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India To Send World's Last Telegram

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the unless-we-decide-to-get-away-from-PRISM dept.

Communications 205

New submitter afarhan writes "India will pull the plug on its 160-year-old telegram service on 14 July, this year. This will probably be the last telegram ever sent in the world. However, telegrams are still relevant in this vast country. More than 500 million people are still without access to a phone or Internet. For these people, telegram still remains the only digital communication available. 'At their peak in 1985, 60 million telegrams were being sent and received a year in India from 45,000 offices. Today, only 75 offices exist, though they are located in each of India's 671 districts through franchises. And an industry that once employed 12,500 people, today has only 998 workers.' In India, telegram is also considered a legal correspondence."

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Probably? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017311)

"This will probably be the last telegram ever sent in the world. However, telegrams are still relevant in this vast country"

Probably isn't news.

Re:Probably? (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year ago | (#44017481)

Well, they just figure that by now, every message that can be sent has been, and now everybody can just trade for the message they want to give to someone else.

Re:Probably? (1)

sosume (680416) | about a year ago | (#44017567)

They had me at "More than 500 million people are still without access to a phone or Internet. For these people, telegram still remains the only digital communication available." So they do not have an internet cafe down the road, but a telegraph office instead?

Re:Probably? (2)

guruevi (827432) | about a year ago | (#44017763)

As it mentions, telegraph seems to be a legal correspondence much like faxes are still considered legal correspondence in the US over e-mail or any other type of electronic document exchange. Try sending an e-mail to your local court house even with a digital certificate, they still by-and-large only accept in-person, fax or registered mail. Some countries in Europe have digital certificates for it's citizens which is considered equal to a signature, not so much in the US.

Re:Probably? (1, Flamebait)

FlopEJoe (784551) | about a year ago | (#44018381)

"More than 500 million people are still without access to a phone or Internet."

How will they use the XBox One??!?

The Last Telegram (5, Funny)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year ago | (#44017319)

Reports say that as India pulls the plug on the system the last telegram in its buffers will be Ambassador Zimmerman asking Mexico if it would like to join Germany in attacking America. India reported to be indifferent on the subject.

Re:The Last Telegram (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about a year ago | (#44017735)

... and this kind of thing is what keeps me coming back to Slashdot. :)

not the world's last (3, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | about a year ago | (#44017323)

When Western Union discontinued its telegraph service in 2006, it sold off the network to iTelegram [itelegram.com] , which inexplicably still seems to be in business.

Re:not the world's last (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017401)

The brazilian post sends telegrams and I wouldn't expect them to stop sending them for a while. It's also considered legally a correspondence in Brazil, and what's more, it's even the suggested form of correspondence in certain legal situations.

http://www.correios.com.br/voce/enviar/Telegramas.cfm

Re:not the world's last (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017473)

Western Union did not have any network in the end, they just printed and mailed the telegrams. Check carefully before choosing your telegram provider, there are plenty.

Re:not the world's last (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44017851)

When Western Union discontinued its telegraph service in 2006, it sold off the network to iTelegram [itelegram.com] , which inexplicably still seems to be in business.

Aside from countries where telegrams have entrenched legal status, I imagine that the 'novelty' market alone could probably sustain a telegraph operator well into the future.

As long as there is a nonzero supply of people who want to score charm and novelty points by sending somebody a telegram(and they do have some level of popular recognition and ye olde charme from period fiction and pop history), you have a customer base, and it's not as though there is anything requiring you to actually transmit the things in Morse code over copper(which is what would actually be ruinously expensive), so you can just dump them through the internet and pretty-print them at their destination.

Re:not the world's last (2)

bsane (148894) | about a year ago | (#44018691)

This looks like it could conceivably have value:

http://www.itelegram.com/telegram/contract-cancellation.asp [itelegram.com]

Legally accepted time stamped with receipt- much fast than you'd ever get with registered mail.

Re:not the world's last (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018209)

MailGram $18.95 includes up to 100 words
Delivered in 2 to 4 business days. An exceptional value for sending non-urgent messages.

What a bargain.

Re:not the world's last (1)

dr_dank (472072) | about a year ago | (#44018717)

Looking at the sample telegram [itelegram.com] , you can tell that theres at least one diehard Twilight Zone fan in that company.

Another industry killed by the Internet (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017327)

I'm old enough to remember when telegrams were still used in the US, mostly at memorial services. They were considered a classy way of someone unable to attend to send their regards for the deceased; the telegrams would be laid out on a table.

Somehow I don't think email, tweets or e-whatever would be an effective replacement.

Re: Another industry killed by the Internet (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#44017463)

Yep, with old people the old style digital bits are somehow better than the newer ones

Re: Another industry killed by the Internet (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year ago | (#44017509)

Yep, with old people the old style digital bits are somehow better than the newer ones

He didn't say anything about the people. Sending a telegram took a fair bit more effort than sending a tweet or an email. I'd say that something like a telegram or a hand written letter does have more value than a quick modern digital communication, if only because it takes more effort to send.

Re: Another industry killed by the Internet (1)

dakohli (1442929) | about a year ago | (#44018125)

Indeed, I was trained as a wireless operator after high school. I certified in morse code, sending and receiving 20wpm. There was some effort in sending the telegram, but even calculating how much it was going to cost. A good operator could save the sender money by combining words and using shorthand expressions.

When I was unable to attend either of my brother's weddings, I sent telegrams to congradulate them. Aside from the cost, they represent a level of effort which email or a telephone call just cannot emulate.

Re: Another industry killed by the Internet (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#44017841)

As an old person let me tell you... Telegrams are pretty much the exact opposite of digital bits. They are analog.

Well, I guess they're not "opposite" really but they're certainly not digital (though they could be made that way). I'm not suggesting you blindly follow your elders or anything but I'm suggesting that you may not know as much as you think you do.

dots and dashes = ones and zeroes = binary = digit (2, Insightful)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#44017973)

More than just digital, they are BINARY.

Analog: composed of continuously variable values
Digital: composed of discreet values
Binary: composed of two possible values

Since traditional telegraphs consist of only dots and dashes, they are digital, and binary. If they were analog, they would include "dot and a half", with infinite valid values between dot and dash.

Re:dots and dashes = ones and zeroes = binary = di (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#44018015)

Yeah, I was finding this to add to it actually. I didn't think my response was clear or necessarily correct which made me scroll up to find it. It's a bit of a difficult thing to classify it, I gave a link below that gave a pretty decent description of it. One of the curious things is that the "off" status isn't used. There is long on and short on (with at least Morse, there may be other types). It's binary in nature which is what I should have said. Binary, by itself, doesn't (I'm pretty sure but may be mistaken) confer "digital" status.

Re:dots and dashes = ones and zeroes = binary = di (1)

weav (158099) | about a year ago | (#44018511)

Actually AFAIK they were sent using 5-bit Baudot code since around the '20s. Could be off by a decade or two.
Hand-sent-and-received Morse went out a while back.

Re: Another industry killed by the Internet (1)

Cederic (9623) | about a year ago | (#44018129)

I thought telegrams were transmitted using morse code. That's pretty digital. Trinary bits rather than binary but digital nonetheless.

The analogue technology superceded telegrams because it could do voice; telephones are only digital again because computers can encode/decode the digital signals a fuck of a lot quicker than a telegram operator.

Re: Another industry killed by the Internet (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#44018539)

That makes sense. As mentioned in other comments, I've always considered it to be analog but, with further inspection, it appears to be digital. I've been wrong! On the internet! NO!!! *chuckles* I'm still a bit confused but someone cleared it up a bit for me. It seems the duration and the interpretation doesn't matter for this.

Re:Another industry killed by the Internet (1)

paiute (550198) | about a year ago | (#44017923)

I'm old enough to remember when telegrams were still used in the US, mostly at memorial services. They were considered a classy way of someone unable to attend to send their regards for the deceased; the telegrams would be laid out on a table.

Somehow I don't think email, tweets or e-whatever would be an effective replacement.

I don't know - a table covered with smartphones playing videos of people who could not come crying might be cool.

Re: Another industry killed by the Internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018657)

Yeah, we could all laugh at them...

"Look, he left the sliced onion in the bottom of the frame, noob!"

"Worst fake crying EVAR!"

etc.

NEXT UP !! PAVE SOME ROADS !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017335)

Gotta move those sacred cows faster !!

Re:NEXT UP !! PAVE SOME ROADS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018421)

Common misconception. Silly, really. Sacred cows? Nonsense. It's the rat that's sacred in India. Believe it or not (it's your long departed relative).

not the last one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017355)

you can still send telegrams in russia

Re:not the last one (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017369)

you can still send telegrams in russia

Sorry, telegrams send you

Re:not the last one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017609)

In Ukraine, telegrams are still used at railways, no joke. I've seen them. Alive and well, sometimes a page or two long.

Nope ... Service still available in Europe (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017361)

Well sorry for the Article but it's actually false :) Telegram is still alive and kicking in Europe ... for instance in Belgium where you can still send Telegrams right now !
Here is the national telecommunication operator page about it :

www.belgacom.be/en/private/products-and-services/fixed-telephony/options-and-services/other-services?page=p_other_services_available
        Telegram

        There are several formulas to choose from:
                Comfort Telegram
                A telegram ordered via the post.
                        With an illustration for offering condolences or congratulations.
                        Without an illustration.
                The Standard National Telegram
                The "conventional", revised and corrected telegram delivered by Taxipost, our courier service. Telegrams sent before midday are delivered the same day; those sent after midday are delivered the next working day at the latest.
                The Flash Telegram
                The quickest method. As soon as our telegraph operators receive your telegram, our courier service makes a special delivery as quickly as possible. It is also possible to send a Flash Telegram and add a gift.

For international messages, your telegram will be sent by our telegraphists to the country of destination. It is delivered in accordance with the terms and conditions of express delivery in the country concerned.

Re:Nope ... Service still available in Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017437)

In Mexico as well.

Re:Nope ... Service still available in Europe (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017449)

And the NSA's Project SHAMROCK *still* intercepts every last one of them after all these years.

Re:Nope ... Service still available in Europe (4, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44017775)

Did you read that link? You initiate that 'telegram' by sending an email. Then they deliver it to the destination for you. The primary benefit is the courier service.

Although it's called telegram, you can be sure belgacom doesn't have a pair of operators to translate your email into morse code so it can be sent to the other side. Whereas in India, they literally have someone sitting on a wire clicking short and long signs.

Re: Nope ... Service still available in Europe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018675)

I highly doubt that anyone's manually keying Morse in India either; they're no doubt using teletypes (y'know, those hard-copy terminals whence the legacy jargon "tty" still used in *n*x character special files today?) like every other civilized telegraph surveys did for decades...

Re:Nope ... Service still available in Europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018057)

Nope, no telegrams in Europe. Its a service that (from the customers view) works almost like telegrams did and is called "telegrams". There is NO telegram system left in Europe, no wires relays or TX or RX... sorry. Just the same old Internet as everything else.

Shit... (1)

Skiron (735617) | about a year ago | (#44017363)

...I am only 53 so I will never get one from the Queen when I am 100. Oh well.

Re:Shit... (1)

Longjmp (632577) | about a year ago | (#44017399)

...I am only 53 so I will never get one from the Queen when I am 100. Oh well.

The Queen will probably be a King anyway by that time...
Ok, you'll never know how long the current one lives, and you'll never know what Charles' next surgery will be, so YMMV ;)

Re:Shit... (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#44017579)

...I am only 53 so I will never get one from the Queen when I am 100. Oh well.

The Queen will probably be a King anyway by that time... Ok, you'll never know how long the current one lives, and you'll never know what Charles' next surgery will be, so YMMV ;)

Well considering the telegram would have to be 47 years from now, Charles would have to live to 111. Must be a frustrating life, he's now 64 and in an age where most are looking to settle into retirement he's still waiting for the "job" he's been chosen to do from birth. And if her mother is anything like her mother again, it might still take another 15 years because I definitively think this is going to be one of those "over my dead body" successions.

Re:Shit... (1)

Longjmp (632577) | about a year ago | (#44017599)

[...] And if her mother is anything like her mother again, [...]

You are saying he did it already?

(Sorry, couldn't resist)

Off-Topic Reply (0)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#44017863)

Err... Umm... This has nothing to do with your post or the conversation at hand.

Err... I'm no grammar Nazi or anything but, well, shouldn't that be *fewer* illiterates - actually - shouldn't it be *more* illiterates than people who can't read? As in there are illiterate people who can read but just not grasp what they're reading at any level that is reasonably higher than one would assume they should be able to read at... (That's the ugliest sentence I've typed all day. I'm strangely proud of it. I have absolutely no right to be.)

Re:Off-Topic Reply (1)

Longjmp (632577) | about a year ago | (#44018007)

[...] shouldn't that be *fewer* illiterates [...]

Yes it should.
Initially it was my own sloppiness, my mistake.
However, I was using that sig for quite some time (not slashdot even) before anyone noticed the mistake and corrected me, so I decided to keep it the way it was, with the mistake, since it seemed (seems) to prove my statement.

What it means, you almost got it right, it's just the opposite ;)
In any educated country, there are far more people who can read than there are illiterates.
However, of those people who are able to read, many do not think about what they are reading; and thus failing to comprehend what they are reading.
In a way, they recoginze the words, but fail to get the meaning because they are too lazy to think.

Hope that helped

Re:Off-Topic Reply (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#44018171)

Yeah, that's why I added the bit about it being *more* illiterates. It's unfortunate but it is the way it is. The end result is ignorance, blind allegiance to power, blind partisanship, racism, etc... Ah well... Ride it 'til the wheels fall off I suppose.

Re:Shit... (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about a year ago | (#44018043)

Or, maybe Charles realises how lucky he is to be a 64-year-old whose parents are both alive and well and hopes the day never comes when he takes on that "job". The Windsors may not impress me, but don't strike me as being like the Borgias.

digital? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017371)

For these people, telegram still remains the only digital communication available.

Is this accurate? I don't know much about telegraphs, but I'm pretty sure they're analog machines.

Re:digital? (1)

xs650 (741277) | about a year ago | (#44017431)

Nope, digital.

Digital. (1)

dtmos (447842) | about a year ago | (#44017439)

I don't know much about telegraphs, but I'm pretty sure they're analog machines.

No, they're a form of digital communication; they use on-off keying (OOK) [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Digital. (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about a year ago | (#44017933)

Not only that, they're digital communication with the first known implementation of Huffman coding as a form of data compression :-D

Re:Digital. (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#44018083)

I've been pondering this... They're binary aren't they? Does the fact that it is binary confer digital status automatically? They signal does vary, it has long tones, off, and short tones. Each is different according to the key user. I've always considered it analog for those reasons BUT I'm now pondering and think I may have been mistaken all those years. (My ego isn't so frail that I'm bothered by being mistaken. How else would I learn?)

Re:Digital. (2)

nashv (1479253) | about a year ago | (#44018383)

It does not matter that the long and short tones vary. For example, the voltage from a transistor on a chip will regularly vary over a few millivolts. The point is that , the variation doesn't encode anything. All the information is encoded in a sequence that has 2 states. Is the voltage greater than 5mV or less than 1 mV. That makes it digital.

Re:Digital. (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#44018509)

That too makes sense. Thanks. :)

Re:digital? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017461)

*facepalm*

Re:digital? (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#44017503)

Is this accurate? I don't know much about telegraphs, but I'm pretty sure they're analog machines.

All real world machines are analog, but the communication is digital (signal/no signal). SOS = ... --- ... = 101010001110111011100010101 (for human convenience a dash is three dots long as is the pause between letters, seven between words). I agree it's an odd wording though, with that logic the blind have been reading digital books for ages - with their digits, even.

SOS (1)

dtmos (447842) | about a year ago | (#44017663)

SOS, as an emergency indicator, is a single symbol, not three separate letters -- di-di-di-dah-dah-dah-di-di-dit or, in your notation, 10101011101110111010101.

Re:digital? (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#44017891)

They are analog but for the sake of brevity there's no correct answer to this one as far as I can tell. Here's someone who's put the time into authoring a reply to this very idea:

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080817073539AAhrHHM [yahoo.com]

The short answer is, well, call 'em analog. They *can* be digital. I suspect that most modern "telegraph" services are entirely digital. They also use just the 1 really. With Morse code they don't use the "off" dead-space for anything either really. SOS would be ... --- ... which is on, on, on, on longer, on longer, on longer, on, on, on.

Re:digital? (1)

nashv (1479253) | about a year ago | (#44018419)

As long as information is encoded in a sequence of 2 states, it is digital - period. Any real world machine, is usually analog. The SIGNAL on the other hand, as encoded, detected and interpreted, is digital.

Re:digital? (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#44018497)

That makes sense - but is this really two states? It is on, off, on for a longer duration. I'm pretty certain that I've been wrong all these years and that it is digital (I'm okay with admitting that). I'm still pretty curious though - I linked a handy link in there that describes it a bit. It is binary, binary is digital. Hmm... So, yeah, I guess it'd be digital.

Re:digital? (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about a year ago | (#44018147)

> SOS = ... --- ... = 101010001110111011100010101

I'd say it's more like:
10101000 11111100 10101001

Morse requires two bits to encode each symbol:

10 = dit (short)
11 = dah (long)
00 = character-marker
01 = word-marker

(other combos possible; though most would agree that the obvious alternative would be 10, 11, 00, and 01 (in order) for the choices above).

You can also represent all known Morse characters as 8-bit bytes by establishing a rule that 0=dit/short, 1=dah/long, and the last one is whichever value (0 or 1) differs from the least significant identical bits. Ex:

e = . = 01111111
i = .. = 00111111
t = - = 10000000
a = .- = 01000000
5 = ..... = 00000111
? = ..--.. = 00110011

I believe both schemes are used in the real world... the first to represent Morse as received, the second to encode the lookup tables.

Re:digital? (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | about a year ago | (#44018185)

^^^ Argh. Bitten by preview-blindness after major editing. Ignore this line in the post above:

(other combos possible; though most would agree that the obvious alternative would be 10, 11, 00, and 01 (in order) for the choices above)

or pretend it says:

(other combos possible; though most would agree that the obvious alternative would be 00, 01, 10, and 11 (in order) for the choices above).

Re:digital? (5, Interesting)

dakohli (1442929) | about a year ago | (#44018255)

Morse code [wikipedia.org] does not necessarily a binary system. If sent by a machine, I could buy that, but it was designed to be sent by humans using a key. Later a two paddle bug was often used to speed up the code. One paddle sent a stream of dits, and the other keyed the dahs. you could vary the speed of the dits using a dial, but you varied the dahs using the paddle itself. Good operators would shorten the dahs, and use the fastest dits they could manage. So, you might use a dit from 40 wpm, but a dah from 45 wpm. The end result was code that was fairly easy to decode by a human operator, but difficult to decode by a machine. The best machines that I saw had an accuracy of about 85%, which was not good enough.

Later electronic bugs had two paddles that shaped both the dits and the dahs, but because the operator varied the space in between the elements you ended up with the same issues

A digital replacement for morse code was the Baudot Code [wikipedia.org]

.This used machine generated and read code. Early systems used a punch tape as storage medium.

I was a trained and certified Wireless Station Operator, when I first qualified I could send and receive 20> wpm using a stick (pencil) and hand key

Re:digital? (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#44017585)

Is this accurate? I don't know much about telegraphs, but I'm pretty sure they're analog machines.

Even the very early (1700s) experimental telegraphs have been about delivering the codes for each letter in the alphabet, in a quantified manner. So by nature the telegraph has always been digital by its design.

Re:digital? (1)

bmo (77928) | about a year ago | (#44017647)

> but I'm pretty sure they're analog machines

Nope. It's digital. Two states, dot and dash. You could do a 1 for 1 binary encode.

As a matter of fact, the analog telephone system was a hack of a digital system.

--
BMO

Re:digital? (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#44018097)

Now your post makes me ponder more...

See, you forget off and the variety in key styles. Hmm... I'm so confused. LOL I've long since thought it was analog but, now that I think about it... It really only has two states - on and off and the on state is varied in duration which is a part of why I've felt it was analog all these times.

Re:digital? (1)

dakohli (1442929) | about a year ago | (#44018289)

Morse Code was predigital. It was on and off keyed using an unmodulated carrier designed to be sent my human operators. There are variations between the length of the elements, the space between the elements, the space between letters and words. This is more a language than code, experienced operators did not hear letters, they heard words. Speeds up to and past 60 wpm were not unheard of. And there were no machines up until recently that could compete with the accuracy of a human operator.

Re:digital? (1)

bmo (77928) | about a year ago | (#44018519)

> There are variations between the length of the elements, the space between the elements, the space between letters and words.

This does not make it analog.

If it did, then we would say that stuff piped down an RS232 cable is analog, but it isn't.

--
BMO

Re:digital? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017703)

For these people, telegram still remains the only digital communication available.

Is this accurate? I don't know much about telegraphs, but I'm pretty sure they're analog machines.

As you only use fingers to press the switch, they are digital, unless you use your entire hand in which case they would be manual. And a very few telegraphs are podial or foot operated, mostly for special needs telegraphists who have lost their hands.

Re:digital? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44017731)

For these people, telegram still remains the only digital communication available.

Is this accurate? I don't know much about telegraphs, but I'm pretty sure they're analog machines.

well these telegrams as I understand it are not morsed over or any shit like that anyways. it just means you send the message - and it's moved electronically somewhere and printed out and someone delivers the message somehow. it pretty much depends just on what you call such a service now.

Not the last telegram (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017375)

Last telegram? Hardly, telegrams are still widely used in Brazil by the government

Re:Not the last telegram (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017989)

Slashdot has never been about thoroughly-researched BBC/Reuters quality news, and I'm just fine with it. But it's sometimes a bit funny how obviously wrong information the summaries can include. The fact that telegraphy is still used in many parts of the world could have been easily confirmed.

Only 1K? (1)

kms_one (1272174) | about a year ago | (#44017479)

Funny that they use the word "only" when saying that a thousand people are still employed in the telegram industry there.

Re:Only 1K? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017531)

.. in a country of a billion people

Required Telegram Joke (5, Funny)

bradorsomething (527297) | about a year ago | (#44017489)

Is appears the article is wrong about telegram services ending over all, and they actually won't Stop

Re:Required Telegram Joke (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017673)

Tangentially relevant: Transmission [trenchescomic.com]

M * A * S * H (2)

istartedi (132515) | about a year ago | (#44018193)

Hawkeye: Dear Dad, I am not dead. Stop. Hope you are the same. Stop. Thinking of selling my golf clubs? Stop. Spending my insurance money? Stop.

D'oh ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017499)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telegraphy#Worldwide_status_of_telegram_services

Re:D'oh ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017523)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telegraphy#Worldwide_status_of_telegram_services

Oops. Looks like the Monitor reporter didn't get the Telex.

Re:D'oh ! (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#44017607)

Telegraphy just feels like a really old, mundane tech, easily replaceable by newer methods anywhere, so at least I could have easily believed that that telegram in India was actually the last one in world. If I didn't have any other information sources, that is.

and in the usa faxes are legal correspondences as (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#44017507)

and in the usa faxes are legal correspondences as well

Re:and in the usa faxes are legal correspondences (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018303)

There's no such thing as "legal correspondence", at least not in the United States. Unlike other legal systems--especially Civil Law systems--Common Law systems have very few magic processes. All that matters in the Common Law is evidence, evidence, evidence. It's why it was always unnecessary to pass new laws to make electronic contracts binding. The courts were perfectly able to adapt themselves.

However, some evidence has more weight than others, if only because it's less common to fake (or, conversely, dispute) and is thus more credible in court. Faxes are preferred over e-mail because it's easier to prove that the other end received it--you get a nice printed confirmation from your fax machine, plus the phone company has a record of the call, and it's much easier to decipher that record than a Sendmail log.

What about serving papers? Same thing. There's nothing magical about some paralegal serving you papers. It's just that it's extremely difficult to claim that you didn't receive them when a practiced professional will tell the judge that not only are you lying, he's the one who actually handed you the papers. If you were never served papers but already had actual knowledge--and that knowledge could be shown--of whatever was held in the papers, then you'd still be responsible for that knowledge.

Again, it's all about evidence and proof. That's all. No magic is involved.

National Traffic System (1)

dtmos (447842) | about a year ago | (#44017553)

If you're interested in an amateur, as opposed to a commercial, version of a radiotelegraph network, have a look at the National Traffic System [arrl.org] . This system, created in the 1940s, has many features that predate modern digital networks, including a Request To Send / Clear To Send (RTS/CTS) system, and separate logical channels for network control and data.

Re:National Traffic System (1)

charlesr44403 (1504587) | about a year ago | (#44017879)

The founder of the NTS, George Hart W1NJM, died recently at age 99. By separate channels I think you mean net frequency and side channels to pass traffic? What do you mean by RTS/CTS in NTS?

Telegrams make more sense in Hindi (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017577)

It's a little know fact that in Hindi, all words can be formed from "uh" and "duh" very rapidly, thus a telegram slightly modified to sound like "uh duhduhduh uhhh duhduhduh uh duh duhduh" translates almost directly to "Thank you, come again."

Also telex (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year ago | (#44017581)

In 1997 I has at the US consulate in Melbourne organising visas for myself and my then partner. It got complicated and the consulate had to send a telex to the US to deal with the issue. Obviously we used email for organising the rest of the trip.

Not the last one (2)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#44017615)

In Belgium [belgacom.be] you can still send a telegram.
So no idea where this idea comes from that it isn't available anywhere anymore. If Belgium has it and even has International AND Intercontinental prices, there must be at least two other countries that have it.

Re: Not the last one (2)

ThinkingGuy (551764) | about a year ago | (#44017867)

Add Japan to the list of countries are still a surviving, if somewhat quaint, custom: http://www.ntt-west.co.jp/service_guide/4useful/useful17.html [ntt-west.co.jp]

Re: Not the last one (1)

ThinkingGuy (551764) | about a year ago | (#44017875)

Also, please insert the phrase "where telegrams are" after the word "countries" in my previous post :)

Re: Not the last one (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#44018119)

Add Japan to the list of countries where telegrams are are? ;)

It's okay - I'm still stuck on digital vs. analog. I suspect that the systems still in use today are entirely digital (I'd hope they are) with them basically just being email and print services but, well, I'm quite thoroughly lost when we talk about traditional systems.

MIGRATING (5, Funny)

arielCo (995647) | about a year ago | (#44017659)

TELEGRAPH SERVICE SHUTTING DOWN TELL MOTHER RAJESH MUST LEARN TWITTER FOLLOW ME AT ANAND UNDERSCORE BANDYOPADHYAY STOP

(Silly filter, telegrams *are* printed in all caps). Lorem ipsum something something dies irae dies illa solvet seclum in favilla.

Re:MIGRATING (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44017777)

STOP

Re:MIGRATING (2)

stox (131684) | about a year ago | (#44018217)

The reason they are all CAPS is that they are transmitted using Baudot Code, a 5 level code with no lower case and a very limited set of symbols.

Re:MIGRATING (1)

arielCo (995647) | about a year ago | (#44018325)

Good - I knew that the character set was limited but not the name of the code. Now Anand can use punctuation for free. (:

Re:MIGRATING (1)

Longjmp (632577) | about a year ago | (#44018403)

[...] are transmitted using Baudot Code, a 5 level code [...]

Thus telegraph messages were usually preceded with "CZCZ" (or something similar) to make sure you are in "letter shift", i.e. the following characters were letters, not numbers or special characters.

Just tweet the text (1)

rainer_d (115765) | about a year ago | (#44017855)

It's more or less the same, right?

Still alive in Brazil (1)

jtoj (537440) | about a year ago | (#44017979)

Brazilians still enjoy the availability of telegrams through ECT - Empresa de Correios e Telegrafos ECT - National and International Telegrams [correios.com.br] .
There is a LARGE list of countries that would receive telegrams. It may be posted the old fashined way, at the post office, or by modern tools like internet or phone.
Brazilian state controlled ECT (T stands for Telegraphs) sends and receives telegrams nationally and internationally (to and from India?).
Some places in Brazil do not have electricity, and telegram is also considered a legal correspondence. Probably the only possible one.
In rural areas you myst stop by the post office once every few days to collect your mail, and telegrams.

Last Telegram? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44018011)

In argentina, law requires that if you get fired, you are let know by telegram. A bit outdated maybe, but the way things are going here (like shit, for those blissfully ignorant of argentinian affairs) telegram is being used a lot.

A whole damn lot.

We should really answer the question (1)

cheesecake23 (1110663) | about a year ago | (#44018155)

I think it's about time to answer the original question [wikipedia.org] :

42 STOP

I got a telegram once (1)

readingaccount (2909349) | about a year ago | (#44018597)

It told me to not pick number 77. Did so anyway, boy was that a mistake.

Service still available in Venezuela (1)

williamyf (227051) | about a year ago | (#44018647)

So it seems I can send a telegram inside venezuela, and to belgium at least, but not to indi come next month. Ok, I'll keep that in mind....

From the post operator in Venezuela:
http://www.ipostel.gob.ve/servicios.html

Telegrama: Es un escrito destinado a ser transmitido por telegrafía para su entrega al destinatario, con cobertura nacional e internacional.

Modalidades del Telegrama:

Telegrama Ordinario: Son los telegramas cuya aceptación es obligatoria y no lleva ninguna indicación de servicio.

Telegrama Urgente: Son telegramas a los cuales se les da prioridad para su transmisión y entrega al destinatario.

PC (Acuse de Recibo): Confirmación de entrega (Opcional según la necesidad del cliente).

Giros Telegráficos: A través de nuestros Centros de Atención al Cliente autorizados, a escala nacional, usted puede ordenar un pago a favor de personas naturales y/o jurídicas, la cual será cancelada en su totalidad en la oficina de destino, poniendo a disposición de nuestros clientes, nuestra extensa red de oficinas a nivel nacional.

Telefonograma: Al comunicarse con nuestra línea gratuita de Atención al Cliente 0800 IPOSTEL o 405-3078, usted puede enviar un mensaje telegráfico o telegrama a través de una llamada telefónica. El cobro de este servicio será cargado a su factura CANTV.

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