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The Telecom Digest for February 6, 2013
Volume 32 : Issue 33 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
Verizon Cell Tower Fire in Las Vegas (Bill Horne)
AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile Ink Deal To Make Smartphones Work Better (Bill Horne)
closer than the satellites that guide your GPS (Bill Horne)
Re: closer than the satellites that guide your GPS (tlvp)
The FCC's Proposal For A Free Nationwide Wireless Network (Monty Solomon)
A new encryption app (Monty Solomon)
Re: The Pentagon And Cyber Defense, Cyber Warnings (Mark Kaminsky)

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

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Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2013 18:08:38 -0500 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Verizon Cell Tower Fire in Las Vegas Message-ID: <20130204230838.GA31987@telecom.csail.mit.edu> A Verizon cell tower fire has been reported in Las Vegas. Welders were working on the tower when the fire started. The fire caused one of the offramps from US 95 to be closed, but there are no reports of injury. Bill Rest at: http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/feb/04/cell-tower-fire-closes-us-95-exit-ramp-jones-boule/ -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly)
Date: Mon, 4 Feb 2013 18:14:29 -0500 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile Ink Deal To Make Smartphones Work Better Message-ID: <20130204231429.GA1824@telecom.csail.mit.edu> By Julie Bort - Business Insider Fri, Feb 1, 2013 3:21 PM EST AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile Signed An Unprecedented Deal To Make Smartphones Work Better Ever been in a crowded place and you can't get service on your phone to make a call? Sometimes there are too many phones on your service provider's network. Smartphones have made the situation worse, because watching videos and chatting on FaceTime hogs the network. Three carriers just signed an unprecedented deal to try and solve that problem. For the first time AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile have agreed to experiment with sharing network space with each other and the federal government. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/t-verizon-t-mobile-signed-202152211.html Bill -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly)
Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2013 19:24:25 -0500 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: closer than the satellites that guide your GPS Message-ID: <20130206002424.GA15126@telecom.csail.mit.edu> Scott Pelle, on the CBS Evening News tv show, just stated that an asteroid will pass about 18,000 miles from earth next week, which he said is "Closer than the satellites that ... guide your GPS". I understand that "news" programs are now expected to make a profit, and that some networks consider them to be entertainment, but this is sad. It's an afront to viewers of the once-proud CBS News, and a sad reminder of how far CBS has fallen from Murrow's and Cronkite's heydeys. Academically, the United States ranks near the bottom on the list of math and science test scores when compared to other nations. I think careless and casual "reports" such as this one contribute to that dismal record. Bill -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my address to write to me directly)
Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2013 01:01:46 -0500 From: tlvp <mPiOsUcB.EtLlLvEp@att.net> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: closer than the satellites that guide your GPS Message-ID: <1i77pvf4c2dmx.1mgg69aqpd88e$.dlg@40tude.net> On Tue, 5 Feb 2013 19:24:25 -0500, Bill Horne wrote: > ... sad reminder of how far CBS has fallen from Murrow's and > Cronkite's heydeys. ... But even Murrow and Cronkite couldn't hold a candle to [the late] I.F. Stone and his beloved Weekly. :-{ Cheers, -- tlvp -- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP.
Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2013 22:52:48 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: The FCC's Proposal For A Free Nationwide Wireless Network Message-ID: <p0624087bcd3783c62ac1@[]> The FCC's Proposal For A Free Nationwide Wireless Network February 5, 2013 The Diane Rehm Show from WAMU and NPR Access to the Internet has grown from just 10 million people in the early '90s to more than 2.5 billion today. But a third of households in the U.S. still don't have high speed internet access because they can't afford it. To address the growing "digital divide," the federal government is proposing the creation of a free, public wireless network nationwide. But the plan faces opposition from telecom companies who say valuable spectrum should be sold at auction and not given away for free. And they warn that unlicensed airwaves could interfere with existing broadcasts. Diane and a panel of experts discuss the pros and cons of free Wi-Fi. Guests Scott Cleland president of Precursor LLC, a research consultancy for Fortune 500 companies, and Chairman of NetCompetition, a pro-competition e-forum supported by broadband companies. Susan Crawford professor of Cardozo Law School, fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and former technology adviser to President Barack Obama. Todd Shields reporter at Bloomberg News. http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2013-02-05/fcc%E2%80%99s-proposal-free-nationwide-wireless-network
Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2013 23:06:38 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: A new encryption app Message-ID: <p0624087fcd3786abd85e@[]> The Threat of Silence Meet the groundbreaking new encryption app set to revolutionize privacy and freak out the feds. By Ryan Gallagher Feb. 4, 2013 Slate Magazine For the past few months, some of the world's leading cryptographers have been keeping a closely guarded secret about a pioneering new invention. Today, they've decided it's time to tell all. Back in October, the startup tech firm Silent Circle ruffled governments' feathers with a "surveillance-proof" smartphone app to allow people to make secure phone calls and send texts easily. Now, the company is pushing things even further-with a groundbreaking encrypted data transfer app that will enable people to send files securely from a smartphone or tablet at the touch of a button. (For now, it's just being released for iPhones and iPads, though Android versions should come soon.) That means photographs, videos, spreadsheets, you name it-sent scrambled from one person to another in a matter of seconds. "This has never been done before," boasts Mike Janke, Silent Circle's CEO. "It's going to revolutionize the ease of privacy and security." True, he's a businessman with a product to sell-but I think he is right. The technology uses a sophisticated peer-to-peer encryption technique that allows users to send encrypted files of up to 60 megabytes through a "Silent Text" app. The sender of the file can set it on a timer so that it will automatically "burn"-deleting it from both devices after a set period of, say, seven minutes. Until now, sending encrypted documents has been frustratingly difficult for anyone who isn't a sophisticated technology user, requiring knowledge of how to use and install various kinds of specialist software. What Silent Circle has done is to remove these hurdles, essentially democratizing encryption. It's a game-changer that will almost certainly make life easier and safer for journalists, dissidents, diplomats, and companies trying to evade state surveillance or corporate espionage. Governments pushing for more snooping powers, however, will not be pleased. ... http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2013/02/silent_circle_s_latest_app_democratizes_encryption_governments_won_t_be.single.html ***** Moderator's Note ***** Mike Janke can say "This has never been done before", but that is incorrect. In the "PC" space, I watched Phil Zimmerman demonstrate a VoIP phone call, which was secured via PGP, back in the 90's: the equipment wasn't as small, but it was being done. Of course, Mr. Janke is a businessman with a product to sell, but let's keep in mind that voice scrambling devices are nothing new: for example, soldiers in Vietnam used KY-28 encryption equipment to make voice communications secure, and that was before microprocessors or even integrated circuits were in use. As far back as World War II, leaders like Roosevelt and Churchil enjoyed digitally-secured radio channels. The question isn't "Is this new?", but rather "Is this robust encryption, without any backdoors?" Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Tue, 05 Feb 2013 21:16:06 -0800 From: Mark Kaminsky <kaminsky@kaminsky.org> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Re: The Pentagon And Cyber Defense, Cyber Warnings Message-ID: <5111E716.60706@kaminsky.org> On Sat, 2 Feb 2013 14:49:43 -0500, Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> wrote: > New alarms about the risk of cyber attack as the Pentagon calls for > more cyber warriors. [snip] > First came Leon Panetta, Secretary of Defense, warning that the > United States in vulnerable to a "cyber Pearl Harbor " - an Internet > attack on infrastructure that could shock and disable the nation. > > Then came Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano, just last week, > saying a "cyber 9.11" could happen "imminently." Then news that the > Pentagon is looking to sharply expand its force of cyber warriors. [snip] > ***** Moderator's Note ***** > > Let's see: > > 1. Sky-is-falling warnings concerning a subject that few > voters are aware of, let alone competent to evaluate. > > 2. The Pentagon wants more and more money to address the > "threat". > > 3. Yawn. > > Bill Horne > Moderator I had to respond to the comments of our esteemed moderator [no smileys - I'm serious about the adjective]. Most of the time, I think your take would be correct. However, this is one field where I think that the Pentagon et al are underestimating the threat. We will never get the data, but from what I hear, there are continual, persistent attacks at the nation's largest banks. It is only a matter of time before we start having national blackouts because someone managed to hack into the power grid; local disasters because someone hacked into the local water company and released all the chlorine at once; and who knows what else. I'm not sure that the Pentagon's solution is adequate, but I think DARPA should certainly be involved in designing a new internetworking protocol which emphasizes security. And, actually, as I think of it, this really is on-topic, because the dunderheads at the phone companies really want to get rid of the PSTN and replace it with VoIP - which is IMHO a disaster in the making. /* Rant on */ Finally, what on earth do the "voters" have to do with the topic? They have conclusively proven themselves incapable of dealing with reality. Too bad we cannot give a national history test with a passing grade required to receive the privilege of voting (not that in a nation where the Daughters of the Confederacy managed to whitewash history all over the country I would have any great confidence in the contents of a national history test - or that the accepted responses had anything to do with reality). /* Rant off */ Mark
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