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Anonymous Payphones Re: What is the EFF doing exactly?

At 01:31 AM 9/6/96 -0400, "<[email protected]>" <[email protected]> wrote:
>Not just DC and Chicago, I'm afraid.  If anyone around NYC noticed, there 
>are less and less payphones, and all new ones installed, just about, are 
>those yellow credit card phones.  

That's not a big problem - you can buy telephone credit cards,
anonymously, in your local convenience store.  Around here you've
got a choice of cards where the announcements are in Spanish and
the rates to call Mexico are cheap, cards that come in exact $20
from machines that don't give change, cards with pretty pictures
on the front, cards with advertising, etc., as well as cards that
are reusable and want some personal information about you to activate.

I don't blame phone companies in New York for using non-coin-phones,
especially non-monopoly phone companies.  Collecting and handling
coins is expensive, phones get vandalized to steal the coins,
it's harder to change your rates when you need to go to
each phone to do it, and people get annoyed at coin phones that charge
higher than Bell prices.  

What I do get annoyed about is that most pay phones won't accept calls,
they'll only initiate them.  This means that if you call somebody
from a pay phone who only has a beeper, or if you don't have a beeper,
you can't leave them a useful message to call you back.  Part of this
is done because of the Great Drug Hysteria, but I suspect part of it
is that pay phone companies don't make money receiving calls,
so they don't want to tie up their phones doing that; perhaps if
they charged money to receive calls as well as initiate them,
they'd be willing to receive calls?

Not all of them, but it's now one for 
>one, at least.
>PS: i wrote a fiction book about this a few years ago -- i should have 
>published. People could've said i was the next nostradamus. :( 

#			Thanks;  Bill
# Bill Stewart, +1-415-442-2215 [email protected]
# <A HREF="http://idiom.com/~wcs"> 	
# You can get PGP software outside the US at ftp.ox.ac.uk/pub/crypto