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Old February 13, 2002, 11:26 AM   #1
Gunter
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Stranger asks to use your cellphone

You are riding public transport in a major city during rush hour (typical mix of kids and adults, nobody suspicious) and sit down next to a stranger who notices you have a cellphone.

The stranger asks to use your cellphone for a short call and offers to pay you for it (last call costs feature not available).

What now?
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Old February 13, 2002, 11:50 AM   #2
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Go with my gut feeling at the time. Might go for it.

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Old February 13, 2002, 11:56 AM   #3
fix
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Considering that my phone came as a package deal with the 1 year service contract, I'd only be out $20 if they bolted with it. I'd ask for a 20 dollar bill to hold onto. If they stole it, I'd just hit the next payphone and have the service stopped. No reason to stop being neighborly over 20 bucks.

Edited to mention that I'd be sure to dial the number for them.
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Old February 13, 2002, 12:02 PM   #4
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if the stranger is willing to pay for the call they can use a payphone.
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Old February 13, 2002, 12:09 PM   #5
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Well, assuming I'm seated on the aisle, and the stranger is by the window, I think that flight risk is rather small.

"Here - Keep it short."

The guy may just need to call his boss to tell him he'll be late. No big deal.
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Old February 13, 2002, 12:11 PM   #6
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What am I? A walking phone booth?

I'd say "Sure, if you show me an ID." You never know when they might be using you as an accessory to a crime. Although in court such a call---if you can prove that it was the stranger who made it---will link him or her to a specific time and place.

Cell phones, as you know, are like transponders: While turned on, network towers track and record their movement. (Come to think of it, I can't say for sure that they don't when the phone is "off").
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Old February 13, 2002, 12:22 PM   #7
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I don't have a cellular phone. They're called cellular phones because they are designed to modify the cellular structure of the brain. They emit waves that carry instructions and power for the nanobots that we ingest through municipal water supplies. There is nothing I can do about the nanobots that I already swallowed, but I can keep them inert by denying them operating instructions and power. The more you use your phone the more quickly the architecture of your brain is being altered. Don't think bottled water is a defense. Bottled water actually contains higher concentrations of the nanobots because they know that bottled water drinkers are especially good candidates for cellualr architecture alteration and they want to speed the process along.
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Old February 13, 2002, 12:27 PM   #8
fix
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Quote:
Cell phones, as you know, are like transponders: While turned on, network towers track and record their movement. (Come to think of it, I can't say for sure that they don't when the phone is "off").
So far off topic it's pathetic but...

Most newer CDMA and TDMA digital phones transmit a "last recorded position" to the nearest tower during the power down sequence. Circumventing the power down sequence by removing the battery will prevent this. If you've been in one tower's "cell" for an extended period of time, and pull the plug, you drop off the map immediately. However, this will sometimes force your friends to have to wait through a number of rings to get to your voicemail. If you follow the power down sequence, the voice mail would pick up on the first ring because the system "knows" that you have gone offline.

What the heck all this has to do with Alternative Force/Close Quarters Combat is beyond me, but posts are coming slow today so this beats the heck out of nothing.
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Old February 13, 2002, 12:29 PM   #9
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"I'm sorry, but this is a business phone, and my employer does not allow it to be used for personal calls. "

-or-

"No, sorry."

-or-

"Sorry, but I'm waiting for my drug dealer to call."
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Old February 13, 2002, 12:44 PM   #10
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Golgo-13: Do you suppose Evian* is safe to drink?



*Read backward
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Old February 13, 2002, 01:15 PM   #11
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Excellent point, Rickmeister. Everyone here needs to remember that everything is a symbol masking a hidden meaning which is, in turn, only symbolic of an even more deeply hidden meaning.
Once the first phase, using cellular phones and potable water-borne nanobots, is completed then They can begin phase II of The Transformation. I haven't entirely unravelled the complexities of this portion of their Evil Design, but I know that it somehow involves reality-TV shows, pancakes, electric cars, and wonderbras. Clearly, there are key portions to the puzzle that I must yet uncover.
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Old February 13, 2002, 02:08 PM   #12
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Don't forget turkey bacon, and veggie burgers, and soy milk.

Golgo-13: I'm beginning to think the whole world is involved in this perfidious, demonic, and ubiquitous conspiracy...

Except you and me...

And I'm beginning to have my doubts about you.

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Old February 13, 2002, 03:02 PM   #13
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A prophet of doom is not loved in any land. They won't listen to me here either.
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Old February 13, 2002, 03:18 PM   #14
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<sigh> Okay, putting on my Officimal Urban Legend Buster Hat...

Quote:
Cell phones, as you know, are like transponders: While turned on, network towers track and record their movement.
and

Quote:
Most newer CDMA and TDMA digital phones transmit a "last recorded position" to the nearest tower during the power down sequence.

Okay, let's start with what I do for a living. THIS. Cellular. Call it PCS or call it cellular - it don't matter. How long? Since May of 1984. I engineer the networks. I've worked for carriers (operators) and I now work for an international consulting firm. Hence my last two months spent in China, working on a new CDMA system there. The Director of Engineering at Verizon Los Angeles (not a small time market, excactly) was a protege of mine. I was at AirTouch LA when we first deployed CDMA.

Got the picture? I'm qualified.

Neither of the above statements is true. (There's a germ of truth in the second one.) The POTENTIAL is there for location, but it isn't in place yet. The FCC has mandated it for 911 calls, which means it can be done on ANY call, but NONE of the carriers have deployed it yet. They are all waaaay past the deadline, and staring big fines in the face. Why? It ain't ready yet. CDMA will be the easiest to do, old analog the hardest.

Why? CDMA systems use GPS for timing the network. There's a GPS receiver on each site. (commonly called 'tower', though many are on rooftops) All it will take is the right software at the central processing office (the 'switch') because timing information is alreadly present. I'm a little surprised CDMA vendors (Lucent, Nortel, Ericsson, Motorola) haven't done it yet.

TDMA based systems (IS-136, GSM, and Nextel's IdEN) don't use GPS for timing, but they do have a timing system, so potentially they can do the same thing. It's just a bit harder.

Analog is hopeless. Well, not quite. Very difficult, though. And expensive. The easiest solution there is to include a GPS receiver in the phone. In fact, that's the easiest method for ALL technologies. Why hasn't it been done?

Two reasons:
[list=1][*]Cost. Why design and build a new phone for a dying technology like analog? 3G is just around the corner, so the same really applies to the other technologies. The handset makers aren't under any FCC mandate, the operators are. So why invest?
[*]Ubiquity. If the location scheme requires a special phone, then only new phones can be located. That's not what the FCC wants. Nor what the advertisers want. Advertisers? Yeah. Advertisers. They want to know when you drive past a McDonalds so they can hit you with an ad for McDonalds. Yep.[/list=1]

In fact, there's a big battle going on about who gets the information about your location.
Anyone see a problem with all of this? I'd pay some attention to that battle, if I were you. Right now it's being waged by the "Privacy Advocates" types, who are typically liberals. Hey, folks, this is OUR battle!



As for the germ of truth in the second one: The last serving site is known, but that's a far cry from a last LOCATION. Depending on the site, you could be in an area the size of a few square blocks (rare) to several square miles (common) to many dozens, or even hundreds, of square miles. (In the rare case of a completely contained in-building system, the building can be identified.) And removing the battery doesn't change that - it only pegs it as a dropped call on site XX, instead of a normally ended call on site XX.


Thus Saith The Engineer, who will not have much patience with disagreement from "Experts" who have a brother in law that used to sell phones for Radio Shack. (Having just been through that on another board, thank you!)
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Old February 13, 2002, 03:20 PM   #15
Joe Demko
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But you don't deny the cellular phone-nanobot connection, I see.
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Old February 13, 2002, 03:33 PM   #16
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Oh, no, Golgol. Of COURSE not! That's a well established fact. THe nanobots are sown in our reservoirs by black helicopters. I heard about it on Art Bell. Or were they in the contrails???





Oh, about the original question. "Sure, what's the number you want me to dial for you?"

That's if it looks at all suspicious. Otherewise, "Sure. Here you go."
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Old February 13, 2002, 03:57 PM   #17
fix
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Germ of truth??? C'mon man...it wasn't that bad for a layman. Especially a layman fumbling through cellular technology on a firearms forum.
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Old February 13, 2002, 05:39 PM   #18
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Actually, it wasn't. Bettern' the idiot that runs www.howstuffworks.com. It would be more truthful to call it how-webadvertising-works-all-you-have-to-do-is-get-suckers-to-your-website.com

Oddly enough, we lost some capabilities when we went to digital. We used to be able to track a call and see what site was serving it real time. (It's much harder now with digital.) That's how we tracked O.J. on his slow speed chase - watched the call in progress (after being subpoenaed) and made educated guesses as to his location from our knowledge of the area and the sites that serve it. The ossifers took our rough guess and found him. (I was not personally involved, as my area of responsibility was not Orange County at that time.)
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Old February 13, 2002, 05:40 PM   #19
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WOW! You guys got my head hurtin. How bout, sorry man my batterys dead.
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Old February 13, 2002, 08:33 PM   #20
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Three Replies

Response #1 Didn't your moma tell you not to talk to strangers! Cause I'm one STRANGE SOB..
Response #2 No speeek ingleesch .
Response #3 Lean slightly and cut a fart on em.
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Old February 13, 2002, 10:15 PM   #21
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"Sure." *COUGH* "You've had your *COUGH* tuberculosis shots, right?" *Wet-heavy-cough*

Actually, I'd let him use it. I'd dial for him, though.

Mike
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Old February 14, 2002, 08:25 AM   #22
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Hey, fix: the good thing about dropping a worm of self-righteousness in the lake of TFL omniscience is that we might catch a know-it-all.

We were both quoted as "wrong" by a whopper. Whaddaya say we keep fishin' for those big ones.

Quote:
The POTENTIAL is there for location, but it isn't in place yet.
Oh, sorry, my mistake. A million regrets. It can't be done, but it can.

Quote:
...which means it CAN be done on ANY call...
Ehem. Say what?

Quote:
We used to be able to track a call and see what site was serving it real time.
Yup. I see where we were "wrong".
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Old February 14, 2002, 08:59 AM   #23
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If you decline, do not make excuses, just say, "I cannot help you". Leave it at that.
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Old February 14, 2002, 09:05 AM   #24
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Rickmeister-



I'm not sure what to say. He's an expert in the field, you're not. Neither am I, but his explaination made sense to me.

Mike
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The axe bites into the door, ripping a hole in one panel. The maniac puts his face into the hole, cackling gleefully, "Here's Johnny...erk."
"And here's Smith and Wesson," murmurs Coronach, Mozambiquing six rounds of .357 into the critter at a range of three feet. -Lawdog

"True pacifism is the finest form of manliness. But if a man comes up to you and cuts your hand off, you don't just offer him the other one. Not if you want to go on playing the piano, you don't." -Sam Peckinpah

"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." -Robert Heinlein
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Old February 14, 2002, 10:59 AM   #25
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Coronach:

I'm not scratching him off as ignorant. If I did, I would be no better than him. I just hate being told that I am wrong when I'm right, pretty much as anyone else would be.

I am a programmer (Notice I didn't say: "Hey, I am an ACE systems analyst; who knows his stuff, unlike YOU. I will not have much patience with disagreement from 'Experts' who have a brother-in-law that used to sell computers for Radio Shack.") The point is, if you say something like "class objects cannot be instanciated within a virtual class declaration block as a pre-compiled directive", I am not going to denounce you as "wrong", because the objective truth about your statement is categorical at best.

In fact, I am absolutely convinced that many people out there who are NOT programmers know a thing or two about computers.
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