From: (unknown)
Subject: [telecom] TELECOM Digest V22 #133
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 17:10:45 -0500 (EST)

TELECOM Digest     Tue, 19 Nov 2002 17:10:00 EST    Volume 22 : Issue 133

Inside This Issue:                             Editor: Patrick A. Townson

    Re: ATT GSM Network Questions (John Doe)
    Re: ATT GSM Network Questions (Reed Blake)
    what Do Auth Centers Do? was Re: Debit vs. Credit cards (Danny Burstein)
    Re: Debit vs. Credit Cards, was Re: Retailers' Suit  (Steven J. Sobol)
    Credit and Debit Cards (Paul Gloger)
    Credit Cards Seek New Fees on Web's Demimonde (Monty Solomon)
    Secret U.S. Court OKs Electronic Spying (Monty Solomon)
    Tech Companies Ask For Unfiltered Net (Monty Solomon)
    Court OKs Faxed Warrants (Monty Solomon)
    Nextel Juices up BlackBerry Device (Monty Solomon)
    Linksys Router Vulnerability (Monty Solomon)
    Re: Charter Cable Leak: Reporting it (Dave Phelps)
    Re: Charter Cable Leak: Reporting it (j debert)
    Re: SS7 Over E1 (Albo)
    Re: Problems With Siemens Gigaset 2420 (SELLCOM Tech support)
    Re: Genuity Posts $1.2 Billion Loss in Third Quarter (Dave Phelps)

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From: John Doe <> Subject: Re: ATT GSM Network Questions Organization: Prodigy Internet Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 00:02:07 GMT I have the $99/unlimited plan and love it. However I knew that switching to their GSM network the coverage would be less than their TDMA. So yes, its not quite as good as their old network, but how can you beat the plan? I'm quite a heavy users too in the Bay area, and its worked quite well for me so far. biovert <> wrote in message > I'm sure I'm not the only one out here wondering if anyone is using > this system. They are marketing the hell out of m-mode and I've gotten > mixed reviews from users in California and in New York - some saying > the network works real well when you're on it; others claiming it's > been spotty. I'm a heavy phone user and am tempted by this $99/month > unlimited minutes plan. Any opinions?
From: Reed Blake <> Subject: Re: ATT GSM Network Questions Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 19:47:59 -0600 Organization: Global Network Services - Remote Access Mail & News Services biovert wrote in message ... > I'm sure I'm not the only one out here wondering if anyone is using > this system. They are marketing the hell out of m-mode and I've gotten > mixed reviews from users in California and in New York - some saying > the network works real well when you're on it; others claiming it's > been spotty. I'm a heavy phone user and am tempted by this $99/month > unlimited minutes plan. Any opinions? I'm sure you'll get some opinions at alt.cellular.attws. Reed Blake Beta Technology Industrial and Scientific Computing
From: danny burstein <> Subject: What Do Auth Centers Do? was Re: Debit vs. Credit Cards Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 02:24:50 UTC Organization: PANIX Public Access Internet and UNIX, NYC [ earlier discussion about credit cards vs. debit cards, and particularly the holdback charged the merchants, snipped ] This whole topic reminded me of an article I saw a few weeks ago in the NY Times of Oct 21, 2002, in the technology section. to quote: Internet Merchants Fight Fraud By BOB TEDESCHI INTERNET merchants, weary of a near constant barrage of credit card fraud that costs them more than $1 billion each year, are joining forces in hopes of helping one another identify users of stolen credit cards, catch criminals and perhaps soothe the fears of millions of potential online shoppers. What I found fascinating was the claim by such major merchants as Hewlett-Packard that, even after cards are reported stolen, the authorization centers often still approve purchases. And then chargeback the merchants a few months later. "We reported that to the predominant bank involved and asked them to stop it because we kept seeing these cards coming back," said Mr. Redenbaugh, who would not identify the bank. Based on its own procedures for screening fraud, Hewlett-Packard rejected those cards, "but the bank kept approving them for authorizations," he said. "It took them over a month and a half to cut off the cards. Those cards may have been used on dozens of merchants' sites who didn't figure this out." Rest of story, which was still available for free today (subscription required) but will probably time out soon, at: Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key [to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded] [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Remember, for those of you who wish to read NT Times articles who do not have an account of your own, you can always use 'telecomdigest' as the user name and password. For next in this thread, my own experience with authorization centers goes back to the late 1960's / early 1970's when I worked for the Amoco/Diner's Club credit card office in Chicago, in what was called the Sales Authorization area. When I started working there, the office was entirely manual. No computers at all. About 75 of us worked in a single large room together, which did not include the ledger posting clerks and the bookkeepers who were around almost constantly. Those of us who did authorization work wore headsets with very long cords so that we could walk around the room seeking entries in large spiral notebooks which were checked by us, posted in by the ledger posting clerks throughout the day and night hours, and the notebooks were carried away by the bookkeepers from time to time elsewhere, then eventually brought back to us with fresh pages in them. The people working in the area all crawled around over and next to each other looking for the proper book and entries out of several million such items and a couple hundred large spiral notebooks. Good personal hygiene was a must, believe me! The idea was to prevent fraud and to as nearly as possible hold customers to the credit limits established for them. When Amoco dealers called in with sales (or Diners merchants called in sales) we would look for the account number in these books and if enough credit remained unused, pencil in the amount of the new sale, add the date and initial our entries. Dealers did not have to call in sales under some amount, I think it was ten dollars; above that they had to get approval for the sale. When we were converted to computers (I think it was 1968-69) for about a year, at least half the time the computers were down and we had to rely on the old manual books. When eventually the computers were more or less fool-proofed, then we relied more on them and less on the books. The company then got rid of about 500 bookkeepers and thousands of ledger posting clerks. The bookkeepers and clerks worked the entire office including customer service and accounting, not just our section. As long as the merchants/dealers had authorization codes on every *imprinted* sales ticket they were guarenteed their money. Without a *plainly visible* imprint of name and account number on the ticket, the company would still bill the customer, but the collectors used that 'lack of imprint' or 'illegible imprint' or 'handwritten ticket' as excuses for charging the sale back to the merchant. And when it got time to write off the customer due to lack of payment, those collectors (or rather, the microfilm clerks who looked up and pulled the charges for the collectors [who were looking for ammunition to charge back sales]) would pull every bit of film they could with no imprint, no authorization code, something -- anything -- amiss on the charge tickets. Zero out the books on this deadbeat, let the merchant pay for it if necessary. Trouble was, when the computers were down, in order to keep the traffic moving and keep delays due to 'time waiting on hold' to a minimum, the authorization supervisor would arbitarily raise the floor limit, *without bothering to tell the merchant/dealer*. The word to the authorizors was 'if amount of charge is less than X dollars, just go ahead and approve it without waiting for the computer to come back to life or otherwise checking in the books. We would still give a 'manual approval code' so others (like collectors and customer service people) could later see that it had been called in. That routine was almost totally gone by the late seventies as the computer system got more reliable and crash-proof, but the fraud got more and more sophis- ticated. There was one Amoco dealer in Chicago (downtown on Congress Parkway [now an interstate highway] who had such a horrible rate of fraud on the credit cards his floor limit was set to zero. He had to call in *every single sale*. The company installed a red, non-dial direct tie-line in his station; everytime someone used plastic there the company made him call it in. Not just for big purchases, but for cans of soda or bags of potato chips. You wanted to use your Amoco or Diners Card to pay for it, he had to call it in. His fraud was that bad. In those early computer days (1960's - early 1970's) the president of Diner's Club was a man named Alfred Bloomingdale (same as the New York Department Store which started Diners Club). Mr. Bloomingdale had a bad habit of picking up prostitutes; one of them one day snatched his wallet and his *personal* Diners Club card. Whoever it was literally lived on that card -- at Diner's expense for about two years. People in the office were afraid to say 'NO!' on sales made to that card. They could see from the ledger card how it was plainly marked as a stolen card. They would start to say no, and decline the sale, but the merchant (or the person posing as Bloomingdale) would call back and curse them and scare them: "Do you know who I am? You will lose your job when I get done with you." I was working late one Sunday night when a dealer called it in. Some high school kid in New York wanted to get authorization on some car repairs. I asked the kid where the car was at. He said it was up on the rack. I said to him 'hey kid, how would you like to earn fifty dollars?' Eagerly the kid says yeah, 'me and my buddies wanna make some money.' I told him, all you have to do is cut that card in a few pieces and mail all the pieces back to Diners at PO Box whatever in Chicago. He asked who was going to pay for the work on the car being repaired. I told him I could care less, but to be sure he kept the car on the rack until he got paid by the man, that he had a workman's lein on the vehicle until the repair work was paid, but that Diners was not gonna pay for it. Sure enough, within a couple minutes my phone rang again, and it was 'Mister Bloomingdale' cursing at me and asking if I knew who he was and how I was going to get fired. I told him I didn't give a damn either way, that if he was really in fact Al Bloomingdale he would be glad for what I did. I asked for the kid to come back on the phone again, and told him whatever you do, don't give him that card back. 'Send it here to me so I can get your reward for you.' I guess the kids in the station called the local police when 'Mr. Bloomingdale' had no money otherwise to pay for their work. And sure enough, about three days later here was the cut up card. Accounts Payable cut a check for fifty dollars to the kid, who was thrilled when he saw it of course, but Amoco/Diners credit card gave *me* five hundred dollars and later Al Bloomingdale called me from his office in New York to say thank you. This is just a memory I had of those days long ago. PAT]
From: (Steven J. Sobol) Subject: Re: Debit vs. Credit Cards, was: Re: Retailers' Suit Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 00:12:18 -0000 Organization: LLC 'John R. Levine' <> wrote: > The only advantage that the debit card has is that if I'm away from > home and have time to kill, I can walk into other banks and get an > over the counter "cash advance" from the debit card, thereby saving > the $2.50 it would cost to use it at an ATM, but I'd have to do that > five times a year to save the annual fee, which I don't. (Yes, this > works and really doesn't cost anything. I did it a few times when I > had a debit card.) I thought most banks had a surcharge on cash advances made on Mastercards and Visas at the teller? > I have three Visa credit cards, all of which have an auto-pay option > so I never pay any interest. Unless their credit rating is so bad > that they can't get a credit card at all, why would anyone use a debit > card? In my case, because I'm still trying to pay the one remaining credit card I have down to where I can use it (it's slightly overlimit now) - and sometimes I don't want to borrow money. My credit isn't good enough that I can get a credit card with no grace period right now. I have a Mastercard aimed at people with bad credit* - and the customer service is outstanding even though they know their customers can't typically go elsewhere for credit, and the APR, while high, isn't outrageously so - but they do *not* have any type of grace period on purchases, IIRC. I pay interest the day after the purchase is charged on my card. * - they're a division of Household Financial, and I know Household has had, ummm, issues, lately... but the OB people are great. In particular, when cash flow got really tight last year, they were extremely helpful in getting my payments back on track. More so, in fact, than most banks from whom I've had *traditional* credit cards. 'Gary Novosielski' <> wrote: > debit card look as much like a credit card as possible (often making > it impossible to tell) and tries to convince you that punching in a > PIN is soooooo inconvenient, and that you should tell the merchant > it is really a credit card. ?? *I* don't typically use my Check Card as a debit card because I get dinged with ATM charges if I do. I don't get dinged if I use it as a credit card. Steve Sobol, CTO LLC, Mentor On The Lake, OH (check out the new site!) 888.480.4NET (4638) A practicing member of the Geek Orthodox religion!
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2002 15:38:38 -0800 From: Paul Gloger <> Subject: Credit and Debit Cards In TELECOM Digest V22 #127, PAT wrote: > [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I know that for myself, I use my Visa > Debit Card the same way I use a credit card. The only real difference > is the credit limit. On a credit card, the credit limit is whatever it > is. On a debit card, the limit is the amount of money you have in your > bank account at the moment. Both types of cards use the same transport > mechanism, both types of cards require 'sales authorization' or > 'credit authorization' for sales in the same way. Neither debit nor > credit cards require any additional indentification (in theory, > although some merchants try to require identification inviolation of > their merchant agreements. .... PAT] With respect, PAT, some of what you say here used to be true, but, I regret, it's largely incorrect now. Debit-card transactions that the merchant can recognize as such may be submitted/routed to a *debit*-authorization system that costs the merchant on average around 0.5% of the sale price. In contrast, credit-card transactions must go -- and, for reasons that will momentarily become all too apparent, debit transactions also may go -- to a distinct, nominally *credit*-authorization system that costs the merchant typically 2-3% of the sale price. The debit system requires a customer PIN along with the transaction, while the "credit" system requires a signature (for either a credit or debit card/transaction). Presumably the higher fee for the "credit" system transaction is due to the much greater risk on collecting from the customer that is undertaken by the bank/card issuer. Anyway, therefore the merchant is highly incented to correctly, efficiently identify debit transactions as such and submit them to the debit system, while the bank is highly incented to confuse the merchant and even explicitly to incent the customer to treat debit cards as credit cards and so snare much higher merchant fees for the bank. Visa/MasterCard-issuing banks, issuing both credit and now debit cards, are in a particularly strong position to require merchants to play this game at a disadvantage. This is the basis for the merchants' lawsuit against the banks that Monty reported that started this thread. Regarding merchants' requiring customer identification, it is true that the agreements between banks/card issuers and merchants specify authorization procedures to be used; and true that, up until a few years ago, those agreements/procedures mostly *prohibited* the merchant from asking for identification from the customer (unless specifically otherwise directed by the bank for an individual transaction). However, in the last couple years almost all of those agreements/procedures have been changed to remove the prohibition on the merchant requiring i.d., and now at least implicitly permit and even encourage the merchant generally to require i.d. Like I said, very sorry about all of that! /Paul Gloger [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Well my experiences the past year or so have all been based here in Independence, and because this is a small town where everyone knows almost everyone else at least by sight if not by name, I've not had some of those experiences you describe. I do like the fact that because I used to live in Chicago for many years, I know how some things *used to be done* there. PAT]
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 00:55:54 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <> Subject: Credit Cards Seek New Fees on Web's Demimonde November 18, 2002 By MATT RICHTEL and JOHN SCHWARTZ New financial industry rules could threaten the growth of one of the most vibrant drivers of the Internet's early success: naughtiness. In the wake of rules from credit card companies and banks that have strangled many online gambling sites, Visa and MasterCard are now looping the noose for adult sites that may have spotty credit-card records. Many of the online companies say that the new rules, which the card companies call antifraud measures, will clean up an industry rife with unethical billing practices. But some operators say that, in fact, the credit card companies have taken it upon themselves to step in as de facto regulators of their industries.
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 08:27:20 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <> Subject: Secret U.S. Court OKs Electronic Spying By Declan McCullagh Staff Writer, CNET November 18, 2002, 10:03 PM PT WASHINGTON--A secretive federal court on Monday granted police broad authority to monitor Internet use, record keystrokes and employ other surveillance methods against terror and espionage suspects. In an unexpected and near-complete victory for law enforcement, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review overturned a lower court's decision and said that Attorney General John Ashcroft's request for new powers was reasonable. The 56-page ruling removes procedural barriers for federal agents conducting surveillance under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The law, enacted as part of post-Watergate reforms, permits sweeping electronic surveillance, telephone eavesdropping and surreptitious searches of residences and offices.
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 09:01:26 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <> Subject: Tech Companies Ask for Unfiltered Net By Declan McCullagh Staff Writer, CNET November 18, 2002, 4:45 PM PT WASHINGTON--A coalition of technology companies warned on Monday that cable companies might try to interpose themselves as gatekeepers between customers and Internet content. In a three-page letter to the Federal Communications Commission, the group, which includes, Apple Computer, Microsoft and others, called on the agency to preserve Internet users' "unfettered ability to reach lawful content and services and to communicate and interact with each other."
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 09:02:46 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <> Subject: Court OKs Faxed Warrants By Lisa M. Bowman Staff Writer, CNET November 18, 2002, 3:56 PM PT A federal appeals panel has ruled that police did not need to be present when executing a search warrant at an Internet company and instead could fax the request. In the ruling Monday, a panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals said police acted legally when they faxed a search warrant to Yahoo during an investigation into alleged child-porn activity. The ruling is believed to be the first case involving the question of whether police can fax a search warrant, a practice that increasingly has become a common crime-fighting tactic. The case has been closely watched by both privacy experts and Internet service providers, which are grappling with law enforcement's increasing reliance on technology during investigations and the potential for such searches to be overly broad. Defense attorneys had tried to get evidence from Yahoo servers suppressed on the grounds that police needed to be physically present during the execution of a warrant to oversee the process. However, the appeals court sided with prosecutors, who argued that the requirement could hinder an investigation.
Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 09:16:07 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <> Subject: Nextel Juices up BlackBerry Device By Ben Charny Staff Writer, CNET November 18, 2002, 2:45 PM PT Nextel Communications said Monday that it will start selling a BlackBerry pager and a subscription with unlimited wireless Web access Dec. 2. The $500 BlackBerry 6510 is the first pager of its kind that can use cellular telephone networks powered by the Integrated Dispatch Enhanced Network (IDEN) standard, which Nextel uses in its cell phone network. BlackBerry already makes pagers that use the world's most popular cell phone standard, Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) as well as a proprietary network run by Cingular Wireless. The 6510 is the first BlackBerry pager to feature "Direct Connect," which turns phones into walkie-talkies that can communicate instantly over long distances. The pager will be available in select areas starting Dec. 2 and nationally beginning January, according to Greg Santoro, a Nextel Communications vice president. Also on Dec. 2, Nextel will begin selling a subscription with a $50 monthly fee for unlimited access to Nextel's wireless Web network, he said.
Reply-To: monty solomon <> From: monty solomon <> Subject: Linksys Router Vulnerability Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 13:01:09 -0500 From: Seth Bromberger SUMMARY: Linksys products running affected firmware versions are susceptible to a bug that allows unauthenticated access to the management interface. This bug affects both local and remote management (if enabled). AFFECTED PRODUCTS (per Linksys support): BEFSR41, BEFSR11, BEFSRU31: firmware versions from 1.41 through 1.43 BEFW11S4: firmware versions from 1.42.7 through 1.43.
From: Dave Phelps <> Subject: Re: Charter Cable Leak: Reporting it Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 00:14:38 -0600 In article <>, says: > I just got off the phone with Charter re a possible leak on their > system in Hollister CA. Told them it was heard on air and Public > Safety bands. The call-taker did not want to hear about it unless it > was a "customer with a problem" and almost got away without being told > the location. > How long should one wait before follow-up? A week? > On next follow up, if nothing seems to be done, I may mention filing > complaints with FCC and CPUC: the signal interferes with local police > and fire freqs and probably even with LifeFlight and other operations > at the local hospital, which is right next to the apparent leak. > This leak appears to have started just within the past 6 weeks, and > sounds like intermod on some freqs, but tuning makes the signal sound > better, as does switching from narrow to wide FM. > j d e b e r t < a t > g a r l i c < d o t > c o m Why do you think they are the source of the noise? That must be a heck of a signal to interfere with so many frequencies. How do you know your scanner isn't broke? Do you actually see the electrons falling out of the cable? Dave Phelps Phone Masters Ltd. deadspam=tippenring
From: j debert <> Subject: Re: Charter Cable Leak: Reporting it Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 09:46:38 -0800 Organization: Posted via Supernews, j debert wrote: > I just got off the phone with Charter re a possible leak on their > system in Hollister CA. Told them it was heard on air and Public > Safety bands. The call-taker did not want to hear about it unless it > was a "customer with a problem" and almost got away without being told > the location. I went to get more info and record the leak and it was gone. Charter is playing dumb ... Perhaps it was another customer experimenting with "wireless cable"? j d e b e r t < a t > g a r l i c < d o t > c o m
From: Albo <> Subject: Re: SS7 Over E1 Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 04:06:27 +0100 Organization: Planet Internet What do you mean by Channel? Voice channel or signalling channel Only on the data channel the signalling is done, if it is used only for USSD you can calculate with the speed (in eur 64Kbps) the amounth of data that can be transported over one channel depending of the length of the messages (64000/amounth of bits), this is the only limitation. You can have (depending on the manufactor) up to 31 signalling channels over one E1 (1 channle is for the syncronisation), but this is very risky as you put all signalling over one E1 (better is to take more E1's) And it is bidirectional for signalling, for voice channels it all depends of configurations, but mostly it is bidirectional. Alain Guillaume Maigre <> wrote in message > I'm looking for information about E1 and SS7 configuration and in > particulary I would like to know: > The number of SS7 channel supported on one E1 (up to 32???) > How many USSD messages one SS7 channel can carrier per second, per > hour? > If an SS7 channel is bidirectionnal?
From: SELLCOM Tech support <> Subject: Re: Problems With Siemens Gigaset 2420 Organization: Reply-To: Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 03:34:20 GMT I have heard from some customers that Siemens is treating some people very well who have had problems with their phones and have their documentation in order. Steve at SELLCOM Discount multihandset cordless phones by Siemens, Vtech 5.8Ghz EnGenius NEW EP436 4line (the longest range), Panasonic, Twinhead notebooks, WatchGuard firewall, Okidata, Polycom! If you sit at a desk you owe it to yourself.
From: Dave Phelps <> Subject: Re: Genuity Posts $1.2 Billion Loss in Third Quarter Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 00:03:04 -0600 In article <>, says: > WOBURN, Mass., Nov 14 (Reuters) - High-speed communications services > company Genuity Inc. (NASDAQ:GENU), which has said it may be unable to > remain in business if it cannot reorganize its debt, on Thursday > posted a $1.2 billion loss in the third quarter due to charges, and > revenues fell 26 percent. > Genuity's quarterly loss totaled $1.2 billion, or $107.80 a share, > compared with a loss of $300.4 million, or $30.81 a share, a year > ago. The 2002 quarter included a $986.2 million charge to write-down > the value of assets, costs related to job cuts, and other items. > - > [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Isn't this our friend and occasional > corresponent Barry Margolis, who contributes here now and then? > Barry, if you are in a position to do so, perhaps you could tell us > how the company got in this predicament. PAT] Pat, Barry Margolin (not Margolis). He's very active in, where I usually see him. Dave Phelps Phone Masters Ltd. deadspam=tippenring [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Thanks for that correction on his name. I also see him here in comp.dcom.telecom frequently. PAT]
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