1994-02-15 - Re: Tracking Contacts with Clipper

Header Data

From: mgream@acacia.itd.uts.edu.au (Matthew Gream)
To: sandfort@crl.com (Sandy Sandfort)
Message Hash: 79a9bf9edb71afd304c6b16373d0e00e46e4cff196415efd3f8dc73d4e0d51d8
Message ID: <9402150220.AA05108@acacia.itd.uts.EDU.AU>
Reply To: <Pine.3.87.9402141726.A29570-0100000@crl.crl.com>
UTC Datetime: 1994-02-15 02:21:33 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 14 Feb 94 18:21:33 PST

Raw message

From: mgream@acacia.itd.uts.edu.au (Matthew Gream)
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 94 18:21:33 PST
To: sandfort@crl.com (Sandy Sandfort)
Subject: Re: Tracking Contacts with Clipper
In-Reply-To: <Pine.3.87.9402141726.A29570-0100000@crl.crl.com>
Message-ID: <9402150220.AA05108@acacia.itd.uts.EDU.AU>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Earlier, Sandy Sandfort wrote:

> What I was discussing are "pre-paid" calling cards.  You can buy Western 
> French" articles in MONDO 2000 last year.  Their phone number is (800) 
> 776-5424.

Here in Australia, we have only two telecos (currently in the midst of a
deregulatory process), one is the prer deregulation entity and as such
owns all the payphones across the country. All payphones can accept cards
similar to what you describe, we call them 'phonecards'. You buy your
topped up card at a newsagent or one of many vendors around the place even
machines on railway platforms. 

You mention that an 800 number must be called ? Interesting, ours are
totally different in that respect, for all intents and purposes, the card
is nothing more than a cash subsitute, you push it in the phone instead
of coins, and it deducts credit. These cards are throwaway, credit info is
stored magnetically and a holes are punched to give a visual indication
of credit left. An LCD display on the phone shows your credit when you
put the card in. 

These are true anonymous cash substitutes, of course except that they are 
not accepted as legal tender. On one occasion, I paid a person this way,
using $30 worth of $10 phonecards, not because of any untraceibility 
aspects, but because it happened to be convenient tender for me at the 

Also! It is possible to store numbers on them, the intended market being
for parents to give kiddies a card with an autodial number (ie. home)
incase of problems. Kiddie pops in card, it automagically dials home. I
don't have any idea as to whether this number is shown on the LCD when
it is dialed. I suspect it is, otherwise I think you can see situations
like the following:

 A: "If you need to contact me, pop in the card, it'll give me a ring"
 B: "But whats your number ?"
 A: "You don't need to worry about that."

Matthew Gream. ph: (02)-821-2043. M.Gream@uts.edu.au.
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