News Of The World & “Hacking” Cell Phone Voicemail

The recent blow-up in the UK over the tabloid media accessing people’s cellular voicemail is certainly interesting. Endless media outlets are reporting the crime as “hacking” cell phones or cell phone voice mail. Here are just a few examples:

I find that the use of the term “hacking” in this context rests uneasily with me. In my mind hacking implies that there’s an appreciable skill involved. The most basic of the techniques described I consider to be trivially simple. It requires no particular skill at all, just a little devilishness.

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Gigi Sohn Of Public Knowledge On AT&T+T

Public Knowledge President Gigi B. Sohn testifies on the AT&T-T-Mobile merger before the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee on May 11, 2011. I caught a portion of the testimony via the web stream. You can find that C-SPAN coverage here.

I found that AT&T’s arguments for the merger were hollow at best, and deceptive at worst. I hope that the Congress will act via the DOJ where it seems unlikely that the FCC will see fit.

For more information, check out http://www.publicknowledge.org/tell-president-obama-stop-unthinkable-att-t-mo….

The End Of Wireless Tether For Android…For Some People

Yesterday Information Week ran a story entitled, “The End Of Wireless Tether For Android.” The story quite rightly describes how Google is responding to carrier requests to disable the distribution of free tethering apps via the official Android Marketplace.

According to the author,

“The wireless carriers would rather you pay a fee either for tethering plan or buy a device like a MiFi or USB dongle that will let your PC get online.”

..further…

“Take the example of AT&T. To require a data plan that is 80% more expensive than a non-tethering plan is a bit of a money grab. AT&T has data caps, so why do they care how you use it?”

I’ve long held that there’s a fundamental disconnect with how wireless data is handled. It should not matter what device I use, as long as I’m paying for the data. If I pay for 5 GB/month then why does the fact that I’m using a netbook, laptop, tablet or cell phone make any difference?

If I had a USB type interface I could well move it between a desktop, netbook, laptop and even some tablets. The carrier simply wouldn’t know anything beyond the amount of data consumed transferred. And why should they?

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Gigaset One: Bluetooth-Based Cell-to-PSTN Interface

A couple of weeks ago friend Tony up at Gigaset promised to send me a couple of the newer Gigaset DECT handsets that they’ve started to sell in the US. The box arrived and true to his promise there are a couple of handsets..but this is not about them. Left with a little space in the box Tony threw in a Gigaset One Bluetooth interface device. It’s proven to be a curious and interesting little device.

Let me be completely clear about this….it’s not often that manufacturers just send me stuff (disclosure statement). After almost 600 posts to this blog I’ve managed forge a few good relationships with manufacturers, but in most cases I simply buy whatever hardware I truly need, and that’s what I get to write about.

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