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Dennis Donovan

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Member since: Wed Oct 15, 2008, 06:29 PM
Number of posts: 11,029

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35 yrs ago today; The Bell System is broken up


The Bell System was the system of companies, led by the Bell Telephone Company and later by AT&T, which provided telephone services to much of the United States and Canada from 1877 to 1984, at various times as a monopoly. On December 31, 1983, the system was divided into independent companies by a U.S. Justice Department mandate.


Nationwide monopoly
Bell system telephones and related equipment were made by Western Electric, a wholly owned subsidiary of AT&T Co. Member telephone companies paid a fixed fraction of their revenues as a license fee to Bell Labs.

As a result of this vertical monopoly, by 1940 the Bell System effectively owned most telephone service in the United States, from local and long-distance service to the telephones themselves. This allowed Bell to prohibit its customers from connecting phones not made or sold by Bell to the system without paying fees. For example, if a customer desired a type of phone not leased by the local Bell monopoly, he or she had to purchase the phone at cost, give it to the phone company, then pay a 're-wiring' charge and a monthly lease fee in order to use it.

In 1949, the United States Department of Justice alleged in an antitrust lawsuit that AT&T and the Bell System operating companies were using their near-monopoly in telecommunications to attempt to establish unfair advantage in related technologies. The outcome was a 1956 consent decree limiting AT&T to 85% of the United States' national telephone network and certain government contracts, and from continuing to hold interests in Canada and the Caribbean. The Bell System's Canadian operations included the Bell Canada regional operating company and the Northern Electric manufacturing subsidiary of the Bell System's Western Electric equipment manufacturer. Western Electric divested Northern Electric in 1956, but AT&T did not divest itself of Bell Canada until 1975. ITT Corporation, then known as International Telephone & Telegraph Co. purchased the Bell System's Caribbean regional operating companies.

The Bell System also owned various Caribbean regional operating companies, as well as 54% of Japan's NEC and a post-World War II reconstruction relationship with NTT before the 1956 boundaries were emplaced. Before 1956, the Bell System's reach was truly gargantuan. Even during the period from 1956 to 1984, the Bell System's dominant reach into all forms of communications was pervasive within the United States and influential in telecommunication standardization throughout the industrialized world.

The 1984 Bell System divestiture brought an end to the affiliation branded as the Bell System. It resulted from another antitrust lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice in 1974, alleging illegal practices by the Bell System companies to stifle competition in the telecommunications industry. The parties settled the suit on January 8, 1982, superseding the former restrictions that AT&T and the DOJ had agreed upon in 1956.


IMO, telecom customer service has not improved since the breakup...
Posted by Dennis Donovan | Mon Dec 31, 2018, 06:59 AM (26 replies)

Legendary Animator Don Lusk Dead at 105


Disney Legend Don Lusk has passed away today at age 105 – reported by his dear friend Navah Paskowitz-Asner (Ed Asner’s wife) on her Facebook page this morning. Lusk was hired by The Walt Disney Company in 1933 and he became an animator in 1938 on Ferdinand The Bull. His animation graced key scenes in Bambi, Song of the South, Cinderella, Lady and the Tramp, Sleeping Beauty and One Hundred and One Dalmatians. He is best known for his work on the Fish Dance in “The Nutcracker Suite” in Fantasia, Cleo the goldfish in Pinocchio, the title character in Alice in Wonderland and Wendy in Peter Pan.

Lusk left Disney in 1960, but continued to work as an animator during the 1960s and 1970s, on UPA’s Gay Purr-ee (1962), A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969), and freelanced for Bill Melendez and Walter Lantz studios. He spent 23 years at Hanna-Barbera, directing everything from Scooby Doo to Yo Yogi!, working well into the 1990s.


Per Wikipedia:

Pinocchio (1940)
Fantasia (1940)
Bambi (1942)
Song of the South (1946)
So Dear to My Heart (1949)
Cinderella (1950)
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Peter Pan (1953)
Lady and the Tramp (1955)
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! (1964)
The Man Called Flintstone (1966)
A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969)
Snoopy, Come Home (1972)
Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown (1977)
It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown (1969)
Play It Again, Charlie Brown (1971)
You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown (1972)
There's No Time for Love, Charlie Brown (1973)
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973)
It's a Mystery, Charlie Brown (1974)
It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (1974)
Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown (1975)
You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown (1975)
It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown (1976)
It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown (1977)
A Flintstone Christmas (1977)
What a Nightmare, Charlie Brown! (1978)

Thank you Mr Lusk!

Posted by Dennis Donovan | Mon Dec 31, 2018, 06:48 AM (2 replies)

43 years ago today: the LGA Bombing


On December 29, 1975, a bomb was detonated near the TWA baggage reclaim terminal at LaGuardia Airport, New York City. The blast killed 11 people and seriously injured 74. The perpetrators were never identified, although investigators and historians believe that Croatian nationalists were the most likely. The attack occurred during a four-year period of heightened terrorist attacks within the United States. 1975 was especially volatile, with bombings in New York City and Washington D.C. early that year and two assassination attempts on US President Gerald Ford.

The LaGuardia Airport bomb, at the time, was the single most deadly attack by a non-state actor to occur on American soil since the Bath School bombings, which killed 44 people in 1927. It was the deadliest attack in New York City since the Wall Street bombing of 1920, which killed 38, until the September 11 attacks in 2001.

The bomb exploded at approximately 6:33 p.m. in the TWA baggage claim area in the central terminal. The equivalent of 25 sticks of dynamite was believed by investigators to have been placed in a coin-operated locker located next to the carousels in the baggage reclaim area. The bomb blew the lockers apart, causing shrapnel to fly across the room; the shrapnel was responsible for all 11 deaths and injuring several others. Others were injured by shards of glass broken off the terminal's plate glass windows. The force of the bomb ripped a 10-by-15-foot (3.0 by 4.6 m) hole in the 8-inch (20 cm) reinforced concrete ceiling of the baggage claim area. The subsequent fire in the terminal took over an hour to get under control.

The death toll could have been much worse if the area had not been largely clear of passengers at the time; two flights from Cincinnati and Indianapolis had arrived at 6 p.m. and most of the passengers on these flights had already left the area. Most of the dead and injured were airport employees, people waiting for transportation, and limo drivers.

One witness, H. Patrick Callahan, a 27-year-old lawyer from Indianapolis, was with his law partner at the time of the bombing. "My law partner and I had gone outside to see where the limo was...We had just gone back and we were leaning against one of those big columns. The people who died were standing next to us." said Callahan. When Callahan awakened all he could see was dust, and he could not even see his companion, who was two feet away at the time. The blast damaged Callahan's hearing, which did not return for a week. "The bomb appeared to have been placed in the lockers directly adjacent to the carousel that the luggage was on...It was evil." said Callahan.

The bombing was condemned by Pope Paul VI and President Ford, who said that he was "deeply grieved at the loss of life and injuries." Ford cut short his vacation in Vail, Colorado and ordered John McLucas, head of the FAA, to look into ways of tightening airport security. The Mayor of New York City Abraham Beame said that the bombing "was the work of maniacs. We will hunt them down."

Airports in Washington, Cleveland and St, Louis were evacuated following hoax bomb calls and several other airports around the country received similar calls.

</snip> more at link...

Posted by Dennis Donovan | Sat Dec 29, 2018, 07:25 AM (5 replies)

Doctors question medical care given to migrant boy who died Christmas Eve

Source: CNN

(CNN)Days after a Guatemalan boy died in US custody on Christmas Eve, infectious disease experts say it appears Felipe Alonzo-Gomez likely had the flu, a potentially deadly illness that can often be treated if caught early enough.

US Customs and Border Protection issued a statement Tuesday saying the boy had "possible influenza symptoms" on Monday and was taken to a local hospital.

A detailed account of the child's care released by the federal agency does not mention a flu test being administered to Felipe. CBP did not respond to a question from CNN about whether the boy received a flu test.
"This child's death could have been prevented," said Dr. Flor Muñoz, an associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Muñoz and another pediatric infectious disease expert contacted by CNN said they would have tested Felipe for the flu if he had been their patient, given that it's flu season and he had symptoms of influenza.


The hospital discharged Felipe that afternoon after diagnosing him with a "common cold" and prescribing ibuprofen and amoxicillin, an antibiotic, according to the agency.

That night, Felipe vomited, and a few hours later a border patrol agent brought him and his father back to Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center. During the ride, the boy began to vomit again and lost consciousness. He was pronounced dead at the hospital at 11:48 p.m.


Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/27/health/guatemalan-boy-death-doctors/index.html

Posted by Dennis Donovan | Thu Dec 27, 2018, 06:29 AM (13 replies)

Happy Crimble from the Fab Four!

Posted by Dennis Donovan | Tue Dec 25, 2018, 07:39 AM (1 replies)

McCaskill warns Dems about 'cheap' rhetoric; says GOP senators privately believe Trump is 'nuts'

(CNN)Sen. Claire McCaskill has some advice for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the incoming freshman who has rapidly risen from obscurity to one of the most well-known figures in the Democratic Party: Talk is cheap.

McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat who's in her final days in office after losing her bid for a third Senate term, told CNN in a wide-ranging interview that her party must begin to focus and deliver on real issues to attract independent and white working class voters -- not pie-in-the-sky policy ideas, such as tuition-free college, that have little chance of becoming law. Her concern: Voters grow cynical after hearing campaign promises that never go anywhere, empowering forces like President Donald Trump to rail against Washington for failed promises, as he did in 2016.

Democrats, she suggested, should be cautious about the rise of politicians like the 29-year-old Ocasio-Cortez, who vanquished a Democratic leader, Joe Crowley, in her primary, and have vowed sweeping changes in policy.

"I don't know her," McCaskill said when asked if she'd consider Ocasio-Cortez a "crazy Democrat" like the ones she decried on the campaign trail. "I'm a little confused why she's the thing. But it's a good example of what I'm talking about, a bright shiny new object, came out of nowhere and surprised people when she beat a very experienced congressman."


Not helpful, Claire. I dig you're hurt by your loss, but don't trash Dems on the way out, please?
Posted by Dennis Donovan | Mon Dec 24, 2018, 02:35 PM (16 replies)

50 years ago today; Apollo 8 Launch - first visit to another celestial body by humans


Apollo 8, the second manned spaceflight mission in the United States Apollo space program, was launched on December 21, 1968, and became the first manned spacecraft to leave low Earth orbit, reach the Moon, orbit it, and safely return. The three-astronaut crew—Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders—became the first humans to travel beyond low Earth orbit, see Earth as a whole planet, and enter the gravity well of another celestial body. They were also the first humans to orbit another celestial body, see the far side of the Moon, witness and photograph an "Earthrise", escape the gravity of another celestial body (the Moon), and reenter Earth's gravitational well. Apollo 8 was the third flight and the first crewed launch of the Saturn V rocket, and was the first human spaceflight from the Kennedy Space Center, located adjacent to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Originally planned as the second crewed Apollo Lunar Module and command module test, to be flown in an elliptical medium Earth orbit in early 1969, the mission profile was changed in August 1968 to a more ambitious command-module-only lunar orbital flight to be flown in December, as the lunar module was not yet ready to make its first flight. Astronaut Jim McDivitt's crew, who were training to fly the first lunar module flight in low Earth orbit, became the crew for the Apollo 9 mission, and Borman's crew were moved to the Apollo 8 mission. This left Borman's crew with two to three months' less training and preparation time than originally planned, and replaced the planned lunar module training with translunar navigation training.

Apollo 8 took 68 hours (almost three days) to travel the distance to the Moon. The crew orbited the Moon ten times over the course of 20 hours, during which they made a Christmas Eve television broadcast in which they read the first ten verses from the Book of Genesis. At the time, the broadcast was the most watched TV program ever. Apollo 8's successful mission paved the way for Apollo 11 to fulfill U.S. president John F. Kennedy's goal of landing a man on the Moon before the end of the 1960s. The Apollo 8 astronauts returned to Earth on December 27, 1968, when their spacecraft splashed down in the Northern Pacific Ocean. The crew members were named Time magazine's "Men of the Year" for 1968 upon their return.


Posted by Dennis Donovan | Fri Dec 21, 2018, 12:28 PM (1 replies)

U.S. weighs complete withdrawal of troops from Syria: U.S. officials

Source: Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is considering a total withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria as it nears the end of its campaign to retake all of the territory once held by Islamic State, U.S. officials told Reuters on Wednesday.

Such a decision, if confirmed, would upend assumptions about a longer-term U.S. military presence in Syria, which U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other senior U.S. officials had advocated to help ensure Islamic State cannot reemerge.

Still, President Donald Trump has previously expressed a strong desire to bring troops home from Syria when possible.

The timing of the withdrawal was not immediately clear and U.S. officials who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity did not disclose details about the deliberations, including who was involved. It was unclear how soon a decision could be announced.

The Pentagon and White House declined to comment.


Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-syria/u-s-weighs-complete-withdrawal-of-troops-from-syria-u-s-officials-idUSKBN1OI1JC
Posted by Dennis Donovan | Wed Dec 19, 2018, 10:08 AM (6 replies)

115 years ago today; Wright Brothers achieve controlled, powered flight in heavier-than-air craft


Flight trials at Kitty Hawk
Upon returning to Kitty Hawk in 1903, the Wrights completed assembly of the Flyer while practicing on the 1902 Glider from the previous season. On December 14, 1903, they felt ready for their first attempt at powered flight. With the help of men from the nearby government life-saving station, the Wrights moved the Flyer and its launching rail to the incline of a nearby sand dune, Big Kill Devil Hill, intending to make a gravity-assisted takeoff. The brothers tossed a coin to decide who would get the first chance at piloting, and Wilbur won. The airplane left the rail, but Wilbur pulled up too sharply, stalled,[citation needed] and came down after 3​1⁄2 seconds with minor damage.

Repairs after the abortive first flight took three days. When they were ready again on December 17, the wind was averaging more than 20 miles per hour (32 km/h), so the brothers laid the launching rail on level ground, pointed into the wind, near their camp. This time the wind, instead of an inclined launch, provided the necessary airspeed for takeoff. Because Wilbur had already had the first chance, Orville took his turn at the controls. His first flight lasted 12 seconds for a total distance of 120 feet (37 m) – shorter than the wingspan of a Boeing 747, as noted by observers in the 2003 commemoration of the first flight.

Taking turns, the Wrights made four brief, low-altitude flights that day. The flight paths were all essentially straight; turns were not attempted. Each flight ended in a bumpy and unintended "landing." The last flight, by Wilbur, was 852 feet (260 m) in 59 seconds, much longer than each of the three previous flights of 120, 175 and 200 feet (37, 53 and 61 m). The landing broke the front elevator supports, which the Wrights hoped to repair for a possible four-mile (6.4 km) flight to Kitty Hawk village. Soon after, a heavy gust picked up the Flyer and tumbled it end over end, damaging it beyond any hope of quick repair. It was never flown again.

Posted by Dennis Donovan | Mon Dec 17, 2018, 06:51 AM (8 replies)

Dec 14, 2008; The Shoe Heard Round The World

A simpler time...
Posted by Dennis Donovan | Thu Dec 13, 2018, 10:30 PM (42 replies)
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