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The Telecom Digest for October 18, 2013
Volume 32 : Issue 217 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
Food Stamp Debit Cards Failing To Work In 17 States / Walmart, Xerox Point Fingers (Monty Solomon)
Re: On a New Jersey Islet, Twilight of the Landline (John Levine)
Majority of Brits fail to back up their important data (Monty Solomon)
Online Application Woes Make Students Anxious and Put Colleges Behind Schedule (Monty Solomon)
Google Fiber Now Delaying Planned Deployment in Overland Park, Kansas (Neal McLain)
Re: T-Mobile Hands Consumers a Pleasant Shocker (tlvp)
Re: On a New Jersey Islet, Twilight of the Landline (Fred Goldstein)
Re: Canada to propose forcing a la carte programming (Garrett Wollman)

====== 32 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======

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Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2013 23:32:13 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Food Stamp Debit Cards Failing To Work In 17 States / Walmart, Xerox Point Fingers Message-ID: <p06240841ce850a10ef55@[]> Food Stamp Debit Cards Failing To Work In 17 States By The Associated Press 10/12/13 -- People in Ohio, Michigan and 15 other states found themselves temporarily unable to use their food stamp debit-style cards on Saturday, after a routine test of backup systems by vendor Xerox Corp. resulted in a system failure. Xerox announced late in the evening that access has been restored for users in the 17 states affected by the outage, hours after the first problems were reported. ... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/12/food-stamp-debit-cards_n_4090647.html Walmart, Xerox Point Fingers After Food Stamp Card Glitch Leads To Wild Shopping Spree Reuters 10/14/2013 Updated: 10/16/2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/15/walmart-xerox_n_4099207.html
Date: 17 Oct 2013 03:44:49 -0000 From: "John Levine" <johnl@iecc.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: On a New Jersey Islet, Twilight of the Landline Message-ID: <20131017034449.27555.qmail@joyce.lan> >Note: Seems to me I remember a similar article about service on Fire >Island, New York, but my guess is that Fire Island has money where >Mantoloking perhaps does not. Uh, no. As of the 2000 census, Mantoloking was the richest municipality in NJ, per capita income of $114,000. For reasons I don't understand, the NJ regulators are not holding Verizon's feet to the fire as the NY regulators did. It makes no sense not to rewire Mantoloking, which is full of big houses with rich owners who'd likely take high priced bundles to stay in touch with the office on Wall St. R's, John
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2013 23:26:27 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Majority of Brits fail to back up their important data Message-ID: <p0624083fce85090cb243@[]> Majority of Brits fail to back up their important data by CBR Staff Writer Computer Business Review 4 October 2013 Tons of individuals admitted to not storing an additional copy of digital files. The majority of individuals in the UK do not back up their data, leaving themselves vulnerable to loss of important files and digital photographs. A new research commissioned by digital storage firm WD revealed that many of Brits admitted to not storing an additional copy of digital files, with most of them saying they simply are not concerned or were unaware of how it could be done. ... http://www.cbronline.com/news/tech/hardware/storage/majority-of-brits-fail-to-back-up-their-important-data-041013
Date: Wed, 16 Oct 2013 23:19:48 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Online Application Woes Make Students Anxious and Put Colleges Behind Schedule Message-ID: <p0624083dce8507c164ce@[]> Online Application Woes Make Students Anxious and Put Colleges Behind Schedule By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA October 12, 2013 With early admission deadlines looming for hundreds of thousands of students, the new version of the online Common Application shared by more than 500 colleges and universities has been plagued by numerous malfunctions, alarming students and parents and putting admissions offices weeks behind schedule "It's been a nightmare," Jason C. Locke, associate vice provost for enrollment at Cornell University. "I've been a supporter of the Common App, but in this case, they've really fallen down." Colleges around the country have posted notices on their admissions Web sites, warning of potential problems in processing applications. Some Minnesota colleges have created an optional partial application. The Georgia Institute of Technology has one of the earliest fall application deadlines, Oct. 15, but it was not able to start reviewing applications on a large scale until last week and has postponed the deadline for some supporting paperwork until Nov. 1. The problems have sown worry among students like Lily Geiger, a 12th grader at the Rudolf Steiner School in Manhattan, increasing the stress level in an already stressful experience. When she entered her essays into the application, what appeared on her computer screen was a garbled mess. Some words were mashed together; others were split in two by random spaces; there were swaths of blank space where text should have been; paragraph indentations were missing. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/education/online-application-woes-make-students-anxious-and-put-colleges-behind-schedule.html
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2013 12:38:10 -0700 (PDT) From: Neal McLain <nmclain.remove-this@and-this-too.annsgarden.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Google Fiber Now Delaying Planned Deployment in Overland Park, Kansas Message-ID: <dbe25299-8b1c-4944-95a6-f8e0b2f1581b@googlegroups.com> By Todd R. Weiss, eWeek, 2013-10-15 | The town's council delayed action on the plans last month, and | now Google is apparently out of patience. When Google Fiber | service will come to this town is now anybody's guess. | Google Fiber Gigabit Internet and cable television service in | Overland Park, Kan., has now been put on hold indefinitely by | Google, a month after city leaders on Sept. 16 delayed an | imminent contract agreement and raised a last-minute liability | concern with the pending deal. | | At the city's council meeting on Oct. 15, two local attorneys | working with Google told the city's leaders that the company | was now putting a hold on its plans for Google Fiber in the | area and asked the city to approve a continuance for the | existing proposal. No Google Fiber representatives attended | the meeting. | | What that apparently means is that Google plans for Fiber | services in Overland Park are now dead, at least for now. | | This appears to be the first time that a community had delayed | a decision on fiber after their discussions with the company, | and the first time that Google has then put its original plans | on hold just before a decision was scheduled for a final vote. | | Rob Walch, an Overland Park resident who attended both council | meetings, told eWEEK on Oct. 16 that the Google announcement | was a shock to the meeting's assembled crowd of several dozen | people. The meeting opened with city leaders saying that after | review, they were now ready to complete the contract, he said, | but the Google attorneys put a kibosh on those plans by | announcing a request for an indefinite continuation for the | proposal. Continued: http://tinyurl.com/m69k7hj I have encountered similar situations when I was working in cable TV. I recall one Wisconsin village (population about 6000) that sent out an RFP that demanded, among other things, a color TV studio for public access. Even though there were other companies operating in nearby communities, no company submitted a proposal. A few months later -- after the fuss died down -- a small upstart cable operator offered to provide service, but specifically rejected the color studio. Eventually, the village board gave up on the color studio and accepted the offer. Neal McLain
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2013 01:28:16 -0400 From: tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: T-Mobile Hands Consumers a Pleasant Shocker Message-ID: <1mlv2f20iyc28$.f159novjkz89.dlg@40tude.net> On Sun, 13 Oct 2013 23:14:17 -0400, Monty Solomon wrote: > T-Mobile Hands Consumers a Pleasant Shocker > ... > ... on Wednesday, T-Mobile did it again. It announced an even > bigger shocker: Starting next month, it will eliminate the sky-high, > nosebleed, ridiculous, usurious international roaming charges that > have terrified and enraged overseas travelers for years. And do you suppose T-Mo will actually refund those nosebleed charges that it bilked customers for back then, at least if they're still customers now? Cheers, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2013 11:52:06 -0400 From: Fred Goldstein <invalid@see.sig.telecom-digest.org> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: On a New Jersey Islet, Twilight of the Landline Message-ID: <526007A6.4040609@ionary.com> On 10/15/2013 6:25 PM, Joseph Singer wrote: > > MANTOLOKING, N.J. -- Hurricane Sandy devastated this barrier island > community of multimillion-dollar homes, but in Peter Flihan's view, > Verizon Communications has delivered a second blow: the telecommuni- > cations giant did not rebuild the landlines destroyed in the storm, > and traditional telephone service here has now gone the way > of the telegraph. > > "Verizon decides then and there to step on us", said Mr. Flihan, 75, a > retired toy designer and marketer. > > > http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/15/technology/on-a-new-jersey-islet-twilight-of-the-landline.html > > > -or- > > > http://goo.gl/wFlhTK > > > Note: Seems to me I remember a similar article about service on Fire > Island, New York, but my guess is that Fire Island has money where > Mantoloking perhaps does not. > Quite the opposite. Mantoloking is filthy rich, one of the richest towns in New Jersey, which says quite a lot. However, the problem is not quite so severe because Comcast provides telephone service there, and has repaired its network. So residents and businesses can get full-quality PacketCable service form Comcast. Fire Island, on the other hand, does not have a working cable system. Verizon was the only telephone provider, and there was only limited Wireless ISP coverage, if that is still in business. So they had no alterantive, and VoiceLink was far from a sufficient substitute. -- Fred R. Goldstein k1io fred "at" interisle.net Interisle Consulting Group +1 617 795 2701
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2013 04:08:59 +0000 (UTC) From: wollman@bimajority.org (Garrett Wollman) To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: Canada to propose forcing a la carte programming Message-ID: <l3nnsr$2s15$1@grapevine.csail.mit.edu> In article <2fcf3c9f-f793-4be5-9c2e-389da8420226@googlegroups.com>, Neal McLain <nmclain.remove-this@and-this-too.annsgarden.com> wrote: >| "We don't think people should be forced to buy bundled >| television channels when they're not interested in watching >| those channels and those shows," Industry Minister James Moore >| said in an interview with The Canadian Press reported in the >| Edmonton Journal. "We should have a pick-and-pay model when it >| comes to television channels." >It will be fascinating to find out how much ESPN will have to charge as >a retail product. Is ESPN even licensed in Canada? I would caution making too much of this, as the regulatory environment for Canadian cable and satellite channels is totally unlike that in the U.S.; the CRTC regulates them as it does broadcast television channels, deciding which services may or must be carried by distributors, issuing licenses for Canadian channels, making Canadian-content requirements, and generally limiting access by foreign services to Canadian households. Part of the regulatory regime already explicitly considers the ability of Canadian channels to serve a distinct audience and to earn a reasonable return on investment. Depending on what this proposal ends up looking like by the time it gets through Parliament, it might begin to dismantle some of this regulation, or it might simply require distributors to unbundle non-must-carry channels, and modify the channels' licenses to prohibit them from requiring such bundling (assuming that's even legal now, which i'm not sure about). It seems to me unlikely that unbunndling alone will have a significant impact on the economics of cable TV in Canada (or in the U.S. for that matter). Most consumers who have cable or satellite will find it easier and cheaper to buy a bundle than to buy the services a la carte -- unbundling is primarily a sop to people who have a philosophical objection to paying for certain channels. On the margins, it may require (and free) distributors to rearrange their bundles in a way that more closely matches the services households actually want to buy together. (I can imagine, if we had similar legislation in the U.S., that you could see Comcast offering separate "liberal" and "conservative" bundles.) -GAWollman -- Garrett A. Wollman | What intellectual phenomenon can be older, or more oft wollman@bimajority.org| repeated, than the story of a large research program Opinions not shared by| that impaled itself upon a false central assumption my employers. | accepted by all practitioners? - S.J. Gould, 1993
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