|Wireless News Aggregation|
Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News
Due to the generous support of an anonymous donor, I am using a new computer to edit today's newsletter.
I have changed some of the colors to celebrate this happy occasion. I will probably change them back to black and white next week.
I spend a lot of time each week compiling news that I think readers will enjoy so this new Mac Pro will make this effort much easier — it is very fast, has lots of memory, etc. Thank you very much.
We need your help.
This doesn't mean that nothing is ever published here that mentions a US political party—it just means that the editorial policy of this newsletter is to remain neutral on all political issues. We don't take sides.
A new issue of the Wireless Messaging Newsletter is posted on the web each week. A notification goes out by e-mail to subscribers on most Fridays around noon central US time. The notification message has a link to the actual newsletter on the web. That way it doesn’t fill up your incoming e-mail account.
There is no charge for subscription and there are no membership restrictions. Readers are a very select group of wireless industry professionals, and include the senior managers of many of the world’s major Paging and Wireless Messaging companies. There is an even mix of operations managers, marketing people, and engineers — so I try to include items of interest to all three groups. It’s all about staying up-to-date with business trends and technology.
I regularly get readers’ comments, so this newsletter has become a community forum for the Paging, and Wireless Messaging communities. You are welcome to contribute your ideas and opinions. Unless otherwise requested, all correspondence addressed to me is subject to publication in the newsletter and on my web site. I am very careful to protect the anonymity of those who request it.
I spend the whole week searching the Internet for news that I think may be of interest to you — so you won’t have to. This newsletter is an aggregator — a service that aggregates news from other news sources. You can help our community by sharing any interesting news that you find.
Editorial Opinion pieces present only the opinions of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of any of advertisers or supporters. This newsletter is independent of any trade association. I don't intend to hurt anyone's feelings, but I do freely express my own opinions.
First Responders Serve and Protect
I would like to recommend Easy Solutions for Support of all Glenayre Paging Equipment. This Texas company is owned and operated by Vaughan Bowden. I have known Vaughan for over 35 years. Without going into a long list of his experience and qualifications, let me just say that he was the V.P. of Engineering at PageNet which was—at that time—the largest paging company in the world. So Vaughan knows Paging.
GTES is no longer offering support contracts. GTES was the original group from Vancouver that was setup to offer support to customers that wanted to continue with the legacy Glenayre support. Many U.S. customers chose not to use this service because of the price and the original requirement to upgrade to version 8.0 software (which required expensive hardware upgrades, etc.). Most contracts ended as of February 2018.
If you are at all concerned about future support of Glenayre products, especially the “king of the hill” the GL3000 paging control terminal, I encourage you to talk to Vaughan about a service contract and please tell him about my recommendation.
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YOU'VE ALREADY 'CLICKED AWAY YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS'
Insider: 'We're being served up as products to be exploited'
Published: April 9, 2018
The recent revelation of Facebook’s sale of its members’ personal data to the British consulting firm Cambridge Analytica for use by political campaigns is only the tip of a colossal iceberg that must be taken seriously by every user of modern technology, warns a veteran application developer who once was a senior executive for a wireless service provider.
“Nobody’s saying, ‘OK, why are we seeing all of these cyber security threats?'” said Rex Lee, owner of RML Business Consulting in San Antonio, Texas.
“We are not recognizing the big picture.”
Lee, whose discoveries have ended up in a Department of Homeland Security report and are now being analyzed by the staffs of two U.S. senators preparing to grill CEO Facebook Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday, said what’s happening can be summed up in a business model some privacy activists are calling “surveillance capitalism.”
It amounts to the use of deceptive user agreements and practices that enable companies to exploit personal information for financial gain.
“We’re being served up as products to be exploited,” Lee said in an interview with WND.
He said the problems “do not look so bad, story by story, unless you connect all of the stories to surveillance capitalism.”
It’s the model, he said, adopted by Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Sony, Samsung, the Chinese “Google” BAIDU and other major technology developers and electronic manufacturers.
BAIDU, by the way, Lee said, has a pre-installed app in Samsung phones that collects user location data, meaning simply: It knows everywhere you go.
He asks: “Which is worse, selling access to your telecom related personal and professional Digital DNA to Cambridge Analytica or selling access to your telecom related personal and professional Digital DNA to a state-owned Chinese company such as BAIDU?”
Lee explained that after three years of research, he’s discovered that typically buried in smartphones and computers – beyond the knowledge of the typical user – are thousands of pages of dense “legalese” that gives providers a right to mine their customers’ personal data, such as contact and calendar information, and email attachments.
“They’re not surveilling and data-mining the user for an email address to sell bubble gum and hamburgers. They’re taking content off of your phone,” he told WND.
If it were the government doing this, he explained, a warrant would be required from a top secret FISA court.
However, by becoming a partner of companies such as Google, the government can collect such personal information.
“It’s way worse than Edward Snowden. Trust me,” he said, referring to the massive government surveillance exposed by the NSA whistleblower.
Through the system Snowden exposed, Prism, the government was collecting “metadata,” Lee pointed out, rather than detailed content.
“They weren’t attaching themselves to the GPS, to be able to turn things on and off. They weren’t collecting your contacts. They couldn’t connect to the address book, couldn’t get to your calendar events and your email,” he explained.
“Pretty much everything you do is being collected, including touchscreen activity and keylogging,” Lee said, referring to software that records keystrokes and is typically used by hackers to access passwords and other confidential information.
He said it requires a “deep dive,” through as many as 14 swipes of a smartphone, to find the user hidden agreements, which total as many as 3,000 pages.
Once he found the user agreements, it took him four months to analyze the dense legal language.
“It’s like having the product warning for cigarettes on the inside of the package,” Lee said.
To vet his analysis, he sent it to Google, Samsung and T-Mobile. They never responded, and he then went to the FCC and filed a complaint. The FCC forced T-Mobile to respond, and the wireless company confirmed his suspicion.
T-Mobile effectively admitted that products that have become necessities in daily life – smartphones, PCs and tablets — are not private nor secure.
T-Mobile’s Privacy Team wrote in 2015 in response to Lee’s complaint: “We, too, remember a time before smartphones when it was reasonable to conclude that when you activated service with T-Mobile that only T-Mobile would have access to our personal information. However, with the Samsung Galaxy Note, the iPhone, and many other devices, there are indeed a variety of parties that may collect and use information.”
Since then, Lee has been warning members of the defense and critical-infrastructure communities and lawmakers.
“These companies are selling products that are not private, nor secure, using deceptive trade practices, possibly via fraud inducement,” Lee told WND.
Their ads, he noted, “don’t tell the consumer that their communications aren’t private and that they will be surveilled and data-mined for financial gain.”
After a meeting with Zuckerberg on Monday, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., told reporters he’s concerned about Facebook’s “business model.”
“If I am on Facebook and communicating with friends that I like chocolate, do they know of a good chocolate shop,” he said, “and suddenly I have an advertisement pop up chocolates, is that an invasion of my privacy? I think that’s a real question. And that’s their business model.”
Monday morning, Sandy Parakilas, a former Facebook platform operations manager, explained to “CBS This Morning” that the social media platform, from the beginning, “wasn’t built with the safety of users in mind.”
Over time, he said, he “saw some of the risks coming” to user privacy, as did other Facebook managers and executives.
When he heard about the Cambridge Analytica breach, he recalled saying: “Oh no. This is something I tried to raise some alarm about, and now it’s being used for a really devastating purpose.”
Over the weekend, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak told USA Today he’s leaving Facebook out of growing concern for the carelessness with which Facebook and other Internet companies treat users’ private information.
“Users provide every detail of their life to Facebook and … Facebook makes a lot of advertising money off this,” he said. “The profits are all based on the user’s info, but the users get none of the profits back.”
The New York Times reported Monday a coalition of more than 20 consumer advocacy groups plans to file a complaint with federal officials claiming that YouTube, a subsidiary of Google, has been collecting and profiting from the personal information of young children on its main site, although the company says the platform is meant only for users 13 and older.
And Bloomberg columnist Steven L. Carter wrote Friday that consumers shouldn’t be shocked that the Department of Homeland Security has discovered evidence that cellphone tracking tools are being used by “unauthorized” parties in and around Washington. The devices, often called stingrays, fool a phone’s baseband into believing it is in contact with a cell tower. They can use a phone’s signal to track movements and contacts, and could persuade the phone to turn off its encryption. Federal officials admit that although they can detect the devices, they can’t find them.
On Capitol Hill
Lee is lobbying lawmakers in Washington to propose an Electronic Bill of Rights to “protect consumers and children from companies that employ predatory and exploitative surveillance and data-mining business practices.”
He is targeting Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., with his request for congressional action as they prepare to question Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week.
Zuckerberg, who disclosed last week that up to 87 million users had their data improperly shared, is scheduled to testify before a joint Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committee hearing on Tuesday and before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday.
Lee said the staffs of the two senators have shown considerable interest in his discoveries.
But he said he is well aware of the power of the tech giants and their massive teams of lobbyists.
Lee’s analysis already has been used by the Department of Homeland Security for its “Study on Mobile Device Security,” published in April 2017.
“It is time for lawmakers to start passing laws to protect consumers, including children, from data-driven technology providers and manufacturers who employ ‘nontransparent’ predatory surveillance and data-mining business practices,” he said.
China is watching you?
Lee warned that sensitive user data is ending up in the hands of a state-owned Chinese company, BAIDU, regarded as the Google of China, through a pre-installed app in Samsung phones.
He found the BAIDU app permission installed on a Samsung Galaxy Note he purchased from a T-Mobile corporate store in Selma, Texas.
Collecting location data is one of the things he discovered the app can do.
“Imagine a CEO for a company being surveilled by a Chinese state-owned company,” he told WND. “Imagine a U.S. general who used an Android device, watching where he’s going and what locations he is at.”
He noted the Fitbit incident with the U.S. Army in which the fitness-oriented tech company posted a heat map showing the locations of soldiers and the black ops that they were running.
Tech giant forced to confess
Product developers themselves are admitting publicly that they purposefully developed addictive products for financial gain, Lee pointed out.
Sean Parker, a co-founder of Facebook and Spotify, was candid in an interview last November with Axios.
“It’s a social-validation feedback loop . . . exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology,” Parker said.
He wondered aloud about the physiological as well as psychological impact.
“God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains,” he said.
Parker contends the digital media companies, at the very top, are well aware of what they are doing.
“The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.”
Tristan Harris, a former Google app developer, noted the average person checks his or her phone 150 times a day.
“Why do we do this? Are we making 150 conscious choices? One major reason why is the number one psychological ingredient in slot machines: intermittent variable rewards,” he wrote in an essay published on the website of the leading German magazine Der Spiegel.
Harris said “addictiveness is maximized when the rate of reward is most variable.”
“By shaping the menus we pick from, technology hijacks the way we perceive our choices and replaces them with new ones. But the closer we pay attention to the options we’re given, the more we’ll notice when they don’t actually align with our true needs,” he wrote.
Paging Transmitters 150/900 MHz
The RFI High Performance Paging Transmitter is designed for use in campus, city, state and country-wide paging systems. Designed for use where reliable simulcast systems where RF signal overlap coverage is critical.
Built-in custom interface for Prism-IPX ipBSC Base Controller for remote control, management and alarm reporting.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Back To Paging
Still The Most Reliable Protocol For Wireless Messaging!
Rick McMichael has some equipment for sale — left over from the inventory of his business that he recently sold.
If you are interested, please e-mail Rick directly by clicking here .
The Wireless Messaging News
The Board of Advisor members are people with whom I have developed a special rapport, and have met personally. They are not obligated to support the newsletter in any way, except with advice, and maybe an occasional letter to the editor.
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APPLE 6 hours ago
Apple's new iOS 11.3 update is here: What you need to know
By Brooke Crothers | Fox News
Apple’s big update for the iPhone and iPad is here.
The single change that is getting the most attention in iOS 11.3 is a new battery health setting. This comes in the wake of a brouhaha that forced Apple to admit it slows down, or “throttling," the performance of older iPhones in order to prevent unexpected shutdowns due to aging batteries.
The change reveals itself in a new menu item called “Battery Health” in the Battery Settings page, which tells you how much battery capacity remains “relative to when it was new.”
But there's a catch. Though you now have the flexibility to turn off throttling, be warned. If you have an older iPhone, it could unexpectedly shut down because the battery is unable to deliver “peak power.”
If iOS can’t determine battery health, you may get a warning telling you to get your battery replaced.
Enhanced augmtend reality
Apple wants iOS to be the leading platform for augmented reality (AR), which melds virtual reality with the real world.
Based on Apple’s ARKit 1.5 software, you now have the ability to turn vertical surfaces like posters, signs and artwork into interactive AR experiences.
The fastest way to see how this works is to download one of the new AR apps. For example, the Houzz app, I could see how artwork looked on a wall. Ditto with Art.com. Also: now you can go to a museum and point at a painting and, if it’s a recognized work of art, get interactive information.
More broadly, there has been a flood of new AR apps over the past six months. Some of the more popular ones include MeasureKit and AirMeasure, which let you estimate the distance between two points with a virtual tape measure. And Kings of Pool, which inserts a virtual pool table anywhere. Or the Holo app which lets you place a hologram of a person in a photo.
And, of course, games like Pokemon GO, The Machines, and Arise are big draws too.
A better snapshot of your health
A new Health Records feature allows patients to amalgamate separate health records into one place.
Currently, there are dozens of major health systems that have begun to support the feature including Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore, Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, UC San Diego Health in San Diego, and OhioHealth in Columbus.
This can be a big help if you have medical records in multiple locations. Typically, you would need to log into each care provider’s website separately but the goal is to allow you to see everything in one encrypted place on your phone.
But note that a health system company CIO recently tried to walk back "overhyped" expectations for the feature.
New Animoji in iOS 11.3 includes a dragon, bear, skull and lion for a total of 16 different characters. And if you have an iPhone X, you can use your voice and facial expressions to record and send animated messages.
Replacement screen issue
With any big update comes issues and bugs. One of the most irksome 11.3 issues occurs if you had to replace your iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, or iPhone X display. The replacement could disable automatic brightness.
The iOS 11.3 update is available for iPhone 5s and later.
Additionally, all iPad Air and iPad Pro models get the update as well as the iPad 5th generation, iPad mini 2 and later and iPod touch 6th generation.
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|Product Support Services, Inc.|
Repair and Refurbishment Services
For Sale – Apollo Pilot XP A28 Alpha Numeric Pagers w/Charging Cradle
Internet Protocol Terminal
The IPT accepts Internet or serial messaging using various protocols and can easily convert them to different protocols, or send them out as paging messages.
An ideal platform for hospitals, on-site paging applications, or converting legacy systems to modern protocols.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Paging Data Receiver PDR-4
The PDR-4 is a multi-function paging data receiver that decodes paging messages and outputs them via the serial port, USB or Ethernet connectors.
Designed for use with Prism-IPX ECHO software Message Logging Software to receive messages and log the information for proof of transmission over the air, and if the data was error free.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
Wireless Network Planners
Disaster-Proven Paging for Public Safety
Paging system designs in the United States typically use a voice radio-style infrastructure. These systems are primarily designed for outdoor mobile coverage with modest indoor coverage. Before Narrowbanding, coverage wasn’t good, but what they have now is not acceptable! The high power, high tower approach also makes the system vulnerable. If one base station fails, a large area loses their paging service immediately!
Almost every technology went from analog to digital except fire paging. So it’s time to think about digital paging! The Disaster-Proven Paging Solution (DiCal) from Swissphone offers improved coverage, higher reliability and flexibility beyond anything that traditional analog or digital paging systems can provide.
Swissphone is the No. 1 supplier for digital paging solutions worldwide. The Swiss company has built paging networks for public safety organizations all over the world. Swissphone has more than 1 million pagers in the field running for years and years due to their renowned high quality.
DiCal is the digital paging system developed and manufactured by Swissphone. It is designed to meet the specific needs of public safety organizations. Fire and EMS rely on these types of networks to improve incident response time. DiCal systems are designed and engineered to provide maximum indoor paging coverage across an entire county. In a disaster situation, when one or several connections in a simulcast solution are disrupted or interrupted, the radio network automatically switches to fall back operating mode. Full functionality is preserved at all times. This new system is the next level of what we know as “Simulcast Paging” here in the U.S.
Swissphone offers high-quality pagers, very robust and waterproof. Swissphone offers the best sensitivity in the industry, and battery autonomy of up to three months. First responder may choose between a smart s.QUAD pager, which is able to connect with a smartphone and the Hurricane DUO pager, the only digital pager who offers text-to-voice functionality.
Bluetooth technology makes it possible to connect the s.QUAD with a compatible smartphone, and ultimately with various s.ONE software solutions from Swissphone. Thanks to Bluetooth pairing, the s.QUAD combines the reliability of an independent paging system with the benefits of commercial cellular network. Dispatched team members can respond back to the call, directly from the pager. The alert message is sent to the pager via paging and cellular at the same time. This hybrid solution makes the alert faster and more secure. Paging ensures alerting even if the commercial network fails or is overloaded.
Swissphone sets new standards in paging:
Swissphone provides a proven solution at an affordable cost. Do you want to learn more?
Remote AB Switches
ABX-1 switches are often used at remote transmitter sites to convert from old, outdated and unsupported controllers to the new modern Prism-IPX ipBSC base station controllers. Remotely switch to new controllers with GUI commands.
ABX-3 switches are widely used for enabling or disabling remote equipment and switching I/O connections between redundant messaging systems.
Prism-IPX Systems LLC.
|Source:||Inside Towers newsletter||Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers.|
|Friends & Colleagues|
Police across the US are buying an affordable iPhone cracker
It reportedly works even on the iPhone X and iOS 11.
Mariella Moon, @mariella_moon
More and more authorities in the US are getting access to an affordable device that can unlock iPhones, according to Motherboard. The publication's investigation has revealed that a number of local and regional police forces, including Maryland's and Indiana's, have either already bought or are thinking of buying a new piece of iPhone-cracking technology called GrayKey. It reportedly works even on phones running iOS 11, Apple's latest mobile platform, and even if authorities are using it on an iPhone X. Motherboard says the State Department already has one of its own, while the Secret Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration are planning to buy some.
Based on an earlier report by Malwarebytes, GrayKey is a small box that can unlock two iPhones at a time. (See the two connectors in the image of the device below?) It was developed by Atlanta company Grayshift, which is run by long-time US intelligence agency contractors and a former Apple security engineer, according to Forbes. To use GrayKey, all cops need to do is connect a phone to it for two minutes. They simply have to wait a bit after it's unplugged to see a black screen pop up with the passcode — how long they'd have to wait depends on how complex the passcode/passphrase is.
But more than being easy to use, it's incredibly affordable for what it can do. If you'll recall, the feds paid Israeli company Cellebrite $900,000 to crack open the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone after Apple repeatedly refused to do it for them. Currently, Cellebrite unlocks phones for at least $5,000 each, but even that amount is comparably enormous to how much cops have to spend for every GrayKey unlock.
There are two GrayKey variants available: one will set government agencies back $15,000, while the other will cost them $30,000. They can use the more expensive of the two to unlock as many iPhones as they want. The cheaper version has a limit of 300 devices, but even that isn't so bad when you do the math — that's only $50 per device.
FBI chief Christopher Wray called encryption a "major public safety issue" when he revealed that the bureau couldn't get to the evidence stored in 7,775 devices it failed to access the previous year. It's unclear whether they already ran the iPhones in that pile through a GrayKey, but (short of telling tech giants to add a backdoor to their devices) he urged companies to work with the government in creating a way to access phones owned by suspects.
So, why are authorities still calling for a backdoor when devices like GrayKey already exist? As Motherboard points out, phone-cracking devices exploit security holes, which Apple, Google and other phonemakers can patch up anytime. A backdoor would ensure they can access data whatever the device is and even if it's running the latest mobile OS.
|LETTERS TO THE EDITOR|
I was interviewed by WND News over the weekend.
In addition the article points out severe privacy, cyber security, and consumer exploitation threats posed by connected product supported by preinstalled intrusive technology.
You may consider running the article in this week’s newsletter. If the title of the WND article sounds familiar, you initially broke the story almost two years ago when you published my first articles.
Plus I am doing final edits on a new article I want to submit to you, Surveillance Capitalism- App or Legal Trojan Horse Malware?
When I’m done with the edits I will send you the article.
Have a Good Night,
Rex M. Lee
I stumbled across your newsletter and think I may have something of Interest.
International Crystal Manufacturing went our of business last year and we picked up about 90,000 crystals that they had in stock on a fire sale.
13,000 were for our core Microwave Radio business, the rest were part of the fire sale.
I believe some crystals on this list were built for paging companies.
Ideally we would like to sell the crystals in bulk to a company that knows what they are and can support legacy equipment with them.
It’s really not our core business as it takes a long time to find one crystal in a pile of 77,000.
Please let your readers know these exist.
Woman Owned WBE Certified Company — WBENC NCTRCA CPUC
International Crystal Stock Excel file
OK, I will include your message in the newsletter. Our policy is that we get a 10% commission in the event of a sale (on the honor system).
I just need orders to justify the labor involved.
Ideally, if we can move the 70,000 that are not our core business for around $4,000 that would be great.
We just can’t take $50 orders for crystals.
Thank you for your help.
|THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK|
|VIDEO OF THE WEEK|
Listen to the Music • Playing For Change • Song Around The World
|Source:||YouTube||To learn more about the work of the PFC Foundation, visit http://www.playingforchange.org|
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