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Ma Bell is Back

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the guess-who's-back-back-again dept.

Communications 511

brass1 writes Ma Bell is back. It seems that for the purposes of branding, SBC is changing its name to AT&T once the acquisition is complete. Meanwhile, a great force and a high pitched whining sound has been reported from Judge Greene's grave as he spins at nearly 10K RPM."

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Ma Bell? Yo no entiendo (3, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890678)

Could you please explain what's "Ma Bell" for us foreigners? Thanks.

Re:Ma Bell? Yo no entiendo (5, Informative)

kflash15 (252578) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890697)

"Ma Bell" is a nickname for AT&T... like "Mother Bell" because it split into severl smaller "Baby Bells"...

Re:Ma Bell? Yo no entiendo (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890772)

"Ma Bell" is a nickname for AT&T... like "Mother Bell" because it split into severl smaller "Baby Bells"...

Back when A T & T was split up we had Michigan Bell in Michigan, then it was Ameritech and last time I looked it was SBC, the same service as the Pacific Coast has, which used to be calls Pacific Bell.

Sure looks like T 2000, gathering all its bits back together again.

Re:Ma Bell? Yo no entiendo (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890919)

"Ma Bell" is a nickname for your mom, because she likes to take it up the ass several times a day.

Re:Ma Bell? Yo no entiendo (5, Interesting)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890709)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AT&T [wikipedia.org]

I was gonna explain, but then I realized, Wikipedia no doubt has an article.

Re:Ma Bell? Yo no entiendo (4, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890780)

Actually, this one [wikipedia.org] is a little better.

Re:Ma Bell? Yo no entiendo (1)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890957)

Actually, the AT&T article has the words "Ma Bell" in it, which makes it nice for a foreign to search to and read.

Re:Ma Bell? Yo no entiendo (5, Funny)

DangerSteel (749051) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890715)

It was basically the phone company for the United States "back in the day". I think I remember thier motto to be:

"We don't care, we don't have to !"

"Crazy People" said it best (2, Interesting)

SoCalChris (573049) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890967)

Re:Ma Bell? Yo no entiendo (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890985)

It was basically the phone company for the United States "back in the day". I think I remember thier motto to be:

Go ahead and mock the Bell System. They did step over the line quite a few times. But I don't really think the hodgepodge of companies that have come since have given a rat ass about the customer either. In fact, thanks to telecommunications deregulation, carriers no longer need to worry about pesky little details like quality of service, uptime or redundancy.

How pathetic was it that virtually every single cell tower went down during the Northeast Blackout, yet Verizon and the other POTS providers kept humming along as though nothing had happened. Apparently the cellular providers can't be bothered with fancy new technology like batteries, generators and UPSes. In fact the last time we had a disaster around these parts the local phone carriers (Verizon and Frontier) went around and installed generators into all the central offices to keep things humming until electrical power was restored. There was zero downtime of POTS services. I'll wadger that in that same scenario your cell company would either deny that there was a problem or tell you that they were "working on it" and act annoyed at having to talk to you.

In fact, barring Acts of God that destroyed infrastructure (Hurricanes or Drunk Drivers) I can't ever call picking up a landline phone and not hearing a sweet dial tone. The only gripe I've ever had with my local carrier has been the left hand (customer service) not knowing what the right hand (repair) is doing. I've never had a complaint with the reliability. And unlike all the solutions that have come since I still have a Governmental agency (the PSC) looking out for me.

DoD was against the breakup of Ma Bell for a reason.

Re:Ma Bell? Yo no entiendo (2, Informative)

pthisis (27352) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890726)

AT&T's Bell System (aka Ma Bell) was the large telephone system that served the US until the 1980s.

It was ruled an illegal monopoly and broken up into many smaller regional companies (the so-called "Baby Bells"). SBC was one of the baby bells.

Re:Ma Bell? Yo no entiendo (0)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890810)

As was one of the companies that SBC bought up, Ameritech. SBC is almost what AT&T was back in the day. They bought up a BUNCH of the baby bells if not all of them.

Re:Ma Bell? Yo no entiendo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890727)

Back in the day, when AT&T owned everything people started calling them Ma Bell because they monopolized the entire phone system. Kind of like your "mother watching/approving everything you do"...

Kind of like big brother (movie 1984).

I'm not 100% sure where the reference for Ma Bell came from though.

Re:Ma Bell? Yo no entiendo (4, Funny)

Jynx97 (834066) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890775)

Like Ma Bell, I Got The Ill Communication!!

Re:Ma Bell? Yo no entiendo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890932)

I like the old school Beastie Boys reference....nice!

Re:Ma Bell? Yo no entiendo - SHORT VERSION (5, Informative)

mrsbrisby (60242) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890795)

Alexander Graham Bell -> American Bell -> American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) + Western Electric -> Bell Laboratories (Bell Labs).

Bell Labs did everything first: telephones, lasers, telecommunications satellites, electronic and packet switching, UNIX, etc.

In 1949 Bell Labs was sued for antitrust. They settled in 1956 with the US DOJ. Part of the settlement is that Bell Laboratories couldn't use one monopoly (telephone) to gain others. In 1974 they got another antitrust suit which was to be split up in 1984.

Prior to 1984, there was one telephone company. The bell. Mother bell. Ma Bell. Whatever you like. It was so huge and spanned so many products and etc, that many people didn't know where one part began and another ended. They kept telephone and data circuit prices real high, so the DOJ's decision to make a bunch of little bells (baby bells) was to make it easier for others to compete and hopefully bring the prices down.

It didn't work.

Re:Ma Bell? Yo no entiendo - SHORT VERSION (5, Insightful)

JWW (79176) | more than 8 years ago | (#13891022)

It didn't work.

Really? Many people like to claim that the breakup of AT&T meant nothing. But I have to ask. "Do you have a cell phone?"

I don't see any reason the the telephone monopoly would have ever gladly spawned the cellular telephone network. They might have developed it yes, but they would have had no impetus to provide good coverage and reasonable rates.

Any scenario I could imagine where AT&T was the only phone company providing cell service doesn't look good at all.

Who the heck is SBC? (0, Redundant)

lilmouse (310335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890811)

Who is SBC, for those of us Americans who don't know?

--LWM

SBC used to be called Southwestern Bell (4, Informative)

dananderson (1880) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890905)

SBC was originally called Southwestern Bell. It covered the Southwest United States (except for California and Nevada). It was one of the regional "baby Bells" created when ATT was split in the 1980s.

SBC merged with two other baby Bells: Pacific Bell in 1997, and Ameritech in 1999.

Re:Who the heck is SBC? (1)

cryptoz (878581) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890920)

Southwestern Bell Corporation

(I'm not an American either, I looked it up on *gasp* Wikipedia, so don't throw a chair at me if I'm wrong)

Re:Ma Bell? Yo no entiendo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890939)

If you're a foreigner, then none of this concerns you anyway and you're probably better off not knowing. Just go along your merry way and stop working so hard to get a FP. It's really showing what a luser you are.

Cool (5, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890679)

Can we have Western Electric and Bell Labs back too?

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890705)

sbc is keeping bell labs. its part of the package.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890921)

Not it's not. Bell Labs is part of Lucent not AT&T.

Re:Western Electric (1)

Doctor Memory (6336) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890785)

They may be gone, but their tech lives on [westernelectric.com] !

Re:Western Electric (3, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890838)

They may be gone, but their tech lives on!

Western Electric made telephones you could drive nails with. Most of the phones you get today would break if you dropped them only once, phone cable dialectric craps out after a few months. Stuff that was built to hold up for decades will probably still be around when the cockroaches are all that's left roaming the earth.

Re:Western Electric (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890937)

> Western Electric made telephones you could drive nails with.

Exactly my point. They put up satellites with MTBF in the 50 year range, neighborhood switch enclosures that would stand up to a small truck, and a million windowless buildings that would survive The Bomb.
And the switching stuff Bell Labs did: whoa! Remember, Penzias and Wilson were working for Bell Labs, too.

Re:Cool (2, Insightful)

bedroll (806612) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890943)

Bell labs only changed their name. They're still around today operating as Lucent. http://www.bell-labs.com/ [bell-labs.com]

On the other hand, AT&T had a nifty lab of their own. http://public.research.att.com/ [att.com]

I don't see what the hubbub about all of this is, though. The forced split of AT&T was a success, in so much as creating competition and removing the public's reliance on a single firm. With this acquisition by one of the largest baby bells it brings the company back in line to compete. It's not like they'll suddenly be allowed to buy out Verizon and create another monopoly on that scale.

To top things off, even if they were to obtain a monopoly on the telephone system again it would never be as powerful as the one they once had. Today we have Cell Phones and VoIP. There's other means of efficiently communicating over long distances. They would basically have to buy control over most of the network comprising the US portion of the Internet to be able to come close to what they once had. I just don't see that happening any time soon.

They aren't as dangerous as before (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890682)

I think that with the tremendous variety of communications options available today, they simply aren't as dangerous to the consumer as they once were. While companies can certainly get "too big" and I love to hate all the big guys, I think this will all be just fine... I don't need or subscribe to their service and I don't plan to.

Re:They aren't as dangerous as before (5, Interesting)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890704)

I would argue this point: SBC is already a horrendous company to work with. And have you ever tried to get DSL service without phone service?

Do you really believe this will get better as there are fewer and fewer options?

Re:They aren't as dangerous as before (3, Informative)

thedogcow (694111) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890735)

I can attest to this. SBC majorly sucks on toast. Just initiating for them to turn on the telephone service for the first time(translation: click "OK" at the call center) costs $50.

Re:They aren't as dangerous as before (2, Funny)

Skowronek (795408) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890882)

Yeah, I'm just trying to get DSL even though I *have* their phone service, and I can't - their page tells me I'm not a customer of SBC :/

times change (5, Insightful)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890755)

Like IBM, and maybe soon Microsoft, the conditions which allowed the phone monopoly to exist no longer are present. A single company can't dominate the computer industry the way IBM did, nor the communications industry the way AT&T did.

How long before Microsoft lose its monopoly on desktop computing software?

Re:times change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890915)

A single company can't dominate the computer industry the way IBM did

Perhaps you've missed the antitrust action against Microsoft for abusing its monopoly? Microsoft's monopoly continues.

Re:times change (1)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 8 years ago | (#13891020)

Perhaps you've missed the antitrust action against IBM for abusing its monopoly? Yet despite little actually being done against IBM (as was the case with Microsoft), no one would claim that IBM has a monopoly in the general computing market today.

FP! (-1, Offtopic)

thermowax (179226) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890683)


FP!

I don't care what they call it, it ain't Ma Bell (4, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890698)

And thank $Deity for that. Ma Bell did quite a bit of good, Bell Labs being a prime example, but the modern internet/www/etc wouldn't have been possible without the breakup. At least there's some competition, driving down prices and increasing usability, today.

Re:I don't care what they call it, it ain't Ma Bel (3, Funny)

NoTheory (580275) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890719)

So, the word MILF has been coined after Ma Bell disappeared, i'm kind of curious... what do you call a Ma who wants to screw you?

Re:I don't care what they call it, it ain't Ma Bel (1)

MemoryAid (675811) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890804)

Child molester, when it makes the news.

Re:I don't care what they call it, it ain't Ma Bel (1)

sbrown123 (229895) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890888)

At least there's some competition, driving down prices and increasing usability, today.

Thats humorous. Wish I had some mod points for ya!

Guess who's back... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890702)

Guess who's back, back again,
Ma Bell is back, tell some friends,
Guess who's back, Guess who's back,
Guess who's back, Guess who's back.

2 Trailer park phones go round the outside, round the outside, round the outside....

Re:Guess who's back... (1)

ZaBu911 (520503) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890751)

Trailer parks? Does Eminem qualify as a Southern Bell?

Oh, that was bad.

service mark (5, Funny)

blamanj (253811) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890703)

We Don't Care, We Don't Have To.

Get Lily Tomlin [tvacres.com] on the line, she's got work to do.

Re:service mark (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890740)

Everybody hates TPC [imdb.com]

Re:service mark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890778)

Get Lily Tomlin on the line, she's got work to do.

Last I heard she was on a few commercials for Webex [webex.com] , so I think she has her plate full.

Re:service mark (5, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890835)

HELLO?? MODS?? PLEASE TRY TO KEEP UP.

"We're the phone company. We don't care, we don't have to." is a famous tag-line from comedianne Lilly Tomlin from the old "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" TV show. She played a phone operator (Ernestine) with a plugboard and did things like calling Richard Nixon's White House and asking "Why do you have 162 extension phones?...Well, if they're so silent, why do you need 162 phones?".

Re:service mark (1)

blamanj (253811) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890901)

Damn youngsters. Don't know nothin' nowadays.

Re:service mark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890904)

FIxed it for ya

"Ma Bell" should be called "Big Brother" instead. (2, Informative)

RKBA (622932) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890710)

Last week the police came to my home and demanded immediate entry (they said they didn't need a warrant for "a case like this") to search for anyone in need of help that may have called. Our telephones were completely out of order (no dial tone) at the time the police say the call came in, and I was sitting peacefully having my second cup of coffee for the morning. After I realized that the telephone company had somehow mis-connected my wife's telephone to the 911 emergency number while the telephones were out of order and repairmen were out working on the lines because of the recent thunderstorms, I had my telephone service discontinued and the wires physically removed from my home.

I suggest that if there is anyone who does not want the police to come to your door at their whim claiming to have received an emergency call and demanding to come in and do a warrantless search, that you also have your telephone lines disconnected. My wife and I now have an excellent cellular telephone plan now that's actually cheaper than what we were paying to SBC.

Ron Dotson
Glendale, CA, USA

Re:"Ma Bell" should be called "Big Brother" instea (3, Insightful)

Kainaw (676073) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890769)

Sounds like a great idea! We don't want Big Brother spying on us, so lets run out and get cell phones that will allow Big Brother to track where we are every second of the day since we will always have the phone with us. That will show those Big Brothers!!!

Re:"Ma Bell" should be called "Big Brother" instea (2)

MemoryAid (675811) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890776)

So...How did the event play out? Quick search for bodies followed by sincere apologies, or invasive search worthy of community outrage?

Re:"Ma Bell" should be called "Big Brother" instea (2, Informative)

RKBA (622932) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890813)

No apologies were proffered by the police. The exact same thing happened to me back in January with the local fire department incidentally.

P.S. (1)

RKBA (622932) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890783)

No, our cellular telephone plan is NOT with Cingular! ;-)

Re:"Ma Bell" should be called "Big Brother" instea (5, Insightful)

Krach42 (227798) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890801)

After I realized that the telephone company had somehow mis-connected my wife's telephone to the 911 emergency number while the telephones were out of order and repairmen were out working on the lines because of the recent thunderstorms

Can you say accident?

Last week the police came to my home and demanded immediate entry (they said they didn't need a warrant for "a case like this") to search for anyone in need of help that may have called.

This would be a good thing. Warrants aren't required when there is reasonable cause. Having a 911 call placed from your line without an answer is reasonable cause.

You had a bad experience, no reason to think that there's some grand conspiracy to have the police check your house.

I had a situation where at college, a friend and I were sitting playing video games with our door open, when two cops came up, and one used the door for cover with his gun drawn and said something along the lines of don't worry, stay back... just plain "stay out of our way." Some other guy had talked to his girlfriend, she was scared he might kill himself, and that he might have a gun, and thus called the local cops where she was at, who called the local cops where we were at, who responded like they did.

I'd say the guy were pissed (he didn't have a gun, and wasn't going to kill himself; his girlfriend was just overreacting). Do I think there was some grand conspiracy for the cops to have come by my room with guns drawn? Hell know, coincidence and accident man. Nothing more, nothing less.

Re:"Ma Bell" should be called "Big Brother" instea (0)

RKBA (622932) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890874)

I don't give a good god damn WHAT their reasons were or that it was an accident. I do NOT want the police entering my home without my permission.

Re:"Ma Bell" should be called "Big Brother" instea (2, Insightful)

Rydia (556444) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890966)

And if there was an actual call to 911 for an emergency that you weren't aware of?

It's "unreasonable" search. Not "any search."

Re:"Ma Bell" should be called "Big Brother" instea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890889)

Cop: *knock-kock*
Suspected Criminal: "Yes?"
Cop: "Um, yeah, we had a 911 call traced to this address, which allows us to enter without warrant. Move aside."

Sounds like trouble to me.

Re:"Ma Bell" should be called "Big Brother" instea (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890988)

"Warrants aren't required when there is reasonable cause."

Not so. Probable cause is what's required to get a warrant. See this link for more info on what specific situations void the need for a warrant:
http://www.outlawslegal.com/refer/search.htm [outlawslegal.com]

The officer who claimed they didn't need a warrant was either grossly mistaken or lying through his teeth. Either one is indicative of the gradual failure of rights protection in the US.

Re:"Ma Bell" should be called "Big Brother" instea (2, Interesting)

da' WINS pimp (213867) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890866)

Lets hope the cops don't come back, because if they saw something during the search worth arresting you for you won't be able to phone home from jail now. The phones in every jail I've been in (thankfully only two, for minor misdemeanors...) do not call out to cell phones. The only folks you can call are good old landlines. This is the only reason I still have my account with Ma Bell, on the outside chance I need to make that dreaded "one phone call".

If anyone's mileage varies here please correct me and provide location of the detention facility.

FYI...

Re:"Ma Bell" should be called "Big Brother" instea (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890876)

They're right--they do NOT need a warrant in such a case. What if, say, a wife called 911 after being beaten, locked her away, and the husband refused to allow a search when they got there? Warrants are only there to show that they have a "reasonable suspicion"--if they have it for some other reason, like the 911 call (or it being "in plain sight"--a category that is always problematic), they don't need a warrant. IANAL, but I did read up a bit on this at one time.

I'd attribute this to incompetance instead of malice in this case--after all, you mention them misconnecting the lines. If someone swapped a couple lines and your neighbor called 911, it could hose their system for determining who called.

Oh, and if they really had used this as a mere pretext, and uncovered evidence of you doing something illegal, the 4th Ammendment provides for the supression of the illegaly obtained evidence. So they cannot use it against you in a court of law if you prevail on that point--they don't even get to show it to the jury. It's so contemplated specifically to frustrate such efforts to perform illegal searches. But if you have to argue over that, you do want a good lawyer--4th Ammendment case law is incredibly complex.

Re:"Ma Bell" should be called "Big Brother" instea (1)

RKBA (622932) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890938)

That is in fact exactly what they accused me of: murdering my wife and stashing her body under the bed after she had managed to dial 911 with her last dying breath or some sort of bullshit.

Do you have any concept of how demoralizing and insulting it is to be accused by the police of murdering my own wife? I was being treated as guilty until proven innocent instead of the way it's supposed to be. In fact, I invited the police to call my wife and talk with her at her job. They declined.

Look at the other side of the coin (2, Insightful)

MyNameIsFred (543994) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890895)

Consider the other point of view. Consider what if this was a domestic dispute? What if someone called 911, but was forced to hang up at gun point. Do you want the police to blindly accept the word of anyone who answers the door. To search your house, the police have to have probable cause. And if they reasonably believe that a crime is occuring, they have probable cause to enter. I believe that receiving a 911 call, even if it is cut off, provides the police with reasonable suspicion that a crime is occuring. If this happened to me, I would be upset, but understanding.

Re:"Ma Bell" should be called "Big Brother" instea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890962)

That has got to be the absolutely DUMBEST suggestion I have ever heard! Take a reliable, proven phone service, and replace it with a piece of shit cellphone? Dude, you are on crack . . . .

How often do you really think this happens? And unless you really ARE a criminal, what's the problem anyway?

Re:"Ma Bell" should be called "Big Brother" instea (2, Interesting)

daivzhavue (176962) | more than 8 years ago | (#13891004)

I'm amazed you were able to get the phone line physically removed.

I had a house where the previous owners had had phone service ran to a garage apartment. I was remodelling and wanted it removed as its placement on the building was awkward and in my way.

The linemen were working in the alley behind my place and wouldn't remove it without a work order. Fair enough. I called and after almost an hour of being transferred around, I got someone to place a work order to remove the phone line.

Fortunately I was at home when they came as they started to remove my phone service at the house. Stopped them from doing that, but they wouldn't actually remove the service off the garage since the work order didn't specify that.

Tried to get them to come back out and never had any luck. So I pulled the box off of the garage, rolled up the attached cable as well as possible and left it at the base of the telephone pole.

That was three years ago. The phone box and cable are still at the base of the telephone pole.

Wished they never sold Unix (2, Interesting)

Nick Driver (238034) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890713)

I just recently met with some SBC reps last week who are trying to sell my employer a new phone system, and heard the AT&T name change from them. I asked of them now that SBC owns AT&T if they wished that AT&T had retained ownership of Unix, in light of certain events that have transpired over the years. Their answer was "Absolutely!"

Re:Wished they never sold Unix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890773)

And yet, Linux would have still kicked UNIX's ass.

Re:Wished they never sold Unix (3, Interesting)

Nick Driver (238034) | more than 8 years ago | (#13891026)

And yet, Linux would have still kicked UNIX's ass.

Linux is a great *nix and all that alright, but where SBC->AT&T is coming from is:

1)AIX
2)Solaris
3)HP-UX
4)???
5)Profit!

When you need a big-iron machine, such as on a big RS6000 machine with 6 or more 64-bit RISC processors, Linux still can't touch AIX for enterprise-level performance and features. Linux is perfect for small to midsize scale duty, but when you have 500+ users hitting nearly two hundred gigabytes worth of Oracle databases, you've got to use the primary o/s developed for that hardware. And even though IBM calles it AIX 5.xL (L- for Linux affinity) it ain't Linux at all, it just has a lot of Linux compatibility for recompiling written-for-Linux source code into native AIX binaries without as much hassle as in years past. Most SuSE app source code tarballs compile with ease under 5.xL and that's no coincidence.

"SBC is changing it's name" (-1, Offtopic)

ZaBu911 (520503) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890714)

...should instead be "SBC is changing its name."

"It's" is a contraction of "it" and "is", giving "it is."

-Language Nerd

Re:"SBC is changing it's name" (-1, Offtopic)

kwiqsilver (585008) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890794)

Are you claiming that a slashdot story has a spelling or grammar error?
Slashdot contibutors' spelling and grammar skills are almost as good as their unquestionable fact checking and duplicate checking abilities.

Yes, but does she still do it in the booty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890736)

I'd hit it.

Re:Yes, but does she still do it in the booty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890978)

Truly an American MILF icon.

Mebbe they'll discover & invent more great stu (3, Interesting)

elwinc (663074) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890737)

Ma Bell brought us the transistor. My guess is the fallout from that single invention drives about 30% of our economy. And let's not forget the development of Unix and C, and the discovery of pulsars. Sure, they were a huge slow bureaucracy, but the research arm changed our lives forever. I'll never forget you, Ma Bell. Unfortunately, the landline phone business is a dinosaur, and will never again support anything like Bell Labs. If you have a cable modem and a cell phone, landline phones are completely optional; there's no chance to reassembel the old Bell monopoly.

Pulsars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13891011)

Bell labs did many great things, but pulsars were discovered by a different Bell. I think you mean Jocelyn Bell, while she was working at Cambridge (the British one), along with Antony Hewish. As always, wikipedia tells all. If you ever get the chance to see her talk, go along. She's very good at making you think about scarily big numbers! [wikipedia.org]

Good description (2, Informative)

interiot (50685) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890739)

Here's some fantastic diagrams that describe the history of telecom. See pages 9 through 12 on this powerpoint slide from MIT [mit.edu] . The AT&T breakup made things kind of complicated, the 1996 Telecom Act made them even more complicated, but has allowed everything to go back to a pre-breakup configuration.

Like Ma Bell.... (2, Funny)

Jeff Mahoney (11112) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890741)

So are all their customers now in for some ill communication?

It's about time. (1)

geektweaked.com (93565) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890743)

It's about time somebody whipped it back into shape.

Seriously. There's a reason google's hiring up all the ex-Bell Labs types.

Sadly, though, changing your name to AT&T won't really bring back Ma Bell unless you're willing to dump the hojillions of dollars into R&D that they used to.

-c

The 80's are back (4, Insightful)

heroine (1220) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890750)

The last time AT&T was on TV commercials, QA engineers could afford houses, people could retire at 50, and gas was $0.89. Having the word AT&T back on TV is going to remind a lot of people of better times.

It's about time they did something to improve their situation by going back to a name from the 80's. When you're a front end to an Indian outsourcing business whose only product is your name, changing your name has a big impact. Hopefully they'll still have enough money to buy the rasterline globe trademark back from Infosys.

could it be? (1, Interesting)

sulli (195030) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890754)

Bell Is Back [bellisback.com] (flash)

I'm so sorry.... (5, Funny)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890767)

Does that mean they're reviving the 'Death Star' logo too?

"That blast came from the Death Star! That thing's operational!"
"It's a trap!"

In related news... (5, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890779)

SBC/AT&T announced they were looking to acquire the SCO Group and Lucent Technologies. Judge Greene's rotting corpse is reported to have been purchased by the local electric company, who announced it would be used for electric power generation it was spinning so fast, for an undisclosed sum

So THAT's what "Modified" Final Judgement means (2, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890802)

Looks like the stock market gets to modify Judge Greene's Modified Final Judgement [google.com] again and again and again.

Well, at least the "new" stock ticker symbol should fit the SBC to a "T."

They even have a "Bell Labs" (1)

b1t r0t (216468) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890805)

Formerly called SBC Technology Resources, Inc., currently called SBC Labs [sbc.com] , will it be renamed to Bell Labs now that the former holder of the name gave it up for the trendy 90's marketroid name of "Lucent"?

Ma Bell's daughter grew up, and she's no dammyankee. Bye bye New Jersey, hello Texas.

Re:They even have a "Bell Labs" (3, Informative)

sg3000 (87992) | more than 8 years ago | (#13891000)

> Formerly called SBC Technology Resources, Inc., currently called SBC Labs, will it be renamed to Bell Labs
> now that the former holder of the name gave it up for the trendy 90's marketroid name of "Lucent"?

If things keep going the same for Lucent, they might not be needing that name any longer, either.

From today's New York Times [nytimes.com] :
speculation about Lucent's long-term outlook - and even its survival as an independent company - gathered steam yesterday after it released earnings for the fourth quarter. Profits plunged 69 percent compared with the same quarter a year ago, to $374 million, or 8 cents a share, from $1.21 billion, or 23 cents a share.

RSS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890806)

Wow, five feed subscription buttons on that site (times two), none of them the orange XML button. Winer must be spinning in his grave...

Return of the Trusts (2, Insightful)

Dolly_Llama (267016) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890809)

It's not just Ma Bell. Consider the mergers in the oil industry and the shared refining / distribution systems, and you could make a good argument that Standard Oil is back too.

Only 10K? (4, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890837)

Any decent SCSI-2 compliant judge corpse should spin at least 15K.

hmmm (5, Funny)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890847)

Does anyone remember the scene in Terminator 2 when Arnie shoots the frozen T-1000 and it smashes to a million pieces, only to coalesque back into a big glob of liquid metal again?

For some reason that image came to mind when reading this article.....

Theory of corporations (4, Insightful)

Alioth (221270) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890871)

It's sort of a bit like the opposite of the Big Bang really. You take a giant corporation, break it up into lots of little ones, and eventually it gravitationally collapses back into the original giant corporation (and gets broken up, rinse, lather repeat). I bet if they re-broke AT&T again tomorrow, in 20 years it will have re-formed, just like the Bad Terminator from Terminator 2.

ITS, not IT'S (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890872)

brass1 writes: "...SBC is changing it's name to AT&T..."

This expands to "...SBG is changing it is name to AT&T..."

brass1 MEANT to write "...SBC is changing its name to AT&T..."

NOTE: "it's" *ALWAYS* means "it is"!

Sincerely,
Word Bitch

More work at the ol' baseball park! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890877)

Just months after opening, Pacbell Park in San Francisco was completely rebranded SBC Park. This was no small task because of the large number of brass fixtures, signs, etc.

Will we now be treated to AT+T park? Hooray. Maybe they should just change the name every year to give the local metal workers something to do out here.

AT&T Wireless...No, Cingular...No wait... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890881)

I love it.

We were spun off from AT&T as AT&T Wireless.

AWS was bought by Cingular (joint-venture of SBC and Bell South).

AT&T gets set to start their own AT&T Wireless branded service again with Sprint.

SBC buys up Ma.

Now both Cingular and AT&T Wireless are owned by SBC...

My head a'splode.

I for one welcome our new, err ... old, overlords. (2, Funny)

lukateake (619282) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890892)

Does this mean that Captain Crunch is coming out of retirement soon?

The problem with corporate naming of stadiums (1)

angle_slam (623817) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890928)

I guess they'll have to rename SBC Park [wikipedia.org] again. The stadium was finished only 5 years ago, and will be on it's third name if they decide to scrap the SBC Park name.

Survival of the fittest.... (3, Interesting)

angelasmark (856143) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890948)

These mergers in the telco industry are simply adjustmets to survive. With Muni-Wifi becoming more prevalent and VOIP cellphones coming out there is less and less need for land line telephones. Saying Ma Bell is back may be a little too strong with the amount of competition when it comes to telephone service. Its also starting to look like Internet service may be looking more like a 3 way competition with muni wifi coming to San Francisco, Anaheim, and Philly in the near future. We're actually getting more options as consumers and the telco are merging again as a result.

My experience with SBC: (1, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890956)

SBC in Ventura, California is amazingly unprepared to do business efficiently.

What does this mean for San Fran and SBC Park? (4, Insightful)

Aqua OS X (458522) | more than 8 years ago | (#13890963)

OK, so the SF Giants no longer play in "Pacific Bell Park"... we JUST changed the name to "SBC Park" after the recent Pac Bell / SBC merger.

So, now it's probably going to be "AT&T Park ?!" This is ridiculous. I miss the days when our stadiums had names that didn't change. The 49ers have played in Candlestick, which was renamed "3COM," which has now been renamed "Monster" Park. And now the Giant's stadium is getting it's 3rd name as well. uhh. Time to change the freeway signs AGAIN.

And on a side note, is it possible for me to change my Slashdot nickname to "Pepsi Presents AquaOSX?"

Back to the Future Saw This Comming! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890970)

Remember in Back to the Future II when old Marty got a call from Needles and a voice at the end of the call said "Thank you for using AT&T"? Well it looks like that movie accurately predicted the return of the company back in 1988!

That movie is like Nostradomus on flim!

ATT is the Devil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13890998)

Years ago, after having all sort of problems with AT&T and dealing with their nightmare customer service, I swore them off and vowed never to do business with them again.


Now, once again, I will be forced to use them if I want a local phone line, since only SBC serves my location. It is inevitable that AT&T will infect SBC, and they will become the same old nightmare.


It would have just made my day if AT&T had died and gone away after SBC bought them.

I got da I'll Comunication (1)

ballsmccoy (304705) | more than 8 years ago | (#13891008)

It like ma bell I got da I'll Communication

WTF? (3, Insightful)

Moonwick (6444) | more than 8 years ago | (#13891012)

"Meanwhile, a great force and a high pitched whining sound has been reported from Judge Greene's grave as he spins at nearly 10K RPM."

Or maybe Judge Greene realizes that the telecommunications business has changed dramatically in twenty years and that 'Ma Bell' would no longer have a monopoly, so he doesn't actually give a shit. But don't let that keep you from sensationalizing a story, slashdot!
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