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1-(700) Killed Tie

Tie-lines were operated by every major company in America by the 1970s. They were bypassing the long distance network, are costing the Bell System vast amounts of money, and had become very costly to install and manage. By some estimates,…

More Screen-Share Please

My wife and I are flying together side by side in nice, comfortable business class seats. And, we would like to watch a movie during the 11 hour flight. Let me clarify: we would like to watch a movie together…as…

No Power

It’s winter, a time when there are increased power failures. What can you expect? Comcast sells battery backups for your VOIP service. The battery provides about 8 hours of backup. But those eight ours are pretty worthless. We just had…

Verizon Delaying #5G Internet

I thought I would assist with the interpretation of this recent news story: Verizon is delaying its home 5G internet rollout again Verizon has just realized that 5G frequencies can’t travel very far, as in, they can go about a…

Phone Repair

One thing that we don’t see much of in the United States are shops that actually fix smart phones. Yes, there is the occasional, rare kiosk that can replace broken screens. But that’s about the extent of it. In other…

The Early History of the Touch-Tone Dial

Most history books will describe how the Touch-Tone dial was introduced in 1962 at the Seattle World’s Fair. But they are a little wrong. In 1958 the Bell System already had trials running with pushbutton telephones. Morris, Illinois was the…

Dial 9 for Atomic Weapons

All major companies had tie-lines bypassing the Bell System PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) by the 1970s. Sprint was selling “bypass” where you could dial a local 7-digit number, then an authorization code, and then your long distance number for…

Is It Necessary To Have A Hostile Work Environment?

I’ve been asked a number of times whether it is necessary to have a hostile work environment to produce quality products. That is, so I think that it is a trade-off between harmony and quality. Elon Musk is highly effective,…

When will We Get Realistic About 5G?

For five years now I have been skeptical of 5G. I am an outlier on this, but then I have an attribute that fewer and fewer people have: I can do math. I am now hearing in the press every…

McApple

25 years ago I had an opportunity to meet with some executives at McDonald’s. They took me to the employee lunchroom. What impressed me most was a mural that went from one end of the lunch room to the other….

Thoughts on Google Fi

Should you switch to Google Fi now that it works on both Android and iPhone? It’s an enticing option: Pay a minimum of $20* a month and a maximum of $80* a month for “unlimited*” <cough cough> phone*, text*, and…

Our Dark Future is a Re-run

Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat the past. History used to be my least favorite subject. I thought it was useless. But I learned an invaluable lesson: history repeats itself. It repeats because we forget learned experiences…

Fe Google Fi Fumble

This is a disaster story about Google Fi. My wife has been a T-Mobile customer for years. They are great EXCEPT for international data where they offer S-L-O-W data. It didn’t used to be so slow. When T-Mobile’s Legere first…

Putting the Fi Out

It was with enthusiasm that I decided to switch to Google Fi. It turned into a nightmare, with my iPhone being hosed no matter what SIM I subsequently used. I installed the Google Fi SIM that arrived in the mail,…

SHAKEN/STIR is Harmless

Carriers are rolling out the new framework to stop spam. It is based on SHAKEN and STIR (they must have a James Bond thing going on here.) The SHANEN/STIR framework is vary complicated, and it uses a variety of authentications…

Right-to-Repair Again

In the 1960s and early 1970s it was illegal to purchase a telephone and connect it to the phone network. Ever since the beginning of the Bell System the policy decision had been to never sell equipment, only rent it….

A Solution for Robocalls

There is a super easy way to absolutely fix the spam caller problem. Charge 1-cent to terminate a call on the PSTN. Just a 1-cent fee every time you place a call, whether it goes through, is answered, or is…

The Difference Between 5G and 5G

Are you confused about the difference between 5G (for WiFi) and 5G (for cellular)? They have the same name, and share some of the same technology, so it’s perfectly understandable. WiFi was originally on the 2.4 GHz frequency—the very same…

On 5G Radiation

I’m not one of those people who thinks every radio antenna is causing cancer. But Radio Frequency (RF) and health is something I keep my ears perked to listen for. The jury is still out on what impacts RF have…

Suing the Largest Telco

One of the first lawsuits I oversaw when I became responsible for our company’s IP was where a very large legal information database whose name is strikingly similar to a luxury car brand violated one of our copyrights. This company…