I was thinking about security over the last month or two; it comes to mind pretty often when working in technology and when listening to news coverage of technology. But that’s not my topic today. I got a bit distracted.
You see, when I was very young, my mother would lose her glasses regularly. While her vision wasn’t quite as bad as mine is now, she was still very challenged without the glasses. And she’d always say the same thing when she misplaced them: “Robert, help me find my glasses and I’ll help you look for them.”
I thought back to this for various reasons recently, thanks to a burst of coverage in the last few weeks around the Plain Old Telephone System, or POTS. Every few days I’ve read or heard new stories of the death of the landline. AT&T wants to be released from the requirement to maintain the physical plant that for the past century has guaranteed pretty much everyone in the United States a 48 volt line into their home to let them call any other landline in the world. This isn’t new news, though… I’m seeing the headline going back almost five years.
Now if you ask around in urban and suburban areas, you’ll find fewer people depending on that landline for their routine phone calls, thanks to cell phones, voice-over-IP (VOIP) services, text messaging, video chat through mobile platforms, or just email replacing the old “reach out and touch someone” method of connecting with a distant human being. You probably don’t need a FAX at home, and unless you’ve dealt with a financial institution lately, you probably haven’t needed to send a FAX from anywhere in quite a while. Read More »