I seen this in telecom digest today, and I thought it was the funniest thing in the world.

Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2003 13:27:42 GMT
From: joel@exc.com (Dr. Joel M. Hoffman)
Subject: Irresponsible Techs was Re: Vonage, and Digressing
Organization: Excelsior Computer Services

In a similar vein, I remember several years ago having not one but TWO dial tones on my pair, due to, I think, water damage and crossed wires. The situation also gave me very loud static. When I was using my line, my dial tone would disappear (as it should), but I'd still have to scream to be heard over the other dial tone and considerable static. One week (!) after placing a trouble report, I got a phone call.

"WHO'S CALLING," I yelled, trying to be heard over the noise and static.

"mumble mumble" was the response.

"WHO IS CALLING!?" I yelled louder.



2 thoughts on “”

  1. Speaking of phone stuff, what do you think of this new number portability deal? How will this effect the usefulness of your telcodata database? (That is, since the phone number won't be necessarily matched to any particular carrier.)

    1. Number portability has gone on for years. This will not be that much different, despite the incredible press it has received.

      Disclosure of number porting is a huge privacy problem. I think if people start porting cell-> landline and landline -> cell it'll get really interesting for the telemarketers, since telemarketing to cellular phones is illegal.

      Either way, because this information won't be available to the general public, I'll have no ways of accessing it. You'll at least know who is responsible most of the time, since only a minority of the numbers will actually be ported.

      I predict that eventually porting will be basically ubiquitous and long distance/local will become irrelevant so we don't have to expand the number base to 13 digits. You can be in a completely different area code than your neighbor and it won't matter, because your calls won't be billed on distance anymore. Think I'm crazy? Look at cellular telephones and say it with a straight face.
      This will eventually be the saving grace, simply allowing unused numbers allocated to death valley to be used in new york, where they need a few more. Why not? People bitch when they have to dial ten digits, imagine how whiny they would get if they had to dial 13. Imagine all the software that has ten digit long buffers encoded within for phone number storage. (Try looking up the documentation for the maximum length of a phone number for dialback authentication on a Baytech terminal server's modem card. I'll save you the time, it's 12 digits. Enough space to dial 9, 1, then a ten digit phone number.)

      Eventually my database will be irrelevant. But hopefully by then there will be an alternate way to figure this sort of thing out.

Leave a Reply