" recommending against even using one of the standards. The institute sets standards for everything from the time to weights to computer security that are used by the government and widely adopted by industry. As ProPublica, The New York Times, and The Guardian reported last week, documents provided by Edward Snowden suggest that the NSA has heavily influenced the standard, which has been used around the world. In its statement Tuesday, the NIST acknowledged that the NSA participates in creating cryptography standards "because of its recognized expertise" and because the NIST is required by law to consult with the spy agency. "We are not deliberately, knowingly, working to undermine or weaken encryption," NIST chief Patrick Gallagher said at a public conference Tuesday. Various versions of Microsoft Windows, including those used in tablets and smartphones, contain implementations of the standard, though the NSA-influenced portion isn't enabled by default. Developers creating applications for the platform must choose to enable it. ... http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/09/government-standards-agency-strongly-suggests-dropping-its-own-encryption-standard/
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2013 02:05:05 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans' data with Israel Message-ID: <p06240810ce5afe1655b0@[]> NSA shares raw intelligence including Americans' data with Israel Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Ewen MacAskill The Guardian 11 September 2013 The National Security Agency routinely shares raw intelligence data with Israel without first sifting it to remove information about US citizens, a top-secret document provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals. Details of the intelligence-sharing agreement are laid out in a memorandum of understanding between the NSA and its Israeli counterpart that shows the US government handed over intercepted communications likely to contain phone calls and emails of American citizens. The agreement places no legally binding limits on the use of the data by the Israelis. The disclosure that the NSA agreed to provide raw intelligence data to a foreign country contrasts with assurances from the Obama administration that there are rigorous safeguards to protect the privacy of US citizens caught in the dragnet. The intelligence community calls this process "minimization", but the memorandum makes clear that the information shared with the Israelis would be in its pre-minimized state. The deal was reached in principle in March 2009, according to the undated memorandum, which lays out the ground rules for the intelligence sharing. ... http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/11/nsa-americans-personal-data-israel-documents http://www.theguardian.com/world/interactive/2013/sep/11/nsa-israel-intelligence-memorandum-understanding-document
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2013 02:08:15 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Verizon, facing protest, won't kill wireline phone in hurricane-damaged area Message-ID: <p06240811ce5afefa8b11@[]> Verizon, facing protest, won't kill wireline phone in hurricane-damaged area Instead of wireless-only voice service, Verizon will bring FiOS to Fire Island. by Jon Brodkin Sept 11 2013 Ars Technica After the communications infrastructure of Fire Island was wiped out by Hurricane Sandy, Verizon decided it didn't want to rebuild severely damaged wireline phone networks. Instead, residents would have to settle for a new wireless product called Voice Link. The plan faced massive outcry from residents, advocacy groups and government officials. There wasn't anything wrong with providing Voice Link as an option, but Verizon's plan to make wireless the only choice on the western part of the island, where the damage was worst, was a shock. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accused Verizon of trying to "depart from a century of telephone service regulation" by going wireless-only. Residents called the wireless service substandard, and Schneiderman said it would deprive customers of the ability to use wireline-dependent services such as fax machines, alarm systems, medical alert devices, and DSL. Battery life was also a concern, especially during blackouts. Verizon has now backtracked. Rather than continue seeking permission from the New York Public Service Commission to discontinue wireline phone service in western Fire Island, the company will bring fiber to the 2,700 customers living there. ... http://arstechnica.com/business/2013/09/verizon-facing-protest-wont-kill-wireline-phone-in-hurricane-damaged-area/
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2013 01:54:43 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: FBI Admits It Controlled Tor Servers Behind Mass Malware Attack Message-ID: <p0624080cce5afbfbd76f@[]> FBI Admits It Controlled Tor Servers Behind Mass Malware Attack BY KEVIN POULSEN 09.13.13 It wasn't ever seriously in doubt, but the FBI yesterday acknowledged that it secretly took control of Freedom Hosting last July, days before the servers of the largest provider of ultra-anonymous hosting were found to be serving custom malware designed to identify visitors. Freedom Hosting's operator, Eric Eoin Marques, had rented the servers from an unnamed commercial hosting provider in France, and paid for them from a bank account in Las Vegas. It's not clear how the FBI took over the servers in late July, but the bureau was temporarily thwarted when Marques somehow regained access and changed the passwords, briefly locking out the FBI until it gained back control. The new details emerged in local press reports from a Thursday bail hearing in Dublin, Ireland, where Marques, 28, is fighting extradition to America on charges that Freedom Hosting facilitated child pornography on a massive scale. He was denied bail today for the second time since his arrest in July. Freedom Hosting was a provider of turnkey "Tor hidden service" sites - special sites, with addresses ending in .onion, that hide their geographic location behind layers of routing, and can be reached only over the Tor anonymity network. Tor hidden services are used by sites that need to evade surveillance or protect users' privacy to an extraordinary degree - including human rights groups and journalists. But they also appeal to serious criminal elements, child-pornography traders among them. On August 4, all the sites hosted by Freedom Hosting - some with no connection to child porn - began serving an error message with hidden code embedded in the page. Security researchers dissected the code and found it exploited a security hole in Firefox to identify users of the Tor Browser Bundle, reporting back to a mysterious server in Northern Virginia. The FBI was the obvious suspect, but declined to comment on the incident. The FBI also didn't respond to inquiries from WIRED today. ... http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/09/freedom-hosting-fbi/
Date: 15 Sep 2013 14:54:08 -0000 From: "John Levine" <johnl@iecc.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: On Campus, a Faculty Uprising Over Personal Data Message-ID: <20130915145408.2652.qmail@joyce.lan> >biometric tests and submit to an extensive online health risk >questionnaire that asks, among other questions, whether they have >recently had problems with a co-worker, a supervisor or a divorce. If >they don't fill out the form, $100 a month will be deducted from >their pay for noncompliance. I wonder if it occurred to them that people will just lie. At least the sensible ones will. >I don't know if our health insurance costs as much as an F-15, but the >trend seems clear. Way, way, more.
TELECOM Digest is an electronic journal devoted mostly to telecom- munications topics. It is circulated anywhere there is email, in addition to Usenet, where it appears as the moderated newsgroup 'comp.dcom.telecom'. TELECOM Digest is a not-for-profit, mostly non-commercial educational service offered to the Internet by Bill Horne. All the contents of the Digest are compilation-copyrighted. You may reprint articles in some other media on an occasional basis, but please attribute my work and that of the original author. The Telecom Digest is moderated by Bill Horne.
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