37 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
Copyright © 2018 E. William Horne. All Rights Reserved.

The Telecom Digest for Sun, 16 Dec 2018
Volume 37 : Issue 286 : "text" format

Table of contents
Verizon plans to cut 10 percent of Oath staffBill Horne
Verizon cuts 10,000 jobs and admits its Yahoo/AOL division is a failureBill Horne
How smartphones are changing our brains and livesHAncock4
Submissions for CRTC Prize for Excellence in Policy ResearchNigel Allen
Verizon's moment of clarityBill Horne
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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Message-ID: <20181215161425.GA20902@telecom.csail.mit.edu> Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2018 11:14:25 -0500 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> Subject: Verizon plans to cut 10 percent of Oath staff The cuts come in the wake of Verizon's decision to slash the value of the Oath properties, which include AOL and Yahoo, by $4.5 billion. By Dylan Byers Verizon chief Hans Vestberg has set in motion a plan to start cutting more than 1,000 jobs at the company's Oath media business in the first quarter of 2019, sources with knowledge of the company's plans tell NBC News. Roughly 10 percent of Oath's 11,500 workforce will be cut, according to one person who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. Team leaders across the Oath properties, which also include HuffPost, have been asked to submit the names of employees who will be offered buyouts. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/verizon-plans-cut-10-percent-oath-staff-n948001 -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly) ------------------------------ Message-ID: <20181215161807.GA20925@telecom.csail.mit.edu> Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2018 11:18:07 -0500 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> Subject: Verizon cuts 10,000 jobs and admits its Yahoo/AOL division is a failure Verizon's Oath division failing in ad market, and it could get even worse. By Jon Brodkin Verizon is parting ways with 10,400 employees in "a voluntary separation program," despite the Trump administration providing a tax cut and various deregulatory changes that were supposed to increase investment in jobs and broadband networks. The cuts represent nearly seven percent of Verizon's workforce and were announced along with a $4.6 billion charge related to struggles in Verizon's Yahoo/AOL business division. Verizon described the voluntary buyouts as well as ongoing Yahoo/AOL failures in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Tuesday. The buyouts affect "US-based management employees" in multiple business segments, not just Yahoo and AOL. https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/12/verizon-cuts-10000-jobs-and-admits-its-yahooaol-division-is-a-failure/ -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly) ------------------------------ Message-ID: <adff7b35-ad06-4520-ae98-e8f18e9e2ede@googlegroups.com> Date: 15 Dec 2018 13:00:25 -0800 From: HAncock4 <withheld@invalid.telecom-digest.org> Subject: How smartphones are changing our brains and lives NBC News reported: In the U.S., at least three of every four people now own a smart- phone. And one estimate suggests that Americans touch their mobile devices more than 2,600 times a day on average. But what do all those pings and buzzes, scrolls and swipes actually add up to? Is it worrisome - or not so much? "I think we know enough now to be deeply concerned about how these very, very powerful and seductive devices are influencing pretty much every aspect of our life," said Nicholas Carr, a technology and culture author. full article at: https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/surprising-ways-smartphones-affect-our-brains-our-lives-ncna947566 ------------------------------ Message-ID: <ff05ae60-b85a-4869-b1f0-f968f30b932c@googlegroups.com> Date: 11 Dec 2018 19:53:29 -0800 From: "nigeldavidallen@gmail.com" <nigeldavidallen@gmail.com> Subject: Submissions for CRTC Prize for Excellence in Policy Research The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is co-sponsoring the CRTC Prize for Excellence in Policy Research with the Canadian Communication Association (CCA). The Prize was launched in 2015 to encourage a new generation of academics to contribute to Canada's public policy development through research on emerging issues in information and communication studies. More details (and links to previous years' winners) are at https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/acrtc/acrtc3.htm The prize is only open to Students enrolled in a graduate program at a Canadian university Canadian students (including permanent residents and landed immigrants) enrolled in a graduate program at a university in another country Canadian post-doctoral researchers (including permanent residents and landed immigrants) affiliated with a Canadian university Nigel Allen Toronto, Ontario, Canada no affiliation with the CRTC or Canadian Communication Association ------------------------------ Message-ID: <20181215210754.GA21520@telecom.csail.mit.edu> Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2018 16:07:54 -0500 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> Subject: Verizon's moment of clarity Verizon has finally figured out that it way overpaid for Yahoo and AOL, perhaps after going back and reading all the contemporaneous media analysis and armchair tweets. Details: The company, now led by a CEO who prioritizes media like Bill Belichick prioritizes fashion, yesterday wrote down the value of its entire Oath unit by $4.6 billion. For context, Oath basically consists of Yahoo ($4.8 billion purchase last year) and AOL ($4.4 billion in 2015). https://www.axios.com/verizon-writedown-oath-yahoo-aol--41b3e851-a3b2-495a-b323-9d23f70ffdb0.html --- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly) ***** Moderator's Note ***** Alcoholics have moments of clarity: that precious instant when they realize that the only person who can help them is walking in their shoes. Some - too few, sad to say - take that insight to heart and use it to guide them on a better path. Verizon is incapable of seeing the current media and online world with clarity: it and the other Baby Bells are the offspring of a company I will call "Ma Bell:" they were ordered into protective custody not by a judge, but by the managers of mutual funds that had, at long last, accummulated enough of Ma Bell's stock to demand that the old whore agree to the Consent Decree that divided her twisted and co-dependent family into the foster-children that were renamed NYNEX, Bell Atlantic, QWest, etc. The breakup of Ma Bell's empire was met with widespread optimism and rosy predictions of the benefits the new companies would bring to the masses. As with many other forecasts of a Disneyesque happy ending to a long-standing problem, this one soon colided with the castle of business reality: the managers of those mutual funds did not care about universal service or reliability or helping senior citizens to afford a basic black telephone. They cared about the exorbitant long-distance rates their other business holdings were paying - rates dictated by a Congress willing to sentence American business to doing business with paper and postage stamps, while Europe, Asia, and the developing world installed Gigabit Fiber-Optic networks, ubiquitous cellular infrastructure, and even satellite-based Internet. Our international competitors even backed widespread use of a proven, reliable, low cost data technology which Ma Bell had avoided like the plague: ISDN. France's Minitel network was just one example of technologies and capabilities that U.S. citizens would wait years to even sample. Germany's "dial-up" Internet made ISDN data connections available in almost every household - except that the "dial-up" rates started at 56 Kpbs and went up to 128 Kbps, while U.S. users were making do with analog modems. Those who held the top offices in the new ILECs were either savvy enough to get busy merging and expanding, or they were quickly outmanuevered and outside. The rest, in retrospect, was inevitable: I remember one top official in NYNEX who wound up riding the elevators for weeks, telling total strangers that he had to decide if he would take only five million in separation, or stay for another month and get more. Once he was finally escorted out the door, the company newsletter published a fawning story about his new multi-million dollar condo at the former Charlestown Navy Yard, where he would have a great view of Old Ironsides: like NYNEX, an ancient relic maintained for political reasons even though it wouldn't survive ten seconds in a modern battle. Alcoholics may have moments of clarity, but not former monopolies. The few who survived the initial purges were old-line apparatchiks who thought that wearing a power tie and walking around with a folder under their arm was the best way to prove themselves leaders, but they were used to standing in a river of gold that ran from their customers to their suppliers, and to dipping out as much as they chose anytime they wanted. To their monopolist minds, everything would remain as it was and all they had to do was to keep paying a dividend and never, never, ever admit a mistake. They were as addicted to the memory of Ma Bell as any alcoholic is to Ethanol, and they had the added disadvantage, for a while, of thinking that they were right. When their competitors started to make inroads into their core businesses, they panicked. We all saw the disastrous flailings which marked NYNEX's growth pains: the newly born baby bell tried to enter the retail world, and I knew the manager of a NYNEX store which had been located in Boston's red light district, who told me that he had to count the prostitutes who stopped in to get out of the rain in order to please the bean counters at corporate HQ who had rented his store sight unseen. The company bourght in well-regarded professionals to modernize the IT department that I worked in at the time: I attended an "all hands" meeting in Boston, and asked the new VP of DP what skills I should learn to best fit into his vision of the company's future, and he answered confidently "Case Tools and C." It turned out that he had made a deal with Fran Tarkenton's "Knowledgeware" company to buy a set of new-age magic bullets that were advertised as being able to convert decades worth of COBOL and PL/I and Assembler into the then- fashionable notion that the most effective strategy was to use a language that had been listed the most in résumés, and I worked with some of the "C" contractors who had to find out the hard way that IBM's "C" compiler depended on code typed on character based terminals which didn't even have keys for some of the most often used characters in C. I was friends with one of the programmers who had been shifted to the group that was working with the new-age super-special magicware which would solve all our IT problems. He described Knowledgeware as being like "A brand-new Cadillac with gold trim, gold bumpers, a gold motor, and gold seats - except without a steering wheel. But don't worry, they say; when we finish making the steering wheel, that will be gold too!" Fran left behind a lot of disilusioned programmers and several million dollars worth of magicware that hadn't made any magic happen. NYNEX then invested in a new substitute billing system from another Baby Bell which turned out to be more promising than performing, and after running up more million-dollar deficits, both the Case Tools and the VP of DP were gone and forgotten within a year or two. The problem isn't that Verizon is incapable of performing well, just that it's incapable of changing. That's not a fatal flaw in and of itself - military bases are models of efficiency, but haven't changed in any meaningful way for hundreds of years - but in today's online media world, changes occur at the speed of light, and Verizon is, as a company, just not that bright. Bill Horne Moderator ------------------------------ ********************************************* End of telecom Digest Sun, 16 Dec 2018

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