Remember, every time you get a spam phone call, it’s because of the intentional lack of planning & regulation during the rollout of Voice Over IP (VOIP) technology. Yay Republican deregulation!!

VOIP developed Internet style, ie., as a raft of competing, fastest to market protocols with no central planning, coordination, or regulation. It made phone service cheaper, but the constant spam calls (using spoofed caller Ids) killed the usefulness of that service. For me, 99% of the phone calls I receive on my home (landline) phone are spam, using fake caller numbers & names permitted by VOIP. Yay deregulation!

Here are the sea of overlapping standards from the Voice over IP Wikipedia page:

A variety of functions are needed to implement VoIP communication. Some protocols perform multiple functions, while others perform only a few and must be used in concert. These functions include:

  • Network and transport – Creating reliable transmission over unreliable protocols, which may involve acknowledging receipt of data and retransmitting data that wasn’t received.
  • Session management – Creating and managing a session (sometimes glossed as simply a “call”), which is a connection between two or more peers that provides a context for further communication.
  • Signaling – Performing registration (advertising one’s presence and contact information) and discovery (locating someone and obtaining their contact information), dialing (including reporting call progress), negotiating capabilities, and call control (such as hold, mute, transfer/forwarding, dialing DTMF keys during a call [e.g. to interact with an automated attendant or IVR], etc.).
  • Media description – Determining what type of media to send (audio, video, etc.), how to encode/decode it, and how to send/receive it (IP addresses, ports, etc.).
  • Media – Transferring the actual media in the call, such as audio, video, text messages, files, etc.
  • Quality of service – Providing out-of-band content or feedback about the media such as synchronization, statistics, etc.
  • Security – Implementing access control, verifying the identity of other participants (computers or people), and encrypting data to protect the privacy and integrity of the media contents and/or the control messages.

VoIP protocols include:

I got two spam phone calls while writing this post. Thanks Republicans. At least I’m not burdened with onerous regulation <sarcasm>

Brutalist tribe politics

From a comment by Andrew G Bjelland in the Washington Post

MAGA-Fascist-Republicans like DeSantis know the psychological orientation of those who constitute a significant portion of their base. They act accordingly. They establish their own brutalist creds.

Social psychologists estimate that as high as 30% of a given population are of an authoritarian psychological disposition—a disposition that prizes tribal unity and is intolerant of cultural diversity and ethical complexity. People with this psychological predisposition are often cognitively and emotionally incapable of dealing with rapidly evolving circumstances. They are highly uncomfortable within a pluralistic and democratic society. 

Such individuals are inclined to follow a leader who projects an image of strength and energy; who identifies and targets the enemies of the tribe; who presents simplistic “solutions” in response to the complex problems of the day; and who sets tribal boundaries whereby the “outsiders” are readily identified, rejected and even violently persecuted.

The projection of strength and energy is often the psychological defense mechanism employed by narcissistic and insecure bully-boys.

DeSantis is effectively establishing his own brutalist creds. Is it any wonder that Trump, brutalisms past master, is increasingly irate?

Voting blue is the sole option for those who oppose authoritarianism and who value one-person-one-vote democracy

The Trump judge ruling on the Mar-a-Lago affair is defying established law (Why is a young, ideologically-driven judge with a lifetime appointment to the bench allowed to ignore legal precedents?)

By Laurence H Tribe and Phillip Allen Lacovara

Judge Aileen Cannon’s two rulings in the Mar-a-Lago affair offer a master class in illustrating how a young and ideologically-driven judge can badly bungle important issues of law and public policy and distort the proper role of courts in protecting state secrets and supervising criminal investigations. The Justice Department, wisely, is appealing.

The catalogue of errors and abuses is too long for a single column, so we touch only on the low points.