32 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
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The Telecom Digest for May 7, 2014
====== 32 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======
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Date: Tue, 06 May 2014 00:27:54 -0700 From: Thad Floryan <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: D-Link DPH-50U Message-ID: <53688EFA.firstname.lastname@example.org> On 5/5/2014 3:51 PM, Bill Horne wrote: > I've been given a D-Link DPH-50U, which appears to be a way to connect a > "500" set to Skype. > > I'd like to know if this is worth having, and what experience readers > have had with "Skype Out" service, which is required to make calls from > the phone connected to the D-Link DPH-50U. > > I'd also like to know if the unit can be used for other services. Hi Bill, Up front, I don't know anything about that D-Link DPH-50U but I thought I could help out due to my knack searching for info. I casually Googled "D-Link DPH-50U manusl" and there are 2 PDF versions of its manual per the following first 2 search hits: V1, 1.7MB, 43 pages: http://www.dlink.com/-/media/Consumer_Products/DPH/DPH%2050U/Manual/DPH50UManualv100UK.pdf V1.1 (much better), 11.8MB, 48 pages: ftp://ftp2.dlink.com/PRODUCTS/DPH-50U/REVA/DPH-50U_MANUAL_1.10_EN.PDF and the following Amazon URL was the 3rd hit from the search: http://www.amazon.com/D-Link-Skype-USB-Phone-Adapter/dp/B000E39V9O where there are 241 reviews with these ratings: 5 star 65 4 star 57 3 star 36 2 star 25 1 star 58 --- 241 reviews with the following comment highlighted in the sidebar: "Worst Product I've ever purchased on here." Note the product has to be plugged into a USB port on a computer that's running 24/7/365 if you desire continuous telephony service. Sorry for the potentially bad news. Thad
Date: Tue, 6 May 2014 07:58:20 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Android-based Pwn Phone is prepared to do evil for your network's own good Message-ID: <email@example.com> Android-based Pwn Phone is prepared to do evil for your network's own good Hands on: Pwnie Express takes Ars through its new Android phone for white hat hackers. by Sean Gallagher May 5 2014 Ars Technica Mobile technology has made it possible for people to do an amazing amount with tablets and smartphones within the workplace-including hacking the living daylights out of the corporate network and other people's devices. Pwnie Express is preparing to release a tool that will do just that. Its Pwn Phone aims to help IT departments and security professionals quickly get a handle on how vulnerable their networks are in an instant. All someone needs to do is walk around the office with a smartphone. Pwnie Express' Kevin Reilly gave Ars a personal walk-through of the latest Pwn Phone, the second generation of the company's mobile penetration testing platform. While the 2012 first-generation Pwn Phone was based on the Nokia N900 and its Maemo 5 Linux-based operating system, the new phone is based on LG Nexus 5 phone hardware. However, it doesn't exactly use Google's vanilla Android. ... http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/05/android-based-pwn-phone-is-prepared-to-do-evil-for-your-networks-own-good/
Date: Tue, 6 May 2014 07:50:50 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Yahoo is the latest company ignoring Web users' requests for privacy Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Yahoo is the latest company ignoring Web users' requests for privacy "Do Not Track" has largely been a failure. by Jon Brodkin May 1 2014 Ars Technica Yahoo yesterday announced that it will stop complying with Do Not Track signals that Web browsers send on behalf of users who wish to not be monitored for advertising purposes. "As of today, web browser Do Not Track settings will no longer be enabled on Yahoo," a company blog said. "As the first major tech company to implement Do Not Track, we've been at the heart of conversations surrounding how to develop the most user-friendly standard. However, we have yet to see a single standard emerge that is effective, easy to use and has been adopted by the broader tech industry." When users click the Do Not Track setting in their browser, an HTTP header is sent to websites to state the user's preference not to be tracked. "While some third parties have committed to honor Do Not Track, many more have not," the project website states. "In February 2012, the major online advertising trade groups pledged at the White House to support Do Not Track by year-end; that promise remains unfulfilled. Efforts to standardize Do Not Track in the World Wide Web Consortium have resulted in deadlock, despite frequent urging by American and European policymakers." ... http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/05/yahoo-is-the-latest-company-ignoring-web-users-requests-for-privacy/
Date: Tue, 6 May 2014 08:53:05 -0700 (PDT) From: Neal McLain <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Rural Call Completion Update: FCC Invites Comments on Waiver Requests, Possible Clarifications Message-ID: <email@example.com> By FHH Law, CommLawBlog, May 6, 2014 As we reported last year, the Commission adopted new rules designed to increase its ability to monitor, and correct, the "frequent and pervasive" problem of failed telephone calls to small towns and rural areas. While those new rules took effect several months ago, it appears that a number of bugs, or possible bugs, still need to be worked out in the reporting system. We know this because a number of requests for waivers have already been filed, and the Commission itself is wondering whether certain categories of call attempts described in Appendix C of the Rural Call Completion Order need to be clarified or modified. Continued: http://www.commlawblog.com/2014/05/articles/cellular/rural-call-completion-update-fcc-invites-comments-on-waiver-requests-possible-clarifications/ -or- http://tinyurl.com/lyhta9b Neal McLain
Date: Mon, 05 May 2014 22:56:56 -0500 From: "news" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: D-Link DPH-50U Message-ID: <o4Z9v.817$tQ6.firstname.lastname@example.org> On 5/5/2014 5:51 PM, Bill Horne wrote: > I've been given a D-Link DPH-50U, which appears to be a way to connect a > "500" set to Skype. > > I'd like to know if this is worth having, and what experience readers > have had with "Skype Out" service, which is required to make calls from > the phone connected to the D-Link DPH-50U. > > I'd also like to know if the unit can be used for other services. > > TIA. > > Bill > I used one for a number of years to tie my old land-line to Skype. I remember you have to watch out for driver updates from Microsoft that would kill the functionality of the box until you could figure out how go back to the older drivers. That was on a Windows 7 system as I recall. As for the land-line port you can plug in any IP phone line (that supports a Ma-Bell style phone) into that and be able to make calls on the IP phone or Skype. I seem to remember having Skype and magicjack hooked into the box and both worked just fine until I pulled the plug on magicjack. I have not had the box hooked up since I killed the land-line and went IP phone and cellular only. Other than the one time I let Microsoft drop the wrong driver update on the box during some automatic Microsoft updates it worked just fine.
Date: Mon, 5 May 2014 22:11:18 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Woman dies after Facebook post from behind the wheel Message-ID: <email@example.com> Woman, 32, dies in head on crash seconds after Facebook post from behind wheel about how she loved Pharrell hit Happy Courtney Sanford was actively using Facebook while driving in the minutes leading to her crash, police said She died only seconds after her final post By RYAN GORMAN 26 April 2014 A 32-year-old North Carolina woman is dead after slamming her car head-on into a truck while posting selfies and a Facebook update about how happy she was while listening to a Pharrell song. ... http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2614151/The-happy-song-makes-HAPPY-32-year-old-woman-dead-Facebook-post-driving-leads-crash.html
Date: Tue, 6 May 2014 07:50:50 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Infecting DVRs with Bitcoin-mining malware even easier than you suspected Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Infecting DVRs with Bitcoin-mining malware even easier than you suspected It took just a day for the Internet-connected device to be under attackers' spell. by Dan Goodin May 5 2014 Ars Technica It took just one day for a low-end, Internet-connected digital video recorder to become infected with malware that surreptitiously mined Bitcoins on behalf of the quick-moving attackers. The feat, documented in a blog post published Monday by researchers at the security-training outfit Sans Institute, was all the more impressive because the DVR contained no interface for downloading software from the Internet. The lack of a Wget, ftp, or kermit application posed little challenge for the attackers. To work around the limitation, the miscreants used a series of Unix commands that effectively uploaded and executed a Wget package and then used it to retrieve the Bitcoin miner from an Internet-connected server. ... http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/05/infecting-dvrs-with-bitcoin-mining-malware-even-easier-you-suspected/
Date: Tue, 06 May 2014 01:11:27 -0700 From: Thad Floryan <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re: OOma vs. Obihai VoIP harware and services Message-ID: <5368992F.email@example.com> On 5/5/2014 2:23 AM, Thad Floryan wrote: > On 5/3/2014 12:38 AM, Randall Webmail wrote: >> From: Thad Floryan <firstname.lastname@example.org> >>> [...] >>> Two months ago in the ba.internet group one person wrote he recently >>> subscribed to Ooma's service and it was a no-brainer and the quality >>> is excellent and service is free with only a monthly cost of $3.91 >>> (in Silicon Valley) for federal and state taxes and E911 service. >> >> How is this preferable to the ~$50 Obihai box, which for a >> one-time payment gives permanent pseudo-POTS service? Since I was just on Amazon examining the D-Link DPH-50U page for Bill, I was curious if Amazon sold the Obihai box(es). They do. See the Amazon URL below and some of my comments. > [...] > I suppose one could compare product data sheets of both companies > to determine which company's products better suits one's needs. I > get the impression Obihai is concentrating on doing business mostly > with companies noting Ooma has also recently entered that arena. > > Obihai's document downloads are here to learn more about their > products and service: > > > http://www.obihai.com/docs-downloads > > and > > http://www.obihai.com/product-primer > > > and I'm getting the impression they are ATA devices requiring a > contract with a VoIP provider such as Callcentric (as mentioned > on Obihai's brochures) but there's something called OBiTALK for > [...] > I also note Obihai is touting Google Voice interoperability but > that Google service is ending May 15 which is just 10 days away. > > Obihai also doesn't appear to have DECT6 capability which is yet > another feature of Ooma especially its new DECT6 wearable device > for instant E911 calls suitable for the elderly, invalids, and > folks who live by themselves. See: > [...] Here's the Amazon page for several Obihai boxes noting there's some excellent information there along with a selector chart to choose the "best" one for one's needs, and it's a much easier and faster read than the individual product documents at the above 2 URLs: http://www.amazon.com/OBi100-Telephone-Adapter-Service-Bridge/dp/B004LO098O Note also there are a lot of reader comments which fare much better than for the D-Link VoIP box Bill asked about: 4.7 out of 5 stars 5 star 1,566 4 star 215 3 star 44 2 star 37 1 star 65 ----- 1,927 customer reviews "Sound quality is good." One thing very clear from the Amazon page is that Obihai does NOT itself appear to provide VoIP services and one must contract for service from Obihai partners such as Anveo, Callcentric, Localphone, VoIP.ms, and more. In other words, the Obihai boxes are featureful ATA devices for which a VoIP provider is needed for telephony service, so one must do the homework to be assured having all the features one needs. In contrast, Ooma has their own datacenter(s) with specialized servers providing for both the basic and Premier service tiers Also contrast the Ooma Telo box with the Obihai box and note the Telo has indicators and touch icons on the sloped front of the box vs. no indicators I can see on the Obihai. Point being: Ooma makes it easy to note Voice Mail is waiting and to connect to it with one touch vs (I'm guessing here) one has to dial a specific number to access the voice mail facility of the provider one is using with the Obihai box. Here's a picture of the internals of the Ooma Telo box: http://ooma.com/sites/default/files/breakdown.jpg 271kB Such differences clearly account for the one-time-only purchase price differences for the basic box from Ooma and Obihai. I'm writing the above from a quick read of the Amazon page; if I've made any erroneous assumptions or errors of fact, please correct me, but I believe I've answered Randall's original question with this and my prior posting in this thread. If any comp.dcom.telecom subscriber is using Obihai, please report back your experience(s). Thank you! Thad
Date: Tue, 6 May 2014 14:34:01 -0400 From: "news" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Re-post: Stopping illegal robocalling Message-ID: <wW9av.email@example.com> Because of the weak response to my previous posting (2 Feb.2014), I'm once again asking the newsgroup readership to help form a grassroots alliance to get illegal robocalling stopped. The method is detailed in my entry to the 2012-2013 FTC Robocalling contest. See http://telecom-digest.org/robocalls.pdf . I'll give a brief overview here. In my opinion it will be fruitless to try to stop these calls by threats, making them illegal, etc. This will work only if the callers can be identified and prosecuted easily. Therefore, my proposal relies on technical means to actually stop most calls from completing. The method is based on caller ID (CID) information delivered with the calls. It requires development of new features to be deployed in the phone network. My proposal works by dividing robocalls into two categories. Category 1 calls are delivered with a valid CID. Here, "valid" means a) the recipient of the call can dial the CID and the call will go to the entity (PBX, etc.) that placed the robocall, and b) the calling entity will have a billing address at which enforcement authorities can find the robocallers if they are pursued because the calls are illegal. Category 2 calls are delivered with a blank or fake (spoofed) CID. It is presumably difficult to get a billing address for such calls. My hypothesis is that most illegal robocalls are in this category. Category 1 calls cannot, in my opinion, be identified as illegal via technical means (remember that some such calls are not illegal). Therefore I favor a method for recipients of calls to report them (via dialing a new "vertical service code" such as *99) into a new database. Searches of the database on various criteria by enforcement authorities should identify the largest-scale culprits fairly easily. Category 2 calls must have their CIDs flagged as improper. This must be done by the first switching entity that qualifies as part of the public switched telephone network (PSTN) that a call origination reaches. This switching entity must be configured with a new feature that identifies any customer-provided CID as valid or spoofed. It must be able to do this because it is the same entity that routes calls TO the customer when that same CID is dialed elsewhere on the PSTN. This switching entity must send the valid/spoofed information in the signaling messaging accompanying every call origination. Signaling standards support support this information in a "screening indicator". Switches that receive calls to be sent to one of their connected phones must also implement a new feature to check the signaling of incoming calls. If the CID was spoofed, the switch simply blocks the call. I propose additionally that the switch itself "answer" the call in order to create a charging record for the caller. Finally, we need to be aware that some telephone companies may inadvertently or willfully violate their public trust and incorrectly label spoofed calls as valid. For this purpose we need yet another feature to label every telco as trusted or not. My proposal to do this is another database that can be resident within the signaling system. Any call received by a trusted telco from an untrusted telco would have its CID screening indicator flagged as untrusted. If the indicator is untrusted, the switch for the terminating phone can take a variety of actions, including call blocking. Many more details are given in the proposal whose link is above. I seek comments on the proposal and on how we can get it to happen. Because the economics do not appear favorable for telcos, at least at first, my thinking is that regulatory action is needed. So far, my contacting the FCC has not been successful. I'm considering contacting my congressman next. Constructive comments on both the technical and "political" aspects of this issue are welcome. [moderator pro tem's note: I discussed this with the poster. It's an interesting concept, and probably would work technically were it implemented and required. The probem is that it requires changing switch software in existing old DMS and 5E switches, and in the SS7 network. That stuff is old, not well supported, and the telcos are just letting them rot in place. So trying to get them to do anything would be extremely difficult. Comments from the rest of the readership are welcome!]
Date: Tue, 06 May 2014 19:06:48 -0700 From: John David Galt <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: Re-post: Stopping illegal robocalling Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> > [moderator pro tem's note: I discussed this with the poster. It's an > interesting concept, and probably would work technically were it > implemented and required. The probem is that it requires changing > switch software in existing old DMS and 5E switches, and in the SS7 > network. That stuff is old, not well supported, and the telcos are > just letting them rot in place. So trying to get them to do anything > would be extremely difficult. Comments from the rest of the readership > are welcome!] I would love it if this idea were implemented. Even if it were optional and only a few telcos did it, subscribing to one of them would mean protection from junk calls (at least if you're willing to aggressively block all calls that arrive with untrusted caller ID, except those from whitelisted individuals). However, I don't expect any incumbent telco to be in favor of it, since their business model demands that all calls go through, including junk. I expect that the market will solve this problem sooner or later. One way would be for more widespread use of VOIP to replace POTS, after which similar filtering could be done by software on the computer receiving the calls. Oddly enough, though, the Federal Government has finally done something that may help. Telemarketers are one of about 20 kinds of politically unfavored businesses which the FDIC is now urging banks to stop serving, as part of a nasty federal operation called "Choke Point". See: http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/financial/2012/fil12003.html
Date: Tue, 6 May 2014 07:50:50 -0400 From: Monty Solomon <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Level 3 claims six ISPs dropping packets every day over money disputes Message-ID: <email@example.com> Level 3 claims six ISPs dropping packets every day over money disputes Network provider doesn't name and shame ISPs guilty of "permanent congestion." by Jon Brodkin May 5 2014 Ars Technica Network operator Level 3, which has asked the FCC to protect it from "arbitrary access charges" that ISPs want in exchange for accepting Internet traffic, today claimed that six consumer broadband providers have allowed a state of "permanent congestion" by refusing to upgrade peering connections for the past year. Level 3 and Cogent, another network operator, have been involved in disputes with ISPs over whether they should pay for the right to send them traffic. ISPs have demanded payment in exchange for accepting streaming video and other data that is passed from the network providers to ISPs and eventually to consumers. When the interconnections aren't upgraded, it can lead to congestion and dropped packets, as we wrote previously regarding a dispute between Cogent and Verizon. In a blog post today, Level 3 VP Mark Taylor wrote: ... http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/05/level-3-claims-six-isps-dropping-packets-every-day-over-money-disputes/ [moderator pro tem's note: Here we are again with companies trying to change the rules of the Internet in order to gain commercial advantage. Peering has always been a free market matter. Pay or find someone else. But the NN crowd wants the FCC to regulate the Internet like the phone system. Be careful what you wish for. - fg]
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