31 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981

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The Telecom Digest for January 25, 2013
Volume 32 : Issue 22 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
Re: "Rachel" in the funny papers (Robert Bonomi)
Re: "Rachel" in the funny papers (John David Galt)
Re: "Rachel" in the funny papers (Robert Bonomi)
Re: "Rachel" in the funny papers (Scott Dorsey)
Re: "Rachel" in the funny papers (John Levine)
SIRI RISING: The Inside Story Of Siri's Origins -- And Why She Could Overshadow The iPhone (Monty Solomon)
Exposure of files on unsecured wireless no excuse to search, judge rules (Monty Solomon)
Verizon kicks off two shared data plans for businesses (Monty Solomon)

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

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Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 02:07:31 -0600 From: bonomi@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: "Rachel" in the funny papers Message-ID: <jq-dnSe3-Khedp3MnZ2dnUVZ_oSdnZ2d@posted.nuvoxcommunications> In article <20130123230902.GB14124@telecom.csail.mit.edu>, Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> wrote: > >There are several reasons that Rachel and friends might ignore the >DNC: > >1. They may not be able to check it: I don't know anything about the > software Rachel runs on, but I think it robo-dials at random, and > it may be coded to do only that. > >2. The DNC, from what I've heard, was successful beyond anyone's > expectations, and was therefore an unexpected barrier to Rachel's > developers. They may have decided to ignore the DNC as a matter of > expedience just to get their software "out the door". "Beyond anyone's expectations" is an understatement. As of 10/1/2012, the DNC list has over 217.5 million -active- numbers in it. That's roughly 10% of all the possible numbers in all the currently-in-use areacodes in the U.S. Given that -active- cell phones are about 18% of that numberspace, 30% for 'assigned to cell providers' seems reasonable. Using a WAG of 30% for business numbers, and 20% for 'not in use'/dis- connected numbers -- it begins to look like fully half of all residential lines may be on the DNC list. If the ratio of 'sales' to calls is marginal in the first place, cutting the number of calls in half could kill what profitability there is in the scheme. Trivia: the DNC list size is almost twice the number of households in the country. >3. I suspect that DNC entries are made by a single "techie" family > member in most homes, and other family members might be unaware > they even have the protection, so Rachel might have decided to go > after them just to up her averages. > >As things stand now, there is no effective way to prevent Rachel from >violating the DNC, since enforcement depends on civil, not criminal, >action by the FTC or the persons who are being called. Correction: there is =presently= "no effective way" -- a simple legal change -- making any telco that handled the call liable for the 'statutory damages' in 47 USC 227, -unless- they can provide a legal record of how the call entered that telco's network, and from whom that connection came. With -that- in place, the recipient of the call sues their local phone co., who can avoid judgment only by 'proving' that the call came from a particular 3rd party. that 3rd party is either the party who originated the call (if it originated within the telco) or the 'upstream' telco that handed the call off to them, including the trunk circuit ID, timestamp, etc., sufficient for that 'upstream' telco to identify the call in their records. (Telcos have all that info already -- it's used in calculating and verifying inter-carrier "settlements". If the telco comes up with that 3rd party, one then amends the suit to substitute that 3rd party for the currently-named defendant. (and, if not, one collects from the telco :) If that party is a telco, it is "lather, rinse, repeat", until one reaches the actual call origin. For the actual originator, it's 'the death of a thousand cuts' -- all those small-claims suits. AND with submitted copies of a bunch of those judgments, it's really easy for the Feds to go after them for the 'big ticket' violations. Actually, -one- small-claims suit, properly done, can be sufficient -- subpoena the call-records for all outgoing marketing calls defendant made that day, and the 'permission' to make robocalls to that number. Then, somehow, that falls into the Feds' hands. "So sorry, Rachel. NOT!"
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2013 21:06:34 -0800 From: John David Galt <jdg@diogenes.sacramento.ca.us> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: "Rachel" in the funny papers Message-ID: <kdqfgu$dab$1@blue-new.rahul.net> On 2013-01-22 06:28, Bill Horne wrote: > The only remedy I know of for violations of the do-not-call list is to > sue the violator, and (as Rachel has discovered), very few victims are > willing to spend thousands of dollars in legal costs to recover > hundreds in damages. As with tobacco, the perpetrators are too > powerful for anything but a government to stop them. The only remedy I can believe in for this situation is phone service providers that are willing to block repeat offenders, or to give the end user enough tech information and access that he can do so himself. There probably will never be enough competition among traditional telcos to make it worthwhile for one of them to protect its customers (if the regulators will even permit it). But VoIP is very likely to be a different story, which is why I hope it replaces POTS completely, the sooner the better!
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2013 23:12:00 -0600 From: bonomi@host122.r-bonomi.com (Robert Bonomi) To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: "Rachel" in the funny papers Message-ID: <G5OdnShPcJg9X53MnZ2dnUVZ_rydnZ2d@posted.nuvoxcommunications> In article <slrnkg0nkj.2nl.jhaynes@Frances.localdomain>, Jim Haynes <jhaynes@cavern.uark.edu> wrote: >In any case it's hard to fathom the stupidity of the company in wasting its >efforts calling people who don't want to be called. Surely the success rate >of such calls approaches zero. Seems like their success rate would >improve dramatically if they obeyed the do-not-call list. Albeit what >they are selling is a scam. There's a -simple- reason the 'Card Services' scammers don't use the do-not- call list -- it costs money. Over $17,000/year, if calling all areas of the U.S. That amount of money would pay for something like half-a-million to a million phone calls at wholesale 'per-minute' rates.
Date: 24 Jan 2013 10:46:02 -0500 From: kludge@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: "Rachel" in the funny papers Message-ID: <kdrkvq$skm$1@panix2.panix.com> danny burstein <dannyb@panix.com> wrote: >In <20130123230902.GB14124@telecom.csail.mit.edu> Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> writes: > >>As things stand now, there is no effective way to prevent Rachel from >>violating the DNC, since enforcement depends on civil, not criminal, >>action by the FTC or the persons who are being called. > >I call bull***t. If the Feds actually cared about this there >are huge numbers of laws that "Rachel" is breaking, way above >and beyond the Do Not Call list. This is true. But there isn't just one Rachel. A few have been arrested, a few more will be arrested. But it's like playing wack-a-mole. For every one you arrest, a dozen more will spring up. And, thanks to VoIP making long distance service very cheap, many of them will spring up offshore. >Wire fraud, lying to law enforcement, money laundering, and >a dozen others before breakfast. > >Martha Stewart went to jail for a lot less. Yes, but there was only one of her. --scott -- "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 04:56:45 +0000 (UTC) From: John Levine <johnl@iecc.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: "Rachel" in the funny papers Message-ID: <kdqeud$2mif$1@leila.iecc.com> >Agreed. First, the Feds could (and should) order regulations to stop >callers from entering the network with inadequate or erroneous >identification; so that Caller ID and Call Trace would work properly >to identify them. > >Secondly, the Feds should start acting on reports of abuse. > >Third, in the cases where the illegal activity originates overseas, >there still is some way payment from this country gets to the crooks >elsewhere. The Feds should investigate and control those weakspots in >international payments. The FTC does all this stuff, you know. But tracking these clowns down and stopping them is hard, particularly when they're outside the US. Sending fake caller ID is already illegal, but the problem is that SS#7 was designed in the era when only real phone companies could attach to the network, and so it's technically hard to keep random VoIP servers from sending fake info. Yes, this is stupid, but it's the way it works. -- Regards, John Levine, johnl@iecc.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies", Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. http://jl.ly
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 10:38:48 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: SIRI RISING: The Inside Story Of Siri's Origins -- And Why She Could Overshadow The iPhone Message-ID: <p062408eecd270563a2bb@[]> SIRI RISING: The Inside Story Of Siri's Origins -- And Why She Could Overshadow The iPhone Bianca Bosker Posted: 01/22/2013 The world got its first inkling of the quick wit that would make Apple's Siri an icon during a packed press conference held before an auditorium of tech elite. "Who are you?" an Apple executive asked the assistant. "I am a humble personal assistant," Siri answered to appreciative laughter. More like humbled personal assistant. That press conference was actually Siri's second coming-out party. When the virtual assistant first launched in early 2010, it was a standalone iPhone app called Siri created by a 24-person startup with the same name, a company Apple would later acquire. Back then, Siri boasted an even more irreverent tone -- and a more robust set of skills. Like fiction writers dreaming up a character, Dag Kittlaus, Siri's co-founder and chief executive, and Harry Saddler, a design expert, had carefully crafted the assistant's attitude and backstory. It was to be "otherworldly," "vaguely aware of popular culture" and armed with a "dry wit," Kittlaus says. Ask it about gyms, and Siri sent back a mocking, "Yeah, your grip feels weak." Ask, "What happened to HAL?" -- the brainy (and murderous) talking computer that starred in Stanley Kubrick's 1968 thriller "2001: A Space Odyssey" -- and it delivered a sullen, "I don't want to talk about it." In those days, Siri still had "fuck" in its lexicon. That was before Apple washed Siri's mouth out with soap and curbed many of its talents, even as it endowed the assistant with new gifts. The Siri that Apple introduced in October 2011, 16 months after acquiring the technology for a reported $150 to $250 million, had expanded its linguistic range from one to multiple languages. It was scaled to serve millions of people and programmed to operate internationally. It had acquired a voice with which to speak its answers, where before it had offered only written responses. And it was deeply integrated into the iPhone, so that it could tap into about a dozen of Apple's own tools to handle simple tasks like scheduling a meeting, replying to emails or checking the weather. As impressive as those talents were, most failed to realize that Apple's version of Siri lacked many of the features once built into the program. This, after all, was no ordinary iPhone app, but the progeny of the largest artificial intelligence project in U.S. history: a Defense Department-funded undertaking that sought to build a virtual assistant that could reason and learn. At its original debut, in 2010, Siri had been able to connect with 42 different web services -- from Yelp and StubHub to Rotten Tomatoes and Wolfram Alpha -- then return a single answer that integrated the best details culled from those diverse sources. It had been able to buy tickets, reserve a table and summon a taxi, all without a user having to open another app, register for a separate service or place a call. It was already on the verge of "intuiting" a user's pet peeves and preferences to the point that it would have been able to seamlessly match its suggestions to his or her personality. ... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/22/siri-do-engine-apple-iphone_n_2499165.html
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 10:42:07 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Exposure of files on unsecured wireless no excuse to search, judge rules Message-ID: <p062408efcd27064bd918@[]> Exposure of files on unsecured wireless no excuse to search, judge rules Warrantless search of file violated defendant's Fourth Amendment right, federal judge says in child porn case By Jaikumar Vijayan January 23, 2013 Computerworld - An individual who inadvertently exposes the contents of his computer over an unsecured wireless network still has a reasonable expectation of privacy against a search of those contents by the police, a federal judge in Oregon ruled last week. The ruling involves John Henry Ahrndt, a previously convicted sex offender who was sentenced to 120 months in prison for possession of child pornography on his computer. Ahrndt had argued that some of the evidence that was used against him in court had been gathered illegally. He had filed an appeal asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon in Portland to suppress the evidence on the grounds that his Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search had been violated. Oregon District Court Judge Garr King initially denied Ahrndt's motion to suppress but picked up the case again last year after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed King's first ruling. In a 34-page ruling last week, King granted Ahrndt's renewed motion to suppress the evidence gathered by police from his hard drive and also ordered his subsequent testimony to them to be suppressed as well. Ahrndt's case goes back to 2007 when one of his neighbors, a woman referred to only as "JH" in court documents, connected to the Internet using her own wireless network. When JH's network temporarily malfunctioned, her computer automatically connected to Ahrndt's unsecured wireless network. When JH subsequently opened her iTunes software to listen to music, she noticed that another user library called "Dads LimeWire Tunes" from Ahrndt's computer, was also available for sharing, court documents said. When JH clicked on the folder, she immediately noticed that it contained a lot of files with names suggesting explicit child pornography. She informed the county sheriff's department, which sent a deputy to take a look at her discovery. ... http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9236036/Exposure_of_files_on_unsecured_wireless_no_excuse_to_search_judge_rules
Date: Thu, 24 Jan 2013 10:46:13 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Verizon kicks off two shared data plans for businesses Message-ID: <p062408f1cd270795265e@[]> Verizon kicks off two shared data plans for businesses http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9236071/Verizon_kicks_off_two_shared_data_plans_for_businesses Managing Wireless Data Just Became Easier for Businesses http://news.verizonwireless.com/news/2013/01/business-share-everything-plans.html
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