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Submission + - FTC Robocall Challenge (

cyberscan writes: "The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is challenging innovators to create solutions that will block illegal robocalls. These solutions should block robocalls on landlines and mobile phones and can operate on a proprietary or non-proprietary device or platform. Entries can be proposed technical solutions or functional solutions and proofs of concept. The grand prize for the best solution is $50,000."

Submission + - Kaspersky's Exploit-Proof OS Leaves Security Experts Skeptical (

CWmike writes: "Eugene Kaspersky, the $800-million Russian cybersecurity tycoon, is, by his own account, out to 'save the world' with an exploit-proof operating system. Given the recent declarations from U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and others that the nation is facing a 'digital Pearl Harbor' or 'digital 9/11' from hostile nation states like Iran, this sounds like the impossible dream come true — the cyber version of a Star Wars force field. But on this side of that world in need of saving, the enthusiasm is somewhat tempered. One big worry: source. 'The real question is, do you trust the people who built your system? The answer had better be yes,' said Gary McGraw, CTO of Cigital. Kaspersky's products are among the top ranked worldwide, are used by an estimated 300 million people and are embraced by U.S. companies like Microsoft, Cisco and Juniper Networks. But while he considers himself at some level a citizen of the world, he has close ties to Russian intelligence and Vladimir Putin. Part of his education and training was sponsored by the KGB, he is a past Soviet intelligence officer (some suspect he has not completely retired from that role) and he is said have a 'deep and ongoing relationship with Russia's Federal Security Service, or FSB,' the successor to the KGB and the agency that operates the Russian government's electronic surveillance network."

Comment Re:VOIP sucks. (Score 1) 426

People could provide their own service if they were allowed to. Forming a small cooperative to build out even copper wire could be done at minimal cost in many areas. A DSLAM can be bought on ebay for less than $600. I lived in a suburban area served by Sprint, and Sprint refused to build out high speed Internet. At the time, I had a couple of computers co located at a friendly ISP about11 miles away. Needless to say, I had broadband Internet at my home. I'm sure I fractured a few "laws" in providing my own Internet, but the phone or cable company refused to do it.

Comment Re:VOIP sucks. (Score 1) 426

I place where we hold congregation meetings is in the house that belongs to an elderly lady. She was with Bell South and always ahd trouble with the phone line. There was static, buzzing, etc. I was on the phone company's side of the Demarcation point. She would always complain, and the telco would repair the problem only to have it occure again. When the Congregation installed cable internet for her, I brought in my Grandstream handytone 286 and plugged it into the router. After some configuration and a new account with Gizmo5, she now has crystal clear telephone service. Her cellphone is used to dial 911 in any case of emergency. Her new system is cheaper, works much better, and is much more reliable than Bell South. I was glad to disconnect the line from the demarcation point.

Comment Re:VOIP sucks. (Score 1) 426

There are several ways of providing backup power.. I have added batteries to my uninterruptable power supply. I've wired them in parallel, and I put switches on each battery. When the batteries need to be charged, I allow the one built into the UPS to charge first, then I flip a switch to charge the next battery. I keep doing this until all the batteries are charged. My system remained operational for over a day and a half. However, like another poster suggested, there is more than one way to provide for power in a prolonged emergency. Routers, modems, VOIP phones, many FXO's, and laptop computers are low voltage devices that can be powered by the sun and wind without too high of a cost or installation effort. For cell phone, one can pick up solar powered cell phone chargers very cheaply.

Comment Re:VOIP sucks. (Score 1) 426

We had a prolonged power outage (almost 48 hours) in my neighborhood. After about day and a half, the remote (POT's channel mux) went out, and both POTS and the Internet was unavailable. My prepaid phone saved the day. Since I was not "online" my VOIP routed my incoming calls to my cellphone. VOIP is good if you have the expertise readily available in case something goes wrong.

Comment Re:I have both (Score 1) 426

I also want to say that I do have super reliable service, and I have 3 pay as you go providers so that I can fall back on others should my promary provider go down. In addition, I have a pay as you go cellphone that I would use for 911. VOIP may not be for everyone, but it definitely meets my (and many of my clients) needs.

Comment I have both (Score 1) 426

I have both POTs and VOIP. I use POTs because my telco is the only Internet game in town and in order to have 911 service. I use VOIP for cheap calls with no taxes for my business line. If it weren't for the fact that I have to have POTS in order to have Internet, I would have gone completely VOIP a long time ago. VOIP can be as reliable as your Internet service if you provide battery backup for your FXO (The thing you plug you analog phone into) and your DSL or CABLE modem (and router if you have it). You also have to provide battery backup for your computer if it serves as your phone system switch. With VOIP, you can also connect to many different phone networks (other that POTS). In addition, you can set up a very secure network where you can communicate with other offices in an organization without much fear of snooping or wiretapping. VOIP is definitely the way to go.

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