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Wireless News Aggregation

Friday — January 25, 2019 — Issue No. 840

Welcome Back To The Wireless Messaging News

Mac malware attack found to hide payload in advertising graphics

By Malcolm Owen
Thursday, January 24, 2019
11:13 am PT (02:13 pm ET)

A new way of attacking macOS with malware has been detailed by security researchers, with malicious online advertising found to have used steganography to disguise its payload within the ad's image files, in order to fool security systems.

The results of malware-based advertising that hid code in graphic files.

Analyzed by Confiant and Malwarebytes, an attempt to infect Macs from January 11 until January 13 was performed by a "malvertizer" dubbed "VeryMal" by the firms. It is believed that the attempted attack ad was viewed on as many as 5 million Macs during the brief period of time it was active.

To those who saw the ad, the attack went down a familiar tactic of displaying notices that the Adobe Flash Player needed to be updated, and urged users to open a file that would attempt to download in their browser, writes Confiant. Those who accepted the download and ran the malware ended up infecting their Mac with the Shlayer trojan.

While many attempts to obscure an attack via advertising fail to dupe the various protection systems in place in advertising networks and on user's desktops, the attempt is notable for hiding the payload of the attack within the visible advert itself. The graphic file had hidden code, using steganography, that required other non-malicious code to examine the image file for extraneous data, which was then used as a payload.

Specifically, the code would create a Canvas object, grab an image file from a specific URL, and define a function that checks if a specific font family is supported by the browser. If a check for Apple fonts failed, nothing would happen, but on success, the underlying data in the image file would be looped through, with each loop determining a pixel value that became an alphanumeric character. This was turned into a string and executed.

Despite containing the payload, the image itself can be viewed without harm. It is only harmful when the code is run on the file, followed by the browser being redirected to a link included in the payload.

"As malvertizing detection continues to mature, sophisticated attackers are starting to learn that obvious methods of obfuscaton are no longer getting the job done," writes Eliya Stein of Confiant. Noting that common JavaScript obfuscators result in a "very particular type of gibberish" that is easy to spot, Stein adds "Techniques like steganography are useful for smuggling payloads without relying on hex encoded strings or bulky lookup tables."

VeryMal had performed similar attacks in the past, including targeting Macs and iOS in December, but the latest attempt is a subtle shift for the outfit to a less detectable method.

While macOS is generally easier to protect compared against other operating systems like Windows, it is still possible for bad actors to attempt to infect or acquire data from a target system. Mac users should continue to be wary of online notices urging to install or to update software from unofficial sources, and to closely scrutinize such notices to determine if they are indeed genuine. Additionally, users should not authenticate any request from the operating system, without knowing what it is for, and why it is asking.

Malware continues to be a problem for online users, but is becoming more of an issue for those using macOS, with seemingly more frequent attempts to defeat its security being discovered. It is not only limited to advertizing-based attacks, with reports in September noting even some apps in the Mac App Store were performing malicious actions, such as extracting a user's data.

Apple itself has also come under fire from critics for failing to share definitions of existing threats with third-party antivirus companies in a timely fashion.

Source: Apple Insider

 

Wireless Messaging News

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  • Wireless Messaging
  • Critical Messaging
  • Two-way Radio
  • Technology
  • Telemetry
  • Science
  • Paging
  • Wi-Fi
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NO POLITICS HERE

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.

About Us

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.

TIME TO HUDDLE UP

Let's get together and share ideas. Our competitors are not other paging companies, they are other technologies.

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 Policy

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.

Prism-IPX Systems is growing and they are looking for more good software developers with communications experience. Additional information is available on their web site. Click here .

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Advertiser Index

Easy Solutions  (Vaughan Bowden)
IWA Technical Services, Inc.  (Ira Wiesenfeld)
Leavitt Communications  (Phil Leavitt)
Prism Paging  (Jim Nelson & John Bishop)

Product Support Services  (PSSI)

Paging & Wireless Network Planners LLC  (Ron Mercer)
Wex International Limited

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Leavitt Communications

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Specialists in sales and service of equipment from these leading manufacturers, as well as other two-way radio and paging products:

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motorola blue Motorola SOLUTIONS

   
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TELECOMS IN THE 1990S AND 2000S

Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published: 22 January 2019

Richard Lambley speaks to Sam Fenwick about the telecommunication industry’s earlier years and some of the highlights from his time as editor of Land Mobile

While his insight piece does an excellent job of capturing the state of the wireless communications industry when Land Mobile was founded, we would be remiss if we didn’t ask Richard Lambley for more details and anecdotes gathered from the broad sweep of his time as founding editor.


Richard Lambley, Land Mobile's founding editor

To this end, I visited Lambley at his home. When I arrived, he was tinkering with a system that uses an antenna and Raspberry Pi computer board to track commercial flights across South-East England — nicely illustrating the way his interest in radio communications is a life-long fascination rather than simply being a profession.

One thing that Lambley was always keen to do during his time as editor (and is still something of a Land Mobile tradition to this day) was to highlight “small companies that had done something creative or clever and giving them a bit of publicity to help them along”. As an example, he cites a mobile data terminal developed by a Finnish company, which he saw for the first time at the CeBIT show in Hanover, Germany. “I thought this was novel and wrote it up and gave it a bit of space in my report. I was quite surprised to get a phone call 18 months later from a company which was operating a fleet of prison vans. They had put these mobile data terminals in their vans so that they could be tracked on their journeys, which was a new idea at the time. To have seen this little product go from just something at an exhibition to actually working because of a story I wrote was quite exciting really. I felt I’d done a bit of good in bringing it to their notice.”

In the early years, “people were making terrible mistakes with radio, it was a big learning curve for everybody”. Lambley remembers visiting a provincial brewery which wanted an onsite radio system as it had a lot of “people working in hard-to-get-at places, it was all steelwork and tanks and pipes going everywhere”. They opted for DECT cordless phones, which were just coming in at the time. “They soon discovered that DECT phones don’t do very well if there are a lot of radio reflections as it interferes with the time slot structure of the transmission – they ended up having to install two or three times the number of base stations originally planned just to make these handsets work, so it was a rather expensive project for the supplier, who evidently hadn’t foreseen this.”

Lambley came across this issue again a few years ago when he was visiting “a glassworks which was making enormous sheets of cheap glass. They had a huge production line, which was about a quarter of a mile long. They decided to use DECT cordless phones, and they worked a treat until they installed the huge glass-making machinery” — at which point the system stopped working and the owners decided to put in a private GSM network instead.

GSM – God send mobiles
One of the topics we spent some time on was the early days of digital cellular technology and its evolution into the behemoth we have today. While most Land Mobile readers have lived through this transition, Lambley offers an informed perspective as he attended many of the initial events and conferences that gave rise to 2G and 3G.

The ‘chicken and egg’ problem for telecoms (networks are useless without terminals and vice versa) reared its head for 2G at the 1992 Pan-European Digital Cellular Radio Conference in Berlin (a precursor to MWC – Mobile World Congress – Barcelona), at which point although infrastructure was available, the only evidence of the handsets that the manufacturers at the time were working to produce were a few product data sheets on the tables that passed for stands in a 200- to 250-seater ballroom where the event took place (a far cry from the gargantuan undertaking that is today’s MWC Barcelona with its 2,400 exhibitors and 107,000 visitors). Such was the concern that, according to Lambley, it prompted one delegate to crack that GSM should really stand for “God send mobiles”.

Mobiles came in time, but Lambley says some of the first iterations were almost the size of a sewing machine, fantastically heavy and short-lived, with nickel-cadmium batteries that could last for only eight hours. A big change in battery technology was called for, and fortunately lithium batteries came quite quickly. In addition to their higher energy density, these are less of an environmental hazard when discarded. Mobile phones’ first foothold was in the business world, but they were very expensive — both in terms of the devices (a fact partially hidden by wrapping the cost of the phones into airtime contracts) and the calls (if you made a 10-second call, you’d be charged for the full minute, and the concept of bundled calls had yet to arrive).

While it was still unattractive to managers of vehicle fleets (because of the tendency for duplex calling to encourage people to talk far longer than they would when using a half-duplex PTT device, making it easy to rack up a hefty bill), GSM was good at providing national coverage; but national and regional PMR networks based on analogue trunking in Band III began to provide an affordable alternative. GSM also solved the problem of low network capacity that had frustrated early users of analogue systems — when they moved from the area covered by one base station to that covered by another, there would be a switching delay, and if the station was busy the call would drop.

3G’s ‘killer app’
While much has been made of the ‘curse’ of the odd-numbered generations of cellular technology, Lambley notes that back when 3G was being introduced, one of the biggest talking points at the GSM World Congress was the “great anxiety” over how to make revenues out of the vast increase in bandwidth. So began a quest for 3G’s elusive killer app. The obvious candidate was video telephony, but this had failed commercially several times in the past when offered by fixed telephone operators. At that time, he adds, “they simply didn’t see the mobile Internet coming and how it would rapidly consume huge amounts of bandwidth”.

I can’t help but draw parallels with the debate over 5G — it may well be that data-based services are a bit like a gas, in that over time they will quite happily diffuse to fill all the available ‘space’.

Paging Dr…
One story that sticks in Lambley’s mind is about paging. He once interviewed a doctor who claimed to be responsible for its genesis in the UK — “he was having problems caring for his rural practice outside Cambridge, as when he was out in his car, he’d be unreachable. He and his wife had arranged a system in which if there was an emergency, she’d ring up one of the residents nearby to him and tell them to hang a towel out of the window. When he saw [it] he would find somewhere to call back home and find what the emergency was and go off to save lives. But he said to his friend at Philips, ‘How about making a radio device that you could send a bleep to, and I would receive the bleep in my pocket and I could go and ring back?’ – and that was paging.”

Not every technology has succeeded — Lambley recalls Telepoint, “which has pretty much been forgotten… the concept of having low-power base stations in shopping centres, offices and public places. The idea was that you’d subscribe to the network that operated the sites, and if you needed to make a phone call, you could go to one of these points, which had a range of about 100-150 yards around it, and you could make a call with your cordless telephone from home or your office. That was quite exciting at the time, although not enough to make it a big commercial success.”

Of course, it’s not just technology that has changed over the years. Lambley remembers how the telecoms sector’s love affair with consumers began with a paging service that became fashionable among teenagers. For ‘only’ £20 or so, people could buy a subscription-free message pager, and their friends could call a premium telephone number to leave messages. This concept led to the introduction of pay-as-you-go/pre-paid cellular phones. Similarly, marketing and branding took a quantum leap in 1998 when a French manufacturer introduced the first coloured GSM phone – it was a startling shade of lime green. Up until that point, Lambley says the debate was only over what shade of grey or black a phone should be. The lime green phone was to be marketed at teenagers – and when Lambley pointed out to the company that teenagers couldn’t afford mobile phones, the response was simply ‘Well, maybe we can find a way to make them affordable’. The rest is history.

Source: Land Mobile  

Paging Transmitters 150/900 MHz

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Back To Paging

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Still The Most Reliable Protocol For Wireless Messaging!

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The GL3000 is the most prolific paging system in the world and Easy Solutions gladly welcomes you to join us in providing reliable support to the paging industry for many more decades in the future.

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No Change in Motorola-Hytera ITC Decision Following Presidential Review

By Danny Ramey, Web Editor Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The presidential review period in Motorola Solutions’ patent infringement suit against Hytera Communications with the International Trade Commission (ITC) passed with no change to the ITC’s final determination.

As a result, exclusion and cease-and-desist orders preventing the importation, sale and distribution of Hytera Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) products found to infringe three Motorola patents went into effect Jan. 16.

In November, the ITC released a final determination confirming an administrative law judge’s (ALJ) initial determination that Hytera infringed several Motorola patents and recommending exclusion and cease-and-desist orders against the infringing products. However, the ITC also overturned the ALJ’s finding that redesigned products submitted by Hytera for the ITC’s approval infringed Motorola patents.

Under ITC rules, the U.S. president, or a representative, has 60 days to disapprove a final determination by the ITC. The ITC’s final determination was issued Nov. 16.

Hytera products affected by the exclusion and cease-and-desist orders are the MD652, MD782, BD302, BD362, BD502, PD412, PD502, PD562, PD602, PD662, PD682, PD702, PD752, PD782, PD792, PD982, X1e and X1p radios, as well as the RD622 and RD982 repeaters.

“The commencement of the importation ban and the rejection of Hytera’s request for a repair and service exception are major steps in holding Hytera accountable for its theft and serial infringement of our patents, technology and innovation,” said Mark Hacker, general counsel and chief administrative officer for Motorola Solutions, said in a statement. “Motorola Solutions welcomes legitimate competition, but it is only legitimate when companies compete on the basis of their own original technologies. We will continue to vigorously defend our intellectual property for the benefit of our stakeholders around the world, and we look forward to presenting our trade secret misappropriation and copyright infringement claims to a jury in Chicago in November.

”Hytera released a firmware update that upgrades existing products to the capabilities of the new, redesigned i-Series products and began selling the i-Series products in place of existing products in November.

“The review is simply the procedural conclusion of a process all parties understood two months ago, and the main takeaway remains that Hytera’s new generation of i-Series DMR radios do not infringe any patents, and we will continue to be able to offer our entire product line in the U.S.,” a Hytera spokesperson said. “The new generation of i-Series products is already available to our dealers and customers, despite Motorola Solutions’ attempts to suggest otherwise. Motorola Solutions’ continued efforts to misinform, rehash and reframe the ITC ruling are aimed at confusing our customers in an ongoing campaign seeking to exclude us from competing in the market. That is why Hytera is suing Motorola Solutions for various forms of anticompetitive conduct under the Sherman Antitrust Act.”

Motorola has also filed theft of trade secrets and patent infringement suits against Hytera in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The patent infringement suit was put on hold pending the outcome of the ITC case, while the theft of trade secrets case is scheduled to go to trial in November.

Meanwhile, Hytera filed an anticompetitive practices lawsuit in the U.S. District for New Jersey, alleging that Motorola has used a monopolistic scheme including sham litigation to interfere with Hytera’s relationship with distributors and customers and prevent it from competing in the U.S. market. That case was recently transferred to Illinois after a judge determined that it rose out of similar claims to the patent infringement and theft of trade secrets suit and the legal factors favored transfer.

Source: Radio Resource Media Group  

IMPORTANT

“Is Paging Going Away?” by Jim Nelson

  • Click here for English.
  • Click here for German. (Berlin Revision: November 8, 2016)
  • Click here for French.

Here is an English PDF edit of this paper formatted with page breaks and suitable for printing.

Volunteers needed for translations into other languages.

GLENAYRE INFRASTRUCTURE

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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Board of Advisors

The Wireless Messaging News
Board of Advisors

Frank McNeill
Founder & CEO
Communications Specialists
Jim Nelson
President & CEO
Prism Systems International
Kevin D. McFarland, MSCIS
Sr. Application Systems Analyst
Dartmouth-Hitchcock
Medical Center
Paul Lauttamus, President
Lauttamus Communications & Security
R.H. (Ron) Mercer
Wireless Consultant
Barry Kanne
Paging Industry Veteran
Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.
Consulting Engineer
Allan Angus
Consulting Engineer

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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Prism-IPX Systems

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Who We Are

Prism-IPX is a leader in providing reliable communications systems using modern designs to meet today’s demands for critical message alerting and delivery. Prism-IPX designs versatile and robust Critical Message Management systems using paging and other wireless technologies for high performance and dependable communications.

What We Make

Prism-IPX Systems products include full-featured radio paging systems with VoIP input, IP based transmitter control systems and paging message encryption. Other options include e-mail messaging, remote switch controllers, Off-The-Air paging message decoders and logging systems.

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Product Support Services, Inc.

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Repair and Refurbishment Services

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PSSI Repair Pricing
Repair Turn-Around Time 5-10 Business Days
1.1 Messaging Device - Repair Fees (parts additional change, 90-day warranty)
  Model Name PSSI Model Code Model Type Pricing (USD$)
  AE-Advisor Elite AE-Advisor Elite Alphanumeric $14.25
  AG-Advisor Gold AG-Advisor Gold Alphanumeric $13.12
  ALPE-UniElite (All New Parts) ALPE-UniElite Alphanumeric $34.83
  ALPE-UniElite (Used Parts) ALPE-UniElite Alphanumeric $14.94
  ALPG-Alpha Gold ALPG-Alpha Gold Alphanumeric $14.51
  Apollo Apollo Numeric $13.37
  Bravo 850 B8-BR850 Numeric $17.02
  BF-Bravo FLX BF-Bravo FLX Numeric $11.44
  T900 T9-T900 2Way $18.56
  BP-Bravo Plus BP-Bravo Plus Numeric $11.44
  BR-Bravo LX BR-Bravo LX Numeric $11.44
  GS-Coaster Coaster Numeric $26.97
  M90-UNI Messenger M90-UNI Messenger 2Way $18.56
  NP88-UNI-NP88 NP88-UNI-NP88 Numeric $9.68
  Pronto PL-Pronto LX Numeric $9.68
  Unication Elegant EL-Elegant Numeric $14.51
  RA-Ranger RA-Ranger Numeric $12.02
  ST800 ST800 Numeric $12.02
  ST800-P ST800-P Numeric $12.02
  T3-Titan Sun Telecom T3-Titan Sun Telecom Alphanumeric $13.37
  Z4-Z400 Sun Telecom Z4-Z400 Sun Telecom Alphanumeric $12.06
1.2 Messaging Device - Miscellaneous Service Fees
  Damaged Beyond Repair Inspection Fee $1.15
  Frequency Change - Synthesized Models $3.45
  Frequency Change - Non-Synthesized Models (parts not included) $4.03
1.3 Infrastructure Network Equip. - Repair Fees (parts additional charge, 6-mth. warranty)
  Model Name PSSI Model Code  
  Motorola Amplifier MO-AMP $581.20
  Motorola SCM/Exciter MO-SCM-EXC $561.25
  Motorola External NIU MO-NIU-EXT $511.92
  Glenayre Tx Controller GL-C2000 $128.34
  Glenayre Exciter Narrow Band GL-EXC-NB $128.34
  Glenayre Exciter Wide Band GL-EXC-WB $128.34
  Glenayre </=300W Amplifier GL-T8500 $303.60
  Glenayre </=300W Amplifier GL-T8600 $303.60
1.4 Infrastructure Network Equipment - Miscellaneous Service Fees
  Inventory Receiving Processing Fee $18.40
  Pick, Pack, and Order Fulfillment Fee $29.90
  Damaged Beyond Repair Inspection Fee $80.50

Product Support Services, Inc.
511 South Royal Lane
Coppell, Texas 75019
817-527-6322
sales@pssirl.com left arrow
www.pssirl.com left arrow

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Click on the image above for more info about advertising here.

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.

Input Protocols: Serial and IP
TAP TNPP SNPP
HTTP WCTP SMTP
POTS (DTMF) DID (DTMF)  
 
Output Protocols: Serial and IP
TAP TNPP SNPP
HTTP HTTPS SMPP
WCTP WCTPS SMTP
FLEX (optional PURC control)   POCSAG (optional PURC control)

Additional/Optional Features

  • Database of up to 5000 subscribers.
  • 4 serial ports on board.
  • Up to 8 phone lines (DID or POTS).
  • Can be configured for auto-fail-over to hot swap standby.
  • 1RU rack mount unit appliance—no moving parts.
  • Easily secure legacy system messages leaving site for HIPAA compliance.
  • Only purchase the protocols/options you need.
  • Add Paging Encryption for HIPAA compliance on site.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 e-mail: sales@prism-ipx.com
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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.

  • Option—decode capcode list or all messages.
  • Large capcode capacity.
  • Serial, USB and Ethernet output.
  • POCSAG or FLEX page decoding, special SA protocols.
  • Receivers for paging bands in VHF, UHF, 900 MHz.
  • Message activated Alarm Output.
  • 8 programmable relay outputs.
  • Send notifications of a system problem.
  • Synthesized Receiver Tuning.
  • Selectivity better than 60 dB.
  • Frequencies 148-174, 450-470, 929-932 MHz.
  • Image Rejection better than 55 dB.
  • Spurious Rejection better than 55 dB.
  • Channel Spacing 12.5 or 25 kHz.
  • Power 5VDC.
  • Receiving Sensitivity 5µV at 1200 bps.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 e-mail: sales@prism-ipx.com
prism-ipx.com

Wireless Network Planners

Wireless Network Planners
Wireless Specialists

R.H. (Ron) Mercer
Consultant
217 First Street
East Northport, NY 11731

ron mercer
Telephone: 631-786-9359
www.wirelessplanners.com left arrow
wirelessplannerron@gmail.com left arrow

Wireless Network Planners

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Consulting Alliance

Brad Dye, Ron Mercer, Allan Angus, Vic Jackson, and Ira Wiesenfeld are friends and colleagues who work both together and independently, on wireline and wireless communications projects.

Click here left arrow for a summary of their qualifications and experience. Each one has unique abilities. We would be happy to help you with a project, and maybe save you some time and money.

Note: We do not like Patent Trolls, i.e. “a person or company who enforces patent rights against accused infringers in an attempt to collect licensing fees, but does not manufacture products or supply services based upon the patents in question.” We have helped some prominent law firms defend their clients against this annoyance, and would be happy to do some more of this same kind of work.

Some people use the title “consultant” when they don't have a real job. We actually do consulting work, and help others based on our many years of experience.

“If you would know the road ahead, ask someone who has traveled it.”
— Chinese Proverb

Consulting Alliance

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-1

ABX-3 switches are widely used for enabling or disabling remote equipment and switching I/O connections between redundant messaging systems.

ABX-3

Common Features:

  • RJ45 for A, B and Common connectors.
  • Manual push button or use Prism IP commands to switch one or more relays.
  • Single or Dual Port Control card for IP or Serial connection.
  • Form C relay—control local connection.
  • Power Loss Indicator.
  • Rear Panel Connector for controlling the switch externally.
  • Power Source: 5VDC for ABX-1; 12VDC for ABX-3.

Prism-IPX Systems LLC.

11175 Cicero Dr., Alpharetta, GA 30022
Ph: 678-242-5290 e-mail: sales@prism-ipx.com
prism-ipx.com

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The BlackBerry Device Is 20 Yet Still Full of Potential

Demetris Afxentiou | January 23, 2019

This month, BlackBerry (TSX:BB)(NYSE:BB) is turning 20.

Just to be clear, I’m not talking about the company, which was founded back in 1984, but more the first iconic BlackBerry product, the 850. The device was essentially a pager with a larger screen to accommodate multiple lines of text and, perhaps most importantly, that iconic keyboard. It’s the device that started a movement in both the corporate and consumer market and arguably lit the flame that became the smartphone market we have today.

Since then, that iconic keyboard has been outfitted on a variety of differently sized devices, leading to the current BlackBerry flagship device, the Key2 (which is, in fact, built by and brought to market by a partner and not BlackBerry). Incredibly, despite the constant barrage of criticisms from legions of touchscreen-wielding consumers, there’s still a place in the market, albeit a niche one for that type of device, and it still commands a loyal following of users.

The 20th anniversary of the BlackBerry device is also a time to reflect back on the significant growth that the company has made over the past few years, particularly in transitioning from a hardware-and-software shop to a software-first operation with an emphasis on maintaining privacy and security.

With BlackBerry’s focus no longer directly on devices, the company has branched out in recent years, working on a variety of new projects that are all slated to provide a decade or more of revenue for the company across a variety of fronts. To start, there’s BlackBerry’s secure enterprise software and cybersecurity business, which have thankfully regained focus as foundational elements of BlackBerry’s business under CEO John Chen. The emphasis on security was bolstered further by the $1.4 billion acquisition of Cylance, a leader in the emerging AI-cybersecurity field that was announced last year.

As an example of the potential growth in this field, consider the slew of new IoT devices coming to market every month. Industry experts see the market hitting 20 billion connected devices within the next year, all of which will need security.

Opportunity: QNX can and will power everything

A big portion of BlackBerry’s new focus can be traced back to QNX, which remains one of the main reasons that any tech-seeking investor should contemplate an investment in the company. QNX is the stable, secure, and modular operating system that was pulling the strings behind BlackBerry’s BB10 operating system, but, more importantly, it powers an increasing number of devices, vehicles, and processes across a wide segment of the market.

For example, QNX powers the infotainment systems in over 120 million vehicles around the world, and that pre-existing arrangement with automotive manufacturers, coupled with QNX’s capabilities to manage multiple processes and functions, makes the operating system a great candidate to help power the next generation of autonomous vehicles — something that BlackBerry has shown and demonstrated for some time now.

Here’s another more interesting, often dismissed point: when we think of autonomous vehicles, we often only think of the vehicle itself. We rarely consider the connectivity functions required for one vehicle to relay to another about a traffic incident, or, more importantly, how all of our infrastructures, from land-based centres to traffic lights need to communicate with each other securely.

While upcoming 5G connectivity options will provide the network speed and bandwidth to facilitate this, BlackBerry has already looked deeper towards securing those communications. This is the concept behind a vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure service, which is a key element to building out the smart cities of tomorrow, and BlackBerry, in a subtle announcement last month, stated the availability of service that does exactly that.

Then there are the other areas of the economy that QNX is already heavily invested in and operates in, such as the medical, government, finance, aerospace, power generation, and numerous other fields. To put it another way, if there was ever a reason to be bullish on BlackBerry, particularly over the long term, that time is now.

All that potential started from a small pager with a keyboard 20 years ago.

Have you heard about Amazon’s secretive “Project Vesta”?

Few people have… yet some of the greatest minds in the world believe this innovative technology could change the world.

Amazon doesn’t want anyone to know about this top-secret project, but there’s something even Amazon doesn’t know…

One grassroots Canadian company has already begun introducing this technology to the market – which is why legendary Canadian investor Iain Butler thinks they have a leg up on Amazon in this once-in-a-generation tech race.

But you’ll need to hurry if you want to pick up this TSX stock before its name is on everyone’s lips.

Source:

The Motley Fool

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Leavitt Communications

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We can supply alphanumeric display, numeric display, and voice pagers.

We also offer NEW and refurbished Alphamate 250s, refurbished Alphamate IIs, the original Alphamate refurbished, and new and refurbished pagers, pager repairs, pager parts, and accessories. We are FULL SERVICE in Paging! Outstanding service is our goal.

E-mail Phil Leavitt ( pcleavitt@leavittcom.com ) for pricing and delivery information, or for a list of other available paging and two-way related equipment.

Phil Leavitt
847-955-0511
pcleavitt@leavittcom.com

LEAVITT COMMUNICATIONS
7508 N. Red Ledge Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
www.leavittcom.com

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Friday, January 25, 2019

Volume 7 | Issue 17


FCC’s 28 GHz Auction Ends, $700M+ Raised

The FCC’s 28 GHz auction concluded yesterday after 176 rounds of bidding. 40 entities bid a total of $702,572,410 for 2,965 licenses. 107 licenses received no bids. The auction lasted 38 days.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai called the first high-band 5G spectrum auction a success and said the next one, for 24 GHz spectrum licenses, would begin soon. “We can’t afford to rest on our laurels—and won’t,” he said. “The FCC will continue to aggressively push more spectrum into the commercial marketplace.”

After the 24 GHz auction, the agency will hold an auction of three more spectrum bands later this year. “By making more spectrum available, promoting the deployment of wireless infrastructure, and modernizing our regulations—the three components of the FCC’s 5G FAST plan—we’ll ensure that American consumers reap the substantial benefits that will come from the next generation of wireless connectivity,” said Pai.

Source: Inside Towers newsletter Courtesy of the editor of Inside Towers.

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BloostonLaw Newsletter

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Selected portions [sometimes more — sometimes less] of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update and/or the BloostonLaw Private Users Update — newsletters from the Law Offices of Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy & Prendergast, LLP — are reproduced in this section of The Wireless Messaging News with kind permission from the firm. The firm's contact information is included at the end of this section of the newsletter.


 BloostonLaw Telecom Update Vol. 22, No. 3 January 16, 2019 

FCC Shutdown Continues

As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, the FCC shut down on January 3 as a result of the current lapse in federal government funding. On January 2, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing how filing and database systems, filing deadlines, regulatory and application fee payments, and transaction shot clocks will be affected. Please refer to the January 2 edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update for more information.

Please note that Auction 101 continues as scheduled. Other items reported below may also be affected by the shutdown.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, John Prendergast, and Sal Taillefer.

Special Edition


FCC To Hold January Open Meeting Despite Shutdown, Considering Announcements Only

On January 23, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing that the next Open Meeting, scheduled for January 30, will be conducted via conference call if the lapse in appropriations continues through January 29. Meeting participants can listen to the “audio only” of the meeting by calling 1-866-233-3841 and using pass code 463377. Call-in capacity may be limited depending on the volume of calls. Callers may call the toll-free number up to ten minutes before the scheduled meeting time.

However, the FCC will not consider the items the items set forth in the January 3, 2019 Tentative Agenda.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and John Prendergast.

Senators Reintroduce Robocall Bill

On January 17, U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Commerce Committee and chairman of the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), also a member of the Commerce Committee and author of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, this week reintroduced the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act (S. 151).

As we reported when the bill was first introduced in November of last year, the TRACED Act:

  • Broadens the authority of the FCC to levy civil penalties of up to $10,000 per call who intentionally flout telemarketing restrictions.
  • Extends the window for the FCC to catch and take civil enforcement action against intentional violations to three years after a robocall is placed.
  • Brings together the Department of Justice, FCC, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Department of Commerce, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and other relevant federal agencies as well as state attorneys general and other non-federal entities to identify and report to Congress on improving deterrence and criminal prosecution at the federal and state level of robocall scams.
  • Requires providers of voice services to adopt call authentication technologies, enabling a telephone carrier to verify that incoming calls are legitimate before they reach consumers’ phones.
  • Directs the FCC to initiate a rulemaking to help protect subscribers from receiving unwanted calls or texts from callers using unauthenticated numbers.

“Robocall scams are more than just a nuisance to folks, they’re a shameful tactic to prey on the vulnerable,” said Thune. “The TRACED Act holds those people who participate in robocall scams and intentionally violate telemarketing laws accountable and does more to proactively protect consumers who are potential victims of these bad actors.”

“As Americans continue to suffer an endless stream of harassing spoofed calls and robocalls, the bipartisan TRACED Act will provide every person with a phone much needed relief,” said Markey. “To address the scourge of calls, we need a simple formula: call authentication, blocking, and enforcement, and this legislation achieves all three. I thank Chairman Thune for his continued partnership on this effort, and look forward to seeing this legislation through to its passage.”

FCC Reopens Device Approval System

On January 18, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing that it will reactivate the Equipment Authorization System (EAS), effective the same day. According to the Public Notice, the decision came after the FCC reviewed its statutory authority, the status of contract obligations, and its lapse in funding plan. While the EAS will be available to the public, no support will be provided by FCC staff.

Applications for certification are reviewed and granted by private sector Telecommunications Certification Bodies (TCBs). The TCBs are required to enter the application and grant of equipment certification into the EAS before the grant becomes effective. The reactivation of the EAS will enable the TCBs to grant equipment certifications, thereby allowing that equipment to be imported and marketed in the United States. The FCC noted that while the EAS will be available to the public, no support will be provided by Commission staff.

However, TCBs will not be able to grant equipment certification for products subject to the pre-approval guidance procedure until the FCC resumes normal operations, because that process requires TCBs to consult with FCC staff before granting certification.

BloostonLaw Contacts: John Prendergast and Richard Rubino.

T-Mobile Announces First Implementation of Robocall Blocking Standards

On January 10, T-Mobile announced that it has implemented the FCC’s STIR/SHAKEN standards for combating robocalls through the launch of a new “Caller Verified” technology. According to a press release from T-Mobile, “[t]hrough the latest Samsung Galaxy Note9 software update, calls on the T-Mobile network to an updated Galaxy Note9 are now Caller Verified, and customers see “Caller Verified” on the incoming call screen when T-Mobile has verified that the call is authentic and not intercepted by scammers/spammers”

As we reported in a previous edition of the BloostonLaw Telecom Update, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai sent letters to major U.S. voice providers demanding they establish concrete plans to protect their customers using the Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN) and the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) standards to do so without delay. Under the SHAKEN/STIR framework, calls traveling through interconnected phone networks would be “signed” as legitimate by originating carriers and validated by other carriers before reaching consumers. The framework digitally validates the handoff of phone calls passing through the complex web of networks, allowing the phone company of the consumer receiving the call to verify that a call is from the person supposedly making it.

T-Mobile indicated that the technology would roll out to other devices in the near future.

Deadlines


JANUARY 31: FCC FORM 555, ANNUAL LIFELINE RECERTIFICATION FORM. Lifeline service providers are required to re-certify each of their Lifeline customers by the customer’s anniversary date – i.e., 12 months from the customer's service initiation date, or the date when their eligibility was last verified – each year. Form 555 reports the results of the annual rolling recertification process and includes data accuracy certifications. Form 555 is due January 31 to USAC, the FCC, and state regulatory commissions. Due to hurricanes, certain carriers have extensions of this filing requirement, per the FCC’s Hurricane Relief Orders applies.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.

FEBRUARY 1: FCC FORM 499-Q, TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTING WORKSHEET. All telecommunications common carriers that expect to contribute more than $10,000 to federal Universal Service Fund (USF) support mechanisms must file this quarterly form. The FCC has modified this form in light of its decision to establish interim measures for USF contribution assessments. The form contains revenue information from the prior quarter plus projections for the next quarter. Form 499-Q relates only to USF contributions. It does not relate to the cost recovery mechanisms for the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the North American Numbering Plan Administration (NANPA), and the shared costs of local number portability (LNP), which are covered in the annual Form 499-A that is due April 1.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Mary Sisak.

FEBRUARY 1: FCC FORM 502, NUMBER UTILIZATION AND FORECAST REPORT. Any wireless or wireline carrier (including paging companies) that have received number blocks--including 100, 1,000, or 10,000 number blocks--from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), a Pooling Administrator, or from another carrier, must file Form 502 by February 1. Carriers porting numbers for the purpose of transferring an established customer’s service to another service provider must also report, but the carrier receiving numbers through porting does not. Resold services should also be treated like ported numbers, meaning the carrier transferring the resold service to another carrier is required to report those numbers but the carrier receiving such numbers should not report them. Reporting carriers are required to include their FCC Registration Number (FRN). Reporting carriers file utilization and forecast reports semiannually on or before February 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending December 31, and on or before August 1 for the preceding six-month reporting period ending June 30.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

MARCH 1: COPYRIGHT STATEMENT OF ACCOUNT FORM FOR CABLE COMPANIES. This form, plus royalty payment for the second half of calendar year 2018, is due March 1. The form covers the period July 1 to December 31, 2018, and is due to be mailed directly to cable TV operators by the Library of Congress’ Copyright Office. If you do not receive the form, please contact the firm.

BloostonLaw Contact: Gerry Duffy.

MARCH 1: CPNI ANNUAL CERTIFICATION. Carriers should modify (as necessary) and complete their “Annual Certification of CPNI Compliance” for 2019. The certification must be filed with the FCC by March 1. Note that the annual certification should include the following three required Exhibits: (a) a detailed Statement Explaining How The Company’s Operating Procedures Ensure Compliance With The FCC’S CPNI Rules to reflect the Company’s policies and information; (b) a Statement of Actions Taken Against Data Brokers; and (c) a Summary of Customer Complaints Regarding Unauthorized Release of CPNI. A company officer with personal knowledge that the company has established operating procedures adequate to ensure compliance with the rules must execute the Certification, place a copy of the Certification and accompanying Exhibits in the Company’s CPNI Compliance Records, and file the certification with the FCC in the correct fashion. Our clients can forward the original to BloostonLaw in time for the firm to make the filing with the FCC by March 1, if desired. BloostonLaw is prepared to help our clients meet this requirement, which we expect will be strictly enforced, by assisting with preparation of their certification filing; reviewing the filing to make sure that the required showings are made; filing the certification with the FCC, and obtaining a proof-of-filing copy for your records. Clients interested in obtaining BloostonLaw's CPNI compliance manual should contact the firm.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy

MARCH 1: FCC FORM 477, LOCAL COMPETITION & BROADBAND REPORTING FORM. This annual form is due March 1 and September 1 annually. The FCC requires facilities-based wired, terrestrial fixed wireless, and satellite broadband service providers to report on FCC Form 477 the number of broadband subscribers they have in each census tract they serve. The Census Bureau changed the boundaries of some census tracts as part of the 2010 Census.

Specifically, three types of entities must file this form:

  1. Facilities-based Providers of Broadband Connections to End User Locations: Entities that are facilities-based providers of broadband connections – which are wired “lines” or wireless “channels” that enable the end user to receive information from and/or send information to the Internet at information transfer rates exceeding 200 kbps in at least one direction – must complete and file the applicable portions of this form for each state in which the entity provides one or more such connections to end user locations. For the purposes of Form 477, an entity is a “facilities-based” provider of broadband connections to end user locations if it owns the portion of the physical facility that terminates at the end user location, if it obtains unbundled network elements (UNEs), special access lines, or other leased facilities that terminate at the end user location and provisions/equips them as broadband, or if it provisions/equips a broadband wireless channel to the end user location over licensed or unlicensed spectrum. Such entities include incumbent and competitive local exchange carriers (LECs), cable system operators, fixed wireless service providers (including “wireless ISPs”), terrestrial and satellite mobile wireless service providers, BRS providers, electric utilities, municipalities, and other entities. (Such entities do not include equipment suppliers unless the equipment supplier uses the equipment to provision a broadband connection that it offers to the public for sale. Such entities also do not include providers of fixed wireless services (e.g., “Wi-Fi” and other wireless ethernet, or wireless local area network, applications) that only enable local distribution and sharing of a premises broadband facility.)
  2. Providers of Wired or Fixed Wireless Local Telephone Services: Incumbent and competitive LECs must complete and file the applicable portions of the form for each state in which they provide local exchange service to one or more end user customers (which may include “dial-up” ISPs).
  3. Providers of Mobile Telephony Services: Facilities-based providers of mobile telephony services must complete and file the applicable portions of this form for each state in which they serve one or more mobile telephony subscribers. A mobile telephony service is a real-time, two-way switched voice service that is interconnected with the public switched network using an in-network switching facility that enables the provider to reuse frequencies and accomplish seamless handoff of subscriber calls. A mobile telephony service provider is considered “facilities-based” if it serves a subscriber using spectrum for which the entity holds a license that it manages, or for which it has obtained the right to use via lease or other arrangement with a Band Manager.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens and Gerry Duffy.

MARCH 1: HIGH COST UNIVERSAL BROADBAND PORTAL FILING. Carriers participating in Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II, Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM), Rural Broadband Experiments (RBE), Alaska Plan, and Connect America Fund-Broadband Loop Support (CAF-BLS) programs must file broadband deployment data with USAC where they are building out mass-market, high-speed Internet service. This information includes latitude and longitude coordinates for every location where service is available.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Ben Dickens, Gerry Duffy, and Sal Taillefer.

MARCH 31: FCC FORM 508, CAF-BLS PROJECTED ANNUAL COMMON LINE REQUIREMENT. Each rate-of-return incumbent telecommunications carrier that does not elect voluntary model-based support to provide information needed to calculate the projected annual cost and revenue data for each of its study areas in the upcoming funding year to USAC. This information must be submitted on March 31st of each year, in order for the carrier to be eligible to receive Connect America Fund-Broadband Loop Support (CAF-BLS).

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.

MARCH 31: FCC FORM 525, CETC LINE COUNTS. Competitive eligible telecommunications carriers (CETCs) are eligible to receive High Cost support if they serve lines in an incumbent carrier’s service area, and that incumbent carrier receives High Cost support. CETCs are eligible to receive the same per-line support amount received by the incumbent carrier in whose study area the CETC serves lines. Unlike the incumbent carriers, CETCs will use FCC Form 525 to submit their line count data to USAC. Form 525 is due by March 31 each year.

BloostonLaw Contacts: Gerry Duffy, Mary Sisak, and Sal Taillefer.

Calendar At-a-Glance


Per the FCC’s shutdown policy, all FCC submissions that would be due during a suspension of operations will be due on the second day of normal operations. Deadlines affected by this policy are marked “TBD” below.

January
TBD – Reply comments are due on Kari’s Law and RAY BAUM’s Act NPRM.
TBD – Comments on Wireless Resiliency are due.
TBD – Comments are due on Cable Rate Regulation Revision FNPRM.
TBD – Comments are due on State 911 Fee Report.
TBD – Reply comments on Wireless Resiliency are due.
Jan. 31 – FCC Form 555 (Annual Lifeline ETC Certification Form) is due.

February
Feb. 1 – FCC Form 499-Q (Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet) is due.
Feb. 1 – FCC Form 502 (Number Utilization and Forecast Report) is due.
Feb. 4 – Comments are due on State 911 Fee Report.
Feb. 11 – Comments are due on Cable Rate Regulation Revision FNPRM.
Feb. 19 – PRA comments are due on Payphone ANI Report.

March
Mar. 1 – Copyright Statement of Account Form for cable companies is due.
Mar. 1 – Annual CPNI Certification is due.
Mar. 1 – HUBB Portal Filing is due.
Mar. 1 – FCC Form 477 (Local Competition & Broadband Reporting) is due.
Mar. 31 – FCC Form 508 (CAF-BLS Projected Annual Common Line Report) is due.
Mar. 31 – FCC Form 525 (CETC Line Counts) is due.

LAW OFFICES OF
BLOOSTON, MORDKOFSKY, DICKENS,
DUFFY & PRENDERGAST, LLP

2120 L St. NW, Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20037
(202) 659-0830
(202) 828-5568 (fax)

— CONTACTS —

Harold Mordkofsky, 202-828-5520, hma@bloostonlaw.com
Benjamin H. Dickens, Jr., 202-828-5510, bhd@bloostonlaw.com
Gerard J. Duffy, 202-828-5528, gjd@bloostonlaw.com
John A. Prendergast, 202-828-5540, jap@bloostonlaw.com
Richard D. Rubino, 202-828-5519, rdr@bloostonlaw.com
Mary J. Sisak, 202-828-5554, mjs@bloostonlaw.com
D. Cary Mitchell, 202-828-5538, cary@bloostonlaw.com
Salvatore Taillefer, Jr., 202-828-5562, sta@bloostonlaw.com

This newsletter is not intended to provide legal advice. Those interested in more information should contact the firm.

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Complete Technical Services for the Communications and Electronics Industries


Technical Services Inc.

Texas Registered Engineering Firm #F16945

“It's more than Push-To-Talk”

7711 Scotia Drive
Dallas, TX 75248-3112

Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E.

President • Principal Engineer
CETsr CA GROL IEEE LSM
WA5GXP

Cell: 214-707-7711
E-mail: iwiesenfel@aol.com
Toll Free: 844-IWA-TECH (844-492-8324)

Design  •  Installation  •  Maintenance  •  Training

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Best regards,
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Newsletter Editor
73 DE K9IQY
Licensed since 1957

Brad Dye
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USA

 

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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

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“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said.”

—Peter Drucker

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VIDEO OF THE WEEK

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“Congo to the Mississippi”

playing for change

Playing For Change
Published on Sep 7, 2018

From our new album, Listen to the Music, available now: http://bit.ly/LTTMpfc

This song was co-written by Mermans Mosengo and my brother, Greg Johnson, a few years ago while we were on tour with the PFC Band. The simple message and anthemic chorus made me really excited to record it as a PFC Song Around The World. We started under the hot African sun in the village of Lukala in the Congo and we added musicians wherever we traveled for the past few years until we finally added the final piece with Grandpa Elliott playing the harmonica solo in New Orleans. Someday we’ll all be free, until then, music is our ammunition.

Source: YouTube P.S. I like classical music too.

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